Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant, take a closer look at di...

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Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant, take a closer look at diesels
Diesels in combined cycle By Steven E. Kuehn, Senior Editor Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant, take a closer look at diesels Ironically, the role of the piston in power production seems to be expanding. The irony lies in the fact that technology developed at the turn of the last century is poised to take on an even greater portion of electric power generation at the turn of this century, despite advances in other, more contemporary prime movers such as gas turbines. Why diesel? In their paper ODiesel Combined Cycles Using Fired Boilers,O (POWER-GEN Americas ?94, Orlando, Fla.) authors Thomas Davis, Sandwell Energy, and F. Mack Shelor, Wartsila Diesel U.S., presented a compelling case why the diesel engine is a very attractive choice for producing power in the combined-cycle configuration. Davis and Shelor said the power industry is fast becoming aware of the pitfalls of designing power plants that rely solely on a premium fuel such as natural gas. Even though environmental regulations push plant developers towards gas turbines, there are drawbacks to consider. For example, gas turbine power plants often have to be built around available turbine frame sizes with a more narrow range of 7/5/2012

equating to a heat rate of 7. Tailor made Flexibility is the key to the and it can be tailored to meet specific steam and power needs. burner exit gas temperatures become too high for optimal heat recovery in the boiler.580 Btu/kWhr. In a simple natural gas-fired scheme. therefore. However. that?s how.. in a boiler. steam can be generated at sufficient temperature and pressure to operate a Rankine steam cycle efficiently. Davis and Shelor detailed several of the possible configurations in their paper. uses proven components. as the temperature differential increases. Diesels also offer designers fuel flexibility and can burn an extreme variety of fuels without sacrificing many of its positive operating attributes.. have heat-rate efficiencies as high as 45 percent. This allows sufficient oxygen to support stable lower-grade fuel combustion in the diesel exhaust stream while bringing down overall gas temperatures entering the superheater to a point just high enough to overcome boiler pinch points?the minimum differential between the gas temperature and the boiler saturated water temperature. unlike the gas turbine. especially with lower grade fuels. By using a fired boiler. To dampen gas temperatures. The authors claim that these facilities often have to operate at efficiencies far lower than originally anticipated because of extreme dispatching requirements that appear after the plant has been built. the diesel cycle will always require some supplemental fuel to boost exhaust temperatures high enough to attain efficient steam conditions. a burner bypass system is fitted. The challenge Power plant developers are now faced with a challenge: How does one design a power plant that is as clean and efficient as natural gas-fired plant. Their position rests on the fact that the medium-speed diesel is already one of the most efficient simple cycle sources of electricity. http://www. Boiler temperature is controlled by the amount fuel gas added to the exhaust flow and is similar to firing a duct burner with supplemental fuel in a gas turbine combined cycle. Page 2 of 6 application than other prime movers. has better wide-range performance and dispatching characteristics than gas turbines. using diesels to help fire a boiler is. for any given set of steam conditions and exhaust heat conditions.. would not be achieved until combustion air and supplemental fuel are minimized to levels that satisfy steam conditions. When air is added. Moreover. Diesel combined-cycle plants can be configured in much the same way a gas turbine plant would be. said Davis and Shelor. Remember. Although the concept of recovering diesel exhaust heat and cooling water heat is not new. and no other power production prime mover can match this efficiency. However. 7/5/2012 . however. Large units. steam generation and power generation constraints.power-eng. some projects just won?t be built because the long-term fuel economics of the gas turbine combined cycle can make the choice unattractive. When heavier supplemental fuels are specified. heavy oil or coal. supplemental combustion air is not required and the burner operates totally on the oxygen contained in the diesel?s exhaust and the burner?s fuel.Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant. The bypass redirects a portion of the exhaust gas so it can be injected into the boiler as overfire air. take a closer look at di. light distillate oil. the diesel combined-cycle scheme requires supplemental firing to generate appropriate steam conditions. combined-cycle plant output will decrease and heat rate will increase. and is more economically competitive than integrated coal gasification combined cycle technology? Diesels in a combined cycle (DCC). said Davis and Shelor.. Diesels are the first building block in a highly efficient combined cycle system that relies on the hot gas and oxygen in the diesel?s exhaust to combust either natural gas. The most efficient cycle. some supplemental combustion air is required to attain stable combustion.

