15 Dec 1998 UFTO Note – Microturbine Test Programs

14 Dec 1998 UFTO Note – Hybrid Power Plant (SOFC and MTG)

12 Dec 1998 UFTO Note – Inverters – State-of-the-Art

06 Dec 1998 UFTO Note – European utility industrry

29 Nov 1998 UFTO Note – Adv Technol Program

23 Nov 1998 UFTO Note – CURC Annual Conf. 11/98

12 Nov 1998 UFTO Note – New Carbon Management Report

08 Nov 1998 UFTO Note – Distrib Power Meeting; Interconnection Stds

29 Oct 1998 UFTO Note – Cold Fusion Quietly Continues

25 Oct 1998 UFTO Note – Substation Power Quality System

08 Oct 1998 UFTO Note – Reliability TF Final Report

06 Oct 1998 UFTO Note – Distrib Cogen Envir Projects Development

05 Oct 1998 UFTO Note – Environ. Capital Forum, Chicago Oct 22

17 Sep 1998 UFTO Note – Ions Increase Fuel Effic.

10 Sep 1998 UFTO Note – Final Meeting SEAB Elec. Reliab TF

04 Sep 1998 UFTO Note – Rel. TF Paper-Federalism in Transmission

04 Sep 1998 UFTO Note – DOE Reliability TF paper on T&D

01 Sep 1998 UFTO Note – VSAT satellite datalink

29 Jul 1998 UFTO Note – GASMAP

29 Jul 1998 UFTO Note – Argonne Visit notes

27 Jul 1998 UFTO Note – CURC Annual Technology Conf.

09 Jul 1998 UFTO Note – New Approach to Data Mining

01 Jul 1998 UFTO Note – Fed. Restructuring Proposal

24 Jun 1998 UFTO Note – Sm Commercial Energy Mgt

24 Jun 1998 UFTO Note – Building Products from Fly Ash and CO2

18 Jun 1998 UFTO Note – Next Meeting SEAB Elec Reliability TF

07 Jun 1998 UFTO Note – Resonant Shock — Ash to Block

03 Jun 1998 UFTO Report – ORNL 98

02 Jun 1998 UFTO Note – Heat Transfer Research, Inc.(HTRI)

29 May 1998 UFTO Note – Fed Energy Mgt Program (FEMP) Videoconf.

21 May 1998 UFTO Note – DOE Elec Reliability TF Papers

14 May 1998 UFTO Note – Clean Power Road Map

03 May 1998 UFTO Note – E-Beam Stack Gas Scrubbing

30 Apr 1998 UFTO Fwd – DOE Selects Potential Breakthru Approaches for Carbon Sequestration

29 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – 12th Ann. Conf Fossil Energy Materials

27 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – DOE 11 Lab Study on technology, greenhouse gases

23 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – EPRI-GRI-DOE Fuel Cell Workshop

23 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – Next Meeting-DOE Reliability Task Force

17 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – CADER Report Available

17 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – Renewable Technology Characterizations

15 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – National Combustor Code (NCC)–new from NASA

01 Apr 1998 UFTO Note – EMF Engineering Review Symposium, April 28-29, 1998

31 Mar 1998 UFTO Note- Environ Capital Forum NYC

30 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – MC Power Seeking Partners

26 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Sandia: Critical Infrastructure

31 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Nortel Digital Powerline venture

25 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Comprehensive Electricity Competition Plan

23 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Elec. Cable Research-Sandia

19 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Distrib Gen Conference

19 Mar 1998 UFTO Fwd: Sandia’s PV News: Possible Procurement for Remote Power

16 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – FERC Conf. on ISOs

13 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Utility Restructuring Weekly Update]

12 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – ESA Newsletter

10 Mar 1998 UFTO Note – Energy Storage Assoc. Spring Meeting

19 Feb 1998 UFTO Note- Next Meeting DOE Reliability TF

19 Feb 1998 UFTO Note – Chemical Treatments Neutralize Asbestos

16 Feb 1998 UFTO Note – Sandia Help Implementing Solar

Microturbine Test Programs

Edison Technology Solutions is offering a subscription program to test microturbines. It will involve actual testing on a uniform basis of up to 8 “pre-commercial” and commercial units from different manufacturers. Two units will commence testing early in January.

