OPC Rotem Combined Cycle Power Plant is a 440MW dual-fuel fired power project, located in Dimona, Southern Israel. Mitsubishi Power was selected as the main contractor and turbine supplier, and the plant was commissioned in July 2013. The primary fuel being used to power the plant is natural gas, but in case of a gas shortage, the plant can also run on oil. The site in Dimona is quite exposed and can be subjected to strong summer winds and dust storms, particularly during the day.
All air-cooled heat exchangers are affected by wind to a certain degree. High cross winds make it more difficult for the cooling fans to deliver air across the heat exchange surface leading to a reduction of performance as fan airflow rates decrease. This can be particularly bad with both high temperatures and high wind speeds. In the worst cases this can result in a plant having to either reduce the load on their steam turbines, resulting in a loss of generating output, or sometimes complete shutdown, resulting in fines as well as a loss of output. These were the challenges that faced the power plant at OPC Rotem.
Galebreaker used sophisticated CFD techniques to model the effects of high winds and recirculation on the performance of the Air Cooled Condenser at Rotem in order to develop a wind screen protection solution. The screens were positioned to protect the fans from high wind velocities and redirect air to maximise fan performance under varying wind conditions. A detailed plant model was created and verified against the actual operating characteristics of the station.
The model included active modules for the fans and heat exchange surface that reacted to changes in air inlet conditions of the ACC to calculate the change in airflow under different operating conditions. Combinations of screens were then added to the model to determine the best solution based on expected performance improvements. A detailed site survey was undertaken to allow for a complete set of bespoke screens to be fabricated at our facility in Ledbury, UK, which were then delivered to site and installed by a local contractor under Galebreaker Supervision.
Following the installation of the screens, plant information data was collected and compared to similar data points to confirm that the ACC performance defecit was reduced by the addition of the screens. Analysis of the data showed that the back pressure of the plant improved following the installation under similar weather conditions, improving the plant performance during wind events.
OPC Rotem also identified HP steam leaks and some repairs were made during our test phase. Taking that into consideration, Galebreaker and the OPC Rotem Engineering Team concluded that steam turbine output registered an average improvement of 6MW after the Wind Screens had been installed. This was demonstrated when ambient temperatures were between 29 and 37 degrees centigrade.
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