Gas-Fired Power Station

Pelican Point Power Station uses an ingenious method of electricity generation. It is a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Station. In essence it recycles its fuel to maximise its electricity output, thereby increasing the energy efficiency of the station (efficiency refers to how well the power station transforms energy from gas to electricity).  

The process of generating electricity at Pelican Point power station works like this:

  • Natural gas arrives at the power station via a pipeline.
  • The gas is burnt in a mixture of compressed air.
  • The air is drawn through filters and then compressed.
  • This process produces high pressure, high temperature combustion gases that drive a turbine connected to a generator.
  • The generator spins an electromagnet at very high speed (about 50 times a second), inside copper wire conductors.
  • This generates electricity.
  • The exhaust gases from the turbines are then directed to the Heat Recovery Steam Generator where it is used to boil water in a series of pipes, producing superheated steam.
  • Any remaining exhaust gas is released through a large chimney.The superheated steam is delivered to a steam turbine, which in turn drives another generator to produce electricity.
  • The steam powered turbine and generator increases the overall efficiency of the gas/steam turbine (or combined cycle) operation of the power station to more than 53 per cent.
  • The steam used to rotate the steam turbine is directed to a condenser, where it is cooled back into liquid water for reuse in the boilers.
  • 10,000 litres of seawater per second is pumped through the condenser for this purpose.
    The seawater is in turn cooled in the plant’s cooling towers before being returned to the sea at no more than two degrees above its original temperature.
  • Each of the three generators at Pelican Point produces electricity at 15,700 volts. The voltage
    of the electricity is increased to 275,000 volts at the step up transformers before being delivered
    to the switchyard and the National Electricity Grid.
  • It is then transformed into lower voltage to be used in our homes, schools, shops and factories.
  • This whole process is monitored and controlled at the station’s control room.