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Advanced Combined-cycle Modeling

Sami Ammari Kwok W. Cheung

Massy, France Redmond, WA. 98052, USA

Abstract Accurate modeling of combined-cycle power plants is CT1

an increasingly important part of more efficient operations of MW Output
restructured power systems. This paper aims to enhance the
existing standard modeling of combined-cycle power plants in
real-time generation control, planning and scheduling
applications of Energy Management Systems (EMS) and Energy MW Output
Market Management Systems (MMS). The proposed
ST CC Plant
configuration-based model handles the various operation modes CT2 ST
MW Output MW Output
(configurations) of combined-cycle plants such as simple cycle, Steam
combined-cycle, power augmentation, additional boiler, etc.
Some of the advantages of the proposed model over the standard
model are discussed. Numerical examples are given to illustrate CT3
the concept and the effectiveness of the proposed configuration-
based combined-cycle modeling. CT3
MW Output
Index Terms-- Combined-cycle plant, Combustion and steam
turbines, Configuration-based modeling. Figure 2. Combined-cycle Plant (CCP) An Example

I. INTRODUCTION Traditionally, there are several different models used to

address flexible configurations and operation of CCPs in both
The combined-cycle units have been increasingly installed EMS and MMS (e.g. aggregated CCP representation, physical
throughout the world because of their high efficiency and fast unit-based models, and configuration-based models). In
response. In particular, some of the wholesale electricity addition, they also differ in how detailed is modeling of the
markets in North America are interested in implementing CT-ST characteristics and corresponding relationships (e.g.
more sophisticated combined-cycle modeling [6][7]. ST MW output has been sometimes modeled as a function of
A Combined-cycle Plant or Group (CCP) consists of one total MW output from CT units; in other cases the steam-to-
or more Combustion Turbines (CT), where each CT has its MW relationship is used for ST unit, and consequently, the
Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) and the steam steam produced by HRSG has to be modeled, etc.).
produced by the HRSG is used to drive a Steam Turbine (ST) A CCP may operate in a number of different modes based
as presented in Figure 1. on the various combinations of the CTs and ST being on-line
at any given time. Each of these combinations also called
configuration is considered as a pseudo unit with
constraints that are similar to those of thermal units with the
difference that these configurations are mutually exclusive
[3].As an illustration, some of the possible configurations for a
CCP are presented in Figure 3. Each CCP configuration has its
own operating characteristics. In addition, each transition from
one mode of operation to another has its own operational
limits and transition costs. Some transitions might be
prohibited due to physical or operational constraints [1, 2].
Figure 1. Combined-cycle plant As a result, modeling of CCP represents a challenge for
the MIP (Mixed integer Programming) based unit
Each CT or ST unit has an electrical generator. A commitment and scheduling applications in the Energy
schematic diagram (3 CT 1 ST).shown in Figure 2 illustrates Management Systems (EMS) and the Energy Market
some modeling detail. Management Systems (MMS). The results (unit commitment
decisions and dispatch instructions) have to be not only may in reality be any one of the three physical CT units within
operationally feasible but should also represent an optimal the CCP operating in a simple/single cycle. Similarly, the
solution in terms of minimizing the overall objective (cost) 2CT configuration may just represent CT1+CT2, CT1+CT3
function. or CT2+CT3, and so on, as illustrated in the Table I. This
table presents a mapping between physical units and selected
The paper provides a detailed description of the configurations.
configuration-based model. Results of a case study are given
to illustrate the quality of this proposed model when compared TABLE I. PHYSICAL UNITS CONFIGURATIONS MAPPING
to the more standard model.
1 CT 2 CTs 2CTs+ST 3CTs+ST
A. Configuration Transition Model
The transition among different CCP configurations is CT1 X X X X X X

illustrated in Figure 3 and may also be represented in the form CT2 X X X X X X

of a transition matrix (Table II). Only allowed transitions are
specified and provided as an integral part of input data by CT3 X X X X X X
market participants / CPP owners. In other words, the optimal
solution must always follow transitions that are feasible from ST X X X X
the operational point of view [2]. A fictitious configuration is
introduced and named All OFF to represent all possible
transitions from the off-line status of the CCP to other Another assumption that is obvious from the transition
possible and allowed on-line statuses. matrix of Table II is that 2 CTs configuration must be
already online before the ST unit can be started subsequently
(transition from 1 CT to 2CT+ST is not allowed).