Subscribers will have timely access to detailed test data and analyses of performance and interconnection issues. While some of this information may eventually become available elsewhere, subscribers will not only receive timely information, but will gain access to technology briefings, operations assessments, and lessons-learned. It will be important to have such information before beginning any kind of commercial installations.

EPRI is cofunding this work (along with CEC and DOE), and will receive general test results under this arrangement. ETS’ program, however includes additional detailed analyses and reports, summarized conclusions, and presentations throughout the testing program that will not be available through other sources.

Contact: Jaime Medina, 626-815-0516, jmedina@edisontec.com


In ’99, EPRI is continuing a microturbine field test program (which began in 1996 with the testing of Capstone early prototype units at Northern States Power and Southern California Edison). Participating host utilities will test one or more microturbines at either laboratory or actual end-user sites. The program will cover all available vendor products (e.g., Capstone, Elliott, Allied-Signal, NREC) and provide information on unit performance as well as interconnection, siting and permitting issues. The data from all of the tests will be shared within the group of host companies. Members of either of the two EPRI DR targets can use tailored collaboration money. Nonmembers can also participate by co-funding. Participants will participate in a user’s group where they will share experiences and insights obtained from operating their units with others in the program.

Contact: Doug Herman, 650-855-1057, dherman@epri.com

Additional information on EPRI’s $5 million/yr DR program (2 targets), including the microturbine tests, can be found at http://www.epri.com/gg/newgen/disgen/index.html

Hybrid Power Plant (SOFC and MTG)

At the Palm Springs Fuel Cell Seminar (Nov 19), Edison Technology Solutions (ETS) announced plans to demonstrate and lead the commercialization of the first 250 kW “hybrid” generating plant integrating a fuel cell with a microturbine generator. The first unit, with a 200 kW pressurized SOFC and a 50 kW microturbine, will be installed in mid-1999 at the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) at UC Irvine. Commercial launch is anticipated for 2001.

The hybrid plant will operate at an efficiency of 60 percent and a cost of $1000/kW, i.e. at lower capital costs than a standalone fuel cell, and with twice the efficiency of a standalone micro-turbine.

A variety of hybrid concepts have been discussed for several years by DOE. ETS is supporting an approach using the pressurized Siemens-Westinghouse tubular SOFC. It uses the microturbine compressor to pressurize the fuel cell to approximately three atmospheres. Exhaust gas at 1,500 deg F from the fuel cell is then used as the motive force for the microturbine, driving both its compressor and generator. While the plant at the NFCRC will run on natural gas, it is flexible to operate with other fuels. The plant has no detectable nitrogen oxide emissions, and greatly reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

Hospitals, hotels, universities and other customers with high load factors are seen as likely users of the hybrid power plant. ETS will work with utilities and energy service companies to commercialize and deploy the technology.

ETS is offering a proposition to utilities to become part of a focused fast-track commercialization program. From 5-10 participants will provide development funding in exchange for access to technical information and priority rights to commercialization opportunities. Based on earlier discussions with several prospective customers for the program, ETS is proposing a graduated series of commitment levels. Companies which commit to the highest level now would be first in line for commercialization rights.

By design, the program will remain flexible as to which brand of microturbine can be used, though the first plant is planned around a Northern Research unit. For the fuel cell, the entire program is integrally connected to the Westinghouse SOFC.

ETS has an exclusive license to a recent patent with broad claims focused on high speed turbines and pressurized fuel cell operation. ETS also has exclusive worldwide marketing rights to the hybrid power plant (based on the Westinghouse SOFC) up to 500 kW.

Contact: Jaime Medina, Edison Technology Solutions
626-815-0516, jmedina@edisontec.com

US 5811201: Power generation system utilizing turbine and fuel cell
Inventor(s): Skowronski; Mark J. , Walnut, CA
Applicant(s): Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead, CA
Issued/Filed Sept. 22, 1998 / Aug. 16, 1996
Abstract: A system for generating electricity comprises a fuel cell, a heating stage, and an integral, power generator. The power generator comprises a compressor, an electricity generator and a turbine. Hot exhaust gas from the fuel cell is used for driving the turbine, which in turn drives the generator and the compressor. Both the fuel cell and the generator produce electricity. The compressor is used for compressing air for use in the fuel cell. A portion of the waste heat from the turbine drive gas is used for preheating the air utilized in the fuel cell.


