Sei sulla pagina 1di 233






Under the guidance of


Submitted in partial fulfillment of

Degree of


To the
NTPC School of Business
Nov 2016

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This is to certify that the Project report titled Global
Global Management Practices for
Improvement of Plant Efficiency.
Efficiency is a bonafide record of work done by Gholam Rabbani
in partial fulfillment of the requirement
for the degree of POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA
The work is carried out under my supervision and guidance and has not been
be submitted
elsewhere for the award of any other degree.

Nov 2016

NTPC School of Business, Noida

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Words can never be enough to express my true regards to all those who have helped me in
completing this project. I take this opportunity to thank all those who have been instrumental
in successful completion of my project work.
I am highly obliged to Dr. Gireesh Chandra Tripathi, DDG (Academics) and all other NSB
faculty and staff members for helping me and guiding me throughout my project.
I would like to thank my internal guide and EDC in charge at KHSTPP, Shri Sanjib Kumar
who always took out time from his busy schedule and provided me with excellent insights and
suggestions in my project, which encouraged me for further excellence.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my mentor and guide, Mr Sandeep Garg, who not
only extended his precious guidance and suggestions but his incredible help coupled with
relentless efforts, constructive criticism and timely disapprobations resulted in this project
I am grateful to my friends who gave me the moral support in my times of difficulties. Last
but not the least I would like to express my special thanks to my family for their continuous
motivation and support, and as always, nothing in my life would be possible without God,

Thank You!

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This research is dedicated to my wife Mrs Samrin Naz Rabbani who
has encouraged me through this journey and to my family for their
support, patience, encouragement and understanding.

I hereby declare that this project work titled GLOBAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PLANT EFFICIENCY is my original work and no part of it
has been submitted for any other degree purpose or published in any other from till date.

Signature of the Candidate

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...............................................................................................






TABLE OF CONENTS ....................................................................................................


ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................


ABBREVIATIONS ...........................................................................................................


LIST OF TABLES ..................................................................................................................

LIST OF FIGURES ...............................................................................................................
1.0 INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................


1.1 Background of the Study ..............................................................................................


1.2 Statement of the Problem ..............................................................................................


1.3Political and economic background....................................................................


1.4 Coal consumption......................................................................................................


1.5 Outlook to 2020 and beyond .............................................................................


1.6 Power plant capacity ...................................................................................


1.7 Research Objectives ..............................................................................................


1.8 Specific objectives...................................................................................................


1.9 Value of the Study ......................................................................................................


2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW..................................................................


2.1 Understanding coal power plant heat rate and efficiency.............................................


2.2 Coal fired power plant heat rate improvement options


2.3 Why are power plants in India less efficient




2.5 Global perspective on use of low quality coal


2.6 Replacement of old and inefficient units


2.7 HELE technology


2.8 Power generation from low grade coal


2.9 PAT mechanism


2.10 Some global trends and advancement


2.11 examples of most efficient power plants from around the globe


2.12 Factors influencing power plant efficiency and emissions




2.14 Energy efficiency global overview


2.15 Big data and industrial internet



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5.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ...................................................


5.1 Data collection


5.2 Process description of plant


5.3 Energy management flow chart


5.4 Gap analysis


5.5 Energy policy


5.6 Objectives of energy management


5.7 Energy management team


5.8 Action plan for EM




6.1 Energy audit analysis


6.2 EM and performance monitoring


6.3 Planning and operating procedure


6.4 Maintenance management


6.5 Summary of EM


6.6 Conclusion




7.1 Plant performance


7.2 EM system


7.3 Establishment of EM cell


7.4 Objectives of EMC


7.5 Energy monitoring


7.6 EM policy


7.7 EM initiatives


7.8 Results






9.1 Performance benchmarking


9.2 The way forward


APPENDIX I: Research questionnaire for plant maintenance staff......


APPENDIX II: Benchmarking plant maintenance with world best ...................


APPENDIX III: Questionnaire for TPP organizational information


case study

REFERENCES & BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................


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Thermal units will persist as mainstay of the power sector in the foreseeable future. Focus
should shift to making them competent. At the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP 21 in Paris, a resolution on
limiting the use of coal across countries was one of the proposals put up for consideration. In
the Indian context, this is of particular relevance as coal-fired power stations form the
backbone of the Indian power generation sector and will continue to remain so in the
foreseeable future, the Centres concerted efforts to ramp up renewables such as solar
notwithstanding. Globally, the developed world has, by and large, signalled the intent to move
off CO2- belching coal-fired power stations.
The purpose of the study was to establish the management practices at Indian and global
thermal coal fired power plant, to benchmark and evaluate the practices with the world best
thermal power plants, determine the relationship between management practices and plant
performance in terms of improved efficiency and operation and maintenance costs.

The paper is presented in a manner so as to answer the fallowing key questions related to
management of coal fired power plant efficiency.

1) What is the present scenario of power generation by coal globally?

2) How has the power sector evolved in terms of generation from fossil fuel?

Why efficiency management in coal based power plant so important in the present

global scenario?

How is the efficiency of a thermal power plant calculated and the different methods

adopted by different countries?

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5) What are the key factors affecting the plant efficiency?

6) What technological advancement has been made for more efficient power plants?
7) What options are available for improving efficiency of old plants?
In this paper we compare the thermal efficiency of coal-fired power plants in India with the
thermal efficiency of coal-fired power plants globally and speculate on reasons for the
differences that we find. The paper also presents the practices at some of the most efficient
power plants globally. Finally as a case study the best practices at one of the most efficient
power plant in India is taken up. A brief overview is also presented of the various energy
efficiency policies adopted globally. The PAT scheme and other policies are also dealt in
We compare power plants in India and other countries over the period, focusing on coal based
power plants in India. The paper explores the various reasons why plant efficiency is so
important, the latest technologies available for improving efficiency and what should be done
in Indian context to increase its overall efficiency. Historically, plants owned by the federal
government and private plants have been regarded as more efficiently operated than stateowned plants, when judged in terms of plant availability and percent of capacity used to
generate electricity (i.e., plant load factor).
We surmise that management practices account for the differences in thermal efficiency
between global best and state-owned Indian power plants. It is possible to improve thermal
efficiency by adopting better practices and modifications. Whether plant managers in India
have an incentive to do this depends, in part, on the way in which plants are compensated.

Globally, the average efficiency of coal-fired generation is 33% HHV (higher heating value)
basis or 35% LHV (lower heating value) basis.3,A In a survey of countries worldwide, the
average three-year (20092011) efficiency of coal-fired electric generating fleets ranged from
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a low of 26% in India to a high of 41% in France, normalized to LHV.B Those countries that
were among the first to widely deploy HELE technology now have the most efficient coalfired fleets.
Two nations, Japan and Germany, though are emerging as exceptions. In fuel-starved
Japan, utilities are setting up a new wave of coal-fired stations as a replacement to many of
their ageing coal units. According to data compiled by Kiko Network, a Kyoto-based
environmental group, there are over 40 new coal-fired units slated for construction. By
comparison, the coal-rich US has only one coal-fired project coming up Southern
Companys Kemper project, a demonstration project for new carbon-capture technology.
Germany too had enunciated a broad roadmap of moving away from the dependence on coal.
But accompanied by its more recent plans to phase out nuclear power, new estimates show
that Germanys lignite and anthracite coal power output in 2014 had rebounded to its highest
level in more than 20 years, something that researchers blame on cheap CO2 emissions
permits and the winding down of nuclear projects.
In end-2013, generation surged to 162 billion kilowatt hours, the highest level since
reunification in 1990 when Germanys coal-fired power stations produced nearly 171 billion
kilowatt hours of power, largely on account of many old eastern German plants that were still
in operation, according to figures from AGEB, a group of industry associations and technical
In India, there is no escaping the reality that coal will continue to be the mainstay of the
power generation sector. An area where India can hope for lessons from countries such as
Japan is in the efficiency of coal plants, which, in India, comes in at about 25-30 per cent as
compared with an average of over 35 per cent in the US. Japans coal plant operational
efficiency is above 40 per cent, according to an analysis by Dutch consultancy Ecofys. J-

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Power, a Japanese state-owned utility until 2004, claims to have the most worlds most
efficient coal plant at nearly 45 per cent.
In the United States, the Department of Energy is heavily promoting the benefits of integrated
gasification combined cycle or IGCC a technology that gasifies coal to make synthetic gas
that can generate electricity as a means of ensuring viability of coal at a time when
environmental regulations become more stringent. Benefits include the possibility of IGCC
units being retrofitted to capture carbon dioxide, burn a range of imported coal feedstock and
use less cooling water.
That in India, thermal will continue to be the mainstay of the power generation sector is a
given fact, despite the governments overt focus on solar. This is notwithstanding the latest
round of solar auctions in India last month, where US renewables major SunEdison bid a very
low tariff of Rs 4.63 a kWh for 500 MW in an solar park being developed by NTPC Ltd in
Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. Cost, though, is not the biggest problem in scaling up renewables
such as solar. A bigger problem is how to handle a higher share of solar or wind in terms of
its impact on managing the grid.
In India, at over 36,000 MW, renewable energy currently contributes nearly 15 per cent of the
countrys total installed electricity generation capacity. If the capacity addition of renewable
projects such as solar and wind were to happen as per plans, this number is expected to go up
to 1,75,000 MW by 2022. Thats where the problem could lie.
The steady ramping up of green power solar, for instance, was just 2 MW in 2010 but is
now over 4,000 MW does go a long way in ensuring some degree of leverage for India at
climate talks, but simultaneously poses a serious challenge for grid managers. The availability
of solar and wind energy is largely determined by the weather conditions, and therefore
characterised by strong variability. As a result, power generation from these sources cannot
easily be matched to the electricity demand, like power generated from conventional plants
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such as coal-fired units and gas stations. Integration of large amount of fluctuating RE in the
grid is a serious technical challenge for grid managers to ensure smooth operations of the
Indian grid the fifth largest in the world. To compound matters, RE generation forecasting
in the country is in its early days.
A more viable strategy might be to focus on improving the efficiency of the countrys coalfired power plants, replacing older coal plants with supercritical units and pushing for newer
technologies such as coal gasification to breach the viability barrier by taking a leaf out of the
experiences of Japan, Germany and the US. A renewed push for hydro is simultaneously
needed to beef up the green component in Indias base-load capacity.

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Average Availability






clean(er) coal technology


Condition Based Maintenance




Force Outage




carbon monoxide


Independent Power Producers


carbon dioxide




Commonwealth Scientific and


Operating Cost



Operations and Maintenance



Preventive Maintenance


Systems Applications Products


Work Order


calorific value


ETP 2012 2C Scenario


direct injection coal engine


ETP 2012 4C Scenario


European Commission


ETP 2012 6C Scenario


electrostatic precipitator


Advanced ultra-supercritical


Enhanced CO2 Capture Project




European Union Emissions














Leadership Forum


carbon (dioxide) capture and

Trading Scheme



flue gas desulphurisation



greenhouse gas

Lignite-fired power plant with



optimised engineering ft work


high-efficiency, low-emissions

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higher heating value


high pressure


International Energy Agency


integrated gasification


renewable energy technology

combined cycle


supercritical (steam conditions)


integrated gasification fuel cell


selective catalytic reduction


ion transport membrane


selective non-catalytic


lower heating value


liquefied natural gas


synthetic natural gas


low pressure


sulphur dioxide


molten carbonate fuel cell


solid oxide fuel cell


Micronized Refined Coal


underground coal gasification

Direct Injection Coal Engine


United States Department of


nitrogen oxides


National Thermal Power


research, development,
demonstration and deployment



United States Environmental

Protection Agency




particulate matter


pulverised coal combustion



post-combustion capture (of

Units of measure




renewable energy technologies



R&D research and





kilowatt hour

research, development and






ultra-supercritical (steam
World Energy Council

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million tonnes





milligrams per normal cubic


tonnes of coal equivalent





megajoules per normal cubic

Page 14 of 232


Background of the Study

Coal remains an important source of energy for the world, particularly for power generation.
During the last decade the demand for coal has grown rapidly, as has the demand for gas, oil,
nuclear and renewable energy sources. Various projections for future growth in energy
demand suggest that this trend will continue dominated by coal use in the emerging
economies, particularly China and India. Continuing pressure to cut CO emissions to mitigate
the effects of climate change, specifically to limit the average rise in global temperature to
between 2C and 3C, will require halving (from current levels) CO emissions by 2050.To
contribute to this goal, emissions from coal-fired power generation will need to be reduced by
around 90% over this period. At the same time, the growing need for energy, and its
economic production and supply to the end user, must remain central considerations in power
plant construction and operation.
In 2012, the IEA concluded that, in general, larger, more efficient, and hence younger coalfired power plants are most suited for economic CCS retrofit. However, the agency also found
that only around 29% of the existing installed global coal-fired fleet could be retrofitted with
CCS. Furthermore, on average, the efficiency of existing global coal-fired capacity is
comparatively low, at about 33% (net HHV basis for all loads, all coals, and all steam
conditions), although the recent establishment of large tranches of modern plants, particularly
in China, is raising this figure.

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Statement of the Problem

Operating at lower efficiency means that relatively large amounts of coal must be used to
produce each unit of electricity. As coal consumption rises, so do the levels of CO and other
emissions. Upgrading existing plants and building new high-efficiency, low-emissions
(HELE) coal-fired power plants addresses climate change concerns in two important ways. In
the near term, emissions can be reduced by upgrading existing plants or building new HELE
plants. Such plants emit almost 20% less CO than a subcritical unit operating at a similar load.
Over the longer term, HELE plants can further facilitate emission reductions because coalfired plants operating at the highest efficiencies are also the most appropriate option for CCS
retrofit. For these reasons, there is considerable global interest in HELE technologies. Figure
1 illustrates the impact of employing progressively more effective HELE technologies and
CCS on CO abatement (presented in terms of LHV at full load with hard coal).

More than 70 per cent of India's electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants. Most of
them do not have modern technologies and use low-grade coal that is low on energy and high
on waste. India's power sector, based predominantly on coal-fired plants, is one of the most
polluting sectors of Indian industry. No country in the world uses coal as poor in quality as
India, so our pollution challenges are huge. But our practices to overcome this challenge were
found wanting. Indias standards for pollution and resource use lag far behind global norms,
but its power plants fail to meet even such relaxed levels of performance, lacking the basic
technologies to control pollution. The situation is complicated by the fact that the power
sector is a critical sector of the Indian economy. Thus, under the rationale of the need for
power, even the most inefficient and polluting plants are allowed to operate. With one of the
poorest levels of energy access and per capita consumption of electricity, at a third of the
world average, India needs to rapidly expand its generation capacity.
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Coal is the fuel of choice. Being plentiful and easy to mine, it provides reliable and dispatch
able power. Capacity of coal-fired plants is projected to double between 2012 and 2022 and
will contribute nearly 75 per cent of generation.
Indias landscape is dotted with many inefficient plants; its fleet is among the least efficient in
the world (see India lags...). Improving efficiency is key to meet Indias energy needs,
consume fewer resources and have the least impact on the environment. The biggest issue
involved in the use of coal as a resource is pollution. Indian coal is of poor quality: around a
third of the countrys coal content is ash; it also has fewer calories hence more of it needs to
be burnt to generate power. The result is more emissions and ash, necessitating better
pollution control technologies.
Growth in coal power generation is driven almost exclusively by Asian economies. According
to the IEA, coal is the fuel of choice in Southeast Asia, where energy demand will increase
from current levels by 80% by 2040. Coal-using countries will continue to use it because it is
affordable, reliable, and available. This is particularly true with developing and emerging
economies. A major challenge for those countries is developing policies compatible both with
a sustainable development path and their INDC mitigation objectives.
Unless otherwise noted, efficiency notations in this report are based on the lower heating
value of the fuel and net output (LHV, net). Lower heating values, unlike higher heating
values (HHV), do not account for the latent heat of water in the products of combustion.
European and IEA statistics are most often reported on an LHV basis. For coal-fired power
generation, efficiencies based on HHV are generally around 2% to 3% lower than those based
on LHV. Net output refers to the total electrical output from the plant (gross) less the plants
internal power consumption (typically 5% to 7% of gross power).

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China is the worlds biggest consumer of coal and the leading developer of coal-fired power
plants, with 203GW under construction and a further 509GW proposed, according to Global
Coal Plant Tracker.12 But China is also leading a rapid national policy agenda to drive its
low-carbon transition.13 The country targets a peak in overall coal consumption by 2020. Its
coal-fired power generation has fallen since 2013. It is closing old coal-fired plants, especially
those near major cities. And China continues to ramp up renewable and nuclear power.
Falling utilisation rates of thermal power plants indicate over-capacity

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India has set ambitious targets under its Power for All initiative to increase power
generation by 50% and bring reliable electricity to everyone by 2019.38 The big question is
what balance of energy technologies India uses to meet this growth, between fossil fuels,
renewables and nuclear. It will undoubtedly need all of these; how they balance will depend
on whether India can meet ambitious targets for wind and solar power, the rate of economic
growth, the rate at which energy use becomes more efficient, and whether new infrastructure
investment can boost the economics of coal. Nuclear suffers from high capital costs,
technology barriers and long lead-times. The momentum is still with coal power. India is
adding 15-20GW of coal capacity annually, well ahead of a combined 6GW of nuclear and

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renewables in 2014/15. However the government has just doubled a tax on coal, the latest
indication of a desire to reduce its share in the mix. India has a very high coal power
cancellation rate. India shelved or cancelled some 390GW of coal projects from 2010-2015,
compared with 98GW installed, according to Global Coal Plant Tracker. Only a fraction of
the countrys present estimated pipeline of around 290GW of coal-fired power may therefore
be built.
Like China, Indias coal plants are under-used. Load factor refers to the proportion of a
power plants capacity that is actually used. In data going back to 1986, coal plant load factors
peaked in 2008, falling rapidly since as a result of under-investment in the grid and coal
production shortfalls. India has successfully overcome some of those problems, to the extent
that there are now record high coal surpluses at pitheads.
India has extraordinarily ambitious targets for wind and solar power. If India meets targets for
an additional 140GW wind and solar capacity by 2022, then renewables growth would be
comparable with expected coal power capacity growth. India has a further target to increase
the installed capacity of nuclear by nearly 60GW by 2032. A significant hydro-electricity
investment programme is also starting after a decade of delays. Rising renewable and nuclear
power capacity would put further pressure on coal plant load factors. Meanwhile, the country
has ambitious energy efficiency targets, for example to achieve energy savings equivalent to
one tenth of total consumption today, and by 2019 to replace all incandescent light bulbs with

Political and economic background

India has a population of some 1.3 billion people, including around 240 million without
access to electricity. One important driver therefore for electricity system expansion is to meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modis target to provide reliable electricity for all Indian citizens by
2019, under his Power for All, or round the clock (24-7) initiative.41 Total electricity
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demand has more than doubled in the past 10 years. The government wants power generation
to increase by half again by 2020.42 India is on course to be the worlds fastest growing
major economy through the next several decades, in line with expected economic and
population growth, urbanisation and a very significant rise in the share of population entering
the work force.

Coal consumption

Indias total coal use rose some 12.8% in 2014, to 907 million tonnes, accounting for 11.4%
of global demand, and moving the country into second place in the global coal consumption
ranking, according to the IEAs Medium-Term Coal Market report.44 The power generation
sector accounts for more than four-fifths of Indias lignite** consumption, and three quarters
of coal consumption.45 That is a far greater share than in China, at around half, reflecting
smaller cement and steel sectors.

Outlook to 2020 and beyond

Indias coal consumption raced ahead of the rest of the world in 2014, growing more than
eight times faster in absolute terms than second-placed Turkey. The IEA expects India to lead
global growth through 2040.47 India wants to double domestic coal output to 1.5 billion
tonnes annually by 2020 and to cut imports. Infrastructure targets include opening 60 new
mines; construction of several, 4GW-each ultra mega power projects; and the completion
by 2017 of three major coal rail links from North eastern coal-producing regions to demand
centres. All such infrastructure projects could lock in coal use for decades to come.


Power plant capacity

India had a cumulative installed coal-fired power capacity of 175GW as of January 31 2016,
according to the Central Electricity Authority, representing some 61% of total generating
capacity.51 That compares with 61GW in 2000, according to the IEA, representing a
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compound annual growth rate of about 7%.52 Official data suggest that new installed coal
fired capacity has averaged 18GW annually over the past three years, up to March 31 2015.53
The Global Coal Plant Tracker estimates that about 19GW of new coal-fired capacity were
added in the year to January 2016.

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The IEA forecasts that, by 2040, Indias energy consumption will be more than OECD
Europe combined. India, as China did before it, will fuel its economic growth with coal,
because it is affordable and available. Indias INDC highlights that coal will continue to
dominate power generation in the future. Its government is implementing several initiatives to
improve the efficiency of its coal power plants, and future policies will focus on developing
and deploying cleaner coal technologies such as supercritical and ultra-supercritical. As
Indias INDC states, Given the current stage of dependence of many economies on coal,
such an effort is an urgent necessity.
In China, India, and other developing countries, coal contributes substantially to the base load
electricity that is critical to economic growth and energy access. Moreover, coal-fired power
plants can support renewable deployment, making it more viable and counteracting its
intermittent nature.
Hence, moving away from coal is not a realistic solution to the climate challenge faced by
developing countries which must juggle other priorities simultaneously: energy access,
growing electrification rates, energy security, poverty alleviation, and other environmental
objectives. Implementation of HELE and CCS technologies, however, can offer realistic
options to developing countries. According to the IEAs Coal Industry Advisory Board,
Coal-fuelled power plants are indispensable in the near future and thus more focus should be
put on making coal technology more efficient and clean. It is a false notion, at least for the
next 50 years that coal-fuelled power plants can be completely replaced with nonconventional technology.

Research Objectives

The research aims at finding solutions for increasing plant efficiency mainly from coal based
power plants. The best practices at global level in the most efficient power plants are
summarised. The latest technological developments, management policies and other options
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are explored. Special focus is given on methods for improving efficiency of existing old
plants. Increasing response of coal fired stations during fast load fluctuation due to increased
renewable penetration is a major challenge. Ways to tackle it and some examples are also


Specific Objectives

Specific objective of the project is to list down best practices adopted globally to improve the
efficiency of coal based power plant. A case study of one of the best performing subcritical
power plant in India is taken up to observe its management practices.
Coal is the worlds most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel with reserves for all types
of coal estimated to be about 990 billion tonnes, enough for 150 years at current consumption
(BGR, 2009).1 Coal fuels 42% of global electricity production, and is likely to remain a key
component of the fuel mix for power generation to meet electricity demand, especially the
growing demand in developing countries. To maximise utility of coal use in power
generation, plant efficiency is an important performance parameter. Efficiency improvements
have several benefits:

prolonging the life of coal reserves and resources by reducing consumption;

reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and conventional pollutants;
increasing the power output from a given size of unit; and
potentially reducing operating costs.

Value of the Study

The study and its outcomes would help underperforming power plants in India in managing
their plant efficiency in a better and more economical manner. This would help India achieve
its commitment on environment norms. The improvement in efficiency will lead to fuel

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security and reduced co2 emissions. This would make coal power more economical and
sustainable. The biggest challenge for coal is from renewables. Better efficiency is key to the
future of coal globally.

To gather information about efficiency of thermal power plants a detailed literature review
was done. Many research papers, science journals, white papers and reports were reviewed.
The key learning are summarised below under suitable headings.


Understanding Coal Power Plant Heat Rate and Efficiency.

Proposed U.S. standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants
rely heavily upon generation-side efficiency improvements. Fuel, operations, and plant design
all affect the overall efficiency of a plant, as well as its carbon emissions.
This review of the fundamentals of coal plant efficiency, frequent problems that reduce
efficiency and some solutions for improving operation and reducing generation costs should
be valuable to plants wherever they are located.
Comprising a variety of possible methods for reducing carbon emissions, one building block
of the plan is improving net plant heat rate (NPHR) by 6% or greater. Although this may
sound like a small number to the layperson, power plant engineers know that a 6% heat rate
improvement would require a serious commitment on many different levels within their

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This article outlines the basics of plant efficiency and heat rate, such that one can quickly
understand where the best opportunity for improvement is for a specific generating asset. It
then examines ways in which the 6% NPHR goal might be achieved.
Heat Rate Fundamentals
The term heat rate simply refers to energy conversion efficiency, in terms of how much
energy must be expended in order to obtain a unit of useful work. In a combustion power
plant, the fuel is the energy source, and the useful work is the electrical power supplied to the
grid, the steam heat supplied to an industrial customer or used for heating, or both. Because
useful work is typically defined as the electricity and steam that is delivered to the final
customers, engineers tend to work with the net plant heat rate (NPHR). In the U.S., heat rate
is typically expressed using the mixed English and SI units of Btu/kWh. Though confusing at
first, this merely indicates how many Btu/hr of energy are required to produce 1 kW of useful
work. Other countries commonly use kJ/kWh, kCal/kWh, or other measures. This article uses
the U.S. format. Because approximately 3,412 Btu/hr equals 1 kW, we can easily determine
the thermodynamic efficiency of a power plant by dividing 3,412 by the heat rate. For
example, a coal power plant with a heat rate of 10,000 Btu/kWh has a thermal efficiency of
3,412/10,000, or 0.3412 (34.12%).

The Input/output Method

One of the simplest ways to calculate your NPHR is to divide the Btu/hr of fuel heat input by
your net generation (electricity and steam to the customers) in terms of kW. However,
determining the heat input can be quite difficult. In my experience, a minority of combustion
power plants have a good measure of their actual fuel burn rate at each unit. An industry rule
of thumb is that volumetric feeders are accurate to within +/5% at best, and gravimetric
feeders are accurate to +/2% at best. In practice, I find that the actual error in fuel burn rate
measurement can be from 5% to 10%.
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At some power plants, the only capability for estimating the coal burn rate was to rely on
photographs of the coal yard taken by a spritely lady from her Cessna aircraft, and by
comparing the estimated stockpile size with train receipts for the month to determine how
much coal was burned overall. The potential error for this method could easily be greater than
Another important factor in heat input measurement is the fuel quality analysis; especially the
fuels heating value. Generally speaking, the error in a fuel burn rate calculation cannot be
less than the error in the fuel analysis, so choosing ones sampling methods and frequency
carefully will provide greater certainty when calculating the fuel burn rate.
In short, the input/output method is not an ideal method to track the difference in efficiency at
your coal-fired power plant unless you have accurate coal feeders plus an accurate and regular
determination of your fuel heating value.


