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Renk was one of the many vendors exhibiting at PowerGen EU

Despite concerns about sluggish European economies and the low price of crude oil, a breeze of optimism wafted through the exhibit halls at the June 2016 PowerGen Europe show in Milan, Italy. Exhibitors such as Siemens, MAN Turbo, Voith, Reintjes, Renk, Sulzer, Kawasaki and others were pleased with increasing sales in China and India, and growing interest in new and existing products, featuring higher efficiency, novel designs and full digitization.

Digitization, in fact, was an oft-mentioned topic on the exhibit floor. Siemens, for one, is digitizing its value chain. The company unveiled its Digital Services for Energy powered by Sinalytics, a secure, scalable, industrial-strength analytics platform capable of integrating huge volumes of data from field service, global fleet performance, as well as other sources, such as weather, and fuel and labor prices. Over 300,000 devices are connected companywide through Sinalytics.

Digital Services

Beyond simply collecting this data or providing customers with a standalone software platform, Siemens is integrating the data from multiple sources where it can undergo advanced analytics. “We are generating insights and delivering digital services that help our customers achieve performance outcomes that matter,” said Aymeric Sarrazin, Head of Strategy for Siemens Power Generation Services.

Sinalytics also incorporates a cybersecurity-by-design approach that allows confidential data to be collected, transmitted and analyzed securely throughout all lifecycle phases. Supporting concepts include the configuration of hardware and software systems using cyber-protection technologies, explicit proof-of-identity of users, and strong authentication and confidentiality protection of data in transit.

By applying digitization and condition monitoring, Siemens and Profertil, an Argentine petrochemical company, were able to align the servicing of Profertil’s gas turbines (GT) to match its three-year plant overhaul interval. This increased the plant’s productivity.

Digitization is also benefiting Siemens’ wind-turbine customers. Using remote diagnostics, the company can monitor more than 10,000 wind turbines globally. That makes it possible to address 85% of alarms coming into its Remote Diagnostic Center without the need to visit the wind turbines. This translates into higher availability and operational efficiency.

And data-driven upgrades, such as Siemens’ High Wind Ride Through, allow turbines to operate at reduced power at high wind speeds. At the West Wind facility in New Zealand, the upgrade on 62 wind turbines resulted in a 2% improvement in annual energy generation and a reduction in high-wind-speed losses of 80%.

Sulzer is also stressing digitization. Its new RetrofitApp helps users find ways to update pumping equipment, while improving reliability and efficiency. The app, designed for iOS and optimized for iPad, allows industries with pumping equipment to upgrade their existing assets regardless of type or make, and give pumping equipment “a second life.” The app is available on the Apple app store and as a download version for Windows on www.sulzer.com/retrofit-app.

MAN in India and China


MAN Diesel & Turbo is targeting China and India. Starting in 2017, two MAN turbines based on combined heat & power (CHP) will deliver around 17 MW of power and 35 MW of heat in the provincial capital of Changsha. The order, placed by Changsha ENN Heating and Power Co., comprises MAN’s THM series as well as an MGT 6100 GT, the newest available from MAN.

At a new gas-fired CHP plant in Shanghai, a joint venture between Chinese SAIC and German VW Group, four sets of MGT 6200 GTs began operation in January. Each of the four turbine sets delivers electric power by driving a generator. Additional waste heat for producing process steam increased the plant’s efficiency to more than 80%. The new CHP plant produces enough electricity to cover 100% of the annual demand in a nearby auto plant and gearbox plant in Anting, China, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by about 23%.

In India, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAN SE, acquired 100% of the shares of MaxWatt Turbines Pvt, an Indian engineering company that services steam turbines for applications in power generation and mechanical drives. MaxWatt’s range of products will be integrated into MAN’s portfolio. MAN’s workforce in India will increase to about 650 employees. MaxWatt’s HQ in Bangalore will be MAN’s first steam turbine production site in India.

Kawasaki, meanwhile, is focusing on design. The company announced development of a M5A-01 GT for small CHP applications. The 5 MW machine is designed to fit between the company’s existing M1A and M7A series. The M5A-01 will be commercial in 2018.

Design is an important component in Renk’s new MS clutch, with automatic clutch engagement at any synchronous speed. The clutch’s coupling consists of two main elements: Gear coupling (axial, radial and angular displacement) and a synchronous mechanism that automatically engages and disengages. The MS clutch is designed for combined cycle power plants (CCPP), CHP and compressed energy storage facilities. It is tailored to operate in the range of 0.5 to well over 200 MW.

Turboden, a specialist in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, and industrial boiler company Bono Sistemi, have designed Steam & Power ORC, a cogeneration system for manufacturing processes. The principle of Steam & Power ORC is the temperature level of the cycle, allowing the cogeneration of electricity and medium-pressure steam with high energy efficiency.  This system is suited for manufacturing processes that require thermal energy in the form of steam with different pressure levels, based on the application, such as oil & gas, pulp & paper, chemical & pharmaceutical, and food & beverage.

New gears

Meanwhile, Voith debuted its BHS AeroMaXX technology for turbo parallel-shaft gear units. The inner housing and optimized sleeve bearings are said to reduce power loss and oil consumption by 30% or more. This solution has a passive-mechanical character and does not require any additional accessories. Due to the high pitch-line velocities of up to 200 m/s, oil swirling and oil squeezing in the gear mesh account for a substantial part of the power loss of high-speed turbo gear units. The AeroMaXX technology reduces these losses by separating the lubrication from the cooling.

An inner housing in the direct vicinity of the gear set absorbs heat and dissipates it into the external surface on the inner housing via cooling oil. This means that a substantially smaller volume of oil is required for the actual lubrication of the teeth-contact surfaces and the swirling oil and air mixture is minimized.

AeroMaXX is said to increase gear unit efficiency by up to 0.5%. At the same time, oil consumption is reduced by at least 30%. AeroMaXX is designed for high pitch-line velocities in connection with medium-to-high power that occurs in the driveline of power plants with compressors and generators.

Voith BHS AeroMaxx

Reintjes also featured a new gearbox at PowerGen EU. Its new product is said to cover the whole portfolio of powertrains: Steam turbines, gas turbines and compressors. In addition to flexibility, its gearboxes come with standalone components, such as a Quill Shaft and Rotor Turbine Device. The Quill Shaft allows torsional flexibility by reducing torsional stresses in the shafts. It also compensates for radial deflections in full steel, and is maintenance-free. The Rotor Turning Device, available as a standalone component or as a gearbox option, provides the breakaway torque needed to start steam or gas turbines and accelerates the turbines up to the turning speed in a time span specified by the user.

This also makes it possible to rotate the turbine during cool-down. The soft starter on the Rotor Turning Device enables a controlled start and provides adjustable ramp times, start values and current limits. Reintjes high-speed gearboxes are equipped on CHP, pulp & paper, waste incineration, and ethanol plants.