In the past 15 years the combined-cycle (gas/steam turbine) power plant has come into its own in the power generation market. Today, approximately 30 000 MW of power are already installed or being built as combined-cycle units. Combined-cycle plants are therefore a proven technology, showing not only impressive thermal efficiency ratings of up to 50 percent in theory, but also proving them in practice and everyday operation (1) (2).
Combined-cycle installations can be used for many purposes. They range from power plants for power generation only, to cogeneration plants for district heating or combined cycles with maximum additional firing (3).
The main obstacle to further expansion of the combined cycle principle is its lack of fuel flexibility. To this day, gas turbines are still limited to gaseous or liquid fuels. This paper shows a viable way to add a cheap solid fuel, coal, to the list. The plant system in question is a 2 × 150 MW combined-cycle plant of BBC Brown Boveri with integrated coal gasification plant of British Gas/Lurgi. The main point of interest is that all the individual components of the power plant described in this paper have proven their worth commercially. It is therefore not a pilot plant but a viable commercial proposition.