Concept Study for a European 700 °C Power Plant with Ultra-supercritical Steam Parameters Burning Low-calorific Lignite

Project Number 282

The research project is dealing with the feasibility of design, planning, construction and operation of a 700 °C power plant for low-calorific lignite.

Due to the very low calorific rate, project data from similar concepts like lignite-fired power plants with optimised plant technology and upstream dehydration facility (BoA-Plus) cannot be transferred. The dehydration process for low-calorific lignite with a very high humidity rate requires high energy expenditure, considerably decreasing the overall electric net efficiency. Thus for such fuels detailed investigation of the dehydration process and its integration into the steam cycle is of utmost importance.

To date is was not possible on a European level to get sufficient public financing for various R&D lignite projects (except for the DRYCOAL project), as for hard coal with e. g. AD700, COMTES700, NRW Reference Power Plant). Within the framework of this study thus analysis regarding the content is to be combined with a review of the financial options.

The programme comprises the following items:

  1. Analyses of the actual findings of the R&D projects focussing on the 700 °C technology.
  2. Concept and design of a 700 °C lignite-fired power plant under the aspects
    - balance of plant,
    - efficiency,
    - generation costs, and
    - basic conditions.
  3. Fuel conditioning systems:
    Introduction of lignite dehydration (e. g. heat dehydration plant) and integration into the steam cycle.
  4. Analysis of the public financing options for support of these special technologies.
  5. Comparison with the EU research priorities.

The study is headed by Professor Emmanouil Kakaras and realised at the Athens Technical University (Laboratory of Steam Boilers and Thermal Plants, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering). The Technical Committee "Power Plant Concepts and Thermodynamics" is supporting the investigations, their results being expected for autumn 2006.