Germany’s E.On has announced plans to develop the world’s most efficient coal-fired power station with more than 50% thermal efficiency and intends to begin construction as soon as 2010.

The breakthrough will be made possible through the use of new materials, E.On said in a statement, and the company is currently testing these materials under the Component Test Facility for a 700°C power plant (COMTES 700) project, installed at the Scholven plant, located in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The operating conditions of the host power plant are a steam temperature of 535 °C and a high pressure of 230 bar. The steam flow of 2,200 t/h produces a net output capacity of 676 MW.

New and very costly nickel based alloys are required for the hottest sections of the cycle, new austenites for the medium temperature range and finally also new ferrites.

The materials used are T 24, HCM 12, TP 310 N, HR 3 C, Alloy 174, Alloy 617 and Alloy 740.

Along with E.On and other utility companies, the project is being carried out by Alstom Power Boiler, Babcock-Hitachi Europe, Burmeister & Wain Energy, Siemens, Elsam Engineering and VGB PowerTech and will run to the end of 2009.

The testing period of some 20,000 operating hours is focussed on the manufacturing, bending and welding of the materials used, in-plant monitoring, determination and evaluation of residual service life, in-service inspections, operational testing of the Ni-based alloys for tubes, pipes and valves, and gaining information on magnetite layer on the rib of internal rifled tubes. The investigations will also concern the operational behaviour of all components, flue gas corrosion and steam oxidation of the materials and erosion effects due to soot blowing.

The results test facility will form the basis of a 700°C demonstration power plant.

E.On is also planning to develop a carbon capture pilot plant which is expected to be put into operation in Germany until 2010.

Related Articles
Siemens expands into gasification
Anglo American and Shell form clean coal alliance
GE and Bechtel move up on clean coal plants
GE establishes EU clean coal base
Clean coal giant for Alstom