The Heat Loss Method and the Three Efficiency Boxes

A significant problem with using the input/output method to determine your heat rate is that,
should your heat rate change from one situation to the next, you have no idea of what led to
the change. Was the boiler less efficient at burning the fuel? Is turbine efficiency reduced due
to high condenser backpressure? Has station service power increased? Because the
input/output method treats the power plant as a black box, the engineer must rely on a more
accurate method of determining heat rate.
The heat loss method for determining your heat rate essentially breaks power plant into three
subsystems where an energy conversion process occurs:

The boiler, where fuel heat is converted to steam energy.

The turbine, where steam heat is converted to mechanical rotational energy.
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The generator, where rotational energy is converted into gross and net electric power.
The heat loss method for calculating heat rate essentially draws a box around each of these
subsystems and determines the efficiency of each energy conversion process. The product of
all of these conversion efficiency values results in the total net plant heat rate for the power
NPHR, Btu/kW x hr = NTHR, Btu/kW x hr / ( (Boiler Efficiency, % / 100) x (Net Power, kW
/ Gross Power, kW) )
[Ed.: Equation corrected 12/21/15.]
As we can see from this equation, to reduce the NPHR, we need to increase the boiler
efficiency, reduce the net turbine heat rate, or increase the net generation relative to the gross
Boiler Efficiency
Determining your boiler efficiency is effectively determining all of the different inefficiencies
resulting from the process of burning fuel to create steam energy. Standards and testing
organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Deutsches
Institut fr Normung (DIN) have similar but different metrics for calculating efficiency
losses, but from a general standpoint they can be grouped into the following categories.

Sensible Heat Loss.

Sensible heat losses can be thought of as heat you can sense directly with a thermometer. For
example, combustion air enters your power plant at ambient conditions, and flue gas is
exhausted from the cold end of the boiler air heater at some elevated temperature. The closer
the exhaust gas is to ambient temperature, the less sensible heat is lost to the environment.
Other sensible heat losses include the heat contained in bottom and fly ash removed from the
boiler and pyrites and rock that are rejected from coal mills. The quantity of excess air used

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for combustion has a significant effect on this loss, as every pound of excess air that travels
through the boiler carries with it potentially usable energy.

Latent Heat Loss.

Latent heat losses are not easily detectable by a thermometer and are energy losses associated
with a phase change of water. When a fuel is burned in a boiler, not only does all moisture
contained within the fuel vaporize into steam, but all hydrogen contained within the fuel
combusts to form water, which also is vaporized into steam. Unless the temperature of the
exhaust gas leaving the boiler air heater is below the boiling point of the water contained
within the gas, all of that latent heat of vaporization will exit the boiler and be lost to the
environment. Because latent heat losses are primarily fuel-related, they cannot be easily
changed without switching or drying your fuel.

Unburned Combustible Loss.

Unburned combustible losses are efficiency losses from incomplete combustion of fuel in the
boiler. This is primarily measured in the form of carbon residue in the ash, but it also includes
carbon monoxide (CO) production. These losses are generally influenced by both fuel
properties (fuel volatility) and operations practices (excess air level, fuel fineness, and the
like). It is important to note that unburned combustible loss is not the same as loss-on-ignition
(LOI), as unburned combustible loss is an energy loss, whereas LOI is calculated on a mass
basis in the ash.

Radiation and Convection Loss.

Utility boilers are enormous equipment systems, with numerous penetrations for tubes and
instruments, and a very large surface area exposed to the environment. As a result, no matter
how well-designed the insulation is and how diligent plant personnel are in fixing air leaks,
energy will still be lost via radiation and convection.

Margin and Unknown Losses.

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Due to the large size and complexity of the boiler, it is often not practical to measure every
single possible source of energy loss from the power plant. As a result, a margin or
unknown loss value is typically used to estimate these losses. Typical values range from
0.5% to 2.0%. When all of these efficiency losses are taken into account, a typical utility
boiler can utilize fuel energy with an efficiency ranging from 83% to 91%.
Improving Boiler Efficiency
Sensible heat losses can be reduced by installing improved combustion controls to allow finetuning the excess air level in the furnace operators to reduce the excess oxygen level in the
furnace. Preheating combustion air with waste heat from the plant will also increase
efficiency, and some plants are considering schemes to use solar thermal collectors as air
preheaters during daylight hours.
As latent heat losses are strongly tied to fuel quality, and current boiler designs do not allow
for condensing air heaters, outside of switching to a dryer fuel, there is little that can
practically be done to reduce latent heat losses. Unburned combustible losses can be reduced
by improved boiler and burner tuning, with some plants able to gain more than 1% in net
efficiency as a result of a minor amount of tuning or capital investment.
Turbine Efficiency
Your turbine efficiency is essentially the efficiency of the turbine to convert steam from the
boiler into usable rotational energy. A simplified way of viewing your net turbine heat rate
(NTHR) is to sum the enthalpy increases of the feedwater and the cold reheat steam across the
boiler boundary and divide this by the gross electrical generation.

Determining Turbine Efficiency.

As in the case of the overall plant, the turbine cycle heat rate can be expressed on a gross or
net basis. Here the terminology becomes a little tricky, as the gross and net efficiency both
utilize the gross output of the generator in their calculations. However, if the power plant has
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an electric boiler feed pump, then the net turbine heat rate must also subtract out the power
consumed by the feed pump; otherwise, that power consumption may skew your NTHR value
to appear overly efficient. As a result, our simplified NTHR equation for
a single-reheat cycle resembles this:

NTHR = net turbine heat rate, Btu/kWh
HMSOUT = enthalpy of the main steam exiting the boiler envelope, Btu/hr
HFWIN = enthalpy of the feedwater entering the boiler envelope, Btu/hr
HHRH = enthalpy of the hot reheat steam exiting the boiler envelope, Btu/hr
HCRH = enthalpy of the cold reheat steam entering the boiler envelope, Btu/hr
PowerBFP = boiler feed pump power consumption, kW

Improving Turbine Cycle Efficiency.

Under ideal conditions, an ultra-supercritical turbine cycle system can convert steam into
rotational energy at 54% or higher efficiency, supercritical turbine cycles can achieve 50%
efficiency, and subcritical turbine cycles can achieve 46% efficiency. However, the turbine
cycle system of your power plant is at least as complex as your boiler system, and there are
numerous places for efficiency to be lost.
Bucket tip and packing leakage can constitute 40% of total efficiency loss within the turbine.
Nozzle roughness, erosion, and repair can account for 35% of efficiency loss, turbine deposits
15%, and bucket erosion and roughness 10%. Problems in these areas can result in significant
efficiency losses: Turbine deposits have been known to cause nearly a 5% efficiency loss and
turbine casing leaks as much as a 3% efficiency loss. Its vital to know that the turbine is part
of a much larger steam and water system that includes condensers, cooling towers, feedwater
heaters, deaerators, pumps, and pipingall of which have their own efficiency losses. For
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example, an increase in condenser backpressure due to dirty tubes of 0.4 inches of mercury
can reduce the turbine cycle efficiency by 0.5%. A single split partition plate in a feedwater
heater can reduce turbine cycle efficiency by 0.4%. Leaking extraction lines and stuck drain
valves can reduce your feedwater heater efficiency, resulting in net cycle losses of greater
than 0.5%.
Turbine blade improvements are available for most steam turbines, with improvements of up
to 2% possible with a complete replacement of the low-pressure turbine. Even renewable
energy can assist with heat rate improvement, as some generators have explored the prospect
of solar feedwater heating to boost their turbine cycle efficiency, with some designs able to
achieve a peak efficiency improvement of more than 5%. Of course, with all upgrades, you
have to examine the economics.
Does it Make Economic Sense
Its all very well to propose numerous capital and operations upgrades at your power plant.
But which improvements make the most economic sense to the power plant owner? Some
plant improvements can be a metaphorical no-brainer, whereas other improvements may
require an external market factor, such as a carbon emissions tax, in order to become costeffective. Table 1 provides a very general ranking of improvements that can be made to
pulverized coal-fired power plants, a range of potential heat rate improvements, and their
relative economic payback periods.
Note that this listing does not include many specific maintenance items that may be found at
some power plants, and which may provide large improvements in efficiency when repaired
or upgraded.
Electrical Efficiency
For the generator system we are not so concerned about the conversion efficiency of
rotational energy to electrical energy, as modern-day generators tend to convert between the
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two energy types with 98% or greater efficiency. However, a significant portion of the
inefficiency seen within this box involves the station service or auxiliary power consumption
of the power plant itself.

1. Baseload in 15 minutes. The AES Amman East power plants gas turbines are V94.2
Ansaldo turbines manufactured by Ansaldo Energia SPA under license from Siemens AG.
The turbine offers full speed and no load in less than 5 minutes and base load conditions 15
minutes later. Courtesy: AES Corp.
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As most large power-consuming systems at a power plant are needed, little can be gained by
eliminating or turning off major equipment systems. Even sacrificing ancillary electrical
consumption can have unintended consequences. One scorching hot June, I was stationed at a
power plant in its engineering office, when a young man from the corporate office had the
clever idea of turning off the office lights, bumping the air conditioning to 85F, and
unplugging the coffee makers, water fountains, and soda machines. The reasoning was that
power prices were more than $1,000/MWh, so he wanted to be able to sell every last Watt
possible. What the gentleman had not considered were the potential ramifications of placing a
group of plant engineers in a dark, hot office with no cold drinks or coffee. It was not a pretty
As more than 80% of the electrical usage at a power plant is via electrical motors, these
should be the primary focus when improving your electrical efficiency. Just the main power
plant fans (primary air, forced draft, and induced draft) can consume as much as 2% to 3% of
the plants gross output. One option for reducing fan power consumption is to use variablefrequency AC drives, especially if the plant tends to operate at lower loads for extended
periods of time. Switching all of your main plant fans from conventional to variablefrequency drives could improve your NPHR by more than 0.5%.
Air and gas leakage can account for up to 25% of fan power consumption, so reducing
leakage in the air heaters and ductwork can result in a significant fan power savings.
Reducing your boiler excess air will reduce fan demand as well.
Electrostatic precipitator optimization programs can both increase electrical efficiency and
improve particulate collection.
Creative Heat Rate Improvement
Other opportunities that may not appear to affect heat rate may in fact result in significant
efficiency improvements.
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For example, at one power plant an improved reclaim hopper design in the coal yard that
reduced the time to fill coal bunkers by 2 hours per day. A rough cost-benefit analysis
determined that the new hopper design to prevent wet coal from sticking saved a net of
$1,700 per year over a five-year period due to reduced coal-handling system operation time.
Though that sounds like small potatoes, metaphorically speaking, it also greatly reduced coal
yard operator effort during the reclaim process, resulting in a human factors improvement.
Staff at another power plant determined via a fuel quality impact analysis study that the only
obstacle preventing them from switching to a higher-heat-content and lower-moisture coal
was a sootblower upgrade. Costing a net of $1.3 million, the upgrade resulted in a net
improvement in heat rate of more than 2% by allowing use of more-efficient but higherslagging coals, as well as having a coincident benefit of preventing catastrophic slag falls due
to insufficient sootblower coverage.
The payback period of this investment was determined to be 18 to 24 months
Final Thoughts
It is hard to find a power plant where significant improvements in energy efficiency could not
be made. Power plant engineers and operators are smart, motivated people who take pride in
their job and their plant, and who understand what needs to be done to improve plant
efficiency. A century of relatively cheap coal and a focus on plant emissions controls has,
unfortunately, taken the focus away from maintaining and improving plant heat rate.


Coal-Fired Power Plant Heat Rate Improvement Options

Even without regulatory considerations, there are good reasons for virtually every coal-fired
power plant to improve its heat rate. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has
looked at dozens of methods for improving heat rates and evaluated their applicability and

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costs. This section explains the basics of heat rate improvements and the range of possible
options explored in recent EPRI reports.
The heat rate of a coal-fired power plant represents the amount of heat, typically in Btus,
needed to generate 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. Accordingly, typical units for heat
rate are Btu/kWh. Heat rate is the heat energy input per unit of electrical energy output, or
fuel consumption rate for specific levels of power plant output. Heat rate is also the inverse of
plant efficiency. In this sense, it is comparable to a golf score: Lower is better. For a given
power plant, heat rate depends on the plants design, its operating conditions, and its level of
electric power output. In theory, 3,412 Btu of thermal energy is equivalent to 1 kWh of
electric energy. For existing coal-fired power plants, heat rates are typically in the range of
9,000 Btu/kWh to 11,000 Btu/kWh. A plant with the U.S. industry average heat rate of 10,300
Btu/kWh is operating with an overall plant efficiency of about 33% (3,412/0.33 = 10,339).
All heat rates discussed in this section and referenced EPRI reports have been determined
based on net generation. Plant net generation accounts for the auxiliary power consumption
required to operate the machinery in the plant. Using net station or unit output as the
denominator helps maintain a holistic view of plant performance and permits inclusion of the
effect of all modifications, including emissions controls that change auxiliary power
consumption. Net heat rate permits better comparisons of units using steam-driven
components to those using electrical motors, as the steam used to drive large components is
typically less expensive than electricity, but it robs the steam turbine of some capacity.
Benefits of Lowering Heat Rate
The heat content of coal is in the range of 8,000 Btu/lb to 12,000 Btu/lb. Coal costs
$1.5/MMBtu to $2/MMBtu, or about $30/ton. A typical coal plant consumes 6,000 tons per
day. For a coal-fired plant, fuel is by far the largest expense item, representing about 55% to
75% of total plant expenses. Reducing a power plants heat rate can significantly lower fuel
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consumption and thus lower its costs as well, directly benefitting power producers and their
customers (Figure 1). For example, at a typical 500-MW plant operating at 80% capacity
factor and firing $2.00/MMBtu bituminous coal, a 1% heat rate reduction will save about
$700,000 in annual fuel costs (500,000 kW x 10,200 Btu/kW/hr x 365 days/yr x 24 hr/day x
80% x 1% x $2/MMBtu = ~$700,000).

1. Big savings. Improving a plants heat rate has the most direct effect on its bottom line. The
top chart shows savings at $1.50/MMBu; the bottom chart shows savings at $2.50/MMBtu.
Courtesy: EPRI
Heat rate improvement is also the first obvious step to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and all
other emissions. It is commercially proven and is the most cost-effective and immediately
available control process for lowering CO2. The 1% heat rate reduction

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described above also corresponds to a 1% reduction in CO2 emissionsabout 40,000

tons/yearsomething that could amount to significant savings if new regulations permit
trading of CO2 credits or impose a fee on CO2 emissions.
Even assuming the eventual implementation of carbon capture and storage technologies,
optimizing heat rate will still make sense as a first line of CO2 reduction and could be a
complementary activity with other control options. Heat rate reductions will also result in
decreases in other emissions, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2),
particulates, and mercury, which can help plants meet other compliance requirements. Even
for a constant emission rate in pounds per million Btu, an improvement in heat rate will result
in fewer Btus fired, and thus fewer total pounds of a given pollutant produced. In some cases,
the benefit of emissions reduction may exceed the value of fuel savings.
Historical Heat Rates
Unfortunately, since the mid-1960s, the average heat rate of fossil-fueled electric power
plants in the United States has gradually increased. Several factors have contributed to this
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slow degradation in unit performance. One early reason was the introduction of nuclear
generating units to provide an increasing share of baseload generation and the anticipation of
a large expanding nuclear construction program over the next several decades. With these
low-cost generating units forecast to provide a large fraction of the baseload capacity, utilities
devoted less attention to the maintenance and upkeep of their older fossil stations in
anticipation of their retirement in the 1970s or 1980s.
This trend was exacerbated as nuclear construction costs escalated, reducing the funds
available for maintaining fossil station performance, as well as diverting the attention of
utility upper management from the operation of these stations. For those utilities that brought
nuclear units online, many of the fossil plants that formerly constituted their systems
baseload capacity were changed to cycling duty. The thermal inefficiencies associated with
startups, shutdowns, and swings in load, as well as extended periods of operation at less than
full power, resulted in increased heat rates for these units. Generating units are designed and
built to achieve their best heat rates when operated in steady state at full load.
In addition, environmental regulations forced many utilities to retrofit energy-consuming
pollution control equipment such as flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems. The key
deleterious effects caused by the addition of emission controls were the increase in auxiliary
power consumption and the decrease in boiler efficiency. This adverse trend started many
decades ago with the required addition of electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) to remove
particulate matter from the flue gas prior to exhausting it out the stack. Those new ESPs
created a pressure drop, forcing the fans to work harder and increased the consumption of
auxiliary power.
At the same time, in some areas, decreasing coal quality and the use of higher-moisturecontaining fuels such as Powder River Basin coal contributed to a reduction in unit
performance. A 2010 EPRI report, Evaluation of Fuel Quality Impacts on Heat Rate (EPRI
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document 1019703), has more on the effects of fuel quality on heat rate. Most recently, the
proliferation of renewable and natural gas generation, along with economic factors, has
resulted in a need for more flexible operations (for example, more frequent cycling and lower
turndown) of the existing coal-fired fleet, which has a substantial negative effect on plant heat
The problem of improving fossil plant heat rates in the 1980s was made more difficult by the
penalties associated with retrofitting emissions control equipment, declining coal quality, and
normal degradation associated with aging of the units. This latter concern continues today, as
more units are operated beyond their expected operating lifetimes, with additional emission
controls and increased generation flexibility required.
The hurdles to improving performance were further raised when many site performance
engineers were lost either to retirements or shrinking personnel levels in the wake of the
deregulation movement of the 1990s.
Considering all these elements working against heat rate improvements in the electric
generation industry, it should not be surprising that current industry estimates suggest several
percent of efficiency have been lost at many existing coal-fired power plants. However, a
portion of that loss is potentially recoverable if the correct processes, procedures, and
resources can be applied and maintained.
The biggest hurdles are typically not technical, theyre financial. Limited budgets, concerns
about triggering New Source Reviews, and the ability to pass along fuel costs through
adjustment clauses have been the biggest impediments to heat rate improvements.

Assessing the Range and Applicability of Heat Rate Improvements

Coal-fired power plants were initially designed and built to achieve unit-specific heat rates.
The typical coal-fired plant is now about 30 to 40 years old and the operating heat rates may
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be significantly different than initial design values. Power plant owners and operators are
unsure of the range of possible heat rate improvements for their existing fleets.
In recent years, several EPRI projects have explored different aspects of heat rate
improvements. A recent EPRI report, Range and Applicability of Heat Rate Improvements
(3002003457), summarizes the findings of those projects to provide information on the range
and applicability of heat rate improvements. This section is based on that report.
Utilities have limited budgets and want to know how much they can recoup or improve by
implementing actions and/or new technologies. Because EPRI is looking at heat rate from a
holistic viewpoint, we were able to evaluate projects at a plant level instead of at a component
level and have compiled an extensive list of possible options.
Heat Rate ImprovementCapital and Maintenance Projects
Methodologies: The assessment methodologies followed a six-step approach that divides the
effort into logical steps designed to ensure a reasonably comprehensive and technically
accurate analysis:
Identify Major Systems in a Typical Plant. The purpose of this task is to ensure that all
applicable plant systems were considered. The classification focuses on major systems and
does not address every nuance of plant design.
Identify Typical or Potential Projects for Each System. For each of the systems noted above,
a number of different options were identified for capital and maintenance projects that could
conceivably improve performance if implemented. This initial list was based on industry
experience with similar efforts and knowledge of the respective systems.

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Obtain Input Data and Values. A significant number of assumptions are necessary to
effectively characterize the options and economics for a given plant. To make this reference
useful to most power plant operators and other companies, those specific required metrics,
configurations, and other inputs were identified and used to populate example calculations.

Characterize Typical or Potential Projects for Each System. For each of the systems
identified in Task 1, the guide includes a list of capital and maintenance projects that could, in
theory, be economically attractive efficiency improvements. This list was selected based on
potential applicability and does not address all the issues that affect the feasibility of a
specific project at an actual plant, especially with respect to economics and plant
Summarize Uncertainty and Potential Findings. Even with the screening used to
characterize the potential project list, uncertainty will remain for a number of issues for any

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Conduct a Reasonability Check of Results and Input Data. The results were reviewed
internally by EPRI, comparing the values stated to those in other EPRI documents and
validating the logic behind the spreadsheet calculations. The spreadsheets were also reviewed
by an EPRI member working in this field to ensure the input and results were representative
and current for power plant projects.
Capital Projects
The report listed 32 capital projects. For each project, the spreadsheets identified estimated
capital cost, added O&M cost per year, heat rate reduction (percentage and Btu/kWh), and
estimated auxiliary load benefit, capacity increase, EFOR improvement benefit, heat rate
benefit, emissions benefit, added power sales benefits, and net annual benefit. At the time this
project was completed and report written, the emissions benefit related only to NOx and SO2,
but the equations could easily be adapted to include CO2 and mercury.
Example projects included turbine steam seal upgrades, turbine section replacements (Figure
2), intelligent sootblowing systems, automated boiler drains, coal-drying systems, air heater
baskets, and combustion optimization. (For more on sootblowing optimization, see Boosting
Efficiency with a Sootblowing Optimization System in this issue.) The results represented a
wide range, and not all projects generated net benefits with a positive payback. Heat rate
reductions ranged from 0.10% to 2.50%. Positive net benefits ranged from $30,000/year to
$2.9 million/year. The spreadsheets can be used by plant engineers and planners to develop a
realistic case for making a specific capital investment.

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2. New iron. Upgrading turbine components, such as the high-pressure turbine control section
shown here, is one way of improving heat rate. Courtesy: EPRI

Maintenance Projects

The report also listed 25 maintenance projects and practices. For each, the spreadsheets
identified estimated initial maintenance cost, additional O&M costs per year, heat rate
reduction (percentage and Btu/kWh), estimated auxiliary load benefit, capacity increase,
EFOR improvement benefit, heat rate benefit, emissions benefit, added power sales benefits,
maintenance annual benefit-cost ratio, useful life, and payback (years).
Example projects included replacing feed pump turbine steam seals, repairing steam and
water leaks, boiler chemical cleaning, repairing boiler air in-leakage, cleaning air preheater
coils, repairing condensate pumps, and repairing FGD systems. The results likewise
represented a wide range. Heat rate reductions ranged from 0.03% to 1.50%. Maintenance
annual benefit-cost ratios ranged from about 1 to over 100. ( POWER has published several
articles on many of these capital and maintenance projects.)

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Areas for Improvement

This section of EPRIs Range and Applicability of Heat Rate Improvements report described
issues and perspectives on improving power plant heat rateincluding recovering plant
efficiency lost during flexible operation, implementing a cycle alignment program, employing
remote monitoring, making physical upgrades to steam turbine generators, designing and
implementing a heat rate improvement program, and improving the effectiveness of steam
turbine performance engineers. The values of heat rate improvements stated for each of these
projects may not be additive, as some overlap could exist and each of these projects were
focused on the results of site-specific actions.
a) Flexible Operation
Flexible operation refers to the ability of a plant to operate at part load and in load-following
and cycling (on and off) modes, in response to economic conditions and increased utilization
of non-coal-based generation (such as renewables and gas). Operating conditions under
flexible operation can result in reductions in plant efficiency and increased degradation and
maintenance requirements on components due to constant swings in operating temperature
and pressure (Figure 3).

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3. Wide range. Unit loads, and changes in it, have a large effect on a plants heat rate. The
average plant achieves the lowest heat rate at full-power, steady-state operation. Courtesy:
A 2010 EPRI study (report 1021205) identified cost-effective capital modifications and
adjustments to plant operating procedures to improve heat rate during cycling operation. The
study identified 10 upgrade options, though the practicality of each is site-dependent:

Sliding-pressure operation: With sliding-pressure operation, plant efficiency is increased

by reducing turbine-throttling losses. This option was further analyzed in a follow-up project
and found to provide a heat rate improvement at part load in the range of 2%.
Variable-speed drives for main cycle and auxiliary equipment. Variable-speed drives
reduce auxiliary power consumption of rotating equipment, thus increasing plant net output.
The amount of savings available with variable-speed operation can vary widely. Variablespeed drives are expensive and can be difficult to justify for older plants with limited
remaining life.

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Boiler draft system control schemes and operating philosophy. Where multiple fans are
operating in parallel, plant efficiency at low loads and under ramping conditions can be
maintained and improved by the proper selection of startup/shutdown procedures. Depending
on the load scenario, this measure will allow auxiliary load reductions by operating fewer
fans, but it can increase maintenance and reliability risks.
Automated pulverizer supervisory controls and variations with mill design. Firing systems
and operating procedures can be optimized for each load level. The goal is to operate the least
number of pulverizers to maintain stable coal-only flames while following load.
Optimum partial-load operation of air quality control systems: For a wet FGD application,
the number of operating recycle pumps can be reduced with load reductions, resulting in
reduced plant parasitic loads. With ESPs, once the unit load has stabilized at the lower load, it
may be possible to reduce ESP power consumption by turning off specific electrical fields
while maintaining opacity and particulate emission rates at the regulated levels.
Feedwater heater drains system modifications for cycling. Typically, cycling efficiency
losses occur at low loads when heater drains are routed to the condenser as opposed to the
deaerator. Plant efficiency at part load will be improved by ensuring that drains are directed to
their proper destination, when possible.
Cooling system optimization: Where multiple cooling water pumps and cooling tower fans
are operated in parallel, proper selection of component startup/shutdown schemes (dependent
on the load scenarios and ambient conditions) will allow auxiliary power reduction by
removing pumps and fans from service, but this can increase maintenance and reliability
Performance monitoring: Several tools are available to display relevant parameters with
respect to plant efficiency at various loads. These tools can be optimized to enable operators
to prioritize corrective actions, thereby improving cycling efficiency.
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Reducing warm-up flow for idle boiler feed pumps: Heat rate improvement can be
achieved by reducing warm-up water flow rates from operating pumps to idle pumps. Less
warm-up water flow will reduce the auxiliary power of the operating pumps.
Minimizing flow, pressure, and temperature oscillations during cycling operation: Some
oscillations of temperature, pressure, and flow typically occur when plants are operating at
steady-state loads, but they can be amplified during cyclic operation and result in a reduction
in plant efficiency. Commercially available optimizers contain a forward-looking feature that
minimizes the time that steam temperature strays from design, reducing attemperation spray
flow and the heat rate effect of load following.

