Multi-shaft and single-shaft configurations allow customization to optimize plant performance, capital investment, construction and maintenance access, operating convenience, and minimum space requirements. Technical comparison between both configurations at partial loads has not been published before. This paper will primarily address a comparison between the 2 configurations based on thermodynamic simulation results for a gross power capacity of approximately 800 MWel at ISO conditions.
This capacity has been chosen based on power market requirements. The analysis approach for each configuration is divided into 3 components: (1) Performance, (2) Plant configuration, and (3) Environmental impact. The first component dealt with plant gross power output, plant gross efficiency, plant auxiliary power demand, plant generator losses and plant shaft power. The second component dealt with space limitations and extension capability. The third component dealt with specific emissions of NOx and specific emissions of CO2. The thermodynamic simulations have been carried out using Thermoflow at base load and part load respectively. The results show that the single-shaft configuration is more suitable with regards to performance, NOx specific emissions, CO2 specific emissions, start-up and extension possibilities. The multi-shaft configuration is more suitable with regards to space limitations, steam turbine shaft power, availability, and reliability.
It is known from literature that many authors have discussed the principles of the Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP).
However, many worldwide gas turbine manufacturers and combined cycle developers have mentioned only general nomenclature regarding their products (e.g. the recent examples from. Until now, no publication has addressed a technical comparison between the 2 configurations of the CCPP from a non- manufacturers point of view. Depending on the combination of the turbines and generators, systems can be classified into 2 categories (single-shaft and multi-shaft configurations). With a single-shaft configuration, the gas turbine is directly coupled to a steam turbine with a single common generator, and with a multi-shaft configuration the steam turbine and a gas turbine are coupled to their own generators respectively. The signed Kyoto protocol which called for the reduction of CO2 emissions would favor the execution of efficiency increasing measures for fossil fueled power generation. The latest trend in CCPP configurations, high efficiencies of up to 60%, low air emission
rates, and modest space limitations are the driving forces for the anlaysis this paper is to document. This evaluation will compare both combined cycle configurations for a gross power generation capacity of approximately 800 MWel (single-shaft and multi-shaft). Factors such as consideration of performance, environmental impact, availability, reliability, extension possibility, and space limitations will be considered for both configurations. An investigation of combined cycle configurations with F-series gas
turbines (SGT5-4000F gas turbine, formerly known as V94.3A) was conducted. Commercial thermodynamic simulation software was used to simulate the power plant performance under ISO conditions. The initial analysis approach of both configurations is briefly described below, including the design philosophy of each
configuration option. Next, evaluation of the simulation results will be presented, and then overall findings and conclusions will be made.
2. Analysis approach
The analysis approach for both CCPP configurations is addressed in Table 1 as
The steam turbine choice depends on the condenser back pressure, mainly influenced by the cooling condition.
A combined HP/IP, double flow LP, induction and condensing reheat type turbine was selected for better performance with the desired low back pressure. In the induction part, additional power by means of low pressure steam was generated. The condensing
part exhausted steam in a partially condensed state at the condenser back pressure. In the reheat part, steam flowed from the high pressure section of the turbine and was returned to the HRSG, where additional superheat was added. The steam then went back into the intermediate pressure section of the turbine and continued its expansion. The optimum bottoming cycle was selected to attain the maximum thermal efficiency by recovering the heat effectively from the turbine exhaust gases. Optimization of the plant cycle resulted in selection of a superheat/reheat and low pressure cycle or Triple Pressure System with double feeds to the steam turbine. The steam pressure and temperature were determined based on the limitation of the steam pressure requirement for natural circulation of the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG), and the erosion of the Low Pressure Steam Turbine (LPST) last stage. The high, intermediate, and low pressure steam conditions were: 125 bar/565 C; 30 bar/565 C; and 4.4 bar/235 C. At part load the deaerator pressure will be kept above the atmospheric value to improve the overall efficiency and also to remove the dissolved gases from the feed water. Although supplementary firing is an effective means of increasing plant capacity, it significantly reduces the plant efficiency and therefore increases the emissions. No supplementary firing was considered to reach the best efficiency at the required output power. Based on the flow of exhaust gases, HRSG is categorized into horizontal type. The HRSG pinch points were optimized and selected based on the modern design of the CCPP. The HP, IP and LP Pinch points were optimized through multiple runs of the simulation software to get the highest process efficiency at a moderate HRSG surface.
