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ch ar M 08 20

Emsland KA26 power plant: high efficiency with flexibility



A new 876 MWe GT26-based multi-shaft combined cycle power plant under construction at the Emsland site in Germany will contribute to supply diversity in the RWE generation fuel mix. It will be capable of fast start and quick response to changing demand conditions, with high efficiency and low emissions even at part load. As well as featuring the latest rating of the GT26 gas turbine, it also includes innovations in the water/steam cycle. The plant will, for example, employ HRSGs of the OCC/OT (Optimised for Cycling and Constructability/Once Through) type, and, for the first time in a European plant of this size, the HP section uses a once-through cycle design.

Oliver Then and Christian Sanders, RWE, Essen, Germany; Detlef Viereck, Alstom, Mannheim, Germany; Michael Ladwig, Alstom, Baden, Switzerland
he Emsland power plant site close to the city of Lingen in Lower Saxony, Germany, has for many years played an important role in RWE's power generation portfolio. In 1974/75 two 420 MWe natural gas fired combined cycle units came on stream. In 1988 a nuclear plant, a large pressurised water reactor (currently rated at 1400 MWe), was commissioned at the site. Now a new highly flexible natural gas fuelled 876 MWe combined cycle power plant is under construction there, maintaining the strategic importance of the site in the context of RWE's overall system. Against a background of the continuing

uncertainties facing new build investment decisions in power generation, a key function of the new Emsland combined cycle power plant is to help maintain a diverse and balanced primary energy mix. It completes the RWE portfolio in the much sought-after medium and peak load segment and is part of the current power generation and modernisation programme underway within RWE Power. A particular attraction of the site is the excellent gas supply, with access to five gas networks. One of the five gas pipelines, the Vlieghuis line, is connected to the Dutch gas exchange, TTF, which allows gas to be supplied at short notice. Another benefit of the site is that use can be

made of the existing infrastructure for the new plant and synergies between the old and new units can be exploited. For example, there will be a joint operation centre for the existing twin gas units and the new combined cycle plant. Combining the control centres also helps to optimise the deployment of operations and service personnel across each of the units. Water is supplied from the DortmundEms canal which passes by the site.

Plant flexibility
Another key consideration in planning of the new Emsland KA26 combined cycle power plant was the need to provide the increased
At the heart of the new plant: the Alstom GT26 gas turbine

Visualisation of the completed plant

Annular EnVironmental (EV) combustor Annular Sequential EV (SEV) combustor Maintenance-free welded rotor

Compressor with variable inlet guide vanes High pressure turbine Low pressure turbine

Recent optimisations implemented on the GT26 gas turbine Construction underway

HP/LP turbine: Leakage reduction by improved seals

EV burner: Pre-mixed combustion extended over whole GT load range Compressor: Approx. 1.5% mass flow increase through re-staggered front rows

The HRSG incorporates FAST Start-up features, where FAST denotes Flexibility And Stepped-component Thickness. The single-row construction efficiently distributes loads and minimises temperature differences

Flexibility And Stepped-Component Thickness

ALSTOM single row

Conventional multi- row

Emsland CCPP

Small diameter thin walled headers are efficiently heated by conduction from tubes to minimise tube-toheader temperature difference Row-to-row temperature differences cannot be avoided but the single row design transfers the direct stress in the tube to bending stresses at the link-to-manifold connection

The many fuel gas supply options at the Emsland power plant site

flexibility that the German power sector has been requiring in recent years and will continue to do so. Among the drivers of this increased flexibility: Germany is increasingly moving towards a service economy, resulting in the decline of heavy industry and a reduction in the demand for baseload generation. Among the consequences are much larger differences between minimum and maximum load during the day. The trend towards larger power plant unit sizes (700 to 1000 MW) means that a high level of regulating power is required to allow for outages. The share of wind in the German market has increased dramatically, leading to increasing fluctuations in the available power supply. The anticipated increase in wind installed capacity from around 21 GW at present to over 30 GW by 2020 will exacerbate the situation.

The new flexible Emsland gas fired power plant will facilitate adjustment to rapidly changing situations and is expected to make a significant contribution towards increasing power supply reliability. The new plant will employ the latest rating of the GT26 gas turbine in an optimised overall plant configuration, enabling rapid response to changes in demand. At the same time the new plant will achieve a net efficiency of over 59% at full continuous load as well as maintaining high efficiency at partial load. The efficiency is much higher than other gas fired combined cycle units in the RWE fleet, while the start-up times are considerably shorter. Having all the main components coming from one supplier and employing the Alstom Plant Integrator concept has helped with the task of adjusting the new plant to make full use of the existing infrastructure and facilities.

