Power converter maker celebrates grand milestone
In November 2007, Converteam, a leading global power conversion specialist, celebrated in the delivery of its one thousandth wind turbine converter supplied to Siemens Wind Power Denmark.
Initial discussions between the two companies started in 1993, which saw the start of an extensive period of development cooperation resulting in the first production converter order in 2004.
These first 1000 units have a combined energy output of 2500 MW à‚— the equivalent of two conventional power stations. Many of the converters are now in service in Europe and North America. In the UK, the converters are in use at a new offshore wind farm at Burbo Bank near Birkenhead.
Produced at Converteam’s Kidsgrove plant in the UK, the converters form the heart of the internal workings of the wind turbine system.
The giant rotor blades, driven by wind, turn the generator, which produces electric power. The converter then takes that supply and transfers it to the national grid at a constant frequency and voltage that consumers can use.
The occasion was marked with a plaque unveiling followed by a reception at Crewe Hall. Among the assembled guests were long-serving members of the Converteam staff that had worked on the project since its inception, along with local councilors and Advantage West Midlands representatives.
Councillor Robin Studd, portfolio holder for regeneration and planning at Newcastle Borough Council said, “The Council is proud to be associated with Converteam and wished to congratulate them and their workforce on achieving this significant milestone.
The company is a leading edge manufacturer, important to both the [local] economy and because of the contribution they are making to address climate change through their wind turbine technology”.
Converteam can draw on more than 100 years history of electrical engineering in electric motors, generators, power converters, control and automation systems.
Texas firm’s flywheel technology earns its spurs
Active Power’s CleanSource UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system was awarded the 2007 Product Design Innovation of the Year by the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Austin, Texas-based Active Power was recognized at the institution’s annual awards celebration dinner and innovation awards programme held in London in November. The IET Innovation in Engineering Awards recognizes products, technologies and processes that lead the way in engineering innovation. “The benefits of Active Power’s CleanSource UPS system are obvious,” said Ivan Boyd, general manager of Research for British Telecommunications (BT) Group who served as one of the judges of the Product Design category. “The system is highly energy efficient; produces less heat compared to other systems therefore requiring less cooling; is exceptionally space efficient; saves on electricity; costs and reduces carbon emissions.”
The Product Design category is open to all sectors of engineering, such as electronics, telecommunications, transport, manufacturing, power and computing. It rewards design teams and individuals who have developed tangible solutions to specific needs, which are both pioneering and original. It can encompass the product itself or a specific feature of the product.
The product may be mass-produced or custom-made. All entries are rigorously reviewed and assessed by an independent board of judges from within the IET community.
“Active Power is honoured to receive IET’s 2007 Product Design of the Year Award for our CleanSource UPS system,” said Jim Murphy, vice president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific for Active Power. “This prestigious award edifies those qualities inherent in Active Power’s flywheel based UPS system à‚— extremely high energy efficiency, reliability and the fact it’s economically green. All of these attributes provide real tangible and financial benefits to mission critical operations around the world.”
Russia and China approves expansion for Hawke Products
Hazardous area cable gland and electrical connector specialist, Hawke International, has announced it has achieved approvals for its product range from the relevant Russian and Chinese authorities.
The ControlEx flameproof range of connectors for use in hazardous areas has achieved GOST-R certification, allowing for their use in the Russian territories, which is of ever increasing importance within the oil and gas market. Hawke connectors, including models for low medium and high power applications, are a major aid to productivity.
Hake International said that its new flameproof ControlEx range of connectors permit speedy and safe connection of instrumentation, control and power equipment.
This allows the installation and commissioning of service modules or the deployment of permanently fixed and temporary plant to proceed safely and more quickly within a hazardous environment.
Chinese GB approval has also been given by the CQST test organization for the IECEx approved ranges of cable glands that have been tested by BASEEFA in the UK.
This supplements the existing ATEX, IECEx, GOST, ABS, DNV, CEPEL, UL, cUL, and CSA certifications. These ensure where hard-wired permanent connections are required, Hawke cable glands meet the need for robust cable termination.
