Spanish Hi-speed rail back on track with debut Atlas Copco multi-genset power station

GE Oil & Gas has announced that Acciona Infraestructuras, one of Spain’s top three contractors, has taken delivery of six Atlas Copco generating sets for a multi-set installation providing prime power duties for a Wirth roadheader, tunnel ventilation and onsite lighting for a 3.9 km tunnel on the Madrid – Valencia high speed rail line.

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Travel times between Madrid and Valencia are set to more than half on completion of the high speed rail line in 2010, with trains traveling at speeds of up to 350 km per hour.

Spain already has high speed links from Madrid to Zaragosa, Barcelona and Seville. On completion of the Valencia line extensions are planned to Alicante and Murcia.

Work is well underway in constructing the new line to Valencia with numerous packages awarded along the 300 km route.

Acciona has already completed at least one section and, for its latest – a 3.9 km tunnel from Nahorras – Horcajada, near Cuenca – is relying on a fleet of six Atlas Copco QAS325 generating sets.

With each rated at 325 kVA, the sets are providing prime power for a Wirth roadheader, tunnel ventilation and lighting every 15 m into the tunnel.

Although the roadheader only has a nominal load requirement of 150 kW this more than doubles on start up due to the headers electric motors and electric pump on its hydraulic system. This together with power losses along the electric cable, the tunnel ventilation and lighting every 15 m require five Atlas Copco sets to meet the initial surge loads.

The multi-set installation includes an Atlas Copco power management system (PMS) which, once the header is on full load, automatically sharing the load between the five sets, will shutdown sets to meet the required load by -1, -2 or -3 sets. The PMS also controls the sequence of sets start up and shutdown plus the rotation of the sixth standby set – ensuring all six sets operate the same number of hours.

The Atlas Copco installation also features a 10 000-litre fuel tank to automatically top up each sets 477 litre fuel tank by gravity feed. The multi-set power station also includes three transformers, the first to step up to 6000 V from the generating sets.

This is then stepped down, inside the tunnel – first to 1000 V for the roadheader and again to 400 V for 3 phase common use.

Throughout tunneling Acciona opted for the six Atlas Copco generating sets to be installed at the Valencia end of the tunnel. An identical roadheader powered by five Inmesol 350 kVA sets is tunneling from the Madrid end.

Deutz oils smooth the way for top engine performance

To achieve maximum performance from its engines only genuine Deutz oils and lubricants should be used, the manufacturer has pointed out.

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TLS-15 W 40 D, for example, is a super high-performance oil for supercharged diesel engines, and diesel engines operating under high loads, which is fully compliant with Deutz Quality Class DQC 11-05. The viscosity SAE Class 15W-40 oil ensures problem-free, all-season operation without restriction.

There are several reasons for recommending only the use of genuine Deutz oil in its engines, and according to the company’s UK Service General Manager, Mike Nugent, their oil delivers a high level of protection against wear, even under permanent load conditions at full throttle.

Furthermore, it offers protection against corrosion, even when using diesel fuels with high sulphur content, while guaranteeing protection against deposits, sludge and sticking, both under extreme thermal loads and during intermittent operation.

Deutz engine oil is used exclusively on the test benches during the development of our engines, which is a guarantee of its suitability for everyday use,” said Nugent.

In order to achieve maximum performance, other types of oils should not be mixed with Deutz engine oil, he added. “The admixture of commercially available additives will impair the performance of Deutz oil and is not something we recommend. Users should remember that the use of genuine Deutz oil can be a major factor in warranty claims.”

As one of the world’s leading independent diesel and gas engine manufacturers, Deutz produce around 286 000 units annually, with a turnover in excess of €1.5bn ($1.2bn).

It has an overall engine range extending from 9 kW to 500 kW, with models suitable for wide variety of markets and applications, including the power generation, construction, quarrying, mining, materials handling, agricultural, industrial and airport ground handling equipment sectors.

Wärtsilä to deliver world’s first plant using crude jatropha oil to produce both electricity and heat

Wärtsilä has secured an order for an engine-driven combined heat and power (CHP) plant that will run on the liquid biofuel, which is extracted from the seeds of the jatropha plant.

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This CHP plant will be the first power plant in the world ever to produce both electricity and heat using crude jatropha oil as fuel. The power plant will be located in an agricultural area in Merksplas, Belgium. The contract is valued at approximately €7m ($5.5m).

The plant will be owned by Greenpower NV, which is a joint venture between Thenergo (50 per cent), the Belgian developer of sustainable energy projects, four local agricultural companies (40 per cent), and a private investor (10 per cent).

Under this turnkey contract, Wärtsilä will deliver the CHP plant utilizing a Wärtsilä 20V32 engine with an electrical output of 9 MW, sufficient to serve approximately 20 000 households. The scope of supply also includes exhaust gas cleaning equipment and heat recovery systems. The plant will have a gross electrical efficiency of 44.2 per cent and an overall efficiency of more than 85 per cent.

Commercial operation of the CHP plant is scheduled to begin in February 2009. Heat from the plant will be used primarily for farming processes, in nearby greenhouses. It will also be used in a drying process, which is part of a livestock farming manure digester plant that processes biogas and dry fertilizer material. Electricity will be sold to the grid.

Wärtsilä is seen as a reliable and experienced partner with a strong portfolio of references in supplying CHP plants operating on liquid biofuel, and the supply of long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) services. Accordingly, Greenpower and Wärtsilä have signed a letter of intent for a 10-year O&M agreement.

Jatropha oil is extracted from the seeds of the jatropha plant. The seeds are a non-edible, high-energy fruit grown on semi-arid or wasteland. As it is not a food or forage crop, it plays an important role in deterring cattle, and thus protects other valuable food or cash crops. Jatropha seeds can be pressed into vegetable oil that can be used to run diesel engines.The pressed residue of the seeds is a good fertilizer and can also be used for electricity and heat production.

The CHP plant project is set to form part of Belgium’s Thenergo’s multifuel approach to the production of sustainable energy.

MAN Ferrostaal’s Polish biodiesel plant completed in double quick time

MAN Ferrostaal has completed a plant for the production of biodiesel for its customer Lotos Biopaliwa after a construction period of just 22 months.

The biodiesel production in Czechowice-Dziedzice, Poland, is based on the so-called CD (continuous deglycerolization) process which guarantees high-quality biodiesel on a cost-effective basis. The annual plant capacity will reach 100 000 tonnes of biodiesel. Total investment was €23m ($18.2m).

From the beginning of constructions to the turnkey handover, MAN Ferrostaal as the general contractor handled the planning, development and implementation of the plant in conjunction with Pochem S.A. In 2007, a new Competence Centre for biofuels, focusing on biodiesel and bioethanol, had already been set up in Geisenheim.

MAN Ferrostaal holds a worldwide license from Ölmühle Leer Connemann GmbH, which is an affiliate of US ADM Group, for utilizing the CD process in the production of biodiesel. This cost-effective technology produces a biodiesel quality which exceeds the European standard DIN EN 14214.

Treatment of the raw material to produce biodiesel is based on a simple chemical process. In the transesterification process, the triglycerides of the rapeseed oil are broken down by adding methanol and a catalyst, and converted to three methyl fatty acid esters and glycerin. The reaction products are separated and cleaned. The surplus methanol is recovered in a rectification column and is fed back into the process.