Coal, Gas, Nuclear, Renewables

POWER-GEN International 2017: Convergence and Collaboration

Issue 10 and Volume 121.

By Russell Ray, Chairman, POWER-GEN International, Chief Editor, Power Engineering

The power sector is on the cusp of unprecedented transformation, which is being driven by technological forces outside the power sector. It’s not surprising, considering the convergence of digital solutions, power plant technologies and technical advancements in automation.

Expect both great collaboration and intense competition between these brash newcomers and the industry’s established players. These new drivers of change are creating new possibilities for power producers and consumers. The established players and these new drivers of change will be gathering Dec. 5-7 in Las Vegas, Nevada, for POWER-GEN International 2017.

POWER-GEN is where the greatest minds in power generation gather once a year for the world’s largest forum for power professionals. It’s where the best and brightest in power generation have been meeting for 29 years to discuss the mechanics, chemistry, operation and regulation of power generation.

Attendees of POWER-GEN International can also choose from 18 pre-conference workshops on Sunday Dec. 3 and Monday Dec. 4. All workshop attendees receive a certificate of completion. Certificates of completion may be submitted to your professional organization for Professional Development Hours.

About 20,000 power professionals from around the world are expected to attend the three-day event to discuss the most innovative and cost-effective solutions for maintaining, operating and building new power projects. In addition, about 1,400 exhibiting companies from every sector of the industry will be showcasing their products and services on the exhibit floor. The exhibition opens at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Dec. 5 following the keynote session.

POWER-GEN International offers a wealth of networking opportunities with leading professionals and key decision makers. About 280 speakers will share their thoughts on trends, technology and project development in 60 conference sessions. A wide range of topics, from data analytics to gas turbine design, will be discussed by high-ranking regulators, developers, power producers and manufacturers.

“You can attend some great technical sessions. You can walk the exhibit floor and learn about hundreds of companies,” said Tom Ghesquiere, chairman of POWER-GEN’s Gas Turbine Technologies Track. “If you want to expand your experience beyond that, you could attend the pre-conference workshops or the power plant tours.”

The keynote session on Dec. 5 will feature five high-ranking executives, including J. Patrick Kennedy, founder and chief executive officer of OSIsoft; Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power; Stan Connally Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Gulf Power; Blake Moret, president and CEO of Rockwell Automation; and Paul Browning, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas.

More than 20,000 power professionals are expected to attend POWER-GEN International 2017, Dec. 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Conference sessions will be held under 14 tracks or topics: Emissions Control; Flexible Generation and On-Site Power; Plant Performance; Gas Turbine Technologies; Energy Storage; Business Trends and Regulatory Issues; The Digital Power Plant; Power Project Financing; Material Handling; Utility-Scale Renewable Power; Distributed Renewable Power; Clean Coal Technologies; and Gas-Fired Power Plants; and Nuclear Power.

“We’ll be doing a deeper dive into areas such as performance and efficiency gains and other trends and developments,” Ghesquiere said. “I’m really looking forward to some excellent sessions throughout the Gas Turbine Technologies Track.”

Here’s a sample of some of the sessions that will be offered at POWER-GEN: “Smart Analytics to Improve Plant Performance;” “Cybersecurity: Avoiding the Dark Side;” “Energy Storage Project Deployment Around the World;” “Integrated Energy Storage;” “Combined Cycle O&M Considerations in Today’s Dispatch Market;” “Technology Solutions for Fast Starting Natural Gas Fired Plants;” “Gas Turbine Maintenance, Upgrades and Field Experiences;” “Gas Turbine Fuel Flexibility;” “Making CHP Work for You;” “Material Handling and Maintenance Upgrades;” and “Financing Trends in Grid-of-the-Future Power Projects.”

Six mega-sessions are also scheduled: “Large Frame Combustion Turbine Technology Update;” “Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics: Opportunities for Analytics to Improve Plant Performance and Reliability;” “North America is Long on Natural Gas: Will Power Generators Be Able to Get It;” “Can Carbon Capture Save Us?”

POWER-GEN International attendees will see or hear about new technologies that promise to change the way the industry generates power. Several sessions will center on the promise of energy storage, an emerging market driven by new mandates and demands for cleaner, more reliable power.

