The magazine for the international power industry

November 2013






The true impact on our grids
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1311PEI_C2 2 10/30/13 4:04 PM 1 Power Engineering International November 2013
NOVEMBER 2013/// VOLUME 21/// ISSUE 10
4 Industry Highlights
6 Hinkley Point News Focus
8 News Update
66 Diary
68 Project & Technology Update
72 Ad Index
Power Report
18 Geothermal power continues upsurge
It has been a good year for global geothermal power,
and signals for the future look strong, according to the
Geothermal Energy Association’s latest report.
28 Charging ahead: EVs and the grid
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming a signifcant part of the
automotive market as fuel prices rise. We investigate the
impact of growing EV use on electric power systems.
32 Is CFB the key to scaling up biomass?
Advanced circulating fuidized bed boiler technology can
provide a solution for effective CO
reduction in large-scale
power generation with a broad range of solid biomass fuels.
50 Debunking Energiewende myths
Germany’s rollout of renewables can be kept on track without
the current frenetic pace of grid expansion, according to new
54 Playing it safe with simulated training
Video game technology is transforming operator training in the
power industries, allowing for the simulation of power operations
and maintenance procedure planning and training.
On the cover
What impact will the rise of electric vehicles have on power grids? P28
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POWER-GEN Europe Best Paper Award Winner
An article based on one of the winning papers from this year’s
POWER-GEN Europe Best Paper Awards is featured.
58 Novel steels for high-effciency power plants
It is not just new boiler tubes in high-effciency power plants
that have to bear high temperatures and pressures; their
welds must too. We explore the development and application
of three new fller metals.
Talking Point
24 Could the dash for shale gas backfre?
We ask major power players and industry analysts if the
emergence of shale gas is good for the global industry or if it
will discourage countries from a diversifed energy mix?
Special Focus: Automation and Optimization
37 The power of automation
Greater optimization of electric power generation is now
paramount, with ever more advanced automation and I&C
technologies playing a pivotal role. We investigate the rapidly
evolving power plant automation sector and the factors
driving its development.
42 The technology behind optimization
As power stations use ever more sophisticated automation
solutions to optimize how they operate, we look at the
software modeling and technology that is driving this
growing trend.
46 Automation in action
Modern control systems can optimize power plant
effciency, availability, fexibility and cost. Here we
highlight key innovations in automation projects
across power sectors.
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4 Power Engineering International November 2013
Industry Highlights
he news of the hour, so to speak, or
more likely of the year, is the deal struck
between French state utility EDF and the
UK government, which will see the frst nuclear
power station built in Britain in 20 years.
On Monday, 21 October, Britain and the
world fnally found out the commercial terms
for building Hinkley Point C, a 3.2 GW two-
reactor nuclear plant, slated to be operational
by 2023.
It may have taken a year of talks, but it
appears that both parties – EDF and the British
government – have come away from the
negotiating table happy.
Considering rising energy costs are
currently a political ‘hot potato’ with the British
electorate, Energy secretary Ed Davey must
have been relieved to be able to confrm
that EDF and its fellow investors would be fully
responsible for funding the £16 billion ($26
billion) project, representing “for the frst time”
a nuclear power project “not built with money
from the British taxpayer”.
EDF is also likely to be pleased with a strike
price of £92.5/MWh, which is closer to the
alleged £100/MWh it was after than the £80
originally offered by the government. One also
presumes that, from an investor’s point of view,
the EDF strike price will serve as the benchmark
for any subsequent nuclear projects.
This strike price, nonetheless, has
raised a few eyebrows, with some industry
commentators pointing out that it is almost
twice the current wholesale cost of electricity.
However, others make the good point that it
is not correct to compare it with the wholesale
power price because this covers only
operating costs, so you are not comparing
‘apples with apples’.
Instead, says Gerard Wynn, Reuters’ senior
environmental markets correspondent, you
should compare it with the calculated,
complete cost of power generation, which
includes both capital and operating costs.
In those terms, the strike price appears cost
competitive with large-scale renewable
energy, although still more costly than gas.
Now, before I give you the impression that
Wynn is in favour of the UK having a nuclear-
build programme to secure supply, let me be
clear and say he is not. Rather he advocates
investment in new subsea cables. He points
out that on the same day as the Hinkley Point
C announcement was made, Alexa Capital, a
UK-based corporate advisory frm, released a
report called UK energy in perspective: is there
a better way forward?
The report argues that: “The UK’s ‘energy
island’ strategy for security of supply is not
practical in light of excess power capacity
across the EU”, believing UK business and
consumers would not be better off contracting
for a greater proportion of electricity via
An ideal interconnection partner, proposes
Wynn, is Germany, where a combination of
high natural gas prices, low power prices
and priority dispatch for renewables has seen
several utilities mothball loss-making gas-fred
power plants. Thus, says Wynn, the UK could
exploit the situation and offer a long-term
power purchase agreement to keep those
German plants operating.
With the cost of building an interconnector
anticipated to add only a few euros per
MWh to the cost of importing electric power,
Wynn concludes that the complete cost of
purchasing electricity from Germany’s gas-
fred power plants could well be cheaper than
the new Hinkley Point deal.
Notwithstanding Wynn’s opinion, the
general response to the Hinkley deal has been
positive. Tony Ward, head of power and utilities
at Ernst & Young, believes this “investment will
have a lasting positive impact on the UK’s
energy independence, its economy and low-
carbon aspirations”.
Whilst George Borovas, head of
international nuclear projects at global law
frm Pillsbury, says the deal could have a
“positive domino effect”, with additional new
build projects likely to follow. I’m sure Hitachi,
following its purchase of Horizon 12 months
ago, and GDF Suez’s NuGen are reassured by
this development.
Finally, the UK government will defnitely see
the Hinkley Point C deal as a vindication of its
often criticised EMR (Electricity Market Reform)
programme, the aim of which was to bring
clarity, certainty and confdence to energy
investors. I’m sure Davey and his team are
punching the air and saying “we did it”.
The UK government
will see the Hinkley
deal as a vindication
of its Electricity
Market Reform
Dr. Heather Johnstone
Associate Publisher
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6 Power Engineering International November 2013
News Update
“We are kickstarting the renaissance of the
nuclear power industry in the United Kingdom.”
So said Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of
EDF Energy, as a deal was struck with the UK
government for EDF to go ahead and build
Hinkley Point C, Britain’s frst new nuclear power
plant for more than 20 years.
After more than a year of talks to
agree a strike price for Hinkley Point, the
government revealed that it will pay EDF
£92.50 ($149)/MWh for the new reactor in
Somerset, England. This price will drop to
£89.50 if EDF goes ahead with a further new
reactor at the existing Sizewell nuclear plant.
The strike price is the agreed sum the
government will pay EDF for power generated
by the plant, and its fnal fgure is almost
double the existing price of electricity in Britain.
With the government saying for the past
three years that it would refuse to subsidize
new nuclear, the strike price is the mechanism
by which EDF will recoup the £16bn it will
cost to build the plant. EDF will hold a
45-50 per cent stake in the project, with
another 30-40 per cent being held by China
General Nuclear Corporation and China
National Nuclear Corporation and another
10 per cent by French engineering company
Aveva, which will design the plant’s reactor.
Hinkley Point is in southwest England and
the new plant will provide 7 per cent of Britain’s
electricity. During construction it will create
5000 jobs and and once operational will be
staffed by 900 people.
UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said
the agreement with EDF over Hinkley was
“an excellent deal for Britain and British
“For the frst time, a nuclear power station
in this country will not have been built with
money from the British taxpayer.
“It will increase energy security and
resilience from a safe, reliable, home-grown
source of electricity. This deal is competitive
with other large-scale clean energy and
with gas – and while consumers won’t pay
anything up front, they’ll share directly in any
gains made from the project coming in under
budget and from refnancing or equity sales.”
EDF group chairman Henri Proglio said the
deal “strengthens the industrial and energy
co-operation between France and the UK”.
He said: “The project at Hinkley Point
represents a great opportunity for the French
nuclear industry in a context of a renewal of
“This project will deliver a boost to the
economy and create job opportunities on
both sides of the Channel and will enable the
UK to increase the share of carbon-free energy
in its production mix.”
At a press conference held at Hinkley Point,
Davey, Proglio and Vincent De Rivaz provided
more detail on the deal.
Davey told the assembled media: “In a
deal this size it is right to ask questions, but we
“Pivotal nuclear moment” as UK and EDF agree Hinkley Point go-ahead
Artist’s impression of the completed Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor: construction will involve 5000 people
and, once operational, the plant will employ 900 staff and generate 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity
Credit: EDF Energy
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8 Power Engineering International November 2013
News Update
have got to make these investments because
nearly two-thirds of our electricity-generating
capacity is going offine over the next 15 years.
We’ve got to replace eight out of nine of our
nuclear power stations and almost all our coal
power stations.”
He said that “40 per cent of our capacity
which is coal power, and 20 per cent which is
nuclear, must be taken off, and no government
has faced up to making that tough decision
until now”.
He added that it would take “6000 wind
turbines to produce the power that will come
through Hinkley Point C – we cannot do that
at the moment”.
“We must replace 60 per cent of our
capacity within a short time and that is
not possible with just gas – it’s too risky for
consumers. Wholesale gas prices have gone
up 50 per cent in the last fve years, and we
don’t want the economy to be reliant on gas,
as lots of it is imported.”
Davey stated that the average household
energy bill will be £75 lower by 2030 by making
the investment in nuclear, and in addition he
said the government had ensured that the UK
taxpayer was spared the risk associated with
failure, as had happened in other countries.
“The construction risks don’t fall on the
consumer, so if costs overrun, these will be
taken up by EDF and co-investors and not by
the consumer.”
The UK’s Nuclear Industry Association said
the Hinkley deal will “create a lasting industrial
legacy to enable the UK to compete in the
global nuclear market, anticipated to be
worth £1tn by 2030”.
NIA chairman Lord Hutton – who was
responsible for kick-starting Britain’s ambitious
nuclear newbuild plans under the previous
Labour government – said the agreement
between EDF and the government “confrms
to investors and the UK nuclear supply chain
that new nuclear build is a reality”.
John Cridland, director-general of the
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said it
was “a landmark deal which will help us meet
our future energy challenges, while boosting
jobs and growth”.
He said: “New nuclear plants must be a
fundamental feature of our future energy
landscape, and Hinkley Point C is the starter
gun to securing the investment we need.”
Tony Ward, head of power and utilities at
consultants EY (Ernst & Young) said that the
announcement “marks a huge step towards
delivering a balanced, lower carbon energy
mix for future generations of UK energy users”.
He said the UK is now “materially closer
to being able to deliver its frst new nuclear
station in 25 years. This investment will
have a lasting positive impact on the UK’s
energy independence, its economy, the
local communities and the UK’s low carbon
George Borovas, head of international
nuclear projects at global law frm Pillsbury,
said the strike price agreement “is a pivotal
moment for the UK nuclear industry”.
“Tangible support from governments
is one of the most important factors in the
development of successful nuclear new build
Borovas said that the UK “is an environment
in which new nuclear can thrive and additional
new build projects are likely to follow”.
British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses workers from Hinkley Point A and B power
plants as he announces news of the go-ahead for a third reactor at the site.
Credit: DECC
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10 Power Engineering International November 2013
News Update
“Hydropower has become something of a
curse that should not be mentioned” in Brazil,
according to the boss of one of the country’s
largest energy frms.
Speaking at the inaugural POWER-GEN
Brasil conference and exhibition in Sau Paulo,
Flavio Decat de Moura, president of Furnas,
said: “Hydro is treated as an evil.”
He said it was viewed with suspicion and
added that “we are losing this communications
battle, yet hydro is clean and good”.
And he added that his company would be
striving to win its share of all potential power
business, hydro or otherwise.
Explaining that Furnas had suffered a
BR$2bn ($908m) loss of revenue in 2012, he
said: “We need to grow. We should be taking
part in all OEM tenders in Brazil – it’s a fantastic
opportunity for us.”
He was delivering one of the keynote
speeches at POWER-GEN Brasil, which this
year made its debut alongside established
shows HydroVision Brasil and Distributech
Brasil. Together, the three events boasted 144
exhibitors, 40 conference sessions and 162
speakers from 15 countries.
The contribution that hydro and other
renewable forms of power can make to Brazil’s
bid to decarbonize its energy sector was
Britaldo Soares, president of Brazil’s AES
group, said that “sustainability is not a topic
that we discuss of the sidelines”, stating that it
was at the heart of all talks in every part of the
business. He said the future for Brazil’s energy
make-up was a hydro-gas mix: “We have to
strike a balance.”
And Sao Paulo energy secretary Jose
Anibal talked up wind power, saying that
the state had a potential of 4734 MW and
harboured ambitions to emulate Germany’s
scale of wind farm development.
He added that to help drive this ambition,
current tax exemptions for wind were being
extended to 2020.

Brazil must “reopen
nuclear discussion”
says Alstom boss
Brazil must diversify its “fragile” energy mix by
utilizing more renewables and embracing
both gas and nuclear, according to a boss at
French engineering giant Alstom.
Roberto Miranda, Alstom’s global power
sales director, said the country’s hydropower
industry would come to have “shrinking
participation in a more fragile system”.
He stressed that now was the time to
plan for the future, adding that “the Brazilian
industry is well poised to support this growth”.
Speaking on the frst day of conference
sessions at POWER-GEN Brasil, Miranda said: “It
is very important that we reopen the nuclear
discussion – we cannot postpone it any
longer. Brazil should have a clear cut position
on nuclear.”
He predicted that gas would “become
indispensible: if we can switch-on/switch-off
thermal plants, it will bring stability to the grid”.
On renewables, he highlighted the dangers
of allowing biomass to become the forgotten
form of renewable generation: “We must have
a stronghold in biomass. We must keep the
industry alive – particularly because Brazil is so
rich in agriculture.”
Wind, meanwhile, had “extraordinary
potential”, Miranda said, not just as a further
power source but also as a driver for economic
He told the audience that the renewables
division of Alstom was the company’s
“strongest arm in Brazil”, pulling in revenues
of BR$4.9bn last year, which accounted for
7 per cent of Alstom’s global turnover.
Amazon is Brazil’s “last
electric frontier”
The Amazon is Brazil’s “last electric frontier”
and the government must ensure that it
gives backing to power projects in the region,
otherwise its energy potential will lie untapped.
That was the message at a special
conference session at POWER-GEN Brasil in
Sao Paulo.
Nivalde Jose de Castro, professor at Brazil’s
Institute of Economics UFRJ, said 70 per cent of
Brazil’s power potential was within the Amazon
but added “you can’t cut off a tree branch
without government support”.
He said private frms needed the backing
– if need be, fnancial, in the form of a state
stake – to be persuaded to go ahead with
Amazonian projects, because without
government support the opposition from
environmental groups to power projects was
too great.
He said that with the support of state
electricity company Electrobras, “all the
ongoing projects face huge challenges.
I doubt that they will take off – there are too
many barriers”.
Electrobras holds a 49.98 per cent stake in
the consortium behind the 11,223 MW Belo
Monte project currently under construction.
“Hydro is treated as an evil” in Brazil, claims Furnas president
1311PEI_10 10 10/30/13 4:10 PM 11 Power Engineering International January 2013
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12 Power Engineering International November 2013
News Update

Primtech in Brazilian
alliance with Figener
German energy software supplier Primtech
has formed an alliance Brazilian engineering
and consulting frm Figener.
The deal comes following a search by
Primtech for a Latin American partner so it
could break into Brazil’s booming market.
Speaking to PEi at POWER-GEN Brasil,
Primtech’s Sabrina Heuser said: “Figener is our
Gold Partner.
“That means they are a Primtech reseller,
an authorised training centre and Primtech
support centre.”
She explained: “Figener will use Primtech in
their own projects. At the same time, they are a
Primtech reseller and will do the Primtech sales
in Brazil as well as give training and support to
Primtech customers in Brazil.”
She also explained Primtech’s decision to
choose Figener as its partner.
“Figener has experience as an engineering
and consulting company in the power sector
and in substation projects. They have been
working in this feld for several years.
“Additionally they have experience in
selling software to the power sector and they
are familiar in dealing with power and energy
clients in Brazil and have Brazilian companies
as customers.”
The energy division of GE has helped push
the US company to a record order backlog of
Standout deals for the group in the third
quarter of this year were a $1.9bn contract
to supply Algeria’s Sonelgaz with power
generation equipment and services for six
new combined-cycle plants – one of the
biggest power pacts in the company’s history.
GE also won an order of around $600m
to provide turbomachinery equipment to
Russia’s Yamal liquefed natural gas project.
Announcing its third quarter profts, GE
revealed operating earnings of $3.7bn and
net earnings of $3.2bn. Revenues were
$35.7bn, down 1 per cent from the same
period a year ago, driven by lower revenues in
GE Capital due to planned asset reductions
and a negative foreign exchange impact of
GE chairman Jeff Immelt (pictured above)
was upbeat on the fgures: “Our third-quarter
results were very strong in an improving global
business environment.
“Orders grew 19 per cent with growth
around the world. Our industrial strength was
broad based, with six of seven businesses
growing earnings. As expected, our power
and water business is strengthening in the
second half of the year.”
In a company statement, GE used an
alliance with China on electricity grids to
highlight the breadth of its strategic goals.
The company formed a global partnership
with XD Electric Group to offer high voltage
transmission and distribution solutions and
provide customers in China with localized grid
automation equipment and services.
Immelt said: “This quarter we delivered on
our major strategic goals for investors. We grew
industrial segment profts 11 per cent with
good margin expansion.”
He said with the record backlog of $229bn
on its books, GE was “winning in the market
and is well positioned for 2014”.
Algeria power deals help push GE to record order backlog of $229bn
1311PEI_12 12 10/30/13 4:10 PM
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14 Power Engineering International January 2013
News Update
New research reveals that the global
switchgear sector grew from $46.8bn in 2008
to $58.6bn in 2012, with China grabbing the
biggest slice of market share.
Over the same period, the Chinese market
increased from $7.7bn to $9.9bn, accounting
for a total share of 16.9 per cent.
The report, from research and consulting
frm GlobalData, reveals that low-voltage
switchgears had the highest share of
global revenue, with 49 per cent in 2012,
while medium-voltage and high-voltage
switchgears accounted for 36 per cent and
15 per cent respectively.
GlobalData says this is because, for a single
high-voltage installation, multiple medium-
voltage switchgears are deployed.
Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan, GlobalData’s
senior power analyst, said growing installed
capacity was a major driver of the market,
and added that GlobalData expects installed
capacity worldwide to increase from 5645 GW
in 2012 to 7671 GW by 2020.
“Additionally, power is usually produced at
a medium-voltage level and is then stepped
up to a higher voltage for transportation
over longer distances,” Srinivasan said. “As
the number of generation units increases,
the number of medium-voltage switchgears
used also rises in generation as well as the
distribution segment.”
The report states that another boost to
the switchgear market is the substantial
investment in transmission infrastructure,
which will demand high-voltage switchgear
devices in the future.
This would be followed by investments
in both medium-voltage and low-voltage
switchgears to ensure connectivity of the
electricity to the end user.
“Developing countries such as China and
India have introduced various initiatives in
order to cater to the electricity demand that
is being linked with rapid economic growth,”
said Srinivasan.
“Ultra-high-voltage grids are expected to be
the core focus of investment for transmission
and distribution.”
Srinivasan added that “as urbanization and
industrialization increase around the world,
there is a substantial increase in infrastructure,
which means heavier investment in the end-
user segments for power which supports the
growth of the low-voltage switchgear market”.
However, the report highlights that growth
in prices of raw materials, such as copper,
aluminium and steel, has directly increased
the costs of transmission equipment, including
high-voltage switchgear.
Additionally, the presence of a large
number of companies, especially in India and
China, has introduced competitive pricing
pressure in the switchgear market.
“In the absence of much scope for
product differentiation, pricing becomes an
important criterion for gaining a market share,”
Srinivasan explained.
“Multinationals are struggling to keep
their costs and prices competitive in both
emerging and developed markets in order to
match competition from Chinese and Indian
Global investment in clean energy this year is
on track to be signifcantly lower than it was in
2012, according to new fgures.
Data reveals that total worldwide
investment was $45.9bn in the third quarter
of this year, down 14 per cent on the second
quarter of the year and 20 per cent below the
number for the third quarter of 2012.
If this trend carries on, the end-of-year
investment total in renewables, smart grid,
energy storage and electric vehicles will fall
short of last year’s $281bn.
The report, compiled by Bloomberg New
Energy Finance, said in the third quarter of this
year there was “weakness almost across the
board, with investment in China, the US and
Europe all down on 2012’s equivalent period”.
The only region to show a rise in activity
on both the quarter and the year was the
Americas outside the US and Brazil, due to
“frm fgures” from Canada, Chile and Uruguay.
Michael Liebreich, chief executive of
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “After
the slightly more promising second quarter, we
now have a very disappointing third quarter
fgure for investment.”
He said that while $45.9bn was “still a
substantial amount of money”, the “loss of
momentum is worrying. The latest setback
refects policy uncertainty in Europe, the lure
of cheap gas in the US, a levelling-off in wind
and solar investment in China, and a general
weakening of political will in major economies.
“Governments accept the world has a
major problem with climate change but
appear too engrossed in short-term domestic
issues to take the decisive action needed.”
Overall clean energy investment declines
were most noticeable in major countries.
The US saw its total fall to $5.5bn in Q3 from
$9.4bn in Q2, China was down at $13bn from
$13.8bn, India was $1.2bn from $1.5bn, and
Japan $7.3bn from $7.4bn. Brazil showed a
modest rise, from $950m to $1.1bn.
In Europe, German investment was $1.6bn,
down from $1.7bn in Q2; France saw a fall from
$1.2bn in Q2 to $727m in Q3; Italy a modest
rebound to $1.3bn from $1.2bn, and the UK “a
somewhat bigger rally” from $1.6bn to $2.6bn.
China leads growth as global switchgear market heads for $58bn
Worrying decline in global clean energy investment
1311PEI_14 14 10/30/13 4:10 PM
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16 Power Engineering International November 2013
News Update
Europe’s energy and
utility frms “resilient”
to economic woes
The European energy and utility market is
proving “particularly resilient” to the economic
downturn, according to analysis from
consultants at EY (Ernst & Young).
In its annual sector survey for investment
attractiveness, energy and utilities
comes second only to information and
communication technologies as a lure for
investors and is ahead of the pharmaceutical
and biotechnology industries.
The report states that there are two
key drivers behind European investment –
renewables and nuclear: in particular nuclear
in the UK, which has attracted interest from
France, China, Japan and Russia.
On renewables, the biggest investment
decisions from the likes of RWE, Vattenfall, Dong
Energy and EDF are being made in regard to
offshore wind projects.
Looking to the future, EY says the European
utility sector “has much to gain from further
innovation in technology”.
The report quotes Hendrik Bourgeois, vice-
president of European affairs for GE, who
said: “The cost of energy is high in Europe,
and natural gas is notably more expensive
than in the US. We need to use technology
to bring down costs. This includes extracting
unconventional fuels in an environmentally
sound manner.”
He added: “Europe also needs to continue
to invest in renewable energies, such as
wind, solar and biogas, and to build more
interconnected and ‘smarter’ power grids.”
Marc Lhermitte, EY’s head of international
location advisory services, said: “The crisis has
led foreign investors to actively pursue scarce
“Consequently, we have in fact witnessed
an investment rebound in key destinations
including the UK, Germany and Ireland, but
also in Poland and Russia. Foreign investors
are for the most part confdent that Europe
will weather these hard times, and emerge
stronger and different.”

