Technology & Innovation

A “remarkable technical success” is how Chuck Goodson, Eastman Chemical Company’s utilities maintenance area manager describes PSM’s FlameSheet combustion system conversion, implemented on two 7F gas turbines at the Longview combined heat and power plant in Texas.

As for generating district heating from CHP sources, gas engine-driven power plants offer numerous advantages over classic gas combined-cycle power plants, a comparative study by the Essen-Duisburg University and MAN Diesel & Turbo shows. Engine-driven CHPs were found to be “operationally superior”, both in terms of energy efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness.

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.

Flexibility of power network hinges on storing excess electricity and demand response to alleviate the impact of intermittent generation. California and Germany used subsidies as a trigger to advance power storage; yet to further commercialise these technologies the industry needs market-based regulation that remunerates flexibility and puts in place a level playing field between different assets.

Ener-Core has initiated a full scale acceptance test, connecting its first-ever 2 MW power oxidizer with the Dresser-Rand KG2-3G gas turbine. Following successful testing, Siemens-owned Dresser-Rand will assemble and ship two commercial 2 MW systems to Pacific Ethanol, who placed the first purchase order for this technology.

US merchant power producer Talen Energy has verified the feasibility of bringing natural gas to its Montour power plant, in Washingtonville, as it is about to install boiler modification to enable the coal-fired plant to also run on gas. Dual-fuel capability is expected to reduce operating costs.

Construction and fuel costs determine the economics of electric generator technology, while markets and price drivers alter patterns of which type of capacity is being added, an EIA analysis finds. As for gas generation, construction costs in the US averaged at $965/kW in 2013 while building new wind power installationscost $1,895/kW, supported by tax credits at the time.

A policy session on the role of micro gas turbines amid the rise of green energy production will be held by ETN, COGEN and AEBIOM during the upcoming EU Sustainable Energy Week. A system approach is needed so that decentralised gas generators can effectively contribute to the decarbonisation of the power mix.

Technological advances in fuel flexibility, efficiency, and environmental sustainability remain in focus at Wärtsilä, notably in its Wärtsilä 31 engine. As of late, the Finnish OEM introduced the world's first gas tanker fuelled by liquefied ethane gas.

SmartSet Couplings, designed by Voith, limit the torque between the generator and the turbine in the event of a sudden voltage drop in the power system, allowing continuous plant operation. The risk of critical voltage fluctuations increases due to rising alignment of the grid to renewables and distributed power.

Keen to cater to Saudi Arabia’s fast-growing power market, turbine manufacturers are stepping up local production. Siemens has just delivered its first gas turbine built in the Saudi kingdom, while GE and SAIIC signed an accord to co-invest in sectors that help develop local industries.

AG&P is looking to partner with private developers in building small-scale LNG facilities that can deliver 5 to 20 MW of decentralised power. Commenting on average investment needs, AG&P President Albert D. Altura said: “The rule-of-thumb for LNG, and this is highly dependent on the area, is about $1 million per megawatt for small-scale projects.”

Cryoline hose-in-hose transfer system for LNG, a Telleborg technology, is set to extend the usability of regasified LNG for power generation in remote areas. Island nations, such as Indonesia, can use the solution to supply fuel to decentralised gas power plants.

Paul Kagame, the President of Ruanda, has launched the innovative KivuWatt methane gas power plant on Lake Kivu, which initially adds 25 MW to the grid. Contour Global was awarded a 25-year concession to produce 100 MW from the methane-rich lake.

At Lausward, a recently commissioned 603.8 MW combined-cycle unit in Düsselsdorf, Siemens has achieved 61.5% efficiency – beating its own H-class gas turbine efficiency record that had been held by the Irsching CCPP. Lothar Balling, VP Global Project Management, Siemens Energy Solutions gave Gas to Power Journal some insight into how this was possible.