POWER [March, 1 2009]

Cover Stories

Polish Plant Beats the Odds to Become Model EU Generator

Once a Soviet satellite, Poland is now transforming into a thoroughly modern nation. To support its growing economy, this recent European Union member country is modernizing its power industry. Exemplifying the advances in the Polish electricity generation market is the 460-MW Patnów II Power Plant — the largest, most efficient (supercritical cycle), and environmentally cleanest lignite-fired unit in the country.


"Blueprint" Your Pulverizer for Improved Performance

Pulverizer throughput is determined by the coal fineness desired for a given coal. However, compromising on coal fineness when your pulverizer isn’t up to snuff can increase NO x and cause many furnace problems. Your least costly option for increasing pulverizer capacity is to pay careful attention to key dimensions and critical tolerances during your next overhaul.

Boiler-Tuning Basics, Part I

Tuning power plant controls takes nerves of steel and an intimate knowledge of plant systems gained only by experience. Tuning controls also requires equal parts art and science, which probably is why there are so few tuning experts in the power industry. In Part I of a two-part series, we explore a mix of the theoretical and practical aspects of tuning boiler controls.

Flue Gas Desulfurization Wastewater Treatment Primer

Purge water from a typical wet flue gas desulfurization system contains myriad chemical constituents and heavy metals whose mixture is determined by the fuel source and combustion products as well as the stack gas treatment process. A well-designed water treatment system can tolerate upstream fuel and sorbent variation over time and consists of multiple process treatment steps arranged in just the right order to produce wastewater acceptable for discharge.

Helping Power Plant Control Systems Achieve NERC CIP Compliance

This guide offers suggestions from a control system engineering perspective for protecting power-generating units that are determined to be critical cyber assets

Oak Creek Power Plant Upgrades Cooling Water System

Formed suction intake designs have been used in many large vertical pump stations in flood control projects. Space limitations at the Oak Creek Power Plant Expansion Project near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, created a unique opportunity to apply this technology to an 800,000-gpm cooling water system upgrade for the entire Oak Creek Power Plant.

Update: What’s That Scrubber Going to Cost?

POWER published a summary of the flue gas desulfurization system scrubber cost survey conducted by the EUCG’s Fossil Productivity Committee in our July 2007 issue. Although the detailed results of the latest survey are proprietary to EUCG members that participated in it, we are privileged to present the newest summary data. The bottom line: Costs continue to rise but appear to be more predictable.



Energy Efficiency Takes Center Stage in Texas

For decades, it’s been well-known in the country and western (C&W) music industry that "if you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band." The guitars,…

New Products

A Hot Sticking Point

The Estick electronic contact temperature indicator provides an instantaneous digital readout of surface temperature at the point of contact with an accuracy of ±1%. Knowledge of the material’s emissivity is…

Below-the-Belt Protection

Skirtboard sealing systems are installed on the sides of belt conveyor loading zones to contain material, eliminate spillage, and reduce cleanup expenses. The new Double APRON SEAL Skirting system from…

Oil Eater

Kafko International’s new Oil Eater Absorbent Drip Pan is designed to handle leaks that are too large for an absorbent pad, and which occur in tight spaces, such as under…

Temperature Detectives

Wahl Instruments’ two newly released digital resistance temperature detectors (RTD) — the DST500 Temperature Indicator and the DSX500 Transmitter Thermometer (shown here) — feature high-precision temperature measurement technology and a…

Two-Line Spooling Unit

The new Dual Pneumatic Spooling Unit allows users to run two different fluids at different pressures simultaneously with complete control and safety, says its developer, Mid-South Control Line. The unit’s…

Vibratory Ash Extractor

The Vibratory Ash Extractor (VAX) recently unveiled by United Conveyor Corp. is designed to improve operational efficiencies for dry bottom ash – handling at plants whose operators want to transition…

Legal & Regulatory

Generators Propose a Plan for Carbon Pricing

With the U.S. economy currently in a free fall, some utility industry leaders and elected officials argue that carbon cap legislation should be put on hold while the country recovers financially. However, President Barack Obama has a different game plan.

Focus on O&M

Best Management Practices for Coal Ash Ponds

The unfortunate coal ash spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Kingston Fossil Plant that occurred on December 22 has heightened national awareness of the problems associated with utilities’ coal ash surface impoundments if they are not properly maintained.

Reduce Costs with Wireless Instrumentation

New wireless technologies for power plant instrumentation offer significant cost savings when compared to traditional wired networks. The value of this cost savings is especially relevant in the highly competitive power industry, where aging facilities are common and upgrades are an expensive necessity. Modern wireless networks offer a reliable upgrade path that even provides some unexpected benefits when compared to traditional copper networks.

Global Monitor

International Organization to Push Renewable Energy

Seventy-five countries from around the world joined a new political agency dedicated to the acceleration of green energy this January, but several notable nations — including the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, Japan, and China — were not among them.

Power Generators Turn to Diverse Fuels

Like the airline industry, power generators all over the world have been seeking alternative fuels with which to produce electricity, and the blends are bound to get stranger. One company is looking to make liquid fuels from chicken fat, beef tallow, and pork lard, for example. Here’s a list of innovative fuels that generators could use in the near future.

POWER Digest (March 2009)

News items of interest to power industry professionals. RWE and E.ON to partner on new UK nuclear capacity. German giants RWE AG and E.ON AG on Jan. 14 said they…

PV Sales in the U.S. Soar as Solar Panel Prices Plummet

Solar panel prices have taken a 10% tumble since October last year, and they are expected to drop another 15% to 20% this year, owning to an oversupply from the mass of new factories and draining demand in Germany and Spain, where solar incentives were recently cut. In the U.S., the low prices — pushed even lower by the renewed solar tax credits that took effect on Jan. 1 and other incentives — have heightened demand, both on the distributed generation level and at utility scale.

Saving the Dead Sea

If measures aren’t taken immediately to replenish the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea, the very salty body of water in the Middle East will shrivel up within 50 years — and that could pose an environmental calamity, experts have warned.

Superconductor Motor for Navy Passes Full-Power Test

American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) and Northrop Grumman Corp. in January said they successfully completed a full-power test of the world’s first 36.5-MW high-temperature superconductor (HTS) ship propulsion motor.

What's Damming Hydrokinetic Power in the U.S.?

Barely a month after the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed the nation’s first commercial hydrokinetic power station, Houston-based Hydro Green Energy in January completed installation of the first of two turbines at an existing run-of-river hydropower plant on the Mississippi River for the Minnesota city of Hastings. When the second turbine is installed later this spring, the two hydrokinetic turbines will constitute a floating array that will sit on top of a barge at the Army Corps of Engineers’ Lock & Dam No. 2.

Speaking of Power

Carbon Goes Subprime

European Union (EU) carbon trading proponents are finding support for their market-based emission trading scheme (ETS) in freefall like the market price of carbon in the EU. This unanticipated consequence…

GBR Reports