Narda Safety Test Solutions of Germany has equipped its frequency-selective measuring set for electromagnetic fields with a ‘scope’ operating mode.

The unit can analyze the frequency content and time characteristics of signals such as those from radio control systems like ZigBee and mobile communications services.

The SRM-3006 meter displays the real-time characteristic of a signal recorded using frequency selection. It can measure pulse widths and signal periods as well as set triggers, just as with an oscilloscope. Time intervals can be set from 24 hours to microseconds, with resolution in nanoseconds.

This combination of frequency-selective measurement and display versus time opens up possibilities that are not covered by either pure spectrum analysis or simple measurement over time.

In scope mode, the instrument records the real peak values of radio control signals, even in situations in which several signals are superimposed.

The SRM-3006 measures the average, RMS and peak values simultaneously and can be set to display all results in various ways, including physical quantities such as field strength (V/m, A/m) or power density (W/m2, mW/cm2), logarithmic expressions (dBμV) and percentages of the permitted limit value.

The instrument can accept measuring antennas from other manufacturers, such as so-called sniffer probes. In such cases, software can be used to upload the calibration data to the instrument.

The SRM-3006 uses isotropic antennas to take environmental and safety measurements in electromagnetic fields ranging from 9 kHz to 6 GHz.

 

Compact monitors cut maintenance costs

 

A series of gas emission monitors for use in power plants can help lower maintenance requirements as well as initial and ongoing costs.

Each 40-series device from Codel International uses an in-situ stainless steel probe within the stack. This produces a neat design that does not require the types of ancillaries that are regularly associated with other extractive analysers, such as chillers, heated lines, sample pumps or analyzer housings.

The analyzer may be configured to operate in single or multi-channel mode. The latter can deal with up to four gases plus temperature and pressure. The gases are CO, CO2, SO2, H2O and HCL. Each is obtainable alone, including temperature, or in these combinations: CO, CO2 and H2O; NO, CO2 and H2O; SO2, CO2 and H2O; NO, SO2, CO2 and H2O; CO, NO, CO2 and H2O; CO, NO, SO2, CO2 and H2O; and HCL, SO2, CO2 and H2O.

The analyzers meet the requirements of EN14181 QAL 3 by injecting no gas and span gases at regular intervals and producing the data required for the production of control charts CUSUM, Shewhart and EWMA.

The sensor unit includes an RS485 output to the remote control unit, which can be located a long distance away from the sensor.

Where operators require an output in mg/Nm3, the G-CEM 4050/80/90 can provide this at the control unit using the onboard temperature, pressure and moisture sensors.

 

Sentec wins Queen’s Award

 

The UK metering technology specialist Sentec has won a coveted UK award in recognition of its exceptional growth over the past three years.

The company won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category after it more than trebled its overseas earnings to £4.3m ($6.6m).

Sentec achieved this level of growth by implementing a successful market strategy based on licensing selected partners and supporting them with product development and consultancy services.

The result is that Sentec technology is now included in more than five million – or around half of the total – smart electricity meters that are installed in the US today.

The company’s managing director, Mark England, said: “Sentec has a unique track record of turning our patented technologies into commercially successful smart metering products and we see great opportunities over the next few years in Europe and further afield, as proposals for smart metering roll-outs in many countries come to fruition.”

Adrian Towers, financial director at Sentec, said: “Sentec’s exporting success has been the key to a successful and profitable business for many years. It has the advantage that we are able continue to invest in our own research and development without having to wait for external funding.

“In consequence, we have a continued pipeline of smart metering technologies ready to address opportunities in a strengthening market.”

The award has come at a busy time for the company, which has a licensing agreement with OnStream, a National Grid company, to bring Sentec’s flagship Mobius current sensor technology to the UK smart electric meter market.

Sentec’s most successful year to date was during the economic challenges of 2009, while 2010 has also seen the company expand into larger lab space to accommodate new recruits and more projects.

 

DuPont recognized for solar achievement

 

DuPont has won recognition for its work related to solar energy. The company has won the Queens Award for Industry for the continuous development of its Solamet photovoltaic metallization paste, a key component in increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells.

The company says the rise in efficiency of solar cells in general is partly due to the performance of its metallizations. In 1998, it stood at about ten per cent in crystalline silicon solar cells. Today it is near 16 per cent for multicrystalline wafers and more than 18 per cent for monocrystalline wafers.

DuPont says that Solamet has excellent low contact resistance formed with the silicon on firing, and a fine line, high aspect ratio print resolution – qualities that minimize series resistance and electrical losses in the resulting photovoltaic cell.

 

AE&E secures €22m in Asian CFB orders

 

The AE&E Group has secured two orders totalling €22m ($29m) in Asian growth markets.

In the first, worth €12m, AE&E Austria will supply a fluidized bed boiler fired by refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to Posco Engineering & Construction, a subsidiary of the world’s second largest steelmaker, Pohang Iron and Steel Company of Busan, South Korea.

The deal comprises basic engineering work for a boiler and the delivery of core equipment, including the fuel feed system. AE&E says its close cooperation with Posco should open the way for follow-up orders, especially in South Korea.

