A Show of Power

With enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 last year, the power industry was dealt a new hand in the power generation game in coming years. This year's PowerGen International, which convenes Nov. 28 through 30 at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, will provide some answers to attendees' questions about the new power picture.

By Scott Siddens, Senior Editor November 1, 2006

With enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 last year, the power industry was dealt a new hand in the power generation game in coming years. This year’s PowerGen International, which convenes Nov. 28 through 30 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, will provide some answers to attendees’ questions about the new power picture. Here’s a brief look at what the show will offer.

LP vapor-fueled gensets with ratings of 20, 25 and 30 kW are suitable for a wide variety of standby or prime power applications. Powered by a three-liter industrial engine, models are also available to run on natural gas or LP liquid fuel. The series is said to be especially suited to use with remote cell phone towers, telecommunications switching facilities or small commercial buildings. The units feature electronic control systems and an electronic governor that provides fast response to load changes. Several sizes of alternators are for selectable motor starting capability, low wave-form distortion with non-linear loads and fault-clearing capability. (GGM Series by Cummins) www.cumminspower.com #15

Automatic transfer switch for 600-volt class emergency/standby applications is single- or dual-operator and available in 2-, 3- or 4-pole configurations. The manufacturer claims its ATS models have the industry’s highest 3-cycle closing and withstand ratings and are labeled for use with any circuit breaker with instantaneous trip. UL-listed through 4,000 amps and SCADA capable, they offer front-accessible wiring and rapid arc quenching. IEC-certified models are also available. The dual-operator model is suitable for applications that require the switching of large inductive loads such as three-phase motors or transformers used in pumping stations, sewage treatment facilities, elevator systems, or hospital X-ray equipment. (RMT and RMTD by Russelectric) www.russelectric.com #16

Gas and diesel gensets are delivered as components of a complete integrated prime standby or emergency power system. Engineered to meet or exceed stringent emissions standards, gas generators range from 9 kW to 5.9 MW, diesel sets from 13kW to 16.2 MW. Gensets feature proprietary technology for Advanced Combustions Emissions Reduction to meet EPA standards. A new line is the first to offer 2- to 4-MW of power in a single high-speed package. (Gensets by Caterpillar) www.cat.com #17

Gas engines tap into an available energy sources, such as industrial waste gases, to achieve CO2 emission savings. Steel production processes typically create large volumes of specialty waste gases. Coke oven gas, generated during the processing of bituminous coal into coke in coke oven batteries, mainly consists of hydrogen and methane. Also, LD-converter gas is created during the steel manufacturing process that converts pig iron to steel. In the past, operators used these steel waste gases to only produce steam in gas-fired boilers. This new technology allows steel factories to also generate electricity while avoiding the need to vent these gases into the atmosphere. (Jenbacher by GE Energy) www.gepower.com #18

Thermocouple assembly provides a reliable temperature monitoring sensor for high-purity fluid systems that traditionally use fluoropolymer components. The sensor assembly overcomes perceived weaknesses with current thermocouple sensors that potentially reduce long-term stability, and is expected to deliver considerable cost savings to users over its lifetime. The assembly has been designed as an alternative to sensors for high-purity flow systems that are fabricated by bonding the thermocouple wires between fluoropolymer tubing elements, a form of installation often carried out by end users. (DS Series by Parker Hannifin www.parker.com/partek #19

Tagging relays are designed with serial communications capability and can be used to optimize automated breaker control schemes in new or existing power distribution systems. They can also be used to control remote reclosure cutoff and facilitate the expansion of a SCADA system beyond a substation to distribution feeders. A remote operator automatically places and removes eye-catching orange warning tags, ensuring personnel safety are in compliance with worker-safety tag-out rules. The relays offer two positions and up to 10 decks. Their contact ratings (interrupt) are 20 amps at 120 volts AC and 3 amps at 125 volts DC. Coil burdens range from 9.9 amps at 48 volts DC to 6.6 amps at 125 volts AC. (Series 24 by Electroswitch) www.electroswitch.com #20

Paralleling switchgear is an advanced, multiple-engine power control solution that starts, synchronizes, parallels, monitors and protects emergency, standby and prime power systems. The system is said to offer unsurpassed engine control and load management expertise, parallel up to eight engines and manage up to 64 automatic transfer switches. Control a power system from easy-to-operate screens at the system, or monitor remotely from a control center or anywhere in the world over the Internet. Monitor power 24/7/365. Now you can customize the paralleling control switchgear using a variety of configurable modules based on a standard engineering design. The modules reduce lead and delivery times, and facilitate installation and start up, so customize a system to your requirements and still meet tight deadlines. (400 Series by ASCO) www.ascopower.com #21

Flywheel UPS is designed to provide 190 kW for 12.5 seconds. A single unit can provide 220 kW for 5 seconds, 170 kW for 15 seconds, 120 kW for 22.5 seconds or 60 kW for 45 seconds. Other combinations of power and runtime are available. Other benefits claimed by the manufacturer include low operating and maintenance cost, no bearings maintenance or replacement, no vacuum pump maintenance or replacement, an efficiency greater than 99.8%, low power consumption, quiet operation and easy installation. Multiple units can be run in parallel. (VSSdc+ by Pentadyne) www.pentadyne.com #22

Medium-voltage switchgear represents a paradigm shift in communications technology for power distribution systems, with “waveguide” concept that enables switchgear to communicate data via electromagnetic waves without the use of electrical or optical links. Data is transmitted at almost the speed of light and without interference and transmission loss. Modules equipped with waveguide are able to communicate with their entire environment in accordance with the IEC 61850 standard. (E-panel ZX by ABB) www.abb.com #23

