Archive: Coal

Global Monitor (October 2007)

Siemens ships first blade from U.S. plant; GE’s frames hit 1,000; Battery problems hit hybrid EV programs; Solar thermal rebounds in California;Peabody’s Illinois coal plant gets green light;EPA could sink 278-MW CFB unit; Longest-serving NRC commissioner dies at 58; POWER digest; Readers talk back; corrections

Harness detonation waves to clean boiler tubes

Air and steam sootblowers have been the power industry’s solution to the slagging and fouling of boiler convective passes caused by flyash and combustion products. Manual cleaning systems have been superseded by computers and neural nets, but the basic cleaning apparatus remained unchanged—until now. Say hello to detonation waves. They can knock those deposits loose while markedly improving boiler heat transfer efficiency.

Managing air to improve combustion efficiency

The average pulverized coal–fired coal plant is more than 30 years old and has a heat rate in the neighborhood of 10,300 Btu/kWh operating with an "off-design" coal. Add a high load factor (or increased cycling service), squeezed maintenance budgets, reduced plant staff, and increased time between overhauls to meet the plant’s pro forma, and you’ve got major stress. Fortunately, there is a way to come in under your NOx budget and lower the stress. Breathe deeply and read carefully.

Global Monitor (September 2007)

Constellation files partial COL / IAEA scrutinizes shaken Japanese nuke / Wave energy of the future? / New GE plant reigns in Spain / Solar house competition heats up / Oxygen-blown IGCC, at micro-scale / Turning corncobs into ethanol / Court blocks gas attack on coal project / New advanced energy initiatives / POWER digest

The Coal Pile: Steam Blast Rocks Big Apple

This July, an underground steam pipe near Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal ruptured and spewed a scalding brown geyser of steam and debris higher than the nearby 77-story Chrysler Building. The blast, which injured 30 people, created a 40-foot crater at street level that swallowed a tow truck. A similar explosion in 1989 killed three people. […]

Mercury Control: Capturing Mercury in Wet Scrubbers: Part II

In Part I of this two-part report ( COAL POWER, July/August 2007, p. 22), we introduced the integrated R&D effort by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) to improve understanding of the mechanisms of mercury (Hg) capture and retention in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems and the fate of Hg in […]

Plant Economics: The Impact of Shortages on FGD Prices

Since ratification of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in 1970, U.S. utilities have made steady efforts to install pollution control equipment to curb power plant stack emissions. The CAA Amendments of 1990 raised concerns at the time about the industry’s ability to install a large number of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems, or scrubbers, in […]

The Coal Patrol: Mine Safety Deserves More Than Lip Service

Every step forward in underground U.S. mine safety in the 20th and 21st centuries has been on the backs of mangled and dead coal miners. That grisly observation is unassailable. Following the August tragedy at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah that killed six miners and three would-be rescuers, the federal Mine Safety and Health […]

Coal Plant O&M: SmartAsh Proves Its Worth

Every day, while driving to his job at PacifiCorp Energy’s Dave Johnston plant near Glenrock, Wyoming, Cole Harris used to wonder as he neared the station how opaque Unit 3’s stack emissions would look. Until a few years ago, Unit 3 (Figure 3) had trouble staying at or below opacity limits set by the state. […]

Speaking of Coal Power: BACT to the Future

This August, Peabody Energy’s 1,600-MW Prairie State Energy Campus project in Illinois won a major federal appeals court decision, removing the last obstacle to groundbreaking. The six-year regulatory review process ended with an unsuccessful Sierra Club challenge to the $2.9 billion project’s air permit. The decision is sure to reverberate across the nation, and I […]