Technology & Innovation

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 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and function 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.

ABB has launched a solution using its VD4G vacuum generator circuit breaker to extend the safe operational life of power plants. It extends the OneFit concept with new ratings and covers generator protection applications, notably for aging switchgear.

Targeting the decentralized power market, Siemens is launching a 57 MW upgrade of its SGT-800 gas turbine at the Power-Gen Asia trade show, which, opened its doors in Bangkok today. In combined-cycle configuration, Siemens SGT-800 now achieves 163MW power output at a net efficiency of more than 58.5%.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced to grant $50 million in funding for projects aimed at strengthening grid resiliency in the face of storms and cyberattacks. The lion’s share of the funds, or $33 million, is reserved for seven projects from the Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC).

Pushing the limits, the new MAN 20V45/60 engine achieves a power output of 26MW at a considerably lower fuel consumption than its predecessor, the MAN 48/60. At the launch event in Augsburg on September 11, the new flagship genset was presented as “the most powerful four-stroke engine in the market.”

Silver Spring Networks and Genus Power Infrastructures, a smart meter provider in India and Southeast Asia, have agreed that the latter will integrate Silver Springs IPv6 network interface cards (NICs) into its single-phase and three-phase smart electric meters.

The energy services division of Australia’s Energy Queensland has joined forces with the energy tech firm GreenSync to create a cloud-based, load control system designed to manage extreme electricity demand during severe temperature events. Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt called it “Australia’s biggest virtual power plant (VPP).”

Decoupling a portion of the low-voltage grid in the Allgäu region of Germany, Siemens and its partners have implemented a self-contained microgrid using only renewable power supply. Insights from this “islanded grid” in Wildpoldsried serve as a model for the “transformation to power supply supported by prosumers.”

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