Sheffield Forgemasters International enters US nuclear power market

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has secured its first phase of orders for the American civil nuclear power market, thanks to a stainless steel component originally created for China.

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The order is an extension to a current contract from Curtiss-Wright EMD to supply pump casings for Westinghouse AP1000 reactors located in North Carolina at sites operated by Progress Energy, and also in South Carolina at South Carolina Electric & Gas Company power plants.

Sheffield Forgemasters worked with Curtiss-Wright EMD in the details of the development of the casing, and has now been commissioned by the company to produce an additional 16 of the stage-one pump casings to service Westinghouse’s first American AP 1000 power plants.

Curtiss-Wright first endorsed SFIL to produce the casings for China’s major new wave of Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants – and they are now set to reach a global market.

Shaun Gray, Senior Sales Manager at SFIL’s engineering division, said: “These pumps are structurally integral to the reactor and have many stresses placed on them, aside from those created by pumping pressurised coolant at a rate of 65 to 95 thousand gallons per minute.”

The 16-tonne reactor coolant pump castings will be manufactured at the company’s Brightside Lane (Sheffield, UK) foundry using modern casting simulation and methoding techniques to create high integrity finished structures.

Sheffield Forgemasters said that work on the Curtiss-Wright EMD order is estimated to commence in 2010, following a first production run of 19 casings for China’s first wave of Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power plants – which will be located at Sanmen in Zhejiang province and Haiyang in Shandong province.

JCB Service thinks inside the box – with oils

JCB Service strengthens its commitment to the environment with the launch of “Bag in Box” Lubricants – a revolutionary new packaging system for its own brand oils – which is 84 per cent more environmentally friendly and delivers a series of cost and performance benefits to the power generation sector.

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Available globally for engine lubricants, the new system will be extremely attractive to those firms using generators with strict environmental policies and stringent recycling targets to meet.

Using unique technology, which is exclusive to JCB, Bag in Box (BiB) packaging consists simply of a rigid outer cardboard box and an inner plastic bag which contains the lubricant. The system is to be used on all JCB’s 5L and 20L lubricant product ranges from December 2008. This new 20L box option replaces the previous 25L plastic drum. As with JCB’s existing lubricant products, the universal oils are compatible with both JCB and competitive gensets.

Introduced as part of JCB’s drive towards greener production methods, the outer cardboard box is made from 96 per cent recycled cardboard and has been developed specifically for this product. It incorporates a weather-proof film on the outer surface allowing it to retain its strength even when exposed to the elements when stored outside.

Despite the film, the cardboard is 98 per cent recyclable and can be disposed of through standard recycling arrangements.

The inner plastic bag is the only portion which should be disposed of as contaminated waste. As the plastic content is 84 per cent less and can be squashed down to roughly the size of a grapefruit, it dramatically reduces the high costs associated with plastic drum disposal.

JCB Director and General Manager of World Parts Centre, Guy Robinson, said: “The new Bag in Box style packaging produces roughly a sixth of the plastic waste of existing methods of lubricant distribution – 115g rather than 720g per pack. Given the stringent regulations governing the disposal of hazardous waste, this achieves a major reduction in costs for JCB’s end user customers.

“Furthermore, as the cardboard container is 98 per cent recyclable – a first for any of our lubricants – this element of the packaging does not need to go to landfill, which is an environmentally damaging, finite resource with escalating costs.”

Alstom inaugurates hydropower technology centre in India

Following the launch in May of Alstom’s hydropower research and development centre in Grenoble, France (which is the largest such facility in the world) the company has inaugurated a Global Technology Centre (CGT) for hydroelectricity in India – the first such facility outside of Europe.

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The new facility is located at Alstom’s existing Vadodara hydro manufacturing site, which is in the state of Gujarat and has been in operation since 1999. It is one of the company’s major hydro manufacturing sites and a key supplier to both the Indian and export market.

According to Philippe Cochet, Alstom Hydro’s President, the new GTC will enable the company to focus on specific issues affecting the Indian hydro market and develop highly innovative integrated products and technologies for both new and rehabilitation projects.

