POWER [March, 1 2012]

Cover Stories

Coping with Coal Dust

Plants can no longer sweep coal dust under the rug and ignore the health and safety hazard it presents, because a single spark can cause a dust explosion that could put a plant out of service, perhaps permanently. Managing dust in a power plant begins with good housekeeping, followed by retrofits using properly designed equipment.


Achieving Sustainable Performance Improvement

Well-organized operations and maintenance (O&M) and outage efforts enable power plants to reduce overall operating costs, improve equipment reliability, and increase long-term productivity. Experienced contractors can help plant staff maximize the success of their outages and O&M endeavors.

Automating Crew Callouts

Progress Energy has adopted an emergency worker callout program that has eliminated manual dialing, improved work acceptance rates, and increased the speed of worker reporting. The standardized process also complies with union work rules that require equality in overtime opportunities, by seniority. The business case for automating the worker callout process is compelling.

EEI Proposes Road Map for Electric Vehicle Integration

Several new models of plug-in electric vehicles will enter the market in 2012, joining the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt. The Edison Electric Institute has prepared four suggestions to help utilities smoothly handle the introduction of these vehicles to roads and grids.

Enhancing Plant Performance Through Formal Outage Planning and Execution

By thoroughly planning their outage strategies well in advance, Southern Company personnel are better able to achieve a number of important objectives, including improving unit economic performance, reducing unplanned maintenance outage hours, completing outages on time and within budget, and ensuring that outage workmanship is of the highest quality.

Ensuring Resource Adequacy in Competitive Electricity Markets

Planning for resource adequacy—something that was relatively simple in the context of vertically integrated utilities—continues to be a difficult issue in competitive electricity markets. Whereas state public utility commissions used to have exclusive authority to determine what generation needed to be built and when it was to be available, this responsibility has been assumed by RTO/ISOs in regions with competitive markets. Each region approaches resource planning differently, and each region faces unique problems.

Optimizing Outages with Outage Readiness Analysis

In order to ramp up the success of planned outages at its power plants and lower the risk of unexpected and costly problems, OG&E management has begun using the outage readiness index process. This method identifies and defines the scope of the work needed prior to the commencement of an outage and quantifies the amount of preparedness needed to implement the outage in the most cost-effective manner.

Regional Service Organization Provides Supplemental Maintenance Support

American Electric Power’s Field Services Regional Service Organization augments resident power plant maintenance teams to provide outage support and non-outage balance-of-plant support. The augmentation approach adds significant value to the maintenance process, with the greatest benefits coming in the areas of expertise, cost, productivity, and ownership.

Vietnam Works Hard to Power Economic Growth

For the past 15 years, Vietnam has enjoyed enviable gross domestic product increases, averaging 7% annually. That kind of economic growth increases power demand, but financing new capacity remains a challenge. Reaching its ambitious capacity growth goals will require Vietnam to expand its financing and vendor base, attract foreign investment, and ensure future fuel supplies in a region thick with competition for those resources.



Has the Dust Settled?

As our seasons transition, so may the fire and deflagration hazards from coal and combustible dust that once were visible and now may be out of sight. Yet often, what is out of sight presents the greatest hazard and risk.

New Products

Certified Zero Air Material for CEMS Reporting

Air Liquide introduced Scott brand 72.2 Certified ZAM (zero air material) to meet 40 CFR Part 75 regulations, which call for a continuous emission monitoring (CEM) system to be exposed…

Continuous Duty Industrial Vacuum

Manufacturer of heavy-duty industrial vacuums and vacuum systems VAC-U-MAX introduces its updated Model 1020 Continuous Duty Industrial Vacuum. The VAC-U-MAX Model 1020 features a powerful positive displacement pump designed specifically…

Fill-Level Measuring Device for Coal Mills

KIMA Echtzeitsysteme’s fill-level measuring device, used for ball mills in the cement industry for over seven years, has now been adapted and developed for use in coal mills. A new…

Flowmeter for Custody Transfer of Compressed Natural Gas

The new CNGmass Coriolis flowmeter series from Endress+Hauser is approved by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) in the U.S. and five other international standards organizations for custody transfer of…

