Commercial sector shows promise for gensets

Genset makers should ready themselves to take advantage of new opportunities in the commercial sphere. Although industry has traditionally been the most important sector for demand for gensets, prime power units are increasingly finding use in commercial infrastructure projects, writes Nathan Laryea of analysts Frost & Sullivan.

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One of the main factors driving the growth of the commercial sector is the emerging trend for multi-nationals to set up business bases in Eastern Europe. The region is witnessing considerable growth in commercial infrastructure projects, heavily concentrated in EU accession countries such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The market for diesel gensets across the eight EU accession states amounted to €37m ($57.1m) in 2007 and is expected to reach €55.6m in 2014. The market for gas fuelled units is less established. However, the increasing drive toward energy efficiency will see this market grow significantly over the coming years in the EU accession states.

The gas genset market in CIS states such as Russia and Ukraine is particularly strong given the abundance of natural gas in these countries. However, the availability of natural gas has acted as a disincentive to invest in special greener gas gensets and has prohibited growth in this niche market.

Multinationals are attracted to the idea of expanding into Eastern Europe given the untapped market potential and strong commitment to infrastructure projects. In addition, low-cost production and its proximity to Western Europe makes the region particularly appealing to investors.

Genset manufacturers will capitalise on this economic momentum. As the need for office space in Eastern Europe increases, the need for emergency or backup power will increase correspondingly to provide genset packagers with an excellent market opportunity in the region. Although Western European countries are bigger than those in Eastern Europe, the market is more mature there and hence difficult to penetrate.

The bulk of new opportunities are to be found in Eastern Europe. Genset companies will greatly benefit if they are able to single out niche applications that present good potential for growth.

In addition, Eastern Europe’s retail industry is also in a growth stage. Genset packagers are set to benefit from an increase in the number of retail outlets there. While the product portfolios of packagers must be tailor-made to meet the changing demands of end users in Western Europe, standard products are likely to meet the demand from Eastern European states.

Going for gold

With the 2008 Beijing Olympics around the corner, the growth of tourism in China is increasing the demand for hotels and resorts. Many international hotel chains are entering the Chinese hospitality industry, with a record 496 hotel projects with 170 417 hotel rooms in the pipeline for the country.

The Olympics has also hastened the pace of development of sports infrastructure, which includes the bird’s nest Olympic stadium. The commercial segment is providing a major boost to the overall Chinese construction market and accelerating demand for prime power gensets.

China’s construction industry will grow at an average compound rate of 7.54 per cent until 2011, at which point it is forecast to be worth $325.72 billion, according to Business Monitor International.

The growth opportunities in countries such as China are replicated in developing nations in South East Asia. Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines show great potential for market expansion as they seek to build on their commercial and business infrastructure.

In addition, frenzied construction activities that take place in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics will also help boost the prospects of the commercial sector. Genset manufacturers are again set to benefit.

The surge in construction activities will likely increase the demand for prime power units with demand for this application likely to increase from 2007 to 2012, peaking from 2009 to 2011.

As the United Kingdom begins the various activities associated with the Olympics, units of 150 kVA and 250 kVA will be most in demand. These gensets are prime rated and can be used for many applications, including powering tower cranes at construction sites.

One possible route of distribution is the genset companies selling these sets to rental companies that in turn rent them to construction companies.

Hence the Olympics is expected to be a key event that will foster and drive the growth of the commercial segment by providing a springboard for new business opportunities.

The growth in the commercial segment of gensets, however, is set to coincide with a slight decrease in demand from the industrial segment in the United Kingdom over the next five years.

Middle East opportunities

Most countries in the Middle East are benefiting from an economic windfall that has risen from high oil prices. This has created new opportunities in the commercial sector for genset manufacturers.

The economic boom has had a ripple effect across the region, with the construction sector experiencing strong growth, and major projects in the private sector contributing to the intensification of the genset market.

Another exciting market for genset manufacturers is Iraq, with the fledging democracy keen to establish a commercial and business infrastructure post-Saddam Hussein.

