Abstracts - VGB PowerTech Journal 8/2019

Welcoming address to the VGB Congress 2019

Innovation is often compared with ideas and inventions. However, innovation literally means “new feature” or “renewal”. And that is exactly what the future energy system is all about. Most technologies do not have to be reinvented, they already exist. However, the use and combination of technical solutions must be innovative in order to guarantee a secure, cost-effective and environmentally compatible energy supply in the future as well. Digitisation, decentralisation, democratisation and decarbonisation are the major trends of the coming years. The integration of renewables, flexibility in generation, demand-side management, storage technologies, power-to-x, sector coupling and e-mobility will form the technical basis. The innovative use of these solution options is the real challenge of energy system transformation.[more...]

Perspective development of electricity generation in Europe

Stefan Ulreich and Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer

The European power plant park will experience a paradigm shift between 2025 and 2030 due to the technical lifetime of conventional plants. The foreseeable change will be intensified by the increasing efforts in recent years to shut down nuclear and coal-fired power plants before they reach the end of their technical and economic life. The declining generation capacity from conventional power plants can be compensated by the addition of renewable energies. However, in order to maintain stability in the grid, it must be ensured that the necessary secure capacity is available at all times. Conventional power plants, which have so far provided most of the secured capacity, will only be available to a significantly reduced extent in future. For this reason, renewable energies and flexibility options such as storage and demand response will have to make strongly growing contributions to secure capacity from this period onwards in order to achieve the usual level of security of supply. To illustrate the upcoming challenges, this article looks at the death line of the conventional power plant park of the EU-28 .

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Transformation of the German energy system Technology Readiness Levels 2018

Christoph Pieper and Michael Beckmann

The article summarizes the results of a scientific study “Transformation of the German energy system – Towards photovoltaic and wind power – Technology Readiness Levels 2018”. The study focusses on the state of development of relevant technologies on the basis of Technology Readiness Levels. Further, it emphasizes development potentials and limits as well as the necessary power capacities needed for a certain energy system design that is mainly based on electricity. Thus, the scope is set to renewable energy sources suited to provide electricity in Germany, technologies that convert primary electricity for other energy sectors (heating and mobility) and storage technologies. Additionally, non-conventional technologies for electricity supply and grid technologies are examined. The underlying Technology Readiness Assessment is a method used to determine the maturity of these systems or their essential components. The major criteria for assessment are scale, system fidelity and environment. In order to estimate the relevant magnitudes for certain energy technologies regarding power and storage capacities, a comprehensible simulation model is drafted and implemented. It allows the calculation of a renewable, volatile power supply based on historic data and the display of load and storage characteristics. As a result, the Technology Readiness Level of the different systems examined varies widely. For every step in the direct or indirect usage of renewable intermittent en­ergy sources technologies on megawatt scale are commercially available.The necessary scale for the energy storage capacity is in terawatt hours. Further, the required total power capacities for complementary conversion technologies lies in the two-digit gigawatt range.

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Hydropower – Tendering and awarding of contracts

VGB PowerTech

For every project with external participation, the question of the most suitable supplier arises. The time available to clarify the question from tender to award is usually very short compared to the duration of the project. However, since the selection has a significant impact on the course of the project, the achievable quality and the costs, this is an extremely important phase. Both in the choice of the type of tender and in the award negotiations, there are design and steering options, whereby the more influence exerted, the greater the planning and monitoring effort.

Hydropower plants - experience and technical competence

VGB PowerTech

The value of experience is discussed in different industries with different outcomes. Due to the special features of the hydropower business, the gain in experience takes comparatively long. Depending on the size and complexity of the power plant park or the individual plants, it is recommended that operators maintain a minimum level of competence. The interpretation of the topic of “maintaining experience and competence” is also intensified because in recent years there has been a clear trend towards staff reductions among all those involved (manufacturers, operators, etc...) and an increasing tendency towards subcontracting and the display of services.

AI diagnosis for maintenance teams: Building of a Digital Twin

Allard de Grandmaison Inès, Muszynski Laurent and Schwartz Aurélien

Combining a Digital Twin and Artificial Intelligence (AI), a new technology for the diagnosis in operations and the maintenance of power generation assets has emerged from the R&D center of EDF. It has led to the creation of a start-up company under the name METROSCOPE, founded by the inventors of the patented technology, and member of the EDF Group. This solution takes the form of a software, that is already equipping several French nuclear plants, and is currently being deployed on a CCGT, a fuel plant but also the cooling system of a Datacenter. The construction of the physics-based Digital Twin of the plants is first described, and its calibration on the process data is explained. The Digital Twin is then used in combination with the AI algorithm to analyze the process data. The outcome of the technology is a diagnosis of the plant, which identifies the failures currently affecting the process, and their impact on the overall performance of the plant. This allows the operators to monitor closely the health state of their assets.

EU Cybersecurity Act, IT Security Act 2.0 and the current cyber threats in the energy industry

Stefan Loubichi

Terrorists and criminals have discovered cyber security as an interesting target. Most of the big companies have already become victims of cybercrime. According to the latest information from the National Cyber Defense Center, we must except a nearby attack on the energy supply systems in Europe. And we must not forget that Europe was on January 10, 2019 9:00 p.m. shortly before a blackout and we should remind that there are more and more such scenarios every week. For these reasons, it is clear that the Cyber Security Act of the European Union came just in time. This essay shows by means of facts that cyber security is urgently needed in Europe in the energy sector. It is shown in the current ITU reports that Germany is anything but the leader in digitization or cyber security. Also, we show how cyber-security is legally implemented in Russia or China, the two leading cyber crime countries. Afterwards the essay deals extensively with the European Cyber Security Act. The structure and tasks of the ENISA are presented as well as the certification scheme in the field of cyber security and the requirements of a corresponding certification authority. The current scheme of cyber attacks by APT Berserk Bear on the German energy sector is presented, as well as the helpful ENISA IoT Security Standards Gap Analysis. Finally, the corresponding IT security law 2.0, which is expected to come into effect in autumn, will be discussed in its most important aspects for the energy industry.

Making excellent construction materials from ashes – new applications

Frans van Dijen

Especially fly ashes from bituminous coal firing are used in construction materials, for instance for partial replacement of cement in concrete. (Fly) ashes from firing lignite, subbituminous coal, wood, bark, etcetera, can also be used for making inorganic construction materials of excellent quality. Other inorganic industrial residues can be applied as well for production of excellent construction materials, like gypsum and Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBFS). Besides of excellent properties, especially geo-polymers can be made without CO2 emissions, with a very low specific energy consumption and with cheap raw materials. In this way the old Roman- and Greek concrete returns.

A pragmatic approach to chemotoxic safety in the Nuclear Industry

Howard Chapman, Marc Thomas and Stephen Lawton

Little is known, understood, or published outside the nuclear sector about chemotoxic safety within the industry. Chemotoxic safety in the nuclear industry is a broad topic area which primarily examines the risks posed to human health by substances and mixtures from their chemical and physical properties. This includes hazards which can cause harm to health, physical harm, or asphyxiation. Nuclear sites with their background in radiological substances and hazards have created the need for extensive safety measures involving the requirement for high integrity instrumentation and control measures for protection to stringent nuclear standards and this approach has historically been replicated for chemotoxic assessments. This paper examines the underpinning regulations and explores the philosophy behind more recent developments in chemotoxic assessments to meet the challenge of producing pragmatic safety cases within the nuclear industry. It provides a unique resource to the nuclear sector and can be used for benchmarking against the wider process industry, as well as for training and developing staff.