- “innovations In Gas-fired Power Generation: Efficiency, Flexibility, And Emissions Reduction”
- Power & Utilities Industry
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“innovations In Gas-fired Power Generation: Efficiency, Flexibility, And Emissions Reduction” – Learn about what we do in the energy market where Wärtsilä is a world leader in full life cycle power solutions.
Learn about what we do in the marine market where Wärtsilä is a world leader in full life cycle power solutions.
“innovations In Gas-fired Power Generation: Efficiency, Flexibility, And Emissions Reduction”
The use of gas turbines to produce electricity dates back to 1939. Today, gas turbines are one of the most common technologies for producing electricity. Gas turbines are a type of internal combustion (IC) engine in which burning an air-fuel mixture produces hot gases that spin a turbine to generate power. The production of hot gas during the burning of the fuel, not the fuel itself, is what gives gas turbines their name.
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Gas turbines consist of three primary parts mounted on the same shaft: the compressor, the combustion chamber (or burner) and the turbine.
The compressor can be axial flow or centrifugal flow. Axial flow compressors are more common in power generation because they have higher flow rates and efficiencies. Axial flow compressors consist of multiple stages of rotating and stationary blades (or stators) through which air is drawn parallel to the axis of rotation and gradually compressed as it passes through each stage. The acceleration of the air through the rotating blades and diffusion by the stators increases the pressure and decreases the air volume. Although no heat is added, the compression of the air also causes an increase in temperature.
Since the compressor must reach a certain speed before the combustion process is continuous – or self-sustaining – initial momentum is provided to the turbine rotor from an external motor, a static frequency converter or from the generator itself. The compressor must be smoothly accelerated to firing speed before fuel can be introduced and ignited. Turbine speeds vary widely by manufacturer and design, ranging from 2,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) to 10,000 rpm. Initial ignition occurs from one or more igniters (depending on the burner design). As soon as the turbine reaches a sustainable speed – over 50% of full speed – the power output is sufficient to drive the compressor, combustion continues and the starter system can be disconnected.
Includes natural gas, fuel oil and synthetic fuels. Combustion occurs continuously in gas turbines, unlike reciprocating IC engines, where combustion occurs intermittently.
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The thermodynamic process used in gas turbines is the Brayton cycle. Two significant performance parameters are the pressure ratio and the combustion temperature. The fuel efficiency of the engine power is adjusted by increasing the difference (or ratio) between the compressor discharge pressure and the inlet air pressure. This compression ratio depends on the design. Gas turbines for power generation can be industrial (heavy frame) or aero-derived designs. Industrial gas turbines are designed for stationary applications and have lower pressure ratios – typically up to 18:1. Aero-derived gas turbines are lighter compact engines adapted from aircraft jet engine designs that operate at higher compression ratios – up to 30:1. They offer higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions, but are smaller and have higher initial (capital) costs. Air-derived gas turbines are more sensitive to compressor inlet temperature.
The temperature at which the turbine operates (combustion temperature) also affects efficiency, with higher temperatures leading to higher efficiency. However, the turbine inlet temperature is limited by the thermal conditions that can be tolerated by the metal alloy of the turbine blade. Turbine inlet gas temperatures can be 1200ºC to 1400ºC, but some manufacturers have increased inlet temperatures to 1600ºC by coating blades and engineering cooling systems to protect metal components from thermal damage.
Because of the power required to drive the compressor, the energy conversion efficiency for a simple cycle gas turbine power plant is typically about 30 percent, with even the most efficient design being about 40 percent. A large amount of heat remains in the exhaust gas, which is around 600 degrees Celsius when it leaves the turbine. By recovering waste heat to produce more useful work in a combined cycle configuration, gas turbine power plant efficiency can reach 55 to 60 percent. However, there are operational limitations associated with operating gas turbines in combined cycle mode, including longer run time, purge requirements to prevent fires or explosions, and ramp rate to full load.
