The specialist knowledge that underpins our wide-ranging services to the energy industry is respected internationally. Here our experts share their detailed technical insights into key issues which face the industry today.

We regularly update our papers and other content and much of it is available freely below. From time to time, some articles may require you to sign up to download them.

Economic flexible plant operation

Plant flexibility

Economic Flexible Operation

Economic Flexible Operation

Authors: Doug Waters & Claire Burgess
We explain how our Economic Flexible Operation solution helps operators take advantage of opportunities in a volatile energy market.

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CCGT plant preservation

CCGT plant preservation

Author: Paul McCann
Flexible operational regimes present risks to CCGT plant components, in particular corrosion and pitting to gas turbines, HRSGs, steam turbines, generators and cooling water systems. We look at some of the issues and at how our preservation solutions can protect plant availability.

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Local cycling of thermal power plants: advanced control as cost-efficient enabler

Local cycling of thermal power plants: advanced control as cost-efficient enabler

Author: Nicolas Mertens
In response to a growing need for flexibility in coal-fired power plants we have developed an enhanced state controller which has delivered a 50% increase in secondary response capability as a cost-effective route to optimum load-cycling performance.

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Simulation of cogeneration-combined cycle plant flexibilization by thermochemical energy storage

Simulation of cogeneration-combined cycle plant flexibilization by thermochemical energy storage

Authors: Karsten Riedl, Michael Angerer, Michael Djukow, Stephan Gleis and Hartmut Spliethoff
Germany’s priority of renewable generation has led to decline in electricity prices and increased need for flexible operation. At a 100 MWel combined-cycle plant supplying heat and power to a paper mill, integration of heat storage has enabled a switch to power-controlled mode. The technical and economic impacts are modeled.

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Improving the Economic Flexibility of a 400 MW CCGT by Maximizing District Heat Production – Report

Improving the Economic Flexibility of a 400 MW CCGT by Maximizing District Heat Production – Report

Authors: Nicolas Mertens, Henning Zindler and Marc-Hendrik Prabucki
See how we improved economic flexibility of a 400 MW CCGT single-shaft unit by maximizing district heating production.

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HRSG impact assessment of GT upgrades

HRSG impact assessment of GT upgrades

Author: Dan Blood
When considering OEM gas turbine upgrades to improve plant flexibility it’s important to assess potential impacts on the balance of plant. Our operational, engineering and modeling expertise identified and mitigated risks to the integrity of a CCGT fleet, and in particular the heat recovery steam generator.

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Plant optimization

Cost benefit assessment of various flue gas conditioning approaches

Cost benefit assessment of various flue gas conditioning approaches

Author: Roger Brandwood
Alternative approaches are available to conventional methods when assessing flue gas conditioning, particularly with tightening regulations and change of fuel diet for coal, biomass and waste plant.

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Application of a film forming amine in a CCGT power plant

Application of a film forming amine in a CCGT power plant

Authors: Wolfgang Hater, Bill Smith, Paul McCann & André de Bache
With changing market conditions many plants have varying periods of non-operation. Unprotected shutdown represents a serious corrosion risk and established conservation methods are not always applicable. We have assessed film forming amines, which offer excellent potential for flexible conservation.

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Forecasting the future of coal-fired plants to prepare successfully for change

Forecasting the future of coal-fired plants to prepare successfully for change

Author: Roger Brandwood
Coal plants, having invested heavily to provide clean reliable energy, still have a future in providing secure generation to support renewables. However they face ever decreasing load factors and ever more challenging emissions requirements. We look at the prospects, including the impact of renewables and capacity markets.

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HRSG Ambient Air Injection: supporting installation of novel technology with the European HRSG Forum

HRSG Ambient Air Injection: supporting installation of novel technology with the European HRSG Forum

Author: Matt Coates
A collaborative project with GE to install Ambient Air Injection into one of our fleet's gas turbines to cool HRSG inlet temperature to reduce live steam temperature during start-up for HP drum integrity.