Although political and social unrest have to a large extent characterized the post-Saddam era, many new opportunities are likely to emerge as security improves and the pace of economic reconstruction accelerates.

Other factors driving the commercial segment for genets in the Middle East include a general boom in commercial infrastructure, particularly in the United Arab Emirates. An increase in the number of shopping malls, apartment blocks, condominiums and trade towers has resulted in a greater demand for temporary power.

Package targets biogas-based generation

Caterpillar has released a package for use with corrosive methane fuels found in landfills, digesters and other low-energy biogas environments. The 1966 kWe genset runs the company’s G3520C platform at 1500 rpm and 50 Hz and includes equipment to optimize the performance of the engine in parallel-to-grid, continuous-operation applications.

The G3520C for use with low energy biogas of the kind generated by landfills, for example
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Several features in the package aim to extend engine life while maximizing performance. These include stainless steel, corrosion-resistant aftercooler cores, a jacket water outlet temperature of 110à‚°C and crankcase air cleaners. An optional positive-crankcase ventilation system is also available.

To reduce the installation cost of the fuel treatment systems often found in low-energy fuel applications, the package has an open combustion chamber design that lets the engine run on gas at a pressure of just 10.5 to 34.5 kPa.

An air-fuel ratio control in the package operates without an oxygen sensor, allowing as high as a 19.2 bar BMEP rating that supplies high power density while meeting NOx emission levels of 500 mg/Nm3.

An optional level of 250 mg/Nm3 is also available through a 54à‚°C separate circuit aftercooler system that can be used with a conventional cooling system arrangement in almost all geographic locations.

To minimize maintenance costs, the genset has a heavy-duty platform with durable connecting rods, bearings, crankshaft, cylinder block and pumps made for continuous operation.

Engine control is from a single source, a module that uses ADEMT III electronic controls.

Caterpillar claims package delivers high power density, efficient, economical operation and low emissions, and that is easily tailored to specific applications with a wide selection of Cat SR4B generators and generator set attachments, including oversized and premium generators.

Additional features include exhaust options, circuit breakers, alarm and remote annunciator modules and battery chargers.

Gas engines aim at gas compression market

Wärtsilä has introduced a range of heavy-duty engines to the gas compressor drive market in response to rising demand for natural gas, which the company will be 50 per cent greater by 2030.

The units come with outputs of 4050-9000 kW and suit continuous, high-load applications, such as compressor drives on pipelines.

The Finnish company claims the output range offers considerable lifecycle cost improvement. With a typical 9000 kW compressor drive installation, these can be 20 per cent to 40 per cent lower than with other prime movers. The savings will be even greater when compared with existing, older compressor drives, making upgrades an attractive prospect, the company claims.

Compared with the gas turbines that are often used for driving compressors in this power range, Wärtsilä says the 34SG offers substantially lower fuel gas consumption and greater turndown ratios.

There are three variants of the 34SG: The nine-cylinder in-line unit with 4050 kW shaft power, the 16-cylinder, 7200 kW unit and the 20-cylinder 9000 kW engine. Nominal speed is 750 rpm.

Full-load efficiency is 46.3 per cent (heat rate 5493 BTU/hph), while the speed turndown ratio (to 525 rpm) is 30 per cent and the torque turndown ratio is 70 per cent.

Engine efficiency and exhaust emissions remain virtually unchanged across the whole load range. Exhaust emissions are low: NOx is below 500 mg/Nm3 dry at 5 per cent CO2 across the whole speed and torque range.

The 34SG engines use a fully electronic engine control system for gas feed, charge air flow, fuel gas flow control, individual cylinders and ignition control. Intervals between planned maintenance requirements are long.

For example, says Wärtsilä, the time between cylinder head and piston overhauls is approximately 24 000 running hours.

Pakistan plant goes combined cycle

A diesel power plant at a refinery in Pakistan has converted to combined-cycle operation in a move that may become increasingly common.