In the second contract, worth €10m ($13m), the Austrian Energy and Environment group’s German subsidiary AE&E Lentjes will supply engineering services for a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) plant for Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd., the largest engineering company in the Indian energy sector. The plant will be built for Bhavnagar Energy Company.

The deal includes engineering services for the CFB, which is for a brown coal power station in Gujarat state. The CFB plant will have a capacity of 2 x 250 MW and is one of the largest projects of its kind under way in the Indian energy sector.

“The Asian markets have outstanding potential,” said AE&E Group CEO Georg Gasteiger. “Energy demand and the need for power generation and environmental technology solutions are both growing fast across the region.

“AE&E’s leadership of the German RDF-fired circulating fluidized bed market and its extensive expertise are strong sales arguments in Asia. These contracts, won in the face of stiff international competition, are excellent reference projects which should open the door to further orders in Asia.”

 

Combined-cycle power plant in Pakistan gets expert control system

 

Emerson Process Management will install its Ovation expert control system at Halmore, a new 225 MW combined-cycle power generating facility in Bhikki in the centre of Pakistan.

Ovation will monitor and control the heat recovery steam generator, cooling water systems, cooling tower, fuel forwarding system, fire-fighting pump house, water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, wastewater pumping station and potable water system.

The system will also interface to the unit’s gas and steam turbines, air compression station and emergency diesel generator, managing more than 3000 I/O points in total. Emerson will provide onsite training for operators at the time of installation.

Halmore has been designed to run primarily on natural gas, but will also operate on high-speed diesel oil when gas supplies become low or scarce. The plant is scheduled to become operational some at point later this year.

The contract was awarded by Descon Engineering, which is believed to be the first Pakistani company to execute a combined-cycle plant on a turnkey engineer-procure-construct basis.

“This power station, situated in the centre of Pakistan, is strategically located to support the country’s need for additional generating capacity,” said Akram Kamal, head of the power plant business unit at Descon Engineering Ltd.

 

Siemens releases compact direct drive wind turbine

 

Siemens has released a compact wind turbine that employs a permanent-magnet generator and only half the moving parts of a conventional geared machine.

The company says its new direct drive 3 MW unit will require less maintenance and increase profitability for customers.

Permanent-magnet generators have a simple and robust design that requires no excitation power, slip rings or excitation control systems. This leads to high efficiency even at low loads.

The new machine’s nacelle has a length of 6.8 m and a diameter of only 4.2 m, which means it can be transported using standard vehicles commonly available in most major markets.

“The nacelle of SWT-3.0-101 weighs only 73 tonnes, which is less than the nacelle of our standard 2.3 MW wind turbine,” said Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of the Siemens Wind Power Business Unit. “Our main target for the new machine was to reduce complexity in order to increase reliability and profitability.”

The SWT-3.0-101 has a gearless drive train and a compact, synchronous generator. The generator of the first prototype machine, which was installed in Denmark in 2009, was produced by Siemens’s Large Drives Business Unit.

The SWT-3.0-101 is lighter than the company’s 2.3 MW machine. Mr Stiesdal said that, despite the compact design, Siemens was able to give its service technicians more space than usual to operate in the new turbine because of its radically reduced number of components.

Of the five key parts of the new turbine – the blade, rotor hub, nacelle, tower and controller – all but the nacelle have been adapted from Siemens’s existing portfolio. Siemens says that it has employed proven components to try to eliminate the risks that are traditionally associated with the introduction of a new product.

The SWT-3.0-101 has a rotor diameter of 101 m and is designed for both onshore and offshore projects. Commercial serial production is expected to begin in 2011, and up to ten of the units will be installed across the world in 2010.

“Like with our previous machines, we will run a controlled ramp-up programme with the SWT-3.0-101,” added Stiesdal. “This careful introduction of new products reduces risks for our customers and boosts the reliability and profitability of our technology.”

 

Steria extends metering relationship with Centrica

 

Steria, the information and communication technology service provider, is extending its existing metering contract with Centrica, which will see its legacy application maintenance and support applied to its testing services.

The 12-month partnership began in January 2010 and is worth an additional £712 000 ($1.1m) to the existing £3m support contract. It will involve Steria supporting Centrica’s Meter Industry Flow Simplification programme. This is part of the Metering Industry Process Simplification initiative, which itself is part of a larger transformation aimed at delivering smart metering solutions to Centrica customers.

Centrica requires an in-depth understanding of its current metering applications and systems, as well as knowledge of how the industry data process is currently managed. This allows it to ensure that the programme’s objectives are met.

A spokesperson for Steria says that it has the required system and industry knowledge and experience gained through changing some of Centrica’s legacy applications and systems.

The partnership will see Steria provide 21 employees, consisting of system and testing analysts, five of whom will be in the UK, including the test manager. The remainder will be in Noida, India.

John Torrie, Steria UK and India CEO, commented: “Centrica’s initiative is certainly at the leading edge of this type of implementation in the energy industry. Metering is core to Centrica’s business and we are delighted to be providing accurate metering data, ultimately leading to more efficient business processes and better customer services.”

 

B&W Mechanical Handling to supply biomass feeders to Polish plant

 

UK-based B&W Mechanical Handling has won a contract from Mostostal Zabrze Holding to supply a biomass fuel-handling reception system to the Polaniec power plant in Poland.

