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Distributed Solar Generation

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contents POWER GENERATION TIPS TO CUT INDUSTRIAL 06SIX AND COMMERCIAL ENERGY COSTS

Six tips to cut industrial and commercial energy costs will be presented. By Fluke Corporation

RENEWABLE ENERGY

08SHIFT IN THE WORLD’S ENERGY MIX

Major solar orders in India, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas highlight the vast potential being unlocked by one of the industry’s most comprehensive offerings. By Alex Levran, ABB

ENERGY EFFICIENCY HOW PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS TOOLS 10 UNDERSTANDING BENEFIT POWER UTILITY ASSET MANAGEMENT

New predictive asset analytics tools allow utility personnel to address many problems pertaining to power utility asset management issues before they become problems. A review will be given on how these tools can be applied to both utility operations and maintenance. By Mike Reed, Schneider Electric

REMOTE MONITORING SOLUTION FOR 13 INTELLIGENT DISTRIBUTED SOLAR GENERATION

Ensuring the proper integration of distributed photovoltaic systems to offset peak electricity demand and stabilise the local grid is a viable option for many governments in their bid to develop a more robust energy infrastructure. By Eileen Soh, Advantech

06

POWER QUALITY EVALUATION OF MODERN 15 ASSESING BUILDING ELECTRICITY SYSTEM

A simple method will be proposed to evaluate the worst case harmonic content of the electricity system with more than one harmonic source. By Mo Wei, Fuji Electric

OIL & GAS AND NIMBLE SERVICE PROVIDERS KEY TO OIL 17EFFICIENT INDUSTRY’S SUCCESS IN THE LOW COST ENVIRONMENT

The Oil & Gas sector is undergoing much change in recent years. Service providers that are efficient and nimble is seen as a key factor to the oil industry’s success in a low cost environment. By Ravi Krishnaswamy, Frost & Sullivan

19LEVERAGING THE SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL

Invented in the 19th century, fuel cells first found a significant application when NASA required a new power source for the space program in the 1960s. Since then, the technology has slowly found niches in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. By Omega Engineering

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editor’s page A Premium Product Of Industrial Automation Asia

Developing A Comprehensive

Energy Policy

Distributed Solar Generation

Power Quality Assessment

The World’s Shifting Energy Mix

energy guide www.iaasiaonline.com

The energy policy of many governments and organisations is changing to be more inline with renewable energy goals. This process is accelerating primarily because of a lowering in cost needed to acquire the equipment and build the infrastructure. The result is better cost savings in the long run due to huge energy efficiency gains and more sustainable practices. In the case of government savings, within ASEAN about US$43 billion exist in savings due to improved energy efficiency alone, if member countries adopt a technology intense strategy to drive this efficiency. In Thailand’s case, more than US$1 billion could be saved in the commercial and industrial sectors. Another consideration is economic growth, which is vital for many countries in the ASEAN region, the majority of which are seeing significant growth in recent years. To fuel this growth there needs to be sufficient energy supply, some of which can be supplied from renewables, but more traditional energy sources need to be utilised as well to meet growing energy demands. One such traditional energy source comes from the oil and gas industry, which many countries in the ASEAN region produce. While gas production is growing, some countries that have traditionally exported oil are now becoming importers to meet a rising internal demand. It is also apparent that some ASEAN countries are attempting to broaden their energy mix with their usage of coal and natural gas, as well as oil and renewable sources. In Singapore’s case, despite its limited landspace and with no major river systems or geothermal sources, the city-state has managed to develop its local renewable market by tapping on the roof of buildings for solar energy and by recycling its resources. At the International Green Building Conference held recently in Singapore, Dr Thomas Reindl, deputy CEO of the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, commented that Singapore and other countries in the tropical belt receive the equivalent of one barrel of oil per square metre of solar energy per year. In a short space of time Singapore has managed to grow its solar industry from less than 10 active solar companies in 2007 to close to 50 today, making itself a solar hub for Asia Pacific. Mr Reindl also noted that solar energy may potentially destabilise the power grid as it is intermittent in nature. However, much work has to be done on smart grid implementation and ensuring that the power from various sources are feed into the grid and used appropriately. Issues like this and the wider energy market will be discussed throughout this Energy Guide. Do reach out to us with any questions regarding the topics presented in this guide or the wider industrial automation market in Southeast Asia.

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Key To Oil Industry Success In A Low Cost Environment pg 17

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The Energy Opportunity

Bob Gill,

General Manager, Southeast Asia ARC Advisory Group

With a number of megatrends at work, the topic of energy is highly relevant to Southeast Asia. The current population of 633 million will expand to reach 745 million in 2035. Economic growth will push many more people into the middle class and shift spending to cars, travel and all manner of consumer items. Many will be moving to cities, as the urbanisation trend takes hold. And the region will see increasing industrialisation, as more manufacturing plants are set up to satisfy the growing consumer demand. This combination of population growth, consumption growth, urbanisation, and industrialisation signifies greater demand for — yes, you guessed it — energy. And this hunger for energy will fuel activities across the lifecycle: coal mining; oil & gas exploration and production; refining and LNG; power generation, transmission and distribution. And importantly, these industries will look to automation and control technology to help ensure efficient, profitable, safe, and secure operations.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a prime example of the opportunities for energy related industries and their suppliers, ticking as it does all the right boxes for population, consumption, urbanisation, and industrialisation. While the country is home to significant oil reserves, previous lacklustre investment means it can only fulfil half of daily oil demand through domestic production; the rest has to be imported. Similarly, downstream, the inability to expand oil refinery capacity given the backdrop of rising demand makes Indonesia a net importer of refined products. And as for power generation, the wholly inadequate capacity of 50 GW (China has 1,200 GW) equates to frequent blackouts in some areas and even zero supply in others. President Joko Widodo’s administration is anxious to transform the energy supply/ demand deficit and a number of projects have been announced or are in the pipeline. Examples include upgrades to the tune of US$25 billion over the next

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10 years to boost production at five existing oil refineries, and an ambitious initiative to boost power generation capacity by 35 GW by 2019, at a cost of US$86 billion. These are big numbers. Southeast Asia is a disparate region, and energy opportunities accordingly exist in different forms in different places. Singapore, for example, an advanced economy with a tiny population, 100 percent electrification, and no natural resources in terms of oil, gas, or coal, is spending billions on LNG terminals and continues to seek leadership in the areas of energy efficiency, clean energy, and the smart grid. ARC Advisory Group forecasts the energy sector in Southeast Asia to be a lucrative playing field for automation technology suppliers over the next decade — and beyond. Expect, of course, inevitable impacts from the dynamics of the global economy, but the long-term trend is intact and the energy opportunity is there.