All models are engineered for secure cable anchorage, long life, low maintenance and easy inspection.
The extensive range has high integrity seals, deluge protection and can be used with a range of cable diameters and constructions.
“Safety and long term reliability is a crucial issue for the global oil and gas industry and as Russian and Chinese capacity increases we are in a position to supply world-class electrical connection products to these expanding markets,” explained Phil O’Connor, head of development at Hawke International’s UK operation.
Industrial wireless radio goes live
Field applications exposed to severe conditions, whether it be an oil rig or the wash down area of a manufacturing plant, can now benefit from the latest addition to ProSoft Technology’s RadioLinx wireless product family: The 802.11abg Industrial HotspotTM with IP66-rated water resistant, dust-proof enclosure (RLX-IHW-66).
This radio functions as an access point, repeater, or client and its water resistant enclosure permits it to be directly installed in areas that are exposed to harsh industrial or environmental conditions, including wash down areas, offshore oil rigs, and outdoor towers.
The RLX-IHW-66 offers Power over Ethernet (PoE), which allows the radio to be installed next to the antenna, reducing antenna cable loss and maximizing range. The 802.11abg radio is designed for global applications and uses an advanced combination of features to create a reliable, versatile solution for even the most demanding industrial networks.
The RLX-IHW-66 is equipped with RF-based Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) Snooping, a tool which allows multicast filtering at the wireless level, so that the radio transmitting data from the producer (such as a distributed I/O block) is able to identify the consumer (i.e. a PLC) and transmit the producer data directly to the consumer as opposed to multicasting the information to the entire wireless network. Since the RLX-IHW-66 sends the data directly to each of the consumers, it is able to confirm receipt of the data and retransmit the data if necessary. RF-based IGMP prevents crowding over the air by only sending messages where they need to go and it increases reliability by confirming receipt of the data.
The IP66 rating for enclosures guarantees that the product will be protected against high-pressure water jets from all directions, with a limited tolerance for ingress, as well as total protection against dust. This rating equates to a water resistance, dust-tight form factor. The RLX-IHW-66 can be used in industrial operating temperatures, and is vibration and shock resistant.
Fibre optic assemblies ideal for harsh environments launch
Huber & Suhner’s latest addition to its fibre optic assemblies portfolio is the SC-RJ product family, the SC-RJ IP67.Designed for harsh environmental and industrial applications, the ruggedized SC-RJ IP67 provides an unrivalled combination of protection, ease of use, reliability and performance from a market leader recognized for quality and technical excellence.
The SC-RJ is a duplex push/pull connector based on well-established SC ferrule technology and is available in single mode and multimode according to EN 50173-3 and ISO/EN 24702.
The SC-RJ IP67 is the optical connector system to use in industrial applications where service conditions are challenging, fluid resistance is needed and reliability is essential. Therefore it is ideal for Industrial Ethernet applications across many disciplines including industrial automation, shop floor networks, and heavy engineering.The new connector features high mechanical strength and thermal resistance, is resistant to oil, petrol, kerosene and is also halogen free. The adaptor footprint is identical to that of RJ45, meaning that because it will fit into existing RJ45 panels, businesses upgrading from copper ethernet to fibre will find this a simple transition.
Faster initial set up for fuel cells pioneered by Isopad
Based on its expertise in developing customized electrical heating solutions, Isopad has products offering significant benefits to the pioneers of fuel cell technology. These include mineral insulated (MI) heaters for faster cell stack heat-up, heated hoses for temperature and humidity conditioning of gases and also heating tapes to prevent freezing of water vapour drain lines.
Isopad exhibited these for the first time at this year’s 10th Grove Fuel Cell exhibition and generated considerable interest from the fuel cell community. The heaters can provide solutions up to 1000 à‚ºC and are available for all fuel cell types, including PEMFC, SOFC, MCFC and PAFC. Used as preheat devices, MI heaters reduce the time it takes to bring fuel cells up to their optimum temperature/efficiency in cyclic applications.
