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August 2009 Vol. 153 No.


Vol. 153 No. 8 August 2009

2009 Plant
of the Year City of Springfield's
Dallman 4
Balances Energy
and the

The Hague Repowering Project

Wins Marmaduke Award
GT Flex Fuel Design for LNG
IGCC: Are We There Yet?
FGD Dewatering Cuts Cost


Established 1882 Vol. 153 No. 8

August 2009

On the cover
By building a new Illinois coalfired unit on the shore of Lake Springfield, City Water, Light
& Power of the City of Springfield, Ill., has ensured that it will no longer have to buy power
on the wholesale market. KBV Springfield Power Partners was the Dallman 4 engineering, procurement, and construction contractor. Photo courtesy Terry Farmer Photography,


28 City of Springfields CWLP Dallman 4 Earns POWERs Highest Honor
The $515 million Dallman 4 is the most expensive project ever built by the City of
Springfield, Ill., but it was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. Thanks to
using local coal, it will pay dividends to the municipal utilitys customers for years to
come in the form of low rates supported by income from the sale of surplus power
to the wholesale market. As one of the cleanest coal-fired plants in the U.S., the plant
makes environmental sense, too.



38 The Hague Repowering Project Upgrades CHP System,

Preserves Historic Building
This years winner of the Marmaduke Award for excellence in O&M goes to a project
that pulled off something much harder than a facelift. The challenge was to preserve
the century-old historic exterior of The Hague Power Station while replacing its aging heart with high-efficiency turbines to ensure that the plant will provide heat and
power to the Dutch city for many years to come.


46 Improved FGD Dewatering Process Cuts Solid Waste

How would you like to save over half a million dollars in costs related to flue gas desulfurization solids? The plant in this case study shows you how it did just that. (Can
you really afford not to read this?)


52 IGCC Update: Are We There Yet?


Integrated gasification combined cycle has for many years been a promising technology. Three experts weigh in on the current balance of pros and cons, and on when
IGCC is likely to deliver on its promises.


58 Commercially Available CO2 Capture Technology

Fluor Corp.s Econamine FG Plus (EFG+) technology has been widely used in the gastreating industry for two decades. Here the company makes the case for using EFG+
in coal-fired power plants by explaining how the process works and sharing its operating experience with the process at a gas-fired power plant.

August 2009 POWER


62 Preventing Turbine Water Damage: TDP-1 Updated

The latest revision of ASMEs Recommended Practices for the Prevention of Water
Damage to Steam Turbines Used for Electric Power Generation: Fossil-Fuel Plants includes recommendations that apply to the newest power plant technologies, including combined cycles and digital controls. Consider its design and operating advice
an ounce of prevention.


Ramp Up
Your Career!
POWER magazine has served
the generation industry for more
than 125 years. Now POWER is
making it easier than ever for
industry professionals to find
career opportunities and for
hiring authorities to find the best
candidates for open positions. The
Careers-in-POWER job board on allows visitors to
post resumes anonymously, view the
latest job positions, post job listings,
and set up personal job alerts.


66 Flexible Fuel Combustor Design Accommodates LNG

Variations in the constituent elements of liquefied natural gas (LNG) can adversely
affect the operation of power generation turbines using the fuel. Siemens explains
how it is developing an LNG-capable turbine, and modifications for currently available turbines, to handle the fuel variations that are likely to affect increasing numbers of plants.


71 Marmys Deep-Freeze Blackout

Each year, as a companion to our report on the Marmaduke Award winner, we reprint
a story about the fictional plant troubleshooter Marmaduke Surfaceblow. This year
we dusted off a tale based on a true scenario set in Greenland.

Access the most recent positions
available to engineers, operations
and maintenance managers,
corporate and general managers at
coal, nuclear, combined-cycle, and
alternative power facilities.



Politics Trump Scientific Integrity


Attract highly qualified candidates
by posting open positions on the
Careers-in-POWER job center.
Visit Careers-in-POWER on to become part of
the fastest growing site dedicated
to connecting power generation
employers and employees. Contact
Diane Hammes at dianeh@; 713.343.1885.


Help Build the Global Energy Observatory

Revived FutureGen Faces Renewed Funding Obstacles
How Much Coal and Gas Does the U.S. Really Have?
Of Fracking, Earthquakes, and Carbon Sequestration
Floating and Flying Wind Turbines
Want to Comment
Major Scottish Coal Plant Starts CCS
Pilot Program
on a Story?
15 European Interest in Saharan Solar
The easiest way to comment on any
Project Heats Up
story in POWER is to use the Comment
16 Turning Sewage Sludge
tab at the bottom of the individual
into Renewable Energy
online story pages at www.powermag
16 POWER Digest

18 Managing Minimum Load

22 Polymeric Solution
for Pump Cavitation
25 The 7,000-Foot Challenge

Old Challenges Persist in Impeding

Renewable Energy Goals

Carbon Offsets: Scam, Not Salvation

By H. Sterling Burnett, PhD, National
Center for Policy Analysis.

.com. (This is also true for POWERnews,

content.) Our editorial staff reviews and

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ideas with us and each other more quickly than when we ran selected letters to
the editor in the print magazine.
If you have a story proposal, please
continue to e-mail ideas to editor@ after reviewing our contributor guidelines (downloadable from
the About Us link at the bottom of the home page).

POWER August 2009



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POWER August 2009

Serving Up Perfection in Power Solutions

NV Energy Tracy Station celebration luncheon for

achieving a million work hours with no lost time

Celebrating safety milestones is a fullling way to acknowledge great

achievements. On the NV Energy Tracy Station Project , CH2M HILL
performed over 1,000,000 work hours with no lost time accidents.
CH2M HILLs performance reects the value we place on having every
employee return home each day without injury, being good stewards of
the environment, and striving for continual improvement.
CH2M HILL recently completed the
Xcel Energy High Bridge Project in
St. Paul, Minnesota.
..the performance of [CH2M HILL]
on this project has been exemplary.
Their approach to safety,
production, planning and leadership
has been impressive. Xcel and I
personally consider this project to
be near perfection. My compliments
and congratulations on a job well

CH2M HILL will work with you to meet the worlds demand for energy by
safely delivering the most challenging programs and complex projects
globally and locally. Our expertise enables us to respond to your needs
CH2M HILL provides innovative engineering, procurement, construction,
operations and consulting solutions that span the entire power value

David Wilks, President of Power

Generation for Xcel Energy

2009 CH2M HILL


Politics Trump
Scientific Integrity
n their recent endangerment finding draft technical support
document (TSD), scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conclude that carbon dioxide emissions
are a public health hazard and should be regulated under the
Clean Air Act. Federal law requires that regulations be based
on scientific information that is accurate, clear, complete, and
unbiased; the most recent available; and collected by the best
available methods. The EPAs TSD on carbon emissions violates
all of these requirements.

The EPA has not responded to

the concerns raised in Carlins
critique of the TSD in the three
months since it was made public.
Rush to Judgment
Lisa Jackson, the new EPA administrator, gave her staff only a
few weeks to prepare a TSD for carbon emissions. It should have
taken a year or two. The TSD is the technical documentation
that must be finalized before the EPA can promulgate carbon
regulations, hence the haste. The short schedule to prepare the
TSD forced staff scientists to pick between two poor choices:
maintain the required scientific checks and balances but miss
the TSD deadline of April 2 (the second anniversary of the Supreme Courts decision allowing the agency to regulate CO2) or
compromise their internal scientific review processes and meet
the schedule. They chose option two.
The EPA working group that authored the TSD circulated its
draft in mid-March for an internal review. Staff researcher Dr.
Alan Carlin, a 38-year EPA veteran, was given less than five days
to prepare his comments. Carlin prepared a blistering 98-page
report that was extremely critical of the TSDs scientific rigor
because EPA decisions [were] based on a scientific hypothesis
that does not appear to explain most of the available data.

Action, Meet Reaction

The EPAs overreaction was immediate when Carlins report went
public. The EPAs director of the National Center for Environmental
Economics (NCEE), Al McGartland, first worried about the inevitable political fallout in a March 17 e-mail: The administrator and
the administration has decided to move forward . . . and your
comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.
McGartland obviously missed Jacksons January memo promising
to keep the politics out of scientific inquiry: I will ensure EPAs
efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in
three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs,
adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency.
McGartlands next knee-jerk response was to issue a gag or6

der: Please do not have any direct communication with anyone

outside of (our group) on endangerment. There should be no
meetings, e-mails, written statements, phone calls, etc. In an
interview with, Carlin said, I was told . . . not to
work on climate change.
The EPAs final comments were simply outrageousthey seek
to discredit the messenger. In a written statement in response to
media questions about Carlins report, the EPA noted that The
individual in question is not a scientist and was not part of the
working group dealing with this issue. The EPA completely ignores Carlins credentials (a BS in physics from CalTech and PhD in
economics from MIT), yet he was sufficiently qualified to be part
of the internal review team of the draft TSD and to work at the
NCEE for many years. Carlin suddenly became unqualified when he
asked hard questions and was unwilling to rubber-stamp the TSD.

Three Categories of Errors Found

Carlins report outlines six specific reasons why the scientific
basis for the TSD is flawed. I dont have room here for the details, but theyre persuasive and worth reading at http://cei
.org/cei_files/fm/active/0/DOC062509-004.pdf. Carlin succinctly summed up the TSDs flawed science this way: Until and
unless these and many other inconsistencies . . . are adequately
explained it would appear premature to attribute all or even any
of what warming has occurred to cha nges in GHG/CO2 atmospheric levels.
Carlin pointed out that the EPA used short-cuts to buttress the
endangerment findings. Much of the TSD is based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) studies and models
rather than on independent research and studies conducted by
EPA scientists, as has been its historical practice. These inconsistencies are so important and sufficiently abstruse that in our
view EPA needs to make an independent analysis of the science
of global warming rather than adopting the conclusions of the
IPCC and the CCSP [Climate Change Science Program] without
much more careful and independent EPA staff review than is evidenced by the TSD, he wrote.
Carlin also pointed out that there is an obvious logical problem posed by steadily increasing US health and welfare measures
and the alleged endangerment of health and welfare discussed in
this draft TSD during a period of rapid rise in at least CO2 ambient
levels. This discontinuity either needs to be carefully explained
in the draft TSD or the conclusions changed.
The EPA has not responded to the concerns raised in Carlins
critique of the TSD in the three months since it was made public.

The Essence of Science

Carlin wrote in his critique that science requires experimentally
determining the correctness of a hypothesis by comparing empirical data with real-world data. Its not a statement of belief.
Heres my critique of the TSD: Its EPAs scientific integrity
that is endangered.
Editor-in-Chief Dr. Robert Peltier, PE

POWER August 2009

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Help Build the Global
Energy Observatory
How would you like to be able to access data
on all the power plants in the world and all
of their performance metrics, analyze that
data, and map it? Those abilities are part
of the vision behind the Global Energy Observatory (GEO), an OpenModel website that
serves as a wiki for global energy data.
Like Wikipedia, this enterprise uses
wiki software that allows for the creation
and editing of interlinked web pages by
a collaborative community of users. GEO
seeks to promote an understanding, on
a global scale, of the dynamics of change
in energy systems, quantify emissions and
their impacts, and accelerate the transition to carbon-neutral, environmentally
benign energy systems while providing affordable energy to all. It is attempting to
do so by using open source software tools,
including Google Earth, and encouraging
community participation. Thats where the
power generation community comes in.
GEOs databases are organized into three
categories: GEOpower for power generation, GEOresources for fuels and resources,
and GEOtransmission (under construction)
for the transmission of electricity and fuels. The GEOpower database can account
for coal, gas, geothermal, hydro, nuclear,
oil, solar PV, solar thermal, waste, and
wind plants of all sizes, though to date
it includes mostly utility-scale plants for
which public data are available.
The project was conceived and developed by Dr. Rajan Gupta, a fellow of Los
Alamos National Laboratory and a theoretical high energy physicist with wide-ranging research interests. It is sponsored by
the New Mexico Consortium and has been
built primarily by Gupta and four University of New Mexico electrical and computer
engineering masters students.

mental Protection Agency (EPA) sources.

Gupta estimated that by the end of May,
GEOpower included 40% to 50% of global
power generation capacity.
The GEOpower home page includes links
to tools that allow you to map data, view
and edit data, add a plant, view the history of edits, download data, and analyze
data. If you map all hydro plants in India,
for example, you can click on any plant location to see capacity, and then click into
the database for additional information.
Users must register and log in to edit
and add data, use analysis tools, and
download data so that the consortium
representatives can track and validate
changes, and work with and acknowledge
high quality users.
Because the majority of data included to
date came from official sources, they are
considered prevalidated. Gupta told POWER
that when considering data from other
sources, the system will be analogous to a
peer review system used by scientific journals: the editors and moderators in this
system would be subject area experts.
Data analysis looks as if it could be very
interesting when the database is more
fully populated. The interface includes 25
performance metrics, from gigawatt-hours
generated to NH3 (ammonia) emitted. Currently, data are typically limited to metrics

tracked by regulatory agencies (for example, seven years of the EPAs eGRID data for
U.S. plants).
Drilling Down into the Database
To test the database, POWER searched for
the small Valmont Station in Boulder, Colo.
(Figure 1). GEOpower shows the plant as
being owned by Public Service Co. of Colorado (an Xcel Energy subsidiary), having a
design capacity of 236.9 MWe, firing bituminous coal as its primary fuel, and
using water from Boulder Creek. It also
includes the commissioned date for both
units. Performance data as of mid-June
were GWh generated; heat input; and CO2,
SOx, NOx, and mercury emissions. (Interestingly, GEO showsas does the EPAs
original eGRID data, according to Gupta
CO2 emissions increasing between 2000
and 2004 even though gigawatt-hours
generated dropped.)
For comparison, we looked at information on Xcel Energys Valmont Station website, which gives 229 MW as the plants
size and low-sulfur coal from western
Colorado mines and natural gas as its
fuels. Xcel also provides the following information about the plant: Unit 5 (V5)
went into service in 1964 and can burn
either coal or natural gas. The unit uses
three surrounding lakes for circulating

1. Getting a grip on global energy data. The collaborative Global Energy Observatory seeks to provide easy access to data on all energy systems around the globe. To date, this
work in progress includes publicly available information on power plants in nine countries. This
screen shot shows the interface for selecting a plant whose data you want to examine and/or
edit. Source: New Mexico Consortium

A Virtual World of Information

Although GEOpower contains information
on many power generation facilities around
the world, the initial data have come from
publicly available sources, so plant entries
are necessarily incomplete. The GEO website explains that the project developed
scripts to scrape data available from open
credible websites and publications in different formats (Excel, html, KML, pdf) into
the database. Data for U.S. plants, for
example, have been imported from Energy
Information Administration and Environ8

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cooling water. Unit 6 (V6) began generating electricity in 1973. (It also includes
the interesting historical note that when
Unit 1no longer operatingwent into
service in 1924, Valmont was the largest
power station west of the Missouri River.)
Plant Manager Mark Fox confirmed that
Unit 5 burns gas when the economics of
doing so are favorable. He also resolved
the apparent discrepancy in water source
by noting that cooling water comes from
reservoirs (also called lakes) that are fed
by Boulder Creek.
Xcel notes that Valmont Station is the
companys most efficient power plant. Unit
5 has a scrubber to reduce SO2 emissions,
low-NOx burners to reduce NOx emissions,
and a baghouse that removes particulate emissions from the flue gas by more
than 99%. (GEOpower includes fields for
Type of SOx First Control Device, Type
of NOx First Control Device, and Type of
Mercury Control Device, but those were
empty fields for Valmont.) The reservoirs
used for cooling water have also been
recognized as a wildlife refuge, and the
plant was chosen by Audubon Colorado as
the first important Bird Area in Boulder
County. Some of that qualitative information would be invisible to GEOpower,
which doesnt acknowledge that Unit 5
can switch fuels. Gupta noted that GEO
allows users to correct mistakes and add
missing information.
When asked how GEOpower would account for changes in equipment (including emissions control systems) and hours
run year-over-year as those factors affect
emissions, Gupta responded that the analysis will correlate those data. Whether we
will be able to get all the data needed is
an open research question.
We hope that GEO becomes a ready
reference for journalists and advocacy
groups that come to appreciate the value
of structured scientific information that
is available from one place, Gupta told
POWER. Our goal is not to be antagonistic
to power companies and their associated
partners but to provide a forum for a scientific discussion and analysis that leads
to cheap, clean energy for all. GEO is designed to highlight efforts by industry to
take innovative steps towards this.
Gupta, who clarified that GEO is still a
research project and not a finished product also noted that the more complete
the picture is, the more information we
can infer, and this inferred information
can then become the starting point for
validation through the wiki process.
To add a new plant to the database, or
to provide additional or correct data for

your plant, register at http://openmodel

Revived FutureGen
Faces Renewed
Funding Obstacles
A little more than a year after the Bush
administration abruptly withdrew its support for the FutureGen project, the Department of Energy has again announced
it will back the proposed Illinois gasified
coal power plant and carbon capture initiative. Though the 275-MW project may
be different in technical aspectsit will
be initially designed for 60% carbon capture, not 90%, and gasify only Illinois Basin Coal (Figure 2)it is still riddled with
many of same funding problems. Making
matters worse, it may have been revived
too late: Since the DOE withdrew its support, several major carbon capture and
storage (CCS) projects and alliances have
sprouted in the U.S., and these could give
FutureGen a run for its money.
Project costs for FutureGen now stand
at about $2.4 billion, with construction
expected to cost between $1.7 billion and
$1.9 billion. In June, the DOE pledged
$1.073 billion to the project$1 billion of which would come from American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
funds for CCS research. But it required
under a provisional agreement with the
FutureGen Industrial Alliance that the alliance expand to 20 members by years
end and that each member contribute between $20 million and $30 million over
the next four to six years. Other conditions included development of a complete funding plan and a rapid restart

of preliminary design activities, including

completion of a site-specific design and
a detailed cost estimate.
Then, barely a week after the DOEs announcement, news broke that American
Electric Power (AEP) and Southern Co.
two of the FutureGen Alliances major
membershad abruptly withdrawn their
financial support, leaving the alliance
with only nine members, most of whom
are multinational coal companies.
AEP told POWER that its decision was
based on qualms about the projects funding. The uncertainty about FutureGen
brought by DOEs decision last year to withdraw funding, combined with financial constraints brought by the current economic
downtown, led to our difficult decision to
withdraw from FutureGen, said AEP spokesperson Pat Hemlepp, in a sentiment echoed
by Southern Co. Hemlepp added that AEP
would direct funds to other projects, particularly to its Mountaineer plant project in
West Virginia, which is expected to validate
the commercial viability of chilled ammonia
CCS technology when it begins operations
this September.
Both Southern and AEP have also said
they would focus on the newly launched
National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC),
of which the companiesalong with the
DOE, Electric Power Research Institute,
and four other industry heavyweights
are members. While supporting work from
scientists, government, industry, and academia, the NCCC has said it would facilitate testing and analyses in a power plant
setting, at a size large enough to provide
meaningful performance data under real
operating conditions, enabling scale-up

2. One step forward, two steps back. The DOEs conditional backing of the FutureGen project revived hopes for the Illinois gasified coal power plant and carbon capture initiative.
But the project is still riddled with many of its old funding problems, which poses risks that FutureGen Alliance members are not willing to face. Barely a week after the DOE announced renewed
support, American Electric Power and Southern Co. withdrew from the alliance. Both companies
have said they will redirect funds to other carbon capture initiatives, like the National Carbon Capture Center, of which the DOE is also member. Source: DOE; modification: Leslie Claire

POWER August 2009

of the technologies, when it is fully operational in 2010. The
center is to be located partly at the Power Systems Development
Facility (PSDF), a coal plant research complex south of Birmingham, Ala., that is run by the public-private consortium. Southern
Co. said existing facilities at the PSDF would be modified to test
precombustion CO2 capture while postcombustion CO2 capture
will be tested at Plant Gaston, a coal plant adjacent to the PSDF
that is operated by Southern Co. subsidiary Alabama Power.
Meanwhile, as the DOEs regional sequestration partnerships
make significant gains in their carbon sequestration tests, major
projects with better initial design capture capabilities than FutureGensuch as Tenaskas proposed $3.5 billion Trailblazer Energy Center in Sweetwater, Texasare pushing forward. If built,
that 600-MW plant could capture 85% to 90% of CO2 emissions
while using supercritical steam, pulverized coal technology. The
CO2 will then be provided for use in enhanced oil recovery and
geologic storage.

Rocky Mountain areas. When the PGCs results are combined with
the DOEs latest available determination of proven gas reserves
(238 trillion cubic feet as of 2007), the report says that the U.S.
has a total available future supply of 2,074 trillion cubic feet.
Thats an increase of 542 trillion cubic feet over the previous
evaluation. Curtis cautioned, however, that the current assessment assumes neither a time schedule nor a specific market
price for the discovery and production of future gas supply.
Estimates of the Potential Gas Committee are base-line estimates in that they attempt to provide a reasonable appraisal of
what we consider to be the technically recoverable gas resource
potential of the United States, he explained.
The USGS Wyoming Gillette coal field assessment is available
at; the PGCs complete report can be
purchased in August from

How Much Coal and Gas

Does the U.S. Really Have?

Hydraulic fracturingthe process of drilling and then pumping

fluid deep into a formation to generate fractures or cracks, typically for extracting natural gas from shale formationshas been
under fire lately, owing to concerns that it contaminates drinking water. But while Congress debates proposed legislation that
would impose new restrictions on the technology, an entirely different concern related to fracturingor frackingis emerging:
It may trigger earthquakes.
The claim is not new, but attention to it has been renewed
following a June 2 earthquake recorded at Cleburne, Texasthe
first in the towns 140-year historyand four subsequent smaller
quakes, none with a magnitude greater than 2.8. Speculators as-

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a federal mapping agency,

has of late been propounding the difference between resources
and reserves. It says that although the two terms are used interchangeably, the distinction is simple: Reserves are a subset of
resources. Coal resources, as an example, include those in-place
tonnage estimates determined by summing the volumes for identified and undiscovered deposits of coal, whereas coal reserves
are those resources considered economically producible at the
time of classification, even though extraction facilities are not in
place and operative.
That distinction becomes especially important in light of new
assessments from separate groups that claim coal reserves in
the U.S. have been wildly overestimated and gas reserves underestimated. And it throws into question the Energy Information Administrations (EIAs) assessments, which have long been
a yardstick for comparable estimates.
In 2007, the EIA said the U.S. had a demonstrated reserve
base of nearly 500 billion metric tons of coal, and it regarded 267
million metric tonsenough for 240 yearsof that as economically recoverable. But an extensive USGS analysis of Wyomings
Gillette coal fieldthe nations largest and most prolificreleased this June determined that of 182 billion metric tons of
resources in place, less than 9.16 billion (or 6%) were found to
be recoverable under current technological and economic circumstances. This compares with an earlier assessment from 2002 by
the USGS in which 20.87 billion metric tons were estimated to
be recoverable. The USGS engineers, geologists, and economists
explain the discrepancy is a result of using an improved methodology, which incorporates a new dataset with 10 times as many
data points as were used in previous assessments.
In June, meanwhile, the Potential Gas Committee (PGC), a
group of industry, government, and academic volunteers, said in
a study that U.S. natural gas reserves were likely 1,836 trillion
cubic feet. This assessment is up 39%the highest increase on
recordfrom the groups estimate of 1,321 trillion cubic feet two
years ago. New and advanced exploration, well drilling and completion technologies are allowing us increasingly better access to
domestic gas resourcesespecially unconventional gaswhich,
not all that long ago, were considered impractical or uneconomical to pursue, said John Curtis, a committee member and professor of geology at the Colorado School of Mines.
The increase has been tagged to a reevaluation of shale in
the Appalachian Basin and in the midcontinent, Gulf Coast, and

Of Fracking, Earthquakes,
and Carbon Sequestration


August 2009 POWER


sert that whats causing the temblors is fracking, which began
in earnest in 2001 in the Barnett Shale, a geologic formation
said to be the nations richest gas field. A geologist has yet to
confirm the claim.
At the same time, fracking-related quake concerns are mounting in northern California, around The Geysers region, where
start-up company AltaRock Energy is looking to tap geothermal
energy in a demonstration of Engineered Geothermal Systems
technology. The technology essentially pumps water into the
earth, creating fractures in the hot dry rock (Figure 3). The
water then flows into the fissures, creating a reservoir of very
hot geothermal fluid that is continuously heated, and when it is
returned to the surface, the pressure decrease produces steam,
which is used to turn a turbine. That project has secured more
than $36 million from the DOE and has the backing of several
large venture capital firms.
But it has caught bad press from The New York Times, which
points out that the project proposes fracturing hard rock more
than 2 miles deep in an area overlying two fault lines. The newspaper draws similarities between the Alta Rock demonstration
and a Swiss geothermal prospecting project in Basel, which is
believed to have triggered a massive earthquake on Dec. 8, 2006,
after prospectors drilled 3 miles into a significant fault.
Alta Rock has disputed the comparison, saying that Basel sits
on top of a large (200-km long) locked fault that previously
ruptured and heavily damaged the city in the 14th century. We
carefully chose our site to avoid Basels problems, the company
said in a statement. There has been geothermal energy production at the Geysers since 1965. AltaRocks project is located in
a seismically active area adjacent to smaller faults (the closest

3. Cracks that run deep. Hydraulic fracturinga process that

involves drilling and then pumping fluid deep into a formation to generate fractures or crackshas been thought to cause earthquakes, most
recently in Cleburne, Texas, where fracturing, or fracking, is used to
extract natural gas from shale. But Alta Rocks geothermal demonstration plant, which uses Engineered Geothermal Systems technology
(shown here) has also come under scrutiny because the project proposes fracturing hard rock more than 2 miles deep in an area overlying
two fault lines. Courtesy: Department of Energy

Energy conversion plant

Production well



Hot rock

faults are 3 and 11 km long) which are not locked due the constant stress relief resulting from small seismic movements.
Can Fracking Cause Earthquakes?
There is no consensus among geologists on whether drilling
causes earthquakes. But, according to Dr. David Oppenheimer, a
seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the fracking
process could certainly generate seismic activity because that
is how the fractures are made, he told POWER in July. Concerning the Alta Rock project, he said, After the fractures have been
established at the Geysers and an enhanced geothermal system
has been implemented where cold water introduced in the injector flows through the fractures to the second well to return to
the surface, it is possible that seismicity could be induced due to
thermal contraction of the reservoir rock.
There are also certain conditions that could trigger a large
earthquake, and foremost among them is sufficient, pre-existing
tectonic stress, conditions that exist at The Geysers because the
geothermal field is located near the Pacific-North American plate
boundary, he said. However, even in areas like Colorado, far from
a plate boundary, a magnitude 5.3 quake was induced by pumping of waste fluids into a deep disposal well at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. With regard to fracking and earthquakes associated
with natural gas extraction, Oppenheimer said that the pressures

POWER August 2009

introduced by the process would have to exceed a minimum
compressive tectonic stress to encourage an earthquake. If the
hydrofracture pressures are lower, then no fractures should occur, he said.
Implications for Carbon Sequestration
The fracking-quake debate raises questions about whether geological carbon sequestrationstoring carbon dioxide by injecting it
deep within geologic formationscould prompt quakes. Dr. Christian Klose, a geophysical hazards research scientist from Columbia
University, says it couldas much as any geological fluid injection can. He told POWER in July that three processes could trigger
seismic activity, large and small: pore fluid pressure changes; fluid
mass (volume) changes, which can cause stress on the rock; and
migration of the CO2 through the rock over decades to centuries.
CO2 is buoyant since its density is [lower] than saline water deep
in the crust, he said. Thus it will come upward through cracks
and fractures and faultseven in so-called cap rocks are rock
discontinuities that cause leakages.
Klose said that the quake risk is intensified by hydrofracturing,
a process that is recommended by the DOEs Midwest Regional
Carbon Sequestration Partnership to provide a better injection
rate into rocks that have moderate porosity and low effective
permeability. The recommendation comes as one of several lessons learned from a sequestration field test at FirstEnergys R.E.
Burger Plant near Shadyside, Ohio, in the Appalachian Basin.
But, according to Traci Rodosta, a geological sequestration
project manager for the National Energy Technology Laboratory,
quake risk is well-assessed during research and development of
any given project. Potential sequestration reservoirs are thoroughly characterized prior injection, she told POWER. In order
to eliminate and reduce the potential for fault activation and
slippage along preexisting fractures that could be caused when
injecting fluids at high pressures, regulatory agencies limit injection rates and pressure to avoid unintentional hydrofracturing. CO2 storage projects would operate under similar guidelines,
and the risk managed through site characterization, injection
design, and monitoring.

