A new 912 MW coal fired power plant (RDK8), built in Karlsruhe, Germany, has proven 47.1% efficiency. This results in more electrical power with less coal. The ultimately results in 40% reduction in emissions compared to the worldwide average. This plant is a co-generation plant which also supplies district heating of the city of Karlsruhe.
What drives this new efficiency?
The “secret sauce” of getting efficiency yields as high as the RDK8 is to pre-heat the water that drives the turbines. This pre-heating allows the water to skip the boiling stage and transform to “supercritcal steam” which is great for driving large turbines.