10 year life Saft battery for Asian meters

Saft has now supplied around five million Eternacell ER 14250 cells to OEMs in China, India and Taiwan to provide up to 10 years of backup power for electricity meters.

The following press release is from Saft (just edited to take out the superlatives, and correct the text to the past tense, since this contract has just been delivered and completed – Ed):

“Saft, a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced technology batteries for industry, has completed contracts to supply around five million of its Eternacell branded primary lithium cells to leading OEMs for electricity metering projects in China, India and Taiwan. The contracts represented a significant commercial breakthrough for the Eternacell brand, which had been developed specifically for utility metering applications in emerging economies, where the cells could offer a unique combination of value-for-money, performance and long life.

For these contracts, Saft supplyied Eternacell ER 14250 cells, a 1/2AA format that provides a nominal voltage of 3.6V and a nominal capacity of 1.2Ah. Saft had optimised the Eternacell design to provide a 10+ year life to power real-time microprocessor clock and memory backup functions for the current generation of electricity meters in emerging economies. The cells can maintain typical currents for electricity meters with a wide operating temperature covering any outdoor condition. They provide exceptional shelf and standby life thanks to a low self discharge of less than one percent per year (at +20°C).

Manufactured at the Saft Zhuhai China facility to exacting quality procedures, the Eternacell cells used Saft’s well proven lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl2) chemistry, which has been refined over decades of experience in  metering applications.

“We were delighted to make this significant breakthrough for the Eternacell brand in Asia. These major contracts confirm the Eternacell design as the perfect choice for OEMs targeting the specific needs of emerging economies, thanks to competitive pricing allied to our emphasis on long life and reliable field performance that draws on Saft’s extensive metering expertise” said Thomas Alcide, General Manager of the Saft Specialty Battery Group. “This success in the electricity metering market has provided the platform for us to target Eternacell solutions in other applications.”

Saft is a world leader in batteries for metering applications, claiming about a 45% market share. It has used field and laboratory data collected over more than 30 years to develop a unique life-time model that enables the expected life of primary cells in this demanding application to be predicted accurately, by considering the specific utilization profile. Data used by this model includes base current, pulse currents, cut-off voltage and temperature range. Calculated results are combined with results from bench tests, which sometime require years to conduct, to produce the most accurate life prediction.”

The planned deliveries on these contracts were made through 2014 and have been completed during the beginning of 2015.

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GasSecure sold to Dräger

The Norwegian venture‐backed company GasSecure AS has been sold to Dräger Holding International GmbH for approximately 500 mNOK ($61m). The company will strengthen Dräger’s portfolio within gas detection, with the newly developed wireless gas detector for the oil and gas industry. The sale is the proof of GasSecure’s success both in the market and as a venture backed investment.

Stefan Dräger, Executive Board Chairman of Dräger, and Knut Sandven, CEO of GasSecure

Stefan Dräger, Executive Board Chairman of Dräger,
and Knut Sandven, CEO of GasSecure

GasSecure was founded by Knut Sandven and SINTEF in 2008, based on core technology from SINTEF, with R&D Director Håkon Sagberg joining the company in 2009, and has been financially supported by Viking Venture, Investinor, ProVenture Seed and SINTEF since 2010.

Chairman of the Board, Eivind Bergsmyr from lead investor Viking Venture commented: ‐ “Dräger is in our opinion the ideal buyer for GasSecure. They have the capability and distribution power to scale the unique and promising products of GasSecure with their worldwide distribution network. Dräger understands how to develop an innovative company further and has been willing to offer a competitive price acknowledging the outstanding achievements”.

Continues as a separate company

Dräger will continue to keep GasSecure with its 11 employees as a separate company under the leadership of founder and CEO, Knut Sandven: “We are truly impressed by Mr Sandven and his team and what they have achieved so far, and want to make sure we integrate this capability into the Dräger organization in a tailored and effective way”, says Dräger Executive Vice President M&A, Brigitte Dautzenberg. GasSecure’s products and technology are successfully field proven in the harshest offshore environments and climates from Alaska, the North Sea and Australia being bought by major global operators. The GasSecure product offering provides extended detection coverage, exceptional safety and cost performance to operators. This has become even more important with the current cost focus in the oil sector.

Natural next step

GasSecure CEO Knut Sandven commented on the change in ownership as a natural step in expanding the GasSecure influence and success further:‐ “Growing a startup from first concept to a successful company with global reach means going through different phases. The venture companies were perfect owners in the startup phase with their continuous support, commitment and experience. Now it is all about distribution, support and scaling where a prime industrial brand such as Dräger is the best partner we could ever imagine. This is a huge recognition of our innovative technology, the GasSecure team, and our vision for new, revolutionary products”.

GasSecure has been regularly featured in the INSIDER Newsletter, since the first mention of their novel wireless hydrocarbon gas detector at an Invensys OpsManage meeting back in 2011. Last mention was in July 2014, when a deal was announced with Yokogawa for joint marketing of ISA100 wireless systems using the GasSecure gas detectors.

