Technology & Innovation

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand and to significantly extend inspection intervals and increase availability – key features in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain, says Leone Tessarini, product manager at Alstom's gas turbine services.

GE Energy Management has announced the launch of Multilin™ Intelligent Line Monitoring System -  an end-to-end overhead line monitoring solution, enabling utilities for improving the reliability and efficiency of their networks.

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand – a key feature in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain.

Alstom and Toshiba said today they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish complementary partnership in the smart grid business with the aim of developing systems that support wide scale integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and help to bring down the cost of power generation.

A pilot power-to-gas plant that will enable the storage of electicity generated by wind turbines in the gas grid will start operations in Germany in 2013. E.on said it started construction works of the pilot facility, located in Falkenhagen, north-east Germany.

As Europe increases its dependence upon green renewable energy as a major source of power generation, it will also need to install fast-starting, aero-derivative gas turbine generators to backstop the electricity grid, forecasts Swift Tarbell, Area Director for Europe with Pratt & Whitney Power Systems.

The Pratt & Whitney Power Systems' 30MW / 60MW FT8 and soon-to-be-launched 60MW / 120MW FT4000 SwiftPac gas turbine units can reach full load on the grid in less than 10 minutes from cold start, and are able to quickly fill the sporadic gaps in power supplied from intermittent wind and solar power technologies.

Schmack Biogas, a German suppliers of biogas technologies, is close to finalising construction works of a 2.85 MW biogas-to-energy plant Tongere, Belgium. "We plan to get the plant ready to start full commercial operations in the second half of this year," Schmack Biogas sales representative, Gernot Buchta, told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Siemens Flex-Plant technology enables the operator of the new 300-MW Lodi Energy Center (LEC) to deliver about 200 MW of power to the grid within 30 minutes. California Power Agency (NCPA) runs the plant in full commerical operations since August 10.

Wärtsilä, a leading supplier of gas engines, has singled out the United States as a fast growing market for Smart Power Generation (SPG). "Ancillary services such as spinning reserve, frequency regulation and black start capability can all be sold in the market," Melle Kruisdijk, Director Market Development, Wärtsilä Power Plants told Gas to Power Journal.

While the Indian government is blaming the federal states for causing the blackout by overdrawing electricity from the grid, Wartsila India told Gas to Power Journal that "to remedy, if not prevent future crippling power cuts" the creation of decentralized, reserve power is of paramount importance.

"This is one thing we have to work on in right earnest," Rakesh Sarin, Managing Director of Wartsila India said.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded a $3.8 million contract to Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and industry collaborators to develop a novel gas turbine combustor for a concentrating solar power (CSP) hybrid gas turbine system.

Alstom has won a contract to undertake a boiler study for Shanghai Waigaoqiao No.3 Power Generation Co, Ltd. The study will is scheduled to be completed by the end of August.

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News in Brief

Hamburg CHP runs fully on hydrogen

Dec 1 – Field testing has started for HanseWerk’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Hamburg to run fully on hydrogen. The converted 1 MW pilot plant, powered by Jenbacher engines, provides district heating equal to 13,000 MWh/year to 30 residential buildings, a sports facility, a daycare center, and the Othmarschen Park leisure centre.

Oil majors in the red

Nov 30 – For most oil majors worldwide, higher prices are needed to get their business out of the red. Breakeven prices for Saudi Arabia are $85 per barrel, around $64/bbl for Iraq, $49/bbl for Kuwait and as little as $40/bbl for Russia. As business confidence plummets, major oil companies have already slashed planned CAPEX spending by almost $89 billion in first quarter of 2020, with further cuts being made throughout the summer and autumn.

EU invests into battery cells

Nov 27 – Germany's EU Council Presidency has pledged Europe should develop an integrated value creation chain for battery cells, starting with the processing of raw materials over battery cell production to recycling. Germany is investing 3 billion Euros into the two projects that foster novel methods of battery production.

Rolls-Royce wins order from Hinkley Point C

Nov 26 – Rolls-Royce has been awarded an order from Hinkley Point C to deliver 140 Bibloc pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK. The transmitters will measure the flow, level and pressure of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).

