Abstracts - VGB PowerTech Journal 1-2/2012

The electricity sector at a crossroads

Hans ten Berge

The European electricity sector is currently at an unprecedented crossroads. In fact, EU energy policy could go down three different roads: the first option is inaction, the second option foresees action, but coupled with hesitation and incoherent policies, and the final option - and EURELECTRIC’s preferred choice - is a clear commitment to two main principles: competitiveness based on European, market-based solutions, and the mitigation of climate change through carbon neutrality. The article examines whether Europe is on track to achieving these goals.

Challenges facing future power plant utilisation

Werner Götz

The expansion of renewable energies and their preferential feeding into the grid have in the past years brought about fundamental and lasting changes to the German energy market. With a current percentage of renewable energies of already 20 %, the thermal residual load has significantly decreased, and the price of electricity on the European Energy Exchange has fallen, too. The consequences on the fleet of thermal power plants are obvious; this means lower utilisation times and a significant decrease of the contribution margins.

The role of renewables energy in the changing energy landscape in Europe - Some reflections

Dörte Fouquet and Jana Viktoria Nysten

The energy landscape in Europe is changing - and the change will be drastic. Starting with the commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but then fuelled with the events in Fukushima followed by the German decision to phase out nuclear power and to head for a 100 % renewable energy future - debates about the future energy supply landscape are omnipresent these days. And indeed, for Europe to live up to its commitments and objectives, significant changes have to be implemented and renewable energy will have to become the major source of supply.

Power market, technologies and acceptance: Status and perspectives

Franz-Josef Mengede, Klaus-Dieter Tigges, Mike Farley and Maria Joao Duarte

Climate change and global warming have changed people’s perception and habits. This is clearly reflected in the political decision-making process of all democracies. European power plant suppliers are ready to supply clean energy plants. Nevertheless, the lack of stability within energy policy strategies makes business unpredictable. Hence, a credible business strategy which allows the energy sector to respond with investments in technology, people and plants is crucial.

Fukushima - Response of nuclear operators

Laurent Stricker

From the viewpoint of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), the nuclear operators’ response and the needed changes inside WANO are presented in order to reinforce nuclear safety worldwide; check every operator’s ability to deal with a station black-out or a beyond design basis event, like a fire or flood. The primary responsibility for nuclear safety lies with the operators who are both individually and collectively responsible. Moreover, a high level of safety is best served by a credible regulator with harmonised safety requirements worldwide and a strong WANO.

Manufacturer‘s response to the Fukushima incident

Uwe Stoll and Ulrich Waas

The severe accident in the Japanese nuclear power station of Fukushima Daiichi in the aftermath of a tsunami has wide-ranging consequences for the nuclear industry, and as a consequence, for Areva as a plant manufacturer, even though Areva did not deliver these reactor units. In light of the requirements stated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the more stringent conditions put in place by authorities, Areva has started a “Safety Alliance” programme for existing plants.

Modern gas turbine technique and revived original application

Friedrich Hala and Reinhard Willinger

When manufacturers introduce new types of gas turbines, sometimes also “new” methods are presented to increase technical and economical efficiency. In two major cases often solutions have been used, which were developed and tried before, but, however, could not be introduced into the market for different reasons, e.g. missing technological or economical possibilities, or just because no cheap end products could be offered. However, in the meantime some of these developments are in the maturity phase and ready for industrial application. Corresponding measures are being introduced.

Dynamic process simulation as an engineering tool - A case of coal plant evaporator analysis

Jari Lappalainen, Harri Blom and Kay Juslin

Methods relying on mathematical models, such as simulation and optimisation, have been adopted in process industry and routinely used in various engineering tasks. This paper discusses the current status of simulation, especially dynamic simulation (DS), in engineering projects, which provides means to study process behaviour in both normal operation and during incidents. A case example of solving an engineering problem with DS at the power plant is presented. A model of a once-through evaporator of a coal-fired power plant was developed, and used to analyse thermal behaviour of the evaporator pipes.

ZLD systems applied to ENEL coal-fired power generation

Claudio Mosti and Vincenzo Cenci

Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) is a new philosophy in coal-fired power generation, consisting of full wastewater recovery after thermal treatment of the wet FGD blow-down by means of a softening evaporation crystallisation (SEC) plant. These systems prevent wastewater discharge, reducing freshwater consumption at the same time. Pre-treatment is required to adjust water hardness before it enters evaporation; part of the pre-treated water may be blended with SEC distillate and other water streams for reuse as FGD make-up, thus limiting capital and operational costs of evaporation.

Qualifying materials for the 700/720 °C power plant - Results from MARCKO 700 (Part I: Materials)

Kay Schmidt, Andreas Klenk and Eberhard Roos

The ambitious goal to realise a power plant operating with steam parameters of 700 °C and
350 bar sets new challenges in the field of materials. The nickel base alloy Alloy 617 mod, the 9 % - 12 % Cr-steels T/P92 and VM12/VM12-SHC and the low alloy 2.5 % Cr-steel T/P24 are proposed for boiler components in such a high efficient power plant. These base materials were investigated in a detailed qualification programme within the AVIF project “Marcko 700”.

Automated ultrasonic repair weld inspection of HD steam turbine housing

Coen Boxma and Gaby Godschalk

Turbine housings are usually manufactured as castings. Cast materials often exhibit small material defects. A ≈50 mm deep crack was detected in the housing of the high pressure-turbine of Amer-9, Essent during a major overhaul. The cracked area was repaired by the manufacturer but a guarantee for this repair was given for only two years. The owner decided to inspect the repair weld during a minor overhaul without removal of the housing, instead of ordering a new housing with the real possibility that this might also contain defects. The ultrasonic inspection had to be carried out from a small cavity inside the housing. The cavity could only be reached from the inlet nozzle. The challenge was to design and validate an ultrasonic method for inspection and design a manipulator within three months. The tests were very successfully and are to be repeated.

Latest development in the revision of the LPC BREF and Gothenburg Protocol

Jean-Guy Bartaire

Adopted in 2006, the BREF or reference document on LCPs (Large Combustion Plants) is going to be revised in 2011 by the European IPPC Bureau established in Seville within the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS). The revision of the LCP BREF is a key issue for the European electricity industry and it could be the first BREF drafted 100 % under the new Industrial Emissions Directive or IED (2010/75/EU). In the framework of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution in the United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva, the Gothenburg Protocol is under revision and should be signed at the very beginning of 2012. The revised Gothenburg Protocol should fix national emissions ceilings for member states for a certain number of pollutants relevant for the electricity industry.