Wave energy – UK and South Africa @ProcessingTalk #PAuto

wave energyBoth the UK and South Africa have the potential for harvesting green energy from the surrounding sea, from ocean or tidal flows, or from wave energy. Some 15 years ago, when the UK Government was keen to encourage and invest in green energy technologies, the European Marine Energy Technology Centre (EMEC) was established in the Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. The EMEC is the only centre of its kind in the world: it exists to provide developers of both wave and tidal energy converters – technologies that generate electricity by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams – with purpose-built, accredited open-sea testing facilities. Initial funding of GBP34m came from the UK and Scottish Governments, the Carbon Trust, the European Union and several Scottish local agencies and councils. By 2011 the EMEC had become self-sufficient, by selling its consultancy and site evaluation and testing services to would-be suppliers.

As an aside, becoming self-sufficient was probably very opportune in 2011, as other UK Government financed initiatives and incentives for green technologies, like the Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration project, and financial incentives for wind farms, were switched off very fast as harsh financial strictures were imposed on Government spending. Currently, the CCS demo project in Canada, supported by its national and local Government, Shell Research, and local industry, is performing better than the project expectations.

South African research

According to Professor Wikus van Niekerk, from the Stellenbosch University Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), while South Africa has some limited potential for harnessing tidal current energy, particularly at the Knysna Heads and the Langebaan Lagoon, the country’s most promising renewable ocean energy potential lies in ocean currents and waves.

From the technology aspect, wave energy appears to offer the most potential in South Africa. CRSES research shows the Western Cape has the highest wave power generation potential, and a few wave energy projects have been tried. Indeed Stellenbosch University developed the Stellenbosch Wave Energy Converter (SWEC) in the 1980s. As recently as 2015 it appeared the cost of wave energy generation was significantly higher than the solar PV or wind turbine techniques, but cost and technology changes rapidly!

New wave energy devices

Now on test in the Orkneys with EMEC is a 50% scale model of the new Swedish design of the Wave Energy Converter, the C3 from CorPower Ocean. This unit resembles a large ‘skittle’, or long necked bottle. Under test at EMEC since January 2018, the C3 WEC will be connected to a floating Microgrid unit, which is designed to allow the C3 device to behave as if it were grid connected by providing a stable voltage and frequency reference, simulating the impedance of a typical grid connection, absorbing power from the device under test and providing power to auxiliary systems.

This style of the WEC would be aimed at providing off-grid operations to power islands, offshore installations or remote coastal locations, all around the world. Another unit previously tested by the EMEC is the Wello Penguin, designed in Finland. Wello has received its first order for a commercial wave energy park, to be installed next to Nusa Penida Island in Bali, Indonesia: it will be the largest wave energy park globally, with planned delivery at the end of 2018. Power output is 20 MW, using multiple Penguin generators.

The Wello Penguin floats on water and captures kinetic energy from the waves, which is then turned into electrical power. It is an asymmetrical ship, and a 600 kW unit would be 220 tonnes typically, 30 m long and 16 m wide, anchored to the ocean floor. It utilises the same components that are already in use in wind turbines, and is easily constructed in a shipyard, meaning the Penguin is cost competitive compared to offshore wind energy. The roll of the Penguin spins the rotator inside the device, directing the energy from the waves. This rotation drives the generator – it does not have any moving parts in contact with sea water, so the service needs are minimal. In relation to comparative costs, the CEO of Wello, Heikki Paakkinen, said “The cost of energy generated with Wello Penguin is already very competitive compared to offshore wind energy, and in serial production we aim for a further 50% cost reduction.”

wello penguin

In 2015, Blackbird International, in collaboration with WERPO, announced plans to develop a 500 MW wave energy power plant in South Africa. The original wave energy system designed by WERPO, from Israel, uses an anchored float normally installed on wave breakers or sea walls, which rises and falls with wave action.

This article was written for and originally published in the April issue of the South African Instrumentation and Control Journal, published by technews.co.za in South Africa.

