The application of lignite pre-drying technologies in next generation of lignite power plants by utilizing low pressure steam as a drying medium instead of hot recirculated flue gas – combined with thermal utilization of the vaporized coal moisture – is expected to bring efficiency increase of 2-4 percentage points in future lignite power plants compared with today’s state-of-the-art. The pre-drying concept is of particular importance in Greek boilers firing lignite with a high water and ash content. The combustion of Greek pre-dried lignite has been investigated experimentally and via numerical simulations in our previous research. This study focuses on the potential integration of a lignite pre-drying system in an existing Greek power plant with dry lignite co-firing thermal share of up to 30%. The radiative and convective heat fluxes to the boiler and the overall boiler heat balance is calculated for reference and dry lignite co-firing conditions by an in-house calculation code. The overall plant’s thermal cycle is then simulated using commercial thermal cycle calculation software. The net plant efficiency is in this way determined for reference and dry coal co-firing conditions. According to the simulation results the integration of a pre-drying system and the implementation of dry lignite co-firing may bring an efficiency increase of about 1.5 percentage points in existing Greek boilers. It is therefore considered as an important measure towards improving plant efficiency and reducing specific CO2 emissions in existing plants.
Keywords: pre-drying, dry lignite co-firing, thermal cycle calculation