Project Update

Work starts on 385 MW Arkona Baltic Sea wind farm

Construction has started on the 385 MW Arkona offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea.

The cornerstone for the joint project being carried out by E.ON and Statoil has been laid in Sassnitz on the island of Rügen.

The €1.2bn ($1.3bn) Arkona project is located 35 kilometers northeast of Rügen and will be powered by 60 of Siemens’ 6 MW turbines, which will rest on monopile foundations in up to 37 meters of water.

The wind farm is scheduled to be fully operational in 2019, when it make E.ON the first company to operate its own offshore wind farms in both the German North Sea and the Baltic.

Ingo Luge, chief executive of E.ON Germany, said: “As the mainstay of future energy supply, renewables must be able to stand on their own economically going forward. Electricity generation from offshore wind farms has already experienced a considerable learning curve and will soon be able to do just that. Through its high levels of investment, E.ON has made an important contribution toward this end.”

GE signs gas turbine pact with Israel Electric

GE has signed a service deal with Israel’s main utility for gas turbines at three power plants.

The pact between Israel Electric Corporation and GE’s Power Services business covers the three 9FA gas turbines at Eshkol, Tzafit and Alon Tavor power stations.

The new deal comes into effect in 2017 and follows a previous 13-year multi-year agreement between IEC and GE for the three plants. It covers parts, repair and technical advisory services for planned outages for the three 9FA units.

GE’s Power Services president Paul McElhinney said the continued contract would “increase the country’s long-term energy supply by improving the reliability and availability of its existing 9FA gas turbine fleet”.

Eshkol is Israel’s third largest power plant with a production capacity of 1449 MW, while Tzafit and Alon Tavor both have a 650 MW capacity.

E.ON agrees £163m sale of windfarm transmission assets

E.ON has signed an agreement for the sale of transmission assets at its Humber Gateway offshore windfarm to a consortium comprising Balfour Beatty Investments and Equitix for almost £163m.

Humber Gateway remains 100 per cent owned by E.ON and comprises 73 turbines located 8 km off the English coast. It went into full operation in May 2015 and has a capacity of 219 MW. Balfour Beatty Investments and Equitix were selected by Ofgem in September 2015 as the preferred bidder to own and operate the offshore transmission link. The sale is necessary due to regulatory requirements relating to the ownership of transmission and generation assets.

BRUSH claims generator world record

BRUSH Group is claiming a major milestone in power generation with the delivery of the 400th generator for mobile power plants.

BRUSH specializes in mobile generators rated above 25MVA with its DAX brand. The 400-generators milestone was reached in slightly less than 16 years after the first trailer mounted DAX 62-170 unit entered service in 2000.

BRUSH said today that the 400 generators provided for mobile power plants above 25 MVA have resulted in six million fleet operational running hours – which the company claims is a world record.

BRUSH chief executive Martyn Vaughan said: “In addition to the rental power sector, we are seeing a new market demand in mainstream industrial power supply, where power generation asset managers are seeking to provide additional power capacity for on and off grid operations at a substantially reduced capital outlay.”

Wartsila wins Argentina $80m dual-fuel plant deal

Wärtsilä is to supply a 100 MW dual-fuel power plant to Albares Renovables in Argentina.

The $80m contract for the Central Termica Pilar plant includes six Wärtsilä 50DF engines running on gas and heavy fuel oil.

The order is one of five contracts that Wärtsilä was recently awarded in Argentina and the plant is expected to be delivered early next year and be operational by the summer.

Wärtsilä’s scope of supply for the project with Albares Renovables has been extended from equipment delivery only to a full turn-key project. Dual-fuel engines were chosen because natural gas is not available for the power market in Argentina all year round.

When installed, the plant will also recover all of its heat and make it available to nearby companies.

Masdar on track with Mauritania solar plants

Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar has announced that it had passed the halfway mark in the construction of a 16.6 MW solar power plant network in Mauritania.

Masdar broke ground on the project in December last year and once complete, the network of eight solar plants will supply 30 per cent of the electricity demand to several remote off-grid communities, reducing their dependency on diesel-fired generators.

Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “Delivery of this innovative network will bring electricity to thousands of families for the first time, changing their lives for the better and further enabling socio-economic development.”

