Technology & Innovation

A new process for cleaning the fin tubes in HRSGs in combined-cycle power plants can remove rust and other deposits on components using a gas actuated pressure wave. "The Bang&Clean process uses high pressure to vibrate the fin tubes slightly to remove rust and other deposits in a process that takes far less time than traditional methods and at a much lower cost," Robin Buller, UK Director at KRR ProStream told Gas to Power Journal.

Dehumidification is key for keeping a mothballed power station operationally ready while protecting it from corrosion or degradation during its temporary closure. Temporary closure does not merely involve 'switching everything off and turning out the lights', Gas to Power Journal was told.

Saudi Electric Company (SEC) has launched a tender, inviting companies to build own and operate Saudi Arabia's first gas-fired power plant that will use solar energy to increase efficiency and curb carbon emissions. SEC set a deadline for bidders to express interest on January 12.

New research at the Berlin Institute of Technology promises to improve matching processes for gas turbines and turbocharger units. "The implementation of the concept of measurement uncertainty can be carried out directly on the test bench and should hopefully lead to significant cost savings in the near term," Holger Mai, lead researcher on the project said, speaking to Gas to Power Journal.

The use of single-shaft power trains, in multi-unit power plants, enables the units to be used independently and react swiftly to changing demand patterns. "In a single-shaft power train, the gas turbine and steam turbine share one generator, which eliminates the need for an additional generator and downstream electrical equipment. This not only reduces costs but also renders a more compact design, Siemens Energy Solutions Director of Marketing Rick Loose told Gas to Power Journal.

GE's Digital Energy business has enhanced its Multilin Intelligent Line Monitoring System, an end-to-end overhead line solution with advanced analytics that helps utilities pinpoint power outages to improve reliability of power supply.

A consortium of turbine manufacturers, power plant producers and shipbuilders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to design and build a 880MW mobile power plant ship. The project will be developed jointly at a cost of $940 million by Siemens Energy Solutions, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Polaris Shipping and Korea Midland Power and a prototype is expected to be operational by December 2017.

US-based PowerPHASE has developed TurboPHASE, a compressed-air system for boosting gas turbines that can deliver peak power output within a minute or so after pressing the 'start' button. An 80MW TurboPHASE on an 800MW 2x1 power plant can be installed system ready in three working days on a space of around 630 square metres.

An announcement on whether the UK government will co-fund research for the world's first Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) project for gas-fired power is expected 'early in the new year,'sources have told Gas to Power Journal.

Initial funding of at least £20 million would provide for Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies at Shell's Peterhead site in the North of Scotland to analyse and de-risk the costs of commercialising CCS technology.

American multinational, General Motors (GM), has announced plans to invest $24 million in two power plants fuelled by landfill gas. The plants will be based at the company's Fort Wayne, Ind., and Orion, Mich., assembly plants and will increase total onsite gas power generation to 40% and 54% ot total consumption respectively.

With gas turbines increasingly used from the smallest to the largest scales of power generation systems, the technical scope of machinery has grown dramatically in recent years. Modern Gas Turbine Systems, published by Woodhead Publishing, gives a comprehensive introduction and overview to the subject, outlining the mechanical principles and underlying physics of gas power generation, and describing a range of operational concerns relevant to plant operators and engineers.

Rare but catastrophic failures in gas turbines may soon be preventable thanks to research conducted at the Chinese Academy of Science. "Our research aims to widen the operating range of for gas turbine engines, preventing lean blow-out and reducing the pollution emission by optimization of fuel atomization," Liu Cunxi, researcher at the Academy's laboratory of light duty gas turbines told Gas to Power Journal.

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News in Brief

Siemens and GREEN Solar turn German town CO2-free

July 8 – GREEN Solar and Siemens Energy are jointly developing a concept for making Herzogenrath CO2-free. The plan is to provide an energy-efficient and economical combination of solar power plants, wind turbines, batteries, CHP and combined cycle power plants, as well as heat and hydrogen storage. The hybrid system will be built on the grounds of Nivelsteiner Sandwerke and will be large enough to cover the city’s entire energy demand with zero CO2 emissions by 2030.

Denmark paves the way for Nord Stream 2

July 7– Denmark on late Monday gave the Nord Stream 2 consortium permission to utilize pipe-laying vessels with anchors in Danish waters, paving the way for the Gazprom-led consortium to complete the interconnector. Construction of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline is nearly complete, except for a final stretch of about 120-kilometers in Danish waters. The project was halted in December when the Swiss-Dutch pipe-laying company Allseas suspended works over threats of U.S. sanctions.

EPRI tests early warning system

July 6– The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting trial tests with multiple utilities across the United States of an early warning system. It can detect an off-gassing event as a precursor to thermal runaway up to 30 minutes prior to a cascading failure. This gives plant operators time to mitigate the problem or shut down the system.

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

Northern German states push for hydrogen pilot cluster

June 23 – Northern German states are pushing for greater hydrogen use with a pilot project cluster. Some 12 large demonstration plants for the production and use of green hydrogen are meant to be realised in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim is to demonstrate how 75% of CO2 emissions can be saved in the region by 2035.

Wärtsilä to design and equip battery-powered ferries

June 22– The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries on behalf of the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö. For each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in early 2021 for the ships to start commercial operations in autumn 2021.

Subsidy cut slashes Chinese wind turbine margins

June 19 – China’s wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could have their gross profit margins halved due to subsidy cuts, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Commissioned onshore wind power capacity is expected to drop by more than 16% to 19 gigawatts (GW) from 2020 to 2021 as government subsidies were terminated. This could also lead to a 27% drop in turbine prices over the next five years, slashing OEMs’ gross profit margins by half.

PowerPHASE converts gas peakers into storage engine

June 18 – U.S. emergency power provider PowerPHASE has developed an upgrade to convert 7F gas turbine-based peaking plants (350 MW each) to a so-called Storage Engine (400 MW). The unit would be able to store 3500 MWh daily and discharge 4800 MWh daily. CEO Bob Kraft claims utility customers could dispatch the Storage Engine, despite its lower heat rate (4000), ahead of higher heat rate options (9000 for gas peakers) in a competitive market like ERCOT in Texas.

Cummins names Davis head of New Power unit

June 17 – Cummins has appointed Amy Davis as Vice President and President of the company’s New Power Segment, effective July 1. The new unit includes Cummins’ electrified powertrains, battery design and assembly, battery management, fuel cell and hydrogen generation.

GE powers USS Zumwalt

June 16 – The US Navy has taken delivery of the USS Zumwalt, its first full-electric power and propulsion ship, equipped by GE’s Power Conversion. The ship features a high-voltage system, propulsion drive trains with multi-phase VDM25000 power converters and advanced induction motors. Kevin Byrne, head of GE’s North America marine segment said “the full-electric power and propulsion ship has the flexibility to direct energy where it is needed on the platform.”

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