Technology & Innovation

Setting a new industry benchmark, the Siemens gas turbine SGT6-5000F has demonstrated NOx emissions as low as 25 ppm when running on fuel oil, beating the current standard of 42 ppm for other OEM F-Class gas turbines.

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.

Using CO2 to generate natural gas on industrial scales is a step closer thanks to new technology developed by the Austrian firm, Krajete. The process can convert electricity to methane and has passed initial trials demonstrating the potential for industrial production.

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.

French power generation conglomerate Alstom will supply a flue gas cleaning and heat recovery system for a new €120 million (SEK1,050 million) waste-to- energy CHP plant in the city of Linköping, Sweden. It is set to generate 80MW of power.

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.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is providing $4,998,319 in funding for ten university research projects on making gas turbines more durable and fuel-flexible, covering the lion's share of the total project costs of $6,314,361.

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News in Brief

Ferrybridge C gets demolished

Oct 15 – Four cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station have been taken down as the coal-fired power station will make way to a new, high-efficiency gas power station. Operator SSE shut down the 500 MW Ferrybridge C unit in March 2016 and now started to tear it down.

Global energy storage tops 10 GW by 2025

Oct 14 – The global market for grid-connected energy storage will grow by 6,900 MW, or 16.6% to reach over 10,500 MW by the end of 2025, according to Reportlinker.com. Germany will add over 267 MW energy storage installations over the next five to six years, while 330 MW will come from other European markets. These numbers are dwarfed by China, where up to 1,200 MW energy storage units could be connected to the grid by 2025.

Wärtsilä services EDL plant

Oct 11 – Energy Developments Ltd (EDL) of Australia has awarded Wärtsilä a service contract for gas engine-based baseload power plant at the McArthur River zinc mine in Northern Territory. The maintenance approach for the 53 MW onsite power plant is no longer pre-planned and scheduled but has been changed to condition-based and predictive maintenance, with an advisory contract.

EPH buys CCGT in Galway

Oct 10 – The Czech energy company EPH has received regulatory approval to purchase an 80% stake in the 400 MW Tynagh Energy combined-cycle gas power plant in Galway, Ireland. Mountainside Partners will continue to own the remaining stake in the CCGT, which operates based on a security-of-supply contract from the Irish TSO based on guaranteed power prices.

ITM gets £38m boost from Linde

Oct 9 – Sheffield-based ITM Power, maker of electrolysers for hydrogen production, has been boosted by a £38 million cash injection, as Linde acquired a 20% stake in ITM at 40 pence per share. Looking ahead, ITM said it is seeking to raise £14 million from new and existing institutional investors.

Drax to convert two power units

Oct 8 – Drax Group has received government approval to convert up to two coal-fired generating units at its power station in North Yorkshire to run on natural gas. With this ruling, the UK regulator overturned objections by ClientEarth, stressing some fossil power is vital for the UK to backup intermittent renewable power source.

Storage use tops 80% in key U.S. regions

Oct 7 – Gas storage utilization in the United States is rising in the autumn, with net injections topping 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the first week of October. According to EIA figures, underground storages are at least 80% full in the East, Midwest, and South Central non-salt regions, allowing for seasonal withdrawals to help meet peak-day gas demand throughout the upcoming winter.

Maine, NY aspire to 100% clean energy

Oct 4 – Three U.S. states—Maine, New York, and Ohio—have updated their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), since May 2019. As a result, Maine and New York joined California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia in requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050.

TransAlta to built CHP in Alberta

Oct 3 – Canada-based Transalta and SemCAMS Midstream have agreed to develop, construct and operate a new cogeneration facility at the Kaybob South No. 3 sour gas processing plant in Alberta. To be built at a cost of some 105 million, the CHP will have an installed capacity of 40 MW. Start of commercial operation is targeted for late 2021.

GE’s 100th HA turbine sold in Greece

Oct 2 – Greek industrial firm Mytilineos has ordered a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine to be the heart of the 826 MW Agios Nikolaos combined-cycle gas power plant. This deal also marks the 100th unit of GE’s HA gas turbine sold. Construction of the CCGT is due to start before the end of the year.

ABB launches M4M analyzer

Oct 1 – Swiss technology firm ABB has launches its first Bluetooth-equipped network analyzers, called M4M. The system gathers data from distribution grids and connects them to a cloud-based control system, allowing users to react on energy consumption and on-site power generation trends.

Microsoft invests in wind power

Sept 30 – Microsoft and ENGIE have entered a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States. The deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW.

Gazprom tackles issue of ownerless gas grid

Sept 27 – Gazprom, the main supplier of pipeline gas to Europe, is trying to settle the issue of ownerless gas pipelines – a relic of the former Soviet Union. Abandoned gas transmission pipeline spanned 6,651 kilometers as of March 1, with the issue seen as “especially acute” in the North Caucasus region where half of this infrastructure is located. If no owner registers these facilities within three months, Gazprom will take over to ensure reliability and safety.

Investors flock to Myanmar

Sept 26 – Fitch Ratings has singled out Myanmar’s power sector as one of the largest beneficiaries of foreign direct investments (FDI) worldwide. Nearly $21.2 billion was poured into power generation and energy infrastructure projects thus far in 2019, which is 27% of total FDI under the Myanmar Investment Law.

Is hydrogen Singapore’s future fuel?

Sept 25 – KBR and Argus have been selected to conduct a feasibility study on hydrogen imports and downstream applications for Singapore through to 2050. The aim is to assess the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of hydrogen use in Singapore’s power generation and transport sectors

Diablo Unit-2 offline

Sept 24 – Unit-2 at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California is offline for a scheduled maintenance and refuelling, the operator PG&E said. During the outage, several gas-fired power plants will be dispatched to make up for the missing capacity.

SPIG wins contract for Al Dur Phase II

Sept 23 – Italy-based SPIG, part of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, has won a contract to provide seawater cooling tower system to SEPCOIII for the Al Dur Phase II project in Bahrain. The Al Dur Phase II is a combined-cycle gas-turbine plant to generate 1,500 MW of electricity and approximately 50 million gallons fresh water per day.