Overall, one-fifth of the global population lives in developed countries. These countries account for half of all energy consumption. Because emerging countries are experiencing rapid urbanization, energy demand all over the world is growing even more. Society is increasingly aware of the negative implications that come with a greater need for energy.
Companies are looking for ways to preserve natural resources, and they are investing in more environment-friendly technology that helps save energy. Power plant operators all over the world are optimizing their sites in terms of efficiency. Sulzer’s state-of-the-art technology enables its customers to achieve better performance in generating energy.
Saving Energy with Boiler Feed Pumps
Based on environmental regulations and cost considerations, power generation companies strive to optimize the efficiency of their plants. Sulzer is a trusted and well-experienced partner for particularly challenging assignments—as the example of the largest power plant in China shows.
China consumes 22% of the energy used around the world every day. This makes the country the largest consumer of energy in the world. At the same time, it is the largest energy producer. Stringent environmental regulations are changing the power generation landscape around the globe. In an attempt to increase power generation while decreasing the environmental impact, China has been developing ultra-supercritical (USC) coal-fired power plants. The trend is to generate steam at higher pressures and temperatures and thus increase the efficiency of the power plant. Ultra-supercritical steam generation is the latest technology with even higher pressures and steam temperatures of above 600°C. Double-reheat technology is a further method of improving a plant’s thermal efficiency. By heating the steam in the boiler twice, more energy is transferred. With increased steam parameters of up to 350 bar and 620ºC, double reheating allows for efficiencies of 48%. By comparison, with identical steam parameters, the best current single-reheat USC plants operate at a rate of around 46% efficiency. Since the increase of every percentage point leads to significant energy and cost savings, this improvement can have an important effect on customers’ decisions.
Equipment for the largest power station in China
The Chinese Shenhua Beihai Power Plant—currently under construction—will use USC technology. After its completion in 2017, the plant will be the largest power station in China. Such plants use pumps for boiler feed, condensate extraction, and cooling water processes. Boiler feed pumps—normally high-pressure units—move water to the steam boiler. Because Sulzer is widely recognized as a supplier of highly efficient and reliable pumps in this sector, the Chinese customer ordered Sulzer’s HPT boiler feed pumps for its plant. The requirements for modern coal-fired plants of this size are challenging. The Beihai Power Plant will operate with steam temperatures between 600 and 650°C and pressure of up to 350 bar. At such high pressures and temperatures, the demands on the equipment are intense. First, the reliability of the equipment is of vital importance for the safe operation of the power plant. Second, the performance—especially of the pumps—plays a crucial role in the overall costs. Sulzer’s engineers have designed the pumps to meet the heavy-duty performance needs in the Beihai plant.
The largest boiler feed pumps
The pumps delivered to Beihai are the largest boiler feed pumps Sulzer has ever manufactured. The main pump for Beihai has a capacity of 2 840 tons per hour, with a 500 bar discharge pressure, and shaft power of over 40 MW. The pumps will be manufactured in Sulzer’s Suzhou factory, which was opened in 2010 and employs more than 350 people. On 23 000 m2 floor space, Sulzer makes engineered pumps for the oil and gas and the power markets. During the project, the Suzhou factory received support from Sulzer sites across the globe. For example, the Suzhou factory worked with engineers from Winterthur, Switzerland, to select the appropriate pumps for the project. Furthermore, the factory involved the Pumps Equipment site in Leeds, UK, to find the most effective sourcing strategy for the pumps.
Sulzer has been operating in China for more than 100 years. Besides Suzhou, the company has manufacturing plants in Dalian, Shanghai, and Kunshan, and it runs several sales and service locations. China is planning to build further double-reheat power plants in the near future. Sulzer has supplied roughly 1 000 boiler feed water pumps for various power plants—such as conventional, nuclear, biomass, and concentrated solar power plants—around the world. The company is experienced and able to advise its customers on the appropriate solutions.
A representative of the Shenhua Beihai Power Plant said, “Sulzer has outstanding references with large boiler feed pumps around the world and the success ful operation of the Shenhua Wanzhou 2 x 1 000 MW single-reheat power plant in China. We trust Sulzer’s technology, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities.”