Technology & Innovation

Software-as-a-service provider Innowatts has developed a cloud-based solution by using the agility of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to process 4.3 billion data points per hour. By combining Innowatts AI data-analysis tool with AWS’s scalability and pay-as-you-go model, utilities can adapt their operations to customer needs and more volatile energy markets.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), alongside with electrification could substantially decarbonise LNG projects. More than 25% of overall emissions could be removed depending on the technology adopted, Wood Mackenzie says, with capturing reservoir CO2 found to be much cheaper than post-combustion capture.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has deployed a “linear generator” – a mobile genset running on natural gas and biogas to displace diesel generators – at its Angwin microgrid in Napa County, California. Working with the local utilities Mainspring and NextEra Energy, PG&E installed the linear gensets for emergency power supply during winter storms.

Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, is developing combustion burners that can use ammonia (NH3) as zero-emission fuel in thermal power plants. Tests have been conducted with basic combustion furnaces to compile data on ammonia and coal co-firing and ammonia-exclusive firing, though the by-product nitrogen oxide (NOx) is still of some concern.

Innowatts’ Core Analytics help power generators turn customer demand date into actionable insight. Analysis of smart meter data reduces forecasting errors by 20-40% which empowers the US retailer Direct Energy and the Colombian utility Celsia to tailor power plant dispatch, reduce the need to buy balancing energy and lower hedging costs.

ExxonMobil and Global Thermostat, an R&D firm, have been testing an agile solution of soaking up carbon dioxide emissions from the air – notably from industrial facilities and power stations – at a pilot plant in California. Once economically viable, the solution could help meet the world’s climate goals.

Rolls-Royce has invested over $600 million to revitalize manufacturing capabilities at its Indianapolis Operations Center. The upgraded facilities include digital engineering and robotics with a view to improving the company’s competitiveness in an increasingly contested marketplace for propulsion and power solutions.

Heads of German industry are urging Berlin to allow the use of ‘blue’ hydrogen, made from natural gas while capturing carbon, for a transition period. 55% of the 2,500 surveyed decision makers, notably the steelmaker Thyssenkrupp and energy company RWE, want to use blue hydrogen which is cheaper to make than ‘green’ hydrogen.

Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, has created a global network of TOMONI hubs to pre-warn operators of impending issues or needed corrective action to avoid unit trips or load reductions. The 840 MW Intermountain Power Project will use the hub to enhance the plant’s resilience and operational uptime.

Marubeni, together with Iwantani and Deloitte Tohmatsu, studies the feasibility of setting up a hydrogen supply chain in the Kobe/Kansai region. Use of low-cost imported hydrogen for power generation and transport is essential if Japan wants to achieve its aim of a carbon-free society by 2030.

Johnson Matthey, part of the European GAIA consortium, has helped develop a hydrogen fuel cell with a power density of 1.8 W/cm2 @ 0.6V. That’s a 20% rise compared with current technology. Working alongside BMW, Freudenberg, 3M and three others, Johnson Mattey supplied critical components within the fuel cell stack – membrane electrode assemblies.

MAN Energy Solutions and ANDRITZ Hydro have agreed to develop  hydrogen from hydropower, starting with a pilot project in Europe that will produce 650 tons of hydrogen from 4 MW electrolysis output before year-end. In future export-orientated projects, the electrolysis output will be raised to 100 MW.

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News in Brief

CCUS market to reach nearly $3bn in 2025

Oct 25 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market will grow from $1.30 billion in 2020 to $1.46 billion in 2021, according to ResearchAndMarket estimates. The rebound comes as companies return to normal operations and sales, after a pandemic-related slowdown. Analysts expect the market will keep growing at a rate of nearly 20% annually to reach $2.97 billion by 2025.

SDG&E accelerates drive towards Net Zero by 2045

Oct 20 – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has set a new sustainability strategy, outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. SDG&E it now seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle fleet by 2035 – five years earlier than planned.

B&W develops biomass-to-hydrogen plant in Australia

Oct 19 – B&W's Renewable segment and Port Anthony Renewables Ltd have started to develop a biomass-to-hydrogen energy project in Victoria, Australia, based on B&W’s BrightLoop technology. When completed, the plant is expected to be part of the largest green hydrogen hub in south-eastern Australia.

