A proposed EPRI tailored collaboration project
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After five years of extensive R&D sponsored by government and industry, the coal log pipeline (CLP) technology for transportation of coal has been sufficiently developed through laboratory tests to warrant large-scale pre-commercial demonstration and testing. Meanwhile, a national survey of electric utilities and coal companies has produced fourteen potential CLP demonstration sites. A preliminary evaluation of the sites determined that at least seven of the fourteen sites are economically promising. The purpose of this EPRI-TC proposal is to conduct a large-scale pre-commercial test/demo of CLP to pave the way for commercial demonstration. Completion of this pre-commercial test/demo project in two years will enable construction of the first commercial CLP with minimum risk involved and with maximum success. The CLP technology involves compaction of coal into logs (large circular coal cylinders), and the transportation of such logs by an underground pipeline to the user--a power generation station. It is an innovative new coal pipeline system that can effectively compete with railroads and truck transportation. The economics of CLP has been thoroughly examined in 1995. It was found that the CLP is economically competitive with train for distances greater than about 100 miles, and competitive with truck for distances greater than about 30 miles. As compared to coal slurry pipeline, the CLP has the following advantages: (1) CLP transports twice as much coal than a coal slurry pipeline of the same diameter can. The cost of coal transportation by CLP is substantially lower than by slurry pipeline. (2) Dewatering coal logs is much simpler than dewatering slurry. (3) CLP can be restarted readily after lengthy shutdown. It has no restart problem. (4) CLP uses less energy than slurry pipeline for transporting the same amount of coal. (5) Coal log fuel is most versatile. Upon crushing it can be burned in any type of combustors--pulverized-coal, cyclone, fluidized-bed, or stoker. (6) Storage of coal logs is much simpler than storage of coal slurry. (7) CLP uses only 1/3 to 1/4 of the water used by slurry pipeline. This makes CLP more feasible than slurry pipeline in regions of water shortage. Development of the CLP technology will benefit electric utilities by reducing coal transportation cost--not only through use of CLP, but also due to the competition fostered which will cause rail rates and truck rates to keep within bounds. The pre-commercial test/demo project proposed herein contains four major components or tasks: (1) construction of a 6-inch-diameter, 3,000-ft-long coal pipeline for testing coal logs under conditions similar to those of future commercial CLP; (2) construction and testing of a coal log machine that can rapidly manufacture coal logs to supply coal log pipelines; (3) conducting a site-specific application study for each participating utilities; and (4) conducting an economic analysis of future commercial CLP systems using information gained in this study, and following EPRI cost guidelines. The project is for two years at a total cost of $825,960 of which $500,000 is requested from EPRI and participating utilities. As an EPRI Tailored Collaboration project, each participating utility is asked to contribute a total of $60,000 over two years (with equal matching from EPRI) to support this project. The targeted amount from utilities and EPRI for this project is $600,000 of which $100,000 is indirect cost to be used by EPRI to administer this project. This targeted amount can be achieved with five electric utilities participating. The project will also be cost-shared with $325,960 of the existing funds of the Capsule Pipeline Research Center (CPRC). Currently, the CPRC has insufficient funds to carry out this project without support from EPRI and some additional utility companies.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Advantages of CLP -- Brief review of concept and state of development -- Project purpose and tasks -- Test facilities -- Statement of work -- Schedule of activities -- References -- Qualifications of institute and project personnel -- Budget -- Budget explanation -- Utilities participation and arrangements -- Intellectual property rights and patents -- Appendices. Document on preparing smooth welded joints for steel pipe ; CPRC's contract document (agreement) with existing industrial sponsors.
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