Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation is an advanced technology for generating
electrical power from fossil fuels by passing an electrical conducting fluid
through a magnetic field without rotating machinery or moving mechanical parts.
In principle, any electrical conducting fluid
can be used as the working fluid, and power generation has been demonstrated
with a number of such fluids, varying from liquid metals to hot ionized gases.
The absence of moving machinery allows the MHD
generator to operate at much higher
temperatures than other power generation systems and, therefore, higher
efficiencies can be reached.
A key component of the MHD generator is the superconducting magnet, which
produces the magnetic field necessary for the energy conversion process.
A MHD/steam plan can achieve efficiencies of up
to 60% with less environmental impact than from any other direct
coal-burning technology. Retreofitting and/or repowering of existing thermal
power plants is possible with a significant increase of the efficiency of the
Efficiencies greater than 65 – 70 % can be
reached if a triple cycle, including
an MHD generator, a gas turbine and a steam turbine, is utilized.