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75 Gas Chromatographs for Oman

Yokogawa IA GC8000

Yokogawa GC8000

Yokogawa Electric has received an order to supply an analyser package solution for the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex, which is being built for Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), a company owned and operated by the Oman government.

The Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is being built in Sohar, on Oman’s northern coast. This package order is for 15 analyser houses and associated analysis systems consisting of process analysers and sampling instruments. The client is a joint venture between Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I, a major US construction company) and CTCI Corporation (a major Taiwanese engineering company) that is responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of an approximately 800,000 ton per annum naphtha cracker and related utility facilities at this complex. The analysis systems for this steam cracker and its off-site utility facilities will rely on Yokogawa GC8000 process gas chromatographs to separate mixed gases and volatile liquids into their respective components and measure their concentrations. A total of 75 of the GC8000 units have been ordered, and this is Yokogawa’s largest single project order to date for this product. Yokogawa Electric Korea will have overall responsibility for analyser house fabrication, system integration and site commissioning services. As both Yokogawa Electric International and Yokogawa Europe Solutions have extensive experience in constructing analyser houses, Yokogawa Electric International will manage the engineering, delivery, and commissioning of this Yokogawa equipment, and Yokogawa Europe Solutions will provide project execution support. The analyser houses will be delivered by the third quarter of 2018: the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex is scheduled to start operation in the first quarter of 2020.

It is believed that Yokogawa won this large order because the customer evaluation rated highly the company’s advanced knowledge of gas analysers and liquid analysers, expertise in the construction of analyser houses, and track record in supplying gas chromatographs to oil refineries and chemical plants all around the world. In recent years, the increasing need to improve product quality in the oil, natural gas, petrochemical, and chemical industries has been met by using gas chromatographs for accurately analysing the different gas components.

Backed by this order, Yokogawa will further expand sales of the GC8000 and other process analyser solutions, growing the process analyser system integration business, and helping their valued customers to improve the quality of their products.

Yokogawa invests into Silicon Valley fog computing

 

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has invested in FogHorn Systems Inc, a Silicon Valley start-up that is a leading developer of fog computing* technology. Yokogawa aims to foster development of fog computing technology through its investment in this company. In so doing, Yokogawa hopes to expand the range of solutions that it provides.

Due to the continued growth of cloud computing services and the huge number of devices that have access to cloud resources, there is a growing concern over issues such as network congestion and data processing delays. Fog computing is gaining traction as a technology solution to this problem.

Co-Investors with Yokogawa

FogHorn Systems, a pioneer in the development of software for fog computing applications with outstanding expertise in this field, has attracted the interest of various companies that are promoting IoT. Led by March Capital and GE Ventures, the company has succeeded in raising $12 million in funding from multiple investors, including Yokogawa, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, and Darling Ventures. There is also a group of investors who invested in the company prior to this round of fundraising. Yokogawa’s stake in the company is worth $900,000.

Yokogawa offers a wide range of control solutions that help its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their operations and make the most effective use of their assets. These solutions include field instruments, control systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and management information systems. Industrial IoT (IIoT) technology is making rapid inroads in the control field, and it is expected that fog computing’s enablement of real-time and distributed processing in edge computing applications will significantly accelerate its adoption.

Through this investment in FogHorn Systems, Yokogawa will gain access to the latest fog computing technologies and will also make available its knowledge and expertise in process control and plant operations that will help this company further refine its fog computing technology. Yokogawa aims to make use of fog computing to strengthen the solutions that it provides.

‘Process Co-Innovation’ from Yokogawa

Yokogawa has drawn up a long-term business framework and formulated a vision statement that reads: “Through ‘Process Co-Innovation’ Yokogawa creates new value with our clients for a brighter future. ‘Process Co-Innovation’ is a concept for an automation business that will utilize all of Yokogawa’s measurement, control and information technologies. Accordingly, Yokogawa will seek not only to optimize production processes but also the flow of material and information within and between companies, including their value and supply chains”.