Isopad specializes in employing a full range of technologies and engineering techniques to produce application-specific customized industrial heating solutions for any profiles or conditions. It provides robust, development scale solutions that can be scaled up for volume manufacture. A leading brand of Tyco Thermal Controls, Isopad products are renowned for their durability, high quality and for delivering uniform and reliable heat with a long operating life. They are available in a wide range of power densities and with multiple safety agency certifications.
POWER-GEN Asia visitors seek cooling fan monitoring solutions
Over 5200 visitors attended this year’s POWER-GEN Asia exhibition in Bangkok and many visited the Sensonics Limited stand to view a range of specialist equipment designed to provide vibration, displacement and speed instrumentation solutions for use in demanding power generation environments.
The event enabled Sensonics to meet both new and existing customers from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to discuss current and prospective requirements.
Much interest was shown in the company’s range of DN monitoring products and in particular their DN2601 dual channel, vibration (or vibration and temperature) alarm monitor. Many of these enquiries were received in relation to cooling fan applications, where the DN2601 smart vibration protection system qualities are especially significant.
Specifying of SIL rated protection systems according to IEC61508 is becoming more common, the DN2601 is a high-performance signal conditioning unit designed to provide up to SIL-2 protection for many types of rotating machinery including centrifuges, fans, gearboxes, motors, pumps, compressors and conveyors.
The unit is compact and Din rail mountable, fitting easily into equipment panels amongst other instrumentation or locally to the machine. The DN2601 additionally features a 3 digit LCD display, illustrated in engineering units of g’s, mm/s, inches or à‚°C as well as current outputs for DCS integration. A sophisticated dual level alarm system (2 per channel) with both A1 (alert) and A2 (danger) levels is also incorporated to provide safe shutdown in the event of failure.
Sensonics specializes in a range of products, which are designed to make unexpected production stoppages or unnecessary maintenance work a thing of the past.
Belzona eliminates concerns over damaged or leaking containment areas
Renovation and upgrading of bunds is an important part of meeting legislative requirements on environmental protection. Leaks and the resultant contamination could lead to plant shutdown, large fines and even criminal proceedings.
Belzona, has been supporting customers by applying its polymer technology to problems of pollution control. Uptake is strong within the power industry, where there is an ongoing requirement for protection and containment of leaks from tanks and bund areas. In particular current pollution prevention guidelines state that above ground storage tanks should be sited on an impermeable base within a bund and the bund should be constructed of a material impermeable to the liquid stored and of adequate capacity.
In order to ensure that customers are fully compliant with the legislation Belzona offers a range of repair and coating products, suitable for most industrial environments.
All are easily contoured and, therefore, ideal for repairing damaged areas and for producing filleted sealing joints. A selection of repair and coating materials are available offering resistance to a wide range of chemicals that are durable and tough, ensuring a long service life.
The products are simple to apply using in-house maintenance personnel, or alternatively by an extensive network of partner contractors.
Expansion joints on show at POWER-GEN International
Garlock Sealing Technologies, a leader in fluid sealing technology for over 100 years, will showcase its line of expansion joints for the power generation industry at POWER-GEN International in New Orleans, which took place between December 11-13, 2007.
Garlock expansion joints create tight and long lasting seals that increase power plants’ mean time between outage (MTBO), safety and operating efficiency. Garlock’s application specific expansion joint systems include the Style 204EVS spool-type expansion joints, which are engineered to address the dual challenges of extreme vacuum and aggressive dynamics.
Providing extended service life for difficult condensate pump applications, the Style 204EVS is well suited for applications with less than ideal support and long cantilevered pipe runs.
For ash handling applications and scrubbers, Garlock’s Style 206 EZ-FLO expansion joints feature a self-flushing design to eliminate media buildup and reduce fluid turbulence. A high pressure and vacuum resistant design ensures longer life and suitability for wide range of applications, while the standard chlorobutyl liner provides excellent chemical resistance.
Garlock engineers and fabricates custom solutions to precisely fit the needs of specific applications. Offset configurations can accommodate misaligned piping and equipment, eliminating the need for realignment. Garlock spool type expansion joints can be constructed as single- or multiple-arch types, connecting pipe flanges in concentric or eccentric tapers, to join piping of unequal diameters.
