PEP Review 2010-3
Ultra High Supercritical Pulverized Coal
Published: February 2010
Given the importance of coal in worldwide electric power generation and the need to control carbon emissions, considerable research efforts have been made in search of ways to reduce these emissions. One way is by improving the thermodynamic efficiency of a coal-fired power plant via increased steam cycle temperature. Proposed ultrasupercritical pulverized coal power generation uses steam at a temperature above 1100°F. Research efforts by the US DOE and the EU are directed at development and validation of new materials that will be capable of withstanding such extreme steam conditions.
In this study we examine the technology and economics of producing electricity from coal using an ultrasupercritical steam cycle. The purpose of this study is to provide a baseline noncarbon capture case that we can use for comparison purposes as well as the basis for further studies related to carbon capture from ultrasupercritical pulverized coal. The power plant presented is based in large part on information from a DOE study, “Pulverized Coal Oxycombustion Power Plants,” DOE/NETL-2007/1291 published in revised form in October 2007. (While this report concentrates on oxycombustion, it includes an ultrasupercritical pulverized coal unit as a comparison case). We have conducted our analysis based on a generic Midwestern US location and a capacity of 550 MW net power output. Steam conditions are 4015 psia/1350°F/1400°F. In addition, we present a brief summary of the state of new materials development to support these conditions.