Environmental friendly power generation, a mixture of renewable and fossil energy sources, efficient energy transmission in powerful grids with state-of-the-art high-tech components – these are the major themes of Alstom's presence at the Hannover Messe trade fair from 8 to 12 April. The international technology group will be presenting itself in Hall 27 as an industrial partner for the energy turnaround in Germany.
"We have been working at full speed on the energy turnaround for some time now, and we can present many extremely interesting technological solutions for this turnaround", comments Alf Henryk Wulf, Country President of Alstom Deutschland AG. The company's Power and Grid sectors will be presenting a range of plants, systems, components and concepts for power generation and use: today and in the future.
In addition, the Alstom Transport sector will be showcasing its contributions to sustainable mobility as one of Germany's renowned providers of multiple units for regional rail transport. According to Wulf, "Energy-saving, low-emission electric and diesel multiple units made in Germany make regional rail transport attractive. Our vehicles are used in Germany and abroad every day in many urban areas and out in the countryside."
The attractions at the trade fair exhibit will include the presentation of the latest generation of offshore wind turbines, which Alstom is marketing worldwide under the name Haliade 150. "We have more than 30 years of experience in wind power. We have now succeeded in developing an incredibly powerful source of electricity for the burgeoning offshore market", says Adolf Roesch, as Member of the German Board responsible for the Power sector. At six megawatts, the turbine produces approximately 15 per cent more energy than other wind turbines of a similar size.
Roesch makes it clear that the phase out of nuclear power within the next few decades is realistic only with the continued use of fossil fuels. "Highly efficient and flexible, environmental friendly gas and coal power plants will remain important in offsetting the natural fluctuations involved with the alternative energies." On that note, Alstom secured the turnkey construction of a gas and steam turbine power plant in Niehl, Cologne last year – a €350 million project supplemented by a 15-year maintenance contract.
In order to maintain the energy mix, not only would new power plants need to be built, but existing plants would also have to be optimised. Last year, Alstom secured a contract to retrofit the Rostock power plant, which will increase both the life cycle of the plant and the output of the steam turbine. The service area of the sector will also be on show in the exhibition hall in Hanover. According to Roesch, "expert services and cost-effective modernisations – throughout the world, these are key fields of competence for the energy turnaround."
For the cable connections between the offshore wind turbines and the inland power consumers, Alstom has enhanced the long-standing principle of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission and will be exhibiting the result at the trade fair. "We are able to equip the offshore wind farms with turnkey substations that are also situated out at sea, either for the electricity to be transported as alternating or three-phase alternating current, or using HVDC technology", explains Dr. Wolfgang Voss, as Member of the German Board responsible for the Grid sector.
Alstom is providing the corresponding systems for a range of offshore projects in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. HVDC, which is currently being used in a project in Sweden, is claimed to be a sensible solution in both financial and environmental terms, as it can use existing power transmission lines. The greater expenditure involved in the technology is certainly worthwhile, as the energy losses associated with transmission over long distances in particular are estimated to be 30 per cent lower than with conventional methods.
The Transport sector can report on a proud record at the trade fair. "Throughout Germany, every fourth passenger on regional rail networks travels in trains made by Alstom", reports Dr Martin Lange, as Member of the German Board responsible for the Transport sector. "In the regional conurbations of Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, millions of passengers use our trains every year on commuter and underground railways." According to Dr. Lange, the Coradia Lint diesel multiple unit, designed mostly for rural areas, has been particularly successful, with four out of five rail clients in this segment already using Alstom technology.
Shortly before the end of 2012, Hessische Landesbahn ordered seven Coradia Lint trains and commissioned the group's rail specialist to modernise its existing fleet. In addition, the Salzgitter plant was awarded the contract to construct 20 electric multiple units for Zweckverband Großraum Braunschweig (ZGB), including an option to purchase 13 additional trains. A notable aspect of this contract is that ZGB also awarded Alstom a 20-year maintenance contract for the trains. It is the biggest order which combines the supply of new trains with a long-term maintenance service contract for Alstom in Germany.