B&W has supplied four high rate Samson feeder units which together form a new biomass intake system for the existing coal belts at the plant.

Each feeder is able to receive 180-300 m3 per hour of a widely varying biomass fuel. Delivery to them is via trucks of capacity 30 m3, which unload at a rate of six to ten per hour.

The wide variety of biomass material and the potential explosion risk has led to the development of a special ATEX-approved Samson feeder of classification Ex II 1/3c D135. This means the Samson feeders have a general classification of zone 22, the internal area of the head chute, to zone 21 and the entry area to the most stringent zone 20. B&W says this could be the most rigorous zoning compliance yet for this type of machine, which the company is making available as standard equipment.

The biomass material at Polaniec includes mixed pellets, sunflower seed briquettes, straw, dried fruit and cherry stones, giving bulk densities of 180-650 kg per m3. The particle size can be up to 150 mm and the moisture content up to 15 per cent. These materials are typical of those being used worldwide as part of co-firing or dedicated non-fossil fuel generation schemes, says B&W. The company delivered the Samson machines to Polaniec at the end of 2009.

Polaniec is part of the Electrabel-SUEZ Group and is the fourth largest power plant in the Poland.

B&W says that the order has allowed it to expand upon to its growing experience of feeding materials that are difficult to handle and follows earlier successful projects at Bord na Mona Energy in Ireland, which handles peat, and Kingsnorth in the UK, which handles biomass.

 

Siemens to supply solar receivers for new plant in Spain

 

A consortium of Abantia and Comsa Emte is to use Siemens solar receivers at a new thermal power plant in Les Borges in the province of Lleida in northeast Spain.

Siemens will deliver the solar receivers’ universal vacuum air collector (UVAC), which will be employed in the solar field.

High-tech coatings allow the UVAC to absorb the maximum possible solar energy, which is then converted into steam to run a steam turbine. The UVAC has high solar absorption and reduced heat loss, features that increase the cost-effectiveness of a solar thermal power plant.

The power block and the solar field have highly efficient receivers and are the key systems of every parabolic trough power plant.

“This is the first major solar power component purchase in Spain subsequent to the release of the most recent Royal Decree,” said Avi Brenmiller, CEO of Siemens Concentrated Solar Power Ltd.

Startup of the plant is expected in 2012. Siemens has also announced investments in Israel for the expansion of capacity for the production of solar thermal components. The move will create over 150 new green jobs at a new facility that is expected to go online in 2012.

“This expansion of production capacity in Israel will enable us to meet the increasing demand for solar thermal components,” added Brenmiller.

 

Turbo control system goes online at large Australian coal plant

 

A control system for turbo-machinery has become fully operational at Eraring in Australia, one of the country’s largest power stations.

Yokogawa Australia installed the system for the station’s number 4 turbine after the power plant expanded its steam turbine’s capacity from 660 MW to 720 MW. The existing mechanical hydraulic control system was replaced with Yokogawa’s Centum VP integrated production control system. A Yokogawa ProSafe-RS system provides turbine protection to safely initiate an emergency shutdown on detection of abnormal conditions.

Work will now begin on upgrading the control systems for the station’s three remaining turbines.

Yokogawa says its products already control the boilers and auxiliary facilities at Eraring. All of the plant’s principal facilities are now controlled by Yokogawa control systems. The integration of operations, maintenance, and parts supply at this station has significantly enhanced the efficiency of its operations, says Yokogawa.

Eraring is 120 km north of Sydney, New South Wales, and is owned and operated by power generation company Eraring Energy.

 

Rise in wind technology exports wins Moog Insensys an accolade

 

UK-based wind energy load measurement company Moog Insensys has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Moog Insensys has increased its overseas revenues by more than 250 per cent in three years and exports nearly 100 per cent of its products.

The eight-year-old company, which was acquired by Moog Inc in 2009 and employs 50 staff, boasts a turnover of £5.6m ($8.5m). It says it has achieved this feat through the global marketing and promotion of its unique technology during what have been reported as difficult times for the UK wind power sector.

Dr Toby King, managing director of Moog Insensys, said: “I hope that this honour will help to demonstrate that UK manufacturing is making its mark internationally and flying the flag for British ingenuity.”

Moog Insensys makes fibre-optic load measurement and analysis systems for the wind energy market.

 

VxWorks software to run nuclear clean-up robots

 

France-based group Robotic Intervention on Accidents (INTRA) will use Wind River’s VxWorks operating system for its new family of radioactive clean-up robots.

The robots’ control units and those in their control centre will run VxWorks on Intel Pentium 4 processors. The system needs a response time of less than 100 ms for all the data and three channels of high-resolution video from the robot, including startup time. The software must be highly deterministic to reliably handle all types of operations and give the operator real-time control of the robotic unit.

The robots are trucks equipped with cameras and radioactivity sensors, and are designed to assess and clear radioactive accidents.

Robot Erase (external reconnaissance, assistance and surveillance) will inspect accident sites remotely. It can navigate rough terrain and be controlled from up to 10 km away for up to 10 hours.

