Huinala Flexycicle Power Plant

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 16:13

Wärtsilä has delivered over 4,700 power plants ranging from 10-60MW in 170 countries. The most cost-effective of these plants is located in Huinala, a municipality near Monterrey, using the world’s most efficient reciprocatingengine power plant.

The Huinala plant was completed in 2016 and demonstrates many of the requirements expected of future power generation. Highly flexible, reliable and modular, the asset uses advanced technology to maintain efficiency even through variable operational modes and environmental conditions. It generates about 140MW with seven gas engines and one steam turbine. A 10-year O&M agreement is in place that helps optimize performance, maximize life span and lifecycle costs, all in a safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable way.

What makes the plant truly unique, however, is the solution behind its success: FlexicycleTM, a technology developed by Wärtsilä that combines two key characteristics: flexibility and combined cycle.

Flexibility is a significant characteristic that is missing in nearly all the existing power-generation facilities in the world. Most existing power plants take hours from startup to full load and even simple cycle gas turbines, while relatively fast, cannot be started immediately after being turned down. Wärtsilä’s FlexicycleTM plants by contrast can start and stop as many times as required, similar to a modern car that has a start-stop function to turn off the engine when stopped at a traffic light. This is made possible because these plants are powered by reciprocating engines.

Almost every country is adding more wind and solar power into their systems to lower emissions and improve costs and Mexico is not an exception. But neither of these targets is possible if a coal plant or a large traditional combined cycle has to be kept running at low load just to be ready to pick up when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine. FlexicycleTM is the ideal solution to keep emissions and costs down. It efficiently generates electricity from natural gas when needed, thanks to its fast startup combined cycle technology, and it can operate on low load or stop completely whenever needed, making it an ideal match for renewable energy. This flexibility enables important cost savings while generating additional revenues for power producers.