Technology & Innovation

Electricity will make up about 25% of final energy consumption by 2040, as estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) – a dynamic that drives GE’s Power Conversion business to design and develop electric consumer devices. Decarbonisation is, so far, mostly an issue for the power generation sector, less so for end-consumers of electric gadgets.

At Hannover Messe, running until the end of this week, Siemens is showcasing how a modular, hybrid power grid converter can work together with different decoupled DC sources. Sinacon HC, Siemens’ latest offering, links different power sources and batteries to the public grid or microgrids which allows for renewables integration and decentralised power.

"With increasingly low clean energy costs, renewables-based hydrogen production could once again be competitive with steam methane reforming (SMR)," says Cédric Philibert, senior energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA). New-built wind farms in Morocco, and solar PV in Dubai and Chile where electricity costs are around $30/MWh, according to his insight, can compete with SMR paired with carbon capture and storage.

Energy engineers and surveyors have carried out boiler inspections for over 25 years, but there are still instances that can shock them: Such as the boiler showing 180 cracks just two years after purchase, says Mark Ormrod, NDT & Material Testing Manager at British Engineering Services. “Of course, most plants are simply running their boilers in line with manufacturers’ guidelines and there are no unexpected shocks found on inspection. We’ve taken a look at the practical issues underpinning our worst and best findings for industrial boiler maintenance, to highlight how to maximise your boiler lifespan, instead of running it into the ground.” 

“Effective digitalization is key to driving performance,” ABB's Tarak Mehta said at the pre-Launch of its cloud-based Electrical Distribution Control System ‘ABB Ability’ that is claimed to make power grids “safer, smarter and more reliable for industry 4.0”. The Zurich-based manufacturer will showcase the grid control system, along with new switch gear, at Hanover Fair next week.

Future use of hybrid energy will lead to a consistent baseload, without the need for top-up via fossil fuels, anticipates Francesco Falco, chief commercial officer at GE Power Conversion.
"When using Silicon Carbide (SiC), – a diamond-like substance – instead of traditional silicon chips in a solar inverter, its high power density feature can reduce power losses by up to 50 percent," he explains.

To exploit the full potential of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, MAN Diesel & Turbo is investing some €2.6 million in its MAN Center for Additive Manufacturing (MANCAM) in Oberhausen. With the first time use of standardized components, the German OEM now established 3D printing as an in-house standard.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Siemens have agreed to jointly carry out the first-time development of an intelligent, self-learning gas turbine controller for SGT5-4000F gas turbines. Implementation of the data-driven solution with DEWA’s gas turbines started in September last year, and is due to be completed by September 2017.

Researchers at St Petersburg Polytechnic University and Delft University have jointly developed a new selective laser melting method (3D printing) to manufacture gas turbines elements. Blades, produced with a special crystallographic texture, anisotropy of microstructure can withstand highest temperatures.

Japan says it has begun preparations for a second production test to extract methane gas from methane hydrate deposits off the central coast of Japan.

Wärtsilä is to supply a 21 MW Smart Power Generation power plant to the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.

UK gas shipper, Barrow Green Gas, has announced a biomethane export deal with the Dutch energy company, Essent – the first of its kind between a UK seller and continental buyer.

China’s Yanchang Petroleum has begun constructing a large-scale carbon capture and storage facility, from which gas will be utilised to enhance oil recovery.

Siemens has launched a new gas turbine, the 44MW SGT-A45 TR mobile unit, which it says is aimed at addressing the growing market for fast power.

A report from analysts Research and Markets says the global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) market will grow 9.18% per year between 2017 and 2021, with Babcock & Wilcox, ENGIE, GE Power, The Linde Group & Mitsubishi Heavy Industries dominating developments.