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Optimizing the safety case

Optimizing the safety case

Author: Colin Wignall
New operating regimes can potentially shorten component lifetime significantly through fatigue damage. We highlight operational strategies to mitigate identified hazards and risks from transient operation and temperature changes.

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Fuel services

15 years of experience with biomass fuels

15 years of experience with biomass fuels

Author: Will Quick
Our 15 years’ experience of generation from biomass and waste wood underpins valuable insights into key issues including fuel analysis, sampling and quality, and understanding the characterization of feedstocks. Plant issues include slagging, fouling, corrosion, biomass ash and the impact of fuel quality on performance.

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Modelling coal quality impacts on power generation costs

Modelling coal quality impacts on power generation costs

Author: Dan Eyre
In assessing the true value of coal to power plant operators our Fuel Evaluation Tool gives an accurate calculation of financial and operational impacts of coal quality. Such Value-in-Use calculations can help deliver benefits including reduced cost, improved performance and improved reliability.

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Maintenance

Plant assessment and monitoring

Plant layup management during operational standby periods

Plant layup management during operational standby periods

Author: Paul McCann
Uniper has first-hand experience in Europe’s changing power market and we are well placed to detect and prevent the corrosion and fatigue which affect power plant components during standstills. Here we take a detailed look at corrosion risks and how they can be avoided.

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Machine learning delivering advanced condition monitoring of wind turbines

Machine learning delivering advanced condition monitoring of wind turbines

Author: Liam Sharkey
Identifying anomalies and faults before they become a problem is essential for the performance of wind farms. We model normal behavior of assets to identify anomalies in condition using SpheriCAL™, the data patterns in those anomalies are used to automate detection using Smart Alerts™. This provides advanced warning reducing cost of repair, downtime and enables maximum life usage of the assets and minimize cost.

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Upgrade of water-steam cycle at Grain CCGT Power Plant

Upgrade of water-steam cycle at Grain CCGT Power Plant

Author: Sarah Gerry
Reference case study of the upgrade of water-steam cycle on-line monitoring for flexible operation at our Grain CCGT plant. Here we look at pre-upgrade issues with online instruments and post-upgrade success.

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Maintenance strategy and optimization

Failures on energy from waste and biomass plants – lessons learnt

Failures on energy from waste and biomass plants – lessons learnt

Author: David Marks
Many modern waste and biomass generation plants are built to a premium, with short time scales and a need for returns which often leads to construction compromises. Our presentation explores the consequences, and their resolutions.

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Commissioning of steam turbines - new build and post overhaul

Commissioning of steam turbines - new build and post overhaul

Author: James Betts
This presentation identifies potential issues, trip and protection testing checks and potential issues of new and overhauled steam turbines

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Impact of changing markets on both operational behaviour and component integrity

Impact of changing markets on both operational behaviour and component integrity

Author: Colin Wignall
This presentation outlines how component design impacts behavior during steady-state and transient operation for the integrity management of high temperature components including main steam pipework and HP drum

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Premature creep damage in Grade 91 HRSG components

Premature creep damage in Grade 91 HRSG components

Authors: Colin Wignall & Andy Jones
Within this presentation are several case studies which has shown premature creep damage has occurred in Grade 91 HRSG components after similar periods of operation. This was presented at the EPRI Boiler Reliability Interest Group which applies lessons learned from the industry to help address common reliability and maintaining issues

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Impact of power plant cycling on component integrity

Impact of power plant cycling on component integrity

Author: Colin Wignall
Case studies showing the impact of power plant cycling on component integrity, due to changing market conditions presented at the EPRI Flexible Operations Conference: Conventional & Combined Cycle Power Plant Cycling Damage & Management which allows industry leaders to share strategies and insight, assisting in the identification and management of risks associated with the damage mechanisms.