Cycle Alignment

Cycle alignment, also known as cycle isolation, refers to the alignment of the cycle by
isolating all, or as much as possible, of the high-energy fluid leakage from the steam cycle
(Figure 4). Certain leaking valves will cause a direct loss in generation or an increase in fuel

4. Leaking money into the air.

Leaks from the steam cycle, like the valves leaking into a header shown here, can have a
direct impact on heat rate. Courtesy: EPRI

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When used as part of an overall plant performance improvement program, cycle alignment
programs have provided large gains at low costs. Implementing a cycle alignment program
can jump-start a plant performance program and result in substantial heat rate improvements
that lead to fuel cost savings and emissions reductions. With improved cycle alignment, heat
rate improvements in the range of 50 Btu/kWhabout 0.5%are common. Units with
problematic valves or no history of maintaining cycle alignment may experience a large onetime heat rate improvement upon this programs implementation.
Various methods have been used to ensure proper cycle alignment, but an applications
success and costs vary depending upon the specific valves and unit designs involved. In 2011,
an EPRI project assessed cycle alignment activities and identified their costs and benefits. The
study (report 1024640) identified methods in use in the field to estimate or determine the
leakage rate through leaking valves and used several real-life examples from operating power
plants to illustrate how cycle alignment programs have been implemented.

Remote Monitoring Centers

Remote monitoring centers (RMCs) have been used for many years to track and improve
equipment reliability, and in many cases, these same RMCs have thermal performance
software installed for monitoring heat rate (Figure 5). The value of finding and fixing
reliability issues can often be quantified, but placing a value on heat rate monitoring is not so

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5. Eyes on the prize. Remote monitoring of key plant equipment can help locate and assess
negative impacts on heat rate. Courtesy: EPRI
In 2011, an EPRI study (report 1023075) evaluated the use of remote monitoring systems and
personnel as it relates specifically to heat rate improvement. The project team visited RMCs
at three power generating companies. The main priority of these RMCs was to improve
reliability, but they also monitored for heat rate improvement to varying degrees.
All of the companies visited were able to verify heat rate improvements based on the
activities of the monitoring centers in addition to improvement in equipment reliability. In
many cases, the heat rate improvements were significant and well surpassed the incremental
costs for monitoring heat rate in addition to reliability. Heat rate improvements in the range of
2.5% to 4% have been reportedly attributed to the actions resulting from these RMCs.

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Steam Turbine Steam Path Modifications

Over the past 20 years, an increased number of nuclear and fossil power plants have
undertaken modifications to increase power ratings and improve heat rates of selected units.
Many of these actions have resulted from physical upgrades to steam turbine generators, as
well as enhancements to auxiliary components.
EPRI conducted a survey to compile current results of performance upgrades to produce a
single technical report summarizing the findings (report 1018346). Commonly reported heat
rate improvements attributed to turbine modifications were in the range of 2% to 4%.
However, these modifications were capital intensive and large consumers of time and
resources, had a finite life, and were not always 100% successful.
General Recommendations
The following recommendations are common to the five units covered by follow-up analyses.

Provide Heat Rate Awareness Training to Operations Staff.

Provide the entire plant staff with heat rate awareness training focused on the basics of heat
rate, the cost of heat rate deviations, and actionable heat rate information for operations. Such
training will help to enhance a positive work culture and provide staff with the tools to
optimize heat rate on an ongoing basis.

Make Heat Rate Information Readily Available to More Plant Personnel.

Sharing heat raterelated information with a broader segment of plant personnel can result in
earlier identification and resolution of heat rate problems. Incorporating heat rate thinking
into day-to-day operational decision-making can reduce overall plant heat rate.

Improve Utilization of Controllable Losses Information by Operations Staff.

Incentivize operations staff to monitor and minimize controllable losses. Set controllable
losses targets to be achievable within constraints of equipment and operating conditions. This
may require the site(s) to enhance, upgrade, or initiate real-time controllable losses displays.
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Optimize Sootblower Operation.

Sootblower optimization can help improve steam temperature control, normalize heat
absorption patterns, and improve precipitator performance. Additional benefits such as
reduced air heater/stack exit gas temperature, a decline in circumferential cracking of boiler
tubes, and NOx emissions reduction may also result. Automated sootblowing optimization
can be effective but expensive to implement. (For more on such systems, see Boosting
Efficiency with a Sootblowing Optimization System in the November 2014 issue at A lower-cost alternative is to conduct parametric testing to provide insight
into the effectiveness of sootblowing patterns and guide operators in achieving best unit

Initiate a Routine Testing Program.

A periodic testing program should be established to aid in early detection of changes in

equipment performance and/or unit operation to improve maintenance scheduling efforts and
reduce unscheduled outages. By utilizing station instrumentation, a reliable, repeatable trend
of unit performance can be developed. Guidelines to conduct such testing are contained in
EPRI reports Routine Performance Test Guidelines (report 1019004) and Routine
Performance Test Guidelines, Volume 2 (report 1019705).

Increase Routine Feedwater Heater Performance Monitoring.

Heater terminal temperature difference (TTD) and drain cooler approach (DCA) should be
monitored on a daily basis along with heater levels to maintain optimal performance. In
particular, the DCA should be checked to ensure that steam is not entering the drain cooler. If
this occurs for an extended period of time, the drain cooler will be damaged, resulting in tube
leaks, heaters out of service, and higher unit heat rate.
Plant-Specific Recommendations

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The following recommendations, grouped by plant equipment/area, were specific to

individual plants.
Cycle Alignment (aligning the cycle by isolating as much as possible of the high-energy fluid
leakage from the plant steam cycle)
A site-specific cycle alignment checklist should be developed for operations use to ensure
proper continued cycle alignment.
Perform periodic cycle water loss tests.
As transmitters are replaced or upgraded, they should be replaced with high-accuracy,
smart transmitters.
Plant calibration standards should be set up on a periodic schedule to be calibrated.
Set up and use an electronic database for tracking of instrument calibrations.
Redundant instruments should be of sufficient accuracy to provide the same readings. If two
instruments are measuring the same parameter and provide different readings, they do not
provide value to operations.
Utilize the plant performance calculations to trend boiler efficiency and individual boiler
losses so that changes in performance can be identified quickly and action can be taken to
restore boiler efficiency.
Resolve coal distribution problems and periodically inspect diffusers and riffle distributors.
Review boiler optimization after a coal distribution problem is addressed.
Perform unit diagnostic testing to determine the O2, CO and NOx distribution, at the
economizer outlet duct, where the present in-situ O2 analyzers are located. With some
additional effort, these tests could be used to assess the degree of air in-leakage between this
location and the furnace exit to verify that most, if not all, of the casing leakage has been
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satisfactorily repaired. This information can be used to fix the leaks and may help to recover
induced-draft fan capacity, especially during warmer summer months. These tests will also
identify the minimum O2 operating level for best efficiency without excessive CO and
unburned carbon. Other potential benefits of these efforts are reduced back-end temperature,
improved precipitator performance, and reduced NOx and mercury emissions.
Maintenance efforts should give priority to restoring burner tilt functionality; restoring
burner corner secondary air damper functionality; inspecting coal nozzle condition and
replacing as necessary; repairing furnace casing leaks; and repairing leaking valves.
Use turbine performance data to help determine when a turbine overhaul is necessary.
Trend the high-pressure (HP) and intermediate-pressure (IP) turbine efficiency periodically
with the unit at a consistent operating point (typically, full load, valves-wide-open is best).
Continue to monitor HP and IP section efficiency using the performance monitoring
Conduct temperature variation tests prior to the next turbine outage to determine the benefit
of replacing turbine seals and/or snout rings.
Monitor condenser pressure and compare to target daily to ensure proper condenser
Consider using or installing an online air in-leakage monitor.
Feedwater Heaters
Monitor heater TTDs and DCAs on a daily basis, along with heater levels, to maintain
optimal performance.
For heaters with off-design TTDs and temperature rises that are close to design, verify that
extraction pressure water legs are properly accounted for.
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Repair or replace the HP feedwater heater.

Check first-point heater outlet temperature as compared to economizer inlet temperature to
ensure feedwater is not bypassing the top heater(s).
Cooling Tower
Consider accelerating the fill replacement schedule to reduce cold water temperature and
condenser pressure.
Perform an annual inspection of the cooling tower with a focus on performance.
For mechanical-draft towers, as fan blades require replacement, consider upgrading to highefficiency fans. There is insufficient justification for upgrading the fans until there is a
mechanical reason for replacement.
As replacement fan stacks are needed, upgrade to high-performance stacks to improve
airflow and cooling.
Technology Review
Maintain controls tuning and responsiveness in addressing controls issues.
Review the plant historian and consider removing points that are no longer valid or no
longer used.
Distribute key performance information to commonly used operator screens. If the
controllable loss information is on the common screens, there is a better chance that it will be
Increase the visibility of heat rate and performance information throughout the plant.
Taking this step will help improve heat rate awareness.
Ensure that the design or target values on the controllable loss screens are realistic,
achievable values over the load range.
Input periodic fuel analysis into the online monitoring system so that better values of heat
rate and boiler efficiency can be calculated.
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Input periodic carbon-in-ash loss values into the online performance monitoring system so
that better values of heat rate and boiler efficiency can be calculated.
Provide heat rate awareness training, primarily for operations.
Have operations start monitoring controllable losses.
Ensure that critical performance-related data are being properly stored in the plant historian.
Consider upgrading to a more robust performance monitoring system that will run reliably
without significant upkeep.
Potential Heat Rate Improvements
As noted above, actual heat rate improvement for the plants participating in the PCO followup assessments ranged from 3% to 5%. Potential heat rate improvements for some of the
common recommendations were estimated as follows:
Provide heat rate awareness training to operations staff: 50 Btu/kWh to 100 Btu/kWh.
Make heat rate information readily available to more plant personnel: 50 Btu/kWh to 150
Improve utilization of controllable losses information by operations staff: 75 Btu/kWh to
100 Btu/kWh.
Optimize sootblower operation: 70 Btu/kWh.
Initiate a routine testing program: 75 Btu/kWh to 200 Btu/kWh.
Increase routine feedwater heater monitoring: 30 Btu/kWh to 60 Btu/kWh.
Potential heat rate improvement from recommendations to improve boiler heat transfer and
combustion were estimated to be 100 Btu/kWh or better. Sootblowing optimization was
estimated to have a potential improvement of 70 Btu/kWh.

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Potential heat rate improvement from recommendations to improve turbine cycle performance
was estimated to be 100 Btu/kWh or better. Losses due to worn internal seals and snout rings
were estimated to be 20 to 50 Btu/kWh or higher.
Feedwater Heaters
Potential heat rate improvement from replacing the first point heater was estimated to be 150
Plant heat rates were trended for one-month periods during the original PCO assessment and
then again during the follow-up assessment. The time elapsed between the original and
follow-up assessments ranged from 20 to 24 months. Heat rates were calculated using two
different methods: input/output method and energy balance method.
Some plants reported expected heat rate improvements from actions that they had taken or
planned to take, which ranged from 200 Btu/kWh to 400 Btu/kWh, approximately 2% to 4%.
Though it was difficult to correlate specific improvements with measured data, it was clear
from the assessments that plant efficiency improved significantly at four of the five plants
completing follow-up assessments. The magnitude of the heat rate improvements ranged from
279 Btu/kWh to 557 Btu/kWh at or near full-load operation, which represents an approximate
3% to 5% improvement in heat rate. The results of this project are site-specific and are not
universally applicable to all coal-fired power plants.
Fuel Savings and CO2 Benefits
With heat rate improvements ranging from 3% to 5%, the results of the PCO follow-up
studies clearly demonstrate that plant heat rate can be favorably affected by operational and
maintenance activities undertaken by plant owners. Not all participants actively quantify
return on investment of activities in terms of fuel savings, but these savings are very
significant. For example, a 5% improvement in the heat rate of an 500-MW (net) power plant

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can be worth more than $3,500,000 in annual fuel savings and reduce CO2 emissions over
180,000 tons annually.
The following steps were used to evaluate potential energy-efficiency improvement projects:
Assemble a team of experts within the utility with collective knowledge covering all of the
units being investigated and all the projects being considered.
Identify the potential projects, using the spreadsheet in EPRI Report 1019002 as the starting
Identify the coal-fired units to be included in the analysis.
Screen projects for feasibility of application to each unit in the fleet.
Determine project attributes for each application.
Evaluate the applicable projects for each unit.
Develop project ranking based on the cost/benefit analysis for each application.
Prepare Pareto curves to provide management with a decision-making tool to prepare for
any future carbon-related charges.
Issue fleet-specific report

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1. CO2 reductions. This graph depicts cumulative CO2 reduction and cost per ton of CO2
removed for heat rate improvement projects discussed in this article. Projects with a negative
cost per ton of CO2 (where the blue line is below the red line) may be justified even without a
credit for CO2 removal. Courtesy: EPRI
Adding It All Up
Power plants are designed for an optimal heat rate. Although that heat rate may not be the
lowest achievable at any point in time, trade-offs occur with respect to capital and operation
and maintenance costs, location and fuel. The average age of operating coal-fired power
plants is 40 years. Over the course of those four decades, the plants have been subject to
physical modifications and repairs and have suffered age-related degradation. Many of those
modifications have been the addition of emissions controls, which typically have an adverse
effect on heat rate. Since initial startup, many units have changed their fuel supply and
reduced staffing size, creating additional potentially adverse heat rate effects. In most recent
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times, these old coal plants have been called on for flexible operation, requiring load
following and significant time at part load, again reducing plant efficiency.
The finances of power generating companies, both regulated and independent power
producers, are managed prudently, so any large expenditure must be justified and/or create a
return on investment. Smaller units consume less fuel, making a reasonable return on
investment difficult to achieve for expensive modifications. As mentioned, these units are old
and may have a limited remaining life. Some of these modifications and actions are quite
costly and require a long period of operation to realize a return on investment. Such
modifications may not be applicable for units with a few or unknown years of remaining
projected lifetime.
Finally, management of many coal-fired plants may be unwilling to attempt many of these
proposed improvements in order to avoid the possibility of triggering a New Source Review,
which may result in having to install millions of dollars of additional emissions controls.
Future Research
Many of the efficiency improvement projects have been done in parallel, so the individual
effect of each is not well defined. Tests and analyses could be conducted before and after
future individual modifications are made to refine the results and reduce the uncertainty when
those modifications are proposed for other units.
Based on industry data and studies conducted by EPRI and others, the maximum achievable
heat rate improvement for any given coal-fired plant is unknown. More detailed studies to
characterize improvements, taking into consideration constraints like fuel changes, equipment
degradation, design changes, new environmental controls, and so forth, are needed to
determine the technical and economic feasibility of the options. Afterwards, an estimate could
be made of the maximum potential efficiency gains.

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While the cost may be high, one could attempt to implement as many of those modifications
and actions as possible on one unit and measure the gains realized to provide perhaps the
upper cap of expected heat rate improvement.


Why Are Power Plants in India Less Efficient than Power Plants in the United

Table 1 presents summary statistics for coal fired power plants in the United States and for
state-owned plants in India, divided into plants that have data on operating heat rate and those
that do not. The table shows plant nameplate capacity and the mean and median age (vintage)
of equipment, calculated as the capacity weighted average of the ages (vintages) of units at
each plant. The table also lists plant capacity factor, the heating value of coal burned,
auxiliary generation, and operating heat rate (OPHR). The table shows that in 1988 coal-fired
power plants in the United States were both older than plants in India (22 years versus 11
years) and, on average, larger. Both sets of plants had similar capacity factors (about 51
percent). The heating value of US coal was, however, approximately 50 percent higher than
Indian coal. Indian plants had heat rates that were about 12 percent higher than plants in the
United States. Between 1988 and 2009 coal-fired generating capacity doubled at state-owned
plants in India but increased very little in the United States: consequently, the median age of
plants increased by only 12 years in India, whereas median age increased by 19 years in the
United States. In 2009, however, plants reporting OPHR data in India were, on average, equal
in size to plants in the United States and were operated a larger fraction of the time. OPHRs
for Indian plants that reported them were approximately the same as for plants in the United
States; however, differences in age, plant capacity factor, and the heating value of coal make
direct comparisons inappropriate. Econometric comparisons between the two sets of plants
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are complicated by the fact that a significant fraction of state-owned Indian plants do not
report OPHR: in 1988 only five plants did not report OPHR; in 2009, 20 plants did not report
it. Table 1 suggests that the plants that did not report OPHR were older, smaller, and had high

auxiliary generation, suggesting that they might be less efficient than plants that did report
OPHR. In any event, it is clear that auxiliary generationwhich is reported by all stateowned plantswas much higher, on average, than for US plants.
Data suggest that, between 1988 and 2009, Indian plants had operating heat rates that were,
on average, 9.4 percent higher than publicly owned US plants, holding constant plant
characteristics other than coal quality. The pattern, however, shows a clear improvement over
time: Indian plants had heat rates that were, on average, 13.7 percent higher than US plants
over the period 19881991 but only 8.0 percent higher, on average, after 1997. The quality of
Indian coal is, however, much poorer than coal in the United States. Its heating value is 5060
percent lower and the ash contents much higher. Both factors imply that more tons of coal
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must be burned to yield the same MMBtu of energy. This is likely to raise auxiliary electricity
consumption and, thus, raise net OPHR. These results suggest that the lower heating value of
Indian coal can explain between 20 and 30 percent of the difference in thermal efficiency
between publicly owned Indian and US coal-fired power plants.
Data analysis suggests that state-owned Indian power plants are less efficient than publicly
owned power plants in the United States. Part of this difference can be explained by
differences in the heating value of Indian coal: the heating value of Indian coal is, on average,
about 60 percent of the heating value of coal burned in the United States. This increases the
amount of coal that must be burned to generate a given heat input, implying higher auxiliary
electricity consumption to run coal grinding equipment, conveyors, and pumps. This,
however, explains only part of the differences in thermal efficiency. Operating and
maintenance practices can also directly impact thermal efficiency.


CenPEEP - Centre for Power Efficiency & Environmental Protection

Centre for Power Efficiency & Environmental Protection was established to take initiatives to
address climate change issues as well as improving the overall performance of coal-fired
power plants. It was set up in collaboration with USAID and is a symbol of NTPCs pro
active and voluntary approach towards the cause of reducing green house gases emission. The
centre functions as a resource centre for acquisition, demonstration and dissemination of state
of-the-art technologies and practices for the performance improvement of coal fired power
plants for the entire power sector of India.
Win-win Approach for Global Climate Change
NTPC has adopted a win-win strategy at CenPEEP by achieving synergy between
environmental concerns and utility needs. We have initiated the Comprehensive Performance
Optimisation Programme thereby successfully balancing the dual objectives of reducing
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carbon-di-oxide emissions that contribute to climate change and facilitating higher efficiency
of power generation.
Underlying NTPCs commitment to improve the overall power sector in India, CenPEEP is
trying to improve the efficiency of various state electricity boards in India by demonstration
and dissemination of improved technologies and practices. Two regional centres of CenPEEP
have also been established in the Northern Region (Lucknow) and Eastern Region
(Patna).This approach has brought significant benefits to the power plants and helped in the
reduction of emissions. Thrust has been given to efficiency improvement through the
customised Energy Efficiency Management System (EEMS) and reliability through
knowledge based maintenance.
Technological Interventions
For greater acceptability and assimilation of eco-friendly technologies and practices,
methodology of Technology Acquisition, Demonstration and Dissemination has been
adopted. Our focus has been on low cost - high benefit options. We also involve people from
local power stations during demonstration and widespread dissemination.
Methodology & Reach
Boiler Performance Optimisation

Predictive maintenance system and technologies for


Best practices for air-preheater, etc. condenser Condenser helium leak detection
water pressure cleaner
Reliability Centred Maintenance

Thermodynamic modeling: A tool for performance


New overhaul practices











of Real time measurements & balancing of air-fuel ratio


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Cooling tower, condenser performance optimisation

Risk Evaluation & Prioritisation

Inaugurated by the US Energy Secretary in 1994, CenPEEP has grown into a pioneering
national resources centre for introduction of several cost-effective technologies for
performance optimisation of power plants and environmental protection in the Indian thermal
power sector. CenPEEP receives technical support for capacity building from US Agency for
International Development (USAID) through U.S. Department of Energys (USDOE),
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI),
Structural Integrity Associates (SI), General Physics, utilities such as Tennessee Valley
Authority (TVA), Reliant Energy, Mirant Corporation and US utility organisations such as
EPRI, US Energy Association (USEA), etc. CenPEEP has a unique management structure
consisting of an advisory board and an executive committee. With this structure, it is ensured
that initiatives are relevant to meet sectoral needs.
In association with JICA and a consortium of Japanese utilities, a joint project was also taken
up by CenPEEP for efficiency improvement where technologies such as pump efficiency
assessment using Yates meter, leak buster test for air-in-leak quantification, simplified
efficiency evaluations, evaluation of SUS scale, boiler simulation, have been demonstrated.
CenPEEP has demonstrated performance assessment techniques at several NTPC and 14 State
Utilities stations. The tests have demonstrated heat rate improvement potential even in the
best run power stations. Many of these demonstrated techniques and practices have been
adopted by the stations. In NTPC alone, over 35 million tons of cumulative CO2 have been
avoided since inception of CenPEEP activities through improvement in operating parameters.

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Some of the state utilities have acknowledged CenPEEPs support in reducing their emissions
by over 5.8 million tons in a year.
Some utilities have acknowledged CenPEEP contribution to their efficiency improvement in
submissions before regulators. In effect, it is the largest GHG emission reduction effort in
power utilities in India. CenPEEP has developed Heat Rate Improvement Guidelines jointly
with TVA and circulated it to all the coal based power stations in India. It regularly publishes
Performance Optimiser, a brief on optimisation experiences. The centre also organises
workshops / training programmes to train power sector professionals.
Participant in Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate
The Ministry of Power (Government of India) and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) have
recognised NTPC/CenPEEP as an important agency involved in GHG reduction efforts and
the success achieved in this area. Therefore they have entrusted CenPEEP with technology
demonstration activities in Indian utilities under the APP multilateral programme. Through
demonstration of performance assessment technologies in 3 state utilities, substantial CO2
savings have accrued at the 3 Stations of state utilities and an annual potential of over 300,000
tons of CO2 reduction has been identified.


Global perspective on the use of low quality coals

Around half of the worlds estimated recoverable coal reserves comprise low value coals,
predominantly lignites, subbituminous coals, and high-ash bituminous coals. By rank (on a
tonnage basis) anthracite and bituminous coals account for 51% of the worlds reserves,
subbituminous coal 32%, and lignite 18%. For decades, many coal-producing countries have
witnessed a steady decline in the quality of the coal produced. Often, this reflects the
increasing exhaustion of reserves of higher grade coals and a growing reliance on reserves of
lower quality. For instance, this overall downward trend in coal quality has been occurring in
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the USA since the 1950s although similar trends can be observed in many other parts of the
world. Low quality/value coals can take several forms but are generally considered to
comprise mainly lignites, plus subbituminous and bituminous coals with high ash and/or
moisture contents.
Total proven global reserves of lignite are somewhere between 150 and 283 Gt. Lignites are
found in many parts of the world, with particularly large deposits in Russia, the USA,
Australia, Germany, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Serbia. Global production is currently
around 950 Mt/y. At present, twelve individual countries each produce more than 20 Mt/y.
Apart from these major producers, there are also many countries where output is less, but
nevertheless important in the respective national energy mix. Proven reserves of
subbituminous coal are around 267 Gt, with the biggest individual reserves located in the
USA (at more than 100 Gt, the biggest), Russian, China, Ukraine, and Brazil. The bulk of
these reserves are located predominantly in the first two which, together, represent nearly
three quarters of the total. Subbituminous coals are of particular importance in the USA and
parts of South East Asia. Although the majority are used for power and/or cogeneration, on a
more localised basis, they are also important for a number of residential, commercial and
industrial applications. In several major economies, the use of lower quality bituminous coals
is of major significance. High-ash bituminous coals are particularly important to the dynamic
Indian economy. The very high ash content of most indigenous reserves can create various
Nevertheless, coals strategic importance outweighs its drawbacks and the countrys economy
relies heavily on its use for power generation and a range of industrial applications. Here,
strategic considerations outweigh operational problems and the level of consumption
continues to rise. Globally, various reasons for using either low rank or low quality coals are
cited. Many are self-evident and focus predominantly on access to an affordable, secure
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source of energy for power generation and other industrial and commercial uses. They
 Security of supply: There is only limited international trade in most low rank/quality
coals, hence most is sourced from indigenous deposits and used locally. Compared
with oil and natural gas, the cost of production remains relatively unaffected by
market and other outside forces. This helps keep the cost of electricity generation low
and imparts a stabilising effect on its price
 In many countries, such coals represent the only major indigenous resource there
may be few, if any, economically-viable alternatives. The utilisation of indigenous
resources helps reduce the need for imported sources of energy. This minimizes
reliance on outside sources and has a positive impact on national trade balance
 As a consequence of using large scale surface mining techniques, extraction costs are
often low. Some lignite and subbituminous coals represent the cheapest fossil fuelbased sources of energy and
 The maintenance of a national mining industry and attendant power generation sector
may be an important local factor as they may provide many long-term jobs.
However, there may be some less positive aspects to consider. In the future, as the more
accessible reserves are depleted, the (currently low) extraction cost may increase.
Furthermore, the general decline in coal CV being experienced effectively means that a
greater volume of lower quality coal (and probably overburden) will need to be mined in
order to supply the equivalent amount of energy provided by a smaller quantity of higher
quality coal. More ash may be produced and there may be other environmental consequences
associated with increased mining activity. The lower CV of many of these coals makes long
distance transport difficult and/or expensive. Although some types can be upgraded to
improve their properties and increase their value via drying, cleaning and briquetting, these
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steps increase costs. However, a number of novel upgrading processes are being developed
and trialled. Despite the possible drawbacks associated with their use, many countries are
turning increasingly to the use of indigenous reserves of lower quality coals. In some cases,
these comprise the only significant energy resource available. Often, such coals are mined
relatively inexpensively via opencast techniques. Their use provides a secure source of energy
and helps reduce dependence on imported supplies. Industry observers are convinced that the
long-term future of coal-derived energy supplies will include the greater use of such coals, a
trend that is already discernible in many parts of the world.
Even where a countrys main source is, at present, imported hard coal, the situation may
change as a combination of logistical and production constraints is tightening the global
supply and it is clear that the international market is beginning to accept coals with lower
heating value. Increasingly, lower quality coals are being traded and marketed around the
world and their use is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future.