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Power Generation

Robert Linder, Springfield, MO, at

Six Tips To Cut Industrial And Commercial Energy Costs Six tips to cut industrial and commercial energy costs will be presented. Contributed by Fluke (SEA)

E

nergy losses are common in commercial buildings and industrial facilities. While there can be a number of culprits, such as air leaks or systems running inefficiently, many energy losses can be detected through inspection with thermal imaging. Identifying and fixing these problems requires the right equipment — such as an advanced thermal imager, which identifies infrared hot and cold spots — and the proper training to understand where to look. The top six sources of energy losses in commercial buildings and industrial facilities will now be presented, and how to identify cost saving opportunities. The Tools Of Choice For Industrial, Commercial And Building Professionals Fluke thermal imagers are designed to help you maximise project efficiency and insight, for your maintenance, inspection and troubleshooting tasks. 1. Building Envelopes The building envelope includes a facility’s structure as well as the climate controls within. The envelope separates the outside environment from the inside, and it is frequently imperfect. What To Scan • Roofs: In addition to looking for moisture issues, scan the roof surface and follow thermal differences to identify possible air leak entry and exit points. • Walls between conditioned and unconditioned spaces, including outside walls. Significant air leaks tend to occur at the top and bottom of conditioned spaces, where air can enter or escape a structure.

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Penetrations of the building envelope (pipes, conduits, chimneys, and so on). Uninsulated or unsealed gaps often exist around roof and wall penetrations. Door and window frames and seals. Locate air leaks around windows, doors and casings caused by worn or missing seals or improper insulation. Repairs are often as simple as caulking or weather stripping.

2. Boilers The heart of steam and hot water heating systems, boilers consume and often waste a significant amount of energy. What To Scan • Refractory and insulation: In-service monitoring and inspection of refractory linings can be performed using thermal imagers. • Fan motors: Check for impeded airflow, electrical unbalance, overheated bearings and failing winding insulation. • Pumps: Look for hot bearings, leaking seals and motor faults. • Valves: Thermal imagers can identify blocked valves that are nominally open and leaking valves that are nominally closed. • Electrical connections: Look for loose or corroded connections that increase electrical resistance and contribute to I2R losses. 3. Motors And Generators Overheating and malfunctioning motors and generators typically indicate mechanical or electrical inefficiencies that contribute to energy waste and sometimes failure.


What to scan • Airflow: In fan-cooled motors, restricted airflow can cause overheating, which can manifest on the entire housing. • Electrical unbalance: Look for load imbalance and single phasing which can contribute to unexpected loss. • Bearings: Thermal imagers can reveal bearing housings with abnormally high temperatures. • Winding Insulation: Look for higher than normal housing temperatures in areas associated with windings. • Electrical connections: Look for loose or corroded connections that increase resistance and contribute to I2R losses. 4. Steam Heating Systems Steam systems are more common in industrial facilities than commercial settings, but some commercial buildings still use them for central heating. What to scan • Steam traps: Check traps for proper operation through complete cycle. • Radiator coils: Check for obvious steam leaks in radiators and at all visible pipe and joint connections. • Steam lines and valves: Look for leaks, blockages and blowby at valves that are supposed to be ‘closed.’ • Condensers: Look for outside air leakage, which reduces the condenser’s vacuum performance and energy efficiency.

What To Scan • Ductwork and registers: Check for duct leakage and improper/inadequate installation. • Fans and blowers: Thermal imagers can help identify overheated bearings and components, and

6. Electrical Systems Many people do not realise electrical systems can actually waste money. As components degrade and resistance increases, energy losses mount. What To Scan • Distribution panels: Check for unbalance in circuits and loose, corroded connections at breakers, contacts, fuse clips, buss work, and so on. • Transformers: If the temperature of one electrical leg on a transformer is significantly hotter than the others, that leg may be failing. • Lighting control circuits: Check all wiring splices and connections at fuses, switches, panels and fixtures.

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5. HVAC Systems Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are usually some of the biggest energy consumers within commercial and industrial facilities.

misalignment in couplings between the motor and fan. Electrical connections: Look for loose or corroded connections, which increase electrical resistance and reduce energy efficiency. Compressors and coils: If coils are blocked or cooling fins are clogged, improper airflow and heat exchange can take place, reducing system efficiency and component lifespan.

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7


Renewable Energy

Key Solar Wins Highlight A Shift In The World’s Energy Mix Major solar orders in India, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas highlight a new era in cheaper and more accessible solar energy deployment. By Alex Levran, senior VP, Head of Solar Industry Segment Initiative, ABB

A I

BB continues to benefit from accelerated growth in solar — driven primarily by a shift in the global energy mix. n its formative years solar was largely dependent on national renewable energy targets and subsidies to bring costs down the experience curve and create ‘grid parity’, where solar prices were competitive with traditional power generation. Now the market has matured and over the past five years the price of solar has declined by more than 70 percent — making it increasingly competitive without subsidies, even through 8

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a shale gas boom and historically low oil prices. During this time, global solar capacity increased tenfold, going from 15 GW in 2008 to over 170 GW at the end of 2014. ABB expects that global solar capacity could double again in the next few years. “Today we see unprecedented growth in many markets where ‘solar’ would not have been discussed even a year ago,” said Pekka Tiitinen, president of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. “It is happening in countries without government subsidies, and it is happening from residential and commercial rooftops to utility scale plants. It is clear that solar can now stand on its own two feet and that is leading to a significant shift in our power mix.” Mr Tiitinen added “ABB’s Next Level strategy is designed to capitalise on this shift in power, with opportunities for expansion into the many new solar markets opening up today and continued innovation in better technologies.” Investing In Solar Energy ABB has doubled the size of its solar inverter business in India in around five months. The company announced in March 2015 the milestone of 1 GW solar inverter capacity installed base. Today the company is the first in India to surpass 2 GW of solar inverter capacity installed base, which is around half of the nation’s total inverter capacity. In Honduras it installed an integrated power and automation solution for its largest solar plant, a 100 MW PV site near Nacome. This solution was delivered as pre-assembled and factory-tested modules to reduce installation time and integration risks, and includes an ABB Symphony Plus SCADA system that monitors and controls the plant’s production and ensures a codecompliant connection to Honduras’s national grid. The power conversion modules contain inverters, medium voltage switchgear and transformers — all the equipment necessary to convert and feed the generated power into the grid. Not every solar milestone happens on the utilityscale however and as solar matures, innovative new business models are also driving expansion. In Singapore the company is supplying more than 800 of its TRIO solar inverters to equip public housing flats with renewable energy. The solar installations will be leased to the Housing Development Board (HDB) at no upfront costs, and will generate around 2.4 GW hours of clean electricity — the equivalent of the monthly energy consumption of more than 6,400 homes. New Business Models Declining costs and innovative new business models are also creating a new generation of solar applications


Global solar capacity has gone from 15 GW in 2008 to over 170 GW at the end of 2014.

