POWER [September, 1 2011]

Cover Stories

Top Plant: Adapazari Power Plant, Adapazari, Sakarya Province, Turkey

In 2010, the 2,310-MW Adapazari Power Plant achieved 99.8% availability, which is nearly 7% higher than the industry average and a global record in F-class gas turbine technology. The new turbine upgrade is helping ENKA Power bolster Turkey’s evolving economy by improving its energy sector’s efficiency and productivity.

Features

Best Practices for Natural Gas Line Cleaning

As barriers to new coal-fired generation expand and enthusiasm for nuclear plants wanes, the commissioning of natural gas–fired plants promises to increase. However, gas plants pose hazards, too. An explosion last year that was caused by unsafe use of natural gas to blow residue from a gas pipeline during commissioning of a gas-fired power plant has focused regulator and industry attention on finding safer alternatives for this task. Fluor shares its gas pipeline cleaning best practices.

Global Gas Glut

Marcellus Shale gas has increased recoverable natural gas reserves in the U.S. by about a third over estimates prepared a few years ago. Europe is also exploring shale gas as an alternative to problematic Russian gas supplies and low proven natural gas reserves. POWER contributors in the U.S. and UK examine the comparative economic value, public acceptance, and political implications of these massive shale gas reserves.


The New Water Lab

Recent advances in water laboratory instrumentation—from improved sample conditioning to advanced online instruments—have reached the market. Here’s a look at the equipment you’ll find in the best-equipped power plant laboratory this year.


Top Plant: Arvah B. Hopkins Generating Station, Unit 2, Tallahassee, Florida

Known for its progressive, pro-sustainability policies, the City of Tallahassee recently repowered a 30-year-old conventional steam plant unit, turning it into a new 300-MW facility. The utility redesigned the Arvah B. Hopkins Generating Station, Unit 2 as a 1 × 1 combined cycle plant in order to improve efficiency, switched the primary fuel from oil to natural gas, and thereby reduced fuel costs and emissions. The plant’s flexible design even will enable expansion to a 2 × 1 configuration when additional capacity is needed in the future.

Top Plant: Astoria II Combined Cycle Plant, Queens, New York

Managing construction of the 550-MW Astoria II Combined Cycle Plant in the midst of Queens, a densely packed New York City borough, required extensive off-site modular construction and a high level of logistical organization. Now the new Astoria II plant is operating successfully in conjunction with the Astoria Energy I plant as the largest natural gas–fired power plant in the Big Apple.

Top Plant: Emirates Aluminum Smelter Complex (EMAL), Al-Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The new 2,100-MW Phase 1 EMAL combined cycle power plant provides dedicated power with a high level of reliability to the Emirates Aluminum Smelter Complex, which is designed to be the world’s largest aluminum smelter upon completion. Located on the Persian Gulf, the gas-fired combined cycle plant uses seawater cooling towers to eliminate thermal stress on local marine life.


Top Plant: Irsching 4 Combined Cycle Power Plant, Irsching, Bavaria, Germany

The Irsching 4 Combined Cycle Power Plant has set a new world record in power plant efficiency with its new SGT5-8000H gas turbine. With an output of more than 578 MW and efficiency of 60.75% (net) achieved at a world record test run in May 2011, the plant demonstrates that climate protection, low-cost power generation, and flexible operation using fossil fuels can be attained simultaneously through technical advances. Due to its high efficiency, the gas-fired plant uses significantly less fuel and produces lower carbon dioxide emissions than traditional combined cycle plants.

Top Plant: Montoir-de-Bretagne Combined Cycle Plant, Montoir-de-Bretagne, France

The 435-MW Montoir-de-Bretagne gas-fired power plant is ramping up Gallic generation in the Loire-Atlantique region of western France. The plant’s innovative natural gas combined cycle technology offers high efficiency and low emissions.

Who Pays for Firming Up Variable Energy Resources?

The major economic hurdle for renewable power generation technologies continues to be substantial installation costs. But another cost is associated with continuous load-balancing, made possible by backstopping that variable generation with dispatchable generators that typically consume expensive fossil fuels. Bottom line: Who pays for the capacity firming or backstopping resources?


Departments

Commentary

Advancing America’s Nuclear Infrastructure

It is fair to say that 2011 is bringing some uncertainty into the nuclear energy industry. The tsunami and subsequent events at Fukushima present Japan and our industry with new challenges but also serve as a catalyst for continuous improvement. In the U.S., we are learning from these events and improving our operations, designs, and emergency response approaches to make our plants safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly.


