Turbo Power Systems are Appointed Project Partner in EU-Funded Project, ebalance-plus

Specialist power electronics design and manufacturer, Turbo Power Systems Ltd (TPS) are delighted to bring their expertise to another ground-breaking EU-funded project – ebalance-plus – which tackles technical, economic and social aspects of smart grids, aiming to increase their flexibility and resilience.

TPS are well experienced in collaboratively working to achieve a shared objective having already been involved in several large consortium led projects, both EU and UK-funded. The consortium is made up of 15 partner companies representing 10 countries within Europe who will all work together to increase flexibility of energy grids, test new business models and support key stakeholders with tailored end user interfaces. They will demonstrate a variety of solutions in four real pilot sites in Spain, Italy, France and Denmark. To ensure the adequacy of the solutions, additional in-lab tests will tackle security and safety issues. The European Union supports the project within the Horizon 2020 framework with almost 10 million Euro for 42 months.

With a substantial grant from the consortium, TPS will lead the development of key systems within the project and will work together with specialist system integrators and other partners involved in the demonstration. Their scope of supply includes:

  • Dual Terminal Power Electronic Device (PED) to manage grid connection and create a controlled DC network;
  • DC-DC converters to connect solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable power to the DC bus;
  • High efficiency bi-directional DC-DC converters for 10 Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) functionality.

In 2013, a smaller scale project – “ebalance” – was launched to demonstrate the benefits of having flexibility at low voltage electric grid level through the application of intelligent management of solar energy and household smart appliances. Ebalance-plus is an evolution of the ebalance project and is aimed at giving the network operators more flexibility in how they can manage energy whilst simultaneously maintaining resilience in the supply. For the consumer, this translates to assurance of energy supply, minimising consumer energy costs whilst also enabling wider adoption of low carbon technologies such as Electric Vehicles.

We’ve been developing innovative power electronic solutions for over 45 years for a variety of very challenging and complex applications. We’ve really been working hard to come up with new and novel ideas for the decarbonisation of energy and have been a vital member of many consortium-led projects in recent years, so when we had the opportunity to be a part of the ebalance-plus project we knew we had unique expertise that we could bring to the table.” comments Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director at TPS, “We’ve got 18 months to develop and deliver our converters, which will form a core part of the ebalance-plus system, ahead of a unique demonstration taking place in Málaga, Spain and I am confident that despite the short delivery time our team will develop an innovative and efficient solution.

Decarbonising energy has never been more important and as we move forward into the era of electric vehicles, it is vital that the charging infrastructure is in place to facilitate unprecedented numbers of consumers charging EV’s at the same time. Currently, research shows that there is not enough capacity to rapidly charge multiple vehicles at once, so energy companies and manufacturers are forced to think smarter about how and where electricity is produced. Traditionally, electricity was generated predominantly from fossil power plants in non-urban locations and was mostly consumed in urban environments. However, today and in the future, electricity will be produced more and more from urban located renewable sources, which are characterised by variability. Electricity grids must be much more flexible than before to match the more uncertain generation with the more uncertain demand, especially once electricity consumers start purchasing their availability to consume electrical power and, in some cases, become small producers.

TPS 1MW Turbo Blowers Complete Testing for APG-Neuros

TPS’ ultra-efficient magnet motors are helping reduce energy costs for wastewater treatment plants.

In early 2019, Turbo Power Systems Ltd (TPS) signed a contract with Canadian based APG Neuros (APGN) to deliver cutting-edge direct drive technology with active magnetic bearings for APGN’s Turbo Blowers to improve the aeration process in Wastewater Treatment Plants.

The Client

Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, APG-Neuros are acclaimed to be the force behind the successful introduction of high-speed turbo blower technology in the wastewater treatment market and have been recognised by multiple industry associations. With successful technology implementation in North America, Europe and the Middle East, APGN are setting the standard in wastewater treatment continent by continent.

The Problem

Becoming more sustainable across operations is an industry wide driver for improving energy efficiency in the wastewater treatment process. A wastewater treatment plant’s aeration process can account for around 40% of its energy usage, which makes turbo blower technology an attractive proposition for design and performance improvement.

Wastewater treatment is a process that converts domestic wastewater from its unusable state into an effluent that can be returned to the water cycle with minimal impact to the environment; aeration is the secondary treatment which occurs after solids have been extracted from the wastewater. Aeration blowers can be found in different forms and with various capabilities, they play an imperative role in this process as they produce the air flow required to metabolise organic compounds found in wastewater and to remove Carbon Dioxide. This secondary process is crucial to ensuring that the water is safe to be returned to the water cycle for consummation.

The Solution

TPS’ scope of supply included the design and development of a complete system with 1MW high-speed permanent magnet motors and variable frequency drives. When integrated with APGN’s Aeration Turbo Blowers, TPS’ equipment delivers an ultra-efficient system that helps reduce the total cost of ownership, enabling also a greener and more sustainable solution.

This energy-focussed solution is designed to increase performance and support APGN’s direct drive Turbo Blower technology in achieving higher efficiency levels by incorporating high-speed permanent magnet motors and a variable frequency drive system. In addition to the resulting reduction in energy costs achieved for the aeration process, maintenance and service requirements for the plant equipment are significantly reduced due to the resulting contactless, oil-free nature of the turbo blower design; hence further reducing the operational and through life costs of the equipment.

Unlike conventional induction motors, our high-speed permanent magnet motors can maintain efficiency even at part-load and part-speed operation; energy losses are further minimised due to the near zero friction. Oil-free active magnetic bearing technology that themselves are free from wear and tear, thereby extending the useful life and reducing the maintenance cost.

Client Testimonial

Omar Hammoud, CEO & President, APG-Neuros:

The 1MW turbo blower has recently completed its initial testing phase with great success, the system proved its reliability to the end client which we are extremely happy about. The unit performed exceptionally well with better than predicted performance, proving its very high operational efficiency, that it operates smoothly and with great flexibility. We sincerely thank every member of your team who has contributed to this success.