Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Our industry is ever changing and the increase in size, height, length and weight of the new foundations and turbines have created a need for new lifting equipment able to handle these loads. PES is pleased to bring you an innovative solution from GustoMSC, who will be able to assure deliveries and installations to the new mega sites. Introduction Offshore wind turbines are predominantly installed in five steps: Tower in one single lift, nacelle in a single lift and then the three blades separately. Most modern, purpose built wind turbine installation vessels are capable of lifting the current 6-8 MW turbines, reaching the necessary height and have sufficient variable load and deck space to carry an economically efficient number of turbines for each round trip. However, over the last few years, the turbine installation market for the 6-8 MW range has been characterised by low installation volumes and vessel overcapacity. Adding the introduction of the new generation turbines with the challenge of installing higher and heavier wind turbine components, these are challenging times for installation contractors. GustoMSC has been cooperating closely with the offshore wind installation contractors and has provided integrated and efficient installation technology to face these challenges. Both floating and Jack-up technologies are

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The development of appropriate logistic concepts is a key factor for an economically successful offshore wind park. In the past the analysis and optimisation of these concepts have mostly focused on either the logistics for transport & installation (T&I) or operation and maintenance (O&M). Less attention has been paid to the important phase of commissioning. Yet it is this phase which is decisive for the rapid connection of the wind turbines and the feeding of their wind electricity into the grid. The commissioning process takes up much more time than the actual installation of the wind turbine. The various process workflows, the ships used, and the operating limits mean the installation and commissioning processes often diverge (Figure 3). A logistics concept must therefore optimize its resources paying due consideration to the weather risks in order to minimize this divergence. Methods used to analyse the weather risks In the COAST research project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the WaTSS – Weather Time Series Scheduling method – was developed at Fraunhofer IWES, together with partners from industry and implemented into the COAST – Comprehensive Offshore Analysis and Simulation Tool – software. The COAST software computes the weather risk of

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Testing has been the name of the game for a while now. In the long run research design and testing helps save time and keep costs down. PES finds out first-hand how this worked for Damen, who turned to Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) to test its pioneering Service Operations Vessel (SOV), together with the vessel’s Dynamic Positioning system and its walk-to-work telescopic gangway. The Damen SOV is purpose built for the transfer and accommodation of offshore personnel and the ground breaking design guarantees fast, safe and comfortable access to wind turbines. The first vessel of this type, the Bibby WaveMaster 1, is expected to be available from end-August 2017. Representing more than 4 years of Research and Development, the new SOV design underwent its initial seakeeping tests at MARIN’s Offshore Basin in Wageningen in the Netherlands to examine its DP capabilities during the turbine approach. Damen also asked MARIN to assess the power management system and the gangway through numerical simulations. The project resulted in an integrated HIL simulator, which has now been installed at Damen’s headquarters. Jorinus Kalis, Manager Development, R&D at Damen explains: ‘Given that this was a completely new design, we wanted to test the vessel itself, but also

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Bjond’s key word is innovation and their engineers are experts with a passion for complexity. Jo van Montfort, Sr Consultant, Director at Bjond tells PES about the short comings in the offshore wind industry, with regards to corrosion and how they want to change this. He says key factors include collaboration across the industry to collect the necessary data and a change in the testing requirements. It’s an interesting read with the potential for real savings. Let’s look at the challenges facing the offshore industry when it comes to protecting a steel structure in this type of environment. The first thing to be aware of is formulated perfectly by John Craven: ‘All my students know how to respond to the question ‘What happens when you use land-based technology in the ocean?’ They learn from day one to answer in unison: ‘You die’1. We as experts would add to the following: The annual global impact of corrosion is estimated at $2.2 trillion and represents about 3% of the worlds’ GDP. The WCO (World Corrosion Organisation) concludes that 25% to 30% of annual corrosion costs could be saved, if optimum corrosion management practices were employed and knowledge put in to practice. This is exactly where Bjond is

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We are hearing more and more about solutions for making electricity available in remote locations. PES finds out about the latest revolutionary modular energy system, which might overcome the challenges of delivering electricity to rural areas. Power-Blox is the first scalable energy product that uses ‘Swarm Power’ and is capable of both storing and distributing electricity from a variety of inputs. Power-Blox is the first modular solar energy system to offer alternating current up to the kilowatt range, based on swarm technology. This revolutionary concept also frees the supply to be completely mobile, serving as a portable outlet wherever it is required. Stäubli Electrical Connectors, the specialist in advanced contact technology and Power-Blox, the award-winning start-up, signed a strategic partnership and will together offer efficient solutions for energy storage and off-grid systems. This future-oriented partnership will develop innovative solutions for next-level autonomous power supplies. The intelligent Power-Blox cubes are scalable, flexible and independent and can be used for a number of applications. At its simplest, a single Power-Blox 200 series cube and solar panel can function as an off-grid power supply, with the unit’s integrated 1.2 kilowatt-hour battery and 230 V AC/200 W inverter providing enough electricity to run a small fridge,

