Advanced coal based power generation systems such as the British Coal Topping Cycle offer the potential for high efficiency electricity generation with minimum environmental impact. An important component of the Topping Cycle programme is the development of a gas turbine combustion system to burn low calorific value (3.5–4.0 MJ/m3 wet gross) coal derived fuel gas, at a turbine inlet temperature of 1260°C, with minimum pollutant emissions.

The paper gives an overview of the British Coal approach to the provision of a gas turbine combustion system for the British Coal Topping Cycle, which includes both experimental and modelling aspects. The first phase of this programme is described, including the design and operation of a low-NOx turbine combustor, operating at an outlet temperature of 1360°C and burning a synthetic low calorific value (LCV) fuel gas, containing 0 to 1000 ppmv of ammonia. Test results up to a pressure of 8 bar are presented and the requirements for further combustor development outlined.

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