WASHINGTON, D.C. -
The U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of four projects under the Office of Fossil Energy's University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) Program. The projects will develop technologies for use in the new generation of advanced turbines that operate cleanly and efficiently when fueled with coal-derived synthesis gas and hydrogen fuels.
The overall goal of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Turbine Program is to provide high-efficiency, near-zero emissions and lower-cost turbines for coal-based stationary power systems. Developing turbine technology to operate on high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels derived from coal synthesis gas is critical to the development of advanced, near-zero-emission integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power generation plants that separate and capture carbon dioxide (CO2).
Established in 1992, the UTSR Program has grown into a consortium of university, government and industry participants working together to make the most of university research for gas turbine energy systems. The program, managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, is now focused on advancing the technology base to enable development of advanced turbines in 21st-century energy plants.
The selected universities will direct their efforts toward enabling technologies for high-hydrogen-fueled turbines, conducting basic research to help define and address HHC fuels issues believed to impact the design of robust turbines for HHC power plants.
The researchers will study specific DOE Turbine Program topics in combustion, aerodynamics, heat transfer, and materials, focusing on sub-topic areas including mixing processes, dynamic stability, hot gas path design, and degradation of IGCC turbine thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) from deposits. The projects are described below.
- University of California-Irvine, Irvine, Calif.—The proposed research will evaluate methods for characterizing fuel profiles and the level of mixing, and apply these methods to provide detailed fuel concentration profile data. These data can be used to develop and/or validate computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling approaches for determining the fuel distribution produced by typical premixing strategies. The objectives of the proposed project are to: (1) establish and apply reliable, accurate measurement methods to establish the instantaneous and time-averaged fuel distribution at several locations downstream of the point of injection; and, (2) evaluate how computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software model coefficients and approaches within affect the overall accuracy of the numerical simulations. (DOE share, $299,990; recipient share, $76,244; duration: 36 months)
- Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.—This research will address the dynamic stability of combustion. Research teams at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University will collaborate to develop accurate and robust flame response models that can be incorporated into design tools for predicting longitudinal and transverse instabilities in lean premixed multi-nozzle combustors operating on high-hydrogen fuels. Such design tools are essential for the successful development of gas turbine power systems that can operate on coal-derived high-hydrogen fuels in an environmentally acceptable manner. Models such as these are of critical importance to the successful development of new tools for designing future low-emissions, high-hydrogen-fueled gas turbine combustors. (DOE share: $400,000; recipient share: $100,000; duration: 36 months)
- Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio—This proposal specifically addresses the hot gas path design of combustion turbines using high-hydrogen fuel derived from coal. Researchers at Ohio State University and Brigham Young University will collaborate to addresses this critical turbine operability and maintainability issue. A critical need exists to explore innovative endwall designs that could both increase turbine durability and mitigate the adverse effects of deposition in the endwall. Through this research DOE and the turbine industry will gain valuable insights into factors affecting the safe, efficient operation of modern industrial turbines with alternative fuels as well as new, innovative endwall designs that are tailored for this more adverse operating environment. (DOE share: $400,000; recipient share: $237,778; duration: 36 months)
- Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio—TBCs are used to protect and insulate hot gas path metallic components in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) gas turbine engines. Evidence is growing that the use of syngas derived from coal gasification in IGCC engines results in different types of TBC degradation compared to TBCs in engines using conventional fuels. The nature and mechanisms by which these deposits degrade TBCs is not clear, but this could turn out to be a critical issue limiting the performance and durability of IGCC engines. This effort will provide a comprehensive understanding of degradation of IGCC engine TBCs from deposits and attendant mitigation approaches. (DOE share: $400,000; recipient share: $140,277; duration: 36 months)