New Products and Services

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Figure 1: The #3 Shin-Sendai Power Station in Japan is the world’s first to operate the MHPS M701F5 gas turbine

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System (MHPS) has released the M701F5, its latest 50 Hz F-class upgrade. It is capable of combined cycle efficiency in excess of 61%. Featuring a 1,500ºC class Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT) for 500 MW in a 1:1 combined cycle configuration, four M701F5 have begun commercial operation at two plants in Japan and Thailand.

The higher turbine inlet temperature is being applied to the M701F5 design by incorporating J-class technology to the first two turbine row blades and vanes of the preceding F-class model known as the M701F4.

The M701F5 combines several technologies verified in other gas turbine frames. It retains the M701F4’s structural design as well as the same inlet flow path and volumetric flow. Control Diffusion Airfoils (CDA) were applied to the M701F4 compressor middle and rear stages for improved efficiency.

This development has also been incorporated in the F5. It is able to at 1,500ºC TIT courtesy of: J-class turbine Rows 1 and 2 blades and vanes; G-class air cooled (GAC) combustors and transition pieces; and GAC class turbine rows 3 and 4 blades and vanes (Figure 2).

Figure 2: The MHPS M701F5 gas turbine

Improved cooling hole geometry and an advanced thermal barrier coating (TBC) developed during a Japanese government-funded project were incorporated to effectively cool the surface of the turbine blades and vanes. This combination translates into a high efficiency design while maintaining the M701F4’s reliability, as exhibited during more than half a million actual operating hours by its 46-unit fleet.

With their smaller footprint and initial cost advantages, single-shaft combined cycle designs are popular in Japan. MHPS has installed more than one-hundred single shaft combined cycles in 55 plants around the world including the M701F5 plants mentioned above.

The first two M701F5’s went commercial at Tohoku Electric Shin Sendai #3 Power Station in Japan (Figure 1). These two units were followed by a 2-on-1 combined cycle plant at Khanom Power Station in Thailand.

A brief inspection performed after the first M701F5 sustained operation at full load for an extended period of time found that all parts including fuel nozzle, combustor basket, transition pieces, blades, vanes and accessories components were in sound condition without distress or TBC loss.

Close to 1,500 temporary instruments were installed in the first M701F5. Data collected during commissioning confirmed better than expected performance. Measurements included compressor inlet flow, combustor dynamics, turbine metal temperature, cooling air flow, tip clearance, diffuser metal temperature and many others.

Kobe compressor

Kobe Steel has started marketing new models of the Emeraude-ALE series of oil-free standard air compressors. They are said to have achieved the world’s highest class of energy efficiency and one of the lowest levels of noise during operation. The initial launch includes models from 120 kW to 160 kW.

Larger models will be added later. These compressors are primarily used in supplying compressed air to power equipment and plants, as well as for painting, powder conveying and other uses. The energy consumed by these compressors generally accounts for about 20% of the total energy used by plants. Emeraude-ALE compressors have an energy efficiency of 5.70 kW/ (m3/min). Sound insulation keeps noise to 66 decibels.

Trip valve release

Avoiding overspeed is a fundamental requirement in gas and steam turbine safety management. Voith Turbo’s TripCon trip block enables continuous triple modular redundancy, from the speed sensor to the hydraulic cylinder of the trip valve.

It has a compact design and a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of over 100,000 years. It has a pressure range from 6 to 180 bar (87 to 2,610 psi), which makes it suitable for high-pressure and low-pressure hydraulic systems. Discharge volumes of up to 320 l/min (85 gpm) with a differential pressure of 6 bar (87 psi) can enable shutdown times of less than 300 ms.

An expansion module is available, which allows for the replacement of all solenoid valves during operation. Typical applications for the TripCon are trip valves on gas and steam turbines in high-availability plants. The trip block is suitable for retrofitting non-redundant trip systems.

