BMT Argoss has secured a contract with Dutch energy company Eneco to deliver accurate wind forecasts for its onshore and offshore locations, said the specialist provider of marine environmental information.

This service will allow Eneco to better anticipate changing conditions and adjust planning when necessary.

Generators of wind energy usually provide DNOs (distribution network operators) with an estimate of the amount of energy that they will produce over the coming days so DNOs can match consumption with the electricity produced.

To help minimize the risk of being penalized for failing to meet their obligations, companies such as Eneco need to ensure that their weather forecasts are as accurate and effective as possible by partnering with leading experts.

“No one can control the wind and therefore how much power a wind farm is capable of producing on any given day,” acknowledged Hein Zelle, project manager for meteorology at BMT Argoss.

“We can, however, play an integral role in ensuring that Eneco has greater confidence in predicting the power they will produce and maximizing the selling price by providing accurate forecasting services, helping to reduce the level of uncertainty which is often associated with this type of energy production.”

With atmospheric models that have been extensively validated and calibrated against locally observed data, BMT Argoss will provide much finer and more detailed forecasting services to Eneco which will be delivered four times a day. A reliability estimate for each wind forecast is an integral part of the delivery.

Weldex pioneers new wind farm component handling system

Heavy lift company Weldex has introduced Hyster ReachStackers for handling wind farm components at the port of Mostyn in North Wales.

Supplied by Barloworld Handling, the reachstackers provide quicker and more efficient and economical handling of components than traditional lifting methods, said Weldex. Mostyn is a major base for the offshore wind power generation industry. Components are manufactured in Denmark and shipped to the port, where Weldex International provides lifting solutions for Siemens Wind Power, said Weldex.

“Hyster ReachStackers have been introduced to handle the wind farm tower sections and the hubs for the turbines. Previously we used a combination of crawler cranes and multi-axle trailers,” said Eddie Campbell, lifting operations and safety manager for Weldex.

Weldex uses two customized Hyster RS 46-41L CH ReachStackers operating in unison to lift the 100 tonne tower sections from either end. An attachment to the reachstacker booms allows sections to be transported from the quayside to storage faster and more efficiently.

“We have significantly reduced our capital expenditure on lifting equipment at Mostyn and fewer people are required in the lifting process,” said Campbell. “The reachstackers have also helped improve the safety of the operation even further and the handling is now much faster.”

Barloworld Handling’s team of big truck specialists worked with Weldex to specify the optimum handling solution. The reachstackers are also required to individually handle 50-tonne hubs for the wind turbines with a special attachment.


Austria’s KEMIA launches steam microturbine for biomass plants

KEMIA GmbH, the Austrian alternative energy technology provider, has launched a new product recently that it says may satisfy a special market segment: competitively-priced, effectively-operating steam microturbines.

The ‘S2E’ microturbine is a non-traditional design and concept: the sturdy, heavy-duty equipment welcomes also low pressure and wet steam. Quality and quantity steam fluctuations will not bother this microturbine either. The 55 per cent efficient and maintenance-free operation makes this microturbine even more lucrative, says KEMIA.

The microturbine which is made in KEMIA´s joint-venture in the Czech Republic is an innovative non-blade solution, with unmanned operation and very long lifetime. Instead of blades a large number of oriented “bristles” generate the electricity in the specially formed turbine body, which is available in skid mounted or in containerized versions, with 50-250 kWe output.

Smaller and larger units of this kind will be expected to be on the market in the second half of 2011. The first S2E steam microturbines had already been installed in the Czech Republic, with 100 kW capacity.

The microturbine can be successfully deployed in all industries where excess process steam is available to be converted to electricity, e.g. pulp and paper, sugar and ethanol, chemical and timber industries, as well as in decentralized biomass power plants.

GE launches Grid IQ demand response optimization system

GE has launched Grid IQ: Demand Optimization System, a new solution relying on GE’s demand response management system software to deliver comprehensive demand-side management support.

This holistic solution helps utilities and consumers increase efficiency, lower their carbon-footprint and even reduce operations and energy costs, it said.

The US firm claims the demand optimization offering is a smarter, integrated approach. It uses GE software and continuous-learning algorithms as part of a complete system of two-way communications, smart devices and dynamic pricing incentives to deliver a new level of precision and control to demand-side management.

Studies show that utilities can experience peak demand reduction between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.

GE estimates that this could save up to $18m per year in avoided capital expenditures for a utility with 1m customers.

Rather than simply suppressing or shifting peak loads, this solution enables an optimal balance between supply and predictable consumer demand, with smart-load technologies like programmable communication thermostats, smart appliances, electric vehicle charging stations, in-home energy portals and home automation devices.

In the future, it also will optimize the integration of distributed renewables such as solar, wind and storage, allowing users to increase their mix of clean, domestic generation while realizing financial, regulatory and economic benefits from every kWh saved.

With demand optimization, instead of shutting down a large pool of load resources, utilities can turn down precisely the electric load to meet their objectives, without overcompensating and missing potential revenues.

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