Friday, May 20, 2005

Thermoflow brings PEACE to Conventional Steam Power Plant Design

Thermoflow brings PEACE to Conventional Steam Power Plant Design

Sudbury MA - Thermoflow has released version 11 of its heat balance engineering software suite. One of its significant new developments is the integration of the PEACE (Plant Engineering and Cost Estimation) program with STEAM PRO, the conventional steam power plant design program. PEACE was first introduced in 1998, at which time it was only integrated with GT-PRO; the gas turbine combined cycle design program. Since then, PEACE has gained widespread acceptance, with over five hundred copies in use alongside GT-PRO by the end of year 2002.
"Starting in 2000, we had seen renewed interest in conventional steam power plants amongst developers interested in coal or residual oil, as the price of natural gas began to climb." Says Dr. Maher Elmasri, Thermoflow's president. "That is when we decided that we had to start integrating PEACE with STEAM-PRO, to help our customers to investigate all their options, from both performance and economics perspectives."

The new version of STEAM PRO automates the preliminary engineering process for conventional steam power plants, sizing all the main components, such as boiler and steam turbine, and the balance of plant equipment, such as piping and pumps. The conceptual engineering designs created by the program provide a rational basis for its estimate of the plant costs, for equipment, material and labour.

According to Dr. Elmasri, the biggest challenge lay in developing automated procedures for estimating the size and cost of the boiler as a function of its fuel. The type of fuel, its composition, heating value, sulphur content, moisture content, ask content, and ash composition, all play a strong role in determining the dimensions of the furnace and of the radiant and convective sections. Thus, procedures had to be developed to automatically pick appropriate values for key technical design parameters, as a function of fuel characteristics. These technical parameters, such as excess air, stack temperature, furnace exit temperature, furnace geometry, convective section geometry, gas velocity, etc., have a profound effect on the thermodynamics and heat transfer within the boiler, and hence on the boiler's size, weight, and cost.
Although all these parameters are inputs to the program, which the user may adjust, Thermoflow felt that most of its customers would prefer to rely on expert logic within the program to create suitable values that depend solely on the user's fuel definition. To further assist the user, a database of common coals, with all their pertinent characteristics, has also been incorporated into the program. Additionally, STEAM PRO/ PEACE includes cost functions for pollution control equipment, such as flue gas desulphurisation and electrostatic precipitators, to help assess the cost of environmental compliance.

Although STEAM PRO/ PEACE includes a wealth of engineering detail and enough flexibility to satisfy most experts, its automated design procedures and user- friendliness allow it to be effectively used by engineers who possess various levels of experience and expertise.
About Thermoflow. Based in Sudbury, Massachusetts, Thermoflow Inc. Has been developing thermal engineering design and simulation software for the power industry since 1987. Its widely used software suite is considered by many engineers around the world to be the most comprehensive, mature and reliable of its type.

29 Hudson Road, Sudbury MA 01776 USA,
Tel (978) 579-7999 * Fax (978) 579-5995


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