Variable speed drive

ABB has released variable speed drive (VSD) control software that uses model predictive control to regulate the drive’s torque. The software was initially developed to ensure the operation of compressor stations during voltage disruptions caused by lightning strikes, winter storms or ice build-up on power lines.

Such stations use compressors of up to 50 MW to compress natural gas for travel through hundreds of miles of pipeline. Synchronous electric motors controlled by VSDs, such as ABB’s Megadrive-LCI, are sometimes used to drive these compressors. The MPTC ensures the operation of the drive during power and grid disturbances in order to provide the compressor with partial torque, preventing the compressor from going into surge.

Live testing of the software was done over the winter at two Statoil gas facilities in Norway. It was installed on ABB Megadrive-LCIs used to power two 42.2 MW compressors at a gas processing plant in Kollsnes, and three 7.5  MW booster compressors in Kårstø. The control software protected the compressor operation during voltage dips.

Biogas approach

Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology has been recognized for decades as a process for gas upgrading in large scale industrial applications. The German company ETW Energietechnik has improved this technology for biogas upgrading processes.

The new approach called SmartCycle PSA has an energy consumption rate of 0.14 KWh/Nm³. This biomethane plant design can automatically adjust pressure swing cycles to varying inlet gas quality and volume flows. That enables control of outlet gas purity (over 99%) or heating value. SmartCycle PSA will help operators of waste or sewage plants that often deal with changing biogas qualities and flows.

Battery storage

GE and Southern California Edison (SCE) plan to install the world’s first battery storage and gas turbine hybrid. It first calls for installation of a battery energy storage system from Current, powered by GE, followed by upgrades to a GE LM6000 gas turbine to integrate the two systems.

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT, which is scheduled to be deployed at two SCE sites, was developed in response to changing regulations and grid requirements in the wake of California’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage leak earlier this year and will ultimately support increasing renewable energy capacity.

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT product integrates a 10 MW battery energy storage system from Current and a GE LM6000 aeroderivative GT with control system upgrades from GE’s Power Services. The turbine can operate in standby mode without using fuel and enable immediate response to changing energy dispatch needs.

By eliminating the need to constantly run the turbines at minimum loads to maintain spinning reserves, the LM6000 Hybrid EGT is said to save fuel, reduce maintenance costs and cut down on emissions. It offers ancillary and grid support plus it can provide 50 MW of spinning reserve, flexible capacity and peaking energy. The battery energy storage system is expected to be installed and operational by the end of 2016, and the updated and integrated turbine controls are scheduled to be operational in early 2017.

Security appliance

Most IT firewalls today cannot protect against threats to industrial network traffic, which limits their ability to minimize security risks on the plant floor. The Allen-Bradley Stratix 5950 security appliance from Rockwell Automation uses Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) firewall and FirePOWER technology to create a security boundary. Developed in collaboration with Cisco, it is also available on a subscription software basis.

Asset management

Emerson Process Management has introduced the AMS Ares asset management platform, providing users a way to view the performance and health of field assets. Users can securely access and share key data, with asset health summaries available on traditional desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets inside or outside the plant. Ares gathers data from multiple sensing technologies, and provides current health status of plant assets on a dashboard.

Turboden ORC

Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology company Turboden has been selected as the turbomachinery provider for the Velika Ciglena project in Croatia due to start operating in 2017. It will exploit steam and hot water at 170°C to produce electricity to feed the local power grid. The ORC turbogenerator with a 5-stage axial turbine has a rotation speed of 1,500 rpm, while guaranteeing minimal vibration values (around 1mm/second). The single pressure level cycle is said to be the best match of heat exchange curves and offers the simplest plant configuration. This makes it possible to achieve 4% higher net power output with a saving of 8% capex, compared to alternative solutions.

Mass flowmeter technology

Coriolis mass flowmeter technology ensures stable and uninterrupted measurements of oil with high gas content. The Optimass Coriolis mass flowmeter by Krohne offers reliable indication of gas bubbles in a process by using a combination of various measurements to detect a two-phase flow.

