Monthly Archives: diciembre 2015

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Wärtsilä will supply a 50 MW Smart Power Generation power plant to Marquette Board of Light and Power (MBLP) in Michigan, USA. The contract includes three Wärtsilä 50DF dualfuel engines running primarily on natural gas, with light fuel oil as back-up. The equipment will be delivered in the autumn of 2016 and the plant is scheduled to be fully operational in early 2017.

“We have a reliability problem due to aging coal units, no firm transmission service, and the closure of a 400 MW power plant. Wärtsilä’s solution is reliable, efficient, flexible in fuel choice, and is also environmentally sustainable. It will support our compliance with upcoming CO2 regulations,” says Paul Kitti, the Executive Director of MBLP.

Marquette is located at the far end of the electricity grid, and the ability to import power to the area is very limited. According to Paul Kitti, the black start capability and instant ramping of the Wärtsilä units will be a highly appreciated aid in keeping the lights on around the year – especially during the winter when temperatures can drop to -40 Celsius.

In addition, the power plant will serve as a new source of income for MBLP. “Thanks to the ability to bring up the Smart Power Generation plant in less than 5 minutes, we will be able to follow spikes in the electricity price and sell power to the grid,” says Kitti. MBLP is a municipal electric utility serving approximately 17,000 customers in Marquette county in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“This technology provides the most efficient, reliable, and flexible production of electricity available in the industry today. This asset will generate tremendous cost savings and benefits to the Marquette community for decades to come,” says Gary Groninger, Business Development Manager at Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä’s installed power generation base in the United States is approximately 4600 MW and globally 58 GW.

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AVEVA today announced the commercial launch of AVEVA Everything3D™ 2.1 (AVEVA E3D™). The release builds on the software’s proven ability to deliver time and cost savings for brownfield and revamp projects by increasing productivity for EPCs and Owner Operators. Enhanced capabilities such as PointCloud demolition and displaying laser data directly on drawings enable designers to interact with 3D models in ways that have not been previously possible. Optimised design efficiency is delivered through an enhanced user interface which reduces learning curves and moves projects more quickly into production.

‘In the current economic climate where Capex spend is reduced, life extension of existing assets is a priority for our customers,’ said Dave Wheeldon, CTO, AVEVA. ‘Listening to that message we have put added focus on capabilities which can transform how customers perform brownfield projects, to increase productivity, improve quality and drive down project time. Brownfield projects range widely in scale with many of short duration, so being able to mobilize the systems rapidly is really important, and doing so while ensuring quality and accuracy. That has been the essence of further developing AVEVA E3D.

‘The advances in technology and user experience within this release continue to demonstrate why AVEVA E3D is the most innovative and efficient 3D design software available today and is ideal for brownfield projects of any size.’

Rick Standish, VP Solution Strategy added, ‘AVEVA E3D 2.1 takes built-in laser functionality to a new level. It includes the introduction of HyperBubble™ technology that allows the user to work in a fully immersed as-built environment. Using the laser data to model the demolition sequence prior to refit is a major step forwards which together with a unique “Laser in Draw” ensures that up-to-date laser data and design information can be used to make 2D deliverables. These unique features mean that the need to remodel existing plants prior to revamp and drawing generation has been removed and considerable man hour savings can be made on projects. This ensures that AVEVA E3D is by far the leading tool when it comes to efficient execution of brownfield projects.’

Other enhancements to usability include in-canvas commands, redesigned structural and supports modules, and improved P&ID/3D integration.
You can watch the video of the new AVEVA E3D.

A coalition of 38 countries and over 20 development and industry partners have joined forces to increase the share of geothermal energy in the global energy mix. Launched at a high-level event at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), the Global Geothermal Alliance, an initiative facilitated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) aspires to achieve a 500 per cent increase in global installed capacity for geothermal power generation and a 200 per cent increase in geothermal heating by 2030.

“Geothermal has proven its potential to be part of both the global climate and energy action agenda,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “While geothermal can provide baseload power at some of the lowest costs for any power source, it remains under-developed. The Global Geothermal Alliance will provide a platform for partners to share best practices, further reduce costs and get the most benefit out of this sustainable energy resource.”

Nearly 90 countries have potential for geothermal energy resource development; however, just 13 gigawatts of installed capacity exists worldwide.

A proven technology, the main obstacle for geothermal power investment and development has historically been the high upfront costs of surface geophysical studies and drilling to explore for geothermal resources. But once a geothermal project is in operation, it can generate electricity at a low cost. The Alliance will aim to overcome these barriers by mitigating risks, promoting technological cooperation, coordinating regional and national initiatives and facilitating geothermal energy investments into energy markets.

