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Amit Joshi UPES Dehradun,India
"Supercritical" is a thermodynamic expression
describing the state of a substance where there is no clear distinction between the liquid and the gaseous phase. Supercritical Power plants operate at higher temperatures & higher pressure resulting in higher efficiencies i.e., up to 46 percent for supercritical plants and lower emissions than traditional (subcritical) coal-fired plants.
WHAT IS A SUPERCRITICAL BOILER?
steam generators (also known as Benson boilers) are frequently used for the production of electric power. In contrast to a "subcritical boiler", a supercritical steam generator operates at such a high pressure (over 3,200 psi/22.06 MPa 3,200 psi/220.6 bar that actual boiling ceases to occur, and the boiler has no water - steam separation. There is no generation of steam bubbles within the water, because the pressure is above the "critical pressure" at which steam bubbles can form. It passes below the critical point as it does work in the high pressure turbine and enters the generator's condenser. This is more efficient, resulting in slightly less fuel use. The term "boiler" should not be used for a supercritical pressure steam generator, as no "boiling" actually occurs in this device.
WHAT IS SUPERCRITICAL TECHNOLOGY?
Above 221 bars, two phase mixtures of water and steam cease to exist They are replaced by a single supercritical fluid. This eliminates the need for water/steam separation in drums during operation Thus allowing a simpler separator to be employed during start-up conditions. The transition to steam temperatures of 600°C and higher is now a further major development step, which decisively affects many aspects of the design of the power plant, especially of the boiler
Critical Point 22.1MPa-373ºC
Special feature of supercritical boilers
Capacity to operate under low load. Suitability for continuous variable loads. Suitability for cyclic operations. Suitability for two shift operations. Quicker start up and shut down capability. Larger unit size.
Advantages of Supercritical technology
Today supercritical units can achieve thermal
efficiency of more than 45 percent, compared with a typical subcritical plants 30-38 percent. Higher firing temperatures and pressures translate into better efficiency, defined as more electricity generated per BTU of coal consumed. super critical technology will result in saving of about 4% of fuel and correspondingly less emission. The Benson design offers a number of advantages, including simplified start up and
vEconomy of scale. v vProblem with the metallurgical limit . v vAn increase in steam temperature (> 700 C ) is possible but without NICKEL based materials it is not possible to obtain more than 10K to 20K. v vDouble reheating is required to prevent Inlet pressure turbine exhaust wetness
vExtremely high initial build cost. vMore complicated to operate. vMuch higher O&M costs. vNot very flexible, generation changes are slow and minimal, usually only for "base-load" generation. vEnvironmental considerations.
International Scenario of Supercritical Technology
382-700/720 285-630/650 285-600-620 245-580/600
Mature Technology 1960s
Already Inducted Under Induction
Super critical 245/540/540
CO2 Reduction Scenarios
CO2 Emissions （ kg/MWh ）
1000 800 600 400 200 0 30 35
Super Critical USC A-USC
45 50 Plant Net Efficiency
Capacity addition based on Supercritical technology
Ø11 number supercritical units totaling to 7,540 MW under construction during 11th Plan. Ø Ø20 number supercritical units totaling to 14,000 MW ordered so far for 12th Plan Ø Ø13 number UMPP, each of about 4,000 MW capacity, based on supercritical technology planned. Four UMPP already awarded Ø ØAbout 62 number supercritical units totaling to 44,000 MW likely to be added during 12th Plan. Ø
Super Critical Technology in NTPC
oUPCOMING PLANTS q North Karanpura, Jharkhand – 3x660 MW q Darlipali, Orissa – 4x800 MW o Lara, Chattisgarh – 5x800 MW o Marakanam, Tamilnadu – 4x800 MW o Tanda-II, Uttar Pradesh - 2x660 MW o Meja, Uttar Pradesh - 2x660 MW o Sholapur – 2x660 MW o New Nabinagar-3x660 MW o Many more projects including 800 MW ultra super critical units under consideration o