Robot Ebenne (Engin Benne) is a dump truck equipped with cameras, lighting and a gamma detector to enable precise remote operation around the clock.

The teleoperated relay robot (Erelt) has a telescoping antenna and relays radio transmissions from the Erase and Ebenne to a control desk, located a safe distance away.

The robots are controlled by a wireless link that runs a highly robust, high-performance proprietary coding scheme that was developed during the 1990s and uses a band of 20 frequencies provided by the French army to ensure they are available during an emergency.

Pascal Izydorczyk, technical operations attache at INTRA, said: “The INTRA Groupe robots are designed to operate under the most hostile conditions possible. A real-time response is necessary from the equipment when lives may be in danger and every second counts. We selected VxWorks because of its rugged credentials in unmanned vehicles, under water and on Mars.”

INTRA is part of a consortium comprising EDF, Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique and Areva.

 

Sentec smart meters are UK-bound

 

Metering technology specialist Sentec will bring its Mobius technology to the UK smart electricity meter market.

The company will license National Grid company OnStream to use its Mobius current sensor to produce a customised smart electricity meter that is the first to be developed specifically for the burgeoning UK market.

OnStream offers a range of meter asset management and installation services to the UK’s energy suppliers.

Mobius’s technology currently underpins more than five million meters in the USA.

The device uses GSM, which allows it to use the strongest mobile network available for each site. Sentec says that the unit has excellent memory capabilities, is robust and reliable and is particularly suitable for the rapidly changing UK marketplace, because it has been designed to be easily upgraded from a remote location.

Sentec says that the announcement of the deal coincides with a sea-change in the traditional supply chain in the UK metering market, as traditional meter manufacturers face competition from new entrants.

Sentec managing director Mark England said: “This partnership comes at a vital time for the UK. With the national smart meter roll-out beginning in 2012, there is a pressing need for proven solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of the UK market.”

 

Israel gets first deNOx systems

 

Germany’s environmental technology specialist Babcock Noell has handed Israel’s first deNOx systems to Haifa Oil-Refineries. These green nitrogen removal systems use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to clean flue gas.

The order came to €4.2m ($5.4m) and included basic engineering and the delivery of two reactors, catalyst modules, flue gas dampers, expansion joints, ammonia preparation system, flue gas analyzers and sonic horns required to clean the catalyst.

Babcock Noell worked with the customer to optimize both systems through month-long trials, after which it handed them over for commercial operation.Each of the two tanks will operate on a maximum flue gas volume of 200 000 Nm3/h with 850 mg/Nm3 NOx.

The nitrogen removal system easily satisfies the customer’s requirement of a maximum NOx value in the clean gas of 150 mg/Nm3, says Babcock Noell.

The deNOx reactors each have one layer of catalysts. Babcock Noell used the more economical sonic horns instead of conventional soot blowers because Haifa Oil-Refineries plans to change its units from using heavy oil to using natural gas, supplied from Egypt, in 2010.

 

Wireless sensors keep biomass chambers safe

 

A power plant has chosen wireless sensors instead of a slip ring to prevent damage to a rotating biomass gasification precombustion chamber.

Elektrownia Stalowa Wola power plant in Stalowa Wola in Poland employs Emerson’s WirelessHART network with Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters to ensure the ceramic walls of the chambers do not suffer stress fractures through overheating.

The pre-combustion chamber is made from a ceramic material that is protected from damage by a layer of insulation. Two sensors have been installed within the insulation material to provide temperature measurements of the chamber walls. A slip ring assembly to connect the sensors to the chamber would have allowed dirt, carbon dust and other contamination to build up in this area, which can lead to arcing between the rings or to ground and could damage the connections between the lead and the rings.

“With everyday usage creating the potential for high contamination we were concerned about the long term reliability of a slip ring solution,” said Miroslaw Lysikowski, instrumentation & control manager at the plant. “Wireless was the natural alternative, and Emerson’s WirelessHART devices also meet the EX requirements.”

Two Rosemount WirelessHART temperature transmitters on the rotating chamber deliver measurements from the sensors every 30 seconds.

A further transmitter sits nearby and acts as a router, strengthening the self-organising wireless network by providing an extra route for signals. The device also measures ambient temperatures.

If chamber wall temperatures go above 350 °C an alarm is triggered and the operator can adjust the amount of air going into the chamber or reduce the heating of the biomass. The passage of fuel into the chamber can even be stopped completely. Should the operator not react in time the system can shut down automatically.

Measurement data from the sensors is sent via a Smart Wireless gateway to the existing Emerson Ovation expert control system that controls the biomass gasification process. Start-up of the wireless network took only hours, says Emerson. This included installation of the Modbus TCP/IP cabling that connects the gateway to the control system. Elektrownia Stalowa Wola installed the sensors and transmitters during a routine shutdown period in just two days.

Emerson’s AMS Wireless SNAP-ON application validated the network and now manages the wireless network and identifies any potential trouble spots.

Elektrownia Stalowa Wola is considering increasing the number of measurements on the rotating chamber to increase its knowledge of the process. The wireless temperature measurements would then be used as part of the control of the burning process.

