International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control | VOL. 100
Integration of solar thermal energy to improve NGCC with CO2 capture plant performance


Abstract A large percentage of CO2 emissions are due to the combustion of fossil fuels for electricity generation. While a transition away from coal towards natural gas will reduce CO2 emissions, an even greater reduction in CO2 emissions can be achieved by retrofitting natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants with post-combustion CO2 capture (PCC) systems. A typical NGCC plant equipped with PCC was modeled in Aspen Plus and validated against similar models generated by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and then adjusted to match the conditions of a plant located at Poza Rica, Mexico. After validation of the NGCC plant model with PCC, heat integration options were considered where heat from the flue gas cooler, CO2 dryer, and CO2 compressor intercoolers was used for heating of feedwater or low pressure (LP) steam in the steam cycle. The model was further modified to include solar-assisted carbon capture (SACC), to offset the detrimental impact of the PCC system on plant operations. The use of parabolic trough solar thermal collectors for heating of the stripper reboiler in the PCC system was considered in the Aspen Plus modeling. It was found that by using solar thermal energy for PCC reboiler heating, the LP steam extraction used to supply heat to the carbon capture reboiler element could be reduced in flow rate or eliminated depending on the quantity of solar thermal energy available. Modeling showed that if 100 % of the reboiler duty could be supplied via solar thermal energy, net plant power would increas...

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