Floating and Flying Wind Turbines

After months of preparation, Norways StatoilHydro and Germanys Siemens in June erected the worlds first large-scale floating
deepwater wind turbine some 7 miles offshore Karmy, southeast
Norway, on the 720-feet-deep waters of the Amoy Fjord. The developers are now gearing up to connect the Hywind turbine to
the local grid, and it could begin producing power as early as
Siemens provided the SWT2.3-MW wind turbine, which has a
rotor diameter of about 270 feet and a nacelle that towers 213
feet above the waves (Figure 4). The company said that the Hywind was designed to be suitable for installation in water depths
of between 390 feet and 2,300 feet, opening up new possibilities for offshore wind technologies. Currently relying on turbines
mounted firmly on the seabed, offshore wind turbines are limited
to shallow waters because it is costly to install foundations at
water depths of more than 100 feet to 165 feet.
The wind turbine sits atop a Spar-buoy, which is based
on the design of oil production platforms and offshore loading
buoys. The steel floaterwhich extends more than 330 feet beneath the surfaceis filled with ballast and fastened to the seabed by three anchor wires. The control system for the turbine, a
joint development between StatoilHydro and Siemens, addresses
operating conditions of a floating structure, allowing it, for in-

August 2009 POWER

4. Floating an idea. Siemens and Statoil Hydro in June erected

the worlds first large-scale floating deepwater wind turbine 7 miles
offshore Karmy, southeast Norway, in waters that are 720 feet deep.
The Siemens SWT2.3-MW turbine has a rotor diameter of about 270
feet and a nacelle that towers 213 feet above the waves. To keep it
afloat, the Hywind turbine sits atop a buoybased on the design of
oil production platforms and offshore loading buoysthat has been
anchored to the seabed by three wires. The project could be connected
to the local grid as early as mid-July. Courtesy: Siemens

stance, to dampen out part of the wave-induced motions of the

floating system.
Offshore wind development has taken off around the world
especially in Europe, where Denmark and the UK have taken the
reins, installing a combined nameplate capacity of 1,103 MW.
Including the Hywind in Norway, offshore projects have also been
installed by Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands,
and Ireland. France, Italy, Poland, and Spain, meanwhile, have
plans to complete installations by 2015.
The U.S.the country that leads the world in land-based installed wind capacity, with 28,200 MW (as of April 2009)has
yet to build its first offshore wind farm, though a number of
projects are moving through the development process. Earlier
this year, the industry received a boost when the Department
of the Interior (DOI) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
agreed to end a long-standing turf war that had hampered permitting and stalled renewable energy projects in offshore waters.
This June, for the first time ever, the DOI issued five exploratory
leases for wind energy development on the Outer Continental
Shelf offshore New Jersey and Delaware. The leases will allow
companies to construct weather towers 6 to 18 miles offshore to
collect data on wind speed, intensity, and direction.
As some companies test new ways to make deepwater offshore
wind power viable, several others are looking to pilot wind technologies that harness jet streams so high in the sky that cruising
airliners would have to steer around them. According to Stanford
environmental and climate scientists Cristina Archer and Ken Caldeira, winds in these high-altitude jet streams hold roughly 100 times
more energy than all the electricity being consumed on Earth.
If you tapped into 1% of the power in high-altitude winds,
that would be enough to continuously power all civilization, Caldeira said. In comparison, similar solar cells would cover roughly
100 times more area than a high-altitude wind turbine, he said.
The researchers findings, published in the May issue of the
journal Energies, were reached from analysis of 27 years of data
from the National Center for Environmental Prediction and the
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. By studying the distribution of wind power in the atmosphere, by location
and time, they found that winds at altitudes around 32,000 feet
have the highest wind power density. Some regionslike Tokyo


5. Taking to the sky. A study by Stanford researchers concludes
that sky-high winds at altitudes around 32,000 feet have the highest
wind power density, and that tapping just 1% of the power of these
winds would be enough to power all civilization. Several prototypes
of turbines that seek to harness the energy in high-altitude winds have
been proposed. An example is Sky WindPowers model, a single tethered kite of four connected turbines, each with spinning rotors. Courtesy: Ben Shepard, Sky WindPower

and Seoul, which are affected by the East Asian jet streamhad
a higher power density. On the other hand, Mexico City and So
Paolo, which are located at tropical latitudes, are rarely affected
by polar and subtropical jet streams and therefore have lower
wind power densities.

National Steel Erection, Inc.


Archer and Caldera claim that tethered wind-turbine kites are

the most cost-competitive technologies to harness the energy
from jet streamsthough these still have not overcome the challenge of fluctuating wind, they note. While the winds at high
altitude are much more consistent than the winds at the surface,
theyre still not consistent enough, Caldeira said. Other hurdles
include airliner interference, storage issues, and cost.
Even so, the scientists point to several designs with potential,
such as Sky WindPowers model, a single tethered kite of four
connected turbines, each with spinning rotors (Figure 5). That
kite transfers electricity back to a hub on the ground through
its tether.
Other models include the Kite Gen, an Italian project, which
looks like an inverted carousel that pilots a kite or an array of
kites over a predefined flight path. The kite is maneuvered by differentially unrolling and recovering the two lines on two winches
controlled by engines. New Yorkbased Magenn Power takes a
different approach with its Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS),
floating a helium balloonlike turbine that rotates around a horizontal axis in response to winds at altitudes between 600 feet
and 1,000 feet. Rotation of the MARS device is kept stable by
the Magnus effect, which provides additional lift and keeps the
MARS stabilized.

Major Scottish Coal Plant

Starts CCS Pilot Program
Energy provider ScottishPower on May 29 flicked on the switch
of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) pilot program at its 2,304MW coal-fired Longannet power plant, in Fife, Scotland, marking
the beginning of a seven-month testand the first time a UK
coal-fired power plant has reportedly attempted to capture its
carbon emissions.
The prototype, developed by Norwegian firm Aker Clean Carbon, is an exact, 1-MW replica of the full-scale carbon capture
plant (Figure 6). It will use Aker Clean Carbons postcombustion capture process, which employs an amine solvent to remove
carbon dioxide from flue gas. If successful, ScottishPower could
use the technology to scale up the prototype and deliver a full

6. A carbon footprint.

ScottishPower in May switched on the

UKs first reported 1-MW prototype of a full-scale carbon capture plant
at its 40-year-old Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife, Scotland.
The prototype employs Norwegian firm Aker Clean Carbons postcombustion amine solvent process. If ScottishPower wins a government
carbon capture and storage competition, it could receive 1 billion to
fund the project and deliver a full demonstration project by 2014. Courtesy: ScottishPower

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POWER August 2009

CCS demonstration project by 2014a timescale that aligns perfectly with the UK
governments plans.
But ScottishPower has yet to gain the
UK governments backing for the project.
The company is in competition with two
other contendersE.ON and Peel Power
in a government contest, whose winner
would secure 1 billion in funding for a
postcombustion technology that captures
90% of emitted greenhouse gases at a
300-MW to 400-MW coal-fired unit. E.ON
in June opted for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries KM-CDR process, which uses a proprietary solvent (KS-1) for CO2 absorption
and desorption.
If E.ON wins, it said it would use that
technology to build a capture plant at its
proposedand highly controversial1,600-MW supercritical pressure coal plant
proposed for the Kingsnorth Station in
Kent. Peel Power, meanwhile, has joined
forces with Denmarks DONG Energy and
Germanys RWE to build a facilitythough
its scope has not been described yet. The
government is expected to announce the
winner this summer.
Akers prototype at Longannet weighs
30 metric tons, covers an area of 85 square
meters (m), and is said to process 1,000
m3 of exhaust gases per hour. The two
companies will now test the technology
to determine how much heat is required
to break the bond between CO2 and the
amine, and how long the capture chemical
can keep capturing CO2 effectively. They
also plan to test three different amine solutions over seven months.
Aker, whose technology is also in use
at the Mongstad project in Norway, said
in a release in May that early results from
tests at a gas power plant show a capture
rate above 85%, and that the amines had
successfully demonstrated lower energy
requirements and less degradation.

European Interest
in Saharan Solar Project
Heats Up
Plans to install a series of solar panel
farms in the Sahara Desert to power Europe and North Africa are heating up.
The idea was discussed in May as part of
the newly formed Mediterranean Union,
launched at a summit in Paris, and it now
has the backing of both UK Prime Minister
Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarcozy.
More recently, Germanys Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the Club of Rome issued a study
that said the project could generate some
2 trillion worth of power through 2050.

August 2009 POWER

7. Built on sand. Several European countries are backing an ambitious project that seeks
to establish 6,500 square miles of concentrated solar power plants and a super-grid of highvoltage transmission lines in the vast deserts of North Africa and in the Middle East, saying that
they could power 15% of Europes energy needs by 2050. The project got a major boost this
July, when 12 major European companies agreed to study and devleop the 400 billion project.
Courtesy: Desertec Foundation

And this July it received yet another major boost, with 12 companies congregating at the request of German insurance
firm Munich Re and formally agreeing to
analyze and develop a multidimensional
framework for the 400 billion project.
The Desertec Industrial Initiative, as the
12-company coalition is now called, includes European giants Deutsche Bank,
Siemens, ABB, and utilities E.ON, RWE,
and Abengoa Solar.
At the heart of the ambitious Desertec
project is the goal to establish 6,500
square miles of concentrated solar power plants in the vast African and Middle
Eastern deserts, along with a super-grid
of high-voltage transmission lines, to supply countries in Europe and Africa with
electricity. The project could supply continental Europe with up to 15% of its total
energy needsproducing a stunning 20
GW of power by 2020, as Guenter Gloser,
Germanys deputy foreign minister, told
Reuters in June. The first possible power
station would be a 2-GW solar thermal
power station in Tunisia with power lines
to Italy, a project that would take five
years to build.
According to the Desertec Foundation,
satellite studies conducted by the German Aerospace Center show that by using
less than 0.3% of the entire desert of the
Middle East/North Africa region, enough
electricity and desalinated seawater can

be produced to meet the growing needs

of these countries and of Europe (Figure
7). The German Aerospace Center also
assumes that in 10 to 15 years, electricity from solar power plants will be able
to compete with medium-load electricity
from fossil power plants
But not everyone is convinced that the
project is feasible. Vattenfall prefers not
to support the undertaking, because it
costs too much money and transmission
costs are too high, as the Swedish stateowned utilitys CEO Lars Josefsson told the
Financial Times in June. I dont think its
realistic, he said, adding that securing
Europes future energy needs should be
focused on developing carbon capture and
storage technology for coal-fired power
Even Munich Rewhich spurred a media frenzy about the project by publicly
inviting Europes energy giants to discuss
the projectrecognizes the cost obstacle.
The insurer said recently in a statement
that, despite the use of known technologies, implementation of such a visionary
concept will require substantial initial
financing. Therefore, DESERTEC can probably only be put into practice if suitable
incentivisation mechanisms are in place
to make such investments worthwhile for
Other critics have expressed concerns
about becoming energy dependent on po15

litically unstable North African countries
in the Sahara and about the concept of
centralized transmission lines, which could
be vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Project
proponents counter by saying that the EU
already imports energy from regions and
sources that are not risk free.

Turning Sewage Sludge

into Renewable Energy
News has been emerging from around the
world about several projects that seek to
turn human sewagearguably the dirtiest
of manmade wastesinto clean energy.
This June, Atlanta start-up EnerTech
Environmental unveiled the first U.S.
commercial biosolids-to-energy facility in
Rialto, Calif. (Figure 8). The $160 million
facility employs SlurryCarb technology, using heat and pressure to transform sewage
sludge80% of which is waterfrom five
Southern California municipalities into
fuel pellets to be burned at local cement
kilns. Currently, the plant operates at 60%
capacity. At full capacity, it will be able to
process 270,000 wet tons of biosolids.
The so-called E-fuel is 95% solid and
interchangeable with coal, the company
said. SlurryCarb can also treat animal
manure, lumber and paper wastes, and
agricultural wastes. The technology was
developed from demonstration plants processing municipal solid waste in Ube City,
Japan, and a demonstration plant in Atlanta, which can process 1.6 tons of sludge
per day. The company is now looking at
building a similar plant in New York, but

it expects thatespecially because some

7 million tons of biosolids are produced in
the U.S. each yearmunicipalities across
the nation will show interest in the renewable fuel.
Across the pond in the UK, meanwhile, United Utilities teamed up with
grid operator National Grid to produce
biogas from wastewater sludge at one
of the UKs largest wastewater treatment
plants at Davyhulme in Manchester, using
anaerobic digestion. The biogas is then
upgraded to biomethane, compressed,
and injected into the local gas pipeline network or used as fuel for a fleet
of sludge tankers. The 4.3 million pilot
plantwhich United Utilities describes
as a poo power projecthas been in
development for some time, but it only
recently received funding from the countrys environment department. The plant
should be operational by 2011.
Few Manchester residents are raising a
stink about the governments determination to put its money in the toilet, because the pilot project has been touted
as a renewable project that will help the
country meets its target of 15% renewables
by 2020. United Utilities also stresses that
sewage treatment is a 24-hour process
that provides an endless supply of biogas.
National Grid, too, is confident that there
should be no fundamental technical difficulties in injecting biomethane into the
gas distribution network. Several plants in
Europe have already demonstrated it can
be done, it said.

8. Greenif not cleanenergy. Atlanta start-up EnerTech Environmental this June

unveiled the first U.S. commercial biosolids-to-energy facility in Rialto, Calif. The facility turns
sewage sludge80% of which is waterfrom five Southern California municipalities into fuel
pellets that will be burned in local cement kilns. The so-called E-fuel is 95% solid and interchangeable with coal, the company said. Courtesy: EnerTech Environmental


POWER Digest
News items of interest to power industry
Worley Parsons to Consult with Governments for New Nukes in Egypt, Armenia. WorleyParsons said on June 19
that it had signed separate contracts to
provide consultancy services to the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority and
the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia for
new nuclear projects in those countries.
The companys EGP 900 million (US$160
million) contract with the Egyptian government includes site and technology
selection studies for that countrys first
nuclear power plant, as well as design,
construction management, commissioning, and start-up. Execution of the eightyear project will be carried out from the
companys office in Sofia, Bulgaria, and
supported locally in Cairo.
The scope of the $430 million contract
signed with the Armenian government will
be implemented in four phases, with the
first two phases scheduled to begin in
2009. The major work during the first two
phases includes development of a feasibility study and then managing and assessing
the tender process for strategic project investors. The duration of these two phases
is expected to be one year. Phases three
and four require the company to organize
and manage a tender, eventually recommend EPC contractors for selection, and
then provide consulting services to the
ministry during the design, construction,
and project start-up. This contract will
also be managed by WorleyParsons Sofia
ABB Wins Order to Power Algerian
Seawater Desalination Plant. Power
and automation group ABB on June 22
announced it had won a $28 million
contract from environmental solutions
company Hyflux for a turnkey electrical solution to power the worlds largest membrane-based reverse osmosis
seawater desalination plant. The Magtaa
desalination plant is being constructed
in the western Oran region of Algeria. It
will have a designed capacity of 500,000
cubic meters per day of drinking water to
serve about 5 million people. The project
is part of the Algerian governments effort to provide clean drinking water to its
growing population.
As part of the contract, ABB will set up
a 220-kV outdoor substation to provide
power to the facility and also supply products such as power transformers, mediumvoltage drives and a range of medium- and
low-voltage switchgear. ABB will be re-

POWER August 2009

sponsible for the design, engineering,
supply, installation, and commissioning of
the electrical plant system. The project is
scheduled for completion by 2011.
AREVA T&D Inaugurates GI Substation Factories in China. AREVA Transmission and Distribution (T&D) and
Chinese partners on June 18 inaugurated
two factories in Wuxi and Yangzhou, in
Jiangsu province, that will manufacture
key components for gas-insulated (GI)
substations in China and throughout the
world. The Wuxi Alumin Casting Plant
is a joint venture between AREVA and
Wuxi Alumin Casting, and the AREVA
T&D (Yangzhou) High Voltage Bus-ducts
Plant is a joint venture between AREVA
and Jiangsu Jinxin Electric Appliance.
The products of both factories will be
used in AREVA T&Ds production plants
and substations in China and throughout
the world.
The investments, which total some 30
million, follow similar ventures by the
company in Suzhou and Xiamen. Those
factories manufacture complete GI substations (GIS) up to 550 kV. Since 1988,
when AREVA installed the first GIS in
China, it has installed more than 1,500

GIS and inaugurated seven GIS manufacturing sites worldwide.

Chilean Supreme Court Revokes Permit for AES-Proposed Coal Plant. The Supreme Court of Chile on June 22 upheld a
ruling by a lower court and invalidated an
environmental permit granted by Chilean
regulatory authorities for the Campiche
thermal power plant, a 270-MW coal plant
located in Ventanas, Chile. Virginia-based
AES Corp. indirectly owns a 71% interest
in Campiche through its subsidiary AES
Gener, the second-largest generator of
electricity in Chile.
The Supreme Court upheld the Valparaiso
Appeals Court ruling that the environment
commission for the region had awarded
the permit erroneously in May 2008, as the
land where the plant was to be built had
been designated for conservation. As a result of the Supreme Courts ruling against
the local permitting authority, Gener
stopped work on Campiche, which was previously expected to commence commercial
operations in the second quarter of 2011.
The company said that construction on the
project would resume when a solution has
been implemented that complies with all
applicable laws.

The June editorial (Gone with the
Wind, p. 6) incorrectly quoted an estimate of the installed cost for offshore
wind turbines. The estimate is actually
POWER regrets the error.

GE to Provide Equipment, Services

for Bahrains Largest Power Plant. GE
Energy on June 11 signed contracts totaling more than $500 million to supply
two steam turbines and four heavy-duty
Frame 9FA gas turbines for the proposed
1,250-MW Al Dur Independent Water and
Power Projectthe largest power plant
in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The plant is
expected to support the countrys reported power demand growth rate of 7% to
10% per year. GE also signed a 20-year
contractual service agreement contract
for the project, which will support the
long-term operability and performance of
the turbines.
By Sonal Patel, senior writer,
and Gail Reitenbach, managing editor.


August 2009 POWER



Managing Minimum Load
Reducing the minimum load at which a steam turbine can reliably operate is one way to increase revenue for marginal baseloaded units during periods of low electrical demand. For this
reason, it is not unusual to see merchant plants operating at
super minimum load levels that are well below the typical
25% rated full-load limits. However, such units are operating
well outside the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) design
basis, and owners may experience undesirable damage to their
turbines for a number of reasons. Thats why it is important for
owners to understand the trade-offs and risks that come with
such operation.
The following is an overview of the main steam turbine and
generator issues that must be considered before deciding to
operate a steam turbine generator below OEM minimum load
Anticipate Increased
HP-IP Rotor Vibration
Units with partial arc admission, where the lower arc valves
open first, are more susceptible to increased vibration at reduced minimum loads. This is due to unbalanced upward steam
pressure forces that tend to lift the rotor and partially unload
the high-pressure/intermediate-pressure (HP-IP) bearings.

1. Tilt pad bearing preload. Pad preload, m, is the amount

of convergence and divergence that is built into the oil film through
the pad geometry. If the pad surface is completely concentric with
the shaft, the pad is said to have zero preload. Some shaft eccentricity is needed to create a converging oil film. By adding preload,
the bearing load capacity and stiffness are usually increased, and
the possibility of pad flutter is reduced because the top pads carry
more load. Preload is accomplished by boring the arcs of the pads
to a larger diameter than the clearance diameter. Typical preload values range from 0.0 to 0.5, with the most common being about 0.3.
Source: TG Advisers Inc.


Expect Higher Nozzle and Valve Erosion Rates

At super minimum loads, particles exfoliating from the boiler are throttled at much higher velocities through the inlet

2. Nozzle block erosion. Minute solid material that is thrown

off from the boiler is accelerated through the steam turbine nozzle
valves and can increase erosion. The nozzle valves accelerate the
steam much as a garden hose nozzle accelerates the velocity of water. This increased velocity increases the erosion on the valves and
nozzle block. Courtesy: TG Advisers Inc.

3. Nozzle block weld repairs. The HP nozzle block vanes

may also experience increased particle erosion but can, under most
circumstances, be weld-repaired and returned to service. Courtesy:
TG Advisers Inc.



Older units employing plain journal bearings may experience

oil whip and related vibration at reduced bearing loads. Assuming that proper supervisory instrumentation exists, a load test
can determine if this is a concern. The operator can perform a
load test and perform bearing adjustments at the next outage
to determine if minimum load can be reliably reduced. Proper
bearing clearances and preloads may be sufficient to eliminate
this concern.
If adjustments to the bearings alone do not address oil whip
concerns, the operator has two options: change the admission
sequence such that the cover valves open first and convert to
full arc admission, or retrofit the unit with tilt-pad bearings.
A tilt pad retrofit to maintain stability and acceptable bearing
vibration level is often the best option.
Modern units usually already employ tilt pad bearings. However, even with tilt pads, maintaining correct clearances and
preloads is important to ensure sufficient damping. Adding tilt
pad bearing preloads (Figure 1) normally addresses damping and
subsynchronous stability concerns.

Pad ground
in radius

set radius




Shaft radius = 2.000 in
Bearing set radius = 2.003 in
Pad ground-in radius = 2.004 in



(Rb Rs)
(Rp Rs)


2.003 2.000
= 0.25
2.004 2.000

POWER August 2009

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4. LP salt solution line. The Wilson line is often the zone of first condensation in the
LP steam turbine, where steam moisture is typically about 3% to 4%. Concentrated chloride
solutions are often present. The salt solution zone is bordered by the saturation line (dashed
line) on top and the Wilson line (the solid line) below the red area. Source: TG Advisers Inc.


IP Inlet

IP-LP expansion line




Part load




valves. As a result, the rate of erosion

is accelerated on the first few stages
of stationary and rotating vanes, especially on units with partial arc admission
(Figures 2 and 3). Increased throttling

also results in additional thermodynamic

losses that affect heat rate. Treating the
vanes with an erosion-resistant coating
can mitigate nozzle block wear. A more
permanent solution is to convert the

unit to sliding pressure operation and/

or redesign the nozzle block (first set of
stationary vanes) to reduce impingement
Expect the Possibility
of More Water Droplet Erosion
Boiler temperature droop at lower loads
typically occurs in both reheat and main
steam conditions. Lower steam temperatures will increase moisture levels and
also move the saturation line further upstream (near the Wilson line) of the last
stages of the low-pressure (LP) turbine.
At the Wilson line, the state where the
first liquid droplets appear, chlorides become concentrated and stress corrosion
concerns are elevated (Figure 4).
Running a test to optimize boiler operation and efficiency at minimum load
is also an important part of a steam turbine generator operations assessment.
Moving boiler burner tilts positive, and
frequent sootblowing, can increase steam
temperatures at low loads, although this
often occurs at the expense of increased
moisture in the last turbine stage (Figure 5). Sliding pressure may also support
lower moisture levels, if this capability


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POWER August 2009

5. Damaged last-stage blades. The
turbines last stage of blades is particularly
vulnerable to water droplet erosion damage.
Courtesy: TG Advisers Inc.

tor axial growth. Differential temperatures

in both rotating and stationary components should be carefully monitored during initial low-load testing and trended as
a function of load and time.
Analyze Casing and Rotor
Low-Cycle Fatigue Cracking
During low-load periods, boiler droop will
cause temperatures to drop from nominal
design conditions. This increases the fatigue effect of load swings from minimum
to full load. Typically, the effect is minor,

but depending on the amount of cycling,

the cumulative effect can be casing
and rotor cracking. Typical locations for
low-cycle fatigue cracking include diaphragm ledges, steam chest bridges, and
ligaments between bolt holes. During a
major outage, complete nondestructive
examination should be made in these areas and any detected cracks charted for
length. In subsequent outages, the same
procedure should be repeated to determine the rate of propagation to support
future repair decisions.

Monitor Heating of Exhaust Hood

and Operation of Sprays
At low loads, significant flow losses on
the last-stage blades result in increased
blade heating. Hood temperatures usually
are not problematic at super minimum
loads, but they should be monitored, and
spray capabilities should be verified before testing.
Watch Out for Last-Stage Blade
Stall Flutter Vibration
LP last-stage blade stall flutter potential is greatest during conditions of low
flow and high backpressure. Stall flutter
occurs when flow separation at the base
of the blade forces steam flow toward the
tip. This can produce blade stall flutter
vibrations and buffeting caused by flow
instabilities. Longer blades with lower
first-blade mode frequencies are generally more susceptible than shorter, higher
first-blade mode designs.
Also, conditions of high stress can
occur due to stall and blade buffeting
vibration. This increased stress can be
measured from strain gauge data because
blade vibrations are not detected by traditional bearing vibration-detection systems. In many regions of the U.S., there
are plants that have load limitations during summer periods because of higherthan-acceptable backpressures caused by
inadequate condenser cooling. Unless this
issue is addressed, low minimum load during high backpressure conditions (typically over 4.5 inches Hg) should be avoided.
Good operating practices such as frequent
condenser tube and tube sheet cleaning
can help provide additional margin at
minimum loads.
Control Differential Expansion
Exhaust heating can create additional differential expansion between LP stationary and rotating parts when first entering
lower load conditions. Differential temperature distributions may also cause ro-

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August 2009 POWER


Manage Thrust Temperatures
Although it is unlikely, thrust imbalances
may develop with excessive thrust bearing temperatures. Temperature monitoring is a way to assess this risk.
Minimize Generator Heating
Its important to ensure that operation
remains within the generator capability
curve. Also monitor stator slot temperatures, hydrogen gas temperatures, and
generator rotor vibration to make certain
generator operation remains within the
OEM specifications.
Contributed by David Charlton, PE
(, senior
consultant for TG Advisers Inc.

til it reaches the normal boiling point

(100C at 1 atm).
What is less intuitive is that water can
also be boiled by dropping the pressure
at a constant temperature (red arrow in
Figure 6). This is exactly what occurs just
behind the leading edge of a pump impel-

6. Two ways to boil water. The curves on the graph represent equilibrium states.
The curve bordering the liquid and gas phases is referred to as a vaporization curve. At normal
conditions of pressure and temperature, a fluid is at 1 atm (14.7 psi) and 25C (77F). The white
arrow illustrates a typical heating process that occurs at atmospheric pressure. The red arrow
illustrates that saturation temperature (hence, boiling) of a liquid can also occur by reducing
the liquids pressure. Source: Belzona Inc.