The meter detects and signals gas entrainment and maintains the active measurement in all measuring conditions with gas content from zero to 100% by volume. The measuring sensor and signal converter were designed to offer complete digital signal processing, from the production of the drive oscillation of the measuring tube to the evaluation of the sensor signals. The meter maintains continuous mass density measurement and provides measured values at all times. At the same time, it can report the two-phase status and output a preconfigured alarm.

Motion detection


RDI has released a non-contact video-based technology product called Motion Amplification for use in assessing manufacturing operations, processes, and structural components that affect plant reliability and productivity. It detects subtle motion and amplifies that motion to a level visible. It produces a video of the motion across an asset enabling communication between technical and nontechnical resources.

Air bearings

Air bearings can be made to closely match the stiffness and damping of oil bearings. This is a challenge because the stiffness and damping of oil bearings is dependent on rotor speed and so will be different progressing though critical speeds.

When looking for axial unbalance distribution and how it aligns with the mode shapes the rotor needs to traverse in operation. It is useful to support the rotor on adjustable stiffness balance bearings.

Although speed has little effect on stiffness and damping in externally pressurized air bearings, input pressure is a first-order effect and can be used to adjust bearing stiffness at speed. These are known as Bently Balance Bearings, as Don Bently advocated for varying the input pressure of externally pressurized support bearings as a means of dynamically tuning machines.

This adjustability helps in getting the right stiffness and damping at different speeds and in testing for sensitivities to changes in stiffness.

New Way Air Bearings offers these externally pressurized air bearings for non-contact support of rotors during balancing operations. The non-contact air bearings eliminate damage to the rotor from hard rollers and the mess of oil film bearings in vacuum chambers.

These bearings also provide a more precise axis of rotation with a cleaner signal for higher resolution in balancing. Audible and electrical noise in balancing operations is reduced by supporting the rotor being balanced on air bearings.

Unit loading of air bearings have been demonstrated at over 400 psi with 600 psi input pressure. With normal shop pressure of 100 psi, the air bearings will carry 60 psi unit loading. Such a bearing with 10 square inches of face would flow about 20 SCFH. Maximum surface speeds at the bearing face are a function of gap, which is adjustable by varying input pressure. Bently Balance Bearings are available for rotors from 2mm up to 2m in diameter.

Surface defects

Precision machined surfaces on turbine blades, drive train components and other critical parts may incur damage during production and may wear and corrode from use or environmental exposure. These surface defects can cause system failures with significant financial consequences and even catastrophic, loss-of-life events. Quality control personnel have relied on visual comparison techniques to determine the severity of surface defects.

The 4D Technology 4D InSpec Surface Gauge is a handheld, non-contact instrument that measures precision machined surface defects and features with micrometer-level resolution. Measurements are unaffected by vibration present in most manufacturing environments. The handheld gauge has a single cable tether to its computer and measures defects between 0.1 and 100 mils deep on a variety of part geometries.

Gas turbine cleaner

Gray Tools Canada has launched the Turbo-K gas turbine cleaner. It is the only gas turbine compressor cleaner with no cloud point, hence it is said to restore 100% power through online cleaning. It is stable at all temperatures so fouling is removed from every stage and flushed into the combustion chamber. There is no redepositing from cold sections to hot. Turbo-K is approved by the likes of Pratt & Whitney, Siemens, GE, and Dresser-Rand.

Integrally geared compressors

Sundyne integrally geared compressors are now available in the 20 to 7,500 kW range for aeroderivative, industrial and frame-type gas turbines rated from 20 MW to more than 500 MW output. Fit-for-purpose, skid-mounted packages are said to deliver benefits, including overall cost-savings, abbreviated delivery times, streamlined installation and commissioning, as well as a compact, space-saving footprint.