The power station produces electricity and heat from forest waste wood, including chips and dust, and other biomass material from agriculture. The organic waste passes through the rotating pre-combustion chamber, which is 9 m long and 3.5 m in diameter, where natural gas heats it to 280-360 °C. The carbonised particles that are produced are burnt in a fluidized bed, which releases energy for steam generation.

 

Guide explains how to select a temperature sensor

 

Micro-Epsilon in the UK has released a free guide on selecting infrared temperature sensors, The Basics of Non-Contact Temperature Measurement, to aid engineers who it suggests may be unaware that some low-cost devices they might otherwise consider are in fact unsuitable for the application.

Infrared thermometers provide non-contact measurements that are fast and reliable. Their advantages include being able to take measurements of objects that are moving, hot or difficult-to-access. Unlike sensors that make contact with the object being measured, they will not influence its temperature or damage it. Infrared sensors can also measure very high temperatures, whereas a contact sensor would either be destroyed or would have a short service life.

Infrared devices are relatively inexpensive and provide technical benefits and a variety of options for users, including handheld or inline process control, open connectivity to fieldbus systems and options for hazardous environments.

Micro-Epsilon says two parameters are particularly important in choosing an infrared temperature sensor: emissivity and wavelength.

Infrared radiation is emitted in three ways: a combination of emitted radiation; radiation reflected from the surroundings; and transmission of the radiation through the body itself. Non-contact infrared temperature measurements need only be concerned with the emitted radiation.

Emissivity varies according to wavelength, so sensors that measure temperature at specific wavelengths can significantly increase measurement stability. Materials can be grouped to describe the optimum wavelengths for highest object emissivities and the most stable results.

A spokesperson for Micro-Epsilon said: “When plant and maintenance engineers select an infrared temperature sensor it is essential they know the wavelength band over which the sensor is to measure.”

 

VT Group set to monitor Sellafield

 

VT Group has won a bid to support the statutory monitoring requirements of the UK’s Sellafield nuclear power plant.

The scope of the work includes analytical services for approved dosimetry, analysis of terrestrial and marine samples, analysis in support of the Sellafield site groundwater monitoring programmes and analysis of plant aerial and liquid effluent samples.

The contract extends the work carried out by VT’s Environmental Laboratory, which is at the Westlakes Science and Technology Park, near Whitehaven in Cumbria. It will span three years at a value of up to £10m ($15m) and has an option for a further year.

VT secured all the lots for which it submitted bids, which cover work to ensure that Sellafield Ltd complies with the regulatory requirements of the UK’s Environment Agency and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

John Chubb, managing director of VT Group’s environmental business, commented: “This is a major success for our Environmental Laboratory and reflects the skills, knowledge and experience of the laboratory team in delivering excellent performance and customer satisfaction.

VT Group acquired the laboratory in January 2008. More than 50 people work at the facility, carrying out some 50 000 measurements a year.

 

Systems will stabilize Saudi grid

 

Siemens Energy has won a €65m ($85m) order to supply the necessary equipment to stabilize the 60 Hz power transmission network in Saudi Arabia, where increasing demand is creating higher loadings that require additional measures on the grid.

The company has agreed to supply three turnkey static var compensators (SVCs) for different high-voltage levels to Saudi Electric Company.

The systems ordered are for the 380 kV, 132 kV and 33 kV voltage levels and will have a dynamic compensation capacity of as much as 800 MVAr. The parallel compensation systems will operate at the Hiteen, Qassim and Afif substations and are scheduled to be ready for operation between mid-2011 and early 2012.

The thyristor valves of Siemens’s SVC systems have direct light-triggered thyristors which ensure enhanced reliability. The control system is based on Simatic TDC, the field-proven multiprocessor automation system deployed particularly in large systems for process, energy and drive technology.

Static reactive-power compensators with dynamic control are part of flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) technology. Siemens’ FACTS systems control the parameters, which dictate the operation of a power supply network and thus the quality of power transmission.

These parameters include transmission impedances, currents, voltages and phase angles between the different system nodes.

With reactive-power compensation a distinction is made between parallel and serial compensation: serial compensation systems are capacitor banks inserted in the high-voltage cable run – possibly in combination with thyristor-controlled reactors. This fixed or variable serial impedance reduces the transmission angle so that higher active power can be transmitted without causing grid stability.

With parallel compensation a variable reactive power source feeds into a selected grid point via a transformer. This is where the required reactive power is generated to keep the voltage constant. Grid voltage may be subject to undesirable fluctuations which have to be quickly compensated for. This is the task of SVCs within a power range previously matched to the grid in question.

 

Infra-red analyser detects coal fires

 

Codel International has released a system to detect fires in coal silos, coal mills, coal bunkers, grinding plants, coal bag houses and coal conveyors.

The system has a rugged, infra-red cross-correlation analyzer capable of measuring rapid changes in CO concentration accurately with the minimum of maintenance required. The analyzer can be re-calibrated automatically using integral valves to ensure ongoing drift free performance.

The CO monitor samples the gas content of the critical area through a non-intrusive steel sintered filter mounted in the wall of the mill outlet duct or hopper. This removes the need for intrusive sampling probes, which are prone to wear and are expensive to replace.