The cooling cycle was designed as a closed cycle system by means of a condenser with wet cooling towers. Wetness fraction of the steam was kept to less than 12% at 0.045 bar back pressure. This pressure could be achieved at ISO ambient conditions through an optimum design of the cooling system such as the water approach to wet bulb temperature was designed at 7 K with cooling water temperature rise in the condenser at 10 K at 3 K degradation. Common steam cycle components such as feed water pumps and deaerators for the 2 HRSGs were considered for the multi-shaft configuration. The exhaust system of the HRSGs included a by-pass stack by which steam from the HRSGs is fed into the multi-shaft configuration utilizing a common header to the steam turbine. In the single-shaft configuration, steam from each HRSG was fed to a separate steam turbine with no interconnection between the 2 steam cycles. The exhaust system for the single-shaft configuration did not include a by-pass stack, as only one of
the single-shaft trains will be in operation and the second will be in an outage condition. A single reheat combined cycle system was considered to improve the thermal efficiency. In this system, steam is typically supplied from the steam turbine back to the
HRSG, where it is then piped to the Intermediate Pressure steam turbine. Both are heated and returned to the steam turbine. This configuration does not exist with a single-shaft combined cycle, where one steam turbine and one HRSG receive heat from the gas
turbine which is supplied directly from the one steam turbine to a single HRSG. However, application of a reheat steam cycle to a multi-shaft combined cycle has typically been restricted to a configuration in which cold reheat steam is distributed to each of only 2 HRSGs for reheating and subsequent return to the steam turbine. This restriction is a result of the complexity, expense, and operability problems that arise with multi-shaft configuration. In other words, the distribution and collection of reheat steam requires more complicated design in terms of piping, valves, and other auxiliary equipment. For the single-shaft configuration hydrogen-cooled generators were considered, whereas for the multi-shaft configuration air-cooled generators were considered for the gas turbines and hydrogen-cooled generators for the steam turbines. The consideration of the generators types was made based on the output range limitations of both types. For increased flexibility in plant operation, the single-shaft configuration can be equipped with flexible couplings and/or synchronous-self-shifting (SSS) clutches. In this system the generator is located in the middle of the single-shaft train (between gas turbine and steam turbine), with one end connected to the cold end of the gas turbine and the other end to the steam turbine through the SSS clutch. It engages and disengages automatically during start-up and shut down of the steam turbine.
This further allows independent operation of the gas turbine during start-up or steam turbine by-pass operation. The need for an auxiliary boiler is thereby eliminated, which would be required if no clutch were used. This results in increased operating flexibility and reliability. The plant configuration design options are illustrated in Table 3.
2.2. Benson once-through steam generator (OTSG)
Due to the restriction of the daily start and stop (DSS) and the limitation of the partial load operation, the application of the Benson once-through steam generator (OTSG) is not discussed in this paper.
3. Plant configurations
Combined cycle power plants can be configured in numerous ways depending on the number of gas turbines. The first consideration is whether to arrange the plant as multi-or single-shaft. Multi-shaft configuration in this context means the application of an independent gas turbine (GT) and steam turbine generator (ST) set will be located in separate buildings (multi-shaft, Fig. 1), or on a single-shaft to a common generator. In the later case, there will be a single generator and a single generator transformer for both GT and ST, Fig. 2. These configurations may, of course, be optimized by taking into consideration the manufacturers’ standard design and final arrangement of external facilities.
3.1. Single-shaft configuration
With the single-shaft configurations, each power train is designed to house all the main components in the same building with a compact arrangement. Fig. 3 shows simple schematic for single-shaft configuration (2GTs 2STs). This
Optimizes engineering in terms of accessibility, maintainability, and health and safety criteria. Sufficient space for routing major steam piping and cabling is required within the GT area
to prevent interference with the inlet duct of the GT inlet air filter, especially in a single-shaft configuration. The required area for the single-shaft configuration (2 single-shaft trains) is approximately 20% higher than that of the multi-shaft configuration (e.g. 2GTs ş 1ST). This difference is due mainly to the additional steam turbine and auxiliary systems. If an auxiliary boiler is considered, this will increase the space requirement. The expansion possibility of a single-shaft configuration to add a second unit is beneficial. The design of the additional single-shaft train will be identical to the first by applying standard design. Further benefit is realized for the technical and economical assessment, since both are already known. Finally, each single-shaft train can be dedicated to supply power to the net or be disconnected from the net independently.
