POWER [June, 1 2010]

Cover Stories

Economic Operation of Fast-Starting HRSGs

Fast-starting combined-cycle plants are designed for a certain operating life based on a customer-specified set of operating scenarios. During that design phase, periodic inspection and maintenance procedures to benchmark equipment…

Features

A Proposed Definition of CHP Efficiency

Many alternative approaches for determining a useful definition of combined heat and power fossil power plant efficiency have been proposed, although most fail to produce a universal definition. This follow-up report to our February story on plant efficiency shows how an exergy analysis supplies the elusive solution.


Appraising Our Future Cooling Water Options

Ensuring the availability of water for power plants is a matter of both water quantity and quality. As freshwater becomes less available for power plant use, new supplies from marginal or impaired sources will require new cooling technologies. We look at cooling equipment options and how water availability and quality affect cooling system design and cost.

Improving SCR Performance on Simple-Cycle Combustion Turbines

Austin Energy replaced the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst twice over five years for its four peaker turbines. The duct modifications and injection grid redesign, combined with new catalyst, are producing high NOx reduction and low ammonia slip, and the catalyst is now expected to last at least five years.


Kawasaki Plant Claims Efficiency Record

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s new Kawasaki Thermal Power Plant claims the title of having the highest combined-cycle efficiency in the world: 59.1%. The new gas-fired facility is equipped with three 500-MW single-shaft combined-cycle blocks. Each block is based on the MHI M701G2 gas turbine, which is the largest gas turbine currently in commercial operation.

Real-Time Monitoring of Natural Gas Fuel Cleanliness

Gas turbines require clean gas to operate efficiently. Particulate contamination fouls fuel nozzles, causes increases in flue stack emissions, and occasionally causes unplanned plant outages. Now a new real-time natural gas cleanliness monitoring and web-based alarm system is providing valuable protection for natural gas–fired power plants. The adaptation of laser light–scattering technology for the purpose of contaminant measurement in high-pressure gaseous pipelines provides a method of monitoring liquid and solid contamination levels.


Departments

Commentary

The Second Wave of the Smart Grid

Now that U.S. utilities have taken federal stimulus funds and seamlessly built out two-way advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) connecting utility control centers and end users (ok, not completely, but let’s assume that the “stall-ulus” becomes a true stimulus), the question becomes, what’s next? At the moment, this new “comm layer” or “platform” has utilities planning in two directions: upstream and downstream from the smart meters.

New Products

Advanced Generator Set for Distributed, CHP Generation

Caterpillar introduced the G3512E, an advanced natural gas–fueled generator set that was designed for maximum efficiency in extended-duty distributed generation and combined heat and power (CHP) applications. Driven by a…

Caustic Media–Shielding Seals

Types 510 and 511 diaphragm seals are the newest addition to Ashcroft’s line of instrument media isolators. These economical, all-welded seals protect pressure gauges, transmitters, switches, and other instruments against…

In-Line Vibration Transmitter

IMI Sensors released model 682A09 ICP In-Line 4-20 mA Vibration Transmitter, a device that installs with any industrial accelerometer and converts the vibration signal to a 4-20 mA velocity output…

Mobile Water Desalination Technology for Rent

Rental Solutions & Services (RSS), a global provider of rental power and cooling, recently launched its latest product offering, temporary desalination, or mobile water. The company, which recently opened a…

Small Gantry Cutting Machine

ESAB Cutting Systems launched the Falcon FXA, a small gantry-cutting machine that is designed for improved cutting performance. The machine features heavy-duty gantry, rack-and-pinion drives, digital AC drive amplifiers, and…

Vacuum Pump and Compressor Series Upgrade

GD Nash introduced the new 2BE4 series vacuum pumps and compressors, a redesign and upgrade of the existing 2BE3 series. The 2BE4 series includes optimized inlet and discharge porting for…

Legal & Regulatory

Energy Storage: Renewables’ Necessary Partner

Timing is everything in the world of electric power generation. The timing of the delivery of electricity is affected by both the users’ demand and the speed with which a variety of energy sources supply power to the transmission system. Modern grids require reliable energy sources to instantly meet the needs of their users.