India represents the world’s biggest market for Pelton turbines, so the GTC will specialize in this type of hydro turbine. It houses a Pelton turbine scale-model test laboratory, with one of the world’s highest head testing capacities.

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Another problem faced by the India hydropower market is the high silt content in the water, so the GTC is also housing a silt abrasion test rig, which will be used to conduct research on new abrasion protection solutions for the Pelton turbine. It is expected that researchers from both the Valdodara and the Grenoble research facilities will work closely together to provide high-tech R&D facilities for the entire range of hydro turbines.

In November, Alstom Hydro also won a contract worth €78 million ($98 million) from Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGENCO) for the turnkey supply of hydroelectric equipment to the Lower Jurala hydropower project in India.

Located on the Krishna River, the Lower Jurala project will use the discharges from the upstream Priyadarshini Jurala Dam, as well as flood waters during the monsoon season. The hydropower project will make a significant contribution to the capacity of the state of Andhra Pradesh’s power supply.

Alstom Hydro’s manufacturing facility in Vadodara is in charge of project execution, including the design, manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of six 40 MW capacity Bulb turbine generator units, together with all associated auxiliary and ancillary equipment.

Alstom is also in the process of establishing a joint venture with Bharat Forge Limited of India, one of the world’s leading forging companies, to manufacture state-of-the-art super-critical power plant equipment in India.

The joint venture, which will focus on the Indian market, will design, engineer, manufacture and deliver turbine generator islands of the 600 MW to 800 MW super-critical range. It is expected to have a total capacity of 5 GW per year.

The agreement also includes the manufacture of all the auxiliary equipment of a turbine generator island.

The location of the facility is still under discussion, but is anticipated to be located on a coastal site, potentially in either the states of Gujarat or Andhra Pradesh.

The arrangement between Alstom and Bharat Forge, which is subject to government and regulatory approval, involves the creation of two separate companies. The first company will manufacture the core turbine and generators while the second will produce all the auxiliaries.

Alstom will hold a 51 per cent stake in the first joint company, with Bharat Forge holding the remaining 49 per cent. It is vice versa in the second joint company.

Both parties have also agreed to explore in due course the manufacture of sub-critical turbines and generators, as well as for gas and nuclear applications. The delivery of the first turbine-generator set is expected in 2012.

Alstom has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Delhi College of Engineering (DCE), one of India’s leading engineering institutes and one that Alstom already has a long-standing relationship with.

According to Alstom, the MoU indicates the desire of both parties to further strengthen that relationship, through which the company already recruits a large number of its graduate engineering trainees every year.

With the signing of the MoU, Alstom will support the college in a variety of ways, including: organizing site visits for both students and professors, participation by both parties in conventions and seminars, scholarship awards for students, and international internships and employment guarantees for selected DCE students.

Finally, as part of its growth plans in India and with a view to consolidating its activities, Alstom has shifted its Delhi corporate office to a new location in Noida.

The headquarters, which consists of two adjacent buildings, house both the engineering team and the corporate team.

Noida is also the location of the ‘Alstom University’, which conducts employee training programmes that help staff acquire and improve skills, as well as provide an opportunity for networking across sectors, both locally and internationally.

In less than two years time Alstom will be celebrating 100 years in India. Clearly with recent investment activities in the country, India remains of strategic importance to the company.

ABB wins major contract to upgrade plant control systems for UK’s Uskmouth Power

ABB has won a major ‘Evolution’ order from Uskmouth Power to upgrade the plant control systems at its 360 MW coal fired power station near Newport, South Wales.

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The contract includes the conversion of graphics from the existing installation to an MS Windows operating environment, new operator workstations, commissioning and staff training.

The existing installation consists of three generating systems including Flue Gas Desulphurization Plants and Common Services. Each generating unit has three operator screens and the ability to control other units from each control room.

The existing graphics, running on UNIX-based AS500 series consoles, will be converted to 800xA graphics – these will run on 800xA operator workplaces connected to each control room via KVM switches. This state-of-the-art technology will meet the power station’s needs for the foreseeable future.

