„Partner steam power plant“ for the regenerative power generation

Project Number 375

The current research project „Partner Steam Power Plant” will clearly improve the appropriate integration of power generation from fluctuating energy sources. Therefore, existing power plants shall handle fluctuations of power generation from wind or photovoltaic even better in order to guarantee the energy supply.

In Germany and throughout the world the development of renewables makes progress, while the installation of high capacity electrical storage lags behind. For this transitional period power plants must perform important grid regulation tasks. Thus, steam power plants are essential partners for renewable energies.

However, existing power plants are only restrictedly suitable for the high-flexible operation to compensate the fluctuating supply from renewables. In part-load operation the efficiency of the plant as well as the materials of the single components are susceptible. Furthermore, in many power plants the stability during fast operation modes is not satisfied.

Thus, existing power plants have to be improved in such a way that they meet these new requirements. That’s why different technical points of view are discussed and analyzed in the VGB research project “Partner Steam Power Plants”.
The involved power plant operators (E.ON; RWE, Steag and Vattenfall) record the new requirements in a set of specifications. In addition, the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) examines different energy market scenarios using a European electricity market model with high shares of renewable energy sources. The University of Duisburg/Essen and the power plant operators draw up calculations and dynamical simulations of the entire power plant during flexible operation. Critical components and processes of power plants can be identified and improved by these results. These works are carried out by the power plant component manufacturers (Mitsubishi Hitachi, Siemens). In addition, the scientific body DLR analyses the investigations regarding different possibilities of the integration of thermal storage into the power plant process. The project will approx. end in February 2015 and is supported by the German Federal economics Ministry within COORETEC’s research program.