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Thermodynamic Analysis of Zero-Atmospheric Emissions Power Plant

[+] Author Affiliations
Joel Martinez-Frias, Salvador M. Aceves, J. Ray Smith

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA

Harry Brandt

Clean Energy Systems, Inc., Sacramento, CA

Paper No. IMECE2002-33199, pp. 327-336; 10 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advanced Energy Systems
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3626-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


This paper presents a thermodynamic analysis of a natural gas zero-atmospheric emissions power plant with a net electrical output of 400 MW. In this power plant, methane is combusted with oxygen in a gas generator to produce the working fluid for the turbines. The combustion produces a gas mixture composed of steam and carbon dioxide. These gases drive multiple turbines to produce electricity. The turbine discharge gases pass to a condenser where water is captured as liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide is pumped from the system. The carbon dioxide can be economically conditioned for enhanced recovery of oil, or coal-bed methane, or for sequestration in a subterranean formation. The analysis considers a complete power plant layout, including an air separation unit, compressors and intercoolers for oxygen and methane compression, a gas generator, three steam turbines, a reheater, a preheater, a condenser, and a carbon dioxide pumping system to pump the carbon dioxide to the pressure required for sequestration. The computer code is a powerful tool for estimating the efficiency of the plant, given different configurations and technologies. The efficiency of the power plant has been calculated over a wide range of conditions as a function of the two important power plant parameters of turbine inlet temperature and turbine isentropic efficiency. This simulation is based on a 400 MW electric power generating plant that uses turbines that are currently under development by a U.S. turbine manufacturer. The high-pressure turbine would operate at a temperature of 1089 K (1500 °F) with uncooled blades, the intermediate-pressure turbine would operate at 1478 K (2200 °F) with cooled blades and the low-pressure turbine would operate at 998 K (1336 °F). The corresponding turbine isentropic efficiencies for these three turbines were taken as 90, 91 and 93 percent. With these operating conditions, the zero-atmospheric emissions electric power plant has a net thermal efficiency of 46.5%. This net thermal efficiency is based on the lower heating value of methane, and includes the energy necessary for air separation and for carbon dioxide separation and sequestration.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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