The High-Performance Materials program drives to characterize, produce, and certify cost-effective alloys and high-performance materials suitable for extreme environments that are found in fossil-based power-generation systems. NETL supports and catalyzes a robust domestic materials supply chain that prepares materials for Advanced Ultra-Supercritical Steam Cycles (AUSC) and spinoff applications. The work enables supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) cycles that increases the efficiency of materials repair and accelerates material discovery and qualification.
Transformational power technologies, like AUSC and sCO2 have the potential to increase efficiencies and bolster clean coal efforts. However, these systems operate at higher temperatures and pressures leading to more corrosive and harsher environments compared to traditional power plants. Additionally, the existing fleet is increasingly subjected to cycling conditions due to the penetration of renewable energy sources onto the electricity grid. Cycling adds stress to the materials of construction, because the plants were not designed for the extreme changes in temperature and pressure brought on by cycling conditions.
The Crosscutting Materials program works to accelerate the development of improved steels, superalloys, and other advanced alloys to address challenges of both the existing fleet and future power systems. Materials of interest include those that enable components and equipment to perform in the high-temperature, high-pressure, corrosive environments of an advanced energy system with specific emphasis on durability, availability, and cost both within and across each of the four primary Research Areas:
Crosscutting supports different projects for developing new technologies that can be deployed by the existing fleet industry and establishes and catalyzes a knowledge base for the domestic materials supply chain for plants of the future.
NETL supports an AUSC Component Testing Consortium, a 15-year effort supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Ohio Coal Development Office, and industry partners. The consortium is working to develop materials for boiler and steam turbines for AUSC Coal Plants. Materials development, including significant manufacturing trials, focuses on nickel-based alloys for temperatures consistent with 760˚C steam cycle conditions. The current effort is completing manufacturing trials, R&D, ASME code cases, and techno-economic analysis to ready the domestic supply chain to support AUSC power plant construction.
The eXtremeMAT project addresses the materials of construction challenges by harnessing the unparalleled computational and experimental materials science expertise and capabilities within the DOE national laboratory, into an integrated, mission-focused team aimed at improving heat-resistant alloys and improving models to predict long-term material performance in existing and future fossil energy power systems. NETL leads the consortium with partner laboratories, Ames Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Check out eXtremeMAT’s website here to learn more.
The Crosscutting program also participates in the multi-year collaboration with the United Kingdom's Department for Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and DOE on fossil energy technologies with a strong emphasis on materials. The partnership objective is to share and develop knowledge and expertise in high-temperature materials for advanced fossil energy power plant applications. The partnership optimizes test methods, data analysis and storage; develops life-time prediction tools; creates materials evaluation techniques and ranking methodologies; and develops joining and thermomechanical processing techniques. You can read more about the partnership goals, objectives, and accomplishments here.
DOE Fossil Energy supports the High-Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) program as part of DOE’s High-Performance Computing for Energy Innovation Program. HPC4Mtls accelerates industry discovery, design, and development of materials in energy technologies by enabling access to computational capabilities and expertise in the DOE laboratories. Joint solicitations address key challenges in the U.S. manufacturing and material development by applying modeling, simulation and data analysis to relevant problems to improve energy efficiency, increase productivity, reduce cycle tie, enable next-generation technologies, test control system algorithms, investigate intensified processes, lower energy cost, and accelerate innovation. To learn more about the program and current solicitations click here.
NETL researchers develop and maintain the Energy Data eXchange (EDX) to support private collaboration for ongoing research efforts, and technology transfer of finalized DOE and NETL research products. EDX offers a secure environment for multi-organizational research teams to share, build and collaborate online tools, data, and information. EDX platform can be reached here.
NETL’s Systems Energy Analysis group conducts a variety of energy analyses to identify and evaluate promising R&D opportunities. Check out their website for specific Materials analysis and other technology related studies.