and that is plenty to fire the supplemental natural gas. The DCC system takes advantage of these technology improvements and adds the effect of dilution from reburning to the equation. the amount of bypass flow will increase. After treatment strategies including SCR and scrubbers have also proven effective with high-sulfur HFO. For each cycle. special burners that supply a small amount of extra air are needed to achieve complete combustion. and electronic engine controls. have been available for years and have achieved efficiencies as high as 45 percent in the simple cycle. and that Osingle pressure cycles will optimize at approximately 50 percent to 70 percent bypass flow.Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant. medium-speed. Page 3 of 6 Controlling the firing rate and burner bypass flow are features not commonly found on gas turbine combined-cycle plants. Babcock & Wilcox recently developed a proprietary burner design for DCC boilers optimized to maintain low oxygen levels in the windbox.5 percent and 13 percent. 7/5/2012 . take a closer look at di.. combustion chamber and piston design. four-stroke diesels injecting natural gas directly into the cylinder will have an exhaust gas oxygen level between 12.O the authors explained. are being applied to help reduce emissions. said Davis and Shelor. large.. This reduces NOx levels by as much as 50 percent to 70 percent when compared to the usual levels found in the diesel?s exhaust. single pressure non-reheat cycles will have optimum efficiency at lower bypass flows such as 0 percent to 50 percent of the total diesel exhaust but larger units might need selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet very stringent control regulations.power-eng. Emissions from a natural-gas fired DCC are low to begin with and NOx reduction is an inherent part of the process. there is an optimum point of bypass flow where both the steam conditions and steam flow are achieved at maximum efficiency. diesels are not. Davis and Shelor noted that refiners are finding a weak market for HFO and that is favoring long term fuel contracts because high-sulfur HFO is in abundant supply. a diesel?s NOx and SO2 emissions are relatively high when operating in a simple-cycle arrangement. One plus of this feature is that it allows a wide range of steam power demands to be met for applications such as industrial cogeneration where steam and power demand swings widely and independently.. but there are some noteworthy differences. OIn general. When HFO is used as a supplemental fuel to fire the boiler. Several developments. http://www. As the efficiency of heat recovery increases. Diesels have been designed to burn all grades of heavy fuel oil (HFO). including injector design. The increased oxygen allows more fuel to be burned and increases the effect of dilution. Heavy fuel oil Although combustion turbines are limited when it comes to fuel choice. In the case of a DCC. Unfortunately.O Natural gas diesels Natural gas-fired diesels are an established technology. according to Davis and Shelor. It is likely small-scale DCCs will not require any NOx reduction. a critical consideration for burner design is the level of oxygen in the exhaust gas leaving the engine. According to Davis and Shelor. Pilot testing was completed in 1994 and proved the unit was capable of stable and efficient combustion at the low oxygen levels needed to achieve optimum DCC performance. The combustion of the exhaust gas reduces NOx in two ways: first by reburning and second by dilution.

The CWF will be processed near the mine site and transported to the plant via 6.500-gallon tank trucks. combined-cycle demonstration plant using coal water fuels (CWF). . the CDCC relies on a recently developed process that allows coal to be burned much like heavy fuel oil. five were selected for funding. The CDCC is expected to attain efficiencies of 48 percent lower heating value for the demonstration.Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant.5-inch bore by 22-inch stroke) are rated at 400 rpm and 208 psi brake mean effective pressure. together with Public Law 101-512.power-eng. The demonstration is designed to provide critical data on the performance. diesel engine-based. construction and operation of a 90-ton-per-day 14-MWe. . Cooper Industries Inc. a combined-cycle power generation block and an emissions control subsystems (Figure 1).O this act.228 pounds-per-hour (pph) of CWF and another 84 pph of diesel pilot fuel. The project.S. Page 4 of 6 Diesel and coal Public Law 102-154 provides funds to the U. and Arthur D. the DOE will fund 50 percent of the project and with Arthur D. Each engine will be coupled to a 6. two diesel engines. 4. Among the 24 proposals received by the DOE..000 engine hours of testing is planned using CWF fuel. The plant will be installed as a twodiesel extension of the existing 25-MWe generating plant and a total of 6. is set to last 79 months and will cost $38. steam turbines and exhaust emissions aftertreatment.. Coal Diesel Combined Cycle Project. medium speed diesels. and cleaned to 2 percent ash content.. Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct cost-shared Clean Coal Technology (CCT) projects for the design. Based on contemporary stationary reciprocating engine technology. Md. The report states that Ohio No. including the CWF metering and injection system. According to the report. Little acting as the prime contractor. the prime movers for the project are two Cooper-Bessemer Model LSV-20 engines. made a total of $600 million available for the fifth round of general requests for proposals under the CCT program.. reliability and component life information for all major subsystems. Demonstrating the concept The CDCC project will demonstrate an advanced CDCC system based on two Cooper-Bessemer 20cylinder diesel engines. turbochargers. Cooper-Bessemer Recip-rocating Products Div. a small portion of diesel fuel is ignited first in a pilot combustion chamber adjacent to the primary combustion chamber. One of the five was a coal diesel combined-cycle (CDCC) project proposed by a team consisting of Eaton Utilities Commission.O According to the executive summary at the beginning of the OComprehensive Report to Congress Clean Coal Technology Program. exhaust cyclones. The basic layout of the plant consists of CWF preparation. To combust the coal fuel efficiently. heat recovery steam boilers. construction and operation of facilities that O. lube oil systems. with additional support from the Ohio Coal Development Office.3-MWe generator and will consume 2 in Easton. Each cylinder is fitted with a CWF injector designed with 18 orifices to ensure thorough combustion of the fuel/air mix. The 20-cylinder 4-stroke diesels (15. Little Inc. 5 and 6 bituminous coals will be mined at Sugar Creek. Ohio.... 7/5/2012 . including the demonstration phase.3 million. http://www. shall advance significantly the efficiency and environmental performance of coal-using technologies and be applicable to either new or existing facilities. The DOE will provide funding assistance for the design. Specifically. The plant will be located at a power generation facility at Easton Utilities Commission?s Plant No. take a closer look at di.

