Technology & Innovation

With its latest generation of gas engines delivering improved performance, engine manufacturer Himoinsa expects growth in its home European market. Manuel Aguilera, gas project manager told Gas to Power Journal: “Our growth will revolve around new business opportunities in Eastern Europe, in France or in the UK, markets in which the demand for gas generator sets is growing at a higher rate.”

CD-adapco has accelerated development efforts for its Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) simulation solutions. The plan is to enhance capabilities in the STAR-CD /es-ice suite of software and facilitate a majority of in-cylinder simulations within the company’s flagship product, STAR-CCM+, by the close of 2017.

The focus in hot section coatings of gas turbines is shifting from temperature to time – so it's all about coating durability, some say. Yet, thickness of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) is still a key issue, as parts of the industry keep pushing for ever-higher firing temperature to boost efficiency rates.

Developer of gas turbine upgrades Powerphase LLC has been issued a new patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The US Patent No. 9,388,737 covers ‘Turbophase’, a technology that solves the problem that gas turbines lose output at high ambient temperatures or elevations.

Sicam A8000 – a combination of power supply, processor, and expansion modules – has been launched by Siemens as a new telecontrol and grid automation system. Employed in substations, it connects distributed renewable power sources and helps balance supply for industry applications or in railway power systems.

AAF International has developed a gas turbine (GT) inlet cooling system which provides fast response to the changing dynamics of gas turbine power generation. High-capacity rotary atomisers on the dirty air side of filters, combined with a control system to finetune the downstream temperature, are key features of its new InstaKool system.

Demand for transmission system voltage support is increasing amid greater renewable penetration and retirement of fossil and nuclear power plants. Synchronous compensators such as STATCOM provide reactive power; yet its operational characteristics differ from a Static VAR Compensator.
GE said STATCOM undervoltage performance would be “superior”, while SVCs “masters overvoltages.”

State-run GAIL is partnering with California-based Bloom Energy in the development of gas-based fuel cell power production and its deployment across India. Bloom’s fuel cells are understood to utilize on scandia-ceria stabilised zirconia – research is ongoing to optimise the technology.

Following intensive R&D, Siemens exhibits high voltage interrupters and gas-insulated switchgear using vacuum technology and so-called clean-air technology up to a voltage of 145 kV for the first time ever at this year's Cigré in Paris. The launch of the new outdoor circuit-breaker 3AV1 and 8VN1 Blue GIS is scheduled in 2018.

Affordable storage is seen as the missing link between intermittent renewable power and reliable energy supply. McKinsey research anticipates costs could fall to $200 per kWh in 2020 – half of today’s price, which would help transform the energy mix of many nations. By 2025, costs of power storage are expected to fall to $160 kWh or less, making it affordable to use for utilities and grid operators.

New technology and advanced software controls are changing the ability for gas plants to respond flexibly to demand and harness waste heat driving renewed profitability for operators. “As plant performance improvements are more and more often optimized through smarter software our solutions are increasingly focused on the integration of hardware and software across the plant,” Andreas Pickard from Siemens told Gas to Power Journal.

 Det Norske Veritas and Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL), an international classification society, have given IHI the approval in principle for its design of a Floating LNG Power Station (FLPS). The concept is a combination of a FSRU and a power plant.

Physical Systems Integration (PSI), along with partner Biosolventus, have reached the semi-final round of Cleantech Challenge Mexico (CTCM) 2016. Their offering, a turbine warming system, reduces warm turbine startup times by nearly 50% and eliminates cold-starts altogether. Winners of the CTCM2016 compete for private equity investment up to $30 million.

Frequent blackouts and entire grid collapses have knocked nearly 4% off Nigeria’s GDP year after year, and fuel shortages leave much 11,600 MW installed gas power capacity sit idle. A Powerphase upgrade can add incremental power to existing, well-fuelled installations – avoiding investment in risky new-builds.

Local power grids, able to disconnect from the central network and operate autonomously, are no longer primarily used by industries. For cities, they've become a ‘fail-safe’ – ready to spring into action if ever the main grid goes down. Decentralised generation capacity then powers the city 'from the edge'.