Smarter solutions are set to become increasingly important in bringing greater flexibility to electricity generation, optimising electricity usage, and integrating renewable energy sources more effectively. The multiple benefits of the Smart Power Generation concept means that it has a valuable role to play in making it easier to manage electricity supply and demand. Wärtsilä is the global leader in Smart Power Generation.
Although existing power systems have been designed to handle the variations in electricity demands that take place at different times of the day, week, and year, they are typically much less efficient when renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, form part of the generating base.
This is primarily because of the sometimes major variations that can take place in output from these sources over very short periods of time, which can rarely be forecast very accurately, and the fact that this has to be compensated for by other power plants. Much of today’s base generating capacity is simply too inflexible and not up to the challenge of continuously balancing rapid, large-scale variations like this. What is needed is sufficient dispatchable, dynamic capacity to overcome this shortcoming.
While things like reservoir hydropower and smart grid technology are clearly part of the solution, the fundamentals of the generating base also need to be addressed – which is where Smart Power generation based on Wärtsilä’s start-of-theart gas combustion engines comes in.
|Smart Power Generation solutions offer the flexibility needed to meet a wide range of local conditions and needs, while still providing a highly optimised and secure source of energy. Photo: Timo Kauppila/INDAV.
Flexible, highly efficient power when and where it’s needed
Smart Power Generation offers a unique combination of features aimed at smoothing the way to a more sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy infrastructure. The flexibility, efficiency, and high standards of operational performance of Wärtsilä’s power plant solutions speak for themselves.
Wärstilä’s plants can begin generating megawatts of power for the grid in just 30 seconds from start-up and reach full load in two minutes, and can cope with being started up and stopped whenever needed with ease. With a typical plant availability of more than 97%, plant reliability of 99%, and a start-up reliability of more than 99%, one can’t make a smarter choice. Wärtsilä’s power plants can also be easily located close to where the power they generate is needed. This is primarily due to their low emission and ambient noise levels, modest infrastructure needs, and ability to dispatch power even in hot climates and at high altitudes.
Wärtsilä also offers the highest available simple cycle energy efficiency of any current technology, 49% or more in fact. Its Flexicycle™ technology delivers all the benefits of a flexible, simple cycle plant with the efficiency of a combined cycle plant, and enables the best fuel available to be used on a very flexible basis, including liquid and gaseous fuels, as well as renewables.
By enabling the maximum integration of wind and solar capacity and overcoming wind variability, the result is a reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy supply that protects base load plants from the challenges of cyclical loads that they were never designed to deal with in the first place. Smart Power Generation based on gas combustion engines also opens up a number of new opportunities for generators to sell base power to energy markets and fast-starting and ramping capabilities to the ancillary services and capacity market.
"Combining efficiency and flexibility
with affordability, reliability, and sustainability."
|The Kiisa 250 MW duel-fuel facility has been designed to act as an emergency reserve power plant for the Estonian transmission system operator.