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Solutions for GT Parts Life Extension

Solutions for GT Parts Life Extension

Author: Paul Jeffreys
Parts Life Extension (PLE) seeks to realize significant cost savings by extending gas turbine parts life and maintenance outage intervals beyond the normal OEM maintenance interval. The extent of realizable interval extension will be case dependent and influenced by a range of factors. For some plant the objective will be to reduce the total number of major outages during the life of the station.

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Outages inspections and integrity

Managing risk and quality whilst reducing cost of plant outages

Managing risk and quality whilst reducing cost of plant outages

Author: Paul Askew
Our approach to asset management and outage management optimization based on over 100 years experience owning and operating some 34 GW of installed generation.

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Water-steam cycle chemistry and corrosion

Water-steam cycle chemistry and corrosion

Author: Paul McCann
Power plants require effective cycle chemistry monitoring and control to operate safely, protect plant integrity, meet legal requirements, maintain reliability and availability, and to reduce costs. Here we look at key corrosion risks in the water-steam cycle and the importance of effective management of cycle chemistry

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Furnace tube life extension in biomass-fired boilers

Furnace tube life extension in biomass-fired boilers

Authors: Colin Davis, Iain Hall & Daniel Spalenka
Biomass-fired boilers can suffer unacceptably high fireside corrosion of the furnace wall tubes. Corrosion-resistant coatings can provide protection, but faced with cost and downtime, operators require some certainty on their benefits. We look at the potential for corrosion, solutions available and the results of tests on coatings

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Opportunities for smarter options for improved NDT

Opportunities for smarter options for improved NDT

Author: Colin Brett
Tried and trusted NDT methods are suitable for the majority of inspection tasks, however advanced NDT is available with our on-load corrosion monitoring, on-load crack sizing and remote NDT to improve planning, early detection of defect sizes and wall thicknesses

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Risk managed approach to gas turbine life extension

Risk managed approach to gas turbine life extension

Author: Tom Scanlon
With significant experience in operating our own fleet of CCGT assets and adapting them according to market conditions, read about our risk managed approach to parts life extension.

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Consulting & Advisory

A combined modelling framework for energy, reserve and system balancing

A combined modelling framework for energy, reserve and system balancing

Authors: Colin Silvester & Christopher Bates
The growth of renewables is changing the role of conventional generators in the market. Our integrated model will help energy strategy experts, market analysts, asset operators and traders understand the mix of capacity required to deliver a cost-effective, secure electricity system in the future.

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Generator stability study for high rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) events in a low inertia grid

Generator stability study for high rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) events in a low inertia grid

Author: Martin Aten
Increasing penetration of inverter-connected energy sources, such as wind and solar, can lead to frequency stability problems in smaller power systems. Our specialist capability to produce the capacity studies required by grid operators will interest plant operators facing similar problems.

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Charging reform for community energy projects

Charging reform for community energy projects

Author: Ben Lister
Community-owned renewable energy projects, which Uniper can design and engineer, provide benefits to the environment, the community and the local economy, However regulatory, tax and charging obligations may need to be reformed for such projects to become a sustainable business.

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Compliance, Risk & Safety

Developments in biomass and waste emissions regulations

Developments in biomass and waste emissions regulations

Author: Steve Griffiths
As owner and operator of large and medium combustion plant we are member of stakeholder groups on the UK implementation of the IED / BREF / MCPD also provide technical support for industry since initial proposals from the European Commission.

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Compliance with new flue gas flow rate standards at power plants

Compliance with new flue gas flow rate standards at power plants

Authors: David Graham, Jonathan Spence, F Blank, P Wolbers, N Faniel & J Annendijck
To support plant operators in monitoring, modeling and reporting emissions, important guidance is now available from the VGB technical association regarding quality assurance of stack gas flow rate calculations and compliance relevant standards.

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Flue gas flow rate calculation for mass emissions reporting

Flue gas flow rate calculation for mass emissions reporting

Authors: David Graham, Jonathan Spence, Frans Blank, Patrick Wolbers, Nathalie Faniel, Jurgen Annedijck
Verifying flue gas flow rate calculation, by means of stack testing and data evaluation, to EN-ISO 16911:2013. important guidance is now available from the VGB technical association regarding flue gas flow rate calculation for mass emissions reporting.

