Improving Power Plant Energy Performances: From Experts to Operators

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


521127 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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