Equipment Roundup

Surge protection designed for fieldbus

Atlantic Scientific has designed its MTL Surge Technologies Fieldbus Protector range so that voltage drops and impedance are completely avoided.

The MTL surge protection range
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The ECS1158-2 specification allows for up to 32 devices to be connected on a fieldbus segment. The fieldbus protector range is durable and reliable, able to withstand the extreme ranges of temperature, humidity, vibration, corrosive chemicals and high risk of mechanical damage found in process plants.

There tends to be six to 12 devices per segment b.ecause of difficulties in supplying power to greater numbers of devices, according to Atlantic Scientific’s president, Anthony Bird. He said: “MTL’s unique family of fieldbus surge protection devices provide transparent protection ” there is no additional voltage drop to the segment or performance impedance when they are added.” Because they can be located in any process environment, they can offer the most direct route to ground for the device they are protecting.

The Surge protection family includes:

  • M.A40000
  • FP32
  • TP-32

The MA4000 protects the power supply and prevents surges from entering the system via the AC mains supply ” often the most common source of surges. The MA4000 protects the power supply and control equipment from surges and spikes.

The FP32 is designed for use in locations where packing density takes precedence. It is ideally suited to protecting terminators, spur blocks and other devices located in accessible areas such as a control room or areas where space is at a premium.

CLMS monitors infiltration on-line

Waters Equipment Company’s Condenser Leakage Monitoring System (CLMS) improves condenser sampling by providing constant surveillance of the condenser to detect when and where infiltration of the external cooling water supply may be occurring.

The ability to quickly sense a condenser tube rupture or tube sheet leak is critical for maintaining cycle purity in the power plant. The CLMS is more precise than traditional means of condenser leak detection in that the sample is taken from within the vacuum environment of the condenser itself, as opposed to the discharge of the condensate return pump.

The condenser leakage monitoring system
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This means that a leak in any bay can be detected, isolated a.nd fixed without having to shut down the entire condenser. It also means the condenser can continue to be monitored even if the plant or condensate pump is down.

The system can be used with one or more sample inlets and switched either manually or automatically. The CLMS features a magnetically coupled gear pump, with 316SS pump head.

Options available include: dual pumps with auto fail-over, multi-stream sequencing of sample inlets, sample cooler with or without a fractional horsepower chiller, and on-line instruments for typical measurements such as sodium, dissolved oxygen and cation conductivity.

Power plants seek high quality water solutions

Ecolochem International Ltd., an Ionics, Inc. company, offers commissioning support services designed to provide a rapid supply of high-quality demineralized water for a variety of power applications.

The services include start-up, steam blow, chemical clean, hydro testing, pipe cleaning, condenser cleaning, and boiler flush and fill. By providing temporary supplemental water, commissioning services save time and reduce cost.

A mobile equipment trailer from Ecolochem provides demineralized water for commissioning of a 400 MW CCGT power plant in Spain

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To ensure that schedules are maintained during the commissioning phase, Ecolochem provides water treatment solutions such as electrodeionization, reverse osmosis, and gas transfer membranes, which increase water quality with minimal set-up times.

Sierra’s new in-line mass flow meter

Sierra Instruments introduces its improved Series 730 Accu-Mass flow meter with CE-approval. With a small footprint, the in-line mass flow meter is well suited for OEM applications.

The fast-response flow meter measures flow rates of non-corrosive gases, including methane gas, in ranges from 0.5 to 50 SCFM, and delivers a linear output signal proportional to total gas mass flow rate. This direct mass flow m.onitoring method eliminates the need for separate temperature and pressure inputs, improves measurement accuracy, and helps to reduce system cost.

The 730 series fast response flow meter
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The Series 730 provides à‚±1 per cent of full-scale accuracy, and à‚±0.2 per cent of full-scale repeatability over a wide temperature and pressure range. The CE-approved instrument is available in a water-resistant NEMA 2 enclosure, which can be mounted directly or remotely. Input power requirements are 15 or 24 VDC, and output signal options include 0-5 VDC, 0-10 VDC, or 4-20 mA.

The thermal sensor has demonstrated its reliability and accuracy in thousands of applications.

