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U.S. Department of Energy Selects Technology Projects to Receive $10M for Extreme Environment Materials Research
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected two projects to receive approximately $10 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002192, Extreme Environment Materials for Power Generation.

The objective of this FOA was to competitively seek cost-shared applications for materials research, development, testing, and validation to enhance the reliability of the Nation’s existing fossil fleet and materials supply chain. Thermal fatigue and corrosion are two predominate damage mechanisms to steam cycle components that are operated under cyclic load conditions, which is why material joint reliability and surface technologies are the focus of this FOA.

This FOA was sponsored by FE’s High Performance Materials Program, which is focused on enhancing the Nation’s high-temperature materials supply chain while providing solutions for the existing fossil fleet and enabling even higher efficiency fossil power generation. The program uses techniques such as advanced ultra-supercritical steam (AUSC) and supercritical carbon dioxide.

FE selected two projects:

(1) Robust Dissimilar Metal Friction Welded Spool for Enhanced Capability for Steam Power Components – General Electric Company, GE Research (Niskayuna, NY), in collaboration with Edison Welding Institute and Manufacturing Technology Inc., will work to improve the durability of dissimilar metal welds (DMWs) for boiler and heat recovery steam generator applications with reduced maintenance costs and enhanced capability of coal plant cycling operations. GE will develop a durable, friction-welded dissimilar-metal spool utilizing the higher capability transition material of a nanostructured ferritic alloy and an oxidation protective coating across the joint that will be retrofittable in the existing steam fleet. Improved joint durability should enable an increase in the number of cold starts and cycling behavior of the steam fleet and reduce unplanned outages from DMW failures.

DOE: $4,999,877 Non-DOE: $1,249,969 Total Value: $6,249,846

(2) Advanced Coating Compositions and Microstructures to Improve Uptime and Operational Flexibility in Cyclic, Low-Load Coal Plants – General Electric Company, GE Research (Niskayuna, NY) will develop cost-effective weld overlay compositions for boiler tubing and multi-layered coatings that deliver improvements in erosion resistance and oxidation resistance in high-temperature steam for high pressure (HP) turbine blades. Specific objectives of the project include: 1) enabling an increase in time between outages for both boilers and HP turbines; 2) eliminating or significantly reducing the nickel content in weld overlay to mitigate cost; 3) providing adequate oxidation resistance for HP turbine inlet steam at >620°C and >220 bar; and 4) applying coatings to actual components, using today's production-scale methods. These advanced coatings could decrease component cost, increase performance, and extend time between outages.

DOE: $4,994,511 Non-DOE: $1,248,627 Total Value: $6,243,138

The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the selected projects.

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.