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critical power

Emerson assigns Bangladeshi distributor

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:55 -- Laura Varriale
Emerson data centre

Emerson Network Power has appointed Bangladeshi company Computer Source as its distributor for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

The distribution contract is part of Emerson’s plans to expand its presence in the growing IT market of Bangladesh.

"Computer Source has a strong relationship with the Bangladesh channel community along with a successful history and robust distribution presence with a network of 1,500 (approx.) partners spread across more than 40 cities,” said Sanjay Zadoo, country manager channel business of Emerson Greater India.

The agreement aims to target the growing need of UPS and data centre infrastructure management solutions among small and medium businesses in Bangladesh.

“With Emerson Network Power’s reliable and highly effective solutions, together with our expertise in this model, the venture will help cater to the increasing businesses across the country,” said Abu Mostofa Chowdhury Sujon, director of Computer Source.

Earlier this month, Bangladeshi prime minister’s energy affairs adviser endorsed to increase installations of UPS across the country on large scale, as the demand of reliable power is growing.

GE to launch fuel cell plant and “in-house start-up”

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:52 -- Laura Varriale
GE fuel cells

General Electric (GE) is to set up a fuel cell pilot development and manufacturing plant in the state of New York, US.

The plant will be run by a new “in-house start-up” the company has created, consisting of a team of 17 engineers.

Head of the independent start-up is GE’s advanced technology leader at GE Global Research, Johanna Wellington. Her Global Research division team developed a technology that enables a fuel cell power generation with 65% efficiency and the ability to reach 95% when the system is configured to capture waste heat produced by the process.

The GE’s start-up will utilise this technology at the new plant. The basic configuration of the system can generate between 1 to 10MW of power, the company claimed.

"We have all of the speed, agility and focus of a small startup while leveraging the strength of a big company," said Wellington. The fuel cell development received financial background from GE’s ecomagination programme and can generate electricity at any location with a supply of natural gas, GE claimed.

"The cost challenges associated with the technology have stumped a lot of people for a long time," said Wellington. "But we made it work, and we made it work economically," she added.

Cummins gensets receive EPA Tier 4 Final certification

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 15:59 -- Laura Varriale
Cummins genset

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given Cummins’s new line of diesel backup power gensets a Tier 4 Final certification.

EPA approved the complete line of high-horsepower gensets, ranging from 680kW to 2750kW. The generators are mainly used for backup power in critical power applications such as hospitals and data centres. The line is also designed for standby power applications where air quality is impaired and for emergency use.

Cummins said it is the first manufacturer receiving a Tier 4 Final certification. “We are proud to be the first company to be awarded Tier 4 Final certification for our generators,” said Dennis Heathfield, executive director at Cummins.

The Tier 4 Final generators achieve a 99% reduction in particulate matter emissions in comparison to Tier 2 products. “By achieving this emission reduction, we are providing customers with more fuel-efficient and cleaner generators,” added Heathfield.

EPA adopted Tier 4 emission standards in 2004 for new off-road diesel engines in order to reduce hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. Tier 4 Final standards require a reduction to near-zero levels.

AFC signs contract for 1MW fuel cell system in Korea

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 15:56 -- Laura Varriale
AFC Energy

British AFC Energy (AFC) has struck a deal with South Korean power plant owner Daniel to provide a 1MW alkaline fuel cell system for a stationary plant.

The deal has an expected worth of $3.75m and contains a follow-on option for a further 3MW project, which could make a total potential value of $15m. According to AFC, this is the largest single order AFC has received since the company launched in 2006.

The 1MW fuel cell system is set to be deployed in stages at Daniel’s site. The system will use a mixture of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biomass gas as its primary energy source. The South Korean government’s clean energy incentive programme will support the project.

It is the second deal for AFC in South Korea within a week after signing a contract with Chang Shin Chemical for the supply of multiple fuel cell systems with a potential of 5MW.

“South Korea is one of the world's fastest growing fuel cell markets where US companies have traditionally made early inroads due to their long history," said Ian Williamson, chief executive at AFC and added: “This initial agreement represents a tremendous opportunity for AFC Energy and, together with our other commercial-scale projects, is expected to establish a strong foundation to build a truly world-class British fuel cell company focusing on industrial, chemical and utility sectors.”

State-owned electricity utility company Kepco estimates that the installed capacity for stationary fuel cell systems in South Korea will increase from 306MW 2014 to 780MW by next year and double again by 2020.

FuelCells receives $6.6m German government

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:19 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy

FuelCell Energy Solutions (FCEL) and partner Fraunhofer Institute have received €4.9m ($6.6m) in funding from the German government for stationary fuel cell research.

The three-year research and development project is aimed at enhancing FCEL’s fuel cell technology by increasing the power output of the fuel stack as well as extending operating life and lowering the costs. The research will take place at FCEL’s facility in Ottobrunn and Frauenhofer’s facility in Dresden, Germany.

The awards were given by German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

"With the support of various government organizations, strategic partners and private industry, product, performance and system enhancements continue on our proprietary fuel cell technology and are now being performed on three continents. This validates the global interest in our power and hydrogen generation solutions that enhance the resiliency of power distribution in an ultra-clean and affordable manner, " said Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer of FCEL.

FCLE’s fuel cell stationary power plants utilise carbonate fuel cell technology and provide continuous baseload power located where the power is used, including both on-site applications and electric grid support.

Acta and Dantherm partner to develop arctic backup power system

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 16:19 -- Laura Varriale
backup power system

Italy-based Acta and Danish Dantherm Power have teamed up to develop a self-recharging fuel cell based backup power system.

The power solution will be deployed on an island close to the Arctic Circle and powered by a wind turbine.

