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STEAM PRO: Conventional steam power plant creation

STEAM PRO® automates the process of designing a conventional (Rankine cycle) steam power plant, guiding the user to rapidly and easily attain an optimal configuration and its technical parameters.

The user inputs design criteria, starting with the big picture and progressing in a logical sequence into greater details. Built-in expert logic automatically selects appropriate options and inputs for the various details, based on the user’s high level selections. The program designs the new plant, computes its performance, its detailed heat and mass balance, and creates its major equipment physical sizes and design details. When combined with the optional PEACE module, it also creates the plant’s preliminary engineering details, estimates its cost, and finds its cash flow and economic pro-forma.

The scope, flexibility, and level of detail in STEAM PRO has been continuously growing since it was first released in 1990; and the 2018 version has over 3,500 user-adjustable inputs. What makes it so easy to use is that most inputs are automatically created by intelligent design procedures within the program, while granting the user the flexibility to make any changes or adjustments. As a result, it typically requires only a few minutes to create a new plant design, allowing the user to create and compare many plant options, and variations within each, to find the most suitable design, both technically and economically.

STEAM PRO’s variety of plant configurations is very broad. From back pressure units for cogeneration, to small/medium plants with straight-condensing turbines, to medium/large plants with single reheat cycles, to larger supercritical double-reheat plants. The model can accommodate up to twelve feed water heaters of various types, and a broad array of boiler feed water pump types and drive arrangements. A broad range of condenser and cooling tower types are included within the program. STEAM PRO will create preliminary designs for all typical boiler types, including pulverized coal, circulating and bubbling fluidized beds, and various grate-fired arrangements. The boiler preliminary designs, and their estimated costs when the PEACE module is used, take into account the type of fuel and its characteristics; including a broad range of coal types, biomass, or municipal solid waste, besides gaseous or liquid fuels of different grades. The program includes a data base of typical fuels, including almost 200 types of coal from around the world.

Features that have been built into STEAM PRO over the years include CO2 capture, as well as the main types of desalination systems, MSF, MED, and RO. The automated top-down design logic of STEAM PRO extends into these specialized features, creating their internal details based on the user’s high level selections of configuration and parameters.

Examples:  Click on the links below to view the heat balance diagrams of examples of conventional steam power plant cycles. Each was created by STEAM PRO within 15 minutes, from start to finish. In each case, all the user had to do was enter about a dozen key, high-level selections and inputs from amongst the thousands available in STEAM PRO; then leave the automatic logic built into STEAM PRO to deal with the rest of the design creation process.

STEAM PRO output HBD for 450MW residual oil fired plant with 30 MIGD hybrid MSF-RO desalination system

STEAM PRO output HBD for 900MW plant firing Pittsburgh No.8 with FGD and CO2 capture

STEAM MASTER: Conventional steam power plant simulation

STEAM MASTER® simulates performance of a given plant at different operating conditions, such as part-loads, feed water heater by-pass, different environmental parameters, etc.

A STEAM MASTER plant model is defined by its hardware, in contrast to a STEAM PRO model which is defined by the assumptions used to create the hardware. The 3,500+ inputs which define plant hardware and control set-points are all initialized upon importing its STEAM PRO design. All these inputs may be adjusted and fine-tuned by the user. For example, the user may change the physical hardware of a radiant furnace, or a feed water heater, or a condenser, or a pipe, etc, to match vendor or final engineering specs.

STEAM MASTER is not merely an off-design extension of STEAM PRO, but rather it is an off-design simulator of a plant described by its physical hardware, and this hardware is all initialized from the STEAM PRO design, but remains available for adjustment as needed by the user. When used in conjunction with the PEACE module, any change of physical hardware implemented by the user will be reflected on the cost estimate, as well as being reflected on the plant’s thermodynamic performance, and this allows cost/benefit analysis of design changes.

A STEAM MASTER file can be read into THERMOFLEX for modelling unique details beyond its scope, such as integration with district heating networks, concentrated solar thermal receivers, etc.

STEAM MASTER models can be run from MS Excel via Thermoflow’s E-LINK add-in. This makes it easy to generate correction curves to help planners forecast their fuel consumption and electricity production and to run their own in-house economic models in conjunction with the STEAM MASTER plant performance model.


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