Gersteinwerk power plant, unit K
One of the world's most modern plants
After some five years of construction the combined-cycle unit went on stream in October 1984 at the Gersteinwerk location. The steam power plant, originally designed for German hard coal, is, thanks to its combination with a gas turbine, one of the most efficient conventional power plants.
Gas-turbine combined-cycle plant
The gas turbine upstream of the steam power plant is operated with natural gas and discharges its exhaust gases to the furnace of the steam generator. The 480°C hot exhaust gases still contain so much oxygen that they can be used for the combustion of the coal. This technology enables an efficiency of 42% to be obtained. The electric net capacity of the units amounts to 720 MW and is composed of 112 MW gas-turbine capacity and 608 MW steam-turbine capacity. The combined-cycle operations can be switched over to fresh-air operations by switching off the gas turbine, and vice-versa, during current operations.
In the course of time, steady improvements have been made to meet the requirements of the environment and the market. Hence, the unit is now in a position to use exclusively imported hard coal. In addition, the control systems were renewed in 2011, so that the production process is fitted with the most modern technology for controlling and monitoring the plant. Thus, RWE Power AG has a highly flexible, market-oriented production unit at its disposal.
If efficiency of 42% is itself resource-sparing, fuel costs for the generated kilowatt hour can be further reduced by the input of substitute fuels instead of hard coal. Up to 10% of the furnace thermal rating can be covered by the substitute fuel. The flue-gas scrubbing plants meet strict clean-air demands, and the values required by statute are even undercut. The clear targets on environmental protection and resource preservation are documented by the Gersteinwerk location in its environment management system. Since the year 2000, the power plant has been certified according to DIN EN ISO 14001.