Modular UPS is claimed by its manufacturer to be the world’s largest in the 400- to 1,600-kW range. Suited to applications such as large data centers, complete buildings, health-care and other critical facilities, the system can be scaled for increased availability through internal N+1 configurability, predictive failure notification and multi-module paralleling features. With low cost of ownership, best-in-class efficiency and a reduction in rating of electrical infrastructure wires, transformers and generators, the system offers slide-in/out power modules, manageable external batteries and self-diagnosing features that reduce mean time to repair. (Symmetra MW by APC) www.apc.com #24

Genset controller is a manual control system for the starting, stopping and protection of engines when used as prime movers on generator sets and pump applications. The controller is said to be ideal for those applications where high reliability and low cost are critical. The device offers a higher degree of flexibility and is as equally suited for industrial engine applications as it is for genset applications. (DGC-50 by Basler) www.basler.com #25

Generator switchgear is medium-voltage system that features drawout vacuum circuit breakers with ratings up to 350 MVA for 5 KV systems, and 1,000 MVA for 15 KV systems. With main bus ratings up to 3,000 amps, the system is available as indoor, outdoor aisled or aisleless, and is supplied in a containerized assembly. Fully tested prior to shipping for operational correctness, device function and overall system performance, the system also boasts accessory items such as neutral grounding resistors/reactors. Station batteries are available to reduce sourcing headaches and ensure compatibility. The units are available with control system, or with conventional discrete components for metering, protection and control. (by Enercon) www.enercon-eng.com #26

Rack-mounted UPS is the latest addition to the manufacturer’s portfolio of systems for high-density rack environments. The units deliver power protection for medium- to high-density racks in data centers and other mission-critical facilities by providing up to 10 kVA in only 6U of rack space. Other features include internal hot-swappable batteries, electronics technology for superior battery life and performance, complete power management software and remote monitoring over a LAN or the Internet. (9140 UPS by Eaton/Powerware) www.powerware.com #27

Engine genset is pre-configured and pre-engineered for quick delivery. With extended size ranges up to 400 kW for diesel and up to 130 kW for natural gas/LP, the units are said to be easy to install, with silencer mounted plumbed, and insulated water jacket heater mounted plumbed and pre-wired to a terminal strip. They also boast a battery charger mounted and pre-wired to a terminal strip, and on gaseous units, fuel inlet, along with the flow control valve (regulator) and solenoid valve, are plumbed to the outside of the base. Available with UL 2200 and CSA labels, the gensets meet NFPA 110. Low profile and reduced size is aesthetically pleasing, and upsized alternators are standard on most models. (SP Series by Katolight) www.katolight.com #28

Transfer switch controller is an upgraded model that is said by the manufacturer to be designed for flexibility and convenience, and provides a platform to accommodate future power system adaptations. Communication to critical power systems provides essential monitoring through Ethernet or RS-485 LAN line, and both are standard. This allows the user to interface to their own management systems or the manufacturer’s propriety software program to see critical information. Whether the power system is local, remote or connected directly to the customer’s management system, the controller allows for an integrated interface with the power system. (MPAC 1500 by Kohler Power) www.kohlerpowersystems.com #29

Custom enclosures are designed and fabricated by ISO9001:2000-certified company for generator set enclosures and sub-base fuel tanks. The manufacturer also offers initial specification writing assistance to specifying engineers working in the on-site power industry. Systems include not only enclosures, but also UL142 fuel tanks, sound-attenuated housings and design recommendations for achieving the required sound level at the job site. It offers complete NEC-compliant packaging services of all electrical devices typically associated with on-site power installations such as automatic transfer switches, switchgear, free-standing control panels and radiator mounted load banks. (by Chillicothe Metals) www.cmcousa.com #30

Single-Phase UPS is on-line double-conversion model with power ratings of 6, 8, 10 and 12 kVA and voltages of 120, 208 and 240 input, and 120, 208, 240 output. Features include an extra wide input voltage and frequency window, IGBT converter/inverter and generator compatibility. The system also boasts low input current THD, low audible noise, internal maintenance bypass switch, hot-swappable batteries and smart battery charger. (by Mitsubishi Electric) www.mitsubishielectric.com #31

Transfer switches from 30 amps to 4,000 amps continually monitor the utility, start generator sets and transfer the load automatically. The transfer switches meet all applicable UL and CSA standards, and include options such as open transition, program transition, bypass isolation and closed transition. They are available with solid, switched or overlapping neutral, in Nema 1, 3R, 4, 4X and 12, with open service entrance rating, remote annunciation and remote monitoring (by DDC/MTU Power Generation) www.ddcmtupowergeneration.com #32

Gas turbine is driven by a type of internal combustion engine that can be viewed as an energy conversion device that converts energy stored in the fuel to useful mechanical energy in the form of rotational power. The term “gas” refers to the ambient air that is taken into the engine and used as the working medium in the energy conversion process. This air is first drawn into the engine where it is compressed, mixed with fuel and ignited. The resulting hot gas expands at high velocity through a series of airfoil-shaped blades transferring energy created from combustion to turn an output shaft. The residual thermal energy in the hot exhaust gas can be harnessed for a variety of industrial processes. (by Solar Turbines) www.mysolar.cat.com #33

Emergency backup power meets NFPA 101 and NFPA 111 standards for life-safety equipment. The device is also UL 924 listed, providing the required 90 minutes of emergency backup power, and is 100% compatible with all lighting applications and building security systems. The unit provides continuous sinewave output for use with “normally on” lighting fixtures and exit lamps. (UltraLITE by Controlled Power) www.controlledpwr.com #34