CCS could save UK
£32bn in energy
system costs
Successful commercial deployment of carbon
capture and storage technology could save
the UK £32bn ($51bn) in energy system costs
by 2050.
George Day, head of economic strategy at
the Energy Technologies Institute, told a CCS
conference in London that the fgure would
be preceded by £13bn of savings in 2030 and
£20bn by 2040.
However he stressed that to realise these
savings, a total investment of £65bn in CCS
would have to take place between now and
Earlier in the conference, which was
organised and hosted by the Institute of
Mechanical Engineers, delegates were told
that Britain’s Electricity Market Reform – the
new energy framework currently being driven
through government – is “arguably the only
model in the world that will facilitate CCS
Luke Warren of the Carbon Capture and
Storage Association said that for too long CCS
had been “an orphan” within government,
with no department looking to drive the
technology to commercialization.
However, he said that the EMR – part of
the government’s Energy Bill – offered the best
chance yet to get projects off the drawing
board into demonstration and then into
But he stressed that the EMR framework
would need to be adapted for CCS. Under
EMR, each low carbon technology will have
a contract for difference – a sum guaranteed
by the government to be paid to power
generators. But CfDs have been set up
primarily for renewables and nuclear and
Warren explained that “the cost structure for
CCS is different so we will have to bend the
CCS model”.
“The real test is whether government
is willing to distort their design for CCS,”
he added.
The UK hopes to replicate the success of Vattenfall’s €70m pilot plant
in Lausitz, Germany, which processes and stores its CO
Credit: Vattenfall
1311PEI_16 16 10/30/13 4:10 PM
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18 Power Engineering International November 2013
Two thousand and thirteen has been a good year for global geothermal
power in terms of market growth, and the signals for the future look
strong too. Dr Heather Johnstone distils the bullish fndings of the
Geothermal Energy Association’s latest report.
Global geothermal capacity could
approach 14,000 MW by 2020
Credit: Gretar Ívarsson, Nesjavellir
Power Report: Geothermal
y the end of this year, the
worldwide geothermal market
is expected to reach an
installed operational capacity
of 12,000 MW. This is according
to the 2013 Geothermal Power:
International Market Overview, the latest
report published by the Geothermal Energy
Association (GEA).
The GEA report is also extremely bullish
about the future of the market. It expects
geothermal power to “continue to grow
substantially” right across the globe,
anticipating capacity worldwide could
approach 14,000 MW by the end of the
decade when the current project pipeline is
taken into consideration.
The country that is topping the table in
terms of megawatts under construction is
Indonesia with 475 MW, and Kenya is in second
place with 296 MW. Other countries the report
makes special mention of, again in terms of
geothermal power plants under construction,
are the Philippines (110 MW), Iceland
(260 MW), New Zealand (166 MW) and the US
with 178 MW.
However, in terms of the actual number
of projects the US remains the undisputed
leader with 182 projects under development.
According to the report, that largely refects the
fact that the US has explored its geothermal
resources much more extensively than most
other nations, with the frst geothermal power
plant built there over 50 years ago.
Thus in relative terms, says the report,
countries such as Chile and Indonesia are
1311PEI_18 18 10/30/13 4:11 PM
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20 Power Engineering International November 2013
Power Report: Geothermal
just beginning to explore their geothermal
resources, but in the future, the GEA expects
to see more exploration and development as
the geothermal markets in countries like Chile,
Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan evolve.
The GEA report divides the global
geothermal market into three categories:
Established Markets, with more than 500 MW
of installed capacity; Developing Markets,
with a capacity ranging from 50 MW to
500 MW; and New Markets, with less than
50 MW installed.
So let us look in more detail at a selection
of countries, whether established, developing
or new, where progress to develop geothermal
power capacity has taken place over the last
Established markets
Despite the US leading the world in installed
geothermal energy – it currently stands at
3389 MW – development somewhat slowed
in the frst part of this year compared to a
period of rapid growth seen in 2011 and 2012.
According to the report, several US projects
have progressed slowly because of an
uncertain policy environment and problems
attaining power purchase agreements (PPAs)
or fnancing. Rather controversially, the reports
suggest that “there could be a time in the
foreseeable future when Indonesia leads in
global installed geothermal capacity”.
However, it is not all bad news and projects
across the country are still moving forward.
For example, a geothermal project in Aspen,
Colorado recently fnished drilling test wells
and is anticipated to move to the next project
The opportunities for geothermal to be
utilized as a fexible power source, contrary to
its traditional baseload role, also became a
topic of discussion in the US this year following
a report sponsored by Ormat Technologies.
It relates in particular to binary power plants,
which can be ramped up and down multiple
times a day – see boxed text on p.22).
Finally, the reports believes that President
Barak Obama’s recent directives on cutting
carbon and the greater development
of renewable energy both bode well for
geothermal development in the US.
With an installed capacity of
1884 MW, the Philippines is currently second
to the US. According to the GEA report, this
Southeast Asian nation has 27 projects under
development, three of which are under actual
construction, as well as 724 MW of planned
capacity additions.
Recently, the Philippine Department of
Energy announced plans for a geothermal
expansion of 1445 MW by 2030, with an
estimated total potential investment of
$7.5 billion. The report says that could translate
into a 75 per cent growth over the current
installed capacity, with the majority of this
development occurring by 2020, i.e. ahead of
the government’s schedule.
The other important established market,
again in Southeast Asia, is Indonesia, which
has an installed geothermal capacity of
1333 MW and, as indicated above, could well
vie for the US geothermal power crown in the
not too distant future.
Indonesia undoubtedly has a massive
potential for geothermal power, but like
many countries it is struggling with regulatory
issues and a government that is obstructing
geothermal development, says the report.
In 2003, Geothermal Law 27/2003 was
introduced and signifcantly changed the
framework for geothermal development,
mandating that all future development had to
be conducted under a competitive tendering
process that was transparent. The expectation
was that this would speed up the process.
However, land acquisition and permit
issues are currently stalling 30 geothermal
projects that were launched before and after
the introduction of the 2003 law, i.e. 11 out of
20 geothermal projects launched before the
2003 law, and 19 projects launched after the
law are still in the exploration stage.
Nevertheless, Indonesia ranks second for
developing projects with 57 projects in some
phase of development. Although the report
does not expect any more plants to come
online this year, if all plants are fnished by
their publicly announced completion dates,
Indonesia could reach close to 2 GW by 2018.
Finally, since Fukushima in 2011, Japan has
been looking for clean alternatives to nuclear
energy. As a result, says the report, interest in
geothermal energy has been revived following
several years of stagnant development.
In March 2012, the Japanese Energy and
Environment Council decided to deregulate
Global Installed Capacity PCA of Plants Under Construction
Kenya Costa Rica El Salvador Turkey Nicaragua Russia Papua New
Global installed capacity of operating geothermal power plants (MW). Source: B. Matek, GEA
Developing geothermal markets’ installed capacity (MW). Source: B. Matek, GEA
1311PEI_20 20 10/30/13 4:11 PM
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22 Power Engineering International November 2013
Power Report: Geothermal
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several burdensome regulations that hindered geothermal development.
Additionally, in July 2012 Japan introduced a new feed-in tariff scheme –
27.30 yen/kWh ($0.30/kWh) for project greater than 15 MW and 42 yen/kWh
for projects smaller than 15 MW.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan is currently
developing 36 geothermal power projects with four of those actually under
construction. The nation plans to bring at least 50 MW of geothermal power
online by the end of the decade. But despite this good news, the report
says, Japan has a number of regulatory and structural barriers to overcome
before any surge in geothermal development is expected.
Developing and new markets
Kenya remains the world’s most important developing market. This East
African nation boosts an installed geothermal capacity of 215 MW, but
has an estimated potential of 7000–10,000 MW. It is also one of the fastest
growing geothermal markets, and is currently fast-tracking 22 projects, with
three under construction and expected to be operational in late 2014.
Kenya’s government is also putting substantial resources into building
up its geothermal infrastructure – by 2030 it envisions 5000 MW, requiring
a reported capital investment of $18 billion – and it appears to be paying
dividends, says the GEA report.
Currently, 296 MW of the 1000+ MW of geothermal under development in
the country are under construction, and if all projects are completed on time
the report expects Kenya to lead the world over the next decade, as well as
become a centre of geothermal technology on the African continent.
Turkey is another extremely promising emerging market for geothermal
power, with a current installed capacity of 163 MW, with majority of its
geothermal resources are located in the West Anatolian provinces.
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Diverging geothermal technology uptake
There are three main types of geothermal turbines – binary, fash and dry
steam. In dry steam, the oldest power technology, steam is withdrawn
directly from an underground geothermal reservoir and used to run the
turbines that power the generator.
In fash plants, high-pressure and high-temperature geothermal water
separates into steam and water as it rises to the surface. The two-phase
mixture of steam and liquid is separated or ‘fashed’ in a surface separator.
The steam is delivered to a turbine that powers a generator and the
resulting liquid is re-injected to the reservoir.
In binary plants, geothermal water is used to heat a secondary liquid
called a working fuid, which boils at a lower temperature than water. Heat
exchangers are used to transfer the heat energy from the geothermal
water to vaporize the working fuid.
The vaporized working fuid, like steam in fash plants, turns the turbines
that power the generators. The geothermal water is injected back into the
reservoir in a closed loop that is separated from groundwater sources.
Interestingly, the distribution of power plant technology in the US is not
refective of the rest of the world. America has mostly developed its high-
temperature resource in fash and dry steam plants and very few new
power plants with this technology are in the pipeline, favouring binary
power plants instead. Since 2007 all but one of the new power plants that
came online in the US were binary.
Interestingly, this trend has not been replicated in the rest of the world,
where many countries are beginning to develop their higher-temperature
resources. Flash and dry steam plants are in the pipeline in many countries
across Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa.
1311PEI_22 22 10/30/13 4:11 PM 23 Power Engineering International November 2013
Power Report: Geothermal
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Over the last 40 years, Turkey has drilled about 1200 wells for geothermal
electricity, as well as direct-use applications, and about one-third of these
wellbores were drilled in the last four years, confrms the report. Four more
power plants are expected to be operating by the end of 2013, adding
150 MW and raising the installed capacity to over 300 MW. Currently, Turkey
has 59 projects under development and 310 MW under construction.
In terms of new markets, the GEA report highlights one in particular that is
showing huge promise, and that is Ethiopia.
According to the report, in recent months several announcements look
set to greatly beneft geothermal development there. The Development Bank
of Ethiopia confrmed in July that an initial $20 million, funded by the World
Bank, will be ready to kickstart geothermal energy projects within months,
with another $20 million expected to be added to the fund at a later date.
The African Development Bank is also working to defne a geothermal
development roadmap for Ethiopia, confrms the report.
Ethiopia has an estimated geothermal potential of 5000 MW and has
plans to bring 450 MW on line by 2019. With six early-stage geothermal felds
under development and one geothermal plant expansion at Aluto-Langano,
Ethiopia is actively pursuing the exploitation of its geothermal resources, says
the report. The Aluto-Langano expansion is expected to add between 35–70
MW to the existing plant’s capacity by 2016.
The report also looks at the current geothermal activity in the Central
and South American region, and fnds that the majority of it is in the early
exploration stages, with the governments of nations such as Chile, Peru and
Argentina having made land available for geothermal exploration.
And there are some projects in the region that have reached the middle/
late stages and drilled their frst production wells. This relates in particular to
Guatemala, which has 42 MW of capacity currently installed and Nicaragua,
with 104 MW of capacity.
Costa Rica is another important developing market in the region. This
Central American country has a substantial geothermal resource and a
current installed capacity of 208 MW. According to the Ministry of Environment
and Energy, geothermal could provide up to 40 per cent of the Costa Rican
electricity generation, up from 12 per cent.
However, a lot of its resource lies within the boundaries of national parks,
leaving substantial regulatory barriers to its development.
The government is beginning to address this issue and unlock some more
of its geothermal potential, the report says, and plans to introduce legislation
that would open the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Guanacaste for
geothermal project development. It is likely, however, to face substantial
opposition from environmentalists.
The GEA’s latest report clearly paints a positive picture about the current
status of the world’s geothermal power development and also, looking long-
term, it remains upbeat. In our inextricable move towards a low-carbon power
generation base, geothermal undoubtedly has an important role to play,
although it continues to face a number of policy, regulatory and structural
obstacles, as well as its continued high CAPEX.
However, Karl Gawell, the executive director of the GEA, believes that
“the number of projects will continue to grow as more and more countries
recognize the potential economic and environmental benefts that
geothermal power can bring”.
The full report can be downloaded from the GEA website (www.geo-
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24 Power Engineering International November 2013
Harald Thaler, Industry Director, Energy & Power, Frost & Sullivan
Shale gas has so far only been a game-
changer in the US. And there is no indication
that it has been detrimental to any fuel mix
diversifcation efforts there.
To the contrary, shale gas has helped the
country to move away from an over-reliance
on coal to a more diversifed thermal power
mix. According to the EIA, the share of natural
gas in US power generation increased from
23.3 per cent in 2009 to 30.4 per cent in 2012.
Over the same period, the share of
coal – the dominant fuel – declined from
44.4 per cent to 37.4 per cent. So, far from the
country chasing a single winner, shale gas is
helping the US attain a better fuel mix, where
eventually gas will indeed overtake coal
(though this is not expected before 2020) but
the thermal mix will be much cleaner than
before and the power system more fexible to
load shifts as a result of more gas-based units
in the system.
And shale gas is clearly contributing to
lower generation costs in the country, with
all the additional benefts of attracting more
manufacturing and other energy-intensive
industries to the country.
As for other countries, it is far too early to
talk about any game changer. Natural gas is
clearly the thermal fuel of the future but it is not
necessarily shale gas that is prompting greater
takeup of the fuel.
Various forces are at play that drives the
global ‘gasifcation’ of the fuel mix in the
interest of a cleaner and lower-carbon power
industry. It is true that, indirectly, future exports
of US-produced shale gas onto world markets
from 2016 onwards will beneft gas on world
markets as prices – in particular in high-priced
Asian markets – are bound to fall as a result of
this new supply source.
However, other factors such as growing
LNG trade, the emergence of new
conventional gas-producing regions such as
East Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean
and the growth in countries establishing LNG
import infrastructure (including more fexible
foating LNG plants) are arguably at least as
important in accelerating the fortunes of gas.
A much more integrated global gas
market of the future, characterised by more
fexible LNG supply from a growing number
of sources, combined with growing gas
production from both conventional and
unconventional sources, will ensure that
security of supply concerns for gas will be
very much reduced, thus setting the stage
for gas to challenge coal not only in selected
countries but eventually more globally.
In this context, future shale gas production
in China – the world’s largest power generating
nation – can help to make a small but useful
contribution to reduce the world’s reliance on
coal-fred generation, which currently stands
at 41 per cent.
Talking Point
Could the dash
for shale gas
Is the emergence of shale gas
really a game-changing force
for good for the power industry,
or is there a danger of countries
chasing gas as a single winner
at a time when so many
governments are beginning to
diversify their energy mix?
1311PEI_24 24 10/30/13 4:11 PM 25 Power Engineering International November 2013
Talking Point
Matti Rautkivi, General Manager, Liaison Offce, Power Plants, Wärtsilä
The emergence of shale gas is a game-
changing force for good for the power industry,
and especially for electricity consumers.
In the US, the shale gas boom has shifted
investments from coal to gas (sustainability),
decreased the price of electricity for
consumers (affordability), and incentivised
investments in fexible generation (reliability,
especially in systems with a high level of
The shale gas boom has not fully started
outside of the US yet, but it has defnitely raised
interest regarding gas investments, even in
developing countries, and European utilities
are able to re-negotiate their long term take-
or-pay gas contracts.
I don’t see that gas generation will be
a single winner on the global level, but we
will see increasing interest towards gas.
Actually, the whole question about the “risk or
danger” of shale gas to future energy mixes
is absurd.
For instance, the IEA published its South-
East Asia Energy Outlook in October, which
showed coal generation will be the region’s
fastest growing energy generation form in the
future. What if the shale gas boom would lower
global gas prices and investments are shifted
partly from coal to gas? Is this a dangerous
development? People would get affordable
energy with lower emissions. From my point
of view, the development is not so dangerous,
especially when the generation mixes will be
diversifed anyway.
In Europe (and also outside it) the
diversifcation of the energy mix is related to
the increasing share of renewable generation.
This development should be encouraged
since we have already seen close to grid
parity prices for solar PV, and even for wind.
However, the deployment of intermittent
renewable generation has raised a need for
fexibility in the power systems, since there is
an increasing need for balancing actions in
the high RES power systems. Gas generation
is today, and will be in the future, the best
alternative for fexibility.
Consequently, the power mix diversifcation
actually increases the need for fexible gas
generation. I don’t see that investments in gas
generation would jeopardise investments in
renewables, but fexible gas generation is a
prerequisite for their effcient integration.
The shale gas boom does not create
“dangers” or “risks” for the future power system
development, but it can enable a faster
transition to better power systems.
Richard Myers, Vice-President of Policy Development, US Nuclear Energy Institute
The American electricity industry is in the midst
of wrenching disruption and sustained stress.
Fuel and technology diversity serves as a
hedge against supply disruption. That diversity
is at serious risk.
There are several reasons to be cautious
about an over-dependence on natural gas.
First, volatility. Last year’s low natural gas
prices were not sustainable, and prices are
already increasing. So far this year the average
price of natural gas delivered to electric
generators is 44 per cent higher than in the
frst six months of 2012. For the frst six months
of 2013, spot gas prices at major trading hubs
are up signifcantly on the same period last
year, by 50 per cent or more in most of the
nation to over 100 per cent in the northeast.
Second, gas demand is increasing in
other sectors besides electricity. By 2020,
new demand from the electric power sector,
the industrial sector and for LNG exports
represents a 20–30 per cent increase from
today’s consumption. Can the US natural gas
resource base support this production level?
Absolutely. Of course it can – the resource
base is huge. The question is whether the
necessary infrastructure – pipelines, gathering
systems, gas processing facilities and so forth
– will be built precisely at the right time and
in the right place to match growing demand.
The answer is probably not.
Several major markets in the US have had
nasty warnings about what can happen
when states or regions fnd themselves over-
dependant on natural gas. New England this
year was the most recent example.
New England depends on natural gas for
over 50 per cent of its electricity supply, almost
double its dependence in
New England found
itself skating on thin ice
several times in January
and February with reliability
of electric service at risk
and spot prices for natural
gas and electric power
spiking dramatically.
Gas prices in the region
soared above US$30/Mbtu
in January and February –
electricity prices reached
$250–260/MWh in a market that typically
trades in the low $40 range. The total value of
New England’s wholesale energy markets in
January and February totalled about $2 billion.
In comparison, the value of those markets all
of last year was only $5 billion. So this has a
huge impact on consumers. The condition we
face is unsustainable.
Richard Myers was speaking at the World
Nuclear Association Annual Symposium in
1311PEI_25 25 10/30/13 4:12 PM
26 Power Engineering International November 2013
Talking Point
Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal and Power Division, International Energy Agency
2012 was a bad year for coal. In the US, cheap
gas had a punishing effect on coal-fred
power generation that fell by 12.5 per cent.
China, due to improving energy effciency
and renewable deployment, had the slowest
demand growth for a decade.
The astonishing fact is that even in this
headwind, coal succeeded to increase its
share in the global energy mix, pushing global
carbon emissions to a record level.
Coal is a forgotten fuel – it is easy to
overlook how important it is in both electricity
supply as well as in climate change. Despite
the weak recovery after the fnancial crisis,
power generation globally is growing at a rate
of a Japan every two years, and around half of
that growth is supplied with coal.
Diversifcation of electricity is diversifcation
from coal.
Coal’s environmental impact is serious, but
many governments are prepared to overlook
that in order to power development as it ticks
many boxes of energy policy desires: it is
abundant, cheap, reliable and geopolitically
well distributed.
Consequently, in order to reduce that
environmental impact, a candidate is needed
that is also cheap, abundant, reliable and
geopolitically well distributed.
Welcome on stage, shale gas. At the
International Energy Agency, we frst
highlighted the revolutionary impact of shale
gas in 2009, so our 2008 projections refected
the expectations of the pre-shale world.
Our latest projection for 2030 is 445 GW less
coal fred power generation capacity burning
a billion tonnes less coal than what we
expected before shale. Of course this would
not matter if carbon capture and storage was
widely deployed, but one needs a degree of
optimism to assume that. Energy effciency
and renewables do play a role, but around
half of the difference is due to two contributors:
gas in the US and gas in China.
In the United States gas was transformed
from an expensive imported resource to a
cheap domestic resource, and corporate
fnance is now a more effective barrier to new
coal investment than any EPA regulations.
China does remain a net gas importer, but
it benefts from shale: it has a potential to be
a major shale gas producer itself and it also
benefts from North American shale indirectly,
as the availability and security of gas supplies
will be incomparably better. The usual
concern is that cheap gas might crowd out
renewables and lead to a ‘lock in’.
An interesting concept, but the real-
life evidence is that, during the shale gas
revolution, US wind and solar production
doubled, and some of the key shale states
such as Texas and Colorado are also success
stories for renewable deployment. US energy
policy remained resolutely pro-nuclear, shale
gas or not.
There are very powerful synergies between
fexible gas and low carbon sources. Together
they form the foundations of a secure, cost
effcient and low carbon energy system.
Mark Morey, Director Fuel Intelligence, Alstom Power
First, it is important to put the emergence of
shale gas into context, as today it is only a
game-changing force in North America.
While substantial shale gas resources exist
elsewhere, they have yet to be developed to
the extent where they will make a difference.
In fact, substantial production of shale gas
in Europe, China and other regions is likely
at least fve years away. While governments
in those countries are looking to the future
with regard to this resource, a considerable
amount of work lies ahead to make it a reality,
both for industry and policy makers.
Growth in shale gas production has been
a positive for the US electric power industry,
as it has made a domestically produced fuel
available at low costs.
In particular, it has allowed many power
producers to ramp up to capacity many of the
gas-fred, combined-cycle generating plants
that were built ten years ago, and which had
been running at very low levels previously.
With the low fuel costs, these plants have
been able to provide very competitive power
to the grid, and have helped keep electricity
rates low for many years in the country.
Now that this existing capacity has been
absorbed, power companies are beginning
to build more combined-cycle plants to
take advantage of what is being viewed as
a low and fat forward curve for natural gas.
Therefore, there is a potential danger that the
US power industry could become too reliant
upon this one source.
At the same time, over-dependence seems
unlikely. There are other sources of power in the
US that are cost-competitive with gas. First, the
US still has a signifcant amount of coal-fred
generation in place, which will continue to
be a major supplier. While a large number of
coal plants are being retired, most of those are
smaller, old, less effcient and higher cost.
The part of the coal feet remaining
in operation will have costs that are
competitive with gas-fred plants. Nuclear
power too represents a solid option for US
power companies when meeting baseload
requirements. Also, there is rising amounts of
wind, solar and hydroelectric power, which will
have competitive costs as well.
Alstom believes that power companies in
the US, and throughout the world, will continue
to commit to a balanced approach when
planning future generating portfolios. Power
plants using gas certainly will have a larger
share of generation in the future than they had
in the past, and that is good, given its clean-
burning characteristics and effciency when
used in state-of-the-art combined-cycle plants.
However, our view is that the use of gas will
be balanced against other sources of clean,
low-cost and reliable sources of electric power.
Both power producers and their regulatory
agencies are well aware of the value of a
diverse generation portfolio to manage fuel
supply and cost risks.
1311PEI_26 26 10/30/13 4:12 PM
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1311PEI_27 27 10/30/13 4:12 PM
Electric vehicles and power systems
Hybrid and plug-in
electric vehicles are
becoming a signifcant
part of the auto market
as fuel prices rise, with
both expected to see
signifcant sales growth.
Penny Hitchin discusses
the real impact of
growing EV use on our
electric power systems.
Charging ahead:
EVs and the grid
Hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles could together make up nearly 7 per cent
of global light duty vehicles by 2020 according to new research
Credit: Nissan
28 Power Engineering International November 2013
he battery powered electric car
has been around for more than
100 years. In 1900, out of a total
of less than 4500 cars produced
in the US, nearly 30 per cent were
battery powered.
Yet within a few decades the electric
vehicle was overshadowed by the petrol
engine. The development of the electric starter
and the ready availability of gasoline led to
the eclipse of the electric car, with its lack
of horsepower and limited range (distance
travelled without refuelling). For years the
popular image of the electric vehicle was
typifed by the slow moving milk foat.
A century later, the EV is back in the frame.
In the US there are now 130 000 EVs on the
road. Ever-rising petrol costs, developments in
battery technology and the need to address
carbon emissions have all played their part in
this renaissance. Automobile manufacturers
are developing and vigorously marketing
new models and EVs are on course to play
a role in global vehicle feets of the future.
Recent analysis by Navigant Research says
that hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles
could, between them, make up nearly
7 per cent of global light duty vehicles by
A range of political, environmental and
technological developments are driving the
increase in the number of EVs on the world’s
roads. Incentives for buying and running low
carbon emission vehicles, improvements in
battery performance, a decrease in the cost
of batteries and the lower cost of electricity
compared to petrol have all contributed to
demand for the vehicles.
1311PEI_28 28 10/30/13 4:12 PM 29 Power Engineering International November 2013
Electric vehicles and power systems
The disadvantages of EVs have been their
high cost, low top speed and short range.
Hybrid plug-in electric vehicles (HPEVs)
using an electric battery in conjunction
with a conventional internal combustion
engine have been on the market for over 25
years. Developed in response to escalating
fuel costs, they can be run on a charge-
depleting mode (using the battery) or a
charge-sustaining mode (using the fuel).
Developments in battery technology have
enabled auto manufacturers to develop pure
plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), of which an
increasing number are on the market. EVs
are more energy-effcient than conventional
vehicles and dramatically cut CO
John Gartner, research director at
Navigant, says that in most countries there
is suffcient generation capacity to deal with
the incremental additions of EVs. However, it
could add to the peak if charging is not done
Beefed-up batteries
Developments in battery technology have
played a key role in the resurgence of EVs.
Increases in batteries’ energy density (energy
per unit volume) is refected in improved
range and speed. Acceleration and top
speed are now comparable with petrol cars,
but the distance that an EV can cover without
needing to charge remains substantially less
than that offered by a full tank of fuel. A high
performing EV with a 60 kWh battery pack
has a range of up to 300 km while a lower
specifcation vehicle range might be half this.
Realistically this limits the market to people
with daily usage of 50–60 km. ‘Range anxiety’
impacts consumers’ decisions about car
purchases. Increased battery capacity and
the development of charging infrastructure
are needed to allay some of this concern.
Increasingly, modern EVs use lithium-ion
batteries which have good energy density
and can be recharged before complete
discharge, with no loss of recharge capacity,
and can be topped up to 80 per cent
relatively quickly. The loss of charge when not
in use is fairly slow and they can be recharged
thousands of times in their working life.
EVs in regular use need frequent charging.
Vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) can be
used at home or work to charge the battery,
but key to increasing public acceptance and
takeup of EVs is the establishment of networks
of easily-accessible public charging stations.
Charging time depends on the type of
charge and battery. Empty batteries using a
standard 120 v (US) connection may need
to charge overnight. A 240 v (UK) or 220 v
(Europe) outlet can fully charge a battery
in 4–6 hours. A ‘Quick Charge’ station can
charge a depleted battery up to 80 per cent
in less than 30 minutes.
Mark Duvall, EPRI’s electric transport
director, says, “Every vehicle comes equipped
with a portable cord set that charges at
1.2 kW, and that’s how a lot of people in
America charge, but auto makers want to
offer an option to charge in four hours.
“You don’t need very high charge rates
at home or at work, you need them when
you are out and about, or out shopping or
going to the cinema. That is where the higher
charge rates come in handy.”
There are standardized charging modes
for EVs. Mode 2 uses a domestic socket to
charge the battery, but a control box with
a RCD protection is incorporated into the
cable, giving protection during charging.
Mode 3 uses dedicated charging equipment
connected to a fxed installation to charge
the battery. This charging point can work
with either single phase or three phase
installation. The charging equipment has
built-in communication protocols which
detect when the charging is fnished and can
manage energy consumption. Mode 4 uses
a dedicated charging point and converts
the AC current from the grid to DC current,
allowing a charging voltage around 500 v
and a charging current around 125 amps.
This regime allows fast charging in 20 minutes.
What impact could mass charging of EVs
have on networks in future? Gartner says that
in most countries there is suffcient generation
capacity to deal with the incremental
additions of EVs.
“Where it will have an impact is at the
local level, notably where there are older
transformers,” he says. “There can be a
clustering effect with EVs: they tend to
be acquired where there is a particular
demographic, and this concentrates their
impact in a particular locale. We may need to
see transformers swapped out in a particular
neighbourhood or in a block where there
is a shared transformer.”Duvall is confdent
that power systems can cope with charging
electric vehicles. “Given that load is generally
fat or declining in most of the frst world, it’s
not a big challenge to meet that, especially
as it will take time,” he says. “EVs are like any
new technology, they start really slowly and
then they ramp up. A car is not like a smart
phone that you buy every couple of years.
Cars are a big purchase that last a long time
and we replace them slowly.”
He adds: “One of the things that American
utilities are proactively doing is asking
customers to voluntarily notify them when
they buy an EV. They go in and do a pre-
inspection to check if the system has enough
capacity at the transformer level. The kind of
approximations we are hearing from US utilities
in California where there are a lot of EVs is that
Northern Ireland’s Deputy Secretary for Regional Development Barney McGahan, Energy Minister Pat
Rabbitte and ESB Networks managing director Jerry O’Sullivan at the launch of the TEN-T fast charge
point roll out by ESB ecars
1311PEI_29 29 10/30/13 4:12 PM
30 Power Engineering International November 2013
Electric vehicles and power systems
overload happens maybe 1 per cent of the
time. Then they upgrade the transformer. It’s
not really an issue, but as the grid expands we
might need to upgrade. We can mitigate that
by getting more people to charge off peak or
to charge at different times.”
Views from Europe
In the UK, Simon Harrison, development
director for power at Mott MacDonald, is
cautious. He is concerned about the scenario
where someone gets an EV and everyone in
that road follows suit. If they all want to charge
their cars simultaneously, this could lead to a
charging demand greater than the capacity
of the feeder.
“If everyone wants to switch the charge
on at the same time it completely changes
the pattern of loading on that distribution
feeder, especially if the cars are all on fast
charge. At the moment the average load on
the distribution feeder per house is a little over
1 kW and an average car plugged into the
mains will be around 3 to 8 kW. A fast charge
could be more than that. The residential
system is not designed to take a large
number of EVs unless they move to having
smart infrastructure to manage the charging
pattern of those vehicles so that they are
spread out across the night.”
Gunnar Lorenz, head of the networks unit
at Eurelectric, is confdent that networks will be
able to meet the demand; there will be time
to adapt systems as EV market penetration
increases. “Generally, the total demand of
EVs will not be too dramatic. This means we
will be able to provide the energy. We are
talking about maybe 15 per cent of the total
demand today could be EVs, but it will take
some time to build up. On the generation
side we can cope with this. However on the
network side it could be more problematic
because the electricity has to be there at a
certain time. If everybody comes home at six
o’clock and plugs in their car at the same
time, this is not good.”
Hubert Lemmens, chief innovation
offcer for the European transmission system
operator (TSO) Elia, says that while distribution
system operators (DSOs) operate close to the
vehicle connection points and their interest
is to manage the loading of the cables, TSOs
are concerned with balancing the system.
“In order to manage the whole system we
need to have intelligent systems exchanging
information between the car and the DSO,
the TSO, the supplier of energy and the
leasing company (if it is a leased car), so
standardization is important,” he says.
Lemmens says that protocols about
the information exchanged between the
parties (DSOs, TSOs, auto manufacturers and
charging stations) and also the technical and
material levels for data exchange between
the different equipment on the system must
be defned. “You have to have information
exchanged between the car, which has the
information about the battery situation, how
many kW hours to charge, when the charge
is due, when the car is needed, and you
need to know the quantity of energy that is
supplied to the car and you need to know
who to bill and so on. It is a complex system
of information exchange. It can only work
if enough standardization and common
standards exist among the different parties.
“It is technically feasible but it needs to
have the co-operation of all the different
parties. Car manufacturers, distribution
system operators, suppliers can all be
competitors but if they want to promote EVs
they must co-operate.”
An end to dumb charging?
Everyone agrees that smart grids and smart
charging are the way forward. Lorenz says:
“What we are proposing is smart charging,
so for example, the car charging is done at
midnight when the other loads are off. This
would decrease the impact on the distribution
network and thus the investment costs will not
be so high.”
A smart grid can digitally process
information about energy supply, demand
and patterns of consumption in order to route
power effciently from the point of production
to its end user on the network. A modernized
grid will enable two-way fows of energy and
uses two-way communication and control
capabilities that will lead to an array of new
functionalities and applications.
Smart grid technology will enable utilities
to offer fexible pricing and other tariff
Congestion charge: “If everybody comes home and plugs in their car at the same time,
this is not good,” says Gunnar Lorenz of Eurelectric
Credit: Elektobay
1311PEI_30 30 10/30/13 4:12 PM 31 Power Engineering International November 2013
Electric vehicles and power systems
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incentives which would help meet the demand from large EV feets
by encouraging consumers to reduce peak–time consumption. It
would also open up the possibility of using EVs to balance the grid.
Lemmens says: “One of the issues in today’s electricity systems,
and will be even more tomorrow, is that renewable energy like wind
and solar depends on availability of the natural resources. In order
to balance such a system we need to have fexible generation, but
fexible load can also play a part. I think, used intelligently, EVs can
play a role as fexible load and can help to balance the system.”
Other possibilities are being explored. Duvall points out that
utilities are increasingly focusing on how to integrate more
distributed renewable energy and local generation. EVs are selling
well in Japan, and after the 2011 earthquake there has been a lot of
interest in using vehicle-to-home (V2H) back up power. For example,
a product on the market enables the Nissan Leaf to put 6 kW of
power back into the house.
There are currently no projects where EVs are aggregated to
provide large scale storage to the grid, although the US military has
pilot vehicle to grid (V2G) projects. Duvall says: “We are in a time
frame where there is lots of interesting technology. We will see an
increasing number of small scale projects over the next three to fve
years. Things are happening more and more quickly, so we should
be ready for anything!”
New business models needed
The rate of growth of EVs nationally and globally is uncertain, but the
direction is clear. Work to understand the likely impacts on the electric
grid is underway. Pilot studies are exploring models for developing
the necessary infrastructure for charging EVs, but fnding a business
