Project Summary

A primary objective of this work was to test concepts that led to significant reductions in the cost and energy penalty to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power generation.

Using modelling, design and optimisation, this work specified control criteria for process integration and operation of low emissions coal power plants with solar-thermal technology.

A key outcome was the development of real-time routines, to inform the techno-economic performance of Post Combustion Carbon Capture (PCC) integrated with solar-thermal systems.

Outcomes from the study included:

  • Process integration and simulation analysis showed valuable efficiency improvements could achieve sound integration of a solar-thermal plant with coal-fired power generation, including capture.
  • For the first time, a detailed dynamic model was developed, to simulate a solar-thermal plant, to repower the high pressure feed water heaters of a 660 MW power plant. It enabled the solar plant system to provide the thermal load dictated by the power plant.
  • Five possible operating modes were recognised and discussed in detail, to provide a clear perspective of the solar-thermal plant operation in this integrated process situation.
  • Using innovative control algorithms, the study showed scenarios where an integrated plant (power plant with PCC), subject to forecast 2020 electricity and carbon prices, can be profitable. Without a carbon price these solutions are not economically viable.
  • Coal-fired power plants can operate sustainably in the future using carbon management systems built on model-based optimisation, such as the one proposed in this work, for flexible operation of PCC plants.

Available Reports

Model-based optimisation of highly-integrated renewables with post-combustion carbon capture processes

This project investigated process integration and operation of power plants retrofitted with PCC and solar-thermal plants. Through a systematic approach involving modelling, design and optimisation, the project has identified, optimal process conditions that lead to significant reductions in the capture energy penalty. The project has along the way developed a significant body of knowledge in flexible operation of PCC plants. Therefore, a key outcome has been the development of real-time routines to inform the techno-economic performance of PCC integrated with solar-thermal systems.

Project Name:
Model-based optimisation of highly-integrated post-combustion carbon capture processes

Research Organisation:
The University of Sydney

Completed, 2016

Norhuda Abdul Manaf, Abdul Qadir, Manish Sharma, Forough Parvareh, Dia Milani, Ali Abbas


Research Program: Post Combustion Capture
Demonstration: General (PCC)
Research Focus: Post Combustion Capture, Capture

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