In two years of preliminary consultations, the GGA has gathered substantial support from governments, leading industry players, development partners, regional and national institutions and non-governmental organisations. The initiative was initiated in September 2014 at the Climate Summit organized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

From left to right: Minister Ségolène Royal, France; President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Iceland; Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA

Sacyr Industrial, a company of the Sacyr group which develops EPC services and projects for industrial infrastructures and installations, and Isotrón have signed a collaboration agreement to bid jointly in EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) electricity generation and transmission tenders.
The agreement means that Sacyr Industrial and Isotrón will participate equally and jointly in EPC tenders on electrical lines, electricity substations, thermal generation plants (gas, diesel, biomass and others) and renewable energy plants (photovoltaic, solar and wind).

The association will include the excellent references and execution resources of Isotrón and the important international management capacity of Sacyr Industrial, focusing initially on the markets and/or customers where both partners have a significant influence capacity.

Sacyr Industrial is an affiliate of the Sacyr group, developing engineering and industrial construction projects in the oil and gas, electrical infrastructure, power plants and waste management sectors. It operates a major growth strategy with various projects in the oil & gas sector, electricity infrastructures, power plants and waste processing facilities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Peru, and also in Spain.

Sacyr Industrial has recently set up Sacyr Fluor after the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Spanish subsidiary of the Fluor Corporation. The new company shall no doubt boost the growth of the group’s industrial subsidiary by way of its engineering services and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) projects in the oil and gas sector and the onshore petrochemical industry in Spain, Southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and several Latin American countries. Sacyr Nervión has also been constituted along with Nervión Industries, each company having a 50% participation, to bid for projects focused on the comprehensive repair of all kinds of storage tanks in any place of the world, giving maintenance services to refineries and other productive facilities of the Oil&Gas sector and other selective industrial site maintenance and assembly projects.

The operations of this contract meet the new strategic targets set by Sacyr to boost its construction and operating concession business, along with its services and industrial activities, thus increasing its market share and capacity to take on big business challenges. The foregoing will no doubt see the company become an international touchstone for the sectors and countries in which it operates.

Isotrón, a member of the Isastur group, has extensive experience in the engineering, assembly, start-up and maintenance of electromechanical installations, instrumentation, regulation and control in energy production (thermoelectric, hydraulic, renewable), petrochemicals, environment (water purification, seawater desalination) and electrical infrastructures (lines and substations). It has carried out important projects in Europe (France, Holland, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Romania and Russia), America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela), Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Egypt), and in Angola, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen and China. The company has a stable presence in Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay.

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Gamesa and CAF have joined forces to become core shareholders, each with a 50% interest, in the technology player, NEM Solutions. Together they will support this company’s continued development and make it a cornerstone of their operations and maintenance strategies. NEM Solutions specialises in the application of technology in maintenance activities in the wind and rail sectors; specifically, it leverages data mining to optimise equipment (wind turbines, trains) performance by anticipating future incidents.

This transaction is part of Gamesa’s goals for developing services which add significant value for the customer in the predictive maintenance arena, as announced in its 2015-2017 Business Plan, by reinforcing its commitment to state-of-the-art technology in order to enhance turbine performance and streamline maintenance processes and costs.

To structure this transaction, which is subject to anti-trust approval, Gamesa is acquiring a 50% shareholding in NEM Solutions, to which end it is purchasing Tecnalia’s entire 15% interest and 35% of CAF’s shareholding (CAF is reducing its stake to 50%). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

“The investment in NEM alongside a partner of the calibre of CAF will accelerate Gamesa’s access to advanced data management know-how in the predictive maintenance field, a powerful technology tool which is not as developed in the wind sector as in the rail industry”, said David Mesonero, Corporate Development Managing Director of Gamesa.

NEM Solutions develops technological applications for the management of predictive maintenance in the wind and rail sectors. Through its technology platform, AURA, the company analyses the millions of data points generated by the equipment under maintenance with a view to creating a model that defines normal operating conditions for each piece of equipment. Based on this benchmark, it predicts the future performance of each machine, diagnosing, precisely and proactively, using artificial intelligence, potential equipment incidents.

In the specific case of Gamesa, the systems developed by NEM will use the 15.5 billion data inputs generated and sent daily by the more than 14,500 turbines under its maintenance (20,600 MW) to the company’s remote control centre in Sarriguren (Navarre, Spain).

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Just as a solar cell converts sunlight into electricity, a thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cell converts the thermal radiation emitted by incandescent objects into electricity. In other words, it directly converts heat into electricity with no need for moving parts or fluids. The Solar Energy Institute at UPM is working on one of the many applications of this technology: a new concept in thermal energy storage that uses molten silicon at around 1400 °C and TPV cells to transform stored heat into electricity. As such it is possible to achieve energy densities of more than 1 MWh per cubic metre, one of the highest of any other existing storage technology.