(Edison Technology Solutions, a non-regulated company of Edison International, develops and markets new technologies, products, and services for the emerging energy and electricity marketplace.)

Inverters – State-of-the-Art

Sandia’s Energy Storage Program has published a new report on power conversion systems which gives a comprehensive overview of the various design approaches, the current state of the art, and recommendations for future development (specifically targeting cost reduction).

The abstract appears below. I also have an electronic copy of the Executive Summary, which I can provide on request (specify RTF or HTML format).

To request copies, contact:
Imelda Francis, 505-844-7362, Fax 505-844-6972, igfranc@sandia.gov

Technical contact:
Stan Atcitty, 505-284-2701, satcitt@sandia.gov

“Summary of State-of-the-Art Power Conversion Systems
for Energy Conversion Storage Applications”

Sandia National Labs, SAND98-2019, September 1998


The power conversion system (PCS) is a vital part of many energy storage systems. It serves as the interface between the storage device, an energy source, and an AC load. This report summarizes the results of an extensive study of state-of-the-art power conversion systems used for energy storage applications. The purpose of the study was to investigate the potential for cost reduction and performance improvement in these power conversion systems and to provide recommendations for future research and development.

This report provides:
– an overview of PCS technology,
– a description of several state-of-the-art power conversion systems
and how they are used in specific applications,
– a summary of four basic configurations for the power conversion
systems used in energy storage applications,
– a discussion of PCS costs and potential cost reductions,
– a summary of the standards and codes relevant to the technology,
– recommendations for future research and development.

European utility industry

This is a good summary…but what’s described here is certainly not unique to Europe. Anderson leaves out the significance of technology as a competitive differentiator.

Andersen Consulting Research Finds U.S. Utilities Investing in Europe Must Consider New Emerging Landscape

December 4, 1998

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE) via NewsEdge Corporation — European Utility Industry Faces Entirely New Market Structure

With the European Union’s Electricity Directive set to formally start opening Europe’s electricity markets on February 19, 1999, new research from Andersen Consulting suggests that American utilities investing in Europe will be faced with an entirely new market structure within a few years.

“Deregulation and privatization in the EU will unleash numerous economic, political and technological factors which will reshape the entire European utility landscape. The industry will be completely changed by 2015,” says Robert A. Anclien, utilities global managing partner for Andersen Consulting. “U.S. utilities investing into Europe must realize traditional assumptions will be meaningless as everything from the dominant forms of power generation to the transmission system will be altered by nimble competitors, new technology, and freely traded energy.”

The research, based on extensive interviews with industry executives, regulators and analysts across Europe, concludes that price pressures from electricity-supply competition, new gas-fired co-generation technologies and an improved trans-European gas-supply network will boost gas use and change the way electricity is produced in Europe.

The industry will be completely changed by 2015, according to the research. Large, remote power stations will increasingly be replaced by smaller, cleaner forms of generation located closer to demand, in cities or individual factories, for example. These “demand hubs” in turn will decrease the need for costly, long-distance transmission wires. Emerging will be a single European energy network where gas pipelines and reliability of gas supply actually become more important to providing electricity than high-voltage wires.

“By 2015, we see the gas and electricity industries in Europe converging into a single European energy network,” says Gill Rider, Andersen Consulting partner and head of the firm’s North Europe utilities practice. “Companies seeking success in this market will need new investment strategies, new skills like energy trading, improved regulatory management and a reliable supply of natural gas.”

Evidence for Growth of Gas

The studies point to a number of factors supporting the growth of gas in an open European electricity industry. First, more than 70 percent of the world’s supply of natural gas is deliverable into Europe from such gas-rich areas as the North Sea and Russia. Second, new co-generation technology makes some forms of gas-fired electricity generation capable of achieving 65-75% efficiency, compared with 30-40% efficiency with a traditional coal-fired plant. Third, co-generation plants can be built in as little as 18 months. Fourth, a shift toward natural gas is environmentally and aesthetically appealing because it is cleaner-burning and can be transported via underground pipelines instead of above-ground wires.

