Stellar Energy to build TIAC system for Frontera Energy Center

Stellar Energy will supply a turbine inlet air chilling (TIAC) system for Frontera Energy Center, a 500 MW gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant in Mission, Texas. The TIAC system will allow for a more than 10 percent increase in power output for the plant during the summer, when electricity usage is generally the highest.

Frontera Energy Center is owned by a subsidiary of Direct Energy. Stellar Energy will provide turnkey design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning for the system, which will feature thermal energy storage.

By mechanically chilling the inlet air before it enters the compressor, TIAC gives the turbine a boost when it needs it most—in hot weather. In addition to increasing power output, TIAC improves the turbine’s heat rate, increasing efficiency and lowering emissions.

Stellar Energy’s custom solution for Frontera Energy Center includes a water-cooled modular chiller plant, thermal energy storage with stratified chilled water, a unique coil design that simplifies the filterhouse replacement, and an innovative freeze protection system for the coils, enabling the TIAC system to remain available for use during warm days in the winter. Stellar Energy will fabricate the entire modular chiller plant in its Jacksonville, Fla., fabrication facility.

Design and procurement work began in early July. The project is scheduled to be completed by May 1, 2013. The power plant will maintain normal commercial operation throughout the project schedule, except for a 21-day outage to replace the existing filterhouses with new, chiller coil equipped filterhouses.

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