The filter is back flushed with compressed air at regular intervals to ensure an uninterrupted flow of sample gas and to minimize the need for maintenance.

Codel says that extensive field trials of the system in the UK, Poland and China have shown the new monitor to be reliable and accurate and also to require minimal maintenance once operational.

The early detection of fires in coal handling systems at power stations is essential to prevent catastrophic damage to expensive plant and serious injury to personnel. The most reliable and accurate method of detecting coal fires or smouldering is to monitor the CO levels to detect rapid increases in concentration of the gas.

 

Pumped storage plant gets unified automation and control platform

 

Emerson Process Management has installed a system to control all of the equipment and processes at what will be Europe’s largest pumped storage power plant (PSPP).

The company’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture and Ovation expert control system will operate in Unit 1 of the new Dnestrovskaya PSPP on the Dniester river, near Novodnestrovsk, Ukraine.

Ovation technology serves as the automation and control foundation for all equipment and processes at Unit 1, according to Bob Yeager, president of the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson.

“Rather than relying on a number of separate automation systems for different plant functions, our Ovation system offers a single automation platform that results in a comprehensive, integrated and cost-effective control solution,” said Yeager.

Unit 1 is the first of the plant’s seven 421 MW units and was commissioned in December 2009 by UkrHydroEnergo Open Joint Stock Company. When all of the units are fully operational the plant will have a total pump-mode capacity of 2947 MW. Ovation will manage 2300 I/O points at Unit 1 to monitor and control all major equipment and processes, including the Turboatom hydraulic turbine, the Electrotyazhmash pump turbine generator, the lubrication and cooling, drain and leakage systems, the temperature monitoring systems, auxiliary equipment and the main electrical system.

Ovation also interfaces with the turbine governor, vibration system and excitation system. Ovation also controls the 330 kV substation.

By unifying control, Ovation allows unit co-ordinated control. Emerson says this not only enhances unit-wide compatibility but also contributes to improved unit stability, responsiveness and operating efficiencies; tighter overall control of plant operations; and a more streamlined view of key plant parameters.

In addition the system’s automatic and GPS synchronization contributes to enhanced grid stability. While Ovation is integrated with the regional and national dispatch centres, its configuration also allows all subsystems to be controlled locally.

Emerson’s scope of work included engineering, installation supervision, start-up and commissioning.

 

Nuclear trainer Sipos reports rising demand

 

Sipos Aktorik reports growing demand for its nuclear sector training programme. The company says its role providing training and revisions is expanding and current work includes support for five of the world’s largest nuclear power plants.

The company has developed a rotary actuator range specifically to meet the demands of the extreme conditions of nuclear applications.

The Sipos safety-relevant SIWI series is available in standard duty 10-3000 Nm and modulating duty 20-2000 Nm. A corresponding SIWI-AS product range offers safety relevant and designed-fault resistant LOCA features.

Sipos’s after-sales manager Gerhard Loos said: “We are entrusted to carry out annual revisions for plants around the globe, including Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and South America.

“As an extension to this, demand for our specialist training for nuclear actuation technology is increasing. We have gained an excellent reputation for theoretical and practical on-the-job training,” added Loos.

 

Areva wins Indian gas-insulated switchgear order

 

Areva T&D India has won a contract to manafacture and install a gas-insulated substation (GIS) package for Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), which is the largest engineering and manufacturing company in the Indian energy sector.

In a deal worth some R700m ($16m) Areva will be supplying 420 kV and 230 kV GIS units for the Tamil Nadu state utility’s North Chennai Thermal Power Project.

The order, scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2010, will also include the engineering and supply of circuit breaker bays and around 1.5 km of gas-insulated lines.

“This latest contract for BHEL reinforces Areva T&D’s position as leader of the gas-insulated substation segment, both in India and worldwide,” said Ghislain Lescuyer, executive vice president products business at Areva T&D.

“Areva T&D India’s site at Padappai is the first GIS manufacturing facility in India, which gives us a key competitive advantage in this rapidly expanding market,” he added.

 

Siemens to supply equipment for expansion of high-voltage grid in Qatar

 

Siemens has received further major orders from Qatar General Water & Electricity Corporation (Kahramaa), the Doha-based and state-owned utility.

As part of the national project to expand the power distribution network in the state of Qatar, Siemens was awarded a contract named Phase IX. Siemens will therefore supply substations and switchgear valued at €510m ($673m) as well as associated cables valued at €90m to Kahramaa, which is in charge of generating and distributing power in Qatar.

The order encompasses the supply of 15 turnkey substations for the 400 kV, 220 kV, 132 kV, 66 kV and 11 kV voltage levels, including transformers, control and protection equipment, as well as extension and modification of existing substations. The construction of a new 400 kV substation to connect the Qatar network to the GCC grid is included in the work.

Siemens will supply gas-insulated switchgear, protection equipment and equipment for online condition monitoring. The substations will be distributed across the whole country, including the cities of Doha, Dukhan and Maesaieed. Furthermore 400 km of 66 kV and 132 kV high-voltage cables are part of the order. Completion is scheduled for mid-2012.

One of the challenges involved in this project is maintaining power supply while work is being performed on the existing infrastructure. Several substations also have to be erected in parallel with a short space of time.

