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Latest Technology of Highly Efficient Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants and Future Prospects
TAKAO HASHIMOTO*1 YOSHINORI TANAKA*1 MASAHIKO HOKANO*2 DAIJIRO HIRASAKI*1
Against the background of soaring crude oil prices, coal, which has a comparatively low unit price per calorific power and a steady price with less fluctuations, is expected to be used more widely in the future. On the other hand, the annual electric power generated in Japan by thermal power plants using fossil fuels such as coal, LNG and petroleum in 2005 was approximately 60% of the total power, so that control of CO2 emissions from thermal power plants is the most important factor for limiting greenhouse effect gas emissions. Since coal amounts to about 25% of the annual power generation, it is necessary for countermeasures against global warming to take measures to limit CO2 emissions through highly efficient power generation.
1. Status of highly efficient coal-fired power generation technology
For conventional thermal power plants, each unit capacity has been increased and high-temperature and high-pressure steam conditions have been promoted to improve the thermal efficiency as shown in Fig. 1.
The Hirono No. 5 Thermal Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company is a coal-fired thermal power plant adopting the ultra super critical (USC) conditions of 24.5 MPa × 600/600°C, the highest level in the world, and has continued highly reliable operation since it started commercial operation in July, 2004.
This most sophisticated coal-fired thermal power plant has the efficiency of 43% at generator terminal (HHV base), and reduces CO2 emissions intensity by 3% of conventional plants.
Figure 2 shows the world’s largest 600 MW class turbine which is a two-casing type and consists of a combined casing for a high-pressure turbine and an intermediate-pressure turbine, and a single low-pressure turbine casing. The high- pressure and intermediate pressure turbines adopt high- temperature materials and cooling structures of proven design, to withstand the high-temperature steam conditions, and the blade rows and overall frame size are optimized in order to secure the performance and reliability of the shaft dynamics, realizing a compact design. Further, high- performance and highly reliable technology is used in the
Fig. 2 External view of Hirono No. 5 steam turbine
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Technical Review Vol. 45 No. 1 (Mar. 2008)
: Temperature : Pressure
30 20 10
1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Year
Fig. 1 Trends of steam conditions in thermal power plants
The current steam conditions are improved to a pressure of 31 MPa and a temperature of 610°C.
*1 Power Systems Headquarters
*2 Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works
Steam temperature (°C)
Steam pressure (MPa)
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