Alstom clinches contracts in Poland and India

Alstom has won a contract worth around $32 million to retrofit unit 2 of Elektrownia Belchatow (pictured above), Europe’s largest lignite power plant and the second biggest in the world.

The contract is with Polish power company PGE and covers the modernisation of the high pressure and intermediate pressure parts and related auxiliary systems of the steam turbine as well as the generator in unit 2.

The retrofit is expected to increase the plant’s output by 20 MW.

The Belchatow modernisation started in 1997 when PGE and Alstom signed a contract to retrofit steam turbine low-pressure parts of all units. Since then, PGE has been continuing with the modernisation of units 3-12 in order to meet the requirements of EU Directives on pollution emissions and to extend the units’ lifetime.

Alstom has also won a contract with Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) to supply components and services for the 2 x 660 MW Suratgarh Super Thermal Power Project in Rajasthan, India.

Worth around $35 million, the contract will see Alstom design the boilers and supply identified pressure parts of the 660 MW supercritical boilers, along with windboxes.

It will also assist BHEL with technical advisors during the erection and commissioning of the units. Key components will be manufactured in Alstom’s manufacturing facilities in Concordia in the US as well as in India at Durgapur. Units 1 and 2 are expected to be commissioned by 2016.

Tratos Cavi unveils Fraday Cage test site

Tratos Cavi unveils Fraday Cage test site

Specialist cable manufacturer Tratos Cavi has completed the construction of a Faraday Cage test site at the company’s headquarters in Pieve Santo Stefano, Italy.

Measuring 24m x 16m and standing at 14m high, the new Faraday Cage (pictured) enables Tratos to effectively administer AC resonant tests on site, allowing testing of up to 220kV of nominal voltage cables and up to 20km of medium voltage cable.

AC resonant testing is now the standard method of testing higher voltage cables. However, it is vital that these tests are carried out in a controlled environment, and this is exactly what the new Faraday Cage provides.

The facility incorporates a new innovative locking system to ensure shielding from any sort of external interference. Inside are sophisticated tools for testing and an adjustable high voltage reactor which, together with the exciter and the regulator, comprise the heart of the system.

The reactor is insulated in oil and consists of two identically wound high voltage coils mounted on a platform, with a motorised drive mechanism providing variable air gaps. Its upper part includes space for oil expansion and it offers 12 MW of resonance power, allowing three taps of 350kV, 150kV and 70kV. The exciter section is mounted in a separate oil-filled steel tank and contains a single phase, step-up transformer which supplies the AC voltage required for the resonant circuit. The regulator provides an adjustable input voltage to the exciter and controls the input voltage of the reactor.

UK university to set up Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage

A university in the UK has won £6m ($9m) funding to create a new Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage.

The University of Birmingham claims that the ‘liquid air’ technology could revolutionise the storage of energy, reducing the costs of integrating intermittent generation into the electricity system and ensuring power is available when it is most needed.

The funding has come in the form of a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is part of an £85m government investment to support university research.

The centre will be based on the university campus and will be the UK’s first dedicated research facility for energy storage using cryogenic liquids, comprising new laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment, and a major demonstration plant.

Cryogenic energy storage systems use off-peak electricity to liquefy air. The cryogenic liquid that is formed is stored in a vessel then vapourised into a gas during an expansion process, which drives a turbine. This system generates electricity when it is most needed, and the university says that taking off-peak electricity and using it at peak times will solve the ‘wrong-time wrong-place’ energy generation and supply problem. A grid-connected pilot plant has been operating in Slough in England since 2010.

Professor Richard Williams is pro-vice chancellor at the university, head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and is also lead investigator on the project.

He said: “Energy storage is the missing link in the UK energy strategy and is critical to future domestic electrical energy supply and industrial needs. This award is for the groundbreaking technology of using cold liquefied air as a safe, cheap, large-scale energy warehouse. It will also provide the UK’s first research demonstrator plant to enable development of applications for use in the city and region.”

