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.
Asset Investment Projects
- Developing new steels for high temperature and high pressure components
- Wood pellet conversion – operational experiences and lessons learnt
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.
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. Issues we addressed included fuel storage, transport and milling, combustion, performance optimization, and ash collection and disposal.
Economic & Flexible Plant Operation
- Economic Flexible Operation
- 15 years of experience with biomass fuels
- Improving the Economic Flexibility of a 400 MW CCGT by Maximizing District Heat Production - Report
- Optimizing the safety case
- Modeling coal quality impacts on power generation costs
- CCGT plant preservation
- Application of a film forming amine in a CCGT power plant
- Forecasting the future of coal-fired plants to prepare successfully for change
- Local cycling of thermal power plants: advanced control as cost-efficient enabler
- Simulation of cogeneration-combined cycle plant flexibilization by thermochemical energy storage
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, for example by ensuring plants are faster to grid, faster to full load, cheaper to run, faster to shut down and stay warmer longer for the next start.
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.
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. Our steam turbine bypass operation improved not only flexibility but also commercial viability by optimizing power/heat production share. Our unique approach included a dynamic simulation of all relevant procedures and ensured early and cost-effective identification of potential issues.
Optimizing the safety case
Author: Colin Wignall
New operating regimes caused 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.
Modeling 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Water-steam cycle chemistry and corrosion
- Furnace tube life extension in biomass-fired boilers
- Plant layup management during operational standby periods
- Machine learning delivering advanced condition monitoring of wind turbines
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consulting & Advisory
- A combined modeling framework for energy, reserve and system balancing
- Generator stability study for high rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) events in a low inertia grid
- Charging reform for community energy projects
A combined modeling 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.
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.
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.
Compliance, Risk & Safety
- Developments in biomass and waste emissions regulations
- Compliance with new flue gas flow rate standards at power plants
- Flue gas flow rate calculation for mass emissions reporting
- The Industrial Emissions Directive: Large Combustion Plant BREF update 2018
- EU Medium Combustion Plant Directive – monitoring and compliance requirements
- The Medium Combustion Plant Directive - Power industry perspective
- Introduction to Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction
- Emissions Regulation within the European Union
- EN ISO 16911 Volumetric flow measurements using tracer dilution to verify stack flow calculations
- Overview of the Medium Combustion Plant Directive
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.