Equipment Roundup

SKF takes gold in Beijing Olympics’ bearings deal

When leading Chinese wind turbine company Goldwind was awarded the contract to supply 33 turbines for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games the company selected SKF as the bearing supplier for this prestigious project.

The 1.5 MW turbines are Goldwind’s largest turbines and, like all OEM’s, Goldwind knew that the larger the turbine the more they need to be sure about the reliability of critical components, like bearings.

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That is because turbines producing higher energy outputs are usually physically bigger and taller than smaller energy producing units. And that results in more wind being captured which leads to higher forces on machinery at the top of the turbine where the electricity is generated, and in the case of Goldwind’s 1.5 MW turbines that is 65 metres from the ground.

In choosing SKF the Goldwind company based its decision on a good history of cooperation with SKF on smaller turbines, but also the fact that SKF had supplied to many bigger turbines around the world, including the biggest in the world at that time; REpower’s new 5 MW turbine that was designed for the extremely tough environment of offshore wind energy generation.

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Qiaozhen Ning, Director of Mechanical Design at Goldwind said, “We are very happy to select SKF for this project because we know from experience that they understand the application demands of wind turbines, and the technical support we get from the engineers in SKF China is excellent”.

The 1.5 MW design is a direct drive turbine requiring no gearbox but the turbine mainshaft, to which the blades and rotor are connected, must be supported by bearings to allow the blades and rotor to rotate in order to produce electricity.

The bearings selected for the 1.5 MW turbines are a single row cylindrical bearing, almost 1 metre outside diameter, and a double row tapered roller bearing, over 600 mm outside diameter.

SKF calculations show that both bearings have sufficient capacity and design features to operate reliably in the expected range of weather conditions to be encountered during the Games but also for many years after the Games are finished, when the electricity generated will supply Green power to the city of Beijing. The turbines are all erected and many are already producing power.

Draeger set to take reliable flame detection to a new level with integral camera technology

Representing a significant development in flame detector technology, the new Draeger Flame 5000 is a reliable, explosion-proof, colour imaging based CCTV flame detector.

Designed as a stand-alone system and housed within a single unit, it combines colour imaging with digital signal processing and software algorithms to process live video images and interpret the characteristics of a flame. It can also be used throughout industry wherever a potential fire source exists.

Unlike traditional radiation, or combined radiation and CCTV flame detectors, the state-of-the-art Flame 5000 uses the camera to detect the flame and, as a result, can virtually eliminate false alarms. Also offering improved detection capabilities, it can be used to provide live video images, or can be fully integrated with a control system or fire panel to provide fault and fire signalling using normal 0-20mA or relay outputs.

As well as the surveillance benefits, this obviously removes the need to despatch operators to investigate alarms, and reduces the risk of injury whilst improving response time to around four seconds.

Simple to install with a stainless steel mounting bracket that can be rotated to ensure optimum positioning, the Flame 5000 can detect fires of 0.1m2 or more, at 44m within a 90à‚° horizontal field of view. An advanced optical verification facility automatically checks the window for contamination and ensures that this field of view is not compromised by obstructions placed immediately in front of the detector.

A built-in memory card allows the detector to record both before and after every alarm. For immediate, on-site visual verification, a tri-colour LED is located on the front of the detector with green confirming normal operation, yellow signifying a fault and red indicating the presence of radiation.

Light in weight at just 2.5kg, the Flame 5000 measures 200 x 100mm and can be operated in temperatures ranging from -60à‚ºC to +85à‚ºC. Supplied with a stainless steel or aluminium finish, it can be used worldwide and meets the requirements of ATEX, IECEx, FM and CFM approvals.

Siemens installs two test wind turbines with direct drive technology

Siemens Energy has announced that it will test two 3.6 MW wind turbines with direct drive (DD) technology at a site in west Denmark.

The first test turbine will be erected in July, with the second to follow later in 2008. Siemens will subject the two DD wind turbines to comprehensive testing for a minimum of two years.

The purpose of this project is to assess whether direct drive technology is competitive with geared machines for large turbines. Beside testing DD technology, Siemens will continue product development of turbines with gearboxes, and new turbines featuring geared technology will be released in the upcoming years.

The main advantage of direct drive wind turbines is their smart, straightforward design that makes the use of gearboxes dispensable. With fewer moving parts DD technology has the potential to reduce maintenance costs, which could result in higher turbine availability.

