Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

The price per megawatt used to be the sole decision-making criteria in sustainable energy sources. Now the tide is beginning to turn – the whole energy value chain needs to be taken into account when assessing feasibility. Power purchase agreements are on the rise. Most active are those energy intensive players who see sustainability and a low carbon footprint essential for their future business success. Many of them have an ambitious goal to use renewable energy sources only. You might argue that this is something that is reserved only to the big boys such as Google, Facebook and likes. But be assured, the rest of the business will follow these trailblazers. Call it good corporate citizenship, call it sound business sense. The fact remains the same; there is a growing demand for low carbon footprint energy solutions. For example, Facebook has signed a 294 MW wind power purchasing agreement with Vattenfall. The power for their data centres in the Nordics will come from the Norwegian Bjerkreim wind farm. ‘Bjerkreim wind farm is built on our rock foundations, which will help Facebook to reach their renewable energy goals,’ says Kari Tuominen, the business director for Peikko wind turbine foundations. Google is also a prime example. ‘The 148

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ZF is a leading pioneer in cost-efficient wind turbines. The reduction of Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) is their principal aim. The SHIFT platform concept means it’s now possible to optimize gearboxes for specific-site loads. PES wanted to know more. LCoE of wind energy happens with big evolutions in wind technology. Big is important. There are a couple of ways to produce more power from the wind in a given area. The first is with larger rotors and blades to cover a wider area. That increases the capacity of the turbine, i.e., its total potential production. The second is to situate the blades higher, where the wind blows more steadily. That increases the turbine’s ‘capacity factor,’ i.e., the amount of power it actually produces relative to its total potential. The more variable a source is, the more backup is needed to firm it up and make it reliable. By making wind less variable and more reliable, higher capacity factors reduce backup costs. With increasing capacity factors wind can spread its energy out over a longer period, easing wholesale price pressure during low demand. By extending its hours of operation, a high-capacity-factor turbine is more likely to be producing during demand peaks, when power is

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When it comes to occupational safety, emergency rescue plans are a critical factor that should not be overlooked. Every company is obliged to create these as part of a risk assessment — including the wind energy industry, which employs tens of thousands of people. For example, if an accident occurs during maintenance or servicing of a wind turbine, basic rescue concepts may not be sufficient. In such cases, personnel with specialist training in rescuing accident victims may be required — individuals who have completed advanced rescue training of the kind that manufacturers of fall protection equipment, such as SKYLOTEC provide. The German company develops and manufactures complete solutions ranging from harnesses to descend devices and rescue stretchers, and also offers a comprehensive training programme worldwide. Maintenance technicians in the wind energy industry typically work several hundred metres above the ground — and must therefore protect themselves against the dangers of a fall from height. They are required to wear fall protection equipment by law, and for good reason. However, occupational safety is not solely the responsibility of the employees themselves — their companies must also fulfil certain obligations, for example by formulating a carefully planned response in the event of an

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When you look ahead are you able to say with confidence that your business, organization, or community is truly prepared for a radically different future of energy? It’s the time of year when demand on the world’s energy systems peak. Summer in many parts of the world means that electrical grids are working overtime to power the cooling and ventilation systems that keep large cities safe from sweltering urban heat. And yet, in other less developed parts of the planet, temperatures will reach deadly levels from which there is no escape, and people will die. Our survival is totally dependent on our ability to continue to power the world we live in. But because energy is a limited resource, it’s not equally distributed. Most views of the ‘almost probable certain future’ show this situation being addressed slowly over the next five decades – and way too late for many who will perish for lack of a reliable energy supply. But what if we could embrace a fundamental shift in thinking, reset our priorities and investment plans, and set ourselves on a very different path to the future? In The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business we look a wide range

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Since 2016 MegaWindForce has been working on a special type of wind turbine with remarkable characteristics. The team found a way of improving electricity production by leaving off 1/3 of the blade! Innovative carbon production methods make this attainable. A worldwide patent was granted on this invention. With the growth of the size of turbine rotors, the driving torque at the blade root section increases more than linearly, with the length of the blade. In the case where the same materials and concept are being used, the weight increases cubically with size, demanding heavier structures to withstand forces. The low rotational speed meant the hub needed to be bigger, for the direct drive generators and heavy gearboxes. By replacing the main shaft with a ring-shaped generator-support combination, the disadvantages of classical up scaling are eliminated. The Concept The rotor area, close to the rotor centre, contributes only a small part to the energy production of a ‘classical’ wind turbine. This area plays a crucial role in supporting the blades and absorbing the driving forces of the generator system. In the MWF concept, forces are spread equally over the large surface of the ring, avoiding stress concentrations. Since the ring is sized 1/3 of