The compressed air is mixed with fuel injected through nozzles. The fuel and compressed air can be pre-mixed or the compressed air can be injected directly into the combustion. The fuel-air mixture is ignited under constant pressure conditions and the hot combustion products (gases) are directed through the turbine where it rapidly expands and gives rotation to the shaft. The turbine also consists of stages, each with a row of stationary blades (or nozzles) to direct the expanding gases followed by a row of moving blades. The rotation of the shaft drives the compressor to draw in and compress more air to sustain continuous combustion. The remaining shaft power is used to drive a generator that produces electricity. About 55 to 65 percent of the power produced by the turbine is used to drive the compressor. To optimize the transfer of kinetic energy from the combustion gases to the rotation of the shaft, gas turbines can have multiple compressor and turbine stages. In the western French region of Brittany, Actemium is to renovate the GRTgaz interconnection station at Prinquiau, which will supply natural gas to an innovative region. Power plant in Landivisiau, thereby improving the performance of power generation facilities.
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Gas-fired power plants, one of France’s sources of electricity generation (accounting for 8% of EDF’s total output at the end of 2018), have been equipped for several years with innovative technology that limits emissions and improves production efficiency.
Traditionally, a gas-fired plant works on a simple principle: the fossil fuel is burned to create pressurized gas, which drives a turbine connected to an alternator that produces electricity. The exhaust gases from the turbine are released into the atmosphere.
In order to limit pollution and at the same time increase plant performance, new types of facilities such as Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) have been designed. These operate on the same principle as simple cycle gas turbines, but recover the heat from the exhaust gases to create steam. This steam drives a second turbine/alternator unit, generating additional electricity.
These CCGT plants can achieve efficiencies of 60% or more, compared to 35% for a gas turbine only, making them very attractive. Moreover, they release up to half the amount of CO
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Several such factories have already been established in France, especially in Dunkirk and Montoire de Bretagne. And others are currently under development, such as the Landivisiau plant in the Finistère department of Brittany. A 450 MW combined cycle gas turbine will better meet local electricity demand and strengthen the grid in southern Brittany.
In order to contribute to its natural gas supply, the GRTgaz company is supposed to renovate the Prinquiau link station (in the Loire-Atlantique department) which dates back to 1979. A gas pipeline will be built between the Prinquiau and Ladivisiau plants.
Actemium, the VINCI Energies brand specializing in industrial performance, is responsible for the electrical aspects of the renovation as well as instrumentation and control.
“Actemium handles everything related to this Turn Key contract, from detailed planning, procurement, pre-production of electrical cabinets and on-site execution to the placing of the order, which should take place in June 2021,”
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Says Constatin Batereau, director of Actemium Paris Énergie & Environnement, the business unit responsible for managing the project. The works are carried out by Actemium Saint-Nazaire as part of a partnership.
“The works at both sites will help improve energy efficiency and reduce air emissions while securing the electricity system.”
Furthermore, the Landivisiau combined cycle plant will enable fine-tuning of electricity generation. The project meets the demand for improved flexibility and what makes CCGT plants unique is that they can be ramped up very quickly and can be stopped and then restarted as needed. Traditional thermal power plants do not offer this kind of flexibility. Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia has announced a new order for its first High Efficiency (HE) upgrade for the GT26 fleet to be selected in Australia. In 2024, GE will retrofit EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra A power station, powered by the GT26 gas turbine installed almost thirteen years ago, with the HE upgrade, a proven solution first introduced for the GT26 gas turbine in 2019. This solution is designed to provide Tallawarra a power station, Located in Yellah on the western shore of Lake Illawarra in the state of New South Wales (NSW), with a leap forward in efficiency and output, supporting the expected energy demand following the closure of the coal-fired 1,680-MW Lidl plant in the Hunter Valley region.
NSW requires fast-start gas generation to support the growth of renewables as coal plants go out of business. Before the Talawara gas-fired power station became operational in January 2009, the site was a 320MW coal-fired power station that operated from 1954 to 1989. Now, it is a fast-starting combined cycle plant that produces less carbon emissions than conventional coal-fired power plants. The gas-fired power station’s generating capacity is 440 megawatts – which is the equivalent power to supply up to 200,000 Australians
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