Critical point

Polymeric Solution for

Pump Cavitation


Normal melting
Pressure (atm)

Cavitation is defined as the phenomenon

of forming and imploding vapor bubbles
in a region where the pressure of the liquid falls below its vapor pressure. Cavitation and the resultant damage can occur
in any fluid-handling equipment, especially in pumps. Technological advances
in industrial protective coatings and
composite repair materials have made it
possible to repair pumps operating in a
cavitating environment rather than simply replacing them after damage occurs.
Cavitation-resistant (CR) elastomers have
the ability to retain adhesion under longterm immersion, dissipate energy created
under high-intensity cavitation, and provide outstanding resistance to corrosion
and other forms of erosion.
Cavitation is a serious problem for
pumps. In simple terms, the main utility
of a pump is to move a fluid from one
location to another under sometimes very
extreme conditions. The impeller vane is
subject to pressure gradients, which cause
bubbles to form and implode and strike
the surface underneath. The resulting
damage to the pumps internal working
parts can cause loss of pump performance
and even pump failure.
The phase diagram of water in Figure
6 is a practical aid to understanding the
theory behind cavitation. This diagram
illustrates the three physical states of
water at different values of temperature and pressure. Water is most commonly boiled by heating it at a constant
pressure, as we do when boiling a pot of
water on a stovetop (white arrow). As
temperature increases at constant pressure, water remains in a liquid phase un-

ler vane. As water (or any other fluid) enters the pump, it is deflected by the vane.
Above the leading edge of the vane, the
fluid is compressed, creating a high local
pressure area. Directly after the leading
edge, theres a small area of decreased
pressure. If this decrease in fluid pressure

Normal boiling


6.0 x 103
Triple point
Temperature (C)



7. How to damage a pump. A cavitating fluid can cause extensive damage to a pump
impeller even during normal operation. The imploding pressure caused by cavitation has been
recorded as high as 145,000,000 psi, which exceeds the elastic limit of any exotic alloy. These
vapor bubbles are responsible for the mechanical damage found on pump impellers placed in
any type of service that causes cavitation. Courtesy: Belzona Inc.

Cavitation damage
High pressure

Low pressure

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8. Cavitation damage is severe. Close-up of damage to a pump impeller caused by
cavitation. Courtesy: Belzona Inc.

9. Well-dressed impeller. A cavitation-resistant elastomer coating was applied to this

pump impeller after the impeller was returned to OEM specifications. Courtesy: Belzona Inc.

moves below the vaporization curve at

constant temperature, the fluid will begin
to boil, and vapor bubbles will form in
the fluid. Behind this low-pressure area
there is another high-pressure region. As
the vapor bubbles entrained in the fluid
move into this high-pressure region, they
condense and collapse violently against
the surface of the impeller vane. This rapid production of vapor bubbles, followed
by their violent collapse, is described as
cavitation (Figure 7).
One Solution: Upgrade Materials
The easiest solution to problems caused

by pump impellers suffering from cavitation lies in finding a material that

can withstand the high pressures experienced during cavitation. At the same
time, this material must endure harsh
environments and be machinable. Unfortunately, there isnt a single alloy
available that meets these strict requirements that is also cost-effective. Most
users must settle with either replacing
the pump impeller at routine intervals or
protecting it with a sacrificial material
that is readily available, easy to use, and
A new CR elastomer that can bond to

virtually any substrate, including steel,

was formulated as a more cost-effective
solution. Provided the surface is adequately prepared, adhesion strengths
of over 3,200 kg/m can be achieved.
Combining elastomeric properties and
great adhesive strength, the material
can withstand full immersion and a harsh
working environment. More importantly,
the materials flexible nature gives it the
ability to dissipate the enormous energy
involved in cavitation as well as in other
erosion processes.
CR fluid elastomer coatings on pumps
have been in service for a number of
years. In one particular case, the sides
and the trailing surfaces of a large impeller had suffered from cavitation and significant metal loss (Figure 8) when a CR
elastomer was applied by an authorized
coating applicator.
The multi-step application process
1. Grit-blast all the surfaces to be coated
using an angular abrasive to NACE No.2
(Near White Metal) to a minimum 3 mil
(75 m) angular profile.
2. Thoroughly wash all surfaces with a
recommended cleaner degreaser to
remove residual blasting debris and
3. Mask off the outer edges of the areas
to be coated to give a neat and clean
4. If necessary, weld-repair damaged areas or cut out a large section of the
impeller and weld in a new plate. Rebuild the substrate to factory specifications using an extended-working-life,
paste-grade polymer from a reputable
5. Apply an efficiency-improving, abrasion-resistant polymeric coating using
stiff, short bristled brushes to a maximum wet thickness of 10 mil (250 m)
to protect the freshly rebuilt substrate.
Two coats of this material are required
to ensure that voids are eliminated.
This coating is used to prevent the
effect of erosion and corrosion under
cavitating conditions.
6. Apply a CR coating to the entire impeller (Figure 9).
7. Allow all the coated surfaces to cure,
and then inspect the coating for continuity of coverage.
8. Reassemble the pump and put it back
into service.
Contributed by Glenn Machado
a technical service engineer
for Belzona Inc.

POWER August 2009

The 7,000-Foot Challenge
The Springerville Generating Station in Springerville, Ariz. (Unit
3 was POWERs 2006 Plant of the Year), uses two lined ponds to
hold water collected from its cooling towers. With the construction of Unit 4, the plants owner, Salt River Project (SRP), one
of Arizonas largest utilities, wanted to increase the capacity of
pumps used to move effluent from one pond to another to avoid
the possibility of overflow. SRP engineers wondered if using a
vertical turbine pump on a floating barge would improve managing the water levels in the two ponds.
The project location was a challenge to designers of the fluid-handling systems. The generating station, located in an area
known as the Gateway to the White Mountains, is at an elevation
of 7,000 feet and often experiences wind speeds that gust up

10. Pond level controls. Salt River Project recently retrofitted

its cooling tower blowdown retention ponds at Springerville Generating Station with self-priming pumps, located on the dry bank of
the ponds. The new pumps, which replace vertical turbine pumps
that were problematic, automatically operate when required and are
enclosed in an insulated and heated enclosure to protect the fluidhandling system from freezing during the cold winters. Courtesy:
Quadna Inc.

to 90 miles per hour. The solution also had to accommodate occasional subzero temperatures and fluctuating pond levelsthe
result of rainwater and snow runoff.
Originally, the specification was to supply one stainless steel
pump barge capable of supporting two submersible pumps (including motors) with an associated piping manifold that would
extend to the edge of the barge. The plan for the ancillary barge
equipment included a discharge manifold with flanged connections, check valves, isolation valves, and an overhead trolley for
servicing the two pumping units. The floating barge also would
house a duplex pump control panel and a 40-foot-long floating
walkway that would be used to access the shoreline.
This approach proved to be more expensive than expected
but also posed an additional problem: SRP did not want any
penetrations through the liner, so the pumps and pipe could not
be secured in place.
Several other design iterations considered using submersible
turbine pumps supported by a pipe at the edge of the pond on
a 45 degree angle or self-priming pumps that would be situated
on the dry bank of the pond. SRP eventually chose the latter
Ultimately, two Gorman Rupp T2 series model T2A60 V-beltdriven pumps with 10-horsepower U.S. Electric motors were installed (Figure 10). These pumps were chosen for their reliability
and their ability to accommodate the limited net positive suction head available. The pumps were then enclosed in a prefabricated, insulated fiberglass structure provided by Kysor Panel
Systems that is equipped with space heaters and temperature
Contributed by Quadna Inc.

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Steven F. Greenwald

Jeffrey P. Gray

Old Challenges Persist

in Impeding Renewable
Energy Goals
By Steven F. Greenwald and Jeffrey P. Gray

n June, California issued yet another report on renewable

energy. This one, a joint effort of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission
(CEC), analyzes implementation issues related to increasing the
states renewables portfolio standard (RPS) to 33% by 2020. The
report is the latest in an increasingly growing number of assessments, policy pronouncements, and administrative decisions
examining renewable energy and climate change issues.
This most recent CPUC/CEC report provides some updated
numbers quantifying the task at hand, but it doesnt break any
new ground. It comes as no surprise that statewide electricity
expenditures will be significantly higher under a 33% RPS than
under an all-gas scenario in which California stops investing
in renewable energy.
The real surprise is how little has changed since California
began its latest push to increase its use of renewable energy.
Consistent with prior assessments, this latest report identifies existing infrastructure planning and permitting processes
as the key barrier to attaining RPS targets. For years, market
participants and policy makers have recognized this imperative
to fundamentally change and streamline the permitting process
for infrastructure projects, which begs the questionIs California moving any closer to meeting renewable energy and climate
change goals?

Transmission, Transmission, Transmission

Transmission persists as the largest obstacle to bringing renewable resources online. Large-scale renewable generation projects
necessary to meet RPS targets tend to be located far from load
centers and existing transmission lines. Without assurances that
transmission will be in place to deliver their power to the grid,
renewable developers cannot offer purchasing utilities a viable
product and thus cannot obtain financing or otherwise move
forward with projects.
In the 2005 Energy Action Plan II (EAP II), the CPUC and CEC
identified additional transmission infrastructure as an essential element in meeting the current 20% by 2010 RPS goal. To enable the
necessary transmission capacity to be installed, EAP II concluded
that at least these fundamental changes in the states transmission line planning and permitting processes were needed:


Integrating the California Independent System Operators

transmission planning and modeling capabilities with the
CECs power plant licensing and environmental and planning
expertise, and the CPUCs ratemaking function.
Adapting the states transmission planning process to better
evaluate strategic benefits and economic costs and benefits
over several decades.
Coordinating the states transmission planning process to

increase Californias participation in the broader western regional energy planning efforts.
These reforms, unfortunately, remain frozen as policy objectives, their implementation awaiting some future date.
This transmission planning stagnation is even more troubling
today as significant increases in renewable power will be necessary for California to meet its ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The CPUC/CEC report finds that the 33% by
2020 RPS target will require California to almost triple its amount
of renewable electricity. Seven additional transmission lines at
a cost of $12 billion are needed to connect and integrate this
magnitude of incremental renewable power. This is in addition
to four new major transmission linesonly three of which are
under waythat are necessary to connect renewable resources
needed to meet the current 20% by 2010 RPS requirement.

An Impossible Task?
The CPUC/CEC report models three illustrative timelines for meeting a 33% RPS target. The business as usual approach would defer
the states realization of the 33% RPS target until 2024. Assuming
California effectively streamlines infrastructure planning and permitting, the date could be moved up to 2021. However, the report
wisely cautions that if external risks are considered, such as
financing difficulties and public opposition or legal challenges to
projects, it is uncertain if or when the 33% target could be met.
One thing is certain: If California has any hope of meeting RPS
targets, many miles of new transmission lines must be built. However, four years after EAP II, meaningful changes in transmission
project permitting have yet to be fully implemented, appropriate
levels of interagency integration have not been achieved, and
regulatory redundancy and inconsistency remain the norm.
Recent efforts to gain approval for a new transmission project in Southern California to access renewable generation have
highlighted the continuing regulatory morass that significantly
delays the decision-making process and, necessarily, increases
costs. In light of the recognized need for new transmission infrastructure, this status quo simply undermines RPS goals.

Its Time to Act

The trouble with any regulatory process is finding an end point
the point at which the regulator transitions from developing new
policies and processes to enforcing them. The reforms identified
in EAP II should already be in place if California is to meet even
its current RPS target. Absent action now, an increase in Californias already challenging RPS target is an empty gesture.
Steven F. Greenwald ( leads Davis
Wright Tremaines Energy Practice Group. Jeffrey P. Gray (jeffgray is a partner in the firms Energy Practice Group.

POWER August 2009

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City of Springfields CWLP

Dallman 4 Earns POWERs
Highest Honor
City Water, Light & Power (CWLP), the municipal utilities agency of the City
of Springfield, Ill., determined that coal-fired generation was its best
alternative for providing long-term reliable and economic electricity to
the citys residents. For negotiating an unprecedented agreement with
the Sierra Club that allowed the project to move forward, for choosing
the latest in coal-fired technology and air quality control systems as the
foundation for the citys comprehensive energy policy, and for assembling a tightly integrated team that completed the project well before the
contractual deadline and under budget, CWLPs Dallman 4 is awarded
POWER magazines 2009 Plant of the Year award.
By Dr. Robert Peltier, PE

alancing the need for new electricity

generation with aggressive environmental goals frequently results in a
high price tag, regardless of which way the
scale tips. The price is often short-term pain
for long-term gain. Municipal utilities are
especially shy of going into debt, which is

1. First among equals. City Water,

Light & Power of the City of Springfield is
completing commissioning of its new 200MW Dallman Unit 4. The new plant fires Illinois coal and promises to provide a reliable
and economic source of electricity for many
years to come. Courtesy: CWLP. Photo by
Terry Farmer Photography

why much constructive criticism was hurled

at City Water, Light, & Power (CWLP)
officially the Office of Public Utilities, City
of Springfieldwhen it announced plans
to build Dallman 4 (Figure 1). Many disapproved of the Illinois municipality spending
half a billion dollars for a new power plant.
But Dallman 4, a 200-MW pulverized coal
steam power plant, is a bargain that will pay
back Springfields residents many times
over in the coming yearsperfectly balancing the citys environment goals with reliable and economic electricity supplies.

Table 1. Actual project schedule. Source: CWLP



Unlike some municipal utilities, which

routinely draw the ire of ratepayers for high
rates and mediocre service, Springfields
muni is proudly referred to as the jewel
of the city. The construction of Dallman
4 writes another chapter in a success story,
with CWLP as the hero for securing the state
capitals power supply while improving the
regions environment and keeping electricity rates low.
Springfields mayor recognized that Dallman 4 was going to be a good investment
that will keep rates low and system reliability



Black & Veatch presents results of future generation study to CWLP


KBV awards contract for furnishing, fabricating, and delivering structural steel


Ground officially broken


Construction begins


Boiler foundation construction begins


Erection of boiler steel begins


Steam drum lifted into place


Electrical backfeed to plant


Boiler undergoes hydrostatic (pressure) testing


Boiler undergoes first fire (on natural gas) and steam blow testing


Unit 4 is synchronized to the electrical grid (on natural gas) for the first time, operating at 13 MW

Summer 2009

Start-up and testing


Commercial operation planned

POWER August 2009


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high when he said, I certainly think [Dallman 4] has raised the expectation for power
plants across the United States, and its great
to have one of the nations best practices in
coal-fired power plants here in Springfield.
Its unique to find a mayor willing to heap
such high praise on an electric utility, but the
praise is well-deserved.
The $515 million project is the most expensive project ever built by Springfield.
Whats more, it was completed with minimal cost increasesan impressive feat, especially in todays construction market. The
plant also is entering commercial service
approximately six months ahead of schedule (Table 1, p. 28) and under budget, saving Springfield even more valuable cash just
when other cities are looking for ways to increase revenues. CWLPs general manager,
Todd Renfrow, noted that the community is
very proud to soon be the owner of one of
the cleanest and most advanced coal-fired
power plants in the nation. The execution of
the project with little cost overrun and being
so far ahead of schedule has raised the bar in
power plant design and construction.
Doug Brown, CWLPs major projects
development director and the Dallman Unit
4 project manager, explained that the projects primary goals included environmental


protection and energy efficiency: A major

part of this goal is to protect our ratepayers
from the highly volatile market-based rates.
Brown mentioned that a secondary goal of
the project is to enhance the knowledge,
experience, and reputations for excellence of
all the parties involved in the project.

New Power Plant Will Make

Economic Sense
Springfields requirement for 200 MW of coalfired capacity was initially identified as part
of a long-term planning study conducted in
2001. One goal of the new project was to isolate Springfield from the volatile prices the city
was encountering with market electricity purchases when its electricity production capacity
couldnt meet rising demand. Another business
opportunity provided by the new plant was to
sell surplus power into those same markets, creating a steady source of future revenue.
The target date for completing the new
project was set for the end of 2009. Additional engineering studies confirmed the need for
the project and refined the cost estimates.
In 2003, Burns & McDonnell was hired
by CWLP to be its owners engineer and to
start the preliminary engineering and permitting phases of the project. In September
2005, the Springfield City Council autho-


rized construction of the project, which was

financed through a bond issue and retail rate
increases. However, there was one large obstacle looming that effectively stopped issuance of the final construction permits.

Landmark Agreement
with Sierra Club
The Sierra Club believed that the air permit
limits werent aggressive enough and that
constructing the new coal-fired plant was
only one element of what should be a much
more comprehensive energy plan for Springfield. Therefore, it threatened to file suit in
order to stall the project. In 2006, CWLP negotiated a landmark agreement with the Sierra Club that allowed Dallman 4 to proceed
without any litigation over its air permit.
The original agreement between CWLP
and the Sierra Club received national attention when it was announced because it was
the first time that a U.S. utility had agreed
to cut greenhouse gases and set emission
reduction targets under standards of the
Kyoto Protocol. Specifically, CWLP agreed
to perform four tasks: close its oldest, least
efficient coal plant (Lakeside); reduce NOx
and SO2 emissions for the remaining plants;
invest in renewable energy by purchasing
120 MW of wind power60 MW for the

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2. Raise the drum slowly. One of the heaviest and most challenging lifts in the course
of constructing a power plant is raising and positioning the steam drum. The complete steam
generator was sourced from Foster Wheeler. Courtesy: CWLP

City of Springfield and 60 MW for the state

government; and increase CWLPs investment in energy efficiency and conservation
projects. In return, the Sierra Club agreed
to not contest the air emissions permit for
Dallman 4. As part of that agreement, the
city and state agreed to share the costs of
adding wind power to CWLPs generation
mix by purchasing wind power for 100% of
the state capital and about 140 other state
government buildings.
CWLP, to its credit, immediately pursued
contracts for wind power and entered into
two 10-year contracts with NextEra Energy
Resources LLC (formerly FPL Energy LLC)
for the purchase of 120 MW of wind power.
The initial purchase of 20 MW of wind-generated energy, from Hancock County, was
made in July 2007; an agreement for 100
MW of wind energy from Crystal Lake was
made in November 2008. Both wind generation facilities are located in northern Iowa.
Utility officials estimate CWLPs total wind
power purchases over a full year will produce enough renewable energy to supply the
equivalent of about 18% of CWLPs electricity supply requirements. In 2008, wind
purchases equaled 4.57% of net generation
at an average price of $43.09/MWh.
Ive waited so long for this day, CWLPs
Renfrow told the city council utilities committee in early May of this year, noting that
he had struggled to conclude an agreement
with the state under former Governor Rod
Blagojevichs administration, but had been
successful working with Governor Pat Quinn.
The renewable energy purchase agreement is
retroactive to July 1, 2008, and runs through
June 30, 2018. The state will pay about

$19.30/MWh as a surcharge on metered electricity for the wind power; the surcharge will
increase 4% per year for the term of the contract. In return, Springfield will invest up to
$1.86 million in energy conservation and efficiency programs in the same state buildings
though 2015. This agreement with Illinois allowed the City of Springfield to tick off two
of the four Sierra Club requirements.

CWLPs Generation Portfolio

Before the new unit was built, CWLPs generating capacity was provided by three coalfired steam turbine generators at Dallman
(372 MW), one dual-fuel natural gas and
oil-fired combustion turbine (128 MW), two
oil-fired combustion turbines (totaling 38
MW), three oil-fired diesel generating units
(totaling 6 MW), and two coal-fired Lakeside units (76 MW total). CWLPs total summer maximum net generating capability was
620 MW before adding Dallman 4s contribution and subtracting the recently decommissioned Lakeside units.
The two 1960s-vintage units at the adjacent Lakeside Power Station were shuttered
with the completion of Dallman 4 (which
also sits adjacent to the existing Dallman
units) as part of the Sierra Club agreement.
Lakeside Power Station was CWLPs original generating facility, constructed in the
mid-1930s on the shore of the utilitys thennew manmade Lake Springfield. By the mid1960s, Lakeside consisted of eight coal-fired
boilers and seven turbine-generators, only
two of whichboilers 7 and 8 and turbine
units 6 and 7were operating when the
plant was shut down.
Dallman consists of Dallman 31, an

MW unit installed in 1968; the 87-MW Unit

32, installed in 1972; and the 199-MW Unit
33, placed into service in 1978. In spite of being decades old, these units continue to operate economically. In fact, in 2008, the existing
Dallman stations net fuel cost was $19.87 per
MWh. All of the Dallman units are designed
to burn 100% Illinois high-sulfur coal with an
approximate heat content of 10,500 Btu per
pound. Coal for all the units is trucked from
the Viper Mine in Elkhart, Ill., to the coalreceiving yard for both Dallman plants.
Particulate emissions from the existing
Dallman units are controlled by electrostatic
precipitators. In addition, the Dallman units
are equipped with wet scrubbers to control
SO2 emissions. The scrubber for Dallman
Unit 33 was installed in 1980; a second
scrubber, serving the two older units, was
put into operation in June 2001.
Each of the Dallman units has also been
equipped with a selective catalytic reduction
(SCR) system placed in service in May 2003,
which operates during the entire year. All
three Dallman units use once-through condenser cooling water from Lake Springfield.

Becoming Energy Self-Sufficient

In 2008, CWLP generated about 1.752 million MWh and purchased 410 thousand
MWh for total consumption of 2.163 million
MWh. CWLPs summer peak demand of
420 MW was set on Monday, August 4 at 5
p.m., outstripping the economic production
capacity of the existing plants and requiring
market electricity purchases. With the addition of Dallman 4, CWLP will be able to easily meet Springfields summer peak demand
and still have plenty of capacity available to
sell into the electricity market.
Not only does Springfield no longer need
to purchase expensive electricity from the
open market, but it also now could very well
be one of the lower-priced suppliers in that
market. The foresight of CWLP and city
leaders in building in that extra capacity will
literally pay dividends to Springfields residents for many years to come.
The 200-MW net Dallman 4 project is a
prime example of technological advancement and innovation that works in concert
with Springfield residents keen desire to
be environmentally progressive. Dallman 4
satisfies those desires by being one of the
cleanest subcritical pulverized coal units in
the nation. Its flue gas cleaning processes
will remove 99% of the SO2, 95% of the
NOx formed when burning high-sulfur Illinois coal, as well as 90% of the mercury
in the stack gas. Carbon emissions are also
reduced because Dallman 4 is 34% more
efficient than the Lakeside units it replaced
and shuttered in April.

POWER August 2009


3. Power to the people. A Toshiba

steam turbine configured

with a combined high- and intermediate-pressure casing couple with a
single double-flow low-pressure section provides shaft horsepower to
the generator. Courtesy: CWLP

The design specs of Dallman 4 also send the message that

Springfield is dedicated to buying locally whenever possible. The
plant burns high-sulfur Illinois coalgoing against the grain of
most other new coal-fired plants, which routinely select Powder
River Basin coal.

State-of-the-Art Environmental Protection

KBV Springfield Power Partners (KBV)the projects engineering,
procurement, and construction (EPC) contractorpurchased a Fos-

4. Lean and clean. The Foster Wheeler steam generator is configured with low-NOx burners that reduce NOx produced during combustion. A selective catalytic reduction system will reduce NOx levels
in the flue gas to meet the plants permit limit. Courtesy: CWLP

ter Wheeler boiler (Figure 2), a Toshiba steam turbine generator (Figure 3), and Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc. (a wholly owned
subsidiary of Siemens Power Generation) air quality control system
(AQCS) equipment. Emissions control at Dallman begins with Foster
Wheelers Vortex series of split-flame, low-NOx burners in the boiler
before the combustion gases pass to a substantial lineup of AQCS
equipment (Figure 4).
Downstream of the boiler, an SCR further reduces the NOx concentration in the stack gas. Next up is a powder-activated carbon injection

Constructability Starts Here


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August 2009 POWER


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1413 Rockingham Rd. Bellows Falls, VT 05101 USA



Table 2. Key Dallman 4 performance parameters. Source: CWLP
Net plant output/heat rate

200 MW at 9,884 Btu/kWh (HHV)

Turbine throttle conditions

2,445 psig, 1,050F main, 593 psig/1,050F reheat steam


Local Illinois, high-sulfur coal,

700,000 tons per year






0.05 lb/MMBtu


0.07 lb/MMBtu (99% removal)


0.10 lb/MMBtu

PM10 (excluding condensables)

0.012 lb/MMBtu


90% removal



Steam pressure

2,532 psig

Steam temperature


Maximum continuous rating

1,420 klb/hr


Combined HP and IP casing, single double-flow LP section

Rotational speed

3,600 rpm

Condenser vacuum

2.68 inches HgA at 111F

Feedwater heaters

Seven stages of feedwater heating


Cylindrical rotor, synchronous alternator


Two 50% sized pumps

Water pretreatment system

City water for cooling tower, service water, and

plant feedwater makeup

6. The master controller. Emersons Ovation DCS system automates the plants many
control tasks over a high-speed communication network. Courtesy: CWLP


Dallman 4 stack is the second-highest landmark
in the City of Springfield and is higher than the
State Capitol building. Courtesy: CWLP

280 MVA

Boiler feed pump configuration

system that is used for mercury removal. A fabric filter, a wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD)
system for the removal of SO2 from the stack
gas, and wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP)
to remove acid mist and ultra-fine particulate
from the flue gas complete the emission reduction equipment. Siemens provided its first U.S.
utility-scale WESP to ensure the facility meets
its permitted emissions. The boiler island is
also equipped with Foster Wheelers MBF coal
mills. Table 2 summarizes many of the plants
key performance parameters.

5. The air is rare up there. The

Instead of once-through lake cooling water, the plant uses a state-of-the-art plumeabated cooling tower, which will significantly
reduce the chance of developing fogging conditions over the adjacent I-55 highway.
Coal ash disposal is subcontracted, and
ash will be delivered to an abandoned mine
located near the plant. The cost of ash disposal is $9.50 per ton for 2009, rising to $11/
ton in 2011.
President Lincolna Springfield lawyer
who rose to national prominence by

senting Illinois in Congress before becoming

presidentmay have been tall, but Dallman
has him beat. At 440 feet, the new Dallman 4
stack is the second-tallest structure in Springfield, overlooked only by a Dallman 3 stack
(Figure 5). Third runner-up is the combined
stack for the first two units at Dallman. The
State Capitol comes in a distant fourth.
That isnt to say construction of the stack
was easy. As Black & Veatch Vice President
and Project Manager Les Rinck tells the
story, volatile commodity prices and a tight
subcontractor market put a lot of pressure on
the team when bids came in way over budget. The bids received for construction of the
stack were two to three times the original estimates, so KBV elected to self-perform the
task, although neither company in the KBV
joint venture had ever erected a stack before.
However, they did have extensive experience
in slip forming large concrete structures. A
consultant from Austria assisted KBV in the
planning and execution of the concrete shell
slip forming operation. Tri-Clor Inc. was selected to provide detailed design and fabrication of the fiberglass stack liner and perform
the erection with KBV. Tri-Clor also had no
prior experience building a power plant stack
linerits expertise was in large fiberglass
pipe and vessels. At the end of the day, construction of the concrete Dallman 4 chimney
shell using slip form technology with a fiberglass liner was completed on schedule in
only 28 days and 3 hours. The total cost of
the stack and liner ended up being only 20%
above the original estimate.
Emersons Ovation control system will
monitor and control the new units Foster

POWER August 2009


7. Dream team. The project team celebrated the successful start-up of Dallman 4 with a June 26 reception. Courtesy: CWLP. Photo by Terry
Farmer Photography

Table 3. Major contractors and equipment suppliers

to CWLP Dallman Unit 4. Source: CWLP


Dallman 4 EPC contract

KBV Springfield Power Partners

Plant engineering and design

Black & Veatch Corp.

Plant construction

Kiewit Power Constructors Co.

Steam generator

Foster Wheeler North America Corp.

Steam generator erection

Babcock & Wilcox Construction Inc.

Steam turbine-generator

Toshiba International Corp.

Air quality control system

Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc.


Distributed control system

Emerson Process Management

Feedwater heaters/condenser

Holtec Manufacturing Co.

Bulk material handling

Dearborn Midwest Conveyor Co.

Water treatment system


Cooling tower

GEA Power Cooling


Foster Wheeler Corp.

Field-erected tanks

National Steel Erection Inc.

Fabricated steel pipe

BF Shaw Inc.

Large power transformers

Fortune Electric Co. Ltd.

Fire protection and detection systems

F.E. Moran Inc.

Insulation and lagging

API Construction Co.


Henson Robinson Co.

