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Corrosion in Renewable Energy Power Production

L. H. Boulton Les Boulton & Associates Ltd Auckland, New Zealand SUMMARY The global appetite for clean renewable energy sources is growing exponentially as the world moves away from carbon intensive energy technologies. Hydroelectric power is well established and it has made a significant contribution to reducing global dependence upon thermal power generation. Wind turbine, solar panel, nuclear power and tidal energy technologies are well developed and utilised in a number of countries. However, geothermal energy is possibly the star of the renewable energy market because it is safe, clean, and relatively inexpensive to produce. Importantly, geothermal energy production is not dependent upon weather. In some countries geothermal steam sources are almost inexhaustible and the by-products of geothermal energy processing are re-injected back into the ground whence they came. Geothermal power in New Zealand is a small but significant part of the power generation capacity of the country, providing approximately 10% of the country's electricity with the installed capacity approaching 600 MW. Australia has some of the hottest rock structures closest to the ground surface in the world. This type of geological formation is being developed through research into enhanced geothermal systems such as the emerging hot dry rock technology for generating steam to spin turbines. Because of the inherent nature of geothermal energy processing, the materials employed in power plants are constantly subjected to aggressive operating conditions resulting in degradation of materials due to corrosion. As geothermal plant efficiency improves, so does the demand for materials that can withstand high temperatures and harsh corrosive conditions. Renewable energy production is a demanding and challenging area of materials technology for which high alloy stainless steels are well suited. Some power plants employ low cost materials such as carbon steel which are replaced if they fail due to corrosion. The life cycle costing approach to materials selection demonstrates that the rust and replace approach is not cost-effective in the long term. The paper will discuss corrosion issues in renewable energy production and focus upon applications of high alloys in geothermal power production.

High temperature oxidation behaviour of 2.25%Cr and 9%Cr boiler steels in laboratory and plant steam environments
A Czerwinski1,2 & R K Singh Raman2
1 2

Engineering and Materials Division, HRL Technology Pty Ltd, Mulgrave, Australia, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Presenter email address: Abstract The formation of excessively thick steam-side oxide scale is a major problem in power stations worldwide, leading to boiler tube failures resulting from increased metal temperatures, loss in wall thickness and exfoliated oxide particles. This research was designed to understand the difference in characteristics of oxide scales developed on 2.25%Cr and 9%Cr boiler steels in plant and laboratory steam environments, with a view to improving life assessment techniques. Advanced varieties of these steels are likely to be employed in the refurbishment of existing Australian power stations and construction of new high-efficiency plant or that based on advanced combustion and gasification technologies. The work involved exposing reheater and superheater tube materials to steam at above-design temperatures for periods of up to 12,000h in order investigate the rate and type of oxide growth. Testing was carried out concurrently using a simulated steam environment at Monash University and live steam from the hot reheat line at Loy Yang B power station in Victorias Latrobe Valley. There was generally good agreement between the oxidation rates measured in the two environments. Data generated from the facilities is intended to improve understanding of high temperature steam oxidation and enable oxide growth kinetics algorithms to be developed. Being able to describe these relationships is of particular industrial importance as it enables the average service temperature, and hence remaining creep life, of high temperature components to be predicted.

HVAC Transmission Tower Corrosion Assessment Case History J. Paterson, K. Garrity, P.E., M. Gluskin Mears Integrity Solutions. 11-13 Gibbs Street, Arundel, QLD 4214, Australia. Phone: +61 (0)7 5563 8862 Fax: +61 (0)7 5500 6444 Mob: +61 (0)499 499 301 Abstract Specialised testing and corrosion assessments of selected transmission tower structures associated with an overhead High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) Electric Power transmission system were executed using corrosion prediction modeling. The purpose of the testing, inspection, and analysis for this project was to:

Perform indirect assessments of selected transmission tower structures, Assess the feasibility of applying corrosion risk model algorithms for galvanised transmission towers, Compare and correlate direct inspection results of tower footings with the risk model results, and Demonstrate the validity of technical approach for a full scale assessment project.

The project integrated corrosion science, field electrochemical and assessment technologies, with field deployable computing hardware in a tool that can provide real time risk ranking in the field.

A degradation classification criterion was developed to assist in characterising the findings of this project. This criterion is shown in Table 1 and is based on the metal loss of the steel members and other visual observations.

Table 1: Degradation Classification Criteria

Degradation Classification 6 5 4 3 2 1 Degree of corrosion Extremely severe expect 50% to 100% metal loss Severe expect 40% to 70% metal loss Moderate to severe expect 30 to 50% metal loss Moderate corrosion expect 10% to 40% Minor corrosion up to 10% metal loss No corrosion to minor corrosion Visual Description Extreme amount of scale greater than 13mm thick with reported nodules and other indications of severe degradation Scale up to 13mm thick with severe pitting reported. Up to 50% reported metal loss Up to 10mm scale reported General corrosion and pitting less than 0.25mm Zinc coating still intact in some places below grade.

This paper will discuss the functionality of the field data collection tool, the predictive capability of the indirect field measurements and the results of the application of the risk ranking algorithm.