North Bay Power Plant – Performance Improvement in a Challenging Environment


Part of the Atlantic Power Corporation, the North Bay Power Project commenced commercial operation in 1996 and is a 40 MW gas-fired enhanced combined-cycle generating facility located in Ontario adjacent to the TransCanada Mainline. The ACC, manufactured by GEA is a 4×2 configuration. Temperatures in North Bay can range from -40 to +30 degrees centigrade. Hot windy days in the summer months, and snow, ice and freezing rain in the winter months. Challenging conditions for any ACC. After running some PI Data analysis with Ryan and his team, Galebreaker Wind Screens were installed in 2014.

Specific Objective

North Bay were a base loaded facility (until the end of 2017) and shutdown on sporadic weekends mainly throughout the summer months. The main issue for the plant was thermal performance problems, i.e. the loss of condenser vacuum particularly during hot windy days. Considering wind screens would eliminate the need to either de-rate or to shut down meaning the plant could see a benefit more than 50-75% of the time during the summer months. Ryan Forget and his team had estimated from summer electricity rates that if they could realise the potential of the screens it would give them a good return on investment.

Benefits / Results

The PI Data analysis conclusions gave the North Bay team some confidence that the installation of Galebreaker wind shields would have a positive effect on the performance of the ACC at North Bay. The most performance would be gained during hot, windy days when condenser vacuum would be the most affected. Please follow the link here for a sample of before and after PI data results.