Networked systems to support the energy revolution
Munich/Cologne (Pressweb) - If the energy revolution is to succeed, efficiency ratios must be improved and the cost-effective and safe integration of various power generation systems ensured. However, this requires increasing networking of conventional power stations and renewables. Plants offering utmost flexibility are in the focus of interest. TÜV SÜD will showcase its service portfolio at POWER-GEN Europe, held in Cologne from 12 to 14 June 2012 (Hall 7, Stand B186).
Rising numbers of weather-dependent power plants are being connected to the grid – including remote industrial-scale offshore wind farms and privately-owned small-scale solar power systems in conurbations. "This trend is in stark contrast to the present grid architecture, which caters to centralized large-scale power stations in proximity to consumption", says Hans-Christian Schröder, Sector Manager Power Stations at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH. To ensure that a flexible and diverse mix of conventional and renewable energy sources will function in the future, renewable technologies must be integrated into today's grids and the existing infrastructure used to the maximum extent possible. Schröder: "Flexible systems and base-load power stations offering improved controllability in the future to match electricity demand and supply will be critical for the green energy revolution."
Innovative materials and improved efficiency and utilization
One solution to improve the efficiency of power stations is the use of innovative materials. Experts are currently discussing the use of high-temperature steels. TÜV SÜD is testing the use of these steels in its innovative ‘725°C High-Temperature Material Test Track’ project in Mannheim. "Development efforts, focusing on materials that can be used in temperatures of up to 700 °C, serve a wider range of purposes than improving efficiency", explains Hans Christian Schröder. "The empirical values thus gained may also be used to promote synergies with other areas, ensuring that Germany will continue to keep its role as technology leader in this area in the future." Yet, the use of innovative materials depends on the whole on the type of power stations that will be built. Most power stations developed today are large-scale plants with long service lives and high efficiency ratios. "However, the future changes on the electricity market will lead to an increasing demand for smaller-scale, decentralized but highly flexible plants operated in a network", explains the TÜV SÜD expert. "Efficiency alone will not be enough for these plants, further critical factors will be utilization and the availability of the energy systems within the scope of a network.
Functional safety reduces the risk for people and the environment
Another challenge faced when building new plants or modernizing existing infrastructure is that of safety-related requirements. Structural members, components and equipment must fulfil certain safety integrity levels. To do so, the safety of conventional power plants is increasingly realized by using suitable electric, electronic and programmable electronic systems (E/E/PES). The relevant EN 61511 standard covers all safety-related systems that include E/E/PE components and that in the event of a failure would result in considerable risks for people and the environment. TÜV SÜD supports the designers, installation companies and users of safety-related systems with the pragmatic implementation of the EN 61511 standard and in all issues related to the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of power stations and industrial plants.
For further information about the comprehensive service portfolio offered by TÜV SÜD, log on to www.tuev-sued.de/is
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