Inlet chilling at Texas plant

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Stellar Energy will supply a turbine inlet air chilling (TIAC) system for Frontera Energy Center, a 500MW 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 heat of summer (when electri

city usage is generally the highest). Frontera Energy Center is owned by a subsidiar

y of Direct Energy.


(Stellar Energy's inlet chilling 


Stellar Energy will provide turnk

ey design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning for the system, which will feature thermal energy storage. 

TIAC is a commercially proven 

way to improve power producers’ profitability by increasing a gas turbine’s power output by up to 30 percent. 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, Florida, fabrication facility.


Design and procurement work began in early July. The project is scheduled to be complete 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.


Stellar Energy has designed, manufactured and installed TIAC systems on more than 80 turbines, delivering more than 1,500 MW of capacity enhancement. The company also has more than 800,000 tons of refrigeration (TRs) of chilled-water plant experience.