Yokogawa is committed to working with customers to create value through the effective use of IIoT, a key to ‘Process Co-Innovation’. Tsuyoshi Abe, Yokogawa vice president and head of the company’s Marketing Headquarters, said of this investment: “Highly reliable and stable communications are an essential requirement in manufacturing and many other fields. Fog computing is a breakthrough that helps to enhance the use of cloud resources. It is also expected to provide Yokogawa many more opportunities to utilize IIoT in its control business. In line with our corporate brand slogan of ‘Co-innovating tomorrow’, Yokogawa will use FogHorn’s technology to develop new solutions and create new value in collaboration with its customers and partners.”

* Fog computing:

Fog computing is an architectural concept for the realization of edge intelligence and the suppression of communications with the cloud by establishing a ‘fog’ distributed computing layer between the cloud and devices in the field. Fog computing eliminates communications delays and fluctuations by locating the processing of certain data near the field devices that generate the data and sending only essential information to the cloud. As such, there are high expectations that this technology will lead to a number of new IoT applications.

648MW solar project in India

ABB has successfully commissioned five substations to integrate a 648 megawatt solar project at Kamuthi in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to the national transmission grid. The project was awarded by independent power producer the Adani Group in 2015, and completed on schedule. The solar photo-voltaic project – made up of five plants in a single location – is the largest of its kind in the world. 360 MW from the solar project is currently grid-connected and at full capacity this facility will account for nearly 10 percent of the country’s current solar capacity of around seven gigawatts.

Adani’s 648 MW solar power plant

The Adani 648MW solar power plant

The project contributes to India’s vision of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022, with the overall aim of diversifying its energy mix to meet growing demand while minimizing environmental impact. As part of this plan, the government has issued a proposal to implement 25 ultra-mega solar power projects with capacities between 500 and 1,000 MW over a period of five years. The government of Tamil Nadu is also pursuing a solar policy which envisages a solar generation capacity addition of 3,000 MW.

“We are proud to support the country’s clean energy vision and push for solar power which demonstrates its commitment to sustainable growth,” said Claudio Facchin, President of the ABB Power Grids division. “This project exemplifies our end-to-end power and automation system integration capabilities and reinforces our commitment to the renewable energy sector, a key component of the ABB ‘Next Level’ strategy.”

The ABB project scope included the design, supply, installation and commissioning related to the solar plant electrification and automation systems. This includes two 230 kilovolt and three 110 kV outdoor switchyards to connect to the local transmission grid and will enable clean power supply for around 150000 households, based on average national per capita consumption.

ABB to strengthen the power infrastructure in Indonesia

ABB is to support the Indonesian state-owned utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to strengthen the reliability and enhance the efficiency of its Java-Bali transmission and distribution networks to meet the growing demand for power in Java, the most populated island on earth.

ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the substation extensions, including switchgear, transformers, state-of-the-art control and protection systems as well as ancillary equipment. The product scope will include 11 units of 60 megavolt-ampere (MVA) transformers, high-voltage air-insulated switchgear for eight substations, high-voltage gas-insulated switchgear for one substation as well as the replacement works and control systems for uprating the transformers in three other substations. Financed by the Asian Development Bank, the $11m project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

@ProcessingTalk

(c) ProcessingTalk.info

Yokogawa Analyser systems integration services

The Yokogawa Analytical instrumentation makes up a significant part of their product range, serving customers in the oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, natural gas and power industries. The measurement techniques used in their products include chromatography, laser-based infra-red absorption and Raman spectroscopy, as well as industrial liquid sensors for conductivity and pH monitoring. Typically many of these sensors are installed in on-site laboratories or analyser houses, which can be skid or container type units attached to the process directly or via sample lines.

YokogawaASICenterEurope_02xx

The expertise developed within Yokogawa in the installation of efficient and effective analytical installations led to the establishment of a complete analyser system supply and integration service, to provide a total package of instruments, monitoring housings, sample line interconnections and conditioning systems, ready for site installation. Such services have been operational for some years, operating from bases within the Yokogawa US and Asian business units: now with the launch of a new service in Europe, ASI or Analyser Systems Integration, the same full service will be available to European customers. This makes Yokogawa a true one-stop-shop for ASI at both green-field or brown-field projects of almost any size, thus helping project owners to simplify their supply chains as they need only deal with a single team for all analytical requirements.

