Demand for electricity in the United States is expected to grow in the foreseeable future, requiring approximately 200 gigawatts of new generating capacity by 2010. Coal-based power plants built to supply this additional baseload capacity will be required to perform at high thermal efficiency and meet tough environmental regulations, all at competitive electric generating costs. The Department of Energy (DOE) / Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (PETC) is managing a program called Combustion 2000 that is aimed at developing technologies that will assure the continued use of coal to meet the Nation’s power generating needs well into the 21st century. The High-Performance Power System (HIPPS) element of Combustion 2000 is based on an indirectly fired combined cycle. By using an indirectly fired gas turbine and a conventional steam cycle, HIPPS cleanly produces electricity from coal at a thermal efficiency that is about one-third higher than that of today’s conventional coal-based power plants.
DOE/PETC’s HIPPS program, which is described in this paper, aims to demonstrate a commercial-scale prototype plant by 2004. An engineering analysis was performed to assess the feasibility of accelerating the demonstration of HIPPS by using only those materials available today. Results predict attractive efficiencies and competitive electric generating costs for a near-term design. The feasibility of HIPPS as a repowering option has also been examined. Preliminary projections reveal that added generating capacity and reduced emissions can be accomplished at an increased overall plant efficiency and with the potential to minimize capital expenditure.