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The Cat CG260-16 generator set capable of running on natural-gas/hydrogen blends. (Image source: Caterpillar)

Caterpillar has added Cat CG260 gas generator sets to its range of power solutions, now capable of running on hydrogen fuel.

Available through global Cat dealers for both 50 and 60 Hz applications, the 12- and 16-cylinder versions of the Cat CG260 can operate on gas containing up to 25% hydrogen by volume. The CG260 provides up to 4.5 MW of electric power for continuous, prime, and load management needs. Additionally, Caterpillar offers retrofit kits to upgrade existing CG260 generator sets with these hydrogen capabilities.

Diverse hydrogen-fueled power solutions

With this addition, Caterpillar’s portfolio now includes gas generator sets ranging from 400 kW to 4.5 MW, offering hydrogen blending opportunities via factory-installed hardware and retrofit kits for the CG132B, CG170B, CG260, and G3500H platforms.

Expertise in hydrogen power technologies

Caterpillar has extensive experience in hydrogen-fueled power technologies, focusing on minimising impacts on maintenance costs, schedules, availability, and operations. Since 2022, Caterpillar has offered demonstrator Cat G3516 gas generator sets capable of operating on 100% hydrogen, recommended for locations with abundant hydrogen fuel supplies, available with a maximum rating of 1000 kW for 50 Hz or 60 Hz continuous applications.

Caterpillar recently announced a successful collaboration with Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems, demonstrating the viability of using large-format hydrogen fuel cells to supply reliable backup power for data centres. The project simulated a 48-hour backup power event at Microsoft's data centre in Cheyenne, Wyoming, using two Cat Power Grid Stabilization (PGS) 1260 battery energy storage systems and a 1.5 MW hydrogen fuel cell. Supported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the H2@Scale initiative, this demonstration was a significant success.

Caterpillar is also working with District Energy St. Paul to demonstrate a 2.0 MW combined heat and power (CHP) system fueled by various combinations of hydrogen and natural gas. This project, supported and partially funded by the DOE and backed by the NREL, aims to further explore the potential of hydrogen in energy systems.

These initiatives build on Caterpillar’s 35 years of experience in hydrogen fuels, supporting numerous power generation projects across various industries currently operating on blended gas with up to 80% hydrogen.

Commitment to a reduced-carbon future

Beyond hydrogen power solutions, Caterpillar is committed to a reduced-carbon future through continuous investments in new products, technologies, and services. These include Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) software solutions for monitoring, managing, and monetising on-site energy assets; a comprehensive hybrid energy solutions technology suite; Cat combined heat and power (CHP) systems and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) systems; support for hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), biodiesel, and blended fuel products; and expertise in landfill gas, biogas, and other waste-to-energy applications.

“The movement toward lower carbon solutions for power generation is accelerating,” said Melissa Busen, vice president for Caterpillar Large Electric Power. “Caterpillar is positioned today with a large and growing lineup of technologies to help customers integrate hydrogen-fueled systems into their power strategies.”

Currently, there are over 40,000 EVs in the UAE. (Image source: EtihadWE)

Etihad Water and Electricity (EtihadWE) has entered into a collaboration agreement with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to install and operate electric vehicle chargers across HCT campuses. This partnership supports the UAE’s environmental sustainability goals.

This initiative is part of the launch of UAEV, a joint venture between EtihadWE and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, which aims to deploy at least 100 fast chargers nationwide by the end of 2024. The campus charging stations will feature advanced systems for fast and reliable charging, backed by a high-efficiency digital network.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Hassan Al Ali, Vice President of Customer Service at Etihad Water and Electricity, and Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Vice President of Shared Services at the Higher Colleges of Technology.

Encouraging students

The stations installed at the Higher Colleges of Technology will feature cutting-edge charging systems, including fast chargers for quick top-ups, all supported by UAEV’s robust digital infrastructure. This setup optimises charging efficiency, providing users with reliable and speedy charging options.

Electric vehicle adoption in the UAE saw significant growth in 2023, with penetration rates rising from 3.7% in 2022 to 11.3% in 2023. Currently, there are over 40,000 EVs in the UAE. This shift towards electric vehicles is anticipated to positively impact various sectors, including transportation, energy, and the environment, while also boosting the country's economic capabilities and potential.

Al Ali stated that the partnership with HCT reflects the company's commitment to supporting the national roadmap for a green and sustainable transport system. This initiative aligns with the National Electric Vehicle Policy, an area where Etihad Water and Electricity is proud to partner with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. He noted that this agreement is part of a series of similar agreements recently signed by the company, marking the second such collaboration with higher education institutions in the UAE.

Al Nuaimi emphasised that environmental sustainability is a strategic priority for the Higher Colleges of Technology. This aligns with the colleges' sustainability framework launched this year, coinciding with the Year of Sustainability. He added that the collaboration will help the colleges achieve one of their key objectives within this framework, which involves providing charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles on campus. This initiative encourages staff and students to use electric and hybrid vehicles, supporting the colleges' environmental sustainability goals.

Trinasolar will deliver a total of 110 MW modules. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The company has partnered with Noon for renewable energy in Lebanon, Al Takamul engineering in Palestine, and golden sun solar solutions in Sudan.

Through these partnerships, Trinasolar will deliver a total of 110 MW modules, including the advanced vertex n modules tailored to the region's specific energy needs.

The vertex n-type family, featuring state-of-the-art n-type i-TOPCon technology, offers superior efficiency, exceptional long-term reliability, and a lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar developers. These modules represent a major advancement in solar technology, setting new benchmarks for performance, reliability, and sustainability.

Trinasolar's expansion into the Middle East and Africa marks a significant milestone in its global mission to promote renewable energy adoption. Through strategic partnerships and cutting-edge innovations, Trinasolar remains committed to accelerating the transition to clean energy and achieving net-zero ambitions worldwide.

"We are thrilled to welcome Noon for Renewable Energy, Al Takamul Engineering, and Golden Sun Solar Solutions to our esteemed network of distributors," remarked Zhao Lei, head of strategic key accounts at Trinasolar. "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 test results will inform ASTM International as it creates new specifications for 100% SAF. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Top aerospace companies are joining forces to evaluate the technical challenges of using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in aircraft systems.

Aiming for a net-zero CO2 goal, Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, GE Aerospace, RTX’s Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, and Safran have established Work Group 13 (WG 13) to study the effects of 100% SAF on airplane systems.

With Boeing as the lead and Airbus as the deputy lead, the IAEG team members will coordinate testing efforts for 100% SAF. These efforts will be voluntary and for the use of WG 13 members. The test results will inform ASTM International as it creates new specifications for 100% SAF. The team will also collaborate with infrastructure stakeholders, such as fuel producers, airports, and airlines, to identify necessary steps to support the transition to 100% SAF.

“This collaboration will help prepare the broader aviation ecosystem for 100% SAF capabilities, as part of the aviation industry goal of achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050,” said Ryan Faucett, Boeing vice president of environmental sustainability and IAEG board member. “We will share our findings from our SAF compatibility and ground-breaking jet reference fluids research and continue to collaborate with this Work Group to support a more sustainable aviation future, together.”

“Achieving up to 100% SAF capability for commercial and military aircraft fleets will require a high level of industry collaboration,” said Dr. Bruno Costes, Airbus senior director of institutional relations and standardisation and IAEG chair. “Airbus will bring its knowledge and experience from years of 100% SAF demonstration flights, coupled with our technical expertise in developing new fuel standards. SAF will be a key enabler for the decarbonisation of the sector by 2050.”

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.

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