In a typical fossil fuel power plant the chemical energy stored in fossil fuels (such as coal, fuel oil, natural gas or oil shale) and oxygen in the air is converted into thermal energy. This is used to heat water in a boiler, producing steam that drives a turbine connected to the electrical generator, which in turn produces electricity. Each fossil fuel power plant is a highly complex, custom-designed system, designed on a large scale for continuous operation.
Whether it is in yesterday’s subcritical, today’s supercritical, or tomorrow’s ultra-supercritical plants, Flowserve has the products and experience needed to keep power plants running at peak efficiency.
Research and development is ongoing to commercialize ultra-supercritical steam plants. Their "clean coal" technology would push efficiency rates higher and CO2 and particulate emissions lower, compared to supercritical steam plants. With alternative forms of energy becoming more competitive, the push to drive fossil-fuel steam plant efficiency higher will continue into the foreseeable future.
Flowserve is playing a key role in developing the products and materials to provide reliable and long-lived performance in harsh operating parameters with projected temperatures of 760°C (1400°F) and boiler feed discharge pressure from 330 bar (4785 psi) to 420 bar (6090 psi). And with its dedicated focus on deploying new products leveraging advanced metallurgy and technologies, Flowserve will continue to be the preferred solution for steam-powered electrical generation in decades to come.
Operating beyond the critical pressure of steam (3705 psi) and at temperatures approaching 1150°F (620°C), "clean coal" supercritical steam plants offer many advantages: significant improvement in plant efficiency and reduced fuel costs; significant emissions reductions and full integration with existing CO2 capture technology.
But these punishing operating conditions severely test equipment design and materials of construction. For more than a half century, Flowserve has successfully met these challenges as a proven partner in reliable supercritical steam plant operation.
Supercritical power stations are also known as “once-through plants” because boiler water does not circulate multiple times. This requires additional water purification procedures in the form of high pressure ion exchange units or condensate polishers located between the steam condenser and feedwater heaters. In turn, this requires reliable and often precise fluid motion and control equipment.
Flowserve is a market leader in supplying fluid motion and control products for fossil fuel power generating stations. Few companies can match the our systems’ knowledge, hydraulic expertise or application know-how. Flowserve expertise extends to steam control, conditioning and isolation with our valve products while our pump products handle demanding boiler feed, condensate and circulation applications. Flowserve is also well positioned to handle challenging Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) systems and to Balance of Plant (BOP) requirements. And as these plants age, Flowserve Technical Services engineers are available to restore and even improve plant efficiency and availability.
Flowserve Technical Services helps power station operators optimize unit performance and maximize profitability. Utilizing comprehensive system assessments and sophisticated modeling techniques, Flowserve engineers can help:
- Reduce energy usage of major systems and critical components
- Diagnose and address root cause equipment failure or underperformance, regardless of OEM
- Solve “bad actor” equipment problems
- Improve operator safety issues