A new design of elevated and conventional double reheat turbine layout is proposed.•
A national demonstration project is set up to realize this new design together with 5E technologies.•
Unit net efficiency of this project achieves 49.8% under rated condition and 48.8% under annual average condition with 600 °C class materials.•
The 636 g/kWh CO2 emission standard released by U.S. EPA can be met with such high efficiency level.•
This design is very likely the only economically feasible choice for the future 700 °C double heat unit.
The bottlenecks in developing high-efficiency ultra-super critical (USC) coal power technology are analyzed within the context of the growing pressure on the coal power industry to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. To meet these demands, further improving the annual average operating efficiency of coal power is essential. A cross-compound double reheat unit design characterized by an elevated and conventional turbine layout is proposed in this paper. This new design can greatly shorten the length of expensive high-temperature piping required, significantly cut piping costs as well as reducing pressure drops and heat losses, resulting in a much higher efficiency and performance-price ratio than conventional double reheat design. The engineering study demonstrates the feasibility and advantages of this design. Now this new design is being implemented on Pingshan Phase II Project as a demonstration coal power unit in China. Despite the new turbine arrangement, Pingshan Phase II Project also adopts a series of energy saving, environmental protection, efficiency preservation and safety technologies, of which some have already gained success in Shanghai Waigaoqiao No. 3 Power Plant. Based on the new design and further optimization, the unit net efficiency of Pingshan Phase II is expected to achieve 49.8% under rated conditions on a lower heating value (LHV) basis. Combined with a series of innovative technologies that can keep the efficiency from decreasing under operational conditions, the annual average net efficiency can achieve 48.8% on LHV basis. This efficiency level is high enough to meet the strict CO2 emission standard proposed by United States Environment Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) based on the Pittsburgh #8 bituminous coal, showing significant potential for reducing CO2 emissions. A series of low-energy-consumption and even energy-saving pollutants removal technologies are also be applied on this project to harmonize high efficiency and low emissions.