NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2016

Growing Need for Better Silencers and Sound Enclosures for Stationary Reciprocating Engines

We have entered the age of distributed power. Gas engines providing electricity heat and light are now used for base load, standby, or emergency power for hospitals, data centers and many locations in close proximity to residences and areas with high population density. Engines are inherently noisy.  The exhaust is only one of six noise sources. McIlvaine is now providing a continuous analysis of sound attenuation options.  This includes a recent interview with Dennis Aaberg. Dennis has recently retired from Cummins Power Generation after a thirty-seven-year career in noise and vibration control.  He is a recognized expert on the subject and the author of articles appearing in Gas Turbine, Reciprocating Engine Decision Guide.  During his career, which began with Onan Corporation before it was purchased by Cummins, Inc. and became Cummins Power Generation, he worked within the Applied Technology Group to reduce product noise levels and improve sound quality on small gas and diesel engines, generator sets, garden tractors, welders and a variety of other engine-driven applications.  Dennis has also worked integrally with customers to solve community noise issues and application noise issues.

Several of the questions addressed in the interview deal with the need for customization. Dennis explained that to provide fairly accurate insertion loss predictions (i.e. within 1-3 dB(A) or better) for a given internal combustion engine-driven product, the silencers must be custom made for each engine-driven application because a given muffler will perform differently for each different engine it is integrated with.

Exhaust silencing systems act as a system with the engine, so any modeling work must include physical internal dimensions of the engine exhaust system and engine; along with all the engine operating parameters.  That is partially why when you look in exhaust silencer manufacturer catalogues you typically see a 10 dB(A) expected exhaust noise insertion loss range, because it can vary greatly from engine to engine.  Therefore, to custom design a product to meet a strict noise level, several iterations of modeling, analysis, test and validation typically need to be made.  This can be time-consuming and expensive, but perhaps necessary in critical noise control applications; which are becoming much more common globally.

Since the speed of sound changes with temperature, this can also complicate the expected insertion loss of the muffler for any particular engine because the broadband effectiveness of the silencer can vary as the engine exhaust temperatures change as the silencing effectiveness at various frequencies can change as the engine and silencer temperatures change.

The interview and coverage of sound attenuation in the Gas Turbine Reciprocating Engine Decision Guide includes the use of sound enclosures and other sound attenuation options.  The complete interview is found in 59D Gas Turbine and Reciprocating Engine Decisions.   The forecasts of the worldwide markets for sound attenuation for engines and turbines are found in 59EI Gas Turbine and Reciprocating Engine Supplier Program.

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2016

High Value Calcium and Sodium Sorbent Opportunity Created by Catalytic Filter Developments

Hydrated lime with high surface area and micronized trona are two premium sorbent products which will benefit from the new air pollution control technology which combines catalytic filtration with dry sorbent injection (DSI).  This technology is likely to be applied at coal-fired power plants, waste-to-energy plants, steel mills, mines and other locations where acid gases, NOx and dust must be captured.

The biggest potential is in developing countries, but there is considerable opportunity in the U.S. and Europe as well.  In countries presently without acid gas reduction requirements, the DSI catalytic filter approach will take market share away from wet limestone and dry circulating bed technologies.  In the U.S. and Europe, it will represent an option which has two advantages:

  • Better choice for older power plants with shortened life expectancy
  • A route to lower net greenhouse gas emissions due to heat recovery benefits

The DSI catalytic filter is a combination technology which removes acid gases, NOx and particulate in one device.  At this point due to low NOx efficiency below 300oF it is limited in its lower temperature range. Two filtration media are used.  Fiberglass or synthetic bags use embedded catalyst but are limited in maximum temperature to 450oF.  The ceramic fiber media is capable of handling temperatures well above 850oF.

The high surface area of special hydrated lime and micronized trona allow 90 percent acid gas removal with the DSI approach. The catalytic filter also achieves 99 plus percent dust removal and NOx removal above 80 percent.  The clean hot gas can then be processed in efficient heat exchangers to greatly reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.

The combination of lower capital cost, less space and lower greenhouse gas emissions offset the slightly higher OPEX costs for the more expensive sorbent. So, not only does the user benefit, but the sorbent suppliers enjoy a much larger market in terms of sorbent revenues.  There is an order of magnitude cost difference between a highly reactive sorbent and limestone.