Over the past five years the price of solar has declined by more than 70 percent — making it increasingly competitive without subsidies, even through a shale gas boom and historically low oil prices. that allow businesses to generate their own electricity at a lower cost than they could buy from the grid while lowering environmental impact. Solar inverters and a plant management system were installed in a mini solar field for a Emirates Global Aluminum in Dubai, the UAE’s primary aluminum manufacturer. The field, which is the first of its kind in the UAE, generates enough power to meet daily electricity demand of the industrial site’s residential offices including its substantial air conditioning needs. And in Costa Rica, TRIO inverters are part of a solar solution being used for the first time on the rooftop

of the country’s iconic Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto football stadium. The system will meet 100 percent of the stadium’s energy needs during normal operations and the peak demand conditions of game day, and will generate around 400,000 kWh annually resulting in an expected annual savings of US$148,000 at current electricity prices. In the Philippines the company has been awarded an order to supply a 200 MW solar plant with a turnkey electrical balance of plant solution that includes integrated combiner boxes, inverters, medium voltage transformers and switchgear, and a high voltage transformer including all substation equipment. Such solutions allows solar plant operators to take a systems approach rather than purchasing and then integrating individual components. At the same time, the organisation can help ensure they are compliant with local grid regulations and tailored to each site’s unique challenges. In September 2015, it announced an order to supply some 5,000 of its PVmax combiner boxes for a new 231 MW plant in Japan’s Seouchi region — one of the country’s largest solar projects. The combiner boxes, which collect the power output of multiple strings of PV panels for connection to an inverter, were especially designed for the demanding conditions of a Japanese coastal community. They feature a unique resin coating which can last 20 years without repainting near with corrosive sea salt and their light weight speeds installation time and reduces construction cost. energy guide Supplement

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Energy Efficiency Understanding How

Predictive Analytics Tools Benefit Power Utility Asset Management New predictive asset analytics tools allow utility personnel to address many problems pertaining to power utility asset management issues before they become problems. A review will be given on how these tools can be applied to both utility operations and maintenance. By Mike Reed, Manager of Analytical Services for Avantis PRiSM at Schneider Electric

U

tilities today are looking for new ways to address an evolving energy marketplace. The pressures of government regulation, increased competition, and rising consumer demands are driving the need for improved reliability, efficiency, and safety. The upside of distributed generation growth and the diversification of power sources have unfortunately augmented the downside of loading issues, less switching flexibility and the potential for reverse power flow. In addition, an aging infrastructure and workforce is driving the need for asset renewal and knowledge capture. The amount of ‘big data’ available today is providing utilities with an opportunity to overcome some of these disruptive obstacles. Forward-looking utilities are beginning to invest in monitoring and predictive analytics tools that help to leverage this data. Navigant Research estimates that utilities will spend almost US$50 billion on asset management and grid monitoring technologies by 2023. Using predictive asset analytics software, utilities can improve equipment reliability and performance while avoiding potential failures. These tools also leverage power network data to prioritise maintenance and reduce operational and maintenance expenditures. Field Case: Equipment Failure Predictive asset analytics solutions provide early warning of equipment failure and abnormal operating conditions that may go unnoticed within the realm of traditional maintenance practices. For example, consider a 110MW steam model turbine with seven bearings (including generator bearings). According

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to the asset maintenance records, over one year this turbine demonstrated sporadic isolated issues, followed by an escalating condition that eventually resulted in the shutdown of the unit. The maintenance personnel identified turbine bearing vibrations and took corrective action. Upon completion of the maintenance, a similar cycle of sporadic issues began again, in addition to the introduction of new problems. This unit’s raw historical data was then analysed with an up-to-date predictive analytics tool. The results were significant. Had a predictive asset analytics solution


roduction

ld case: uipment ure

Understanding How Predictive Analytics Tools Benefit Power Utility Asset Management

Utilities today are looking for new ways to address an evolving energy marketplace. The pressures of government regulation, increased competition, and rising consumer demands are driving the need for improved reliability, efficiency, and safety. The upside of distributed generation growth and the diversification of power sources have unfortunately augmented the downside of loading issues, less switching flexibility and the potential for reverse power flow. In addition, an aging infrastructure and workforce is driving the need for asset renewal and knowledge capture. of “bigplant data” available today is providing utilitieshave with an opportunity to overcome beenTheinamount place, personnel would received early some of these disruptive obstacles. Forward-looking utilities are beginning to invest in warning that turbine thermal expansion issues were monitoring and predictive analytics tools that help to leverage this data. Navigant Research estimates that utilities will spend almost $50 billion on asset management and grid monitoring developing becoming over the year. Through technologies and by 2023. Using predictivechronic asset analytics software, utilities can improve equipment reliability and performance while avoiding potential failures. These tools also a modelling exercise, the tool was able to detect the leverage power network data to prioritize maintenance and reduce operational and expenditures. faultmaintenance patterns with early warnings six months prior to failure. The model showed that the bearing vibrations Predictive asset analytics solutions provide early warning of equipment failure and abnormal wereoperating a symptom while expansion issues were conditions that may go thermal unnoticed within the realm of traditional maintenance practices. For example, consider a 110MW steam model turbine with seven bearings the primary cause of the problem. (including generator bearings). According to the asset maintenance records, over one year this turbine demonstrated sporadic isolated issues, followed by an escalating condition that Proactive remedial maintenance would have eventually resulted in the shutdown of the unit. The maintenance personnel identified turbine bearing vibrations and took corrective action. Upon completion of the maintenance, a similar corrected the thermal expansion problem before it led cycle of sporadic issues began again, in addition to the introduction of new problems. to bearing vibration issues and the shutdown of the This unit’s raw historical data was then analyzed with an up-to-date predictive analytics tool unit.(inThe result would have significant savings this case, Schneider Electric’s Avantis been PRiSM® tool). The results were significant.in Had a predictive asset analytics solution been in place, plant personnel would have received early maintenance costs as well as additional generation sales warning that turbine thermal expansion issues were developing and becoming chronic over the year. Through a modeling exercise, the tool was able to detect the fault patterns with due to increased unit availability. Estimated savings in early warnings six months prior to failure. The model showed that the bearing vibrations were a symptom while thermal expansion issues were the primary cause of the problem. Proactive this case are in the millions of dollars — a result of 35 remedial maintenance would have corrected the thermal expansion problem before it led to vibrationdowntime issues and the shutdown of theand unit. The result would haverepair been significant daysbearing avoided offline associated savings in maintenance costs as well as additional generation sales due to increased unit availability. Estimated savings in this case are in the millions of dollars - a result of 35 days costs. 1

avoided downtime offline and associated repair costs.

re 1

alies indicate a on from the ated performance ior of the turbine

1

Navigant Research “Utility Spending on Asset Management and Grid Monitoring Technology Will Reach Nearly $50 Billion through 2023” (March 2014)

Schneider Electric WhiteaPaper Page 2 Figure 1: Anomalies indicate deviationRevision from the0 anticipated performance behaviour

of the turbine asset.

