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TIAC System for Frontera Energy Center Title Image

Stellar Energy News

October 04, 2012
Stellar Energy to Build TIAC System for Frontera Energy Center

Stellar Energy, a leading global energy systems company, will supply a turbine inlet air chilling (TIAC) system for Frontera Energy Center, a 500MW gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant in Mission, Texas. The TIAC system will allow for a more than 10-percent increase in power output for the plant during the heat of summer (when electricity usage is generally the highest). Frontera Energy Center is owned by a subsidiary of Direct Energy. Stellar Energy will provide turnkey design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning for the system, which will feature thermal energy storage.

"This project demonstrates our ability to self perform the full range of engineering, procurement and construction services required to install large TIAC systems," said John Milford, Stellar Energy Chief Executive Officer. "We have the experience, size and capabilities to meet Direct Energy's aggressive timetable, while delivering a cost-effective and technically compliant product."

TIAC is a commercially proven way to improve power producers' profitability by increasing a gas turbine's power output by up to 30 percent. By mechanically chilling the inlet air before it enters the compressor, TIAC gives the turbine a boost when it needs it most-in hot weather. In addition to increasing power output, TIAC improves the turbine's heat rate, increasing efficiency and lowering emissions.

"Stellar Energy designed a compelling solution for Frontera Energy Center," said Tim Kennedy, Director, Upstream Power, Direct Energy. "It allows us to provide more electricity when Texans need it most. Stellar Energy's commercial and engineering teams have so far been very professional and easy to work with. Their experience, technical expertise and flexibility in accommodating our timeline, operational requirements and budgetary needs convinced us that Stellar Energy is the right partner for this project."

Stellar Energy's custom solution for Frontera Energy Center includes a water-cooled modular chiller plant, thermal energy storage with stratified chilled water, a unique coil design that simplifies the filterhouse replacement, and an innovative freeze protection system for the coils, enabling the TIAC system to remain available for use during warm days in the winter. Stellar Energy will fabricate the entire modular chiller plant in its Jacksonville, Florida, fabrication facility.

Design and procurement work began in early July. The project is scheduled to be complete by May 1, 2013. The power plant will maintain normal commercial operation throughout the project schedule, except for a 21-day outage to replace the existing filterhouses with new, chiller coil equipped filterhouses.

Stellar Energy has designed, manufactured and installed TIAC systems on more than 80 turbines, delivering more than 1,500 MW of capacity enhancement. The company also has more than 800,000 tons of refrigeration (TRs) of chilled-water plant experience.


About Stellar Energy

Stellar Energy is a global leader in the design, manufacturing, installation and operation of a range of energy systems. The company’s experience spans more than 20 years across the globe, with offices in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. For more information, visit, find the company on LinkedIn or follow Stellar Energy on Twitter @Stellar_Energy.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with more than 6 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Through its Direct Energy, CPL Retail Energy and WTU Retail Energy brands, the company is the third-largest retail electricity provider in Texas. It owns three power generation facilities and a series of energy-related services companies. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 states and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit