Novel Pressure Control System (PCS) To Improve Steam Power Plant Efficiency And To Reduce Environmental Impact

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sha & Associates, Inc.
2823 Meyers Rd.
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the efficiency of a power plant is very sensitive to the back pressure of its condenser ¿ a drop in back pressure of one-inch Hga can result in a 2% increase in generation capacity. For most steam power plants the back pressure is in the range of 2-3.5 inch Hga, which is much higher than the design exit pressure of a turbine (~1inch Hga). One of the major concerns in lowering the back pressure of the condenser is the efficient removal of air from the condenser. This project will develop and demonstrate a novel pressure control system (PCS) that is incorporated into an existing condenser¿s air removal system (ARS). The technology is designed to lower the operating pressure at the inlet of the vacuum pump to facilitate the removal of air inventory inside the condenser. In Phase I, a small-scale prototype test facility will be constructed to prove the feasibility of the novel PCS. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new PCS should provide enormous cost savings and environmental benefits by generating more power and burning less fuel. The financial incentive will drive utility companies to install the technology in their power plants.