Electrical construction labor

Egizii Electric Inc.

Illinois coal

Viper Mine, Elkhart, Ill.

Wheeler pulverized coalfired boiler, as well as the burner management system, bottom ash handling, combustion control system,
coal-handling system, and FGD and SCR systems (Figure 6). The
Ovation system also interfaces with the Toshiba steam turbine controls. Emersons PlantWeb digital automation solution utilizes highspeed communications networks, intelligent field devices, and bus
I/O technologies to increase plant operating efficiency and reduce
long-term operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses. In all, Ova-

August 2009 POWER

tion will manage 2,500 hard I/O points and 2,500 soft I/O points. The
controls were engineered and installed by the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson.
Dallman Unit 4 is being designed and built with efficiency and
environmental stewardship in mind, said Brown, pointing out that,
when completed, the new unit is expected to cost approximately 20%
less to operate per megawatt-hour than the most efficient of the three
existing Dallman units. Emersons integrated digital automation
system is a comprehensive solution that will not only contribute to
improved operational efficiency and reduced costs, but will also support our utility-wide commitment to protecting the environment.

The Keys to Success

Dallman 4 is expected to perform its final acceptance tests about
August 31. CWLP will take ownership of the plant at the successful completion of all plant acceptance testsincluding those of the
AQCS equipmentand certification of the test results. Final acceptance of Dallman 4 should occur in September 2009months prior
to the April 2010 completion date that the project schedule required.
From CWLPs perspective, one of the keys to the success of this
project was picking the right team to design and build Dallman 4
(Figure 7). Early in 2005, Kiewit Power Constructors Co. and Black
& Veatch Corp. formed a joint venture known as KBV Springfield
Power Partners, the design/build team to construct Dallman 4. Black
& Veatch provided the engineering design, procurement of major equipment, and start-up; Kiewit was the primary contractor for
construction of the facility. Glenn Miltenberger, the KBV project
manager, also noted that the Kiewit construction staff was relatively
young. Even though the average age was about 30, the staff was very
dedicated and motivated, which led to the projects success.
The second key to the projects success was the quality of the craft
labor. Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council and
the Basic Crafts Council of Mid-Central Illinois supplied the project with skilled craft labor. Teamwork did not stop with KBV and
CWLP; it included developing a successful relationship between
KBV management and craft labor. The labor leadership was able to
supply experienced craft labor during the tight labor market that existed during the peak of construction.



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The third key to the projects success was the negotiation of an

EPC contract that locked in 2005 prices for materials and leveraged
KBVs efficiency in managing the overall project. These may have
been the most important of the thousands of decisions that were required of CWLP over the next four years.
Other major contractors and equipment suppliers are listed in
Table 3.
As expected, the project team encountered and overcame numerous obstacles and challenges during the design and construction of
Dallman 4. The first, and perhaps largest, management challenge
was determining the right course of action when the facilitys air
permit, scheduled for release in early 2006, was delayed until December 2006 when the Sierra Club intervened in the process. The
technical challenge was to improve the design of the AQCS to meet
even tighter emissions standards that were a result of the Sierra
Club agreement at a point when project engineering and procurement were more than 50% complete. Compounding the schedule
problems, KBV already had mobilized key construction personnel,
a substantial amount of equipment had been delivered to the site,
and the team was ready to begin construction when issuance of the
air permit was delayed.
Rather than lose even more time due to the air permit delay, CWLP
took the bold step of instructing KBV to continue with the design and
purchasing of AQCS and other long-lead-time equipment while waiting for the air permit. Although very risky at the time, the decision
to release KBV was, in retrospect, perhaps the best single decision
CWLP made on the entire project. The effect of this decision was to
keep engineering and procurement well ahead of construction and
to moderate the substantial material commodity cost increases that
were plaguing the construction industry at the time. Having the major engineering equipment on site during steel erection also helped
accelerate the construction schedule.
By the time construction was allowed to begin, key field personnel were all well acquainted and very familiar with their respective
responsibilities. The closeness of the workforce allowed personnel to
immediately addressand correct, if necessaryissues identified in
the field without additional costs to the owner or the contractor. Having both engineering and procurement well ahead of the actual construction schedule also provided time for detailed drawing reviews
and, with the equipment on hand, many constructability issues were
eliminated before they became field issues.

The People Who Powered the Project

In many cases, an EPC contract means the owner has little control
over final plant design and construction. Well give you the key
when were done is the EPC contractors attitude. Not so with
KBV, which worked with CWLP just as though its people were on
the CWLP payroll. Miltenberger was complimentary of the CWLP
project team for embracing the partnering approach to managing
the project. It knocked down a lot of barriers that would otherwise
have slowed progress.
CWLP was kept informed of every aspect of the project, and its
people were expected at the daily safety and scheduling meetings,
weekly quality and status meetings, monthly management meetings, and quarterly partnering meetings. Keeping CWLP involved
in every aspect of the project helped maintain open communications among all the project participants and made possible a true
open-door policy for everyone. This sort of organizational openness doesnt eliminate the challenges that are inevitable on a project of this magnitude. But open communications made discussion
and resolution of many challenges possible before those challenges
became major issues that had to be passed up the organizational
hierarchy for resolution. According to Brown, It cannot be empha-



POWER August 2009


sized enough that the entire project was operated as a team with as
much priority placed on the customers needs as was placed on the
contractors profitability.
The plants operational plan is also strong. CWLP is fully staffed,
and its people are well-trained and ready to assume O&M responsibility for Dallman 4 when final acceptance is achieved.
All of Springfields power plants are located within walking distance of each other, and this close proximity helped solve many staffing issues. A site generation director manages O&M resources for all
the generating facilities.
Closure of the Lakeside facility freed up experienced O&M technicians for Dallman 4. Reporting to the generation director is a single
maintenance superintendent, who is able to allocate maintenance
resources as required. Also reporting to the generation director are
two superintendents of operations, one for the three existing Dallman
units and one for Dallman 4. Dallman 4 is staffed with five operators
per shift, but a single shift supervisor covers all four coal-fired units.
A recent poll of operators found that their preference remains eighthour shifts, so CWLP uses a 5 x 8-hour schedule.
New jobs created by Dallman 4 turned out to be evenly filled by
promotions, transfers, and new hires. Dallman 4 opened 24 new job
opportunities; 12 were filled from within CWLP from the existing
Dallman units. Those 12 jobs were then backfilled by 12 new hires.
The remaining 12 new jobs were then advertised and hires were
made from outside of CWLP. Interestingly, the same union local
that represents some of the CWLP operators at the existing Dallman units (International Union of Operating Engineers) decided to
go with a different agreement for the 24-member operating staff of
Dallman 4. That new agreement is currently being negotiated.

ample, the current regular residential rates are $0.0706/kWh winter

and $0.0851/kWh summer. Large commercial/industrial rates also
remain very attractive, with a summer energy charge of 0.0509/kWh
with a $13.97 demand charge and a $550 monthly customer charge.
This is something the people of Springfield should be very
proud of, said former Assistant General Manager Jay Bartlett.
Weve taken our future, in terms of the energy crisis, and weve
taken control of it.

Cool City Certification

Leveraging CWLPs agreement with the Sierra Club, Springfield became a Cool City in August 2008 by ratifying the U.S. Mayors
Climate Protection Agreement, whose goal is to reduce greenhouse
gases 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. Springfields stated goal is to
become one of the top 10 greenest cities in America, and building the
coal-fired Dallman 4 brought the city a big step closer to making that
goal a reality.
With Dallmans contribution plus the purchase of 120 MW of
wind capacity, energy conservation initiatives, closing of the Lakeside units, improved generating efficiency, and emissions reduction projects completed at each of the three existing Dallman units,
CWLPs carbon dioxide emissions for its native load customers will
be lowered to 1990 levels by 2015. Thats a goal the Midwest hopes
to attain by 2020, as stated in the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord signed in fall 2007.
Springfield has shown the power industry that building a coalfired power plant as part of a comprehensive energy plan can be very
cool. Congratulations to CWLP, the City of Springfield, and the rest
of the project team for a job well done.

Pay for Performance

Throughout the project KBV has been able to successfully meet or
beat the project milestone dates. Groundbreaking was on November 30, 2006, and steam blow was completed 29 months later, on
April 17, 2009. The unit was synchronized on May 11, 2009many
months ahead of the planned project schedule of January 12, 2010.
Start-up and testing will take place over the summer; commercial
operation is slated for September 4, 2009, fewer than 36 months after groundbreaking. Its unheard of to be this far ahead of schedule
and on budget, said Brown, the project manager.
This excellent performance enabled the plant to generate more
than 5 MWh before June 1, which earned KBV a power production
bonus, the first of two power production performance bonuses.
During the later stages of start-up, CWLP recognized the value
that the intermittent electric generation was providing Springfield
by offsetting expensive purchased power. As any city with an entrepreneurial spirit would do, it cut a deal with KBV: If KBV could
schedule the generation of power during the on-peak hours of 7
a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 1 to September 18, 2009, and perform
required maintenance as much as possible during off-peak hours,
then a second power production bonus would be made available.
Weekday generation is credited with 100% of the on-peak generation and weekends are credited at a rate of 50% of the on-peak generation. For each block of 5,000 MWh generated, KBV is awarded
a bonus. The bonus rate for each block of 5,000 MWh is fixed for
each month of the incentive period.
This is an excellent approach to motivating an EPC contractor to accelerate a schedule that benefits both the owner and the contractor.
The success of this project in the eyes of city residents has a single
measure: electricity rates. Even after rate increases totaling about
33% over the past three years to pay for Dallman 4, CWLP rates are
described as still being among the lowest in the state, and they are
modest compared with rates in other parts of the country. For ex-


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The Hague Repowering Project

Upgrades CHP System,
Preserves Historic Building
The Hagues century-old power plant, now owned by E.ON, provides
electricity to the local grid and thermal energy for the citys district heating system. Poor performance from the plants 25-year-old equipment
and The Hagues wish to become a carbon-neutral city by 2010 gave birth
to the idea of repowering the existing plant. For protecting a historic
building while investing in low-emissions electricity generation, achieving improved plant efficiency and reliability, and accelerating the project
so the plant could be back online for the next heating season, The Hague
Repowering Project is the winner of POWERs 2009 Marmaduke Award
for excellence in O&M. The award is named for Marmaduke Surfaceblow,
the fictional marine engineer and plant troubleshooter par excellence.
By Dr. Robert Peltier, PE

en Haag (The Hague), Netherlands,

known as the International City of
Peace and Justice, hosts about 150
international legal organizations, including the International Court of Justice, the
primary judicial arm of the United Nations.
The worlds first peace conference, which
convened in The Hague in 1899, eventually

led to establishment of the Permanent Court

of Arbitration, the worlds first court for settling international disputes, and the predecessor of the International Court of Justice.
Much of the grand architecture in the
historic areas of The Hague dates from the
latter half of the 19th century and the early
20th century, when the city was modernized

1. In the prime of life. The Hague Repowering Project removed two old gas turbines
and generators and replaced them with state-of-the-art aeroderivative gas turbines to improve
the plants efficiency and power outputall within the confines of the plants historic 1906
building near the city center. Courtesy: E.on

and prosperous. The grandeur of The Hague

continued to grow with each passing year
until the destruction brought on by the deportation of its citizens, occupation, and later
liberation of the city caused by World War
II. Today, Monumentenzorg (The Bureau for
Monuments and Historical Sites) requires
owners of historic buildings constructed prior to 1945 to preserve their faades and the
buildings other cultural-historical qualities.
The Hagues original power plant, located in

Table 1. Compressed
schedule. The repowering


project had to
be executed between winter heating seasons to ensure heat deliveries to The Hagues
district heating grid. The timeline for the gas
turbine replacements was the projects critical
path. Source: ESI


June 2006

Contract signed

April 2, 2007

Original plant decommissioned

and demolition begins

April 16, 2007

Construction begins

June 15, 2007

Electric generator installed

July 3, 2007

Combustion turbines
installation complete

September 27, 2007 First motor of complete drivetrain

October 4, 2007

First full-speed, no-load district

heating supply restored

November 2, 2007

First unit to full power

November 9, 2007

Second unit mapping completed

November 13, 2007 Two-unit operation

September 1, 2008 New gas compressor in service


POWER August 2009

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Energy Services Inc.

Engineering, procurement, and construction

General Electric

Two LM6000PD SPRINT combustion turbines, auxiliary skids, inlet volutes, engine
cables and sensors, and engine mounts

Dahlman Filter Technology

Primary and secondary air systems, VBV ducting system, and construction
coordination services

Lufkin Industries

Two speed reduction gearboxes


Two overrunning clutches


One electric generator, AVR, and generator protection system


Gas compressor

3. Flexible operation.

Each combustion turbine can operate independently or simultaneously, depending on the citys power
and heat production needs. Source: ESI

2 gas turbines


Table 2. Major suppliers to The Hague Repowering Project. Source: ESI

1 gas turbine

2. Close quarters. Two gas turbines are connected through gearboxes fitted with overrunning clutches to a double-ended generator to form the 100-foot-long drivetrain. Note that the
GT-1 on the left is a cold-end drive LM6000PD combustion turbine, whereas the GT-2 on the
right is a hot-end drive configuration. The different model turbines were required to match the
rotational direction of the generator shaft. Note that the building penetrations were already in
place and were only expanded to match the combustion air and ventilation needs of the new
turbines. Equipment enclosures and ductwork are removed for clarity. Courtesy: ESI

the center of the city, is one such building.

The exterior looks the same today as when
the plant first entered commercial service
in 1906 (Figure 1, p. 38). Since 1978 it has
also provided district heating to many homes,
businesses, and government offices, including the World Court.

Heat and Power Provider

The Hagues Electriciteitsfabriek or Electricity Factory, located on De Constant Rebecque
Square in the city center, is owned by E.ON
Benelux and is one of the oldest still-operating combined heat and power (CHP) plants
in the Netherlands. The building that houses
this plant remains attractive. However, its
beauty is more than skin deep.
The generating plant originally consisted
of five steam engines and multiple boilers and
generators. A number of changes were made
over the years. In 1983, Unit 15consisting
of two combustion turbines, two heat-recovery
steam generators (HRSGs), and a single condensing steam turbine with extraction steam

was added. It was the only unit operating prior

to the latest repowering. The nameplate capacity of this plant was 75 MW electric with 80
MW thermal, although actual production over
the past decade was much lower.
The extraction steam is used to produce
hot water that is circulated through the district heating system to large buildings such
as those housing the government building
department and the Dutch parliamentary
complex. By 2005, operating inefficiencies
and the expiration of its heat supply contract
meant the time had arrived for the power station to enter the digital age.
At the end of 2006, E.ON, as purchaser
and distributor of heat to The Hague; ENECO
Energie, a leading Dutch energy company
with the contract to distribute the heat to customers; and the city of The Hague reached an
agreement that ensured the supply of district
heat to the city through 2023. The new agreement also supports the municipal leaderships
goal of making The Hague a climate-neutral
city by 2010. According to Joost van Dijk,



chairman of the Board of E.ON Benelux,

We were able to take on this responsibility
to society because the city council has given
district heating an important place in its policy around CO2. This is an excellent example
of shared, lateral thinking whereby all parties
work together to enable this sort of massive
investment. E.ON Benelux invested some
70 million ($97.9 million in mid-June) to
complete the repowering project.
With a new district heat agreement in
hand in November 2006, The Hague Repowering Project was soon under way.
Energy Services Inc. (ESI) of Farmington,
Conn., a subsidiary of United Technologies
Corp., was selected as the turnkey contractor for the project based on its successful
commissioning of a similar repowering
project in late 2005 in Leiden, only 10 miles
from The Hague. In the Leiden Repowering Project, two older combustion turbines
were replaced with new-technology General
Electric (GE) LM-2500+ turbines; the two
existing generators and other process equipment were in serviceable condition and
were reused. The Leiden Repowering Project, also located in a historic building, was
successfully completed within a very tight
three-month schedule, and E.ON predicted
a three-year payback on its investment.
One of the first major challenges encountered by The Hagues project team was
timing the construction phase. Electricity
supplies can be replaced by market purchases, but district heat supplies are another matter. Although an investment of 70 million
in the recently liberalised energy market entails major risk, stopping heat deliveries just
wasnt an option, said van Dijk. Much of
the construction work to follow was scheduled to ensure that there would be no disruption to the district heating system during the
next heating season, beginning in October
2007 (Table 1, p. 38).
Another major challenge was the very
tight budget for the renovation. In fact, early
feasibility studies in 2004 and 2005 were not
optimistic that the project was economically
feasible. Other options were investigated

POWER August 2009


until a clear technical option that could be
constructed within the projects financial
constraints was identified: replace the aging and unreliable combustion turbines with
high-efficiency turbines, but reuse the existing HRSGs, steam turbine, and district heating equipment because these components
were in good, serviceable condition.
One of the pivotal moments in this decision-making process was when the HRSGs
were found to be capable of handling up to
25% more exhaust mass flow. The higher
exhaust mass flow limit allowed ESI to
specify larger and more efficient combustion turbines than was originally thought
possible. Turbine specs were limited only
by the space and volume available in the
building and the existing location of the
HRSG inlet flanges.
Major contractors and suppliers to the
project are listed in Table 2.

4. Always under control. ESI was also responsible for integrating the instrumentation
and controls of both combustion turbines, gearboxes, auxiliaries, and the double-ended generator. Shown are typical operating data taken as a screen capture from the control panel monitor.
Note the water connections for the SPRINT power augmentation system. Courtesy: ESI

Combustion Turbine Specs

ESI made a close examination of the space
and volume limitations of the power house
and the arrangement of the existing HRSGs
and concluded that a unique single-drivetrain
arrangementwhere a single, double-ended
generator is powered by two combustion

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Construction Sequence for The Hague Power Station Repowering Project

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the project was squeezing
two gas turbines, gearbox/clutch assemblies, and a double-ended
generator into externally ventilated sound-attenuating enclosures
in a very confined space. If a picture is worth a thousand words,
then this photo sequence efficiently communicates the success of

ESIs well-planned erection sequence. The fuel gas compressor was

a very long-lead purchase item with a delivery date months past
the critical district heating season. The gas turbines were able to
operate at reduced load until the gas compressor was commissioned the following summer.

5. Rip out old equipment. Demolition began on April 2,

2007. After disassembly and removal of the old gas turbines and
generators, new foundations were prepared and portions of the
enclosure and gas turbine support structure were installed. Here,
the exhaust collector for the hot-end drive GT-2 is lifted into place.
Notice that the collector is rotated 90 degrees to connect up with an
existing HRSG located to the far left. Courtesy: ESI

6. Assemble support structure. A few days later, the

GT-2 turbine enclosure is completed and the package ventilation
ductwork is installed. The gas turbine inlet air filter sits on the nexthigher level in the building. Ductwork to the filter is visible on top
of the enclosure at the back. The workers are standing on the rebar
mat where the gearbox pedestal mount will soon be poured. Courtesy: ESI

Table 3. The Hague Repowering Project performance parameters.


performance data are with the SPRINT system in service. Source: ESI
Operating condition
Steam turbine
backpressure mode

Steam turbine
condensing mode

Either operating mode


After repowering project

Original plant

102 MW

62 MW

Electrical output



Heat rate

7,484 Btu/kWh

8,982 Btu/kWh

112 MW (47 MW per gas turbine,

18 MW steam turbine)

75 MW

Electrical output



Heat rate

6,826 Btu/kWh

7,937 Btu/kWh


Under 80%

Thermal capability

90 MWt

80 MWt

NOx emissions

25 ppm

Over 100 ppm

turbineswas the best technical selection

for the project that provided adequate space
to maintain the new equipment. There wasnt
a lot of room; in fact, the entire drivetrain
would have to be shoehorned into an area
only 100 feet long. GE LM6000PD SPRINT
gas turbines were selected because of the
engines compact size and high thermal efficiency. Gearboxes are required because the
LM6000 operates at 3,600 rpm and the 50Hertz generator runs at 3,000 rpm.

There were other advantages to this unique

equipment arrangement. With just a single
generator, the project was able to save the cost
of a second high-voltage generator grid connection. E.ONs redundancy specifications
for this project were also met with the two,
independently operated gas turbines. Furthermore, this arrangement gave E.ON additional
and unexpected operating flexibility in managing its electrical grids spinning reserve and
voltage support in this area of the country.

Operation of the two combustion turbinesone a cold-end-drive configuration

(GT-1) and the other a hot-end-drive configuration (GT-2)was managed by using
an SSS clutch that connects each turbinegearbox system to the generator. The different configurations of the LM6000 were
required to match the rotational direction of
the generatorthe turbines are designed to
rotate in a single direction and cant be reversed except by selection of which end of
the turbine attaches to the power output shaft.
The drivetrain arrangement is well illustrated
by an elevation view of the equipment shown
in Figure 2 (p. 40). Unfortunately, because
the project was so compact and placed inside
sound enclosures inside the historic power
house, no single photo can illustrate the
equipment arrangement.
The overrunning clutch allows a single
turbine to operate when the second turbine
is out of service. The second turbine can then
ramp up its speed until the clutch locks into
place when the turbine reaches synchronous
speed. The second turbine can continue to
ramp up load on the drivetrain until the rated
power output of the entire plant is achieved.
Shutting down a single turbine uses the same

POWER August 2009


7. Set the gearbox and clutch. The LM6000PDs rotational

8. Slide in the generator. Once both aeroderivative turbines

speed is 3,600 rpm, yet the double-ended generator operates at 50

Hz and, therefore, 3,000 rpm. A gearbox matches the speed differences and also supplies the mounting point for the SSS overrunning
clutch assembly. Courtesy: ESI

were connected to their respective gearbox/clutch systems, the

remainder of the sound-attenuating enclosure was assembled, followed by the ventilation ductwork and cable tray to hold the power
and instrumentation wiring. The final major component was the
double-ended generator, which was slid axially into the building and
then carefully jacked sideways into place. Courtesy: E.on

process, but in reversethe SSS clutch is also able to disengage the

turbine from the drivetrain during the no-load shutdown sequence.
This arrangement provides the ultimate in operating flexibility for
E.ON to meet any anticipated combination of power and district heating energy requirements (Figure 3, p. 40).
The SPRINT moniker on the LM6000PD combustion turbine describes a unique capability with these dry, low-emissions engines:
internal spray intercooling (hence, the name SPRay INTercooling).
The LM6000 is a dual-rotor, direct-drive gas turbine derived from
the CF6-80C2, high-bypass, turbofan aircraft engine. This engine is
unique in that its power output is controlled by the compressor discharge temperature instead of the turbine inlet temperature, as in most
other turbines. A portion of the compressor discharge air is used to
cool a number of the high-pressure turbine components. Spraying water atomized by an eighth-stage air bleed into the airstream entering
the five-stage low-pressure compressor and into the 14-stage highpressure compressor inlet plenum cools the air as it is compressed,
thereby reducing the compression power required.
The arrangement of the two gas turbines, generator, and SPRINT water
supplies is illustrated in a control panel monitor screen capture shown in
Figure 4 (p. 41). The performance data show the two combustion turbines
to be operating close to full load but with SPRINT not engaged.
With a lower air temperature leaving the high-pressure compressor
discharge, additional fuel can be added that will increase the combustion turbines power and thermal efficiency. The positive effects of
spray cooling are best appreciated during high ambient temperatures,
when combustion turbines are notorious for their loss of power and
efficiency. The SPRINT actually produces 4% more power and has a
higher efficiency at ambient temperatures above 90F; thats over 30%
more power than the standard engine. Full SPRINT-rated load can be
reached within 10 minutes of activating the system (Table 3).
As luck would have it, the centerlines of the combustion turbine
exhaust flanges of the two gas turbines were nicely aligned with the


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August 2009 POWER



9. Install the combustion turbines. Good practice is to

keep the LM6000PD SPRINT combustion turbines in their pods until
heavy construction is complete. All the small-diameter tubing and
valves encircling the combustor are part of the dry low emissions
(DLE) combustion system. The DLE combustor has three concentric
fuel supply rings and a series of staging valves that precisely match
fuel with air based on delivered power. Courtesy: E.on

inlets of the two existing HRSGs, effectively

eliminating what could have become a ductwork nightmare. The increased mass flow
coming from the two new turbines did produce a slightly higher exhaust backpressure
than that produced by the old plant, but that
was expected, and it exacted only a small performance penalty. The only HRSG modification required was a new, smaller economizer
that eliminated any potential for economizer

10. Ready for operation. Start-up of the entire plant and restoration of The Hagues district heating system came three months
after the combustion turbines were installed. The first LM6000PD
reached full power on November 2, 2007, only seven months after
demolition began. Here, the remaining electrical connections and
instrumentation and controls have been installed, the computers
have been programmed, and the plant is making electricity for E.on
and thermal energy to keep customers warm during the winter.
Courtesy: E.on

water supply connection to supply water for

the SPRINT feature on the two LM6000PD
engines. An upgraded electrical interconnect
to the ENECO grid to handle the increased
power production also was installed. The existing 13,000 m3 (3.4 million gallon) heated
water storage tank stores an abundance of hot
water, so the gas turbines will normally be
operated at their best efficiency mode. (See or the link in the video archive for an
animation of the project sequence.)

Preserving a Historic Building

No changes to the faade of the building
were required with this equipment configuration, with one exception: The air inlet requirements must still be met by ductwork
that penetrates the building faade, and those
penetrations were enlarged to accommodate
the increased airflow requirements of the
new combustion turbines and the addition
of anti-icing coils. These modifications were
imperceptible to passersby when viewing the
historic power plants exterior. The combustion and ventilation air intakes were placed
inside the existing boiler house.
The only system that was not installed
inside the power house was a new gas compressor, which was installed in a separate
building, to move the hazardous operation
out of the historic building. Other systems
installed inside the power house included a
new plant digital control system and a new

A Reconstructed Plant
Restoring the district heating system was the
critical milestone that determined the entire
project schedule, and the projects critical
path went directly through the delivery date
of the two combustion turbines. After the
project was given a full release, the contractor immediately began the demolition phase,
working many weeks with two crews, six
days a week and 16 hours a day to stay on
schedule. See the sidebar for a series of photos that document the construction sequence.
The only long-lead equipment that wasnt
available for initial plant start-up was the
fuel gas compressor. The very high pressure ratio of this aeroderivative gas turbine
(30.7) is a key to its excellent thermal efficiency, but it also requires a very high natural gas supply pressure. For the LM6000PD,
a new gas compressor was required to raise

the fuel gas pressure from the typical 38 bar

(565 psig) to 47 bar (695 psig) to reach the
combustion turbines peak load. Until the
new gas compressor was installed the combustion turbines were limited to about 90%
of full load.
ESI reports few start-up problems with
the combustion turbines; only a single gas
fuel-staging valve has been replaced. The
plant did experience some generator/gearbox
train vibration, but the vibration abated after
replacing one connecting shaft in May 2008.
In June last year, one combustion turbine received some contaminated natural gas and
had to be cleaned. Later that month, an insufficient oil supply to one of the SSS clutches
in the gearbox forced a three-week outage to
modify the oil supply system and repair premature wear of the clutch. Thats not a very
long punch list of corrections for a project as
detailed and complicated as this one.
For squeezing two gas turbines, two
gearboxes, a double-ended generator, and
all equipment supports and air management
ductwork into a very compact space while
significantly upgrading plant efficiency and
performance and doing so in a very short
time without materially changing a historic
buildings faadeThe Hague Repowering
Project wins this years Marmaduke Award.
Congratulations to E.ON, ESI, GE, ENECO
Energie, and The Hague for connecting the
old with the new.