model for public charging points remains a challenge. At present
public sector funding is providing the investment, but evolution of a
commercial model is needed for takeoff.
Utilities are monitoring the situation closely, in the knowledge they
will be required to gear up to the interlinked challenges of increased
renewable and distributed energy, storage, EVs and smart grids.
The synergy between renewable energy and EV charging lies in
the use of smart grids. Networks built in the last 30 years have some
communications built in, and deploying the latest upgrades and
new equipment enables smart functioning. Adding EVs to the grid
may be a challenge but it is also an opportunity. Smart charging
could allow EVs to be integrated into the grid, make better use of
renewable energy, and help balance the grid by making a slight
change in the frequency of the voltage.
There is a lot of work to do and investment is required, but spikes in
the price of petrol, government commitments to reducing emissions
and technological advances in design and manufacture of
batteries and vehicles will all contribute to increased takeup of EVs.
Interesting developments lie ahead as auto makers, leasing frms,
charging stations, EV owners and utilities forge smart collaborations.
Penny Hitchin is a freelance journalist specialising in the energy
for more information
For more information, enter 15 at
1311PEI_31 31 10/30/13 4:12 PM
32 Power Engineering International November 2013
ations worldwide are taking
steps to counteract global
warming by reducing
greenhouse gas emissions,
with the European Union
taking a lead role by setting
its 2020 targets. In addition to ongoing efforts
to increase effciencies in power generation
boilers, increased utilization of biomass fuels
is central to achieving these targets.
Fossil fuel combustion releases carbon
that was stored long ago in the earth,
increasing net levels of CO
. Biomass, in
contrast, is generally considered carbon-
neutral because CO
released from its
combustion was previously removed from
the atmosphere by photosynthesis, thus
maintaining an equilibrium CO
An evolving biomass market
Until fairly recently the combustion of
biomass fuels was predominantly limited
to small industrial boilers located near the
biomass source. This was mainly due to the
limited availability of high-quality biomass
and the lack of an effcient, large-scale boiler
technology capable of reliably burning a
wide spectrum of biomass fuels.
Today, the biomass marketplace has
changed from local to global. Biomass fuels
are dried and compressed into pellets to
improve the economics and logistics of
moving them around the globe. Pellets are
currently being produced in Brazil, the US
and Canada, for example, for transportation
to Europe and Asia.
To date, biomass combustion systems
primarily fre forest industry residues such as
wood chips, sawdust and bark. However, as
the demand for biomass fuels grows and the
price for wood-based biomass rises, there
is a growing interest in biomass from other
sources, e.g. agricultural biomass, biomass
residue and biomass wastes.
Some countries promote biomass use
through environmental incentives that offset
its additional transportation and logistics
costs, while others only permit new plants
that can use biomass. Such policies have
amplifed the interest for large-scale biomass-
fred units with increased effciency, extended
availability and broader fuel fexibility.
Biomass properties vary considerably
depending on their biological and regional
origin, seasonality, farming and harvesting
practices, and ultimately on their preparation
and processing. This leads to broad
variations in chemical composition and
physical properties across different biomass
types and even within the same type. These
wide property differences are one of the key
challenges of using biomass as a fuel for
electricity production.
Large-scale biomass boilers
Circulating fuidised bed (CFB) boilers are
ideal for effcient power generation, capable
of fring a broad variety of solid biomass fuels
in applications ranging from small combined
heat and power plants to large utility power
plants. My company has progressively
advanced and scaled up CFB technology
for biomass fring since the 1980s, starting
from small multi-fuel boilers in pulp and paper
mills to Advanced Bio CFB technology fring a
range of biomass fuels.
This advanced technology further
improves the well-known benefts of earlier
CFB technologies to include unprecedented
fuel fexibility, inherently low emissions,
and high availability. Designs of effcient
subcritical boilers fring 100 per cent biomass
are available to 600 MWe. This technology
also offers supercritical steam boiler designs
for biomass and coal co-fring applications
up to 800 MWe.
The sustainability and green credentials of large-scale biomass-fred power
generation have been questioned of late. According to Robert Giglio, advanced
circulating fuidized bed boiler technology could well hold the answer.
Is CFB the key to
scaling up biomass?
CFB and biomass combustion
Figure 1: Advanced Bio CFB’s system layout and design features
1311PEI_32 32 10/30/13 4:12 PM
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34 Power Engineering International November 2013
CFB and biomass combustion
Advanced Bio CFB technology not only
addresses the fuel issues related to biomass
fring, but also conforms to plant requirements
and optimises its investment factors.
Plant requirements include the type
of boiler (i.e. utility or industrial), capacity,
operational load range, steam data, emission
limits and other legislated requirements.
Investment factors include plant availability,
fuel fexibility requirements and investment
and operating costs. Consequently,
economical boiler designs have been
developed to fre easy-to-burn biomass, while
more robust solutions are implemented as
the biomass quality degrades and becomes
more challenging to burn reliably.
Among the marketed biomass fuels,
agricultural residue (agros), such as some
straws, and olive and rapeseed residue are
identifed as the most problematic. These hold
the highest potential to create operational
diffculties such as agglomeration of fuidised
beds and fouling and corrosion of convective
heat surfaces.
These problems can be traced back
to elevated concentrations of alkali,
phosphorous and chlorine, which are
typically much higher in most agros than in
wood. This unfavourable composition is the
main reason why the use of novel biomass
fuels has been limited in energy production.
Detailed knowledge of biomass
specifcations and a full understanding of
their variability of supply are paramount to
designing boilers with the highest effciency
and availability, and to operating them in the
most economical way. Design features of the
Advanced Bio CFB technology (see Figure 1)
address many of the abovementioned issues.
Early operating experiences
Examples of the ABC technology in practice
include two power plants in Poland – the
Konin and the Polaniec power stations. Both
CFB and biomass combustion
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Figure 2: Konin power plant combusts up to 20 per cent of agro fuels
1311PEI_34 34 10/30/13 4:12 PM 35 Power Engineering International November 2013
CFB and biomass combustion
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plants fre 100 per cent biomass, including
a considerable share of demanding
agricultural residue.
The Konin power plant (see Figure 2)
is the oldest generating plant owned and
operated by ZE PAK SA.
In July 2009, ZE PAK signed a
contract for turnkey construction of a
55 MWe/154 MWth biomass-fred CFB boiler
for the plant. In February 2010, the owner
formally handed over the construction site
to us for the preparation of site facilities
and civil engineering work. Construction
of the foundations for the boiler house
and the auxiliary buildings and structures
commenced one month later. The unit was
commissioned in July 2012.
The Konin CFB boiler is a state-of-the-art
biomass-fring unit designed for burning
clean woody biomass and up to 20 per cent
of agricultural biomass including willow, straw,
rapeseed residue, cherry stones and oat
husk. The boiler design consists of the furnace
and two high-effciency solid separators,
and the boiler design conditions are shown
in Table 1.
To provide effective fuel management,
all types of biomass are transported by
trucks to the plant’s unloading station and
conveyed to silos in the storage yard. There
are three storage silos, each dedicated for
forest and woody biomass, and fve silos for
agro biomass. Each agro fuel is fed from a
separate silo, since the fuel mixture consists
of straw pellets, oat husk, cherry stones,
rapeseed cake and energy willow.
The system allows the dosing of different
types of biomass using screw conveyors in
order to feed a homogenous fuel mixture
to boiler day silos. The mixture of different
types of biomass is distributed evenly to the
boiler by four feeding points. The fuel is fed to
solid return chutes from external integrated
heat exchangers and mixed with circulating
material before entering the furnace.
The frst steam was delivered to the
turbine in April 2012, and the power block
was synchronised two weeks later. The frst
operational experiences have been very
good and data from performance tests
show that all guaranteed parameters have
been met.
The 1800 MWe coal-fred Polaniec power
plant, owned by GDF Suez Energia Polska is
the ffth largest power plant in Poland. In April
2010, GDF Suez Energia began construction
of the world’s largest CFB boiler fring 100 per
cent biomass at the Polaniec site.
Advanced Bio CFB combustion
technology was selected to produce
205 MWe/447 MWth utilizing a broad range of
biomass fuels while targeting high effciency
and availability in accordance with Polish
regulations, which set the proportion of agro
biomass at a minimum of 20 per cent and
Heat output capacity 154 MWth
Steam fow 215 t/h
Steam temperature 540°C
Feedwater temperature 210°C
Guaranteed effciency 91%
NOx 200 mg/Nm
SOx 200 mg/Nm
Dust 30 mg/Nm
Table 1: Parameters of the Kronin boiler design
1311PEI_35 35 10/30/13 4:12 PM
36 Power Engineering International November 2013
CFB and biomass combustion
specify that the plant was in operation by
end 2012.
The fuel considered for the new Polaniec
biomass boiler is comprised of 80 per cent
wood and 20 per cent agro biomass. The
‘wood’ fuel is clean forestry residues, while the
‘agro’ fuel includes a variety of agricultural
biomass such as straw, sunfower pellets, dried
fruit (marc) and palm kernel shell (PKS). The
wood and agro fuel properties and the fuel
mix properties are presented in Table 2.
The alkali content of the fuel mixture with
20 weight-per cent of agro biomass is clearly
higher than experienced earlier in large scale
commercial CFB boilers with biomass fuels.
To enable the use of this challenging fuel
mixture with high effciency and availability
in the CFB boiler, a demonstration of the
advanced agro CFB concept was carried out
in a development program with supporting
pilot testing. The results demonstrated CFB
feasibility for the Polaniec project with the
requested fuel range.
The Advanced Bio CFB design for the
Połaniec project utilizes the main concept
and features as shown in Figure 1. Risks related
to high temperature chlorine corrosion,
fouling and agglomeration potential were
taken into account in the boiler design and
operational concept.
The design of the CFB boiler has solids
separators built from steam-cooled panels
integrated with the combustion chamber. The
steam-cooled separator design avoids heavy
refractory linings. The design also features
heat exchangers, located in separate
enclosures at the bottom of the furnace
adjacent to the main combustion chamber,
as fnal superheating and reheating coils.
These heat exchangers are fuidised by
clean combustion air which protects the
high-temperature coils from the fouling and
corrosive environment of the hot fue gas.
The heat exchangers enable higher steam
temperatures and higher plant effciencies,
along with good load-following capabilities
and turndown ratios.
The Advanced Bio CFB design also
incorporates a step grid which allows the
effective transfer of heavy unfuidised particles
into the bottom ash removal system without
the need to shut down the boiler.
For emissions control, the CFB utilises
a low and uniform temperature profle in
the furnace and staged combustion. In
addition to these combustion process-
related measures, the boiler is equipped
with an ammonia injection system and
catalyst (SNCR+SCR) for controlling NOx
emissions, and an electrostatic precipitator
for controlling particulate emissions.
Initial operational experiences have been
excellent. The boiler has operated well with
various fuel mixes and with high effciency.
Boiler operation responds to requirements of
electricity production, and full load range is in
use on a weekly basis.
The boiler fulflls all of the Polish grid
requirements with a 4 per cent minimum load
change rate demonstrated solely with solid
biomass fuels.
Since the beginning of hot commissioning,
the boiler has been operated very close to
the design values and on load levels from a
minimum of 40 per cent MCR to maximum.
Expected low emission levels have been
confrmed during initial operation. Initial boiler
availability has turned out to be good and
still improving.
CFB & biomass: good bedfellows
Biomass has an important role in reducing the
environmental effects of energy production
both in pure biomass plants and in coal
and biomass co-combustion. CFB boilers
are capable of fring a broad variety of solid
biomass fuels for small industrial plants as well
as large utility power plants.
Advanced Bio CFB technology represents
the state of the art for large-scale (up to
600 MWe) 100 per cent biomass fuel fring.
Based on current reference plants, the
technology has been proven to be highly
effcient and fuel-fexible, with the capability of
fring 20-30 per cent of diffcult agro biomasses.
Thus, advanced CFB technology provides
a solution for effective CO
reduction in large-
scale power generation with a broad range
of solid biomass fuels, making it the ideal
choice in meeting the market’s demand for
fuel fexibility and low emissions.
Robert Giglio is vice-president of Foster
Wheeler Power Group and is based in the US.
For more information, visit
for more information
Fuel data Wood residue
Agro biomass - 80% wood chips & 20% agro
(straw, sunfower, dry fruits, PKS)
Sulphur (%)dry .04 0.04 0.16 0.05
Nitrogen (%)dry 0.05 0.49 1.27 0.25
Moisture (%)ar 42.4 9.7 13.0 35.9
Ash (%)dry 0.5. 2.20 6.90 2.8
LHV (MJ/kg)ar 9.4 14.7 17.9 10.5
LHV (MJ/kg)ar 9.4 14.7 17.9 10.5
Table 2: Fuel data for Polaniec biomass CFB boiler
Total heat output 447 MWth
Steam fow 158/135 kg/s
Steam pressure 127/20 bar(a)
Steam temperature 535/535°C
Feedwater temperature 242°C
Flue gas exit temperature 148°C
Boiler effciency 91 %
Emission guarantees 50% MCR...BMCR,
24 h average:
· NCx <150 mg{Nm3
· SC2 <150 mg{Nm3
· mCC <50 mg{Nm3
· Pcrlic0lcle mcller (cry) <20 mg{Nm3
Table 3: Parameters of Polaniec boiler design
1311PEI_36 36 10/30/13 4:12 PM
The power of automation Page 37–41
The technology driving growth Page 42–45
Automation in action: Case studies Page 46–48
Credit: ABB
1311PEI_37 37 10/30/13 4:12 PM
38 Power Engineering International November 2013
Greater optimization of electric power generation is now paramount, with ever
more advanced automation and I&C technologies playing a pivotal role in
achieving it. Paul Breeze discusses the rapidly evolving power plant automation
sector and explores the factors that are driving its development forward.
Overview of automation & optimization
Automation and control of a 800 MW combined cycle power plant
Credit: ABB
utomation systems for
power plants have become
increasingly sophisticated
over the past 20 years
on the back of major
advances in computer
hardware and software. Where once a power
plant was controlled by an operator facing
a bank of gauges and controls, today most
plants are controlled largely by computer,
while the operator performs an executive role.
In addition to providing a greater degree of
plant automation, these advances have also
provided the ability to more closely control
all the processes of a power plant. This, in
turn, has meant that plant operations can
be optimized against a variety of parameters
to provide higher effciency or greater
fexibility depending upon the demands of
the operator.
Computer power and sophisticated
software suites are at the core of this new
breed of automation system. Without the
advances in both computer hardware and
1311PEI_38 38 10/30/13 4:12 PM 39 Power Engineering International November 2013
Overview of automation & optimization
communications, such systems could not be
built. However, other factors are also important.
Advances in sensor and measurement
technology have enabled many more power
plant operating parameters to be measured
and monitored than was possible in the past,
providing a much more detailed picture of the
state of a plant in real time. Meanwhile modern
distributed control systems (DCS) provide the
ability to regulate the operations of the plant
more precisely that before. It is the integration
of all these elements that has allowed modern
power plant optimization technology to evolve
to the level it has today.
Model behaviour
The availability of more plant data and the
widespread introduction of DCS have created
a foundation upon which an automation
and optimization system can be constructed.
However, it is the layer above these that
provides the actual plant optimization. And
at the heart of this supervisory layer in most
advanced systems is a sophisticated model of
the power plant.
Models of this type will aim to include all
the key elements of the power plant. For a
coal-fred plant this will embrace the coal
mills and fuel feed systems, the combustion
chamber and boiler, the steam turbine and
all the emission control systems. The model
will establish how the plant should operate for
optimum performance against a particular
set of parameters and to achieve a particular
target such as fuel effciency. The monitoring
systems will then show whether the plant
is operating at this point, while the control
system will allow changes to be made based
on deviations from the required behaviour.
New and retrofts
Advanced control systems are available for
all types of power plant, but it is in steam-
turbine-based combustion plants that they
offer perhaps the greatest advantages. A
good modern system will allow control of the
combustion process in the boiler to maintain
low nitrogen oxides (NOx) conditions and
high carbon burnout, both of which are
important for plant emission performance,
as well as effciency. It will control the steam
temperatures and pressures throughout the
steam cycle, allowing the best effciency to
be achieved while minimizing mechanical
stresses, and it will monitor and control steam
turbine operation. At the same time, real-time
system parameters are collected and can be
used for predictive maintenance.
Optimization can be used to control gas
turbine and combined-cycle plants too.
However, with modern gas turbines often
operating at the limits of their materials
capabilities and already closely controlled to
ensure that they do not exceed these limits,
there is often less scope here for innovative
plant-wide changes to the mode of operation.
“Not much can be done on combined cycle
plants since the regulatory control is suffcient
to keep the gas turbine at its optimum
level,” says Samir Pandya, vice president for
the power business at Invensys. “But with
cogeneration plants, process optimization
will help to improve the economic benefts.
This is achieved by maintaining the plant at
optimum effciency for multiple fuel changes
and for frequent power and steam demand
changes,” he adds.
For renewable technologies, such as
wind and solar, optimization strategies are
being developed although the potential
is more limited than for combustion plants.
Innovation here is only just beginning.
Meanwhile, automation providers and utilities
are beginning to utilize feet management
tools that allow the optimization of power
production not just in one plant but across all
the plants operated by a company or across
a region. This has advantages both for fossil
fuel plants and for renewables, and is seen as
an important growth area for the future.
While optimization technology is relatively
new, the market for power plant optimization
is not limited to new plants. Older plants can
also beneft.
Power plants being built today are
usually designed around the use of these
sophisticated control systems. In contrast,
many older plants still rely on much earlier
generations of control and automation
systems. Recent advances have been so
signifcant that it is often cost effective to
completely replace the original control system
in a power plant more than 20 years old with a
modern system. The cost can be recouped in
more effcient operation, lower maintenance
costs and greater ability to match grid
operator demands.
The pressures within the global power
market are making this an important market
for automation providers. As Pascal Stijns,
power and energy consultant at Honeywell
Process Solutions, observes, roughly one third
of global fossil capacity today is new, one
third is around 20 years old and one third is in
need of replacing. This means that one third
of existing fossil fuel generating capacity is
ripe for an automation system retroft so that it
can meet new standards for emissions and for
effciency. That offers enormous potential for
suppliers and is one of the most fruitful areas
of the market today.
Scope of power plant optimization
It has always been the ambition of power
plant operators to manage their plants in
the optimum way to provide the highest
heat rate or a high level of fexibility in order
to generate the highest economic returns. In
the past, however, this ambition was limited
by the ability to integrate the operations
of all the different parts of a power plant. In
a fossil fuel combustion plant, for example,
the combustion process, the steam cycle,
the steam turbine and the emission control
systems would be optimized, but often
independently of one another. Any integration
of this optimization across the whole plant
would rely on the expertise of the plant
operator and his or her understanding of
how these components interacted with one
another. Thus, the whole plant model, if there
was one, resided in the operator’s head.
What modern automation systems have
brought is the ability not just to optimize the
elements of the power plant, piece by piece,
but the ability to optimize the whole plant as
a single unit. So today, when plant operators
talk about power plant optimization, they are
talking about this holistic view of plant control.
In practice this whole-plant optimization
has clear aims, and two are emerging as
the most important, namely effciency and
fexibility. So, for example, Invensys’ Pandya
cites two key objectives when applying a
modern control system to a combustion plant
such as a supercritical or subcritical coal-fred
power station.
The frst aim, he says, is to optimize power
plant effciency. This allows the plant operator
to meet power demand with less fuel. The
second objective, he believes, is better and
tighter steam temperature control because
this will then allow for higher unit dispatch rate.
For Alexander Frick, head of power plant
optimization for ABB, optimization similarly
1311PEI_39 39 10/30/13 4:12 PM
40 Power Engineering International November 2013
Overview of automation & optimization
means maximizing plant output or its
availability. Again this boils down to maximizing
effciency (or heat rate) or maximizing the
ability to respond quickly to grid operator
demands. Both of these aims are determined
by the prevailing conditions in the electricity
markets, so they will vary in different parts of
the world, but both are fundamentally driven
by economic considerations.
Optimizing effciency
Effciency is at the core of all power plant
operations and drives the advance of
technologies across the whole of the power
generation spectrum, from coal-fred plants to
solar photovoltaics and wind power. For fossil
fuel plants such as coal-fred power plants, this
has led to the development of supercritical
and ultra-supercritical boiler technologies
based on ever higher steam temperatures
and pressures, and relying on ever more
sophisticated materials and technologies. A
similar drive to higher operating conditions can
be found in other generation technologies.
In a coal-fred plant, these advances come
with the need for greater control of the steam
cycle to ensure that the plant always operates
within its capabilities. Further, optimum plant
effciency will often depend on maintaining
the plant within a narrow range of steam
cycle operating conditions. The more tightly
the control can be maintained, the easier it
becomes to maintain effcient generation. As
Frick points out, the secret of a high heat rate
and hence of high effciency is to maintain
operation at set points with as little variation
as possible. Any variation leads to a lowering
of the heat rate. This means a loss of effciency
and, at the bottom line, a loss of revenue.
High steam-cycle effciency is crucial and,
when talking about power plant effciency, it is
the headline effciency fgure that is mentioned
most. But the potential for optimizing effciency
stretches well beyond this. Power plants are
large users of electricity, which is consumed to
drive a whole range of auxiliary systems, such
as pumps and fuel preparation lines.
If the operation of all of these energy
consuming power plant components can be
controlled as part of the overall optimisation
scheme, there are enormous savings to be
made. It is by taking control of these auxiliary
systems and operating them so that they
do no more work than they need to, and
only when they are needed, that modern
automation systems score highly compared
to their predecessors. This underscores one of
the strongest business cases for optimization
that companies can make. By operating each
component of a plant as effciently as possible,
a new or improved automation system may
be able to pay for itself in two years.
There is yet another important role that
optimization can play in ensuring high
effciency, and that is by enabling a power
plant to operate with fuels of varying quality.
Most modern fossil fuel plants have to be
able to burn fuels that have come from a
variety of different sources, often with varying
compositions and combustion properties.
Managing fuel provision is particularly
important for coal-fred power plants where
substantial variations in fuel quality can
be found. However, this can equally be
applied to plants fred by natural gas, which
are increasingly also seeing variations in
fuel quality. Optimization for different fuels
improves both generation effciency and plant
emissions, and each has an impact on the
overall economics of power plant operation.
Drive towards greater fexibility
The other key driver of power plant optimization
technology today is fexibility. Again the main
focus for most automation system providers
today is fossil fuel-fred stations, old and
new. Traditionally, fossil fuel-based plants,
both coal- and gas-fred, were designed for
baseload operation. A plant was expected
to operate with little variation in output, which
was generally maintained at or close to the
maximum. But changing system demands
in some parts of the world mean that this is
no longer the case. Instead plants are being
asked to start up and shut down regularly.
They must be able to operate at a range of
part loads, and they must be able to change
output, either up or down, rapidly.
These new demands have a profound
effect on plant operations. During startup
and shutdown a plant will often operate at
lower effciency that when at its steady-state
operating position. The changing conditions
will increase fuel consumption and also
make the combustion process much more
diffcult to control, increasing emissions.
This has an impact on both effciency and
the plant’s ability to meet its environmental
standards. A similar situation arises during fast
ramping. Meanwhile all of these modes of
operation place much greater stress on plant
components than would be experienced
under steady-state operating conditions.
Plant optimization provides the tools to
enable a coal-fred combustion plant or a
gas-fred combined-cycle plant to operate
fexibly to meet grid demands, while still
ensuring that the best effciency and the
lowest emission performance is maintained.
This is particularly important for coal-fred
power plants. Many of the oldest coal-based
plants in operation are incapable of adapting
to these new demands, but more recent
plants can be modifed to enable this type
of operation. Plant optimization can mean
the difference between shutting a plant and
being able to continue to operate it.
An automation upgrade was completed at
Russia’s Surgut-2 power plant this year
Credit: EPM
1311PEI_40 40 10/30/13 4:12 PM 41 Power Engineering International November 2013
Overview of automation & optimization
Predictive maintenance
As noted above, a power plant that was
designed for baseload operation but fnds
itself having to operate in a fexible manner
will be subject to much greater levels of stress
than anticipated when it was built. Power
plant optimization systems can help alleviate
this by ensuring that the plant always operates
within certain parameters that keep stress to
a minimum. During startup, for example, if
temperature gradients within the parts of the
furnace boiler can be limited, then thermal
stresses can be reduced.
By maintaining tight control of conditions
during startup and shutdown, and when a
plant is ramping, an automation system can
help extend the lifetime of plant components.
In addition to this, the recording of the
conditions experienced by each plant
component during each cycle can be used
to build up a historical picture of its evolving
state of health, and this can be used for
predictive maintenance, anticipating the
health of a component before it fails.
The underlying model used as the basis for
the automation of a plant is of vital importance
here too. The normal operating conditions of
all plant components are hardwired into the
model so that any deviation from normal
behaviour can quickly be pinpointed, be
it a pump or a bearing running at a higher
temperature than expected, or a broader
change in combustion or emission conditions.
“We can follow the whole plant or just one
of the processes to see if there is a change
of behaviour that might lead to a fault,”
elaborates Dieter Fluck, vice president for
product management of instrumentation and
electrical at Siemens Energy. Stress reduction
and predictive maintenance allow a power
plant to operate more effciently by reducing
downtime for outages and by reducing overall
maintenance costs, which all feed into the
bottom line and therefore achieve economic
Technology and market demands
While automation systems’ ability to control
power plant operation has advanced, it
has not done so simply in response to the
technological advances which have made
it possible. Behind it at every step have
been market forces. Massimo Danieli, global
business unit manager for power generation
at ABB , identifes three such forces, which he
considers of primary importance in driving
optimisation technology today: the advance
of renewable generation, global fuel costs
and the effect of environmental concerns
and legislation.
According to ABB’s Danieli, renewable
generating capacity is growing rapidly,
particularly in Europe and the US, and with
high renewable energy penetration come
greater challenges to grid management. In
order to manage this, traditional baseload
plants such as coal-fred and gas turbine units
must act in a grid support role. They must be
able to change output quickly, a demand also
highlighted by Juha-Pakka Jalkanen, director
of plant performance solutions at Metso
Automation. Only with advanced power plant
optimization is it possible to economically
operate such plants in this way.
Global fuel prices are the second factor.
All power plant operators want their plants to
burn the lowest amount of fuel for the highest
amount of energy output, maximizing their
However, the changes being experienced
in some global power markets are making
this a critical issue. In the US, cheap gas is
making it more and more diffcult for coal
plant operators to generate for a proft, while
in Europe high gas prices are challenging
gas-fred plant operators. In both cases the
ability of an optimization regime to maintain
tight control of the combustion system while
minimizing stresses and holding maintenance
costs down can be the difference between
economic and non-economic operation.
Finally, environmental concerns that have
stimulated the rise in renewable generation
are also having a direct impact on fossil fuel-
based plant operations as a consequence of
environmental legislation.
Much tighter emission control restrictions
in the US are starting to drive older coal-
fred plants out of business. Newer plants
have a greater chance of meeting the new
restrictions, but the cost of compliance may
well depend on the ability of an automation
system to regulate the station’s operation.
Similar considerations are affecting coal
plants in Europe too.
Taken together, all these trends are creating
a great deal more complexity in power systems.
Take the number of units attached to a grid. In
1990 in Germany, Fluck said, there were 1000
generating units on the German grid. By 2011
there were 1 million, many of them wind and
solar. Grid interventions to maintain stability
on the German grid numbered two in 2003.
In 2011 there were 1024 examples of action
being taken.
This additional complexity, and the
economic issues it raises, means that power
plant optimization techniques are likely to
become more and more central to generation
and to grid operations too. “Everybody expects
a reliable supply based on an ever-increasing
share of volatile resources,” observed Fluck.
Achieving that will not be possible without
sophisticated control systems.
Paul Breeze is a UK-based freelance writer
who specializes in energy-related matters.
for more information
Power plant optimization techniques are likely to become
more central to generation and to grid operators
Credit: Metso
1311PEI_41 41 10/30/13 4:12 PM
42 Power Engineering International November 2013
As our power stations use ever-more sophisticated automation solutions to
optimize how they operate, Paul Breeze looks at the software modeling and
technology behind this growing trend.
Automation technology trends
hen a Brazilian wood
pulp mill, Cenibra in
the state of Minas
Gerais, wanted
to improve the
operational effciency
of its combined heat and power (CHP)
system, it chose to install a plant optimization
system to help control the complex steam
supply network. Cenibra wished to reduce the
losses caused by the venting of steam to the
atmosphere due to excess production when
the steam system became unbalanced. This
was not a simple problem because the plant
had a number of processes that required
steam and the demand from each could
change regularly and in unpredictable ways.
The plant’s steam demand was met
by a mixture of biomass-fred boilers using
waste generated at the plant, gas turbine
cogeneration systems and auxiliary boilers
Control room of a 780 MW combined cycle cogeneration plant
Credit: ABB
1311PEI_42 42 10/30/13 4:15 PM
43 Power Engineering International November 2013
Automation technology trends
burning oil. Under normal operation these
auxiliary boilers would only be used when the
other sources could not supply the required
steam. Running them was expensive and
often led to excess steam. However, keeping
them offine could leave some mill processes
lacking steam. In both cases plant effciency
and, ultimately, turnover were affected.
The solution, provided by Metso, was an
advanced process control (APC) system
utilizing a software suite that can operate as
a supervisory layer on top of a plant’s existing
distributed control system (DCS).
The APC uses a multi-variable predictive
control (MPC) approach, also known as
model predictive control, in which a model
of the plant is constructed, including all the
loops and variables that can affect steam
production and consumption. An operating
target is then set based on various parameters
such as steam temperature and pressure or
power output, and the control system takes
charge of the whole plant using control loops
to maintain the system at the target point while
steam production and demand change.
The automation system installed at the
wood pulp mill exemplifes the type of APC
system that has the potential to improve
operations of CHP and power plants across the
globe. In the case of Cenibra, the new system
reduced steam venting to the atmosphere by
90 per cent while still maintaining overall plant
stability, something the operators could not do
Elsewhere an APC system might be used to
control the operation of a fossil fuel-fred boiler
to ensure both low nitrogen oxides (NOx)
production and effcient fuel combustion or
to maintain the stability of a combined-cycle
power plant providing grid support services,
such as renewable support and fast ramping,
or even to control a multi-fuel biomass plant to
maintain effciency and emissions as the fuel
mix changes.
This type of automation system has been in
use in process industries for several years, but
is less common in the power sector which has
its own traditional ways of working. In some
cases this has led to reluctance to adopt the
new technology. Overcoming such innate
conservatism is vital if such advanced systems
are to be used widely in the power sector.
“Operator acceptance of new ways
of working is important,” stresses Juha-
Pekka Jalkanen, Metso’s director of plant
performance solutions. This was echoed
by Julio Ribeiro, recovery line and utilities
coordinator at Cenibra. “There was a change
in the operating paradigm because the
operators were used to doing it their way. At
frst they were a little sceptical about it but
soon they saw it brought benefts.”
A new paradigm
It is easy to understand why these systems
might be viewed with a little suspicion. The
key to the new paradigm is that the control
system, not the operator, controls the plant; the
operator’s role becomes that of an executive
overseeing the operations. In order for this
to be possible, the operator’s knowledge
of the plant and how it functions must be
programmed into the control system. This
knowledge forms the basis for a ‘model’ of the
power station that is created in software and
mimics all the processes in the plant. Such
models can take different forms depending
upon what is known or understood about the
One of the most important types of model
is the mechanistic model, derived from the
underlying principles of the process being
modelled. In the case of a power plant, these
will be the physical and thermodynamic
principles that govern the operation of
furnaces, steam generators and turbines.
Such a model is only possible if the processes
are well understood and reasonably stable.
It requires experts that can provide the
necessary understanding and can be time
consuming to create, but where it is possible
to construct such a model it will provide the
best foundation for an automation system.
“I would prefer frst principles,” says
Pascal Stijns, power and energy consultant
at Honeywell Process Solutions. “If you do
not understand frst principles,” he adds,
“something is wrong”.
A mechanistic model in which conditions
are not necessarily stable can also be
accommodated, in this case by using ‘fuzzy
logic’, which allows for a degree of variability
in each process loop rather than precise fxed
points. This might be applied, for example,
to a fuidized bed boiler burning a variety of
different fuels where the precise operating
conditions will vary with the fuel mix.
There are other situations where it is
impossible to build a mechanistic model,
either because the process is too complicated,
“I would prefer frst
principles. If you
do not understand
frst principles,
something is wrong”
Pascal Stijns, power and energy consultant at
Honeywell Process Solutions
The operator’s knowledge of the plant must be
programmed into the control system
Credit: EPM
1311PEI_43 43 10/30/13 4:16 PM
44 Power Engineering International November 2013
Automation technology trends
insuffciently understood, or simply there is
nobody available who understands it. In this
case, the only solution is some form of ‘black box’
model. A black box model considers the
power plant as a box with inputs and outputs.
Its contents are unknown.
All that can be known about the black
box must be extrapolated from the various
sensors and measuring instruments within the
plant. These provide the inputs and outputs
of the black box. Special software techniques
can then be used to generate relationships
between the inputs and outputs by frst
collecting data to show how these vary during
normal operation, and then calculating
how they interact with one another. Once
the model is generated, it will allow stable
operation to be established without actually
knowing what is going on inside the box.
One of the key tools applied in the situation
is neural networks. A neural network creates a
model by ‘learning’ how the outputs of the
black box should respond to particular inputs.
Given suffcient training, a neural network can
develop an operational model of the power
plant. Neural networks can be tricky to use
without any knowledge of the underlying
processes, but if used intelligently they can
provide consistent models for power plants
where no other solution is available.
The need for a black box approach
to model creation highlights one of the
dilemmas facing the power industry today: the
availability of specialists capable of providing
the fundamental understanding necessary to
build models for automated control systems.
As Honeywell’s Stijns points out, the power
industry is ageing and many of the specialists
who understand how these plants operate are
retiring. One solution is to train new specialists
and, ironically, it is the models at the heart of
modern automation systems that may provide
the key resource for training in the future.
If the model-based automation system
accurately mimics the power plant in all its
details, it can be used not only to control the
plant, but also as a simulator. “This can be
used as a training tool and as an engineering
tool,” says Tomasz Kosik of Emerson Process
Management. As an engineering tool it can
be used to explore any problems which
may arise or to experiment with a plant
reconfguration offine rather than with the
actual plant. But the same simulator can be
used to train new staff.
While this offers a way forward, specialists
who have been trained using a simulator may
lack inner knowledge of the plant, so that
when they come to take charge of the actual
plant they see it as an IT system rather than a
series of physical processes. Then they may be
tempted, as Kosik suggests, to ‘play’ the plant
without realizing exactly what the real-world
consequences may be.
Meanwhile, recognizing the problems
associated with a lack of experts, many
automation system providers are seeking
ways of creating the systems needed to
control a plant without access to the specialist
knowledge that model building requires.
As Alexander Frick, head of power plant
optimisation at ABB, notes, “today the power
industry is mostly still a people’s industry”.
That places limitations on the spread of more
conventional automated control systems.
ABB, like other companies, is trying to distil
the knowledge of the specialists that are