The research predicts that by 2015, 30-40 percent of European power is likely to be generated using gas, compared with 7.5 percent in 1992.

Utilities Must Rethink Business

To succeed in the emerging European energy market, Europe’s gas and electricity companies will have to rethink how they do business, how they are organized and where they invest. Winning companies will be those who define their space in the market early on, rather than wait to be led to it, and who possess the management skills to negotiate far-reaching change.

Flexibility will be key as winners create networked organizations to develop and/or acquire new capabilities through strategic alliances and acquisitions. Deep risk management skills will be necessary to navigate through the numerous political, economic, financial and regulatory uncertainties of a liberalizing industry. Complex energy trading capabilities will be essential because industry profitability increasingly will be determined by decisions made on the trading floor, not in the boardroom. Finally, winning companies will be organized around focused business units, a departure from current governance in the utility industry.

“Tremendous opportunities exist for companies that are willing to view the uncertainties of liberalization as a strategic advantage over the next 15 years,” Rider says. “Companies that understand the process of liberalization and are willing to take positions in numerous segments of the industry will be successful over the medium term.”

Nationalism Poses Risk to Liberalization

The research also contains a strong warning for Europe’s politicians and regulators: the biggest potential barriers to an open European electricity industry are politically motivated policies designed to protect some indigenous industries such as coal and oil in individual EU countries. Politicians and regulators throughout Europe eventually will be forced to resolve their countries’ national interests with the EU’s intent to create an open energy market.

“As consumers start to see lower energy prices in other countries, governments across Europe will be forced to examine the economic consequences of protectionism on both the country’s utilities and its manufacturers,” says Rider. “We believe that liberalization will create customer demands for cheaper power that even the most dedicated nationalists and protectionists will have to yield to.”

Additional Findings

Additional findings from the research include:

The growth of co-generation will change the structure of power generation. New technology will decrease the barriers to entering generation and enable large industry to partner with energy companies to generate its own power needs. Gas producers will respond to the increasing use of co-generation by moving into power generation.

Supply constraints posed by electricity transmission networks will ease as gas transportation networks grow. The use of gas-fired generation will significantly increase the importance of transporting gas to localized generating facilities, and decrease the need to transmit electricity long distances.

Failure to realize the increasingly important role gas will play in electricity generation leaves incumbent utilities vulnerable to significant loss of market share as their power costs are undercut by new competitors from other countries and industries.

Sophisticated energy trading will become an essential part of the European utility industry as increased competition creates multiple buyers and sellers needing to hedge against market price volatility.

Significant convergence will occur at all levels of the electric and gas industries as common skills such as energy trading, asset management, customer care and billing/metering develop across both industries. Oil companies pose a serious threat to traditional utilities as they are likely to leverage their vast experience in asset management to enter low-risk, asset intensive parts of the utility industry.

Electricity and gas suppliers will increasingly offer a bundle of additional products and services to offset falling margins, more discerning customer demands and low growth. Companies will seek to take integrated positions in fuel sourcing, power generation, trading and customer supply to hedge their risks in these related segments.

Intensive industry consolidation will continue across Europe, making borders less important and increasing difficulties for regulators monitoring the sector. Import dependence and market maturity (per capita gas consumption) will combine to dictate the way in which individual EU countries approach gas liberalization. Countries with high levels of indigenous gas production and/or high consumption are likely to open their markets to competition faster than those with low or no gas reserves and/or low levels of consumption.

The Andersen Consulting Utilities practice provides strategic management and technology consulting to many of the world’s largest and most innovative electric, gas and water utilities. Clients include 90 percent of the U.S. utilities listed in the Fortune 500 and two-thirds of the international utilities appearing in the Forbes list of the 500 largest international companies.

Andersen Consulting is a $6.6 billion global management and technology consulting organization whose mission is to help its clients change to be more successful. The organization works with clients from a wide range of industries to link their people, processes and technologies to their strategies. Andersen Consulting has more than 59,000 people in 46 countries. Its home page address is http://www.ac.com.

CONTACT: Douglas W. MacDonald | Andersen Consulting | +1 312 693 7463
| douglas.w.macdonald@ac.com | or | Julia J. Wright | +44 171 304 1812
| julia.j.wright@ac.com