Onzo’s smart energy kit shortlisted for UK new product award

Onzo’s recently launched Smart Energy Kit for measuring electricity use has been shortlisted for UK New Product of the Year at this year’s Growing Business Awards in London.

The New Product of the Year Award recognizes the best launch of a new product or service in the past 12 months. Entries are rigorously judged by a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, including James Caan, a panellist on the popular British television programme Dragons’ Den.

Onzo’s Smart Energy Kit, which was launched in September in partnership with Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE), gives consumers real-time information about how much electricity they are using in their home, helping people to cut their energy bills while doing their bit for the planet.

It comes with a sensor, which can be easily clipped to the home’s electricity cable and wirelessly sends consumption data to an easy-to-read display. The information can then be uploaded to a personalized website where customers can better understand and manage their energy use and compare it with similar homes.

Onzo signed a deal with Scottish & Southern Energy in 2008 to supply SSE’s UK customers with over à‚£7m ($11m) worth of Onzo’s products and services. Under the deal, customers who sign up to SSE’s iPlan receive the kit free of charge.

Joel Hagan, CEO of Onzo, said: “We’re delighted that our Smart Energy Kit has been recognized as a revolutionary product in the clean tech market. With consumers increasingly disillusioned with utility companies and rising energy prices, this kit represents an opportunity for utilities to re-engage with their customers and for home owners to take back control of their energy consumption.

“Our inclusion on the shortlist is a testament to the Onzo team, which has worked tirelessly over the last few years to ensure that the kit meets the highest of standards both in terms of its design and technology.”

The final winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held on 25 November at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square.



High voltage option added to Multi-Contact’s modular connector system

High voltage connectors have been added to the range of options for Multi-Contact’s versatile CombiTac connector system.

The standard module size contact carriers can be supplied with one or two poles, which are fitted with a PTFE insulating sleeve housing 3 mm diameter pins and sockets. Rated voltages are 5 kV between cables, and 2.9 kV between cables and earth.

Rated currents are 20 A for the dual pole carriers or 32 A for single pole carriers. When mated, the panel-mount connector offers IP2X environmental protection ” which can be improved to IP65 when mounted in standard hoods, with options for IP67 or IP68 on certain sizes.

Contacts are gold plated, and the sockets are fitted with Multilam torsion spring technology for maximum reliability. Termination is by crimping onto 2.5 mm2 high voltage flexible copper cable and applying heat shrink tubing. The outside diameter of the lead insulation should not exceed 6.6 mm. “Unlike many other connector systems, CombiTac is designed to withstand a high number of mating cycles,” said Multi-Contact UK managing director Selwyn Corns.

In addition to high voltage contacts, the CombiTac system can be fitted with data bus, power, thermocouple, coaxial, fibre optic, pneumatic and fluid connectors in any combination. The contact carriers are housed in a compact, robust frame for panel mounting or built into DIN coupler hoods.

Goulds Pumps makes Enertech its exclusive sales agent for PRO Services to the nuclear power industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico

Goulds Pumps has expanded its relationship with Enertech, a business unit of Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Company, to include exclusive sales coverage for its PRO Services to the nuclear power industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Enertech has been the official distributor for Goulds Pumps for the nuclear industry in North America since 2000.

“Having demonstrated its success in selling pumps and replacement parts to nuclear power plants, we are confident Enertech will be successful in promoting the total repair and service capabilities of our PRO Services,” said David Steblein, vice president and general manager for sales and services for the America business of ITT Industrial Process, of which Gould Pumps is a brand.

“We view our entrance into this market segment as a significant growth initiative for our PRO Services team,” he said.

Goulds Pumps’ PRO Services provides rotating equipment repair, field service and existing equipment upgrades to industrial companies in the process industries.

“We are delighted with the enhancement of our relationship with ITT Goulds Pumps to encompass a complete rotating equipment service offering to the nuclear power industry,” said Stan Miller, general manager of Enertech.

“The services we can now make available to our customers through the ITT Plant Performance Services portfolio adds yet another significant piece to our expanding nuclear service offering to the industry.”

Prosig’s Protor vibration condition monitoring system is installed in three Spanish power plants as Iberdrola overhauls its monitoring

Iberdrola has launched a renewal plan for the existing condition monitoring systems in its plants in Spain.

This plan will be implemented gradually and Prosig was selected to install its Protor vibration condition monitoring system in three Iberdrola power plants in Spain. The contract was awarded to Prosig in partnership with Aries Ingenieràƒ­a y Sistemas, which is Prosig’s representative in Spain.