However, DD machines are typically known to be heavier and more expensive in manufacturing than geared wind turbines. One of the main objectives of the Siemens DD project is to establish if and for which turbine sizes direct drive machines are competitive with geared turbines. A special focus will be on offshore applications, where wind turbines need to be especially robust and reliable.

Siemens will equip the two DD test wind turbines with synchronous generators excited by permanent magnets. The test generators are supplied by two companies; one was developed by the Siemens Industry Sector and the other by Converteam.

“By selecting two manufacturers we will be able to compare and access the benefits of different technical solutions with respect to generator design,” said Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of the Siemens Wind Power Business Unit. “At a nominal torque in the range of 2500 kNm the two generators are among the largest permanent magnet machines ever built anywhere in the world.”

Prior to installation of the direct drive test turbines, the two generators will be thoroughly tested on a test bed specially built for this purpose. Inside the test bed the generators can operate up to and above nominal power and speed. The tests on the first generator have confirmed all theoretical assumptions made in the conceptual studies; testing of the second generator has been in progress since June.

With a rotor diameter of 107 meters and a power rating of 3.6 MW, the two test turbines are similar in design to the standard Siemens SWT-3.6-107 offshore machine. By selecting a proven technological basis for the test machines, Siemens will be able to use standard rotor blades, standard towers and many standard components from the 3.6 MW series-produced machine. However, Siemens does not intend to use the configuration of the DD test turbines for future series production.

“Direct drive wind turbines are an exciting technological option, but at this stage we cannot yet state whether they will prove to be a competitive alternative to geared turbines,” said Stiesdal. “But with the installation of two DD test turbines Siemens is laying the foundation for such a judgment and is once more demonstrating its role as the front-runner in the development of innovative technology.”

Besides testing direct drive wind turbines, Siemens will continue to develop its proven turbine technology. For example, a new 2.3 MW machine with a 101 metre rotor diameter for sites with low or medium wind speeds is currently at the prototype stage.

Radiodetection launches the RD1000 portable GPR system

Radiodetection, designer, manufacturer and supplier of underground pipe and cable locators launches the RD1000 ground penetrating radar (GPR) system.

The RD1000 is an exciting and powerful addition to the utility surveyor’s toolkit. Using radar technology, the RD1000 displays an image map of underground features.

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With the RD1000 the technician can see a pipe or cable in its topographical context making it ideal for locating and excavating utilities.

The advantage over a traditional, electromagnetic locator is that the RD1000 can see non-conductive materials including plastic pipes.

Built from durable, weatherproof materials, the RD1000 offers users a comfortable and easy-to-steer product that can operate in almost any terrain.

The RD1000 ships in a single container and weighs less than 23kgs (50lbs)

The RD1000 can be assembled on site in less than two minutes and can be dismantled with ease for compact storage and safe transportation.

The modular design makes the RD1000 easy to service and repair.

The RD1000 offers outstanding locate performance. The RD1000’s powerful DSP core displays the sub-surface map in real-time on a high-contrast LCD. RD1000 features integrated digital colour and gain enhancements that let the operator maximize locate quality and performance.

Advanced digital filtering helps the operator to eliminate unwanted signals and provide greater accuracy.

Corcom high-current AC power line filters meet demands of wind power

Tyco Electronics, makers of Corcom brand 3-phase filters, says its new products are designed for high-current applications ranging from 30 A to 400 A.

“Corcom filters are extremely well suited to such wind power applications as the inverter-to-grid interface, the control electronics for the inverter, and other system elements critical to the operation of the station,” says Eric Freid, director, Alternative Energy at Tyco Electronics.

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For high-current inverter applications, the range of filters allows a wide choice for designers to balance the needs of performance, size, and costs. Besides several series of general-purpose filters, the line also includes the ADT series offering very high insertion loss for applications requiring premium performance and the CFN series accommodating the highest current levels to 400 A.

For control applications, Corcom filters prevent locally generated noise from getting onto the grid and can also keep noise on the grid from interfering with the control electronics.

Filters to isolate the electronics from the power-generation section include the B series, which offers very high attenuation in the range from 10 KHz to 30 MHz, and the FCD series, which provides high attenuation of conducted interference at low- and high-frequency ranges.

Wärtsilä inaugurates fuel cell power plant at Vaasa Housing Fair

Finland’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen, has inaugurated Wärtsilä’s New Energy fuel cell power plant at the Vaasa Housing Fair.