Thermo-photovoltaic (TPV) cell works in exactly the same way as a solar cell: the absorption of photons into a semiconductor material produces electrons that are supplied to create an electric current. The difference lies in the absorption spectrum which in a TPV cell is displaced towards the infrared to efficiently convert thermal radiation instead of solar radiation. For this, semiconductor materials are used that are able to absorb low energy photons, such as for example, germanium or gallium antimonide, instead of semiconductors that efficiently absorb sunlight such as silicon or gallium arsenide.

In general terms a TPV cell works with thermal sources that exceed 1000°C and their conversion efficiency to date is in the region of 20%1. In addition they can generate very high electric power densities: in the region of 1 W/cm2 for temperatures of 1100°C and some 10 W/cm2 if the temperature rises to 1900°C. These values are between 50 and 500 times, respectively, the power generated by a conventional solar cell This makes possible to achieve relatively low costs per unit of power (in €/W), even when III-V compound semiconductors are used (that are expensive but more efficient) for their manufacture. Read more…

Alejandro Datas
Research Scientist at Instituto de Energía Solar – Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

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Siemens is strengthening its collaboration with Norwegian company Statoil on floating offshore wind turbines. For the 30 megawatt (MW) Hywind Scotland Project, Siemens will supply five of its SWT-6.0-154 direct drive offshore wind turbines.

The turbines will be installed on floating foundations operating in water depths between 90 and 120 meters. The world´s largest floating wind project is located in Scottish waters 25 kilometers off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. For the new Hywind Scotland Project, assembly in West Coast Norway is scheduled for first half 2017. In 2009 Statoil and Siemens successfully installed a 2.3 MW Siemens turbine at the first floating full-scale wind project worldwide, Hywind Demo.

This Scottish pilot project demonstrates how future floating concepts for commercial and large scale offshore wind parks can be both cost efficient and low risk. The floating foundations are ballast-stabilized and fastened to the seabed with mooring lines. With their lightweight nacelles, Siemens large direct drive wind turbines are particularly suited for the floating foundations designed as slender cylinder structures.

floating-wind-farm-full-276This concept has already proven its effectiveness in the 2009 project. At the same time Siemens gathered a lot of experience on the specific requirements regarding the control parameters on a moving wind turbine under offshore conditions. For the floating installation Siemens’ technicians developed new controller settings for rotor pitch and yaw drive regulation.

“We are proud to once again be on board the floating wind project with Statoil, and to apply the experience we gained with the first full scale floater,” said Morten Rasmussen, Head of Technology at Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “Hywind Scotland is another pioneering project and has the potential to become a trailblazer for future floating wind projects.” WorldslargestWP1-bajaIn the joint project Siemens and the Norwegian energy company Statoil installed a Siemens SWT-2.3-82 with a 65 meter hub height on a ballast-stabilized floating structure. An enlarged version of this structure serves as the basis for the new Hywind Scotland project, which contains five SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines with a hub height of 103 meter each.

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The new offshore wind power substation project, Marin-el, was presented on 17 December at an event held at the Higher School of Naval Engineering (ETSIN) at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). The project is headed up by Iberdrola and backed by the Government of the Basque Country with a project consortium featuring the participation of the Tecnalia technological centre and the Construcciones Navales del Norte (La Naval) shipyard among other firms from the naval and renewable energies sectors.

The event was attended by Cristina Heredero, director of Renewables Technology and Sustainability at Iberdrola; Ignacio Pantojo, project coordinator; Luis Pedrosa, director of the Energy and Environment Division at Tecnalia; Elías Hidalgo, head of the Marin-el Project at La Naval; and ETSIN professors Luis Pérez Rojas and Ricardo Zamora.

The Marin-el project focuses on creating a new type of substation based on the needs of offshore wind farms of the future, optimised to operate in the North Sea, with reduced installation and transport costs and adapted to different depths and types of sea beds. It is designed for wind farms generating around 500 MW, situated some 50 km offshore and at depths of 50 metres.

Given the trend for locating wind farms at greater distances from the coast, larger capacity wind turbines at greater depths, this project aims to standardise and innovate technology to meet today’s challenges in offshore wind power. The main aims of this project are to strengthen Basque industry at the same time as creating a self-installable unmanned installation, in other words, a substation that can be remotely operated and installed thereby minimising the use of special vessels that have major repercussions on both the budget and installation schedules.