The coal-fired power plant projects which will use DSI and catalytic filters are tracked in 42EI Utility Tracking System

Industrial plant projects are tracked in Industrial Air Plants and Projects, click on:

NEWS RELEASE                                                                            SEPTEMBER 2016

The “Hurry up” Pace for Flow Control and Treatment

Jeffrey Immelt of GE has called upon industry to adopt the same “hurry up” pace endemic to Silicon Valley.  This statement was made in conjunction with the initiative to maximize the value of information communicated by machines.  This information can be used to improve operations and maintenance.  GE outlines impressive advantages of massive machine to machine communication.  This leads to speculation that the information generated by pumps, valves, fans, etc. could be worth more than the equipment itself.

McIlvaine is currently conducting a series of webinars for a large U.S. utility which is considering optimization systems offered by GE, Siemens, Emerson, Doosan and others. Better machine communication can contribute a NOx reduction of more than 10 percent. However, since the utility needs to achieve at least 70 percent reduction at four plants, optimization will only be part of the strategy.   It now appears that the most cost effective solution is a combination of five or more technologies.

For this specific project the solution could involve the GE NeuCo optimization system in Massachusetts, the GE combustion (CE) in Connecticut, the GE (formerly Betz) treatment chemicals in Pennsylvania and the GE (formerly Alstom/CE) scrubbing technologies (Tennessee and Sweden) along with changes in wastewater treatment and maybe even ZLD as furnished by the GE water groups in Minnesota, Washington and other areas. The utility has to determine the best interaction of all these technologies.  GE also has to maximize the communication among its own technology providers who, as previously independent companies, are not part of a seamless operation.

The series of webinars using the McIlvaine Global Decisions Orchard  is demonstrating the value of organization and decisive classification but also a “hurry up” pace through the power of the wise crowd.  The utility will likely choose a unique combination of technologies which had not been envisioned at the beginning of the two-month webinar series.  Unexpected input from many different sources has made a major contribution to the likely choice.

The Wikipedia entry for the wise crowd provides the following criteria:

Wise Crowd Criteria
Criteria Description
Diversity of opinion Each person should have private information even if it's just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.
Independence People's opinions aren't determined by the opinions of those around them.
Decentralization People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
Aggregation Some mechanism exists for turning private judgments into a collective decision.

All these criteria have been met with the webinar and Decision Guide approach used on this project.  McIlvaine intends to take full advantage of the wise crowd in the future.

For more information on the specific Decision Guides being used by power plants for flow and treatment decisions, click on:

44I Power Plant Air Quality Decisions

59D Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle Decisions

For more input on how wise crowd initiatives will be used to help various suppliers, click on:

N028 Industrial Valves: World Market

N019 Pumps World Market

N027 FGD Market and Strategies  

N035 NOx Control World Market

N026 Water and Wastewater Treatment Chemicals: World Market

N020 RO, UF, MF World Market   

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2016

Power Plant and Energy Projects Should Be Tracked from Inception

Fossil-fired power plants, refineries, gas-to-liquids, LNG and petrochemical plants are large investments.  Initial decisions about suppliers are first made years in advance of the bid specification release.  These decisions can be reversed by persuasive suppliers but it is much better to make the case prior to a tentative decision.  McIlvaine supplies weekly and biweekly alerts to help suppliers ensure that they are heard at the earliest appropriate time.

Coal, gas and diesel-fired power plant projects take years to develop from initial concept to actual operation.  Decisions about sub systems are typically made two years before operation for a small gas turbine or diesel plant.  These decisions for large coal-fired power plants are made three years in advance or earlier.  On the other hand, decisions can be altered due to unforeseen events.  The 3960 MW Saurashtra power plant in India is a project which has been underway for nearly seven years. The first two 660 MW units for Saurashtra are slated for 2019 start up.  The new air pollution regulations will require 30 mg/Nm3 for particulate compared with 50 mg/Nm3, FGD for units 1 and 2 at 92 percent versus only provision for FGD in the existing permit.  NOx emissions will be limited to 100 mg/Nm3 which would require more than 80 percent reduction.  So any decisions relative to air pollution control systems have to be reviewed and new systems incorporated.