available today and package it into software
tools that can then be used by people with
less specialist power plant knowledge.
Power plant optimization has always been
high on the agenda of both operators and
suppliers, but according to Frick, “a lot of
people want it but only a very few people can
do it”. Thus, creating tools that can replace the
specialists will be vital for the future, particularly
when trying to sell tools to countries that do not
have the pools of experts available. ABB has
had some success in India with this approach
and is aiming to extend it further.
Five senses of a control system
If the APC system is the brain of an advanced
power plant control and optimization system,
then the sensors and measuring devices are
its fngers, eyes and ears, i.e. the means by
which it gauges the state of the power plant in
order to be able to control it. Here some of the
greatest advances have taken place.
According to Metso’s Jalkanen there are
more and more new instruments being used in
power plants today, and it is these that provide
the foundation for plant control. It is only by
knowing the state of a plant, in real time, that
it becomes possible to control it. Further, the
Specialists provide the fundamental understanding necessary
to build models for automated power plant control systems
Credit: Honeywell
1311PEI_44 44 10/30/13 4:16 PM
45 Power Engineering International November 2013
Automation technology trends
more data is available from different parts of
the plant, the tighter and more accurate the
control regime can be.
Take a power plant’s boiler, for example.
In the past, there was only a limited amount
of temperature data that could be acquired
from within the boiler itself. Much had to be
inferred from operations downsteam. Today,
however, it is possible to create a profle of
the temperatures within the boiler using
cameras, infra-red detectors, lasers and
acoustic measurements. These provide an
extraordinary level of detail that can support
a much more sophisticated control regime,
which in turn provides better boiler control.
Modern sensors and measurement
techniques make almost any variable within a
plant accessible. For example, by measuring
variations in the concentration of corrosive
gases within a plant’s fue gas and combining
these with other measurements such as boiler
temperature gradients, it is possible to assess
the corrosion rate of boiler components.
New techniques can also make older ones
redundant. In the past it was important to take
live steam measurements even though this was
diffcult and costly. With the thermodynamic
measurements available today, it is possible to
predict live steam conditions and there is no
need to measure them.
Renewable optimization
The technologies that are being developed
to enable power plant optimization are most
often targeted at combustion plants of various
sorts. This is partly because these are the most
diffcult to control, and partly because new
grid demands – that gas- and coal-fred plants
should be able to ramp quickly and to operate
at variable outputs, for example – mean that
optimization is essential if these plants are to
be able to generate economically.
Some automation developers are now
beginning to look at the application of
optimization technology to renewable
energy plants. There is less scope here but
opportunities are beginning to be recognized.
In a large solar photovoltaic plant, there will
be a large number of individual solar panels
divided into groups, with each group supplying
power to a single inverter that interfaces with
the grid. Inverter effciency varies with the
amount of input power, which will change
as the light intensity changes. By making
‘soft’ connections between solar panels and
inverters it is possible to use an automation
system to reconfgure the connections as
the light level changes in order to run more
or fewer inverters at their optimum effciency.
This helps raise overall effciency and provide
a higher quality feed to the grid.
Other possibilities exist with wind power.
Turbines tend to lose effciency when the
wind direction or speed changes. Maximum
effciency is only recovered when the turbine
has yawed to meet the new wind direction or
the blade pitch has been adjusted to optimize
the rotor for a change in wind speed. By
integrating weather forecasting and software
optimization tools it is possible to predict the
wind changes in advance and anticipate
them by making wind turbine blade pitch
or yawing adjustments so that overall higher
effciency of energy capture is achieved.
Grid support is another area where
optimization tools can be deployed. In the
past, the main operational objective of
a renewable energy-based plant was to
produce “as much power as possible by
deploying as many megawatts as possible,
seeking quantity above quality”, as Massimo
Danieli, global business unit manager for
power generation at ABB, aptly describes it.
More and more, however, solar and wind
plants are being asked to provide quality, as
well as quantity. This can be provided at a
local level by operating solar power plants
and wind farms differently. It can also be
achieved over a much wider area by using a
pooling or feet management approach.
Power plant pooling
The principle of power plant pooling is a simple
extension of the concepts that underpin
plant automation. What an automation and
optimization system can achieve within a
single plant can be extended to a group of
power plants. These can then be managed
from a single control room. Not only does this
allow greater gains from plant optimization, it
also allows systems to be extended to cover
asset management. With this there is “potential
for customer proftability and cost reduction”,
said Dieter Fluck, vice president, product
management, instrumentation, controls &
electrical at Siemens Energy.
Fleet optimization may involve a feet of fossil
fuel power plants, but it could also involve a
heterogeneous group of both renewable and
conventional generation plants. Fluck cited
a project for Origin Energy in Australia which
involved the control of plants at 13 locations
and included wind, coal and gas-based
generation with different control systems and
operating regimes. By optimizing these as a
group, the strengths of each can be exploited;
the renewable plants provide cheap power
whereas the fossil fuel plants can react fast
to changes in demand. “Pooling allows an
increase in proftability,” said Fluck.
Elsewhere this type of approach can be
used to create ‘virtual power plants’ that
aggregate a disparate group of generating
units and operate them as a single power
plant. The virtual power plant might bring
together wind generators from across a wide
region to increase reliability, or it might be an
agglomeration of small diesel units providing
auxiliary services to the grid, something the
individual units would not be able to do.
Fleet management can solve problems
too. When the South African utility Eskom
was faced with the problem of controlling
emissions from its 13 coal-fred power stations
it turned to feet management. Emissions are
now measured at each plant and relayed to
a central control room, where performance
is monitored and correlated with the plants’
operation status. The emissions monitoring
system was built using software from Invensys.
The system allows the company’s
environmental management team to
anticipate when emissions are likely to exceed
limits for each plant, such as during startup or
shutdown, so that the appropriate exemptions
can be obtained. It also allows the load to be
spread during peak demand periods so that
the emissions from an individual plant do not
exceed its absolute cap. Otherwise a plant
might have to be shut down, affecting both
supply security and proftability.
Centralizing the control and monitoring
of power plants allows teams of experts to
be assembled at a single point, instead of
needing such experts at each plant. With
expertise and experience set to dwindle, this
approach is likely to become much more
commonplace in the future.
In one way and another, advanced
automation and optimization systems
are clearly changing the face of power
for more information
1311PEI_45 45 10/30/13 4:16 PM
46 Power Engineering International November 2013
in action
Modern control systems
can optimize power plant
effciency, availability, fexibility
and cost, and may be one
answer to the instability arising
from increased amounts of
variable power generation
on the grid. Here we highlight
key innovations in automation
projects across power sectors.
Automation upgrade for Russia’s largest thermal power plant
To help improve operational effciencies and
reliability, an 800 MW unit of Russia’s Surgut-2
plant, one of Europe’s largest thermal power
plants, went from vintage controls to an
upgraded automation system using Emerson
Process Management’s Ovation expert
control system.
Emerson, the main automation contractor
for the project, completed the upgrade
during a four-month shutdown. A team of
specialists from Emerson’s St Petersburg
Engineering Center used their experience on
power-industry projects to ensure the timely
implementation of the control system. Special
software tools, standardized approaches to
automation challenges, and the modular
architecture of the Ovation system helped
minimize adjustments and reduce overall
project execution time.
The Surgut-2 station uses natural gas
coming from the Tyumen Region’s oil felds.
Based on annual output, the plant is one
of the biggest thermal power stations in the
world, producing more than 35 billion kWh
per year.
The new integrated system enables
automated operation of the entire power
unit, including electrical controls for turbine
generators and pumps, boiler and burner
controls, and unit power and frequency
control and coordination. It also provides
real-time monitoring of equipment and
timely notifcation of abnormal situations,
and helps determine equipment health so
technicians can schedule maintenance
and repairs more effciently.
The upgrade helped to enhance the
manageability of station equipment, tighten
control across all operating ranges, and
improve the unit’s dynamic behaviour.
The upgraded automation enables
the Surgut-2 power plant to adjust the
unit’s output to meet market needs. As
the plant supplies power and heat to
Western Siberia and the Ural region and is
the most powerful thermal plant in Russia,
customers in those regions should notice
the improvements soon.
New control system modernizes super-effcient Danish power plant
DONG Energy’s Avedøre 1 combined heat and
power plant, in Denmark, was commissioned
22 years ago. To boost the plant’s effciency
and performance, ABB replaced its control
systems with the Symphony Plus system with
AC 870P controllers.
The plant consists of two units, which
produce electricity and district heating for
Copenhagen using mainly coal, but also
some oil, as primary energy sources.
Avedøre 1 produces 250 MW of power
without district heating, and 215 MW of power
plus 330 MJ/s of heat in combined operation.
The plant originally used two different
control systems for boiler and turbine
automation. With the new system, both boiler
and turbine will be automated with Symphony
Plus. The AC 870P controllers will be used
in combination with the operator control
system S+ Operations. This harmonization
provides signifcant advantages in operation,
maintenance and spare parts inventory.
Russia’s Surgut-2 power plant
Credit: EPM
Avedøre 1 CHP plant
Credit: ABB
1311PEI_46 46 10/30/13 4:16 PM 47 Power Engineering International November 2013
Performance optimization for large combined-cycle power plants in Italy
Enipower’s combined-cycle power plant at
Ferrera Erbognone in Italy has installed an
innovative system to monitor and control the
performance of main components, allowing
optimization of the overall plant performance.
The system from ABB is based on Symphony
Plus, the newest plant automation platform for
the power and water industries, designed to
provide maximum system fexibility, reliability
and effciency. Symphony Plus provides
operators with a complete overview of the
plant as well as immediate access to all site
assets in real time.
Ferrera Erbognone is composed of three
combined-cycle units: two 390 MW twin
natural gas fred units and one 240 MW unit
that can be fed by syngas or natural gas. The
plant’s total capacity is about 1000 MW.
The plant’s power is currently dispatched
to the power market, with only 50 MW
diverted to a nearby refnery owned by Eni.
The gas accounts for 93 per cent of the
total plant expenditure and represents the
highest cost item: each unit consumes
450 million m
/year of natural gas.
In a strongly competitive power scenario
where margins are loose, there is a need to
use advanced tools to detect any kind of
ineffciencies in the performance of the plant
in order to immediately react. ABB’s solution
is able to calculate performances and
compare them in real time to those expected
according to specifcations. ABB’s solution
has been selected by Enipower for all its
combined cycle plants, i.e. Mantova, Ferrera
Erbognone, Brindisi, Ravenna and Ferrara.
The monitoring and control system
provides the highest accuracy on plant
effciency as it allows for monitoring of the
activity of each plant component: gas
turbine, heat recovery steam generator, steam
turbine and condenser. The system detects
the performance ratio and consumption level
of each component and highlights main
deviations. The real-time calculation takes
into account all possible setups. At Ferrera the
optimization capacity has been exploited to
reduce gas consumption during the winter.
The gas consumption reduction obtained
thanks to ABB’s solution has been calculated
at over 4 million m
/year, which equals
3547 TEP/year and a CO
emission reduction
of 8500 tonnes/year.
High-voltage SCADA systems help UK wind farm network reduce costs
RWE npower renewables, one of the UK’s
biggest renewable energy developers and
operators, is using high-voltage SCADA systems
from Emerson Process Management as part
of a standardized approach across its wind
assets. The systems provide comprehensive
visibility and control of the high voltage
electrical network at wind farm and control
centre levels, helping to increase availability
and reduce costs.
The installations at Novar 2 wind farm in
Scotland and at Kiln Pit Hill and Hellrigg in
northern England are now fully integrated
into the company’s existing portfolio SCADA
system DCDAS (Distributed Control & Data
Acquisition System). Thirty wind farms are
currently integrated into the system with an
installed capacity of approximately 800 MW,
the majority onshore but with two offshore
wind farms off the North Wales coast.
The high voltage SCADA solution at RWE
npower’s wind farms is based on Emerson’s
OpenEnterprise package, which consists of
a single OpenEnterprise Server, ControlWave
Micro RTUs (Remote Terminal Units) and third-
party OPC Servers.
The ControlWave Micro RTU is a highly
programmable controller that combines
the capabilities of a programmable logic
controller (PLC) and a RTU into a single
hybrid controller. The ControlWave Micro can
maximize the performance of a wide range
of control systems, with a design emphasis
on low power consumption, scalability
and modularity.
Each wind turbine has a single
ControlWave Micro RTU, which is used to
control and monitor the turbines’ high voltage
switchgear, as well as software interfaces to
third-party measurement transducers.
“The DCDAS system provides real-time data
for live monitoring and control of our wind
assets from our 24/7 control centre in Swindon,
UK,” said Paul Witchard, SCADA systems
manager at RWE npower renewables. “The
high-voltage SCADA system uses the same
communications infrastructure as DCDAS to
enable monitoring and control of the high-
voltage switchgear, either locally or remotely.
This will help us maximize availability and
revenue, make fewer site visits, and improve
maintenance scheduling.”
Ferrera Erbognone power plant
Credit: Enipower
Wind assets
Credit: RWE npower renewables
1311PEI_47 47 10/30/13 4:16 PM
48 Power Engineering International November 2013
Total automation for French coal-fred plants
French utility EDF has initiated an extensive
programme to modernize its Le Havre 4 and
Cordemais 4 and 5 coal-fred units in order to
extend the plants’ operating life by 20 years to
The plants are the largest coal-fred units in
EDF’s feet and were built to an identical design
in the early 1980s. Each has a generating
capacity of 600 MW.
As part of the modernization
programme, which includes revamping the
electromechanical and process equipment,
obsolete distributed control systems will be
replaced with state-of-the-art total plant
automation systems from ABB.
The Symphony Plus solution for each unit
consists of a distributed control system, turbine
control and protection, S+ Operations HMI,
and a process optimization package. ABB will
also supply a simulator for operator training
and process simulation.
The new systems will be installed during
scheduled annual shutdowns over a four-year
period ending in 2016.
Automation powers UK electricity demand
SSE’s Keadby power station at Scunthorpe in
England, which began commercial operation
in 1996, is a 720-MW combined-cycle gas
turbine generating facility. It includes two GE
frame 9FA gas turbines, one Alstom steam
turbine, two Babcock three-pressure waste
heat recovery boilers and a Siemens GT10B
auxiliary gas turbine.
When the facility’s moderate-sized
Distributed Control System (DCS) was
approaching plant-wide obsolescence,
SSE decided to upgrade to Invensys’
InFusion environment. InFusion is a delivery
mechanism for enterprise control. It consists
of the hardware and software components
necessary to provide a true aggregated view
of information across an organization.
The new DCS had to address the pressing
obsolescence issues and remain current
for the remainder of the plant’s expected
service life. Suffcient expandability in terms of
controller memory, I/O capacity and network
bandwidth together with simplifed online
confguration was also a key requirement.
Because of the potential impact on operating
procedures and other human factors,
engineers also specifed that the new plant
solution should maintain the existing control
strategies and HMI interface standards.
“We now have a supportable system with
the capacity we need to proceed with control
improvements,” said Hugh Ferguson, C&I
engineer and DCS upgrade project manager
at the power station.
“It has been possible to retain much of the
look and feel of the previous system but make
improvements to consistency, operability and
system confgurability,” he added.
Control systems upgrade for Spanish CHP plant
Emerson Process Management has upgraded
the control systems at Iberdrola’s EnergyWorks
Cartagena combined heat and power power
plant in Spain, with the latest version of its
Ovation expert control system.
The plant is located in Murcia on Spain’s
southeastern coast. Fired by natural gas, the
95 MW combined-cycle cogeneration facility
supplies process steam and power to the local
plastics factory. The existing control systems
needed to be upgraded to improve plant
responsiveness, extend the life of the plant and
maximise production effciencies.
Emerson supplied four pairs of redundant
Ovation controllers, installed the operating
software and implemented the changeover
during a scheduled plant shutdown.
The Ovation control system is designed to
easily incorporate the latest developments
in communications, data processing and
advanced applications. The control systems
are split into two sections, one covering
the CHP plant and the other covering the
separate package boilers. While the CHP
plant was modernized, the package boilers
generated the steam required by the plastics
factory. Steam generation then reverted to the
CHP plant during the upgrade of the package
boilers, ensuring that the steam supply was
uninterrupted and that local operation of
auxiliary services was maintained.
Since project completion in February 2012,
reliability and effciency have improved and
faster system response has enabled the plant
to react more quickly to changes in demand.
EnergyWorks Cartagena CHP plant
Credit: EPM
Keadby Power Station
Credit: woodtyke
Cordemais power plant
Credit: Clément Bucco-Lechat
1311PEI_48 48 10/30/13 4:16 PM
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1311PEI_49 49 10/30/13 4:16 PM
50 Power Engineering International November 2013
xpanding Germany’s transmission
grid in order to accommodate
increasing amounts of
renewable energy is a well-known
cornerstone of the country’s effort
to meet its 2020 climate targets.
And just as well-known are the problems
Germany has had in trying to make its
transmission blueprint keep pace with the
number of renewable projects – particularly
offshore wind farms – being developed.
However, new research conducted by
renewables consultancy Ecofys and the
Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP)
concludes that “even without any grid
expansion by 2020, Germany can still deploy
signifcant renewable electricity sources
within 15 years”.
The key question behind the report is:
Can high shares of renewable energy be
achieved in Germany even if transmission
grid expansion turns out to be too slow or
not feasible at the level assumed by other
studies? And the answer from the authors is
a resounding ‘yes’.
“High shares of renewable energy can
be achieved, even if the grid expansion is
substantially delayed,” they state. “A delayed
grid expansion is not a show-stopper for large-
scale investments into renewable energies.”
The study is keen to stress that transmission
grid expansion in Germany should be
implemented, because “it is the cheapest
way to integrate high shares of renewables
and because it makes the power system more
However, the report states that “even
in case of very substantial delays in grid
expansion, high shares of renewable electricity
can be integrated in the power system, with
only a moderate increase of total system
costs. Therefore, possible uncertainties about
the speed of grid expansion are no reason
to slow down the expansion of renewable
The authors add that “such uncertainties
may be a good reason to start steering the
geographical distribution and the generation
profles of additional renewable capacities,
taking into account the predictable
T&D development
Germany’s rollout of
renewables can be kept
on track without the
current frenetic pace of
grid expansion, according
to a new report. Kelvin
Ross fnds out how.
Energiewende myths
1311PEI_50 50 10/30/13 4:16 PM 51 Power Engineering International November 2013
T&D development
transmission grid bottlenecks and favouring
a balanced distribution of renewable
generation within Germany, for instance more
wind in the south and PV close to areas with
strong daytime demand such as urban areas
in the north”.
In order to reach ambitious climate targets,
“dedicated policies effectively able to reduce
CO2 emissions from the power sector need to
be implemented. This is even more important
in case of rapid transmission grid expansion,
in order to counterbalance the favourable
effects it has on the use of lignite.”
In arriving at their conclusions, the authors
say that they have debunked “two persistent
myths regarding the Energiewende: the frst
that if Germany’s grid expansion plans are
delayed, a slowdown in renewable energy
investment will happen in the coming years,
and the second that wind should be built
where it’s windy, and solar should be built
where it’s sunny”.
The study found that Germany can still
meet its target of getting 72 per cent of its
energy from renewable sources by 2030 even
if grid expansion is limited to projects that were
already under construction by December
And it adds that the costs of this limited
grid expansion would be manageable:
“System costs would only increase by 0.8 to
3 per cent depending on the geographical
distribution and generation profle of the
nation’s renewable energy sources.”
Christian Nabe, electricity market specialist
at Ecofys, said: “If grid expansion is delayed,
about €800 million in transmission costs can
be saved per year if we spread wind and
photovoltaic installations more evenly across
the country.”
The study concludes that increased
amounts of PV and onshore wind, with a
decreased share of offshore wind, would
create a system that was more robust against
grid expansion delays.
“If more offshore wind is added, then grid
expansion becomes more urgent as, for
example, offshore wind power generated in
the northern part of the country needs to be
transported to southern population centres,”
states the report.
It adds that replacing 10 GW of offshore
wind with PV and onshore wind would
not disadvantage the total system cost,
create more emissions or require increased
Ecofys said that “system fexibility will also
be key to Germany’s energy future”.
It said if “grid expansion as a source of
fexibility is limited, other options such as
compressed air energy storage and load
shifting will be the most cost-effective means”.
“An investment into about 5 GW of
compressed air energy storage appears to
be cost optimal, if higher shares of offshore
wind are assumed,” it states. “If the renewable
generation is based more on onshore wind
and PV, the optimal CAES capacity is 2 GW.”
The report dismissed battery storage as not
being “a cost-optimal technology”.
The report also says that the “myth that
wind should be built where it’s windy, and solar
should be built where it’s sunny” is “simplistic”.
“It reduces the complexities of the
Energiewende to a question of wind and
solar resources. But other economic and non-
economic factors also need to be considered,
including the costs of land, capital and project
development, the availability of skilled labour,
policy certainty, social acceptance, the need
for regional and national self-suffciency and
regional development concerns.”
The report’s authors say that they focused
only on the impact of rapid/slow grid
expansion and did not reproduce most of
these “other factors”.
Therefore, they conclude that their “fndings
are even more remarkable: a scenario
with more wind where it is less windy (more
“If more offshore wind is added, grid expansion
becomes more urgent,” states Ecofys
Credit: Siemens
Lignite-fred Lippendorf power station: Grid expansion creates “favourable
conditions for the steady operation of plants that burn lignite,” says Ecofys
Credit: Vattenfall
1311PEI_51 51 10/30/13 4:16 PM
52 Power Engineering International November 2013
T&D development
onshore wind in the south of the country and
less concentration of onshore and offshore
wind in the North) is more robust against the
probable risk of delayed grid expansion”.
Effect on emissions
With emissions taking political centre
stage across Europe, what effect would
any clawback of T&D expansion have on
Germany’s CO
The report states that emissions from
the power sector would be “substantially
reduced to about a third of the 2011 level”
and “a delayed grid expansion leads to
slightly lower CO
emissions in 2030 than full
It explains this by stating that “transmission
grid expansion tends to favour technologies
with high investment cost and low marginal
generation cost, such as renewable energies
but also lignite, as they beneft from the
additional fexibility”.
“As a consequence, further policy
measures such as emission standards would
need to be introduced to ensure a decrease
in CO
emissions, as the assumed cost of CO
in 2030 (40 €/t) is not high enough to prevent
an increased use of lignite.
“An intended delay of grid expansions
as a measure of CO
reduction in the power
sector does not seem to be appropriate as
the long-term effects of such a strategy would
lead to higher costs and CO
The study also claims that if Germany
delayed its grid expansion, it could result
in slightly lower CO
emissions in 2030,
compared to full grid expansion.
“This is because grid expansion creates
favourable conditions not only for the
integration of wind and solar, but also for the
steady operation of infexible, low marginal
cost power plants such as those that burn
It added that in all scenarios modelled
by the report authors, 2030 emissions are cut
to about one third of 2011 levels due to an
increasing share of renewables in the mix.
Beyond 2030
The authors make a point to note that “the
year 2030 is not the end of the Energiewende”.
“It is likely that further deployment of
renewable energies after 2030 requires more
fexibility of the power system,” they write, and
this “stronger transmission grid” would be
greater than the one assumed in their study.
“Therefore, building transmission is basically
a no-regret strategy, especially since actual
construction is often slower than hoped for.
“If transmission materialises faster than
expected, it is very likely that, within the next
few years, this grid capacity turns out to be
“Additionally, transmission helps to
prevent the manifestation of local market
power. Other sources of fexibility would be
new storage options.” Those would include
power-to-gas storage as well as all options
which increase fexibility between the
power sector and the heat and transport
However, the authors cautioned that their
results “should not be interpreted to mean
that grid expansion is not important for the
“Grid expansion will increase the stability
and resilience of Germany’s power system
and reduce the costs associated with
ancillary services and a strong grid is a
good investment toward the expansion of
renewables over the coming decades.”
And they add: “There are good reasons to
pursue a strong expansion of the transmission
grid: for instance, increasing the stability
and the resilience of the power system and
reducing the costs of providing important
ancillary services.
“Furthermore, a strong grid – possibly even
a slightly over-dimensioned transmission grid
in 2030 – will be a very good starting point
for the further expansion of renewables in the
following decades, and therefore in any case
a good investment.”
Raffaele Piria, SEFEP’s programme director,
said: “The study shows that rapid expansion
of renewable energies can continue. If grid
expansion is delayed, we need to manage
the geographical distribution of renewables
for more information
Berlin: System fexibility will be key to Germany’s energy future, says Ecofys
Credit: Dreamstime
Delayed grid
expansion is not a
showstopper for large-
scale investment into
renewable energies
1311PEI_52 52 10/30/13 4:16 PM
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1311PEI_53 53 10/30/13 4:16 PM
Operation and maintenance technology
54 Power Engineering International June 2013
hanks to advances in gaming
technology, and with detailed
3D modelling at the core, it has
become practical, affordable and
quick to create a fully navigable,
‘hyper-real’ equivalent of a power
plant facility, whether already operational or
yet to be constructed.
Whilst virtual reality as a concept within
the power sector has existed for some time,
this is the frst time that this virtual reality is
imbued with full in-world functionality to
allow for the simulation of power operations
and maintenance procedure planning
and training.
The change is partly due to the fact that
the sophisticated graphics and complex
physics engines that lend the games their
realism can now run on entry-level hardware
and multiple platforms.
Meanwhile, increased internet speeds and
bandwidth have also seen massive multi-
player online games (MMOG) explode in
numbers, with every player’s actions updating
in real time worldwide. The market conditions
are right for a new genre to emerge:
industrial gaming.
This might sound interesting, but what are
the business justifcations for the creation of an
industrial ‘virtual world’ for the power market?
Why would an owner-operator want to invest
in industrial gaming? At the lowest level, the
objectives of gaming for entertainment and
those of industrial gaming are relatively similar:
practice makes perfect.
Dr Michael Platt, a specialist in human
behaviour at Lockheed Martin, has said that
we should not train people until they get
it right, we need to train people until they
don’t get it wrong. Similarly, gamers are only
allowed to progress when they no longer
make errors, trying again and again until they
get it right – and if they don’t get it right, their
characters disintegrate.
Central to the application of industrial
gaming for the power sector is a desire to
create and maintain skills and understanding
in all site personnel through familiarization
and repeated practice. Human error is widely
recognized as the number one cause of safety
incidents and so, whilst the enhanced skills
gained through repeated practice could aid
productivity, they could also serve to eradicate
human error from operations.
Many of the recent investigations into
incidents in our industry have highlighted a
level of commonality as to probable causes.
These include:
· limilec cwcreness cf cpercling
· imprcper icenlifcclicn cf scfely hczcrcs
and hazardous processes;
· incceç0cle inspeclicn, cnc
· incceç0clely lrcinec wcrkers.
Using an immersive environment built from
the 3D model of the asset, employees can
help resolve the issues outlined above.
The ability not just to understand
information, but also to retain it, is critical to
ensuring safety in high-risk environments,
and a ‘trial-and-error’ approach to learning
signifcantly improves retention.
It utilises self-educating techniques where
individuals evaluate the feedback resulting
from actions to improve performance and
overall safety.
In contrast, a ‘trial-and-error’ approach in
a live environment would have the opposite
effect. It can be costly, disruptive to production
and potentially hazardous to the individual or
the facility – the consequences of a mistake
In addition to mimicking the exact layout of a facility, industrial gaming environments can even refect
different environment conditions (daytime, night-time, fog/smoke etc.) for maximum realism
Playing it safe
Video game technology is transforming operator training in the power industries,
writes Dave Coppin of AVEVA
1311PEI_54 54 10/30/13 4:16 PM 55 Power Engineering International November 2013
might be catastrophic. Though mistakes in
any plant are grave, safety concern around
nuclear power is the most obvious example.
Germany’s high profle exit from the world of
nuclear power post-Fukushima – despite not
being situated on a fault line that would cause
problems comparable to those of Japan –
highlights the huge amount of pressure these
plants face to maintain immaculate health and
safety records.
The issue of safety will only come under
even more pressure as many countries
continue to expand their nuclear footprint.
For example, despite the likelihood that
combined-cycle gas power plants may
become more common in the US thanks
to the advent of shale gas, the demand for
enriched uranium to feed its nuclear power
plants is estimated to increase from the current
14 million separative work units to 15–16 million
by 2025.
In this context, the advantages offered by
simulation are more pertinent than ever.
As a proactive approach to crisis
avoidance and/or mitigation, industrial
gaming helps operators imagine and model
the worst, and their time-critical responses
to the worst, for full preparedness for every
signifcant eventuality.
“Never has the need for improved training
in all aspects of power operations been more
important. There is a lack of experienced
engineers and with more complex and
automated assets this introduces new risks
into safe and effective operations,” says Derek
Middlemas, chief operating offcer and head
of enterprise solutions at AVEVA.
“This is where virtual reality comes in.
Using industrial 3D gaming technology to
supplement physical on-the-job training we
can greatly increase operator effectiveness at
zero risk and optimise the cost of training.”
In a report entitled ‘Why Simulation Games
Work’, authors Hoftstede, de Caluwe and
Peters note that in many cases industrial
gaming can help make the information more
relevant and easier to understand, which is
critical for HSE and high-risk activity training. But
this perspective is not new; the power industry
is playing catch-up. The development of fight
simulators has contributed enormously to
improving air safety by enabling crew to learn
and practise their skills in perfect safety.
Zero incident paradigm
Middlemas says: “Like fight simulators, virtual
reality will only be useful if it accurately mirrors
the real life conditions of the asset in which the
employee is going to be operating.
“AVEVA’s Activity Visualisation Platform
simulations are created directly from the
asset’s 3D Digital Information Hub, which allows
employees to run through routine inspections
right through to complex maintenance
decisions in an immersive 3D environment.
“Whilst only a small percentage of plants
in the industry have fully leveraged the
opportunities offered by a fully up to date 3D
digital asset, the impact of AVEVA AVP is such
that for very larger and costly operations –
such as replacing the steam generators of a
nuclear power plant – it may actually make
sense to create a model of the relevant parts
just for this purpose. AVEVA AVP offers a new
way to test and consolidate learning before
the employee is introduced into the much
higher risk environment.”
Within a virtual reality environment, trainees
can be provided with full on-screen details
to follow when introduced to the training
programme, and the advice can then be
steadily reduced – at the employee’s own
pace – to hints, and fnally, to ‘no-help’ test
modes to ensure complete comprehension of
a process.
While advanced visual simulation
technology enhances data assimilation,
AVEVA AVP also supports this process with in-
app web browser access. The functionality of
the web browser is twofold: frstly, the in-app
web browser allows access to reference data
so that, when trainees require an extra piece
of information, they do not need to leave the
application in order to access it. For example,
they could view PDF data sheets from an
OEM’s website.
The second key advantage lies in the
possibilities posed by a constantly-updating
live stream of data. Real-time SCADA
information, shown in the game, could allow
the gamer to respond to the status of the
physical plant itself. The presence of the
web browser adds another potential layer of
engagement for users of the software, and
another way of enhancing safety through
operator familiarity.
The forthcoming ISO 55000 regulations
will ensure that safety training is a central
RAGAGEP (Recognised And Generally
Accepted Good Engineering Practice) pillar
of operational readiness and offers further
incentive to invest in more effective teaching
and learning techniques.
ISO 55000 defnes an ‘integrated asset
management’ solution as being comprised
of an asset and maintenance management
system, an underlying operational asset
information backbone, and crucially, a formal
training and competency development
system. Industrial gaming can play a key
supporting role for owner operators aiming to
meet these ISO standards.
In addition, the US Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA), in its
regulation OSHA 1910.119(g)(1) indicates
that topics covered by training should, as a
minimum, include the following:
· lcck-c0l{lcg-c0l,
· hcl wcrk,
· line cnc eç0ipmenl cpening,
· ccnfnec spcce enlry,
· emergency respcnse, cnc
· cpercling prccec0res.
AVEVA AVP offers a world that is suffciently
developed and realistic to include all of the
above key areas of operational expertise that
need to be fostered as stipulated by OSHA.
Operation and maintenance technology
1311PEI_55 55 10/30/13 4:16 PM
56 Power Engineering International November 2013
Operation and maintenance technology
Economic and business cases
From an economic perspective, the key
economic beneft of industrial gaming is
the ability to keep scheduled outage to a
minimum. With staff turnover at individual
facilities increasing worldwide, and with
increasingly high levels of automation
reducing the overall size of teams, the
presence of multiple engineers per team that
have never performed a specifc procedure is
becoming more common.
Inexperience will continue to be the power
industry’s number one human resource
challenge (linked in no small part to the
problem of the mass retirement of the ‘Baby
To protect the economics of the plant,
engineers need to be able to perform
necessary maintenance quickly and safely,
regardless of how many times the individual
engineer has performed that specifc
Another advantage of the industrial
gaming app technology is that the simulation
will allow owner operators to experiment
within the app to see whether alternative
operating procedures are more effective. It
would also allow for a faster response during
unplanned downtime because the team
will have been able to have rehearsed each
particular scenario within the virtual reality
app environment before its occurrence.
Industrial gaming not only brings value to
already established facilities, however; facilities
currently being built, of which there currently
exists only the digital asset, can be imported
into AVEVA AVP so that personnel are familiar
with the plant before it even exists.
This is a key tool in smoothing over the
handover process so that any issues can be
fagged up by the owner operators whilst the
relevant expertise of the EPC is still on site – and
the owner operators OPEX team can execute
activities such as maintenance strategy
evaluation and spares planning long before
commissioning actually starts. EPCs can also
beneft from AVEVA AVP during the bidding
process; if a picture is worth a thousand words,
then demonstrating the effcacy of a yet-to-
be-built facility using AVEVA AVP is a powerfully
persuasive tool.
Unlimited options
The usability and affordability of the
technology means that specifc application
of the technology to the power industry is
limited only by the imagination of O&M and
training departments.
Some of the simplest use cases include
facility familiarisation; high-risk or complex
activity training and rehearsal; refresher
training for collaborative activities; and
HSE compliance.
In addition, there are a multitude of further
applications to improve teamwork and
increase productivity, including:
· Ccnslr0clicn, cperclicns cnc
maintenance planning to test the
feasibility of planned works from
construction through into O&M;
· Pemcle prcLlem sclving,
· Sign-cff fcr cerlifcclicn cnc cperclicncl
readiness by allowing certifcation;
authorities to undertake virtual plant walk-
· Ccmplex `slcrylelling´ lc crecle c
sequence of individually driven, interactive,
animated environments to demonstrate
progress of a particular maintenance
activity to aid comprehension.
The use of industrial gaming is expected to
increase signifcantly over the coming years in
response to the many opportunities to make
full use of existing asset information – including
documentation, maintenance histories, 3D
models and intelligent P&IDs – to create
highly sophisticated training programmes
that include virtual reality environments and
scenarios. But this is not merely a long-term
vision: the use case exists today.
So, if you want to make a real difference to
the safety and reliability of your power plant
feld operations team, go virtual.
Dave Coppin is executive vice-president
for more information
By enabling repeated practice of complex or high-risk activities, industrial gaming could serve to
eradicate human error, the number one cause of operational safety incidents
The usability and affordability of the technology means that specifc application of visualisation
technology to the power industry is limited only by the imagination of O&M and Training departments
1311PEI_56 56 10/30/13 4:16 PM
Owned and Produced by: Offcial Strategic Partner: Presented by: Supported by: Co-located with:


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Abstract deadline: Friday 10 January 2014
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1311PEI_57 57 10/30/13 4:16 PM
58 Power Engineering International November 2013
Advanced weld metals
It is not just new boiler tubes in high-effciency power plants that have to bear high
temperatures and pressures, their welds must too. Dr. Herbert Heuser and
Dr. Kwan-Gyu Tak describe the development and application of three fller metals.
Novel weld steels
for high-effciency
power plants
n increasing need for
energy worldwide has
caused a huge rise in
demand for high-effciency
power stations, which have
to produce electricity both
in an economical and an environmentally
sustainable manner.
These can be achieved by reducing the
specifc fuel and heat consumption required
to generate 1 kWh, so in the case of fossil fuel
facilities the pressue is on to further increase
their effciency. An effciency increase can be
achieved by raising two steam parameters –
pressure and temperature. Steam parameters
ranging from 605°C and 300 bar in the case of
live steam to 625°C and 80 bar for hot reheat
steam have become an important issue when
seeking to build and operate new fossil fuel-
fred power plants.
These higher steam temperatures and
pressures thus require the use of new base
materials, such as bainitic steel T24 and the
martnsitic steels P92 and VN12-SHC. These
steels are being used in new modern fossil-fred
power plants in which the steam temperature
can be up to 620°C. A prerequisite for
the acceptance of such new materials is
evidence of adequate creep rupture strength.
But such novel steels need also appropriate
welding fllers with adequate creep
characteristics that fully meet the strength and
corrosion requirements of the base materials,
while ensuring good weldability and suffcient
In response, Böhler Welding has
developed matching fller metals for steel
T24 (7CrMoVTiB10-10; 1.7378; ASME SA
213) and martensitic steels P92 (1.4901;
X10CrWMoVNb9-2; ASME A 355) and VM12-
SHC, all approved by Germany’s VdTÜV, which
means they are suitable for use in pressure-
bearing components. The developments
were conducted in close co-operation with
Vallourec & Mannesmann Deutschland.
So what do the metallurgical properties
of these materials after gas tungsten arc
welding (GTAW), shielded metal arc welding
(SMAW) and submerged arc welding (SAW)
show? And what are the peculiarities of
their welding and heat treatment, and what
conclusions can be drawn about their proper
Bainitic steel T24
For steel T24, welding fllers have been
developed for GTAW, SMAW and SAW. A
comparison of the all-weld metal compared to
the base metal (Table 1) found that because
of the titanium’s high oxygen affnity a more
or less visible titanium burnout occurs during
the welding, compared with the initial values
of the wire. This applies for GTAW, where the arc
should be optimally protected by inert gas,
and for welding with the slag forming SMAW
and SAW. This caused the welding fller metals
to alloy with niobium instead of titanium,
two elements that are carbide-forming and
help provide a creep strength like that of
martensitic steels P91 and P92.
In general a post-weld heat treatment
(PWHT) is not necessary if the hardness
values are below 350 HV10. According to
a continuous cooling temperature (CCT)
diagram of the base metal from Vallourec &
Mannesmann, the hardness level is between
310 and 360 HV10. A CCT diagram of the all-
weld metal shows hardness levels between
340 and 360 HV10 for normal cooling rates
after welding. It also shows that the weld
metal has a bainitic/martensitic structure. The
martensitic part can be 15–30 per cent of the
weld metal.
GTAW of thin-walled tubes of T24 requires
no PWHT if the welding parameters are
optimised so that the preheating is at
100–150°C, the interpass temperature is
200–250°C and the welding involves thin
beads and a narrow scatter band of current
at welding speed. A PWHT at 740°C/2 hours
reduces the hardness of the all-weld metal to
less than 250 HV10.
In the as-welded condition, the strain
test Charpy V-notch (CVN) values for GTA
weldments are high and will not increase
signifcantly after a PWHT because during
the welding of the multiple layer joint of the
all-weld metal specimen every layer has an
To support the
drive towards ever-
higher effciency in
power stations, the
development of novel
welding fllers must
go hand-in-hand with
that of new advanced
base materials
1311PEI_58 58 10/30/13 4:16 PM 59 Power Engineering International November 2013
Advanced weld metals
annealing effect. Nearly the same situation
arises with welding tubes of wall thicknesses
above 10 mm. Here CVN values can be
achieved that are always high. However, with
a 6 mm wall thickness low CVN values of less
than 15 J will result if the welder is not properly
A multiple-layer technique is also required
for welding thin tubes. The welding parameter
has to be optimised so that the layer beneath
experiences an annealing effect.
The GTA weldments are sensitive to
end crater cracking in the root. This can
be avoided by training the welder and
optimising the welding parameters. The
down slope amperage after closing the root
should be reduced by no more than 50 per
cent to prevent the critical area of the root
cooling too quickly. Purging gas is highly
recommended on welding the root and
during the hot pass.
• Sampling and analysing systems for
nuclear power plants
• System solution incl. high-pressure
components from one single source
• Engineering of the sampling system
according to customer specifications
• Temperature and flow control with
highest accuracy
• High level of automation in the welding
process especially for HP components
NPP Taishan
Unit 1 + 2, China | AREVA GmbH
Sampling & Analysing Systems
C Si Mn Cr Mo Ni V Ti Nb B
Base metal,
min. 0.05 0.15 0.30 2.20 0.90 – 0.20 0.05 – 0.0015
max. 0.10 0.45 0.70 2.60 1.10 – 0.30 0.10 – 0.0070
Filler metal (GTA, SMA, SA) 0.08 0.25 0.50 2.40 1.0 0.1 0.25 0.04 0.001
For more information, enter 22 at
Weld process Temp.,°C PWHT, °C/h YS, MPa TS, MPa Elongation, % CVN, J Hardness, HV10
Base metal
730–760 ≥450 585–840 ≥17 ≥27 ≤250
+20 – 664 803 19.2 >250 ≤350
Ø 2.4 mm
+20 740/2 595 699 20.3 >250 ≤230
Ø 4.0 mm
+20 740/2 577 689 18.1 150 ≤250
Table 1:Chemical composition (upper) and mechanical properties (lower) all-weld metal for matching fller metal to T/P24
(Böhler P24-IG; Böhler P24-UP/Union I P24; Thermanit P24)
1311PEI_59 59 10/30/13 4:16 PM
60 Power Engineering International November 2013
Advanced weld metals
In the case of SMAW of T24, the stick
electrode mentioned in Table 1 has a carbon
content of 0.08 per cent. It should undergo
PWHT otherwise deformability and toughness
are low. For welding on side in particular,
a carbon-reduced electrode (0.06 %) has
been developed for use without PWHT (Böhler
Fox P24 WW or Thermanit P24 WW). In the
as-welded condition, the all-weld metal of
this electrode also shows low CVN values,
of less than 27 J, but good deformability
is guaranteed. In any case, a preheating
at 100°C is highly recommended and the
interpass temperature should be 200–250°C.
The SAW of T24 waterwalls (tube to fn)
requires the use of special fux BB 305 or
UV 305. The waterwall will not undergo a
PWHT. The hardness distribution over the cross-
section of such joints shows high values in the
weld and the heat affected zone (HAZ), up to
380 HV10. This cannot be avoided totally. The
carbon contents of the base and metals have
a signifcant infuence but the carbon content
is also important to guarantee the creep
properties for parts that will be under pressure.
Therefore a carbon content of 0.07–0.09 per
cent is necessary in the steel and in the weld.
A hardness of 350 HV10 means that the
material has a yield strength of more than 800
MPa and a tensile strength above 1000 MPa.
That means there is a high risk of hydrogen-
induced cracks forming. It is vital to eliminate
hydrogen sources during SAW of the water
walls. Preheating at 80–100°C and a reheating
via a soaking treatment directly behind the
welding station is highly recommended to
reduce the cooling rate. The fux must be
rebaked before use.
Table 1 does not show SAW all-weld
metal properties of the wire-fux-combination
because fux BB 24/UV 305 is designed only
for single layer applications and high welding
speeds. Using the multiple-layer technique
with this fux means that due to the high level
of oxygen a burnout of some elements cannot
be avoided – and very low CVN values will
be the consequence. The all-weld metal test
has nothing to do with the real application of
single bead welds.
Figure 1 shows the results of a bending
test in the as-welded condition, and no
cracks were detected. This test shows that
the deformability of these high-strength
weldments is acceptable.
T24 is a high-strength material, in particular
when it is in weldments without PWHT, so
much more attention has to be paid to the
preheating and interpass temperatures and
the welding parameter than is the case for
lower alloyed steels.
Martensitic steel P92
Almost parallel to the development of the
base material P92 came the development
of welding fllers of the same composition for
GTAW, SMAW, SAW and fux cored arc welding.
(FCW) Numerous publications describe the
latter’s properties, so it is suffce to mention
that what requires close attention besides the
precisely controlled additions of the creep-
relevant alloying elements, such as carbon,
vanadium, niobium, nitrogen, boron and
tungsten, is heat control during welding.
Martensitic steel P92 is welded in
the martensitic temperature range of
250–350°C. Because of the microstructure
of this material, temperature control during
welding and during the PWHT requires the
utmost care.
After welding, the weld metal hardness lies
at around 400 HV10. The PWHT, recommended
Chemical composition of pure deposted metal (%)
C Si Mn Cr Ni Mo V W Nb N B
Ø 4.0 mm
0.11 0.27 0.65 8.95 0.70 0.53 0.19 1.72 0.044 0.04 30 ppm
Wire Ø 3.2 mm
0.09 0.36 0.60 8.45 0.73 0.41 0.17 1.57 0.04 0.05 32 ppm
Mechanical properties:
i. Pure deposited metal at room temperature
Welding process
PWHT, °C/h YS, MPa TS, MPa A
, % CVN (ISO-V), J
Ø 4.0 mm
760/2 675 800 17.6 50/55/58
Wire Ø 3.2 mm
760/4 621 742 20.8 57/61/41
ii. Weld; P92 pipe Ø 300 mm; wall thickness 40 mm
Welding process
PWHT, °C/h TS, MPa Fracture location CVN (ISO-V), J Hardness, HV10
Ø 4.0 mm
760/2 665 Base metal 60/58/62 236–262
Wire Ø 3.2 mm
760/4 678 Base metal 84/88/96 234–249
Table 2: Results for pure deposited metal (upper) and welds in P92 pipes (lower) (Böhler Fox P92; Böhler P92-UP/Thermanit MTS 616)
1311PEI_60 60 10/30/13 4:16 PM 61 Power Engineering International November 2013
Advanced weld metals
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at 760°C, reduces this to about 250 HV10. The
holding time depends on the wall thickness
and the welding process.
The relatively low hardness reduces the risk
of cold cracking in the welded condition, so
components with low residual stresses may
be cooled to room temperature after welding.
However, they must be stored dry and free from
external loads, even during transport. Under
this condition there is no time limit between
welding and PWHT from a metallurgical point
of view.
Power plant operators and supervisory
agencies attach great importance to the
maximum toughness properties of welding
fller metals. Metallurgically, however, there is
not much scope with martensitic grades for
raising the impact energy of SMA and SA
weld metals to a level signifcantly above 47 J.
Their toughness can be infuenced somewhat
via the selection of the welding and heat
treatment parameters. Here it is important to
allow the welded joint to cool to below the
martensite fnish (M
) temperature before heat
treatment. This ensures complete tempering
of the martensite. The M
temperature for the
welding fllers of the same composition as
P92 is about 150°C, so the welded joint must
be cooled to at least 100°C. As an additional
safeguard against hydrogen-induced cold
cracking, the material can be soaked at
250–300°C immediately after welding, for 2–3
hours, to allow the hydrogen to diffuse. This
is not necessary with thin walls and GTAW
or GMAW.
Figure 2 shows the heat control during
welding and PWHT. Keeping the welding
passes thin will improve the joint toughness.
The thinner each pass, the greater the
tempering. This must be taken into account,
especially in SAW.
Several pipe joints were welded during the
development of the welding material and
the qualifcation measures. Table 2 provides
composition fgures for elements in welding
fllers of the same composition as P92 and
for welded joints in P92 pipes. A PWHT with
an extended hold time of at least 4 hours at
a temperature of 760°C is recommended
for SAW.
Figure 1: Bending test of a SA-welded T24 tube to T24 fns: no PWHT; no cracks; mandrel Ø = 50 mm
1311PEI_61 61 10/30/13 4:16 PM
62 Power Engineering International November 2013
Advanced weld metals
Figure 3 shows the dependency of the
notched bar impact value on the conditions
of the PWHT for the weld metal that matches
the P92 base material, while Figure 4 shows
the notch bar impact values of all-weld metals
aged at 600°C. After a holding time of 1000
hours at 600°C the CVN values drop from
above 41 J to 25 J. This behaviour is well known
and should be taken into consideration
during the pressure test that follows the repair
welds of used pipes.
The technical data sheet for P92 specifes
a temperature range of 730–780°C for the
PWHT after the welding procedure. However,
a temperature of 760°C is required for the
welding fllers to restrict the required hold time
to an economically reasonable 2–4 hours
(see Figure 2). Low temperatures can be
selected but they reduce the toughness in the
weld metal or require substantially longer hold
times to regain the required level. Temperatures
signifcantly higher than 760°C can cause the
temperature to be exceeded. However, it
is not critical to exceed the temperature by up
to 15 °C and for a short time.
Fifteen years after service of P91 in power
plants the Mn+Ni values of fller metals
are under discussion. It is well known that
increasing the nickel content lowers the
creep strength. But this test has been carried
out on base metal, not on weldments. It is
also well known that the HAZ is the weakest
point, where type IV cracking occurs. If the
weld metal creep strength is inside the
scatter band of the base metal, the creep
fracture always occurs in the HAZ.
Matching fllers for P92 are not yet
standardised. The manganese-plus-nickel
(Mn+Ni) content of P92-fller is a maximum
of 1.5 per cent. But specifcations in the
market require a maximum of 1.2 per cent.
Mn+Ni affects the A
temperature. The
recommended PWHT temperature of 760°C is
16°C below the A
temperature for a Mn+Ni
content of 1.46 per cent. The infuence of a
lower content of Mn+Ni on the mechanical
properties of the weld metal has been
analysed. It appears that a low manganese
content is more detrimental to toughness than
a low nickel content.
The infuence of the PWHT temperature
on the hardness of the all-weld metal with
a Mn+Ni content of 1.43 per cent, which
means the A
temperature is 776°C, was
investigated There is no negative effect on
a small overlap of A
at the PWHT. Above
780–790°C the hardness increases, which
means the PWHT at a temperature higher
than 10°C above A
creates austenite, which
transforms to untempered martensite after the
PWHT. Ongoing creep tests shows that there
is no negative effect to the creep strength if
there is only a small overlap of 10–15°C above
. There is no need to limit the Mn+Ni content
from a maximum of 1.5 per cent to 1.2 per
cent. But it is very important that the PWHT
temperature is measured exactly at the pipe
and that the scatter band of the temperature
range is small. The PWHT temperature of 760°C
± 10°C can be recommended if the Mn+Ni
content is a maximum of 1.5 per cent.
C Si Mn Cr Mo Ni W V Nb B Co N Al
Base metal,
min. 0.10 0.40 0.15 11.0 0.20 0.10 1.30 0.20 0.03 0.0030 1.40 0.030 –
max. 0.14 0.50 0.45 12.0 0.40 0.40 1.70 0.30 0.08 0.0060 1.80 0.007 0.020
0.12 0.4 0.5 11 0.3 0.4 1.5 0.2 0.04 0.0010 1.5 0.03 –
Welding process Temp., °C PWHT, °C/h YS, MPa TS, MPa Elongation, %
V), J
Base metal
760–800 ≥450 620–850 ≥17 27/40 ≤260
GTAW: Ø 2.4 mm +20 770/2 684 822 18.5 44 <297
SMAW: Ø 4.0 mm +20 770/2 689 832 17.2 44 <281
Table 3: Chemical composition (upper) and mechanical properties (lower) of matching fller metals (FM) (Thermanit MTS 5 CoT) for VM12-SHC (all-weld metal)
Figure 2: P92, heat control during welding and PWHT condition
1311PEI_62 62 10/30/13 4:17 PM
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64 Power Engineering International November 2013
Advanced weld metals
In the tests on P92 joints, all the rupture
points at 600°C were within the scatter band
of the base material. At higher temperatures,
however, some of the rupture points were
located outside the scatter band, and at high
stresses and test periods of less than 20,000
hours a few isolated ruptures were found in the
weld metal. Specimens subjected to extended
testing of greater than 20,000 hours suffered
creep ruptures in the HAZ At 650°C all the
ruptures were located in the HAZ.
P92 is only used up to 600°C for reheat
steam tubes because the scaling resistance
is insuffcient at higher temperatures. Here
materials with higher chromium content
have to be used. The European research
programme COST 536 has optimised 12 per
cent chrome steel VM12-SHC, developed by
Vallourec & Mannesmann, for applications
at up to 625°C. Böhler Schweisstechnik has
developed welding fllers matching VM12-SHC
for the GTAW and SMAW processes. The wire
for GTAW can also be used for gas metal arc
welding (GMAW).
The existing alloying concept means the
weld metal has high mechanical strength. At
the same time, however, there is a toughness
level in the welding fller metal showing values
below 40 J, lower than the values of the welding
fller metal for the 9 per cent chromium steel P92.
Nevertheless the toughness level is suffcient
because the required minimum values are
currently at greater than 27 J for the base metal.
However, it is necessary to exercise reasonable
care during the welding process. The PWHT
should be performed at a temperature of 770°C
since suffciently high toughness values cannot
be guaranteed at a temperature of 760°C
(Figure 2). Table 3 shows the results for the all-
weld metal for GTAW and SMAW.
Compared with P92, this alloy has a higher
content of chromium. Since this causes a
formation of ferrite, this must be balanced
with an austenite-forming element. For this,
the chemical element cobalt will be used
because it does not have any infuence on
the A
point compared with nickel.
VM12-SHC was qualifed by Germany’s
VdTÜV for wall sizes up to 10 mm and is
welded using GTA and SMA. The time for
the PWHT in the GTA procedure was only 30
minutes, which can be regarded as the lowest
limit. The PWHT for welding with SMA and GMA
should be specifed with a holding time of at
least 2 hours.
Creep rupture tests are now being
conducted on the welded joints. Test results after
20,000 hours show no cracks in the weld. The
temperature of the all-weld metal is 756°C,
or 14°C below the recommended PWHT. The
mechanical properties and creep test results
show no detrimental infuence of this small
overlap of 14°C with the PWHT temperature.
VM12-SHC has been used in Europe in nearly
all new coal- and gas-fred power plants.
In summary, strict observation of stringent
welding parameters is essential, especially
for welded joints in T24 tubes without PWHT.
Preliminary tests under operating conditions
are indispensable here if hardness values
of greater than 350 HV10 in the weld metal
are to be ensured and cracks in the welded
joints avoided.
The development of welding fller metals
must progress almost simultaneously with
the development of base materials. Design
engineers need the strength values of the
welded joint as determined in creep tests so
that they can reliably design components
that are subject to high loads of pressure
and temperature.
Finally, developing fller metals that fully
meet the strength and corrosion requirements
of the base materials while at the same time
ensuring good weldability and suffcient
toughness is a real challenge and and will
remain so.
Dr. Herbert Heuser and Dr. Kwan-Gyu Tak
are from Böhler Schweisstechnik Deutschland
in Germany. For more information, visit
The article is based on a winner at this year’s
POWER-GEN Europe Best Paper Awards.
Figure 3: Infuence of the PWHT condition to the toughness of the all weld metal for P92
Figure 4: Toughness of the all-weld metal for P92 after aging treatment at 600 °C; SMAW-all weld metal
1311PEI_64 64 10/30/13 4:17 PM
POWER-GEN Africa, co-located with DistribuTECH Africa, will once again
provide comprehensive coverage of the power needs, resources, and issues
facing the electricity generation industries across sub-Saharan Africa.
A three day event, POWER-GEN Africa serves the industry’s information
and networking needs with a dedicated trade show foor featuring the
prime movers in the conventional power and renewable energy industries.
Additionally, a multi-track conference covering strategic, technical and
renewable topics will feature commercial and practical solutions and
experiences, for power industry businesses.
POWER-GEN Africa has quickly established itself as sub-Saharan Africa’s
premier and leading event dedicated to the power generation industry,
focusing on the current and future trends, as well as the needs and resources
within this region of the world. Nowhere else provides you with the
opportunity to reach and meet over 2,000 high-level industry professionals
in one place, allowing networking, business and sales opportunities with key
industry buyers and infuencers from around the continent.
Conference & Exhibition
17–19 March 2014
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
Owned and Produced by: Host Utility:
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Exhibition Sales
Phone: +44 (0) 1992 656 671
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Phone: +44 (0) 1992 656 608
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opportunities contact:
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66 Power Engineering International November 2013
World Biomass Power Markets
3–5 February
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
VGB Conference – Maintenance in
Power Plants
19–20 February
Dresden, Germany
VGB Conference – Maintenance of
Wind Power Plants
19–20 February
Dresden, Germany
Wave & Tidal 2014
26–27 February
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4–6 March 2014
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4–6 March 2014
Moscow, Russian Federation
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10–13 March
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17–19 March 2014
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DistribuTECH Africa
17–19 March 2014
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25–28 March
Beijing, PR China Visit
for more information
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22–25 April
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22–25 April
DistribuTECH India
5–7 May
New Delhi, India
HydroVision India
5–7 May
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POWER-GEN India & Central Asia
5–7 May
New Delhi, India
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5–7 May
New Delhi, India
Eurelectric Annual Convention
2–3 June
London, UK
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3–6 June
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3–5 June
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3–5 June
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Global Energy 2013
3–5 December
Geneva, Switzerland
ASME 2013 Gas Turbine India
5–6 December
Bangalore, India
2nd International Conference on
Power Science and Engineering
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8–12 January
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14–16 January
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20–22 January
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DistribuTECH Conference &
28–30 January
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1311PEI_66 66 10/30/13 4:17 PM
Covering every aspect of the power generation industry, POWER-GEN International, NUCLEAR POWER International, Renewable Energy
World Conference & Expo North America and POWER-GEN International Financial Forum converge in 2014 to form Power Generation
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Project Update
68 Power Engineering International November 2013
CapWa project ready
for the next stage
The CapWa project,
which offers great
potential for coal-
fred power plants, is
at a stage where it
can be tested for entry to the market on a
commercial basis.
Ludwin Daal, project manager and
consultant with Netherlands-based global
energy consultancy DNV Kema, told PEi that
the partners behind CapWa – which stands
for Capture of Evaporated Water – are excited
about building on the work done so far.
“We are looking forward to working with an
international system integrator willing to invest
in this technology and bring it to market.”
The project aims to realize the production
of membrane modules which are capable of
selectively removing evaporated water from
industrial applications.
The water capture technology has
implications for energy savings for coal-
fred power plants, and also has particular
resonance for such facilities where there are
plentiful coal supplies but not enough water,
as in China.
There is also great advantage to the
technology for fossil-fuel power plants where
there is water scarcity in general, a point
that will become more relevant as greater
pressure grows on the world’s water resources
in the decades to come, due in large part to
increased urbanization.
“The data we measured reaffrmed what
we fnd in the lab,” said Daal. “It has been
demonstrated in practice at similar levels and
it shows some conficts in the work we have
done, but also it shows us more than enough
to have the confdence to continue to the
next stage.
“That stage is to bring it to proven
status as a technology, which means we
need to conduct two to three commercial
demonstrations on site, and we are looking for
system integrators to help achieve that.”
The technology is versatile and is
not aimed uniquely at the power sector.
One of the biggest benefciaries is likely
to be the global paper and board
manufacturing sector.
“The energy savings are the main factor.
The chairman of the European Paper Industry
said that, based on conservative energy
savings we have made for the paper sector,
we can use the technology to mean €1
billion a year in energy savings alone. You see
a clear driver here. It’s also a new source of
water, which makes it interesting for particular
world regions.”
While the technology pays for itself within
two years for the paper trade, Daal says it
would take longer for the coal power sector,
anywhere from three to 12 years, but there
are other compelling reasons to get in on the
action early.
“For the coal powered sector it is not
compelling enough, at least at the present
time, but is at least compelling enough to
warrant a further demonstration.
“There are places in the world where water
is so scarce that there are policies in place
to address the dilemma of water and energy
and we are talking with a partner in South
Africa to see if this will be a solution for them.”
“It is also a particular issue in China –
there are major water shortages and the
percentage of coal fred power plants in really
water-stressed areas is I believe as high as
30 per cent.
“It’s been confrmed by at least one coal
power plant operator that because of the
conditions the plant is only operating two
months a year because of water shortage.”
The13-strong international consortium that
is behind CapWa is now tasked with realising
the next step, something Daal acknowledges
is diffcult to accomplish in recession-hit
Europe at the present time.
Pilot schemes such as in the Water Research
Center in Georgia, US are giving the project
serious consideration, but ultimately what
Daal and colleagues are seeking is an entity
large enough to fully realise a technology that
has been ffteen years in development.
“For this next stage you need to do this
with a large enterprise, one that can storm
the market afterwards. It has to be capable of
implementing a technology at this stage, so
as to convince a partner like Membrana to
manufacture the membranes.
“Also, in terms of the power industry, we
need to ensure the partner we team up with
is going to be there for a while and has the
capability to supply the sales and after sales
that are necessary for potential to be realised.”