Mauritania’s national electricity provider Société Mauritanienne d’electricité (SOMELEC) selected Masdar for the project based on its successful delivery of the 15 MW Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in the capital city of Nouakchott.

At the time of its completion in 2013, this plant was the largest solar power installation in Africa and Mauritania’s first utility-scale solar power project, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the country’ grid-connected capacity.

Director of Masdar Special Projects Khaled Ballaith said: “By working in remote locations like Afghanistan and the Pacific Islands, our team has acquired vast expertise in deploying small-scale off-grid solutions to communities without access to secure energy. Our capacity for efficient delivery under challenging conditions is the reason why we were assigned this project in Mauritania. Coupling innovative project management strategies with cutting edge technology has ensured we can deliver clean energy to these communities.”

Iberdrola has now installed more than eight million smart meters in Spain.

The company has upgraded 76 per cent of all of its meters in Spain with subscribed power equal to or less than 15 kilowatts and is ahead of schedule on targets set by Spain’s Ministry of Industry.

The smart meter roll-out is part of a €2bn programme devised by Iberdrola called Project Star (Remote Grid Management and Automation System) which it is implementing in the 10 regions where it has power distribution networks.

Project Star is due to be completed in 2018 by which time more than 10.5m meters will have be replaced.

Iberdrola rolls out more than 8 million smart meters in Spain

DEWA launches cyber defence centre

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has become the first government organisation in Dubai to launch a cyber defence centre.

DEWA chief executive Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: “DEWA is constantly working to transform Dubai into a role model for smart cities, by adopting the best information security practices, which is a vital pillar in the development of smart cities.”

“DEWA adopts the best international standards to improve its services, and achieve the highest standards of quality and excellence across all projects, initiatives, and services, in cooperation with an efficient and professional team,” added Al Tayer.

Marwan Bin Haider, executive vice-president of Innovation and the Future at DEWA, added that the company “understands the importance of immediately dealing with potential security threats that can affect smart cities. DEWA established the 24/7 cyber defence centre to predict potential threats, and ensure that preventive measures are in place to protect our data, by monitoring our services and technical assets around the clock.”

Milestone for Ireland onshore wind farm

A 169 MW wind farm in the west of Ireland has reached phase one in its development, and once completed will be the country’s largest onshore wind facility.

The Galway Wind Park has reached a major milestone, with the first turbine now fully installed.

A number of the other turbines in this first phase are partially assembled, with the bases and mid-towers installed.

Galway Wind Park is a wind farm cluster that consists of four wind farms – Cloosh, Lettercraffroe, Seecon and Uggool. When operational it will have the capacity to generate enough energy to power around 84,000 homes, equivalent to almost 90 per cent of the homes in Co. Galway.

Phase 1 (64 MW) entered construction in February 2015 and is owned and financed by SSE, while Phase 2 (105 MW) is a 50/50 joint venture between SSE and Ireland’s commercial state forestry company, Coillte.

Turbine installation on Phase 2 is due to commence from November and all turbines are expected to be installed by mid-2017.

As part of Coillte and SSE’s commitment to the local economy, Galway Harbour is playing a key role in this phase of the project. The nacelles, hubs, blades and other ancillary turbine components are being shipped to Galway Harbour, while the larger tower components will be transported to the site from Foynes, Co. Limerick.

Scottish offshore tidal array claims world first

What’s believed to be the world’s first fully-operational, commercial, grid-connected offshore tidal array has been deployed in Shetland in Scotland.

The second in a series of three 100 kW turbines has been deployed alongside the first turbine, which operator Nova Innovation says makes it the first offshore tidal array in the world to deliver electricity to the grid.

The Shetland Tidal Array is a partnership between Nova and Belgian renewable energy company ELSA. Nova said that the Shetland array heralds a new era for tidal energy as a long-term source of predictable renewable power – unlike other forms of renewable energy – and added that it was the first company to secure financial close on a commercial tidal array.

The UK’s Carbon Trust estimates that a global tidal energy market of $165 billion dollars could be developed by 2050.

Nova Innovation managing director Simon Forrest said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the first company in the world to deploy a fully operational tidal array. Deploying the second turbine truly sets us apart and showcases our technology.”

Richard Graham MP, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons which he launched in July, said the operation of the tidal array was “an historic moment”.

