Recently, JASC was featured in Combined Cycle Journal, Number 22. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The spate of lawsuits filed in the aftermath of the 2021 winter storm that left millions in Texas without power for days and sent natural gas prices soaring to their highest levels in years — up nearly 17,000% in some cases, according to a Wall Street Journal — report testify to the value of having to fuel gas turbines as part of the generation mix.
The well–recognized ability of gas turbines to generate power at high efficiency and with minimal emissions is only one important attribute of these flexible machines. In emergencies, they can start within minutes and when equipped for black-start service can be a major factor in grid restoration as they first did immediately after the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965.
The most–recent Texas experience suggests a re-examination of the financial logic associated with buying gas–only engines may be in order.
In many instances, gas only is an appropriate choice: Capital cost is lower than for a dual-fuel machine; no backup liquid-fuel system is required; environmental and safety requirements are reduced; overhauls are less time-consuming and costly; training of plant personnel is simplified. In some cases, the presumed advantages of gas-only operation convinced owners to remove liquid fuel hardware from their engines and abandon in place or remove their oil-storage and fuel-transfer infrastructure.
However, business conditions in the electric-power industry were always in a state of flux. Today, with renewables in regulatory favor, it can be difficult to extract a profit from fuel fired assets in some areas of the country if they are not equipped to start and run reliably on oil when gas is not available.
Reliable operation demands attention to detail in fuel-system design and equipment selection, which are impacted by such variables as the time allowed for startup on oil or for transfer from gas to oil, the financial penalty of a failure to start on oil, reliability/availability requirements of the off taker, etc. But be confident that there are commercially available dual-fuel solutions to meet your needs. Success depends in large part on your ability to achieve the following:
- Assure reliable hot gas path (HGP) hardware is installed in your engine.
- Design a fuel system capable of providing the level of reliability on liquid-fuel starts and transfers needed to meet contractual requirements.
- Maintain backup liquid fuel in top condition.