Australia’s Ceramic Fuel Cells launches modular generator product for domestic usage

Melbourne, Australia-based clean energy company Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. (CFC), a global leader in fuel cell development, has officially launched a new modular generator product.

The new unit – called BlueGen – is a ‘mini power station’ for homes and other buildings. It produces low emission electricity and hot water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving on home energy bills.

About the size of a dishwasher, the BlueGen unit converts natural gas to electricity and heat via ceramic fuel cells.

CFC plans to make the BlueGen product available in Victoria from early 2010. The company is in discussions with potential local manufacturing partners. CFC is also in discussions with potential purchasers of the BlueGen product in other markets including Europe and North America.

Compared to Victoria’s current brown coal electricity generators, each BlueGen unit can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75 per cent – or 18 tonnes per unit, per year.

The BlueGen product was officially launched by the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, at Ceramic Fuel Cells’ head office in Melbourne. During the launch Managing Director Brendan Dow will demonstrate a working BlueGen unit, connected to a hot water unit producing electricity and hot water.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said: “Innovation is vital to Victoria’s response to climate change. Local innovations like Ceramic Fuel Cells’ technology will help to play an important part in reducing the carbon intensity of Victorian homes and businesses. Ceramic Fuel Cells’ technology is a great example of local business delivering sustainable, ‘green’ jobs and exports for our State.”

“Importantly, our units are far more efficient and produce far less carbon dioxide and other emissions than traditional electricity generators like coal-fired power stations,” said CFC’s Managing Director Brendan Dow. “If our units replaced just seven per cent of Victoria’s electricity from brown coal, the State would achieve the Federal Government’s target of a five per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, well before 2020. Currently, coal-fired power stations produce 95 per cent of Victoria’s electricity.”

Ceramic Fuel Cells has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with VicUrban to showcase the BlueGen units in VicUrban housing developments. Subject to agreeing final terms, Ceramic Fuel Cells will install the first BlueGen unit in VicUrban’s Sustainable and Affordable Living Centre in Dandenong to be opened towards the end of 2009, and will install up to three more demonstration units in other VicUrban developments next year.

VicUrban is the Victorian Government’s sustainable urban development agency. One of Victoria’s largest residential land developers, VicUrban has a diverse portfolio of projects including house and land developments in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

VicUrban’s current portfolio of projects includes over 50 000 new homes over the next 20 years. VicUrban is a leader in demonstrating sustainable technologies for homes, to encourage broader market awareness and commercial take up of innovative and energy saving products.

Pru Sanderson, CEO of VicUrban explained their long-standing commitment to sustainable energy. “Our Aurora project in Epping, which now has over 1000 residents, was the first six-star energy efficient community in Australia. VicUrban is delighted to be partnering with a Victorian business to help promote a product which could become the next generation of sustainable energy technology in Australian homes,” Ms. Sanderson said.

The BlueGen unit also uses up to 95 per cent less water than Victoria’s current coal-fired power stations to generate the same amount of electricity.

In addition to its modular BlueGen product, CFC continues to develop fully integrated micro CHP products with some of the world’s leading utility and appliance partners in Europe and Japan, including E.ON, GdF/Suez, EWE and Paloma (maker of the Rheem and Solahart brands). The BlueGen product is an additional offering for market segments that may not require a fully integrated product.

Wärtsilä secures O&M orders from Philippine power plants

Wärtsilä, a leading supplier of flexible power plants and services to the decentralized power generation market, has been awarded operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts by two manufacturing companies in the Philippines.

The two contracts were signed during the first quarter of this year. CEMEX Strategic Philippines Inc is a subsidiary of CEMEX S.A.B. de CV, a leading global building materials company present in more than 50 countries throughout the world, and has contracted Wärtsilä to supply full O&M services for its APO Cement power plant, located in Naga City, Cebu.

The contract is for four years. Included in the scope of services to be supplied are operating staff, maintenance of the engines and auxiliaries, and supply of spare parts.

The APO Cement power plant is an island-mode operation, supplying power to the cement facility. It is powered by six Wärtsilä 16VZAV40S heavy fuel oil driven engines, and produces 66 MW of electricity. Wärtsilä Philippines took over operational responsibilities for the plant in March.

