Globally, coal, oil and natural gas are still the most important fuels for power generation. Nickel alloy materials can be widely used in components in wind turbines, nuclear power plants, coal-fired power plants and diesel generators due to their corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance, high strength, and oxidation resistance, such as heat exchange devices for power boilers, steam turbines, gas turbine parts, industrial furnaces and accessories, heat exchangers, scrubbers and land-based gas turbines, commonly used alloy models such as Inconel 718, Inconel 625, Inconel X-750, Inconel 600, Inconel 690, Incoloy 800, etc.
In most power plants, fuel is burned to generate heat to drive steam for turbines. The conditions in boiler steam turbines and heat exchangers are relatively harsh, and the materials that need to be selected need to have the characteristics of heat resistance, high temperature resistance, and creep resistance. Therefore, nickel-based superalloys have become the first choice. Nickel-based metal alloys can resist pitting corrosion and crevice corrosion in high chloride content, various acid-base solutions and high-temperature corrosion conditions. Therefore, the flue gas pollution treatment equipment also needs nickel-containing materials to resist electrostatic precipitators and flue gas. Various aggressive conditions in the desulfurization system.
Nickel-containing heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant alloys play an important role in ensuring the integrity, durability and long-term performance of nuclear power plants. Nickel-based materials have the characteristics of high temperature resistance and good welding performance. They can be used in the drive pipe seat of the pressure vessel of the nuclear power station, the heat transfer equipment of the steam generator, the cooling system and the inside of the reactor vessel. In addition, some containers for disposing of radioactive waste have selected nickel-containing stainless steel and high-nickel alloys to ensure that the waste can be safely contained within a long-term time frame.
These power generation methods are attracting more and more attention because they are truly renewable energy sources. In wind power generation, nickel alloys are mainly used for gears and generator components. In hydroelectric power generation, due to the corrosive nature of seawater, nickel-based alloys are required to provide corrosion protection. Tidal power generation and emerging wave power generation systems face similar marine corrosion and fouling environments. These can use nickel-containing alloys to resist erosion and corrosion to ensure the service life of the equipment.
There are three different methods of solar power generation: low temperature collection, concentrated solar energy, and photovoltaic system. Cryogenic systems usually use flat plate collectors to heat water, and nickel alloys can be used for collectors and related pipes.
Concentrated solar energy uses an array of mirrors to concentrate solar radiation on the receiver. The temperature of the receiver can reach 500°C, so a nickel-based superalloy is required.
Geothermal power generation is a new type of power generation technology that uses underground hot water and steam as power sources. Its basic principle is similar to that of thermal power generation. It is also based on the principle of energy conversion, which first converts geothermal energy into mechanical energy, and then converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. The underground hot water is usually salty and highly corrosive. Corrosion-resistant nickel alloys are required to withstand these conditions.
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