POWER August 2009

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Improved FGD Dewatering Process

Cuts Solid Waste
In 2007, Duke Energys W.H. Zimmer Station set out to advance the overall performance of its flue gas desulfurization (FGD) dewatering process.The plant
implemented a variety of measures, including upgrading water-solids separation, improving polymer program effectiveness and reliability, optimizing treatment costs, reducing solid waste sent to the landfill, decreasing
labor requirements, and maintaining septic-free conditions in clarifiers.
The changes succeeded in greatly reducing solid waste generation and
achieving total annual savings of over half a million dollars per year.
By Craig Moyer, Duke Energy and Juan Fernandez and Bob Carraro, GE Water & Process Technologies

uke Energys W.H. Zimmer Station

(Figure 1) is a 1,300-MW coal-fired
power plant located on the Ohio Riv-

er at Moscow, Ohio. The unit entered commercial operation in 1991 and consumes
approximately 3.8 million tons of coal

annually. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required the Zimmer Station
to remove a minimum of 91% of the sulfur

1. Powering Ohio.

By making modifications in 2000 and 2007, the W.H. Zimmer Station in Moscow, Ohio, dramatically decreased the
amount of scrubber by-product that has to be landfilled. Courtesy: Duke Energy


POWER August 2009





dioxide (SO2) from the flue gas while not
exceeding an emission rate of 0.548 pounds
of SO2 per million Btu based on a 30-day
rolling average.

The station is equipped with a magnesiumenhanced wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD)
system (scrubber) to control SO2 emissions.
In 2000, the scrubber process was modified to

2. FGD process with gypsum conversion. This diagram shows an overview of the
Zimmer Stations FGD system layout after it was retrofitted in 2007. Courtesy: Duke Energy
Mist eliminator supply
from service

Sulfuric acid
To #1 clarifier

pH 5.0

Bleed pump Air compressor

#1 clarifier solids
to oxidizer

Density control


to CRW

400 gpm

to barge


300 gpm

to mag

#2 fines

#1 fines

Zimmer Stations FGD Process

300400 gpm




to FGD

700 gpm

to pond

C ent r if u ge

underflow pump

accommodate a gypsum conversion process

system to make high-quality synthetic gypsum that is sold to a wallboard manufacturer.
Prior to the scrubber modification, scrubber
by-products were landfilled at an average
rate of 1.7 million tons per year. The 2000
modification cut the landfill rate by 77%.
In 2007, station personnel set out to further improve the overall performance and effectiveness of the FGD dewatering process.
A team consisting of station personnel, GE
Water & Process Technologies, and Utter
Construction worked closely throughout the
year to identify potential areas of improvements and create/modify key performance

Solid waste to landfill

Notes: CRW = clarified recycle water, FGD = flue gas desulfurization.

At Zimmer Station, magnesium-enhanced

lime is mixed with water in a ball mill
(crusher), resulting in an exothermic (heat
producing) slurry production process known
as slaking. The slaked lime or slurry
is then pumped to the absorber modules,
where it is used to neutralize or scrub the
flue gas. The operating pH in the absorber
tower reaction tank is maintained between
5.7 and 6.8.
As noted earlier, in 2000 the Zimmer Stations FGD process was modified to include

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POWER August 2009


PostConversion Process Issues

During conversion of the FGD process from
a calcium sulfite sludge/fixation one (also
known as Poz-o-tec, which is fly ash lime
stabilized FGD sludge) to the current gypsum
recovery process, the team had to overcome
several major obstacles.
The Zimmer Station pond became satu-

August 2009 POWER

3. Cutting costs. The new automated dry polymer make-down system reduces expenses
by increasing the efficiency of the dewatering operation. Courtesy: Duke Energy

4. A slowdown in sludge generation.

This chart illustrates the number of tons of

sludge sent by the Zimmer Station to the landfill on a monthly basis during the evaluation period
from May 1, 2006 through July 31, 2008. The numbers reveal a large overall reduction in the
volume of sludge disposed during the last 12 months of the evaluation period. Courtesy: Duke

Average tons/day 733.5



Average tons/day 489.9



Landfill tons/day






a gypsum conversion process. In a gypsum

conversion process, the absorber reaction
tank density is controlled at 15% to 24%
density and the spent slurry is caught in a
scoop within the absorber module. A scoop
and a bleed pump were installed at Zimmer
Station during the conversion process. The
scoop captures the spent slurry just beneath
the SO2 gas/slurry interface tray, when it is
at a pH in the range of 5.2 to 5.5. This spent
slurry or bleed is pumped directly to the
oxidizer tank.
Also during the gypsum conversion, oxidizer air compressors were installed on one
of the stations two existing storage tanks.
The oxidizer air compressors are used to supply the system with approximately 300,000
lb/hr of airflow.
The scrubber bleed stream enters the oxidation tank from the top, where an oxidation
process involving an exothermic reaction begins. The bleed stream material temperature
is typically increased from approximately
125F to a range of 135F to 170F, depending on operating conditions. Sulfuric acid
(93%) is added to the process to decrease
the pH to acceptable levels (4.5 to 5.2) for
the conversion of calcium sulfite to calcium
sulfate or gypsum. The amount of additional
acid required for the conversion depends on
the quantity of unreacted calcium hydroxide,
magnesium hydroxide, calcium carbonate,
and bisulfate entering the oxidizer from the
The calcium sulfate formed in the oxidation tank is then dewatered via a bank of
hydroclones at approximately 26 psig. The
resulting hydroclone overflow containing
<15 weight % solids is recovered and sent
to a clarifier. The solids settle in the clarifier,
and the water is returned to the system to be
used as absorber density control water in the
FGD process.
The hydroclone underflow is approximately 60 to 70 weight % solids and is discharged
to a horizontal extractor-dewatering belt,
where the gypsum is washed to remove chlorides and total dissolved solids. The dewatering belt uses a vacuum blower to remove the
additional moisture, resulting in wallboard
quality gypsum dewatered to approximately
90%. The wallboard quality gypsum is then
stored on the station pad or placed directly on
a barge for shipment to a wallboard plant.


rated with dissolved gypsum and chlorides,

which ultimately resulted in severe damage
to the absorber module chevron/mist eliminator systems. This resulted in unit availability
issues and frequent absorber module maintenance outages. The high cost of the frequent
cleanings eventually led to the full replacement of the upper chevron tray in all six absorber modules. To prevent this problem, the
absorber module mist eliminator system had
to be modified so that only freshwater is used
to clean the chevron trays.

Also unforeseen at the time of the conversion was the impact of the inert material (iron
oxides and silica) that entered the FGD system
in the lime supply. This material is contained
and recovered via the oxidation dewatering
hydroclone overflow. Inert material cycled
up in the FGD system, and because there was
no effective way to remove it, it caused poor
gypsum quality. The low density of this material also meant that it wouldnt settle in the
stations pond system, which led to very high
costs associated with removing the material.


5. A piece of cake. Switching to centrifuges with back drives led to a marked improvement in cake solids and polymer consumption. The data shown are from Centrifuge No. 1.
Courtesy: Duke Energy

#1 average cake solids 35.3%

#1 average cake solids 38.7%

cake solids (%)

Maintain centrifuge cake solids at >31%.

Reduce tonnage to landfill.
Decrease operation labor requirements.
Maintain septic-free conditions in clarifiers.

To achieve its goals, the team made improvements in the FGD system design and operation that included the mechanical, chemical,
and operational changes discussed below and
shown in Figure 2 (p. 48).




Cleaning of the FGD Blowdown Line.

This involved the installation of cleanouts

and more-frequent cleaning of the FGD bleed
stream blowdown lines in order to improve
the recovery of gypsum to the oxidizer rather
than to the clarifier/thickener.






6. A solid success. Cake solids improved approximately 3% during the evaluation period
from May 1, 2006 through July 31, 2007. The data shown are from Centrifuge No. 2. Courtesy:
Duke Energy
#2 average cake solids 35.8%

#2 average cake solids 38.4%

cake solids (%)

Design and Operating









To address this issue, the team removed

the inert material from the clarifier via a
clarifier lateral pump (CLP). The CLP takes
a side stream of material from the clarifier
and pumps the material to one of two settling
thickeners. Then polymer is added to the settling thickener, which allows the inert material to increase to a density of approximately
15% to 22%. The settled material is pushed
to the thickener underflow pump suctions
(using a TUF Pump). The material is then
pumped to and processed by a centrifuge
system and removed by truck to the landfill.
The clarifier underflow is returned to the oxidation tank for gypsum recovery.
Finally, many of the Zimmer Stations

Relocation of the #1 Clarifier Lateral

Pump Suction and Transferring the Side
Stream Flow to #2 or #3 Thickeners. The

lateral pump transfers a percentage of the

settled solids from the #1 clarifier to the #2
or #3 thickeners. Raising the lateral pump
suction from the bottom of the #1 clarifier
up approximately 15 feet results in a major
improvement in the amount of calcium sulfate that is captured for recirculation back to
the oxidizer. As a result of changing the position of the lateral pump suction, the heavier
calcium sulfate now settles to the bottom of
the #1 clarifier (for continued processing and
gypsum recovery via the oxidizer tank), and
the lighter inert materials are transferred to
the #2 or #3 thickener for concentrating.
Decreasing the Amount of Unnecessary Blowdown from Scrubber Modules.




FGD-associated pumps, sumps, and other

miscellaneous equipment had to be modified
to deal with gypsum settling and the abrasiveness of the gypsum material.

Performance Goals for

Reducing Solid Waste
In 2007, Duke Energy set out to further improve the overall performance and effectiveness of the FGD dewatering process. Key
performance objectives were to:

Improve water-solids separation.

Enhance polymer program effectiveness
and reliability, and optimize treatment

In the past, when it was necessary to dump

or blow down a module directly to the #1
clarifier (bypassing the oxidizer), this action
would allow a high amount of sulfites to react
with the sludge and consequently caused septic conditions. Later, to help keep the sludge
from going septic under normal conditions,
sodium hypochlorite (bleach) was fed on a
continuous basis.
Plant operators found, however, that the
demand for bleach during these septic conditions exceeded the capacity of the bleach feed
system. Furthermore, shot feeding of high
volumes of bleach only provided temporary
relief. It was not unusual for septic conditions
to exist for days or even weeks after excessive
module dumping. The septic sludge would
often be very difficult to dewater (often requiring twice the amount of polymer). Additionally, the septic conditions often prompted
complaints from operators and neighbors.
Recently, however, after improving overall communications between FGD operations
and the sludge dewatering contractor (Utter
Construction), the number of septic situations
has been reduced and virtually eliminated.

POWER August 2009


make-down system was replaced with a new

automated unit that provides an overall more
efficient and reliable dewatering operation
(Figure 3, p. 49).
Installation of New Centrifuges with
Back Drives. After experimenting with some

newer centrifuges, the dewatering contractor

opted to experiment with some rental centrifuges with back drives. These new centrifuges provide consistent, reliable operation and
drier cake solids. Ultimately, new centrifuges
were purchased.

reliable dewatering operation. Courtesy: Duke Energy


August 2009 POWER


Current centrifuges








Positive Results


8. Paring down polymer use.

The reduction in polymer consumption translates into

greater savings in operating costs. Courtesy: Duke Energy



Current centrifuges


usage lbs
Polymer Usage,






When the unit came back into operation after

the spring 2007 outage, there was an immediate reduction in the number of tons of landfill
material discharged from the centrifuge process. This reduction was directly related to
the relocation of the #1 clarifier lateral pump
suction (underflow take-off), the change in
centrifuge technology, and the optimization of dewatering polymers. The amount of
material sent to the landfill decreased from
an average of 733.5 tons/day to 489.9 tons/
day, which added up to an annual savings of
$256,500 in landfill costs (Figure 4, p. 49).
The test centrifuges that were installed during the spring 2007 outage did not perform as
well as expected and resulted in higher polymer consumption and decreased cake solids.
Consequently, the team made a decision to
abandon the test centrifuges and rent centrifuges with back drives. An immediate improvement in both cake solids and polymer
consumption was realized. Ultimately, Utter
Construction purchased new centrifuges with
back drives. Cake solids improved approximately 3% for the time frame associated with
this evaluation. Currently, cake solids operate
in the high 40% range on average for both
centrifuges (Figures 5 through 8).
Lime kiln dust (LKD) is added to the
sludge as it is discharged from the centrifuges via a pug mill. LKD is used simply to
increase the dryness of the sludge prior to
shipping it to the landfill. Pebble lime performs the same function but is used on weekends in lieu of LKD to avoid the overtime
associated with the pug mill operation. The
pebble lime is mixed with the sludge by a
front-end loader prior to loading the trucks
for the landfill.
The decreased landfill tonnage combined
with increased cake solids and the resulting reduced LKD and pebble lime usage



Installation of New Dry Polymer

Make-Down System. The dry polymer

7. Less is more. The new automated make-down system provides a more efficient and

Waste sent
sent to

Current practice is to notify the dewatering

contractor in advance of module dumps and
thereby avoid operating conditions that can
lead to septic conditions, and treating with
bleach as the condition occurs.



Table 1. A money-saving move. By significantly reducing the number of tons of centrifuge solids sent to the landfill each year, the Zimmer Station has been able to realize substantial savings. The dewatering process also avoids burning 2,800 gallons of diesel fuel. Courtesy:
Duke Energy
May 2006
May 2007 (tons)

May 2007
May 2008 (tons)

cost savings




Pebble lime




Lime kiln dust




Waste to landfill

Total cost savings

have resulted in additional annual savings of

$310,356 (Table 1), for total annual savings
of $566,856.

Craig Moyer (craig.moyer@ is the FGD coordinator


at Duke Energys Zimmer Station. Juan

Fernandez (
and Bob Carraro (francis.carraro@, area manager, both work at GE
Water & Process Technologies.


IGCC Update: Are We There Yet?

If a number of technical, financial, and regulatory hurdles can be overcome,
power generated by integrated gasification combined-cycle technology
could become an important source for U.S. utilities. Our overview presents diverse perspectives from three industry experts about what it will
take to move this technology off the design table and into the field.
By Angela Neville, JD

n May, POWER interviewed representatives from two large consulting firms

and a national electric energy research
organization. From the challenges of adding
carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology to
coal-fired plants to the impact of tax credits,
the three experts shared their insights about
integrated gasification combined-cycle
(IGCC) technology. They discussed current
and future IGCC technology developments
and their predictions about when this technology might become commercially available in the U.S.
Increasingly viewed as having strong
potential to provide abundant electricity in
the U.S., IGCC technology still has to surmount a number of major challenges. As its
name implies, the IGCC generation system
integrates two different technologies: coal
gasification from the chemical industry and
combined-cycle power generation from the
power industry. IGCC power plants can use
synthetic gas (syngas) derived from a variety
of sources such as coal, pet coke, and biomass as their fuel (Figure 1).

Advantages of IGCC Plants

IGCC plants have a number of well-known
advantages over traditional coal-fired power
plants that use pulverized coal (PC), according to Steve Jenkins, the vice president of
gasification services at CH2M HILL Inc., an
international consulting, engineering, construction, and operations firm.
IGCC uses less water. IGCC uses about
33% less water for cooling purposes than
a similar-size PC plant. This is because
about two-thirds of the power generated in
an IGCC plant is from the gas turbines and
one-third is from a steam turbine-generator,
which requires cooling water. Minimizing
water needs can be a significant advantage in
areas of the U.S. where water use is a major
siting issue.

cement or roofing shingles, or as asphalt

filler or aggregate. This slag is different from
the bottom ash and fly ash produced by most
PC units, which can be more leachable. Also,
slag can be more easily handled, stored, and
transported than fly ash.
IGCC has a carbon capture advantage. Although CO2 capture technologies

are available for both IGCC plants (pre-combustion) and PC plants (post-combustion),
IGCC plants may have an advantage because
the technology required for pre-combustion
CO2 capture has already been used successfully on coal gasification (but not IGCC)
technology. Enhancements are being made
to this technology for better performance in
IGCC configuration. Furthermore, some of
these capture technologies have the capability to produce the concentrated CO2 stream
at high enough pressures to match the needs
of the compressors required to compress the
CO2 for transport in pipelines for either sequestration or enhanced oil recovery. How-

IGCC Limitations
The advantages of IGCC must be balanced
against its limitations, said David J. Stopek,
PE, an engineer with Sargent & Lundy, a
Chicago-based consulting firm.
IGCC can offer advantages compared to
a conventional PC plant for the transition to
a power generation fleet with a lower CO2
footprint based on coal, he commented.
Having said this, you must understand that
IGCC is still an evolving technology compared to the level of commercial status of
conventional PC technology [see table]. Because IGCC deployment has been limited,
the costs for each plant require extensive
engineering and development. Efforts by GE
and others to develop a standard plant are
intended to help lower the cost for deployment. The projects first envisioned by Duke

1. Dynamic duo. Integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plants integrate coal gasification with combined-cycle technology and can use synthetic gas derived from coal, pet
coke, and other feedstocks. Source: Tampa Electric
Slurry plant
Raw syngas

Entrainedflow gasifier
Coal slurry


Oxygen plant

gas cleanup

gas cooler


N2 to combustor
Radiant syngas

Slag disposal

Raw syngas
Black water recycled

Sulfur Clean syngas




Combustion turbine

Sulfuric acid

IGCC creates a usable by-product.

When using high-temperature gasification

technologies, the ash in the feedstock is removed in the form of a glassy, nonleachable
slag that can be used in the manufacture of

ever, the costs and performance impacts

for CO2 capture vary significantly between
IGCC and PC plants.

steam generator
Steam turbine




POWER August 2009

Ace Power, Sri Lanka

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You have the vision of a cost-effective power plant. And Caterpillar has the global resources and expertise to make that vision
a reality. From design and construction to commissioning and operation, Caterpillar has been delivering power plant solutions
globally for over 50 years. So consider Caterpillar for your next project because we know power plants inside and out.

For more information, visit

CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, Caterpillar Yellow and the POWER EDGE trade dress, as well as corporate
and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.
2009 Caterpillar Inc. All rights reserved.

An exclusive club. As of 2009, there are five operating coal-based IGCC plants worldwide.

affordable price. Because there are only

two coal-based IGCC plants in the U.S.
(Figure 2), IGCC technology suppliers
do not have an extensive database of experience to work with, as they do for PC
plants. Therefore, there is more potential
risk to these suppliers with respect to performance and availability (and associated
monetary liabilities), and they must translate the potential risk of nonperformance
into additional cost.

Source: CH2M HILL



Willem-Alexander Centrale Buggenum, Netherlands



Wabash River





SG Solutions/
Duke Energy Indiana


W. Terre Haute, Ind.

Tampa Electric

Polk Power Station

Mulberry, Fla.


GE Energy



Puertollano, Spain



Japanese utilities

Clean Coal Power R&D Co.

Nakoso, Japan



2. A power pioneer.

Operating since 1996, Tampa Electrics 250-MW IGCC Polk Power

Station is located in Mulberry, Fla. It was the first full-size commercial plant in the U.S. to use
the advanced IGCC process. Courtesy: DOE

Stopek added two other roadblocks to the

deployment of IGCC technology in the U.S.:

Energy and American Electric Power (AEP)

were an effort in that direction. However, the
fact that AEP was unable to gain approval by
their state regulatory agencies to place their
plants into rate-base has derailed these efforts to a degree.

opment of its CoalFleet User Design Basis

Specification (UDBS) for IGCCs that defines the capabilities that power plant owners
would like to see in an IGCC.
Jenkins listed a number of other challenges that IGCC developers currently face:

Major Roadblocks to Development

Jeffrey N. Phillips, the senior program manager of advanced generation at the Electric
Power Research Institute (EPRI) pointed out
some of the major implementation challenges that IGCC technology faces.
For plants without CO2 capture, IGCCs
are more expensive to build than PCs, he
said. Also, with natural gas prices currently in the $4/MMBtu range, it is difficult to
choose an IGCC over a natural gas combinedcycle. IGCC suppliers need to improve their
cost-competitiveness versus PCs.
EPRI believes that one way to make that
happen is to focus on standardized designs
that minimize up-front engineering costs.
EPRIs CoalFleet for Tomorrow has been encouraging such an approach with the devel54

Permit appeals. Appeals by environmental

advocacy groups (even for IGCC plants)
make it difficult for projects to proceed. For
non-utility projects, developers may not be
able to obtain the required funding from investors to move forward while permits are
under appeal. Of course, this is a tactic well
understood by those advocacy groups.
Cost issues and how they are addressed by
public utility commissions. Because IGCC
plants cost more than PC plants (for the same
capacity), some public utility commissions
have been reluctant to approve those additional costs, even when approving IGCC
technology as the choice to meet the need
for power requirements of a Certificate of
Public Convenience and Necessity.
Obtaining meaningful guarantees at an

The downturn in the economy has pushed

back the drive to add new baseload capacity. As baseload needs have eroded, the
availability of natural gas has risen and its
cost is lower. These factors are allowing
companies to sit on the sidelines and wait
for new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations
to become law and eliminate the uncertainties they now face in supplying customer
electricity demands for the future.
Congress needs to step up and take action
on climate and energy legislation that
ends the speculation that is crippling new
action on new plant construction. Distribution of incentives and/or penalties must
be carefully weighed in the crafting of
new laws to ensure that unintended consequences do not occur. New laws must
reshape the energy landscape in a way
that provides a reduction in GHG emissions while minimizing the impact to the
energy consumer without disrupting the
entire economy. This is a delicate balancing act that Congress faces in meeting
this challenge.

IGCCs Availability Challenges

Historical data clearly shows that the existing coal-based IGCC plants have not been
able to achieve 85% availability on a sustained basis, Jenkins said. It typically takes
several years of operation to achieve levels
of even 80%, and some have not yet reached
70%. However, these are one-gasifier-train
systems. (See Polk Power Station, Unit ,
POWER, Oct. 2007.)
Using that operational data and lessons
learned, IGCC technology suppliers have
implemented enhanced design concepts
(discussed above) to increase availability, including the use of multiple gasifier trains, he
said. Data submitted by IGCC developers to
state and federal agencies show that the twotrain reference plant designs are expected
to achieve about 85% availability. Adding a
spare (third) train may increase overall IGCC
availability to about 90%, although at considerable additional cost.

POWER August 2009

Phillips had an optimistic view of efforts
to overcome this problem. Overall, the
availability of coal- and oil-based IGCCs
has been improving over time, he said. The
availability of the first generation of IGCCs
is similar to that of the first generation of
supercritical PCs and nuclear plants. Both
those technologies now enjoy availabilities
in the mid-80% to 90%. With additional experience it is reasonable to expect that IGCC
availability will also increase.
Additionally, all of the first-generation IGCCs were based on single-train designs (one
gasifier, one gas turbine), he pointed out. EPRIs
UDBS for IGCCs calls for dual-train systems,
which EPRIs analysis indicates will have better availability because the plant can continue
to operate, albeit at reduced load, when one
gasifier or gas turbine is down. The operating
train can be used to keep the equipment on the
other train warmed up. This allows for faster
start-up times for the second gasifier or combined cycle, which helps availability.

curate to 10% typically requires that about

30% of the design engineering be performed
at a cost of about $20 million (give or take).
Duke and AEP conducted a technology review and selected the company they thought
would provide the best price and product
for an IGCC facility and proceeded on a solesource basis with that company.

CO2 Capture Technologys

Negative Impacts
Recent detailed studies conducted by the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and EPRI
clearly show that the addition of CO2 capture
equipment to IGCC plants has a significant
impact on plant efficiency and net output, as
well as on capital cost, Jenkins said.
These studies show that, on average, the
following impacts result from adding CO2
capture systems to an IGCC plant using bituminous coal:

Barriers Utilities Face

in Building IGCC Plants
A major challenge is the time and expense
in getting to the point that the utilities have
a detailed design with a solid cost estimate,
according to Phillips.
For example, Southern California Edison
Co. (SCE) recently got approval from the
California PUC [Public Utility Commission]
to spend up to $26.3 million on a feasibility
study for their Clean Hydrogen Power Generation project, which would be an IGCC
with CO2 capture and storage, he said. Only
at the end of that study will they know how
much such a plant will cost to build and what
its operational performance will be. Thats a
hefty price for just window shopping.
Stopek explained the differences for utilities seeking to build a new PC plant versus
one that would use IGCC technology. The
current practice for a power company wanting to build a new PC power plant starts
with determining the size required to meet
its needs and competitively bidding the major components, such as the boiler, turbine,
and emission controls, he explained. Bidders
then respond to detailed specifications developed from years of experience designing
what is now the industry standard for reliable
power generation that meets all the emission
requirements based on specified fuels, location, and other requirements.
This has not been the case for IGCC;
the technology suppliers are not yet willing
to compete based on the traditional procurement model, he said. The suppliers will not
provide cost estimates unless they are paid to
perform their front end engineering design
study. To develop a cost estimate that is ac-

August 2009 POWER

Capital cost in $/net kW goes up by 32%.

The cost of electricity increases by 40%.
Net output is reduced by 15%.
Efficiency is reduced by 22%, or 8 to 10
percentage points.

These are significant impacts on performance and cost, according to Jenkins. For net
output, the reduction would be about 100 MW
on a 600-MW net IGCC reference plant. This
is primarily due to the additional internal power needed for the CO2 capture equipment; using steam in the CO2 capture system instead of
steam turbine power generation, as designed;
and the additional power required for the CO2
compressors. What many do not understand is
that this lost 100 MW must then be made up
by other generating units, which may actually
have higher emission rates for CO2 as well as
other pollutants, he noted.
Stopek agreed with Jenkins about these
disadvantages and gave additional insights.
The challenge of adding CO2 capture to an
existing IGCC plant must be discussed at the
early phases of the project development, he
said. The owner must understand that converting the syngas from a mixture of CO and
H2 to predominantly H2 will result in a derating. This derating can be compensated for
during design by ensuring the capability to
gasify more fuel. The owners must be willing to accept this cost. If not, they must be
willing to accept the derating. This is fundamentally different than just adding additional
booster fans to a coal-fired plant to accommodate the pressure drop of a flue gas desulfurization system.
The gasifier and downstream systems must
be designed to process the additional fuel (up
to 15% more), according to Stopek. More ash
and sulfur are produced, so all the supporting

tanks, pumps, and equipment must have sufficient margin in their design to handle this
future flow rate. Some of this capacity may
be available by increasing design pressure,
but then the entire equipment design must be
scrutinized to ensure that it is designed for
the appropriate new pressure.

Long Timeline for Carbon

Capture and Storage
First, we need to prove that large-scale
(greater than a million tons per year) geologic storage of CO2 can be a reliable and longterm option for sequestering CO2 captured
from power plants, and also the legal rules
governing storage need to be established,
Phillips said. Until that happens, it will be
very difficult to get commercial projects with
carbon capture and storage [CCS] financed.
However, in the meantime, you could sell
captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery
[EOR] if your IGCC is located near oil fields;
that is what Mississippi Power is proposing
to do. All the rules and liabilities for covering CO2 transportation and storage have been
established for EOR applications.
Stopek expanded upon Phillips comments. The demand for greenhouse gas control is a steamroller that is moving quickly
toward legislative action, he noted. However,
the technology needed to store CO2 forever
must be demonstrated, and that takes time.
The industry is now moving quickly, in a
programmatic fashion.
Early this May, I attended a conference
on CCS in Pittsburgh and was delighted to
see the amount of talent from across the
country now focusing on these issues,
he said. However, each step must be approached in a logical sequence, and testing
takes time. The legal issues are complex.
The insurance risks are real. But I am confident these will be solved. It is critical that as
the requirements for CCS come into place,
particularly the sequestration part, that all
these issues be addressed. Also, it is important that a well-structured monitoring
and regulation framework go with it. This
framework needs to be tested and validated.
These take time, money, and effort. I believe
the current administration recognizes this
and is putting the resources into place to accomplish this mission. The true question is:
Can the results come in time for informed

Recent Technical Innovations

Jenkins pointed to a number of new developments with IGCC technology:

More-efficient hot gas particulate removal

Higher-firing-temperature gas turbines.