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The Industrial Emissions Directive: Large Combustion Plant BREF update 2018

The Industrial Emissions Directive: Large Combustion Plant BREF update 2018

Authors: Roger Brandwood & David Graham
An update on BREF implementation in the UK in relation to emissions to air. Slides from this webinar were presented to IChemE Environment Special Interest Group on 27 November 2018. We look in depth at issues it raises, including the aggregation of plants, permitting and registration requirements, emission limit values, monitoring requirements, and specific derogations and additions in England and Wales.

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EU Medium Combustion Plant Directive – monitoring and compliance requirements

EU Medium Combustion Plant Directive – monitoring and compliance requirements

Authors: David Graham & Steve Griffiths
An overview of MCPD emission limits for NOx, SO2 and dust, as well as monitoring requirements, which will apply to conventional power plants, gas turbines and engines. The Directive will apply to new plants from December 2018, and existing plants from January 2025 (> 5 MWth) or January 2030 (1 to 5 MWth).

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The Medium Combustion Plant Directive - Power industry perspective

The Medium Combustion Plant Directive - Power industry perspective

Authors: David Graham and Steve Griffiths
We look at basic concepts, emission limit values, monitoring requirements, permitting and derogations for MCPD and Industrial Emissions Directive.

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Introduction to Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction

Introduction to Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction

Author: Roger Brandwood
Introducing Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction as a NOx control technology. We discuss the regulatory drivers for its installation in new plant fired by biomass or waste, or as a retrofit to existing units. Also, what demonstrations of suitable SNCR performance and design could be required by Regulators.

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Emissions Regulation within the European Union

Emissions Regulation within the European Union

Author: David Graham & Frans Blank
Assessing the implications for medium and large combustion plants of EU regulations on emissions, including the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), the LCP BREF and the MCPD. We look at basic concepts, emission limit values, monitoring requirements, permitting and derogations.

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EN ISO 16911 Volumetric flow measurements using tracer dilution to verify stack flow calculations

EN ISO 16911 Volumetric flow measurements using tracer dilution to verify stack flow calculations

Author: Jonathan Spence & David Graham
We have successfully developed the use of inert tracer gas to verify stack flow calculations as required in emission monitoring of power plants. We outline the advantages of the technique and give examples of how we have applied it in CCGT, OCGT and peat-fired plants.

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Overview of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive

Overview of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive

Authors: David Graham and Steve Griffiths
MCPD is a new European directive requiring emissions compliance with Emission Limit Values for NOx, SO2 and dust for plants with combustion units in the size range ≥1MWth to 50MWth.

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Asset Investment Projects

Developing new steels for high temperature and high pressure components

Developing new steels for high temperature and high pressure components

Author: Scott Lockyer, Mark Jepson and David Allen
We have played a key part in developing MarBN steels for next generation high temperature and high pressure steam components. Boiler tubes in MarBN - martensitic steels strengthened by addition of boron and nitrogen – were installed at Uniper’s Ratcliffe plant in a world first trial a full-scale operational plant.

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Wood pellet conversion – operational experiences and lessons learnt

Wood pellet conversion – operational experiences and lessons learnt

Author: Andy Jones
Conversion of Ironbridge power plant from coal-fired to wood pellets provided Uniper with invaluable experience which we can use in the conversion of other plants to wood pellets or alternative fuels.

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Understanding Submarine Cable System Selection for Offshore Wind-farms

Understanding Submarine Cable System Selection for Offshore Wind-farms

Although cable design comes at the end of the wind-farm creation process, it is critical to the successful delivery of the project. Discover here how submarine cable systems are selected and developed, whilst understanding the decision making progress and discovering how our specialist knowledge and tools such as Cable Architect ™ can help you.

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Case studies

We bring years of operator experience and technical expertise to deliver solutions for our clients.

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