The U.S. Department of Energy has initiated a program to stimulate the development of integrated coal-fueled gas turbine systems for generation of low-cost electric power. This paper describes the rationale and elements contained in this program. The incentives for the (DOE) coal-fueled gas turbine program are a perceived need for modular, low-cost electric generating capacity for the mid-to-late 1990’s, which will not increase the consumption of oil and the need for a low-cost option to long lead time conventional electric power generating systems. The coal-fueled gas turbine also offers the potential to repower existing electric generating facilities as well as for industrial cogeneration applications.

The primary fuels being considered are coal slurries and coal gasifier fuels under three program elements: (1) basic data studies, (2) systems and economic studies, and (3) component/system development. The basic data element is designed to address needed information on the effects of the coal and coal-derived combustion contaminants on turbine components. Basic combustion phenomena tests are being carried out by the Morgantown Energy Technology Center and by various industrial organizations to accomplish this goal. The systems and economic studies element of the program is an ongoing effort to provide program assessment and direction. Several major equipment manufacturers are parametrically examining various system configurations and fuel quality to determine process and economic implications. The component development element of the program is planned to start in 1984.

Ultimately, the success of the program will be measured by the extent of interest and willingness of the various industrial concerns to participate in the development of commercial systems. The industrial interest to date has been good, as shown by the willingness of private companies to provide cost sharing in each element of the program. This cost sharing criterion will continue as the program progresses.

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