Fast-start/fast-ramp plants-new facilities as well as upgraded existing assets-enable renewables integration
The Combined Cycle User Group's 2012 conference, held last week at the Orlando area's Buena Vista Palace hotel, focused on topics of critical importance to owner/operators. They included cyber security, inspection of high-energy fluid systems, performance monitoring and assessment, operating challenges in a time of changing paradigms, cycle water chemistry, safety management, NERC CIP compliance, knowledge sharing, and staffing and training.
Larry Small, CCUG chairman and director of engineering in Calpine Corp's Engineering & Construction Dept, moderated the opening session, Reliability and Strategic Planning, which got the meeting off on a high note. Prepared presentations and open discussion provided a snapshot of cycle and equipment design improvements to improve availability/reliability/performance, emerging technologies for fast start/fast ramp, and the challenges associated with integrating renewables and conventional generation.
* Integrating renewables may call for some combined cycles to start twice daily, increasing emissions
* Siemens takes the early lead in the sale of packaged fast-start plants for the US market; GE rounds out the activity a distant second
* Retrofitting and upgrading existing plants to enable fast starts/fast ramps. HRSGs may require the lion's share of the effort
* Retrofit "turbocharger" boosts GT output on hot days to increase peaking capability, backs up intermittent renewables
2013 Best Practices Awards program revamped for maximum value: Enter today
The editors of the COMBINED CYCLE Journal have tweaked the categories for the magazine's annual Best Practices Awards program, focusing them on industry issues to maximize the value of the solutions presented in the entries. Some general categories for years past, like design and management, have not attracted much interest of late and Senior Editor Scott Schwieger, who manages the program, and the CTOTF Leadership Committee, which provides the judges, collaborated on the changes.
At virtually all of this year's user group meetings, the concerns of owner/operators with grid requirements for fast-start assets, right-staffing and skills development, performance improvement, and Version 4 of NERC CIP standards, among others, took center stage. The new entry categories listed below enable users to share ideas on these timely subjects for the benefit of all.
The bullet points that accompany each category are "grey-matter triggers" to stimulate thinking on possible subjects for your entries. They are not meant to be specific subjects for entries, although they might be in a few cases. The administrative rules for the awards program essentially remain the same, the most important being the deadline for entries: January 18, 2013