Technology & Innovation

Siemens is providing Dominion Energy, a subsidiary of one of the largest producers and transporters of energy in the US, with the company's first Mobile SVC STATCOM technology. The solution keeps the grid stable during disturbances and faults by providing fast and controlled reactive power. Siemens said it plans to deliver the first mobile device in mid-2018.

Predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, will be available on an Apple iPhone and iPad starting from Thursday, October 26. The launch of a new Predix software development kit for iOS will give developers the tools to design their own industrial IoT applications – helping power plant operators to monitor, and remote-control their generating assets.

Pittsburg University gets over $777k more funding for research into 3D printing for gas turbines. Dr. Chyu and his research team will explore applications for an anti-oxidation coating that can help cool airfoils and other hot-section components in gas turbines.

PW Power Systems (PWPS), part of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, and PowerPHASE have partnered to offer a dry air injection system to PWPS gas turbine owners. “We’ll offer them the product on new gas turbines and they will help us on the integration with their FT8 gas turbine on existing power plants,” explained Bob Kraft, PowerPHASE President & CEO.

This year’s GEO Award in Europe’s “toughest” benchmarking competition for the manufacturing industry has gone to GE’s Distributed Power plant in Jenbach, Austria. The highly digitialized factory in Tyrol manufactures Jenbacher gas engines and cogeneration plants. The intelligently networked factory interweaves manufacturing, individual business processes and lean principles.

Electrical power distribution relies on trouble-free interaction between hardware and software, using systematic data management for networked production processes. To that end, Siemens will be showcasing the open cloud-based IoT operating system MindSphere at the "SPS IPC Drives" 2017 trade show.

Coupled simulations of aerodynamic and heat transfer can minimize efforts for developing both stationary gas turbines and aero engines. Conjugate heat transfer (CHT) calculations cut costs. According to Rene Braun, technical manager at B&B-AGEMA, “Increasing firing temperatures in new gas turbines and upgrades of existing machine concepts, while considering cooling efficiencies, requires highly complex simulation models and accurate solutions. Thus, the quality of numerical results is essential.”

Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100/kWh and functions only in certain locations.

The Brazilian utility Centrais Elétricas do Pará (CELPA) has contracted Siemens to design and install twelve microgrids at twelve distributed power stations across the state in order to remotely operate these assets via a central control center in Belém. Each distribute generator will be monitored as a self-contained island network, with the overall monitoring system scheduled to go into service at the beginning of 2018.

Investing in Indonesia, ABB has just opened a new manufacturing factory for high-voltage switchgear in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta. According to projections by PLN, Indonesia’s state owned generator and distributor, the country’s electricity demand is growing at 8.5% per annum through to 2025.

Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has reached an agreement to acquire Puregas Solutions for €29 million. The Swedish provider of turnkey biogas upgrading solutions utilises a CApure process to convert raw biogas to biomethane and renewable natural gas.

ActiveWall and Virtalis’ Visionary Render (VR) software has revolutionised processes at GE’s Swiss manufacturing site as it allows engineers to access and experience a real-time, collaborative, and immersive VR environment created from huge multi-source 3D datasets. Technical Product Manager, Deepu Sebastian pointed out that “in the design of new power plant projects, we found that the designing process has significantly improved.”

Oil, natural gas and coal all differ in their energy content – and most fuels can be converted into one another though chemical transformation processes. Rather than collecting energy data independently across different commodities, an energy balance combines all fuels and ads up their energy content which can be visualised through an interactive Sankey chart.

Cost barriers to clean energy deployment are falling, but system-level integration of more variable energy resources has emerged as a new challenge. System flexibility is of the essence to handle the fluctuating balance of electricity supply and demand, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) said at this week’s launch of its “Advanced Power Plant Flexibility Campaign.”

Digitalisation unfolds in the energy sector as utilities are seeking to achieve revenue and efficiency gains, but there is a corresponding need to identify cyber threats at their earliest stages – going beyond compliance regulations to secure operations. To that end, Siemens and PAS Global have joint forces to provide fleet-wide, real time monitoring for control systems.

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