Chennai, June 21 (IANS) Research and Development (R&D) work on the design of the 800 MW ulta-super critical boiler for coal-fired power plants is expected to speed up, as funds for the project are expected to be sanctioned by this year-end, an official said.
Meanwhile, the boiler tubes fabricated out of special metals developed by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), one of the three agencies involved in the project, will be tested in a running power plant of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Ltd. sometime next year.The official, declining to be identified, told IANS: "At a meeting held in New Delhi Monday, the Planning Commission has assured us funding support to carry out the R&D activities, which will require around Rs.1,200 crore."
The official said funds were expected to be released before the end of this year, after the relevant sanctions from the finance ministry and the union cabinet.
Nuclear reactor research agency IGCAR, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) and NTPC have joined hands to design, develop and build advanced super ultra-critical boilers that can operate at high temperature.
The Indian government has proposed a National Mission for the Development of Ultra Supercritical Technology for thermal power plants as the ninth mission under the National Action Plan for Climate Change under the guidance of R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the government.
As per the plans, the IGCAR will develop the materials for 800 MW advanced ultra super-critical boiler that can operate at a pressure of 310 bar (a measure of steam pressure) and at a temperature of 710 degrees centigrade.
Power equipment major BHEL will design and manufacture the boiler and other equipments while power generator NTPC will be the end user to produce power.
Already IGCAR has developed two alloys - 304HCu stainless steel and Alloy 617M - and their matching composition welding consumables, collaborating with Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited and Nuclear Fuel Complex.
"Next year we hope to test the tubes fabricated at BHEL with the new materials in a running power plant," Arun Kumar Bhaduri, associate director at IGCAR told IANS.
"One of the important aspects that have to be borne in mind while developing new materials is the ability to fabricate equipments using them by bending and welding two joints," Bhaduri said.
He said appropriate welding procedures have also been developed for similar and dissimilar weld joints for these two tube materials.
"The mechanical properties of the tubes made with our materials and their weld joints are comparable to the internationally reported values as also the codified values in the international standards," he added.
According to Bhaduri, welding procedures for rotor blades in the turbine will also be developed and passed on the BHEL while the materials for the turbine casings will also be developed by IGCAR.
Bhaduri said in an advanced ultra super critical boiler, where the steam pressure and steam temperature is at 310 bar and 710 degrees centigrade, its efficiency will go up to 45-47 percent while the carbon-dioxide emissions will come down to 750 kg/MW.
The efficiency numbers are far better than that of super critical or sub-critical boilers, he added.
According to him, indigenous development of advanced ultra super critical power plant is very challenging as this technology has yet not been fully developed anywhere in the world, and the manufacturing technologies of the new nickel-base alloys that are required are yet to be fully established.
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