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Ferroamp, a Swedish company founded in 2010, has developed a unique system that takes the integration of PV power and energy storage in facilities, to a new level. The product concept is based on a unique approach for managing phase unbalance in three phase systems. PES went to find out more about this latest technology. These unbalances occur when too many loads end up on the same phase conductor. This is a problem in Sweden as the fixed monthly grid fee is based on the size of the mains fuse. The lower the fuse rating, the lower the monthly grid fee. Three phase system reinvented The ACE technology automatically reduces the phase unbalance and neutral currents. Large single phase loads such as single phase charging points can be used without overloading the AC grid. Costly reinforcements can be avoided and grid fees can be reduced. Due to the ACE technology a new flexible inverter had to be designed. It had to be capable of dynamic power conversion from AC to DC, as well as DC to AC, with independent dynamic current flow in each phase conductor. Integrated trouble free AC charging Charging electric vehicles using AC often reduces the available supply capacity. This limits the charging

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In the PV industry the demand for solar modules used to be much higher than the production capacity. Nowadays companies are fighting for every part of the market share and obtainable margins are minuscule. And laser processes play a major role in this competition. The end customers have become picky about quality issues to do with PV products and project financiers keep a careful eye on the overall system costs. The constantly growing photovoltaic industry market and the development of new technologies got an additional push, as a lot of money has been put into research and development, especially close to industrial application. The survival of the fittest is basically fought on two key parameters. The production costs in USD/Wp (costs per watt peak) on the one hand and highest module power values on the other. The former was achieved by heavy reduction of consumable costs. Over the past decade most of the low hanging fruits have been picked. New sawing techniques sped up the wafering process and allowed thinner nominal wafer thicknesses, consuming less Si. Development of widespread used printing screens, metal pastes and printers reduced the consumption of silver on a cell. Both supported by falling prices for silicon and silver.

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Driving the development of high performance heterojunction solar cells from R&D up to industrial mass production. PES asks Meyer Burger to bring us up to date on the continuous improvement which is enabling high efficiencies and reduced costs. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015, a climate agreement was signed by 194 countries. Subsequently, these ratifying countries have set ambitious clean energy goals for the years to come. In order to keep up with the resulting growing demand for photovoltaic products, PV manufacturers along the entire value chain are expanding their production capacities tremendously. When acquiring PV manufacturing equipment, the focus lies on reducing production costs and increasing energy yield. With this in mind, Meyer Burger has developed the industry-proven Heterojunction Technology (HJT) and in doing so is setting the industry standard in the field of solar cell coating. Meyer Burger is continuously improving the HJT production process, today achieving an impressive > 23% in cell efficiency with minimal production costs by reducing the number of manufacturing steps compared to standard cell processes.

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PES brings you WInspector, an advanced and innovative approach for on-site inspection of wind turbine blades. A research and innovation project which is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. A consortium, composed of five members, TWI, WRS, Innora, Gamesa and London South Bank University has come together to find a solution for wind turbine blades inspections, by means of the development of a laser shearography system placed on a robotic platform, under the project WInspector. Overview Nowadays, Wind Turbines (WT) are one of the most efficient ways to produce green and sustainable energy, contributing in a high percentage to all renewable electricity. However, due to the stress suffered by the blades and caused by wind gusts, there is a continuous need for inspection and maintenance. According to CWIF an average of 3,800 blade failure incidents annually are attributed to poor maintenance, with a cost varying between 90,000€ and 900,000€ each, involving many accidents resulting human injury and fatalities. Blades reparations can be costly in downtime and expensive, and at the same time this fact reduces turbine’s operational efficiency. For these reasons, preventive planning through more frequent inspections is a necessity.

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Words: Shelley Regan Across the renewables industry, UAV technology is now an established and essential part of maintenance inspections and surveys. The accessibility and capability of the mission-critical data gathered for asset integrity inspections has been a ‘game changer’. It is not just the savings in terms of time- and cost-efficiency that are decisive, but the numerous operational benefits that include improved monitoring and planning and the removal of risks to personnel. The technology has proven itself against so many long-established ways of working. The UAV inspection method avoids the need for rope-access inspections and associated costly asset shutdowns, saving time and money as well as removing the risks of working at height. Work scope for fabric maintenance can be quantified much more quickly and accurately through close visual inspection for example. CVI inspections generate thousands of images and high-definition video. All of this provides data to inform engineering decisions in a fraction of the time that it would take a large rope access team to cover an area such as a full turbine.

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