London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, opened by British PM

London Array
London Array
London Array
London Array

London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, has been officially opened by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Developed by Dong Energy, E.ON and Masdar, London Array is located off England in the outer Thames Estuary, 20km from the coasts of Kent and Essex.

Powered by 175 turbines Siemens turbines, the wind farm has a capacity of 630 MW – enough to power nearly half a million homes.

RWE pulls plug on Tilbury biomass plant


RWE npower has pulled the plug on its UK biomass plant at Tilbury – the largest 100 per cent biomass plant in the world.

The company said that it had decided to halt work on the biomass plant “whilst options on project feasibility are assessed and reviewed”.

RWE Generation chief technical officer Roger Miesen said the announcement was made “with regret” and added that “this decision has not been taken lightly”.

Tilbury opened as a coal-fired plant in 1969 and in 2008 RWE decided the power station would opt-out from the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD), meaning it would shut after 20 000 hours of operation or by the end of 2015.

RWE decided to convert Tilbury to run on biomass and in 2011 started to change the plant’s units, which with a capacity of 750 MW made it the biggest biomass plant in the world.

However in February 2012 wood pellets caught alight and a fire ripped through the storage area of the plant, shutting the facility for months.

It re-opened later last year but today’s announcement ends RWE’s ambitious biomass experiment.

Miesen said that “Tilbury remains a good site for future power generation” and added that “RWE still believes that biomass has a role to play in future power generation and will continue to progress options at strategic sites”.

Tilbury will now close under the LCPD legislation on 31 October this year.

Technology Update

Energiewende challenges highlighted at TRANSFORM Campus

Professor Stefan Tenbohlen.
Professor Stefan Tenbohlen.

“For the energy revolution to be successful, the foundation must be laid correctly, particularly with regard to the German high-voltage network.”

Those were the words of Professor Stefan Tenbohlen, Director of the Institute for Power Transmission and High-Voltage Technology at the University of Stuttgart as he delivered the keynote speech at the TRANSFORM Campus 2013 in Berlin.

The event brings experts in the transformer industry together with young engineers to exchange knowledge.

Professor Tenbohlen noted during his opening remarks that Germany’s Energiewende – which has seen it shun nuclear in favour of renewables – has “imposed immense requirements on the energy highways of the future”.

“An immensely important role in this regard is played not only by the high-voltage lines, but specifically also by power transformers as the connecting links between individual network areas and voltage levels. Therefore, it is essential for all operators to have solid knowledge of their transformers and the interaction of the key components.”

TRANSFORM Campus brought together more than 50 participants from all around the world and attempted to deliver information about transformers in a “compact and easy-to-understand manner”.

DNV KEMA releases new offshore turbine standards

DNV KEMA has released its new standard for floating offshore wind turbine structures.

The company says the new standard will help “ensure safety and reliability in floating wind turbines and give the nascent floating-turbine sector the confidence to continue its development to commercial maturity”.

According to Johan Sandberg, head of renewable energy at DNV KEMA, the standard covers a broad range of issues, including safety philosophy and design principles; site conditions, loads and response; materials and corrosion protection; structural design; design of anchor foundations; floating stability; station keeping; control and mechanical systems; transport and installation; in-service inspection and cable design.

“As demand for wind energy increases, we predict offshore deployments will continue to move into deeper waters and, consequently, there’s a need to establish design standards that will help ensure safety, reliability, and confidence in future wind turbines,” he said.

“To that end, the new standard, developed as a joint industry project with ten participating companies, aims to spur progress in floating offshore wind through a framework for best practices and technical requirements, plus producing guidance for design, construction and in-service inspection.”

The new standard for floating wind structures, devised under DNV KEMA’s leadership through project manager Anne Lene Hopstad and technical specialist Knut Ronold supplements the developed DNV Guideline for Offshore Floating Wind Turbine Structures, and the existing standard DNV-OS-J101 Design of Offshore Wind Turbine.

GE launches remote monitoring unit

GE has announced the availability of its MultilinTM DGCM Field Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) to help utilities improve network efficiency and reliability by monitoring and automating distribution assets.