LNG prices rise faster than oil

Oct 18 – Liquefied natural gas and pipeline supplies have experienced an even sharper increase in prices in 2021 than oil, driven by a combination of circumstances that included a strong recovery in demand in North Asia, southeast Asia and Europe, unseasonal weather and planned and unplanned capacity outages.

Wärtsilä shaft gensets to power two LNG carriers

Oct 14 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply four shaft generators to provide electricity take-off from the main engines of two LNG carriers. The ships are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Korea on behalf of the Capital Gas Ship Management of Greece.

VoltH2 gets green light for large hydrogen plant

Oct 13 – Vision Hydrogen Corp has announced that its affiliate VoltHe has received building and environmental permits to realise its first large-scale hydrogen plant at the Dutch North Sea Port of Vlissingen. The 5 MW hydrogen plant is located near existing high voltage power and gas infrastructure as well as large wind power assets. Once operational, it will produce around 3,500 tons of green hydrogen per year and will be scalable to 100 MW or 14,000 tons.

Tesla overtakes German e-cars

Oct 12 – Sales of Tesla in Germany has overtaken that of leading German carmakers. In September, more electric Tesla Model 3s were registered in the country than leading domestic models, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class combined.

EnerMech spends £500k on crane training tech

Oct 11 – EnerMech has invested £500,000 in new crane simulator training systems at its Luanda (Angola), Doha (Qatar) and Great Yarmouth (UK) facilities. The British company recently formed a joint venture with 3t Energy Group to bring the KraneSIM-6000 equipment to both Qatar and Angola and offer in-country training across client organisations globally.  

Germany finances green hydrogen projects abroad

Oct 8 – The German government has agreed to support green hydrogen projects in other countries with up to €350 million by 2024, the economy ministry said when publishing a directive with relevant guidelines. Moreover, financial support is given to projects that produce and process green hydrogen for storage, transport and use in countries outside the EU through investment grants worth up to €15 million each.

UK e-car sales surge 186%

Oct 6 – Sales electric cars in the UK have surged 186% to a total of 108,000 in 2020 during the pandemic, up from just 38,000 in the previous year. Latest statistics show there were nearly 300,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of August 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

FogHorn deploys AI software at Chugoku Electric Power in Japan

Oct 4 – FogHorn, developer of Edge AI software, has deployed its Internet of Things (IoT) software at the Chugoku Electric Power hydroelectric power plant. The AI solutions will make the power gen process more efficient and enhances workplace safety. Chugoku Electric Power employs nearly 9,200 workers across 114 power units in the western part of Honshū, the largest island of Japan.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines for ferry propulsion

Oct 1 – Rolls-Royce's new MT engines, automation system, and MTU Go! tool for remote service have future-proofed the high-speed catamaran Avemar Dos, run by the Spanish operator Balearia. Four MTU 20V1163 M84 units replaced the previous 1163 units, taking the vessel to a "new level of ecological soundness," the manufacturer says.

GES appoints former Puma Energy Chairman as NED

Sept 30 – Global Energy Storage (GES) has appointed the former Puma Energy Chairman, Graham Sharp, as an NED. Graham will support GES on its ‘new energies’ strategy for the energy transition, focusing on hydrogen fuels and hydrogen carriers space.

Aggreko reaches 2 GW of live power gen capacity

Sept 29 – Aggreko has today announced it has reached 2GW of live global gas power capacity and growth in flare gas to power and stranded gas projects. This new record follows a milestone of exceeding 1GW of delivered flare gas power projects in 2020.

Wärtislä renews O&M agreement with Lafarge Africa

Sept 28 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has renewed a long-term Operation & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Lafarge Africa, a large producer of building materials in Nigeria. The agreement covers the 100 MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant, which provides a dedicated supply of electricity to the company’s concrete and cement manufacturing processes.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines to Sanlorenzo

Sept 27 – Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems will become one of the leading engine suppliers for Sanlorenzo, delivering MTU 10V, 12V and 16V 2000 yacht engines with a compact IMO 3 solution. A framework contract from 2022 through 2024 has been signed at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Shell exits Permian Basin

Sept 24 – Royal Dutch Shell has sold all its upstream interested in US Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash. Shell’s assets in the Permian include around 225,000 net acres with a current production of around 175,000 barrels per day equivalent.

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