3.2. Multi-shaft configuration
In a multi-shaft configuration, the plant includes 2 separate power islands; a gas turbine area and a steam turbine area.
In a multi-shaft configuration, the electrical generators are smaller, making the arrangement well-suited to unique steam turbine designs, such as cogeneration or district heating. In addition, when 2 gas turbines are utilized, 2 air-cooled generators are required for the gas turbines and one hydrogen-cooled generator is required for the steam turbine as illustrated in Fig. 4. The air-cooled generators are less efficient compared with the hydrogen-cooled generators. The output range of the air-cooled generators is between 175 and 375 MVA whereas the output range of the hydrogen-cooled generators is between 550 and 550 MVA. For these reasons, the air-cooled generators could not be utilized for the single-shaft configuration or the ST in the multi-shaft configuration. The expansion possibilities of a multi-shaft power plant means many components (e.g. steam system, steam turbine, generator and step-up transformer) and associated systems need to be oversized to accommodate the
future expansion. This results in a decline in load efficiency due to the constant part load operation of the steam turbine/generator set. This will result in higher investment cost for the power plant.
Both configurations have been evaluated in terms of the above mentioned approach aspects in Table 1. The calculations are made at both full load and part load operations under the same design conditions. In addition, the calculations included the cases where both GTs are in operation simultaneously or when one GT is off-line for both configurations respectively. The results are based on Lahmeyer’s database and may differ from the latest design of the manufacturers.
Fig. 5 shows the results of the 2 configurations’ overall efficiency versus the overall output. The overall plant efficiency (e.g. gross efficiency) and the net efficiency are calculated by the following formulas:
At base load (e.g. approximately 840 MW) the single-shaft had slightly higher efficiency and overall output capacity than the multi-shaft by approximately 0.05% and 0.08% respectively. At partial loads, with 2 gas turbines in operation, both configurations have virtually the same overall results. This was due to the same steam turbine efficiency behavior of both configurations at this operating level. In the scenario of one GT in outage, the operational flexibility and the gross capacity of the single-shaft plant (one train) is higher than the multi-shaft. It is capable of running at 50% capacity with only one gas turbine in operation; whereas, the multi-shaft configuration can only reach 48.5% of the total capacity. This is due to the lower steam turbine efficiency of the multi-shaft configuration if one gas turbine is out of operation. In addition, one train of the single-shaft has approximately a 3% higher efficiency than the multi-shaft configuration at partial load when one gas turbine is in outage.
4.2. Generator losses
The generator losses and decreased efficiency depend mainly on the generator cooling type. Hydrogen’s low density, high specific heat and thermal conductivity make it a superior coolant for rotating electrical machines and it lends itself to a compact, highly efficient, reliable design. The application of only one highly efficient hydrogen-cooled generator for the single-shaft had a 2-fold positive impact. First, there was a gain in overall efficiency and power output due to the fact that the hydrogen-cooled generator is more efficient than the combination of a hydrogen-cooled generator for the gas turbine and an air-cooled generator for the steam turbine. Second, there was the effect that the omitted set of associated isolated phase bus and generator step-up transformer meant less loss. This meant higher net power output and net efficiency. This leads to an overall incremental net efficiency gain, due to less auxiliary power consumption and higher generator power train efficiency of about 0.1% in comparison to the multi-shaft configuration. Fig. 6 compares the shaft power of both configurations versus the generator losses. From this figure, the most important results of the thermodynamic calculations at base load and part load are:
- The generator losses for the multi-shaft configuration when 2 gas turbine in operation was approximately 20% higher than the single-shaft generator losses;
- The generator losses for the multi-shaft configuration when one gas turbine is in outage was approximately 35% higher than the single-shaft generator losses;
- The shaft power of the multi-shaft arrangement was approximately 0.25% higher than the single-shaft arrangement with 2 gas turbines in operation;
- The shaft power of the single-shaft configuration is approximately 2.5% higher than the multi-shaft configuration when one gas turbine is in outage;
- The efficiency of the hydrogen-cooled generators of the single-shaft arrangement was approximately 0.2% higher than the generator efficiency of the air-cooled generators of the multi- shaft arrangement.