“We are going to cover some of the most recent advancements in Energy Storage, including new projects installed over the last year,” said Vibhu Kaushik, principal manager of Asset Management & Generation Strategy for Southern California Edison and chairman of POWER-GEN’s Energy Storage Track.

During POWER-GEN, about 280 speakers will share their thoughts on trends, technology and project development in 60 conference sessions. A wide range of topics, from data analytics to gas turbine design, will be discussed by high-ranking regulators, developers, power producers and manufacturers.

THREE TECHNICAL TOURS

Technical tours of two power generation facilities will be offered to attendees on Monday, Dec. 4:

Hoover Dam

Just a short drive from the glitter and glamour of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is a testimony to America’s ability to construct monolithic projects amid adverse conditions. Built during the Great Depression between 1931 and 1935, thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to tame the Colorado River. It took less than 5 years to build the largest dam of its time.

Now, 82 years later, Hoover Dam still stands as a world-renowned structure. Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been called one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World. This engineering project not only enabled the industrial development of the Pacific Southwest, but it also forms Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the Western Hemisphere.

Before your guided tour of Hoover Dam, you will have a short presentation on how the west was won with. Next, your guide will take you over 500′ down one of our enormous elevators to the Nevada wing of the power plant, where you overlook the massive 7-story tall generators. From there you will go on your own out to the Observation Deck on top of the Tour Center, where you can view the river flow, the lake and the massive expansive of the Hoover Dam.

Walter M. Higgins Generating Station

The Walter M. Higgins Generating Station is a clean-burning natural gas-fueled power plant located in Southern Nevada near the California border. The plant utilizes two highly efficient Siemens-Westinghouse 501FD2 combustion turbines to produce electricity. Additionally, the exhaust from the two turbines is recycled to produce steam for an Alstom STF30C steam turbine to make additional electricity for NV Energy customers.

The plant went into service in 2004. Unlike conventional power plants that use substantial amounts of water for cooling, the Higgins Station uses a six-story-high dry cooling system. Similar to a car radiator, 40 massive fans (34 feet in diameter) are used to condense the steam and cool plant equipment.

Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station

The Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station achieved commercial operation in 2010 and uses hot exhaust from a neighboring natural gas compressor station to generate electricity. The hot exhaust heats a thermal oil transfer fluid at the compressor station, which is then circulated to the Goodsprings power plant equipment and is utilized to vaporize an organic working fluid into a gas. The expansion force of this gas drives a small turbine generator to make electricity.

This creative renewable energy approach to making use of such waste heat is the first in Nevada. In the normal operation of the Kern River Gas Transmission Co. compressor station – which primarily is used to move natural gas through Nevada to California – some waste heat is released to the atmosphere. This thermal energy is captured and converted to electricity in much the same way that some geothermal energy power plants capture heat from hot water deep below the earth’s surface.

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS and CEU Credits

Attendees of POWER-GEN International can also choose from 18 pre-conference workshops on Sunday Dec. 3 and Monday Dec. 4. All workshop attendees receive a certificate of completion. Certificates of completion may be submitted to your professional organization for Professional Development Hours.

Some of the workshop topics include: “Effective Project management for the Power Project professional,” “Secrets to Executing a Successful Turbine-Generator Outage,” “Energy and Electricity Storage: Grid and Distributed Storage with a Discussion of Variables Related to Storage Options,” “Cycle Chemistry for the Power Industry: A Practical Course on Best Practices,” “Machine Learning for Power Plant Managers,” “HRSG Fundamentals: Operations, Inspections, Trouble Shooting and Maintenance of Combined Cycle HRSGs.”

For a complete list of pre-conference workshops, go to http://www.power-gen.com/conference.html.

Several sessions at POWER-GEN will be devoted to the industry’s transition to power fueled with natural gas and renewable resources. This trend will continue, which means gas-fired plants must be faster and more flexible to effectively offset the inherent fluctuations of renewable power.

In addition to speed and flexibility, POWER-GEN speakers will be exploring new methods and strategies for maximizing net fuel efficiency. Air quality control system upgrades for existing coal-fired plants and operation and maintenance practices for nuclear plants will continue to be chief staples of our conference program in 2017. What’s more, we will be taking a closer look at the technologies driving the digital transformation of power generation.

To attend POWER-GEN, to www.power-gen.com to register. See you in Las Vegas!