Prosig has already commissioned and installed the Protor system in the Lada (Asturias, Spain) and the Pasajes (Guipàƒºzcoa, Spain) power plants, said the company. The work primarily consists of the supply, installation and signal cabling of the Protor systems together with training of the Iberdrola staff. Prosig was set to complete the third installation at the Velilla power plant, located in Palencia, Spain, in September 2010.

The monitoring and diagnosis of rotating equipment based on vibration analysis measurement is at the core of predictive maintenance systems. This type of system allows the condition and health of machines to be assessed. During operation, rotating equipment experiences dynamic stress caused by hydraulic, mechanical or electrical forces that induce vibrations and contribute to both the ageing and wear of machines.

The damage level of a rotating machine is reflected in several measurable factors.

The Protor Vibration Monitoring System, designed and manufactured by Prosig, provides reliable on-line monitoring of turbine generators, main boiler feed pumps and other auxiliary plant equipment. It provides both real-time and long-term historical access to the import vibration factors together with various plant process parameters which indicate the machine state.

Without information on the condition of primary equipment, such as turbines, pumps and associated plant, impending faults go unnoticed and develop into severe conditions that could result in failures ” which may in turn lead to unscheduled outages or more serious equipment damage with consequent loss of revenues.

Sensonics extends its Senturion range of proximity probes

The range of Sensonics Senturion proximity probes has been extended to offer vibration and position monitoring for a greater range of applications.

The eddy probes are now available in compact packages for direct machine installation. This enhancement of the range provides up to a 4 mm measurement range, with an 8 mm diameter tip probe, in a machine case mountable assembly containing both proximity probe and driver, providing micrometre measurement resolution for critical fluid film bearing vibration and shaft position applications.

The self-contained proximity probe assembly is 120 x 120 x 120 mm and has mechanical features to fit a wide range of applications. The robust PPS thermoplastic housing incorporates conductive fibres for electrostatic dissipation, suiting the system to EEx ia IIC T4 applications.

Various mounting options ensure a seal to the machine case through either an NPT or straight thread configuration. The probe is typically reverse mounted into the holder in combination with an ‘O’ ring to provide a complete seal. The unit accepts various Sensonics probe types including standard and extended range tips as well as high pressure and shielded versions.

The system also suits the Sensonics DN803X series of probe drivers which provide a direct 4″20 mA two-wire system for vibration or thrust position applications. Gland fitting options on the housing obviate the need for a local junction box or driver housing, often required for proximity probe applications due to the fixed (tuned) cable length between probe and driver.

Senturion proximity probes also suit both speed and compressor rod drop measurement as the assembly can be standardized across a range of machine measurements, simplifying set-up and reducing the spares requirement.

Schaeffler roller bearings tackle slippage in wind turbine gearboxes

A novel design of rolling bearing for wind turbine gearboxes aims to resist the effects of slippage and even prevent it from occurring. Schaeffler’s FAG tube roller bearing incorporates three tube rollers designed to rotate without slippage under all load conditions, without affecting load rating and rating life.

Rolling bearings in wind turbines have to meet special performance requirements such as extremely low and high loads in calm or strong wind conditions. Sudden extremely high acceleration raises the risk of damage.

The FAG tube roller bearing is a conventional cylindrical roller bearing that incorporates three cylindrical rollers with a slightly increased diameter. The three rollers have a hollow design and a support roller in the inner bore. These rollers with a slightly increased diameter generate preload in the bearing and drive the bearing cage (and therefore the entire roller set) at low loads.

At higher loads, the bore of the cylindrical rollers ensures sufficient deflection of the larger rollers to prevent overloading. This means the load is evenly distributed to all rolling elements, similar to a conventional rolling bearing.

The support roller in the inner bore of the tube roller has a slight clearance to ensure it is less rigid at higher loads. This also prevents excessive deflection of the tube roller. Together, the tube roller and support roller provide increased fatigue strength.

The tube roller bearing is not available from Schaeffler’s standard catalogue but is custom designed for specific projects and applications. Pilot applications in wind turbine gearboxes are planned for the end of 2010.

Denman Instrumentation teams up with Alstom on a €1bn joint repowering and construction project to create 1280 MW Dutch plant

A UK-based firm is celebrating a major contract with the French power engineering company Alstom on a €1bn ($1.4bn) joint repowering and new construction project in the southeast of the Netherlands.

Denman Instrumentation is one of the UK’s leading instrumentation and calibration firms and has been providing teams of managers, engineers and technicians to the power and petrochemical industries since its inception in 1995.

