Technology & Innovation

Siemens is applying its electrification experience in the marine industry to offshore oil and gas, focussing on reducing emissions and risk in harsh operational environments. BlueVault, Siemens’ advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution, is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications.

Technology changes that come with the energy transition are far-reaching, notably for power grid operators tasked with having to keep the balance between supply and demand. “Of course, target we are aiming for is a “full 3D” system, i.e. a system that is 100% decentralized, 100% decarbonized and 100% digitalized,” says Thierry Lepercq, executive vice president at ENGIE in charge of Research & Technology.

UK-based bolting solution provider Hydratight will provide Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) with a new multi-stud tensioning system, designed in cooperation with Yokohama Engineering Services. The system was launched following six month of close cooperation with MHPS, providing a tailored bolting solution for their 501J series gas turbine.

At Hanover Messe, Siemens is presenting its enhanced Digital Enterprise portfolio for Industrie 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. The offering includes solutions for digital twins, used to create a holistic virtual model of the value chain, as well as the company’s open, cloud-based IoT operating system MindSphere. A virtual model of the real power plant – a so-called "digital twin" – provides the operator with enough flexibility to react quickly to changing market requirements.

Black-start technology, supplied by Siemens, is providing 300MW critical backup power for San Francisco via the upgraded Trans Bay Cable (TBC). The project includes a 53-mile HVDC cable that runs under the San Francisco Bay, capable to swiftly restore power supply in the event of a network outage.

To meet tomorrow’s market needs, Siemens has adapted the electrical and mechanical design of the Sinamics frequency converters, giving the units a smaller footprint and up to 60% lower width. The new Sinamics S120 Chassis-2 and Sinamics S120 Cabinet Modules-2, according to Siemens, address changing requirements in the field of high-performance drives.

Synthetic fuels like hydrogen are vital for a successful energy transition, experts at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue agreed, calling for a regulatory framework to ensure large-scale development in Europe against competitors in Asia. “China has done solar, has done batteries… it’s over. There’s one thing where it’s not over: that’s hydrogen,” said Thierry Lepercq, executive vice president at ENGIE in charge of Research & Technology.

Swiss technology group ABB has launched a single-phase device for Uninteruptible Power Supply (UPS), aimed at applications up to 30 kW. The new PowerValue 11T G2 employs ABB’s double conversion technology: incoming AC is first converted to DC, from which the output AC is then synthesized – giving a clean sinusoid.

Works to build the EU-funded H2FUTURE project, an EU-funded 6MW pilot plant, have kicked off in the Austrian town of Linz. The project consortium – Voestalpine, Siemens and the Austrian utility VERBUND – has now officially given the go-ahead for works on the world's largest pilot plant for the production of "green" hydrogen. The plant will be fully operational by spring 2019.

With households and businesses now capable to generate their own electricity and sell it back to the grid, the one-directional stream of energy from producer to consumer has ended. “Electric utilities must adapt to this new reality by creating a flexible infrastructure that works for a new generation of customer,” says Tobias Pantwich, Digital Workflow Advisor at Bentley Systems.

UK hydrogen specialist ITM Power is preparing to carry out a multi-MW power-to-gas (P2G) feasibility study for the Massachusetts region, backed by a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The project is due to start in Q2-2018 and has a duration of 12 months.

Eka Software Solutions announced a large American retail trading cooperative, including over 200 independent associations, has implemented Eka's Energy Trading and Risk Management software (ETRM) software to manage currency and energy related risks. The customer is a retail trading co-op active in many industries, including energy where it upgrades, refines, and markets petroleum products.

Setting another Additive Manufacturing milestone, Siemens has fitted the first replacement parts – two oil sealing rings that were 3D-printed from metal – for an industrial steam turbine operating in India. The oil sealing rings help keep oil separated from steam inside the turbine, using pressurized air.

MTU Yuchai Power, a joint venture between Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the Chinese diesel engine manufacturer Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company, have launched series production of MTU Series 4000 engines in China. The first MTU Series 4000 engine has already been manufactured in Yulin, Guangxi province.

Electricity will make up about 25% of final energy consumption by 2040, according to IEA estimates, as new electric devices are being developed at a rapid rate. Brushing climate concerns aside, Richard Zhang, technology executive at GE’s Power Conversion stressed electrification offers significant cost and efficiency savings: “Future electrical machines will generate power with ever higher density, efficiency and allow for a higher degree of system integration.”

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