As carbon capture and storage (CCS) moves towards large-scale commercialisation, stakeholders along the CCS chain are required to address and resolve design and operability details, from generation to storage, at a commercial scale for the first time.
As in other sectors, process simulation and modelling are key technologies for performing design calculations and analysis operations. Indeed, there is little that is new in terms of individual CCS chain components; conventional power stations, amine based CO2 capture plants, pipelines and compressors are mostly well understood.
However, there are still significant challenges in the commercial implementation of CCS. These arise principally from the fact that the whole CCS chain needs to be considered as a single system in order to make design and operation decisions that satisfactorily address the commercial imperatives and risk requirements of the various stakeholders along the chain.
The United Kingdom’s Energy Technologies Institute commissioned and co-funded a £3 million CCS System Modelling Toolkit involving E.On, EDF, Rolls-Royce, CO2DeepStore, Process Systems Enterprise and E4tech to deliver a robust, fully-integrated toolkit that can be used by CCS stakeholders across the whole CCS chain. The commercial tool arising from the project – gCCS – will be available in early 2014.
gCCS will contain a full complement of models for conventional power generation, new power generation, solvent-based carbon capture, compression, transmission and injection. In addition, it will be possible to incorporate models of other plants, such as air separation units, using commercially-available capabilities, or to create custom models that can be incorporated within the environment. The system will be able to model both steady-state and dynamic operation. It will also include costing capabilities for use in rigorous mathematical optimisation that can include both continuous and discrete decisions, providing a common basis for techno-economic decisions across the chain.