Environmental regulations are very stringent in the U.S., requiring very low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from combined cycle power plants. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems utilizing vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) as the active material in the catalyst are a proven method of reducing NOx emissions in the exhaust stack of gas turbines with heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) to 2–4 ppmvd. These low NOx emissions levels require an increase of SCR removal efficiency to the level of 90+ % with limited ammonia slip. The distribution of flow velocities, temperature, and NOx mass flow at the inlet of the SCR are critical to minimizing NOx and ammonia (NH3) concentrations in HRSG stack. The short distance between the ammonia injection grid and the catalyst in the HRSG complicates the achievement of homogeneous NH3 and NOx mixture. To better understand the influence of the above factors on overall SCR system performance, field testing of combined cycle power plants with an SCR installed in the HRSG has been conducted. Uniformity of exhaust flow, temperature and NOx emissions upstream and downstream of the SCR were examined and the results served as a basis for SCR system tuning in order to increase its efficiency. NOx mass flow profiles upstream and downstream of the SCR were used to assess ammonia distribution enhancement. Ammonia flow adjustments within a cross section of the exhaust gas duct yielded significantly improved NOx mass flow uniformity after the SCR while reducing ammonia consumption. Based on field experience, a procedure for ammonia distribution grid tuning was developed and recommendations for SCR performance improvement were generated.

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