Category Archives: General

Tina’s in EnergyTech this Month!

Tooting my own horn, but not really… I’m just in the magazine to introduce the real stars of the show, which are the ASME Combined Cycle Committee and the “Best Paper” from our sessions at the 2014 ASME Power Conference.

The paper is on combined heat and power (CHP) for offshore platforms – and it features a gas turbine combined cycle using CO2 as the working fluid in the bottoming cycle.

The paper can be read in EnergyTech’s April 2015 issue, including online here: http://www.energy-tech.com/steam/article_5fec7e48-d7de-11e4-9022-67f74d448918.html

We expect more exciting and innovative paper presentations at the ASME Power Conference again this year. We’d love for you to join us! More information on the conference is here: http://www.asmeconferences.org/powerenergy2015/index.cfm

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In air conditioning for the LM6000

I decided to clean my office over the weekend, and came across the Power Magazine from June 2013. One of the feature articles is on the ARCTIC inlet conditioning system by Energy Concepts, Kiewit Power Engineers and Nooter/Erikson.

ARCTIC stands for Absorption Refrigeration Cycle Turbine Inlet Conditioning. And that’s precisely what it does.

Designed around the LM6000 (but also available for other engines), the ARCTIC uses heat from the gas turbine exhaust to power an absorption chiller which cools a heat transfer medium for use in the gas turbine inlet. The system can use existing inlet coils, and can also run in heating mode. This is of special interest to the aeroderivative engines, due to their multiple control limits, which cause them to have an optimum compressor inlet temperature (CIT) for best output performance.

The optimum CIT for the LM6000 is between 46F and 49F (and varies between individual units to a small extent). The ARCTIC system can be setup to control the CIT to that optimum temperature, no matter the outside ambients. According to the Power Magazine article, the system can also start and stop automatically with the gas turbine.

With a drop of only 120F in exhaust temperature (for the LM6000, this is from ~840F to ~720F), there is still energy available for other uses from the exhaust gases, including hot water exports or combined cycle operation (which is more likely on frame based units).

Overall, a very intriguing design concept, and if you’re in the market for a new or upgraded inlet chilling system for your gas turbine, definitely worth looking into.

To read more about ARCTIC, view the Power Mag article here: http://www.powermag.com/improving-warm-weather-performance-of-the-lm6000/

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The Dam Site

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day Holiday last week.

Our family took an RV trip over to Port Angeles, WA where we camped next to the former Elwha Dam Site. Yes, I chose a vacation destination based on a power plant location… and my family agreed to join me!

If you’re not familiar with the Elwha restoration project, you can get more details here.

In a nutshell, two power producing dams that were built in the early 1900’s (without following required permit and treaty construction practices) are being removed because, as the BBC put it “Adding new [fish] ladders would have proved prohibitively expensive. And the dams also needed major upgrades because they no longer met modern environmental standards or produced energy at an efficient price.”

Webcams of the area are availablehere

There are also some YouTube videos available of the dam removals:
Elwha Dam Removal process (animation with notes)
Glines Canyon Removal (time-lapse)

The lower dam on the river was only a short walk from our camp site. The construction access road was open for pedestrian traffic, and allowed us to get up close and personal with the top of the valley where the dam used to be. There’s still a big berm covered in burlap waiting to grow new vegetation, which looked very industrial, but the river itself is back rolling through the bottom of the valley, cutting out its new path.

Elwha Dam 2013

During our trip we also attempted to get close to the upper dam site, the Glines Canyon Dam, but it was still undergoing deconstruction, and a wide area around the activities were closed to the public. We were able to have a picnic on the river below the Glines Canyon Dam site where the water was rushing past – looking almost like mud.

Below the Glines Canyon Dam

I posted a few more pictures of the Elwha at the T2E3 Facebook Page.

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ASME and the decision against the CSAPR

A great synopsis of the ruling that vacated the Cross State Air Polution Rule was given in today’s ASME Capitol Update newsletter – provided here in it’s entirety (other than the author’s email address, which I can provide to you on request):
————
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT VACATES EPA’S CROSS STATE AIR POLLUTION RULE

On August 21st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in a 2-1 decision that the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority in crafting the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). EPA had argued that CSAPR would lead to reductions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2014. The rule’s challengers argued that the rule would place an undue strain on the country’s electric grid.

In its ruling, the Court found that “although the facts here are complicated, the legal principles that govern this case are straightforward: Absent a claim of constitutional authority (and there is none here), executive agencies may exercise only the authority conferred by statute, and agencies may not transgress statutory limits on that authority.”
“Here, EPA’s Transport Rule exceeds the agency’s statutory authority in two independent respects. First, the statutory text grants EPA authority to require upwind States to reduce only their own significant contributions to a downwind State’s nonattainment. But under the Transport Rule, upwind States may be required to reduce emissions by more than their own significant contributions to a downwind State’s nonattainment. EPA has used the good neighbor provision to impose massive emissions reduction requirements on upwind States without regard to the limits imposed by the statutory text. Whatever its merits, as a policy matter, the EPA’s Transport Rule violates the statute.”

“Second, the Clean Air Act affords States the initial opportunity to implement reductions required by EPA under the good neighbor provision. But here, when EPA quantified States’ good neighbor obligations, it did not allow the States the initial opportunity to implement the required reductions with respect to sources within their borders. Instead, EPA quantified States’ good neighbor obligations and simultaneously set forth EPA-designed Federal Implementation Plans, or FIPs, to implement those obligations at the State level. By doing so, EPA departed from its consistent prior approach to implementing the good neighbor provision and violated the Act.”

