Improving Power Plant Energy Performances: From Experts to Operators

B. Bride, B. El Hefni, J. Durand, and V. Arrondel (France)


521-127 Power Plants, Optimization, Modelling, Simulation


In order to improve the energy performances of the power plant and to generate electricity at the best cost, a Q600 (600 MWe pulverized coal units) numerical model was created in 2003. This physical model was created with a modular solver called LEDA. First a 1-D furnace module was created, then a complete LEDA Q600 model was built. Only using measures from on-site sensors, the model was able to compute precisely the mass flow rate of coal (poorly measured since it is a solid) and all the efficiencies of the equipment. The uncertainty of mass flow rate of coal was less than ±2%, that is the best available accuracy of all our tools (models, balance sheet, losses method, measurements…). The model was validated, accelerated (from a one-hour calculation delay to less than 20 seconds) and automated, operators and e-monitoring teams use it to make performance computations and “what-if” simulations through an interfaced software called ηPerf. Operators, engineering teams and researchers collaborated to write an “energy performances optimization guide” was written: each proposal of operation improvement could be simulated and checked via the Q600 model. This guide gives a methodology to decrease fuel consumption based on five main indicators.

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