Layout and design

The new Emsland KA26 combined cycle power plant is designed for medium load operation (5500 operating hours per year) and for 200 start-ups per year, and will be able to generate electricity and supply steam. The plant will operate at ambient temperatures of between -20 C and +40 C and is equipped with a natural ventilation wet cooling tower. To maximise the efficiency of the plant, a multi-shaft configuration with two gas turbines and one steam turbine was chosen. This is because the bigger steam turbine results in higher efficiency compared with two single-shaft power trains with smaller steam turbines.

GT26 gas turbines

At the heart of the new combined cycle power plant are the two Alstom GT26 gas turbines. There are now over 115 GT24/GT26 units installed or being installed worldwide and the fleet has achieved over 2.7 million operating

How sequential combustion helps bring flexibility to Emsland

Flexibility, including low emissions and high efficiency at part load, was a key requirement for the Emsland project. In the case of the GT24/GT26 a major contributor to this flexibility is the sequential combustion concept. Sequential combustion is based on a simple concept: the reheat principle. An efficient 22-stage subsonic compressor feeds combustion air into the first combustor, called the EV (EnVironmental) combustor, where fuel is mixed with the high-pressure air. The hot gases drive a first turbine, the single-stage high-pressure turbine. At full load, approximately half of the total amount of fuel is burnt in this first combustor. The high-pressure turbine exhaust gas temperature is around 1000C, at baseload. In a radical departure from "conventional" gas turbine design, the remaining fuel is then introduced into the second, 'reheat', combustor (called the SEV (Sequential EV) combustor), where it ignites spontaneously and reheats the air. The second expansion occurs in a four-stage low-pressure turbine (LPT). At over 600C, the exhaust gas temperatures are ideal for combined cycle applications and these temperatures can be maintained down to about 40% load. The sequential combustion concept achieves low NOx emissions, not only at full load, but also down to part loads of below 40%. This is due to the operation concept that maintains the EV combustor temperature at a high, nearly constant, level from about 10% load up to baseload. Further, the SEV combustor produces only minor additional NOx. The EV combustor has an annular burner arrangement and the GT26 is fitted with 24 retractable EV burners. The annular combustor distributes the hot gas, circumferentially, at a much more even temperature than other designs. Radial temperature uniformity is accomplished by pre-mixing virtually all incoming compressor air with the fuel in the EV burner, and by the absence of film cooling in the convection-cooled combustor walls. This produces a single, uniform flame ring in the free space of the EV combustion zone. A key benefit is that the flame has no contact with the walls of the burner. These design features distinguish the EV combustor significantly
Sequential combustion in the GT26: the key components

from other combustion systems. In the annular SEV combustor, the combustion process is similar to that in the EV: vortex generation, fuel injection, pre-mixing and combustion. The SEV combustor consists of ring-distributed burners, followed by the annular combustion zone surrounded by convectioncooled walls. Exhaust gas from the high-pressure turbine enters the SEV combustor through the diffuser area. Combustion temperature uniformity in the SEV, as in the EV, is determined by the spatial homogeneity of the fuel/air mixture that is again thanks to the use of vortices. Each SEV burner contains delta-shaped wings, formed like ramps and located on all four interior walls of the burners, which swirl combustion air into vortices. Fuel is then injected through an air-cooled fuel lance, distributing it such that it forms a perfect fuel/air mixture prior to combustion. The fuel jet is surrounded by cold carrier-air that postpones spontaneous ignition until the combustion zone, beyond the burner area. There, combustion occurs in a single, stable flame ring, operating across its entire load range. Neither the EV nor SEV combustor contains any moving parts. No so called "combustor inspection" is needed neither for the EV nor SEV combustor. This mechanical simplicity, in combination with relatively low turbine temperatures, contributes to high reliability and availability.