“For each of those two independent reasons, EPA’s Transport Rule violates federal law. Therefore, the Rule must be vacated.”
The rule was remanded to EPA to be rewritten.

The 104-page decision may be read at:

http://www.power-eng.com/content/dam/pe/online-articles/documents/2012/08/CSAPR%20Opinion%20copy.pdf

Paul Fakes covers public policy-related energy issues for ASME. He can be reached at xxxxx@asme.org
————
It’s back to the drawing board for the EPA…

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SW Power Outage

I was surprised to hear of the large power outage across the Southwest last night.

Power was out from Yuma, AZ to San Diego, CA and into parts of Mexico. Approximately 5 million people were in a blackout – which started right around 4pm, in the heat of the afternoon and the start of rush-hour traffic.

According to the news reports and statements from APS, the outage was triggered by a worker who was removing some monitoring equipment at a sub-station in Yuma – the equipment had apparently not been working correctly. It must have been behaving very badly for the utility to send out a worker to remove it during the peak time of a hot summer day. The worst case scenario expected by APS was for a blackout in Yuma, AZ. That the outage spread to San Diego and Mexico was unexpected, and will be the focus of their outage investigation.

Back in 2009, there were talks about upgrading the US Transmission grid. An example of one plan is found at NPR.org. In the picture from NPR, if you click the Proposed Lines “off”, you can see that the San Diego area has only one medium sized transmission line feeding it – coming directly from Yuma, AZ.

Most of the power is back on this morning, and airports are beginning to recover from the disruption. But, maybe it’s time to revisit the idea of upgrading the US transmission grid?

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Room for Solar

The first article I read today was about large scale solar, and the issues around finding enough land. Stepping through a few more items in my inbox, I see this: “A Solar Re-Skin at [The Redskin’s] FedEx Field”
(a month old, but still making the rounds in various newsletters)

I did the economic analysis for residential solar panels a few years ago for a friend who lived in Arizona. At that time – before massive federal incentives – you could break even on installing solar panels on a new house. For a new house, the added capital costs were expected to be approximately $300/month over a 30 year mortgage to cover a $300/month electric bill. So to me, it seems like a no-brainer for new developments to include solar panels by default.

Retrofits like the one being done at the Redskin’s stadium may cost more, but with current incentive programs it can still make economic sense for the owners, and from an image standpoint it’s great marketing.

And if you’re into job creation, the incentive programs for small-scale solar could put a lot of people to work. Here in Washington state, there are additional incentives for solar installations – but the equipment must all be manufactured within the state to get the maximum payback rates. The policy with the incentives was put together as a jobs bill, not an energy bill.

With all the current incentives for solar power, I think it might be worth looking to see if we can find a little bit of room.

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New Forum

I’ve added forum capabilities to the blog – check out the categories by clicking on “The Forum at T2E3″ in the page list at the upper-right of this page, or visit the following link:

The Forum at T2E3

If you have ideas for new categories or have any trouble posting a question or comment, please let me know with a comment to this post, or send me an email.

Thanks for your participation!
-Tina

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Japan to Construct Combustion Power Plants – Power Technology

Power Technology reported today that Japan has collected enough wood waste from the rubble of the March 11, 2011 earthquake to fuel 5 new power plants.

Japan to Construct Combustion Power Plants – Power Technology.

Based on some gross assumptions, the 5 million tons of wood waste they’ve collected will fuel five 10 MW power plants for 12-15 years.

Assumptions include:  the wood waste has an average heating value of 6,800 Btu/lb (20% moisture), net plant heat rate is 14,000 Btu/kWh and plant capapcity factors will be better than 80%.

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7FA issue with liquid fuel lines

 Combined Cycle Journal posted an article yesterday (4/14/11) regarding a potential safety hazard on the 7FA liquid fuel lines – even when the unit is not a duel fuel unit, and fired natural gas only.

A leak around a blank flange on an unused liquid fuel port led to a pressure reduction in the combustion chamber  – which allowed the flame to move back and attach to the fuel nozzle itself.  Once the flame was attached, severe material deterioration occured.

The details, including pictures and recommendations are included in their article, here.  If you operate any 7FA’s – on any fuel – I recommend you take a look at the article’s findings.

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Engineer’s Week

Happy Engineer’s Week!

As the 60’th Celebration of Engineer’s Week comes to a close (official Engineer’s Week is February 20-26, 2011, according to the National Engineers Week Foundation [NEWF]), I was reminded this morning that Engineer’s Week is about more than just recognizing a slice of industry.  It’s about celebrating what engineers do for others.  The front page at the NEWF web site is covered with awards to engineers from various groups (NASA, National Academy of Engineers, etc.) that recognize individual engineers “whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society”.  Engineer’s Week is about reaching out and encouraging more people to get involved, and to be part of the solutions to the problems we face.  Engineers don’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to ‘take care of things’ – they are actively involved in making the world a better place.

You don’t have to dig very deep on the NEWF website to find ways to participate.  Their “get involved” page lists 50 different examples and recommendations for reaching out to others, helping to solve the worlds problems and encouraging younger people to get interested in science and engineering.  There are links to volunteer opportunities with organization such as Engineers Without Borders, Mathcounts, and local schools and science centers.   It’s worth a look.

And don’t let something like an engineering degree stop you from participating.  I know many, many people who do more engineering than I do who don’t have that piece of paper.  Engineering is more a process for solving problems than anything else.  For me, it’s about helping others to be more efficient – more efficient equipment, more efficient data collection, more efficient reporting systems.  Getting more done with less effort.  Maybe I’m just lazy at heart… but my pursuit of leisure time sure keeps me busy!

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