Zero Emission Power Plants (ZEPP)
Lower power costs combined with improved plant efficiencies and zero atmospheric pollution used to be a dream. Now it's a reality. Clean Energy Systems has developed an oxy-fuel combustion technology that uses pure oxygen to combust natural gas or other fuels in a manner that produces clean power, commercial CO2, and clean water -- with zero emissions released to the atmosphere.
A key advantage of oxy-fuel combustion over air-based combustion is that higher turbine efficiencies are achieved. To utilize the higher temperature gas stream from the oxy-fuel generator, CES developed an entirely new generation of power turbines. Using these new power turbines, the CES process can result in a 20 percent increase in power production when compared to a conventional power plant utilizing the same quantity of fuel. Greater power production per unit of fuel results in lower costs and less dependency on global energy providers.
As the United States and European nations implement greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standards and more stringent NOx requirements, ZEPPs are becoming increasingly important. Current regulations in the State of California require an 80 percent reduction in GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. An extensive study to determine the necessary technologies to achieve this level of reduction identified carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) power generation as critical technologies that must be realized if these reductions are to be achieved. Today, CES oxy-fuel power plants are capable of providing 100 percent CCS power generation at competitive power costs, making California GHG reductions readily achievable.
• Generates power with zero emissions to the atmosphere.
Zero Emission Load Balancing (ZELB)
Currently, the main function of natural gas power generation is load balancing between the base load generation from nuclear and coal plants and the intermittent swings of the preferred wind/solar power plants. As federal and state governments emphasize renewable energy and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the role of natural gas as an intermittent power source will be at risk. According to a recent study published by the California Council on Science and Technology, "the use of natural gas (without CCS) to balance variability in electric generation units will eat up a significant fraction of the ...GHG target allocated to the energy sector if the 2050 goals are to be met."
With natural gas GHG emissions becoming increasingly problematic, other sources of power will become preferred alternatives to natural gas generation. These power sources include pumped hydro, compressed air, energy storage, flywheels, off-peak hydrogen, end-use energy storage, and various battery designs. Regulators are already moving toward establishing ratemaking tariffs that encourage these power sources over traditional natural gas generation. The problem is that these sources of power are more expensive than natural gas.
ZELB power turbines provide the same operating flexibility as traditional power turbines but avoid the complications that non-ZELB power turbines will present as they become difficult to dispatch under stringent GHG/NOx emissions restrictions. Combining zero-emission load balancing (ZELB) natural gas power turbines with robust renewable energy resources will provide a reliable grid that is cost-effective for consumers.
ZELB facilities are similar to ZEPPs except that the CO2 generated by ZELB systems is sequestered in abandoned oil and gas reservoirs and in saline formations. In recent studies, the United States Department of Energy and others have identified extensive CO2 storage capacity in well-characterized, abandoned oil and gas reservoirs and saline formations across the U.S. These storage reservoirs can provide decades of storage capacity through the twenty-first century and beyond.
Fast Response, Ultra-Clean Emergency Power Generator/
CCS Post-Combustion NGCC Retrofitting
The oxy-fuel technology developed by Clean Energy Systems can contribute to the successful installation of post-combustion carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems in existing natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) plants. To support post-combustion cleanup, CES and NEBB Engineering AS have developed the CESAM (CES Amine) process to supply the necessary thermal and electric energy to drive a post-combustion amine plant. With this technology, the day to day operations of an existing NGCC facility would be minimally impacted by the addition of a capture plant, since the CESAM produces thermal and electric power independent of the NGCC facility. This avoids the reduction of net power and efficiency and minimizes the interruption of plant operations during installation of the amine plant.
CESAM technology provides a number of advantages for NGCC facility owners, including:
• Providing the necessary steam and electricity to operate the CO2 capture process, thus avoiding a reduction in the NGCC plants' net output.
• Maintaining plant efficiencies by avoiding off-design operations from the amine facility.
• Circumventing major steam/electric changes to the plant.
• Saving as much as one year in out-of-operations time as compared with conventional bleed steam extraction systems.
• Increasing the CO2 capture ratio, since the oxy-fuel process achieves 100% capture. An amine capture rate of 86% will be increased to 88% with the oxy-fuel incremental power contribution.
• Avoiding incremental increases in PM and NOx emissions from the amine post combustion process.
• Generating net water contribution for the amine process or plant.