The other contract awarded to Wärtsilä covers operations and maintenance of the Masbate Gold project power plant, owned by the Philippine Gold Processing & Refining Corporation, and located at Aroroy, Masbate, Philippines. Wärtsilä has been contracted to operate and maintain the plant, and to supply tools and consumables.

The Masbate power plant is powered by three Wärtsilä 18V32 and two Wärtsilä 16V32 engines that have been previously employed in other power plants. The units were fully installed and commissioned at the end of April 2009, and will be supplying the power requirements of the gold processing plant.

In commenting on these latest orders, Ville Packalén, President of Wärtsilä in the Philippines stated: “Our strong track record in supplying after sales service support, as well as the necessary technical support for O&M operations, was a significant factor in being awarded these contracts. This was especially important in the Masbate Gold project award, since the location is remote and, therefore, challenging. We have been able to demonstrate our capability for overcoming this challenge. In both cases, the decision to delegate responsibility for optimizing the efficient operation of the plant to Wärtsilä, means that the customers can concentrate fully on their companies’ core businesses.”

Globally, Wärtsilä operates more than 139 installations in 35 countries, supplying a total of approximately 4000 MW of power. Under an O&M agreement, Wärtsilä can take care of everything from the recruitment, training and management of the O&M staff, to energy production, logistics and other services. Wärtsilä O&M agreements are tailored to the needs of its customers to give real added value.

Four more spark-ignited Cummins gensets certified by EPA for compliance with new emissions standards

Four additional models of spark-ignited generator sets from Cummins Power Generation Inc. have received certification to the new exhaust emissions standards required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The newly certified models – GGHG, GGHH, GGLA and GGLB – range in size from 85 kW to 150 kW. These four models join a portfolio of five previously certified spark-ignited generator sets from Cummins Power Generation – GGMA, GGMB, GGMC, GGHE and GGHF – ranging in size from 20 kW to 75 kW.

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Under the new EPA regulations, all standby spark-ignited generator sets with engines manufactured after 31 December 2008 are required to meet new emissions standards. Engines not certified by the manufacturer must be brought into compliance by the owner or operator.

“These latest EPA certifications further demonstrate our continuing leadership in providing advanced emissions solutions that give our customers peace of mind,” said Henry Zeng, product manager, Commercial Generator Set Business, Cummins Power Generation. “No other manufacturer can come close to our strong history of emissions leadership of power generation equipment.”

Meanwhile, the Rose Poultry chicken production facility, located in this historic Danish rural village of Vinderup, has replaced two generator sets rated at 900 kW each with a new 2 MW lean-burn gas generator set from Cummins Power Generation Inc.

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The 2000 kW GQNC lean-burn natural gas engine generator set’s major benefits include the combination of better fuel economy with high power output and low NOx emissions, as evidenced by numerous installations around the world. With lean-burn technology, used on the QSV91 Cummins Inc. engine, excess air is introduced into the engine during combustion, which provides two positive effects – significantly reduced NOx emissions and higher fuel efficiency.

The Rose Poultry installation marks one of the first natural gas generator sets manufactured by Cummins Power Generation and delivered by NISSEN energi teknik A/S. Nissen – a nationwide energy services company – worked in close collaboration with Hollensen Energy A/S, which managed the installation and optimization of Rose Poultry’s heat recovery system.

Rose Poultry employs 600 people at its Vinderup facility, which processes 115 000 chickens daily – approximately 250 tonnes of chicken at live weight. The factory has an electricity consumption that amounts to 16m kW annually.

The new Cummins Power Generation pre-integrated system will produce 11.5m kWh of power annually, which amounts to approximately 72 per cent of the plant’s total annual energy consumption.

In addition to its electrical power needs, the factory has a large daily consumption of hot water, heat and steam. The new system is capable of running continuously for as long as the factory requires.

Centrax Power Generation heads for Bermuda triangle

Centrax Gas Turbines of the UK have recently won an order to supply three gas turbine powered generator sets to the Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO).