65th Birthday for Delta Controls

Process instrumentation specialist Delta Controls Ltd has been a world leader in the design and manufacture of high quality temperature and pressure measurement instruments since its formation in 1950. Industrial process instrumentation has seen many changes over these 65 years, as shown by the Delta Controls investment in R&D and its continuous product range evolution, which now includes some of the highest performing, reliable and accurate transmitters and switches available.

In addition to the fundamental advances in technology which have occurred during these 65 years, the Delta Controls engineers have contributed to significant improvements in the reliability, accuracy and repeatability of the process instrumentation industry, and also to reducing the size of the instruments which have changed from being large, heavy and unwieldy to the considerably more compact and convenient models the company offers today.

Delta Controls made its name in the design and manufacture of temperature and pressure process switches for hazardous areas. Today the company offers a comprehensive range of industrial instrumentation to the process and power industries worldwide, focusing on critical applications where safety, reliability and accuracy are vital.   In addition to its ‘off-the-shelf’ products, Delta Controls is known for its custom solutions which meet individual and highly complex technical requirements.

Delta Controls products are used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, power generation, petrochemical, water and wastewater, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, pulp and paper, and chemical engineering.

Delta Controls now supplies a full range of pressure, temperature and flow switches and transmitters for process monitoring, alarm and safety shutdown applications, as well as for all ancillary equipment.

See www.delta-controls.com

Netherlands takes action over gas field earthquakes

The following article appeared in the HazardEx newsletter this week, and is of particular relevance to the UK current discussions over the safety of fracking in Northwestern UK. The HazardEx newsletter can be accessed via www.hazardexonthenet.net

The Groningen gas field was discovered in the 1960s, and is a conventional gas reservoir, it does not use fracking. As the gas is extracted, small earthquakes have occurred as the ground, the roof of the reservoir, settles, presumably as a result of the reduction in the gas pressure below. Tens of thousands of homes have had to be shored up because of damage caused by the earthquakes

The government of the Netherlands apologised on March 2 for ignoring risks posed by earthquakes caused by production of natural gas in the northern province of Groningen. The apology follows a February 18 report by the country’s independent Safety Board that found that the government, together with Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon, had put profits before safety in exploiting the Groningen gas field.

Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp said he was very sorry that the safety interests of Groningers had not received the attention they deserved. He said safety would now come first and that necessary measures would be taken to address the problem.

Last month Kamp ordered production at the Groningen field, Europe’s largest onshore gas field, to be cut by 16% for the first half of 2015, sending prices in northwest Europe surging. He is due to make another decision on production at the field on July 1.

Earthquakes were definitively linked to production at Groningen in 1993, but they became more frequent and intense after production was increased in 2008. Increased gas revenues provided important revenues for the state as the Dutch government pursued unpopular austerity policies.

After a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in 2012 — greater than any Shell and Exxon had forecast — regulators warned the government that citizens’ safety was at risk and called for production to be cut as quickly as possible. But the government did not order a reduction in production until last year, and then only a relatively small one.

The Groningen field accounts for two-thirds of Dutch gas production and the Netherlands supplies about 15% of Europe’s total natural gas, providing an important alternative to Russian gas.

In the wake of the Safety Board report, Dutch political parties across the spectrum are calling for Groningen never to return to former production levels, with left-leaning parties seeking further cuts in production.

Shell and Exxon have so far set aside 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in compensation after 30,000 buildings were damaged by recent earthquakes, although no serious physical injuries have been reported as a result of the quakes.

MicroMotion Heavy Fuel Viscosity Meter

Emerson Process Management has introduced the Micro Motion Heavy Fuel Viscosity Meter (HFVM) ‘Viscomaster’, the next generation of the Micro Motion 7829 Viscomaster direct insertion viscosity and density meter. Making use of the same rugged and reliable tuning fork design as its predecessors, the HFVM incorporates a new robust low friction Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating. This makes it ideal for tackling the most demanding of process applications such as marine heavy fuel oil (HFO) combustion control, marine gas oil (MGO) viscosity control and land-based fired heaters.

The head-mounted transmitter is hazardous area approved and has the flexibility to connect to control systems via a wide range of digital and analogue protocols. System integration and start up commissioning costs are significantly reduced due to the support from 4-20mA, HART, WirelessHART and RS485 Modbus communications. The HFVM accepts and processes external signals from other field instrumentation such as temperature and mass/volumetric flow devices, enabling the meter to calculate and output enhanced process measurements while minimising installation and cabling costs.

“We designed the HFVM Viscomaster to help solve problems that our customers face on a daily basis such as maximising engine power output irrespective of fuel quality variations, optimising HFO/MGO cut-over times and reducing fiscal exposure through improved NOx/SOx management,” said Andrew Sgro, Micro Motion density and viscosity product line manager.

The HFVM also incorporates a new diagnostic capability called Known Density Verification (KDV) that checks the meter for measurement alarm conditions, sensor integrity and the presence of coating, erosion or corrosion. This new technology expands the availability of diagnostic information in critical viscosity and density measurement applications which can result in significant maintenance costs and cycle time reductions.

Marine approvals for the meter include Lloyds, Germanische Lloyd, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Bureau Veritas (BV).