COAL POWER Direct [June 1, 2010]

"Cap and Innovate" for Electric Utilities

The Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill is a very important step forward in the climate debate. We need federal action on climate legislation now. And we need to get it right.

American Power Act Dangles Carrots for Nukes, Coal, Gas

Facing a difficult uphill slog in a sharply polarized Senate, Sens. John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman have unveiled long-awaited draft climate change and energy legislation that includes billions of dollars in incentives for the nuclear, natural gas, and coal industries aimed at attracting enough bipartisan support to overcome an all-but-certain filibuster led by the Senate Republican leadership.

Comparing the Value of Single- and Double-Layer Insulation on Boiler Walls

Boiler insulation practices have moved from using a single layer to a double layer of the same total thickness in recent years. However, this dual-layer trend has a downside: higher installation costs and the opportunity for contractors to cut corners when installing insulation. It's time to return to using single-layer insulation on power boilers.

EPA Issues Final Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule

Less than 24 hours after the unveiling of sweeping Senate legislation to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency released a final Clean Air Act rule that defines emission thresholds for greenhouse gas permitting requirements for power plants and other large stationary sources.

EPA Proposes Two Options to Regulate Coal Ash

In an unusual two-option proposal that drew clashing views from green groups and power plant operators, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulating coal combustion ash either as a nonhazardous waste subject to tougher management and disposal requirements or as a "special" hazardous waste that would have similar controls but still be eligible for recycling and reuse in products such as Portland cement.

New Breed of Hacker Targeting the Smart Grid

In recent months, U.S. utilities, manufacturers, and technology firms received $3.4 billion as part of the economic stimulus package. These funds have been allocated to help modernize the country's electric power system and increase energy efficiency. However, as these "smart-grid" grants continue to be awarded, questions are being raised about how to safeguard smart meters and other critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Power 101: Flue Gas Heat Recovery in Power Plants, Part II

Every power engineer must have a firm grasp of the rudiments of how fuel is processed to produce electricity in a power generation facility. With this article, we continue our three-part series on the essentials of recovering heat from flue gas to dry and process coal, with the goal of improving overall plant operating efficiency.

Power Industry Flip-Flops on Support of Carbon Controls

I recently had the privilege of moderating the Power Industry Executive Roundtable, part of the annual ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition opening ceremonies. Usually, the power industry executives have predictable views of important issues, but not this year.

The Role of Fireside Corrosion on Boiler Tube Failures, Part II

One of the primary challenges of reliably burning coal is managing the corrosion experienced by the furnace heat transfer surfaces. Fireside corrosion remains a leading cause of failure in superheater and reheater tubes. In Part I, we examined three case studies of different failure modes experienced by tubes located throughout the furnace. In Part II, we conclude with two additional boiler tube failure case studies.