Technology & Innovation

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has begun the commissioning of T-Point 2, its new combined cycle power plant validation facility at Takasago Work, Japan. The CCGT will test the performance and reliability of the 1650℃-class JAC gas turbine and other ultrahigh-temperature models.

Japanese manufacturers Marubeni and IHI Corp are conducting a feasibility study on ammonia co-firing in thermal power plants run by JERA, Japan’s leading LNG importer and power producer. Ammonia stores hydrogen at low cost and can be directly used as a fuel to generate electricity.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System (MHPS) has been striving to combine is solid oxide fuel cell, called MEGAMIE, with a micro gas turbine to stabilize and increase power output. “The toughest challenge,” researcher Yoshinori Kobayashi recalled, "was to figure out how to build a robust power unit with ceramics which are essential for such fuel cells to function.”

Rising need for renewables grid-integration will propel up the market value of gas turbines beyond $10 million by 2026. According to Global Market Insights, turbine technology with 70 MW to 200 MW capacity will be particularly in high demand and see annual installments exceed 10 GW over the next five years.

Investment in energy access accelerates with nearly $2.1 billion corporate monies spent on off-grid power generation capacity between 2010 and 2019. However, this Capex might still not be enough to reach universal electricity access globally by 2030.

Greenidge Generation, a gas-fired power plant operated by Atlas Holding in upstate New York, is using ‘behind-the-meter’ electricity to mine the crypto-currency bitcoin. With 7,000 mining rigs, using 14 MW of on-site power, the plant can generate up to 5.5 bitcoins per day worth about $45,000.

The Russian gas giant Gazprom plans to order Russian-manufactured LNG-powered trucks to transport liquid helium from the Amur Gas Processing Plant, where Russian gas gets treated prior to being fed into the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline to China. The first 18 trucks will go on the road in 2021.

The HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming), led by Cranfield University, will build a 1.5 MWth pilot plant to test hydrogen technology invented by GTI. The research is funded by a £7.5 million grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and gets support from U.S.-based GTI and Doosan Babcock.

Mýa, a digital interface launched by MAN Energy Solutions, enables the exchange of data in a controlled and secure manner among participating Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), power plant operators and asset owners. The aim is promote collaborations among the marine, power generation, and energy industries.

MAN Energy Solution has launched an intelligent constant monitoring device for industrial lube oil. The certified device has recorded over 18,000 test hours on pilot industrial sites and complies with CE standards. It also received its first order is for third-party equipment in the Pacific region.

Green hydrogen, produced with renewables using electrolysers, is hoped to become the ‘new oil’ and develop into one of the most essential vectors in the decarbonisation process. “The technology already exists to make it possible; the next step is to scale it up to enable it to serve the common interest,” argues the French author Thierry Lepercq.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and NTK Spark Plug have joint forces to manufacture and sell cylindrical cell stacks – a key element used in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The new joint venture CECYLLS will use NTK’s ceramic knowledge to produce the cell stacks that can efficiently utilize heat.

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News in Brief

Thermoelectrics enters fast track

Aug 2 – Thermoelectrics cools, heats, makes electricity and sense. ID TechEx sees a real possibility of thermoelectric generators becoming viable in geothermal energy and other high-power applications. New research scrutinizes 90 companies involved, from patents to research papers, product offerings, and financials.

Mining site used for solar PV

July 30 – German lignite operator Leag takes advantage of the country's coal phase-out by using part of the Jänschwalde opencast mine to build a 400 MW solar power. Construction for the ‘Energy Park Bohrau’ is slated to begin in 2023 with a view to go into operation in 2024.

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.”

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