Key considerations in the design of the new system are backward compatibility for existing graphics and retaining the existing ‘look and feel’ of this part of the system.

The present control system has around one hundred and twenty five graphics screens on each unit including common services. The project began in August 2008 and is due for completion by end of February 2009.

ABB’s Evolution lifecycle support strategy is designed to meet the needs of owners and operators of ABB automation systems who operate on tight margins but still rely on continuous, efficient operation of their process plant to remain viable. It provides a clearly defined path to enable their existing automation systems to evolve, through a series of small, cost-effective steps, to meet their changing business environments, both commercial and technical.

The cornerstone of Evolution is ABB’s Extended Automated System 800xA Process Portal that extends the reach of traditional Distributed Control Systems (DCS) beyond control of the process, to provide total plant management and control, including: production management, safety, discrete and advanced control, information management, smart instrumentation, smart drives and motor control centres, asset management and documentation management capabilities.

Uskmouth’s Evolution to 800xA project will be the second contract for ABB at this site which follows a successful system replacement of an Emerson Fisher Provox DCS in 1997/8. This was part of the total plant refurbishment project and investment in environmental improvements to meet new legislation.

Uskmouth Power, owned by Welsh Power since 2004, is a coal fired power station that can generate around 360 MW, enough for 360 000 homes, and sufficient to meet the needs of Newport and its surrounding area. It is one of the cleanest coal fired plants in the UK.

Megger’s PowerDB turns results into revenue

Time-saving automated testing, with minimal risk of errors, and fast easy generation of even the most complex reports, are among the key benefits offered by the latest versions of PowerDB – Megger’s new acceptance and maintenance test data management software package.

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For in-house users, these benefits mean lower costs, while for contractors they provide opportunities for extra turnover and profit. Compatible with a wide range of Megger power test instruments and also selected products from other suppliers, PowerDB makes it easy to generate reports in a consistent format for different types of tests.

This versatile software is currently offered in three versions: full PowerDB, PowerDB Lite, and the revolutionary PowerDB On Board, which is completely integrated with the instrument.

The full PowerDB package runs under Microsoft Windows on a PC and provides facilities for automating tests, generating reports using more than 200 built-in industry standard report forms. It also produces fully customized reports to suit the user’s own specific requirements. Along with the test results, PowerDB also stores detailed information about each location and job in a fully searchable database.

Data stored by PowerDB can be readily analyzed to reveal trends – a major aid to effective condition monitoring and effective preventative maintenance. Results can also be synchronized with a master database, and exported in XML format.

PowerDB Lite, which is supplied at no extra charge with many Megger instruments, also runs under Windows on a PC. It offers all of the major features of the full PowerDB package, except customized forms and the trending of historical data acquired from external sources.

Data loggers from Dickson

Engineering projects requiring environmental monitoring are easier with the new Dickson Multi-feature Digital Display Temperature & Humidity Data Loggers, with push-to-start and push-to-stop functions.

The Dickson Multi-feature Digital Display Temperature & Humidity Data Logger includes an easy-to-read digital display that keeps track of temperature and humidity conditions in between data downloads. Options to display current or min/max temperature and humidity readings are available.

The logger also includes USB-enabled triple-speed data downloading.

Yokogawa announce release of their enhanced safety instrumented system

Yokogawa Electric Corporation have announced the release of an enhanced version of the ProSafe-RS Safety Instrumented System – ProSafe-RS R2.02.00.

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This new version adds an output module for use with alternating voltage power sources and offers improved maintenance and documentation functions – making this system ideal for widely distributed upstream processes, including wellheads and pipelines. These enhancements meet users’ latest requirements for safety instrumented systems, and strike the perfect balance between improved operational efficiency and safety in upstream and downstream processes.

