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.