This chapter presents the recent research on various strategies for power plant flexible operations to meet the requirements of load balance. The aim of this study is to investigate whether it is feasible to integrate the thermal energy storage (TES) with the thermal power plant steam-water cycle. Optional thermal charge and discharge locations in the cycle have been proposed and compared. Dynamic modeling and simulations have been carried out to demonstrate the capability of TES integration in supporting the flexible operation of the power plant. The simulation software named SimuEngine is adopted, and a 600 MW supercritical coal-fired power plant model is implemented onto the software platform. Three TES charging strategies and two TES discharging strategies are proposed and verified via the simulation platform. The simulation results show that it is feasible to extract steam from steam turbines to charge the TES and to discharge the stored thermal energy back to the power generation processes. The improved capability of the plant flexible operation is further studied in supporting the responses to the grid load demand changes. The results demonstrated that the TES integration has led to much faster and more flexible responses to the load demand changes.
Part of the book: Power Plants in the Industry