Replacement of old and inefficient units with supercritical units

In order to conserve scarce natural resources like land, water and coal, Ministry of Power
advised CEA in August 2015 to prepare a report on Replacement of old and inefficient units
with supercritical units and explore possibility of replacing the old & inefficient thermal
generating units by installing supercritical units. The issue was earlier highlighted during a
Meeting taken by Secretary, Power on 20.4.2015 wherein CEA was requested to identify
retired power plant which can be replaced with Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs). CEA
vide letter No.149/UMPP/Gen/TPI/CEA/2015 dated 30.4.2015 & dated 15.5.2015 had
submitted a brief note on replacement of old and inefficient units with UMPPs.
Subsequently, a meeting was taken by JS (Thermal), MoP in the month of June 2015 wherein
the concerned State Govt. highlighted the constraints for acquisition of additional land in the
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nearby vicinity. This was mainly due to rapid urbanization in the vicinity of existing thermal
stations. It was, therefore, decided to explore the possibility of replacement of old and
inefficient units with supercritical units.
In order to assess the quantum of proposed replacement of old, inefficient & subcritical units
by supercritical units/retirement/renovation, units having life span of 25 years or more have
been considered. The design life of 25 years is generally considered for coal fired units but
this does not imply that units should not be operated beyond 25 years. Even some of the old
plants are performing well. As per data available in CEA as on 31.3.2015 around 32830 MW
capacities in State / Central sector and 1450 MW in Private sector is more than 25 years old.
At present 27 nos. units with gross capacity of 2658 MW are under shut down for more than 3
years as such the same are contributing to the ineffective capacity. Out of this 4 units having
capacity of 604 MW are under Renovation.
As per the report, out of total capacity of 32,830 MW (above 25 years old) in State & Central
i) 22170 MW capacity can be operated for considerable time and has undergone renovation &
modernization / life extension or are programmed for the same.
ii) 5860 MW capacity can be retired in due course of time in a phased manner and some of
the units can be replaced with super critical units.
iii) 4800 MW capacity can be decided based on their viability of R&M in near future. In case
these units are not considered feasible for R&M, a review can be taken to either retire or
replace with supercritical units.
iv) 10180 MW capacity supercritical units can be installed in place of retired/ proposed for
retirement of total capacity of 5228 MW
An Overview

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As on 31.3.2015 the total coal fired capacity having more than 25 years old is around 34,280
MW of which, about 20,000 MW lies in the state sector and 12,830 MW in the central sector
and 1450 MW in private sector. A list of such units is given in Annexure I. The design life
of 25 years is generally considered for coal fired units but this does not imply that units
should not be operated beyond 25 years or such operation would lead to performance
deterioration. Residual life studies conducted on several units have shown considerable
residual life remains as can also be seen that large nos. of very old units working
satisfactorily. A study on performance of thermal units more than 25 years old (as on 31-32014) was carried out by CEA in January 2015. The study found that out of the total coal
fired capacity of about 30,000 MW covered in the study, over 10,000 MW was operating at
PLF of 80 % or higher and about 5000 MW was operating at PLF between 65-80 %. Several
units achieved PLF over 95 % and some even achieved PLF of over 100%. The data shows
that large number of units had PLF over 90 % in the year 2014- 15 and consistently over the
last 3 years. These include several 110 MW units which are 31 years of age. Amongst the
200/210 and 500 MW capacity group, the average PLF for 2014-15 was 68 % and about 6000
MW capacity had PLF of over 85 % . The average PLF for 500MW group has been 82 %.
Similar trends are seen in the operating heat rate. While operating heat rate for all the
individual units are not available, the data available with CEA for some of the units shows
that there is no correlation between the age and operating heat rate of the units and stations
like Singrauli and Korba, Anpara A, Dr. N. Tata Rao, where all the units are very old,
showed low operating heat rate vis--vis their design heat rate as compared to several other
stations which had considerable newer capacity. Incidentally all of the above stations appear
in the list of units more than 25 years old. Even where performance both in terms of low PLF
as well as high operating heat rate, the reasons are not attributable to any inherent technology
constraints but are rather operational. It will not be possible to evolve any transparent and
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rational criteria for retirement of units based on age. Except for small non reheat units, all
other units considered are based on contemporary technology employed in over 70 % of the
worldwide capacity.
The efficiency gains with technology substitution to Supercritical are not significant. Rather
much higher potential of efficiency improvement exists through better operational practices in
large number of stations both old and new. The operating practices are the single most
important factor responsible for the performance achieved and considerable improvements in
performance are possible with good operating practices.
In view of the above it may be concluded that retirement on the basis of age of the unit may
be considered only for non-reheat units. Retirement of reheat units should not be based on age
but should be based on performance parameters. The units which are subjected to good
operating practices, better maintenance can certainly be operated beyond the design life of 25
years. However, there are many such units which are not maintained properly have
deteriorated much earlier than the designed life and operation of these units has become
uneconomical and unsafe. The states may be sensitized about in efficient operation of their
stations and could be incentivized to improve performance (PAT is one such measure already
taken). The decision to take improvement measures or replacement would depend on techno
economics and may be considered on case to case basis by concerned power utilities.
R&M Polices
National Electricity Policy on R&M: The provisions in the above policy documents read as
One of the major achievements of the power sector has been a significant increase in
availability and plant load factor of thermal power stations specially over the last few years.
Renovation and Modernization for achieving higher efficiency needs to be pursue vigorously
and all existing generation capacity should be brought to minimum acceptable standards. The
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Government of India is providing financial support for this purpose. For projects performing
below acceptable standards, R&M should be undertaken as per well-defined plans, featuring
necessary cost-benefit analysis. If economic operation does not appear feasible through R&M,
then there may be no alternative to closure of such plants as the last resort.
Integrated Energy Policy (December 2008)
The provisions in the above policy document under the heading 'Increasing Efficiency of
Coal-Based Power Plants' read as: "Rehabilitation of existing thermal stations could raise
capacity at least cost in the short run. Similarly rehabilitation of hydro stations could yield
much needed peak capacity at negligible cost. Both the steps should be taken up urgently.
Renovation and Modernisation (R&M) and Life Extension Programme (LEP) from 7th
Plan onwards till 11th Plan.
R&M Programme in a structured manner was initiated in 1984 as a centrally sponsored
programme during 7th Plan and the programme continued during the two Annual Plans 199091 & 1991-92. The momentum for undertaking R&M works continued during the 8th & 9th
Plan. However, the same could not be sustained during 10th Plan.
R&M Activities in 12th Plan: Renovation & Modernization (R&M) is seen as a cost
effective option for additional generation from the existing thermal power stations and better
asset management due to its low cost and short gestation period. Besides generation
improvement and improvement in availability, other benefits achieved from R&M / LE
include life extension, improved safety, reliability and environmental conditions. Many of the
thermal power plants are not operating to their full potential and large numbers of thermal
units including 200/210 MW units are old and outlived their normal economical design life.
The 66 LMZ units of 200/210 MW Capacity are best potential candidates for Energy
Efficiency R&M (EE R&M). For the 12th plan period (2012-1017) total 135 units with
aggregate capacity of 29367 MW have been identified for implementation of R&M/LE
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works. Out of which, 70 units with aggregate capacity of 12066 MW identified under Life
Extension works while 65 units having total capacity of 17301 MW categories under R&M
Out of 135 units identified potential capacity earmarked for 12th plan period, total 27 units
with aggregate capacity of 3192.26 MW have been achieved under R&M/LE programme so
far. This comprises 18 units with total capacity of 2131.76 MW under Life Extension and 09
units with total capacity of 1060.5 MW against R&M category works

Coal Linkage Polices

Coal Linkage Transfer Policy in case of scrapping of old Units by replacing them with
new plants:
Min of Coal vide letter dated 17.09.2014 has issued detailed recommendations of SLC(LT)
regarding automatic transfer of coal linkage in case of scrapping of old Units by replacing
them with new plants as under: LOA/linkage granted to the old plant shall be automatically
transferred to the new plant of nearest supercritical capacity. If the capacity of the new
supercritical plant is higher than the old plant, additional coal may be accorded priority
subject to the availability of coal on the best effort basis from CIL.
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The retired old plant(s) capacity has to be at least 50 % of capacity of new supercritical plant.
Old plants can be clubbed together to achieve this minimum benchmark of 50% of proposedsupercritical capacity.
i) This policy shall be applicable to pre-NCDP plants in public sector only, which have
already been granted long term Linkages/LOAs.
ii) Automatic transfer of LOA as explained above shall be permissible only when the new
plant is set up within the State in which the old plant was located and the old plant is actually
scrapped. The old plant shall continue to operate till the CoD of new plant. MoP has
recommended to MoE to remove the condition of retirement of at least 50% of capacity of
new supercritical plants.
State wise assessment of potential / viability of replacing old & inefficient units by super
critical units:
In order to facilitate the optimal utilization of natural resources i.e. land, water and coal,
replacement of old & inefficient units with Super Critical units is envisaged in National
interests. Min. of Coal vide letter dated 17.09.2014 had formulated a policy on automatic
transfer of linkage in case of scrapping of old units by replacing them with new Super Critical
plants. The major benefits of Super Critical units are as under:i) Operating Station Heat Rate (SHR) of the old & inefficient units (reheat type) ranges from
2500-3500 Kcal/Kwh against their Design SHR of 2275-2370 Kcal/KWh while Super Critical
units have Design SHR around 2150 Kcal/KWh resulting in more generation of electricity per
tonne of coal. It also reduces emissions (CO2, SO2, Mercury and NOx) per unit of generation
and save environment.
ii) Bigger size units optimize land and water requirement.
Thus, in view of multi-fold benefits of Super Critical units and as advised by MoP meetings
were held in CEA with various State / Central Utilities on 18.08.2015, 16.09.2015&
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23.9.2015 to assess the potential / viability of replacing old & inefficient units by super
critical units.
The average age of the coal fleet in the U.S. is 45 years and many units are approaching the
end of their lifespan. Two-thirds of existing coal capacity was built between 30-50 years ago.
This retirement ready capacity has been faced with a combination of legal and economic
challenges. The open-source nationally coordinated grassroots campaign has forced
consideration of the competitive pressures from reduced demand, cheaper renewables, and
existing natural gas plant alternatives. As would be expected, this is leading to a sharp uptick
in retirements, both current and planned. As of mid-July 2015, retirement dates have been
announced for 82.5 of the 304GW of coal capacity in the U.S., comprising 200 power
plants.22 Most of these retirements are set to take place this year due to the implementation of
the EPA MATS standards, a finding highlighted in recent analysis by Bloomberg New Energy
Finance and illustrated by Figure 6. 5.4 GW of these retirements were announced between
November 2013 and March 2014 alone.

Technology Roadmap High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Coal-Fired Power


Over the past decade, fossil fuels, and particularly coal, have satisfied the major share of the
incremental growth in primary energy demand. As coal is a widely dispersed and relatively
low-cost energy resource, it is used extensively around the world: at present, almost twothirds of coal demand in the energy sector is for electricity generation. But the growing
reliance on coal to meet rising demand for energy presents a major threat to a low-carbon
future. On average, the efficiency of existing coal-fired capacity is quite low, at about 33%.
This means that large amounts of coal must be combusted to produce each unit of electricity.
As consumption rises, so do the levels of both greenhouse and non-GHG.

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Collectively, the large number of coal-fired power generation units around the world hold
potential to make a substantial contribution to a low-carbon future. As large point sources of
CO2 emissions, concerted efforts to improve their efficiency can significantly reduce coal
consumption and lower emissions. But achieving these goals will require strong policies to
encourage the development and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies. This roadmap
describes how HELE coal technologies2 could contribute to reducing the growing emissions
of CO2 from coal-fired power generation between now and 2050. In particular, it examines
the potential for combustion of coal under supercritical and ultra-supercritical conditions,
and through the use of integrated gasification combined cycle.
Apart from improved demand-side energy efficiency, which reduces the amount of
electricity needed, there are three principle ways to reduce emissions of CO2 from coal-fired
power plants: Deploy and further develop HELE coal technologies, i.e. use more efficient
technology and continue to develop higher-efficiency conversion processes. Deploy CCS;
recent demonstration projects show that CCS is technically viable and, in fact, essential to
achieving long-term CO2 reduction targets. Switch to lower-carbon fuels or to non-fossil
technologies as a means of reducing generation from coal.
This roadmap focuses predominantly on the first of these options, the use and development
of HELE technologies. In actual fact, an important interplay exists among these three
measures: the extent to which coal-fired plants can be made more efficient and less polluting
will determine the ultimate need for and cost of CCS and fuel switching.


relationship between HELE technologies and CCS is particularly important. While HELE
technologies show substantial potential to reduce emissions, only the addition of CCS can
deliver the cuts needed to achieve climate change mitigation goals. Consequently, CCS is
discussed throughout the roadmap. Though CCS is technically viable, it creates cost

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and energy consumption challenges for coal-fired plants. Thus, balancing the two
technologies in fully integrated plants is extremely important. Switching to lower-carbon
fuels or to non-fossil technologies is discussed in several previous roadmaps and is not
covered further in this roadmap. The primary technology pathways to fulfilling the role of
coal in a lower-carbon future include raising efficiency and reducing both non-GHG and
CO2 emissions (Figure 1). For health reasons and to prevent damage to infrastructure,
reducing creates cost and energy consumption challenges for coal-fired plants. Thus,
balancing the two technologies in fully integrated plants is extremely important. Switching
to lower-carbon fuels or to non-fossil technologies is discussed in several previous roadmaps
and is not covered further in this roadmap. The primary technology pathways to fulfilling
the role of coal in a lower-carbon future include raising efficiency and reducing both nonGHG and CO2 emissions (Figure 1). For health reasons and to prevent damage to
infrastructure, reducing

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Potential to improve efficiency

The average efficiency4 of coal-fired power generation units in the major coal-using
countries varies enormously, from under 30% to 45% (LHV, net). These differences arise
from diverse factors, including the age of operating plants, the steam conditions, local
climatic conditions, coal quality, operating and maintenance skills, and receptiveness to the
uptake of advanced technologies.
At present, a large number of low-efficiency plants remain in operation: more than half of all
operating plant capacity is older than 25 years and of relatively small size (less than 300
MWe). Almost three-quarters of operating plants use subcritical technology. While
deployment of SC and USC technologies is increasing, their share of total capacity remains
extremely low (Figure 4).
A handful of countries have made it a priority to improve the efficiency of their coal fleets
(Figure 5). For example, Japan and Korea, where SC technology was adopted before 2000,
have high-performance coal fleets, with average efficiencies in excess of 40% (LHV, net).
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Since the mid-2000s, China has experienced high growth in coal-fired generation, with the
share of SC and USC increasing rapidly. More recently (since 2010), India has seen rapid
growth in coal-fired generation, and a growth in the share of SC units.
The number of HELE plants in the world remains low, however, and must be increased in
order to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of global power generation.
More opportunities should be taken to adopt SC technology or better for new plants, which
would significantly increase the global average efficiency of coal-fired power generation.
Research and development (R&D) by industry, with the support of enabling policy, is
absolutely essential to ensure that more advanced and efficient technologies enter the market


Vision for deploying HELE technologies

The aim of deploying HELE technologies is twofold: to increase conversion efficiencies and
reduce CO2 emissions. Both supercritical and ultra-supercritical technologies are available
now, with even higher efficiencies possible when advanced ultra-supercritical becomes
available. Poorer quality or low-grade coals (such as lignite5) are candidates for more
efficient generation, notably by employing pre-combustion drying. Expanded use of IGCC
also promises higher efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.
The IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (IEA 2012b) charts a least-cost pathway for
combining technology and policy to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to
2C (IEA, 2011). For comparison, it also charts a scenario in which no specific effort is made
to alter current trends in energy demand or associated emissions, which result in a
temperature rise of 6C (Box

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Coal-fired power generation technologies


Non-HELE power generation

Subcritical technology: For conventional pulverised coal combustion (PC) technology the
type most commonly used in coal-fired plants powdered coal is injected into the boiler and
burned to raise steam for subsequent expansion in a steam-turbine generator.7 Water flowing
through tubing within the body of the combustor is heated to produce steam at a pressure
below the critical pressure of water (22.1 MPa). Subcritical units are designed to achieve
thermal efficiencies typically up to 38% (LHV, net)8 and would not be considered as meeting
the performance required to be described as a HELE technology. The overnight cost9 of a
subcritical unit is estimated to be from USD 600/kW to USD 1 980/kW, approximately 10%
to 20% lower than for a supercritical unit (IEA, 2007, 2012b).
HELE power generation
Supercritical technology: Steam is generated at a pressure above the critical point of water,
so no water-steam separation is required (except during start-up and shut-down). Supercritical
plants typically reach efficiencies of 42% to 43%. The higher capital costs of supercritical

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technology are due largely to the alloys used and the welding techniques required for
operation at higher steam pressures and temperatures. The higher costs may be partially or
wholly offset by fuel savings (depending on the price of fuel). The overnight cost of a
supercritical unit is estimated to be from USD 700/kW to USD 2 310/kW (IEA, 2011b).
Ultra-supercritical technology: This is similar to supercritical generation, but operates at
even higher temperatures and pressures. Thermal efficiencies may reach 45%. At present,
there is no agreed definition: some manufacturers refer to plants operating at a steam
temperature in excess of 600C as USC (this varies according to manufacturer and region).
Current state-of-the-art USC plants operate at up to 620C, with steam pressures from 25 MPa
to 29 MPa. The overnight cost of ultra-supercritical units may be up to 10% higher than that
of supercritical units, ranging from USD 800/kW to USD 2 530/ kW (IEA, 2007; IEA,
2011b), again due to the incremental improvements required in construction materials and
Advanced ultra-supercritical (A-USC) technology: Using the same basic principles as
USC, development of A-USC aims to achieve efficiencies in excess of 50%, which will
require materials capable of withstanding steam conditions of 700C to 760C and pressures
of 30 MPa to 35 MPa. The materials under development are non-ferrous alloys based on
nickel (termed super-alloys), which cost much more than the steel materials used in SC and
USC plants. Developing super-alloys and reducing their cost are the main challenges to
commercialisation of A-USC technology.
Integrated gasification combined cycle.
Coal is partially oxidised in air or oxygen at high pressure to produce a fuel gas. Electricity is
then produced via a combined cycle. In the first phase, the fuel gas is burnt in a combustion
chamber before expanding the hot pressurised gases through a gas turbine. The hot exhaust
gases are then used to raise steam in a heat recovery steam generator before expanding it
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through a steam turbine. IGCC incorporating gas turbines with 1 500C turbine inlet
temperatures are currently under development, which may achieve thermal efficiencies
approaching 50%. IGCC plants require appreciably less water than PC combustion
technologies. The overnight cost of current IGCC units ranges from USD 1 100/ kW to USD
2 860/kW (IEA, 2011b). In OECD countries, the overnight cost is estimated at about USD 2
600/kW, but this number can vary by around 40% (IEA, 2011a).

A handful of countries have made it a priority to improve the efficiency of their coal fleets
(Figure 5). For example, Japan and Korea, where SC technology was adopted before 2000,
have high-performance coal fleets, with average efficiencies in excess of 40% (LHV, net).
Since the mid-2000s, China has experienced high growth in coal-fired generation, with the
share of SC and USC increasing rapidly. More recently (since 2010), India has seen rapid
growth in coal-fired generation, and a growth in the share of SC units.
The number of HELE plants in the world remains low, however, and must be increased in
order to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of global power generation.
More opportunities should be taken to adopt SC technology or better for new plants, which

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would significantly increase the global average efficiency of coal-fired power generation.
Research and development (R&D) by industry, with the support of enabling policy, is
absolutely essential to ensure that more advanced and efficient technologies enter the market


In the short term, meeting electricity demand would require raising dramatically the average
efficiency of the global coal fleet primarily by cutting back on generation from lowefficiency plants and increasing generation from plants based on HELE technologies. Existing
plants would need to be upgraded to operate at higher efficiencies and new, high-efficiency
plants constructed with an initial target minimum efficiency of 40% (LHV, net). In the 2DS,
5 292 TWh of electricity is generated from coal in 2050, around 3 400 TWh less than
generated in 2010.10

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Decommissioning or reducing generation from subcritical plants

To meet 2050 2DS goals, ETP 2012 analysis suggests there needs to be zero generation from
less efficient, subcritical units. This is a long way from the current reality. In 2010, more than
1 600 GWe of coal-fired power generation plant was in operation globally. Over 75% of it
was subcritical, much of it older than 25 years and comprising units of 300 MWe or less.
Though new subcritical units can have an efficiency of 38% (LHV, net), existing operating
units cover a range of values: depending on their location, age, operating conditions and
feedstock; some operate with efficiencies in the range of 20% to 25%.

Many subcritical plants are already paid for and, in most cases, provide a continuous source
of revenue for the plant owners. Furthermore, subcritical plants continue to be constructed,
particularly in the developing economies. To close down revenue-making units and replace
them with lower-carbon technology would be expensive and would undoubtedly increase the
cost of electricity generated. To meet the challenging 2050 goals, power generation targets
will need to be policy driven, with incentives to satisfy the private sector. Furthermore, if
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countries are unwilling to take unilateral policy actions that could ultimately reduce their
competitiveness, international solutions must be sought. The topic is complex and will require
governments, at a high level, to seek solutions with industry to satisfy this policy goal.
At present, few mechanisms exist to promote closing these plants or reducing generation from
them prior to the end of their commercial lifetime. The exceptions are China and India, where
many GWe of coal capacity have been closed under policies to decommission units of less
than 200 MWe. These are vitally important measures, but they reach only the tip of the

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Carbon capture and storage

The 2DS projects that, by 2050, 90% of electricity would come from HELE plants fitted with
CCS. This wide-scale deployment of CCS leads to a sharp decline in the CO2 intensity after
2020, reaching less than 200 g/kWh in 2050 (Figure 9).
CCS must be developed and demonstrated rapidly if it is to be deployed after 2020 at a scale
sufficient to achieve these 2DS objectives. Given the magnitude of ongoing investments in
new coal-fired power plants, it is almost certain that CCS will need to be retrofitted on betterperforming plants as well as being integrated into new plants built after 2020. Though it

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would prevent the need for early and costly retirement, retrofitting an existing plant with CCS
is complex and requires consideration of many site-specific issues. The energy penalty13 is
high for currently available CCS technologies: they typically reduce plant efficiency by 7 to
10 percentage points. Thus, the economic and technical barriers to deployment of CCS for
coal are clear.
CCS, the only technology capable of achieving the necessary deep cuts, can reduce CO2
emissions by 80% to 90%, bringing CO2 intensity of coal-fired units down to less than 100
An important relationship between plant efficiency and the need for CCS must be noted.
Compared to a subcritical plant with an efficiency of 35%, a USC plant of the same size with
an efficiency of 45% requires about 25% less CO2 capture. Consequently, for the same net
electrical output, higher-efficiency plants require CCS units with smaller capacity; hence,
high efficiency plants have lower operating costs for CCS. Deploying HELE technologies to
increase plant efficiency is important to reduce the eventual cost of CO2 abatement (Figure
A recent IEA report proposed that retrofitting CCS technologies becomes unattractive for
coal-fired power generation plants with efficiencies less than 35% (LHV, net) (IEA, 2012). In
fact, deployment of CCS in coal-fired power generation is more favourable for plants
operating under SC or USC steam conditions, i.e. for efficiencies higher than 40% (LHV,
The future of CCS will depend on developing technologies that reduce its energy penalty and
cost, particularly by testing and gaining operational experience on large-scale demonstration
plants. Strong policies and regulations can accelerate technology demonstration of large-scale,
integrated CCS.

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HELE technologies to raise efficiency and reduce emissions

Ultra-supercritical pulverised coal combustion

Many factors determine the efficiency of PC plants. The most effective means of achieving
high efficiency is to use steam temperatures and pressures above the supercritical point of
water, i.e. at pressures above 22.1 MPa. USC units, often defined as units with pressures
above 22.1 MPa and temperatures above 600C, are already in commercial operation. Stateof-the-art USC units operate with steam parameters between 25 MPa and 29 MPa, and
temperatures up to 620C (Figure 11). With bituminous coal, plants incorporating USC
technology can achieve efficiencies of up to 45% (LHV, net) in temperate locations. Lignite
plants can achieve efficiencies close to 44% (Vattenfall, 2011a). As steam conditions are

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increased, both fuel consumption per kilowatt hour (kWh) and specific CO2 emissions
To reduce CO2 emissions further, CO2 capture must be applied. The options are to apply
post-combustion capture or oxy-fuel combustion; in neither case, however, have the
technologies been demonstrated at commercial scale. At present, they are expensive and the
operating costs are high. The overnight cost of a supercritical unit is up to 10% higher than
the cost of a supercritical unit. However, the additional cost may be offset from saving fuels,
depending on the cost of the fuel.
USC plants are already in commercial operation in Japan, Korea, some countries in Europe,
and more recently, in China (Figure 11). As of 2011, China had 116 GW of 600 MWe USC
units and 39 GW of 1 000 MWe USC units in operation, out of a total coal-fired fleet of 734
GW (Zhan, 2012).
To raise the efficiency of USC, A-USC must be developed, which is described next.

Advanced ultra-supercritical pulverised coal combustion

Advanced ultra-supercritical pulverised coal combustion (Advanced USC or A-USC) is
simply a further development of USC. But the aim of further raising the pressure and
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temperature of the steam conditions to those required for A-USC systems requires the use of
super-alloys (non-ferrous materials based on nickel) for plant components (Figure 12). Superalloys are already established in gas turbine systems, but component sizes in a coal plant are
larger, the combustion situation is different, and pressure stresses are higher. Consequently,
new formulations and fabrication methods are necessary.