E.ON opens wind farm off Swedish island
E.ON has offcially
opened the
€120m ($162m)
Karehamn offshore
wind farm near
the Swedish island
of Oland in the
Baltic Sea.
The wind farm
was connected to
the grid a few weeks ago following 19 months
of construction.
Karehamn has a capacity of 48 MW and
operates 16 Vestas V112 turbines, each with a
capacity of 3 MW.
The wind farm was built using the MPI
Discovery, an ultra-modern installation vessel
which E.ON had commissioned especially
for its offshore wind farms and has exclusively
chartered for the next six years.
It has six jack-up legs which lift the whole
140-metre long and 40-metre wide vessel
out of the water to provide a stable platform
from which foundations and wind turbines
can be effciently and safely installed even in
rough seas.
The wind farm was offcially opened in the
presence of Swedish energy minister Anna-
Karin Hatt (pictured left). It will supply over
50,000 Swedish homes with electricity.
1311PEI_68 68 10/30/13 4:17 PM
Project Update 69 Power Engineering International November 2013
SSE on track with
€331m CCGT
plant in Ireland
British utility SSE has said it is on track with
construction of a €331m combined cycle gas
turbine power plant in Ireland.
Building of the power station marks the
biggest infrastructure project currently being
built in the country.
The Great Island power plant in County
Wexford is set to go operational late next year
and will be able to power the equivalent of
half a million homes.
As part of the project, SSE is spending
€43m on delivering a 41 km industrial-grade
gas pipeline from Bawnlusk, County Kilkenny,
through Gaslink and Bord Gais Networks
into the heart of southeast Ireland, which
currently has no access to such strategic
gas infrastructure.
SSE – which is the third largest generation
capacity owner in Ireland, with 1568 MW in
operation including 500 MW of wind farm
capacity – says that “while this gas pipeline will
be used to fuel the CCGT power station, it has
been purposely over-sized to accommodate
regional development in the future”.
Peter Gavican, SSE’s project manager for
Great Island, said the plant “will be a critical
component to attracting future inward
investment into the region”.
“For the frst time businesses and large
industrials in south Wexford will have access
to an industrial-grade natural gas network,” he
“This will help accommodate further
regional development and provide access
by businesses and larger manufacturing
industrials to a cleaner, more convenient and
more economic fuel source.
“Most importantly it will signifcantly
improve the attractiveness of the region for
inward investment by larger manufacturers
and multinationals.”
for more information