For the multi-shaft configuration the bigger size of the steam turbine results in higher ST work output with lower mechanical losses and, therefore, higher shaft power compared to the 2 steam turbines of the single-shaft configuration. Nevertheless, 2 single-shaft trains will have approximately 0.08% higher gross output power than the multi-shaft configuration at base load due to the lower generator losses and higher generator efficiencies compared with the multi-shaft configuration.
4.3. Auxiliary power
Fig. 7 shows that, as long as 2 gas turbines are in operation, the auxiliary power of both configurations is nearly the same, but the single-shaft configuration has lower auxiliary power consumption from 0.05% at base load to 3% at 50% partial load, depending on the load conditions. The major reasons for the reduced auxiliary power consumption are as follows:
A common lube oil system with redundant lube oil pumps requires only one lube oil pump operational as opposed to 2; One less generator with 2 less bearings translates into less friction loss and therefore into lube oil pump size, which is smaller than the sum of the 2 independent systems; A similar logic applies to the auxiliary cooling water system and its pumps, which do not have to carry the cooling load of an additional generator; The one less generator also contributes to approximately 0.5-1% reduced cooling duty of the balance of plant; The avoided losses of the saved electrical equipment other than the isolated phase bus and the generator step-up transformer (e.g. the second excitation system, protection devices, etc.) also add to the auxiliary power consumption of a multi-shaft arrangement.
Furthermore, the single-shaft configuration has a clear advantage, especially if one of the 2 gas turbines is out of operation. In this case the full load efficiency of the smaller ST of the single-shaft train has approximately 20-30% lower auxiliary demands than the partial load auxiliaries of the big steam turbine of the multi-shaft configuration, which has to be operated in partial load at lower efficiency range. This again leads to an overall incremental net efficiency gain due to less auxiliary power consumption and higher generator power train efficiency in comparison to the multi-shaft configuration.
5. Availability and reliability
Availability reflects the percentage of the hours that a plant will be available to produce electricity. It depends on the percentage of planned and forced outages of ST and GT. Planned outages are planned maintenance activities, whereas forced outages are unexpected problems leading to a blackout of the GT or ST. It is calculated by the following formula:
Reliability is a measure of the percentage of the time between planned overhauls. No values for reliability can be stated that will be valid for all cases, since factors such as preventative maintenance and operating mode have an impact. However, statistics indicate that similar type plants have the similar availabilities and reliabilities when operated under the same conditions. It is calculated by the following formula:
In this paper the availability and the reliability for the main components of each CCPP configuration such as the gas turbine vs. steam turbine was considered. FOH and MOH together represent the unplanned outage hours, and MOH and POH together represent
the scheduled outage hours. MOH was not considered in the calculations, because they are very difficult to predict. The planned maintenance and forced outages all occur during the base load period hours. In order to simplify the calculations for availability
and reliability, the unplanned maintenance outage hours MOH was not considered. Furthermore, the outage factor for the balance of plant equipment was not considered in the calculations. According to the statistical data of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), 2003e2007, the planned outage factor for the GT POF is estimated at 4.23% and the FOF is estimated at 2.86%. The POF for the steam turbine was estimated at 1.3% and the FOF was estimated at 0.5%. The data used for the calculations was an interpolation of the different data sources. The availability is calculated for both configurations at various phases of the year and led to the number of hours of power generation with the related number of GT and ST for both configurations as shown in the Table 3. For the single-shaft configuration, the forced and scheduled outages of GT and the corresponding ST occurred at the same time. In the case of a gas turbine trip or a HRSG trip the complete power train will drop
off-line. Consequently, the duration of the planned outages of the ST will be the same as for the GT and the percentage of forced outages is assumed to be the sum of the percentages of GT and ST.
For the multi-shaft configuration, the ST is in operation at the same time that one GT is in planned outage. During this period the ST will operate in partial load. The planned outages of the GTs are planned and will not occur simultaneously. During these periods, the remaining HRSG cannot generate sufficient steam for the full load
operation of the ST. Furthermore, the planned outage of the ST is projected during the planned outage of the GT to minimize the partial load duration of the ST as shown in the Table 4.