Founded in 1887, after Olin J. Garlock devised a better way to seal piston rods in industrial steam engines in Palmyra, New York, Garlock has become a leader in the fluid sealing industry and a cornerstone of the EnPro Industries family.
Mono Nov has the magic touch at Alcan
With the installation of five Mono NOV’s Merlin pumps at Alcan’s Power station in Lynemouth, Northumberland, UK, Mono has provided a successful and safe solution to a previous problems associated with submersible pumps.
The plant supplies coal fired power to the nearby Alcan smelting plant and has several nuisance water sumps across the site from which water containing coal dust is pumped into the main drains, which then flows via gravity to the treatment plant.
The presence of the coal particles in the water had caused frequent blockages of the submersible pumps and in addition abrasive wear was increasing the maintenance and downtime to every two months. The Mono pumps have now been in operation for 18 months without any problems.
The location of the submersible pumps at the bottom of the sump, in amongst the nuisance water, means they were often dirty and difficult for the maintenance staff to reach on their frequent and costly break down visits.
The pumps needed to be lifted out of the sump requiring the use of the associated lifting gear, which had to meet stringent health and safety compliance. The maintenance personnel also had to enter the sumps to relocate the pumps once they were repaired.
Thus, Alcan urgently required more efficient and reliable equipment and wanted to move away from submersible pumps, therefore surface-mounted progressing cavity pumps were selected with a proven track record of reliable service in the coal industry.
The Merlin industrial pump from Mono has a simple, rugged construction that is extremely reliable and easy to maintain with a wide variety of materials available to suit difficult applications.
A progressing cavity pump utilizes a hard rotor turning within a soft resilient rubber stator and the interference fit gives better seal and wear characteristics, eàŽ©nsuring that abrasive particles are easily handled with low wear rates.
Transformer oil coolers ideal for overheating installations
Unifin announces the flexible ForZair line of transformer oil coolers for superior performance in the most demanding applications.
The ForZair coolers are designed for new transformers and for replacing existing installations that are out of life or overheating, requiring additional heat removal for higher capacities.
The ForZair coolers feature Unifin’s unique mono-aluminum extruded fin-tubes and the industry’s best plate fin technology, both of which provide optimal heat transfer efficiency and exceptional durability.
The coolers are available in forced oil-to-forced air, natural convection oil-to-water and forced oil-to-water models, in both 50 and 60 Hz versions, and are pre-engineered to meet the capacity, performance and space requirements of each specific application. The pre-engineered design simplifies manufacturing for rapid delivery.
Unifin uses an advanced oil flushing system, which achieves the highest ISO standards for cleanliness in the transformer industry.
ABB launches new Dynacomp dynamic response compensator
ABB has a launched a new generation version of its well established Dynacomp dynamic response compensator developed to provide fast and smooth reactive power compensation to solve a variety of industrial network power quality problems associated with fast variable loads such as low power factor, voltage sags, flicker and high harmonic levels.
The Dynacomp acts as an ultra-rapid and transient free capacitor bank with the reactive power step switching carried out by state-of-the-art thyristor modules.
The use of these static switches and advanced controllers offers a number of key advantages over conventional contactor switched capacitor banks including: ultra-rapid power factor compensation; reduction of voltage drop and flicker; transient free switching; very high number of switching operations; modular and compact standardized design; easy to install and extend; advanced communications features with Modbus.
The new Dynacomp is a standard ABB product. It is equipped with an advanced controller and offers a wide power range for all network voltages ranging from 380 V to 690 V. It is available in both three-phase and single-phase versions and there is also a choice of detuning reactors to suit all types of application.
Starting from a few hundred kvar, the Dynacomp is available for applications up to several Mvar to cater for even the largest loads. Its modular design and CAN bus control makes it easy to use standard power units to build a system with the necessary power rating to suit the exact load requirements. It is also simple to extend the Dynacomp to adapt to changing future needs.
In addition to reactive power compensation, the Dynacomp also partially filters harmonic currents, thereby reducing total harmonic distortion and improving the network power quality.