Focus on O&M

Design of Experiments Reduces Time to Market

Dresser Waukesha is a familiar name associated with large, gas-fueled stationary engines for power generation and gas compression applications around the world. Each new project location presents a unique set of site variables that must be taken into consideration—such as fuel quality, air/fuel ratio, temperature, humidity, altitude, load, and exhaust after-treatment—when providing the customer a meaningful performance guarantee. To fully characterize every engine option with such a wide range of fuel types and quality and in widely varying environmental conditions across the global is an impossible chore.

Keep Oil Leaks Under Control

An oil skimmer could simplify your plant water maintenance activiites.

KEMA Conference Report: Competition Strengthens as Wholesale Power Prices Fall

Since the collapse of Enron and the wholesale power markets, the vitality of competition in retail markets for electricity has waned in most regions of the U.S., with the exception of Texas. At KEMA’s 21st annual Executive Forum in late March, 300 attendees converged on Dallas to discuss and debate the dynamics and changes now facing residential and commercial customers in most regions of the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1927, KEMA is a global provider of business and technical consulting, operational support, measurement and inspection, and testing and certification for the energy and utility industry. A summary of the many presentations follows.

Variable-Frequency Drives Upgrade Reactor Circulating Pumps

A recent trend in nuclear power plant upgrades has been the replacement of the motor-generator (MG) sets that drive the reactor circulating pumps with variable-frequency drives (VFD). Siemens’ first application of VFDs in this industry began in 2000 with an installation of six VFDs at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. The use of the VFD continues to expand, and upgrades were recently completed at several U.S. plants, including the Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia.

Global Monitor

Competition for Offshore Turbine Market Heats Up

One indication that the world’s offshore wind sector is poised to soar is the escalating competition between turbine makers. This April, General Electric (GE)—the world’s second-largest manufacturer of wind turbines—announced it would introduce a 4-MW gearless wind turbine (a design requiring no gearbox between turbine and generator) in 2012. The move directly challenges market leader Siemens Energy, of Germany, and its head-to-head competitor, Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems.

CORRECTED: New York Coal Plant to Get 20-MW Energy Storage System

New York regulators in April approved construction of a 20-MW energy storage system at the site of an operating coal-fired power station near Union, Broome County. When operational, the $22.3 million project, owned by AES ES Westover LLC—an AES Corp. subsidiary—will use the technology to participate in New York’s growing day-ahead market for ancillary services and regulation.

DOE Expedition Confirms Resource- Quality Gas Hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico

Gas hydrate, a potentially immense energy resource, occurs at high saturations within reservoir-quality sands in the Gulf of Mexico, an expedition by the U.S. Department of Energy has discovered.

Finnish Government OKs Two Nuclear Plant Proposals

Finland’s government in April approved two of three proposals for the construction of new nuclear reactors in an effort to rid the country of its dependency on electricity imports from other countries—especially Russia—as well as to decrease carbon emissions.

Hoover Dam Contracts for Low-Water Hydroelectric Turbine

Growing water demand and reduced runoff due to drought has depleted waters feeding many hydroelectric power plants around the world—sometimes causing severe power shortages, such as in Brazil and New Zealand. The 2,080-MW Hoover Dam (Figure 4), a facility that generates power for more than a million people in Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California, is not immune to this phenomenon. According to a recent study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Colorado River system, which includes Lake Powell and Lake Mead (both manmade reservoirs), is suffering a net deficit of nearly one million acre-feet of water per year.

Offshore Wind Takes Off Around the World

After more than a decade of debate, in April, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved Cape Wind, a proposed 130-turbine offshore wind farm for Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts. It would be the first wind facility in U.S. waters. Despite remaining hurdles, the approval marks a shift in political winds for the nation’s fledgling industry, and it could spur further development of projects proposed for relatively shallow waters along the East Coast and in the Great Lakes.

POWER Digest (June 2010)

AES Secures PPA with Electricity Vietnam for 1,200-MW Coal Plant. AES Corp. subsidiary AES VCM Mong Duong Power Co. Ltd. in April signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with state…

The Backpack Power Plant

Soldiers could one day carry 600-W power plants on their backs, or set up arrays of up to 20 kW in streams deeper than 4 feet, if a prototype being developed by California-based Bourne Energy comes to fruition.

Speaking of Power

Scientific Calculator

Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, trusts the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report’s conclusions that anthropogenic carbon emissions are the primary cause of climate change. When pressed, the customary response of Browner and other proponents has been to rely on that oft-cited list of 2,500 scientists said to have given their full support of the report’s conclusions. Browner should check her facts.

GBR Reports