Steam produced by the exhaust heat from the Pakistan refinery’s gensets will drive this 15 MW steam turbine.
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Exhaust heat from the plant’s nine 17 MW four-stroke diesel gensets will produce steam to drive a 15 MW turbine delivered by Peter Brotherhood in contract value of à‚£2m ($3.94m).

Colin Lake, regional sales manager for steam turbines at the UK company, said: “The specification for this new power plant included an overall cycle efficiency requirement that could only be met by the inclusion of a steam turbine-based waste heat recovery system.”

The UK company says that it is expecting more and more diesel engine power plants will have to convert into combined-cycle systems because of the increasing requirement for higher cycle efficiency and the rising cost of fuel.

The turbine and gearbox are mounted on a combined bedplate, which incorporates an electronic governor, a PLC -based control and monitoring system and an air-cooled generator.

Peter Brotherhood began the installation and commissioning of the steam turbine at the refinery in Pakistan in February this year.

Cogen applications to use aero-derivative units

Rolls-Royce has won two contracts for aero-derivative, gas turbine gensets for cogeneration applications.

In the first, paper product maker Europac will use an RB211-GT61 unit rated at 31 MW for installation at its Dueàƒ±as mill in northern Spain.

In the second, the same company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Portucel Viana has ordered an RB211-GT61 for its Viana do Castello paper mill in Portugal.

Dueàƒ±as mill will add its unit to three Rolls-Royce 501-powered gensets in a plant that will provide electricity and super heated steam to support a planned increase in paper production at the site.

It will also export the new plant’s excess power to Spain’s grid.

Viana do Castello mill’s unit will join an RB211-GT61 it already has operating at its site with a 25 MW steam turbine.

Both new RB211-GT61 units will run on natural gas and use a dry combustion system to suppress emissions, a requirement that is now mandatory on all generating equipment installed in Europe.

Each Rolls-Royce RB211-GT61 unit will operate continuously because disruption to the paper production process can affect the quality of the mills’ products.

Rolls-Royce will make the engines at its facility in Montreal, Canada, and assemble the gas turbine packages at its Mount Vernon plant in Ohio, USA.Shipment of the unit for Europac is scheduled for the second quarter of 2008, the unit for Portucel contracted for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Rolls-Royce’s facility in Tarragona, Spain, will provide service support for the units, which are covered by ten-year agreements, says the engine manufacturer.

The facility currently provides support for a fleet of over 130 gas engines and four industrial RB211 gas turbines operating in Spain and Portugal.

Oil platform orders four gas gensets

A new semi-submersible oil platform off the Brazilian Atlantic coast is to employ four dual-fuel gensets to provide all of its power.

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras has placed a $73m order for the units for its P-56 platform that will form part of the Marlim Sul field off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in the Campos Basin, the country’s most abundant oil production area.

Rolls-Royce is supplying the RB211 gensets, which will operate in two modules on the platform.

The P-56’s site will be located some 124 km off the coast. The oil platform will connect to 22 wellheads at a depth of 1700 metres.

Eleven of the wellheads will produce oil and gas, with the remaining 11 injecting water into the reservoir to increase production flow.

The platform will weigh 46 500 tonnes. The dimensions of the platform are 125 metres in length by 110 metres in width by 54 metres in height.

Rolls Royce said that the Brazilian oil platform will operate for 25 years and will be capable of processing and treating 170 000 barrels of liquids and producing 100 000 barrels of oil and 6m m3 of natural gas, and injecting 45 000 m3 per day of water into the reservoir.

Plant’s engines to convert to gas

Peruvian utility EGESUR has announced that is to convert four heavy fuel oil fired reciprocating engines at its Calana power plant in Tacna to run on natural gas.

It has awarded the work to Wärtsilä, which will convert the four 18V32 engines to its Spark Gas models in a contract that covers dismantling, engineering, civil works, mechanical and electrical installation, supply of conversion components, overhaul of the engines, commissioning, start-up and testing.

The Spark Gas engine has ported gas admission and a prechamber with a spark plug to ignite the fuel.