There is a growing emphasis on safety instrumented systems for operational safety in energy and basic materials industries – such as oil, natural gas, petrochemicals, iron and steel – that is driven by the need to provide a safe workplace, protect the environment, and be a responsible corporate citizen. An ARC study estimates that the global market for safety instrumented systems will average at least 12 per cent annual growth and be worth $2.5bn in 2012.

To achieve both operational efficiency and safety, it is necessary to closely integrate the distributed control systems (DCSs) that are necessary for stable plant operations with the safety instrumented systems that perform emergency shutdowns. To address this need, Yokogawa developed the ProSafe-RS Safety Instrumented System, and has continued to strengthen its linkage with the CENTUMR series of DCS systems.

At the same time, safety has become a major concern not only at oil, natural gas, and petrochemical plants, but also at widely distributed production facilities such as wellheads and pipelines.

A safety instrumented system is needed that can work with the SCADA systems widely used to control and monitor these facilities. With the release of this enhanced version, the ProSafe-RS platform now offers connectivity with the control and monitoring functions of Yokogawa’s STARDOM network-based control system, thereby securing the safety of widely distributed production facilities.

Yokogawa has achieved connectivity between ProSafe-RS, STARDOM, and the FAST/TOOLS SCADA system over a single network, based on the Vnet/IP real-time control bus and dedicated to upstream processes. As a result, FAST/TOOLS can now monitor both the STARDOM and ProSafe-RS systems in an integrated manner.

An output module has been added for connecting directly to devices such as emergency shutdown valves that use a 100-120 VAC power source. This eliminates the need to set up relays for such devices, simplifying system configuration and improving maintenance efficiency.

This module complies with the IEC61508 international safety standard and is certified to the SIL3 Safety Integrity Level as defined by the IEC. At SIL3, the risk factor for a plant where safety measures are not in place has been reduced to a range from 1/1000 to 1/10 000.

A function has been added that makes it possible to change the operational parameter settings in an I/O module without disrupting input/output to/from any connected equipment. It is no longer necessary for these settings to be done manually.

An enhanced documentation function makes it possible to modify the format of a spreadsheet for printing out data. Users are free to select whatever format is most efficient for displaying the data.

Target markets include oil, natural gas, petrochemicals, and other process industries that use systems for emergency plant shutdown, fire prevention/fighting, and burner management.

Touch-safe connector for hazardous voltage applications

Anderson Power Products (APP), a leader in high power interconnect solutions, announces a new addition to the finger-proof family of products with the release of the SBS 75x Connector.

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APP says that the patented connector provides power contacts rated up to 110 amps and the touch-safe design provides protection to the user by eliminating finger contact with live circuits per UL1977, section 10.2. The SBS 75x is recommended for use with hazardous DC voltages in systems operating from 50 to 600 volts, where risk of shock can be health threatening. In addition, the housing accepts up to four auxiliary contacts for applications requiring signal capability.

The male signal contacts (6.4 mm to 9.3 mm) are available in four lengths for when sequencing is required, and provide a make last/break first connection in relation to the power contacts.

The SBS75x utilizes APP’s Flat Wipe Contact Technology for the power contacts, allowing it to be rated for circuit interruption (hot plugging) under load when no auxiliary contacts are used

The SBS 75x’s slim, ergonomic design is contoured to fit the operator’s grip, allowing for greater ease during connection/disconnection. Molded side grooves allow secure panel mounting for panel thickness of .048 to .062 inches (1.22 to 1.57 mm), while using minimal real estate.

John Crane’s new range of coupling products extend the boundaries of technology

John Crane has launched a new range of H Series high performance power transmission couplings that combine the proven performance of its original Metastream range with many new benefits.

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This allows the new Metastream H Series couplings to be used on numerous types of applications, including turbo-compressor machinery, turbine generator sets, marine turbine propulsion units, boiler feed pumps and development test stands.

The outstanding reliability of the original Metastream products has been proven in use in the world’s energy, process and transport industries for well over 30 years. By re-engineering these couplings from basic design principles, John Crane has been able to extend the boundaries of existing technology and create the H series products.