Sequential combustion: how it works

1. Compressed air is fed into the EV burner, creating a homogeneous, lean fuel/air mixture. The vortex flow, induced by the shape of the burner, breaks down at the EV burner exit into the combustion zone, forming a recirculation zone. 2. The mixture ignites into a single, low temperature flame ring. The recirculation zone stabilises the flame in free space within the combustion zone, avoiding contact with the combustor wall. 3. The hot exhaust gas exits the first combustor and moves through the high pressure turbine stage before entering the SEV combustor. 4. Vortex generators in the SEV burner enhance the mixing process, while carrier air, injected with the fuel at the SEV fuel lance, delays spontaneous ignition until it is outside the SEV burner. 5. Ignition occurs when the fuel reaches self-ignition temperature in the free space of the SEV combustor. The hot gas then continues its path into the low-pressure turbine.

hours, with over 50 000 start-ups. A key feature of the GT24/GT26 family is sequential combustion (see panel, pp 18-19). The sequential combustion concept contributes to higher efficiency, greater fuel flexibility and improved performance at partial load, notably in terms of emissions and combined-cycle efficiency, leading to lower maintenance costs, coupled with higher availability and reliability. The first combustion chamber uses the proven dry low NOx EV (EnVironmental) burner, which is also used in all other Alstom gas turbines. The second combustion chamber employs the SEV (Sequential EnVironmental) burner. Other core elements of the gas turbine are the welded gas turbine rotor, a 22-stage subsonic compressor, as well as the single-stage high pressure and four-stage low pressure turbine. To improve combustion regulation at different loads, the compressor has three adjustable vane rows, which are used for adjusting the air intake according to the required gas turbine output. The exhaust gas temperature can thus be kept constant

over a wide load range and this results in higher part load efficiencies. Part of the air extracted from the compressor for cooling the hot gas components is first cooled down in two once-through coolers (OTCs) and the energy is passed into the heat recovery steam generator, so improving overall cycle efficiency. The current version of the gas turbine has improved seals in the HP and LP sections, premix operation over the entire load range and an increased air mass flow through the compressor due to restaggered compressor front stages.

Water/steam cycle
The water/steam cycle is a three-pressure and reheat cycle (the steam at the exhaust of the HP steam turbine being sent back to the boiler mixed with the intermediate pressure steam and resuperheated to the highest temperature). The two Alstom three-pressure and reheat heat recovery steam generators are horizontally orientated. While the intermediate and low pressure sections are designed according to the

principle of natural cycle vaporisation, for the first time in a European plant of this output class, the high pressure section is a once-through cycle design without a drum but with a water separator. The choice of the once-through cycle principle and the absence of an HP drum subjected to high thermal loads mean that higher live steam parameters can be used, thus leading to higher efficiency, improved flexibility for load gradients and shorter start-up/shutdown times. The heat recovery steam generator also provides heat (hot water) for preheating the fuel gas to help increase plant efficiency and feedwater for the gas turbine cooling air coolers (once-through coolers, OTCs). The boiler is fitted with a condensate preheating loop for heating and deaerating the feedwater.

The Alstom STF30c reheat steam turbine is of the three casing type, employing a dual-flow low pressure section with one sided lateral exhaust on ground level.

formation means that emissions levels, at 15% O2, remain similar across the SEV combustor. This phenomenon results from the NOx formation depends on the temperature, pressure and residence time consumption of oxygen within the SEV combustor with minimal in high temperature regions inside the combustion area. In both the EV NOx production. MPS and SEV combustors, high temperature residence times are 50% shorter than in conventional combustors. In addition, Sequential combustion: the thermodynamics when comparing conventional and reheat gas T turbines, the Brayton cycle demonstrates T thermodynamically that conventional machines need a higher combustion exit temperature to qsev Whpt Wlpt achieve an equivalent specific output. Wt q ev Given the importance of the relationship q between NOx production and flame temperature, it is also notable that the temperature profiles in both the EV and the Wc SEV combustors are much more uniform than Wc in conventional combustors. Specific entropy This effectively prevents temperature peaks and resultant NOx formation. ENTHALPYENTROPY DIAGRAM FOR TURBINE WITH Specific entropy NOx emissions for the GT24/GT26 units are SEQUENTIAL COMBUSTION (GT24/GT26) qev - specific heat input (fuel) to EV ENTHALPYENTROPY DIAGRAM FOR CONVENTIONAL well below 25 vppm. qsev - specific heat input (fuel) to SEV GAS TURBINE The design of the SEV combustor provides Wc - specific work input (compressor) q - specific heat input (fuel) additional advantages. In the SEV burner, Whpt - specific work output (high pressure turbine expansion) Wc - specific work input (compressor) where incoming hot gas has considerably Wlpt - specific work output (low pressure turbine expansion) Wt - specific work output (expansion through turbine) T - temperature T - temperature lower oxygen content than normal air, less oxygen is available for NOx formation. The thermodynamic benefits of sequential combustion are illustrated in these enthalpy-entropy diagrams, which represent the thermodynamic processes (compression, combustion and expansion) and states (temperature and pressure) Furthermore, because the SEV incoming air is experienced by fuel and air in the gas turbine. Enthalpy is a measure of the energy density, while entropy reflects the at a considerably higher temperature than efficiency of the compression and expansion processes as well as heat transfer to the gas during the combustion process. conventional combustion air, it requires less Conventional gas turbines all operate on the same principle. The compressor increases the pressure of the inlet air from ambient conditions to the compressor discharge state. In the combustor, energy of the fuel is released into the combustion heating to reach flame temperature. air, which increases its specific energy (enthalpy) and raises its temperature to peak level. The hot gases expand through Both of these NOx mitigating phenomena the turbine, producing the work to drive the compressor and the electric generator. To achieve more work, turbine inlet are known from other combustion temperature has to be increased. technologies employing exhaust gas Sequential combustion breaks the link between higher efficiency and higher inlet temperature. In sequential combustion, the process is characterised by splitting the combustion process into two stages, separated by an expansion to an recirculation. intermediate pressure level. In this so-called "reheat" process, energy is added part way through the expansion process, Although about 50% of the total unit fuel resulting in high gas turbine efficiency and high power density. is burned in the SEV combustor, the low NOx

