As you peruse the Sure Flow Equipment website and look at the PDFs with product details, many of our product spec. sheets provide charts showing operating pressures and temperatures.
There, you’ll find the pressure in ‘psi’ at a specific temperature for either “Steam” or “WOG.” The “Gas” in “Water, Oil, Gas” generally refers to a vaporized liquid like nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen or just air.
While the majority of our products end up straining a liquid, we do a significant business in the “Gas” and “Steam” world as well. Sure Flow has specific expertise in custom fabricating products for power generation including natural gas power generation.
Sure Flow is using our expertise in producing high quality custom fabricated industrial valves and strainers to aid in this industry. New natural gas power generation plants lower their impact by adding new efficiencies often not necessary in older plants built during the decades of inexpensive fossil fuels. A ‘combined cycle’ power generation plant converts heat (by burning fuel) to produce mechanical energy (spinning a turbine) which generates electrical energy. In the ‘good old days’ of cheap energy, power generation plants were only 30 – 35% efficient, and any heat left over after the turbine was spinning would have been wasted.
If you extract the heat from that previously wasted steam you can increase efficiency a further 50% or 60% to a total overall efficiency of over 60% in both cycles. These plants can be more complex to operate because you reuse water and steam through their various cycles and impurities can be introduced that may reduce the efficiency. That’s where Sure Flows expertise comes into play!
Here are some duplex strainer assemblies that Sure Flow has fabricated for a new gas fired power generation plant.
These strainers are for the protection of the high pressure desuperheater sprays, (4000 PSI) and the intermediate pressure (1500 psi) attemperator spray valves. A desuperheater lowers the temperature of superheated steam prior to it being used to spin the turbine to generate electricity. An attemperator is a device designed to regulate temperature by passing a liquid (water) through a flow (in this case steam).
The power cycles in power plants today try to use the water required for the power cycle as many times as possible to limit the overall plant usage. The duplex assemblies from Sure Flow are used to clean the particles from the recirculating water, before it goes back into controls system and valves that may get clogged if not cleaned, prior to their designed control function. The small orifices in the control system components cannot get clogged or the function will deteriorate. Their function is critical to the smooth operation of the power plant so Sure Flow products are designed to help maximize efficiency.
This unit pictured below will also be used in a power plant. Several of the units are for the boiler feed water recirculation system to protect the pumps from being clogged by debris.
The design is unique since cleaning is by auto backwash, allowing the startup crews to avoid having to open the strainers and clean the baskets as is normal for most installations. This is our third plant with this design, one that startup personnel like due to the reduction of maintenance time to continue to operate the commissioning sequences. They provide a time savings and therefore a cost savings to the “Engineering, Procurement and Construction” (EPC) contractor.
In many electricity grid systems natural gas is used for “peak power.” This means you may have a baseload, such as nuclear power that must be kept on constantly and might make up, for example, 50% of the load. Baseload is always on. Then as people get going each day and industry ramps up, power utilities must bring on additional ‘dispatchable’ generation. If there is hydro or wind power in the grid this may be used, but natural gas is dependable and can be ready quickly when required.
Of course the challenge for the natural gas plant is that it will have inconsistent demands during any given day depending on weather, temperature, day of the week, industrial loads, etc. This all adds to the challenge of maintaining a plant at peak operating efficiency, and Sure Flow is proud that the products we produce can play a role in this vital process.
Electricity is a marvelous invention and we’re excited to be involved with a technological process which allows us all to live so comfortably. It keeps our homes bright at night, our food cold all day long, and if you’re planning on watching some television or streaming a movie at night, helps keeps us entertained!