3. Under construction.

An artists rendering of Duke Energys 795-MW Edwardsport

IGCC plant near Vincennes, Ind. Courtesy: Duke Energy

Gas turbines designed to combust highhydrogen-concentration syngas (for IGCC

plants with CO2 capture).
Gasifier burners that last much longer
than those developed previously.
Refractory materials using advanced
recipes based on recent research and
development funded by the Department of
Sulfur-free start-up procedures using patented start-up fuels.
Larger gasifiers that operate at higher
pressures (for higher efficiency).
Use of activated carbon beds for mercury
Syngas moisturization and enhanced use
of diluents such as nitrogen from the air
separation unit to reduce gas turbine combustion temperatures, leading to lower
NOx production.
Better materials of construction in corrosive environments.
Better performance when using Powder
River Basin coals.
Partial integration of the gas turbine compressor with the air separation unit (which
reduces overall plant internal load).

Stopek commented on IGCC manufacturers future technical goals. Each of the

equipment suppliers is conducting its own
reliability and maintainability analyses of
its technology and identifying means to
improve availability, lengthen maintenance
cycles, and eliminate unscheduled outages,
Stopek said. However, the lack of a central reporting function such as the North
American Electric Reliability Corp. GADS
[Generating Availability Data System] database that is open to the public creates a lack
of transparency to the consumer who must

trust the supplier or rely on guarantees.

Jenkins also commented on the new breakthroughs that IGCC manufacturers are trying
to achieve:

Higher efficiency through the use of enhanced heat-recovery systems.

Higher availability by using more advanced materials of construction (more
corrosion-resistant alloys) and gasifier
refractory and by optimizing the use of
spare equipment and spare gasifier and
syngas cleanup trains.

The thousands of lessons learned at existing IGCC plants are well documented in
EPRIs CoalFleet IGCC UDBS, and are being incorporated by the manufacturers into
new IGCC plant designs, he said.

Regulatory Hurdles
AEPs experience with their proposed West
Virginia IGCC is instructive, Phillips said.
While it was approved in West Virginia, they
also needed approval from Virginia because
the plant would provide electricity to some
parts of that state. The Virginia Public Service
Commission rejected the proposal because
the IGCC plant was more expensive than conventional coal plants, and they considered the
potential benefits of an IGCC with CCS to be
of limited value because they felt no party
knows for certain the specific commercially
available technology that will be used for carbon capture and sequestration and because
AEP did not identify any commercial generation facility that has implemented CCS.
That points out the need for educating regulators on CCS technology.
Stopek also had concerns about the regulatory challenges affecting U.S. utilities. The

lack of a regulatory framework over the past

decade has played a part in the paralysis seen
in the industry, he said. The capital requirement for new coal-based generation capacity
is so great today that many companies and
their financial institutions cannot take the
risk associated with an error in judgment of
what the future might hold for CCS regulations.
For this reason, I see more interest in
gasification that is inherently more versatile
in its product alternatives, such as for production of substitute natural gas [SNG], he
said. Combustion turbines [CTs] firing gas
(or coal-based SNG) can be sited closer to
the electrical demand, thus avoiding the cost
of new transmission, which is also woefully
needed. The existing CT fleet will experience higher demand, and new turbines can
be added much more quickly than coal or
nuclear power. Further, the addition of CTs
will better match up with the growing fleet
of renewable power that is expected over the
next decade. The use of SNG will provide a
greater certainty to gas prices and a hedge
against price speculation in the market. Of
course, this is a very complex strategic decision that requires weighing many factors.
Jenkins also addressed the potential impacts of CO2 reduction regulations. IGCC
technology still needs to be operated at the
two-train reference plant size, such as 600
MW to 650 MW, and to prove its performance and availability with the design enhancements described earlier, but without the
addition of CO2 capture equipment to weigh
it down, he emphasized.
It will be important for this first fleet of
reference plants to be able to operate for a
reasonable timeframe without any CO2 capture equipment, he said. In a sense, IGCC
technology needs the chance to run before it
can walk. In addition, dealing with air permit appeals will delay the construction and
operation of these units. Unfortunately, some
environmental advocacy groups that previously supported IGCC technology are now
opposing it.

The Inadequacy of Tax Credits

Phillips pointed out that, as of May 2009,
only one IGCC that received the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) tax credits is under
construction: the Duke Edwardsport plant
(Figure 3).
He mentioned the current status of several
other IGCC projects:

Mississippi Power has a proposal pending

to build an IGCC plant in Mississippi, and
it could be under construction shortly if it
is approved by the states Public Service

POWER August 2009


TECO Energys Polk 6 IGCC project received tax credits but was put on hold due
to cost and regulatory uncertainty.
Hydrogen Energys Carson project received credits but ran into siting difficulties and is now being reengineered for a
location in Californias Central Valley.
The federal government may have awarded tax credits to other IGCC projects, but
after announcing the first group of recipients, the government decided it could not
announce subsequent decisions due to taxpayer confidentiality concerns, according
to Phillips.

Jenkins pointed out that although such

tax credits are helpful, they are insufficient
as the sole incentive to drive these projects
For example, $135 million tax credits
were awarded to several IGCC projects, he
said. However, at a total installed cost of
$2.3 billion, the tax credits amount to only
about 5% of the total project cost, and they
do not provide the cold, hard cash needed
up front to fund these projects. Combinations
of tax credits, loan guarantees, and direct cofunding by state and federal agencies can add
up to the more significant amounts needed
to enhance the project economics and move
them forward more quickly.

IGCCs Future Prospects

POWER asked the three experts to look into
their crystal balls and forecast how far along
they think IGCC technology will be in both
the short-term and the long-term future.
With only one IGCC currently under
construction, another pending, and only two
IGCCs currently in operation in the U.S., it is
obvious that IGCC technology will play only
a small role in generating electricity in the
short term, Phillips said. Whether its role
will expand in the future will depend in great
part on the ability of suppliers to decrease
capital costs so that their technology is competitive with other options.
Jenkins was more willing to make a definite prediction about IGCCs long-term fate.
Not much change in the short term, he said.
But once the handful of planned units have
been in operation a few years, and there is
more certainty with respect to CO2 emission limits or reduction requirements, IGCC
should become a viable choice for coal-based
power generation. Since these first IGCC
plants are planned for start-up in the 2012 to
2013 timeframe, the next fleet incorporating
these enhancements would likely begin operation in the 2017 to 2020 timeframe.
Likewise, Stopek was optimistic about

the technologys future. Once GHG rules

are settled and the economy gets back on
track, utilities will be able to better assess
their needs for added capacity and replacement capacity, he said. As their requirements
become more defined, and if the government
takes an aggressive stand on CO2 emissions,
he expects that at least one-half of all new
coal plants will be gasification-based. However, he does not think all the capacity will
be IGCC. He believes that there will be a
wave of coal gasification to produce substitute natural gas first. These plants may have
natural gas combined-cycle plants installed
on the same property or simply supply gas
to the pipeline. This development will be in
response to the growing demand for gas-fired
generation capacity that will meet the earlyterm CO2 limitations.
By 2020 I would not be surprised to see
IGCC with hydrogen-fired engines, he said.
These will be more efficient overall and will
provide a lower carbon footprint. After more
than 35 years working on the development
of IGCC technology, the wide-scale deployment of this technology will be a gratifying

Angela Neville, JD is POWERs

senior editor.

Comparative Costs
of IGCC-Generated Electricity
If in the future some level of CO2 capture
and storage is mandated for new coal-fired
power plants, that regulation will narrow and
perhaps close the cost-of-electricity gap between IGCCs and PCs, Phillips predicted.
EPRI has also looked at technical improvements that could make IGCCs more competitive. (See the free EPRI Report 1013219 on
the EPRI website.)
Among those innovations, the one that
would provide the biggest improvement is using larger, higher-firing-temperature G and H
class gas turbines instead of F class turbines,
he said. These turbines offer two advantages
for IGCCs: first, the larger size provides savings from economies of scale and second,
the higher efficiency decreases fuel costs and
also decreases the amount of CO2 that must
be captured (on a lb-CO2 /MWh basis).
Jenkins was also optimistic that IGCC
technology will become more competitive.
As the planned IGCC plants gain operational experience, that will led to continued
enhancements in efficiency and availability
for the next fleet of IGCC plants. In addition,
IGCC plants may be able to utilize higher
percentages of low-cost opportunity feedstocks, such as pet coke, thereby further lowering power generation costs.

August 2009 POWER



Commercially Available
CO2 Capture Technology
While many CO2 removal technologies are being researched through laboratory and pilot-scale testing, an existing technology has a significant operating history at commercial-scale facilities, where it is collecting CO2
from multiple sources, including low-CO2 concentration flue gas (<3.1%
by volume) with high oxygen concentrations (>13% by volume).
By Dennis W. Johnson; Satish Reddy, PhD; and James H. Brown, PE, PMP, Fluor Corp.

echnology for the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas streams has
been around for quite some time. The
technology was developed not to address the
greenhouse gas effect but to provide an economic source of CO2 for use in enhanced oil
recovery and industrial purposes, such as in
the beverage industry.
In 1989, Fluor Corp. purchased the license
for a CO2 capture technology from Dow
Chemical. Through the years of process and
technology improvements, Fluor Corp. has
developed an advanced amine-based postcombustion CO2 capture technology called
Econamine FG Plus (EFG+). The EFG+
technology is the first and the most widely
applied process that has extensive proven
operating experience in the removal of CO2
from high-oxygen-content flue gases such as
those typically present in a coal-fired power
facility. The solvent formulation is specially
designed to recover CO2 from low-pressure,
oxygen-containing streams such as boiler gas
streams without rapid degradation due to the
presence of oxygen.
The EFG+ process utilizes simple, reliable equipment that is well-known to the
gas-treating industry (Figure 1). The technology does not require a custom-manufactured
or expensive solvent. The main ingredient of
the solvent is readily available and inexpensive and is produced by solvent manufacturers worldwide.

now owned by NextEra Energy Resources, a

subsidiary of FPL Group Inc.
This EFG+ plant was designed and constructed by Fluor and maintained continuous
operation from 1991 to 2005 (Figure 2). This
facility is the only commercial-scale CO2 recovery unit in the world that has operated on
gas turbine flue gas. In addition to its notably
low CO2 concentration and high oxygen concentration, this flue gas stream is very pressure sensitive; a significant backpressure or
pressure fluctuation in the flue gas cannot be
The experience gained from the design,
construction, and 14 years of operation at
the Bellingham facility is continually being
used to further advance the EFG+ technology. Fluor has developed innovative strategies
to prevent amine degradation and corrosion.
No other technology supplier can match our
long-term commercial operating experience
with CO2 recovery from flue gas with a very
high oxygen concentration, which translates

into more reliable and cost-effective design

and operation of future EFG+ plants.
Also of note, the EFG+ technology has
been tested at greater than 90% removal, capturing 5 short tons per day of CO2 from coal
flue gas with 40 parts per million of CO2.
EFG+ also has been demonstrated on a plant
that receives flue gas from a heavy fuel oil
fired power plant boiler. The flue gas from this
source is much dirtier than flue gases from
coal-fired power stations fitted with flue gas
desulfurization (FGD) units and contains high
levels of NOx, SOx, ash, and metals, including vanadium. At this plant, the pollutants and
ash/metals were scrubbed to an insignificant
level in a pretreatment unit located upstream
of the EFG+ unit, making the source of the
flue gas a nonissue for the solvent.

Enhancements to the CO2

Capture Technology
Fluor has developed an advanced simulator
to account for mass transfer, heat transfer,

1. Go with the flow. The typical Econamine FG process uses simple, reliable equipment
that is well-known to the gas-treating industry. Courtesy: Fluor Corp.
Product CO2

Absorber vent
Demin water makeup

Commercial Plant Experience

In all, there are more than 25 licensed plants
worldwide that employ the EFG+ technologyfrom steam-methane reformers to gas
turbine power plants.
One of the most significant power applications of this CO2 removal system is at
Florida Power & Lights licensed plant at the
Bellingham Energy Center in Bellingham,
Mass, which captured 365 short tons per day
of CO2 from the exhaust of the natural gas
fired power plant. The Bellingham plant is


LP steam

Flue gas feed

Excess water

Waste to

Soda ash

Note: CW = Cooling water

POWER August 2009

2. Standing the test of time.

An aerial view of commercial-scale application of the

EFG+ process capturing CO2 over 14 years of operation at the Florida Light & Power gas turbine
power plant in Bellingham, Mass. Courtesy: Fluor Corp.
Power plant stack

CO2 storage

Direct contact cooler


Air coolers


3. Snaring CO2 from flue gases. The application of EFG+ technology capturing CO2 at
a coal-fired power plant. Courtesy: Fluor Corp.
NH3 mixer


carbon injection

Sorbent injection

NH3 injection




fabric filter

Econamine FG Plus






Notes: SCR = selective catalytic reduction, APH = air preheater, DCC = direct contact cooler, ESP = electrostatic precipitator,
FDF = forced draft fan, FGD = flue gas desulfurization, IDF = induced draft fan, SAH = steam air heater

Application at Coal-fired
Power Plants
Even with the deployment of proven technologies with high-efficiency pollutant removal
technologies, there are still residual quantities
of sulfur dioxide (SO2), sulfuric acid (H2SO4),
ammonia, particulates, and other trace constituents in the flue gas entering the carbon

August 2009 POWER

Incorporate additional mass transfer with

an existing or new FGD.
Add an additional separate polishing
Include scrubbing capability in the DCC.
Change the reagent to enhance SO2 removal in the FGD.

Carbon Capture Ready


and reaction kinetics. The simulator has been

calibrated to performance test data from the
Bellingham facility. This allows Fluor to test
new configurations in order to further improve the EFG+ process. The technology has
been continuously improved through solvent
and flowsheet enhancements to lower both
the energy consumption and solvent loss.
These enhancements, along with advanced
features, are incorporated into the current
EFG+ designs.

next steps might be sorbent injection for

control of sulfur trioxide gas and activated
carbon injection for removing mercury from
gas streams upstream of the particulate control device, which will usually consist of a
dry electrostatic precipitator or a fabric filter
or, in some cases, both.
Although Figure 3 shows the path for a
wet FGD unit, many plants, especially those
with low-sulfur fuel such as Powder River
Basin coal, may use a dry FGD upstream of
the particulate control device. Regardless of
whether SO2 is removed by wet or dry FGD,
the EFG+ system and most other postcombustion carbon capture technologies will be
located downstream of the air quality control system. The flue gas will still have small
quantities of particulates, SO2, ammonia, and
other pollutant species that will need to be
identified, quantified, and considered in the
design of the CO2 capture unit.
The new equipment added in the flue gas
path for carbon capture depicted in Figure 3
includes a polishing FGD or direct contact
cooler (DCC) with scrubbing capability, a
blower, and a CO2 absorber.
Increased control of SO2 may be accomplished by one or more of the following

capture system. The CO2 absorption solvent

will remove the majority of these pollutants.
The bad news is that the presence of these
pollutants in the flue gas increases the complexity and operating cost of the CO2 capture
processregardless of the technology.
Impurities in the flue gasparticularly
SOx, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen chloride,
and hydrogen fluoridewill lead to the formation of heat-stable salt (HSS) in the amine
systems. The HSS must be converted back
into amine in a reclaiming process. Fluor has
assessed that it is often more cost-effective
to reduce HSS precursors before the flue gas
encounters the solvent. The pretreatment step
to remove HSS-forming precursors is a part
Fluors process design strategy for coal-fired
power plants (Figure 3).
In this example, a selective catalytic reduction system is used to control NOx. The

Provisions for the addition of postcombustion CO2 capture can vary from being aware
of the requirements for the design to full
integration of the power, steam, and cooling needs, as well as infrastructure for CO2
transportation. At a minimum, the analysis
and early decisions concerning CO2 capture,
with particular emphasis on the commercial
EFG+ technology, should include in-depth
analysis of the following topics.
Permitting. The facility permits and operations philosophy should give maximum
operational flexibility to the CO2 capture system. The operational philosophy and design
should allow flexibility in the event that sequestration wells, the buyer for the commercial grade CO2, or the enhanced oil recovery
end user cannot accept CO2 for any reason.
CO2 capture should be permitted on a
mass of CO2 per year rather than a percent
removal basis. This would allow for upset
conditions and periods when the CO2 compression and pipeline system is unavailable.
In addition, it would potentially allow the

capture system to be run during off-peak
periods such as winter (for summer peak areas) or nighttime operation.
The emissions dispersion modeling must
consider the lower gas volume and potentially
cooler gas stream. The stack construction materials must be compatible with wet flue gas.
Certain carbon capture processes may require
reheat of the gases prior to the stack to ensure
that the temperature is compatible with stack
materials or to make sure that the gas buoyancy is sufficient for the requirements.
Consideration should be made for the use
of potential waste streams from the CO2 capture process within the boiler and FGD systems water balance. These streams include
condensed water from the DCC and chemical
streams from the reclaimer. The water may
be used as FGD makeup, for ash wetting, or
for other purposes. The water could also be
treated by integration into the base plants
water treatment facilities.
Plant Arrangement. Capture ready
has for many meant space allocation for future technology implementation. Large-scale
CO2 capture and sequestration projects that
are currently in development require multiple
CO2 absorption trains that require large plot
areas. Even for smaller CO2 capture retrofit
applications, plot availability can play a vital
role in the projects feasibility. As a result,
Fluor has focused on strategies to minimize
the footprints of EFG+ plants, including
large-diameter absorber design, plate and
frame exchanger train minimization, and reboiler shell count minimization.
Space allocation and/or provisions for the
CO2 capture system must also include consideration of booster fans, absorber columns,
DCC, gas separation units, cooling equipment, CO2 compression/storage equipment,
reclaimer, building infrastructure expansions,
reagent tanks/unloading, pipe/ductwork corridors, and maintenance access.
Power Plant Integration. Consideration
should be made to integrate the steam requirements into the boiler, turbine, feedwater, and condenser circuits to limit the impact
on the power production of the generator and
fully optimize the entire power generation/
carbon capture system. Because the CO2
capture system uses significant quantities
of steam and power, the steam and electrical cycles should be thoroughly evaluated to
provide the most energy efficient solution. If
CO2 capture is continuous, one option is to
use a smaller turbine and size the boiler to
produce both high-energy steam for the turbine and low-energy steam for the CO2 capture system. If the CO2 system can be turned
offfor example, to maximize power during
peak load timesthen the turbine should be
sized to match the boiler production.

4. Easy integration.

Multiple options are available to power plant design engineers for

cost-effective integration of the EFG+ process into the plant steam cycle. The approach illustrated here uses steam extraction from the intermediate turbine exhaust to supply solvent
regeneration heat requirements. Courtesy: Fluor Corp.
To Fluor Econamine FG Plus
Topping turbine
solvent regeneration
From boiler reheater

From boiler superheater





To boiler reheater

For new coal-fired power plants, integration of the EFG+ technology into the plants
cycle heat balance needs to be evaluated
based on site-specific requirements and conditions. Various alternatives may be studied
to determine the best solution for a particular
application based on project economic factors, planned CO2 capture efficiency, planned
CO2 capture capacity factor (percentage of
time operating), and site ambient conditions.
Fluor has studied various cycle heat balance
optimization approaches for multiple power
plant sizes. For illustrative purposes, the approach outlined below is based on a typical
850-MWe coal-fired power plant (Figure 4).
For this case, the steam demand for regeneration of the solvent could be approximately
one-third of the steam flow to the low-pressure
(LP) turbine. Optimally, the steam would be
extracted from the steam cycle at the lowest
potential energy point that still provides sufficient heat energy to regenerate the solvent.
Doing so ensures efficient use of the steam
energy in power production prior to providing
steam to the carbon capture system. This can
be accomplished by extracting steam at the
intermediate pressure (IP) to LP crossover
portion of the steam cycle. Impacts to the IP
turbine must be accounted for in blading design due to the various operating cases that
may be generated by the CO2 capture operating load and power plant operating load.
If the steam pressure requirements for solvent regeneration are lower than the crossover
pressure (as they would be for the typical 850MW cycle described above), a smaller topping
turbine may be used downstream of the cycle
extraction to recover some of the steam energy
that would otherwise be lost through control
valve throttling, as shown in Figure 4.
As discussed above, other steam cycle design alternatives may be employed to meet
the carbon capture systems energy needs. In
addition to the steam cycle impacts, electrical

demand impacts on the facilitys power supply gear, water system, and control system
architecture must be addressed.

The Future Is Now

Integrating carbon capture into a new or existing
power plant has major impacts on the facility
that require careful analysis and decision-making, beyond simply adding space or capacity
for electrical power and steam. Wise decisions
can reduce the impact on the plant and improve
the economics of power production.
The EFG+ technology is a proven, costeffective process for removing CO2 from
low-pressure, oxygen-containing flue gas
streams. The performance of the process has
been successfully demonstrated on a commercial scale over the past 20 years, and
Fluor continues to build on these years of
technology development and experience.
Fluor and E.ON Energie AG (E.ON) have
formed a strategic partnership for the development of a retrofitted pilot plant using the
commercially proven EFG+ carbon capture
technology. The pilot plant will begin operation in 2010 at E.ONs coal-fired power plant
in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The primary
focus of this partnership is to enhance the
technology and to demonstrate its application to safely separate carbon from the flue
gas of a coal-fired power plant by processing 17,000 normal cubic meters per hour of
power plant flue gas and recovering 90% of
the CO2 contained in that gas.

Dennis W. Johnson (dennis.johnson is the senior director of process specialty engineering at Fluor Power.
Dr. Satish Reddy (
is the executive director of process specialty engineering at Fluor Enterprises Inc.
James H. Brown, PE, PMP (james.brown is the director of engineering
of the solid fueled projects business line
at Fluor Power.

POWER August 2009

February 3 5, 2010
Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

Save th
For more information on RETECH 2010
please visit or contact:

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Organized by:

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Preventing Turbine Water Damage:

TDP-1 Updated
ASMEs latest revision of its Recommended Practices for the Prevention of Water Damage to Steam Turbines Used for Electric Power Generation: Fossil-Fuel Plants, ASME TDP-1-2006, contains much important design and
operating advice that is proven to protect steam turbines. However, many
in the industry are not as familiar with the update as they should be. This
article provides a concise overview of this critical design standard.
By Larry A. Kielasa, DTE Energy; Ram Narula, Bechtel Power Corp.; and John C. Boyle, FM Global

SME TDP-1, Recommended Practices

for the Prevention of Water Damage
to Steam Turbines Used for Electric
Power Generation: Fossil-Fuel Plants, was
initially developed in response to a rash of
water induction incidents in the 1960s as
power plant ratings were scaled up above
150 MW. TDP-1 was originally published
in 1972; revisions were made in 1979, 1985,
1998, and 2006. The latest revision to TDP-1
includes conventional steam (Rankine) cycle
and combined-cycle power plants. (Nuclear
power plants are covered under TDP-2.)
TDP-1 is a recommended practice and
therefore not a mandatory code; if you want
the features described in TDP-1 to be included in your plant design specifications, it must
be specifically called out in your contract.
Merely writing into your plant specifications
the requirement to comply with all ASME
standards will not automatically include this
recommended practice.

the most damaging, experience has shown

that water induction into low-pressure (LP)
turbines can also cause significant damage
and should be taken seriously.
Water induction can happen at any time;
however, it is most common during transients
such as those that occur during start-up, shutdown, and load changes. Figure 2 illustrates
the percentage of times various events contribute to water induction for a conventional
steam cycle. It is interesting that only 18%
of water induction incidents occur when the
unit is at load.
When water induction does occur, it can
damage steam turbines in several ways. The
damage is usually caused by the impact of
large slugs of water or by the quenching effect of cold water on hot metal. The severity
of water damage can vary from minor seal
rubs all the way to catastrophic damage to the
turbine. Generally, water damage falls into
the following categories:

Sources of Water Induction

Water can be inducted into a steam turbine

from several sources, including these:

TDP-1 Basic Concepts

TDP-1 offers guidance on how to identify systems that have a potential to allow water to enter the turbine and to design, control, maintain,
test, and operate these systems in a manner
that prevents any significant accumulation of
waterthe first line of defense in preventing
turbine water damage. However, malfunctions
do occur, so TDP-1 offers recommendations
for preventing turbine damage that include:

Motive steam systems

Steam attemperation systems
Turbine extraction/admission systems
Feedwater heaters
Turbine drain systems
Turbine steam seal systems
Start-up systems
Condenser steam and water dumps (steam
Steam generator sources

Figure 1 shows the percentage of water induction incidents attributed to the most common sources of water in conventional steam
cycles. Although water induction into highpressure (HP) and intermediate-pressure (IP)
turbines has historically been recognized as

Thrust bearing failure

Damaged blades/buckets

Thermal cracking
Rub damage
Permanent warping distortion
Secondary effects, including seal packing ring damage, pipe hangar and support
damage, and damage to instrumentation
and controls

Detection of the presence of water either in

the turbine or, preferably, external to the turbine before the water has caused damage.
Isolation of the water by manual or, preferably, automatic means after it has been

1. Sources of water induction.

2. When water induction occurs.

Source: Serge P. Barton et al., A Water Induction Monitor for Steam Turbines (ASME)

Source: Serge P. Barton et al., A Water Induction Monitor for Steam Turbines (ASME)

Hot reheat

Other 4%


Main steam


Cold reheat

Load reduction

At load


Turning gear

POWER August 2009

3. Stay level-headed. Typical drain
pots must have redundant level elements.
(Symbols per ISA standards.) Source: ASME
Motive steam pipe
(which requires redundant protection)

Drain pot


an auxiliary turbine such as a boiler feed pump

drive turbine. The committee introduced the
concept of motive steam to incorporate combined-cycle configurations (HP, IP, and LP
drums) along with the existing conventional
steam (Rankine) cycle configurations.
Motive steam systems include:



Main steam
Hot and cold reheat steam
HP, IP, and LP steam
Admission steam

should be provided in the cold reheat system

to prevent the reverse flow of bypass steam
into the steam turbine. Designers should carefully consider the location, design, and orientation of large steam dumps (such as turbine
bypasses) into the condenser.
Process (Cogeneration) Steam. Process
steam lines that are supplied from motive and
extraction steam lines are a potential source
of water induction. Motive and extraction
steam lines should be protected from process
steam lines with the following features:

Motive steam systems do not include:


To drain receiver

Disposal of the water by either manual or,

preferably, automatic means after it has
been detected.

The philosophy of TDP-1 has been and

will continue to be that no single failure of
equipment, device, signal, or loss of electrical power should result in water or cold steam
entering the turbine.
The latest revision of TDP-1 includes several new items that address recent industry
experience, including combined-cycle units
and the application of modern control systems and technology to turbine water damage protection. The new guideline addresses:

Combined-cycle configurations such as

HP, IP, and LP drums on heat-recovery
steam generators (HRSGs).
Cascading and direct turbine bypass
Recommendations for process steam lines
associated with cogeneration configurations.
Recommendations on superheat attemperation at the outlet of the final superheater
of an HRSG.
Additional clarification of system drain requirements, including the use of drain flash
tanks and pumped condensate drain tanks.
Recommendations for draining side and
axial turbine exhaust orientations into the
The use of integrated control systems
(ICS), such as distributed control systems (DCS), in closed and open feedwater
heater level instrumentation and controls.
It also expands on the control and automation criteria for turbine water induction
protection systems.

