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Title: Steam cycle options for capture-ready power plants, retrofits and flexible operation with post-combustion CO₂ capture
Author: Lucquiaud, Mathieu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 5797
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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The energy penalty for post‐combustion carbon dioxide capture from fossil‐fired power plants can be greatly reduced ‐ independently of the intrinsic heat of regeneration of the solvent used ‐ by effective thermodynamic integration with the power cycle. Yet expected changes in electricity generation mix and the current immaturity of post‐combustion capture technology are likely to make effective thermodynamic integration throughout the operating life of such plants a challenging objective to achieve because of a requirement for extensive part‐load operation and also for matching to future technology improvements. Most previous published studies have, however, focused on base‐load operation of the power cycle and the carbon dioxide capture plant and with the assumption of a fixed technology. For carbon dioxide capture‐ready plants the characteristics of the capture plant are also not known when the plant is designed. The plant must operate initially without capture at a similar efficiency to ‘standard’ plants to be competitive. Capture‐ready plants then also need to be able to be retrofitted with unknown improved solvents and to be capable of integration with a range of future solvents. This study shows that future upgradability for post‐combustion capture systems can be facilitated by appropriate steam turbine and steam cycle designs. In addition fossil‐fired power plants with postcombustion capture may need to be able to operate throughout their load range with the capture unit by‐passed, or with intermediate solvent storage to avoid the additional emissions occurring when the absorption column is by‐passed. Steam cycles with flexible steam turbines can be adequately designed to accommodate for part‐load operation with these novel operating conditions and with rapid ramp rates. Several approaches for effective capture‐ready pulverised coal and natural gas plants are also described. These achieve identical performance before retrofit to a conventional plant with the same steam conditions, but have the potential to perform well after capture retrofit with a wide range of solvents, at the expense of only a small efficiency penalty compared to hypothetical plants built with perfect foreknowledge of the solvent energy requirements. For existing plants that were not made capture‐ready, and provided sufficient space is available and other physical limits are not too constraining, ways to achieve effective thermodynamic integration are also discussed.
Supervisor: Gibbins, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral