GE launches digital-meets-hardware coal power plant technology

GE has launched a digital-meets-hardware solution for coal-fired power plants.

The company said its new SteamH solution combines advanced ultra-supercritical equipment design with new materials and its Cloud-based Predix software platform.

According to GE, the new design can produce steam at up to 650 degrees C and offers an efficiency improvement of 1.6 per cent over standard ultra-supercritical technology.

The company said it is now “able to deliver more than 15 percentage points of additional efficiency beyond the global average installed base, driving towards 50 per cent for the first time”.

In addition, GE claims its solution will produce 94.3 per cent greater reliability, 90 per cent greater availability and a 3 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.à‚ à‚ 

The system can be applied to both individual components and full power plants from 600 MW to 1100 MW, GE said.

The first customer will be Turkish power outfit Yildirim Energy, which is set to use the technology in its 1600 MW Karaburun power plant in àƒâ€¡anakkale province. Yildirim’s project includes a boiler and steam turbine generator in combination with Predix.

According to the International Energy Agency, market conditions in Turkey favour coal-fired power due to the higher prices of imported natural gas and high price of building renewables vs the low market power prices.à‚ 

GE has also signed a contract with Shanghai Boiler Works to supply its first SteamH boiler for Huaibei Shenergy Power Generation’s Pingshan II plant in China‘s Anhui province. The 1350 MW advanced ultra-supercritical double-reheat boiler is planned to produce steam at 630 degrees C.

GE will supply most of the key components of the boiler including burner, waterwall, superheaters and reheaters, and will work with Shanghai Electric Co to supply the complete boiler.

Andreas Lusch, president and CEO of GE’s Steam Power Systems business, said roughly half of the new technology’s claimed efficiency improvements, which he said had been tested in over 30,000 operational hours, were due to advances in materials that allow for higher temperatures and pressures, while half were due to digitalization.

“Today we read approximately 2 per cent of the data we have from all sensors on control systems,” he explained. “By analyzing the other 98 per cent of the data and really optimizing the whole boiler operations, we can improve the efficiency quite significantly, but also the flexibility.

“We’re focused on improving flexibility because it’s a big issue today, with all the renewable energy in the grid,” he added.à‚ à‚ 

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