As renewable, intermittent wind and solar energy replaces traditional base load coal-fired and nuclear energy in Europe, the need for substantial sources of fast-start and cost-effective backup gas power increases, says Swift Tarbell, PW Power Systems Area Director for Europe. Following the sale of the first FT4000 SWIFTPAC to Exelon, PWPS is showcasing the technology in Europe.
Gas turbine lifetimes could double thanks to new sensor monitoring technology developed by researchers at Cambridge University. The tested sensors monitor turbine operation at higher temperatures more accurately and help reduce fuel consumption between 0.5% and 1.5% as "improved accuracy allows greater control over the amount of fuel ingress," project lead Dr Michele Scervini told Gas to Power Journal.
Varying fuel gas composition presents a challenge to gas-to-power equipment such as internal combustion (IC) engines, gas turbines and fuel cell based machines as it impacts performance and component lifetime as well as meeting emissions regulations. By measuring the optical fingerprints of C1-C5 alkanes, the Precisive 5 Gas Analyzer enables real-time and high-accuracy fuel gas analysis, says founder and president, Vidi Saptari.
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has laid down the first nationwide limits on carbon emissions for new power plants in the Climate Action Plan, with CCS requirements handing new gas-fired projects a win over coal. The new rule caps emissions of carbon dioxide for large gas-fired turbines at 1,000 lb/MWh, while it caps new coal plants and small natural gas-fired turbines at 1,100 lb/MWh.
Funding has been announced to develop new technology focused on carbon capture and storage (CCS) specifically for gas-powered UK plants. A request for proposals has been announced by the Energy Technologies Institute, a public-private partnership, to invest in a project which is expected to start in the middle of next year.
A pilot power-to-gas (PTG) project in Germany is being undertaken by E.ON, that converts renewable electricity into hydrogen gas. The gas is injected into the regional gas grid, easing the heavy loading of wind and solar power on electric grids, such as is present in Germany and around Europe, at the same time providing 'renewable' gas feed.
Fuel cells have traditionally been associated with renewable technologies, as a means of offsetting generation intermittency problems, but as technology has reached maturity the range of applications and technologies has grown. Fuel cells increasingly provide opportunities for distributed downstream electricity, heat and gas generation and support local production, as well as easing grid requirements securing overall supply stability.
Exxon Mobil's gas turbine oil Mobil DTE 932 GT reduces the risk of varnish to help improve the operational reliability of turbines and increase power output. "Varnish can have a highly detrimental effect on gas turbine operations," said Kirill Chervyakov, Industrial Marketing Advisor, ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants, stressing the new lubricant meets the standards set for GE frame 3,5,6,7 and 9 turbines.
A GE-funded project at Iowa State University is using jets of extremely high speed cooling air to protect gas turbine blades working under higher temperatures. "This helps improve efficiencies of burning biofuels, and brings better efficiencies of burning regular gas to 70 percent, allowing generators to save on costs for gas-fired power," said aerospace engineering professor Hui Hu.
Satellite capacity for global data operations is set to expand fivefold over the next five years, allowing power TSOs to accurately forecast intermittent renewable power supply and fine-tune grid operations accordingly. "Global energy markets have witnessed a revolution in the provision of telemetry data of all kind since the inception of the smart grid programme," said Henrik Nørrelykke, CobhamSATCOM's vice president of land services.
UK-based manufacturer M1 Engineering has seen a spike in orders for its 40ft ISO Cryogenic LNG container, used to hold feed-gas at remote industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plants. "We know that people have been using it as a mobile storage facility. It's very easy to put onsite compared to a vertical storage tanker and I think the planning application is very much easier with it being an already approved piece of transport equipment," Jason Gil, technical sales director for M1 Engineering told Gas to Power Journal.