Bloomberg New Energy Finance has released the 2030 Market Outlook. This is a long-term forecast of the status of the global power market up to the year 2030. The report’s findings cover major economic and technological aspects of the power market.
The report has published a graph of the forecast annual, global, gross capacity additions from 2013 to 2030. The graph shows an increase from about 280 GW in 2013 to about 360 GW in 2030. This is an increase of 25-30% in annual gross capacity additions. Fossil fuels provided 64 % of the global installed capacity in 2012. This is forecast to drop to 44 % by 2030. The share of renewable energy (wind, solar, other renewables) was 29 % of global installed capacity in 2012. This is forecast to increase to 49 % by 2030.
The strongest growth in demand is expected to be in developing countries, including China and India. The weakest demand is expected in some European countries, where power demand growth could be negative. The growth in mainland Australia is to be weak and that in Tasmania and New Zealand weaker.
The report is predicting a small-scale solar revolution over the next 16 years, attracting the largest single share of cumulative investment from 2013 to 2026. This is expected to be driven by attractive economics. Utility scale solar is expected to contribute approximately 13 % of new capacity, mainly in developing countries (90%).
In Germany, wind and solar are expected to provide 52 % of generation by 2030. The report notes that this is likely to require additional investment in flexible capacity, to manage variability.
The Asia Pacific region is forecast to be the leading region in the world in terms of renewables and investment. It will add more generating capacity than the rest of the world combined. The renewable capacity will increase by 400 %, with just under half being solar. Two thirds of investment will be in renewables.
In the Asia Pacific region, solar without subsidy is forecast to be competitive with natural gas and coal. Onshore wind is already competitive at good sites. The increased use of solar is expected to be driven by its increasing competitiveness, modularisation and its distributed nature. The share between rooftop and utility solar is expected to be almost equal.
In the Asia Pacific region, new fossil fuel capacity is expected to shift to gas, with high LNG prices limiting a major expansion. Interestingly, more coal fuel capacity is still expected to be installed than gas capacity. The increase in coal fuel capacity is forecast to be the equivalent of one new coal plant every 2 weeks. Over 15 years this totals 390 equivalent new plants.
The gross capacity additions in China will dominate the region with 1,536 GW. India is expected to be approximately half this amount.
The gross capacity additions in Australia is expected to be 36 GW, mostly solar and then equal wind and fossil fuel capacity. The report expects the ongoing uptake in small-scale solar in Australia even beyond 2030.
In Europe, half of the generation will be zero emission, compared with 29 % in 2013. In the USA and Canada, government policies will make it almost impossible to build new coal capacity and more than 100 GW of coal generation is expected to be retired during the next decade.
Regardless of the method of generation, electricity is a uniform commodity with a monopoly on the delivery of electric power. BESST Engineering can provide the designs for the power and control systems of both today and the future.
Should a fault occur in an electrical power system, there can exist the possibility of significant risk of damage to property and injury to personnel. In addition, there can be indirect monetary losses in the form of unserved energy and production stoppages.
In general, the severity of the fault increases in proportion to the energy level of the electrical power system.
In order to limit the risks associated with a fault, electrical protection systems are used. The role of the protection is to interrupt the electrical circuit and extinguish the fault.
Protection systems are critical to the safety and function of a modern electrical power network.
Networks which may be more exposed to extended losses are islanded power systems, electrical equipment in hazardous areas, mission critical systems, networks with legacy equipment and remote area power systems. Off-grid networks don’t have the availability of alternate sources of supply, which are often available in grid networks.
The economic value of the protection system can be justified by calculating the cost of a fault and the likelihood of a fault using the mean time between failures and the mean time for repair. There are published standard values available for all typical network components.
Modern protection systems can range in scale from simple feeder protection to sophisticated network-wide systems. The wide area scale of modern protection systems has been made possible by advances in communication technology and protection protocols, such as IEC 61850.
An integral part of developing the design of a protection system is the construction of a network model. From the model, electrical power system studies can be run of different case studies and configuration scenarios.
A protection system can be bench-marked by how the protection system limits the loss of supply to the faulty circuit. A fault which occurs in a downstream circuit should only result in the trip the circuit which has faulted. This requires co-ordination between the protection devices and grouping the protection system into zones.
Conversely, a poorly designed protection system can cause three problems for the electrical network. The first problem is that there may be faults for which the protection system does not operate. The second problem is that the protection system may not be optimised, in that the number of circuits tripped is more than what is necessary to isolate the fault. The third problem is that spurious, nuisance tripping may occur, without a real fault event.