BELCO is responsible for the provision of all 120 MWe grid power on the island which has a population of approximately 67 000 people. The island of Bermuda is around 21 square miles in area and is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 650 miles east of North Carolina.

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In addition to the indigenous population, around 400 000 people holiday on Bermuda each year. The units will be located outdoors in the parish of Pembroke.

The three Centrax 501-KB7 units will each provide 5 MWe and will be operating on liquid fuel. The units will be used primarily for peak lopping and standby operation to support the existing base load generation. In addition to the three units, the scope of supply for Centrax includes an air compressor and the MV switchgear.

The installed packages will be due for handover to the customer at the end of March 2010.

Meanwhile, Centrax has bagged an order to supply GlaxoSmithKline with a CX501-KB7 generator set package for a new CHP energy centre.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a world leading research-based pharmaceutical company, with 80 manufacturing sites in 37 countries. The gas fuelled Centrax generator set will provide power and heat for GSK’s Nutritional Healthcare business at the GSK Coleford factory, in the Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. The factory manufactures Ribena and Lucozade energy drinks.

Apart from the KB7 generator set, Centrax will be supplying a waste heat recovery boiler, gas compressor, black start diesel generator and control systems for the CHP plant.

The site is installing the CHP plant to be able to support the implementation of a new, on-site bottle blowing and preform manufacturing operation.

GE Energy signs Russian Jenbacher gas engine deal

GE Energy has signed two new Jenbacher gas engine distributor and service agreements with highly regarded energy services companies in Russia as industry and municipalities seek more efficient, reliable, fuel-flexible onsite power solutions.

These agreements also will support the country’s efforts to modernize its power generation and delivery infrastructure while reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions.

GE announced its new Jenbacher gas engine distributor and service agreements with Intma of Moscow and Vapor of St. Petersburg during Russia Power 2009, the region’s leading annual power industry conference. Intma is an engineering services/general contractor for power stations and production automation systems, while Vapor specializes in the engineering of sophisticated combined heat and power (CHP) applications.

“As Russia continues to modernize its power generation and delivery infrastructure, these GE distributor and service agreements for its Jenbacher gas engines are an important step in our localization strategy here,” said Ruslan Pakhomov, GE Energy’s country executive. “GE is committed to collaborating with local companies such as Intma and Vapor that share the same goal: to deliver to our customers a high level of service in Russia.”

Within the scope of the agreement, Intma’s sales and service territory covers the Ural region. Intma will focus on expanding the role of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines for industrial applications including associated petroleum gas power generation projects for oil producers, coal mine gas power plants, waste-gas systems for the metals industry and GE’s natural gas-powered cogeneration/CO2 fertilization systems for the commercial greenhouses.

According to the agreement, Vapor will support customers in Kaliningrad Oblast and the North and North/West regions, in addition to St. Petersburg. Vapor is exploring additional potential opportunities to help the food industry, greenhouse operators and other manufacturers overcome power shortages in specific regions by installing GE’s Jenbacher units to provide a highly reliable, onsite supply of heat and electricity. Vapor also is working with industrial and municipal customers to install modern district heating/CHP systems.

Cressall Resistors launches AC6 loadbank for gensets

Cressall Resistors, the UK’s largest power resistor manufacturer, has produced a completely self-contained new load bank for testing generator sets.

The unit is ideal for use by hire shops, local authorities and construction firms, where its rugged build and easy handling will appeal to anyone managing a fleet of such generators. The new model, branded the AC6, is intended for testing 220/240V supplies up to 6kW, in adjustable steps of 333 W.

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The AC6 joins Cressall’s range of portable units for testing AC and DC systems including batteries, UPS systems and standby generators up to 100 kW.

The unit’s key features are ease of use and portability. The clear controls provide easy to read indications of voltage, current and frequency, making it straightforward to see what adjustments need to be made to the unit being tested.

A one-piece aluminium casing helps keep the weight down to just twelve kilograms and the hinged lid of the unit is fitted with a carrying handle. The integral 1.5 metre cable and connector, which fits all small gensets and is rated to CEE IEC 60309-2, means it is impossible for the unit to be taken on site without the appropriate connectors.