The firm has now been invited to participate in a complex project to integrate three new gas turbines into a former steam power plant near Maastricht to form a 1280 MW combined-cycle power plant. The project features advanced power plant technology and aims to cut CO2 emissions by 40 per cent.

Denman has a long-standing relationship with Alstom, since supporting the infrastructure giant on the Killingholme power station in Lincolnshire in 2000

Paul Denman, founder and managing director of Denman, said: “We are extremely pleased and proud to have been the first choice for Alstom for so many years. The contracts we carry out are for work at highly technical and sensitive installations, and highlight the quality of our work and what we are capable of. In fulfilling these contracts, we’ve built up an enviable reputation for overseas work and shown our ability to work in a variety of environments throughout the world.”

Gary Griffiths, head of commissioning UK & Ireland at Alstom, said: “Denman continue to provide an excellent service and have done so for many years. Their ability to provide an ‘all-in’ team of skilled and specialist professionals to complement our on-site engineers is first class. The company has excellent knowledge of the power industry and of our requirements on specific contracts ” they really stand out from the competition for us.”

Within the United Kingdom, Denman said plans by Denmark’s leading energy producer Dong for a new biomass facility in Hull underlined the area’s potential as a hotbed for future growth.

“The recent announcement of plans for a new biomass power station is further confirmation that Hull and the East Riding remain very competitive in this industry,” he said.

Denman Instrumentation specializes in project management, loop and function checks, calibration, commissioning and maintenance as well as vital shutdown and outage work in the power and the petrochemical industries.

Carlo Gavazzi launches series of grid-connected solar PV inverters

Carlo Gavazzi is extending its support for renewable energy installations with the introduction of grid-connected solar photovoltaic inverters.

Complementing the company’s energy management range, the new Solar PV Series embodies state-of-the-art inverter technology. The incorporation of Carlo Gavazzi’s exclusive Smart MPPT technology and PV string control software enables the converters to deliver up to 20 per cent more energy than alternative solutions.

Interface protection and anti-islanding safety circuits ensure that power is only produced when the inverter is connected to the grid, the grid is active, and its parameters are within the appropriate national standards. Maximum usage of solar energy is guaranteed even when skies are misty or overcast.

Carlo Gavazzi’s range is designed to meet most solar PV installation requirements, covering 2.8 to 20 kW AC nominal output with four single-phase models (ISMGT 128, ISMGT 138, ISMGT 140 and ISMGT 150) and the ISMG 3 15 and ISMG 3 20 three-phase models. Single phase inverters are primarily aimed at household installations while the three-phase models are better suited to larger buildings, industrial installations and solar parks.

All the inverters operate over wide temperature ranges without de-rating. The ISMGT 1 series can be operated at up to 58 à‚°C while the ISMG 3 series can be used up to 50 à‚°C. The single phase ISMGT 1 inverters are equipped with HF transformers, which enable the use of amorphous (thin film) panels that are typically positive earthed.

The new solar PV inverter series has built-in serial communication ports facilitating transmission of energy production data and AC and DC voltage parameters to remote terminals or PCs. Dual serial ports enable daisy chaining of connections with other inverters within the same plant. In addition, software is available as a free download from the Carlo Gavazzi website that allows users to configure and monitor their solar power generation system.

The database of the configuration software includes the most popular types of photovoltaic panels and further models can be easily added by the user. Carlo Gavazzi’s Solar PV inverter series come with a five-year warranty as standard which can be extended for up to ten years.

Flowserve’s Valtek Mark series of valves and actuators is certified for Safety Integrity Level 3

Flowserve has announced the certification of the Flowserve Valtek Mark Series family of control valves and actuators to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.

The SIL certification, a measurement of the effectiveness of a safety system, extends to valves and actuators built in Flowserve’s Springville, Utah, and Bangalore, India, facilities.

“Flowserve Valtek Mark Series valves and actuators are among the safest, most reliable flow control products on the market,” said Eric Anthony, marketing product manager, controls, Flowserve Flow Control Division. “SIL 3 certification enables our customers to have increased confidence in the performance of Flowserve Valtek products.”

In obtaining the SIL 3 certification, Flowserve partnered with Exida, a global supplier of functional safety products, services and certifications, which claims to have performed more process control safety certifications than any other company worldwide. Exida certified the product reliability, design and engineering processes for the Flowserve Valtek Series controls as SIL 3 capable according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508.

