MWM’s 5 minute ramp option now available17 October 2018
Owing to the characteristics of renewable energy sources, many operators of gas-fired power plants depend on flexible operation. Caterpillar subsidiary MWM has produced a software option that reduces start-up time.
To avoid and help smooth major supply fluctuations, gas plants must be able to start up quickly. A special operating mode enables the MWM TCG 2032B V16 generator set to alternate between normal and fast ramp-up in a flexible way. As the result of a newly developed software option, the MWM TCG 2032B V16 is able to start up in less than five minutes from the ramp-up request to 100 % load on the grid. This new fast ramp-up option is available for voltages from 6000 V to 11000 V at a network frequency of 50 Hz.
The benefits of the fast ramp-up option are especially evident in gas applications in areas such as the UK STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve) market or for the provision of control energy. Thanks to the fast genset ramp-up, network operators can call on energy within a very short time in order to buffer load peaks in the grids. With this enhancement, operators can switch between normal and fast genset ramp-up in a flexible manner.
Due to the inherent fluctuation in the availability of renewable energies such as wind or solar energy, gas power plant operators increasingly make use of flexible operation because of its income potential. To efficiently utilise that higher potential, fast and flexible availability of the gas genset output is vital. With the MWM ramp-up option, this is possible.
Reliability and low O&M costs
The MWM genset is mainly used in the power plant projects of independent power producers with an output of up to 50 MWe. More than 740 power gensets with a combined output of approximately 2 850 000 kWe have already been installed around the globe. The engine is able to run on natural gas and is said to exhibit high levels of reliability and low maintenance costs.
The MWM TCG 2032B gas engine software option for a fast ramp-up start is available for all TCG 2032B V16 standard voltages 6000 V to 11 kV a 50Hz, but only for natural gas operation.
Features for high efficiency:
- High fuel utilisation and low operation costs thanks to optimised chamber spark plug
- Increased efficiency through newly developed closed crankcase ventilation that enables utilisation of blow-by gas
- High availability through long maintenance intervals: first maintenance after 4 000 hours, major overhaul after 80 000 hours
Features for lower maintenance costs:
- Lubricant consumption of only 0.2 g/kWh, up to 30 % lower than competitor products owing to optimised tappet sealing, coke stripping rings and ring packages
- Soot-free combustion. An open combustion chamber with chamber spark plug for soot-free combustion
- Extended maintenance intervals for the exhaust gas heat exchanger
- No pre-combustion chamber with time-consuming maintenance and risk of failure.
- No additional gas supply with increased gas pressure required for pre-combustion chamber
- No more than two interruptions a year for scheduled maintenance
- Use of ‘Xchange’ components option enables time savings of up to 75 % during the major overhaul
Features for high availability:
- New turbocharger technology increases genset availability
- Improved output under non-ISO conditions
- High output of 4500 kWe possible through use of A140 high-pressure turbocharger. The turbocharger achieves a higher compression ratio and enables operation under full load with intake air of up to 45°C
- Exhaust gas waste gate enables constant performance with different intake air temperatures and setup altitudes
- Smoothing of reserve boost pressure in relation to load results in higher efficiency and improved load response.