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Deutsche Windtechnik operates a unique Training Center with actual turbines from various manufacturers. In a time in which technology, systems, processes and learning methods are constantly changing, it is important to train your company staff using intelligent, agile methods. The much-discussed shortage of skilled workers also highlights the need for targeted management of competencies within a company. Ensuring the quality of our worldwide service is not the only purpose of the company’s new competence centre, which covers technology from a range of different manufacturers. By opening up its training courses to operators and operations managers, we are promoting technical transparency in the market as a whole, and this will lead to an increase in fair competition. It is no secret: well-trained specialists, unique skills and professional control of the quality of products and services are essential factors for a successful company. Training and further education for employees, special training courses and an overall willingness to encourage and foster personal development are part of any holistic corporate culture. Deutsche Windtechnik, which is Europe’s largest independent provider of maintenance for wind turbines and employs more than 1,000 people, has set new standards for the dissemination of specialist knowledge during recent months by establishing what

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Over the years, Jo van Montfort, from Bjond b.v.b.a. has convinced PES that the wind industry needs to look beyond standards and protocols to reduce the maintenance costs of turbines. It seems incredible that companies don’t seem to realise that they are not getting the best out of their coatings, despite what the tests say. Definition The best definition of a protective coating system is: ‘Transparent or coloured product that forms a film and protects the surface on which it is applied against influences from the environment.’ This means a barrier is created between the steel and environment in order to prevent corrosion. This barrier is applied as a liquid material that adheres to the steel substrate and forms an oxygen, chemicals (‘salts’) and water or moisture proof film. In most cases, this film is less than 1mm thick and more than 300μm. In many cases this thin film needs to protect the steel for more than 20 years, preferably maintenance free. Type of failures The main failure of a coating system when properly applied is losing its main barrier function. This means the coating cracks. When the cracks grow through the coating oxygen, water and chemicals (‘salts’) can reach the steel substrate, resulting in

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In the manufacturing process of its products, Pfeiffer Vacuum does not only attach importance to advanced technologies and highest quality standards but also to energy and resource efficiency, as these are important features of our corporate philosophy. Efficient solutions, with significant cost savings can be provided to customers, by incorporating these features in Pfeiffer Vacuum products. But not only customers benefit from efficient and thus cost-saving production, as PES found out from Pascal Ochalek, Facility Manager Pfeiffer Vacuum SAS, Annecy, France. Even Pfeiffer Vacuum’s own manufacturing processes should be as efficient and environmentally conscious as possible. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and want to optimally fulfil them in order to be able to guarantee a sustainable value chain to customers, starting with the very first link. Combination of efficient products and sustainable production as a recipe for success Our customers’ interests constitute our biggest and most important focus. Therefore, the improvement of efficiency and sustainable operation of vacuum solutions for customers has so far been the top priority. In recent years, impressive progress has been achieved in this and product development has significantly expanded: for some time now, development projects have been carried out according to the Eco Design approach. This

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The importance of recycling in the solar/PV industry is globally recognized. PES has followed LOSER CHEMIE for a long time. This new joint venture takes them nearer the goal of 100% reuse of the discarded products and materials and also provides support to the industry in various other ways. Whether or not this story shall ultimately go down in the economic history of Freiberg/Germany as a success story is not yet clear. For this, the young company FRESITEC (Fig.1), a 100% sister of LOSER CHEMIE, is still too young, only time will tell. They are both 100% daughters of the newly established L´FFICIENCY Holding. Fresitec has set itself the goal of continuing and expanding the recycling activities of the SolarWorld at the former site, in Freiberg in Saxony, Germany. The company has 20 years’ experience in reworking, upgrading und recovering silicon in many forms and formats. Fresitec can take the silicon produced from the recycling process as feedstock. Their portfolio includes mechanical and chemical processes as well as innovative crystallization techniques. The business processes started in November 2017 and now the L´FFICIENCY Holding group is very well positioned along the value chain. This February the first silicon ingot was produced. The range at FRESITEC

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It might sound like bringing sand to the beach, but in the PV sector a lot of friction inside business processes is still accepted. Looking at business processes in PV, several fields and several players can be identified. We at PES were intrigued by this statement from Stefan Wagner, Head of Marketing & Sales at Levasoft and asked him to expand on this. With the exception of the end-customer, all participants of a value chain in PV seem to accept a lot of friction inside the processes and thus an extended time-frame in delivering results. Planners satisfied When we started the development of Solar.Pro.Tool in 2010 at Levasoft, we were aware, that there was no integrated solution for project planners, to design and deliver one project with one tool. So, it was clear to us, that all demands of project design needed to be covered by features inside Solar.Pro.Tool. This tool still is the only white-label software, world-wide to offer this. No matter what type of project and no matter what needs to be calculated or documented, planners using Solar.Pro.Tool need no an additional software for their project. Just one part of the chain Having reduced friction during the planning process, we could see how project

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