All 2CTs 3CTs
1 CT 2 CTs




2 CTs + ST DN DN

3 CTs + ST DN DN

Figure 3. Transitions between CCP Configuration Modes

It is important to mention that in this approach each CPP B. Start-Up Costs and Their Relation to Transition Costs
configuration is treated as a separate logical or pseudo- Each CCP configuration has its own data for start-up costs.
generating unit and hence only one of them may be on-line at Normally, the total start-up cost for a given configuration will
any given time. Consequently, each configuration must have be calculated as a sum of the start-up costs of the physical
all the operating parameters, limits, energy offer curves, units included in the CCP configuration. As an illustration,
minimum and maximum up/down times, ramp rates, etc. like start-up cost for the 2CT+ST configuration will be equivalent
any other physical generating unit. In addition, some to two times of the CT unit start-up cost] plus the ST unit
additional parameters specific to CCP configuration model start-up cost [2]. It is assumed that start-up costs will be
such as transition matrix and transition costs are required. provided as separate parameters for the cold, warm and hot
Without loss of generality, only a limited number of start, along with the corresponding values for the time off-line
configurations are considered in this paper. For the sake of that define the state of a unit.
simplicity, we assume that all the CTs have similar Any transition between different CCP configurations
characteristics and therefore the configuration named 1CT represents in fact either unit start-up(s) or shut-down(s). For
example, transition from All Units OFF to 2CTs characterized by a CT MW total/ST MW conversion rate,
configuration represents start of 2 CT units simultaneously, as as shown in Figure 5.
presented in Figure 3. Hence, the cost of up transitions
(characterized by starting additional units, as marked in Table
II) are calculated as a difference between the total start-up cost
of the target (TO) configuration and the starting (FROM)
configuration. Here the cold, intermediate or hot start-up costs
are to be used based on the configuration boiler heating state
(i.e. time on-line or off-line before the transition takes place).

Star-Up 1CT
Cost [$] Configuration

MW Output
Figure 5. Standard model of combined-cycle
Pmin Transition Cost [$]
Price (B A)
[$/MWh] This standard model supports the simple and the
Star-Up 2CTs
combined-cycle operation of the combined-cycle plant.
Cost [$]
Configuration However, it does not account for the use of duct and additional
MW Output burners, inlet cooling systems, or any other mode of operation
Pmin Pmax
Transition Cost [$]
that alters (increases or decreases) the heat rate or any other
Price (C B) parameter of the unit (see Figure 6). However, the
configuration-based model can support all these components
2CTs + ST
Star-Up Configuration since a configuration can always be created to account with
Cost [$]
(C) each specific component or more generally all operation
MW Output modes.
Pmin Pmax
Price Transition Cost [$]
[$/MWh] (D C)

Cost [$] 3CT + ST
(D) Configuration
MW Output
Pmin Pmax

Figure 4. Configuration-based Price Curve and Start-up Costs

C. Minimum and Maximum Up/Down Time for a CCP

As mentioned before, each CCP Configuration may have
its own up/down times defined separately. This input data will
be used to ensure that once on-line, any CCP configuration
should stay on-line for at least the minimum up time.
Similarly, the maximum up time may be enforced by Figure 6. Combined-cycle plant different componenets
including adequate constraints into the mathematical model.
If required, a separate minimum up time in given
configuration may be defined separately for an UP or a It is also important to note that the standard model does
DN transition that are defined in Table II to allow for not account for the non-allowed (or prohibited) transitions
different conditions based on starting additional units versus while the configuration-based combined-cycle did as
shutting-down units being already on-line in the current explained in previous section.
configuration [1].
The standard combined-cycle model also assumes the CT
III. MODELING ANALYSIS MW total/ST MW conversion rate of the steam turbine to
The most used and known modeling of combined-cycle be monotonically decreasing to prevent from non-convexity of
model in unit commitment and other scheduling and dispatch the optimization problem. For the configuration-based model,
tools of EMS and MMS platforms represents the combustion it is not necessary to make this assumption since its possible
turbines with Price (or cost) vs. MW curves and the steam to decompose the non-convex price (or cost) curve to convex
turbine as MW vs. Mw curve. In this model, denoted for the parts and associate a configuration for each convex
rest of the paper as standard model, the steam turbine (STs) (monotonically increasing) part of the curve as shown in
produces additional output that is a function of the total MW Figure 7.
produced by the CTs. The Steam turbine (ST) is then
Offered MW Price
(MW) ($/MWh)
1CT 200 30
2CT 400 32
2CT+ST 500 33
2CT+2ST 600 34

Table IV gives the demand forecast for the three load

Figure 7. Combined-cycle plant non-convex Price(or cost) curve buses of the 5-bus test system for the four study periods.


We implemented the configuration-based combined-cycle BUS A BUS B BUS C Total Demand

model on ALSTOM market clearing engine of e-terramarket,
the ALSTOM market solution used by most electricity market 14:30 300 300 300 900
operators [5]. The implementation was tested using a 5-bus 14:45 450 450 450 1350
example system with 6 generation resources for the scheduling
15:00 200 200 200 600
and the dispatch of these resources in the context of a Day-
Ahead Market. A two-hour horizon and 15-minute time-step 15:15 200 200 200 600
study was employed. Among these 6 generators, there is a
combined-cycle power plant with 2 CTs 2 STs of interest.
Table V details the cost for the possible transitions
Table I shows the matrix of allowable transitions among between the configurations of this power plant. These costs
configurations of this combined-cycle power plant. depend on the heating state of each configuration (Hot, Warm,
and Cold).
TO Config
ALLOFF x x x - -
1CT x x x - - ALLOFF 1CT 2CT 2CT+ST 2CT+2ST

