Technology & Innovation

E.on's Power-to-Gas (P2G) unit, installed at a plant in Falkenhagen, Germany, has injected hydrogen into the natural gas grid for the first time. During the 3-hour functioning test over the weekend, the unit produced 160 cubic meters of hydrogen for injection into the gas pipeline system.

Rolls Royce has been working alongside power plant operator Vattenfall to upgrade the design of its Trent60/DLE which led to a redesign for this model, Dr. Andreas Goetz, Chief Engineer, Trent 60 GT, Energy at Rolls-Royce Canada said in a presentation at this weeks' VGB Congress.

Alstom’s GT26 gas turbine can already handle shale gas and other variable fuels as internal calculations show that shale gas and LNG will be within the company’s hydrogen gas experience range.  “We get prepared for extreme cases of shale gas with lots of C2+ that we may 16-18 percent and go up to even 20 percent C2+,” Dr. Klaus Knapp, group head, combustor operations and emissions with Alstom told  this weeks’  VGB Congress in Friedrichshafen, Germany. 

The resemblance between Montana, a state in north-western United States and European countries like Spain, Denmark or Germany is striking. "What we are seeing in Montana and also here in Europe is that our FT8 SWIFTPAC aero-derivative gas turbines are being used to maintain adequate power flows in the grid to counterbalance fluctuating wind energy," says Swift Tarbell, PW Power Systems' Area Director for Europe.

At this week's VGB Congress on gas turbines, Siemens regional sales manager for Germany, Dietmar Augele spoke to Gas to Power Journal on the company's recently launched hard-wearing SGT 750 industrial gas turbine, capable of reducing NOX to single digits.

Loccioni, a developer of automated control systems, has launched a Smart Carbon project that allows operators of fossil power plants to monitor and regulating the coal combustion process to add economic value to operations and reduce their carbon footprint.

Alstom's environmental measures, on both new plants and retrofits of existing power plant facilities, have helped its customers save a total of 207 million tonnes (mt) of carbon emissions annually over the last decade.

ExxonMobil has launched Mobil DTE™ 932 GT, a gas turbine oil designed to reduce the risk of varnish with a view to help improve the operational reliability of turbines and increase power output. "Varnish can have a highly detrimental effect on gas turbine operations" Kirill Chervyakov, Industrial Marketing Advisor, ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants said when showcasing the oil at PowerGen Europe in Vienna today.

To better tap geothermal energy, Siemens Energy has developed a new steam turbine – the SST-500 GEO – as a single-casing, double-flow condensing model for plants in the power range up to 120 megawatts (MW). "The SST-500 GEO will enable us to participate in the geothermal growth we currently see in regions such as the eastern coast of Asia, the western coast of the Americas and parts of Africa," said Markus Tacke, CEO of the Industrial Power Business Unit of Siemens Energy.

Siemens Energy has launched a free online game that allows the player to design a sustainable energy system for a city, whereby the energy manager is challenged by the immediate influence of changes in weather conditions on the performance of renewables.

Energy security, diversity and local reliability for cities and industries are critical features of clean energy infrastructure. An often overlooked feature, however, is the summer CHP load, which could be waste heat absorption chilling to prevent power use and to reduce fuel consumption, Manfred Klein, former chairman of the Industrial Applications of Gas Turbines (IAGT) Committee told Gas to Power Journal.

The use of Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMO) manufacturing technology, developed by Mikro Systems, in a range of gas turbine machinery improves the cooling capabilities of gas turbines and increases overall efficiency."[When] applied to gas turbines, [TOMO technology] enables more sophisticated airfoil designs with improved cooling characteristics, which leads to higher operating temperatures and improved efficiency," Tim Rokita, Siemens representative told Gas to Power Journal.

A crowd sourcing initiative to map the world's thermal power plants known as the Ventus Project has been launched by Arizona State University (ASU) under the lead of Dr. Kevin Robert Gurney. The initiative encourages users to contribute information about power plants including location, fuel type and CO2 emissions via pin placements on Google Maps and form filling.

Investing in higher efficiency filters can help improve turbine performance in cogeneration units by reducing fouling, Jim Benson, senior product engineer at Camfil Farr Power Systems told Gas to Power Journal at COGEN Canada's annual seminar in Calgary. "The operator can make up for the cost and pressure drop of a higher quality filter through the operational benefits provided by the product," he said.

Pre-engineered combined heat and power (CHP) systems can provide customers with a variety of benefits when compared to customized CHP systems, Mike McElligott, sales engineer at European Power Systems (EPS) told Gas to Power Journal at COGEN Canada's annual seminar in Calgary. "The standardized design means that there is no custom work necessary. Because there are thousands of these units out there, the standardized unit is proven and the customer is not going to be in the position of having to work the bugs out of a custom system," he said.

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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.