Advanced USC is under development in China, Europe, India, Japan and the United States,
with demonstration projects planned after 2020. By using A-USC steam conditions of 700C
to 760C at pressures of 30 MPa to 35 MPa, manufacturers and utilities are working to
achieve efficiencies approaching 50% (LHV) and higher. A-USC is expected to deliver a 15%
cut in CO2 emissions compared with SC technology, bringing emissions down to 670 g
For CO2 capture, post-combustion or oxy-fuel combustion would be applied in the same
manner as for USC. As shown in Figure 10, raising the efficiency of a unit reduces the

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capacity of the capture process required; hence, high efficiency plants have lower specific
operating costs for CCS. A-USC with CO2 capture system can reduce the eventual cost of
CO2 abatement.
Cost is a major challenge to commercialisation potential of A-USC. The far higher
temperatures and pressures to which components in an A-USC system are exposed, as well as
altered chemical environment, require the use of super-alloys, which are markedly more
expensive than steel. Fabricating and welding the materials is much more complicated.
Commercial deployment of A-USC is unlikely to begin until the mid-2020s.
Circulating fluidised bed combustion
In circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) systems, the fuel is crushed rather than
pulverised, and combustion takes place at lower temperatures than in PC systems. An upward
current of combustion air supports a highly mobile bed of ash and fuel. Most of the solids are
continuously blown out of the bed before being re-circulated into the combustor. Heat is
extracted for steam production from various parts of the system (Figure 13). The capacity
factor of CFBC power plants is comparable with PC plants.
Emissions of NOX in CFBC systems are intrinsically low because the combustion
temperature is relatively low. Limestone is fed into the combustion

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system to control SO2 emissions, typically achieving 95% abatement. As for PC combustion,
post-combustion or oxy-fuel combustion would be required to capture CO2.
Although the cost of CFBC may be somewhat higher than for PC, due to the limitation on unit
capacity, CFBC will remain an important technology, with large units burning coal, biomass
and wastes, as well as other opportunity fuels.
CFBC is a mature technology; supercritical CFBC plants are now in operation or under
construction in China, Poland and Russia (Jantti et al., 2009; Li et al., 2009; Minchener,
2010; Jantti and Rasanan, 2011). The technology is particularly suited to fuels with low heat
content. To raise the efficiency of CFBC further, more advanced steam conditions must be
used, following the same principles as applied to PC combustion.
Integrated gasification combined cycle
Integrated gasification combined cycle uses gasification, with low (sub-stoichiometric) levels
of oxygen or air, to convert coal into a gaseous fuel (Figure 14). IGCC incorporating the latest
1 500C-class gas turbines can achieve efficiencies higher than 45% (LHV, net; i.e.
comparable with those of A-USC systems for pulverised coal) with bituminous coals.

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IGCC has inherently low emissions, partly because the fuel is cleaned before it is fired in a
combined cycle gas turbine (Figure 14). By 2050, the introduction of 1 700C-class gas
turbines could bring CO2 emissions from IGCC below 670g/kWh.
CCS trials have been undertaken with IGCC, but large-scale integrated demonstration is still
required. IGCC might become more cost-competitive with PC when CCS becomes
commercially available with both systems
Compared to PC plants, IGCC plants have higher capital and operating costs for power
generation: higher redundancies are applied to mitigate risks, there are a larger number of subsystems and a need to contend with aggressive conditions in the gasifier. The fact that the size
of the gas turbine constrains the unit size has also limited market deployment of IGCC. Until
IGCC reaches maturity, it is unlikely to compete economically with PC plants.
Commercial prototype demonstration plants are operating in the United States, Europe and
Japan, and more plants are under construction in China, Japan, Korea and the United States.
Overall, IGCC has much less operating experience than PC plants because few reference
plants are in commercial operation (IEA, 2011c). Cost-competitiveness will depend on
sufficient numbers of plants being deployed.
Important RD&D objectives for IGCC include reducing costs, improving plant reliability and
raising efficiency. The use of lower-grade coals in IGCC tends to reduce efficiency and raise
capital costs; R&D to mitigate this penalty currently focuses on using drying systems for
lignite and solid feed pumps. A second challenge is that IGCC plants require a large amount
of oxygen and conventional large-scale oxygen production uses a considerable amount of
energy. Air requires a larger gasifier and produces a fuel gas with lower heat content; around
4 megajoules per normal cubic metre (MJ/Nm3) compared with 12 MJ/Nm3 to 16 MJ/Nm3
for an oxygen-blown gasifier and 38 MJ/Nm3 for natural gas. R&D to find a more
economical and efficient process to produce oxygen currently focuses on ion transport
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membrane (ITM) technology as one possibility, although development has only reached the
pilot scale, with commercial-scale plants still some way off (NETL, 2009). A more efficient
version of IGCC, the integrated gasification fuel cell, is being developed (Box 5).
Important niche technologies
Some coals exist in deep deposits or in narrow seams that can not be mined economically
using conventional methods. Other coals have properties, e.g. high moisture content, that
reduce the efficiency by which they may be converted into electricity. Biomass, largely
treated as a carbon-neutral fuel, is expected to contribute significantly to future power
generation; however, as its composition and handling properties are much different from coal,
the means to use it effectively need to be developed. Possible solutions to these diverse issues
are described.

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Power generation from low-grade coals

Low-grade coals (such as hard coal and lignite) present particular challenges for both
efficiency and emissions, partly because of their high content of either moisture or ash.
Drying and cleaning processes can help to address these challenges.
Lignite often has high moisture content. Because this moisture absorbs energy as it boils, it
often means a loss of efficiency when lignite is used to fuel conventional power plants (such
energy is not recovered except in condensing boilers). Lignite drying can increase the
efficiency of conventional plants and substantially reduce CO2 emissions, particularly by
recovering as much energy as possible from the low-grade heat.
RWE has installed a full-scale prototype drier to dry 25% of the fuel feeding its 1 000 MWe
USC lignite unit at the Niederaussem plant in Germany. Energy for drying comes from in-bed
tubing in which low-pressure steam is condensed, with waste heat recovered from the
condensate. The altered heat balances in the boiler necessitate changes to the furnace size,
heat-transfer surface area and flue gas recirculation. Boiler cost savings will be largely offset
by the cost of the drier. Vattenfall has also applied the same principles to dry the lignite. In
both processes, the steam cycle is optimised for maximum efficiency (Figure 17). Such
technology may be applied to combustion or gasification-based plants (Hashimoto, 2011).
Drying systems are also being developed in Australia, Japan, OECD Europe and the United
States (Harris, 2012; Bowers, 2012; Kinoshita, 2010).
Both hard coal and lignite may have a high ash content, which can detract from the
operational performance of the power generation unit. In both combustion and gasification
plants, significant energy may be required to raise the temperature of the ash (in some cases
above its melting point), energy which is often lost. The ash content can significantly affect
the efficiency of the overall process. To maximise efficiency, as much ash as possible should
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be removed during the coal beneficiation operation before coal is fed into the power
generation unit, which should be designed to burn or gasify coal in the most effective manner.
This may affect, for example, the design of the heat recovery systems and of the water/steam
circuit, as well as the sizing of the ash collection vessels.

2.8.1 Looming challenges in coal-fired power generation

When considering the deployment of HELE technologies, external factors should also be
considered. Two factors of importance are addressed below: the deployment of coal-fired
power generation plant in arid regions and the case where the load demand on a plant may be
variable or intermittent.
Water consumption
At present, large quantities of water are required for coal production, coal beneficiation,
power generation from coal and for reducing both non-GHG and CO2 emissions (US DOE,
2006). Recent growth in coal-fired generation has driven up water consumption. As many
regions of the world are becoming chronically short of water, reducing water consumption is
critical to satisfying future demand for electricity. Technologies that consume no water or less
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water are available, but many of them are less effective, lead to less efficient generation or are
simply more costly to operate. Dry cooling, for example, reduces overall plant efficiency by 4
to 5 percentage points.
In flue gas treatment, it is not unusual for conventional flue gas desulphurisation (FGD)
systems to use over 50 tonnes water per hour. Not surprisingly, interest is growing in dry
technologies. Japans Isogo Power Station Unit 2 provides an excellent example of a PC
combustion unit that deploys dry technologies to achieve exceptionally low emissions of nonGHG pollutants (Topper, 2011). It uses dry desulphurisation technology to reduce SO2
emissions; a combination of low-NOX burners, overfire air and selective catalytic reduction
to reduce NOX emissions; and electrostatic precipitators to reduce emissions of particulate
Flexibility to balance renewables
The projected growth of renewable energy technologies (RETs) will also affect the
deployment of HELE technologies. As the share of RETs in power generation rises, so will
the need for coal (and gas) technologies to balance the resultant variable generation. Future
coal-fired units will need the flexibility to balance fluctuations in the power system with no
major loss of efficiency. However, there will also be an economic element to consider: if a
plant does not operate at a high capacity factor, the cost of generating each unit of electricity
increases. This might reduce investment in more costly, high efficiency technology as a plant
design is basically optimised at full load with high capacity factor. These dynamics are
important. Flexibility and cost will be essential features of future development programmes.

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HELE technologies for coal-fired power generation: actions and milestones

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The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) Mechanism

The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) Mechanism is program under the National Mission
for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE). It is a market-based mechanism to make energy
efficiency improvements in energy-intensive large industries and facilities more cost-effective
through issuance of energy saving certificates that could be traded. The PAT mechanism is
designed to facilitate Designated Consumers to achieve their legal obligations under the
Energy Conservation Act 2001 and provide them with market based incentives to
overachieve the targets set for them.

Power Plants, with energy consumption of 30,000

MTOE and above, are Designated Consumers (DC). The methodology of the PAT scheme in
Power Plants includes the following:
a) The weighted average of Net Station Heat Rates for 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 will be
treated as the base line and target for reduction of heat rate will given by BEE; the target is to
be achieved by the target year which will be notified by BEE.
b) BEE sponsored Baseline Energy Audits will be conducted in 2011 by BEE appointed
energy auditors in each DC to verify relevant historical data and identify energy saving
c) Implementation of energy saving projects by DCs by the target year.
d) Verification of Net Station Heat Rate in the target year by BEE accredited verification
e) BEE will issue Energy Savings Certificates (ESCerts) to DCs that exceed the targets. The
number of ESCerts issued will depend on the quantum of over-achievement of target. The
market rate of each ESCert would also be based on the prevailing crude oil price and will be
regulated by suitable mechanisms.
f) The Power Exchanges (IEX and PXIL) will facilitate trading of ESCerts.
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g) For the electricity sector, the PAT scheme will be administered and regulated by the
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).
Scope of PAT Baseline Audit
The scope of work for the PAT Baseline Audit, as defined by BEE, is as follows:
a) Verification of data submitted to BEE on fuel consumption, calorific values of fuels,
electricity generation, electricity import/export, heat rates and auxiliary consumption.
b) Determination of Net Station Heat Rate of the power plant and deviation from Design
Net Station Heat Rate
c) Understand and quantify energy consumption and outputs for the plant, major processes
and sub-processes, on a gate-to-gate basis for defined boundaries. Calculate efficiencies
or figures of merit that help understand the scope for energy conservation.
d) Identify energy saving projects and quantify savings and likely investments.
e) Understand through discussions energy saving targets set internally by the plant
management, action plan for achieving the same, available structure for energy
management and overall energy management strategy of the plant.

The methodology adopted for this study is as follows:
a) Collection of historical energy consumption data for the past 5 years from reports, duly
verified by concerned plant authority. This information is compared with data submitted
to BEE.
b) Understand prevailing methodology of quantification of Gross Calorific Values of
fuels. Collection of historical information on proximate and ultimate analysis of fuels and
comparison with values reported to BEE.
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c) The energy metering system is understood to confirm that the auxiliary consumption is
being reported correctly. Any assumptions in energy accounting system are to be also
understood and reported.
d) The Gross Heat Rate and Net Station Heat Rate are calculated, based on annual fuel
consumption, Gross Calorific Value of fuels and annual Auxiliary Consumption. The
Design Station Heat Rate was calculated, using average Operative Auxiliary Power
Consumption of the power plant during the baseline years. The deviation of the Actual
Net Station Heat Rate from the Design Net Station Heat Rate is quantified using the
average values for the baseline period i.e. 2007-08 to 2009-10.
e) The operating parameters of the power plant were understood from the DCS screens or
log books in the control room. Relevant field measurements are also done as per
f) Boiler efficiencies, turbine heat rates and process/equipment efficiencies (or relevant
figures of merit) of important processes/equipments are calculated. The energy balance of
important systems is developed. This information is critically studied to identify energy
saving options.
g) Discussions are held with concerned power plant team members to discuss the
emerging energy saving options, understand past internal plant efforts to save energy,
internal plant targets to save energy and projects planned or under consideration to save
energy. The existing management structure available to implement energy saving projects
is also reviewed.
h) Preparation of draft report incorporating the data collected analyses, recommendations
and conclusions. This report is sent to both the Power Plant for approval and also BEE

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Instruments Used
The instruments used during the energy audit are:
a) Electrical Power Analyser
b) Temperature Indicators
c) Transit time Ultrasonic flow meter
d) Doppler type Ultrasonic flow meter
e) Pressure gauges
f) Flue gas analysers
g) Anemometers
h) Pitot tube
Boiler efficiency improvementThe efficiency of boilers is estimated to be low, mainly due to higher flue gas temperatures at
outlet of APH. Design efficiency of boilers is 87.43%, where as the actual figures were 82.2
to 82.5% only. In addition to higher flue gas temperature ( i.e. Dry gas losses), wet gas losses
are also high which can be attributed to higher moisture content and hydrogen in fuel as
compared to rated values.
Maintaining design flue gas temperature at APH outlet can increase the efficiency of boilers
to 84.0 to 84.8% which is about 2% reduction in heat rate of these units. This means that
about 0.6% improvement in overall station heat rate.
The operative station Gross heat rate as per baseline years is 2355 kcal/kWh. 0.6% reduction
would be 2355 x 0.6% =14.1 kcal/kWh. In terms of absolute quantities, the annual coal
saving potential is 14.1 x 23692.5 MU/year /average GCV = 111756 Tons/year. Assuming
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coal price of Rs 1500/Ton, the annual saving potential is Rs 16.7 Crores/year. Investment can
be considered only after further studies after identifying the exact nature of problems.
Improve heat rate of turbines by controlling RH spray
VFD on Condensate Extraction Pumps
The concept of speed reduction in CEPs to reduce losses in valve control is well known. Due
to high investment & perceived risk of HT motor drives there are only a few installations
where this technology has been implemented.
The following graph shows the variation in power with flow by throttling control and with
VFD control.

Note that at about 85% of rated flow, i.e. 735 m3/h, the saving in power consumption is about
200 kW per pump.

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Energy Saving potential by installing VFD on CEP pumps is given below. We have assumed
Rs 1.5/kWh as the electricity price; the plant may use correct numbers to recalculate the

CW Pump efficiency improvement by coating

Polymer coating of internals is done in Raw water pumps. We understand that there is a plan
to do the same measures in CW pumps also.
Saving potential is estimated below.

Past ENCON activities

LED lamps are installed in street lighting
Coal Mills of stage-1 modified with Hichrome balls and lining changes
Polymer coating in Raw water pumps

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Optimisation of CT fans depending on weather and temperature variations

Plan for next 3 years
Polymer coating of all raw water pumps and CW pumps
VFD on ID fans of some units
PAT -2




For power plant owners and operators, adopting a strategic approach to power plant
operations and performance is an opportunity to optimise lifecycle efficiency, increase return
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on investment and achieve lifecycle cost predictability. Such an approach is particularly

important when energy production has to be balanced according to a fluctuating markets
needs. Over the power plants lifecycle this calls for long-term thinking regarding operations
and maintenance planning as well as upgrades. A strategic approach can also offer solutions
for finding and training competent personnel, as well as ensuring occupational health and
work safety.
Planning for lifecycle efficiency
When planning operations, it is important to take into account the full lifecycle costs, not just
the investment and the operation and maintenance costs for the initial period after
commissioning. Any savings achieved through lower fixed operational costs will be very
quickly lost if neglecting in maintenance and operations lead to even minor efficiency losses.
Optimising total cost of ownership
The essential thing is to create a balance between capital expenditure (CAPEX) and
operational expenses (OPEX), so that the total cost of ownership is optimised. Analysis of
lifecycle costs is especially fruitful for assets with a long lifecycle. In these, operational costs
can be expected to be many times the investment costs, making lifecycle cost predictability a
key factor in achieving success. From a risk management perspective, the costs for
unscheduled maintenance should also be accounted for and made predictable through a longterm strategic partnership. When analysing the total cost of ownership, fuel costs,
maintenance requirements, stable performance and the life expectancy of the equipment are
the primary considerations.
Environmental efficiency as a source of long-term advantage
Improving environmental efficiency will improve operational efficiency through lower fuel
costs and reductions in other fees. This can be seen as a two way relationship: reducing the
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environmental footprint helps improve energy efficiency, and vice versa, improving fuel
efficiency also helps reduce the environmental footprint.
The best possible strategy to meet the ever tightening environmental regulation is to move
from merely reacting to new requirements as they arise to anticipating them. This will allow
optimisation, not only according to the current situation, but also according to future demands
in terms of both environmental and operational efficiency. Professionally managed
environmental compliance can also be a source of competitive advantage through enhanced
reputation among customers and other stakeholders, as well as securing uninterrupted
Upgrades for an extended lifecycle
The lifecycle of an asset can be extended and its efficiency improved through upgrades and
modernisations. An asset can also be converted to, for example, operate on a different fuel.
Gas conversions are an increasingly common example of such a solution, offering both
environmental and financial benefits. During the lifecycle of an asset, upgrades are typically
needed for:
engine performance
cooling systems
automation software and hardware
automatic voltage regulator
power monitoring unit
human machine interface or operator interface
engine speed/load controller.
When planning a modernisation or conversion project, a strategic partner with the right
resources can offer help in design and project management, as well as securing and
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structuring financing solutions. By providing professional project management such a partner

can also assist in risk mitigation and insurance issues not least through ensuring reliable
operation and a safe working environment.
Optimising operations
Operational expenses (OPEX) are determined by the performance of the equipment and how
the operations and maintenance are organised. By optimising these, savings can be achieved
through maintaining the fuel and lube oil consumption and from the reduction of maintenance
Performance optimisation
To achieve maximum operational efficiency, performance must be optimised. By knowing
and fully understanding the operating equipment and procedures, it is possible to increase
efficiencies, lower costs, improve reliability and maximise uptime through improved
availability and extended time between stops for maintenance. Performance optimisation
requires strategic decisions. Investing in systems, solutions and new technologies can improve
performance, while savings can be achieved through systems integration and replacing
inefficient components. Knowing where to invest and where to save is a key factor in
strategies geared towards optimisation. Creating a strategic partnership with an experienced
service provider can give access to expertise in these issues, thereby freeing own resources for
concentrating on core business development.
Ensuring expertise
There are, in general, two strategies available to power plant operators for ensuring the
availability of know-how and securing their investment. They can choose to rely on their own
employees skills, and only use partners for maintenance. Another option is to choose an
experienced partner to manage the operations and maintenance of the investment. Both can be
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arranged through various types of service agreements. Of these, an asset management

agreement is the most comprehensive, enabling the owner of the plant to lock in the level of
future returns in terms of operational performance. The agreement creates a partnership
working towards the same business goals, making it highly valuable from both a financial and
a risk management point of view. (See Figure 2.)

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A partnership based on a service agreement is also a way to tackle the challenges of personnel
competence and training, as well as environmental and health and safety issues. An expert
partner with an up-to-date QEHS policy can bring in competent personnel trained in safe
work procedures when and where needed. Knowing that all work is done safely and in an
environmentally sound and legally compliant way allows the power plant owner and operator
to focus on more business-critical issues When choosing a partner for outsourcing a power
plants operations and maintenance to, it should be ensured that they have the experience and
capabilities needed. Things to look for are:
critical mass of assets under service agreements
established global agreement execution management organisation
recognition by major financial institutions and insurance companies
lifecycle cost guarantee
latest technology in maintenance planning and remote condition
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well established and documented process

direct access to OEM technical support and spare parts.
The advantage of outsourcing
When evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing operations and
maintenance, it is essential to include the whole lifecycle in the analysis. Quick wins and
savings in operations and maintenance can become quite expensive in the long term, as any
savings achieved through lower fixed operational costs will be very quickly lost if
compromised maintenance and operations lead to even minor efficiency losses.
Outsourcing enables the owner of the power plant to lock in the level of future returns in
terms of operational performance. Therefore an asset management agreement is highly
valuable from both a financial and a risk management point of view. This can be illustrated by
looking at three different lifecycle scenarios for a 100 MW gas-fired power plant. The base
assumptions for the analysis are:
power capacity 100 MW, 4000 running hours per year
project life time 15 years, 12 month construction period
total project cost 750 EUR/kW (incl. O&M mobilization)
30% equity financing, ROE demand 15%
loan tenor 11 years, interest rate 4%
gas price 8 EUR/MMBtu (lower heating value).
Optimising maintenance
Reliable, continuous performance and predictable costs throughout the entire lifecycle of an
asset are essential for sustaining a profitable business. Unexpected interruptions can be
extremely expensive, so preventing them is a key element of a lifecycle approach. But even
when it comes to scheduled maintenance outages, less is more. Maximising availability
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through optimised maintenance plays a big part in optimising return on investment over the
assets lifecycle.
Maintenance planning
Maintenance should not be planned blindly with disregard to the profitability of the power
plant. Instead, maintenance should be optimised according to needed capacity based on
dispatching forecasts in order to maximize profitable revenue potential and minimize lost
profitable revenue. The idea is to ensure availability when market conditions are favourable,
and to perform maintenance when the demand is low.
To maximise availability, and thereby minimise downtime costs, a system of dynamic
maintenance planning that allows maintenance to be planned from a dispatching and cash
flow point of view should be implemented. In a multiple engine power plant, this means
performing maintenance unit by unit.
Dynamic maintenance
A dynamic maintenance schedule means that maintenance is not always done according to the
original maintenance schedule (Figure 3.). Rather, the condition of the equipment is
monitored constantly. This way trends and changes in operating parameters can be identified
well before they might compromise asset performance. Maintenance can thus be performed
only when needed, which optimises operational availability and productivity.
Highest uptime can be achieved during the most profitable operation hours, and planned
downtime hours can be eliminated by performing maintenance during off-peak hours.

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Ten global HR best practices: Global Human Capital Management Best Practices

1. Transform service delivery

2. Standardize complex global processes while providing flexibility
3. Manage the workforce in multiple countries efficiently
4. Move technology solutions to the Cloud
5. Engage in meaningful global talent management
6. Create an engaging global workplace
7. Invest in reporting/analytics
8. Make knowledge and people easily accessible
9. Leverage diversity as a business tool
10. Include change management as a critical success factor
Efficiency and Innovation Factors
Standardize both administrative and talent management processes. Understand the
variations and strive for standardization, allowing variations only when mandatory for a
country or region.
Consolidate multiple HR management systems in countries or regions to a single global
system, managed centrally but governed with global representation.
Reduce customizations of the single global solution. If processes have been standardized,
this is easy to accomplish.
Strive to serve more or all of the work force from the single HR management system
Consolidate talent management onto your HRMS platform.
Expand the percent of workforce using self service. Adopt regional shared service centers
managed centrally.
Adopt a Cloud HRMS with the latest global best practices.
Adopt integrated talent management on your new Cloud HRMS platform.
Adopt business intelligence/analytics tools and roll out solutions directly to managers.

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Adopt social tools and use them strategically for branding, recruiting, service delivery,
communications, and learning
We have identified ten best practices that can help an organization not only improve its
overall efficiency, but also increase its ability to compete in todays rapidly changing global
market. More importantly for most HR leaders, these practices can help them manage their
function more strategically, ensuring they are viewed as valued business leaders who
support business growth and expansion.

Improving the Thermal Efficiency of Coal-Fired Power Plants: A Data Mining


Power producers are looking for ways not only to improve efficiency of power plant assets
but also to grow concerns about the environmental impacts of power generation without
compromising their market competitiveness. To meet this challenge, this study demonstrates
the application of data mining techniques for process optimization in a coal-fired power
plant in Thailand with 97,920 data records. The main purpose is to determine which factors
have a great impact on both (1) heat rate (kJ/kWh) of electrical energy output and (2)
opacity of the flue gas exhaust emissions. As opposed to the traditional excel-based
regression analysis currently employed at the plant, more complex analytical models using
SAS Enterprise MinerTM help supporting managerial decision to improve the overall
performance of the existing energy infrastructure while reduce emissions through a change
in the energy supply structure
The amount of fuel energy input needed to produce electrical energy output (heat rate,
kJ/kWh) is the key factor to measure the overall efficiency of the plant. For the combustion
process in a coal-fired power plant, the opacity of the flue gas exhaust emissions is one of
the performance measures, which has to comply with the mandatory standards for
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environmental protection. This power station produces the electrical power by using the
good quality of bituminous coal and is installed with Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD),
Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP), Low Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Burner, and environment
management equipment.
Currently, the company employs only traditional excel-based regression analysis to monitor
the power plant performance. Additionally, only several factors related to fuel properties are
considered in the analysis. As a result, many potentially important variables related to
operational properties are neglected, accordingly (see Figure 1).

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The coal properties are not normal distributed but there is no need to transform the data
before building the predictive models since, commonly, the coal properties, which are fired
in the combustion process, are varied within the acceptable range of the mutual-agreed
purchasing contract.

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Heat Rate
- There are two groups of parameters which are related to the inducted and reduced factors
of the Heat Rate. The Figure 4 presents the Auxiliary load, which is the most influential
factor to induce Heat Rate; meanwhile the Main Steam Pressure is the most influential factor
to reduce Heat Rate.
- As presented in Figure 5, almost independent variables used to predict heat rate in the
electricity generation are skewed and have a great impact on the operation control process.
- Additionally, more than 92% of the data of electricity generation is higher than 670 MW
720 MW.

This study demonstrates that data mining based approaches can be used to assess predictor
variables influencing the stack opacity emission and heat rate in the energy generation
process. As opposed to the traditional descriptive statistical analysis methods or the
approaches adopting only expert-selected variables, the employment of regression, decision
trees, or neural network models provide an interesting factors to understand the variation in
both heat rate and opacity emission generated. For the opacity emission, Decision Trees

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explicitly shows better prediction results with the lowest average squared error (ASE);
meanwhile, stepwise regression is the best model to predict heat rate.
Note that we present this study as a pilot study to determine if appropriate data is available,
to understand the exploration of data mining approach in the coal-fired power plants, and to
develop initial models to determine which factors influence the opacity of the flue gas
exhaust emissions and heat rate of electrical energy output. Further analysis is required;
especially when we can classify the sample data into subgroup based on the different range
of electricity generation (heat rate model) or stack opacity emission (for opacity model)
before building the predictive models and compare the results with the baseline model.
Lastly, a larger sample sizes on both models will be tested to ensure the generalizability of
our findings.