Areva delivers reactor vessel to
Flamanville nuclear plant
Areva has delivered the reactor vessel to EDF’s
new nuclear plant at Flamanville in France.
It is hoped that the delivery will add impetus
to work at the plant, which has been dogged
by delays and is now due to go online in 2016,
four years later than frst planned.
Areva said in a statement that the
delivery “marks the ramp-up of operations
in the nuclear island and acceleration
of electromechanical installation work at
the site”.
The vessel will be installed inside the
reactor building over the coming months. The
dome installation was carried out in July and
Areva says the civil engineering work for the
EPR site is now 95 per cent complete.
The reactor vessel was built in Areva’s Saint
Marcel facility and was then transported by
sea to the port of Diélette on the northwest
coast of France before being transferred to the
nuclear power plant site.
Claude Jaouen, senior executive
vice president of AREVA Reactors &
Services, said: “The arrival of the vessel at
Flamanville represents a key step forward for
this project.”
1311PEI_69 69 10/30/13 4:17 PM
70 Power Engineering International November 2013
Project Update

Tekmar completes
Meerwind cable
Cable protection company Tekmar Energy has
successfully completed work on an 80-turbine
wind farm in the German North Sea.
The company has supplied bespoke
coverings for the inter-array cables designed
by JDR for the 288 MW Meerwind project,
which is operated by WindMW. Construction
work on the wind farm started in 2012 and is
expected to be completed by end 2013.
Tekmar’s job is to protect the inter-array
cables from exposure to loads, deformations
and fatigue during installation and across the
wind farm’s service life.
The company’s chief executive James
Ritchie said: “Being awarded the contract
for such high-profle international work has
represented a great achievement for us. Our
Teklink protection system will support this
important project throughout its working life
and enable it to beneft the region for many
years to come.”
Tekmar worked with international
submarine power cables installation
contractor VSMC. Up to four cables – including
eight of Tekmar’s cable protection systems –
were installed per day.
Over the past fve years Tekmar,
headquartered in northeast England, has
installed more than 2000 cable protection
systems and has a further 1000 in design or
manufacture for 26 wind farms across Europe.
Tekmar’s Teklink cable protection system
does not require a j-tube and utilises a remote
installation method. This, says the company,
provides enhanced cable life and resilience –
reducing the risk of damage and requirement
for maintenance.

