These seven nominees beat the field to make it to our select list of finalists in the 2013 PACE Zenith Power and Energy Awards proudly sponsored by Schneider Electric Australia.
I S Systems
Joulenergy (Short Term Energy Storage) 150kW 8MJ Demo System
I S Systems developed a utility scale short term energy storage system called Joulenergy, which is based on super capacitors. The solution was designed in response to a challenge to design and construct mega-joule capacitor banks required for utility scale applications.
This involved increasing the system energy storage capacity using a large number of capacitors in a series connection, creating a large medium voltage (kilovolts DC) capacitor with mega-Joules of storage capacity.
The project required the development of power converter modules based on LV IGBTs' together with the associated controls, monitoring and protection. The inverters are operating at kilovolts above ground potential requiring all interfacing to be via fibre optic cables.
The project tasks included designing custom PCBs fitted with DSP microcontrollers and FPGAs. The associated firmware has been designed and developed by I S Systems.
The complete system and individual components were designed, analysed and modeled using tools including Matlab, Scilab (open source software like Matlab) and PSIM (power electronics modelling).
The control system includes a high speed main controller and a safety PLC. The main controller implements the regulation functions and line or bus synchronising.
The PLC system controls the interlocking controls, sequencing functions (startup & shut down), external communications, alarms and warnings.
The equipment access is a SIL 3 safety interlocking system. Applications include increasing RE penetration and improving network stability through both active power and reactive power management.
The Joulenergy system provides distribution network support with high fault current capacities to ensure protection discrimination operation.
Solar Smoother/Grid Power Support system
In communities which use solar power, especially in Western Australia's north, passing clouds cause unpredictable peak demand on grid systems with heavy solar injection.
Recently WA's Horizon Power stopped installation of all PV power and introduced a new regulation called Generation Management in which it is mandatory to install a smoothing device to cater for the abrupt power fluctuations, which cause damage to Horizon power's diesel generators.
Magellan Power has the solution – it is called a Solar Smoother. The Solar Smoother will enable the grid to cope with the fluctuations caused by the passing clouds and reduce the need for reserve fossil fuel based power generation.
The "Solar Smoother" has been adapted from an existing product, the Grid Power Support System. The GPSS was developed by Magellan Power in 2009 to solve power problems with the Single Wire Earth Return networks in Queensland.
The GPSS uses inverter technology to store surplus energy gathered from the SWER network in high quality, industrial-grade lithium batteries, and then feeds it back to the grid during peak load periods.
[Pictured alongside are Magellan Power's Masoud Abshar and Lindsay Meek.]
The GPSS has a ramp function and on this model it was used to smooth power disturbances. A similar "smoothing" function would apply to the Solar Smoother.
The Magellan Power team has been working on the Grid Power Support system project for over 18 months and recently deployed two 25kVA prototype models to Ergon Energy in Queensland for use at two live problematic SWER sites.
Data is currently being collected to validate the benefits of this technology however, Ergon – along with a number of other energy distributors are interested in further use of the product.
According to data from Ergon Energy, Magellan Power's Grid Feed Inverter is producing positive results.
The Solar Smoother will be an adaptation of this particular product, using the inverter technology to store surplus energy from the solar array, before storing it in Lithium Batteries, and feeding it out during peak loads – for example when the sun disappears behind a cloud.
Similar to the GPSS the solar smoother will provide ramp up and down time. Through in-house research conducted by our Sales Engineers and our R&D department we have gathered that there is not currently a product readily available with a Solar Smoothing function to be used in making solar power more stable.
Curtin University GEEP Laboratory Data Management System
ICON Technologies engineered a data acquisition and distribution system for the GEEP Laboratory at the Curtin University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The laboratory is a multi-use facility for graduate, postgraduate and industry researchers, together with undergraduate students and teaching staff. It is used for the research of different renewable energy sources with a commercial scale power management and micro-grid infrastructure.
The operational and technical functions of the facility is managed by the GEEP Laboratory Data Management System. The system needed to provide unrestricted 24/7 access to all real-time and historical data for researchers, and limited but flexible access to real-time and historical data for students.
Any researcher sitting at any workstation needed to be access real-time and historical data from any combination of renewable energy sources.
The system also needed to provide multiple levels of remote access so that staff could have full operational access to the system from a remote location, while various subsets of data could be made available over the Internet to various industry groups.
