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Kurt Schipman, global product marketing manager, GPG Grid Components, at Hitachi Energy. (Image source: Hitachi Energy)

Kurt Schipman, global product marketing manager, GPG Grid Components, at Hitachi Energy, writes about how active filtering technology ensures the reliability and efficiency of modern-day power networks. Read on: 

While we expect access to uninterrupted and stable electricity wherever we are, reality often falls short. The efficient distribution of electricity to consumers relies on the power quality of the network, a crucial factor in guaranteeing reliable and seamless power supply. The rising prevalence of electronic devices, from LED lamps and computers to sophisticated medical equipment, industrial machinery, and EV chargers, has heightened susceptibility to power disruptions.

Low-voltage harmonic filters address power quality issues by mitigating harmonic distortions, compensating for reactive power, and stabilising voltage levels. They are essential in improving reliability, efficiency, and productivity while reducing downtime and costs in industrial, commercial, or residential applications.

Power quality issues frequently arise due to compatibility problems between the electrical grid and the constantly changing array of electronic devices and equipment.

Poor power quality can have many consequences, impacting businesses and individuals. This includes damage to electrical installations, unexpected production downtimes, inefficient production processes, and high energy consumption due to system losses. Moreover, organisations may face penalties imposed by grid operators due to reactive power in their installations. The financial implications are significant, hindering peak performance and preventing assets from achieving their full potential.

Calculating the economic effects of poor power quality can be challenging, but the consequences are tangible. For instance, a power quality issue during production in the food and beverage industry could result in thousands of spoiled products. In healthcare settings, malfunctioning electrical or electronic equipment due to power quality problems can pose a significant risk to a patient’s health, potentially leading to misdiagnosis with consequences on people’s well-being. Recognizing these consequences is critical to understanding the need for specific action plans to improve power quality.

Poor power quality not only has an economic impact but may also contribute to a higher carbon footprint. This is due to reduced energy efficiency and increased demand for electric power. Historically, the excess demand has been met by fossil fuel-based generation or standalone diesel generators, resulting in increased CO2 emissions. In addition to its environmental implications, this situation can adversely affect the finances of any organisation, especially if a 'carbon tax' is implemented.

Introducing active harmonic filtering technology

To address power quality issues, passive filtering technology has been used for decades. Passive filters operate on the principle of resonance, using components such as capacitors and inductors to suppress or block the predominant harmonics. While cost-effective in cases where only a few harmonics need to be filtered, passive filtering still exhibits resonance at lower orders and its performance depends strongly on installation parameters that may change over time. It is also challenging to correctly apply passive filters to low-voltage installations which are dynamic in nature. Multiple harmonics often need to be filtered, requiring the addition of more capacitor banks and inductors, thereby increasing the overall dimensions and cost of the solution. Furthermore, an excess filtering capacity can lead to the problem of overcompensation.

These limitations have prompted leading manufacturers, such as Hitachi Energy, to invest substantially in R&D,allowing them to harness the latest developments in computer science, automation, and electronics. This commitment has led to the introduction of cutting-edge active filter solutions like the advanced PQactiF, specifically designed to tackle the changing operating conditions commonly found in modern power networks.

Active filtering technology stands in contrast to passive filtering as it is designed to address multiple power quality issues, including a wide range of harmonics, in real-time. By utilising sophisticated algorithms and power electronics, active filters enable real-time measurement and compensation in low voltage networks, resulting in cleaner, more stable, and safer power supply.

Active filters also bring the advantage of compactness as compared to passive filters, thanks to their implementation of power electronics. This smaller form factor becomes particularly crucial in space-constrained locations such as switchrooms in data centres, health and educational campuses, or business parks. Additionally, the sophisticated control capabilities and hardware topology of active filters allow for easy expansion of the installed capacity by simply adding modules.

Ensuring a sustainable and efficient energy network

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, with automated factories, smart appliances, and digital infrastructure, the demand for reliable power becomes more and more prominent. Advanced systems and devices require stable, good quality electrical power to operate at peak efficiency. Any fluctuations in power quality can lead to malfunctions, downtime, data loss, revenue loss, or damage to the equipment. Therefore, ensuring that power quality keeps pace with technological advancements is essential to support its seamless integration.

State-of-the-art active filtering technology such as Hitachi Energy’s PQactiF becomes a promising option for ensuring sustainable and efficient power in dynamic networks, enabling advancements in various industries and applications. The power electronics-based active filters ensure much-needed flexibility in power quality management, thereby paving the way for groundbreaking technologies that are transforming our lives. By prioritising excellent power quality, we can unlock the potential for enhanced efficiency and productivity and safe energy for a better future. Power quality is not a luxury; it is a necessity.

Trina Solar is engaged mainly in PV products, PV systems and smart energy. (Image source: Trina Solar)

Trina Solar has signed three distributor partnerships in an effort that will see the company significantly expand its operations across the Middle East and Africa

The company has partnered with Noon for Renewable Energy in Lebanon, Al Takamul Engineering in Palestine, and Golden Sun Solar Solutions in Sudan, and is now poised to deliver a total of 110MW modules including Vertex N modules tailored to the region's unique energy landscape.

Zhao Lei, head of strategic key accounts at Trina Solar, commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Noon for Renewable Energy, Al Takamul Engineering, and Golden Sun Solar Solutions to our esteemed network of distributors. Their expertise and dedication align perfectly with our mission to deliver cutting-edge solar solutions ensuring faster adoption of solar energy. These partnerships highlight our commitment to expanding our footprint in the Middle East and Africa and accelerate progress towards net-zero future.”

