AVESTAR Team Hosts NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network for Collaboration Discussions on Clean Energy Plant Operations and Control
The NETL AVESTAR team hosted scientists and engineers from the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), for hands-on dynamic simulator-based demonstrations and in-depth presentations and discussions on the operation and control of clean energy plants.
The AVESTAR and NRECA/CRN teams identified several potential collaboration opportunities in the area of power plant cycling and load following. Growing renewable power generation is creating significant stress on both coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Conventional fossil energy-fueled power plants were not designed to operate with large variations in power output, but must now cope with wide changes in power demand, often on an hourly basis. AVESTAR’s high-fidelity, real-time dynamic simulators can be used to analyze the impact of cycling and load-following operation on power plant heat rate and emissions. Collaborative R&D can also be used to assess how cycling and load-following damage plant equipment assets, and compromise plant performance, including pollutant controls if designed only to meet steady, base-load conditions.
To facilitate discussion, Dr. Stephen E. Zitney provided an overview of the AVESTAR Center including its mission, goals, simulators, and facilities, as well as industry workforce training, education, and advanced R&D programs. The AVESTAR team also provided demonstrations of its IGCC dynamic simulator and 3D virtual immersive training system.
NRECA’s CRN conducts collaborative research to accelerate technological innovation that can be applied by electric cooperatives worldwide. The more than 900 co-ops nationwide comprise a real-world test bed for demonstrating the viability of emerging technologies. Partnering with co-ops, national labs, academic institutions and industry, CRN research is driven by the needs cooperatives and their consumer members. CRN's guides, publications and online tools help cooperatives meet their members' expectations for affordable, reliable electric power using the most advanced technologies available.