Plant Parameters Plant Details
Plant Name Saurashtra Super Thermal Power Plant
Location Bhatvadia villae in Kaylanpur Taluk District Jamnagar in Gujarat
Size 6 x 660 MW
Startup date unit 1 31-03-2019
Startup date unit 2 30-9- 2019
Boilers Supercritical
Coal sulfur  
Coal ash 6-8%
Water 897 MLD from Arabian sea
FGD Provision for installation in units 1 and 2 but required for 3-6
Wastewater Discharged to meet limits prescribed in PSCB/CPCB
Particulate High efficiency precipitator to meet 50 mg/Nm3
Cooling water Natural draft cooling towers

Gas turbine combined cycle power plants have a shorter construction cycle but many of the projects are in the U.S. where litigation and permits cause delays and design changes.  Large refinery projects are typically in the planning and construction stages for a decade prior to operation.  Gas-to-liquids plants can cost up to $15 billion.  As a result, their construction cycle is equal to that of a refinery.

McIlvaine has three Alert services covering these projects on a continuing basis:

41F Utility E-Alert

59-EA Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle E-Alert

71EI Oil, Gas, Shale, Refining E-Alert

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        SEPTEMBER 2016

Decision Guides Help to Increase Market Share

Emerson has signed an agreement to purchase the Valves & Controls business of Pentair for $3.15 billion. The acquisition is expected to close in the next four to six months, subject to various regulatory approvals.

“This acquisition delivers on our strategic plan of investing in Automation Solutions and in markets where we have a global leadership position and see significant long-term growth opportunities,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David N. Farr.  “By adding Pentair’s Valves & Controls leading technologies and services to our already broad portfolio, we have positioned our businesses to grow while continuing to provide our customers around the world with more complete solutions to their toughest challenges.”

“The Pentair Valves & Controls business is a strong fit for us as they share many of the same management principles that have defined success for Emerson over the years such as global customer support, service, best cost sourcing and manufacturing,” said Mike Train, Executive Vice President and Business Leader for Emerson Automation Solutions. “In addition to adding great people and brands to our business, it will allow us to expand our market position and create new opportunities for growth, while also being able to offer our customers the most complete valve solutions portfolio and most extensive service network in the world.”

McIlvaine updates more than 50,000 valve forecasts continually and also provides market share rankings based on the latest 12-month performance. See: N028 Industrial Valves: World Market


Valve and Actuator Sales

$ Millions

General Performance

$ Millions

High Performance

$ Millions

High Performance Market Share


Pentair 2,100 600 1,500 4
Emerson 1,980 600 1,360 3
New Emerson 4,080 1,200 1,880 7
Cameron 1,520 200 1,320 3
Flowserve 1,470 400 1,070 2
Other 78,850 47,000 32,870 81
Total 90,000   50,000 40,000 100

The new Emerson will hardly be a player in the general performance valve market with just a 2 percent market share. However, with a 7 percent market share in high performance valves and sales which are twice that of its nearest competitor, it will be exercising its “right to win” position.  This position could be substantially enhanced by the Decision Guide program initiated by McIlvaine.

High performance valves have been defined by McIlvaine to include both severe and critical service. Each needs to be purchased based on lowest total cost of ownership (LTCO) and not on initial price. These high performance valves are important elements in the Automation Solutions cited by Emerson as the target market for the expanded company. 

Automation Solutions requires process knowledge far beyond what is easily acquired and understood. The supplier needs the knowledge to offer the system and the end user needs the knowledge to justify its LTCO. McIlvaine is offering Decision Guides to address this need.  The guides cover all aspects of coal-fired, gas turbine and reciprocating engine operation.  Narrow guides in specific subjects in oil gas such as molecular sieve switching valves and choke valves are also kept current.

This approach is radically different than current practice and can best be explained by an example.  Emerson is pursuing a large multi-plant automation project for a major utility.  The success of the optimization depends on the quick and precise reaction of many valves. The degree of success in the boiler impacts a number of valve related decisions in the back end portion of the upgrade.  The utility has been using the McIlvaine Power Plant Air Quality Decisions Guide (PPAQD).  A series of five webinars including three already conducted and two to be held in early September are helping the utility, consultants and the suppliers maximize the value of the material in PPAQD.  At this point it looks as if the PPAQD will result in an approach which will save over $200 million in capital costs.

There have been discussions with the executives of the utility as to why the Decision Guide would be critical in determining the best options.  There is agreement that the relevant information particularly about total solutions is doubling every few years. Conventional approaches to take advantage of the voluminous data are clearly inadequate. The consultants and the utility personnel both can take advantage of the Decision Guide.

Emerson can take advantage of this new route to market to ensure that end users around the world understand the lowest total cost of ownership benefits. For more information on Decision Guides click on Decision Guides . The upcoming webinars are described at Hot Topic Hour Schedule and Recordings