Decoupling emissions and performance

Sequential combustion the advantages summarised. The benefits include low NOx and high operational flexibility. The high exhaust temperature is maintained from about 25% to 100% load, giving high combined cycle part load efficiency. The EV temperature remains essentially constant from about 10% to 100% load, resulting in low emissions over the whole operating range see right hand graph

Specific enthalpy

Sequential combustion

Conventional combustor

Specific enthalpy

Horizontal once-through OCC/OT HRSGs will be used at Emsland, allowing rapid start-up and frequent cycling

Emsland KA26 power plant: basic data

Optimised for Cycling
with superior design for transient operation and

Power plant Configuration Installed net capacity (MWe) Net plant efficiency (%) Steam extraction (t/h) NOx emissions (ppm) Starts/year Operating mode Ambient temperature (C) Average temperature, design (C) Ambient rel. humidity (%) Ambient pressure (mbar) Gas turbines Number Type Fuel Steam turbine Number Type Turbogenerators Number Type Voltage (kV) Apparent power (MVA) Heat recovery steam generators Number Type

Multishaft, 2 gas turbines plus one steam turbine 876 over 59 100 22 Approx. 200 Mid (5500 h/a) -20 to + 40 10 83 1013 2 GT26 Fuel gas only 1 STF30c, three casing, with titanium 49in last stage blades 3 TOPGAS (indirectly hydrogen cooled) 21 460 2 3 pressure reheat, with once through high pressure evaporator, 15 module design, no bypass stack 75 Titanium 45 Atmospheric cooling tower 120

That maximises shop content and packaging of components to reduce construction labour


Once-through HP evaporator for rapid startup and frequent cycling

The STF30c steam turbine to be used at Emsland

Stack height (m) Condenser Tubing Pressure (mbar)

Titanium 49in last stage blades Brush seals

Main cooling water system Type Height (m)

Alaststagebladelengthof49inhasbeenselected for the steam turbine, enabling the use of a single low pressure cylinder. This was made possible by the development of a titanium blade. Titanium blades have high strength and a relatively low weight, which means there are less mechanical restrictions on the aerodynamic design, leading to higher stage efficiency. In addition they are equipped with shrouds to again improve efficiency and together with snubbers they form a rigid blade ring that is insensitive to blade resonances. The concept for reducing droplet erosion involves increasing the distance between the vane and blade rows and using the proven vane suction system, with, in addition, an extended blade leading edge. The latest design techniques have been used for the complete steam path sealing systems, including selective applications of brush seals and abrasive layers. A high performance Alstom-supplied surface condenser with titanium piping will be used for exhaust steam condensation. An exhaust steam pressure of 45 mbar under the site reference conditions (ambient temperature 10C) will be achieved. The two GT26 gas turbines and the STF30c steam turbine will drive three identical Alstom TOPGAS turbogenerators, which are two-pole

3-phase synchronous hydrogen cooled machines giving maximum generator efficiency.

Power plant modernisation

The Emsland combined cycle project can be seen as part of RWE's drive to achieve a balanced fuel

mix and invest heavily in updating its fleet to achieve higher efficiency and reduced emissions, other key projects being deployment of BoA lignite power plant technology and advanced pulverised coal technology, as well as major retrofit efforts. MPS
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