Ionics launches next generation of analysers

Ionics Instrument, a manufacturer of scientific instrumentation, announced its new Sievers 900 Series Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analysers.

The new, three-model 900 Series includes the 900 Laboratory, 900 Online, and 900 Portable TOC analysers, offering improved analytical performance, ease of use, productivity, and reliability. Also introduced was the optional 900 Autosampler.

The 900 Series TOC analyzers
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The Sievers 900 Series TOC analysers represents the next generation of the Sievers 800 TOC analyser used by more than 3000 customers worldwide. Key enhancements to the 900 Series include improved precision and accuracy across an extended 0.03 to 50 000 parts per billi.on dynamic range; four-minute analysis time; automated calibration, verification, and reagent adjustment routines; a smaller instrument casing; a touch screen display for quick access to real-time or trend data, and a USB port for data transfer.

For laboratory use, the 900 Autosampler offers up to 156 per cent more sampling capacity than its Model 800 predecessor.

In addition, the 900 Autosampler offers user-defined random sampling capability for added flexibility and convenience. The Sievers DataPro 900 software, which integrates the Autosampler with a 900 analyser, offers new productivity features and versatile TOC data control.

Conforma expands power generation applications

Conforma Clad Inc., a provider of severe wear solutions for metal components, introduces infiltration brazed tungsten carbide protection for shaft seal sleeves, burner components, and boiler tubes used in coal fired power plants.

Infiltration brazing is used to bond tungsten carbide to the base material forming a hard, uniform protective cladding that provides wear resistance against abrasion, erosion, corrosion, and thermal shock.

A shaft seal sleeve
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Conforma Clad’s shaft seal sleeves are effective in both mechanical seals and standard packing seals, where pump failures caused by severe wear are persistent problems. Tungsten carbide cladding is metallurgically bonded to outside diameter and inside diameter sleeve surfaces. Surfaces are diamond ground to accommodate fine finishes and tight tolerances.

The direct cladding of burner tips, nozzles, and barrels, and custom shields for barrel and burner inlet pant legs are also available with tungsten carbide. These applications are used to protect burner components from severe erosion, even in the presence of thermal shock. The company offers protection for burner components produced by Riley Power, Babcock & Wilcox, Foster Wheeler, Alstom and Advanced Boiler Technology Group.

The protected boiler tubes installed in erosive areas, including gas paths and soot blower lanes, provide greater erosion resistance than stainless steel and nickel alloy castings alone. The tube cladding also has a high coefficient of heat transfer and is able to withstand severe thermal shock.

Maximum efficiency can be achieved through LOOS flue gas heat exchanger

One of the important key values in assessing the efficiency of a boiler system is the figure for flue gas losses. This percentage figure shows the quantity of energy contained in the flue gases which are blown out unused through the chimney.

Possible increases in efficiency with flue gas heat exchangers
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Because of the laws of physics, the flue gas temperatures of high pressure steam boilers or high pressure hot water boilers are relatively high. The water temperature of a high pressure boiler with an average working pressure of 10 bar, for example, is around 180à‚°C. The flue gases taken through the boiler can thus never be cooled to lower temperatures, however modern the boiler may be.

This represents a massive loss of energy, which can be avoided by the use of convection passes known as flue gas heat exchangers.

Since 1998, the German law on the prevention of emissions (BImSchV) has set out clear limit values. The flue gas losses from oil and gas fired systems with higher outputs (over 50 kW) may not exceed nine per cent. For the systems already in existence when the limits were laid down, transitional periods were defined, during which systems had to be modified to the newly defined values. The last transitional period ends on 1 November 2004, which means that at this point, all old systems must also reach the values given above.

Flame-tube smoke.-tube boilers of all sizes can be retrofitted with flue gas heat exchangers. The efficiency of a boiler system can be increased by up to seven per cent in dry operation and up to 15 per cent in condensation operation.

A LOOS economizer type flue gas heat exchanger module
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An investment that is worthwhile:

  • Investment costs are recovered after just 1-2 years
  • Lower fuel requirement means lower costs
  • Reduction in environmental pollution because flue gas emissions are cut
  • More careful operation increases the working life of the boiler.