ASICenterEuropeinMadrid

The Yokogawa European ASI centre in Madrid

Loek van Eijck, business unit manager, analytical solutions at Yokogawa Europe, said: “We’re very pleased to announce the introduction of Yokogawa Europe’s Analyser System Integration service. This services responds to a growing market demand within the chemical, oil & gas industry, and increasingly in other process industries, to simplify project management of both new installations and renovations. We’ll be working with our own analysers and those of 3rd-party manufacturers, but it makes sense for project owners and primary contractors to deal with a single integrator of analytical systems, and for that integrator to be a supplier of instruments being installed.”

One of the major issues facing project managers is finding a team with the right skills and experience for specialist areas of project implementation. Yokogawa’s ASI service guarantees access to design and implementation engineers with the highest levels of qualification and certification. The highly skilled project management team is fully certified by Project Management Professional (PMP), while the engineering team designs solutions to the explosion-proof standards specified by ATEX, IECEx and all other relevant standards and legislative bodies, making design compliance easier to prove. They are backed up by a professional execution team with more than 150 years of accumulated installation experience.

YokogawaASICenterEurope_01xx

Yokogawa has built a global reputation for quality and innovation, and has now applied this to its ASI service. “We believe this sets our service apart from the competition,” said van Eijck. “Yokogawa has earned its reputation through involvement in some of the industry’s largest and most innovative projects, and is now able to apply this in Europe to ASI projects of almost any size from any process industry requiring highly accurate analytical instrumentation by sharing know-how with other ASI facilities and developing synergy among Yokogawa Group Companies.” This new facility makes Yokogawa a true one-stop-shop for ASI at both green-field or brown-field projects of almost any size, thus helping project owners to simplify their supply chains. The mature European process industry has many aging plants, and these regularly require updates, renovation and modernizationto meet current and new monitoring requirements.

The service provides a full analytical services life cycle from design, fabrication and manufacturing to installation, on-site services and training. Yokogawa ASI also links up to the similar services provided by Yokogawa in its Asian and US divisions providing customers with global coverage – an obvious advantage for international organisations and projects.

The ASI service in Europe is based in Madrid, Spain. Almudena Mier, ASI location manager at Yokogawa, said; “We have created an excellent facility here for the new service which offers a great environment for the team and the projects they will work on. Madrid is well served by transport links to the rest of Europe and beyond, and has access to some great local engineering talent as well as being an attractive place to work for staff and customers who come from elsewhere in Europe.”

(c) ProcessingTalk.info, June 2016

@ProcessingTalk

#PAuto

 

My worst week as an air traveller

A busy flight schedule last week started well: the Monday morning flight to Brussels was OK! After two days at the press conference for the Emerson Exchange European event in the ‘Cube’ in Brussels, which included an enjoyable afternoon seeing the sights around the Grand Square in Brussels city centre, all that was needed was to catch a flight back to Heathrow on Tuesday night: I needed to get home, to then do a quick turn-round and head to Gatwick on Wednesday, to then catch a lunchtime flight Thursday for Cancun in Mexico. This was our holiday trip to visit my son in Mahahual, way South of Cancun, where he lives and works as a fishing guide – so holidays tend to be visits to see him.

A quick trip to Brussels

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The special Tintin A300 on the outward journey to Brussels

The taxi ride for a colleague and myself out to Brussels Airport was a nightmare:  we had left Brussels city centre with 3.5 hours available before the 2130 flight time. There were jams on the motorways all the way, and then the slip road to the airport was closed off by the Police. Eventually we discovered from other drivers, and then the Internet, that a suspect vehicle had been seen on one airport approach road, so the airport had been closed, and all current flights cancelled.

Return to Brussels centre?

