POWER Magazine 12/02/2019
By Pintail Power founder, Bill Conlon, PE, PhD
Low asset utilization is an increasing financial challenge for both conventional and renewable assets, which are sometimes curtailed due to over-generation at various times of day. Integrating large-scale thermal energy storage with combustion turbines in a Liquid Salt Combined Cycle can transform thermal generation assets into low-carbon resources that deliver capacity and energy at far lower cost than batteries.
Solar and wind resources are displacing conventional generation, which is increasingly used to follow and firm variable generation. Thermal plants are operating at reduced capacity factors, are called on for load-following, and are being cycled, sometimes requiring two starts per day. Under these conditions, the heat rate increases, emissions limit run-time, and thermally stressed components have dramatically shortened useful lifetimes.