Archive: Coal

Safety: Worker Health and Safety Now Top Priorities for Alabama Power

Employees of Alabama Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, routinely work near energized wires, intense heat, nuclear fuel, heavy equipment, moving vehicles, and pressurized equipment, as well as under other conditions that require exceptional safety attitudes and measures. Though it is vitally important to provide electricity to customers, neither company believes that doing so is worth […]

IGCC: IGCC’s Future Hinges on a Workable Carbon Framework

Integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology, a process of gasifying coal that allows the capture of carbon dioxide emissions, has tremendous potential for meeting future baseload generation demand. Though it is one of the leading alternatives for producing clean power from coal, IGCC faces a precarious future due to rising capital costs and regulatory uncertainty. We’re […]

FutureGen: FutureGen Finds a Home But Can’t Pay the Mortgage

The FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. selected Mattoon, Ill., as the site of the $1.8 billion FutureGen project just before Christmas, but the plant may never move off the drawing board.. FutureGen, the proposed prototype of a near-zero-emissions coal plant, is to demonstrate advanced technologies for coal gasification, electricity production, emissions control, CO 2 capture and […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]