Technology & Innovation

MHI Compressor International (MCO-I) has launched a test stand for API617 centrifugal compressors in Houston. The investment turned MCO-I into the only compressor maker at the U.S. Gulf Coast which can carry out PTC 10 Type 2 performance tests as well as mechanical running tests.

UK-based smart battery company Moixa has secured £4.6 million ($5.8m) in ‘bridge funding’ though a convertible loan, largely financed by Itochu Corp. Moixa said it aims to secure a further £10 million ($12.5m) by the end of the year as it wants to advance the rollout of its GridShare software in Japan.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems has chosen to join MAN Energy Solutions’ mýa platform. The open asset-and-fleet-management-system links data from OEMs and plant operators across the marine, power and energy industries. The initiative can, however, only take off if other suppliers also decide to join up.

Through careful analysis, Wärtsilä’s Fuel Laboratory Services (FLS) team in Vaasa, Finland, can adapt engines to run more efficiently on whatever fuel is available – from exotic biofuels to mixes of different gases. This makes a difference to thousands of gas and liquids-fuelled engine as more green fuels are tested and approved for usage.

The global gas turbine market will grow by $2.44 billion, or 2%, over the next four years, according to Technavio research. The market is fragmented and sales badly hit by the coronavirus crisis, but analysts say the degree of fragmentation will accelerate in the years through to 2024.

Engineering solution provider FuelTech has been awarded several equipment orders worth $2.2 million. In Europe, two order wins stipulate the use of NOxOUT Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) systems for single combustion units, firing natural gas and biomass. SNCR technology helps plant operators to comply with more stringent NOx emission rules.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ T-Point 2 gas turbine validation facility has started up in Japan. Powered by a JAC gas turbine, the T-Point 2 power station has entered operations at record-setting combined-cycle efficiency greater than 64% and a turbine inlet temperature of 1650°C.

Cummins has taken legal actions against Turbo Lab for infringement of patents by the unauthorized selling of turbo nozzle rings, a critical component of the Holset VGT engine. Turbo had to concede Cummins’ patents were valid and infringed, and must now destroy all existing infringing stock.

Marubeni has started trial runs on ammonia co-firing, making use of stored hydrogen at low cost. The Marubeni-led technical study – running through to the end for February 2021 – entails a series of trials for direct usage of ammonia as a fuel in JERA’s thermal power plants.

German utility RWE is adopting Optime, a new SCADA control system, at its trading and dispatch centre in Essen. Optime gives power plant operators second-by-second control of all assets and helps facilitate the integration of wind and solar farms as well as energy storage.

Drax Group and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, part of MHI, have agreed to implement a bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at Drax Power Station starting from this autumn. The 12-month pilot will capture 300kg of CO2 a day, running on biomass flue gases.

Keppel Data Centres has teamed up with the Asia Pacific arm of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI-AP) to explore the use of hydrogen-fuelled tri-generation plants. The aim is to provide electricity and cooling for Keppel’s Floating Data Center Park project in Singapore, collocated with LNG-to-power infrastructure.

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News in Brief

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

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