2016 Combined Cycle Users Group (CCUG): Issue 2
Keep heat in cycling HRSGs to mitigate thermal fatigue
An F-class user recently called CCJ's editorial offices concerning the impact of cycling on wear and tear of HRSG components. Plant personnel believed thermal-fatigue damage to critical components might be accumulating at an accelerated rate because of current operating practices and he wanted to learn more about the value of stack dampers and stack balloons for extending fatigue life, as well as experience with them.  more 
What cost price signals?
Electricity markets are failing, says Jason Makansi, president of Pearl Street and chairman of GRiD Today's Editorial Advisory Board, because they cannot overcome the distortions heaped on them by layer upon layer of regulation. Recall recent history. Virtually every state electricity deregulation program began with guaranteed electricity rate reduction or rate protection for most consumers, a strange way to inject competition based on price signals but a great way to later conclude that competition lowers rates. Let's also remember that the vast majority of ratepayers were not clamoring for deregulation; the Electricity Consumers Resource Council (Elcon) did that. more 
Propane and ethane: Abundance drives options with questions
The US is blessed with an abundance of natural gas, thanks lately to surging shale-gas extraction from the Marcellus and Utica formations. The US is now a net exporter of energy. So what do we do with this surplus? New projects might point to one option, while perhaps raising new questions. The US Virgin Islands is converting to LPG (liquefied petroleum gas or propane). A new plant in the US will fire both ethane and natural gas. Santa Catalina Island is supporting its microgrid with propane-fueled microturbines. more 
Evaluate use of reclaimed wastewater for your combined cycle
Reclaimed municipal wastewater continues to gain attention as powerplants evaluate options to reduce their dependence on freshwater for steam generation and cooling, U.S. Water's Gary Engstrom told the editors. According to the EPA, thermoelectric power generation accounts for nearly half of the nation's freshwater withdrawals. The lion's share of this water is used for cooling. Recent regional water shortages have highlighted the importance of finding alternative, sustainable water sources for power generation. Water rationing or limits on freshwater use can have a crippling impact on plant capacity and operations. more  
Proper steam temperature control reduces operational risks
Final steam-temperature control in combined-cycle and cogeneration facilities can be a complex issue with many variables, Jacob Bartol, a systems engineer with HRST Inc, told the editors. He says, an increasing number of F-Class HRSGs are experiencing problems stemming from any combination of the following: poor steam-temperature control, desuperheater overspray, leaking desuperheaters, blocked valves or nozzles, desuperheater control-valve "hunting," etc.   more 
Co-ops and DG: You want it, we'll build it
Before the advent of competition, electric utilities collaborated all the time. Electric cooperatives still do. They form cooperatives for everything, such as generation and transmission (G&T), commodities supply, loans and financing, and equipment pools. The cooperative model was created, Mark Glaess, a member of GRiD Today's Editorial Advisory Board, told Board Chairman Jason Makansi during a recent sit-down, when it became clear early in the electric industry's history that the investor-owned utility (IOU) model couldn't shake enough profit from the trees in the hinterlands. more 
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