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Power Plant Simulation New Power Plant Simulation for the U.S. Department of Energy

Editor: Dominik Stephan

The U.S. Department of Energy employs an all new power plant simulation process to train operators for future integrated gasification combined cycle power plants (IGCC) with carbon capture processes. IGCCs, although complicated than conventional power plants, could well play an important role for the U.S.' future energy supply.

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A new simlator for integrated combined cycle power plants with carbon capture is used to train plant operators at the U.S. Department of Energy. (Picture: Avestar)
A new simlator for integrated combined cycle power plants with carbon capture is used to train plant operators at the U.S. Department of Energy. (Picture: Avestar)

Plano, Texas/USA – Technology software and consulting providers Invensys Operations Management have supplied an all new operator training simulator for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon capture technology for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The simulator, based on Invensys software training solutions, was implemented at the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research (Avestar) Center in Morgantown, West Virginia, where it will be used to train operators for new IGCC plants.

“IGCC with carbon capture holds tremendous promise as a low-cost, clean energy source so IGCC plants are expected to be a key resource for the provision of clean fossil power in the near future. Fulfilling that promise, however, requires an adequate supply of well-trained operators,” said Tobias Scheele, Vice President, operations management applications, Invensys Operations Management. “The DOE is using our Dynsim simulator, just as airlines use flight simulators to train pilots before they take to the air, to help future IGCC plant operators achieve operational and environmental excellence.”

Carbon Capture – A Complex Technology

Although recent estimations predict the US' coal deposit to last for another 200 years (at current consumption rates), the use of fossile fuels and especially coal, emits high levels of CO2 and other pollutants. Carbon Capture technology could help to capture up to 90 prercent of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by traditional fossil-fuel burning processes while at the same time reducing sulfur, mercury and other NOx emissions. The required processes are nevertheless complex and differ from normal power plant operations, Invensys says. To provide skilled operators for several power plants that are currently under construction in the States, the DOE decided to implement advanced simulation solutions.

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