In Focus: Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)

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

icgg In Focus: Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)

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.

Original Article on Enerdynamics