Agency constructed an 85-MW thermal (MWt) PFBC unit that was placed in service in 1980. Early cooperation between the American Electric Power Service Company and ASEA STAL (now ASEA Brown Boveri, with its subsidiary ABB Carbon) led, in 1982, to the construction of a 15-MWt PFBC component test facility now located in Finspong, Sweden (Miller et al., 1982).

State of the Art

AFBC technology has achieved commercial acceptance, while PFBC technology is currently undergoing commercial demonstration. As of mid-1993, 293 bubbling bed and 276 circulating bed units were operating worldwide, with an average steam capacity of 235,000 lb/hr. About 43 percent of the steam capacity and 35 percent of the total number of units were sold in North America, mainly in the United States. EPRI has estimated that 75 percent of the U.S. capacity is circulating FBC technology. Independent power producers, rather than investor-owned utilities, have pushed the development of AFBC in the United States. The present generation of AFBC technologies has no difficulty meeting the current NSPS for steam electric power plants or industrial sources.

PFBC technology is in the early stages of commercialization. Four PFBC units of less than 80 MW, two in Sweden, one in Spain, and one in the United States, have been placed in operation in the past four years. A fifth 71-MW unit is in initial operation in Japan. The DOE CCT program is sponsoring an 80-MW circulating PFBC project expected to be in commercial operation in mid-1997 (DOE, 1994a).

In addition, the CCT program has selected a 95-MW second-generation PFBC project for funding. This advanced PFBC system will involve partial gasification of the coal, with the resulting fuel gas going to a topping combustor along with cleaned gases from a circulating unit that will receive char from the gasifier. Electricity is generated from the topping combustor and from a steam cycle coupled to the PFBC unit. An advanced system for hot gas cleanup will also be used in the demonstration. A fully integrated second-generation PFBC system is also scheduled to be tested at the 8-MWe level at the Power Systems Development Facility under construction in Wilsonville, Alabama, sponsored by DOE, Southern Company Services, and EPRI. This PFBC testing will evaluate the integration of all of the components in the PFBC system, with emphasis on the integration of hot gas cleanup ceramic filters and gas turbines (DOE, 1993a).

Current Programs

DOE funding for AFBC technology development ended in FY 1992. The current PFBC program is aimed at developing second-generation systems for electric power generation with performance goals as summarized in Table 7-2. The FY 1994 Office of Fossil Energy budget for PFBC was $24.1 million.

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