Flowserve Valtek Mark Series control valves are designed to offer superior performance in liquid and gaseous services, while allowing easy, fast and inexpensive maintenance. The spring-cylinder-actuated valves provide high positioning accuracy, repeatability, controlled high speed, reliable response and exceptionally tight shutoff. Self-aligning seat rings also enhance the shutoff capability of the valves.

In addition, due to the Mark Series valve’s high degree of parts interchangeability, fewer inventory parts are required. The valve actuators are designed to handle up to 150 psig (10.3 barg) supply air and to have the thrust to shut off against high-fluid pressures. The actuators are claimed to be lighter, smaller and easier to handle than comparable diaphragm actuators.

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions awarded Western Power Distribution contract

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, one of the United Kingdom’s leading utility solutions providers, has been awarded a three-year contract with Western Power Distribution.

The contract is valued at a total of à‚£28.5m ($44.9m) and also includes the option of a three-year extension, said Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions in a statement.

Commencing from November, the contract will cover both planned and emergency works across the region of South Wales.

The contract covers the delivery of excavation, cable laying and reinstatement works for both low voltage and high voltage networks, up to and including 33 kV, said Balfour Beattie Utility Solutions.

“This contract award offers a great opportunity to build on our proven track record and experience in this sector,” said Tony Scott, director of electricity at Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions.

“Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions has an extensive history in the electricity industry, having worked with all of the UK distribution network operators and transmission network owners, on both design and delivery of work,” he added.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Western Power Distribution, developed over ten years of delivering work on this contract,” he said.

“Technical capability and service excellence are key to the successful delivery of this contract and we have worked closely together to achieve a two-hour response time to emergency fault works, which make up 40 per cent of all work instructions.”

Mark Shaw, the distribution manager at Western Power Distribution, said that the bid his company received from Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions for this contract had shown “an impressive range of capabilities which fully met WPD’s requirements”.

“We are pleased to be continuing our working relationship, and look forward to building on the successes over coming years to ensure our customers continue to receive a reliable electricity supply.”

Link Microtek launches a field analyzer to provide accurate measurements near power lines

The new EHP-50C field analyzer from Link Microtek has been developed to accurately measure low-frequency electric and magnetic fields such as those found near power transmission lines or electric railway lines.

Manufactured by Narda Safety Test Solutions, the compact instrument is designed for isotropic field measurements over frequencies from 5 Hz to 100 kHz and to achieve a dynamic range of over 140 dB. Built-in FFT spectrum analysis capability enables the user to measure only the contribution from a selected source, e.g. a high-voltage line, excluding other nearby disturbing frequencies.

Using the interference-free fibre-optic link supplied, results can be displayed in real time either on a PC or on the optional 8053 display unit. A stand-alone mode enables it to function as a data logger for 24 hours, taking measurements every 30 or 60 seconds and then stopping automatically.

The instrument can handle electric fields up to 100 kV/m with a sensitivity of 0.01V/m and magnetic fields up to 10mT with sensitivity of 1nT.

Powered by NiMH rechargeable batteries, the EHP-50C provides up to 10 hours’ use in normal mode, at least 24 hours in stand-alone mode or up to 150 hours in low-power mode. It weighs 525 g and holds all the field sensors and measurement circuitry in a 92 x 92 x 109 mm housing.

The analyzer is supplied as standard with accessories, including a 10 metre fibre-optic link, EHP-50C Logger PC software, battery charger, plastic pole, mini tripod, operating manual and carrying bag.

Narda extends frequency range of AMB-8057 monitors to 7 GHz

Narda Safety Test Solutions has extended the frequency range of its AMB-8057 Area Monitors up to 7 GHz, so they can also capture the electromagnetic radiation emanating from WiMAX, WiFi, WLAN and other wireless services, as well as from industrial controllers.

These weatherproof monitors are designed for installation wherever there is a need to monitor and record potentially dangerous electromagnetic fields for long periods.

With the addition of a 7 GHz probe, the Area Monitors Type AMB-8057 from Narda Safety Test Solutions can now cover the entire frequency range from long wave up to wireless services such as WiMAX, WiFi and WLAN.

They can likewise detect industrial controllers that operate at ISM frequencies around 5.4 GHz. The use of GPRS to transfer measurement results, e.g. to an FTP server, is another new feature. Safety and environmental agencies or mobile phone network providers can call up the results over any Internet connection and then use the software supplied by Narda to collate and process the data and make it available to their own organizations or to the general public.

A simplified version of the device without GPRS communication capability saves the measurement results internally and is ideal for measurement service providers, who temporarily monitor the field situation in public places, residential areas, or the workplace, and who need to record their results over a period of hours, days or weeks at a time. The data here can be transferred to a PC via a serial interface.

