PowerGens’ scientific and engineering arm Power Technology is to carry out a review for the Government on the use of supercritical steam cycles in coal-fired power generation.
The higher pressure in supercritical cycles over 221.2 bar compared to 180 bar in most power plants can raise generating efficiency from 38-39% to 43-44%.
Coal plants are supercritical steam’s main market, but the technology has also been used in oil and gas-fired units. It has yet to be adapted for combined-cycle gas turbines.
Developments are continuing to achieve higher temperatures and pressures, and also to reduce capital costs.
Power Technology was awarded the contract by the Energy Technology Support Unit.