CS Energy: Plant mods improve power station flexibility

CS Energy
Graduate Mechanical Engineer Matt Wyllie shot video of the new air atomised igniters being started on Callide Unit B1

CS Energy recently completed plant modifications to enable one of its thermal generating units to operate more flexibly in response to changing electricity demand patterns.

A $4.5 million project to install new air atomised igniters on Unit B1 at Callide Power Station was completed during the Callide overhaul in late 2020 and was the first major modifications in CS Energy’s plant flexibility program. They follow a series of trials over the last two years to assess the potential for our generating units to operate at lower loads and faster ramp rates.

CS Energy executive general manager asset management Colin Duck said there is an increasing need for coal-fired power stations to operate with greater flexibility in response to the intermittency of renewables.

“Over the last two years in Queensland we’ve seen a reduction in electricity demand during the middle of the day as more solar enters the grid,” Mr Duck said.

“Demand then rises rapidly in the evening once solar is no longer available.

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“Our priority is ensuring our plants are available when the market needs them most–in the morning and evening peak demand periods.

“This means ramping up or down in response to demand, and operating at lower loads for longer, something coal-fired power stations weren’t originally designed to do.”

The CS Energy exec said the new air atomised igniters on Unit B1 at Callide would reduce the potential for unit trips during load changes and increase the life of coal mills in between overhauls.

“The B1 works have enabled us to operate the unit differently compared to how we use to. The market is changing and we need to change to adapt to that.”

CS Energy graduate mechanical engineer Matt Wyllie shot this video of the new air atomised igniters being started on Callide Unit B1