Technology & Innovation

The Japanese trading house Marubeni has agreed to help transform the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a “hydrogen-based society.” The aim is to use green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy, to help dent Abu Dhabi’s growing energy needs in a sustainable way.

Rolls-Royce has purchased a 73.1 percent majority stake in Berlin-based electricity storage specialist Qinous for an unspecified price, effective from tomorrow, January 15. With this move, the British manufacturer wants to “pool all its microgrid activities”  – from simple storage solutions to complex microgrid solutions of various sizes and configurations.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has presented it 2019 "Best Partner Awards" to supplier that made “especially noteworthy contributions” to its business last year. The five recipients are Kajima Corp. of Japan, the Dutch company HP Valves, Himile of China, South Korea’s Sung Il Sim, and the Taiwanese engineering firm Liang Lian.

MAN Energy Solutions is conducting a test phase with over 20 field applications for its newly developed assisted-reality application, PrimeServ EyeTech. Tests are conducted in cooperation with a pilot customer for turbomachinery maintenance and repair.

Grid balancing becomes paramount as the share of intermittent supply from renewable power sources keeps rising fast in most developed countries around the globe. Smart grids are hence expected to manage two-thirds of global net electricity supply by 2050, and by that time an estimated $548 billion will be invested in batteries for energy storage.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) President and CEO Ken Kawai has used his New Year address to highlight the company’s focus on decarbonization by promoting fuel conversions to biomass, hydrogen and ammonia. In 2020, the MHPS President anticipates “further growth” for combined-cycle gas turbine orders to help convert CCGT and ICGT units to hydrogen co-firing.

Burckhardt Compression has been contracted to deliver a high-speed compressor to Ganzair in Hungary, where it will be used to inject natural gas from a key transmission pipeline to a nearby underground gas storage (UGS). The ISO 13631-compliant compressor is the first of its kind made by Burckhardt for this application in Europe.

Researchers at GE, working together with Baker Hughes, Intel and the Florida State University, have developed ‘Digital Ghost’ – a new tool designed to allow critical energy infrastructure like natural gas pipelines to operate safely during a cyber-attack. The $5.2 million program is partly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

Berlin-based energy startup Lumenion has presented the pilot of its 2.4 Megawatt-hour (MWh) steel storage system in a housing project in the German capital. The technology allows storing excess renewable electricity in the form of heat (up to 650°C) in steel plates. If required, that stored heat can be converted back into electricity.

GE Power has completed the first upgrade worldwide of a turbine with ALSPA P320 V1 controls – technology originally developed by Alstom – to GE’s new Mark VIe system. The pilot project was carried out at ENGIE’s 770-MW Baymina combined-cycle gas power plant near Ankara.

Gas-fuelled, cryogenic barges – designed by the Canadian naval architect Robert Allen and Hidrovias do Brazil – will be used to transport LNG to remote locations in northern Brazil. The first project benefiting from the solution will be the 1.67 GW Vila-do-Conde gas-fired power plant in Baracena, in Brasil's northern state of Pará.

MAN Energy Solutions and Orcan Energy agreed to collaborate on waste heat recovery. PACK technology, developed by Oran, uses waste heat from the engine to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. The solution is now available to all of MAN’s customers for retrofitting their engines.

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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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