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Improvement of part load efficiency of a combined cycle power plant provisioning ancillary services

  • Economics


According to the type of ancillary service provisioned, operation mode of a power plant may change to part load operation. In this contribution, part load operation is understood as delivering a lower power output than possible at given ambient temperature because of gas turbine power output control. If it is economically justified, a power plant may operate in the part load mode for longer time. Part load performance of a newly built 80Â MW combined cycle in Slovakia was studied in order to assess the possibilities for fuel savings. Based on online monitoring data three possibilities were identified: condensate preheating by activation of the currently idle hot water section; change in steam condensing pressure regulation strategy; and the most important gas turbine inlet air preheating. It may seem to be in contradiction with the well proven concept of gas turbine inlet air cooling, which has however been developed for boosting the gas turbine cycles in full load operation. On the contrary, in a combined cycle in the part load operation mode, elevated inlet air temperature does not affect the part load operation of gas turbines but it causes more high pressure steam to be raised in HRSG, which leads to higher steam turbine power output. As a result, less fuel needs to be combusted in gas turbines in order to achieve the requested combined cycle's power output. By simultaneous application of all three proposals, more than a 2% decrease in the power plant's natural gas consumption can be achieved with only minor capital expenses needed.

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