Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Leonardo Botti, Global Head of Product Management, ABB Solar, talks to PES about their solid technical expertise and knowledge. His company continually invests in R&D and has a wide ranging portfolio of integrated services and solutions. PES: Welcome back to PES Solar/PV publication. Thanks for talking with us. For the benefit of our new readers would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of ABB and the importance of the Solar/PV industry to you? Leonardo Botti: ABB Solar has over 10 years’ experience in the solar inverter sector which is underpinned by solid technical expertise and knowledge in the power conversion industry, where we have been active for over 40 years. Today, our global footprint in solar is extensive. We have active sales and service in more than 100 countries worldwide, dedicated solar specialists in more than 30 countries and five operation facilities. Our agility and international presence enables us to expertly navigate and focus on growth in mature and developing economies, while keeping pace with emerging technologies such as storage, smart grids and microgrids, as well as reacting to local market requirements. As such, ABB is consistently investing in R&D with extensive testing and development of its portfolio to deliver integrated

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PES met up with Frederick Bamberg, Product Manager at 3D-Micromac AG in Chemnitz, Germany, to discover the advances in laser machines and processes in relation to the PV industry. Efficiency and cost savings are being achieved through listening to the customer, R&D and expertise. PES: Welcome back to PES Solar/PV magazine. For the benefit of our new readers would you like to begin by explaining a little about the importance of the solar industry to 3D-Micromac? Frederick Bamberg: The PV industry is one of our key markets and accounts for approximately 30% of our business. Within in few years 3D-Micromac succeeded in establishing itself amongst the Top 3 manufacturers of laser equipment in the solar industry. We offer different machine concepts for the various fields of the PV industry. For example, our customers in the c-Si/wafer based segment prefer our microCELL OTF and microCELL TLS platforms for PERC-LCO, innovative cell cutting as well as doping. Those in the TFPV segment prefer the microSTRUCT LS for thin films on glass panels as well as the microFLEX family for thin films on flexible substrates. Apart from these established mass production tools, we also offer fully flexible platforms to R&D centres in the sector. Currently we are

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Ground mounted PV systems in open spaces are increasingly being built on hilly terrain and not only on flat surfaces such as farmlands or conversion areas. An essential uncertainty is to accurately calculate the correct position and length of the posts. PES was keen to hear about Levasoft’s solution to this problem. Integral software solution of the calculation of statics and project design for ground mounted PV systems This is critical, because of saving costs on material and ramming. For us, this meant the further development of Solar.Pro.Tools program logic in order to be able to design modules or elevation systems in the terrain and to statically calculate these with algorithms, which smooth the distribution of posts via linear programming. Challenge The challenge to us was how the so called PV system tables could be positioned in the terrain, without creating lots of individual plants. Through iterative automated testing, we applied variances into the algorithms, which, within parameters, merge adjacent modules into tables, without creating new tables. Another task was, if we could still calculate the distribution of posts in this new, three-dimensional system and if possible, would it be still performant enough to calculate even larger plants? This is the most complex problem

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China is well on the way to being a market leader in wind energy and ZF is already there, in the established Tianjin facility and the satellite plant in Beijing. The European trained Chinese staff includes designers and technicians all eager able to provide a top class service worldwide. PES brings you the latest developments from this dynamic, pioneering company, who is set to remain top player in our industry for some time to come. ZF Group is a world-leading technology group in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. ZF Wind Power (ZF) is one of its major industrial business units, as part of a long-term corporate strategy of involvement in the wind market; ZF has enhanced its product range and advanced gearbox solutions through the acquisitions of wind gearbox suppliers Hansen Transmissions in 2011 and the Bosch Rexroth AG wind business in 2015. ZF has been pioneering wind gearboxes since 1979 and has always had a strong focus on advancing the wind power market, with innovative designs, to drive down the cost of electricity. With over 60,000 gearboxes shipped, ZF has installed more than 110 GW covering 25 percent of the globally installed base of

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Long standing heavy lift specialist company BigLift Shipping, member of the Netherlands-based Spliethoff Group, is more and more engaged with developments in the renewable energy markets in Europe, and also in the US and Asia. Where wind turbines used to be relatively small, new generation turbine parts, particularly monopiles, are now so heavy and large that a state-of-the art heavy lift vessel is required for their transportation. BigLift has a track record when it comes to the transportation of wind-turbine related cargo, such as monopiles, transition pieces, jackets, nacelles, and wind blades. The new generation wind turbine is increasing in size and weight and brings with it a growing need for heavy lift vessels to transport the, also, growing turbine-pieces. BigLift’s Happy S-types and MC-Class Heavy transport vessels – the latter added to the BigLift fleet in January – are eminently suitable for such cargoes. Nacelles and tower sections for Merkur wind farm Starting in 2017, BigLift has made eight voyages for the construction-ready Merkur wind farm, located approximately 45 km north of the island of Borkum, Germany, in the North Sea. The wind farm will consist of 66 wind turbines and once complete will generate approximately 1,750 GWh annually, enough clean energy to

