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Karen Kietzke @ CMU

May 15, 2018, 10:42:34 PM5/15/18
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NOTE: The latest version of the FAQ may be found on our website. You may find that version easier to read. 

Q: How much does the IECM cost? What is the license?

A: The IECM is provided free of charge. The download page on our website includes a link to view the license.


Q: Is there a commercial version of the IECM?

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


Q: Is the IECM source code available?

A: No. The IECM is free to download and use, but it is not open source.


Q: Can you email me a copy of the IECM?

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


Q: I'm trying to download the Mac or Linux version of the IECM and it keeps giving me the Windows installer. How do I get the correct version?

A: We do not currently have a Mac- or Linux-native version of the IECM; you have to run it under Wine. Currently, the IECM is a 32-bit application and requires 32-bit Wine.

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

If you are running MacOS X, we suggest you use Wineskin. The manual has some information on how to use it. Basically, you need to create a wrapper (section 2.3 Creating Wrappers) and then run the wrapper and tell it to install the IECM (section 4.1 The Installer, "way 1" works best for the IECM). The main executable file is "iecmint.exe". 

If you need to change the configuration after you've installed it, e.g. to upgrade the wrapper and/or engine, section 3.1 "A Look Inside a Wrapper" tells you how to get to the configuration.

If you are running Linux, Wine is probably available in whatever software manager your distro uses, or you can download it here. PlayOnLinux also works well; if it's not available with your distro, you can download it here.

RedHat Linux and related distributions do not currently include 32-bit Wine. If your distribution doesn't include 32-bit Wine, instructions on how to build it yourself are available here


Q: I'm running MacOS High Sierra and Wineskin isn't working and/or says it can't find any new executables. What is going on?

A: This problem was reported to us in early September 2018. The way to solve it is:

  1. Create a wrapper in Wineskin if you haven't already done so. (No need to do this if you're trying to fix an existing wrapper.)
  2. In the Finder, go to your home directory, Applications, Wineskin.
  3. Right-click the wrapper and choose "Show Package Contents".
  4. Double-click "Wineskin.app" to run it.
  5. Click "Set Screen Options".
  6. In "Other Options" in the lower right corner, uncheck "Auto Detect GPU...".
  7. In "Override Wine control..." in the upper right corner, select "Override".
  8. In "Installer Options" in the lower left corner, select "Use these settings".
  9. Click "Done".

You can then install software and/or quit and run whatever you previously had installed. This video shows the process of fixing a wrapper.


Q: How do I configure a plant?

A: Chapter 6 of the User Manual ("A Case Study") 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. If you are using version 11.2 or newer, you can access the User Manual from the "Help" menu. You may also download it here.

You may also find our tutorial videos helpful, although they were recorded with an older version of the interface. We suggest going through the case study in the user manual first to familiarize yourself with the current interface.


Q: How can I export data from my session and/or send someone a copy of my session?

A: Several ways of exporting data are summarized in section "4.6. Exporting Data" of the User Manual.


Q: I have a large number of data sets. Is there any way to automate running the IECM?

A: This can be done to some extent. See section " Batch Processing" on page 66 of the User Manual for details.


Q: Can I use a biomass fuel instead of coal?

A: Yes, you can enter biomass properties on the coal properties screen.


Q: Is there a way to enter multiple fuels?

A: 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.


Q: I have created a blended fuel, but it requires additional processing. How do I account for the additional costs in the IECM?

A: 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 additional fuel 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.


Q: I'm modeling an IGCC plant with a custom fuel, and the Net Plant Efficiency is huge. Why?

A: When you use a custom fuel, 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.


Q: How do I change the size of an IGCC or NGCC plant?

A: Since gas turbines come in predefined sizes, the plant size of IGCC and NGCC plants 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.


Q: I'm trying to create an oxyfuel plant, but that option is always grayed-out in the CO2 Capture menu. How can I enable it?

A: 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 from there. There are 3 different configurations depending on the sulfur content of the coal you plan to use. 


Q: I need to use a different type of gas turbine than the ones provided in the IECM. Is there a way to do that?

A: To model other turbines, the users can change one or more of these parameters on the Gas Turbine Performance 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.


Q: Is there a way to incorporate additional steps such as lime injection ahead of fabric filter or a wet ESP after FGD? Can I add my own technology to the IECM?

A: 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 also can adjusted so that it removes only particulate matter and not anything else—ie., you can zero out all CO2-related parameters to mimic a wet ESP.

In all 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.

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