Coal based combined cycles for efficient generation of electricity or cogeneration of thermal and mechanical (electrical) power can be realized making use of Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion (PFBC). A draw-back with respect to the efficiency, however, is imposed from the combustion system limiting the temperature to some 850°C. This threshold may be overcome by integrating a high pressure, high temperature gas turbine topping cycle into the process. In a first step, the high pressure, high temperature gas turbine is fired by natural gas, and the exhaust gas of the turbine is fed to the PFB combustor as an oxygen carrier. In a future advanced system, the fuel gas may be provided by an integrated coal gasification process.

A basic reference case has been established based on commercially available gas turbine equipment, hot gas filtration systems as actually tested in various pilot installations, and on a conservative steam cycle component technology. With an ISO gas turbine inlet temperature of 1165°C and an overall compression ratio of 16 up to 30, the entire process yields a net efficiency of some 46% (LHV) and an overall power output of some 750 MW with the gaseous fuel making up for some 50% of the overall energy input. Both the efficiency and the power output have been found rather insensitive with respect to a variation of the overall compression ratio. However, for a non-intercooled compression, an increase of the maximum process pressure would allow for the energy input to be shifted towards coal (and to reduce the natural gas input), and in particular for an elevated PFB combustor pressure considered mandatory for compactness as well as for combustion efficiency including emissions.

The numerous calculations for the design, the optimization and the prediction of part-load operation of complex systems are efficiently performed with a semi-implicit method, the results of which have been checked carefully against those of a more conventional sequential approach and found in good agreement.

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