Midland, Michigan, USA
To design the most economical and effective system to lower the temperature of the inlet air flow to gas turbines so as to increase the power output.
Proprietary MeeFog™ systems were custom designed to allow for maximum power augmentation over a wide range of ambient temperature and humidity conditions. The MeeFog system achieved superior results with a very small parasitic load.
The Benefits of MeeFog™ Technology
- Up to 20% Increased Output
- Up to 5% Improved Heat Rate
- Up to 30% Reduced NOx Emissions
- Up to 100% Evaporation Efficiency
- Easy Retrofit and Rapid Installation
- Added Boost from Fog Inter-Cooling
- Reduced Fuel Consumption
Midland Cogeneration Venture, Midland, Michigan USA
MCV’s core power generation equipment, among the most reliable technology in the industry, was built by ABB (now Alstom) and General Electric. The massive cogeneration facility is well-positioned to add efficient generation capacity necessary to meet the future needs of Michigan and to replace aging coal-fired generation facilities.
The Midland Site
Midland Cogeneration Venture (MCV) was originally slated to house twin pressurized water nuclear reactors. Serious complications during construction of the facility- including poor soil compaction which led to the sinking and cracking of buildings, along with regulatory changes resulting from the 1979 Three Mile Island incident- caused the abandonment of plans for a nuclear facility. New plans called for the installation of twelve ABB 11N gas turbines with the first going commercial in 1991. The MCV turbines use Combustion Engineering heat recovery steam generators with Coen duct burners. There are also Indeck package boilers, one 15MW ABB VAX backpressure steam turbine and two GE steam turbines, although typically only one is run at any given time leaving the second turbine for use as a backup. MCV’s Engineering Manager, Brian J. Vokal, says the converted nuclear facility was originally going to have two nuclear units, but that the GTs only produced enough steam to run one steam turbine at a time. “We typically run all twelve gas turbines,” he says. “But can only run one steam turbine.”
New Owners = New Power Generation Goals
In 2009 the Swedish firm EQT Infrastructure and its American partner, FORTISTAR bought MCV. One of the first priorities of the new owners was to generate additional cash flow by boosting output at the facility. The most cost-effective way to increase output was to use inlet cooling. Evaporative cooling and mechanical chilling technologies were both considered and carefully evaluated, but fog was eventually determined to be less costly than mechanical chilling when operating costs were taken into account. MCV chose Mee Industries to install the new system. Mee Industries engineers calculated the increase in efficiency and output that could be expected in the MCV environment based on the number of operating hours. They also determined how much income would result from the increased production. “Mee had the largest installed base out of all the fogging manufacturers,” said MCV’s Vokal. “The new facility owners also have Mee systems installed in a couple of their other plants, so this was also done on their recommendation.”
In the summer of 2009 a Mee test fogging skid was installed on just one of the turbine units. The ‘real world’ results obtained quickly validated the initial projections of the Mee engineers. In fact, the MeeFog™ system produced enough additional revenue to finance the installation of additional MeeFog™ systems on other gas turbines.
After the initial installation, MCV’s Vokal said the results obtained by the installation of MeeFog™ technology went far beyond expectations. “We are going to buy six more units and use the cash generated (from the increased production) to buy five more.”
Which is just what they did. As of the summer of 2011, MeeFog™ skids had been installed on all 12 of the plant’s gas turbines and boosting output as planned. “They are very simple, easy to install and easy to operate,” says Vokal.
Cost/Benefits of the MeeFog™ System
Statistics prove that cooling inlet air in gas turbine generators produces economical results. Because a combustion turbine’s output is dependent on the mass of the air being moved through it’s compressor, and because the volume per revolution is fixed by a turbine’s design, lowering the air temperature increases the air density and thereby increases its power output. Cooler air is also easier to compress, requiring less power and lowering the parasitic load of the compressor unit.
High pressure fogging systems allow for the ultra fine control of temperatures over a wider range of temperature and humidity conditions. Fog is the only solution that has almost zero parasitic load. In fact, the power gain that results from the use of fog cooling can be further boosted by what is known as overspray (also known as wet compression or intercooling.) This technology allows for the injection of water into the compressor, which decreases the amount of energy used during the compression process. This can add as much as 10% power output.
It’s no wonder fogging systems are typically preferred to other evaporative cooling technology. MeeFog™ systems are quite simply the world’s most cost-effective gas turbine power augmentation system available anywhere today. That’s why the Midland Cogeneration Venture installation is one of the many Mee Industries installations where gas turbines have been either retrofitted with fogging systems or have had the technology included from the initial design process.
About Mee Industries Inc.
Mee Industries is the innovative, high technology corporation that provides highly customized, cost-effective fog solutions for a wide range of applications including gas turbine inlet air cooling. Founded in 1969 by former Cornell University Research Scientist, Thomas Mee Jr., today the company also specializes in revolutionary fog solutions for industrial humidification, outdoor air conditioning greenhouse climate control, wine barrel humidification and unique special effects applications. Renowned MeeFog™ turnkey solutions include meticulously designed and engineered, premium quality, integrated systems that deliver an unequaled combination of price and performance. Mee Industries products are backed by our experienced staff of technical personnel including leading researchers, project managers and engineers along with production and installation specialists. An active research and development division ensures our position of technological leadership in the fog system market. Mee Industries is a proud ISO 9001 certified corporation and manufactures components to meet exacting UL or CE requirements. Mee Industries is a privately held company with corporate headquarters in Irwindale, California.