In 2006, EGESUR decided to relocate the Calana plant to Independencia to take advantage of the low-cost natural gas supplied to the area by pipeline from Camisea. The plant will begin commercial operation in October and supply power to Peru’s North-South national grid.

Wärtsilä is also to relocate the plant from Tacna to Independencia.

Tomato grower to use world’s first 24-cylinder gas engines

GE Energy is delivering what it says is the world’s first 24-cylinder power-generating gas engine to one of the largest greenhouse tomato growers in the Netherlands.

GE Energy is putting its new J624 GS natural gas engine through field trials before its commercial release in 2009
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Two of GE Energy’s new J624 GS Jenbacher units rated at 4 MW each will provide Royal Pride Holland with economical onsite electricity and heat, while CO2 from the gensets’ exhausts will fertilize the grower’s tomatoes to extend its production calendar and increase crop output. Electricity from the cogeneration systems will also be delivered to the local grid.

GE says the high-speed J624 GS is its most powerful Jenbacher model to enter commercial service and combines high power density, low installation and operational costs and low fuel consumption level.

Royal Pride Holland’s cogeneration system will operate at a total efficiency level of more than 85 per cent. The company’s application will receive the engines in May 2008 and will be a pilot project to demonstrate the unit’s viability, the first of several field projects that will use the J624 GS and precede its commercial availability in 2009. GE says its Jenbacher horticultural applications centre in the Netherlands developed the special cogeneration-CO2 fertilization technology that the grower will employ.

Royal Pride Holland is installing the engines at its site in Middenmeer, 50 km north of Amsterdam, a facility that covers 45 hectares but will expand to 102 hectares to make the grower a major international horticultural producer. The pilot project will begin commercial operation in September. In a previous installation, the company received nine 3 MW JMS 620 Jenbacher units at the same location.

“The introduction of the J624 GS symbolizes GE’s commitment to be global leaders in introducing cost-effective, advanced on-site power solutions,” said Prady Iyyanki, CEO of GE Energy’s Jenbacher gas engine business. GE adds that the new model spent nearly a year under evaluation on a test bench at its manufacturing centre in Jenbach, Austria.

The company says it is providing the grower with a full service maintenance agreement to cover the new units for up to 60 000 operating hours or 15 years of service. Jenbacher engines range in output from 0.25 to 3 MW and run on fuels such as natural gas, flare gas and wood gas.

Wärtsilä opens workshop in Dubai to serve Gulf

Engine maker Wärtsilä has opened a workshop and offices in Dubai to meet the rapidly growing demand from customers in the Gulf.

Wärtsilä’s new workshop in Dubai
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The workshop has a state-of-the-art layout that allows the company to handle work pieces of large dimensions and weight and uses the latest tools and other maintenance equipment. Its parts cleaning machine complies with environmental requirements and reduces the wastage of water. It uses water that contains only five per cent chemicals in a closed system that requires drainage and cleaning only after the machine has been operating for some time.

Another new machine in the workshop is a horizontal honer for cylinder liners with bore diameters from 30 mm to 840 mm. The honing process is CNC controlled for high accuracy and quality. Wärtsilä says it will add more machines to the workshop over 2008.

The building is 15 metres tall and has six overhead cranes, each with a maximum capacity of 30 tonnes. As all activities are under one roof, there will be benefits in less handling and better quality work, says Wärtsilä.

The offices and workshop, in Dubai Investment Park 2, have a floor area of nearly 10 000 m2, which is almost three times the combined size of Wärtsilä’s other locations in Dubai. The company has been operating in the emirate since 1992 and already has a number of premises there. Most of its employees, or about 310 people, will work in the new premises. Some 325 people work for Wärtsilä in Dubai today, a number that the company says will rise to at least 400 before the end of 2008 to handle the increased business. Wärtsilä also plans to open an office and workshop in Dubai Maritime City.

The company has been expanding its network in the Middle East. It opened a branch office in Fujairah in April 2007 and in Bahrain in January 2008. More offices are planned in Oman, Yemen, Egypt and Qatar, as well as additional offices and workshops in Dubai. All these branch offices will report to a local head office for the Middle East, which will be in Dubai. This local head office will serve 14 countries.