The company was keen to sing the praises of its Vertex n-type family, equipped with n-type i-TOPCon technology that reportedly delivers superior efficiency, exceptional long-term reliability, and lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar developers.

The expansion efforts of Trina Solar is part of its global mission to drive renewable energy adoption. It remains dedicated to accelerating the transition to clean energy and realising global net zero ambitions.

Trina Solar also recently made headlines for its newly-formed partnership with WBHO Construction and SOLA to deliver the Merak 1 solar project in South Africa. Discover the full story at: https://africanreview.com/energy/south-african-solar-project-reveals-power-of-strategic-partnerships

Investments in research and development are accelerating technological advancements. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global investments in clean technology manufacturing soared to US$200bn in the past year, marking a 70% increase from 2022.

The IEA's latest report highlights that solar PV and battery manufacturing dominated these investments, comprising over 90% of the total for both years. Specifically, investment in solar PV manufacturing surged to approximately US$80bn in 2023, more than doubling from the previous year, while battery manufacturing investments rose by about 60% to reach US$110bn.

The report highlighted that China was responsible for 75% of the global investments in clean technology manufacturing. It also noted a rapid expansion in the pipeline of clean energy projects, suggesting that clean manufacturing capacity is set to meet the "net-zero by 2030" targets ahead of schedule, largely due to advances in photovoltaic solar cell technology.

Additionally, the report emphasised the critical role of government policies and international cooperation in fostering this growth. Investments in research and development are accelerating technological advancements, enhancing efficiency, and reducing costs.

The IEA stressed the importance of continuing this momentum to address climate change effectively and achieve long-term sustainability goals. This surge in investment and capacity building indicates a positive trend toward a greener global economy.

UAE aims to derive 100% of the required energy from clean sources by 2050. (Image source:)

In accordance with the efforts of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to bolster its position as a global leader in sustainable energy solutions, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, welcomed a high-level delegation from PowerChina to discuss cooperation in various areas of energy and water.

Delegation discusses clean energy 

The visiting delegation comprised Peng Gang, Vice President of PowerChina-Intl and President of PowerChina MENA; Gao Fei, Vice President of PowerChina MENA; Chen Yunpeng, Vice President of SEPCOIII, a subsidiary of PowerChina; and Hong Li, Chief Representative of PowerChina in UAE.

The discussions revolved around potential collaboration areas, including renewable energy projects, smart grid solutions, water infrastructure development, and joint research and development initiatives. Both parties expressed a desire for strategic collaboration to lay the groundwork for future joint ventures.

Al Tayer underscored DEWA's commitment to sustainability and innovation, particularly in alignment with the goals outlined in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, which aim to derive 100% of the required energy from clean sources by 2050.

PowerChina, renowned for its expertise in clean energy, water infrastructure, and sustainable development, expressed interest in collaborating with DEWA to explore new ventures and exchange knowledge and expertise in the energy and water sectors.

This wind farm is poised to be one of the largest in the world, with a project value exceeding US$10bn. (Image source: Masdar)

Infinity Power, an African renewable energy developer, together with Hassan Allam Utilities, an investment platform, and Masdar have signed a Land Access Agreement with the Egyptian Government for the consortium’s 10GW capacity onshore wind farm in Egypt

This wind farm is poised to be one of the largest in the world, with a project value exceeding US$10bn.

The agreement grants the consortium access to a 3,025 sq km area of land located in West Suhag. It enables the consortium to conduct essential development studies to advance the project, including resource measurement campaigns, geotechnical and topographic surveys, and environmental studies to ensure minimal environmental impact.

Clean energy

This wind project is projected to generate 47,790 GWh of clean energy annually and reduce around 9% of Egypt’s yearly carbon emissions by displacing 23.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Furthermore, the wind farm will aid Egypt in achieving its strategic goal of sourcing 42% of its energy from renewables by 2030. It is estimated that the 10 GW wind farm will save the country approximately US$5bn in natural gas costs per year.

Masdar’s CEO, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, said, “Masdar, its joint venture Infinity Power, and our partner Hassan Allam Utilities, is supporting Egypt to deliver its ambitious renewable energy targets. I congratulate Egypt’s leadership on this major milestone for the country, with what is set to be one of the largest wind farms on the planet. At 10GW, this landmark project is pushing the limits of innovation and scale as we work to help unlock Africa’s clean energy potential, and further advance its energy transition.”

Amr Allam, co-CEO of Hassan Allam Holding, said, "In a significant move towards a more sustainable future for Egypt, the signing of the Land Access Agreement for the 10GW wind farm project alongside our esteemed partners, Infinity Power and Masdar, marks a pivotal moment. This initiative underscores our commitment to clean energy and environmental responsibility, and we are proud to be part of this transformative project that will have a positive impact on our nation's energy landscape and beyond."

Mohamed Ismail Mansour, chairman, Infinity Power said, "We are excited to be moving to the next step of the development of our 10GW wind farm in Egypt and cannot wait to see it progress. Not only will this project deliver substantial benefits during construction and operation, creating jobs for local people and investing in their local communities, the impact of the energy uplift will be amazing to see. This source of clean, affordable energy will save Egypt money, reduce emissions and power industry across the country.”

Nayer Fouad, CEO, Infinity Power added, "This wind farm is an ambitious and important project, set to be one of the largest in the world, and we’re delighted to be taking this step forward. It’s a hugely important project for Egypt and the wider region, and also highlights Infinity Power as a leading investment platform in renewable energy, able to deliver renewable projects on the largest scale. This project will also show that, by setting bold targets, countries can embrace and adopt renewable energy and transform their energy mix."

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