BESST Engineering can provide the design of standards compliant, optimised protection systems for islanded power systems, electrical equipment in hazardous areas, mission critical systems, networks with legacy equipment and remote area power systems. The designs are developed from electrical power system studies.
Many legacy power system networks were designed with reserve capacity in order to maximise the availability of the power system, in the case of peak loads or for future capacity. Unplanned outages were generally minimal and occurred in exceptional events such as extreme weather.
De-regulation of the power systems has resulted in a variety of business units, such as generation companies, transmission operators, distribution networks, electricity retailers and electrical market operators.
This has resulted in the various business units each focussing their own business. The traditional utility model was based on vertical integration of all operations. In the de-regulated environment, each business unit is focused on maximising their return on investment.
One means of achieving an improved return on investment is to maximise the utilisation of their existing assets. By maximising utilisation, major investments can be postponed, such as upgrading the capacity of a network or in replacing legacy equipment.
Security constrained unit commitment (SCUC) software is a means to this end, by using computer software to identify the most economical way in which to dispatch generation resources. The SCUC software can automatically determine the optimal dispatch of generator units, according to the load and the time of day. By optimising the use of generation, the network operator can benefit from savings in fuel and operational costs. There is also the potential for savings in capital expenses by not having to build additional capacity.
The SCUC software is associated with grid networks that are utility operated. The SCUC software may also be applied to off-grid networks, remote area power stations and micro-grids.
BESST Engineering is able to provide a SCUC software to suit such applications, as part of the power and control system. By using real-time calculations for the system parameters, such as spinning reserve and generation capacity, the SCUC software automatically controls the system network.
The SCUC software and control system is provided by BESST Engineering. The generation units are dispatched according to the most economic combination to suit the real-time load. The SCUC software accommodates hybrid generation, with combinations of thermal generation, wind generation and photo voltaic (PV) solar panel generation.
What do the following power devices have in common?
Similarly, the following control devices are also important building blocks found in substation.
In the same manner, the use of the power devices without the control devices and vice versa is not practical.
The power devices and control devices form building blocks in the building of a power and control system. The glue that brings the devices together is in the form of cables, communication and software.
The power circuit breakers, power transformers, automatic re-closers, metal-clad MV switchgear and surge arrestors contain the power flow through the substation. The PLCs, IEDs, instrument transformer, control panels and RTUs are the control the power devices and ultimately the power flow.
The configuration and design of the system is the input from the system designer. The power and control devices are available from different vendors around the world. Similarly the cables, communication and software. In general, the devices are available to any substation contractor or substation owner.
Therefore, for a substation contractor or owner, what is the competitive advantage of the substation over any other contractor or owner?
One competitive advantage is in the quality of the design. Equal designs are not necessarily available from the market. A quality design, to suit the application and making optimum use of the power and control devices, may provide the best outcome both for the contractor and the owner.
BESST Engineering is able to provide a system approach to developing electrical engineering and control solutions for substations, from concept feasibility to detailed design. In this way, BESST Engineering is able to offer a competitive advantage to substation contractors and owners. The system approach takes a holistic view of the substation, based on construction CAPEX and whole of life OPEX.
A new wind tower facility to be built in Arizona in the United States will have an average generation capacity of 435 MW.
The tower is to be 685 m high. To put this into perspective, the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 828 m. The wind tower would be taller than the One World Trade Centre at 541.3 m. The PETRONAS Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur are 451.9 m.
The idea is to induce a downward draft in the tower. The air is to travel downwards from the top of the tower and is to exit at the bottom, where wind turbines are to be located.
It is the reverse of a cooling tower. A cooling tower functions by transferring heat to air in the tower. The hot air rises, inducing an upward draft in the tower. The wind tower is to operate in reverse, by producing cooler air at the top of the wind tower. The cooler air then falls down into the wind tower, creating the wind to operate the wind turbines.
The cooler air is produced at the top of the wind tower by spraying fine water drops in the form of a fog. The water in the fog evaporates and absorbs heat out of the air, causing the air to cool. The cooler air is heavier than the surrounding air and it falls towards the bottom of the wind tower, creating the downward draft.
In order to operate, it requires only surrounding air that is relatively warm and dry. This is why the tower is to be located in Arizona, where the atmospheric conditions are more likely to be suitable.
The benefit of the wind tower over conventional wind turbines is that the tower should be able to produce power so long as the air is warm and dry, regardless of the wind speed of the surrounding air. This means the wind tower should be able to generate more constant power, with reduced intermittency.