The design concept encompasses:

• The topside which houses the substation containing all the electrical equipment needed to transform the energy produced before it is transported to land.
• The self-hoisting system comprising 6 feet integrated into the topside that slot into each other and is positioned over the jacket, raising the topside above sea level through its vertical movement.
• The barge to transport the topside from the mainland to its location at sea where it is positioned over the jacket.
• The jacket: a lattice structure that rests on the sea bed and provides the base for the topside. It forms part of the foundations and its type will depend on the depth of the water.

This is a flexible design created to be able to replace the jacket with a gravity platform or other system or even anchor it directly to the sea bed.

Unlike other substations, this concept replaces the substation buoyancy module with a reusable barge thereby reducing the overall weight of the structure.

The topside concept where the substation will be installed comprises four housings: the cables housing; the housing that contains all the electrical equipment; the housing with all the auxiliary services and additional services needed in the event of employing operators; and the helipad housing.

The presentation of Marin-el at the ETSIN included two simulations of the testing that has been undertaken these past months at the School’s hydrodynamic experiences canal to study its behaviour at sea.

The first simulation was a tugging test. As the barge is not self-propelled, this test is carried out to ascertain resistance to forward motion to then determine the characteristics of the tug that will be required to tow it out to its location. The test was performed by towing a 1:48 scale model in calm waters and at varying speeds.

The second simulation is the installation test that evaluates the movements of the model by the waves generated in the canal in order to study limitation vs. accelerations. In other words, to identity the maximum structure accelerations that allow the team to perform the substation installation activities on the jacket. To do this, a scale model of a jacket was built and placed on the bed of the canal above which the barge transporting the substation is positioned, mooring it with lines to simulate the bollard pull of tugs at sea.

In addition to these tests, whose simulation formed part of the presentation, tugging tests in waves and installation tests under extreme conditions during the months of November and December were performed at the ETSIN canal. These tests will continue during January 2016 in the tank at UPM’s School of Civil Engineering.

During the tugging test in calm waters, a significant wave height of up to 3 m was taken into account, with wave periods of between 6 and 12 seconds and speeds of between 3 and 8 knots. During the installation test, the significant height was 1.5 m; and in the extreme conditions test, the wave height was up to 14 m with wave periods of between 12 and 16 seconds.

The consortium, headed up by Iberdrola, includes Ingeteam, Ormazábal, Arteche and OASA, companies that offer innovative solutions for substations. La Naval is responsible for carrying out works to improve the manufacturing process, designing the barge and the manufacturing process for both the topside and the jacket. Tecnalia is providing support to the design of the substation, the transport barge and the jacket.

The project encompasses several important aspects. On one hand it addresses the transport and installation design of the substation, barge and jacket, and on the other, the updating of electrical designs to achieve a reduction of 15% in the size of the substation with the aim of creating a smaller, simpler and more economical substation.

The project also includes an assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed substation through a life cycle analysis carried out via a tool to study the life cycle of each of its components.

All this is combined with the goal of making savings in energy costs, by means of an eco-design that uses less critical and lower energy consumption raw materials.

The next phase of the project takes into account costs reduction (manufacturing optimisation, improved equipment) and risks reduction (reducing the number of feet of the self-hoisting system from 6 to 4 and increasing the significant wave height at the installation). Lastly a business analysis will be carried out.

The final results will be presented in May 2016.

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    O&M contract types and evaluation of the ideal service model for onshore wind assets O&M

    The European wind power market is diverse and characterised by a wide variety of players, ownership and service structures. The expectations and approaches with regard to the quality of onshore wind services vary appreciably from country to country. Deutsche Windtechnik now looks after more than 2,700 wind turbines in 5 countries and is preparing for further growth. The markets differ not only in their remuneration structures and political circumstances but also, above all, in the structure of their operators, service companies and customers’ requirements.

    One key fact that influences the service structure and eventually the potential performance of the wind asset is its size. While smaller wind farms or projects, even those comprising one single wind turbine, have to be managed on a regional level with technicians taking care of several wind farms, large wind assets require permanent technicians that are dedicated to the individual project. These on site dedicated technicians, as well as on site spare parts storage (typically in owners’ substation facilities) lead to less travel time, fewer scheduling hurdles and a greater level of identification by the personnel to the wind turbine.

    As regards the scope of the contract, full maintenance is an unbroken trend in Germany. Depending on the operator’s wishes, with or without major components, including or excluding the rotor blades, the contract can be flexibly designed. Usually institutional investors or smaller operators are the ones who prefer an all-round service. Read more…

    Melf Lorenzen
    Country Manager Spain, Deutsche Windtechnik

    Article published in: FuturENERGY November 2015

    SAJ Electric