Ballard introduces Ecostar converter

Ballard Power Systems has introduced its 30 kW Ecostar power converter specifically designed for photovoltaic (PV) applications. The 30 kW grid-tie utility interactive power converter combines superior inverter and transformer efficiency with ease of installation. Based on proven, state-of-the-art technology, the product offers customers improved reliability and up-time while reducing the payback period for the product investment. The 30 kW product joins Ballard’s recently announced 75 kW grid-tie inverter.

“Ballard’s 30 kW Ecostar power converter addresses the significant market demand for an inverter at this power range to meet the needs of PV panel manufacturers, distributors and installers,” said Ballard’s vice president of sales & marketing, Ross Witschonke. “Both our 75 kW and 30 kW Ecostar products incorporate Ballard’s unique expertise to meet the demands of increased efficiency and reliability for grid-tie applications. With the continuing growth of PV projects as environmentally-friendly energy solutions, we believe that the unique benefits and features of Ballard’s inverters will become the de facto market standard.”

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With peak inverter efficiency of 97 per cent, transformer efficiency of 97.5 per cent and standby tare losses of 25 watts, the 30 kW Ecostar power converter is one of the most efficient commercial inverters available in North America.

CFCL debuts on Australian exchange

Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL), an Australian company that has pioneered the development of green energy though its solid oxide fuel cell technology, made its debut as a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

At the heart of CFCL’s environmentally friendly power generator is a solid oxide fuel cell
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The IPO raised a total of A$15m ($10.6m), which follows a private capital raising of A$10m earlier this year. These monies are intended for the continued improvement of the technology. CFCL has seen approximately A$128m invested in the company over the last 11 years, which has been used for the development of the technology, establishing manufacturing processes and in the construction of a small scale manufacturing pilot plant in Melbourne, Australia.

CFCL executive chairman, Julian Dinsdale, said the listing on the ASX .would be the catalyst for commercialization of the fuel cell technology as discussions in Europe are now in progress with potential cell manufacturing joint venture partners and manufacturers of appliances that could incorporate fuel cells.

Australian solar thermal collector commissioned

The first commercial solar collector to be used in a conventional power plant produced its first hot water. The solar field with a nominal thermal capacity of 1.2 MW is the first Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) constructed by Solar Heat and Power for Macquarie Generation, the operator of the coal fired station in the Hunter valley about 250 km northwest of Sydney, Australia.

The CLFR collector field is around 60 x 30 m
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The CLFR collector field has a size of approximately 60 x 30 m consist of several rows of flat mirrors which concentrate the sun’s radiation to a fixed plane absorber installed 10 m above the field. In the absorber the sun light heats water and produces steam at temperatures of 285à‚°C. This solar generated steam replaces steam turbine bleed steam otherwise used for the feed-water heating entering the coal fired boiler.

Consequently less fuel is needed to generate the same amount of electricity, and in turn this reduces the specific CO2 emissions of the plant. By closing the bleed steam extractions at the turbine more steam can travel through the low pressure blading of the turbine so that the plant operator gains additional capacity.

In the coming months the CLFR field will undergo further trials. Connection of the extended CLFR solar field with about 15 MWth to the power plant water/steam cycle is planned by the end of 2004.

Pelton for tomorrow

The latest innovation from Gilkes Hydro is the Multibloc Pelton runner, which is set to revolutionize both the production and performance of the current, traditional Monoblock Pelton runner. Extensive development and research by Gilkes has resulted in a new technology that provides advantages to manufacturers and operators and eliminates production and operational problems usually associated with Pelton runners.

The Multibloc Pelton runner features segmented buckets that are securely locked in place by an innovative clamping arrangement. By using 3D CAD geometry throughout the design and manufacturing process the runner can be produced to exactly the designer’s profile. Ease of handling allows the individual buckets to be highly polished resulting in all wetted surfaces having a very low coefficient of friction.

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Maintenance and installation has been made simpler due to the construction of the new Multibloc runner, which consists of individual buckets assembled directly onto the machine shaft. Gilkes has also made it economically possible to manufacture runners in exotic alloys.

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