New Products

Close-Coupled Pumps for Low-Flow Applications

Moyno introduced the Moyno 2000 WA and WB close-coupled pumps designed for lower-pressure, lower-flow applications that do not require the full features and benefits of the Moyno 2000 GI pump.…

Equipment Line for Industrial Gas Applications

Air Liquide America Specialty Gases equipment group recently announced the introduction of a comprehensive line of “industrial grade” equipment for use with gases commonly used in welding, cutting, and other…

Glycol Pumps for Gas Dehydration

Cat Pumps launched a new series of glycol pumps developed to supply triethylene glycol for natural gas dehydration systems. System reliability, especially of the pump, is essential to minimize production…

Legal & Regulatory

Critics Get Crossways with New Cross-State Air Rule

From the East Coast to the Lone Star State, a number of elected officials and power industry representatives are bashing the new aggressive regulation aimed at controlling specific power plant…

Focus on O&M

Advanced Coatings Protect Plant FGD Systems

Now that many flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems are reaching middle age, corrosion repairs of structural and process vessels are becoming more common. Corrosion is caused by condensates of acids formed during the FGD process, which accelerate pitting and crevice corrosion, particularly in scrubbers where high sulfate solutions are present. Scrubbers lined with 2205 duplex stainless steel are among the most vulnerable to pit or crevice corrosion, from both chlorides and fluorides.


NERC CIPS Update: The Advantages of an Integrated Factory Acceptance Test

When adding, modifying, or upgrading a system, many critical infrastructures conduct a factory acceptance test (FAT). A FAT includes a customized testing procedure for systems and is completed before the final installation at the critical facility. Because it is difficult to predict the correct operation of the safety instrumented system or consequences due to failures in some parts of the system, a FAT provides a valuable check of these safety issues. Similarly, because cyber security can also impact the safety of critical systems if a system is compromised, it makes sense to integrate cyber security with the FAT.


Global Monitor

BIG PICTURE: Lights Out (Web Supplement)

A web supplement to the September issue with details of global power shortages.

China Begins Operation of Experimental Fast Reactor

China in July flicked on its experimental fast reactor—the first built in the nation, and the first of many more to come. The China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), whose development began in 1995, is a pool-type sodium-cooled reactor with a thermal output of 65 MW and an electrical output of 20 MW. The reactor is housed in a 44,000-square-meter (473,610-square-foot) building.


Commercial Oscillating Water Column Marine Power Plant Commissioned

One of the world’s first breakwater wave power stations was commissioned this July by Ente Vasco de Energia (EVE), an energy agency in the northern Basque region of Spain. The €2.3 million ($3.3 million) project in Mutriku uses oscillating water column technology developed by Voith Hydro’s Wavegen, based in Inverness, Scotland. The technology is integrated into a concrete power station built on a breakwater or coastal protection project.

Explosion Devastates Major Cypriot Power Plant

A brush fire that spread and detonated explosives stored at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari on the southern coast of Cyprus on July 11 killed 13 people, injured 62 others, and severely damaged the Vassilikos Power Station—an oil- and gas-fired plant that supplied almost 60% of the island nation’s power. Cyprus, which was once considered an “economic miracle,” has been battling crippling power shortages that have beleaguered its financial and tourism sectors since the blast and left it on the verge of economic collapse.


India’s Indigenous Nuclear Program Advances While U.S.-India Trade Stalls

Since a landmark 2008 deal that lifted global sanctions and allowed countries to conduct nuclear trade with India, the nation struggling to keep up with domestic power demand has signed deals with the U.S., France, Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Namibia, and, in August, South Korea, for construction of large nuclear power plants (in technical collaboration with foreign vendors) or for nuclear fuel.


Novel Nanotube Applications for Power Generation

As it does for sectors such as global defense and transportation, nanotube technology holds great promise for the energy sector—and, in particular, for power generation. This July, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said carbon nanotubes showed potential as an innovative approach to storing solar energy, and Rice University scientists claimed they were closer to developing a unique wire that could transmit power with few losses.


POWER Digest (September 2011)

Australia Pursues Carbon Tax. Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard on July 10 laid out an ambitious plan to cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 5% of 2000 levels by 2020…

Spanish Power Tower Supplies 24 Hours of Electricity

In Spain this June, a new 19.9-MW concentrated solar power (CSP) tower in Fuentes de Andalucía, Seville, reached the unprecedented milestone of storing thermal energy to its fullest capacity and supply power for an uninterrupted 24-hour period.


THE BIG PICTURE: Lights Out

Heat waves, droughts, and other weather and climate phenomena; economic woes; aging or inadequate infrastructure; fuel shortages. These are some of the most obvious causes that have led to record peaks in power demand or sudden drops in available capacity. The results have been sometimes debilitating load-shedding, brownouts, and blackouts around the globe this summer (and, in some cases, for much longer). Here’s an overview of which countries are affected by which difficulties. For a more detailed look at the extent of shortages and what’s causing them, visit Web Exclusives at http://www.powermag.com

The Fukushima Fallout: Six Months After the Nuclear Crisis

(WEB EXCLUSIVE) Much has transpired during the nearly six months following the Great East Japan Earthquake—a 3-minute, magnitude 9.0 temblor that generated a series of tsunami waves as tall as 38.9 meters (130 feet), killed more than 25,000 people, and set off the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

Speaking of Power

Chart a New Course

I examined the magnitude of electricity subsidies for renewables compared with conventional generation technologies in my May 2011 editorial, based on data from a 2008 report prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). An updated EIA report released in July determined that federal government subsidies have risen substantially during the past three years. In fact, overall renewable energy subsidies have almost tripled, increasing from $5.1 billion to $14.7 billion. In my opinion, we aren’t getting value for the money spent.


GBR Reports