Alstom opens $133m hydro centre in China

Alstom

Alstom has inaugurated a €100m ($133m) hydropower manufacturing and technology centre in China.

The centre in Tianjin covers 250 000 square meters and has 2000 staff, more than 400 of which are engineers.

The site comprises an upgraded existing hydropower industrial facility and a new production area as well as a global technology centre. It has 19 critical heavy machines including two new and state-of-the-art gantries and Alstom claims it will be able to deliver up to 26 turbine and generator units a year.

Alstom plans to utilise the site to further tap into China’s booming hydropower market, in which the company has been active for 18 years. It recently supplied four 800 MW units to China’s Xiangjiaba hydropower plant.

Alstom chairman Patrick Kron said the inauguration of the centre marked “a key milestone for Alstom’s development in the country”.

“This world class factory will allow us to accelerate Alstom’s contribution to China’s sustainable development.”

Jerome Pecresse, president of Alstom Renewable Power, added: “The new site illustrates Alstom’s commitment to bring our technology strengths and innovations to local customers. Tianjin site now offers a hydropower full value chain with a complete array of activities. It will play a pivotal role in the future growth of Alstom in China and the Southeast Asia market.”

Acciona in turbine deal with RES for feed-in tariff wind farms in UK

Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Acciona Windpower is to supply a series of 1.5 MW turbines to British projects built by UK renewable energy company RES.

All of the RES wind farms will operate under the UK’s feed-in tariff scheme and the company believes that the deal with Acciona “will bring benefits for small independent developers, landowners and farmers who may have struggled previously to secure turbine technology suitable for smaller scale wind energy projects under the FIT scheme”.

Ian Hunter, RES’ manager for FIT projects, said: “The new understanding between RES and Acciona will help us to deliver both our own and other developers’ FIT wind projects more effectively and brings benefits for all parties involved.

“By acting collectively for the stakeholders we represent, RES can secure best price and delivery through economies of scale. In turn, Acciona can produce 1.5 MW turbines to meet a reliable and consistent market demand.”

Hunter added: “Anyone who has investigated the potential to develop smaller scale wind energy projects on their land will know that a major stumbling block can be securing the turbine technology itself.

“FIT sites generally comprise only one or two turbines, so turbine manufacturers can be reluctant to give these small sites priority. This can make turbine cost and delivery prohibitive.”

Acciona chief executive José Luis Blanco said the deal with RES “reinforces our presence in the British market, where we have already installed three wind farms and we are actively seeking for opportunities in the FIT market as well as large-scale business”.

Metso to retrofit hydro plant’s control systems

Finnish engineering company Metso is to carry out a complete control system retrofit of the Felsenau/Engehalde hydropower plant in Bern, Switzerland.

The new automation at the plant – operated by Energie Wasser Bern – will replace the existing control system that has reached the end of its life cycle.

Helsinki-headquartered Metso said delivery of the system is scheduled for April 2014 with startup planned for the following month or June.

Metso’s DNA technology will be used for the controls relating to turbine, sluice gate, and excitation, as well as vibration monitoring and systems for a power plant/river training simulator.

Metso will also supply an excitation system, synchronization equipment, generator and transformer protection.

Siemens installs HelWin1 platform in North Sea

HelWin1

Siemens has installed in the North Sea the HelWin1 platform, which will link two offshore wind farms – Nordsee Ost and Meerwind – to the mainland.

Using the Siemens technology installed on the platform, the alternating current power generated by the wind turbines is transformed into low-loss direct current for transmission onto land.

The land-based station, also supplied by Siemens, is located northwest of Hamburg in Buttel, where electricity will be converted back into the alternating current power required for feeding into the grid.

Karlheinz Springer, chief executive of the power transmission division of Siemens, said: “With the installation of our platform at sea we have successfully mastered the most critical part of this project and are now in the final stretch for commissioning in 2014.” After seven days of transport at sea and four days of installation on site, the HelWin1 platform was anchored at its final position northwest of the island of Helgoland.

Siemens had installed the platform’s support substructure at this location in June in the 23-meter-deep North Sea.

Ten steel pilings up to 3.2 meters in diameter and with a wall thickness of eight centimeters were anchored in the seabed for attachment of the structure. With a length of up to 100 meters, these pilings are as tall as London’s Big Ben.

The platform is installed 22 meters above sea level to protect it against giant waves.

Landis+Gyr in $955m smart meter deal with British Gas

Landis+Gyr

Smart meter company Landis+Gyr has signed a à‚£600m ($955m) deal with British Gas to provide 16 million meters to UK homes.

Switzerland-headquartered Landis+Gyr claims it is “the largest deal of its kind worldwide” and expects it to result in a doubling of its British workforce.

The UK government plans to have a smart meter rollout in full swing by 2020, and as one of the country’s ‘big six’ utilities, British Gas will have a key role to play in this deployment.

The deal means Landis+Gyr will provide the majority of smart meters supplied by British Gas, which is owned by Centrica.