Siemens will execute the order as part of the ongoing Qatar Power Transmission System Expansion – Phase IX, for which Siemens has over the last five years installed more than 70 switchgears and approximately 1400 km of high-voltage cable.

Siemens has completed all projects to date totaling €1.6bn within the defined schedule. In 2006 Siemens had received the most recent major order from Kahramaa worth €700m (Phase VII).

“We’re proud that Kahramaa has again opted for field-proven, first-class equipment from Siemens for the expansion of Qatar’s grid. Expansion of the country’s power supply system is a demanding project, for which practically the whole range of our products and systems will be deployed,” said Dr. Udo Niehage, CEO of the Power Transmission Division of Siemens Energy.

 

System automates peat-fired CHP plant in Finnish city of Kuopio

 

Finnish industrial firm Metso Power will deliver power plant automation, a turbine controller and electrostatic precipitator control to the new combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Haapaniemi in the city of Kuopio in Finland.

Under the agreement with Kuopion Energia Oy the plant will employ a multi-fuel fired Metso power boiler of 149 MWth which uses circulating fluidized bed technology. It will burn peat and forest residues to produce district heat for the city and electricity for the national grid. Start-up of the plant is scheduled for the end of 2011.

Metso’s delivery to Haapaniemi will include the engineering and implementation of a new metsoDNA distributed control system and safety system for the balance of plant and Skoda’s steam turbine.

Electrostatic precipitator control is also implemented through metsoDNA CR technology. The aim is to harmonize the power plant automation technologies to the benefit of the operation and maintenance of the plant.

 

Fluid Components International gas flow meter awarded TÜV certification

 

Environmental, quality and plant managers responsible for reporting gas emissions from stacks and chimneys per European CEN or MCERT directives will find that the rugged MT91 Multi-Point Gas Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) is now their approved solution.

In accordance with the latest CEN and MCERTS guidelines, FCI’s Model MT91 Flow Meter has been tested by TÜV Rheinland Germany and found to comply to EN 15267-1: 2009: EN 15267-2: 2009: EN 15267-3: 2007 and EN 14181: 2004.

TÜV, an internationally recognized body for approving emissions monitoring equipment, assures FCI’s customers with independent approval that the MT91 Mass Flow Meter meets its specifications, complies with these directives and is suitable for reporting per these directives.

The MT91 is specifically designed for gas flow measurement in large diameter pipes, stacks and ducts. It is a multi-point system capable of averaging up to 16 sensing points placed strategically across a stack’s cross-sectional area. Incorporating FCI’s precision no-moving parts thermal dispersion sensor technology it delivers direct mass flow gas measurement with virtually no maintenance over many years of service for a low life-cycle cost.

The MT91’s fully temperature-compensated flow sensor electronics are highly stable with almost no drift for excellent accuracy and repeatability with configurations available for operation in high temperature environments up to 454 °C (850 °F).

FCI’s highly versatile MT91 flow meters feature a wide turndown range available from 5:1 to 100:1 with flow sensitivity from 0.08 NMPS to 46 NMPS (0.25 SFPS to 150 SFPS). The sensor assembly is available with flanged, threaded and retractable process connections with an IP66 rated (NEMA/CSA Type 4X) junction box and installed at the desired location with a choice of popular process connections.

The MT series offers a smart flow transmitter with a powerful microprocessor-driven design for superior signal processing and data collection. This design includes a user-friendly menu-driven interface with a large LCD display and keypad for programming the control, monitoring, display and driver/alarm functions.

A nonvolatile EEPROM chip stores applications and calibration data, and protects this data in the event of a power disturbance. Furthermore, the MT91 runs daily operation and integrity checks and reports its findings to the plant operator to ensure continuous proper operation.

The flow element assembly is connected remotely by cable to the electronics package up to 304 m (1000 feet) away. Dual 4-20mA analogue outputs of flow rate and temperature and dual DPDT relays are standard outputs for easy user interface with DCS, PLC, SCADA, controllers or other recording devices.

 

Alstom teams up with Chinese university to develop windpower converters

 

Alstom has signed a collaborative R&D agreement with an educational establishment in China to develop a range of power converters for wind turbines.

Alstom will build the prototype of the devices, expected to be delivered in April 2012, and its partner in the deal, Tsinghua University, is providing the design and control for them.

Converters change the power that is generated by wind turbines into electricity that is suitable for feeding into the grid.

Under the agreement Alstom Energy Management Business (EMB) will benefit from the university’s expertise in converter technologies for China’s renewable energy market. The educational establishment’s power electronics and motor control laboratory has been developing converters for lower range wind generators since 2005.

Tsinghua is a leading Chinese polytechnic engineering university and has set up a number of R&D laboratories that specialize in the energy sector.

At the signing were, on the one side, Alstom EMB’s senior vice-president Laurent Demortier and Alstom Power’s senior vice-president technology Charles Soothill. On the other was Professor Yongdong Li, head of the laboratory.

 

Fresnel solar technology achieves major milestone

 

The world’s first utility-scale solar thermal power plant based on Linear Fresnel technology has started construction in Murcia, Spain.

