Six selected Phase-II projects have been awarded funding by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) to further develop technologies for gas turbine components and supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycles. The six winners will receive a total of a $30 million of research funding through the National Energy Technology Laboratory over the next 3.5 years.
At two US-based gas-fired combined cycle plants, controllability at the plants was a major issue, the responsible plant manager told Gas to Power Journal on condition of anonymity. Large natural gas swings caused large boiler pressure swings, which "created a situation where the load was swinging around a lot more than it needed to be." Electraulic actuator proved an "expensive yet very effective solution."
Harvard University has curbed its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% this year by adding an 8 MW gas cogeneration plant, designed by Burns & McDonnel, to the 110-year-old Blackstone steam (and one-time electricity producing) plant. A Burns & McDonnell team evaluated various options, and selected a Taurus 70 gas turbine from Solar Turbines, and an HRSG from Rentech Boilers based on a competitive bid.
Hybrid solar & gas generator sets, manufactured by Himoinsa, are said to allow operators reduce their fossil fuel costs while making use of solar energy. Particularly in areas with high levels of solar irradiation, hybrid power projects may also include a battery bank. Sub-Saharan Africa is seen as a growth market for such hybrid installations.
New technology and advanced software controls are changing the ability for gas plants to respond flexibly to demand and harness waste heat driving renewed profitability for operators. “As plant performance improvements are more and more often optimized through smarter software our solutions are increasingly focused on the integration of hardware and software across the plant,” Andreas Pickard from Siemens told Gas to Power Journal.
Varying gas composition impacts performance and component lifetime of internal combustion engines, gas turbines and fuel cell-based machines. By measuring the optical fingerprints of C1-C5 alkanes, the Precisive 5 Gas Analyser enables real-time and high-accuracy fuel gas analysis, according to the firm’s founder and president, Vidi Saptari.
Implementation of heat exchange and storage systems attached to CCGTs is delivering greater demand-response for plant operators, delegates at PowerGen heard. The Italian utility IREN uses heat storage tanks at three gas power plants around Turing – optimizing between the sales of electricity and district heating.
As for generating district heating from CHP sources, gas engine-driven power plants offer numerous advantages over classic gas combined-cycle power plants, a comparative study by the Essen-Duisburg University and MAN Diesel & Turbo shows. Engine-driven CHPs were found to be “operationally superior”, both in terms of energy efficiency as well as cost-effectiveness.
Accelerated growth of volatile wind and photovoltaic power supply in Germany has been shifting the dispatch of fossil power plants to load-following operation to maintain the stability of the power grid. More decentralized gas-fired stations would help meet TSO’s flexibility requirements, Dr. Thorsten Krol, marketing manager at Siemens’ distributed generation business development told Gas to Power Journal.
Flexibility of power network hinges on storing excess electricity and demand response to alleviate the impact of intermittent generation. California and Germany used subsidies as a trigger to advance power storage; yet to further commercialise these technologies the industry needs market-based regulation that remunerates flexibility and puts in place a level playing field between different assets.