Tech Notes

Entergy chooses D-SMES

American Superconductor Corp. and GE Industrial Systems announced a follow-on order from Entergy Corp. for two distributed superconducting magnetic energy storage (D-SMES) units to assure power reliability in the Houston, Texas area in the summer of 2002. Entergy is also installing two D-SMES systems to be operational June 1 (at press time) near Houston to assure power reliability in the summer of 2001. D-SMES units are installed in substations within T&D power grids to solve voltage-related problems and to increase power transfer capability of existing grids.

TransAlta installs Praxis SW

TransAlta installed Praxis Engineers Inc.’s next-generation coal-blending technology at its 1340-MW facility in central Washington. TransAlta Centralia Generation LLC, which operates two coal-fired generators, is expected to save $2 million annually from the implementation of Praxis’ advanced, coal-blending software called Coalogic, formerly known as CBAS. Coalogic is the first platform that can dynamically match coal quality to changing operating and market conditions to measurably improve the profitability of power production.

LineSoft expands at AEP

American Electric Power (AEP) will implement LineSoft’s LD-Pro, LD-Field, and LD-StructureCalc software applications throughout its transmission organization. In addition, LineSoft will provide consulting services to AEP’s Transmission Division personnel. LD-Pro, already in use at AEP, automates the design of overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines, from the development and application of design criteria, through detailed analysis, generation of documentation, drawings, maps, specifications, cost estimates, and materials lists.

OPG joins ADA-ES team

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) joined the ADA-ES mercury control project team and will provide funding covering project costs. In October 2000, ADA-ES, an environmental technology and specialty chemical company, began work on a comprehensive mercury emissions control program to evaluate the technology that power generating companies will use to comply with new mercury regulations to be proposed by the U.S. EPA in 2003. This work is being performed under a $6.8 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOE and National Energy Technology Laboratory.

MGE forms industrial alliance

MGE UPS SYSTEMS, provider of power protection backing up the Internet, formed a Facility Solutions Alliance (FSA) to support mission-critical networks and facility operations with power, environmental control and monitoring systems. The Alliance provides customers with a single point-of-contact for one-stop facility design, integration, purchasing and service.

Black & Veatch teams with NeuCo

Black & Veatch combined forces with NeuCo Inc. to create the industry’s first integrated real-time performance monitoring, cost tracking and optimization solution. This business agreement integrates Black & Veatch’s IT solutions for the electric power generation industry into NeuCo’s ProcessLink software architecture. The companies will combine the intellectual property in Black and Veatch’s Online Performance Monitoring (OPM) and Power Plant Desktop (PPD) products with NeuCo’s advanced optimization technology.

SOFC stack fuelled by LPG

A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as the fuel has been successfully tested by Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL). A kilowatt-class stack was built and run at the company’s Melbourne headquarters and its performance met all expectations. It is an important milestone in the company’s program to develop multi-fuelling capability for SOFC-based systems to operate on hydrocarbon-based liquid fuels including logistic fuels, such as diesel. CFCL is in the product development phase of its stationary power market-entry product, using natural gas as the fuel. CFCL is also continuing with an active program of work to develop further SOFC products to operate on other hydrocarbon-based fuels such as gasoline and diesel, and renewable fuels such as biogas.

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Mitsubishi considers Textron plant

Under a contract with Trammell Crow Co., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America will evaluate the former Textron Turbine Engine Components facility in Orlando Central Park as a possible future home for its power generation service and repair business. According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America officials, the facility would be responsible for advanced combustion turbine component repair and manufacturing, and serve as a parts distribution center. The factory would provide the only original equipment manufacturer service capacity of its kind east of the Mississippi in the southeast U.S. This facility would also serve as primary parts distribution center supporting customers in the Western Hemisphere.

Vericor offers OnsitePower

Vericor Power Systems now offers OnsitePower systems, solutions that provide power, steam, hot or chilled water to industrial companies. Vericor Power Systems will build, own and operate OnsitePower gas turbine-based power plants at the point of use-the customer site. Bottom-line enhancements include reduced risk of loss from production interruption, competitive rates and long-term stability, and off-balance-sheet treatment of the system.

AWEA finds wind energy expanding

The worldwide boom in wind energy slowed a bit during the year 2000, but still remained strong, with some 3,500 MW installed-enough to supply roughly 1.3 million California households-according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The slightly slower rate of growth worldwide in 2000 (an increase of 26 percent in total capacity for the year vs. a 37 percent jump in 1999) was largely due to a temporary dip in the U.S. market, the trade group said in releasing its annual report on global market trends. In the U.S., only 53 MW was installed, compared to 732 MW in 1999.

DOE engages Honeywell

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory has selected Honeywell International of Torrance, Calif., to begin the first stages of development for a new type of planar solid oxide fuel cell hybrid system. This is the third type of hybrid system test for distributed generation application. The development effort is planned as a three-and-a-half year effort valued at approximately $5 million. The DOE will fund about $3.48 million.

AEP supports EEC

AEP will employ Environmental Elements Corp.’s (EEC) Ammonia on Demand (AOD) technology to achieve federally mandated reductions in NOx emissions at the company’s Gen. James M. Gavin power plant at Cheshire, Ohio. The agreement establishes EEC as exclusive supplier of urea-to-ammonia systems for AEP’s generating fleet should the company decide to proceed with additional installations of the technology and grants AEP an exclusive sub-license to market and sell urea-to-ammonia systems in competitive markets for turnkey engineering, procurement and construction projects, and in the build, own, operate or maintain marketplace. The licensing agreement applies throughout North America, including Mexico.

Aquila purchases 10 turbines

Aquila Inc., subsidiary of UtiliCorp United will buy 10 more turbines from General Electric. Combined with other orders, in the past 12 months Aquila has ordered a total of 21 turbines. The newly ordered units, each capable of producing 85 MW, are expected to be used in simple-cycle peaking facilities mainly in the Midwest.

PSEG Nuclear goes with Sargent & Lundy

PSEG Nuclear is partnering with Sargent & Lundy LLC for engineering services.

The agreement calls for virtually all of PSEG Nuclear’s design work and tech-nical support activities not directly supporting workweek activities to be assigned to Sargent & Lundy. The agreement is part of PSEG Nuclear’s continued drive to operate safely and reliably, while reducing the cost of electricity. PSEG Nuclear operates Salem Units 1 and 2, two 1,150-MW PWRs, and Hope Creek, a 1,100-MW BWR.

Superconducting material discovered

American Superconductor Corp., developer and manufacturer of high temperature superconducting (HTS) wires for electric power applications, recently discovered a new superconducting material, magnesium diboride. Most applications for superconductors require that they be made in the form of a wire. Superconducting magnesium diboride is a very brittle intermetallic compound. Thus, just as with HTS ceramic oxides, which are also inherently brittle materials, it will be a challenge to find ways to cost effectively manufacture flexible, durable wires from superconducting borides.