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New nuclear power plant ‘a safety black hole’, says industry expert

Belarus’s first nuclear power plant, which will be situated 130km north-west of the capital Minsk, is set to be operational by this year. Funded by Russia, Ostrovets 1 will consist of a VVER-1200 pressurised reactor, producing 1200MWe of energy production. A second reactor, Ostrovets 2, will have the same capacity and will be built by 2021.

Ilaria Grasso Macola, Power Technology writer at leading data and analytics company GlobalData, comments: “The country’s decision to build a nuclear power plant was based on the need to loosen its strong and historically established dependency on Russia.

2017 04 20 114457“In order to cut down its dependency on Russia by 25%, Belarus introduced a 2011-2020 plan, which promoted Ostrovets 1’s construction as well as hydropower stations and wind projects.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded its 12-day Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Belarus on 4 March, aimed at reviewing the country’s infrastructure development for its first nuclear power reactor.”

Belarus deputy energy minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk said: “Hosting the INIR mission, Belarus demonstrated its transparency and genuine interest to receive an objective professional assessment of the readiness of its nuclear power infrastructure for the commissioning of the country’s first nuclear power plant.”

However, energy and nuclear policy analyst Mycle Schneider told GlobalData: “The IAEA’s INIR mission took place after neighbouring states voiced concerns regarding the plant.

“Neighbouring countries have voiced concern over the lack of review of some serious safety concerns and Lithuania has transmitted an official note to the European Council.

“In the absence of short-term clarifications and serious audited back fitting, the Belarusian nuclear power plant remains a safety black hole at the border of the European Union.”

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make timelier and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.

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Schlumberger Opens Manufacturing Center in King Salman Energy Park

Schlumberger has just announced the opening of a world-class manufacturing center in King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) that supports Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) program to promote economic growth. The center will manufacture well completions technologies including liner hangers and packers and isolation valve technologies, such as GROVE* valves and ORBIT* rising stem ball valves, to help improve the efficiency of oil and gas operations in the Kingdom and neighboring countries.

ORBIT Low-E certified low emissions valveORBIT Low-E certified low emissions valveThe first phase of the manufacturing center, which comprises 105,000 square meters, will create more than 200 new jobs over the next few years and develop a highly skilled manufacturing and supply chain workforce for oil and gas products and services within the region. This is a demonstration of the Schlumberger alignment with the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.

The official ceremony was hosted by Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch, Schlumberger EVP Operations Khaled Al Mogharbel and Schlumberger Chief Technology Officer Demosthenis Pafitis in the presence of Saudi Aramco Upstream Senior Vice President Mohammed Al Qahtani and other key stakeholders.

“We are delighted with Schlumberger’s inauguration of its manufacturing center and congratulate them on playing a very important anchor role at the King Salman Energy Park. This center and SPARK will accelerate solutions across the value-chain for the Saudi Energy Sector that will create opportunities for Saudi men and women in a sustainable way for many generations to come,” said Mohammed Al Qahtani, upstream senior vice president, Saudi Aramco.

“It is with pride that we announce the inauguration of the Schlumberger Manufacturing Center in King Salman Energy Park. As the first upstream services company to establish a manufacturing center in SPARK, we are enabling an agile fit-for-basin capability that links research, product development and now manufacturing to the needs of the Saudi Arabian market,” said Ziad Jeha, president Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, Schlumberger.

King Salman Energy Park is being developed to capture the full economic value from energy-related goods and services in Saudi Arabia and throughout the region, localizing value creation through dedicated industrial development as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the world's leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. With product sales and services in more than 120 countries and employing approximately 105,000 people who represent over 170 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry's most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance sustainably.

Schlumberger Limited has executive offices in Paris, Houston, London, and The Hague, and reported revenues of $32.92 billion in 2019.

For more information, visit www.slb.com 

*Mark of Schlumberger or Schlumberger companies.

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Webdyn is now offering a complete catalogue of environmental accessories and sensors compatible with its Sun range.

Webdyn is now distributing accessories that are compatible with WebdynSun and WebdynSunPM gateways. Pyranometers, temperature sensors, counters, Modbus slave and irradiation sensor are some of the new products added to its catalogue in response to customer requirements.

It has become clear that in the customer relationship and user experience, customers are looking for a single contact that gives them the most complete solution possible: a package comprising a data concentrator and sensors to efficiently measure their photovoltaic installations and power plants.

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Access to accessories catalogue

To this end, Webdyn has extended its range to include environmental accessories and sensors. In addition to its WebdynSun and WebdynSunPM gateway products, Webdyn is offering various sensors in order to collect all the information from the site to be monitored such as outside temperature, temperature under the panel, increase in power consumption and sunlight levels.

The environmental sensors are connected directly to the WebdynSun or WebdynSunPM and send field data and information about the photovoltaic installation to the gateway.

The gateway retrieves all the data collected at a single point so that it can be sent to the chosen information system. It gives real time monitoring of electrical production and the effective control of your installation.

“It is important to listen to our customers' needs and, with this comprehensive catalogue of accessories compatible with our products, we can ensure simpler and more efficient monitoring of the installation and support” said Philippe Faugeras, President of Webdyn.

About WEBDYN

For more than 15 years Webdyn designs and industrialises hardware and software solutions for M2M communication on Energy, Environment, Smart Grids and Transport markets.

Webdyn is a European leader of supplying multi-protocols concentrators covering all the applications of teleservice and the monitoring. With competitive and flexible products, Webdyn covers the entire management of your distant equipments.

With proven experience, Webdyn spreads its expertise to endpoints RF and gateways PLC-G3 to respond to its customers.

Webdyn is present in several European countries and has an office in India.

For further information: www.webdyn.com

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Microgrids: The future of UK energy?