Bearing isolator

Flowserve has upgraded the Bearing Gard bearing isolator with the latest electrical grounding capabilities. This technology is designed to extend bearing life and reduce operating costs for motors driven by Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs).

VFDs operate by delivering power to the motor in a series of positive and negative pulses, which often result in unbalanced voltage that can accumulate in the motor shaft until it can find a path to ground. Without proper grounding between the shaft and the motor housing, the bearings often become the path to ground.

The resulting electrical discharge can damage or destroy the bearings. Flowserve developed new Bearing Gard technology to address this challenge. With integrated electrical grounding protection in place, substantial elimination of shaft voltage is achieved, which helps to significantly extend bearing life.

Mass flow controller

Alicat Scientific has engineered a mass flow controller called the MCRH that can accommodate flow rates of up to 5,000 standard liters per minute, without compromising speed or precision of gas control. The stable controller manages industrial processes with more chaotic upstream fluctuations, such as control of industrial combustion gases, or mass flow into food and packaging processes. The MCRH 5000 slpm precisely controls mass flow rate, volumetric flow rate, or back pressure of gases in high flow processes.

Gate valves

Conval Swivldisc gate valves are available in half-inch through 4-inch sizes. They feature a wedge gate design that employs a flexible disc to permit the seating surface to achieve alignment and establish a tight seal.

Rust removal

Buildup of scale and corrosion is a common occurrence in pipes and systems in constant contact with water. Waterborne minerals such as calcium carbonate naturally build up over time and accumulate on metal surfaces in thick layers of scale.

Moist environments like this are also a breeding ground for rust and corrosion. Scale and corrosion slow down water flow, decrease heat-exchange efficiency, increase energy use, and incur costly downtime. EcoClean Biodegradable Scale and Rust Remover powered by Nano VpCI EcoClean Scale unclogs heat exchangers, chillers, condensers, cooling towers and pipes. It is non-toxic and safe to use on iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, magnesium and various alloys.

Capstone microturbines

Capstone Turbine has unveiled 200 KW and 600 KW microturbines known as the C200S and C600S. Capstone’s Signature Series is designed for CHP markets with integrated heat recovery, two-stage air filtration, improved enclosure design, relocated exhaust stacks and 12-year marine grade paint.

Other upgrades include new fuel capabilities, the development of a universal control board and system control platform, the continuation of the alumina-forming austenitic (AFA) materials effort with the U.S. Department of Energy and an overall cost reduction program for the series.

Extreme temperature valves

High Pressure Equipment has developed a line of standard and custom valves and fittings designed for cryogenic and extreme heat environments. They have an extended stuffing box design with fins provided around the packing area to move packing away from cold or hot zones and dissipate the heat or cold for safe and reliable operation.

They are available in manual and air-operated configurations for for pressures from 10,000 to 30,000 psi. These valves use coned-and-threaded connections to provide extra dependability and are available in special materials such as Monel and Hastelloy.

Large capacity coating

Fusion of Houston has announced the completion of its largest coating cell. The booth is 16’ W x 13’H x 51’ long and has the capability to handle components up to 100-inch diameter x 28 feet long and up to 80,000 lbs. The roof opens hydraulically to facilitate the use of an overhead crane for loading and unloading. A gantry supported robot can coat large crankshaft rod journals.

Clutch brakes

Posidyne long coupled C-Face clutch brakes from Force Control Industries are aimed at high cycle (50 to 300 CPM) applications where they eliminate damage to keyways and motor shafts. When indexing with a clutch brake, each clutch engagement transfers a torque spike to the connection between the motor shaft and the input shaft of the clutch brake.

In this arrangement, the motor shaft installs into the hollow bore of the clutch brake input shaft. The long coupled Posidyne clutch brake offers both the simplicity of a C-Face mounting, and a tight fitting coupling. This allows precise stopping, starting, reversing, speed change and positioning which is ideal for applications with frequent start-and-stop cycles.