The Multilin DGCM Field RTU monitors distribution assets to determine load constraints and overloading conditions in the network, which GE says helps utilities better understand grid conditions to reduce outages and equipment damage.

If faults do occur, utilities can use customisable control schemes to reduce the time required to bring the lights back on, lowering repair costs and helping improve customer satisfaction. Visual fault detection, communicated by operators to field crews, helps locate failed equipment faster making power restoration quicker.

Juan Macias, GE’s general manager of grid automation, said: “With demand on electrical grids continuing to increase, effective network planning and the ability to remotely manage the network becomes a key factor in ensuring grid reliability.”

“The Multilin DGCM Field RTU minimises the total installed cost of monitoring and automating distribution assets so that utilities can cost-effectively deploy network reliability and efficiency improvement strategies.”

Metso targets Asia Pacific with new control valves

Metso targets Asia Pacific with new control valves

Metso is targeting the first phase of the launch of its new line of Neles globe control valves at the Asia Pacific, China and India.

Metso says the addition of the globe valve product line means that its customers in those regions will have access to a complete portfolio of control valve solutions backed by product, applications and service expertise.

The new globe control product line builds and expands on technology and service capabilities acquired when Metso purchased South Korean Valstone Control last year.

Metso’s new Neles globe valve product line is intended to play a key role in many critical processes where extreme pressures and temperatures are issues.

See Hoe Lau, vice-president of Metso Automation’s Asia Pacific sales & services said: “The introduction of our globe valve product line to the APAC market is very much part of Metso’s international strategy for providing our customers with complete control performance business solutions that encompass both products and services that provide a clearly quantifiable payback.”

The new Neles series is designed for both general and severe service applications.

Cylmate quickly detects engine fault at Barbados plant


ABB’s Cylmate monitoring system successfully detected a fault in the cylinder of one of The Barbados Light & Power Company’s (BL&P) Spring Garden power station’s diesel engines.

According to BL&P, it was able to quickly confirm that a piston ring had broken. Running the engine for too long with a high Pdiff can ultimately lead to piston ring breakage. A major benefit of Cylmate’s trend files was that BL&P was able to look back and see when the piston ring actually broke.

The Cylmate systems are installed on the plant’s two 9K80MC-S engines – the first in April 2010 and the second in December last year.

Cylmate continuously monitors diesel engine performance and enables the user to see cylinder pressure changes, and therefore effectively plan maintenance activity.

With more than two years of experience working with Clymate under its belt, Barbados’ only power company is confident of the system’s high-reliability and accuracy.

No crane, no gain for biomass plants

No crane, no gain for biomass plants

Finnish company Konecranes has launched the CXT Biomass, fully automated crane for handling different kinds of biomass, from peat and wood chips to communal waste.

Konecranes says that one of the big advantages of the CXT Biomass crane is that it’s “more compact than a traditional loader conveyor-based solution, which increases the fuel storage capacity of a plant”.

The crane receives biomass from a tipping area and lifts it to a storage area or directly to a feeding hopper.

The crane can also feed biomass from the storage area to the hopper.

Emerson launches temperature measurement guide

Emerson Process Management has launched what it is calling a “go to” guide for temperature measurement information.

The Engineer’s Guide to Industrial Temperature Measurement has been developed to help engineers, designers, operators and technicians understand and implement temperature measurement technology and was compiled in association with a number of global companies, including Dow Chemical Company, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, BorsodChem, Beamex and Bilfinger.

“We did not write this guide in a vacuum,” says Michelle Weimert, marketing manager, Emerson Process Management. “Rather we consulted with our customers to determine the most common temperature questions and review the content written. Their insight was invaluable.”

Weimert said the guide “is a comprehensive book of technical information on the entire temperature measurement system. It discusses the individual components, including the thermowell, sensor and transmitter.”

It includes several levels of technical detail – from answering the most commonly asked questions on transmitters, sensors and thermowells, to guidelines on calibration, configuration, maintenance, diagnostics and safety.

The guide is available to order for free at

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