POWER [March, 1 2013]

Cover Stories

Expanded Honolulu WTE Plant Delivers Triple Benefits for Oahu

Covanta Energy and the City and County of Honolulu recently completed a $300 million expansion of a 20-year-old waste-to-energy (WTE) facility. The plant is now capable of processing up to 3,000 tons of municipal refuse daily, recycling all the metals, and generating up to 90 MW—enough to supply nearly 10% of Oahu’s electricity.

Techno-Economic Considerations When Using Low-Grade Coal for Power Generation

The use of low-grade coal is becoming synonymous with circulating fluidized bed (CFB) power plants. Although CFB technology may often be a better choice than pulverized coal technology, that is not always the case. Owners and developers need to consider several technical and economic factors before making this decision.

Why Aren’t Construction and Demolition Wastes Considered Biomass Fuel?

You may be surprised to learn that even with the increased demand for biomass fuels for power generation, construction and demolition fuel is classified as solid waste, not biomass. Reconsidering this designation is critical as U.S. environmental regulations tighten emission profiles for solid waste combustion units and renewable portfolio standards expand.

Features

Rethinking Wind’s Impact on Emissions and Cycling Costs

Recent reports by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and others suggest that the emissions-reducing benefits of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar may have been overstated and the cost of cycling fossil-fueled plants underestimated. These findings may change how utilities and policymakers weigh the costs and benefits of wind and solar energy.

Selecting a Combined Cycle Water Chemistry Program

The lifeblood of the combined cycle plant is its water chemistry program. This is particularly true for plants designed for high pressures and temperatures as well as fast starts and cycling. Even though such plants are increasingly common, no universal chemistry program can be used for all of them.

Steam Turbine Blade Reverse Engineering, Upgrade, and Structural Design

Steam turbine blade cracking often suggests the need for an upgraded blade design. Follow the process of reversing engineering a failed blade to produce a more reliable and efficient design.

Too Dumb to Meter, Part 9

As the book title Too Dumb to Meter: Follies, Fiascoes, Dead Ends, and Duds on the U.S. Road to Atomic Energy implies, nuclear power has traveled a rough road. In this POWER exclusive, we present the 16th and 17th chapters, “Uranium Rush and the New ’49ers” and “Naked Shorts at Westinghouse,” the first two chapters of the “False Scarcity and Fools for Fuels” section.

Departments

Commentary

Biogas: An Alternative Energy Source

Most professionals in the energy industry know about biomass; fewer of us are conversant with biogas. This commentary explains the basics of biogas, with a focus on its current use and future potential as a source of electrical power.

New Products

EPA-Compliant Particulate Monitor

Filtersense’s new continuous particulate emissions monitor and baghouse leak detector incorporates “Automatic Zero and Span Checks” to eliminate manual calibration audits, as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…

New HRSG Line for 100-MW Gas Turbines

ATCO Emissions Management (ATCO) announced the addition of heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) to its line of gas turbine auxiliary equipment for the power, oil, gas, and cogeneration markets. The…

Quick-Release Mount for Fire Extinguishers

A new modular and durable quick-release mount for popular fire-extinguisher sizes is now available from Off-Road Solutions (ORS). The system uses two pieces of 6061-T6 billet aluminum: one attaches to…

Legal & Regulatory

Align Generation Reliability and Fuel Supply Firmness

More and more electricity is generated by natural gas. This trend is likely to persist. Hydraulic fracturing technology is increasing domestic supplies and enabling natural gas prices to remain at historic lows.

Focus on O&M

How to Avoid Feedwater Heater Drain Design Pitfalls

Feedwater heaters are used to preheat boiler feedwater by condensing steam extracted from several stages of the steam turbine. Feedwater heaters enhance the thermal efficiency of the power plant by reducing the amount of fuel burned in the boiler to produce a specified power. At the same time, the steam energy extracted from the turbine by the feedwater heater helps to reduce the rate of energy rejection to the environment via the condenser.

Global Monitor

Brazil Drought Threatens Power Supplies

A pervasive drought in northeast Brazil has dried up power supplies from the region’s hydropower facilities, making the area prone to blackouts and crippling economic growth in one of the country’s emerging agricultural havens.

Despite Pollution-Curbing Efforts, Dense Smog Covers Wide Swath of China

Four bouts of dense smog described as the worst air pollution in recent memory enveloped more than half of China in January, from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle in the north of the country to Nanjing in the south, via the central city of Wuhan.

Hungary Inaugurates Subsurface Repository for Nuclear Plant Waste

Construction of a $310 million repository about 250 meters below Earth’s surface for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste from the operation and future decommissioning of Hungary’s power plants reached a significant milestone at Bataapati.

Japan Banks on LNG

Japan’s scramble to replace generation lost from nuclear power plants that were shuttered after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident has forced it to rely on pricey imports of fossil fuels—and soaring energy costs are hammering the world’s third-largest economy.

Nations Agree to Legally Binding Instrument to Curb World’s Mercury Emissions

Mercury emissions from power plants in 137 United Nations member countries could be subject to strict controls and reductions if an international treaty is signed by participating nations this October.

POWER Digest (March 2013)

Selected business news and deals in the power generation industry.

THE BIG PICTURE: Stretching the Pipeline

Here are some of the longest pipelines recently built as well as noteworthy ones in the pipeline.

Speaking of Power

Should the U.S. Export Natural Gas?

Controversy concerning natural gas exports flared the day the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its estimate that U.S. natural gas exports could begin in 2021.

GBR Reports

The Spotlight on a Mexican Success Story

Energy demand in Mexico, according to the Secretary of Energy (SENER), will increase by approximately 4% each year for the next ten years, and with it the potential for private…