Exhaust from the turbochargers then flows through a heat recovery boiler which makes steam to spin the steam turbine. each diesel is enclosed in a separate room and sound-absorbing materials are used in the walls.O Anders Ahnger. sorbent injection. Special attention was also paid to the logistical aspects of the plant. gas http://www.power-eng. The design value for the plant is 45 decibels at approximately 300 feet from the plant. the cyclones. The system covers engines. Wartsila Diesel. i. are used to produce steam. the baghouse and a flue gas sampling system. Page 5 of 6 To protect the turbochargers. careful consideration was given to the noise aspects of the plant and it can meet even the most stringent regulations. The middle section includes all the electrical systems. For the 100-MW concept.. and individual steam drums and controls. separate cranes in each engine room and cranes strategically located to move spares and equipment through the plant. take a closer look at di. either natural gas or heavy oil. the electrical system and emissions controls.. Each of the six generators output 15. the plant is fitted with small local cranes. a selective catalytic reduction reactors for each unit. exhaust heat and heat rejected to the cooling system. To control emissions (Table 1). the system relies on cyclones designed to remove 80 percent of 20micrometer size particles and 50 percent of 5-micrometer size particles from the exhaust gas flow. Optimal steam pressures for the condensing turbine?s cycle are 176 psi for heavy oil operation and 120 psi for natural gas operation. high and low voltage. Each engine is fitted with an exhaust gas boiler which is equipped with economizers. Cleaned gas flows to the turbochargers while solids are removed from the under flow by a rotary 50 percent efficiencies in the combined cycle are easily attained. The available engine heat sources. Because some of the engine spare can weigh more than a ton.. the central cooling system and water treatment. evaporator and superheater sections. 100-MW DCC In a recent paper titled O100-MW Diesel Combined Cycle Power Plant. 7/5/2012 .8 MWe and the steam turbine is rated at 8 MW to 11 MWe depending on the fuel. higher steam pressures are required and would call for a fired boiler arrangement similar to the one discussed previously in this article.Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant. Indeed.. the steam turbine.gif.. the combined cycle is based on an ordinary steam cycle. The plant can be fully automated depending on the operators needs and local labor costs using programmable logic controllers. The plant is divided into two three-by-three separate engine rooms with a middle section including all major common equipment. There is plenty of evidence that applying reciprocating engine technology in a combined cycle can offer power producers efficiencies and operational flexibility. detailed the conceptual design of a large-scale DCC plant (Figure 2). The 100-MW plant is based on six Wartsila Vasa 18V46 engines and a steam turbine. To achieve this. an integrated process involving several subsystems is used and includes in-cylinder NOx reduction. According to Ahnger. For back pressure applications. Combined-cycle considerations Because diesels in the 15-MW to 16-MW range already have gross efficiencies of 45 percent to 46 percent.

. maintenance and reliability issues come into play.Before specifying a gas turbine for that next combined-cycle plant. take a closer look at di.. Nevertheless.. and a close analysis of associated costs is advised.power-eng. Page 6 of 6 turbines also poses their fair share of these same Although not addressed here. but DCC plants may have an edge when it comes to part-load conditions and when natural gas fuel supplies are questionable. 7/5/2012 .html http://www. END Click NOX reductionb (%) 90 here to enlarge image To access this Article.. go to: http://www. DCC is a well-developed concept and may be an ideal way to solve often conflicting design particularly when poor quality fuels are used.

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