CCS and Power Systems
Advanced Energy Systems - Hydrogen Turbines
Improving Durability of Turbine Components Through Trenched Film Cooling and Contoured Endwalls
Performer: University of Texas at Austin
Project No: FE0005540
Program Background and Project Benefits
Turbines convert heat energy to mechanical energy by expanding a hot, compressed working fluid through a series of airfoils. Combustion turbines compress air, mix and combust it with a fuel (natural gas, coal-derived synthesis gas [syngas], or hydrogen), and then expand the combustion gases through the airfoils. Expansion turbines expand a working fluid like steam or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been heated in a heat exchanger by an external heat source. These two types of turbines are used in conjunction to form a combined cycle— with heat from the combustion gases used as the heat source for the working fluid— improving efficiency and reducing emissions. If oxygen is used for combustion in place of air, then the combustion gases consist mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, and the CO2 can be easily separated and sent to storage or used for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Alternatively, the CO2/steam combustion gases can be expanded directly in an oxy-fuel turbine. Turbines are the backbone of power generation in the US, and the diverse power cycles containing turbines provide a variety of electricity generation options for fossil derived fuels. The efficiency of combustion turbines has steadily increased as advanced technologies have provided manufacturers with the ability to produce highly advanced turbines that operate at very high temperatures. The Advanced Turbines program is developing technologies in four key areas that will accelerate turbine performance, efficiency, and cost effectiveness beyond current state-of-the-art and provide tangible benefits to the public in the form of lower cost of electricity (COE), reduced emissions of criteria pollutants, and carbon capture options. The Key Technology areas for the Advanced Hydrogen Turbines Program are: (1) Hydrogen Turbines, (2) Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles, (3) Oxy-Fueled Turbines, and (4) Advanced Steam Turbines.
Hydrogen turbine technology research is being conducted with the goal of producing reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly electric power in response to the Nation's increasing energy challenges. NETL is leading the research, development, and demonstration of technologies to achieve power production from high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels derived from coal that is clean, efficient, and cost-effective; minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; and help maintain the Nation's leadership in the export of gas turbine equipment. These goals are being met by developing the most advanced technology in the areas of materials, cooling, heat transfer, manufacturing, aerodynamics, and machine design. Success in these areas will allow machines to be designed that have higher efficiencies and power output with lower emissions and lower cost.
The University of Texas at Austin and The Pennsylvania State University will utilize wind tunnel facilities to simulate film cooling of turbine vanes, blades, and endwalls by using molten wax particles to simulate the molten contaminant particles that occur at actual engine conditions. UT will be focusing on the performance of shallow trench film cooling configurations for various positions on the suction and pressure sides of a simulated vane with active deposition. Meanwhile, Penn State will be investigating the effect of active deposition on various endwall cooling configurations. Aerodynamics and heat transfer research conducted under the Advanced Turbine Program seeks to improve the understanding of heat transfer in turbine components, develop improved cooling methods and designs, and improve tools used to model heat transfer or particulate behavior under turbine operating conditions. These improvements will lead to improved component designs that will improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs leading to reduced operating costs, lower costs of electricity, and reduced emissions.