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Steam energy: Usage and potential - Research Paper Example

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The purpose of this study is to evaluate and present the working of a combine cycle gas turbine power plant; the combined cycle gas turbine power plant model illustration and the gas turbine: the heart of the power plant including the water/steam cycle; the high-voltage system…
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Steam energy: Usage and potential
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that for generations, steam turbine power generators have been used to generate electric power. In its conventional form, burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal or natural gas are normally used to heat water. The heated water is then turned into steam, which can be used turn power turbines for the generation of electric energy. A celebrated English physicist, Michael Faraday (1791-1867), did the first discovery of electric generation. His discovery suggested that electricity could be generated by rotating a wire coil near a strong magnet. Numerous applications utilizing a generator for the production of electrical power were formed on this basis. This is the same principle of electromagnetism that works for in a spinning turbine. Combine Cycle gas Turbine Power Plant also referred to as a gas-fired combined cycle power plant is a system that combines the capabilities of two different thermal processes in a unique way. The two thermal processes that are combined include a steam turbine together with the gas turbine to produce electricity. Normally, CCGT is the acronym that is used to describe this kind of system. In this system, close to a third of the power generated is electrical energy. This is achieved by combusting a mixture of compressed air and fuel. A generator coupled with the hot gases created in the combustion process drives the turbine. The remaining one third of the generated electrical power is produced by the steam turbine through the utilization of the hot exhaust gases that leave the gas turbine. The exhaust gases in the heat recovery steam generator (the HRSG) transfer their heat into water that is circulating. In the process, the pressure in the system rises due to the vaporizing pressurized water. The steam turbine is driven by the steam coupled by a generator. Combine Cycle gas Turbine Power Plant are technologically advance and are nowadays used all over the world. These plants are highly efficient when compared to other types of power plants. For instance, in Italy, the EGL state of the art plants achieve approximately 56 percent, which implies that the fuel energy supplied is efficiently and technically converted into electricity(Doty, 2009).. In terms of investment, the costs incurred are comparatively very low. This is attributed to the fact that the main components used in these systems are very standardized. It is possible for a compact power plant that would take approximately two or more years to construct because of the extremely powerful gas turbines. Combine Cycle gas Turbine Power Plants (CCGT) are built modular with several blocks. Each of these blocks looks like it is practically an independent, self-contained power plant. These standardized EGL power plants are made up of two blocks with approximately 760 megawatts and one of them could cover over 10 percent the annual energy needs of Switzerland. The emission of exhaust gases that are harmful can be controlled and minimized. The emissions of nitric oxide and carbon dioxide are at the lowest when natural gas is used to fire these plants. This is one advantage of coal-fired power plants when compared with the traditional thermal plants. The Working of a Combine Cycle gas Turbine Power Plant In order to ensure efficient generation of electricity, Combine Cycle gas Turbine Power Plant combines two thermal processes. One third of the produced electricity comes from the steam turbine whereas the remaining two thirds are produced by the gas turbine. A mechanical rotation occurs in the two turbines when the steam (steam turbine) or the expanding fuel gases (gas turbine) power these plants. This is then converted into electrical energy by the generators. The design of EGL power plants are such that they are multi-shaft installations in nature. This implies that, the two turbines are coupled to different generators, which is in contrast to installations considered as single-shafts. In single-shaft installation ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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