“Dubai has become an important business hub in the Middle East and its growth is foreseen to continue in the future,” says Tage Blomberg, group vice-president, Wärtsilä Services.

“Local presence is of the essence in the service business,” he adds.

Mitsui sets record for engine production

MAN Diesel’s Japanese licensee Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (MES) is celebrating a new milestone.

A four-stroke, single-acting, trunk type 6125M unit, the first MAN B&W engine that MES built, in 1928
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Its cumulative production of MAN B&W branded engines reached 60m brake horsepower (BHP) by the end of last month, which MAN says is a world record for a single brand.

The new mark follows the 50m BHP mark that MES reached just three years ago and is in great part due to the company’s extension of its production facilities in the last few years.

This pushed its annual capacity to 5m BHP per year. Completion of a MAN B&W 6S50MC-C Mark 7 engine at MES’s Tamano Works on 26 March set the new record.

MES built its first MAN B&W engine in 1928. The inaugural MAN B&W engine – built 80 years ago – was a four-stroke, single-acting, trunk type 6125M unit.

Engine makers approve Sentron oil

Petro-Canada says engine makers MAN, Guascor and MDE have carried out field trials that have approved its Sentron LD 5000 oil for natural gas engines.

Petro-Canada’s Sentron LD 5000 oil for engines that run on natural gas has won approval from MAN, Guascor and MDE
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At the MAN facility in Roskilde, Denmark, an AG E 2842 LE 12-cylinder engine ran on sweet natural gas for 4803 hours to evaluate drain intervals and to assess the deposit control and wear performance of Sentron LD 5000 against another engine of the same configuration that used a competitor’s oil. Each engine output 300 kW at 1500 rpm and had a sump capacity of 45 litres.

The engine maker examined pistons, cylinder heads and liners at its facility in Nuremburg, Germany, and found that the engine using the Sentron oil had an average drain interval of 960 hours, about double that of the other engine, claims Petro-Canada.

Petro-Canada’s R&D specialist for natural gas engine oils Nick Moat said: “Piston cleanliness was particularly noteworthy.” MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG approved the oil for use in its natural gas fuelled engines under specification M 3271-2.

In the Guascor trial, a 560 FSGLD natural gas power generation engine rated at 935 kW, one of the oldest units at the company’s facility in Vitoria, Spain, ran for about 4000 hours. Guascor’s inspection at the end of the test proved benefits of the Sentron oil such as excellent wear, sludge and deposit control, says Petro-Canada.

“The Guascor 560 FSGLD unit showed overall light piston deposits, including lower than normal ring groove deposits and virtually no cylinder liner bore polish,” says Moat. Guascor approved the oil for use in FGLD and SFGLD natural gas engines under specification IO-G-M-25-001 A.

MDE’s trial was in a model E 2482 DN catalyst-equipped natural gas module running in a CHP application at a hospital in Augsburg, Germany. After a test that lasted 8439 hours, notable findings included very low piston groove deposits, engine cleanliness and very good wear protection and deposit control, said Moat, who added that other impressive characteristics were oil consumption of only 0.11g/kWh and a drain interval of 6000 hours. This compares with the standard maintenance interval of 1250 hours. Also, catalyst pressure differential met MDE’s requirements. The company approved the oil for use in naturally aspirated natural gas engines under specification BS 3211 f.

Petro-Canada says that high performance additives in Sentron LD 5000 allow its use in severe-service applications such as those that employ high output, turbocharged engines that have high exhaust gas temperatures.

The company adds that the lubricant has extremely robust base retention and acid resistance and is also expected to meet the more severe operational needs of “light” biogas, sewage gas, coal bed methane and halogen-free landfill gas operations.

Sentron LD 5000 provides long drain intervals, says Petro-Canada, and exceptional overall engine protection.

It features anti-wear, anti-scuff protection to reduce wear of piston rings, cylinder liners and bearings, and allows superior valve recession control by appropriately balanced sulphated ash. Its low volatility improves work environments through the reduction of oil odour and minimized oil consumption and related exhaust emissions, the company says.

Cummins supply power needs to Santo Domingo metro

SAMPOL, a multinational company dedicated to the promotion and management of large commercial and consumer engineering, has recently been involved in the build of the brand new Santo Domingo Metro, a rapid transit system in the capital of the Dominican Republic, and chose Cummins Power Generation (CPG) to supply the metro’s standby power needs.

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SAMPOL commissioned its first Cummins product in 2006 for an installation at Valencia Airport. Since then, thanks to the success of this and subsequent installations it has been a regular customer of CPG Madrid.

The Santo Domingo Metro is part of a major national master-plan to improve transportation in Santo Domingo, and across the Dominican Republic. It is hoped this will ease congestion and the heavy air pollution that severely affects productive time and the health of the city.

The first line of the subway system, which will relieve road congestion in the Maximo Gàƒ³mez and Hermanas Mirabal Avenue, was completed in February 2008 with commercial service planned to start later in 2008. Two further lines are also planned, bringing the total count to three possible lines each passing through the centre of Santo Domingo.

The first line is approximately 14.5km long, connecting Villa Mella (north of the city) with La Feria (south of the city), and requires a constant supply of 1500V to run at 160 km/h. Power is also required continuously at each of the line’s 16 stations, both underground and on the surface.

Therefore the standby power system required had to be able to handle a heavy-duty power load, whilst considering operation noise, due to the line’s proximity to the city centre and its residential areas.

SAMPOL received quotations from both CPG Madrid and SDMO for the project but chose the Cummins product because of its reliability and competitive price.

SAMPOL specified nine C2000D6 generator sets with QSK60 engines to provide a total of 18MWt standby power to the Metro’s principal station, centre office, maintenance system and finally the metro line itself.

The sets are operating on 60HZ/480V and because the generators are operating on manual change over it was not necessary for CPG Madrid to supply switchgear.

Fernando Pinzon of CPG Madrid said: “This is the first project of its kind in the Dominican Republic and we are delighted to be part of it. The solution we presented SAMPOL was ideal for the station’s massive standby power requirements whilst delivering against the special environmental considerations; namely that operation be at low-level noise. With further lines planned we hope to continue our relationship with SAMPOL and the Santo Domingo Metro in the future.”

Although the sets are installed to provide standby power, until the Metro is opened to the general public the system is currently running daily and easily coping with the power requirements. This is because the QSK60 engine is ideal for stationary standby applications providing optimum performance, reliability and versatility.

David Blasco of SAMPOL says: “We have worked with CPG Madrid for two years now and have been impressed not only with the reliability and versatility of the products but also the technical experience and expertise of the CPG team. This project is vital to the future of the city of Santo Domingo.

“Delivering such an important project requires excellent project management skills and part of this is choosing suppliers that you can rely on and products that meet requirements. In this case as with others, CPG Madrid was the better choice and we are very pleased with the outcome.”

As well as the sets, CPG Madrid also supplied controls; Lonwork card and Modlon II for the generator sets and Power Command Paralleling PCC 3201 for the system control. This provides total genset system integration, including automatic remote starting/ stopping, precise frequency and voltage regulation and alarm and message display.

This power project was ordered through a Spanish main contractor and the generators were purchased by the European Union.

Once operational it is expected that more than 200 000 passengers will use the Santo Domingo Metro line daily.

New Deutz offices to serve expanding markets

DEUTZ Power Systems has targeted expanding markets by opening subsidiaries.

The genset maker from Mannheim, Germany, now has an office in Tyrol, Austria, that will play a key role in the restructuring and rearrangement of the company’s East European and Russian business. This subsidiary will focus on acquiring new clients and looking after existing distribution structures. The new office in Canada will concentrate on entry into that country’s market and the company’s US business. Deutz says the new subsidiaries will put emphasis on supporting customers for and investors in biogas plants, which represent a growth market in Eastern Europe and Canada, as well as dealing with natural gas applications.

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