Britain experienced its biggest blackout in more than a decade this summer due to two power plant outages, leaving almost a million homes across the country in the dark. Because of this, the energy watchdog and the government have raised concerns about the grid’s ability to cope with changing energy needs and demands. Here, Alan Binning, Regional Sales Manager at energy software developer, COPA-DATA, explains how microgrids could help.

A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or collaboratively with other areas of the grid. Combining a range of generation sources with energy storage and intelligent load management, microgrids are hailed as the solution to providing reliable, economic and environmentally friendly power supply.

Historically, microgrids were associated with remote power supply – providing electricity to developing nations or extremely rural locations. However, the potential applications of microgrids spread much further. According to a report by Navigant Research, there are 4,475 identified microgrid projects in proposal, planning and deployed stages, in a variety of different applications.

Don’t believe the hype? You should. The popularity of microgrids can be largely correlated with their potential to lower electricity prices for businesses. In fact, microgrids are estimated to save between 21 and 30 per cent on current energy costs, while reducing peak power requirements.

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This is particularly important for organisations that need a high level of energy reliability, such as data centres or hospitals. For these businesses, a microgrids ability to operate independently from the larger grid — sometimes referred to as island mode — is invaluable.

Businesses owning their own generation assets can also benefit from improved energy security compared to being reliant on the larger grid. Known as demand side response, in companies attached to the national grid can be asked to reduce their energy consumption. This would not be a problem if the business is running on its own micro generation.

Microgrids can empower the user, but what’s the benefit to the larger electricity grid?

When the grid is in crisis, like Britain‘s summer blackout, microgrids can help to react to unexpected demand peaks. That said, Summer 2018 may have provided a better example. Following Croatia’s 109th minute goal during the World Cup semi-final, it is safe to hypothesise that many England fans may have immediately flicked on the kettle to drown their sorrows in a good old brew. Or, perhaps more plausibly, simultaneously fired up thousands of the nation’s pub cash registers.

During this moment, the grid will suddenly experience a surge in power demand, but not necessarily a surge in power supply. If the supply isn’t available, that’s where microgrids can sell excess energy back to the grid.

Sounds complicated, but microgrid software means it doesn’t have to be. zenon, COPA-DATA’s software platform, makes automated operation of microgrids easy. The local operator who is monitoring the microgrid would be able to provide excess energy during these periods of peak demand— balancing generation from intermittent renewable power sources with distributed, controllable generation and storage. Not to mention fulfilling England fans need for a little pick-me-up.

With the growing favourability of renewable generation sources, microgrids offer a more controllable, reliable and highly flexible solution to Britain’s fluctuating energy problem. Those looking at microgrid projects could benefit by looking outside of the traditional distribution management solutions, at platforms like zenon, that can better scale to suit these applications. Enhancing grid resilience, microgrids can help the main energy grid recover from system outages, either indirectly, by sustaining services needed by restoration crews, or directly, by helping to re-energise the macrogrid.

Either way, microgrids will be the future, helping to keep Britain’s lights on in a cost effective, environmentally friendly way.

For more information on COPA-DATA and how zenon can be used for distributed energy management, please visit the COPA-DATA website at www.copadata.com

About COPA-DATA

COPA-DATA is the manufacturer of the zenon® software platform, used in the manufacturing and energy industries for the automated control, monitoring, and optimization of machines, equipment, and power supplies. Founded by Thomas Punzenberger in 1987 and headquartered in Salzburg, Austria, the independent, family-owned company employs approximately 270 workers around the globe. The distribution of software on an international scale is made possible through the company’s eleven subsidiaries and numerous distributors. In addition, more than 240 certified partner companies ensure efficient software implementation for end users in the food & beverage, energy & infrastructure, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries. In 2018, COPA-DATA generated turnover of EUR 44 million.

About zenon

zenon is a software platform from COPA-DATA for manufacturing and the energy industry. Machines and equipment are controlled, monitored and optimized. zenon’s particular strength is open and reliable communication in heterogeneous production facilities. Open interfaces and over 300 native drivers and communication protocols support the horizontal and vertical integration. This allows for continuous implementation of the Industrial IoT and the Smart Factory. Projects with zenon are highly scalable.
zenon is ergonomic, both for the engineer and for the end user. The engineering environment is flexible and can be used for a wide range of applications. The principle of “setting parameters instead of programming” helps engineers to configure projects quickly and without errors. Complex functions for comprehensive projects are supplied out-of-the-box to create intuitive and robust applications. Users can thereby contribute to increased flexibility and efficiency with zenon.

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Brexit impact on power sector remains elusive as UK reaches final phase countdown, says GlobalData

The UK’s power industry continues to remain uncertain by unknown risks and impacts of the post-Brexit scenario. Ankit Mathur, Practice Head of Power at GlobalData, provides his view on the potential impact:

“The looming Brexit deadlock has created potential risks of higher prices for imported machinery and equipment, a shortfall in skilled and unskilled labor (given the current reliance on migrant labor from the EU), and also the ripple effects of any disruption in economic activity and decline in investor confidence.

2017 04 20 114457“The UK power industry’s growth trajectory has already derailed since the announcement of the UK’s exit from the EU. After three Brexit extensions, the power sector was haunted with the uncertainties and risks of further erosion of market attractiveness.

“Although the impact of Brexit on electricity prices remains undetermined, energy bills are likely to go up as transportation costs increase due to tariffs set by the EU. 

"The energy sector is varied, and the impact of Brexit will diverge for different players by technology across the industry value chain depending on market focus, energy products traded and the cost base.”

“The elusive future of carbon pricing, cross-border energy flows, negative investor sentiments and the potential for new energy tariffs are all among the issues under consideration that will affect the future direction of UK power market.”

  • Comments provided by Ankit Mathur, Practice Head of Power at GlobalData

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.