The solution comprised of a Windows 7 server PC, client PCs as required, three NI CompactRIO PAC Controllers to acquire point and waveform current/voltage data at selected system points, and to handle ancillary IO as required; and a MOXA serial interface to integrate the site weather station.
The custom system application software was developed in LabVIEW 2011. When completed, the GEEP Laboratory Data Management System was capable of handling mixed static and waveform signals at acquisition rates from 1 sample/s to 5,000 samples/s, together with serial and network data, in a single seamless system.
Gold Coast University Hospital Network Control System
The Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) Network Control System (NCS) monitors and controls the electrical network and power supply for the GCUH.
The main objective is to provide power across site with minimal downtime. This is achieved using a generator system to supplement the main supply from the power utility.
During the loss of the normal power supply to the GCUH the NCS interfaces with the generators to automatically restore supply power across site.
The NCS performs the following functions:
• Monitoring and control of the 11 kV, 3.3 kV and 415V power
• The Interface to the Generator Digital Master Controller (DMC).
• The Interface to the Building Management System (BMS).
• The Interface to the Fire System.
Due to the extreme importance of maintaining power to a hospital the site has a redundant GE RX3i PLC solution with a network of distributed, redundant communication adapters at each of the main twenty plus substations.
In the result of a network failure, each substation is able to continue processing via a fully redundant communications path.
This is the largest dual redundant GE RX3i solution in Australia. All substation communications are Ethernet based and utilise dual self-healing rings with best in class recover times.
Centrifugal drive system saves energy at Sunshine Sugar mill
‘AC or DC?’ was the question on everyone’s mind when Sunshine Sugar decided to replace their ageing centrifugal drive system. After considering all options, Sunshine Sugar chose a Siemens AC drive-motor combination.
Replacing their 298KW DC centrifugal drive system for a 184KW AC motor-drive combination was a decision that required some convincing.
Siemens provided analysis on their success with reducing the size of motors and drives by controlling the switching rate of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT).
The Active Front End technology allows users to reduce the size of the motor and drive without losing power, achieve harmonics of less than 1 percent and consequently reduce energy costs.
AC drives are now preferred for centrifugals. The largest centrifugals available can handle 2,000 kilograms of massecuite in a single charge. Variable-speed AC drive systems are normally used for the centrifugals because they require very little maintenance.
Sunshine Sugar installed the SINAMICS AC drive and motor solution and has achieved a substantial saving in power consumption.
Power recordings have confirmed a reduction from 1.7 down to 1.0 kWh/tonne of massecuite despite this reduction being recorded prior to optimising the drive.
Data Centre Electrical and Power Management System
The functionality for this Data Center Electrical and Power Management System (E&PMS) was provided the company's software engineers using industrial automation products (Siemens WinCC and S7400 controllers in a redundant configuration).
Zi-Argus provided the client with a supportable sustainable installation enabling complete monitoring and reporting of a critical installation.
With over 40,000 data items to monitor and report, robust design and expandability was critical and all accomplished in one integrated system for electrical monitoring and power metering allowing easy additions for further stages of the installation all in a redundant server pair.
By combining power metering functionality with circuit monitoring on a single platform, it enables the user to see real time power and energy consumption adjacent to circuit breaker status – assisting in troubleshooting and maintenance activities.
This particular project is unique in that Zi-Argus provided the client with an innovative solution without bespoke and/ or propriety application licensing.
The completed system is cost effective and rivals the prepackaged offerings of international equipment suppliers.
Aether Asset Inspection Service
The Aether Inspection Service has been developed to provide a safe and reliable method for inspecting the surfaces of large scale infrastructure assets such as cooling towers, chimneys and blades of wind turbines.
These infrastructure assets must be routinely inspected to reduce unscheduled maintenance. The Service was launched in Australia in 2012 and will be available in Europe the second half of this year.
Traditionally, there is no easy way of capturing a high quality visual record of the surface of these assets. The standard approach is to employ rope, crane or scaffold based teams to scale the asset and photograph potential defects.
The resulting pictures from these inspections are usually incomplete and reliant on the human eye and the conditions on the day. In addition, this practice is risky and teams can only operate effectively in benign weather conditions.
The Aether service comprises an engineered Image Capture Platform and supporting software management tools for image processing and analysis.
Both the Imaging Platform and the software interface have been developed in-house by Braendler’s team of electrical, mechanical and software engineers and drawing on their experience in developing vision inspection and reporting systems for use in high speed manufacturing environments.
The 2013 PACE Zenith Power and Energy Mangement Awards are sponsored by Schneider Electric Australia.
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