GE Introduces Digital Power Plant for Steam to Enhance Efficiency and Reduce
Emissions of Coal-Fired Plants

With coal set to remain the worlds second largest energy source through 2030, GEs
leading steam technology and digital capabilities will be critical to achieving global
greenhouse gas reduction targets set out at COP21.
Digital Power Plant software interprets data from more than 10,000 sensors to improve coalfired steam power plant performance and increases efficiency up to 1.5 percentage points,
allows for 5% less unplanned downtime and 3% lower CO2 emissions. Every point of
efficiency lowers CO2 emissions by two percentage points and can reduce fuel consumption
by 67,000 tons of coal per year with the same MW of output. GE combines physical
strengths of legacy Alstom steam technology with GEs industry-leading digital capabilities
to deliver better performance, greater efficiencies and improved reliability.
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Today, GE announced the following new Digital Power Plant software applications and
capabilities, operating on Predix:

Asset Performance Management for the Digital Steam Plant - An application which
continuously monitors steam plant equipment health, enabling operations teams to make
decisions that enhance plant performance, reduce unplanned downtime and extend plant
life with minimal capital investment.

Operations Optimization for the Digital Steam Plant - An application which provides
customers with plant and fleet-wide visibility of the impact of operational decisions on
efficiency, emissions, capacity and production costs. Specific capabilities include:

Boiler Optimization Boiler efficiency has the greatest impact on overall plant
efficiency. GEs software improves boiler reliability and efficiency, and can reduce CO2
by 1-2% and NOx by 10-15% through integrated enhancement of the combustion and
soot cleaning processes.

Coal Analyser Enhances plant performance by tuning combustion and exhaust

management processes based on coal properties such as moisture content. This can
reduce fuel consumption by 4,400 tons of coal per year with the same MW of output in a
single steam power plant.

Plant Optimization A digital twin of the physical steam plant that is continuously
monitored to identify gaps between actual and ideal performance relative to key
performance indicators such as output or emissions. For example, tuning a plant to run
one percent more efficiently can add $20 million in value over 10 years.

Smart Start Reduces inefficiencies that occur on load change by helping the operator
improve key parameters including speed to grid, impact to asset life and fuel
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Business Optimization for the Digital Steam Plant An application which aggregates
information such as fuel and power price, demand, and plant capacity now including
steam plants - to enable energy traders to make better buying and selling decisions.

Power Generation Outcomes: The Digital Power Plant Pays Dividends

The results speak for themselves. Customers are reaping the benefits of going digital in
greater power output, better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and an ability to meet market
demands as they change from day to day. Whether for a single power plant or across a fleet,
power companies are mapping their transformation, beginning with connecting and
monitoring assets and moving to leveraging insights for dispatch optimization. No matter the
fuel: fossil, coal-fired steam or nuclear, digital is transforming the way power plants are
managed toward improved productivity, safer and more secured operations and greater

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A2A, the largest Italian multi-utility company, needed to modernize their Chivasso power
plants to become more responsive to changing grid demands and to boost productivity in a
competitive market. To reopen the plant, A2A would need compelling improvements to
efficiency and have a lower impact on the environment. Achieving the lowest emissions
compliant load level was a critical success factor in order for A2A to compete successfully
in the ancillary services market space particularly in their location.
Working closely with A2A traders, engineers, and production team, GE needed to prove the
Chivasso plant could be improved to succeed in a competitive market. The team began by
installing GEs OpFlex software to nine 9FA gas turbines at four combined-cycle power
plants in Lombardia in northern Italy, and , at the Chivasso plant, GE upgraded two 9FA gas
turbines with OpFlex Dry Low NOx 2.6+ combustion technology. GEs Operations
Optimization solution was applied to gather machine sensor data, apply analytics and help
A2A plant management understand how to engage the OpFlex controls software to better
react to market conditions, lower operating costs and reduce the plants environmental
A2A now has the necessary visibility and operational flexibility to bring the plant online
effectively and economically, responding to dynamic market conditions. GEs solution
helped achieve a 65MW per GT minimum load level the best in the GE 9FA fleet. The
OpFlex Fast Ramp solution enabled load ramping at up to 50 MW/min, 2.5 times the
normal rate, permitting A2A to react quickly to market demands. A2As power block is now
producing hundreds of hours of electricity since coming back online in November 2015 and
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is able to be competitive in their market. By increasing plant responsiveness, A2A is better

able to meet fast- changing grid demands.

Balance+, Adaptive Control Concept

Providing modern control solutions for all types of boiler plants, F combines years of
experience to create its adaptive control concept called Balance+. Regardless of the type and
size of a boiler plant, Balance+ tackles the challenges that conventional control solutions have
difficulty with. Typically, these challenges come from non-linear multi-variable behaviour,
time-delays, furnace slagging, mechanical ageing, and varying fuel quality. Balance+ takes
care of all that without time-demanding tuning procedures.
At the heart of Balance+ is an intelligent adaptive process model. Unlike traditional control
solutions Balance+ measures direct and indirect data from the process, refers to historical
data, and calculates output for controllers. Balance+ calculates the optimal main control
variables for a boiler

Feed water to match steam production

Fuel flow to vaporize feed water

Air to provide stable combustion and optimal staging

Spray water to stabilize steam temperatures

Correct actions to compensate disturbances.

Balance+ has already been applied with the I&C systems of ABB, Siemens, Metso and
Balance+ benefits

Lower emissions

Less NOx and CO from combustion

Better efficiency
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Higher steam parameters

Lower oxygen content in flue gas

Lower electrical house load

Lower feed water pump load

Lower air and flue gas fan load

Higher utilization degree

Operation point closer to design values

More accurate control

Better availability

Less stress to heat exchangers

Less actuator failures

Balance+ for GHECO-One Power Plant Integrating the F Balance+ control concept
into the Gheco-One plant in Thailand has brought numerous advantages.
Gheco-One power station is a 660 MW supercritical coal-fired power station in Map Ta Phut,
Thailand, owned by Glow Group, part of GDF Suez family of companies. Integrating the F
Balance+ control concept into the Gheco-One plant has brought numerous advantages.
Among these are faster start-ups with less oil, a higher utilisation rate and improved efficiency
thanks to a stabilised steam temperature.

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F's efforts had helped Gheco-One to win the ASEAN Energy Awards 2013 in the Best
Practices Clean Coal Use and Technology in Power Generation category.


Some examples of most efficient power plants from around the globe

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With USC well established, R&D is underway to increase steam temperatures to 700C and
beyond, which could achieve coal-fired efficiencies as high as 50%. Known as advanced
ultra-supercritical technology (AUSC), such high pressures and temperatures will require
more advanced (nickel or nickel-iron) super alloys that are expensive and currently present
fabrication and welding challenges. In early 2014, Alstom and Southern Company (U.S.)
announced a milestone in the development of AUSC, with steam loop temperatures
maintained at 760C for 17,000 hours during a trial at Plant Barry Unit 4 in Alabama.
The loop contained an array of different super alloys and surface coatings that enabled it to
withstand the exceedingly high temperatures within the boiler.13 Further advances in HELE
technology, material science, and emissions control will enable coal-fired power to retain a
primary role in future power systems.

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Differences in reported efficiency values

Apparent efficiency differences
Differences in reported efficiencies between plants can sometimes be artificial, and not
reflective of any underlying differences in their actual efficiencies. The reported efficiency of
two identical plants, or even the same plant tested twice, could potentially be different owing

the use of different assessment procedures and standards;

the use of different plant boundaries and boundary conditions;

the implementation of different assumptions or agreed values within the scope of a

test standard;

the use of different operating conditions during tests;

the use of correction factors to normalise test results before reporting;

the expression of results on different bases (e.g. gross or net inputs and outputs);

different methods and reference temperatures for determination of fuel calorific value

the application of measurement tolerances to the reported figures;

differences in the duration of assessments;

differences in the timing of assessments within the normal repair and maintenance

errors in measurement, data collection and processing; and

random performance and measurement effects.

These effects are difficult to quantify, especially when assessing the performance of major
sub-systems that are interconnected with other parts of the plant.
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Gross and net values

Assessments of efficiency often refer to gross or net bases, both for the
determination of the heating values of fuel inputs and for the energy outputs from a process.
In the latter case, the terminology usually relates to the use of a proportion of the output
energy by the process itself: the output being referred to as gross output before any
deduction, or net output after the deduction for own-use. This most commonly applies
to the consumption of electrical power by a plant where generated power is referred to as

gross output, and sent-out power, following deduction of onsite power use, is
referred to as net output or gross-net.
This analysis can be complicated further for multi-unit sites where some parts of the process
may be fed directly from a common import power supply, shared between all generating
units. This power must also be deducted from generated power to derive a true net output
for the plant; an output that may be referred to as gross-net-net or station net export.
For fuels, the difference between gross calorific value (GCV) and net calorific value (NCV)
stems from the assumptions made about the availability of the energy present in the moisture
in the combustion products.4 The GCV measures all the heat released from fuel combustion,
with the products being cooled back to the temperature of the original sample. In the NCV
assessment, it is assumed that water in the combustion products is not condensed, so latent
heat is not recovered. Using the NCV basis is questionable: a modern condensing boiler could
potentially achieve a heating efficiency in excess of 100%, in violation of the first law of
thermodynamics. Although some regions and industries prefer to use lower heating values in
daily business, the true energy content of a fuel is its GCV or higher heating value. Another
complication, associated with fuel heating values, is the reference temperature used for their
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determination. Typically, calorific values are quoted based on a 25 C reference temperature;

however, 15 C is also commonly used and other temperatures may be used after correction,
if these differ from the temperature of the reactants and products at the start and end of the
combustion test. Obviously, the use of values calculated on different reference temperature
bases would result in different apparent heat inputs. Some technical standards provide
equations for the correction of calorific values between different reference temperatures.
Electrical power imports and exports
Electricity produced and consumed within the plant should not affect plant performance
assessment, providing the system boundary is drawn at the outer plant boundary. Electrical
power imported into the plant can be deducted directly from exported power in order to
calculate the overall net power generation for efficiency assessment. In general, it is
recognised that power exports should be referenced to the conditions at the transmission side
of the generator transformer and thus account for transformer losses.
Efficiency differences due to real constraints
It is reasonable to expect that there will be differences in efficiency between particular plants
because of the constraints within which they were constructed and operate. Considerations
which can impact significantly on efficiency include:

fuel moisture content (influences latent and sensible heat losses);

fuel ash content (impacts on heat transfer and auxiliary plant load);

fuel sulphur content (sets design limits on boiler flue gas discharge temperature);

use of closed-circuit, once-through or coastal cooling-water systems (determines

cooling-water temperature);

normal ambient air temperature and humidity

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use of flue gas cleaning technologies, e.g. selective catalytic reduction (SCR), fabric
filtration, flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) and CO2 capture (all increase on-site
power demand); and

use of low NOx combustion systems (requires excess combustion air and increases
unburned carbon).

Efficiency differences in operation

Average operating load

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Load factor
The effects of average operating load (see above) and load factor are different. Load or
capacity factor describes the output over a period of time relative to the potential maximum; it
depends on both running time and average operating load. It is not necessary to consider load
factor specifically here since the impacts of more frequent unit starts or lower operating unit
loads can be taken into account separately. It is technically possible for a low load factor plant
to attain high efficiency if starts are few in number and the load is kept high during the
periods of generation. However, there may be practical issues relating to system power
demand and management which preclude operation in this way.
Transient operation
Another factor which can significantly impact efficiency is the number of perturbations
(transients) from steady state operating conditions. During each of these transients, the plant
will not be operating at peak performance: the more transients, the greater the reduction in
efficiency. Operation in frequency response mode, where steam flow and boiler firing
fluctuate to regulate system frequency, can lead to more transients. Other situations may
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require frequent load changes, notably in response to power system constraints or power
market pricing.
Plant starts
An extreme form of transient operation is where demand falls sufficiently to require plant
shutdown. This incurs significant offload energy losses, particularly during subsequent plant
startup, which must be done gradually to avoid damage from thermal stresses. While the
plant is not generating output, all of the input energy is lost (i.e. efficiency is 0%).
Supercritical units, in particular, have high startup losses because large quantities of steam,
and therefore heat energy, must be dumped to the condenser during startup.
Power plants operating in volatile or competitive markets, or operating as marginal providers
of power, may be required to shut down frequently. This can, in turn, lead to a deterioration in
physical condition which will affect plant efficiency. For base-load operation, unit startup
energy may be a negligible fraction of total energy (<0.5%). For other flexibly operated plant
it could represent 5% or more of total energy consumed and result in reductions in efficiency
in the order of 2 percentage points, even if the average output during the onload period is
high. For simplicity, corrections of 0.5%, 1.5% and 5% of total energy use could be applied to








Performance optimisation
The adoption of good practices and exercise of care will avoid most operational problems
within the control of a plant operator. Although the majority of operational efficiency
variations are linked to unit load and the need to operate through transient conditions, there is
usually some scope for final optimisation of performance by fine tuning of automatic

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controller set points and control loops, amounting to about 1% of a units heat rate.
Optimisation may be performed manually or through the use of advanced control systems or
optimisers, some of which are based on neural networks. Operator experience can also be a
source of operational gains or losses. The commercial attractiveness of performance
optimisation increases with plant load and can be substantial at high loads. Optimisation is a
potentially attractive proposition at any load where the plant will be operated for a significant
period of time.
Boiler operation is an area where efficiency gains are often possible. A fixed-pressure
boiler requires the outlet steam to be throttled at part load to match the lower pressure demand
of the turbine. Sliding pressure boiler designs avoid this loss, with the added benefit that
feed-water pumps require less power. Sliding-pressure control is standard operating procedure
on most modern power plants. Control systems play a major part in optimisation by enabling
the automation of best practices. The use of advanced control systems can bring about
significant efficiency improvements and reduce CO2 emissions.
The regulatory environment can have a significant impact on power plant operation and
efficiency. Meeting the requirements of environmental emissions legislation, even where
flexible with respect to operating regime and fuel quality, can be a challenge to operators. In
some cases, achieving multiple objectives simultaneously can impact efficiency since
transients, off design fuels and emission controls generally add to energy losses.
Functional performance, for example to achieve target output, load ramp rates or frequency
control, may be a higher priority to the plant operator than efficiency optimisation. Where a
plant operates within a competitive market environment, making the case for investment in
plant maintenance and upgrades to improve performance and efficiency may be more difficult
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because operating margins may be slim, and market volatility may hinder long-term
investment planning.
Efficiency differences due to design and maintenance
For the same operating regime and boundary conditions, any remaining differences in
efficiency are largely down to the basic design of the plant and how well it is maintained.
Overall performance is generally a function of both individual component design efficiencies
and process integration. Lower levels of performance can be expected from plants of older
design, although upgrades can improve even the oldest plants.
Plant design
The adoption of supercritical (SC) and ultra-supercritical (USC) steam conditions for new
generating plants, in conjunction with modern steam turbine designs, has been key to
improved design efficiency.7 Newer plant designs may also incorporate steam temperature
attemperation control, which results in lower steam-cycle losses, and better control and
optimisation features.
Comparisons of best practice are generally confined to this area since factors such as plant
operating regime, fuel quality and local ambient conditions are largely beyond the control of
the plant owner and operator.
Taking turbine efficiency as an example, deterioration over the first year of operation could be
relatively rapid, but will then slow. Deterioration may be the equivalent of 0.25% of heat
consumption per year of operation between overhauls, but with up to 2% lost in the first two
years alone. This reduction in turbine efficiency will be reflected in overall plant performance.
Some, but not all, of the deterioration will be recovered by routine maintenance. Generally,
plant performance will be restored during major overhauls.
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However, the extent of repair and refurbishment work, and the ensuing efficiency benefits, is
a commercial decision for the operator.
Plant maintenance
The actual performance of a plant compared to its design and as-commissioned
performance is crucial. As equipment wears, fouls, corrodes, distorts and leaks, as sensors and
instrumentation fail, and as calibrations drift, the plant tends to become less efficient. As well
as ensuring integrity, a key requirement of plant maintenance is to maintain peak efficiency.
Improved maintenance and component replacement and upgrading can reduce energy losses.
Component availability
Efficiency can be reduced by the non-availability of certain items of plant and equipment

main condenser cooling-water pumps and condenser tube banks;

cooling towers;

On-load condenser cleaning equipment;

Condenser air extraction plant;

Boiler feed-water pump turbine and feed-water heaters;

reserve coal milling plant capacity;

Feed-water heater drains pumps (resulting in diversion of drains to the condenser);


Boiler soot blowers.

Impact of condenser-operating conditions on efficiency

The Sankey diagram in Figure 2.3 shows example heat flows in a typical 500 MW subcritical
pulverised coal-fired boiler, where the electrical output is 39% of the heat input and the heat
rejected by the condenser to the cooling water is 52.5%. This example illustrates that it is the
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thermodynamics of the steam cycle, and not the fuel combustion process, which is a limiting
factor for conventional power plant efficiency. Where the rejected heat can be utilised, this
can provide significant improvements to the overall cycle efficiency.

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Efficiency performance assessment periods

Potential bases upon which performance could reasonably be stated include:

theoretical maximum (based on boundary conditions);

as-designed (intended full load);

as-commissioned (formal acceptance test at actual load);

best-achieved (formal performance assessment test at actual load);

latest or best-recent (formal performance assessment test at actual load);

average-daily (by performance monitoring, actual load);

average-weekly (by performance monitoring, actual load);

average-monthly (by performance monitoring, actual load);

average-annual (by performance monitoring, actual load);

average inter-overhaul (by performance monitoring, actual load); and

average cumulative-to-date (by performance monitoring, actual load).

Efficiency standards and monitoring

Fired boiler performance standards
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There are a number of standards for the performance assessment of coal-fired power plant
boilers including:

BS 2885:1974 (withdrawn British standard);

DIN 1942 (German standard);

EN 1295215:2003 (European standard, similar to DIN 1942).

PTC 41998 (current US standard); and

PTC 4.11964 (1991) (former US standard, superseded by PTC 41998).

CO2 reporting

Process boundaries
To avoid the need for performance details of individual plant components, a system boundary
should cover the entire power plant, from fuel reception to the interface with the power or
heat transmission system. This may or may not coincide with a clear physical boundary,
depending on the plant layout and its application This approach simplifies the assessment of

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overall plant performance and can be applied consistently to many plant types and fuels. It
also removes any debate regarding how internal energy flows, such as works power or ownuse consumption, or water and steam interconnections, should be accounted for.
Such a black-box approach to the whole power plant island is shown in Figure 3.1, in
which the energy output associated with the shaded flows can be ignored in the calculation of
overall plant efficiency. Although in the short term, the measurement of some of these
parameters may be subject to measurement error, the accuracy of data over longer time
periods, and particularly annual periods, should be high

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Generic corrections
Fuel quality
Fuel quality is characterised in terms of its heating value, which is generally quoted as a gross
calorific value (GCV) or higher heating value, together with its moisture, ash and volatile
material content (the proximate analysis) and usually, for reasons of environmental control
and protection, its sulphur content. The fuels ultimate analysis, including carbon, hydrogen,
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oxygen and nitrogen, is not analysed routinely. Any wide scale data collection and analysis
needs to be based on readily available information for the fuels used.

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Steam conditions

Reheat stages

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Cooling-water system

Ambient temperature
Cooling-water temperature will tend to be influenced by ambient temperature. Changes to
ambient temperature will affect the boiler air to hot gas temperature rise, boiler radiation
losses and fan power. The reducing boiler heat losses as ambient temperature increases will
tend to be offset by worsening cooling system performance. For an ambient air temperature
rise of say 10 C, around 0.5% less fuel would be required to achieve the same hot gas
temperature in the boiler. The impact of such a change in ambient temperature on cooling
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water would likely result in a 2% increase in heat rate a net effect of +1.5%. It is therefore
proposed that, where required, a nominal correction to heat rate of +0.15% per 1 C increase
in ambient temperature should be applied.
Flue gas cleaning

Fuel sulphur content and dew point

The fuel sulphur content will have some impact on the minimum flue gas temperature to
avoid dew-point conditions and formation of corrosive acids. Very approximately, the
minimum operating temperature to avoid the dew point for bituminous coals with average
moisture can be related to sulphur and moisture content. This can then be converted into a
change in boiler sensible heat loss. To avoid the acid dew point, a flue gas temperature rise of
1 C per 0.2% sulphur in coal, above a nominal level of 1% sulphur (dry basis), can be
assumed; with a further 1 C per 5 percentage point rise in the as received moisture content.
The recommended reference moisture level is 12%. This can be translated into a heat rate
increase of approximately 0.3% per 1 percentage point change in sulphur, in addition to a
0.01% increase in heat rate per 1% moisture. Below 1% sulphur, the dew-point correction
should only take account of moisture since power plants are rarely designed to accept only
fuels of less than 1% sulphur. The true dew point relationships are complex, but the proposed
approach provides a simple basis on which to make approximate corrections.
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Fuel ash content

Coal ash, an inert diluents, is generally a nuisance: higher levels of ash require the delivery
and processing of more coal and the collection and transfer of more ash. The presence of more
ash also requires the use of more soot blowing to remove ash deposits in the boiler furnace
and convective heat transfer sections to maintain good heat transfer. Ash discharged from the
furnace bottom and removed from the flue gas takes with it a quantity of sensible heat. There
is therefore an additional energy penalty associated with the use of high-ash fuels, irrespective
of their other properties. Firing high-ash coal on a plant not designed for such fuel can create
performance problems (mainly associated with boiler heat transfer), although plants that are
designed for these fuels can operate well and with high efficiency.
Auxiliary power
Auxiliary power requirements differ for various reasons, including the use of:

electric driven boiler feed-water pumps;

higher boiler pressures;

different designs of coal pulverising plant;

fuels with different densities, and hence volumes;

different flue gas treatment technologies;

modern motors and flow controls; and

compressed air soot blowers.

Feed-water heating, reheater pressure loss and reheat spray

There are some key plant design parameters which influence plant performance, such as the
number and position of feed-water heaters (which influence boiler feed-water temperature),
the design pressure loss across the reheater and the quantity of reheat spray required. These
are inherent to a power plants design and therefore require no correction, since it is largely
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such design differences that are being assessed when comparing the performance of a
particular plant against best practice. The same argument applies to the design steam
temperature and pressure.
Generator power factor
Generator power factor has an impact on losses and heat rate. However, this effect is
considered to be too small to justify correction here. Such a correction could be added, if
required, but would require the submission of operational power factor information for each
plant and a justification for why a correction might be needed
Number of units and unit capacity
There are generally good practical and economic reasons to employ more than one power
generation unit on a particular site and to build large units. Economies can be made by sharing
facilities and resources (e.g. coal and ash plant, staff and spares holdings), and through the
relatively lower cost of larger units of a given design.
Generic reconciliation methodology
Overall, the efficiencies of higher capacity units are better than those of smaller units, largely
because they are more modern. Early power generation units were very small by todays
standards and newer units have progressively increased in both size and technological
advancement. If smaller generating units were installed today, then they would be very much
more efficient than older units of the same size it is important to differentiate between the
impacts of plant age and plant size.
Boiler radiation and unaccounted losses
Boiler radiation and unaccounted losses are usually agreed with the boiler supplier, and
are often determined by reference to standard methods such as the charts by the American
Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA). The losses are fairly constant when the plant is in
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operation, but become a relatively larger proportion of the heat input as load is reduced.
Smaller plants, with larger surface-to-volume ratios, suffer more from these losses, although
losses become progressively less sensitive to plant size as size increases.
Large modern units would be expected to have losses of around 0.5% at average load, but this
could rise to 3% for a small older unit (<100 MW) with low average operating load. For the
purposes of this evaluation, it is assumed that the boiler radiation and unaccounted losses are
reflected in the whole-plant efficiency such that changes in these losses with load are taken
into account by whole-plant load correction factors. Related to these losses, however, is
whether the plant is designed with or without a main building enclosure and the ambient
environment in which it operates. Typically, for temperate climates, the losses might be
expected to be 50% higher for external plant. It is therefore proposed that the reference case
should be an indoor plant, with a small generic correction of +0.375% on heat rate applied to
external plant irrespective of plant size and average load.
Excess air and unburned carbon
Excess air and unburned carbon in ash are largely operational issues. Although they directly
affect boiler thermal losses, these are controllable losses that can be managed at the site level;
plant efficiency corrections are not required.
Controllable losses
In any operating power plant, peak performance may no longer be reached because of the
condition of the plant. In some cases, a step change in performance may be observed. For
example, a plant may be called on to operate with stand-by equipment in service, or may be
configured in an abnormal way (e.g. with feed-water heaters out of service). Other effects
may be more gradual and related to leakage, wear, lack of adjustment or control and
instrumentation problems. Such losses can generally be rectified, but degrade the efficiency of
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the plant if left unchecked. They are difficult to predict, although they are generally higher as
a plant approaches its routine overhaul. It is proposed that a blanket allowance of +1% on heat
rate is made, where justified, to account for a reasonable time-averaged level of
controllable losses compared to ideal performance

Integrated power and automation solutions by ABB (Boiler Max and ABB

The Italian utility Enel has transformed its Torrevaldaliga Nord thermal power plant from
heavy fuel to clean coal with the help of ABB power and automation technologies,
increasing the electricity generated from each ton of fuel by 15 percent. ABBs central control
system connects 3,500 instruments across the plant, gathering and analyzing data that enables
Enel to operate the plant at maximum efficiency and to reduce the plants emissions of
nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and dust by more than half. Auxiliary systems are a major part
of a power generation facility. Their purpose is to power the plant using a minimum of input
energy to achieve maximum output and availability. They include all the drive power
applications (pumps, fans, motors, drives), electrical balance of plant and instrumentation,
control and optimization systems. ABB is the market and technology leader in the majority of
the products and systems that make up the auxiliary systems of a power plant and the scope of
supply in an integrated instrumentation, control and electrical solution.
By improving the efficiency of each auxiliary, ABB can reduce the energy consumption of an
existing facility by 10-30 percent. Added together - system by system, saving by saving the
reductions in energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions are considerable. Output and
availability are also improved, as are equipment and system reliability.
1. Reducing the energy consumption of boiler feed pumps by 25 percent
2. Reducing the fuel consumption of boiler start-ups by 10-20 percent
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3. Generating 25,000 MWh more power from the same fuel input-ABB OPTIMAX



The year 2015 saw an increased emphasis on energy efficiency activities at the international,
regional, national and sub-national levels. This was due to the recognition of energy
efficiencys key role in reducing energy-related emissions and in providing multiple
economy-wide benefits such as enhanced energy security, reduced fuel poverty and
improved public health. By end-2015, at least 146 countries had enacted some kind of energy
efficiency policy, while at least 128 countries had enacted one or more energy efficiency

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Out of the 189 countries that outlined voluntary plans to decelerate greenhouse gas emissions
in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for COP21, 147 countries
mentioned renewable energy, and 167 countries mentioned energy efficiency; in addition,
some countries committed to fossil fuel subsidy reform. Over 50 countries had committed to
phasing out fossil fuel subsidies under G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
processes by the end of 2015.
Reducing or eliminating such subsidies brings prices closer to their true economic costs,
removing artificial impediments to energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy

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In the power sector, energy efficiency is affected mostly by energy losses in generation at
thermal power plants and through transmission and distribution losses. Fossil fuel power
plants convert only about one-third of their primary energy inputs into electricity, while
conversion losses for no thermal renewables are either relatively low or otherwise
insignificant. Therefore, achieving greater shares of non-thermal renewable power increases
primary energy efficiency by reducing conversion losses.
The average primary energy efficiency of electricity generation i increased between 2000 and
2014 across all regions but Latin America, where it declined by 0.5%. The efficiency of
power generation ranges from about 3035% in the CIS (a region heavily reliant on coal) and
the Middle East (heavily reliant on oil), to almost 60% in Latin America, where a significant
share of electricity is generated by hydropower. Efficiency of thermal power plants, which
account for most of the worlds generating capacity, increased between 2000 and 2014 in all
regions, with average improvements of around 9% in the Americas, 6% in Asia and under 5%
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in other regions. Efficiency of coal-fired power plants, specifically, increased during this
period in most regions, with the greatest improvements seen in Asia (12%) and the CIS (8%).
Among different types of thermal power plants mentioned above, gas fired plants experienced
the highest levels of improvement between 2000 and 2014, with the increase in average
efficiency exceeding 20% in North America and Africa.
About 8% of the worlds electricity generating capacity is in combined heat and power (CHP)
facilities, with a total global installed electric capacity of 325 GW. CHP captures waste heat
and utilises it to meet thermal energy demand. CHP systems which capture and re-use waste
heat from power generation are generally 7590% efficient in their overall use. The rate of
transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, incurred through resistance and voltage
conversion losses on the grid, varies across regions, ranging between 5% and 15% in 2014,
with lower losses occurring generally in more-efficient power grids in developed regions.
Efficient and superconducting transformers and high-temperature superconducting cables,
including direct current and ultra-high-voltage transmission, are considered promising
solutions for increasing electrical energy efficiency and reducing T&D losses. Other solutions
may involve advanced demand monitoring and management to reduce losses; automation to
measure and control the flow of power and improve system reliability; and movement towards
smart grids ii to manage loads, congestion and supply shortages. The increased use of
distributed energy also reduces T&D losses by producing electricity closer to where it is
utilised. Smart grids offer a potential to improve energy efficiency and reliability, better
integrate high shares of renewable energy and improve the responsiveness of both supply and
demand to conditions in real time. The global market for smart grid technologies such as
transmission upgrades, substation automation, distribution automation, smart metering, etc.
is growing rapidly; between 2010 and 2015, the market more than tripled (from USD 26
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billion to USD 88 billion), while respective annual investments more than doubled (from
USD 81 billion to USD 187 billion). An increasing number of governments worldwide at
the regional, national, state and local levels have enacted policies to improve energy
efficiency in the buildings, transport and industry sectors. Drivers for such policies include
increasing energy security, advancing economic growth and competitiveness, reducing fuel
poverty and mitigating climate change. In developing countries, increased efficiency can
make it easier to provide energy services to those who lack access.
Policies including targets, regulations, standards and labelling, and fiscal incentives aim to
address a number of barriers to accelerating energy efficiency actions. These include a lack of
capacity and knowledge, misplaced incentives i across different stakeholders, energy
subsidies and regulatory barriers.


