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Aussie electrical switchgear engineers Noja Power has announces the release of Relay 1.14, — an upgraded firmware platform for its OSM series automatic circuit reclosers (ACR or “auto-recloser”) including the recently released OSM single triple ACR. Among other improvements, the firmware now includes smart grid automation software support, improved co-ordination through sequence advance and enhanced alarm notification using alarm latching. Thge new release now incorporates a comprehensive user interface for configuring the operation of the OSM single triple ACR ~ a product comprising three OSM38 single phase ACRs mounted on a single bracket. Using the new firmware, the RC cubicle can be programmed for three operating modes: three-phase trip/three-phase lockout, single-phase trip/three-phase lockout and single-phase trip/single-phase lockout. Relay 1.14 also enables advanced OSM single triple ACR operation such as configuring a different protection mode for forward and reverse power flow (for example, single phase trip/single-phase lockout in the forward direction and three-phase trip/three-phase lockout in the reverse direction).
A warning to Germany from Japan Trustpower earnings dip on weak electricity demand. Dow Jones utility average index gained 13.91% year to date
The 2385km Madeira HDVC link in Brazil is currently the longest power transmission line in the world. Image courtesy of ABB.

HDVC market surges
on renewables

The global HVDC power supply market is expected to reach $US4.88bln by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.

San Francisco-based (Californian) research company contends these systems, integrate easily with renewable or alternative energy sources such as photovoltaic, fuel cells, and wind power, and provide considerable avenues for industry growth.

The emergence of the hybrid HVDC circuit technology that utilises voltage source converters (VSC), and is compact in design when compared to traditional design is anticipated to fuel product demand over the next seven years.

Further, the industry has also witnessed the development of high power Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) that has reduced the HVDC system size resulting in substantial economic benefits.

HVDC supply enhance the reliability of an electrical system and is reportedly the only possible solution available in the market today; which can be utilised in renewable energy sources.

The ability of these products to efficiently transmit bulk power over long distance has significantly contributed to the development of direct-drive wind turbine, which supports the sustainable development of the current energy infrastructure.

The industrial segment accounted for over 40% of the overall revenue in 2014 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR exceeding 11% over the forecast period.

It can be ascribed to rapid industrialisation in emerging countries, such as India and China, along with rising demand for efficient power supply.

The telecommunication application segment is anticipated to witness healthy growth and accounted for over 25% of the market in 2014.

It can be primarily attributed to the reliable and long-distance transmission with minimal loss offered by these products. The rapid infrastructure development owing to the widespread usage of the internet may also contribute significantly towards the segment growth.

Over 4,000 V voltage segment accounted for more than 45% of the overall revenue in 2014.

It may be primarily ascribed to the enhanced features such as low output noise, creation of an automated high voltage test system, and improved sourcing precision and measurement sensitivity provided by these products.

Asia Pacific HVDC power supply market accounted for over 20% of the overall revenue share in 2014, which may increase over the next seven years. Healthy demand across the transmission grids owing to the ability of these products to connect remotely located electricity generation plants is expected to fuel the demand over the next seven years.

Europe is also projected to witness a significant growth owing to increasing emphasis on the use of renewable energy resources in the region.

The notable companies in the market include ABB Ltd., Excelitas Technologies, General Electric, Glassman Europe Ltd., Siemens AG, Spellman, General Electric, UltraVolt, Inc., Toshiba Corporation, and Alstom SA. — Grand View Research

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overseas stories

Despite the huff, bluster and headlines, wind generated power still only commanded 4.7% of net U.S. electric power generation last year. The headlines sprout it's growth (5.1% and albeit the smallest growth since 1999) — the reason being the weather patterns. According to the Energy Information Administration, the West had lowered wind speeds than in previous years, the opposite occurred in central parts of the US but the gains were not enough to offset the losses. However the spin was all positive countering it's important to note that wind power generation did rise overall in 2015. Last year, wind energy produced 191 terawatt hours, which represents about 4.7% of net US electric power generation. This is a 7% increase from 4.4% in 2014. In the renewable sources sector, wind trailed only hydropower as a source of electricity in the US last year. Additionally, 11 US states generated more than 10% of their overall electricity from wind last year. US electricity sourced by wind has increased each year since 1999. About 12.9% more wind capacity was added in the US in 2015.

Sweden’s Vattenfall has reported a 7% year-on-year increase in pre-tax earnings in its first quarter of 2016. The company said earnings before depreciation, amortisation and impairment losses (ebitda) of sek14.5bln ($1.8bln) - up from sek13.5bln in the same quarter of 2015. For its wind business, increased from sek1.3bln ($0.16bln) to sek1.5bln ($0.19) thanks to higher revenue and electricity generation after the completion of the DanTysk and Kentish Flats Extension offshore site and the Clashindarroch and Klim onshore projects. Generation increased year-on-year from 1.4TWh to 1.5TWh. The group is shifting towards a renewables and clean energy focused business, signified by the sale of its German lignite business earlier this month to Czech energy company EPH. “It is a year in which the transformation of Vattenfall will start in earnest, where the core is a climate-neutral generation portfolio, combined with customer-centred energy solutions. We are also planning bids for a number of substantial wind power projects. When this year is over it will be very interesting to see where we are,” Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said. For the 2015 financial year, the utility's wind division ebitda increased 22.5% in 2015, while the group recorded a sek23bln ($2.86bln) operating loss in its financial year due to impairment losses in its lignite, nuclear and coal businesses. — press release (30/4/2016)

PPL Electric Utilities on Wednesday (20/4/2016) completed the Northeast-Pocono Reliability Project, a $350m investment in new substations and power lines. Originally projected for completion in late 2017, the work was done more than a year early, however, while construction is complete, land restoration is expected to continue to the end of this year. The work included three new substations, nearly 60 miles of new 230-kilovolt power lines, and other improvements. Northeast-Pocono is the second major transmission project to be completed by PPL in the past year. The $648m Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line was completed in early May 2015. PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4m homes and businesses in Pennsylvania. With 2300 employees, PPL Electric Utilities is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation. PPL Electric.