When It’s Hot Outside, Make More MW

Category: Gas, Turbine


Your Gas Turbine Can Increase Output and Revenue with Adjustable Peak Firing

The reports say that June was the hottest month ever in Texas, however, August may have blown that record away. As an example, ERCOT reported that on Tuesday, August 13, over 73,000 MWh were generated largely in support of every air conditioner in the state running full out. For a short period that day, Reuters reported real-time prices briefly soared to $9,000 per megawatt-hour as consumers cranked up air conditioners to escape the brutal heatwave.

Turbine Technology Services offers DynaFlex Performance™ tools that take advantage of this situation and help gas turbine operators produce more MWh and revenue.

Extra Power When You Need It

Depending on their power purchase agreement, gas turbine operators may receive payment based on their maximum generation capacity, or they may need to hold a certain amount of generation in reserve as a percentage of their maximum capacity. For these reasons, adding peak firing capability to both simple and combined cycle units can bring economic benefits without a substantial impact on maintenance costs when the peak fire capability is used strategically at times of high demand.

Traditional peak firing is commonly a fixed, incremental amount of firing temperature above the rated baseload firing temperature. This increase can equate to at least a 2.5 percent increase in the output above baseload for newer GE units and potentially more for vintage GE units.  Increasing firing temperature also increases NOx emissions – which means operators must take into account NOx emission limits as they incrementally increase firing.

Adjustable Peak Firing Keeps NOx Emissions in Check

Adjustable peak firing is a valuable tool in cases where emission values exceed allowable limits before the unit reaches its standard peak firing limit. It allows the operator to increase the load to take advantage of periods of high electricity prices while staying within the maximum allowable NOx emissions dictated by their emissions permit. This mode is especially useful for merchant plants with simple cycle units or with combined cycle units with SCRs.

With TTS’s adjustable peak option, operators slowly and incrementally increase output in steps of 0.1-0.2 MW, monitoring NOx emissions as load increases.

Operators continue increasing the load until they reach a NOx value that they decide provides an acceptable degree of margin in their situation. The adjustable peak option maintains an upper firing temperature limit equal to the standard unit peak firing temperature.

Implementation of adjustable peak firing requires control system logic modifications, HMI modifications (to select adjustable peak fire) and combustion tuning necessary to install peak firing capability.  Take advantage of this hot weather, keep your air conditioner running and make more MWh and revenue in the process.

How Can We Help You?

Contact TTS and speak with a gas turbine engineer for a custom-tailored solution that addresses your unit’s operating parameters, plant requirements, and business objectives explicitly.

Leave us a message or call (407) 677-0813 to speak with an expert today.