Energy Transition & Grid Support

The Energy Transition is driving decarbonisation of the electrical system with massive investment in renewables at the same time as retiring traditional generating plant. This change is forcing grid operators to reconfigure their networks and the impact is described in more detail here.

Most significant amongst the challenges of the transition are:

  1. Intermittency - Sometimes there is not enough Wind Power, Solar PV, Hydro or Battery Power.
  2. Stability - The move from rotating generators to inverter based renewable energy sources gives Reactive Power and System Strength issues.

The SSS Clutch helps solve these key challenges, by enabling intermittent flexible power generation and by keeping generators rotating as Synchronous Condensers.

Demand Control and Redundancy will play a key role in the future energy balance and its security requirements. This is resulting in more dual driven and hybrid systems not only for electrical generation but also for Marine and Process drives.

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    Synchronous Condensers

    A synchronous condenser or synchronous compensator, is a rotating motor / generator that is synchronised to the grid. They absorb and provide reactive power and deliver rotating inertia and short circuit current to help stabilise the electrical grid. SSS Clutches have been used on this application for over 60 years.

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    Peaking Turbine Plant

    As we progress the Energy Transition to net zero, there is increased investment in Peaking Turbine Plant to cover the periods when renewables are not providing enough energy to meet demand. The SSS Clutch allows the turbine to automatically disconnect from the generator when not delivering active power, enabling a fast response time and allowing the generator to be used as a synchronous condenser.

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    Peaking Reciprocating Plant

    Peaking power plants need to have the ability to operate flexibly, often with fast ramp-up/ramp-down rates to compensate for rapid changes in power demand. Reciprocating engines are well-placed to meet these needs, often combining a series of modular units into a larger system. 

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    Repurposing Existing Generators

    As more inverter based renewable energy resources are added to electrical power grids around the world, traditional fossil fuel or nuclear power plants are being decommissioned and we are losing the reactive power, inertia and fault current provided by these large rotating devises. SSS Clutches can help repurpose these units to maintain grid stability and system strength.

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    Energy Storage

    As we transition to renewable energy sources like Wind and Solar PV, our generation of electricity becomes more variable creating an imbalance between demand and supply. Energy storage is a critical part of the solution and SSS Clutches are at the heart of these systems, providing the flexibility to switch between energy storage and energy supply modes.

The Industry Explained