Powering The West Midlands
By Jack Burke18 January 2019
Himoinsa and its local distributor have designed and supplied an 18 MW power plant in the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom.
Located in the central-western part of the British Isles, the West Midlands region is known for its high population density, close to three million people, and for being one of the most important commercial, healthcare and financial areas of the UK.
Considered a major development area, it has been subjected to a growing energy demand in recent years, Himoinsa said. In this context, Himoinsa said power plants that support the public grid become the best solution to assume the constant increases in electricity demand. These plants have been adapted to a more sustainable productive model using environmentally friendly fuel that reduces carbon emissions, NOx, CO2 and particles.
In order to contribute to sustainable development, Himoinsa and its local distributor Ocktcom Ltd., have designed a power plant composed of nine HGM-2370 TS NG gas generator sets connected in parallel to the grid. These gensets supply the electrical grid with a total of 18 MW of power at constant load for 2500 hours per year. The sets incorporate MTU model 16400 engines and Stamford alternators.
The objective of the project was to release into the public grid, a continuous flow of power to cover the growth of demand for electricity and/or natural fluctuations in generation from renewable sources, the company said. The project required the gas generator sets to be activated immediately, and they had to be able to start up in a short period of time and to provide the grid with 100% of the installed power in a few minutes.
The generation plant has been built in an area close to a residential district, and because of that, special solutions have been implemented in terms of soundproofing able to avoid any acoustic impact, the company said.
Himoinsa said the main priority of the project was to choose the most sustainable and safe technology, ensuring the lowest possible acoustic and environmental emissions. The answer: generator sets with high power gas engines connected in parallel to generate stable power. These generators ensure an effective response to fluctuations in the power supply, generating 18 MW of power at constant load with a maximum use of 2500 hours per year.
These generator sets have been installed in containers with special ultra-soundproofed insulation that even go above and beyond the legal requirements dictated by the MCPD (Medium Combustion Plant Directive) in the field of acoustic emissions.
“The results obtained even improve the limits set by the regulatory directive and thanks to the work we have carried out in collaboration with Ocktcom we have obtained record sound levels. I’d say it is most unlikely that they have ever been matched before in a plant with these characteristics,” said Manuel Aguilera, Gas Product manager at Himoinsa.
Specially sized and soundproofed containers were used, that ensures a sound level of 65dBA at a distance of 1 meter, the company said. In addition, a special double silencer exhaust system was added to ensure the sound level without affecting the operation of the engine.
The generator sets feature natural gas engines capable of providing 1930 kW of power, with high mechanical resistance and low emission levels of particles, CO2, SOx and NOx: 250mg/Nm3 of the latter at 100% of the load.
Vontrol units with integrated PLC that were adapted by Himoinsa were used to guarantee a safe and efficient parallel connection between the groups and the grid, as well as their remote management by the plant user, the company said. This system makes it possible to coordinate the transfer of power into the grid to ensure a continuous supply.
The cooling system is controlled via a frequency converter, which maximizes the electrical efficiency of the generator set by reducing its consumption to the minimum necessary at all times.
The generator sets also incorporate several safety sensors (smoke, gas…) and they also have ATEX emergency ventilation in the container, helping guarantee safe ventilation of the cabin.