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Welcome to the IECM

Frequently Asked Questions

The IECM is provided free of charge, although it is not open source. The License & Readme section of our website allows you to view the license for all versions available for download.

No. The free version is the only version we have.

No. The IECM is free do download and use, but it is not open source.

The IECM is too large to email. You will need to download it from our website.

We do not currently have a Mac- or Linux-native version of the IECM, however you can run the Windows version on these systems using Wine or CrossOver. (CrossOver is highly recommended.) If you are using 64-bit Wine, you may need to use the portable version of the IECM, as the installer is a 32-bit application. More details are available in the Readme file, and we also have a video that demonstrates the installation of the IECM under CrossOver on a Mac.

The use of the IECM under Wine/CrossOver is not officially supported, however we will try to avoid doing anything that would cause it to stop working.

One of the chapters in the User Manual is a Case Study which will walk you through setting up a plant. This should give you enough familiarity with the IECM to be able to configure your own plant. You may also find our Tutorial Videos helpful.

Several ways of exporting data are summarized in the "Exporting Data" section of the chapter on "Using the IECM" in the User Manual and in the "Exporting Data" Tutorial Video.

This can be done to some extent. There is a section that briefly describes the process in the User Manual: Using the IECM: Setting Parameters: Parameter Screens: The Uncertainty Editor: Batch Processing.

Yes, you can enter biomass properties on the "Coal Properties" screen. The IECM will treat it as a coal, but this is not a problem. If you do not already know how to create custom fuels, that process is described in the User Manual: Using the IECM: Setting Parameters: Parameter Screens: The Database Button: Coal Databases and in our "Creating Custom Coals" Tutorial Video.

The IECM only allows you to enter one fuel. To simulate multiple fuels, create a blended fuel whose composition reflects the proportions used in the mix. You can then enter this blended fuel into the IECM.

If you do not already know how to create custom fuels, that process is described in the User Manual: Using the IECM: Setting Parameters: Parameter Screens: The Database Button: Coal Databases and in our "Creating Custom Coals" Tutorial Video.

The "Retrofit or Adjustment Factors" parameter screens have a detailed breakdown of major equipment process areas that you can adjust. Coal handling is part of the base plant, so to account for the additional processing costs, you would need to go to the Base Plant Retrofit or Adjustment Factors parameter screen and adjust the Coal Handling factor. For example, if you determine that the additional processing will add 10% to the cost, you would set the Coal Handling factor to 1.10.

You can view the cost of these process areas on the corresponding Capital Cost result screen. In this example, coal handling is on the Base Plant: Boiler: Capital Cost result screen.

When you use a custom fuel in an IGCC plant, you must specify the syngas composition on the Set Parameters: Gasifier Area: Syngas Out screen. This is required because the current model is not able to calculate the syngas composition for an arbitrary fuel. If you skip this step, some of the results, including the Net Plant Efficiency, will be well outside their normal range.

Since gas turbines come in predefined sizes, the plant size of an IGCC or NGCC plant is determined by the number of gas turbines. You can set the number of gas turbines on the Set Parameters: Power Block: Gas Turbine Performance screen.

Oxyfuel has some relatively complicated configuration requirements, so it's usually grayed-out. The simplest way to get it is to choose one of the oxyfuel options from the Configuration menu at the top of the Plant Design screen, and make any further adjustments needed trom there. There are 3 different configurations depending on the sulfur content of the coal you plan to use.

To model other turbines, you can change one or more of these parameters on the Gas Turbine Performance parameter screen:

  • Inlet temperature (changes the turbine output and outlet temperature)
  • Fuel moisture content (to adjust mass flow rate)
  • Turbine back pressure (changes output)
  • Pressure ratio
  • Efficiencies of turbine and compressor (changes output)
  • Excess air ratio

Generally, for most gas turbines, inlet temperature, pressure ratio, design power output and design flow rate are specified. The outlet temperature may also be specified. Users can first enter the new values for inlet temperature and pressure ratio and then adjust the other variables to calibrate the turbine to design conditions.

The IECM does not have an option to add new devices, but it does let you modify the characteristics of existing device options. In many cases, this can effectively accomplish your objective. For example:

To inject lime ahead of a fabric filter, select the Dry FGD option, which is a lime spray dryer. You should then be able to adjust the parameter values of that model to simulate the case you're interested in.

Incorporating a wet ESP after the FGD is a bit trickier. The only IECM device available after the FGD unit is a CO2 capture system. This is effectively another scrubber whose parameter values can be adjusted so that it removes only particulate matter and not anything else - i.e. you can zero out all CO2-related parameters to mimic a wet ESP.

In all of these cases you would have to supply basic performance data as well as cost information, if that's also of interest. The degree of difficulty would depend strongly on what specific results you're most interested in.

There is a NOx control requirement for CCS because low NOx is needed for it to work properly, and our models assume low NOx. The fact that older versions of the IECM allowed CCS without NOx control was an oversight on our part; the model was not designed to be used that way. (Some CCS options require SO2 control for similar reasons.)

If you need to simulate CCS without NOx control, you can select SCR and manually zero out its influence, i.e. set capital cost amortization to 100%, zero out O&M costs, removal efficiency, reagent use, etc. Note, however, that the results may not be accurate, as this is outside the scope of the model.

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