Figure 1 illustrates an overall model residual trend (which represents the total deviation from predicted operation of the asset), and shows how engineers would have identified the early problem with this particular turbine. Figure 1 highlights the deviations between predicted operation and actual performance, thereby providing an early warning. Additional Benefits Predictive asset analytics software allows for operations and maintenance personnel to be more proactive in their work. Instead of shutting down a section of the power plant immediately, a problematic situation can be assessed for more controlled outcomes. Loads can be shifted to reduce asset strain or the necessary maintenance can be scheduled during a planned outage. The software tools allow for better planning which in turn reduces maintenance costs. Parts can be ordered and shipped without the need for stressful rush and equipment can continue running while the problem is being addressed. Maintenance windows can be lengthened as determined by equipment condition and performance. Other benefits include increased asset

Navigant Research estimates that utilities will spend almost US$50 billion on asset management and grid monitoring technologies by 2023. utilisation and the ability to identify underperforming assets. Other savings can be realised when avoided costs such as loss of power, replacement equipment, lost productivity, and additional man hours are considered. The power of predictive analytics tools is that they transform raw data into easy-to-understand and actionable insights that result in improved availability, reliability and decision-making. Predictive analytics tools allow personnel to visualise actual and expected performance of an asset including detailed information on ambient conditions, unit loading, and operating modes. Operations personnel become knowledgeable regarding where inefficiencies exist and what the impact is on financial performance. They can gauge the future consequences of the actions and decisions they make in the present. Risk assessment becomes a more exact science and the potential behaviours of each monitored asset and can be used to better prioritise capital and operational expenditures. Knowledge capture is another benefit of the predictive analytics tools. In an environment where transitioning workforces are becoming more prevalent, knowledge capture ensures that maintenance decisions and processes are repeatable. Therefore, when experienced personnel leave the company, their years of accumulated knowledge remain available to incoming staff. The reliability and efficiency improvements that accrue through the use of predictive asset analytics software also result in increased customer satisfaction rates. Consumers can experience more reliable service with fewer outages because utilities have the insight needed to avoid potential equipment failure and forced outages. 1.

Maintenance Practices Listed below are various types of maintenance approaches currently practiced within power utilities. The levels of attained precision are dependent upon the nature of the tools deployed (see Figure 2).


a failure pattern that increases with use or age. This means that preventative maintenance alone is not enough to avoid failure in the other 82 percent of assets and a more advanced approach is required.”

2.

Reactive Maintenance Reactive Maintenance is the most basic strategy and allows an asset to run until failure. It is only appropriate for non-critical assets that have little Figure 2 maintenance are to no immediate impact on safety orLevels theof reliable often associated to the level generation of electricity. This approach may also of risk of both stand alone or consolidated assets be used for assets that have minimal repair or replacement costs and that do not warrant an investment in advanced technology.

3.

Preventative Maintenance Preventative Maintenance (PM) approaches are designed to ensure that an asset gets examined before it reaches the point of failure. The preventative maintenance strategy prescribes maintenance work to be conducted on a fixed time schedule or based on operational statistics and manufacturer / industry recommendations of good maintenance practice.

4.

Condition-Based Maintenance Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) focuses on the physical condition of equipment and how it is operating. CBM is ideal when a measurable parameter is a good indicator of impending problems. The condition must be definable using rule-based logic, where the rule does not change depending on loading, ambient or operational conditions.

Predictive Maintenance If a potential asset failure results in significant damage, then safety or power outage risk is high. In these cases, a more proactive maintenance approach is required. Predictive Maintenance (PdM) relies on the continuous monitoring of asset performance through sensor data and prediction engines to provide advanced warning of equipment problems and failures. PdM typically uses Advanced Pattern Recognition (APR) and requires a predictive analytics solution for real-time insights of equipment health. Predictive asset analytics solutions are a key part of a comprehensive maintenance program. According to research by ARC Advisory Group, only 18 percent of assets have a failure pattern that increases with use or age. This means that preventative maintenance alone is not enough to avoid failure in the other 82 percent of assets and a more advanced approach is required. Predictive analytics software compares historical operational signatures of each asset to real-time operating data for the purpose of detecting subtle changes in equipment behaviour. The software is able to identify changes well before the deviating variables

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failures. PdM typically uses Advanced Pattern Recognition (APR) and requires a pre dictive analytics solution for real-time insights of equipment health. Predictive asset analytics solutions are a key part of a comprehensive maintenance program. According to research by ARC Advisory Group, only 18 percent of assets have a failure 2 pattern that increases with use or age. This means that preventative maintenance alone is not enough to avoid failure in the other 82 percent of assets and a more advanced approach is required. Predictive analytics software compares historical operational signatures of each asset to real-time operating data for the purpose of detecting subtle changes in equipment behavior. The software is able to identify changes well before the deviating variables reach operational alarm levels, creating more time for analysis and corrective action.

Figure 2: Levels of maintenance are often associated to the level of risk of both 2 Ralph Rio “Proactive Asset Management with IIoT and Analytics” (January 2015) ARC standalone or consolidated assets. Advisory Group Schneider Electric White Paper

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reach operational alarm levels, creating more time for analysis and corrective action. Reliability-Centered Maintenance All of the aforementioned maintenance approaches create the foundation for Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM). RCM is a comprehensive prognostic strategy focused on outcomes and is the process utilised for determining what should be done to ensure that an asset operates the way the user intended. RCM is the capstone of a fully integrated maintenance program and cannot be sufficiently deployed without a repeatable process for the foundational maintenance practices, which includes using a predictive analytics solution in support of predictive maintenance. Transforming Maintenance Strategies Predictive asset analytics solutions help grid operators, systems engineers, controllers, and many other plant personnel to take advantage of the massive amounts of data available today and use it to make real-time decisions that have a significantly positive impact on reliability and performance. Advanced pattern recognition software helps personnel work more effectively by providing early warning notification and allowing more lead time to plan necessary maintenance, ultimately avoiding potential equipment failure and improving performance. Power generation and delivery utilities can transform their maintenance strategies by leveraging data and predictive asset analytics solutions to spend less time looking for potential issues and more time taking actions to gain the greatest return on every single asset. New predictive asset analytics software tools can allow power utilities to monitor critical assets for the purpose of identifying, diagnosing and prioritising impending equipment problems — continuously and in real time.


