Release Date: August 15, 2012
AVESTAR™ Captures Prestigious Technology Transfer Award
NETL is proud to announce that Dr. Stephen Zitney, along with research engineers Mr. Eric Liese and Dr. Priyadarshi Mahapatra, have earned a 2012 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Technology Transfer award in the Mid-Atlantic region for their work developing the AVESTAR™ (“Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training And Research”) system.
The FLC awards are given each year to recognize a select group of federal laboratory employees who performed outstanding work in technology transfer over the past year. The awards have been presented yearly since 1984 to encourage excellence in development and transfer to the public domain of products and services that will keep our nation on the leading edge of advanced technologies.
Technology transfer - moving a new technology from the inventor's workbench or laboratory to a company that will market the product - is the crucial and essential step that makes an invention available to the nation. Inventing and developing energy technologies, and shepherding them from conception, development, testing, and on to commercial marketing: these are NETL’s goals in support of DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.
The AVESTAR dynamic simulator is a high-fidelity, real-time operator training system that provides hands-on training for operations, control, and safety of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants with CO2 capture. The AVESTAR system - for the first time - puts together a simulation that includes gasification, a CO2 capture process, and combined-cycle power. The AVESTAR system’s purpose is to accelerate progress toward operational excellence for IGCC systems and other clean energy plants.
This outstanding combination of simulator software technology provides workforce training for industry, engineering education for students, and advanced research and development opportunities for those involved in the power industry. By providing risk-free instruction outside of a working power plant, the AVESTAR system can develop a qualified workforce well prepared to operate, control, and manage the advanced commercial-scale IGCC power plants with carbon capture that are predicted by experts to represent the future of clean coal technology.
IGCC systems offer many advantages over traditional plants, including cleaner operation, increased efficiency, and lower cost of electricity when capturing CO2. Another strong point of IGCC plants is that they are fuel-flexible - they can operate on coal, our nation’s most abundant energy resource, or biomass, or nearly any other carbon-containing fuel. Further, the synthesis gas (syngas) produced by gasification can do more than supply power - it can also be processed to produce specialty chemicals, clean hydrogen, and transportation fuels. Two IGCC electric power plants are now commercially operational in the United States, and others are currently being planned.
The AVESTAR system’s realistic simulation-based training for IGCC plant operation allows crucial skill development for control room operators and engineers. Training covers a wide range of operating scenarios, including normal full-load operation, plant startup and shutdown, and variable CO2 capture rates. The IGCC dynamic simulator also lets users analyze the plant’s response to malfunctions or disturbance such as fluctuating coal composition.
NETL’s AVESTAR Center is transferring technology, knowledge, and experience with IGCC operations and control in the following ways:
NETL and its partners are continuing to build the AVESTAR portfolio of dynamic simulators, 3D virtual immersive training systems, and advanced research capabilities to satisfy industry’s growing need for training and experience in the operation and control of clean energy plants. Future dynamic simulators under development include natural gas combined cycle and supercritical pulverized coal plants with post-combustion CO2 capture.
The coveted FLC technology transfer award will be presented to Dr. Zitney, Mr. Liese, and Dr. Mahapatra on August 30, 2012, at the FLC Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region’s meeting in Cambridge, Maryland.