COAL POWER Direct [June 27, 2008]

A Fieldbus Primer

Many automation engineers are coming face to face with real fieldbus applications for the first time. Fieldbus (the use of digital communications networks for distributed instrumentation and control) is a wonderful technology with many benefits, but fieldbus installation requires some additional considerations over and above normal 4-20 mA projects. In this article, I present some of those issues and show you how to deal with them.

Debate on the Cost of Carbon Control Begins

Senate legislation to cap U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beginning in 2012 would have generally modest cost impacts on the national economy, leading to reductions in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 that range from 0.2%, or $444 billion, to 0.6%, or $1.3 trillion, according to an Energy Information Administration analysis.

But the analysis, which concluded that the costs of the legislation would depend largely on the availability of advanced nuclear and coal-fired generation technologies, drew criticism from Republicans for its projection of a massive buildup of nuclear generation.

Designing Material-Handling Systems for FGD Projects

Reducing NOx, SO2, and other air pollutants continues to be a challenge for the power generation industry. The technologies are well-understood, but the devil is always in the details, especially when a complex treatment system is retrofitted to an existing plant.

The most common method for reducing SO2 from plant emissions is the conventional lime- and limestone-based flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system. Material-handling systems for limestone and gypsum present specific challenges and opportunities that differ from those of coal-handling systems. This article looks at factors to consider  before and during the design of a new material-handling system. The choices you make about these many variables will determine the cost and longevity of your system.

From Plan to Plant: The Struggle to Make “Clean Coal” a Reality

In early June, New York Gov. David Paterson proclaimed that his state would commit $6 million to buttress a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) viability study for the development of a new 50-MW clean coal plant in Jamestown, in western New York. The circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) project, which would use pure oxygen to combust coal and subsequently capture and sequester 90% of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2), would be “the first of its kind in the world” and could potentially enable New York firms to launch exports of the technology worldwide, Paterson promised.

New Source Review Update

The mere mention of the words "New Source Review" (NSR) will immediately capture the full attention of any utility executive and might cause the cancellation of even the best power plant "upgrade" project. The effects of those three words have nothing to do with project economics or whether a project increases or decreases emissions. It's all about the lawsuits.

Ups and Downs in Coal Markets

Earlier this month, blogger and Contributing Editor Kennedy Maize took a look at some significant developments on the coal front, including the fate of proposed new plants in Indiana and Kansas and the booming demand for coal mine workers.

Welcome to the New COAL POWER

Welcome to our new format for COAL POWER, brought to you by the editors of POWER magazine. This new web site and “webzine” contains in-depth information specifically for the coal-fired power generation market.

Wishful Thinking

By Editor-in-Chief Dr. Robert Peltier, PE
Zhou Dadi, director general (emeritus) of the Energy Research Institute at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, recently spoke at a panel discussion sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Zhou boasted that China has set aggressive short-term goals for improved energy efficiency and that his country understands that it needs to make significant reductions of CO2 in the future. This is a remarkable statement considering that China installed over 100 GW of new coal-fired generation in 2006 and another 75 GW in 2007.