Energy Efficiency

Intelligent Remote Monitoring Solution For Distributed Solar Generation

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n order to lower the use of fossil fuel consumption and improve the quality of the environment, a number of governments have issued a series of policies to encourage the use of distributed photovoltaic systems as one of the options to offset peak electricity demand and stabilise the local grid. In comparison to traditional electric power systems, distributed solar generation is a relatively small system that can be mounted on residential and commercial rooftops or ground racks to produce electricity at or near the site where it is used. Along with its installation, its growth, data collection integrity, operational stability, convenience of maintenance and inspection are the main concerns for power grid management. Advantech’s intelligent remote monitoring solution realises unified scientific management by leveraging front-end data acquisition and back-end data analysis as well as providing features to ensure reliable and stable operation. A solar technology company that specialises in the integration and operation of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems constructs rooftop power photovoltaic generation projects for domestic and industrial applications.

Joe Zlomek, Pottstown, PA, at

Ensuring the proper integration of distributed photovoltaic systems to offset peak electricity demand and stabilise the local grid is a viable option for many governments in their bid to develop a more robust energy infrastructure. Contributed by Eileen Soh, marketing executive, Advantech (Singapore)

Solar Power Station Management A project in Beijing with more than 10 photovoltaic power stations installed throughout the city, was seeking a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) solution which could not only quickly gather data but also offer a centralised supervision model to manage numerous solar power stations. A prerequisite of the system was convenience, fast access and control of the database. The new system also had to support many communication protocols to communicate with various automation devices, synchronous data storage replication to protect critical data, visual data display to understand information quickly and easily, an open platform for further development and flexible expansion. For the related hardware products, they must offer a variety of I/O ports, low power consumption, wide temperature range, and ease of installation and maintenance so as to meet the client’s requirements. Based on the company’s WebAccess (web browserbased SCADA software), the Solar Power Management System (SPMS) which is specifically designed for solar applications helps users to implement an efficient management platform with remote monitoring and


In comparison to traditional electric power systems, distributed solar generation is a relatively small system that can be mounted on residential and commercial rooftops or ground racks to produce electricity at or near the site where it is used.

control abilities. By using a standard web browser, users can remotely view, control and configure the system over an intranet or the internet. Through multiple built-in drivers, SPMS is able to communicate with different types of devices at the bottom layer such as photovoltaic array, electric meter, inverter, thermometer and meteorological module so that on-site data can be delivered to the control centre in real time. In addition to providing animated graphical displays, instant data, trends, alarms, logs and reports, its web Geographic Information Systems (GIS) service enables users to query spatial data through a user friendly interface. Since WebAccess is a platform which supports a wide range of open sources devices, users or developers can add additional features to satisfy specific application needs. Having a database backup mechanism also ensures customers can establish a redundant management system at very high quality and very low latency. In terms of hardware, the company provided an Ethernet I/O Module to collect meteorological parameters and an automation computer as a data acquisition controller to transfer 14

energy guide Supplement

information to the server via an unmanaged industrial Ethernet switch. By pre-installing WebAccess and pre-configure a Windows Operating System and Internet Information Services (IIS) environment, the plug and play automation computer allowed users to effortlessly build a SCADA system without worrying about compatibility and interoperability problems. Local storage on the main system can guarantee data accuracy and completeness when disconnecting it. With the multiple I/O interfaces and expansion options, users can integrate versatile peripheral devices for difference purposes. The low power consumption, fanless design, spindle-free storage, wide operating temperature environment and IP40 ingress protection also ensure that it is a durable and reliable automation computer. Establishing An Automated Monitoring System Although the installation of distributed solar generation is much smaller than a concentrated solar farm, it still requires a comprehensive and automated system to monitor widely scattered power stations to enhance management performance. By using a browser / server structure and open management framework, the company’s solution, solar-dedicated system (SPMS) and industrial computer bundled with WebAccess, is a remotely centralised management system with easy maintenance and expansion, thereby delivering maximum efficiency and simplicity and saving users’ management time and resources.


Energy Efficiency

A simple method will be proposed to evaluate the worst case harmonic content of an electricity system with more than one harmonic source. By Mo Wei, assistant manager, Fuji Electric (Asia Pacific)

E

lectrical equipment with switching mode power by these devices. The generated harmonic contents, which supply are becoming more common for daily life. have multiple order frequency over the fundamental, Roof-top small PV inverter, LED/Fluorescent light will distort the electricity voltage and current sinusoidal with power electronic driver, phone battery charger, AC/ waveform. As an inevitable consequence, the power DC power conversion devices such as Variable Speed Drive quality of the electrical system would be affected by using (VSD) used for building ventilation and air-conditioning these power electronics based devices. system, IT loads with switching mode power supply, The resultant harmonics therefore would have an static uninterruptible power supply system and so on, impacts on the whole electrical system from power source are all semiconductor switching based power conversion to individual loads. Due to the harmonic distortion, the equipments. Root Mean Square (RMS) value of the input voltage and The major advantage for these transformerless power current might be increased, as such, overloading the supplies is the energy saving. Thanks to the modern source and shortening its lifespan. power electronics technology, which achieves 95 percent Similar effects will go to transmission and distribution Power and Quality of Modern Building Electricity System above efficiency for a standard power converter. networks. The power transformers, transmission cables, protective circuit breakers and fuses need to be oversized IntroductionFurthermore, the output of these switching mode power supplies can be easily adjustable through programming in order to withstand the resistive heat generated. Along with technology innovations, electrical equipmentdevices, with switching control of semiconductor switching which mode power supply Subsequently, the size and cost of the whole system becomes more significantly and more common for daily Roof-top small PV inverter, LED/Florescent improves thelife. energy utilisation efficiency increases. With the aim of minimising the system losses light with power electronictodriver, phone battery charger, AC/DC poweras conversion devices compared a conventional power supply system, the and optimising the system design, the level of system such as Variable Driverunning (VSD) used building ventilation and air-conditioning laterSpeed is always at fullforload. harmonics needs to be carefully estimated. system, IT loads with switching mode power supply, static uninterruptible power supply system etc., are all semiconductor switching based power conversion equipments. The major ‘Side Effect’ Of Power Electronic Devices Harmonic Estimation advantage for these transformerless power supplies is the energy saving. Thanks for the Despite the energy savings, there are some drawbacks For the past 20 years, there have been lots of publications modern power electronics technology, which achieves 95% and above efficiency for standard about the power electronic based switching mode power that discuss harmonic estimation methods, such as power converter. Furthermore, the output of these switching mode power supplies can be supply. One of them would be the harmonics generated Sidrach-de-Cardona and Carretero ‘Analysis of the current easily adjustable through programming control of semiconductor switching devices, which total harmonic distortion for different single-phase significantly improves the energy utilization efficiency compare to conventional power inverters for grid-connected PV-systems,’ Grady and power converter used for variable speed drive. supply system,Typical as theAC/DC/AC later always runningtopology at full load. Mansoor ‘Estimating the net harmonic currents produced by selected distributed single-phase loads: computers, televisions, and incandescent light dimmers,” Sabin and Brooks ‘Indices for assessing harmonic distortion from SC SA SB vac power quality measurements: definitions and benchmark Vdc data’. Until now, there is no simple straightforward method SA' SC' SB' to estimate a system’s total harmonics with various ic ia ib harmonic sources. Starting from harmonic basics, a Three-Phase DC/AC Inverter AC/DC Rectifier simple method will be proposed to evaluate the worst Fig.1: Typical AC/DC/AC power converter topology used for variable speed drive