From Table 4, it is clear that a multi-shaft configuration has the lowest total blackout probability of 48 h/a compared with 60 h/a for the single-shaft. Furthermore, an additional advantage of the multi-shaft configuration is that the overall period of time in which the base load capacity is available is higher than single-shaft. From Fig. 8, the availability and reliability are slightly higher 0.1% and 0.3% respectively for the multi-shaft configuration. This was due to the different operation and outage scenarios for both configurations. The multi-shaft configuration has higher power output in one year due to the independent planned outage of the ST and GT which leads to higher availability and reliability. In practice, the forced outage factor of the balance of plant system leads to a slight increase of the availability of the single-shaft configuration due to the independent balance of plant systems for each single-shaft train.
6. Environmental considerations
Pollutant emission concentrations and emission flow rates during operation using fuel gas is a Typical GT Manufacturer Guarantee Value. The sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions are negligible because CH4 does not contain any sulphur. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) as the main pollutant does not exceed the emission limits of
50 mg/Nm3 at 15% O2 in dry exhaust gas. The NOx emission is typically guaranteed by the GT manufacturers to emit 50 mg/Nm3 or less, which complies with the applicable EU emission limit (Table 5). However, due to the use of Low NOx burners, the typical NOx emission of each GT at base load is constant at 25 ppmv at 15% O2 in dry exhaust gas. In the operating range of 50e100%, the Inlet
Guide Vanes (IGV) remain in premix mode to enable constant
exhaust gas temperature. This mode of operation is achieved at or near the combustion reference temperature design point. Optimum emissions are generated in premix mode. The constant exhaust temperature will avoid increasing the NOx emissions. By designing the plant with fast-start capability, start-up emissions will be dramatically reduced. Table 5 illustrates the relevant NOx emission limits based on the gas turbines manufacturer (OEM) for base load operation and burning gas fuel. The Dry LowNOx operating modes from ignition to 50% load with the related NOx emissions are not available from the (OEM) for written publication. The NOx production dose not differs in both configurations but, the specific emissions of NOx kg/kWh change and is related to the power plant efficiency. Based on Table 5 and on the behavior of the Low NOx burners, it can be concluded that in the operating range 50e100% with 2 GTs in operation both configurations have the same specific NOx emissions. But, when one gas turbine is in outage the multi-shaft configuration at partial load has approximately 3% higher specific NOx emissions than one train of the single-shaft (see Section 4.1). This value of the specific NOx emissions shall be considered as an approximation.
The CO2 production dose not differs in both configurations but, the specific emissions of CO2 t/MWh change and is related to the power plant efficiency. From the thermodynamic calculation results, for both configurations are illustrated in Fig. 9. At base load both with 2 GTs in operation both configurations have the same specific emissions of CO2. If one gas turbine is out of operation, the specific emissions of carbon dioxide of the multi-shaft configuration at partial load are approximately 6% higher than the single-shaft. This was due to the higher efficiency of the single-shaft configuration at partial load when one gas turbine is out of operation.
7. Findings and conclusions
It was concluded that each combined cycle configuration had specific advantages. The best approach needs to be evaluated for each project individually. At base load and partial load the single-shaft configuration has better efficiency and output. This leads to fuel cost savings for the single-shaft compared with
multi-shaft. Nevertheless, the multi-shaft configuration has better availability and reliability at base load. No one knows how fuel and electricity prices will fluctuate in the future, and as a result, which load regime a combined cycle power plant could be operated over the plant lifetime. On the other hand, a potential plant expansion in the future and implementation time play important roles when it comes to decision making. Single-shaft configuration has better expansion possibilities if required in the future. Based on the technical results, the single-shaft represents the following advantages compared with the multi-shaft configuration:
- Higher efficiency at base and partial load operations;
- Higher output at base and partial load operations;
- Faster start-up capability;
- Lower generator losses;
- Better maintenance access;
- Better extension possibility without effect on the performance of the first train;
- Lower specific CO2 emissions at partial load if one GT is in outage;
- Lower specific NOx emissions at partial load if one GT is in outage.
Note: Questions concerning the continued gas turbine operation in the scenario of a steam turbine in outage need to be answered by the manufacturer and evaluated carefully with regard to any interruption exposure.
The multi-shaft configuration represents the following advantages compared with the single-shaft configuration:
- Higher steam turbine shaft power;
- Higher availability and reliability at base load;
- Lower space requirement;
- Flexible open cycle operation when the steam turbine is in outage.