Big Data and the Industrial Internet Meet the Power Plant

For several years now, deriving value from big data has been a concern for executives
focused on the distribution side of electric utilities. It was only a matter of time before
generating units and fleets also had the capability to collect, analyze, and act upon huge
volumes of near-real-time data. That time has come.
Another megatrend has hit the power generation industry: the Internet of Things (IoT)
countless devices with embedded electronics, sensors, and connectivity to digitally
communicate with one another and their human owners. The IoT generates more data than
most asset owners can warehouse on their ownhence the moniker big dataand requires
sophisticated analytics (see the sidebar Whats Analytics?) in order to derive benefits from
that data. It also often involves the cloudbroadly speaking, Internet-connected nonlocal
data centres and computing services provided by third parties.
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Introducing the Industrial Internet

The IoT generally refers to devices on the consumer sidefrom fitness wristbands to Nest
thermostatsthat can talk to the Internet through wired connections or wirelessly and can
update automatically. The IIoT involves similar principles but is, as GE Digitals Chief
Digital Officer Bill Ruh said at M+M, the Internet of really important things machines that
matter. The scale of data is daunting: By 2020, Ruh predicted, 106 terabytes of information
per day would be generated by GE machines. (That includes not just those in the power
industry, but across the companys businesses.)
Another definition of the IIoT is Internet protocol (IP)based devices that connect with each
other. Essentially, the IIoT consists of machine data rather than human-generated data, as on
the generic Internet, where most content from blogs to corporate marketing to cat videos
is accessible to anyone. For power plants, one potential advantage of the IIoT is the
integration of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems so that
all functions within a company can see and understand constraints and opportunities.
Machine-to-machine communication, SCADA, distributed control systems, and data
historians are all parts of the IIoT, but whereas those pieces often operate with limited
connectivity to one another, the IIoT provides a platform where they can be integrated for
deep and speedy data analysis thatideallyprovides richer insight for decision-making than
is currently possible.

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ABB, Nicholson said, has industry-leading products in all four of these domains and is
delivering on the benefits of IIoT through its Connected ALM (CALM) platform (Figure 1).
CALM offers a foundation for connecting the business processes that flow between all four
domains, enabling breakthrough insights that generate tangible gains in reliability and overall
plant performance. Predictive monitoring is probably the most obvious and familiar benefit of
IIoT technology. Many generating companies already make use of some collection of digital
sensor and monitoring systems to reduce unplanned downtime and more effectively plan
maintenance outages. But David Humphrey of GE Water & Power said at M+M that most
plants still do reactive maintenance, and very few have moved to cloud-based or any sort of
real predictive maintenance. Even among those that have added Pi or Smart Signal, he said,
even the best are still waiting for an event to happen.
Additionally, todays predictive maintenance tools are mostly single-point solutions, like
vibration and anomaly detection for turbines or combustion or emissions monitoring. A true
IIoT of the sort GE is developing would allow an asset owner to see how the whole system is
workingat the unit or fleet level.
Siemens monitors more than 9,000 turbines (wind and fossil-fuelled) online. Every day, the
gas turbines generate some 26 GB of data while wind turbines generate 200 GB. Remotely
monitoring turbines can provide multiple benefits, including longer service intervals and
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predictive maintenance and maintenance planning, which can lead to increased profitability
for customers. For wind turbines, Siemens says it can provide remote remedies for 85% of all
alarm situations.

Research Gap
After reviewing a number of literatures including research papers, journals and articles it was
found that adequate work has not been done on a detailed procedure for implementing and
monitoring efficiency improvement programs at a power station.
As Indian power plants lag in efficiency in comparison to world, a detailed guideline for plant
efficiency audit would prove highly beneficial.

Small size subcritical power plants are a major area of concern as far as efficiency is
concerned for Indian power plants. This research work takes the case study of one of the most
efficient subcritical power plant in India as a reference to create a basic guide line of best
practices for improving plant efficiency among the fleet of inefficient old power plants in the

After taking up a detailed study of efficiency management procedures and practices at a
typical subcritical plant, an overview of practices at Dahanu power plant is presented. Some
best practices at various power plants in India are also summarised. Two sets of questionnaire
for assessing efficiency management practices effectiveness at a plant are also designed.

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Various thermal power plants have implemented the techniques/ approaches available for
energy management to improve energy efficiency of equipments in the thermal power plant.
This research focuses on energy management practices followed in thermal power plant to
identify the areas for improvement of energy efficiency of the plant. With implementation of
periodic energy audits, energy conservation measures, process optimization and diagnostic
studies, energy consumption can be reduced substantially in the plant for cost competitiveness
and increase in profitability



A typical thermal power plant is having installed capacity of 4 x 210 MW and 1x 500 MW.
The present total installed capacity of the thermal power plant is 1340 MW. The primary
sources of energy for power generation are coal, furnace oil (FO) & light diesel oil (LDO).
The basic fuel is coal (99.545%) for generating power. The data was collected to carry out the
detailed energy consumption in thermal power plant to implement energy management
aspects to improve the performance of the plant.


A typical thermal power plant is having a pulverized coal fired boiler with BHEL make turbo
generator. In a thermal power plant the raw coal is crushed and pulverized in the mills to the
size of 200 mesh. The primary air supply dries and transports the coal into the boiler furnace.
The coal burns in the furnace to generate superheated steam which drives a turbine connected
to an alternator to generate electricity. After steam passes through the turbine, the steam is
condensed in a condenser and again resends back to the boiler with the help of pumps for
steam production. The process of power generation is shown in figure1

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The flow chart for carrying energy management improvement plan is shown in the figure 2..

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The performance parameters of the plant based on design and operating values have been
studied. It was observed that there is a gap between the design values and operating values of
performance indicators. The following are the observations shown in table 1.

As per the table 1 the input factors planning and operating procedures, energy policy and
objectives and the third is maintenance management which are most influencing on the
performance indicators under study. These energy management factors have positive impact
on improvement of plant performance, fuel energy consumption and plant auxiliaries
efficiency. The energy consumption sources namely coal, light diesel oil (LDO) and furnace
oil (FO) for the power plant for energy management study has been found from the previous
data available for the years from 2010-11 with energy management cell and it is shown in the
table 2.

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Five years energy consumption data is used for calculating the average energy consumption of
various sources. The details of the analysis is seen from the figure 3 coal is the main source of
energy which contributes to around 98.67%, while LDO contributes around 1.2% and the rest
is FO consumption. The monthly coal consumption and yearly LDO and FO consumption is
in the figures 3, 4 and 5 respectively.

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The following is the energy policy declared by the top management to achieve the targets and
objectives as shown below.

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The thermal power plant has set the following objectives of energy management to be
 Plant performance (availability factor) 73%
 Plant performance (plant load factor) 73%
 Fuel energy consumption (specific oil consumption) 4 ml/KWH
 Electrical energy consumption (auxiliary power consumption) 10.3%
 Fuel energy consumption (gross plant heat rate) 2612 Kcal/ KWH



The purpose of energy management team is to find out the potential areas of performance
improvement, to operate the power plant at highest energy efficiency & optimum cost and to

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create awareness about energy efficiency amongst all the operation and maintenance staff.
Energy management cell achieves objective of highest energy efficiency and at optimum
cost through following steps.
 Regular internal energy audits
 Documentation for energy management activity
 Regular energy audits through accredited energy audit firms
 Regular filling of energy returns to state level designated agency
 Enhancement of employees knowledge through internal training programmes
 Energy conservation projects Identification, Evaluation & Implementation
 Application of energy efficiency techniques in the entire gamut of activities including
purchase, training, operation & maintenance, inspection & testing etc.
 establishing the efficiency test procedures & schedules for all equipments & systems
 Appointment of certified energy auditors and managers

The energy auditors and managers are to be employed in energy management team who are
certified by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and passed the examination conducted by
BEE. They should have experience in carrying out energy audit of thermal power plant. The
typical energy management team for the plant is shown in the figure 6.

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The performance testing exercise intends to measure the boiler efficiency & turbine output /
plant heat rate along with measurements of other critical parameters of boiler & turbine,
measurement of auxiliary power consumption of various critical auxiliaries of main plant and
balance of plant to establish the current values and deviations with respect to design values.
Areas contributing to the loss of efficiency are capacity short fall; heat rate deterioration and
higher auxiliary power consumption have been identified from the performance data collected
during test, calculations and analysis. The aim of the action plan is to verify the relationship
between the energy management factors and performance factors extracted from the data
analysis in this study paper. Keeping in view the gap identified between the design and
operating parameters, the action plan is suggested in this study. The factor planning and
operating procedures involve proper scheduling of various operations to reduce start up time
of the plant so as to bring the machine on bar quickly, running of various plant auxiliaries on
full load for efficient performance, standard operating procedures and written work

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instructions are practiced and documented and regular monitoring of energy consuming
auxiliaries is carried so as to find out energy consumption pattern. The action plan for energy
audit for the thermal power plant involves data collection of energy consumption of various
auxiliaries, in-depth analysis of equipments for performance for energy saving, potential areas
of energy improvement, team of energy auditors and managers is formed and external energy
audit is also carried out at-least once in a year. The action plan for energy policy and
objectives involve develop a policy for more efficient use of energy, energy policy is prepared
and communicated to all the employees, fix targets and objectives to meet the energy policy
and review how well the energy policy works, and continually improve energy management.
The action plan to achieve the performance improvement for the input factor; technological
innovations involve uses of the computer based performance package to monitor performance
of the power plant, use of energy efficient equipments is made in the plant. Heat recovery
technology is adopted wherever necessary/required. Use of energy efficient lighting in the
plant to save electricity, Number of suggestions come from the staff to improve the
performance related to energy management are then implemented and regular reviews and
improvements are made to acquire changes in the technology or to adopt modern technology
in the plant for energy saving. The action plan for input factor of team work and proactive
role of management include involvement of the management of the organization towards the
strategy adopted for performance improvement, a team approach such as cross functional
teams, group discussions in problem solving and continuous improvements adopted for
energy management, all department heads of the plant accept their responsibility for
performance improvement through energy management, management have a practice of
initiating corrective/preventive actions every month for energy saving, system for awarding

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employees for adopting good energy management practices and energy management manual
is prepared and circulated to all the employees.
The action plan to fulfil the requirement of maintenance management are based on equipment
performance analysis, the maintenance programs developed for energy saving based on
equipment performance, mostly reputed suppliers which have been certified to supply
standard material for energy saving are identified, equipment supplier is informed regarding
poor performance of equipments and maintenance planning of various equipments. The action
plan for maintenance management is essential to keep the plant equipments energy efficient
so as to maximize the performance.


The past and present data for fuel (thermal) energy consumption namely coal and oil was
analyzed. Monthly data was collected for coal and oil consumption, the data was collected for
36 months from the year 2010-11 to 2014-15 up to January 2015. The data was also collected
for gross heat rate, boiler efficiency, turbine efficiency and auxiliary power consumption. The
data was collected in the format as shown in table 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 below.

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Page 185 of 232



Based on the site walk down survey, analysis of information / data collected during various
tests and computation of results from these data and from the review of documents made
available, major observations are recorded here as under:Page 186 of 232

 The audit on unit along with their auxiliaries and common equipment in balance of
plant was conducted.
 Boiler and Turbine performance test at maximum continuous rating (MCR) was
carried out.
 Boiler test was carried out with 5 mills against the design of four as station didnt
agree for four mill operation due to operational constraints and coal quality.
 The overall plant housekeeping was poor.
 Boiler efficiency has been evaluated at maximum continuous rating.

The action plan for energy audit is as follows

 Defining scope of energy audit, e.g. walk through audit is suitable for organization
with limited resource and detailed audit is suitable for organization with more
 Forming an energy audit team.
 The team shall include management representatives, maintenance staff and energy
auditors and managers.
 Estimate time frame & budget, e.g. auditor-hours and the cost of measuring
instruments etc.
 Conducting site inspection & measurement to identify means for improvement.
 Analyzing data collected.
 Recommending the improvement actions and measures.

The results of energy audit are detailed as below

Boiler efficiency
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The boiler efficiency calculations are as per table 9.

There has been a deviation of about 1.86% in boiler efficiency with respect to performance
guarantee Test (as tested & without correction) efficiency. The unit was commissioned in year
2001. Considering the age of the unit, the deviation observed in boiler efficiency is on higher
side. The deviation in boiler efficiency however can be partially recovered by implementing
short term measures and implementation of better operation and maintenance (O&M)
Turbine heat rate calculations
The turbine cycle heat rate evaluated from test data at 100%, maximum continuous rating
condition. The results are shown in table 10 and 11.

There is a shortfall of 46.9 Kcal /kWh in heat rate at 100 % MCR load with respect to design
values. The shortfall can be partially recovered by implementing short term & long term
measures and implementation of better O&M practices. The steam consumption of unit is on
higher side due to poor vacuum.
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Auxiliary power consumption:

The power consumed by various plant auxiliaries is shown in the pie chart below. It is
observed that the power consumption by boiler feed pump, CW pumps, ID fans and PA fans
consume major power. It is essential to reduce this power consumption by implementing
energy management practices like planning and operating procedures, technological
innovations and maintenance management. The breakup of auxiliary power consumed by the
plant auxiliaries is shown in figure 7.

Major factors effecting deterioration in heat rate:

The major findings of the study are as follows
 Loss of heat rate due to condenser vacuum is 60.4 Kcal /KWh. The major factor
contributing to condenser vacuum deterioration is air ingress.
 Loss due to low main steam pressure at turbine inlet is 5.22 Kcal/KWh. It can be
minimized by operating Turbine at rated MS pressure.
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 HRH temperature during test was around 525 Deg C. It is causing a loss of 5.72
Kcal/kWh. The loss can be minimized by maintaining hot re heat (HRH) steam
temperature as close to design value as possible.
 Minor quantity (6.8 T/hr) of HRH attemperation flow was there during the test. Heat
rate loss due to HRH spray is 2.6 Kcal/KWh. The HRH attemperation has two effects.
It will cause heat rate loss and may also leads to deposition on initial stages of
intermediate pressure turbine (IPT) blades. HRH attemperation can be minimized
which will improve hot reheat temperature and also heat rate further.
 The final feed water temperature at HPH 6 outlet is 236.6 OC against the design value
of 241 OC. The effect of low final feed water temperature on heat rate is 3.13
Kcal/kWh. Both HP heater 6 and 5 are under performing. TTD, DCA being higher
than design and FW temperature rise less than design value.
 The evaluated HP cylinder efficiency during test was 82.5 %. There is a drop in HP
cylinder efficiency compared to design efficiency of 85.8% and previous audit value
of 83.55%. This drop may be due to increased blade depositions and blade
roughnesses, increased clearances in inter stage gland seals and blade tip seals.
 IP cylinder efficiency evaluated based on test data is 91.96% compared to design
figure of 90.26%. There could be minor error in IP inlet or outlet temperature DCS
data. The cylinder efficiency evaluation is very much sensitive to measured
temperatures. Based on the data captured, there is no much deterioration in IP
cylinder internals observed.
 The unaccounted loss evaluated is found to be 30.6 Kcal/KWh .It can be partly
recovered by attending to passing in high energy drains located in boiler and turbine

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side areas. Both HPBP valves downstream temperature was 450 deg C which may
reduce the creep life of CRH pipe lines. Passing in HPBP may be attended on priority.
 The extraction II stage pressure is much higher than design. Previous data (if
available) may be checked for ruling out the possibility of measurement error if any.
If the measurement is alright then it indicates a restriction in stage which may be due
to heavy deposits in moving & guide blades /damage. This may be leading to
blocking of steam flow & reduction in steam passing capacity of stage.
 Calculated CW flow (27066m3/hr) across condenser is less than design flow
(28500m2/hr). Condenser tubes cleaning may be carried out for removal of possible
blockage by dead leaves, loose debris etc. There may be slight under performance by
one of the pumps also. Pump performance may be monitored regularly and if any
major drop in CW flow is observed pump overhauling may be taken up.
 Unit auxiliary power consumption (APC) as determined during audit is 9.79%. This is
on higher side as compared with Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
recommendation of 8.5 % with natural cooling tower.
 Performance of Boiler feed pumps, Condensate extraction pumps, CW pumps and ID
/ FD Fans have been evaluated at present operating parameters. The performance of
BFP, CEP, PA fans, CW Pumps has shown slight deterioration. FD fan internal
inspection / overhauling is required to reduce power consumption.
 ID fans internal inspection/ overhauling and rectification of external air ingress shall
facilitate in stopping of one ID fan and shall lead to substantial reduction in unit aux.
power consumption.
 Unit aux. power consumption could be reduced by stopping one condenser vacuum
pump and using two ash disposal pumps in series instead of thee during de-ashing.
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 Thermal insulation of boiler needs attention and replacement / rectification at major

locations as observed during the survey.
 Measurement of Auxiliary power consumption (unit / stage / plant) should be done on
monthly / annual basis and should be trended. Present practice is to install Online
Energy Management System measures, displays and stores power consumption data
of all HT motors / Transformers, and provide reports on customized formats.
The estimated saving after implementation of recommendations has been computed. The aux.
power consumption saving is in the tune of 13.186 MUs equivalent to 8.3% reduction in aux.
power consumption with respect to previous year consumption. The estimated cost saving by
implementation of suggestions will result in an approx. saving of Rs. 1596 lakhs per annum.
The summary is shown in the in table 12 below.

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Energy management and performance monitoring

Electricity, being the primary input for any industry has been always of prime importance for
industrial growth of a country. The gap between supply and demand has been increasing as
the capacity addition is not able to cope up as the rate of increase in demand is more. It is
expected that by 2017, world energy requirement will go up by five times of its present
consumption. This needs the massive capacity addition in power generation. The capacity

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addition for power generation is a capital intensive and is having higher lead time; the other
possible option is to bridge the gap partly to operate the existing plant at its maximum output /
efficiency. The Energy management is one of such tools to optimize/ improve the plant
performance / efficiency.
Operation of power plant with optimum thermal performance & minimum aux. power
consumption is an important aspect of power generation. The savings due to optimization in
performance parameters and auxiliary power consumption is indirectly equivalent to capacity
addition. Performance monitoring is the tool used for evaluation of performance & efficiency
of equipments, aux. power consumption, lighting loads, DM water consumption, specific oil
consumption etc. of power plant and also for identifying the gaps & losses. The performance
assessment of power plant is a continuous process. The trending of energy performance
parameters i.e. Heat Rate, Efficiency, Aux. power consumption etc. will not only help to
diagnose the deterioration but also helps to plan timely corrective and preventive actions. It
also helps in reduction of O&M cost and inventory cost in addition to spare part planning for
maintenance and overhaul. Therefore by applying the energy management aspects like
planning and operating procedures, energy policy and objectives, team work and proactive
role of management, Technological innovations and Maintenance management can improve
the performance parameters such as Plant auxiliaries efficiency, Plant performance, Electrical
energy consumption and fuel energy consumption of the thermal power plant. The energy
management approaches for performance improvement are focused as follows.

Planning and operating procedures

Availability / reliability of power station become most vital parameter. However there are
instances when a power unit becomes unavailable for supplying the power to consumers.
Such instances cannot be forecasted. These events lead to sudden tripping of power plant or a
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forced withdrawal of generating unit. These are unplanned kind of outages. These events
increase the non availability for power plant in unplanned manner. Hence this requires even
stricter control. If such an outage happens during high demand period, it may even affect the
stability of regional power system also. Hence the aim of planning and operating the power
plant on design parameters plays major role in energy savings. Starting and shutdown of the
plant consumes much time due to which the availability of the plant and energy consumption
by the auxiliaries get affected. Shutdown Process time: Depending on the emergency we have
to take the forced or planned shutdown of the unit for attending the faults. The cycle time
required for this process of load reduction from full load to resynchronization of the unit from
grid called as shutdown process time. The average time of shutdown process is 1 - 2 hours.
Startup Process time: After attending the faults depending on the condition of the unit whether
hot, warm or cold we have to start the unit & synchronize it with the grid. The cycle time
required for start-up process is the time required for carrying out activities after receiving
clearance from maintenance up to achieving full load. The average time of start-up process is
4 10 hours. So any delay in activities between the shutdown & start up process will increase
cycle time. High cycle time leads to unpredictability in availability of the unit, High
generation cost. Both these factors directly affect the customer. Also it increases generation
cost due to High DM water consumption, Auxiliary power consumption, Generation loss &
excess oil consumption. As the cycle time required for start up process is high & there is wide
variation in the cycle time, so this project of reduction in start-up process time is selected.
Start-up of Units are divided in three category 1) Cold Start-up (Turbine HP shaft temperature
< 150C) 2) Warm Start-up (Turbine HP shaft temperature 150 350 C) 3) Hot Start-up
(Turbine HP shaft temperature >350C) Secondary energy consumption like oil and auxiliary
steam is high during startups. The availability of the units decreases and part load operation
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increases as the time required in achieving full load from the boiler light-up increases. The
average time required for
1) Cold start up 7 12 hours
2) Warm start-up 5 7 hours
3) Hot restart up 2 3 hours

Cold start-up is planned activity & done once or twice a year only after the major overhaul of
units. Warm and hot start-up being an unplanned activity where the bulk loss of oil and
auxiliary steam is high. Numbers of warm start-ups are 5-6 a year. The figure 7 shows below
the time required for cold start up process

From the previous data & above graph it is clear that cycle time for start varies from 7 to 13
hours. This variation in start up process cycle time leads to unpredictability in availability of
units. Also the high cycle time leads to:
 Higher generation costs
 Dissatisfaction to customer in competitive environment
 Generation loss (0.25 Million Units / Hour)
 Excess oil Consumption (8 KL/Hr)
 High auxiliary power consumption (1000 kWh/Hr)
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 High demineralised water consumption (32 Tons/Hr)

Technological innovation:
As per the result of the collected data, technological innovation plays significant role in the
energy management practices of thermal power plant to improve the performance of the plant.
Some of the examples implemented in the plant have been explained below to save the
a) Installation of variable frequency drive (VFD) for seal air fan
The Seal air fan is used for providing sealing of mills, classifier gates and feeders. There are
six mills and each mill have two seal air fan out of which one fan remains in service and other
remains as hot standby. One running seal air fan motor draws approximately 120 KW power.
The existing control used for the matching of fan requirement with the system requirement is
by damper control. Generally the header pressure requirement is 800- 1000 mm WC and the
fans generate 1350 mm WC of pressure. The loss taking place across the damper is major
source of energy wastage.
Technical and Financial analysis
It was concluded that the loss taking place across the damper is the major source of energy
wastage. Hence decision was taken to install the variable frequency drive for the fan.
Impact of implementation
Energy saving of Secondary Air Flow with 100% Damper open position when VFD in
Without VFD application fan consumption: 122 KW
With VFD application fan consumption: 58 KW
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Net energy saving due to VFD application: 64 KW