Dantherm will integrate Acta’s electrolyser, which facilitates hydrogen production, with its fuel cell backup power system in order to meet the requirements for off-grid power in cold and remote geographic regions. It aims to demonstrate the suitability of the system for renewable energy storage applications under harsh conditions.

“We see a significant opportunity for fuel cell backup power systems for remote locations including cold environments, where the ability to generate hydrogen onsite from renewable power sources is a key enabler,” said Paolo Bert, CEO of Acta and added: “We look forward to the success of the partnership with Dantherm and to extending our reach into the telecommunications backup power market together with them."

The shipment is set for September this year.

Acta and Dantherm stated that they are discussing further deployments across the Nordic region.

According to Acta, the supply of fuel cell back-up power systems for telecommunications base stations is a large and fast-growing market, especially in extensively bad-grid and off-grid locations such as in Asia and Africa. Battery sales to the Chinese telecommunication industry are currently valued at $4.7 billion to $7.8 billion per annum, stated the company.

Dantherm is a subsidiary of energy backup supplier Ballard Power Systems and utilises the manufacturer’s fuel cell backup power system for telecom suppliers.

Highpower gets energy storage funding from Shenzhen government

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 16:04 -- Laura Varriale
Highpower ESS

Highpower International has received Rmb3.86m ($622,200) from state funds to develop its PV and off-grid energy storage systems (ESS).

The funds, given by Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, will be mainly spent on development and production equipment in order to accelerate production for Highpower’s residential ESS, the company said.

Highpower’s subsidiary Icon Energy Systems recently introduced an ESS-line, which features a lithium-ion battery, solar cell panel and inverter output device, charged by PV and commercial grid. The product line ranges from 0.5kWh to 15kWh and aims to serve the needs of commercial and residential power systems, solar power, back-up emergency power and outdoor uses.

George Pan, chairman and CEO of Highpower said: “Both central and local governments of China are committed to nurturing and favoring the development of the clean energy industry. We continue to benefit from increasing government support and intend to leverage our expertise and production capability to increase our pipeline of rechargeable battery products.”

The global energy storage market is expected to grow fast over the next years. According to Navigant Research, the micro grid market will increase from $4.3 billion to $19.9 billion in 2020.

Battery supplier Highpower also manufactures consumer-oriented chargers for e-bikes as well as lithium and nickel-metal hydride-based batteries.

EDL receives $17.3m for off-grid diesel hybrid plant

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 15:57 -- Laura Varriale
PV plant in Australia

Australia Energy Development Limited (EDL) has obtained $17.3m from Australian government to deploy an off-grid diesel hybrid plant in South Australia.

EDL aims to combine 3MW of wind generation, 2MW of solar PV and 3.9MW of the existing diesel station to provide the city of Coober Pedy with 70% renewable energy. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), set up in 2012 by Australian government, gave the funding to support the project.

The project will also include short-term energy storage, fast-start diesel engines and a control system.

“These enabling technologies have been successfully tried and tested by Hydro Tasmania at the ARENA-supported King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project and this represents an opportunity to see them evolve for use on the mainland and in an outback community that has few alternative energy options,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.

“This ambitious project may demonstrate a combined approach for powering off-grid Australian communities that currently rely solely on expensive trucked-in diesel,” added Frischknecht.

Australia’s off-grid demand is growing and renewable energy projects can lead to savings of expenses as technology costs reduce and fossil fuel costs increase, highlighted the company.

EDL intends to restructure an existing power purchasing agreement with Coober Pedy with a 20-year agreement.

AU Optronics introduces li-ion storage system in Australia, Japan and Europe

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:12 -- Laura Varriale
AU Optronics

Taiwan AU Optronics (AUO) has launched an energy storage system (ESS) PowerLegato for commercial and residential use after being certified by German testing house TÜV Rheinland.

The self-claimed high density ESS provides a 48V lithium-ion battery produced in Japan and features over current, temperature, voltage and undervoltage protection. The system is available in 2.4kWh, 4.8kWh and 7.2kWh. It supports hybrid energy inputs and outputs and has the option to choose between PV DC and grid AC sources.

The system can also operate fully stand-alone off grid in Germany as well as the UK and can serve as emergency backup, according to the company. It also fulfills the qualifications for the Japanese S-mark incentive programme, allowing owners to receive subsidies.

According to AUO, the ESS can store 25% more energy per kg than its competitors.

The residential version entered the European market in 2013 and was awarded for its design by iF and Reddot.

German research centre Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) recently warned about safety issues of non-certified residential ESS.

EDF and IFC cooperate to power off-grid in Africa

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:45 -- Laura Varriale
Solar power Africa

Power supplier EDF Energy and World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) have agreed to cooperate in the development of off-grid electrification in sub-Saharan Africa.

A first pilot project will start in Benin and provide electricity for 25,000 people in its first phase, using hybrid solar-diesel networks and two biomass fired power plants. Other countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania and Myanmar will follow at a later stage.

"Almost 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity in the world. Bringing power to these people is a major challenge that we must address”, said Bertrand Heysch de la Borde, senior manager for infrastructure in Africa at IFC.

The goal of the cooperation is to supply power to half a million people living in rural areas. EDF and IFC will also seek for sources of financing to potential projects and explore sustainable co-investment opportunities where necessary, according to the companies.

"Electricity is a vital product without which no real development is possible. Access to energy for rural populations, who are more often the most disadvantaged ones, allows poverty reduction by developing income-generating activities, while also promoting education, health, access to water, etc,” said Edouard Dahome, EDF director for Africa and access to energy.

IFC is currently providing off-grid power through its “Lighting Africa” initiative to almost 7m people in several rural regions in Africa while EDF delivers electricity to 500,000 people on the continent.

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