OK so turn the taxi round, head back for Brussels and try to catch the Eurostar home. Bad traffic again, which made the task of connecting with the last train of the evening, leaving at 2030 approx, impossible. No matter, colleagues in Emerson could book us a room for the night, and we could fly home Wednesday morning! But wait, the Internet now says Brussels airport is now open! Flights are leaving! OK, turn the taxi round, again, from half way back to the town centre, and go back to the airport! No jams now, although the taxi drop off point is Floor 3 of the multi-storey car park. Possibly the taxi driver was happy, as he had a fare of 2.5x the normal airport taxi cost. Maybe he is part of the evolving conspiracy against getting us home?

Fast track departure through the chicanes

Following the suicide bombings at Brussels Airport, in the Departure lounge, there have been some recent re-adjustments to the departure route for passengers, to get the airport operating again. These mean that from the public taxi drop-off point then you walk down the ramps from the car park to the ground floor, pass a couple of 7 foot tall Belgian Army Commandos, and zig-zag thru an entrance route to get to a big reception tent. Here Police and Army boarding card/e-ticket and passport checks only let passengers through into a long baggage screening and metal detector search area, protected by several concrete barriers. Sounds good, and is effective. And as Eoin O’Riain comments, the document checks were all very friendly, helpful (and multi-lingual) and good natured. Then you get to the check in area in another big tent structure, with lots of people – but there are still some automated boarding pass machines. We got thru those, to gain a boarding card each and proceeded to enter the real building, moving quickly now because it was getting late: this meant going up three flights of concrete stairs, emergency exit type, to get up to the third floor again, and the real pax screening.

Thru the ticket check and baggage x-ray, and metal detectors again, and into the departure area. All the time everything had looked OK: but only here did we see a flight departure info screen in English, to discover that our flight was cancelled, because not wanting to get left out of the misery stakes the Belgian air traffic controllers had decided they didn’t like all this hassle of getting to work, and went on strike!

Turn again, back to Brussels centre?

What to do now? Well let’s ask the airline, Brussels Airlines. Some passing local staff told us there was a Brussels Airlines desk in the actual departure gate area, which was the place to go for help. This meant going thru passport control, and then walking the full length of the departure terminal again, to reach the desk at the far end.

Here a very helpful lady said the Air Traffic Controllers would be back at work at 10pm, so our flight could not go because it was scheduled for 2130. Why 10pm? She did not know, but said they always come back then, maybe they get a higher pay rate after 10pm, maybe the pubs close then, who knows? So we were re-allocated seats and a boarding card for the 1100 flight the next morning, and given a Hotel room and a meal voucher for the night.

All we needed to do now was walk all the way round the terminal again, find the exit into the car park, and this time wait for a courtesy bus to get us to the Hotel. Here it is worth commenting that the Belgian Hotel staff were very sympathetic, and had no respect for the air traffic controllers who for personal gain were piling more inconvenience onto those travellers who had shown solidarity with the city, and refused to delay or cancel their travel plans. Next morning , back to the airport for a repeat of the check-in procedure, up the stairs, thru checks etc, only to discover the boarding cards did not scan properly, so we had to go thru another repeat, to re-issue these boarding cards (on a better printer) at a very busy Brussels Airlines desk, which thank goodness was a quick and easy process.

At least I arrived home on Wednesday afternoon, with no further hiccups, to set off at 6pm to drive to a Hotel at Gatwick, to catch the next flight of the week, this time my wife and I were going on holiday to Mexico, to see our son Nick, who is a fishing guide in Mahahual, south of Cancun on the Costa Maya.

On to Cancun, we thought….

Thursday morning saw my wife and I at Gatwick, looking to fly to Mexico on Virgin Atlantic. In fact the flight was Virgin VS093, on 14 April 2016. A nice flight, we’ve used this route before, on a big Boeing 747 Jumbo jet. Gatwick was crowded, and the flight was delayed by nearly an hour, boarding about 1300. Not too many passengers on board, so we could spread out a bit.