It would seem that if the conditions are favourable, it only requires water and electricity for pumping facilities in order to start the power generation. Efficient transport of the generated power to consumers would require connection to a transmission network, which may require the installation of a generation substation.
No matter what type of renewable generation is being developed, BESST Engineering is able to provide electrical engineering and control solutions, from concept feasibility to detailed design, construction and commissioning.
What is Availability? The definition of availability of a generator will vary depending on the application of the generator. The availability of the generator is an indicator of reliability.
For example, the generator may be a unit in a multi-unit, prime power station. The availability of the generator may be considered as the number of hours each year that the generator is available either as a fixed reserve or that the generator is in service, expressed as a percentage. The availability of each generation unit may be different and also different to the availability of the prime power station.
As another example, the generator may be operating as a distributed generator with a feed-in tariff from the utility. The availability of the generator may be considered as the number of hours each year that the generator is connected to the grid and operating at rated power output, expressed as a percentage.
What is the Economic Value of Availability? In order to evaluate investment options, it can be helpful to put an economic value on availability. The economic value may vary depending on the specific application and the costs for the user. The benefit of determining an economic value is that it can be used in accounting models such as return-on-investment and net-present-value. This provides information for management which can be used to determine how to direct investment.
This can be illustrated if the example of the distributed generator is considered. Let’s assume the generator runs with an availability of 90%. This means that during the year, the generator is not online for 876 hours. Let’s also assume the generator capacity is 2 MW and the feed-in tariff is 50 cents per kWHr. The remaining life of the installation is estimated to be three years.
The loss of revenue during one year can be calculated by multiplying the feed-in tariff by the number of kWHr lost during the year. The problem is to minimise the lost income and to increase revenue.
What if there was a control solution for improving the availability to 97%, but the cost of implementation was $ 100,000? How do you know if this would be a viable investment?
In this example, if the availability is increased from 90% to 97%, the number of additional hours online each year is 613.2 hours. The number of kWHr is 1,226,400 per year. At a feed-in tariff of 50 cents, the extra income each year is $ 613,200. Over the remaining life of the generator, the total income is $ 1,839,600, for an investment cost of $ 100,000. Clearly, without further accounting analysis, this would be a good investment.
Not all solutions are so clear cut. In many instances there are subjective elements to be estimated. The role of applying an economic evaluation is to identify the economic benefit or otherwise of the proposal.
Solutions for Improving Availability through Power and Control Systems BESST Engineering is able to identify opportunities, evaluate options and provide solutions for improving the availability generators through power and control systems, whether it is a new power station design application or an existing installation.
An Example of a Remedial Action Scheme (RAS) Used to Improve the Reliability of Power Systems, Transmission Operation
The following is an example of a remedial action scheme.
Reference: Design, Implementation and Commissioning of a Remedial Action Scheme, DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition, San Diego, California January 25-27, 2005
A private company, TeckCominco Metals Ltd (TCML) operates a private network in the southern interior of British Columbia. The network comprises a hydro station of about 400MW capacity at Waneta, and a smelting plant with 220MW of load, approximately 15km away at Trail, connected with a 63kV transmission line. The TCML network is connected to the Western grid by two (2) 230kV interconnectors, at Warfield and Nelway. The TCML network may either import or export power via the interconnectors.
Excessive import or export power may result in the TCML network becoming islanded. The disconnection event may cause significant frequency excursions within the TCML network, with the possibility of a black-out occurring. The role of the remedial action scheme is to limit frequency excursions to acceptable levels and to prevent a black-out, if the TCML network is islanded.
The goal of the RAS system is to protect the MCML 63kV transmission system from excessive frequency excursions and possible black-out.
Software was used to model the WECC system and the TCML network. Within the TCML plant, modelling was done of dynamic motor loads and system inertial characteristics.
It was found that a combination of the rate of change of system frequency (df/dt) and the number of Waneta generators connected, were indicators of the degree of power imbalance in the islanded network. A RAS plan was developed and initial protection settings proposed, measuring df/dt at both the load bus and the generation bus.
A load flow and dynamic stability analysis was made of the proposed RAS system. The findings of the modelling indicated that with fewer than three generators on line at Waneta, immediate load shedding was required, independent of the system df/dt. The RAS could limit frequency excursions and allow the system to reach steady state with three or more generators on line.
The RAS system comprised two schemes which could each operate independently. The first is a load shed scheme located near the load bus and the second is a generator shedding scheme, located at the generator bus. The RAS uses 15 IED relays at three different locations, integrated over 4 communication networks and systems.
