Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Words: Antti Turunen, Head of Global Service, ZF Wind Power The wind energy industry has grown up. Sophisticated technologies and a tough market call for more than just a professional repair of faulty equipment. Up to the medium power range it has become a commodity market where quality has become a given and where typical commodity linked drivers like timing and cost push the turbine manufacturers into continuous optimisation of the value chain. In recent years, in the gearbox service market, we have seen a similar trend. The general drive for lowest energy cost is gaining momentum and demanding solutions. Historically the service business has been closely linked to the new gearbox business of the large OEMs. For years the business required only one solution for servicing a gearbox and that was to bring it back in the best possible state. In practice, due to the learning curve and related upgrade, this means that a repaired gearbox is now becoming even better than the original serial product. The market is changing now and seeking significantly greater flexibility. This flexibility originates from the drive towards lowest cost of energy. Segmentation is taking place in the market and within every segment the customer has a different

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PES is pleased to bring you a preview of the latest multipurpose vessels: the new R-Class, from Spliethoff, buit in the Zhejiang Ouhua shipyard in China. The ships will be just the ticket for the offshore wind industry. Amsterdam-based shipping company Spliethoff has placed an order for six multipur-pose vessels at the Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., shipyard in China and are looking forward to a long partnership. Spliethoff is a dry cargo and multi-purpose specialist. It was established in 1921 and over the years has built up an excellent reputation for its high quality standards and for being a reliable, loyal partner. These new, state of the art, R-Class vessels have been designed to comply with the Polar Code and are therefore highly suitable to trade in remote areas such as the Arctic. Working for the wind industry means it’s very important to be ecological, both in terms of the environment and emissions. So with this in mind, they will be optimised for fuel efficiency and equipped with scrubbers which will also reduce their environmental footprint to a minimum, and ensure they are ready for SCR and Tier III compliance.

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PES brings you Offshore Project Support, your complete service provider in the offshore wind industry. Smarter, cost reducing and more efficient offshore wind industry. It’s possible. Offshore Project Support (OPS) from the Netherlands combines the knowledge, experience and equipment of four different offshore companies. Together, they are ‘the toolbox at sea’. A complete service for every stage in wind energy projects. Niels Noordeloos is OPS’s managing director. “Titles don’t really mean much to me. I’m a practical kind of guy who just happens to know exactly what’s going on in the offshore industry. I enjoy managing projects and like to come up with safe and well considered solutions. With OPS I can offer my clients the services they need.” Niels Noordeloos has worked in the offshore industry for 16 years and has been working as a freelance project manager over the last couple of years. “First in the gas and oil industry, later on in the offshore wind industry. At one point I was wondering if we could reduce costs by combining different projects. I envisioned a chain of wind parks from the southern part of the North Sea up to northern part of the North Sea. One vessel could sail

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Later this year, the blades on the world’s first full-scale floating wind farm will start to turn, harnessing the winds that hurtle from the continental shelf. Hywind Scotland will literally sit on the North Sea, 26 kilometres to the East of Aberdeen. But while big winds make it a perfect site for energy generation, they will often be accompanied by big seas. In the Buchan-Deep, waves of over 1.5m Significant Height will prevail for up to half of the year and ensuring that turbines are productive in these environments will require new solutions to getting maintenance technicians safely and cost-effectively onto and off turbines in high seas. With this access challenge in mind, Edinburgh based Limpet Technology is embarking on the development of a new access system that aims to allow technicians and loads to transfer between vessels and offshore wind turbines more safely and in higher sea states.  Supported by an innovation grant from Scottish Enterprise, the overarching technical objective of the project is to deliver a solution that will allow safe and reliable access to offshore turbines in waves of up to and beyond 2.5 metres Significant Height (Hs). Limpet Technology’s CEO, Stephen Cornwallis commented. “To make operations and maintenance

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Coming off a record year in 2015, where a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances pushed the Chinese market to 30 GW and the global market past 60 GW, 2016 was a solid if mostly unspectacular year for the wind power industry. More than 54 GW of clean renewable power was installed across the global market, which now comprises more than 90 countries, including 9 with more than 10,000 MW installed, and 29 which have now passed the 1,000 MW mark. Cumulative capacity grew by 12.6% to reach a total of 486.8 GW. Wind power penetration levels continue to increase, led by Denmark pushing 40%, followed by Uruguay, Portugal and Ireland with well over 20%, Spain and Cyprus around 20%, Germany at 16%; and the big markets of China, the US and Canada get 4, 5.5, and 6% of their power from wind, respectively. Much of the reduction from the 2015 market was because China ‘only’ installed 23 GW instead of 2015’s phenomenal 30 GW. The 2015 numbers were driven by an impending cut in the feed-in-tariff which came into effect in January 2016. We face the same situation again in 2017, with an impending tariff reduction on January 2018. While we don’t

