Technology & Innovation

Spark Cognition, a global artificial intelligence (AI) technology leader, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas are working together to advance AI applications in MHPS-Tomoni. This new digital platform from MHPS optimizes power plant processes through cognitive analytics, prioritizing customer collaboration.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has just disclosed that customers in Asia, the U.S., Mexico and South America have technically selected the M501JAC for their projects 26 times, representing over 14 GW of new power projects. MHPS's new JAC-class turbine has unprecedented statistics – 99.5% reliability while approaching 65% efficiency.

Gemma Power System has selected Matrix North American Construction (Matrix NAC) as a subcontractor to carry out critical equipment erection work during for Exelon West Medway II – a 200 MW dual-fuel simple cycle power plant in Medway, Massachusetts. As the EPC contractor for the Medway II project, Gemma has commissioned Matrix to install the plant’s centerline and erect the stacks and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system.

Decentralized generation, independent power production, and microgrids are vital enablers to drive reliable power supply in both emerging economies. To that end, EnPro Industries company Fairbank Morse introduced  at POWER-GEN International a PoweReliability-as-a-Service platform, powered by its new Trident OP engine that is based on a fuel-efficient opposed piston architecture.

Advances in additive manufacturing and combustion breakthroughs have helped GE Power achieve 64% efficiency in combined-cycle application at its largest gas turbine – the 9HA.02. This rate, according to the manufacturer, is “higher than any other competing technology today.”

Cost and performance of battery technologies will not only be shaping customer acceptance of electric vehicles in the coming years, but also determine how easy it will be to integrate renewable energy into the grid. Tracking the relation between the dramatic drop in prices for batteries and their usage, IEA analysts say “for each doubling of output, lithium ion battery prices have been getting 19% cheaper.”

MIT researchers have developed a new membrane-based system that can be used for converting power plant emissions into fuels for cars, trucks and planes, as well as into a variety of chemical feedstocks. The membrane – made of a compound of lanthanum, calcium, and iron oxide – allows oxygen from a stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) to migrate through, leaving carbon monoxide (CO) behind. This CO is useful as a fuel by itself, or combined with hydrogen and/or water, can be turned into other liquid hydrocarbon fuels, e.g. methanol or syngas.

Success of the UK’s green energy revolution hinges on the quality of the power transmission cable that underpins the grid connection of new wind, solar and gas power projects. Yet an estimated 20% of all cables throughout the British Isles are either sub-standard, counterfeit or non-approved, according to Eland Cables’ director Jean-Sébastien Pelland. “For a project, this can result in downtime, reliability issues and ballooning maintenance costs at best and major safety hazards at worst, as well as potential environmental damage,” he told Gas to Power Journal.

Siemens has extended the scope of application of its Simotics SD Add low-voltage motors, helping power transmissions system operators (TSOs) reduce drain on the grid due to low start-up currents. The revamped motors are compatible are also compatible for use in process industries, or in sensitive industrial applications that require enhanced grid stability.

Nova Analytical Systems, part of Tenova Goodfellow, in June received an order from Ametek Reading Alloys for six DuraNOVA continuous process oxygen gas analyzers. These six units were commissioned in late October at Amtek's milling plant for titanium-based specility powders.

The technology group Wärtsilä is witnessing the growing importance of utilities as a customer segment, alongside independent power producers. “Utility-scale solar projects with a full Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) are growing fast, and gas-fired power plants remains stable,” the Finnish manufacturer said. Geographically, it sees the highest demand growth the demand for EPC contractors in Africa and South-America.

For efficiency levels of fully air-cooled gas turbines – like Siemens’ new HL-class – to reach 63% and ultimately 65% combined-cycle efficiency, firing temperatures need to keep rising.  Siemens consequentially developed manufacturing technologies like laser engraving that allow the use of thicker/ multi-layer thermal barrier coating to better protect the turbine parts exposed to the hot combustion gases, says Guido Schuld, Product Family Owner large gas turbines.

A new chemical composite, developed by researchers at MIT, can be used to store the energy from sunlight or any other heat source in a battery-like system that is capable of storing thermal energy and releasing it on demand. The new solution combines phase change material (PCM) with molecular switches that can be adjusted with light, enabling the overall system to store thermal energy at lower melting points than the original material.

Three Mitsubishi business units have worked together and successfully completed testing of MHPS’s 2-shaft H-100 gas turbine. Utilizing latest combustor technology, the 120 MW turbine is now proven to be industry leader in terms of low NOx (single digit ppm) for full-load operations. MHI Group said the solution has been designed for thermal power plants as well as mechanical drive LNG-applications.

As the power generation landscape is being reinvented around renewables, so are national grid codes that define performance – especially in countries with weaker grid infrastructure, which are changing in response to this new power generation mix. These grid codes specify the power quality of electricity that plant and grid technologies must deliver – both in normal operation and under fault conditions – and are now giving rise to a range of creative solutions such as GE’s ‘rotating stabilizer’.

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