The new probe makes a linear measurement of the electric field in the frequency range 100 kHz to 7 GHz. A special version also allows selective capture of the field components emanating from mobile phone services at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz (GSM) as well as 2100 MHz (UMTS).

The Area Monitors are used to monitor and analyze the electromagnetic field situation where they are located, save the results, and issue warning messages if radiation exceeds a pre-set threshold level.

In this way, transmitting equipment operators can monitor radiation and demonstrate that the relevant limit values are adhered to. Several Area Monitors can be linked together into regional monitoring systems.

The Area Monitors can also be fitted with different probes, including one to capture the electric field components from radio/television and mobile phones separately. Narda also offers a magnetic field probe for the 10 Hz to 5 kHz range for measurements in the near field of high voltage cables, railroad overhead power lines, transformers and industrial equipment where high currents at low frequencies are present.

All the probes are isotropic, i.e. they give a correct measurement regardless of the angle of incidence of the radiation. Every probe is calibrated individually in the factory. Narda can provide internationally recognized, accredited calibration on request.

The Area Monitors are independent of external power supplies, as they have batteries and solar cells. The measuring unit, probe and wireless modem are integrated into a weatherproof housing. The measuring station and mast including the base weigh a total of 7.5 kg and can therefore be easily installed practically anywhere. Users can equip the measurement station with their choice of probes.

Converteam wins 200 MW frequency converter US wind contract

Converteam has won a contract to supply frequency converters for wind turbine systems equivalent to 200 MW of wind power in the United States.

These systems are to be integrated into one of the country’s largest wind farms, which is being built by a joint venture that includes China-based A-Power Energy and Shenyang Power Group together with affiliates of US Renewable Energy Group and Cielo Wind Power LP.

The 2 MW wind turbine systems, equipped with Converteam technology, should be supplying the Texan grid with power by mid-2011 from the new wind farm, which has a maximum power rating of 600 MW and is on a 15 000 hectare plot on the western fringe of Texas.

The farm itself is regarded as the most significant American-Chinese joint acquisition in renewable energy. Once completed, the wind farm will be able to provide about 170 000 American households with all their power needs.

Converteam is driving forward its prime position as a technological leader for electrical equipment on the international wind power market through its converter and generator solutions, says the firm. The 2 MW converters for the project meet all the stringent requirements of the American grid, the company adds.

The converters will be manufactured at Converteam’s production site in Germany and in Shanghai, China.

Sentec develops the Iris sensor for smart grid and metering market

Sentec, the smart metering and grid technology specialist, has announced the launch of its latest innovation in a series of technological advances aimed at the smart grid and metering market.

The company’s latest technology, Iris, is a Rogowski coil-based current sensor designed to provide utility companies with a highly accurate sensing solution for a variety of applications, in both low voltage distribution and grid management.

High quality and cost effective sensors are seen as vital for the growth of the smart grid as more accurate and frequent measurement is needed for feature-rich additions such as smart meters.

With this consideration in mind, Sentec has developed the Iris sensor to provide superior accuracy and better multi-functional capabilities than alternative widely used current sensing techniques, such as current transformers.

In many cases, distribution companies have little information about dynamic load and the balance of phases on distribution transformers. Iris enables monitoring of transformer output allowing appropriate resourcing of maintenance and upgrades to the network, with the aim of preventing transformer overload and of improving lifetime.

Reconciling the new information available from smart meter data and the figures on transformer energy output provided by Iris can enable theft of energy to be detected and can deliver an improved understanding of the topology of the low voltage network.

An additional application of Iris, which could benefit distribution operators, is detection and location of faults on the network. Rogowski sensors provide high bandwidth measurement capabilities with a high dynamic range that Sentec sees as perfectly suited to this application.

In addition to offering application benefits, Iris is also available in two designs, with the aim of helping utility companies to best manage the implementation process.

The standard annular model can be easily installed into new networks while the revolutionary open aperture, or C-shaped, design may be retrofitted without interruption of the circuit.

This can enable a utility company to upgrade its distribution network without shutting off supply to the end user, and also introduces an upgrade flexibility that the industry has never seen before, says Sentec.

“We are pleased to be offering such a pioneering technology to the market,” said Dr Mark England, the CEO of Sentec.

“The high accuracy that Iris offers at all voltages opens the way to a new generation of applications for grid control, something which we are working hard to develop even further,” he added.

“A sensor design with the calibre of Iris is an indication of the types of innovation which are needed to make the grid truly smart and an area in which Sentec is proud to be leading.”

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