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The reduction in the Feed-in-Tariff has created numerous challenges for the solar PV industry and managing operational costs has been fundamental to the continued success of many businesses. In pursuing their efforts to address operational costs, owners of large domestic solar PV portfolios, such as social housing landlords, local authorities and investors face many challenges in tackling the pressures to maximise the FIT revenues while keeping administration costs to a minimum. Goldfield Partners Limited is a case in point. Managing a diverse domestic solar PV portfolio of over 8 MW with 2,700 solar PV assets largely in the private domestic market in a challenging environment comes at a cost. “It’s true that many thousands of jobs have been lost in the solar PV industry since the new FIT regime was introduced in January 2016,” said Karl Fernandes, national operations manager at Goldfield Partners Limited. “And we have seen the effects first hand. Installation and maintenance partners have gone which has added further administrative pressures on us whilst keeping operational costs as low as possible. This is whilst growing our portfolio through acquisitions and still managing and maintaining our current assets to ensure our customers are benefitting from the free energy generated from

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The solar cell technology PERC enables PV cell manufacturers to decrease costs and increase efficiency. PES gets an insight on the state-of-the-art and next generation PERx technology from Mirko Meyer, Product Manager Meyer Burger, Germany, AG. The success story of photovoltaics has always been a technology story which is still being written. Numerous PV technology options are available today. The common focus of the PV industry is to drive production costs down while increasing the energy yield of solar modules. Striving to reach this common goal has already made PV one of the most affordable sources of electrical energy globally. Beside this economical and the obvious ecological aspect PV is also very attractive because it can be rapidly installed at decentralized locations. The wafer to cell conversion is one of the key elements to get a valuable high quality PV system which is able to produce electricity at lowest costs. PERC: Lower costs and higher prizes An important result of the PV technology evolution is the successful multi gigawatt deployment of PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) cell technology into world-wide solar cell production facilities since 2015. PERC is an upgrade technology for standard Al-BSF solar cells which increases efficiencies by using aluminium oxide

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As the world transitions to a low carbon electricity system, one of the key challenges is responsiveness. Traditional forms of power generation provide a reliable base load that can be dialled up and down as needed. In contrast, renewable energy generation is intermittent and cannot be increased as efficiently in response to peaks in demand; the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow. As solar’s share in global energy generation continues to rise exponentially, the industry’s ability to innovate expands too, as large corporations continue to invest in this sustainable clean energy source. Thanks to rapid innovations in the application of digital technology the solar sector is able to offer one of the most flexible forms of power generation available. Industry 4.0 The world has seen a series of epochs: the first industrial revolution transformed production with mechanics, Industry 2.0 saw electricity enable mass production, and Industry 3.0 drove forward the increased use of electronics and IT. Today, a digital revolution is firmly underway and is considered by many to be the dawn of Industry 4.0. Smart technologies, including the Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other forms of advanced communication, are fundamentally changing

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Market development of PV storage solutions in Germany There was hardly any awareness of storage systems in the German market until the introduction of a federal subsidy program for the usage of home storage systems in 2013. In the beginning the new technology was met with scepticism from various market players; however, the federal subsidy program was able to slightly compensate the high price level for end customers. After around 5,000 storage installations in 2013, the installation numbers in the German market almost doubled in the years to come, so that by the end of 2015 a total of approximately 30.000 storage systems had been installed. This market development was initially carried by the first subsidy program, which expired at the end of 2015. More or less every second storage system was installed with the help of the federal subsidy system during this period. After a phase of uncertainty, a second federal subsidy program was initiated in March of 2016, to accompany the development of storage solutions for small roof-top systems until the end of 2018. When taking the current market development into account, the subsidy budget of 10 million euros per year was too limited to offer sufficient market stimulation

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In a drive for even lower costs and higher efficiency, the photovoltaic industry is hugely dominated by the standard rectangular panels of 60 or 72 cells optimised for installation in large fields and flat roofs, in dry and accessible environments. This has proven a good model for utility-scale electricity production but people want more. This is exemplified by Elon Musk’s announcement last year, that Tesla will market a solar roof tile, going viral; a demand exists for PV elements integrated into the environment around us—in ways that are efficient, economic, and beautiful. Products for varied applications like PV roof tiles, PV building skins, floating PV, PV on landfills, and PV noise barriers are still required to be economic and manufacturable. The best system design choices for these products often require a novel module concept or set of materials. Dutch energy research centre ECN has established the Solar Elements Living Laboratory (SELL) to work with customers to develop their custom-integrated PV products from the initial idea to market introduction. Starting with economically and mass-manufactured solar cells or laminates, the SELL is equipped with tools and experts to design, prototype and test integrated PV products of all sizes, shapes, colours, and applications.

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