Berger/Cummins delivers fast-track 30 MW
power plant to US base in Afghanistan
A 30 MW power plant has been mobilized in
just 55 days at a US Army airfeld in Afghanistan.
Located 25 miles north of Kabul, Bagram
Airfeld is one of the largest military bases
in Afghanistan, equivalent to a town of
40 000. It supports US and international military
personnel, civilian employees and contractors.
Its two runways support commercial, cargo
and military fights ranging from Predator
drones and fghter jets to 747s.
The airfeld is powered by an existing
government-owned gas turbine plant but
this suffered frequent power shortages. To
fx this the US Army Corps of Engineers hired
Berger/Cummins, a joint venture between
The Louis Berger Group and Cummins Power
Generation, to supply a supplementary
leased plant.
Berger/Cummins repositioned power
generation and supporting electrical
equipment from three different sites within
Afghanistan while airlifting other essential
material from Dubai directly into Bagram.
The installation team worked around the
clock to fnish the electrical installation to meet
the September 26 deadline. Berger/Cummins
will operate and maintain the power plant for
up to 18 months.

Alstom wins turbine
deal for biomass plant
Alstom is to design and supply an 18 MW
geared reaction steam turbine for a biomass
plant being built in Northern Ireland.
The wood-fuelled biomass plant will be built
in Lisahally by Danish power plant specialist
Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor
and is expected to become operational
in 2015. It is part-funded by the UK government’s
Green Investment Bank and Danish EKF
(Export Credit Agency).
Alstom will design and make the turbine at
its factories in the UK, Hungary and Poland.
Alstom said the GRT turbine is pre-
assembled in the factory before shipment
and requires a simple foundation to which it
is easy to anchor the steam turbine generator
package, “saving money on installation and
commissioning times”.

Meggitt Sensing offers
shock therapy
Meggitt Sensing Systems has launched the
Endevco model 727, an extremely lightweight
piezoresistive accelerometer designed for
accurate shock measurement.
Available in four ranges (2,000 g, 6,000 g,
20,000 g and 60,000 g), the model 727 can
measure shocks in g ranges well above current
drop test sensors, according to Meggitt.
The Endevco model 727 has been tested
and rated to survive shocks up to 1.5 times
its range. At only 0.3 g for the accelerometer
body and 3.6 g per metre for the integral
3-metre cable, mass loading to the test
object is minimal and its 0.7-cm diameter,
anodized aluminum package is designed for
adhesive mounting.
The Endevco model 42894 removal tool
is included with each unit. Recommended
signal conditioning for use with the model
727 includes the model 126 three-channel DC
bridge amplifer, the model 136 three-channel
signal conditioner and the model 436 DC
differential voltage amplifer.
1311PEI_70 70 10/30/13 4:17 PM 71 Power Engineering International November 2013
Technology Update

Winergy’s HybridDrive
installed in turbine
German wind turbine drive train component
manufacturer Winergy has seen its 3 MW
HybridDrive installed in a W2E wind turbine in
Kankel near Rostock.
The installation follows prototype testing of
the HybridDrive and successful certifcation of
the components.
The HybridDrive combines a two-stage
planetary gearbox and a permanent magnet
generator into an integrated drive train. This,
says the company, results in a length reduction
of 35-50 per cent for the complete drive train.
The current 3 MW version of the HybridDrive
has a nominal torque of 2550 kNm with a
weight of 34t, including oil supply system.
Therefore, says Winergy, the HybridDrive is
“considerably lighter in comparison to other
drive train concepts in the 3 MW class”.

Sulzer launches new
version of AHLSTAR
process pump
Sulzer Pumps has launched a new version
of its AHLSTAR end suction single stage close
coupled process pump series which it claims
will boost reliability and performance and offer
low life cycle costs and a lighter environmental
footprint. The new pump series was developed
for demanding pumping applications in a
variety of industries including oil and gas,
hydrocarbon processing, power generation
and wastewater.
AHLSTAR’s close coupled process pumps
are designed to pump a wide range of liquids,
including clean and slightly contaminated
liquids, viscous liquids, fbrous slurries, non-
fbrous slurries and liquids containing large
solids. Even liquids with high gas content of up
to 70 per cent can be handled.
The pump is equipped with a selection of
Sulzer EnerSave impellers according to types
of pumped liquid and applications. Designed
with a patented Rotokey impeller mounting
and an externally adjustable side plate fxing,
it enables easy and quick assembly and
dismantling. Patented balancing holes in the
impeller guarantee the right fow and pressure
condition in the whole shaft seal area.
Sulzer WaterLess shaft seal options with
dynamic seals provide easy assembly
and maintenance while reducing
lifecycle cost.
For more information, enter 27 at
1311PEI_71 71 10/30/13 4:17 PM
72 Power Engineering International November 2013
Technology Update
72 Power Engineering International November 2013
Ad Index
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FG Wilson launches a new genset range
FG Wilson has unveiled a new range of
generator sets. The company said the 24-110
kVA range of gensets has been redesigned
to provide “a more competitive offering that
includes an enhanced choice of key options,
while continuing to deliver a reliable and fuel-
effcient performance”.
FG Wilson said that “a stand-out feature of
the new range is the introduction of the CAL
enclosure, a new more competitive option
which offers a high quality enclosure with
excellent sound attenuation and protection
for a diverse range of applications”.
Launching the new product range, Tony
McAllister, FG Wilson general manager,
said, “The enhanced choice of options
available with the 24-110 kVA range ensure its
suitability for a diverse range of applications
and environments.”
The range is available in non-emissions,
optimised (EU stage II) and EU stage IIIa
emissions compliant varieties.
The launch follows a recent announcement
by Caterpillar of strategic plans to position
FG Wilson as “the volume brand” within its
electrical power division for all diesel and gas
generator sets from 5.5-750 kVA.
1311PEI_72 72 10/30/13 4:17 PM
The POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe
conference and exhibition returns to Cologne in June 2014
The combined events feature a comprehensive exhibition foor
made up of suppliers, sub-suppliers and service providers across
the entire power generation value chain. The accompanying
multi-track conferences set the agenda for strategic thinking and
technical innovation in the sector, making them unmissable events
for the dedicated power industry professional.
With the sector continuing to undergo complex and far reaching
change, the 2014 events stage under the theme of ‘Navigating the
Power Transition.’
Delivering economic, clean and reliable energy remains the
defning challenge for the power industry. The European power
sector, led by Germany’s transition to a low carbon future, faces
increasing pressure to deliver on this. Finding workable solutions
and implementing technological innovations are topics dominating
debate among energy experts.
Power professionals attending POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable
Energy World Europe have the task of mapping out the route
through the power transition maze. High level speakers and global
technology leaders will point the way to a cleaner, more secure and
affordable power future.
Make it your business to be in Cologne and be part of navigating
the power transition in 2014.
For further information on participating at POWER-GEN
Europe or Renewable Energy World Europe please visit
the relevant events sites: or
Owned and Produced by: Presented by: Supported by:
Gilbert Weir Jnr.
T: +44 (0) 1992 656 617
Tom Marler
T: +44 (0) 1992 656 608
For more information, enter 28 at
1311PEI_C3 3 10/30/13 4:04 PM
For more information, enter 29 at
Your Partner...
...For Power
Aggreko International
P.O.Box 17576, Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 808 6200
Fax: +971 4 883 1589
Operating from over 148 locations world wide, Aggreko is the world leader
in providing interim power plants.
We offer complete turn-key project management including equipment,
installation, maintenance and operation by highly experienced engineers
to ensure reliable and flexible power.
Whether you need a few megawatts of power for a remote mine site or a
few hundred megawatts of baseload power to support the national grid,
Aggreko delivers the power solution that is right for you, wherever and
whenever you need it.
Tel: +27 11 357 8900
Fax: +27 86 604 5055
Tel: +33 1 6973 2334
Fax: +33 1 6016 5355
Tel: +1 281 848 1400
Fax: +1 281 848 1399
Tel: +55 21 3043 9500
Fax: +55 21 3734 1928
Tel: +65 6862 1501
Fax: +65 6862 0182
Tel: +61 3 9586 5000
Fax: +61 3 9586 5001
1311PEI_C4 4 10/30/13 4:04 PM

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