CHP industry to grow 14.4% through 2025

Nov 25 – The combined heat and power (CHP) market, evaluated at $12.152 billion, is expected to expand nearly 14.4% per year to reach $27.196 million by 2025. Growth is primarily driven by government funding and subsidy schemes. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the country aims to install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP to save $10 billion per year, compared to current energy use.

Rolls-Royce opens US customer center

Nov 24 – Rolls-Royce has opened its latest US customer support center in Savannah, Gerogia. The 62,000 square feet facility houses a power plant completion center, a wing services repair unit and a warehouse, all under one roof.

Lithium Werks grows manufacturing

Nov 23 – US-Dutch manufacturer Lithium Werks is growing the output and sales fuel cells and battery modules for use as power, pulse, and stand-by applications. The company’s 26650 Nanophosphate cells are used as single cells, as well as to build cell-packs and modules like Lithium Werks P40-24 battery modules. The Austin and Enschede-based company said it can “produce millions of 18650 and 26650 cells a month in China.”

AGL plans 1,000 MWh battery

Nov 20 – Australian power producer and retailer ALG wants to realise a large grid-connected battery storage unit of up to 250 MW rated output and four hours’ duration of storage, equalling 1,000 MWh. The battery will be built in stages on the site of Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. AGL vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but is currently still operating some 40 GW of coal-fired generation.

Fusion demo plant to be designed in Canada

Nov 19 – Vancouver-based General Fusion has entered a partnership with the architecture firm AL_A to design a demonstration plant, based on magnetized target fusion (MTF). Once operational, the demo plant will showcase MTF technology under power plant-relevant conditions.

Toshiba opens H2One fuelling station

Nov 18 – Toshiba has opened the first ‘H2OneMulti Station’ which fills fuel cell vehicles with green hydrogen and supplies for green electricity at Tsuruga City in Fukui prefecture. The station consists of H2One ST Unit and H2One, using hydrogen produced from wind and solar power sources.

Shale gas market grows at 7% rate

Nov 17 – Unconventional gas markets are poised to grow by $41.76 billion through 2024, rising at a rate of almost 7%. According to Technavio, about 87% of the supply growth this year is coming from the Americas.

Agua Blanca pipeline expanded

Nov 16 – Austin-based WhiteWater Midstream and MPLX have completed a 1.8 billion cubic-feet-per-day (Bcf/d) expansion of their joint venture Agua Blanca pipeline system. Christer Rundlof, CEO of WhiteWater CEO, said the expansion will be brought into service ahead of schedule. Testing and commissioning will begin this month, for the new pipeline stretch to be brought into full service in early 2021.

Wärtsilä integrates clean energy

Nov 13 – Finish technology group Wärtsilä strives to integrate variable clean power sources to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. The necessary operational flexibility will come from gas generation assets running on synthetic renewable fuels and by the extended use of energy storage.

First German-Belgium power link to start operation

Nov 12 – The two TSOs Amprion and Elia are preparing to launch the first electric interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The 1,000 MW interconnector stretches between Aachen and Lüttich, from where it links to the Rhineland region and Wallonia. It will go into operation as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December.

Sachsen Energie takes on E.ON and RWE

Nov 11 – A small regional energy provider in Saxony seeks to counter the dominance of E.ON and RWE. Sachsen Energie, set up in a merger between two local utilities, claims it will become "the largest municipal utility in eastern Germany," catering to about one million customers, when it begins operation in 2021.

Rolls-Royce to build Czech nukes

Nov 10 – British engine maker Rolls-Royce and the Czech energy conglomerate CEZ have agreed to design and develop small modular reactors (SMR). These low-cost nuclear power stations are being built by the UK SMR Consortium aimed at installing a “fleet of factory built” nukes in the UK, and exporting the design abroad.

CCUS to reach $3.5bn by 2025

Nov 9 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market size is expected to grow at a rate of 17% from $1.6 billion in 2020 to $3.5 billion by 2025. According to ResearchAndMarkets, the rising use of captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery plays a key role for the expanding CCUS market.

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