Climate change is one of the main issues of the modern era that companies have to fight. Enel is at the forefront of driving the effort towards a sustainable energy system in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for Climate Action, which is at the heart of its strategy.
The most important tool to reduce the impact of the energy sector on our planet is the energy transition, the shift from an energy mix based on fossil fuels to one mainly based on renewable energy sources, characterized by very limited carbon emissions.
In this framework, in 2019, Enel Group’s installed capacity from renewable resources worldwide had exceeded that from thermoelectric sources and the company, aware of its role as a leader in the energy transition, aims to achieve a complete coal phase-out in 2027 and a full decarbonization in 2050, through the increasing impulse of renewable energies and optimization of the management of traditional technologies.
To reach this goal, Enel Global Power Generation will leverage innovative solutions to dismantle coal power plants in a safe and sustainable way. In particular, Enel Global Power Generation is looking for new safe technical solutions to dismantle big fuel storage tanks, avoiding manual cutting activities and working at heights.
Fuel storage tanks are steel structures with dimensions varying between 50.000 and 100.000 cubic meters. 50.000 cu.m. storage tanks are typically 65/70m in diameter and 16-20m in height. Lateral walls are generally made of Fe-52 steel, 20-22mm thick at the top and 26-28mm at the bottom.
Currently, the demolition of tanks is being performed, after the removal of the floating roof, by oxy-cutting the lateral walls. This activity is generally performed by three operators, using oxy-propane torches, big cranes and mobile platforms/scaffolding. On the platform, two of the operators use the torch to create a 10cm hole in the upper part of the steel wall, used to anchor the wall to the crane, and to cut a portion of the wall itself around the hole. Once the cutting operation has been completed, the portion of steel wall is removed by the crane operator and positioned on the ground. These operations are repeated until the tank is completely dismantled by removing the entire steel wall piece by piece. Each piece is generally 20 square meters (4m x 5m) in size and a typical tank wall is cut into 150-250 pieces. The approximate weight for 1 square meter of 20mm thick steel is 1.600kg. Solutions that can accommodate larger, heavier pieces will be considered favorably.
Enel Global Power Generation is looking for innovative, sustainable and efficient solutions that allows for the complete dismantling of the steel wall of the fuel storage tank, while avoiding risky and complex activities, such as manual cutting activities or working at heights.
Work at height to be performed by the operators should also be minimized – an ideal approach, to be considered only as a not exhaustive example, automates the positioning of the crane hook/chain/rope through the 10cm hole. The proposed solution must be able to cut steel sheets with a thickness of up to 30mm, at heights up to 20m. Cutting of the steel wall and removal of the pieces may be performed by one or more devices. Moreover, the proposed solution has to be characterized by a sufficient IP protection level to be used in outdoor environments (IP ≥ 45).
The proposed solution must have the following qualities:
- Cut steel sheets up to 30mm thick;
- Work at heights up to 20m;
- Eliminate any manual cutting activities;
- Minimize the presence of operators at height;
- Have a technology readiness level (TRL) ≥ 7;
- Have an IP protection level ≥ 45.
Moreover, the proposed solution should:
- Be managed remotely by the operator or be completely autonomous;
- Reduce or avoid the use of oxy-propane torch or similar cutting tools.
The submitted proposal should contain two parts:
1. Collaboration Proposal including:
a) A description of the proposed system with an explanation of how the Solver proposes to address all of the Solution Requirements. The Seeker desires a solution with a minimum technology readiness level (TRL) of 7 and Solvers should provide enough information to indicate that their solution achieves this level. The Solver can withhold proprietary details, if necessary, but should provide convincing evidence for Enel to appreciate the merits of the approach. The description of the solution should include, but is not limited to:
- Adopted method and/or technique;
- Advantages and weaknesses of the proposed solution;
- Technical performance in terms of maximum cuttable thickness, cuttable materials, maximum height of operability, etc.;
- Technical specifications in terms of dimensions, specific working requirements, weather conditions, installation requirements, technical constraints, time needed for application and operation;
- Cost indications for the supply and operation of the solution.
b) A brief discussion of capabilities, facilities/equipment, and relevant expertise for executing the proposed solution. The Solver should explain what they can provide and what might be required of the Seeker. For example: “I can construct a prototype, but I would need the Seeker to help with scale up and distribution”;
c) An overview of the proposed path forward (materials, deliverables, timelines, cost estimates);
d) Data, video, case studies, patent and journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solution.
2. General Information about the Solver including:
a) The key contact person for this Challenge (including phone number and email address).
b) Organization/Company/University name and address (including website, if available)
(NOTE: For most Challenges, Solvers are not allowed to include personal contact information; however, for an eRFP Challenge, it is required.)
[NOTE: Only proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work as a collaboration partner will be considered.]