Electric power plants are operating at high efficiency and low CO2

Electric power plants are operating at high efficiency and low CO2

Coal-fired power plants with efficiencies of 45 percent or greater, and low CO2, are now being offered by the German companies such as ABB, Siemens, Babcock, EVT, MAN Energie and Steinm?ller in capacities of 500, 600 and 700 MW. According to the companies, the high efficiency is possible through the use of new materials that allow higher temperatures in the boilers and turbines of up to 580 C and pressures up to 285 bar.

Still under development are steels that will allow even higher pressure and temperature. By the year 2015, it is expected that new materials will allow a standard power plant to operate at 375 bar/700 C. As a result, the plant?s efficiency could increase to 51.5 percent.

Today?s higher temperatures and pressures are possible using the steel X 10 Cr Mo V Nb 91 (P91), supplied by Mannesmann Anlagenbau, D?sseldorf. This material was used for the steam and reheater tubes in the new lignite-fired power plant Schkopau in Eastern Germany.

Even though the price of the steel is higher, because its weight is less than conventional steels, construction costs are lower according to the manufacturer.

Competition from IGCC

Although advanced steam-cycle power plants utilizing the new steels are reported to be competitive with conventional steam plants, they do face competition from integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plants. German companies have been working on developing IGCC and have been active in supplying equipment for these types of power plants outside of Germany. One company, Steinm?ller, is involved in the following IGCC projects:

Y 250-MW plant in Buggenium, The Netherlands

Y 340-MW plant in Puertollano, Spain and

Y 260-MW plant in Tampa, Fla., USA.

Siemens/KWU is also involved in the Buggenium and Puertollano IGCC projects; and Krupp Koppers, Essen, is supplying the Spanish IGCC project?s coal-gasifying systems.

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