EPRI Case Study on Operational Flexibility #7—Subcritical Tower Boiler: Low Load Evaluation

Improving the operational flexibility of fossil steam generating units is important to support the evolution of the power supply system. This report presents a methodology for understanding and improving generating unit minimum loads. The methodology uses engineering reviews and operational testing to diagnose limits and identify approaches to improve minimum load. The methodology can be applied to any type of fossil steam generating unit technology.

A case study using the operational flexibility improvement methodology is provided for a coal-fired, subcritical generating unit equipped with a tower boiler. Specific recommendations for reducing the minimum load for this type of unit are provided. The unit minimum load was reduced by 12% in this case study. Based on the experience in this case study, guidance is also provided concerning the implementation of the operational flexibility improvement methodology.

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