Open and combined cycles
EDF Luminus has open-cycle thermal power stations in Angleur, Ghent (Ham), Izegem and Monsin as well as combined-cycle thermal power stations in Ghent (Ringvaart) and Seraing. Both power station types generate electricity by burning natural gas.
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- Open cycles
Peak units can start up in less than 10 minutes and thus supply electricity to our customers at the right moment. In addition, these units strengthen the functioning of other installations owned by EDF Luminus and supplement the hydroelectric power stations
and wind farms
when the wind turbines are not working on windless days.
- Combined cycle
This technology generates electricity twice with the same amount of fuel, in this case gas:
the natural gas is burnt first in a combustion chamber directly connected to the turbine. The combustion gases drive the turbine, which in turn rotates the alternator
the combustion gases then exit the turbine through a heat recovery steam generator. This steam drives a second turbine, which causes a second alternator to spin
A CCGT plant recovers two thirds of the gas combustion heat, so the electricity production process is much more efficient!
This technology allows electricity and heat to be generated at the same time by means of a single installation. Water is heated by burning natural gas and transported to various heat users in the city of Ghent via an underground piping system. This way, hospitals, social housing complexes, university buildings and shopping centres are heated.
Since 1958, the heat generated by the Ham power station in Ghent has been recovered in an optimum and environmentally friendly way. Customers tap hot water from the water main and recover the heat through their own heat exchanger. Once the water has cooled down, it flows back to the power plant. Initially, the water temperature is between 110 and 130°C. On the way back, it reaches only 70°C.
Every hour about 700,000 litres of hot water flow through these pipes, heating hospitals and social housing complexes. The biggest customers include Ghent university and the AZ Sint-Lucas hospital. At the end of 2005, the new courthouse was also connected to the hot water circuit.
District heating is very beneficial to the environment. Almost none of the energy used to generate electricity is lost. The fuel consumed by the power plant is used to maximum advantage. Moreover, the recovered heat is not generated in a traditional way. Less fuel consumption equals less CO2 emissions.