After about 4 hours, the hostesses brought several families with young children into our seating area and put them into some rows of spare seats – I thought maybe this was to let the kids lie down. Then it became obvious that there was something else going on, when the Tannoy system made some form of an announcement, finishing with an audible bit that said “We will be arriving in New York in 2 hours”. The flight map also showed that the plane was heading west for New York, having previously been heading southwest, over the Atlantic off the coast of Labrador. First of all you panic, thinking you are on the wrong plane. Then you think there must be some technical problem with it..???

Just another drunken Brit!

It transpired, with a further announcement, that a passenger, a member of the stag party heading for Cancun, had been abusive and threatening to the Virgin staff and some passengers, and generally disruptive. He “needed to be restrained by the airline staff”, and would be kept under restraint in the aircraft until he could be off-loaded into the care of the authorities at New York.

DSC04460

A Virgin Jumbo arriving at Cancun: it can cost up to £200,000 to divert one of these to make an extra stop, and compensate all the passengers who are waiting to fly home.

The plane did a straight in approach to JFK Airport in New York, and in the words of the crew was “held at the edge of the airport for the authorities to board”. The authorities were about six burly policemen, who removed the offender, but then spent about an hour taking statements and info from those who had witnessed the events. Eventually we arrived in Cancun, 3 hours later than planned, which messed up most people’s onward travel arrangements. The rest of the stag party also disembarked, all looking a bit daft in their matching baseball hats and T-shirts.

What happened to the offender, left in New York? Maybe from there he will have to travel home by sea, in a container preferably: he certainly will never fly again, and probably it will take a few years before he has paid off the landing fees for a Jumbo to visit JFK, just to drop him off. I hope he was not the Groom!

[Note: This story is published after our return home, to hail and wet UK snow on the road back from Gatwick, a significant contrast to the 30-40C temperatures experienced in Playa Del Carmen, Akumel, Tulum, Chetumal and Mahahual]

Further Yokogawa CCGT and Desalination business in Qatar

ras abu fontas

The QEWC Ras Abu Fontas plant

A press release this week from Yokogawa announces that the Yokogawa South Korean engineering operation has won another major contract from Samsung C&T for Centum VP control and ProSafe-RS safety systems for a 2.4GW Combined Cycle gas turbine power and desalination plant. The plant is to be built in Qatar, using local natural gas as the fuel, and will make up an important part of the future Qatari infra-structure: it will be located 20km south of Doha. It will be operated by Umm Al Houl Power, a joint venture consortium which includes Mitsubishi/Tokyo Electric Power and Qatar Petroleum, the Qatar Foundation, and the Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC).

Another order from Acciona Agua covers the supply of an associated Yokogawa Centum VP control system for a reverse osmosis water desalination plant to be created as a part of the power plant. Separately, Yokogawa received an order placed by Hitachi Zosen Corporation for a Centum VP control system on a further multi-stage flash desalination plant. Combined, the two desalination plants will produce 590,000 cubic meters of water per day.

Yokogawa will be responsible for the engineering of these interlinked systems, which will be able to monitor and control the operations of all three plants: plus they will provide support for installation and commissioning.

Yokogawa Experience

Yokogawa in South Korea has developed extensive expertise in working alongside Korean and Japanese power plant contractors, and claims a solid global track record in executing large CCGT projects, based on over 100 systems for combined cycle power plants. This capability was demonstrated in Qatar on a previous desalination plant for QEWC, known as the Ras Abu Fontas A2 project, and previous CCGT projects alongside Samsung C&T have included a 2.1GW plant at Rabigh on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.

Yokogawa anticipates major growth in demand for CCGT plants worldwide, particularly where there is access to local supplies of natural gas. However, some recent projects have been more unconventional, with a recent installation in Ireland using a high speed controller to manage a fly-wheel energy storage system for smoothing the output power from wind farms! Another project in Cornwall, UK, will use Centum VP and ProSafe-RS to control the boilers and auxiliary systems on a waste to energy plant, their fourth such installation in the UK.

(c) Nick Denbow:  www.ProcessingTalk.info

@Processingtalk