“Side Effect” of Power Electronic Devices

Rafael Rigues, São Paulo, São Paulo, gi

Power Quality Of A Modern Building Electricity System


1 2

√∑ √∑

(1)

(2)

(2): Individual equipment harmonic emission can be directly read from manufacture datasheet or its own calculation tool. An example of Fuji Electric harmonic estimation tool for variable speed drives is shown below: Individual equipment harmonic emission can be Harmonic Emission Standards and Regulations directly read from a manufacturer’s datasheet or its f

Kenneth De Buck, Lovendegem, Oost-Vlaanderen, uz

There are lots of publications discuss about harmonics estimation methods since 20 years ago, such as Shdrach-de-Cardona and Carretero “Analysis of the current total harmonic distortion for different single-phase inverters for grid-connected PV-systems”, Grady and Mansoor “Estimating the net harmonic currents produced by selected distributed single-phase loads: computers, televisions, and incandescent light dimmers”, Sabin and Brooks “Indices for assessing harmonic distortion from power quality measurements: definitions and benchmark data”. Until now, there is no simple straight forward method to estimate the system total case harmonics harmonicwith content of the electricity system withfrom harmonic basics, this paper proposes various harmonic sources. Starting morea than one harmonic source.the The fundamental Totalcontent of the electricity system with simple method to evaluate worst case harmonic Harmonic current Distortion (THD) and RMS value of more than one harmonic source. The fundamental total harmonic current distortion and RMS totalvalue current expressed be seen in equation (1) (2): and of total current can expressed in equation (1) and

own calculation tool. IEC 61000-3-12 standards define the harmonic currents produced by equipment connected to public low-voltage systems. The maximum allowable percentage of individual harmonic According to equation (1), the THD of the whole order extracted from IEC 61000-3-12 is shown in Table 1: system can not be achieved by simply summing up the individual devices, ie: adding the harmonic distortion Max% of fluorescent/LED lighting and VSD to get total Isc/Iload 5th 7th 11th 13th THD(I)% 10.7 7.2 3.1 2 13 33 to <66 distortion. Instead, individual harmonic level needs to 66 to <120 14 9 5 3 16 be considered. 120 to <250 19 12 7 4 22 However, due to the nature of the sinusoidal VSD 250 to <350 31 20 12 7 37 waveform, even though the frequencies of the first >350 40 25 15 10 48 Fig.2: Fuji Electric sources building low variable toolsupply Table 1:estimation IEC 61000-3-12 harmonic current limits and second harmonic are voltage the same, the speed drive harmonic Maintaining a stable power in buildings and cities is important for companies PCC1 PCC at Secondary of Utility Transformer

v1

Linear Load 1

m1

PCC2 PCC at Secondary of User Transformer

v2

Linear Load 2

m2

Custormer Load

m3

6 pulse w/o DCR, w/o ACR

m4

6 pulse w/ DCR, w/o ACR

m5

6 pulse w/ DCR, w/ ACR

m6

6 pulse With basic harm filter

m7

6 pulse with trasnformer

to remain productive. phase angles of the two might be different. Therefore, Compared to IEC standard which User needs to key in rating and quantity of equipment used for the purpose of generating themore emphasizes on individual equipment level, IEEE519 overlapping and cancellation might happen and limits the harmonic current at system level. The limits is shown in Table 2. level of individual harmonic order and total harmonic distortion. Then as well for other the magnitude of the resultant level of harmonic harmonic generation sources, user can refer to the corresponding manufacture to get the Max% could be lower than the sum of the individual to 17 to 23 to harmonic information. According to equation (1), the total harmonic distortion of the 11 whole Isc/Iload 2 to 10 16 22 34 >34 TDD(I)% harmonic components. Under common practices, system can not be achieved by simply summing up the individual devices,4 ie, adding the 1.5 <20 2 0.6 0.3 5 a manufacturer’s data would not be so detailed to harmonic distortion of florescent/LED lighting and VSD to get total Instead, 7 3.5 2.5 1 0.5 8 20 to <50 distortion. provide phase angle of each individual harmonic order. individual harmonic level needs to be considered. In case of 50 two harmonic to <100 10 sources, 4.5 for 4 1.5 0.7 12 Hence, for worst case consideration, we assume that 100 to set the lighting system example, rectifier supplied lighting and VSD based ventilation system, <1000 12 5.5 5 2 1 15 the two components are in phase with each other so total harmonic distortion: >1000 15 7 6 2.5 1.4 20 that the amplitude of the resultant hth harmonic order Table 2: IEEE 519 harmonic current limits at system level Table 2: IEEE 519 harmonic current limits at the system level is the sum of the individual harmonics. Available Solutions Harmonic Emission Standards And Regulations Available Solutions There are number of mature harmonic compression options available. The simplest way is to IEC 61000-3-12 standards define the harmonic currents There areornumber of in mature compression install AC DC choke power harmonic converter, where AC line choke can be installed at incoming side and DC line can be way installed at converter DCor side. produced by equipment connected to public lowoptions available. Thechoke simplest is to install AC DCSecond option is to Harmonic Emission Standards and Regulations use multi-winding shifting where transformer multi-pulse rectifier, in order to voltage systems. The maximum allowable percentage of choke in powerphase converter, an to ACpower line up choke can be achieve better harmonic performance converter. Similar as AC/DC choke, making use of IEC 61000-3-12 standards order define the harmonic currents produced by equipment connected to individual harmonic extracted from IEC 61000-3-12 installed at the incoming side and a DC line choke can be passive LC filter at incoming can also effectively filter the high frequency harmonic contents. low-voltage systems. The maximum allowable percentage of individual harmonic ispublic shown in Table 1: installed converter DC filter side.makes Second is to of use In contrast at to the passive filter, active use option of advantages power electronics order extracted from IEC 61000-3-12 is shown in Table 1: technology, collects the harmonic from to thepower system,up anda produces negative multi-winding phase shiftinginformation transformer o harmonic components within180 phase the harmonic system harmonic components, Max% multi-pulse rectifier, order todifference achievefrom better eventually cancels the system distortion and totally eliminate the harmonic noise. Isc/Iload 5th 7th 11th 13th THD(I)% performance converter. 10.7 7.2 3.1 2 13 33 to <66 Similar as AC/DC choke, making use of a passive 66 to <120 14 9 5 3 16 LC filter at the input can also effectively filter the high 120 to <250 19 12 7 4 22 250 to <350 31 20 12 7 37 frequency harmonic contents. In contrast to a passive >350 40 25 15 10 48 filter, active filters make use of advantages of power Table 1: IEC 61000-3-12 harmonic current limits electronics technology, collects the harmonic information Table 1: IEC 61000-3-12 harmonic current limits Compared to IEC standard which more emphasizes on individual equipment level, IEEE519 from the system, and produces negative harmonic limits the harmonic current at system level. The limits is shown in Table 2. components with 180 degree phase difference from the Compared to the IEC standard which emphasises system harmonic components, eventually cancelling the more on the individual equipment level, IEEE519 limits Max% to 23 to The limits are system distortion and totally eliminating the harmonic the harmonic current11attothe 17 system level. Isc/Iload 2 to 10 16 22 34 >34 TDD(I)% noise. shown in Table 2. <20 4 2 1.5 0.6 0.3 5

