Cummins Power Generation has announced the launch of six new diesel generator sets, which are part of a range to meet improvedemission standards.

Powered by the QSX15 engine, these generator sets are claimed to offer exceptionally efficient fuel consumption and enhanced control via the new Cummins Power Generation PowerCommand Controls.

The new generator sets also deliver optimum performance, reliability and versatility for stationary standby and prime power applications, according to their manufacturer

Four models (C400D5e, C450D5e, C500D5e and C550D5e) are compliant with EU Stage II emission regulations. These models range from 400 to 550 kVA at 50 Hz frequency.

Two further models (C450D6e and C500D6e) are available with EPA Tier 2 emission regulation compliance. These two models will provide 60 Hz power at 450 kW and 500 kW respectively.

The generators are supplied with PowerCommand 2.2 as standard, and the more advanced PowerCommand 3.3 paralleling control as an additional option. The PowerCommand controls are structured to enable easy upgrading to paralleling controls in the field.

In addition, the PowerCommand 3.3 control paired with an optional factory installed motorized circuit breaker is designed to lower total system costs. All models offer a low noise power solution, with the added benefit of a 50 oC ambient cooling package, which ensures the generators operate efficiently across a variety of applications in locations ranging from Northern Europe and Russia, to the Middle East and Africa.

The QSX15 series is available from Cummins Power Generation, which prides itself on offering the widest and most capable customer support network, with 550 distributor locations and 5000 dealer locations.

As Cummins sees customer satisfaction as the number one priority, all the company’s distributors and dealers must undergo a stringent certification process.

Each distributor is charged with delivering expert service, planned maintenance, troubleshooting, quality parts and comprehensive power system support, says the firm. 

MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply diesel engines to Gabon

The manufacturer of large-bore diesel engines and turbomachinery, MAN Diesel & Turbo, is expanding its business activities in Africa with an order for two dual-fuel, large-bore diesel engines of type 18V51/60DF, including the electromechanical equipment for generating electricity, worth some €13m ($16.4m).

The systems are to produce more than 35 MW of electricity for the power grid in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, and to thereby help stabilize the electricity supply. The customer is the Israeli power firm Telemenia Ltd., which is building the power plant for the Gabon government. It is set to go into operation in 2011.

Since 2009, the engines and systems builder has supplied large-bore diesel engines and technical equipment for power generation worth around €90m to African countries.

The destinations include Egypt, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Madagascar and the Cape Verde Islands.

Dual-fuel engines from MAN Diesel & Turbo can either be operated with liquid fuel or natural gas.

In Gabon’s case, particularly, this is a crucial advantage: the West African country has gas and crude oil reserves that can be used with modern MAN dual-fuel engines to produce energy efficiently. The primary source of fuel will be natural gas, but if there are any gaps in the supply, the engines can be switched over at any time to heavy fuel oil, diesel or biofuel.

Especially for the company’s power plants division, Africa offers tremendous potential. In many places in Africa, people and businesses are not guaranteed a stable supply of adequate electricity, which slows down economic development in many regions.

MAN Diesel & Turbo claims its power plant solutions can close this gap quickly and effectively.

For many African countries, large gas, coal or thermal power plants are unsuitable, since there are only a few contiguous, large-scale power grids in place, while energy demands are subject to tremendous fluctuations due to the inadequate and in some places unreliable production of electricity.

The infrastructure for supplying such systems is also almost non-existent. Diesel power plants, on the other hand, are much more flexible and often more efficient to operate, which in turn makes them cheaper, says the firm.

MAN Diesel & Turbo reports that it has recently won further orders from Africa for efficient, low-emission power plant systems. To step up its presence in Africa, in November 2009 MAN Diesel & Turbo opened a sales and service office in Nairobi, Kenya – in addition to the company’s established office in South Africa. 

Wärtsilä to supply 26 MW power generating equipment to a natural gas processing plant in Canada 

Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply the power generating equipment and associated engineering for the power generation of the Cabin Gas Plant Power Generation Project in British Columbia, Canada.

The Finnish company will supply three Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engine generator sets running on natural gas producing a combined output of over 26 MW.

The power plant will provide electricity to a natural gas processing plant producing pipeline quality gas from shale formations located in the heart of the Horn River Basin, one of the most prolific shale gas deposits in North America. The power plant will run on the natural gas processed by this processing plant.