The fuel cell unit, developed by Wärtsilä, is based on planar solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, and is the first of its kind in the world. The plant is fuelled by methane gas originating from a nearby landfill, a gas that would otherwise be harmful to the environment. The fuel cell power plant has a very high efficiency level, and will produce both electricity and heating for the fair site’s needs.

Fuel cell plant emissions are very low, and the solution supports, therefore, the development of sustainable energy technology. The fuel cell unit for the fair site is Wärtsilä’s first field application of this technology. During the initial phase, it will produce an electricity output of approximately 20 kW and a thermal output of 14 to 17 kW.

“The development of fuel cell technology is part of Wärtsilä’s long-term product development aimed at supplementing the company’s product portfolio. The development of environmentally friendlier, cleaner, and more sustainable energy production technologies is an essential element of Wärtsilä’s strategy”, says Juha Kytàƒ¶làƒ¤, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Finland Oy.

The Vaasa Housing Fair is pioneering the implementation of energy production processes for a restricted area. Electricity and heating are produced and consumed within the fairground area.

In addition to that produced by fuel cells, power and heat are also produced by micro turbines and from low-temperature heat collected from the seabed using a geothermal heating pump. Wärtsilä is responsible for both the delivery of the fuel cell plant, as well as the building development and project-time financing for the New Energy power plant.

Wärtsilä’s partners include Sarlin, Mateve, Suomen Làƒ¤mpàƒ¶pumpputekniikka, Sonera, plus the City of Vaasa.

UK university demonstrates energy savings with heat pumps

Sheffield Hallam University’s new Furnival building will have its energy provided by ground source heat pumps, which have been supplied and installed by Danfoss Heat Pumps UK, formerly ECO Heat Pumps in Sheffield.

These ultra energy efficient heat pumps ensure that the building benefits from reduced energy bills and a significant reduction in carbon emissions, compared with other more traditional forms of heating.

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Phil Moore, Managing Director of Danfoss Heat Pumps UK, explains: “Sheffield Hallam University were concerned about the carbon footprint of this new building and were also looking to make the new building affordable to run over the long term. Heat pumps were the perfect choice as they provide a completely renewable source of heat energy at much lower running costs. This project shows just how important heat pumps are in providing sustainable heating for large commercial or educational buildings.”

The Furnival building is located at the heart of the rapidly developing City Centre Campus in Sheffield and will comprise the Faculties of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences, as well as other campus facilities. It has a total floor space of 9500m”, will house 240 staff and provide teaching space for more than 1600 students.

The project involved the sinking of five vertical bore holes to a depth of 90 metres to provide under-floor heating for the building. Danfoss Heat Pumps UK installed 45kW from the Robust range of heat pumps to provide the building with affordable ‘green’ energy, drawing on the earth’s consistent temperature.

Danfoss Heat Pumps UK worked with Shepherd Engineering Services Ltd. to provide a heating system which works by circulating a refrigerant fluid around a circuit containing four elements; evaporator, compressor, condenser and expansion valve. As heat is absorbed from the ground, the liquid refrigerant evaporates to form a gas.

Later in the cycle, this gas is compressed which causes it to change back to a liquid whilst at the same time releasing the heat into the building and the cycle begins again. Heat pumps are effective both in summer and winter, day and night because the ground temperature remains constant at only a few feet below the surface.

With running costs typically 75 per cent that of conventional systems, heats pump normally pays for itself in between five and ten years. Grants are available for charities or public bodies through the UK government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

The heat pumps will also be accompanied by a number of other renewable energy sources including photovoltaic cells, which will convert the sun’s light into electricity.

As photovoltaic cells release no carbon, sulphur or nitrogen dioxide gases, they do not contribute to global warming.

All these factors will ensure that the Furnival Building will be one of the ‘greenest’ buildings in the city.

Phil Moore added: “There is strong demand for heat pumps particularly for commercial and public buildings as they are four times more efficient than conventional gas boilers.

Almost everyone in the country is aware of the threat posed by global warming and it is credit to Hallam University that they have ensured that their new development is as sustainable as possible. Once finished, the Furnival building will be an example to the whole city on how to make best use of green technologies.”

Flowserve extends seat life for high-performance butterfly valves

Flowserve Corporation, a leading global provider of fluid motion and control products and services introduces the Valtek Valdisk high-cycle seat, a breakthrough seat design for Valtek high-performance butterfly valves.

