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The IDAES Integrated Platform team includes top-tier researchers from around the world employed at labs and universities throughout the nation working in concert with NETL (photo captured prior to March 2020).
As NETL strives to address some of the world’s greatest challenges to deliver reliable and affordable energy suppliesc, it uses tools such as the IDAES Integrated Platform and relies on the talent and expertise of its world-class researchers. NETL’s Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) seeks to be the premier resource for the identification, synthesis, optimization, and analysis of innovative advanced energy systems at scales ranging from materials to process to system to market. The IDAES Integrated Platform supports the design and optimization of innovative new processes that go beyond current equipment and process constraints. Led by NETL’s Senior Fellow for Process Systems Engineering and Analysis, David Miller, the minds behind the development of IDAES include NETL’s Anthony Burgard, John Eslick, Andrew Lee, Miguel Zamarripa, Chinedu Okoli and Jaffer Ghouse, among others.
Maps
A new model developed by Argonne National Lab (ANL) and NETL, with support from DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE), will help communities balance the often competing demands for water use among the power, agricultural, industrial, and residential sectors. Most thermoelectric power plants in the U.S. rely on fresh water for cooling, resulting in significant water consumption, which can be a problem when local water supplies are scarce and those plants also draw on the same sources as nearby communities for use in daily life.
Maps
A new model developed by Argonne National Lab (ANL) and NETL, with support from DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE), will help communities balance the often competing demands for water use among the power, agricultural, industrial, and residential sectors. Most thermoelectric power plants in the U.S. rely on fresh water for cooling, resulting in significant water consumption, which can be a problem when local water supplies are scarce and those plants also draw on the same sources as nearby communities for use in daily life.
RFI Logo
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have issued a request for information (RFI) to understand workforce development needs within the high-performance materials supply chain. The advanced materials supply chain consists of four segments—alloy production, shaping, finishing, and component assembly. In the fossil energy industry, these segments create high-paying jobs and contribute to a secure energy supply in the United States. However, recent events and disruptions have shifted the focus of manufacturing needs. A workforce skilled in additive manufacturing, novel joining and welding, robotics, and automated production is required to maintain and grow a robust advanced materials supply chain. This RFI seeks information to identify the most pressing workforce needs and gaps, match skills with employment needs, and establish training programs and curricula. The collected information/data will then be used to create a targeted workforce that can address immediate demands and strengthen lasting capacity for fossil fuel applications.
Tech4Imaging
With support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Ohio-based engineering and research firm Tech4Imaging LLC recently wrapped up two successful projects resulting in the development of a noninvasive, 3D imaging sensor technology for multiphase flows in advanced energy applications. This multi-year partnership highlighted the value of an industry-government collaboration that resulted in commercialization of the sensor technology while enriching the scientific knowledge base, advancing the education of several university students and creating jobs. “The Department of Energy and NETL were critical to the success of these projects,” Tech4Imaging CEO and President Qussai Marashdeh said. “With guidance and financial support from NETL, we’ve gone from a design phase to building and testing our sensor systems in commercial-scale applications. Additionally, our company has grown from just one employee to 13.”
3d Printing
As part of the NETL-managed University Coal Research (UCR) program, a team led by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) recently completed a project that contributed to the training of several university students and researchers while advancing sensor technology to measure strain in an extreme environment. The team leveraged advanced 3D printing techniques to create new in-situ monitoring sensors capable of measuring the strain, or pull, on an object — even in the high-temperature environments of fossil energy applications. The team’s novel sensors have potential to lead transformative improvements in system performance and efficiency, resulting in more affordable and reliable energy for the nation. Strain gauges are important components of many engineered creations, including bridges, airplanes and railroads, but in energy systems like coal-fired power plants, in-situ measurement of strain is especially difficult due to high heat and pressure. In the project, CMU Associate Professor Rahul Panat and his team of researchers from Washington State University and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) turned to 3D printing to devise a solution.
Mechanical Energy Storage Technology Presents Opportunities for Savings and Energy Flexibility
DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy is working through its new Advanced Energy Storage Program to improve and foster the widespread use of energy storage integrated with fossil energy applications leading to facility flexibility, power grid resiliency, cost savings, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. One class of energy storage technology with potential for long durations and integrating with fossil assets is mechanical energy storage. Mechanical energy storage takes excess or low-cost energy and converts it into potential energy for subsequent discharge to the grid. As an example, Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) technology may offer an easy means of storage and power generation. It uses off-peak cheap electricity to compress air and store it in a pressurized storage reservoir. When electricity is needed at peak demand, the air is withdrawn, combusted, and expanded to drive an electric generator. With this system, air can be pre-heated by recovering heat from the compressor train or by burning fuel, such as natural gas, to improve efficiency.
super computer
According to the latest rankings by TOP500, NETL’s Joule 2.0 supercomputer remains among the most powerful in the world, securing a position of 24th in the United States and 70th in the world. Supercomputing is essential in achieving NETL’s mission to discover, integrate and mature technology solutions that enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations. By expediting technology development through computational science and engineering, Joule 2.0 helps NETL cut costs, save time and spur valuable economic investments with a global impact. A $16.5 million upgrade in 2019 boosted Joule’s computational power by nearly eight times, enabling researchers to tackle more challenging problems as they work to make more efficient use of the nation’s vast fossil fuel resources.
Performance alloys
A new NETL report explores opportunities to leverage high-performance alloy (HPA) research supported by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) beyond coal-fired power plants and expand into industrial gas turbines as well as adjacent markets that require similar materials, such as the aerospace, industrial and chemical processing and automotive industries. HPAs are metals that display superior characteristics in high temperature and corrosive environments. Expensive to develop and produce, HPAs enable power plant processes to run at higher temperatures and pressures, improving performance and efficiency. These materials are critical to plant reliability under cyclic operation and have long been a key area of research for NETL and its partners. According to the report, the global HPA market generated more than $4 billion revenue in 2016, which is expected to climb to $7.6 billion in 2023. The largest application of HPAs is aerospace, followed by industrial gas turbines, industrial and chemical processing, and automotive. Together, these industries make up 92.5 percent of the current HPA market.
John B
Today’s U.S. electricity grid consists of millions of miles of transmission lines that bring power to hundreds of millions of electricity customers across the country, so ensuring the security and reliability of this vital infrastructure is a top concern for NETL. The Lab continues to advance energy storage technologies for future deployment, but grid reliability also requires an understanding of the interaction between various sources of electrical power, especially during periods of increased demand like severe weather events. Energy Markets Analysis team member John Brewer is an engineer who dedicates much of his time at the Lab supporting this goal through valuable analyses of programs and technologies for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE). Brewer has worked as an engineer at the Lab for more than 10 years (6 as a contractor and 5 as a federal employee), but engineering wasn’t always his first choice.