Combined-cycle gas-fired power station returns to full 860MW output
Global power generation firm, InterGen, was experiencing a steady decline in output from its 860MW combined-cycle, gas-fired, power station in the UK. The problem was traced to reduced efficiency of the plant’s air cooled condenser (ACC), whose fin-fan units had progressively become clogged with pollen and other dust from surrounding agricultural land.
The built-in cleaning system could not clean the ACC fast enough, so Tube Tech was called in.
Following a week of intensive night working by Tube Tech, the ACC was completely cleaned and the power station was restored from a 500MW to its design output. The 860MW plant is a combined-cycle facility, using a combination of two GE gas turbines and a Hitachi steam turbine.
The facility’s extremely efficient, low-noise, environmentally sound air-cooled condenser allows it to use 90% less water than typical water-cooled plants. The plant also achieves very high levels of efficiency by directing the exhaust heat from the combustion turbines to heat recovery steam generators (or boilers) that then produce additional power from a steam turbine.
The steam condenses rapidly as it is passed through a massive air cooled condenser (ACC) to create a vacuum that increases pressure and efficiency in the turbine. The ACC is comprised of 35 fin-fan units arranged in seven ‘streets’, with five plenums per street.
The plant’s efficiency means that it is among the cleanest fossil-fuel power plants in the United Kingdom.