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Project: T112700 #0133
 

There are many opportunities to improve existing plant heat rate (efficiency) by means of thermalcycle and balance of plant system improvements. This study identifies and ranks these potentialefficiency improvement options.

There are a number of drivers for considering improvements to an existing plant’s efficiency.Performance of major components, such as steam turbines or steam generators may have degradedover time, or the existing component performance may have been surpassed by recent technologyadvances. There are also some cases where a plant fires coals different from the originally designedfuel and the unit may not be optimized for the current coal. Efficiency projects may be able torecover some of these losses. Lastly, significant changes in the prices of natural gas and coal haveshifted many coal plants from a base load to a cycling operation. This change may justifyimplementation of originally efficient but uneconomic technologies, which primarily improve partloadefficiency such as VFDs.

The objective of this study is to assess the potential for increasing thermal efficiency of existinggenerating units using both proven and novel approaches. Particular attention is given to exit fluegas thermal energy recovery, boiler and steam turbine improvements, and balance of plant efficiencyimprovements. Emerging technologies are also discussed.

Keywords:

Thermal Power Plant, Efficiency Improvement, Steam Turbine Upgrades, CombustionOptimization, Condensing Heat Exchanger, Coal Drying, Variable Frequency Drives, VariableSpeed Drives, Hydrogen Purity