POWER [June, 15 2007]

Cover Stories

Old plant, new mission

Since 1999, the Texas grid operator ERCOT has given plant owners economic incentives to upgrade and extend the life of their generating units. Lower Colorado River Authority has seized the opportunity to modernize the control systems of its 1970s-vintage Sim Gideon natural gas–fired steam plant. Sophisticated control schemes now calculate the toll taken by running units under severe service conditions—including the high ramp rates that a plant must execute to sell ancillary services.

Features

Chauncey Starr: A personal memoir

Chauncey Starr, founder of EPRI—the Electric Power Research Institute—and its first CEO, passed away on April 17, 2007. The previous day, a celebration of his recent 95th birthday had been…

Climate change concerns drive projects to curb CO2

In a carbon-constrained world, CO2 capture and storage (CCS), although considered the most radical of the carbon abatement technologies (CATs), seems to be favored over combustion and steam cycle improvements…

Drum pressure the key to managing boiler stored energy

At the heart of most boiler combustion control systems (and most coordinated boiler/turbine control systems as well) is throttle pressure correction, usually applied by the "master controller." Throttle pressure is…

Flies in the nuclear power ointment: Supply chain complexity, shortage of skilled labor

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the nuclear track at the ELECTRIC POWER 2007 Conference & Exhibition (EP07) in Chicago last month was the attendance. For the most part, its…

Global warming, rising costs complicate capacity additions

If little else is clear about the future of the U.S. power industry, this much is: Electricity rates are going up across the country, and will continue to. None of…

How to make VARs—and a buck

Last month, POWER weighed the pros and cons of the various grid interconnection options available to distributed generation plants. This month we explore the technology choices for generating reactive power, or volt-amperes reactive (VARs), which utilities are willing to pay for as an ancillary service.

Kimberlina: A zero-emissions demonstration plant

FutureGen may be getting the headlines, but it's not the only superclean demonstration plant in town. In fact, you could argue that other technologies are further down the evolutionary timeline. Case in point: Clean Energy Systems' adaptation of rocket engine technology to radically change the way fuel is burned. The result is a true zero-emissions power plant.

PRB Coal Users' Group grapples with supply chain challenges

Consumption of Powder River Basin coal continues to grow, from 28 million tons annually in the mid-1970s to what is now 400 million tons per year. Existing plants as far…

Retrospective

June 1886 POWER reported on the art and science of water treatment and its effect on boiler performance in the cover story this month. "Dr. J.G. Rogers, an authority on…

Siemens G-Class technology builds for the future

Gas turbine manufacturers aren't selling as many machines today as they did in the hyperactive 1990s. But they are still continuing to refine G-Class technology. It has been about eight years since the first steam-cooled SGT6-6000G from Siemens Power Generation entered service. Take a quick tour of what must now be considered a mature gas turbine technology.

Smart grid still just a "vision thing"

T&D systems with embedded intelligence have a great future, and they always will. Too many powerful forces—politics, money, and power—remain to be reconciled before consumers and utilities can work together, seamlessly, to reduce electricity demand and eliminate delivery system bottlenecks.

Departments

Commentary

The electricity challenge of the 21st century

When tackling a problem, engineers bring both skepticism and optimism to the task. As the nation's electric power engineers look to fill America's looming capacity gap, they will need to…

New Products

Legal & Regulatory

Politicians and state PUCs must shape energy policy together

  Historically, states have delegated responsibility for establishing and implementing their energy policy to a public utilities commission (PUC). During most of the 20th century, state PUCs operated with relatively…

Focus on O&M

Focus on O&M (June 2007)

Ready for your NERC close-up? / Synthetic oils for industrial applications

Global Monitor

Global Monitor (June 2007)

Siemens, E.ON to test world's largest GTG / Midwest to add 76-MW peaker in Kansas / Tapping the sun near Phoenix / Georgia Tech developing 3-D PV nanocells / Wind farms with hydrogen backup? / BNSF , union come to terms / IPL to buy 200-MW wind project / India to improve environmental monitoring / POWER digest

Speaking of Power

New math

James Thurber once said that it is "easier to ask some of the questions than to come up with all the answers." As a magazine editor, I get to ask…

Retrospective

June 1886 POWER reported on the art and science of water treatment and its effect on boiler performance in the cover story this month. "Dr. J.G. Rogers, an authority on…

GBR Reports