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California utilities to adopt open demand response technology standard

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The US OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) Alliance, has announced that Californian investor-owned utilities will require the OpenADR 2.0 smart grid standard for new customers in their demand response (DR) enabling technology programmes in 2013.

ADR Alliance

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison will add OpenADR 2.0 certified products to support locational dispatch of emergency and price DR resources that allow them to manage peak demand better without the need for expensive new power plants.

OpenADR is an open global standard that enables electricity providers and system operators to automatically communicate DR signals with one another and their customers by using a common language over any existing Internet Protocol-based communications network. OpenADR standardises DR price and reliability messages that automate and simplify customer DR participation and improve DR event results.

"The availability of products' complying with the OpenADR 2.0 standard will allow us to reduce the cost and improve the performance of our AutoDR programmes," said Albert Chiu, PG&E product manager. "Using an OpenADR-based system, our customers can better manage their energy use during DR events, and the utility can minimise stranded assets at the same time. The automated system has provided PG&E and our customers a better way to manage DR resources."

 

Cummins to target Europe rental market with launch of new gensets

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Cummins is targeting the European rental market with the launch of four generator sets in the 150 to 300 kVA range.

Cummins

According to International Rental News, the rental-specific sets, which have been created by a new Cummins design team led by former A-Plant power rentals director Richard Mellard, are sized at 150, 200, 250 and 300 kVA, with the smaller two using Cummins QSB7 engine and the two larger models equipped with the QSL9 power unit

The sets will be made available in markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia. The reports said Cummins would further expand their rental range, with launches of sub-150 kVA units by the end of 2013 or the start of 2014, and larger units following in 2014/15.

The gensets come equipped with Cummins’ PowerCommand controllers, although Cummins plans to offer third-party controllers for rental companies who want commonality across their fleets. The 150 kVA unit can be used in temperatures up to 500C without any derating and the 200/250/300 sets up to 400C with no derating.

Lithium goes stellar

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

GS Yuasa Lithium Power Inc. is designing lithium-ion batteries for the International Space Station. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, (PWR), a producer and designer of rocket engines, appointed the company to replace the current batteries on the space station.

At present nickel-metal hydride batteries power it but PWR is to replace the existing batteries with GY Yuasa's lithium-ion batteries.

GS Yuasa has recently developed the lithium-ion batteries (model: LSE134; rated capacity: 134Ah) specifically for the International Space Station's power requirements. The energy density of the batteries is around three times higher than those of the nickel-metal hydride batteries currently used.

According to GS Yuasa the batteries are expected to power the International Space Station for more than a decade.

UK fuel cell company turns profit after 20 years

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK-based Intelligent Energy is the in Britain, and one of the few companies in the world, to make a profit from fuel cell development.

Intelligent Energy has been developing fuel cell technology to be used in cars, power stations and portable electronic devices for 20 years.

Just two years ago Intelligent Energy made a £15million loss, which it has now turned into a £7.8million profit after revenues surged in 2012 by 269%. This demonstrates the considerable growth in the fuel cell industry in recent years.

Intelligent Energy credits a joint venture with Suzuki to manufacture fuel cells for cars as enabling it to become profitable.

It is also leading a consortium to introduce zero carbon emission fuel cell electric taxis to London, is working on fuel cells for back-up power systems to replace traditional diesel generators and has a joint venture with SSE to develop fuel cell combined heat and power systems for use in the home and industry.

Global UPS market to reach $9.84bn by 2015 - report

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The global UPS market will reach $9.84bn by 2015, according to a report by analysts TechNavio.

TechNavio's report, ‘Global Uninterruptible Power Supply Market’, sees the key vendors dominating the UPS market space as Schneider Electric, Emerson Electric, and Eaton.  The other vendors mentioned in the report are Riello, Toshiba, Swelect Energy Systems, Mitsubishi Electric, GE and TDK.

An analyst from TechNavio's Engineering team said: ''The use of next-generation power storage technologies is one of the emerging trends in the UPS market. Such next-generation power storage technologies aid the environment-related efforts of companies.

“Thus, instead of using electricity, many greener methods such as solar and wind energy might be used to charge the batteries in UPS systems. Also, next-generation technology helps to discharge the energy back to the grid when battery power is not in use.''

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is population growth. However, the increasing cost of raw materials could pose a challenge to the growth of this market, the report says.

