Archive: Coal

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Coal Plant O & M: Condition Monitoring Cuts Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s Costs

Condition monitoring (CM) has become an increasingly important aspect of power plant maintenance philosophy. Today many utilities are using a variety of predictive maintenance (PM) techniques like CM to lower their operation and maintenance expenses. Over the years, gencos have developed a diverse collection of CM programs of various breadth, depth, and formality. All are […]

Tech Notes: Giving PRB Coal the Respect It Deserves, Part 1

Use of Powder River Basin (PRB) coal for power generation set another record in 2007. In fact, PRB coal now accounts for about 40% of all the coal fired in the U.S. to produce electricity. Yet we have barely dented the estimated 800 billion tons of the fuel’s proven reserves in Wyoming. The size of […]

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The Coal Patrol: Court Rejects Industry Suit Targeting Miner Safety Rules

A federal appeals court has rejected a National Mining Association (NMA) suit seeking to throw out new regulations issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The rules were to improve protection for miners in the wake of accidents at two West Virginia coal mines in January 2006 that killed 15. (See COAL POWER […]

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Global Monitor (November 2007)

NRG applies for first COL / TVA green-lights Watts Bar 2 / Southern Co. and Florida muni launch IGCC project / UK approves wave energy "hub" / New Jersey-New York HV system launched / Membrane strips CO2 from methane faster / POWER digest

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Tech Notes: Intelligent Sootblowing Needed to Keep Uprated Units Clean

The National Coal Council estimates that 40,000 MW of additional generating capacity is available to existing U.S. coal-fired plants simply by making efficiency improvements. Because decreases in production costs go straight to a plant’s bottom line, efficiency projects usually have short payback periods, especially if implemented in concert with mandatory environmental upgrades. One often-overlooked consequence […]

Speaking of Coal Power: Polar Bear Politics

During his June 2007 speech to the National Press Club, presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator John Edwards called America’s 37 million residents living below the poverty line "the great moral issue of our time." He proposed setting a national goal of ending poverty in 30 years. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, disputed […]

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Safety: Detecting Fires on PRB Coal Conveyors

All conveyor systems are at risk of fire caused by the ignition of transported materials or equipment failure. But the propensity of Powder River Basin (PRB) coal to self-ignite introduces an exceptional hazard requiring special fire prevention and automatic detection and suppression efforts. To that end, this article discusses the technologies of linear heat detection […]

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The Coal Patrol: Demand Growth — and Reliability — Are Still Supply-Limited

While noting marginal improvements since last year, America’s power reliability watchdog recently warned that the nation’s growing thirst for electricity will still far exceed planned increases in generation capacity over the next 10 years, and that reserve margins could dip below optimal levels within two or three years in California, the Rocky Mountain states, New […]

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Coal Plant O&M: Retrofit Flyash-Handling System Pays Dividends

Like many older coal-fired plants, Westar Energy’s Jeffrey Energy Center (JEC) was built with traditional, pneumatic flyash-handling and removal systems. Such systems collect flyash in hoppers attached to the bottom of a unit’s electrostatic precipitator (ESP) and/or baghouse. Periodically, the hoppers are emptied into tanks and the flyash is conveyed away for disposal or beneficiation. […]

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The Coal Pile: Dreaming of a Green Christmas

On November 20, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and top executives of the real estate company Tishman Speyer announced several energy conservation measures to be implemented at Rockefeller Center this holiday season. One is the outfitting of its famous Norway Spruce Christmas tree with 30,000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) strung on five miles of […]