2CT - x x x x Hot 19 22 24 28

2CT+ST - x x x - ALLOFF Warm 23 28 31 38

2CT+2ST - - x x x Cold 27 33 37 45

Hot 3 5 9

Table II gives the minimum and maximum dispatch limits 1CT Warm 5 8 15
for each of the configurations of this plant.
Cold 6 10 18
FROM Config


DispatchMin DispatchMax 2CT Warm 3 10

(MW) (MW)
Cold 4 12
1CT 90 200
Hot 4
2CT 180 400
2CT+ST Warm 7
2CT+ST 225 500
Cold 8
2CT+2ST 315 600

Table III shows each configuration offered MW and its 2CT+2ST Warm
corresponding price (or cost).

Table VI and VII show the commitment and MW dispatch

solutions for the four configurations of the combined-cycle
power plant, respectively. The solution is respecting both the
transition matrix as the solver stops 1CT at the first period to
commit 2CT when the demand increases. The engine cannot TABLE IX. SOLUTION STARTUP COST($)
commit 2CT+2ST at this period since this a prohibited
transition. At the second period the solver can realize the 14:30 14:45 15:00 15:15
transition from 2CT to 2CT+2ST since this is an allowed 1CT 0 0 0 0
transition. At the third period, the demand decreases
2CT 6 0 0 0
dramatically but the solver cannot commit the configuration
1CT since it corresponds to a prohibited transition but can 2CT+ST 0 0 0 0
commit 2CT as an intermediary step to commit 1CT at the 0 12 0 0
next period (the fourth and last period).


14:30 14:45 15:00 15:15 In this paper, we presented the concept of configuration-
based combined-cycle modeling and a more efficient and
optimal way to schedule and dispatch of combined-cycle
2CT UP DN UP DN plants in EMS/ MMS. We emphasized the advantages of using
such a model for a better representation of the combined-cycle
complexity such as the use of duct and additional burners,
2CT+2ST UP DN inlet cooling systems, or any other mode of operation or
devices that alters the heat rate or any other parameter of the
unit. The model allows augmented modeling of operational
constraints such as prohibited transitions and transition cost.
TABLE VII. SOLUTION MW DISPATCH Finally, the proposed model also supports the representation
of combined-cycle plants with non-convex price (or cost)
14:30 14:45 15:00 15:15 curves.
1CT 0 0 0 100
2CT 391 0 180 0
2CT+ST 0 0 0 0
[1] Bill Blevins, Combined-Cycle Unit Modeling in the Nodal Design"
2CT+2ST 0 600 0 0 2705 West Lake Drive Taylor, Texas, March. 2007.
[2] G. Ander, Commitment Techniques for Combine Cycle Generating
units, Prepared by Kinectrics In, Toronto Canada, Sponsored by ISO
Table VIII and IX show the operation and startup costs for NE and NY ISO, December 2005.
[3] G.W. Chang, G.S. Chuang, T.K. Lu, " A Simplified Combined-cycle
the four configurations of the combined-cycle power plant, Unit Model for Mixed Integer Linear Programming-based Unit
respectively. The operation cost corresponds to the cost of Commitment," in Proc. Power and Energy Society General Meeting -
energy while applying the offer prices in Table III at the Conversion and Delivery of Electrical Energy in the 21st Century, 2008
corresponding period. IEEE, pp. 1 - 6.
[4] Enhanced Day-Ahead Commitment Combined-Cycle Modeling",
The startup cost at the first period is the cost of transition revised November 28, 2008, document can be found at
from 1 CT to 2 CT in cold heating condition. The startup
cost at the second period is the cost of transition from 2 CT 20081128-Pseudo_Units.pdf.
to 2 CT 2 ST also in cold heating condition (see Table V). [5] D. Sun, X. Ma, and K. W. Cheung, The Application of Optimization
Technology for Electricity Market Operation, in Proc. 2005 IEEE/PES
At the third and the fourth periods, transitions have no cost. Trans. Dist. Conf. Exhib: Asia-Pacific, Dalian, China, pp. 16.
[6] H. Hui, C.-N. Yu, F. Gao, R. Surendran, "Combined Cycle Resource
TABLE VIII. SOLUTION OPERATION COST ($) Scheduling in ERCOT Nodal Market", in Proc. 2011 IEEE PES
General Meeting, pp. 18.
14:30 14:45 15:00 15:15 [7] MISO Market Subcommittee, (June 2012). Combined Cycle Units
Modeling Update.[Online] Available:
1CT 0 0 0 750 Library/Repository/Meeting%20Material/Stakeholder/MSC/2012/2012
2CT 3134 0 1440 0 0Modeling%20Update.pdf
2CT+ST 0 0 0 0
2CT+2ST 0 5112 0 0