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critical power

5MW off-grid PV-diesel hybrid plant with battery storage to be built in Bolivia

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 16:16 -- Laura Varriale
PV plant

A 5MW solar-diesel hybrid power plant connected battery storage is to be installed in Bolivia's Pando province.

Solely diesel generators are currently powering the remote area, located 4,000 metres above sea level and not connected to Bolivia's national grid. The 5MW solar plant is designed to meet half of Pando's capital city Cobija's power demand. The city has 45,000 residents.

Inverter manufacturer SMA is to provide controlling systems, central inverters and battery storage. "The SMA Fuel Save Controller records the energy flows in the stand-alone grid and uses that information to determine the maximum permissible PV power. In this way, we can guarantee permanent system stability and ensure smooth control of the gensets," said SMA senior vice president off-grid and storage Volker Wachenfeld.

Spain's engineering firm Isotron is currently carrying out the construction of the plant.

The plant is aimed to reduce the annual consumption of 20m litres of diesel and save $3m of fuel costs.

The solar power plant is set to start generating 2MW of electricity later this year and increase the capacity over the following months. According to SMA, it is worldwide the biggest plant of its kind.

The plant is fully state-owned.

Aquafuel to power Formula E racecars with glycerol

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:46 -- Laura Varriale
Formule E racecar

UK start-up Aquafuel Research is to power next year’s Formula E racecars with electricity generated from glycerol-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) generators.

Aquafuel Research’s modified diesel-engined CHP generators to combust glycerine, produced from salt-water algae. The generated electricity will be used to recharge the electric racecars.

"It's a very innovative compound. It comes from algae so it's a first generation compound and it uses glycerine so it has no CO2 emissions, no smoke, no noise, no smell,” said Formula E's sustainability manger Julia Pallé.

As the technology is new, the generators will have to travel to every nine hosting places. "We can't implement it in the country so we have to ship and transport it. But since we're starting from scratch the first year we have to deal with what we have and in future seasons we hope to be able to produce on site," said Pallé.

According to Aquafuel Research chief executive Paul Day, a salt water algal pond the size of Switzerland would meet the global energy demand. Algae do not compete with agricultural land like other biofuel feedstocks.

The first Formula E race will take place in Beijing, China, in September.

DBR to supply gas genset to offshore gas platform

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:09 -- Laura Varriale
GDF Suez offshore gas platform

Dutch critical power supplier DBR is to deliver a gas genset to GDF Suez E&P Nederland’s offshore gas platform E17a-A located in the North Sea.

The 275kVA genset comprises of a gas powered MAN engine and a Leroy Somer air-to-air cooled generator. The system is designed to operate for 1,200 hours between maintenance intervals, according to DBR.

Due to limited space on the manned gas platform, DBR customised the genset design. “By placing the air cooling unit outside the engine room and reducing heavy components to a minimum we have come up with an efficient design that meets our client’s requirements,” said DBR sales manager Henri Hafkamp. The genset uses a single instead of a double frame and is manufactured with robust components to decrease risks of vibration.

The delivery is set for the end of 2014.

DBR recently struck a deal to supply emergency/harbour diesel gensets for six new pipelaying vessels from IHC Merwede.

GDF Suez E&P Nederland has 34 gas producing platforms and an annual gas production of 6 billion Nm3.

MTU Onsite gas gensets compliant with medium-voltage directive

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:54 -- Laura Varriale
MTU Onsite Energy

MTU Onsite Energy (MTU) has received certification for its series 4000 gas gensets to be compliant with Germany's medium-voltage directive.

The certification issued by Germany’s Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry enables the gas generators to feed generated power into the public grid.

The series 4000 has a power output from 750kW to 2,600kW. According to MTU, the gensets achieve up to 44.3% electrical efficiency.

“Being armed with this certificate puts us in a very strong position on the market for gas gensets,” said Jörg Mielke, head of sales in Germany at MTU. MTU modified the gensets to meet the certification requirements.

Germany’s Renewable Energy Act and the Combined Heat and Power Act has led to an explosion in distributed power generation. MTU aims to provide static and dynamic grid support with the supply of reactive power or automatic reduction output as well as with its combined heat and power and biogas plants.

Capstone receives 9MW factory protection plan contract

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 12:21 -- Laura Varriale
Capstone microturbines

Microturbine manufacturer Capstone Turbine has signed a contract for a factory protection plan (FPP) for nine C1000 microturbines at Horizon Power Systems locations.

Energy supplier Horizon Power Systems aims to cover nine turbines that currently operate in remote central gas gathering plants in the US Rocky Mountain and mid-continent regions, with the 9MW FPP.

The FPP is an addition to $175m in product backlog and increased the total contract backlog for Capstone Turbine’s FPPs to a record of over $55m.

The Capstone Turbine FPP is designed to secure the reliability of the company’s turbines offering a risk-transfer solution that aims to limit the monetary risk of unplanned maintenance over the contract life. Capstone Turbine power packs, in which the turbines are integrated, reduce flared gas and cycle it back into the production process.

"Most oil and gas producers work in remote locations where an electric utility grid is not an option or unreliable. The Capstone Turbine microturbine becomes the sole source of critical low emission power that our customers have come to rely on," said Sam Henry, president of Horizon Power Systems.

The FPP is set to run over nine years.

Horizon Power Systems has currently over 600 Capstone Turbine microturbines in operation.

