Best Paper Award Asia

The share of wind and solar power in many grids has grown rapidly, making it increasingly difficult to stabilise the supply of power. On the spot market, electricity is normally traded by the hour on the day-ahead market. However, the fluctuations in demand and price are a lot faster, and are accelerating. Hence, the trend is increasingly towards shorter settlement periods closer to the actual delivery. These deliveries can be seen as generation pulses. Such balancing services are priced considerably higher than pure electricity production and they offer an additional, valuable revenue stream.

The essence of pulse load is that generation can be started and stopped so rapidly that power can be thought of as supplied in pulses. During such a pulse, the nominal efficiency of the power plant is no longer the most essential parameter. Instead, it is increasingly important to be able to start as quickly as possible, at the lowest possible cost, both in terms of maintenance impact of sudden starts and fuel needed for the start-up process. The pulse efficiency is the net efficiency for the duration of the operating period, including start-up, shut-down and part-load operation.

This paper will study the actual efficiencies and operational costs of different generation technologies during typical pulse intervals. Preliminary results indicate significant potential for savings by optimal matching of generation technology to the length of the pulses.

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  Christian Hultholm

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   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
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