Results of DoE power plant optimization project shared at EPRI Flexibility Conference

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Some of the largest power generators and utilities attended EPRI’s 2022 Generation Flexibility Conference. The Conference was a hybrid event, combining face-to-face sessions with online presentations, maximizing the audience and enabling very interesting conversations.

The event pivoted around thermal power plant optimization at out-of-design-load operations, which is a key topic to ensure energy transition in the near future.

Isaias Martin from ADEX and Larry Shadle from DoE
Isaias Martin from ADEX and Larry Shadle from DoE

ADEX and PacifiCorp presented at the Conference the results of a US Department of Energy Project to optimize coal-fired power plants and make them more flexible and dispatchable. The project included the innovative application of our Self-tuning AI control system in two coal-fired power units at PacifiCorp’s Hunter plant.

Abraham Kearl, performance engineer at PacifiCorp, and Isaías Martín, US COO at ADEX, shared a presentation in front of +100 attendees from the industry. The overall benefits that ADEX Technology brought to the plant were:

  • increased overall stability of critical plant variables
  • reduced Heat Rate at every operating load and overall, up to 0.3 p.p. (*)
  • reduced NOx generation by 9% (*)
  • and increased steam temperature control precision, reducing transients and reducing thermal damage by 65%

[* compared to one of the most prevalent and advanced control methodologies which operate the units]

Flexible Operation challenges a power plant’s ability to produce safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electricity. The risks from flexible operation must be properly identified and managed so they can be weighed against the benefits of flexible operation to the plant. Subcritical fossil, Supercritical fossil, and Combined Cycle units are increasingly required to operate in flexible modes which may include:

  • load following,
  • weekend shutdowns,
  • daily on/off shutdowns,
  • and extended shutdowns.

In response to these new operating modes, units have explored options to increase unit turndown, ramp rates, turnaround times, and change fuels. These new operating modes and changes in operating strategy alter damage mechanisms prevalent in the units necessitating new asset management strategies. The damage mechanisms in major components and evolving management strategies resulting from this shift in thermal power plant generating operation are the primary focus of this conference. 

We are very thankful to EPRI for inviting us to present and we hope ADEX Technology could be a game changer for thermal power plants within the new electricity market.

If you to know more about the project and the results, please contact us to arrange a call with our representatives.