Today we interviewed one of our founding engineers, Michel Vouche. Michel is the Vice President of Engineering and Technology and has been with the company for more than 30 years. His dedication and loyalty to SPX Dry Cooling can be seen through his achievements and his goals. Let’s see what Michel has to say about our company, our innovations and his vision for our future.
1. What is your role and for how long have you been at this company?
I am the VP of Engineering and Technology. In this role, I am responsible for all the engineering functions from design to correct execution and on to quality control and the scheduling of engineering activities to meet project demands. In addition, I am also responsible for all engineering innovations and product advancements. I have been with the company for over 30 years now and am still enjoying all of it!
2. What is your vision for SPX Dry Cooling?
We are one of the global leaders in the dry cooling industry. Our goal for the future is to continue innovating and extend our range of products and the market segments we currently cover. The threats of global warming show us how vital it is to minimise the number of new power plants emitting CO2. Therefore, we need to expand our innovation and product range in order to sustain the growth of the industry and the company.
3. We just launched two new products. Could you give us more information about them?
The W-Style ACC® is an induced draft air cooled condenser, designed for medium and large power plants ranging from 20 to 1000 MW. The key attribute of this new product is the use of a unique design that drastically decreases the amount of steel used for the structural elements. This, of course, leads to significant cost reductions. Second, it is designed so that it decreases wind sensitivity, which impacts the performance of the ACC, and therefore the efficiency of the whole power plant. Further, our new W-Style ACC® is developed to be more modularised which leads to cost savings, to a shorter duration, and a higher safety level of ACC erection.
The other new product we introduced is the BoxAir ACC®, which is designed to cover applications from 1 to 30 MW. This fully standard ACC will enable very short delivery duration. Again, our target is to decrease investment costs and ease erection from quality to safety.
4. How has the dry cooling industry been transformed over the past few decades?
10 years ago, we had very few dry cooling suppliers on the market. Then, new competitors from several continents gradually started to appear. These competitors made products similar to those already on the market without significant technical differentiation. We, however, are extending the range of products through innovation in order to match ever changing client and industry requirements.
Today, on the other hand, we’re encountering different types of power plants that take into account sustainability as a key ideal. Of course, the requirements of a solar plant are totally different from coal power plants but players in both industries seem to have adjusted their outlook. What’s more, in comparison to wet cooling, we are now seeing more and more that dry cooling is being used globally, not only in dry countries but also in countries where acquiring a permit for water-use is difficult.
5. What makes SPX Dry Cooling stand out from its competitors?
At SPX DC, we have vast experience in dry cooling and are one of the very few companies in existence for over 10 years now. For me, it’s clear that the knowledge and experience of our team is immense and extensive. We are able to design and deliver specialised solutions in any country in the world. And importantly, we can ensure the quality of our finned tubes, which is the key element of dry cooling equipment. This, of course, is due to the fact that the factory in which our tubes are produced is fully owned and managed by us. We are one of the very few dry cooling companies that can offer a variety of products, adapt to different client requirements, and be a sound engineering partner to resolve any existing operational issues. Reliable and sound engineering is the key contributor to our success.