Wärtsilä to supply 225 MW power plant to Texas utility

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Finnish gas engine manufacturer Wärtsilä is to engineer and supply a 225 MW power plant to South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC) in the USA.

The STEC Red Gate power plant will be located in Hidalgo County, Texas and is scheduled to be in commercial operation by summer 2014. The plant will be powered by 12 Wärtsilä 50SG engines running on natural gas.

The new Red Gate power plant is designed to meet BACT (Best Available Control Technology) pollution standards as mandated by the United States Clean Air Act.  Wärtsilä  said one of the benefits of the 50SG engine is that its high simple-cycle efficiency is achieved with minimal water consumption.

Wärtsilä has also signed a maintenance agreement to provide technical and operational assistance with maintenance planning, technical advisors, spare parts, and an on-site inventory.

Aggreko provides power for gas exploration in Maranhao

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Temporary power supplier Aggreko is working with Duro Felguera, a specialist geological exploration group from Spain dedicated to developing and executing projects for a number of industrial sectors, including oil and gas. Aggreko is to provide power for Duro Feguera’s research work into natural gas fields in Santo Antonio dos Lopes, in the state of Maranhao, Brazil.

 

Duro Felguera was commissioned to explore areas of Santo Antonio dos Lopes where grid power was not available.  As the search for natural gas requires the use of heavy machinery with large motors that require reliable power, Aggreko was asked to provide 12 generators of various sizes (between 125 kVA and 500 kVA), capable of producing 3.1 MW of power.

Meanwhile, Aggreko has been chosen by one of Brazil’s largest independent renewable power generation companies to conduct performance tests at the Morro do Ventos wind farms in the northeast of the country.

The UK firm will supply load banks – a recreation of the load that a power source will generate – for commissioning tests of the 145 MW wind farms, which are operated by Dobreve Energia. Load bank testing ensures that the wind farm is ready for grid connection.

Eaton UPS products receive US Energy Star rating

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Eaton’s 5P, 5PX and 9PX UPS systems are Energy Star qualified following stringent third-party testing and verification of meeting the United States’ energy efficiency requirements.

Energy Star is a joint programme established by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy intended to help consumers save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

According to Energy Star, if all UPSs sold in the US in 2012 meet the Energy Star requirements, the energy cost savings will grow to $471m and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than 636,000 vehicles.

Following the qualification, Eaton said it now offers the largest selection of Energy Star for server, storage and network protection applications. Eaton said it plans to continue the Energy Star certification process for additional UPS products.

BASF battery plant opens in Ohio

Wed, 11/14/2012 - 17:02 -- Ruth Williams

Chemical company BASF has opened a new cathode materials production plant in Elyria, Ohio. The materials manufactured at the plant will be for producing advanced lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and full electric vehicles. The 70 000 square foot plant is supported by BASF battery material research laboratory in Beachwood, Ohio.

 The company aims to become a leading provider of functional materials and solutions to battery manufacturers worldwide. The new plant making cathode materials will help realise this goal.

 The construction cost more than US$50 million. The US Department of Energy gave a grant of US$24.6 million toward the costs, which show a strong alliance with the company.

 BASF is one of only two licensed suppliers of ANL-patented Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) cathode materials, a unique combination of lithium and manganese-rich mixed metal oxides, particularly well suited to the production of lithium-ion batteries for automotive and other high-end applications.

 Senator Sherrod Brown, who supported BASF’s DOE grant application said: “BASF is helping make Ohio the Silicon Valley for clean energy manufacturing. As our reliance on foreign sources of energy grows more and more unsustainable, American consumers will turn to hybrid and fully electric vehicles – powered by lithium-ion battery materials made by BASF.

 As part of its long-term battery materials strategy, BASF will continue to work with partners in industry and science to develop materials and technologies for current and next generation lithium-ion batteries as well as for future battery systems.

A123 Update

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 17:02 -- Ruth Williams

A123 is in deals with Wanxiang Group Corporation for a US$50 million emergency loan to fund its bankruptcy case.

After filing for bankruptcy earlier in October, A123 was to be lent money by Johnson Controls Inc as the ‘debtor in possession’ but now the Chinese auto parts maker will replace JCI with a lower interest rate on the loan. This is the initial offer for a bidding war that is sure to gain momentum as the two firms strive to gain possession of assets from the lithium-ion battery maker.

JCI still intends to bid for A123’s automotive assets but felt the value of the company would be further damaged by a lengthy bidding war with Wanxiang Corp.

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