The shale gas boom taking place in Canada and the USA is a fairly recent phenomenon spurred on by new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies. Gas from shale deposits has become an increasingly important source of natural gas over the last decade and is viewed as a key supply source for the future. In the USA the shale gas discoveries and other unconventional natural gas resources are expected to provide more than 100 years of supply, resulting in stabilized natural gas pricing.

There currently is no electrical grid to provide electricity in this area of British Columbia, which makes on-site generation a necessity. Wärtsilä technology provides high reliability because of the multiple units and its proven technology. Other benefits include the excellent heat rate and lack of process water consumption.

The generator sets and equipment will be delivered in the third quarter of 2011 and the natural gas processing plant is expected to be operational in the fall of 2012. Operating in a remote northern location near the border of British Columbia and Northwest Territories, in Arctic-like climatic conditions, Wärtsilä’s reliability and extensive service capabilities will be crucial to the project’s success.

“This order represents an exciting project for Wärtsilä utilizing our highly efficient and reliable gas engines to provide power for shale gas development in Canada. The plant will be supported by Wärtsilä Services in Canada which has over 150 people dedicated to supporting our engines,” commented Frank Donnelly, president, Wärtsilä in North America. 

 Did your generator earn money from the World Cup? 

The FIFA World Cup was a major opportunity for UK-based organizations with modern generator sets to save money or even earn revenue through contributing to the British national grid’s Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR), according to Finning Power Systems.

With the 2012 Olympics on the horizon – and with Britain predicted to face the risk of blackouts within eight years – there will be more opportunities in the future, the company forecasts.

Rob Pitt, national sales manager for Finning Power Systems, said: “Too many generator sets are a wasted asset. In addition to providing emergency standby power for an organization, it could be routinely earning money or at least result in the negotiation of a lower tariff forthe organization.

“Electricity demand depends on many factors such as the time of year, time of day, the weather, what day of the week it is, and whether there are any unusual factors such as the World Cup, when demand can reach new highs.

“When this occurs, the National Grid needs reserve power in the form of either generation or demand reduction. The organization procures this requirement ahead of the day through STOR.”

Figures from the National Grid show that major sporting occasions account for significant peaks in electricity demand. Considerable planning is dedicated to predicting TV pickups – the huge surge in demand at half time and at the end of a game as viewers get up, turn on lights, open fridge doors for a cold drink and boil kettles for a hot drink.

In the recent World Cup the highest pickup was for half time in the match between England and Slovenia, at nearly 1300 MW. For the key match against Germany, however the figure was surprisingly subdued – at just 1020 MW at half time and 640 MW at full time. The World Cup final reached a peak of 1090 MW at the end of normal time.

These figures were dwarfed by the 1990 World Cup semi-final between England and Germany in 1990, when demand shot up by 2800 MW, the equivalent of almost 1.5m kettles being turned on at half time.

An organization with modern generator sets can either cap its maximum demand from the grid and get a better tariff, or earn revenue by exporting electricity to the grid at premium rates during these times.

Using a generator to cap imported electricity is called ‘peak lopping’ or ‘peak shaving’. Although running a company generator is normally more expensive than buying power, when it is offset against the savings of a better tariff, it can generate a net saving.

Organizations importing electricity to the grid have two options. They can become ‘committed service providers’, who offer availability in all available windows. Alternatively, they can be ‘flexible service providers’, whereby they are not obliged to offer services in all available windows and the National Grid is not obliged to accept and buy all the services offered.

In its most basic form, a standby generator has a manual changeover switch to connect either the generator or the mains supply to the load, with no option to run the generator in parallel. More often, however, an automated system will start the generator and connect the load to it. There may also be a means of synchronizing and returning the load to the mains when the power is restored.

But running a company generator in parallel or exporting electricity requires specifying a slightly more complex control system with additional protection in place. This function also necessitates a prime-rated generator set rather than a standby set, as well as a full understanding of electricity company tariffs.

The main difference between a prime-rated generator set and a standby set is that the prime-rated set is rated to run an unlimited number of hours per year at 70 per cent load factor, whereas a standby-rated set is rated to run a maximum of 500 hours per year.

Finning also recommends that anyone considering supplying a reserve service should consider how to start the set. Some suppliers, such as Finning, offer a 24-hour monitoring facility, which can manage the engine operation remotely.

All of these requirements add to the cost of a system – typically by 10–25 per cent depending on the base specification, if considered before purchase.

However, especially with the cost of electricity rising, a prime-rated set could provide a method to transform a piece of under-utilized capital infrastructure into a revenue stream, according to Finning. This is surely every facilities manager’s dream, the company adds.

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