“This is a really encouraging step forward for UK tidal power.”

 

Technology Update

Renold Gears launches SmartGearbox

Renold Gears has launched a new SmartGearbox featuring, the company claims, “a unique oil condition monitoring system”.

Renold Gears says the patented technology is “60 times more sensitive to oil contamination than a standard dielectric sensor and provides an all-round view of gearbox oil performance”.

It adds that it is easy to use and enables an effective way to display the real-time condition of gearbox oil. It can be used either as a stand-alone system or simply connected to a variety of control and display systems such as PLCs, smartphones and tablets.

Renold Gears says that as approximately 75 per cent of all drive system failures are the result of oil contamination, “the new SmartGearbox has been designed to cut downtime, reduce maintenance and the overall cost of ownership. It increases reliability and performance by continuously monitoring the condition of the oil and reports on any early signs of problems enabling immediate action to be taken.”

RTK announces new actuator line

RTK, a CIRCOR Energy brand, has launched the next generation of its REact electric actuator product line, which it claims is “60 per cent more energy-efficient than previous versions and other market available products”.

RTK says the new REact actuators offer technological advantages including optimized positioner, applied Brushless DC motor technology, a compact, modular structure and variable actuator speeds. The company adds that a patented adaptive spindle system reduces the structural height of the REact 60E and 100E. The new REpos positioner offers data logging functions, a micro USB interface, and a graphic display.

Advanced smart grid system to be demonstrated in Amsterdam & Cologne

Grid-Friends, a European research project that aims to accelerate Europe’s energy transition by setting a new standard in smart-grid technology, is launching two projects in the Netherlands and Germany.

The project will implement an advanced smart-grid platform in two communities: Schoonschip, a residential neighborhood located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a carbon-neutral housing complex in Cologne, Germany.

The Dutch pilot will be the first of its kind in the Netherlands, demonstrating how local communities that manage their own microgrid behind the meter can play a pivotal role in the European energy transition.

Grid-Friends is developing the coordination mechanisms and the software platform for energy cooperatives, enabling them to maximize self-sufficiency and generate greater value through shared exploitation of storage and other flexible assets.

“The platform we are developing enables many distributed renewable energy systems to be combined into one, larger, virtual power plant, which is able to perform the same services as centralized power plants and production systems.” said Matthias Klein, team leader at Fraunhofer ITWM.

The platform will use the latest in ICT technology to control battery systems, electric vehicle chargers, energy generation assets, heat pumps, thermal storage and smart appliances in order to optimize energy supply and demand.

The project started in May 2016 and has received funding in the framework of the joint programming initiative ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus, with support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The Grid-Friends consortium includes two leading European research institutes -Stichting Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM). Also involved are Spectral Utilities, a systems integration and cleantech development startup based in Amsterdam; and Evohaus, a green construction firm founded in 1998, based in Germany and a leader in innovative construction and real estate development, focused on building carbon-neutral ecological living quarters for low income families.

Emerson unveils continuous gas analyzer

Emerson has unveiled the Rosemount CT5400 continuous gas analyzer, which it says it has launched in response to “the worldwide need for highly accurate, easy-to-use and cost-effective process gas analysis and emissions monitoring systems”.

The company says the CT5400 uniquely combines tunable diode laser (TDL) and quantum cascade laser (QCL) technologies within the same analyzer to provide “near-instant high-resolution spectroscopy to detect and identify a range of molecules in both the near and mid-infrared range of spectroscopic light with an enhanced dynamic range from sub ppm to per cent levels”.

Emerson added that, unlike traditional process gas analyzers requiring continuous calibration and verification, and other single laser-based systems which are limited to measurement of one or two components, the modular and scalable design of the CT5400 can incorporate up to six high-resolution laser modules and can detect, measure and monitor up to 12 critical components simultaneously, eliminating the need for multiple analyzers and sample handling systems.

Dr Ruth Lindley, product manager for Emerson QCL analysers, said the Rosemount laser-based gas analysers “have a significantly quicker response time and make continuous measurements. Sub-second measurements give operators the ability to make adjustments to their processes and avoid costly upsets that can develop into emergencies.”

Atlas Copco launches new inverter power generators

Atlas Copco has launched two new inverter power generators.