ViZn receives Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:33 -- Laura Varriale
Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award

Energy storage company ViZn Energy has won the Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award in the Energy Storage Industry category for 2014.

According to the Frost & Sullivan team, US-based ViZn Energy has been selected, because the company showed “customer value excellence” and “entrepreneurial spirit”.

ViZn Energy developed a zinc-iron redox flow battery for energy storage systems. ViZn Energy’s battery packs are mainly attached to microgrids and are designed to last two to four hours.

“The growing concern over environmentally friendly solutions has contributed significantly to the increasing demand for green technologies, fueling the need for renewable energy,” said Vishal Sapru, research manager at consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

ViZn Energy recently won the Intersolar Europe’s 2014 Electrical Energy Storage Award.

The research for its flow battery was funded by the US Department of Energy. The company has plans to expand its manufacturing capacity at its facility in Montana, US and aims to produce in Europe and is seeking for investors.

Highpower and Andalay Solar partner for off-grid ESS

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:47 -- Laura Varriale
Highpower ESS

Chinese Highpower International and Californian Andalay Solar have teamed up for the development of a solar energy storage system (ESS).

The ESS is aimed to enable Andalay Solar’s customers to go off-grid or to deploy a hybrid system, which should reduce utility grid fees.

Highpower International’s ESS comprises six 2.4KWh lithium-ion battery modules and an output converter. The ESS is to be integrated with Andalay Solar’s solar AC/DC systems. In case of the hybrid system option, the utility grid network and the solar system will generate the energy. The system will be designed to provide enough power to sustain household and electronic appliances and all power outlets.

“Energy storage has become an important focus of the solar industry and will be an essential component of system design and installation," said Steven Chan, CEO of Andalay Solar. Chan said that the company wants to focus on customer’s cost-savings and return on investments.

“Andalay Solar's extensive technical know-how, first-hand experiences and understanding about the demand from end customers in the solar market is ideal for commercializing our advanced storage solution,” said Bryan Bai, vice president of sales at Highpower International.

Bangladesh government forced to increase rental power

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:47 -- Laura Varriale
Bangladesh electricity shortage

The Bangladeshi government has increased its dependence on rental power, because India has not supplied enough power to meet the country’s electricity demand.

Bangladesh bought high-cost oil-fired rental and quick-rental power to prevent power shortages.

"Indian authority is supplying electricity less than our grid capacity,” said Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Abduhu Ruhullah.

India is contracted to provide 500MW of power to Bangladesh, but has only supplied 402MW of electricity during daytime peak hours and 368MW during the evening peak time. But a BPDB statistic shows that since the start of the cross-border transmission in October 2013, India rarely supplied over 450MW and has an average supply of 400MW.

Transmission and system losses cause an electricity loss of 6%. "We can get a maximum of 470MW from India due to bottlenecks to the existing transmission system," said Ruhullah.

Also technical glitches in power plants and overhauling power plants prompted the Bangladeshi government to buy power from the open market. The country generates 6,200MW, but has a demand of 7,500MW.

The contract between India and Bangladesh runs for 25 years. The state-owned BPDB is purchasing the electricity from Indian National Thermal Power Corporation.

ACE LLC Solar installs ESS at off-grid PV plant

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:51 -- Laura Varriale
PV plant

US-based Apel Steel has commissioned energy solutions provider ACE LLC Solar to install its energy storage system (ESS) at the company’s 340KW PV plant.

The utility-scale energy harvesting, monitoring and distribution system aims to move the PV plant off the grid to make metal manufacturer Apel Steel independent from the grid.

The ESS, called enerGStation, has a three-phase power at up to 2MW in increments of 100kW. Each integrated inverter is rated at 100kW and can be configured in parallel to provide a 2MW system. The system uses renewable energy when available and sufficient. Otherwise, it uses local energy storage from batteries to deliver the total energy demanded by loads.

The plant is designed to meet 98% of Apel’s annual power demand for its heavy machinery and plant operations. The ESS will save the Alabama company more than $3M on its electricity bills over the 30-year life expectancy of the system, according .

Suntech produced the solar panels and Tenessee-based ACE LLC Solar conducted the final installment of the PV plant along with its ESS.

Siemens to provide demand response programme to US

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:58 -- Laura Varriale
Siemens facility

Siemens has struck a deal with US service provider Direct Energy to install its demand response management system (DRMS).

Direct Energy will manage the existing load commitments in several independent system operators (ISO) with Siemens’s DRMS. The DRMS are designed to control power usage and to help managing power demand requirements particularly during peak times.

The DRMS is to be integrated with sub-metering devices located at each Direct Utility account and to collect consumption data. The service provider will then use the data to determine the amount of energy it needs to transact into the marketplace.

"The flexibility of Siemens DRMS to provide automated interfaces to multiple ISO systems will allow Direct Energy to operate their portfolio in a more streamlined and efficient manner and will improve reliability for all of their customers," said Craig Cavanaugh, director of Siemens Smart Grid Applications and Solutions. “By leveraging the forecasting and analytics engine embedded in Siemens DRMS, Direct Energy will be able to optimize the market based transactions,” he added.

The deal will enable Direct Energy to deploy its demand reduction and demand management programs throughout the US and Canada. The company has more than six million residential and commercial customers.

Germany-based Siemens said that the US-contract is its biggest demand response project so far.

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