To facilitate the discussion of combinedcycle configurations, TDP-1-2006 introduces

the concept of motive steam. Motive steam
systems supply steam to a steam turbine for
the primary purpose of power production or to

August 2009 POWER

Extraction steam
Gland steam seal line

Recommendations for CombinedCycle Configurations

In this document, a combined cycle is defined as a hybrid of the gas turbine (Brayton) and steam (Rankine) cycles. Waste heat
contained in the gas turbine exhaust is fed
through an HRSG that produces steam that
is expanded through a condensing steam turbine to produce power.
Heat-Recovery Systems. HRSG system
configurations typically include as many as
three steam drums, each with boiler water
level controlled by feedwater valve modulation and condensate or feed pump recirculation or a similar method of controlling
inflows. The same plant design requirements
that apply to other steam generators apply to
The use of attemperators external to the
steam generator, downstream of the last superheating (or reheating) element, is discouraged; however, it is recognized that under
some conditions it cannot be avoided. When
this type of attemperator is required in the
motive steam line to control the temperature
of the steam entering a steam turbine, several
additional features are recommended to provide adequate protection.
When the gas turbine cooling steam or
power augmentation steam pipe is connected
to a motive steam line, this pipe should not
be connected at or near the low point of the
motive steam pipe. If routing of this pipe creates a low point, a drain should be provided
from the pipe.
Turbine Bypass Systems. Turbine bypass
systems should be provided with the same level of protection as motive steam piping. These
should include drains and drain pots (if applicable) with power-operated drain valves. Attemperators in bypass systems that discharge
to the cold reheat system (or any other line
connected back to the steam turbine) should
be designed consistent with all the requirements on attemperators. Non-return valves

Two power-operated block valves should be

provided to isolate the motive steam or extraction steam line from the process steam
line. Any two of the following are acceptable: a pressure-reducing valve (control
valve) with fail-closed capability against
the maximum reverse differential pressure;
a power-assisted non-return valve; and a
standard power-operated block valve.
The designer should consider steam supply and process system upsets that may result in cold steam admission to the motive/
extraction steam line.
If an attemperator is required, it should be
located downstream of the second poweroperated block valve.

Recommendations for
Steam Line Drains
There are three types of steam line drains
regardless of the configuration of the steam
power plant:

Standard with power-operated block valve

Drain pot with power-operated block valve
Drain pot with redundant level elements
and power-operated block valve

Figure 3 shows a typical drain pot with

redundant level elements typically used in
high-risk areas. One change in the guideline is the level-sensing device, which now is
labeled as a level element (LE). In past versions of the guidline this device was shown as
a level switch. The level element in the latest
version can represent either a level switch, a
thermocouple, or a conductivity probe.
Drains should be installed at each low
point in motive steam piping. Placement of
drain pots is recommended at:

Cold reheat lines at the first low point

downstream of the steam turbine exhaust.
(This application requires redundant level
Motive steam lines that operate (admit steam
to the steam turbine continuously) with less
than 100F (56C) superheat, unless a continuous drain has been provided. (This application requires redundant level elements.)


Motive steam lines with attemperators

(for example, an attemperator in an HP
steam line). The drain pot should be between the attemperator and the steam
turbine. (This application requires redundant level elements.)
Motive steam lines that are prone to water
accumulation during operation for which
large drain collection areas and/or waterdetection devices are desired.
Motive steam lines that will be under
vacuum during steam turbine start-up and
Branches and legs that will be stagnant
during various operating modes, unless a
continuous drain has been provided.
At the steam turbine end of long horizontal runs (over 75 feet).

4. Double up components. The new specification provides sizing and redundancy requirements for a vacuum condensate drain tank. Source: ASME TDP-1-2006 Committee
Vent to condenser

From spray water



Condensate to condenser
Condensate to condenser



Recommendations for Automatic

Drain Control Systems
As plants become more complex and a larger
number of drains are involved, plants are adding automatic controls to simplify operation.
Any automatic control system used to control steam line drain valves identified in these
guidelines should be designed so that the system has a means of initiating automatic valve
actuation and a separate means of verifying the
appropriateness of the automatic action. If an
inappropriate action is taken, an alarm should
be provided. For example, if a drain valve is
closed automatically based on a timer, an instrument other than the timer, such as a level
switch that would alarm if water were still present in the steam line, should be used to verify
that the timer initiation was appropriate.
A typical condensate tank is shown in
Figure 4. Critical tank design issues include
vent sizing, redundancy of controls, and redundancy of pumping equipment, including
independent power supplies. The following
recommendations apply:

The cross-sectional area of the drain tank

vent should be large enough to make certain that the tanks internal pressure, with
all simultaneous drains open, will be lower
than that of the lowest pressure drain into
the tank under all operating conditions, including start-up and shutdown.
When the drain tank is connected to the
condenser, the drain tank should provide
separation of entering condensate and steam
from the drain source(s). The vent line to
the condenser should be large enough so
that the tank pressure will be less than the
source pressures of all drains connected to
the tank under all conditions. Under startup and shutdown conditions, some of the
drains may be close to condenser pressure.
The tank drain line should be sized for
the maximum service conditions. When


Duplex pump
Station tank

5. Keep your blades dry. This illustration of an axial exhaust steam turbine with condenser drains and water levels is used to show that water should never accumulate higher than
the tip of the last-stage blades. Source: ASME TDP-1-2006 Committee

Condenser neck




Tip of last-stage blades

LP casing drains
High water level
low point Normal water level
Low water level

a drain pump is required, it should be actuated automatically based on drain tank

level. If a drain pump is required and its
failure could possibly lead to water entering the turbine, redundant drain pumps
(supplied with power from separate power
sources) should be furnished, each controlled by an independent level controller
actuated automatically based on drain tank
level. Independent level signals indicating
a high-high alarm condition in the tank
should be provided in the control room.
Connections for incoming drains on the
tank should be located above the maximum water level in the tank.

Steam Turbine Exhaust

Axial and side exhaust can be used to lower
the turbine pedestal and minimize plant cost


(Figure 5). But compared to a down exhaust

condenser, this configuration adds risk because of the proximity of condenser water
level to turbine blades.
Because of the axial and side exhaust
steam condensers relatively compact design
and close proximity to the steam turbine exhaust, condenser designers should carefully
consider the location, design, and orientation
of large steam dumps (such as turbine bypasses) into the condenser. This is necessary
to avoid or minimize the injection of large,
and potentially damaging, quantities of water
into the steam turbine exhaust.
The steam dump should be designed to
disperse sufficient incoming steam energy to
avoid backflow toward the turbine. Considerations should include, but not be limited to,
desuperheater station placement and placement and configuration of high-energy steam

POWER August 2009

6. Unwanted water. An axial exhaust steam turbine must avoid recirculating water back
into the steam turbine. Source: ASME TDP-1-2006 Committee


input/output modules, and memory storage interconnected through a communication network

and equipped with redundant power supplies.
Normally, a DCS or redundant programmable
logic controllers will meet this requirement.
The minimum ICS features to meet the reliability and redundancy needs addressed in
this recommended practice are:

Curtain spray system

LP turbine exhaust

dumps to avoid velocity vectors toward the

steam turbine and to achieve maximum possible steam dispersion. Criteria that should
be considered include the following:

Avoid discharging high-energy bypass

steam into the area between the condenser
hotwell and the tube bundle.
Locate the bypass sparger a safe distance
from the condenser tube bundles to allow
a sufficient reduction in kinetic energy so
that high-energy steam does not reach areas



Dual processors.
Uninterruptible power supply.
I/Os associated with redundant plant
equipment and instruments should not be
connected to the same I/O cards.
Outputs that fail to known position during
processor or internal communication failure.

More to Come

above and below the tube bundles and cause

a recirculation backflow with entrained water toward the turbine (Figure 6).
Determine an incidence angle of highenergy steam jets that will avoid reflected velocity vectors toward the turbine

Recommendation for Integrated

Control Systems
In the ASME standard an ICS is defined as a
control system featuring multiple processors,

The committee is now working on TDP-2 for nuclear power plants. Look for it in the near future.

Larry A. Kielasa, PE recently retired

from DTE Energy and was the vice chair
of the ASME Water Induction Prevention
Committee that prepared TDP-1-2006. Ram
Narula ( is a Bechtel
fellow, vice president, and chief technology
officer for Bechtel Power. He chaired the
committee. John C. Boyle, PE (john.boyle@ is a senior engineering
technical specialist for FM Global.

A new monthly online magazine from the editors of POWER
Your one-stop online resource for power
plant management concerns:

inquiries, contact:


opportunities, contact:

Bookmark the site now:

August 2009 POWER



Flexible Fuel Combustor Design

Accommodates LNG
To supplement domestic natural gas supplies, the U.S. is expected to increase its
dependence on offshore liquefied natural gas suppliers in the coming years.
However, the composition and hydrocarbon content of imported LNG may
significantly vary from those of North American sources. Variation in fuel
composition may lead to plants using fuel that violates their combustion
turbine fuel specifications and may cause operational problems.
By Pratyush Nag and Ranjeet Vader, Siemens Energy Inc.

ffshore liquefied natural gas (LNG)

suppliers are satisfying the difference
between rising demand and declining
U.S. domestic production of natural gas and
Canadian imports. For example, Gazprom
and Shell announced in April that LNG from
the Sakhalin-2 project, located off Russias
eastern coast, will enter the U.S. market
through the Energia Costa Azul import terminal in Baja California, Mexico, and eventually make its way into Southern California.
The Sakhalin-2 project is expected to produce about 5% of the worlds LNG next year
(Figure 1). Although access to new supplies
is a good development, Siemens research
has indicated that the composition and hydrocarbon content of imported LNG can significantly vary from current domestic sources
and may cause operational problems.
The process of importing LNG begins with
liquefying gaseous natural gas at the source to
cryogenic temperatures on the order of 260F.

The liquefied gas is then loaded into well-insulated ship-mounted storage tanks for transport to one of several U.S. receiving terminals
(currently, there are reportedly eight in operation). When the LNG arrives, the liquefied gas
is regasified before entering the gas distribution pipelines. The fact that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is tracking 28 new
approved LNG terminal projects or expansion
projects indicates the expected growth in LNG
imports in the coming years.
The liquefaction and regasification processes
also enable removal of some of the inert componentssuch as nitrogen gas (N2), carbon dioxide
(CO2), and higher hydrocarbons (C6+)while
retaining all of the original amounts of ethane, propane, and butane. The result can be an
LNG-derived gas that can have a wide range of
Wobbe Index (defined as higher heating value
divided by the square root of specific gravity)
and variable energy content per cubic foot when
compared with domestic natural gas.

The rate of variation of constituents (fuel

composition) in LNG-based gaseous fuels
can adversely impact the operation of power
generation turbines. The nature of LNG is
such that the composition of the fuel may
significantly change even from shipment to
shipment over a matter of days or even several times in a given day. The rate of change
in fuel constituents also depends on the location of the unit on the gas supply pipeline
network. For example, a unit that is close to
a pipeline node and receives gas from two or
more sources could be more susceptible to
fuel composition variation.

Fuel Flexibility Development

Combustion turbine fuel flexibility is strongly related to the type of combustion system
design used in a given turbine. Conventional
diffusion flame combustion systems are more
tolerant of wide variations in fuel composition but may not always be appropriate where

1. East meets West. The first Russian LNG plant on Sakhalin Island consists of two process trains, each having an annual production capacity of 4.8 million tons. The plant is projected to reach its design capacity (9.6 million tons per year) in 2010. Courtesy: Gazprom


POWER August 2009




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2. Global LNG supplies. Chemical constituents of LNG from worldwide suppliers vary
widely. Source: Natural Gas Plus Sub-Committee

late a range of LNG fuels during combustor

testing. Each fuel represented a range of
expected chemical constituents. Source:
Siemens Energy Inc.








Wobbe Index (HHV)

Table 1. Three fuel options studied. Three test fuels were selected to simu-


U.S. domestic
1,342 +/2%


Relative size of reserve

3. Fuel flexibility testing set-up. These were the test rig (top) and mixing skid setup
(bottom) used during LNG testing. Courtesy: Siemens Energy Inc.

Test fuel
















We believe a combustion turbine with

properly matched fuel system hardware can
be capable of operating on many LNG-type
fuels while maintaining emissions and other
operational parameters. The key to success is
selecting the right equipment for a particular application and a firm understanding of
equipment performance under a wide range
of fuel characteristics.

Fuel Flexibility Development


lower turbine NOx emissions are sought. The

more advanced premixed flame combustors,
the dry low-NOx (DLN) and ultra-low-NOx
(ULN) combustion systems, typically perform better in terms of lower NOx emissions,
but both demand tighter control over the variability of the gaseous fuel constituents.
LNG users may expect some variation in
fuel composition if their turbine fuel supply
contains a percentage of LNG, and they will

need to assess that variation in light of applicable original equipment manufacturer fuel
specifications. Apart from the potential effect
of voiding warranties, operational issues
such as combustion dynamics, flashback, increased emissions, or decreased component
lifecan occur. Another potential issue that
may arise from a sudden change in fuel composition is substantial and unexpected load
swings. Luckily, there is a solution.

Siemens has been involved in the development of an LNG-capable gas turbine using
advanced premixed combustion systems for
over five years. The key goal of the development project was to thoroughly investigate
and then identify robust combustion system
configurations that are capable of reliable operation on a stipulated range of LNG fuels.
The initial step for the fuel flexibility development project was a careful evaluation of
most of our commercially available combustion system configurations and then downselecting the most robust configurations of
combustion hardware capable of handling
wide changes in fuel composition.
The selection process came after many
hours of rig and field testing to confirm the
equipment selections. Siemens has completed multiple LNG test campaigns for the
SGT6-5000F (W501F) engine, both in test
rigs and in operating engines. Rig tests for
the SGT6-3000E (W501D5A) and the SGT66000G (W501G) also have been completed.
These tests have added substantial operating
information to our extensive knowledge base
of combustion system design practices, especially the challenges presented with burning
LNG and highWobbe Index fuels.
Siemens has also reviewed information
regarding U.S. and global gas reserves. Our
review showed that U.S. domestic natural gas
reserves have had a Wobbe Index value in the
range of approximately 1,315 to 1,370 Btu/
scf (Figure 2). However, in our review of information on global gas reserves, the Wobbe
Indices of the fuels from the international
sources showed more variation, with reported
values ranging from 1,366 to 1,441 Btu/scf.

POWER August 2009


4. DLN fuel flexibility testing. This graph shows the typical response of the dry lowNOx combustion system on three different LNG fuels compared with typical pipeline natural
gas. Configuration B-tuned was the final configuration selection for this application. Source:
Siemens Energy Inc.
Configuration A
Configuration B

NOx, ppmvd@15% O2

Our research also concluded that, in addition to the variation in heat content, individual components in the LNG varied widely
among sources. However, it was observed
that the maximum percentages of the higher
hydrocarbons was about 14% ethane, 4%
propane, and 2.5% butane, but these maximum percentages were not all found in a particular fuel gas at the same time. Considering
the wide range in fuel constituents and heat
content, Siemens opted to use three representative fuels for its testing regimen (Table 1).

Testing for Fuel Flexibility

August 2009 POWER

Typical pipeline
natural gas



typical LNG

LNG2: 99%
LNG covered

1,380 1,400 1,420 1,440

Wobbe Index (HHV) Btu/scf

extreme LNG




5. ULN fuel flexibility testing. This graph shows the typical response of the ultra-lowNOx combustion system for different gas turbine frames for NOx emissions. A ULN system
is much less susceptible to wider constituent variations that may be present in LNG. Source:
Siemens Energy Inc.

NOx, ppmvd@15% O2

We expect interest in DLN- and ULNequipped turbines will continue to increase in

the future because the regulatory drive to reduce NOx emissions remains strong. We also
expect that the fraction of LNG in our pipelines will rise even if the levels are typically
small today. Lacking LNG in the fuel gas
pipeline that met our testing specifications at
our test facility, our challenge was to find the
means to test the impact of various LNG fuels
on combustion tuning. Mixing skids were installed to blend the different fuel components
to simulate LNG blends. Figure 3 shows the
combustor test rig and mixing skid used during our simulated LNG tests.
Based on our research, we established three
different types of fuel compositions (Table 1)
to cover what we considered to be the characteristics of most of the worlds gas reserves
and beyond. The fuel composite LNG1 included characteristics as reported for most of
the worlds LNG sources. The fuel composite
LNG2 has a wider specification, which was
intended to cover almost all of the worlds gas
reserves characteristics as reported. Finally,
the LNG3 fuel composite was established to
test more extreme conditions and verify system design and operating margins.
The objective of these rig tests was to determine the operating and emissions characteristics of the combustion system on a range
of fuels, from typical natural gas through
LNG fuels. These tests were conducted at the
normal steady state operating range and from
partial load to baseload for all fuel compositions mentioned above. Ignition tests were
also performed to confirm successful gas
ignition in the combustor using both natural
gas and LNG fuels.
At the conclusion of this series of tests,
we found that typically NOx output increased
with an increase in the Wobbe Index of the
three test fuels (Figure 4). We also found
that an increase in Wobbe Index increased
the propensity of flashback (the progression
of flame in the reverse direction of flow and
possible attachment to combustor hardware).
Flashback can be a significant issue during
combustion turbine operation, as it can reduce

Typical pipeline
natural gas




typical LNG


1,380 1,400 1,420 1,440

Wobbe Index (HHV) Btu/scf

combustor life and, in extreme cases, cause

combustor damage and extensive repairs.
An interesting result of the testing was a
reduction of combustion dynamics (largeamplitude pressure oscillations in the combustion chamber, driven by heat release
oscillations, which can be destructive to engine hardware) when burning the simulated
LNG. Because the simulated LNG had more
of the heavier hydrocarbons, it provided a
relatively more stable flame that in turn produces less-intense combustion dynamics.
We also found during our tests that certain

99% LNG covered


extreme LNG




combinations of combustion hardware were

more susceptible to flashback and significantly increased NOx emissions. Other combinations of combustors fared significantly
better in terms of these critical parameters,
as illustrated in Figure 4, for tests performed
on the DLN combustion system configuration. Configuration B performed relatively
better than Configuration A in terms of NOx
emissions. Although there was an increase in
NOx, the combustors may be tuned to achieve
lower NOx levels, as indicated by the Configuration B (tuned) curve. Configuration B was


6. Fuel flexibility solution. Siemens Integrated Fuel Gas Characterization system allows real-time combustor tuning in response to varying fuel gas constituents. Source: Siemens
Energy Inc.
Wobbe meter/gas chromatograph




Combustion Dynamics
Protection System

Throttle valves

Table 2. Add more fuel flexibility. Siemens has developed a more flexible
combustion turbine fuel specification to accommodate a wider range of LNG content in
commercial natural gas supplies. The specification can be implemented on certain units
on a case-by-case basis. Installation of specific component upgrades and a modified fuel
specification may be required by Siemens.
Source: Siemens Energy Inc.
Wobbe Index variation

1,288 to 1,424 Btu/scf

Methane (CH4) (mol %)

Greater than or equal to 80%

Ethane (C2H6) (mol %)

Less than or equal to 15%

Propane (C3H8) (mol %)

Less than or equal to 5%

Butanes (C4H10+) (mol %) Less than or equal to 3%

Gas turbine

Customer scope

tings based on operational conditions like

fuel gas variability, combustion dynamics,
and the like.

New Fuel Specification Developed

chosen as the preferred combustor configuration for DLN applications.
We also found that the ULN combustion
system is much less susceptible to the wider
constituent variations that may be present in
LNG. There was marginal impact on NOx
emissions while operating on LNG1, LNG2,
and even LNG3 fuels (Figure 5, p. 69). Flashback margin was also found to be acceptable.
There was no measurable impact on combustion dynamics with regard to the use of these
fuels in the ULN combustion system.

Fuel Flexibility Solution

Overall, we found that many LNG-type fuels
can be considered for use in Siemens combustion turbines if certain modifications are
made to those turbines. These modifications
can include either the installation of the preferred combustion hardware identified from
the rig and engine tests described above or
the combustion hardware along with the Integrated Fuel Gas Characterization (IFGC)
system designed to tune the combustor in
real time within defined changes in fuel composition. Site-specific evaluation is required
to determine required system modifications
for the unit based on current configuration,
expected fuels, and desired emission levels.
The typical combustion turbine must be
manually tuned, if possible, to operate efficiently across its design load range when a
new gas fuel is introduced. Manual tuning is
out of the question when the composition of
fuel is found to change rapidly.
Siemens IFGC (Figure 6) system is designed to make real-time adjustments that a
fixed gas turbine combustion control system
is incapable of making. The IFGC system
consists of a meter (a Wobbe Meter with a
redundant integrated gas chromatograph),

Combustion Dynamics Protection System (CDPS) hardware, and a fuel gas buffer tank. The primary purpose of the IFGC
system is to minimize power fluctuations
or load swings due to changes in the fuel
composition and Wobbe Index. The IFGC
meter is located upstream of the combustion turbine; it is designed to continuously
analyze the supply fuel gass Wobbe Index
and send a signal to the control system. The
control system, based on the Wobbe Index
signal value, then adjusts the fuel supply to
the combustion turbine. The fuel gas buffer
tank introduces a short delay to accommodate the response time of the control system
before the analyzed fuel reaches the combustion turbine.
The IFGC also addresses the possibility
of poor light-off events associated with fuel
quality. The IFGC, with its feed-forward
control, can accommodate many fuel quality
variations and help ensure adequate fuel flow
for light-off. Flashback, another issue for
LNG fuels, is also dependent on fuel composition. The IFGC feed-forward system using
the buffer tank is intended to adjust the control settings to minimize flashback.
The CDPS system can help mitigate potentially destructive combustion dynamics and
out-of-specification emissions. The CDPS is
an active control dynamics monitoring and
control system. The CDPS receives signals
from the plants continuous emissions monitoring system, located at the turbine exhaust,
and compares this information with the unitspecific emissions permit. Depending on
the variation between the two numbers, the
CDPS is designed to adjust the control settings to maintain emissions and acceptable
levels of combustion dynamics. The IFGC
and CDPS together adjust real-time fuel

Subsequent to the engine and rig tests, Siemens prepared a fuel specification that allows
a wider range of fuels for the SGT6-5000F,
which can be implemented on units that have
installed the appropriate combustion and
IFGC hardware. A site-specific evaluation is
required to assess the hardware, control systems, and other equipment that may be necessary to safely burn LNG.
Note that unless and until all of these upgades are installed, and Siemens has issued
a revised fuel specification for each specific
unit, operators must continue to follow the
fuel specifications in their contracts.
Siemens has also developed modification
packages to retrofit operating SGT6-5000F
combustion turbines to burn a wider range of
fuels, as defined in Table 2, while maintaining exhaust NOx output.
With more flexible fuel specifications,
combustion turbines can better remain fuel
supply sourceneutral. That ability can help
provide better plant operating economics
and keep such units high on the dispatch
priority list.

The authors would like to acknowledge the core team that has made this
development a success. In alphabetical order, they are Khalil Abou-Jaoude,
Richard Bunce, Jacqueline Engel,
Matthew LaGrow, Steve Mumford, Bruce
Rising, Fred Shoemaker, Damien Teehan, and Jianfan Wu.
Pratyush Nag (pratyush.nag@siemens
.com) is manager, Modernizations &
Upgrades, Service Engineering Americas
for Siemens Energy Inc. Ranjeet Vader
( is principal
engineer, GT Modernization & Upgrades,
Service Engineering Americas for
Siemens Energy Inc.

POWER August 2009


Marmys Deep-Freeze Blackout

Steve Elonka began chronicling the exploits of Marmaduke Surfaceblowa
six-foot-four marine engineer with a steel brush mustache and a foghorn
voicein POWER in 1948, when he raised the wooden mast of the SS Asia
Sun with the help of two cobras and a case of Sandpaper Gin. Marmys
simple solutions to seemingly intractable plant problems remain timeless.
This Classic Marmaduke story, published 50 years ago, takes place during
the Cold War at an Air Force Base in northern Greenland, where under-ice
tunnels were constructed to move nuclear rockets around the facility unobserved. The miniature nuclear reactor was operated for almost three years
before it was shut down and returned to the U.S., ending the Armys nuclear
program. Greenland officially became a separate county within the Kingdom of Denmark in 1953, and home rule was introduced in 1979.

ew people know that Greenland resembles an ice-filled bowl,

rimmed by coastal ranges. The greatest known ice thickness is
over two miles (11,190 feet), and its tremendous weight has depressed the ground surface to 1,200 feet below sea level. This gigantic
ice cap covers 700,000 square miles and, if melted, would raise the
level of the oceans by 20 ft.
On Greenland, and only 886 miles from the North Pole, is Camp
Century, the city under ice. This camp, occupied by 100 to 200 men,
was constructed 40 ft below the ice cap surface and has 21 tunnels,
including a Main Street that is 1,100 ft long.
Camp Century was built by the Corps of Engineers and is operated by the U.S. Army Arctic Research Support Group. The camp is
located 138 miles inland, which is slightly farther from Thule Airbase
on Baffin Bay. Obviously, logistic support in such an environment is
difficult, especially during the winter months. Thats why the Army
decided a nuclear power plant would serve Camp Centurys needs
especially well. For example, based on experience in the Antarctic,
60% of the cargo lift is fuel. So the fuel oil the Army buys for 12 a
gallon ends up costing up to $6 a gallon by the time its in the storage
tanks at our frozen bases. Thats pretty steep.
The answer was the PM-2A pre-packaged nuclear power plant to
provide the needed electricity and steam from nuclear fuel instead of
oil. The reactor would need less than 50 lb of uranium-235 every year,
compared to over one-half million gallons of diesel fuel. The plant
was constructed on skids, then loaded aboard the USNS Marine Fiddler for Thule, Greenland. There she was unloaded for the truck trip
to the ice cap, where began the sled trip to Camp Century. Criticality
was reached only 78 days after arrival at the site. This included tying
the various skids together, checking out the systems, and getting the
reactor core loaded. And there had been no field welding.
One unusual feature is the method of providing water for the camp.
Steam from the nuclear plant supplies a steam jet, which descends
slowly into the ice and melts a bell-shaped chamber. An attached
pump sends up water as required. Over 10,000 gallons daily have
been supplied thus.

Ill drink to that also, rumbled Marmaduke, refilling his glass

from the bottle of Sandpaper Gin and expertly ballasting his double
The scene of this friendly dialogue which occurred in 1959 was the
Bent Propeller Bar in the Hells Kitchen section of New York City. The
Colonel and the tall marine engineer with the steel brush mustache
had run into each other by accident. After both men drank a toast to
the Nightingales main engine, then in turn to her boilers and to most
of her equipment, down to her lowly bilge pumps, they started all over
again, toasting their old ships crewone by one. Suddenly Marmaduke asked in his gravelly voice, Whats this NPFO you keep jawboning about, Colonel? Some new kind of ship I havent heard of?
Youd never guess, Marmy, answered the Colonel. Im with the
Armys Nuclear Power Field Office in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. And come
Marmaduke arrives at Greenlands Camp Century, the city under ice.
Source: POWER

Fond Recollections
Our portable medium-powered nuclear plant up in the Arctic is being reshielded right now, Marmaduke old buddy, said Colonel Hanel
to his cantankerous old shipmate, after only three months of operation. I must say she has no resemblance to the power plant we had on
the SS Nightingale in World War II, remember?

August 2009 POWER


to think of it, if you have never been shipmates
with one of these prepackaged power plants, I
just might work a deal to let you fly up there
with me tomorrow. What say? Besides, our old
shipmate SFC Tom Cruse is up there now.
Fire away, crackled the marine engineer, in his foghorn voice. Im for eyeballing that deep-freeze plant, so heave me a
line and take me in tow. Where did you say
that reactor is?
This ones at Camp Century, informed
the Colonel. She has a 2,000 kW steam turbine electric generating unit for heat, light
and exhaust steam for melting ice for the
camps water supply. And youll see a lot of
other ingenious devices up there that might
be new to you. Of course three diesel engines
back up the reactor when its shut down. I
dont have to tell you that every source of
heat and light must be assured to support human life under the ice cap.

By evening, Marmaduke had met most of

the camp personnel. He couldnt remember
more congenial shipmates anywhere. They
were alert, had good senses of humor, and
were eager to answer his questions and make
him feel at home. Several of them had even
heard of his reputation as an ingenious troubleshooter both on land and sea.
That evening Marmaduke sat down to a
steak dinner, which, to everyones surprise,
he washed down with Sandpaper Gin. Keeps
my heating system from congealing and it
also loosens up the barnacles, he explained.
After dinner he visited the Non Com
Club, which invitation he had accepted that
afternoon from the noncommissioned officer,
MSG Buteau, in charge of the nuclear plant.
Marmaduke was right at home, for there was
a Navy chief aboard and several Army men
who had been in the Navy as well as the merchant marine.