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The renewable energy market is undoubtedly on the rise, particularly in Europe, where wind power is now the second largest source of electricity behind gas-fired power plants. According to a recent report from Wind Europe, the number of onshore and offshore wind turbines added a record 15.6GW of new energy capacity last year and the industry group also reported that 2017 was a record year for investment in future wind farms with agreements to build another 11.5GW of new capacity, worth around £19.8bn. While the number of renewable energy projects continues to grow, countries early to the renewable revolution such as Germany have older, aging fields that now require integrated inspection and repair programmes to maximise productivity. There is now a greater need for specialists in this field to provide the skills and experience to not only support installation of high quality wind farms, but also to maintain them throughout the full lifecycle. Enhanced lifecycle management Sparrows Group is a global provider of expert equipment and integrated engineering services to the energy and industrial industries. Last year the company acquired Alpha Offshore Service A/S in a deal that significantly strengthened the group’s operations and maintenance capabilities in the wind energy sector. There was a

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In Europe alone, tens of thousands of wind turbines produce energy for countless households. Turbine maintenance or servicing is fundamental to ensure it stays this way. Because employees regularly work at great heights they cannot manage without fall protection systems - for example, when climbing a tower by means of a fall arrest system. PES went to find out about how SKYLOTEC ensure the safety of their employees and the training they offer both in house and globally. Leading manufacturers of fall protection equipment, such as SKYLOTEC, develop solutions for working at heights on wind turbines, with cleverly designed details, which enable simplified application and reduce the risk of an accident. Nevertheless, even if the equipment is intuitive to operate, regular training courses for rescuing colleagues involved in an accident are vital. In Europe, whenever maintenance or servicing work is due to be carried out on the wind turbines, fall protection for employees is mandatory. This does not just apply to once they have already reached the nacelle or the high external areas. In many cases, employees belonging to the maintenance firms or the operator can only reach these work areas by means of a fall arrest system, such as a

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24SEA has been involved in various projects over the last years all focussing on foundation monitoring. Typically, up to 10% of the foundations within offshore wind farms are equipped with a Foundation Structural Health Monitoring (FSHM) system, consisting mainly of installing accelerometers and strain gauges in the transition piece. In the recent projects, for both the Belgian wind farm Nobelwind and the UK wind farm Galloper, 24SEA teamed up with TUBS and Com&Sens, to equip monopiles with optical strain gauges over the entire length of the monopile. With this innovative set-up, the projects aim to better understand the subsoil dynamics and to validate new design methodologies for the soil structure interaction. In addition, the subsoil sensors can be used to access the lifetime directly near the critical welds and validate the concept of virtual sensing below the mudline, where strains over the entire substructure are predicted using accelerometers only. In this piece, we will discuss the first results obtained from the optical strain gauges installed on the monopile. Motivation Offshore wind turbines (OWTs) are some of the most dynamic civil structures. The substructures of OWTs are loaded by both wind and waves, and agitated by the rotations of the wind turbine on

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Global wind capacity is set to double by 2027, and the United States is in the midst of the most lucrative time to increase production of wind energy. Renewable companies are fueled by an urgency to capture tax subsidies and currently in many parts of the country; wind is the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity. Even with the many environmental benefits of wind farms over traditional sources, wind still faces opposition across the U.S., especially in rural areas. South Dakota has been expecting dramatic growth in wind energy production for some time now, but the contentious debates surrounding the approval of new wind farms has created a drift between residents and caused the state to lag. Although in most cases wind turbines will create a minimal impact on the landscape, some residents feel the turbines are too unsightly, loud, and disruptive to wildlife, ignoring the many benefits, such as tax revenue, the project will bring to the state and local communities. Despite the local opposition, there has been recent good news from the federal government for offshore wind projects, as the Trump administration announced it is pushing ahead with building wind turbines off the Atlantic coastline. The Bureau of Ocean Energy

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André Moura, Founder and CEO of Pro-Drone, Integrated Solutions for the Inspection of Energy Infrastructure, sat down with PES to tell us his perspective on drone inspections and how his company differs from other players in the market. Their experience and strategy means this company is here to stay and remain one step ahead of the game. PES: Welcome PES Wind magazine. Thanks for talking with us. Would you like to begin by explaining a little about the background of Pro-Drone and how you currently serve the wind industry? André Moura: Pro-Drone was born out of our desire to contribute to the efficiency of the wind energy sector by modernising the blade inspection procedures and empowering asset owners by providing them with high quality data. Our team has a very diverse background including robotics, aeronautical engineering, computer science and data management systems. Founded in 2015, we have carried out inspections in Europe and South America totalling over 1500 blades over the last 8 months. Our aim is to be established globally by the end of 2018. PES: We were wondering why Pro-Drone decided to focus on wind turbine inspection with the UAVs? AM: I was involved with offshore maintenance operations of wind energy assets, which

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