Cummins first with grid code compliant gen sets
Germany is setting the pace in grid compliance and gen set manufacturer Cummins are the first to market with a code compliant gen set, say the firm’s managing director Willi Vogtner and executive director Vikrant Aggarwal. The new laws come into place from January 1, 2013 and stipulate the requirements for generating units feeding into the grid. Other countries such as France will soon follow, and it is likely that these standards will likely become global ones.
There were several design changes required for compliance such as changes to the air gap, to the rotor design, additional bracing to windings, and protection to the rotor field circuit. The changes, including testing and validation, took the firm two years and involved a design team of thirty people. The new code compliant gen sets are more robust, can withstand more transient conditions on the grid and has the potential to last longer.
Cummins Generator Technologies, which, according to Aggarwal, is ranked in the top 2 in “most markets in which we play in” says its business remains strong globally in spite of recent economic headwinds. “We are seeing reasonably decent growth in America and relatively good growth in India and growth in Europe. The US the markets are coming back in EMEA we are connecting with our customers better,” he added.
Mr Vogtner said that based on market segments, the oil and gas business was strong but that marine was flat but was expected to come back from 2014. In the Asian region Cummins manufacturers both in India and China. In India, which is around the same size as its China sales, the slowing down of the economy are not a cause for concern as the lingering power deficit means that industrial clients are still buying. “ There are delays in major power projects in India, such as the nuclear plant in Southern India, and this only widens the power deficit which we are in a position to fill,” said Aggarwal.
In China, where the company has two plants, 2012 is shaping up softer for the firm as the economy softens. One interesting trend is that customers in Asia are purchasing at the large end and small end of the product range, but not so much in the middle. “ It’s like an inverted bell shaped curve for demand,” said Mr Aggarwal. Back in Europe the requirement that generators meet grid codes if they want to feed in power is providing a boost for business, and the number of gen sets, especially gas fired ones, is expected to remain strong, added Mr Vogtner.