The 30 MW Puerto Errado 2 (PE2) plant represents a breakthrough in solar power, as a large-scale low-cost plant, and also as the largest direct steam generator. The plant uses proprietary solar field technology developed by Novatec Biosol AG, a company majority owned by Transfield Holdings.

The Novatec solar technology has wide application, suitable in gas and coal fired power plants as a fuel saver and in industrial facilities requiring process heat. It uses less material than existing solar thermal technologies; fabrication of the solar field components is highly automated and installation is straightforward.

Moreover, the plant uses much less land and water than existing plants; all resulting in a more cost effective generation of solar thermal energy with less environmental impact.

Once operational, the 30 MW plant will generate enough power to supply approximately 20 000 households and displace electricity generation that would have otherwise produced some 49 000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per annum.

Swiss energy utilities, Elektra Baselland and Industrielle Werke Basel have invested in the project together with Novatec and given the go-ahead to commence construction. The official groundbreaking ceremony took place on 23 April 2010.

This followed detailed evaluation of the existing 1.4 MW Puerto Errado 1 demonstration plant, which commenced selling power to the Spanish grid in March 2009. On completion in 2012, the PE2 will also benefit from a Spanish Government feed-in tariff.

PE2 will use 300 000 square metres of flat mirrors to capture sufficient sun energy to run two 15 MW GE turbines.

 

Thyrobox M sets industry benchmark for polysilicon power supplies

 

AEG Power Solutions, the world’s leading supplier of power supplies to the polysilicon industry, will launch the Thyrobox M, its newest generation of products, at the Photon Photovoltaic Technology Show in Stuttgart, Germany, last month.

With advanced process monitoring capabilities, a 0.95 power factor and more than 99 per cent energy efficiency, the Thyrobox M delivers unprecedented performance, reliability and stability to polysilicon manufacturers worldwide.

“Our customers have told us that they want to increase production and enhance purity while reducing their operating costs, especially for energy consumption per kilogram of polysilicon,” said Gladwyn De Vidts, AEG Power Solutions’ Vice President Power Control Solutions Division. “Our Thyrobox M solution improves process stability, reduces down time and provides exceptional energy efficiency. It responds to customer needs and reinforces AEG Power Solutions’ position as the technology leader in polysilicon power.”

The undisputed pioneer in polysilicon process power supplies, AEG Power Solutions commissioned the first Thyrobox, the power supply family specially developed for the polycrystalline silicon deposition process, more than 25 years ago.

Engineered with a modular design, the Thyrobox M is the world’s most compact polysilicon power supply. Depending on the type of reactor, its footprint is about 25 per cent smaller than older Thyrobox solutions and up to 70 per cent smaller than competing products. The compact design reduces installation, commissioning and maintenance costs for the entire energy supply as well as building costs.

Additional Thyrobox M features include: a warning system and troubleshooting minimize the risk of process interruptions in case of silicon rod cracks or melts; an integrated medium-voltage ignition enhances process stability; and an ongoing data collection and analysis through monitoring of energy consumption and silicon rods weight increase energy efficiency.

 

DuPont and Oerlikon launch photovoltaic encapsulant to deliver more solar power at lower cost

 

In the drive for more cost-effective solar energy, DuPont and Oerlikon Solar have collaborated on a new, ultra-thin white reflective solar photovoltaic encapsulant sheet that is part of the DuPont PV5200 Series.

The new DuPont PV5223 white reflective polyvinyl butyral (PVB) encapsulant enables easier manufacturing of next-generation thin film photovoltaic modules that not only capture sunlight coming in, but also reflect more sunlight back through the module – delivering more power.

Encapsulants are among the most important materials to solar module manufacturers for high volume module sealing and integration. Choosing or creating the right material not only speeds module production, but can significantly improve long-term power output and module durability.

“In the rapidly evolving and growing solar power market, equipment and materials leaders often innovate faster and more effectively by increasing collaboration,” said Steve Cluff, global business director – DuPont Photovoltaic Encapsulants. “DuPont’s market-driven science is supporting the solar industry’s race for lower cost per watt. DuPont values the partnership with Oerlikon Solar as we both view encapsulant technology playing an increasingly multi-functional role in next-generation photovoltaic modules.”

Designed for use with Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph technology, DuPont PV5223 white reflective PVB encapsulant sheet increases light reflectivity by more than 50 per cent versus paint, to an almost perfect 94 per cent reflectivity.

The new ultra-thin (0.45mm) encapsulant also is more than 40 percent lighter in weight than traditional 0.76mm PVB encapsulants.

“The PV5200 Series enables more power from our modules, lower material use, a smaller environmental footprint and easier lamination. It all adds up to a bright outlook for our module manufacturing customers,” said Ivan Sinicco, senior manager, Module Development – Oerlikon Solar.

DuPont worked closely with Oerlikon Solar research and testing labs to optimize the new encapsulant sheet for solar module durability and ease of manufacturing.

Tests indicate that DuPont PV5223 delivers stronger adhesion than clear PVB sheet materials, which translates into tougher modules that have a longer life. Oerlikon Solar designs and manufactures field-proven equipment and end-to-end manufacturing lines for the mass production of thin film silicon solar modules.

 

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