These new lightweight, high performance couplings can satisfy both today’s requirements, and those of tomorrow, especially in such demanding areas as turbo-machinery applications.

They offer such advantages as reduced moment configurations, optional arrangements for larger diameter shafts and integral shaft flanges, high balance and reliability characteristics, full compliance with ISO10441 (API 671) and the ability to optimize weight and flexibility to suit individual applications.

In response to the need to configure couplings to suit specific requirements the new H Series products incorporate many practical advantages. These include: a backup gear drive that is configured to protect the membranes in the event of a failure or high overload torque, an option for electrical insulation on electric motor drives or turbine generator applications, torque limiting devices such as shear pins and hydraulic limiters, and a torque measurement capability that allows critical high performance machinery to be accurately monitored.

The H Series range includes three different families of coupling. The H-FE units feature a transmission unit that combines high torque capacity with low weight, and are ideal for use on electric motor or generator drive applications where larger shaft sizes are generally in use.

The reduced moment H-RE couplings use two factory assembled hub/flexible membrane units and a detachable spacer that produce a high integrity coupling suited for most medium speed and high speed compressor drives.

Finally, the high integrity H-CE couplings offer the lowest possible overhung moments, plus additional shrouding of the flexible elements and bolts, making it ideal for higher speed compressor drives.

The standard disc material is AISI 301 stainless steel which provides a special combination of high strength and resistance to corrosion. For high temperature or corrosive applications other materials such as Inconel can be provided.

This flexibility is also reflected in the variety of disc options which are available. These include the HS Series 6-bolt, 8-bolt and 10-bolt disc designs, which John Crane said are well suited to a variety of applications.

MBH converts the first Asian power plant for palm oil operation

Neue Maschinenbau Halberstadt GmbH (MBH), has converted the PLN (Indonesian state owned electricity company) 10 MW Diesel Power Plant in Dumai for operation on crude palm oil (CPO).

The Power Plant in Dumai is the PLN´s first power plant powered with CPO and has been converted following a government regulation mandating the use of biofuels in all sectors. The plant was initially fuelled with diesel and put into operation on CPO in October 2008.

This conversion offers social, economical and environmental benefits for Indonesia, the largest palm oil producer in the world. Operation on CPO could reduce production costs by between 40 and 60 per cent, and qualify to receive CO2 credits under the Kyoto Agreement, once certified under the CDM mechanism – those credits are freely traded at several stock exchanges for up to $30/tonne CO2 (current prices).

The Conversion Module has been developed by MBH to convert existing medium-speed diesel engines and plants for operation on CO2-neutral vegetable oils such as palm oil, jatropha oil, or oils with similar characteristics. It is made up of two sub-modules (process and circulation modules) that include transfer pumps and special filter components, pre-heaters and a viscosimat, armatures and electrical change over valves, monitoring and control systems. These are designed to be arranged integrally with the existing fuel system to suit the engine´s or power station´s prevailing conditions.

New flux-cored welding wires from ESAB

OK Tubrod 15.14 is the latest generation of all position rutile, low-hydrogen flux-cored wires from ESAB.

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This multi-purpose wire is a highly productive consumable available for manual and mechanised positional welding, providing an excellent bead appearance. It is designed for use in pure CO2 as well as Ar/CO2 shielding gas.

OK Tubrod 15.14 is an extremely “welder-friendly” wire with a soft, spatter-free arc that always operates in the spray arc mode. It is easy to obtain flat welds with a good penetration and smooth wetting onto the plate edges. The brittle slag is easily removed, leaving behind a smooth rutile weld appearance.

Typical positional weld defects such as lack of fusion and slag inclusions are avoided, due to the spray arc operation. The wire has a high tolerance for poor joint preparation. High quality one-sided root runs are made economically on ceramic backing. The wire has an excellent performance on zinc-silicate primed plate.

The wire formulation provides a fast freezing slag that supports the weld pool well in positional welding, enabling deposition rates which cannot be equalled by stick electrodes or solid wires. Deposition rates in vertical up welding can reach up to 4 kg/h (100 per cent duty cycle).