Fully Automatic Sodium Analyzer

METTLER TOLEDO’s Process Analytics Division announced the 2300Na sodium analyzer, which can be used in pure water treatment and power generation applications. The design of the METTLER TOLEDO Thornton 2300Na…

New Capacitive Accelerometer Modules

Silicon Designs, a designer and manufacturer of highly rugged industrial-grade MEMS capacitive accelerometer chips and modules, has introduced a ±5 g model to its 2011 industry best-selling 2210 accelerometer series.…

Legal & Regulatory

Rethinking Security Requirements for Generation Developers

A universal reality for U.S. power generation developers is the challenge of obtaining funding in today’s tight credit markets.

Focus on O&M

7EA Conversion Saves Time and Money

ProEnergy Services (PES) was recently contracted to install six Frame 7 DLN1.0 dual-fuel assemblies in Venezuela. The problem: The lead time to purchase the conversion hardware from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) would not meet the customer’s schedule. The only option was for PES to convert the fuel nozzles removed from a gas-only unit to a dual-fuel configuration, a process that had never before been attempted.

Inlet Fogging Boosts Power in High-Humidity Environments

Turbine inlet fogging has been in use now for 20 years in combustion turbine plants. It is an obvious choice for boosting power in hot, dry areas such as Nevada or Arizona, where plants have long used fogging, but it has also proven effective in many other climates.

Plant of the Year Trophy Presented

The POWER Plant of the Year for 2011 was Kansas City Power & Light’s 850-MW Iatan 2, located about 30 miles northwest of Kansas City.

User Group Profile: Philippine Coal Plant Users’ Group

The Philippine Coal Plant Users’ Group (PCPUG), the leading nonprofit organization involved in generating electricity in the Philippines, recently held a conference introducing its mission and vision.

Global Monitor

Desertec Ambitions Turn to Asia, Australia

The ambitious Desertec project—a $9 billion initiative to develop, harness, and transmit 2,000 MW of renewable power from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe by 2050—has been trumped by a vaster concept that spans Asia and Australia.

High-Temperature Superconductor Technology Stepped Up

A new project planned by RWE and partners Nexans, the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), and Jülich is poised to mark another milestone for high-temperature superconductor (HTS) cable technology, which transports electricity without losses when cooled down to about –200C (–392F).

Large China Energy Storage Project Begins Operation

Chinese state entity State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC) and battery maker BYD in January said they had finished construction on what they call “the world’s largest battery energy storage station”—a project in Zhangbei, Hebei Province that combines 100 MW of wind and 40 MW of solar capacity, a smart power transmission system, and 36 MWh of energy storage in arrays “larger than a football field.”

Meeting LNG Demand with Floating Liquefaction Facilities

The past two years have seen a dramatic escalation of global natural gas liquefaction capacity.

MHI Ships First Commercial J-Series Turbine

The first unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI’s) much-watched J-Series gas turbine, a technology MHI has been testing for a year, was shipped this December from its Takasago Machinery Works in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, for commercial use at Himeji Unit 2, also in Hyogo, owned by Kansai Electric Power Co.

POWER Digest (March 2012)

RusHydro Inaugurates New Unit at Restored Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydropower Plant. RusHydro —a hydroelectricity company that is majority-owned by the Russian Federation—announced in mid-December that it had put its first brand new…

Spain Inaugurates Two More Parabolic Trough Units

Two identical 50-MW parabolic trough plants with thermal storage in Cadiz, in the south of Spain, began operating this January.


New coal and nuclear power plants aren’t the only ones facing opposition. Several countries that are struggling to alleviate chronic power shortages are facing hurdles as they attempt to build new hydropower plants. Here are some massive projects riddled with setbacks caused by everything from social and environmental protests to funding collapses.

Speaking of Power

Abundance of Energy

President Obama’s Jan. 24 State of the Union address did not convince me that the nation should, in his words, “double down” on future clean energy investment. America’s abundance of oil and gas should be the foundation upon which to build a comprehensive national energy policy, not subsidies for government-favored energy technologies and overreaching energy regulations.

GBR Reports