The P 2000i and P 3500i models are the latest additions to the company’s complete portfolio of portable generators.

Atlas Copco said that the new inverters use advanced electronics and magnets to ensure efficiency.

“Designed for daily use, or for frequent single jobs, typically involving handheld power tools, the inverter power portable generators are easy to operate, with a recoil start function that ensures fast activation. Fuel consumption is low, thanks to variable speed control that adapts engine speed to load conditions. Additionally, the generators can be connected and used in parallel to increase the overall power capability without requiring a larger generator.”

Incorporating fuel tanks of four and 11 litres respectively, the P 2000i and P3500i can run for up to six hours before refuelling. The generators are also fitted with noise-reducing canopies to keep engine noise levels at a level of around 63 dBA – comparable with an electric razor.

“The new iP generators are the latest addition to Atlas Copco’s extensive range of portable power solutions and offer considerable value to users,” said Sergio Salvador, product marketing manager for small generators at Atlas Copco Portable Energy.

“Construction sites are becoming more demanding in terms of power needs. Low noise levels are required on all metropolitan construction to avoid noise pollution. In addition, wider environmental issues, such as reduction of CO2 emissions, are also a big consideration. Therefore easy transportation and reduced fuel consumption are a firm customer requirement.”

E.ON in deal for 10 MW battery to equalize renewables

German energy company E.ON is to install and operate a 10 MW battery to equalize the feed-in of renewable energy to a transmission network in the US.

The battery will be charged by an associated 2 MW solar park which E.ON will construct, own and operate.

The partnership with Tucson Electric Power is set to run for ten years and is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2017.

Meanwhile, E.ON will collaborate with Greensmith Power, a provider of storage solutions, to prepare a technical design the battery, named the ‘Iron Horse’. The battery will be located at the Science and Technology Park of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The battery is based on lithium titanate technology, which E.ON says renders it capable of handling rapid charging and discharging. “In contrast to a conventional solution based on coal or gas, the battery offers the advantage of being able to react quickly to fluctuations in the network,” the company explained.

Flowserve upgrades bearing isolator technology

Flowserve Corporation has released new Bearing Gard bearing isolator upgrade technology designed to extend bearing life and reduce operating costs for motors driven by variable frequency drives (VFDs).

In recent years, VFDs have grown in popularity because of their ability to deliver greater system efficiency, extend motor life and optimize operating costs.

However, Flowserve says that VFDs operate by delivering power to the motor in a series of positive and negative pulses, which often results in unbalanced voltage that can accumulate in the motor shaft until it can find a path to ground.

“Without proper grounding between the shaft and the motor housing, the bearings often become the path to ground. The resulting electrical discharge can drastically damage or even destroy the bearings in just a few months of service,” Flowserve added.

The company developed new Bearing Gard technology to directly address this challenge. “With integrated electrical grounding protection in place, substantial elimination of shaft voltage is achieved, which helps to significantly extend bearing life. The new Bearing Gard – with electrical grounding technology – dramatically increases electric motor reliability by guarding against the two main causes for premature motor failure: bearing contamination and damage due to electrical discharge.”

Flowserve says the Bearing Gard is “uniquely capable of resisting contamination at the entry point with its patented triple combination of static shut-off, O-ring-protected rotor/stator interface, and oversized contamination channels”.

Flexicon unveils one-piece construction conduit fitting

Flexicon has launched what it claims is “the world’s best conduit fitting for electrical and data installations in the power generation industry”.

Flexicon sales and marketing director Tim Creedon said: “Flexicon Ultra has been developed for applications where the loss of power or data would have serious consequences resulting in downtime, loss of revenue and possible penalty clauses. In today’s interconnected world such a loss can often affect far more than the equipment connected.”

The company said that, unusually for such a high performance fitting, Flexicon Ultra has a one-piece construction, “making it easier to install with less chance of an incorrect assembly. The fitting can be installed in less than three seconds using a simple push-and- twist connection to the conduit.”

Creedon added: “When you consider that cabling can face multiple hazards that might include water and dust ingress, corrosion, exposure to oil, grease and chemicals, impact resistance, vibration and many more, then getting the cable protection right is vital. Combining a high performance fitting with the correct flexible conduit will protect the cabling and help secure its connection for the lifetime of the installation.”