Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC): What’s the Big Deal?

This week on our Facebook page, we posted this picture and asked followers to guess what the image is:

We didn’t get any correct guesses, so for those left scratching their heads, here is the answer and a quick explanation of its significance:

This is the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) under construction at Mississippi Power’s future Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle (IGCC) power plant.  A combined-cycle power plant’s first power cycle comes from a gas turbine.  The waste heat from the gas turbine is then recovered and used to create steam, which is used for a second power cycle in a steam turbine.  By recovering the waste heat, the power plant is more efficient than single-cycle power plants.  The device that recovers the steam is called an HRSG as seen in the photo. For more information on the combine-cycle gas turbine see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wujJuVGGY4.

The construction of the Kemper County IGCC is notable because only two coal IGCC units are under construction in the U.S. and only two existing units are in operation.  So the success of this project will impact whether this technology grows.  IGCC units are tough to get built in the U.S. given the current low cost of natural gas, but elsewhere in the world there is strong interest in the technology.  The benefit is that when coal is gasified, a synthetic gas is created that burns much cleaner that solid coal.  For more information on the Kemper County project, see: http://www.mississippipower.com/kemper/power-for-our-future.asp.

About Enerdynamics

Enerdynamics was formed in 1995 to meet the growing demand for timely, dynamic and effective business training in the gas and electric industries. Our comprehensive education programs are focused on teaching you and your employees the business of energy. And because we have a firm grasp of what's happening in our industry on both a national and international scale, we can help you make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all.
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