Technology & Innovation

Decentralized power units for flexible generation of electricity power generation are becoming increasingly important across Europe, explains Dr. Tilman Tütken, regional manager, Europe at MAN Diesel & Turbo's power plant section. "For example, just a few weeks ago, the German Federal Network Agency confirmed additional requirements for a total capacity of approximately 1.2 Gigawatt for southern Germany alone,” he said when opening MAN’s booth at the PowerGen Europe conference in Cologne today.

Fuel costs account for up to 80% of a power plant’s operating expenses but Wärtsilä Services Manager Markus Åbrant underlined “the financial rationale is not the only one that speaks for fuel and energy efficiency.” Enhanced operational efficiency, extended lifecycle of the equipment and a more sustainable brand image are, in his view, valid reasons for considering an energy efficiency improvement project.

UK Power Networks has awarded a contract to Siemens to equip parts of its overhead-line power cables with 600 Fusesaver vacuum circuit-breakers and 200 remote control units (RCU).  The order volume is €1.5 million, and according to Siemens, it is the largest order to date for Fusesavers in Europe and the first one from the U.K.

China's National Energy Administration is targeting to produce 50 Bcm of gas from coal by 2020, enough to satisfy 10% of gas demand from industries and power producers. Turning to coal gasificiation would allow China to utilise a domestically abundant fossil resource in a cleaner way, while reducing dependence on Russian pipeline gas or LNG imports.

Expanding its product offering, Nymex-listed Ingersoll-Rand has recently added 50 percent more compressed air rental equipment to its fleet in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. The US company rents out compressed air solutions that keep critical manufacturing processes up and running during emergencies or planned projects.

US electric utility Duke Energy has chosen Siemens as its EPC partner to design a new turbine for the 400-MW expansion of Lincoln County power plant. The expansion will enlarge Duke’s Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station – a 1,200 MW gas power station with 16 turbines – and allow for the production of enough additional peaking energy to meet Duke Energy customers' needs in the Carolinas by 2024.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made available over $28 million for cost-shared research and development. The new funding, part of the Office of Fossil Energy’s Advanced Energy Systems program, is designed to help research on technologies related to advanced combustion systems, advanced turbines and gasification. Some $5.15 million are for the University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) Program.

China’s Guangdong Power Engineering Group, general contractor for a 470-MW project in Jordan, has asked Siemens to supply key components. Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world, and the power station will be built in in the desert at Attarat Um Ghudran. Consequentially, the operator asked Siemens to use air-cooled condensers to help save sparse drinking water resources. Start-up of the Attarat plant is envisaged for mid-2020.

Nymex-listed Ingersoll-Rand has started to offer three flexible service programs through its own expert technicians who provide and oversee onsite service, repair and maintenance of all compressed air assets. Named CARE, this tailored service programs is available for Ingersoll-Rand customers in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and India.

ABB, a Swiss technology leader in industrial automation and power grids, will present papers on its latest sensor technology at CIRED 2017 in Glasgow next week. KEVA C, the latest release in ABB’ medium-voltage sensor range, will be showcased at the forum, notably how it can provide highly accurate measurement in secondary gas-insulated switchgear applications.

Accelerated growth of volatile wind and photovoltaic power supply in Germany has been shifting the dispatch of fossil power plants to load-following operation to maintain the stability of the power grid. More decentralized gas-fired stations would help meet TSO’s flexibility requirements, Dr. Thorsten Krol, marketing manager at Siemens’ distributed generation business development told Gas to Power Journal.

As utilities are reworking their businesses models, distributed generation – or producing electricity on-site rather than at a central power plant at another location – and combined heat and power (CHP) is seen as “a particularly advantageous natural gas-fired option,” says Dave McCurdy, president of the American Gas Association (AGA). Further up north in Canada, the Industrial Applications of Gas Turbines (IAGT) will discuss waste-heat absorption, among others, at its annual symposium in Banff in mid-October.

Eager to transform into a data-led technology company, Wärtsilä of Finland has appointed Marco Ryan as new Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to head up a new digital organisation with more than 400 employees. Following a kick-off event in Munich, the Finish manufacturer is launching digital acceleration centres around the globe.

NYMEX-listed Ingersoll-Rand has introduced the RS200 to RS250 models of its product line of oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors. Customers can choose between a single-stage, or a two-stage airend that increases airflow by up to 16%, according to the manufacturer. A variable speed option makes the compressor up to 35% more efficient compared to the industry average.

"General Electric’s LM6000 gas turbine has long been the sales champion of the GE aeroderivative fleet, but the LMS100 is now giving it a run for its money," independent consultant Mark Axford told Gas to Power Journal. The LMS100 beat the LM6000 in total orders for the first time in 2015. This included two installations on behalf of Exelon Medway in Massachusetts, five for Arizona Public Service, five for NRG Energy and four for LNG Canada in British Columbia.