Worlds Largest Island

Electricity Is Life

Next morning the two men were aboard an

Air Force C-134, headed for frozen Thule in
Greenland. After a short stopover at Goose
Bay in Labrador, the C-134 set down on the
long, ice-covered runway at Thule, where
7,000 Americans operate the largest U.S. installation in the Arctic.
Marmaduke and the Colonel were no sooner off the plane, after landing in a blizzard,
than they were met by an Army sergeant. The
sergeant told them that a heavy swing, which
is a snow train made up of a Cat pulling two
or three 20-ton sleds, was ready to shove off
from Camp Tuto as soon as they arrived there.
Eight or nine of these trains make up a heavy
swing. After all, there is safety in numbers. It
was midwinter, and the thermometer had sunk
to minus 48F. Not only that, but a 30-knot
wind was mercilessly blasting without letup.
At first Marmy and the Colonel had some
trouble getting used to the midnight darkness at midday. But by the time they arrived
at Camp Tuto, they had acquired their night
vision. Two days later, after crawling along
at three miles an hour in dark subzero cold
and howling Arctic winds, the heavy swing
pulled into the welcome protection of the
maintenance tunnel at Camp Century.
After they had paid their respects to the camp
commander and thawed out a bit, Marmaduke
spent the afternoon eyeballing the camp. He
was especially interested in the unique power
plant. Besides the reshielding work going on,
he saw that No. 3 diesel was also down for major overhaul. She had a broken crankshaft, and
a new one had been ordered from the States.
But No. 1 and 2 engines were on the line and
producing 600 kW of power, on which the
camp seemed to live comfortably enough. The
normal load was about 900 kW.

As with seafaring men the world over, conversation soon got around to the ships on
which theyd sailed, the ports theyd visited,
and their exciting experiences around the
globe. The hours passed so pleasantly, it was
half past midnight before Marmaduke realized it and bade his host good night. As he
started back to his bunk in the commissioned
officers quarters, the lights dimmed, then
flickered and went out. For an instant it was
deathly quiet in the club.
In seconds, flashlights winked on, for the
men stationed in the sub-surface camp, like
marine engineers on watch aboard ship, always had flashlights on their persons. Someone immediately shoved a flashlight into
Marmadukes hand.
Theres trouble at the diesel plant, exclaimed one of the men, rushing for the
door. As Marmy hurriedly followed his new
shipmates along Main Street and entered the
diesel plant, he saw Lee McNeil, the watch
operator, busily adjusting the one remaining
diesel engine.
Whats wrong, Mac? rumbled Marmaduke, who had shortly before said good night
to McNeil in the Non Com Club when he left
to take over the 12-to-8 watch.
Number one was running rough, then
started knocking, explained McNeil, noticeably preoccupied. Thats why I had to open
several camp feeders and take the engine off
the line a few minutes ago. But No. 2 can
carry 300 kW and she seems to be holding
her own.
As Marmaduke watched, the utility crew
pitched in like a well-drilled team. They
trimmed every watt that wasnt absolutely
essential from the camps load.
Instantly, the camp commander was on the


intercom. He gave orders to close several living quarters and told the men to double up.
Heat was now priceless, and there was none
to waste. Some of the men were asked to sleep
in the mess hall. Beams of light flashed in the
dark as the men busied themselves doubling
up and again settling down for the night. The
diesel technicians immediately turned on No.
1 engine.
About 2:30 a.m., the improbable happened. No. 2 diesel coughed a few times,
then died. Now Camp Century was in blackness, save for a few strategic areas where
emergency lights were powered with nickel
cadmium batteries. But more serious, the
camp was now completely without heat.
Again, the camp commanders solemn
voice came over the intercom. Speaking
calmly, he informed his crew of this latest
catastrophe. The men knew that, without
electricity for heat, there would be no area
within the camp warmer than 30 F below
zero in only about 20 minutes. So unless the
engineers could learn quickly why No. 2 diesel had stopped and then could get her started
and back on the line, the camp was doomed.
And so perhaps were all of them.
Working by flashlights, the engineers first
got their heads together. They were sure of
only one thing: that No. 2 engine had worn
rings and for that reason was next on the list
for overhaul; in fact, a full set of replacement parts was near the engine, ready to install. But why did she stop? A quick check
of the crankcase oil confirmed their suspicion: the lube oil had become diluted with
diesel fuel oil leaking past the rings, and
so the crankcase oils lubricity was drastically reduced. That caused seizure of No. 2
crankshaft journal, as it had been recently
overhauled and had the least clearance in its
Marmaduke watched the engineers open the
crankcase drains to remove the contaminated
oil. One gang got busy opening her main bearings to file the welded metal from the scored
crankshaft journal, replace the top, and roll
out the bottom bearing insert. Another group
started replacing her pistons with spare ones
that were already ringed and ready to install.
A third crew hurried out to find a drum of
lubricating oil. But to their utter dismay, they
learned that the only crankcase oil available
was in drums stored out in the tunnel. And out
there the temperature was 30F below zero.
A drum was quickly rolled into the diesel
room. But they could tell that the oil inside had
congealed into a solid mass. Marmaduke, like
the camp crew, took this latest kick in the teeth
with silence. They were all in the same boat,
and theyd sink or swim together. And there
was no one answer to their complex problems.
Theyd have to take one hurdle at a time.

POWER August 2009

Now the tall muscular visitor pitched in
and helped the boys hoist the heavy oil drum
up on the metal rack. The drums filling plug
was unscrewed, but no oil would flow out.
McNeil poked his finger against the solid
mass inside. Like taffy, he said simply. By
then, the situation looked hopeless.

The nuclear reactor used at Camp Century was the first of eight portable nuclear reactors made
by the Army to produce power in remote regions. This modular plant was assembled at Camp
Century in 27 days and began making electricity just nine hours after 43 pounds of enriched
uranium-235 were loaded in the reactor. The plant was rated at 2 MW and was configured to
also produce steam to operate the water well. The plant operated reliably for 33 months until it
was shut down and removed in 1963. Source: U.S. Army

Temperatures Go Negative
The temperature in the diesel plant was
now down to 22F below zero. The men had
noticed that the battery powered lights had
begun to dim. While no one mentioned it,
they all realized that their working time was
nearing the end unless something drastic
was done. But what? A black gloom overtook several of the men.
The diesel technicians were about to give
up on the congealed oil. Then Marmaduke
suddenly roared. Bilgewater on stubborn oil.
Ill make it move. Get me a blanket we can cut
into strips and saturate with that warm crankcase oil you just drained. Then well light it
under this drum and youll see some action.
Hold everything, excitedly erupted one of
the crew, coming to life at Marmadukes suggestion. How about those smudge-type burners stored in the motor maintenance shop?
Thats right, shouted another.
We use them in early winter to mark the
landing zone for the helicopter when theres
still some daylight. Now there was new hope,
and the effect on everyone was electric.
Two pots were quickly brought into the
diesel room and placed under the oil drum.
Four men stood by with fire extinguishers. A fire under ice is dreaded as much as
at sea. Within ten minutes the oil began to
ooze from the bung. By then the temperature
had also climbed in the diesel room, and the
newly ringed pistons and crankshaft bearing
liners were back in place.
It took another three-quarters of an hour to
heat the oil sufficiently, fill the crankcase to
the proper level, close up the engine, and have
it ready for cranking. During this time, several
smudge pots kept the engine room warm.
The battery used for cranking the little
pony diesel, which in turn cranked the big
engines, was not only cold, but also olda
very bad combination. Leston McNeil wondered out loud how many times the battery
might turn over the cold pony engine before
it gave up the ghost.

Liquid Gold Rush

By then, two full hours had passed since the
total loss of power at Camp Century. And the
camp commander himself had all but given
up hope of saving the camp. Now his chief
concern was saving his men. While the engineers were busy trying to breathe life into
their ailing machinery, the commander had

August 2009 POWER

already given word to prepare for evacuation

to the surface.
His plan was to move the men, with whatever personal gear they needed and could
carry, to the small Jamesway type huts up on
the surface. Those small huts had been set
up for the men who had built Camp Century.
Each contained a built-in camp stove which
burned diesel fuel oil. At least the men would
have some hope for survival. But the sub-surface camp, for the time being, would become
a frozen tomb.
The first detail of men returned crestfallen. They reported that the Jamesway huts
were buried under a mountain of drift snow.
So a second detail of men with one piece of
large snow-removing equipment was quickly
dispatched to open up the huts.
It was at this point that the plant operators
were ready to start No. 2 diesel. But the engine
must start on the first try. There was no second chance. After attempting to take the chill
off the unit with a smudge pot, it was carefully primed with ether as a starting fuel. All
eyes were on McNeil, who offered up a silent
prayer and then punched the starting button.
Suddenly, the loud metallic roar of the tiny
unmuffled pony engine rumbled through the
quiet frozen tomb like the eruption of Mount
Vesuvius during the last days of Pompeii.
But that ear-splitting noise was the sweetest
music ever heard by most of the men in the
diesel room.
In only a few minutes, No. 2 diesel was
thundering out her welcome explosions of
life and warmth. And after only a few minutes of warm-up, McNeil closed the breaker.
The utility crew quickly threw the various
switches that energized the tunnels lights
and heaters, and vital sustaining life was
again flowing back into Camp Century. Marmaduke and the men in the diesel room heard

wild shouts of joy from tunnel after tunnel as

their lights went on. And by noon next day,
No. 1 diesel also was cranking away.

Comparing Notes
Two days later, Marmaduke and Colonel
Hanel were back at the Bent Propeller Bar
in Manhattan for a drink before parting
Sure glad the reshielding work was completed in time to get the nuclear plant going
again, began the Colonel, lifting his glass.
Those boys wont get the crankshaft for No.
3 diesel for some time. But with the reactor
going now, that type of emergency wont
happen again soon.
Im with you, rumbled Marmaduke as
he ballasted his bottoms.
Youve been in some hellish emergencies
all over the world, Marmy, began the Colonel
again. Do any of them shape up with what we
went through at Camp Century last week?
Marmaduke lit a long black cigar and blew
a few smoke rings towards the ceiling. He then
worked up a vacuum and took on more fuel.
Not since the time the old SS Trade Horn
suddenly broke her rudder during a storm
and was within minutes of piling up on the
treacherous coral beach in Makassar Straits
off Borneo, rumbled Marmaduke in his foghorn voice.
Whats so unusual about that? asked the
Colonel, looking uncertainly at his friend.
All you had to do was reverse the engine,
wasnt it?
Thats all, agreed Marmy, blowing a few
more smoke rings. But one of Bring-emBack-Alive Frank Bucks black panthers was
frightened by the storm and had broken out
of his bamboo cage on No. 2 hatch and ran
below. And there he was, parked in front of
the main engine throttle.



Adjustable Speed Direct Drive Cooling Tower Motor

Arkansas-based Baldor Electric Co. launched a new direct drive technology
for the cooling tower industry that improves reliability, reduces
maintenance, runs quieter, and saves energy. The Adjustable Speed Direct
Drive Cooling Tower Motor combines technologies of the eld-proven
laminated nned frame RPM AC motor with a high-performance permanent
magnet salient pole rotor design, and it can directly replace the rightangle gearbox and jack shaft installation in many conventional cooling
towers. The fan couples directly to the motor shaft and is controlled by
Baldors unique VS1 Cooling Tower Drive to provide optimal variablespeed performance that runs quieter and uses less energy.
The Baldor VS1 Cooling Tower Drive is specically designed to work
with the cooling tower motor to provide easy cooling tower start-ups.
It uses unique sensorless algorithms to accomplish smooth, low-speed
operation. In addition, the drive supports multiple protocols so it can
communicate seamlessly with most building automation systems. The
system is ideal for either retrot or new tower designs. (

Intelligent Cooling Tower System

Electro-Chemical Devices new plug-and-play Model 2122
Cooling Tower Control System (CTCS) is designed to apply
the various chemicals used to prevent corrosion, scaling,
and fouling in water-based wet cooling towers. The system
also controls acid feed via pH monitoring, blowdown via
conductivity, and the inhibitor via a user-selected time
basis. Model 2122 CTCS features a unique timer-based
overfeed function that locks out the blowdown cycle or the
acid/base feed function, and that triggers a process alarm
if the acid feed or blowdown cycle proceeds longer than
the operators predetermined cycle time.
The system consists of ECDs Model 22 Controller, a
Model PHS10 pH sensor, and a Model CS10 conductivity
sensor. The C22 features four SPDT relays and is rated NEMA
4X for rugged environments. An optional digital input
card can be added to monitor no-ow conditions for extra
safety. (

Improved Coal Dust Collector

Martin Engineering has introduced an upgraded version of the
MARTIN Insertable Dust Collector, which features improved lters
and a smaller footprint to control airborne coal dust at belt conveyor
loading points and other bulk material-handling operations.
Insertable dust collectors are typically installed to reduce problems
associated with central baghouse collection systems, including long
runs of ducting, large enclosures, maintenance difculties, and high
power consumption.
The improved collectors lter elements are approximately oneeighth the size of the previous systems lter envelopes. The meshlike material lters better and lasts longer while consuming less
energy than conventional lter bags. The upgraded lters also allow
a reduction in the size of the fans used to move air through the
lter elements, therefore reducing the systems power consumption.
Another unique feature of the collector is its pulse-cleaning system,
where a short pulse of air is sent back through the lter to dislodge
accumulated material. (
Inclusion in New Products does not imply endorsement by POWER magazine.

POWER August 2009

Plant Manager Tulsa, Oklahoma

Were looking for a Plant Manager to lead our Tulsa, Oklahoma manufacturing operations.
Job responsibilities will include:

Opportunities in Operations and Maintenance,
Project Engineering and Project Management,
Business and Project Development,
First-line Supervision to Executive Level Positions.
Employer pays fee. Send resumes to:
P.O. Box 87875
Vancouver, WA 98687-7875
(360) 260-0979 l (360) 253-5292

In concert with the shop supervision determine required manpower levels to support load.
Recruit, train and retain exceptional talent to drive our manufacturing continuous improvement.
Load level through the capacity planning function and liaison with Sales and customer representatives.
Track and analyze usage and cost of labor and materials for each job.
Determine corrective action to minimize recurrence of variances.
Calculate and post performance matrices daily for each department.
Lead organization safety program, to ensure a safe, healthy, and accident free work environment.
Identify Best Operating Practices (BOPs), document them, and compile for reference and training
Work with support specialists to develop operating process guidelines.
Prepare monthly performance and ad hoc reports as required.
Develop annual budgets and manage expense and capital budgets.
Establish and promote, internally and externally, the Companys reputation as a quality organization.

Requirements include eight to ten years of progressive experience in production management; demonstrate ability in applying MRP and P&L responsibility at the gross margin level. Possess knowledge of
financial statements, performance reports, lean manufacturing and related disciplines such as Six Sigma,
Theory of Constraints, Kaizen and concepts of machine shop practice and welding techniques in a custom
engineered metal manufacturing environment. A Bachelors of Science Degree in a field related to production/manufacturing management and or production engineering.
The compensation package includes a base salary and an annual incentive bonus plus medical benefit plan,
401K savings plan and vacation. Relocation costs will be reimbursed in accordance with the companys
relocation reimbursement policy.
Yuba Heat Transfer LLC is a privately held, leading manufacturer of large heat transfer equipment. The
companys primary market includes Feed Water Heaters and Condensers for electric power producers in
the United States. Additional information can be found on the companys website at
Contact: Nick Slee Principal Chicago, IL T: 312-782-1581 F: 312-782-2096
or James Restelli Senior Associate St. Louis, MO T: 314.727.2000 F: 314.727.2903

Constellation Energy Power Generation West Region:

Open Positions in Utah and Central California for Plant Manager,
Production Manager, Maintenance Manager and O&M Manager
Constellation Energy, a FORTUNE 500 company, is seeking applicants
for Plant Manager, Production Manager, Maintenance Manager and
O&M Manager positions.
Responsible for overall management of operation and maintenance
of the electric generating facilities including:
Operate and maintain facilities to maximize plant profitability.
Develop timetable for most cost-effective outages and identify other
forms of employee, production and maintenance optimization.
Establish, maintain and enforce plant operating procedures within
company guidelines, including implementation of Environmental
Compliance Policy. Ensure compliance with all plant specific Federal,
State and Local Environmental, Health, and Safety regulations.
Establish plant revenue and expense budgets in conjunction with
partnership. Define capital requirements and develops appropriate
financial justification for expenditures.
Utilize strong leadership and effective team building skills.
About Constellation Energy
Constellation Energy ( is a leading supplier of
energy products and services to wholesale and retail electric and natural gas
customers. It owns a diversified fleet of generating units located throughout
the United States, totaling approximately 9,000 megawatts of generating
capacity, and is among the leaders pursuing the development of new nuclear
plants in the United States.
Visit for more information.

August 2009 POWER




Higher Technology for Safetys Sake


Hazardous Locations
Focus on Safety
Higher Technology
Exceptional Quality

Quotes Available Upon Request

512-266-6200 /

Get your free Buyers Guide at


POWER August 2009

Power plant Buyers Mart

Need a Thorough Mix?
Ash, coal, sludges, what do You need to mix?

Solar Taurus 60
5.2 MW

Solar Maintained
Low Time

Get a thorough mix with:

Pugmill Systems, Inc.

P.O. Box 60
Columbia, TN 38402 USA
ph: 931/388-0626 fax: 931/380-0319

7 Units (Gen 1) & (Gen 2)

All Natural Gas
Low Nox 25 ppm
Mobile PCR U.G. Switch gear
60 Hz 13.8 kV
50 Hz Conversion Available
Mid America Engine, Inc.



Chemical cleaning advisory services for
boilers and balance of plant systems

662-895-8444 Fax: 662-895-8228

205-590-3505 Fax: 205-590-3885

20,000 - 400,000 #/Hr.


50 - 25,000 KW


25 - 4000 HP


Air Pre-Heaters Economizers Deaerators

Pumps Motors Fuel Oil Heating &Pump Sets
Valves Tubes Controls Compressors
Pulverizers Rental Boilers & Generators

FAX: 847-541-1279




444 Carpenter Avenue, Wheeling, IL 60090



George H. Bodman
Pres. / Technical Advisor

SCANNING SERVICES Office 1-800-286-6069

Office (281) 359-4006
POBox 5758
Kingwood, TX 77325-5758 Fax (281) 359-4225



3D Laser Scanning
Digital Site Survey
As-Built Documentation 734-582-9600




GEGU's - 750 KW Guascor - natural gas fired 3/60/480 volts (Qty 2)

GTGUs - 20 MW Brown Boveri oil fired cheap
BOILERS - 200,000#/HR Combustion Engineering
package - 600# steam pressure - gas fired
- 25,000#/HR ABCO - 150# steam pressure natural gas and propane fired (Qty 4)
We buy and sell transformers, boilers, steam turbine generator units, gas turbine generator units,
diesel engine generator units, etc.


50 Public Square - Terminal Tower, Suite 834
Cleveland, OH 44113 U.S.A.
PH 216-621-9514/FAX 216-621-9515
Email: Web:



Easy to install, saves time and money.

ADJUSTABLE PLUGS - all rubber with brass insert. Expand it,
install it, reverse action for tight fit.
PUSHPULLPLUGS- are all rubber, simply push it in.
Sizes 0.530 O.D. to 2.035 O.D.
Tel: (203) 881-0190 Fax:(203)881-0178



August 2009 POWER



Clean Energy Update Drilling Down on

Renewable Regulation and Technology
Clean Energy Update, brought to you by the editors of
The Energy Daily, is the only weekly e-newsletter focusing on the business,
technology and implementation of alternative energy generation. Its
designed for the executives and engineers who are building and planning
new plants, capacity and infrastructure to capitalize on renewable
energy geothermal, wind, hydro, solar and biofuels.



Copper Power to 69kv; Bare ACSR & AAC Conductor;
Underground UD-P & URD, PILC-AEIC; Interlock Armor to
35kv; Copper Instrumentation & Control; Thermocouple

Check us out at


For advertising opportunities contact Erica Lengermann at

(301) 354-1598 or at

Fax (773) 539-3500 Ph. (800) 227-4292





Generator Services International, Inc

Attention: Generator Owners


Place one or more diffusers

downstream of a valve to
eliminate cavitation
Eliminate noise
Eliminate pipe vibration
Reduce valve first costs
Reduce valve maintenance

Looking For Results This Fall ?

Go With Experience
Call GSI Today
Tel (704)-496-3090 Fax (704) 399-5983
Power Generation Consultants
Management Support Services
1865 Scott Futrell Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28208

Guidelines for Preparing for a

Temporary Steam Plant/
Emergency Preparedness Plan


725 Parkview Cir, Elk Grove, IL 60007

Phone 847-439-2303

Nationwide Boiler Inc. has prepared an eightpage, informative brochure that outlines
many of the important steps to consider
when planning for a temporary steam plant.
Because emergency conditions are frequently the reason a temporary steam plant
is required, this comprehensive brochure is
also a valuable tool for use in contingency/
emergency planning.




POWER August 2009

Advertisers Index
Enter reader service numbers on the FREE Product Information Source card in this issue.




Air Systems Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 . . . . . . . . 10

Kiewit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 . . . . . . . . . 5

Applied Bolting Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 . . . . . . . . 22

Nanosteel Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 . . . . . . . . 14

Ashross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 . . . . . . . . 26

National Steel Erection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 . . . . . . . . 11

Babcock Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 . . . . . . . . 13

Paharpur Cooling Towers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 . . . . . . . . 12

Babcock & Wilcox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover 4 . . . . . . . . . 3

Petro-Valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 11 . . . . . . . 4, 9

Caterpillar Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 . . . . . . . . 28

Siemens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 . . . . . . . . 18

CH2MHILL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . . . . . . . . 16

Siemens I&C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 . . . . . . . . 27

Conoco Phillips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover 2 . . . . . . . . . 1

Solvay Chemicals Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 . . . . . . . . . 6

Dearborn Mid-West Conveyor Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 . . . . . . . . 15

Swagelok . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 . . . . . . . . . 8

GE Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . . . . 7

Turbine Energy Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 . . . . . . . . 20

GE Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 . . . . . . . . 29

Two Sockets Two Meters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 . . . . . . . . 23

Hach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 . . . . . . . . 21

Westinghouse Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 . . . . . . . . 25

Hitachi Power System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover 3 . . . . . . . . . 2

Houston Dynamic Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 . . . . . . . . 24

Intergraph Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 . . . . . . . . 19

Classified Advertising

Pages 75-78, To place a classified ad, contact:

Diane Hammes, POWER magazine, 713-343-1885,


Big Ideas!
Big Results!

May 18 20, 2010 | Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Convention Center


August 2009 POWER




Carbon Offsets:
Scam, Not Salvation
By H. Sterling Burnett, PhD
n the battle against climate change, most media attention has
been paid to cap-and-trade schemes, under which countries
set upper limits (caps) on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
and allow companies to sell (trade) unused emissions rights to
other firms. However, there is a second path to global warming
salvation: Carbon offsets.

Carbon Reduction Goals

Under the carbon offset scheme, a country (or company) can
meet its emissions targets by paying others to reduce their emissions. To facilitate this process, the United Nations created the
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an international market
where buyers who need to offset their emissions can purchase
carbon credits from developing countrieseffectively paying for
emissions reductions by others.
Typical emissions reductions include replacing old plant and
equipment, adopting new agricultural practices, or sequestering
carbon dioxide (CO2) underground or in trees. The CDM converts
proposed emissions reductions into tradable certified emission
reductions credits. The main criterion the CDM uses to confirm
emissions cuts is additionality. A project is additional when it
makes emissions reductions that would not have happened without extra financing from carbon credits. In other words, credits
are issued only for emissions reductions that would not have
occurred otherwise.
Domestically, the U.S. has considered its own carbon reduction plans that included a proposed offset program. For instance,
2008s cap-and-trade bill sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) would have allowed 85%
of emissions reductions to be met through domestic carbon allowances and 15% through domestic carbon offsets.

CDM and Offset Programs Shortcomings

Unfortunately, both internationally and in the U.S., proving
that emissions cuts are reductions that would not have occurred
without the offset payments is proving difficult. Indeed, recent
evidence reveals that offsets are vulnerable to fraud and actually
increase costs. For example, Indias largest exporter of basmati
rice, KRBL, was set to receive several hundred thousand dollars
worth of CDM credits a year for installing a $5 million generator
to produce electricity from rice husks, a renewable energy source.
Although the company claimed the biomass generator would not
have been installed without funding from the credits, the senior
manager at the plant admitted to the British Broadcasting Corp.
that KRBL would have done the project anyway.
In addition, research by the nongovernmental advocacy group
International Rivers has found that almost three-quarters of
CDM-registered projects were already complete at the time of
approval and thus did not need carbon credits to be built. And
a report by Lambert Schneider of Germanys Institute for Applied

Ecology found that 40% of CDM projects represented unlikely

or at least questionable emissions cuts. David Victor, the head
of Stanford Universitys Energy and Sustainable Development
Program, found that between a third and two-thirds of CDM
offsets do not represent actual emissions cuts.
The voluntary offset market in the U.S. faces the same problem as CDM projects. For example, to offset all the emissions
from the 2007 Academy Awards, the company TerraPass bought
offsets from a landfill project in Arkansas. BusinessWeek investigators later found that the project would have been undertaken
even without offset funding.
It is inherently difficult to measure emission reductions under
a carbon offset project. Take carbon offsets for the absorption of
GHGs by planting new trees. Estimating greenhouse gas uptake
depends on the age of the trees, their growth rate, and climate
and soil conditions. Even after all these factors are considered, if
the trees do not live as long as 100 years, they will not become
net carbon absorbers.
Even when CDM projects reduce GHG emissions, the CDM system is an inefficient way to cut GHGs.
One example of the problems with this type of approach is
shown in the recent regulatory treatment of another contaminant. Currently, 30% of carbon offset credits pay for the capture
and destruction of trifluoromethane (HFC-23), a GHG created as
a by-product of manufacturing refrigerant gases. HFC-23 has
11,700 times more heat-trapping potential per unit than CO2.
The carbon offset credits that were sold to reduce HFC-23 are
twice as valuable as the refrigerant itself. Indeed, researchers estimate that HFC-23 emitters could receive as much as
$7.15 billion from the sale of carbon offsets through the CDM.
By contrast, if companies paid plants directly to capture and
destroy the emissions, the cost would be less than $155.4 million. However, doing so would be outside of the CDM system,
which requires the companies to buy certified offsets. Thus,
the reductions would not count against the companys carbon
reduction requirements.
Such perverse incentives have led some analysts to fear that
refrigerant producers are increasing their output solely so they
can sell more carbon offsets to reduce the additional waste gas.

The Need for Healthy Skepticism

It is debatable whether Congress should even take up climate
legislation as evidence continues to mount that the climate disaster tales told by the likes of Al Gore and James Hansen are
more imaginary (based on models) than real. However, if Congress does act, it should be skeptical of the merits of carbon
offset schemes. Thus far, they have proven expensive and open
to fraud and abuse.
Dr. H. Sterling Burnett ( is a senior
fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

POWER August 2009


... that Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc.

(B&W) can improve your environmental system
performance and reliability with quality equipment
upgrades, services and replacement parts?

We have system solutions for wet and dry

scrubbers, fabric filters, wet and dry electrostatic
precipitators and SCRs, regardless of the original
supplier. We also provide stand-alone solutions for
mercury and SO3 control.
For more certainty. For more reliability. For more
proven solutions. Get the most from a name that you
know and trust as your single-source supplier for
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Environmental Upgrades, Services and Parts

1-800-BABCOCK (222-2625)

2009 The Babcock & Wilcox Company. All rights reserved.