Flexibility Test Runs for Indian Coal-Fired Power Plants

32% stable minimum load operation and 2% MW load change per minute (in up and downwards direction) - these are new record values for the flexible operation of an Indian coal-fired power plant. A team of Indian and German experts achieved these parameters in the course of flexibility tests at the Andal power plant. The tests were conducted from 28 - 31 March 2022 and coordinated by vgbe in cooperation with Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), Siemens Energy and Siemens India. “It was very special for us not only due to the successful tests but also due to the fact that German experts could be present at site after two years of Corona-related travel restrictions”, explained vgbe project director Dr. Claudia Weise. The tests formed another milestone of the flexibility programme which was outlined under the auspices of the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF). 

The Andal power plant is situated in the state of West Bengal and operated by DVC, which is a state-owned power generation company. The tests were conducted at the 500 MW unit 2 of this subcritical power plant. This investigation completed a series of IGEF flexibility tests. Previous tests were executed at the Dadri power plant operated by NTPC and the Maithon power plant operated by Tata Power.

All learnings from the flexibility tests will be documented in a report. Moreover, training and dissemination activities are in the planning. An online training course for Indian operators will be the starting point.

The flexibility programme is coordinated by the IGEF Flexibility Task Force, which is headed by the Director of Operations at NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation). On the Indian side, in addition to NTPC, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the network operator POSOCO (Power System Operation Corporation) and BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals) are involved in the task force. The vgbe partner organisation EEC (Excellence Enhancement Centre) coordinates the work that is supported on the German side by the vgbe and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).