Energy savings per year: 6144 units X 350 days = 2150400 units
Estimated energy savings per year: 2150400 Units X Rs.2 per unit = Rs 43.00 lakhs
Cost of VFD: Rs.30.5 Lakhs /- per unit
Payback period =10 months
b) Use of variable frequency drive (VFD) for HFO pump
A coal based boiler requires to fire oil to support coal combustion. So as to keep the
availability of the support fuel, an HFO firing pump is provided. The HFO firing pump is
provided with a minimum recirculation valve so as to ensure minimum oil flow from the
During the normal operation of both the units, the HFO consumption is zero. The HFO gets
re-circulated through short and long re-circulation line of both boilers to maintain the HFO
temperature. Flow through short & long re-circulation is very less & maximum quantity of
HFO is re-circulated through Pressure Control Valve (PCV), located near the HFO firing
pumps, to HFO tank. PCV maintains the HFO discharge header pressure at 21-23 Kg/cm2 &
remains approx. 50% open during normal operation of both units.
Technical & Financial analysis
Hence it was decided to install VFD for HFO firing pump motor rated 415V, 37 KW, to
control and maintain the required flow and pressure of HFO by varying the speed of motor.
Impact of implementation
Energy consumption by pump will reduce considerably after installation of VFD. The
proposed payback period is less than one year. Energy consumption by pump will reduce
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considerably after installation of VFD. The proposed payback period is less than one year.
Installation and commissioning of suitable VFD for the 37 KW, 415 V HFO pump to have
optimum performance with considerable energy saving. During normal re-circulation mode
average power measurement is
Without VFD @ 18.10KW
With VFD @ 8.36KW
Difference @ 9.74, saving in KWH = KW *HR *DAYS = 9.74*24*365 KWH = 85322
KWH, Saving in rupees @ Rs. 3.50 = 298628 per year, Cost of VFD = Rs.1, 63,223, Simple
Payback period is 200 days or 6.65 months
c) CW pumps modification
There are three CW Pumps in unit 4, two as main & one as standby. Pump designed flow is
16500 M/Hr and motor capacity is 1265 kW. Pump efficiency and can be improved by
applying polymer coating on pump internals. There are manufacturers, who claim that pump
efficiency can be improved by 5-6 % by coating. Energy consumption by such coating can be
reduced by 4-5 %. Total Power Drawn by two pumps = 2261 kW, Expected Power after
improvement in efficiency = (1-.04)*2261, (Assuming 4 % improvement in power
consumption) = 2170 kW, Expected Running Hours (assumed) = 8000 Hrs, Power saving =
(2260-2170) =90 KW, Energy saving (Units) = 90* 8000 = 7, 20,000 kWh = 0.7 MUs, Cost
of annual energy saving (Rs) = 7, 20,000 *2.58 = 18, 57,600 = Rs.18.6 Lakhs, Approximate
cost of polymer coating on both pump internals = (Rs) 20 Lakhs, Pay Back Period = One Year
d) Replace the existing feed pumps Automatic Recirculation Control (ARC) valves with
multi stage pressure reduction drag valves

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During the study the feed water pumps were studied in details for possible energy savings.
Auto re-circulation valves of the boiler feed water pumps were examined using the infrared
temperature indicator. ARC valves are normally provided to protect the pump during no flow
and low flow periods. During normal operation these valve should be fully closed and they
should be automatically opened if the feed discharge pressure goes beyond certain pressure.
In unit 4 (210 MW) there are 3 nos of feed water pumps are present, out of which 2 are in
continuous operation. The pipe surface temperatures before & after the ARC valve indicates
that the ARC valves of some of the operating feed pumps are passing. This means certain
amount of boiler feed water is continuously re-circulating back to the de-aerator.
Recirculation results in increasing the power consumption of the pump. There is an
opportunity to save energy by replacing the ARC valves with new valves. In ARC valve the
entire pressure drop (discharge pressure to deaerator pressure) happens in two / three stages.
This leads to significant erosion of the diaphragms. The latest trend is to install multi-pressure
reduction drag valves. These valves reduce the pressure drop across the valve in even more
stages which results in increasing the life of the valve. Many plants have installed these multi
stage pressure reduction drag valves and have saved good amount of energy. Due to the
reduction of pressure in number of stage the life of these valves is considerably high
compared to the normal ARC valves. We recommend the following: Replace the existing
ARC valves will multi stage pressure reduction drag valve in unit 4. As a first step replace
one of the valves
Later replace all the valves of other feed pumps in operation. On an average the power
consumption of one BFP pump in unit 4 is 2400 kW. On a conservative basis at least 4%
reduction in power consumption is possible. Reduction in power = 2400 kW x 0.04 = 96 kW
Annual Savings = 96 kW x 8000hrs x Rs. 2.4/kWh = Rs. 18, 43,200/- = Say Rs. 18.00 Lakhs
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Investment for installing multi stage drag reduction valve for one pump in unit 4 = Rs. 40.00
Lakhs, Payback Period = Rs. 40.0 Lakhs x 12 months / Rs. 18.0 Lakhs = 27 months
e) Timely replacement of BFP cartridges
The BFP, or boiler feed pump is a very critical part of the boiler system. It regulates the
amount of feed water going into the boiler drum and is part of a complex control system
which involves controlling of the throttle valves and regulating the water supply based on the
pre existent water and steam levels in the drum. Thus it is often observed that BFP takes a lot
of power. However if BFP takes higher power, chances of interstage leakage in the
recirculation process happen. Therefore, it should be observed as well as checked regularly
and the BFP cartridge should be inspected thoroughly on a regular basis. If the need arises, it
should change for better efficiency and less power consumption.
Impact of Implementation
After replacing the cartridge the current drawn by BFP reduced by 60 Amp. Power saved per
day= 1.66*6.6*60*.84*24= 13,252 KWH, Power saved per year= 4837,117.82 KWH Saving
of cost= 4837, 117.82*3.4= Rs16829515

Maintenance management

Maintenance management is vital energy management factor for the plant availability, plant
load factor, cost of power generated and power sent out in the grid. The maintenance of main
equipments viz boiler, turbine and generator and there auxiliaries is important for achieving
high plant load factor and less auxiliary power consumption. Therefore maintenance planning
and annual overall of the plant is essential to improve plant performance and reduce electrical
energy and fuel energy consumption. The case study of boiler tube failure is quoted below.
Boiler maintenance for minimizing boiler tube failure

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Boiler tube leakage is one of the major reasons for forced outage. The forced outage leads to
reduction in power generation and hence reduction in plant load factor and increased oil
consumption due to increased cold start up of boilers. Over stressing, Starvation, overheating
of tubes, creep life exhaustion, stress corrosion, waterside corrosion, fireside erosion,
hydrogen embrittlement, age embrittlement, thermal shocks, improper operating practices,
poor maintenance, welding defects etc are the major causes for boiler tube failure. If a boiler
has to continue to function at a given / desired level of availability, its constituent items need
some expected level of maintenance either by replacement or by repair. The analysis of causes
for boiler tube failure in the thermal power plant shows that maximum failures were due to
ash erosion with 43% shop floor / site weld defects 16%, blockage of reheater tubes 11%,
steam erosion 10%, secondary air erosion 8%, attachment weld 6%, material defect 3% and
creep failure 3%. The analysis of area wise tube failure indicates that about 40% of the failure
occurred in super heater zone, 25% of the failure in water walls, 20% of the failures occurred
in economizer and remaining 15% failure occurred in reheater zone. Due to preventive
maintenance it is found that the tube failure rate has reduced from 3.36 failures per year to
0.43 failures per year.

Summary of energy management implementation

The energy management approaches were implemented in the said thermal power plant with
the following objectives
1) Heat Rate improvement and optimization of operational parameters.
2) Identification of equipment efficiency degradation / improvement areas
3) Auxiliary power consumption reduction
4) Technological innovation for energy savings of auxiliaries

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For this, the walk down survey of plant, interaction with plant and measurement of various
plant parameters including auxiliary power consumption measurement of major equipments,
lighting illumination survey, air conditioning load, Thermal insulation survey was carried out.
Based on the data collected during this exercise, the computation of plant performance indices
such as boiler efficiency, various losses in boiler, air heater efficiency / leakage, turbine heat
rate, cylinder efficiency, heaters performance, condenser performance, auxiliary Power
consumption etc have been done. The comparison with design data, where ever available, has
been carried out to ascertain the deteriorations. Also gap analysis was carried out and
measures have been suggested for improvements. With this approach, output / heat rate
deviations have been identified and quantified. This pro-active role of energy management
approach is accomplished by identifying key primary process indicators, which if
monitored regularly, will help in taking corrective actions immediately if any deterioration is
noticed. A secondary purpose for monitoring such primary process indicators shall be to assist
in instrument validation/instrument calibration. By closely monitoring critical instruments,
drifts or irregularities in them can be quickly identified and the instruments calibrated or
replaced. This approach has several advantages such as:
 The requirement of fuel will be reduced. This lowers the cost of electricity generation.
 Improved heat rate reduces the amount of greenhouse gases .It amounts to the
reduction of emissions to the environment.
 The identification of causes for higher auxiliary power consumption and its
rectification results in increased net power output.
 The identification of causes for higher auxiliary power consumption and its
rectification results in increased net power output.

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The saving per year after implementing energy management approaches is summarized as
1) Boiler efficiency- Coal Saving- 11480.7 MT/year

Cost saving Rs 253.1 Lakhs

2) Turbine Heat Rate Improvement - 51.83 KCL/KWH

Cost saving due to HR improvement Rs 1003.58 lakhs

3) Thermal insulation replacement - Coal saving - 864.3 MT/year

Cost saving Rs 19.03 Lakhs Investment - Rs 2.28 Lakhs

4) Auxiliary power consumption reduction Saving 13.186 MUs

Cost saving Rs 1595.72 lakhs Investment Rs 35 lakhs The above results indicate that
there are improvements in performance factors of electrical energy consumption, fuel energy
consumption, plant performance and plant auxiliaries efficiency due to energy management
approaches and its implementation in thermal power plant.


After implementing the energy management approaches like 1) Planning and operating
procedures 2) Energy Audit 3) Energy policy and objectives 4) Team work and proactive role
of management 5) Technological innovations and 6) Maintenance management, there is an
improvement in the performance parameters i.e. 1) Plant auxiliaries efficiency 2) Electrical
energy consumption 3) Plant performance and 4) Fuel energy consumption. The energy audit
of thermal power plant plays major role in implementing the energy management practices for
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energy saving. It is also possible to develop a model between energy management approaches
and performance indicators for the thermal power plant for energy efficiency, saving in
energy and minimize the cost of power generation so as to maximize the profit.


The commercial operation of this plant started in 1995-96 catering needs of the power to
commercial capital Mumbai and best Environmentally Performing Power Plant. Dahanu is
Operating in Eco Sensitive Zone and following Stringent Environmental Norms. The plant is
Winner of more than 100 National & International Awards and 1st Company in the World to
Achieve Certification of ISO 50001:2011 for Energy Management. The statistical data for the
various performance indicators is given below from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

Plant Performance

The performance of the plant as compared to norms of design/ CERC is shown below

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Page 206 of 232

The comparison of various performance parameters of DTPS with NTPC ltd. thermal power
plants is shown below


Energy management system

 Energy policy established
 Structured Energy management Cell
 Identify, Evaluate and Analyze Energy use & Consumption ( Coal, Oil, electricity
, Water)
 Periodic Energy Audit as per Central Electricity Authority (CEA) Guidelines
 Daily energy deviation reporting
 Total 25 Energy auditors
 E- LAN System for Energy Consumption Monitoring.
 Adopting new energy efficient and new technology.
 Managing energy by adopting best practices.
 Carrying out regular energy audits
 Complying with all relevant regulatory and statutory requirements


Establishment of Energy Management Cell in Dahanu Thermal Power Plant

& Strategies
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Under the Energy conservation Act 2001, all thermal power plants falling under Designated
Consumers category is to nominate or appoint certified energy manager apart from setting up
an energy management cell. Detailed survey was carried out by Ministry of Power, Govt. of
India circulating the questionnaire to all designated consumers of thermal power plants to
obtain the status on the following:
 Establishment of energy efficiency cells
 Engaging of certified energy managers and Auditors
 Roles and responsibilities
 Organizational structure pertaining to energy management cell
 Present status of procedures to measure energy efficiency

Under the Energy conservation Act, all thermal power plants falling under Designated
Consumers category needs to take up specified activities. One important activity for
Designated Consumer is to nominate or appoint energy manager possessing certified energy
manager certification from Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) apart from setting up an
energy management cell. The energy manager and energy cell occupies an important position
in the organization. Energy manager will be the focal point of all the activities pertaining to
energy management in the organization. Energy manager will have certain mandatory duties
& responsibilities to fulfil the EC act requirements by the designated consumer.

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The objectives of Energy Management Cell (EMC)

To operate the power station at highest energy efficiency & optimum cost and to create
awareness about energy conservation amongst all stakeholders. EMC achieves objective of
highest energy efficiency and at optimum cost through following steps.

Regular internal Energy Audits

Documentation for energy management activity

Regular energy audits through accredited energy audit firms

Regular filling of energy returns to state level designated agency

Enhancement of employees knowledge through internal training programme

Energy conservation projects Identification, Evaluation & Implementation

Application of energy conservation techniques in the entire gamut of activities of

DTPS including purchase, Training ,O&M, Inspection & Testing etc.

Establishing the efficiency test procedures & schedules for all equipments & systems


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EMC achieves objective of Awareness drive through following initiatives.


Display of posters and slogans in plant area

Ongoing sensitization campaign for all employees

Create awareness among local school children about energy conservation

Employees suggestion scheme

Celebration of Energy Conservation week

Competition of posters & slogans

Film show

display of energy conservation projects

Technical training sessions from internal & external faculty

Energy conservation walk involving all employees

Energy monitoring & targeting

Objectives & targets are set for departmental level as well as individual level. All objectives
& targets are in line with corporate strategy & objectives. Everybody is responsible for energy
productivity through KRI & KPI. KRA & KPI dashboards are reviewed on plant level as well
as corporate level. Plant Level Review consist review of Plant performance, Maintenance,
Condition monitoring, Generation cost, Heat rate losses and analysis reports. On Shift basis /
Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Half Yearly Calendar year / Financial year basis Corporate review
macro level in nature & consist of Plant performance, Profitability, Environmental reports
aspects. Not meeting the target is noncompliance product & it is resolved by CA/PA actions.

Energy Management Policy

Reliance Energy Limited DTPS is committed to be the most efficient integrated energy utility
in the world. Our mission is to use all energy resources most efficiently and thereby
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minimizing the impact of our operations on environment and conserving the scarce natural
resources. This we plan to achieve by, Adopting appropriate energy efficient and clean
technologies in process design, procurement, implementation and also continually upgrade
our performance, managing efficient use of all forms of energy by adopting industry wide best
practices, continually benchmarking our energy performance against the best in the world,
improving our competitiveness by training and knowledge sharing, creating awareness about
efficient use of energy and conservation methods amongst all our stakeholders, carrying out
regular energy audits to identify areas for improvement and complying with all relevant state
regulatory and statutory requirements on energy management.

Energy management initiatives

 Installation of Magna Drive Coupling for coal conveyor 6A
 Installation of 2HP Solar water Pump
 Improving heat rate by replacement of Unit-2 APH baskets, gratings and seals.
 Installation of Turbo wind ventilators
 Installation of IFC for service air system
 Installation of 900 Liters Per Day Solar water heater at colony stage-2
 Replacement of fluorescent lamp fixtures by fluorescent lamps (CFL) compact
 Replacing existing GT cooling pumps by energy efficient pumps

Energy management achievements (Table 3 below)

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Energy Saving Projects Implemented during 2011- 2012 (Table 4 below)

Energy Saving Projects Implemented during 2010- 2011(Table 5 below)

Energy Saving Projects Implemented during 2009- 2010 (Table 6 below)

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Energy management planning for ENCON project for next 3 years (Table 7 below)

Reliance Energy Limited, Suggestions for effective implementation of Energy

management in power plant:
Thermal power sector has challenge of meeting growing demand by increasing generation.
Bridging of supply & demand gap is difficult since generation is not increasing with same
ratio as demand increases. Generation is lagging behind supply because thermal power plant
is capital intensive & need long lead time for plant construction & modification. As it is
known fact that thermal power plant utilizing only 30% of energy value of primary fuel, there
is 70% loss mostly in the form of heat, all generation utilities should be made more
responsible for energy productivity. To increase energy productivity, most essential step is to
upgrade generation efficiency. As we know that saving of one electrical unit is equivalent to
two units generated, energy conservation plays vital role to bridge the gap between supply &
demand. Suggestions for effective implementation of Energy Management in power plant are
given below
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Top management support: - Energy management programme needs total support of top
management for success. Top management should give energy efficiency equal importance in
their corporate objective as in case of manpower, raw materials, production & sales.
Training: - Human capital plays important role in implementation of EC act 2001, training &
awareness is necessary to all employees. A well trained employee can increase energy
Formation of Energy Management cell (EMC):- It will execute energy management
activities across different parts of organization.
Management by objective (MBO):- While setting Key performance indicator (KPI) & Key
result area (KRA) energy efficiency aspect must be considered. All plant personnel must be
involved in energy management programme. Due to KRA & KPI everybody is responsible for
energy productivity and cost effectiveness.
Monitoring & control: - Regular evaluation of energy programme is necessary. Regular
monitoring of KPI dashboard will give idea of deviation if any. Necessary corrective,
preventive action plant is prepared to achieve target.
Adoption of best practices: - Best practice is a process, technique or innovative use of
resources & has a proven record of success in providing significant improvement in
Awards & Recognition: - It will motivate the people & increase participation in energy



Thermal power plants contribute 70% of Indias power generation installed capacity. Thermal
power plant is designated sector as per EC ACT-2001. It is not possible to meet the growing
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demand due to long gestation period of power plant. Only solution is to reduce auxiliary
power consumption by energy conservation & energy efficiency practices. There is
tremendous scope in power sector for reducing auxiliary power consumption (APC). In India,
It is estimated that; reduction in APC by 1%, which is equivalent of generation of 5000 MUs
of energy per annum. Saved energy can be sold out to minimize the gap between supply &
demand. Energy audit & analysis help us to identify number of energy conservation options.
EC Act-2001 & Electricity Act-2003 has changed the scenario of power sector & made it
more accountable. This changed scenario impacted the bottom line of power generation
utilities. Hence the ways to retain ones competitive edge in the fiercely competitive industry
are: - Increase in Plant load factor (PLF), Improvement in Heat rate, Improvement in APC,
Reduction in O & M expenditure, Reduction in distribution losses, Better cost management.

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Coal is the least costly and most accessible fuel for some of the most dynamic developing
economies. Its use at coal-fired power plants accounts for over 28% of global CO2 emissions,
a share that is rising. An absolute priority is to enhance plant efficiency, which can
significantly reduce CO2 emissions and the volume of coal consumed. Available technology
can deliver fuel savings of 50%.
Worldwide coal-fired power plant efficiency averages around 33% (LHV, net output).
Implementation of the suggested measures from IEA work carried out in support of the G8
Gleneagles Plan of Action could result in the replacement of some 300 GW and retrofit of
some 200 GW of older coal-fired power plant capacity, while ensuring that all new plants are
state-of-the-art. This could, if fully implemented, lead to a reduction of up to 1.7 Gt per
annum of CO2 emissions which is roughly one-quarter of annual CO2 emissions from coalfired heat and power production and a reduction in coal consumption of at least 0.5 Gt per
To improve the operating efficiency of the global fleet of coal-fired power plants and
thereby significantly reduce CO2 emissions the IEA recommends that governments focus
on the following policy approaches:

New coal-fired power plants should be >40% efficient.26 Governments should look to
replace by 2020 those coal-fired power plants built over 25 years ago and <300 MW. All
other coal-fired power plants should be assessed for upgrading or replacement to achieve
around 40% efficiency.

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International cooperation, training and financing mechanisms should be focussed on

achieving the above best-practice efficiency objectives in the design, operation and
maintenance of coal-fired power plants and electricity grids.

The development and demonstration of those technologies that target higher efficiency at
coal-fired power plants should be accelerated. For example, advanced materials, coal cleaning
and drying, cogeneration of heat and power, and more efficient CO2 capture technologies all
need to be deployed.
In addition to these efficiency improvements, the deployment of CO2 capture and storage
(CCS) technology is vital. The aim of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 implies that
virtually all coal-fired power plants will need CCS by then (including some under
construction now). Based on IEA recommendations, G8 governments strongly support the
launching of twenty fully integrated industrial-scale CCS demonstration projects globally,
with a view to beginning broad deployment of CCS by 2020. The IEA further recommends
that any developer of a new coal-fired power plant should consider now what might be
required to retrofit CCS. In 2009, at the request of G8 leaders, the IEA launched a CCS
technology roadmap that presents a detailed scenario for the deployment of CCS technologies,
from a handful of demonstration projects to over three thousand projects by 2050 (IEA,
2009). The contribution of CCS to reducing global emissions under this scenario is
significant: by 2050, CCS contributes almost one-fifth of the necessary emissions reduction to
achieve stabilisation of atmospheric GHG concentrations in the most cost-effective manner
Reporting efficiency performance
Defining a new comprehensive methodology to rationalise plant efficiency reporting is not a
practical proposition given the many different reporting bases and assumptions already in use
around the world. Instead, a range of approximate corrections is proposed, requiring only
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limited information that can be collected even where the detailed bases of the original
calculations are not known. Average figures, reported over a timescale of one month or more,
will be inherently more reliable, reflecting the actual efficiency achieved more accurately than
design values, performance guarantees or short-term tests under ideal conditions. The
corrected data can then be compared with data for plants adopting best practices.
Improved collection of performance data
An essential part of sound policy development is the rigorous analysis of information which
should be internally consistent and verifiable. Reliable power plant operating information is
not easy to obtain, whether on a unit or whole-plant basis, particularly efficiency-related
information such as coal quality, coal consumption and electricity generation. It is therefore
proposed that an international database of annual average coal-fired power unit operating
information should be established for the purposes of determining, monitoring, projecting,
reporting and comparing coal-fired power plant efficiencies and specific CO2 emissions. Such
a database could be maintained by the IEA Energy Statistics Division or by the IEA Clean
Coal Centre Implementing Agreement (IEA CCC) as an extension of its existing CoalPower5
database of world coal-fired power plants.
The regular updating of such a data-collection system would require manpower resources in
addition to those that are currently employed to maintain the IEA CCC database. Although the
general concept and outline of such a scheme is proposed in this report, the specific
arrangements for data submission, processing and access would require further discussion and
agreement with IEA member countries and non-member countries
9.1 Performance benchmarking
In order to be useful in its underlying aim of encouraging best practice in coal use and
understanding the potential for further improvement, an agreed view of best-practice
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performance would be needed. This should reflect efficiency and specific CO2 emissions at a
number of exemplary coal-fired power plants, covering different plant designs and operating
conditions. These best-practice performance figures may then be used as benchmarks,
providing a basis for participating countries to consult with industry to determine appropriate
future development strategies that reflect regional constraints and objectives. It should be
recognised that the most efficient plant may not necessarily be the most economic plant to
build, own and operate, or provide the best long-term security of supply. A better
understanding of plant performance allows decision makers to better address the compromises
that must be made
9.2 The way forward
Policy makers must reflect on what steps are now needed to improve the overall efficiency of
power generation from coal. This report presents the tools for analysis and makes
recommendations on how to use these tools to compare performance. This will allow poorly
performing plants to be identified, wherever they are located. The costs and benefits of
refurbishing, upgrading or replacing these plants can be estimated as the first stage in
developing new policies that would encourage greater efficiency. The prize is large: some
estimates suggest that 1.7 GtCO2 could be saved annually. However, securing this reward
would demand a major realignment of national energy and environmental policies, a
realignment that may be less politically acceptable than allowing old, inefficient coal fired
power plants to continue running, in the hope that they will eventually fade away. Given that
there appears to be no prospect of meeting global electricity demand without coal,
governments must implement policies that respond more proactively to the growing use of
coal, rather than wishing it away. Monitoring the efficiency of power plants and targeting
those that perform poorly would be a step in that direction.
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Research Questionnaire for Plant Maintenance Staff

Please answer the questions to the best of your knowledge Write your responses in the space
provided Please put a tick () where appropriate.
Section A: Background Information
1. What is your age group?

Below 30: ( ) 30-40 yrs: ( ) 40 50 yrs: ( ) Above 50yrs( )

2. What is your gender?

Female: ( ) Male: ( )
3. What is the highest level of education you have attained?
a. High school or equivalent: ( )
b. Certificate: ( )
c. Diploma/ higher diploma or equivalent: ( )
d. Degree: ( )
e. Masters: ( )
f. Doctorate: ( )
4. What is your designation?

a) Manager

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b) Chief Engineer

c) Engineer
d) Technician

Section B: Main Maintenance Practices



5. Are you familiar with corrective based maintenance?

6. Are you familiar with preventive based maintenance?

7. Are you familiar with condition based maintenance

8. Are you familiar with Plant Maintenance module in SAP?

9. Do you use the Plant Maintenances in management of your maintenance works

10. Does your plant have a maintenance procedure for all its equipment

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11. Is the maintenance procedures (checklist) followed during the maintenances?

12. Are the measured parameters during the maintenance works benchmarked to any
known standard?

13. Does your station have an annual training plan for every maintenance staff?

14. Do you have a service level agreement for provision of spares with manufacturers?

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Benchmarking Plant Maintenance Practices with World Best



Plants mean



% var

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1) Name of the Organization:
2) Name of the Respondent: 3) Designation:4) E-mail of respondent: 5) When the Energy cell was formed details:6) Is the organization certified for ISO 50001 for Energy management systems:7) Energy Policy:8) Energy objectives:9) Program plan for energy management:10) List of measure energy consuming auxiliaries:11) Details of energy performance indicators:12) Details of Energy Audit conducted in your plant:13) Corrective actions taken on Energy Audit findings:14) Details of causes of energy reductions in the plant:15) Resources provided for Energy management Cell:16) No of Energy Auditors in the plant:17) Infrastructural / technical changes made for energy savings:18) Training programs conducted for awareness of Energy Management in the plant:19) Constraints/ problems in implementing Energy management system:20) Results and future plans:Page 230 of 232


AGO (Australian Greenhouse Office) (2000a), Integrating Consultancy Efficiency Standards for
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Page 231 of 232

BSI (2003), Water-Tube Boilers and Auxiliary Installations: Acceptance Tests, BS EN 1295215:2003,
BSI Group, London, October.
BSI (2006a), Greenhouse Gases. Specification with Guidance at the Organization Level for
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ISO 140642:2006, BSI Group, London, March.
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