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Facing the challenge of decentralized energy generationLaborelec research condition monitoring gas turbines

How do new flexibility demands affect your power plant?

Coal-fired and combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) operators are increasingly taking measures to become more flexible. However, these power plants were not designed to operate in this way. Therefore, the impact of greater flexibility on plant equipment and life time expectancy remains unknown. Laborelec is investigating the effects of increased flexibility and ways to tackle them.

Power grids are increasingly prone to instability. The ever-increasing decentralization and intermittent character of energy generation requires frequent power plant start-ups and shutdowns and can lead to long downtimes. The aim of our research is to define increased flexibility’s effects and provide power plants with accurate means to tackle its drawbacks.

Uncovering the risks of greater flexibility

Laborelec experts are examining the effects of lowering the technical minimum and the impact of increasing the ramping rate on plant equipment and the plant’s life time expectancy. Among other things, we are looking at risk mitigation through modelling, condition monitoring, and simulations. We expect the first results by the end of 2012.

From theory to practice

We participate in Flex 2013, a GDF SUEZ BEE Metier Generation project, by, for example, working on making Siemens V93 gas turbines more flexible. We are also investigating how we can safely conserve power plants during downtime. This is especially important in countries such as Spain and France that have considerably more power plants that experience long downtimes.

Want to find out what greater flexibility means for your coal-fired or CCGT power plant?

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