Implementing Technology in Electric Power Generation to Limit Climate Change: Part A; Improving Steam Generator Technology, Re-Powering, and Electric Power Generation in Japan

T.J. Hammons

Keywords

Stateoftheart electric power generation, technology to limit climate change, renewables, CO2 removal and combustion turbines, fuel cells with distributed power generation, efficient lowemission poll

Abstract

This article is the first of two to address CO2-free power generation plants and next-generation power systems. This and its companion article examine implementation of technology to limit climate change, for example, efficient and low-emission power plants, renewables, CO2removal/disposal, CO2 recycling turbines, H2 production with CO2 removal and combustion turbines, fuel cells with distributed power generation, and the like. This work first reviews the Kyoto Protocol and the three major global climate problems, namely, global warming or the human-made greenhouse effect caused mainly by emissions of CO2; depletion of stratospheric ozone caused mainly by emissions of CFCs; and acid rain caused mainly by emissions of NOx and SOx. It then discusses improvements in steam-generating technology where larger-capacity plants with higher thermal efficiencies and less NOx and SOx emissions that have more environmentally benign performance. It highlights how advanced combustion systems contribute to improvement in boiler efficiency, how sliding pressure operation of supercritical units improves plant efficiency during partial load operation, and the benefits of high-efficiency gas turbine/steam turbine combined cycle plants. It then reviews energy and environmental performance improvement programs that are targeted at reduction of internal energy used and expansion of energy production through conversion or thermal efficiency improvements. Included are generation conversion and thermal efficiency, generation electrical efficiency improvements, and generation project types (boiler, turbine, operator improvements). Repowering to improve an existing steam plant with a gas turbine and feed-heating repowering are discussed. Advanced clean coal technologies such as PC (pulverized coal), PFBC C/C (pressurized fluidized bed combustion combined cycle) and ICGCC (integrated coal gasification combined cycle) plants are also discussed.

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