In the field of Power Generation, Operators — Plant Owners, Utilities, IPPs … — have had to face severe constraints linked not only with price of electricity and cost of fuel, but also with more and more demanding environmental constraints. It appears that the next atmospheric emission coming under scrutiny is CO2. Some small scale laboratory size experiments and pilot scale tests demonstrating the ability to capture CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere have already been conducted, and some industrial scale demonstrators are already at the permitting stage and will soon reach construction.

In order to anticipate the needs of Performance Tests within this coming market, ASME decided to form a new committee in order to prepare and deliver ASME Performance Test Code – PTC 48 “Overall Plant Performance with Carbon Capture” test code. This new code may be seen as an evolution of ASME PTC 46 “Performance Test Code on Overall Plant Performance” 1996 (currently under revision), which goes beyond the sole verification of components to provide guidelines for testing a full Plant.

Capturing CO2 from fuel–fired power plants will have a significant impact on net capacity and net heat rate of the plant. Such plants will, in addition to the Power Block and Steam Generator, also include systems not commonly included in non-CO2 capture power plants. The addition of an ASU (Air Separation Unit, for oxy-combustion with CO2 capture) and/or CPU (CO2 Purification Unit, for oxy-combustion or post-combustion CO2 capture) has made necessary the preparation of a dedicated test code based upon same guiding principle than PTC 46, i.e. treating the plant globally as a “Black Box”. This approach allows correction of output and efficiency at the plant interfaces, but at the exclusion of internal parameters. It is anticipated that the code can inform development of regulations that define the rules and obligations of Operators.

Currently, the proposed PTC 48 aims at fossil fuel fired Steam-electric power plants using either post-combustion CO2 capture or oxy-combustion with CO2 capture technologies. Combined cycles and Integrated Gasification Combined Cycles — IGCCs — are not addressed.

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