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critical power

General Electric to supply 25MW turbines to Nigeria

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 09:56 -- Laura Varriale
General Electric gas turbine

General Electric is to provide three 25MW aeroderivative gas turbines to GEL Utility Limited (GEL) in Nigeria.

GEL is to install the trailer-mounted turbines at Nigerian’s National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) state oil refinery at Port Harcourt to overcome chronic local grid outages and generate uninterruptible power. The engines are designed to provide baseload and backup power to support refinery operations.

The 49-year-old Port Harcourt facility is the country’s largest oil refinery and aims to regain full capacity for refining from its present 30% output. It has a total maximum capacity of 210,000 barrels per day.

“This project was not only important in getting the refinery back into full operation, but also to support Nigeria's long-term economic interests by achieving optimum refining capacity," said GEL chief executive Akinowole Omoboriowo.

The chronic power outages have forced Nigeria to import large amounts of refined petroleum to meet the electricity demand. The installation of General Electric’s turbines is to reduce the imports.

The units will start operations this month.

GEL signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Nigerian National Power Petroleum Corporation to modernise also two other refineries in the country.

Cummins supplies natural gas genset to ARUP

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:12 -- Laura Varriale
ARUP Salt Lake City

Cummins Power Generation has delivered natural gas generator sets to Associated Regional and University Pathologists (ARUP) Laboratories near Salt Lake City, US.

The standby power solution is to provide emergency power for critical research processes at the laboratory without risk of fuel disruption by using natural gas, according to Cummins.

Medical tester ARUP ordered three 1MW lean-burn natural gas gensets that feature unit-mounted power command controls and paralleling capability. The system accepts load within 30 seconds of start-up.

According to Cummins, ARUP chose a natural gas-fueled genset, because diesel needs replenishment by deliveries that might not be able to get through in extreme eventualities. Long-term environmental concerns about onsite diesel storage have played a role, too.

The gensets are now ready for operation in case of emergencies. In the meantime, the system runs two hours each month for testing.

The 300,000 sq. ft. laboratory processes specimens of blood, body fluid and tissue biopsies. It operates 24/7, seven days a week.

Regional distributor Cummins Rocky Mountains delivered the systems. The distributor also provided ancillary equipment and installed a digital master controller.

Eaton expands in Nigeria

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:59 -- Laura Varriale
Eaton's opening reception in Lagos

Power management company Eaton has opened an office in Nigeria’s capital Lagos.

“The development and use of innovative technologies is critical in increasing energy efficiency in Africa,” said Shane Kilfoil, managing director of Eaton’s Electrical Sector in Africa.

The company explained that the increasing demand of electricity due to Nigeria’s business growth has led to the decision to expand in Africa. “Africa’s energy challenges lie not in building more and larger power generation plants, but instead in investment in advanced power management technologies to enable businesses to do more with less energy in an increasingly resource constrained world,” Kilfoil added.

Nigeria’s federal government is currently restructuring the country’s electricity market. “The reform will enable Nigeria to overcome its huge deficit in the supply of electricity,” said Charles Iyo regional sales manager West Africa at Eaton.

The office in Lagos will also provide services to Western Africa. Eaton has several offices in Africa and 300,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space on the continent for the production of its critical power supplies.

Schneider Electric launches smart-UPS in Southern Africa

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 16:56 -- Laura Varriale
Schneider Electric Smart-UPS

Schneider Electric has introduced two models of its next-generation uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to Southern Africa markets.

The UPS models, standard SMT and extended run SMX, are designed to handle low, medium as well as high load levels and to protect equipment against blackouts and spikes.

The models are equipped with features such as an intuitive LCD user interface, switched outlet groups, battery management indicator and an emergency power off option.

“The enhanced intelligent battery ensures that the temperature compensated charger extends battery life and advanced algorithms recommend replacement date,” said Schneider Electric distribution account manager Christelle Larkins.

A “green” mode enables efficiencies of more than 97% and saves utility and cooling costs without compromising performance or reliability, according to the UPS supplier.

“It is a trusted product to protect critical data and equipment from power problems as the UPS supplies clean and reliable network-grade power,” said Larkins and added that the models have already been introduced to European, US and Australian markets.

The UPS units come with a three-year warranty and can be used in the telecom sector, banks, retail stores, laboratories, medical sectors and areas with security devices.

Ballard and Amplats launch fuel cell-powered microgrid

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 15:50 -- Laura Varriale
Ballard and Amplat's off-grid solution

Ballard Power Systems and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) are to test a fuel cell-powered microgrid prototype in a remote rural community in South Africa.

The companies will power 34 households in a 12-month trial with a generator system that is fueled by methanol and uses platinum group metals as catalysts. The fuel cell system is integrated into a prototype off-grid solution incorporating a battery bank and inverters that operate within the microgrid.

The system is designed to provide a total of 15kW of power and generate peak power of 70kW.

"This field trial will provide valuable insight into the market requirements of off-grid communities,” said Andrew Hinkly, executive head of marketing at Amplats. South Africa’s Department of Energy (DOE) has chosen the rural community of Naledi Trust as a suitable site for the trial as the area does not have any access to grid power and expanding the national network would be too expensive.

