Ingeteam Nets Frequency Converter Certification
DNV GL has awarded a component certificate to Spanish technology company Ingeteam for its new wind frequency converter.
During its certification process, DNV GL examined the converter to ensure safety, functionality and quality. The award confirms that the INGECON WIND Full Converter MV Series 3000-10000 family meets all globally applicable requirements for wind turbines for onshore and offshore use, says DNV GL.
The certification body says Ingeteam’s newest wind frequency converter is the first electrical component certified according to DNV GL’s new certification scheme for type and component certification of wind turbines: the DNV GL-SE-0441. This service specification identifies DNV GL’s services for type and component certification of onshore and offshore wind turbines. Furthermore, the wind frequency converter has been certified according to all DNV GL and IEC criteria.[adright zone=’190′]
“Following the previous certification of our INGECON WIND DFM 3000 converter with DNV GL last year, we are very happy to continue this excellent relationship with the certification body,” comments Ana Goyen, deputy director of Ingeteam’s wind business unit.
PSI Ships 30,000th Repaired Component
PSI Repair Services Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries and independent service provider to the wind energy industry, says it recently shipped its 30,000th repaired wind turbine part to a prominent wind energy company.
According to PSI, the company has provided economical repairs, as well as engineering services, for the largest wind farms in the U.S. since 2009.
PSI’s repair services cover major wind turbine manufacturers, such as GE, Vestas, Suzlon, Gamesa, Siemens, RePower and Clipper. As reported, commonly repaired components include printed circuit boards, pitch drive systems, inverters, converters, thermistors, IGBTs, hydraulic pumps, pitch and yaw motors, encoders, slip rings, transducers, yaw modules, three-phase bridge rectifiers, blade bearing automatic grease dispensers, battery chargers, and much more.
PSI says its engineering services include custom tests, root cause analysis, product upgrades, remanufacturing and new product manufacturing services.
According to the company, the custom test program leverages advanced diagnostic equipment, allowing PSI to detect hard part failures, as well as parts degraded due to stress, right down to the microchip level. The root cause analysis service allows PSI to get a comprehensive view into a customer’s production environment to identify all of the elements that are connected to recurring problems so that the appropriate corrective actions eliminate the problem once and for all.[adleft zone=’190′]
Further, the company says the product upgrade service allows PSI to improve upon legacy design, with newer, more reliable technology. PSI’s remanufacturing services are available for obsolete and unsalvageable parts, such as circuit boards and power supplies. Finally, the new product manufacturing service is available for customers who need a cost-effective option to produce a small run of unique legacy parts or components.
“PSI is proud to support the renewable energy industry,” says Mike Fitzpatrick, general manager of PSI Repair Services Inc. “We understand the importance of keeping wind turbines up and running, so we have created a wide variety of solutions to help [operations and maintenance] professionals achieve those objectives.”
New Power-To-Gas Method Aids Renewables
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has announced the power-to-gas (P2G) hydrogen pipeline injection program it funds at the University of California Irvine (UCI) has successfully demonstrated the use of excess renewable electricity that would otherwise go to waste.
According to the utility, P2G is a technique for converting surplus clean energy from solar panels or wind farms into hydrogen, which can be blended with natural gas and utilized in everything from home appliances to power plants. The renewable fuel can also be converted to methane for use in a natural gas pipeline and storage system or for use in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The features of hydrogen can especially enable long-term storage of large amounts of carbon-free power – which is a significant advantage over lithium-ion batteries, the utility claims.
“This research lays the groundwork for leveraging the natural gas infrastructure already in place for the storage and transmission of renewable energy,” says Jeff Reed, director of business strategy and advanced technology at SoCalGas. “As more wind and solar production is deployed, energy storage will be a critical component for grid reliability.”
“One of the big challenges we’ve faced in adding wind and solar to the grid is what to do with the excess electricity,” says Jack Brouwer, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and civil and environmental engineering at UCI and associate director of its Advanced Power & Energy Program (APEP). “We’ve shown you need not halt renewable power generation when demand is low. Instead, the excess electricity can be used to make hydrogen that can be easily integrated into existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure.”[adright zone=’190′]
The pilot project began last summer, with funding from SoCalGas and the participation of Proton OnSite, provider of an electrolyzer that produces hydrogen from electricity and water. APEP engineers worked with UCI facilities management technicians to install the new equipment adjacent to the campus’ power plant. Since then, the process has been closely monitored by researchers trying to determine whether P2G is feasible on statewide or regional power grids. Such systems are currently in place in Germany and Canada.
The central component of the process is the electrolyzer, which takes in water and uses excess renewable electricity to power an electrochemical reaction that splits it into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere, and the hydrogen is compressed and sent about 60 feet through a pencil-thin, stainless-steel tube to an injection point in UCI’s natural gas pipeline. There, the hydrogen is mixed with natural gas and, shortly thereafter, burned in the gas turbine power plant to generate electricity and heat for the campus.
Hydrogen produced from electricity and water can also be converted into methane and injected into a natural gas pipeline system. The natural gas system includes transmission and distribution pipeline networks and existing underground storage facilities that can store enormous amounts of renewable methane or hydrogen energy for use at a later time. In the SoCalGas service territory alone, more than 12 TWh of electric equivalent storage can be accommodated.
“Our initial testing indicates smooth operation for this first successful U.S. proof of concept,” says Brouwer. “Storage of the hydrogen in existing natural gas infrastructure could become the most important technology for enabling a 100 percent renewable future.”
Component Maker Inks Agreement
With close proximity to the largest wind farms and oil fields in Texas, Lighthouse Global Energy recently partnered with Heidenhain Corp. to become an official distributor of Heidenhain equipment components.
Heidenhain Corp. is the North American subsidiary of Dr. Johannes Heidenhain GmbH, an international manufacturer of precision measurement and control equipment.
With an in-house engineering department, as well as a full line of manufacturing and machining capabilities, Lighthouse Global Energy – based in Abilene, Texas – specializes in repair and manufacturing solutions for wind energy and oil and gas components. The heavy-duty Leine & Linde encoders used in these applications are well suited for drive and measurement applications, the companies explain.
“We are thrilled to partner with Lighthouse Global Energy in order to quickly meet the needs of important energy customers in the U.S.,” comments Tom Wyatt, Heidenhain’s product management and marketing manager in North America.
Vaisala Conducts Triton Remote Sensor Studies
Vaisala, a renewable energy resource measurement, project assessment, energy forecasting and asset management company, has released two independent verification studies conducted by Ecofys, an international consultancy recently acquired by Navigant.
According to Vaisala, the studies used two production Triton units deployed from March 5 through May 29, 2015, and June 6 through Sept. 10, 2015, respectively, at the Lelystad test site in the Netherlands.
The company says that the verification studies include an assessment of the sensitivity of the Triton remote sensor to environmental factors, demonstrating that wind speed measurements taken by the unit are unaffected by changing environmental parameters. Rather than using the minimum amount of data required, the studies were conducted over several months, ensuring a more representative data set with which to assess measurement uncertainty.
The wind energy industry’s ability to predict and assess a project’s annual energy output is a crucial factor in securing and maintaining investor confidence in wind projects, according to Vaisala.
Triton, a ground-based SoDAR remote sensing system, is used to measure wind at and above the hub height of today’s taller wind turbines. By supplementing or replacing measurements from met towers in resource assessment and operational settings, Triton adds value and provides a cost-effective solution to wind developers and operators.
As reported, the Ecofys studies are part of Vaisala’s commitment to support wind power plant developers and system operators in applications ranging from early-stage prospecting, to repowering legacy power plants. w