Landis+Gyr chief executive Andreas Umbach said: “We’ve been working with British Gas for the last three years to develop smart meters for its customers. This is the largest deal of its kind worldwide and sets a new industry standard for working in partnership.

“It allows us to achieve significant economies of scale in meter production, to expand our UK operations and further establish the UK as a global centre of smart energy excellence.”

As a result of the deal, Landis+Gyr expects to double its 600-strong UK workforce and extend its manufacturing facilities.

British Gas managing director Chris Weston said the deal “means we can provide smart meters cost-effectively to our customers, and bring them the benefits of this innovative technology as soon as possible”.

“Smart meters herald a new era for energy customers.”

METKA completes 870 MW combined-cycle plant in Turkey

Greek EPC company METKA has completed construction of an 870 MW combined-cycle power plant in Turkey.

METKA built the Samsun plant for Austrian energy company OMV under a turnkey contract won in 2010 in conjunction with its Turkish subsidiary Power Projects.

The plant operates on two single-shaft combined-cycle units with the main equipment supplied by GE. The plant has space for expansion has been built to enable installation of a future third unit.

The plant utilises direct seawater for cooling from the Black Sea and METKA said the seawater cooling and marine works “represented the most challenging part of the project”.

METKA said the project “effectively supports both the energy needs and further economic development of Turkey.

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

Cummins launches new paralleling system

Cummins

Cummins Power Generation has launched a new preconfigured model of its PowerCommand DMC 200/300 Paralleling System.

The company says the new system provides a “rapid and flexible means” of implementing paralleling solutions for multiple generator sets.

The preconfigured DMC 200/300 systems enable system-level paralleling control for up to eight generator sets, integrated with automatic transfer switches and switchgear.

Cummins says the new system will be particularly attractive for mission critical applications such as data centres, healthcare facilities and water treatment plants.

“Consultants and engineers can choose one of seven preset configurations of various complexities, encompassing a wide range of mission-critical scenarios,” the company said in a statement.

“After selecting the most appropriate configuration, the engineer can apply it to the needs of a particular site quickly, without the need for additional software tools.” For more information, visit www.cumminspower.com

SACO hails ‘revolutionary’ actuator

Smart actuator manufacturer SACO has unveiled a new product which it claims “shows energy savings of over 75 per cent over traditional motor-driven systems”.

The actuator has been conceived, tested and developed by Rift Technologies and was being introduced to the UK market in September.

SACO chairman Tony O’Donnell said: “I am delighted to be able to unveil our very first product to help companies across the UK to benefit from our revolutionary technology.

“In tests our actuators deliver stunning energy savings and there is a huge buzz about our product and the features we have packed in to it.”

For further information, visit www.smartact.co.uk

MHI develops latest DIASYS control system

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has completed development of its DIASYS Netmation 4S, a control system for the monitoring and control of thermal power plants.

MHI says it is the first product of its kind in Japan to satisfy the stringent hardware and software requirements of IEC 61508 (2010) international functional safety standards “in terms of both control and protection functions”. Certification was granted from Germany’s TUV SUD. MHI now plans to begin shipping the new system from spring 2014.

The newly developed DIASYS Netmation 4S represents the latest model in the DIASYS series of control systems launched by MHI in the 1980s.

In earlier systems the circuitry for protecting key large-scale machines was installed separately inside a dedicated control system, but in the DIASYS Netmation 4S such circuitry can be installed together with general control circuitry, a feature that makes it possible to create arithmetic circuits involving approximately 200 different function elements.

Sulzer Turbo Services updates app for iPad users

Sulzer Turbo Services
Sulzer Turbo Services

Sulzer Turbo Services has updated its TS Solutions app for iPads.

The new app includes new features including a conversion function and a list of all Sulzer Turbo Services locations, as well as updated libraries for videos, brochures, technical articles and a picture gallery.

The app – which canb be downloaded for free – is for iPad only and is aimed at all industries and businesses that have service and repair needs for their rotating mechanical and electro-mechanical equipment.

Sulzer Turbo Services is part of Switzerland-headquartered group Sulzer and its business focuses on land-based gas turbines, steam turbines and compressors.

NRC approval for Westinghouse new safety control system

Westinghouse Electric has received the final safety evaluation report from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its Advanced Logic System (ALS) platform.

ALS is Westinghouse’s next generation instrumentation and control solution for plant safety system upgrades and new nuclear plants.

The ALS solution is a logic-based platform that relies on simple hardware architecture instead of using a microprocessor or software for operation. The ALS platform utilizes logic implemented through field programmable gate array technology, and has been approved by the NRC as an acceptable approach to address diversity and defense-in-depth concerns within digital safety system applications.

The ALS platform also is scalable, as ALS-based solutions can provide single-system replacements or full safety instrumentation and control replacement.

David Howell, Westinghouse senior vice-president of automation and field services, said the NRC approval was a “significant milestone for the nuclear industry, as the ALS platform represents the next generation of safety system solutions”.

He added: “The ALS platform is simple, reliable and maintainable for decades to come for both new and operating nuclear power plants.”

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