Technology & Innovation

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'.

Since the rise of Additive Manufacturing, Siemens has been investing in the technology and is now driving it towards commercialization. To that end, the German OEM last August bought a majority stake in Materials Solutions, one of the pioneers in using selective laser melting to manufacture high-performance metal parts.

Additive manufacturing is a break-through technology for intricately shaping turbine parts. TerniEnergia and Numanova just signed two EPC contracts worth €6.5 million for the turnkey supply of two plants that actually produce the sought-after metal powders – the very basis of the laser printing process. The two facilities will be built some 100km north of Rome, due for completion in the second quarter of 2017.

By 2030, Levelized Cost of Storage (LCOS) below €100/MWh will be achievable through various innovative technologies. At present, conventional battery power storage has LCOS of around €200-400/MWh.

Rising interconnectivity of power plants’ operating system with web-based monitoring and dispatch is posing greater risks in terms of cyber-security. “Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) machines are now open to the same attack vectors that the corporate environment has been dealing with for years,” security experts warn.

Recovering exhaust heat at its GT333S gensets allows FlexEnergy to make use of an additional 545 kilowatts of thermal energy. To that end, the New Hampshire-based company just launched an integrated heat recovery module that furthers boost microturbine efficiency.

Yamal LNG, a flagship liquefaction project in the Russian Arctic, will have uninterrupted power supply through 50 of AEG Power’s Protect 8 three-phase units, based on double-conversion/topology. First LNG production at the Novatek-led project is targeted in 2017.

Six selected Phase-II projects have been awarded funding by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) to further develop technologies for gas turbine components and supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycles. The six winners will receive a total of a $30 million of research funding through the National Energy Technology Laboratory over the next 3.5 years.

At two US-based gas-fired combined cycle plants, controllability at the plants was a major issue, the responsible plant manager told Gas to Power Journal on condition of anonymity. Large natural gas swings caused large boiler pressure swings, which "created a situation where the load was swinging around a lot more than it needed to be." Electraulic actuator proved an "expensive yet very effective solution."

Harvard University has curbed its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% this year by adding an 8 MW gas cogeneration plant, designed by Burns & McDonnel, to the 110-year-old Blackstone steam (and one-time electricity producing) plant. A Burns & McDonnell team evaluated various options, and selected a Taurus 70 gas turbine from Solar Turbines, and an HRSG from Rentech Boilers based on a competitive bid.

Toshiba Corp has struck a deal with Tepco and the Japanese city of Yokohama to launch a trial for the control of multiple, grouped storage batteries attached to Virtual Power Plants (VPPs). The pilot projects test the waters as Toshiba seeks to build up a battery service business.

Italian utility A2A is using its revamped Chivasso power plant in the ancillary service market. Retrofitted with GE digital solutions, the gas-fired plant now achieves 65 MW per gas turbine minimum load level which makes it competitive again for dispatch in balancing markets.

As Europe pursues a green energy strategy, reciprocating engine technology is seen as a complementary solution due fast ramp rates and modular deployment, Andreas Lippert, engineering leader Distributed Power at GE told Gas to Power Journal.