Technology & Innovation

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.

Japanese manufacturer Marubeni is getting close to start trial runs for ammonia co-firing at some of JERA’s thermal power plants in Japan. Ammonia stores hydrogen at low cost and can be used as a fuel to generate electricity.

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.

Japanese engineering firm Chiyoda, in consortium with Mitsui and Mitsubishi as well as shipping firm NYK Line, has started importing hydrogen from Brunei for use in a pilot power project. The first methylcyclohexane (MCH) cargo arrived at Kawasaki port, where the hydrogen gets extracted from the MCH.

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News in Brief

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

GE upgrades Italian CHP

Oct 7 – GE has completed an axial fuel staging upgrade on its 9E gas turbine at an onsite combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily. The entire electricity needs of the refinery, over 780 GWh in 2019, will soon be supplied by the upgraded and more flexible gas turbine.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 6 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Chart wins order from New Fortress Energy

Oct 5 – Chart Industries has secured a second leasing order, worth $7.7 million, for ISO containers for LNG applications from New Fortress Energy for a project in the Caribbean. The US equipment maker sees double digit near-term growth in its repair, service and leasing business, notably from growing demand for LNG equipment for infrastructure.

Siemens energises Togo

Oct 2 – Siemens Energy has delivered a SGT-800 gas turbine and other components for the Kékéli Efficient Power plant project. Located in the Togolese capital Lomé, the 65 MW plant will cover almost 40% of country’s expected electricity demand.

Batteries get cheaper

Oct 1 – Cost for battery production is falling rapidly as manufacturers bring large Gigafactories on-line. By 2030, Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates battery pack prices to drop to $73 per kilowatt-hour, down from a current volume-weighted average of below $270/kWh.

Barclays may help fund Rolls-Royce

Sept 30 – UK’s prime engine maker Rolls-Royce is understood to be close to getting fresh financing from Barclays Bank. The Derby-based company, however, insists no final decision has been taken on the precise amount that may be raised or any allotment of shares to any investor.

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

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