The RAS system is armed when the network is islanded. The RAS logic is predefined. Switching is actioned in response to measured changes in frequency. Load shedding occurs in response to negative df/dt measurements. There are 4 load blocks which may be shed. Should islanding occur with less than three generators on line, there is immediate load shedding of all 4 load blocks. Generator shedding occurs in response to positive df/dt measurements. The operators may pre-select a priority list for generator shedding.
The benefits of using df/dt measurements instead of MW calculations included; more accurate RAS response to the system conditions, a faster reaction time and a reduced communication bandwidth requirement.
BESST Engineering is able to provide solutions for remedial action schemes (RAS) through power system analysis, detailed design of the implementation and commissioning.
Switchgear assemblies play an important role in the distribution of electrical power. The function of the switchgear assembly is to control electrical power by switching and to protect electrical circuits by interrupting current during fault conditions.
For a given application, the determination of the suitable switchgear assembly follows a series of steps. The selection of the voltage rating for the switchgear assembly is the first step.
The switchgear assemblies may be categorised by operational voltage level. Broadly, there are two main categories, low voltage and medium voltage. Low voltage assemblies are those which are rated to not exceed 1,000 VAC or 1,500 VDC. Medium voltage switchgear assemblies are rated for voltages from 1 kV up to and including 52 kV.
Once the operational voltage rating is defined, the next step is to determine the suitable fault rating of the switchgear assembly. The starting point is the prospective short-circuit current for the switchgear assembly. The prospective short-circuit current is the short circuit current at the supply terminals of the switchgear assembly, when the supply conductors are short-circuited. The prospective short-circuit current is usually found from a power system study, which provides the three-phase short circuit fault level and the phase-to-ground fault level. For connections to the grid, the prospective short circuit level is provided by the utility.
The short circuit rating of the switchgear assembly must be greater than the prospective fault level. This ensures the selected switchgear assembly is able to safely withstand and interrupt a fault level up to the prospective fault level.
In selecting the short circuit rating of the switchgear assembly, some consideration should be given to the likelihood of the prospective fault level increasing during the life-time of the switchgear assembly. For instance, a processing plant may be operating from in-house generation as an island, independent of the grid, but there may be plans to connect to the grid within the next 18 months. In this instance, the prospective fault level should be determined from the worst-case scenario, with the grid connected.
By referencing the appropriate standards, according to the operational voltage level, the suitable short-circuit ratings for the switchgear assembly can be selected. For example, a low-voltage switchgear assembly may have ratings for the short-time current (ICW) and the peak withstand current (IPK). The rating may be conditional. For example there can be a rated conditional short-circuit current (ICC) and a rated fused short-circuit current (ICF) for a switchgear assembly.
BESST Engineering is able to provide the power system study and provide the determination of the suitable switchgear assembly for your application.
Electricity is an essential element of modern life. Economies cannot grow without reliable electricity. The impact of a loss of electricity can be severe, as was observed in Japan after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The applications for electricity are increasing. Customers need reliable electricity at an affordable price. Whether the customer is a factory in a big city, or a utility with embedded generation or a remote mine site in the middle of nowhere, the need for reliable and affordable electricity is the same.
The scale of the electrical demand is also increasing and the power capacity of the electrical systems is increasing to match the demand. There is increasing use of higher transmission and distribution voltages to deliver the increased demand.
Furthermore, the electricity is to be available at call. That means the electricity is to be there when it is needed by the customer. The supply of electricity needs to be scalable to suit the needs of the customer, as it may vary from day to day or season to season.
The customer’s needs are for reliable, affordable electricity at call. This represents a challenge for power systems. The challenge is complicated by other issues such as the increasing demand for the source of the electricity to be from renewable generation. Customers are requesting and expecting shorter lead times for the delivery of power systems. The traditional delivery of power systems cannot always meet the customer expectations.
How can these challenges be met?
The solution begins at the design stage and is customised to suit the application. The design for a legacy system is different to that for a green-field site. The design is often multi-disciplinary and requires a convergence of skills and techniques.
An important aspect of the design is the power and control system. In order to have a solution for reliable, affordable electricity that can be deployed to meet the customer’s expectations, the power and control system must be designed to suit. This requires the design to utilise the leveraging of benchmark technologies, the use of innovation and the application of experienced design expertise.
In today’s global business environment, the intent of the design should be for global application.
In order to provide scalable electrical power, the design of the power and control systems should be scalable and suitable for rapid delivery to the manufacturing plants and construction sites.
The need for affordable electricity has driven a demand for automation of the control system.
BESST Engineering is able to design the power and control systems that are needed for power systems that will meet the customer’s need for reliable, affordable electricity at call.