The next phase of the project will be the installment of 200 to 300 units in remote villages across the country, according to Godfrey Oliphant, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources.

Ballard and Amplats are collaborating with power utility company Eskom and South Africa’s DOE to conduct the field test.

Critical Power Supplies adds Flow Battery’s backup system to portfolio

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 16:24 -- Laura Varriale
Flow Battery compressed-air backup

Energy solutions supplier Critical Power Supplies has added Flow Battery’s compressed-air battery system to its product portfolio.

The Pnu Power system for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) applications uses compressed-air cylinders to drive a scroll generator that is designed to deliver up to 4kW of AC or DC backup power, according to Flow Battery.

The compressed-air battery system aims to be more cost-effective in comparison to conventional UPS and more reliable than lead-acid batteries. The system has a low maintenance and a consistent performance, claimed Chester-based Flow Battery.

The service life of the Pnu Power range is expected to be more than 40 years.

Flow Battery recently installed a compressed-air backup at National Grid’s Elland substation in Yorkshire, UK.

NRG Energy invests $35m in FuelCell Energy

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 10:30 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy

US-based NRG Energy has bought $35m of FuelCell Energy shares and extended a $40m loan.

The investment enables power-plant developer FuelCell to invest in project development, project finance and working capital support.

“These agreements strengthen the Company’s liquidity position and are expected to accelerate deployment of multi-megawatt fuel cell projects in the U.S.,” said Chip Bottone, FuelCell’s chief executive officer.

FuelCell CFO Michael Bishop said the company aims to finish power plant projects in order to sell the fully operational power plants to long term investors.

“We believe that clean distributed power generation from fuel cells will be one of the key technologies that drive our country toward a cleaner energy future,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG’s Energy chief operating officer.

NRG Energy now owns 6% of FuelCell. “We want to actively participate in the construction of FuelCell Energy power plants,” Gutierrez added. NRG Energy and FuelCell are working together to build combined heat and power projects. The terms of the equity transaction include a warrant giving NRG Energy the right to purchase an additional 2m shares for $3.35 each.

The investment follows a €4.9m ($6.6m) funding to FuelCell and partner Fraunhofer Institute for stationary fuel cell research, given by German government in July.

Newcastle research team reveals “trigeneration” off-grid CHP system

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 16:43 -- Laura Varriale
Newcastle University

A consortium led by Newcastle University has developed a small-scale off-grid combined heat and power (CHP) system incorporating an energy storage system (ESS).

The small-scale CHP system, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), uses waste heat to provide cooling and heat as well as power. A domestic-scale tri-generation system of this type would be rated between 6kW and 9kW electricity.

The ESS is designed to provide dependable electricity and to cope with daily fluctuation demand for electricity without a connection to the grid. “Our solution was to incorporate advanced electrical storage into the system, both batteries and the latest supercapacitors, combined with innovative system control,” said Tony Roskilly, professor at Newcastle University.

To make the system greener and accessible for isolated homes in developing countries, the CHP is run by biofuels. “We developed a system for using the oils obtained from pressing crop seeds, like those from jatropha and croton,” said Roskilly. The crops can grow in harsh environments and do not affect food production, according to the researchers.

The team also included researchers from University of Leeds, University of Ulster and three Chinese universities.

Power Electrics expands in Southampton

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:52 -- Laura Varriale
Power Electrics

Diesel generator supplier Power Electrics has opened a genset depot in Southampton, UK.

The 20,000 sq. ft. depot contains generators ranging from 20kVA to 2200kVA. Power Electrics has a fleet of 1,000 gensets.

According to Bristol-headquartered Power Electrics, the close location to the motorway of the facility will benefit customers in emergency situations and help the company to dispatch rental generators faster.

Andy Pullin, director of Power Electrics said: “This latest expansion means we can better serve our customers and really secure our future in the south.” The company will power several events in Southern England this summer including Royal Ascot in London and the Goodwill Festival of Speed.

The supplier provides its service to data centres, telecommunications, construction, utilities and events.

Power Electrics is a sponsor of the Bloodhound SSC project and supports the project with diesel gensets. The Bloodhound research team aims to develop a car that is able to break the 1,000mph barrier and set a land speed record.

Eaton introduces blackout prediction app

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:58 -- Laura Varriale
Eaton app

Power management specialist Eaton has launched an app that aims to predict and manage power outages at data centres.

The “Blackout and Power Outage Tracker” is designed to enable data centre managers to check their susceptibility to grid outages, claimed Eaton.

The app works on the state of the power grid locally and across the national coverage of the UK and Ireland.

The system can identify causes, duration and number of people affected by power outages. It calculates the regional impact and gives data centres background information for submitting damage claims against their utility provider, according to Eaton.

Blackouts caused by accidents, grid over-demands or natural disasters are unpredictable, but Eaton wants to focus on prevention.

“Although some of these causes may be unpreventable, with the right power protection a company can help protect its data and equipment during any blackout,” said Steve Spicer, sales manager at Eaton.

Eaton claimed it uses the app to draw awareness to the need of uninterruptible power supplies.

The company recently introduced its power management system, which is integrated with EMC’s VSPEX infrastructure system.

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