7 3.5 20 to <50 50 to <100 10 4.5 16 100energy guide Supplement to <1000 12 5.5

2.5 4

1 1.5

0.5 0.7

8 12

5

2

1

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Oil & Gas

Efficient And Nimble Service Providers Key To Oil Industry’s Success In The Low Price Environment The Oil & Gas sector is undergoing much change in recent years. Service providers that are efficient and nimble is seen as a key factor to the oil industry’s success in a low price environment. By Ravi Krishnaswamy, VP & Global Leader, Energy & Environment Practice, Frost & Sullivan

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t is more than a year since the oil prices have started to go south and with Brent crude prices hovering below US$50 per barrel since August 2015, the question that is being asked is, “Is this the new normal?”. Unfortunately oil prices are significantly impacted by geopolitical events & speculation and not always demand-supply driven, as such making it unpredictable. From a sharp decline in October 2008 post-Lehman Brothers collapse, oil recovered ground fairly quickly for a global financial crisis of such a magnitude. Oil above US$90 per barrel seemed to be the norm from December 2010 till about the third quarter of 2014, when it started collapsing again. This time around it seems to be more of a long term shift in direction brought about by a combination of factors, the primary one being supply glut. Nonetheless there are several significant factors and trends that will determine the future direction of oil prices. China: The impact of China on the global oil price movements occurs from two different perspectives; one is the more obvious economic growth concerns and the other is the less visible strategic intent. In the recent months, China seems to have emerged as a proxy for

the global economy. Even the US Federal Reserve has cited concerns about growth in China and its impact on a wider global economy, as one of the reasons for holding off interest rate hike. China’s crude oil demand has been falling and is likely to reach an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent by year end, down from 5.6 percent growth at end of June 2015, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) projections. Reasons cited include weak car sales, slowdown in industrial activity, property price correction, and so on. However what has acted as a counter balance to this declining demand is China’s purchase of crude oil from the spot market to boost its strategic oil stockpiles. According to IEA, China has a capacity of 218.9 barrels oil storage which it is filling fast by buying in the international market whenever the price dips. Role of OPEC: The position of OPEC and the role of Saudi Arabia as swing producer have come under intense scrutiny in the recent months. In order to maintain its market share, this bloc of oil exporting countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, have been pumping more oil, to the discontent of Venezuela and Algeria. Even though Saudi Arabia may stand to lose more than US$90 billion annually if the oil stays below US$60/ barrel, they may still pull on, albeit with reduced foreign exchange reserves. While the rich Gulf States can survive long low oil prices, other member states like Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Algeria and Nigeria all need oil to be at US$80/barrel or more to support their budgets. Sustained low oil prices will create political and economic instability in these countries and Saudi Arabia may end up losing its clout among the grouping. Whether OPEC will still be relevant or not is a different issue. Iran: Once the sanctions are lifted, Iran will compete in the international market and start entering into long term contracts, beyond its traditional customers India and China. Iran has the ability to ramp up production to at least 1.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) by end of 2016. Saudi Arabia and Iran could potentially engage in a price war to gain market share, as such further choking the oil prices.


Shale Future: Many industry players like Saudi Arabia estimated that shale oil will not be sustainable below US$70. Contrary to the expectations shale oil production in the US has not collapsed, but some producers remained viable even as WTI prices reached US$40/ barrel. US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data suggests that the production in October is forecast to be 5.21 mbpd as compared to 5.29 mbpd in September. However the drop in October is likely to be less than previous months, suggesting that shale is holding ground. Improvements in technology and production process have resulted in better well yields, in terms of rig efficiency. What could impact the long term viability of shale gas in the US is the financial performance of the companies involved. The capital markets poured billions into the shale industry at the height of low interest rates and three digit oil prices. However with the reversal of these trends, the capital markets will be forced to cut their exposure to shale industry, as such resulting in industry consolidation and survival of the more efficient and financially disciplined operators. Shale will continue to play a major role in the oil supply industry, even though a shakeout in the short to medium term is inevitable Mergers & Acquisitions: The low oil prices have forced the US players to consolidate and emerge more nimble and efficient. Major merger and acquisition activities have been announced both by operators and service companies. Shell’s US$70 billion acquisition of BG Group and Noble Energy’s US$1.2 billion acquisition of Rosetta Resources will provide the acquirers eventual access to more reserves. However the proposed merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes has interesting effects on the service industry as a whole. These two companies may be forced to shed some of their businesses to pass through regulatory scrutiny. This gives opportunity to equipment makers like GE and Siemens, who are waiting to expand their footprint further in the oil & gas services industry. Schlumberger’s proposed acquisition of Cameron also signifies the importance of having end to end service offerings, keeping in tune with the current industry climate of cost pressures. A more efficient and nimble services industry will help to keep the production costs low. US Crude Oil Exports: The US government severely restricts export of crude oil, except to Canada, from North Slope in Alaska and some exports from California. Crude oil swap deal agreed with Mexico in August, raised expectations of a broader easing of these export restrictions by the US government. While EIA has done a detailed study on the effect of removing these restrictions, there is no indication whatsoever that the government is making any such move. If indeed there is even a limited easing of such regulations, then 18