The new seat design, made of UHMWPE material, offers an ANSI/FCI 7-0-2 class six shutoff rating after as many as 150 000 to 200 000 cycles.

“Depending on operating conditions, this new seat design can allow customers to operate high-cycle butterfly valves for several years with excellent shutoff performance, without the need to stop production and replace the seat,” said Flowserve Product Manager Cris Sidwell.

Flowserve says that the unique patent pending design of the Valtek Valdisk high-cycle seat uses the pressure of fluid in the pipeline to compress and elongate an S-shaped soft seat, pressing it against the disk to maintain shutoff. The Texas, USA-based company says that as the seat undergoes normal wear, the fluid pressure compensates by pushing it further into the disk.

Valtek high-performance butterfly valves are recognized for their ability to meet fugitive emission requirements and their long-lasting, tight shutoff.

“These valves demonstrate Valtek’s continued commitment to provide superior technology for rotary control valves designed to meet the demanding applications in the chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and power industries,” added Flowserve’s Sidwell.

Proven Energy marks a significant advance in renewables with launch of innovative 15 kW wind turbine

The launch of Proven Energy’s innovative 15kW wind turbine marks a significant advance in renewable power generation.

The Proven 15 is the largest turbine in the Proven Energy range, designed specifically for users with high energy needs who want to offset their carbon emissions.

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Demand for the Proven 15 is strong and UK-based Proven Energy is currently processing orders from over 30 countries worldwide. Resource Data Management (RDM) has already installed a Proven 15 at its head-quarters in Glasgow, as part of a new initiative called ‘Wind Generated Energy’.

RDM’s Managing Director, Andrew Chandler, stated: “We have taken this step because I believe strongly in doing as much as possible to help reduce our company’s carbon footprint, raise its environmental credentials and promote new technology. Our customers, such as Marks and Spencer, have committed themselves to a sustainable approach to their business; this project reflects our commitment to them in achieving sustainability throughout the supply chain.”

Proven Energy’s CEO, Andrew McMullan, added: “The Proven 15 is ideal for commercial applications, including agriculture, telecoms applications, small industrial units and mini wind farms.

“It is capable of meeting the energy needs of six houses, each with three bedrooms, excluding heating. Any excess energy production can be stored or exported to the grid, depending on local regulations.”

The UK company claims that its turbines are robust and reliable, producing energy under the harshest of weather conditions. In Japan recently, a Proven Energy turbine operated successfully through some of thefiercest typhoons on record.

Tyco gets in gear for wind turbine applications with power switching applications

With a capability of carrying 500 A, the Kilovac LEV200 contactor from Tyco Electronics is designed for power switching applications typically found in the switchgear, pitch & yaw drives and generators of wind turbines.

The hermetically sealed construction, with an inert gas in the contact chamber and an epoxy-sealed resin case to provide long-term reliability, make the contactor suitable for use in harsh environments as found in offshore wind farms.

Contacts will not oxidize or become contaminated even during long periods of non-operation.

The LEV200 contactor has 1 Form X (SPST-NO-DM) main contacts, with an auxiliary 1 Form A (SPST-NO) contact set available as an option. It is rated to carry 500 A continuously at 320 VDC when using 400 MCM conductors at 65à‚°C. Higher ratings are possible with other conductors.

The LEV200 can interrupt up to 2000 A at 320 VDC. Contact voltage rating ranges from 12 VDC to 900 VDC.

Available in styles for upright mounting or side mounting, mounting of the LEV200 is not position sensitive. The low overall height of the side-mount configuration makes it particularly suitable for applications with tight space requirements.

Standard coils are available for operation on 12, 24 and 48 VDC, with 96 VDC and 115 VAC or DC offered on a special-order basis.

Coil termination options include strip leads and 10-32 threaded studs.

AUMA modular actuators adopted for essential valve control services

A phase III combined cycle gas turbine power plant at Vasilikos, Cyprus is to adopt modular actuator technology from AUMA for essential valve control services.

A total of 61 of the company’s electric actuators will be supplied to provide the intelligence behind most of the valves used at the plant.

The plant incorporates two gas turbine/HRSG units and one steam turbine and AUMA actuators will play an essential role in a range of flow applications.

AUMA, a leading global actuator manufacturer, reports that modular design, which enables in-situ upgrades within confined working conditions, played a significant part in the selection of the company’s products.

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