energy guide Supplement

Whenever the prices have remained very high for a prolonged period, the consumers tend to adjust their usage patterns the difference between the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices and global benchmark bent prices, will determine the attractiveness of US crude in international markets. If the current WTI-brent spread of US$6-8 per barrel still prevails, then the supply dynamics will not see any significant alteration and will be guided purely by market forces. However it does not look likely the US government is in any urgency to change the policy. Oil prices have always proven to be elastic in nature. Whenever the prices have remained very high for a prolonged period, the consumers tend to adjust their usage patterns thus reducing the overall demand which causes prices to drop. Similarly prolonged low prices have resulted in inefficient and uneconomical assets to cease operations, as such lowering the supply and increasing the prices. A summary of the above trends indicate that Brent crude oil is likely to remain in the US$45-US$65 range till end 2017, before making any further recovery. A short term dip or spike is still possible, depending on some geopolitical shocks. However in the long run, this elastic phenomenon, which has so far ensured that oil prices stay in a wide price band, could be under threat by some of the mega trends which are upsetting several other industries too: •

Disruptive technologies including digitisation of the upstream operations with Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data and energy efficient demand side technologies like electric vehicles, highly fuel efficient engines, intelligent mobility, LED lighting and so on, are all bringing down the overall cost of production and demand for oil, at the same time. Business models transformation including the massive growth of sharing economy with the advent of startups like Uber will eventually challenge the overall demand dynamics of crude oil in the long run.

While the oil industry will continue to devise strategies to stay viable in the current pricing environment, it still needs to mindful of the fundamental transformation which may have just been underway and have profound long term implications.


Oil & Gas

Leveraging The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Invented in the 19th century, fuel cells first found a significant application when NASA required a new power source for the space program in the 1960s. Since then, the technology has slowly found niches in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. By Omega Engineering

L

ike an ordinary battery, a fuel cell has an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte. In a common battery, the anode and cathode undergo a chemical reaction as electricity is produced and are eventually used up (chemically changed) and the battery is discharged. In a rechargeable battery, electricity can be driven backwards through the battery to reverse this chemical change and recharge the battery. In a fuel cell, anode and cathode material is added to keep the battery going and the used up material is ejected or otherwise disposed. The simplest example is the hydrogen fuel cell which uses hydrogen at the anode and oxygen at the cathode. The chemical reaction produces electricity and pure water, and is a very clean technology. As long as hydrogen and oxygen flow into the fuel cell, it continues to produce electricity. There are thousands of fuel cell installations around the world providing power to hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, office buildings, schools, and utility power plants, in some cases at megawatt levels. With current trends towards green energy for transportation, the future will bring more fuel-cell-powered cars, buses, and other forms of transportation. As simple as the concept is, fuel cell manufacturing presents many significant technical challenges. For example, to achieve the desired output voltage and current, it is often necessary to connect hundreds of cells into a combination of series and parallel circuits. Other obstacles include very high operating temperatures, harsh chemical processes, and a generally severe operating environment. To overcome these obstacles, Omega has created a line of custom wiring and sleeving for fuel cell applications. Custom Wire And Sleeving For Solid Oxide Fuel Cells One of the most powerful and efficient fuel cell designs at this time is the high temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC). This approach uses a hard, non-porous ceramic compound as the electrolyte and can operate

with efficiencies around 50 to 60 percent. In applications designed to capture and utilise the systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waste heat (co-generation), overall fuel use efficiencies could top 80 to 85 percent. In addition, this design has megawatt power generation capabilities, making it suitable for very high power applications, and can be used with fuels that produce non-polluting by-products. A major technical challenge with Solid Oxide Fuel Cells is the operating temperature which is typically in the 850 to 1,100 deg C range (1,562 to 2,012 deg F). This high temperature also leads to large temperature gradients between different parts of the cell. Since a typical application requires a large number of cells wired in series and parallel, the temperature and gradient conditions demand interconnecting wiring with very special properties. At this time, there are two main approaches for hightemperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: planar and tubular. Planar fuel cell design uses the typical sandwich-type energy guide Supplement

19


With current trends towards green energy for transportation, the future will bring more fuel-cell-powered cars, buses, and other forms of transportation.

The wrapped and braided insulation design (shown larger than actual size) is capable of passing a 3,000 Volt high pot test.

Basic planer or stack fuel cell design.

geometry employed by most types of fuel cells. Many are stacked together to form a single unit, often into a cube shape. In tubular design, the electrolyte is in the shape of a tube and one fuel is passed through the inside and the other along the outside. Multiple layers of tubes are combined to form a unit. In both configurations, it is necessary to transfer the power from each cell through an interconnect wire and then bundle multiple wires into a harness at tie points, finally merging everything to the electrical output connections. To address the stringent requirements for these Solid Oxide Fuel Cell interconnects, the company offers XT or XC high temperature thermocouple wire with Nextel or silica yarn fibre insulation. This combination delivers reliable performance when exposed to the wide temperature gradients and high operational temperatures. The wire easily survives constant exposure to the oxidising and reducing conditions found in these cells. The XTW-XT wire is a nickel based electrical conductor that can withstand temperatures up to 1,200 deg C. The wrapped and braided insulation design is capable of passing a 3,000 Volt high pot test. The result is performance in extreme heat with accurate test results for applications operating in that voltage range. 20

energy guide Supplement

Vertical wrapping insulation process.

Some of the features and benefits of these products include: Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Anode And Interconnect Wire • High Temperature 1,200 deg C (2,200 deg F) • Nickel, Stainless and Platinum Based Alloys • Multiple Shapes, Diameters and Insulations • Increased Surface Area, Improved Electrical Performance • Low Resistance at High Temperature • Low Coefficient of Expansion Braided And Wrapped Insulated Wire Designs • 3,000 Volt Performance • Multi-Conductor Designs • High Temperature Wire Harness and End Connection Sleeving • Diameters from 1.57 to 12.7 mm (1⁄16 to 1⁄2”)


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