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DOE Announces $6 Million for University-Based Turbines Research and Development Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have announced up to $6.0 million in federal funding for research and development (R&D) under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001993, University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR). The FOA seeks to solicit and competitively award university-based R&D projects that address and resolve scientific challenges and applied engineering technology issues associated with the performance and efficiency of combustion turbines in fossil fuel power generation. Projects will support DOE’s University Turbine Systems Research program.

This FOA focuses on five areas of interest (AOIs).

1. Pressure Gain Combustion – The Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) provides a unique framework in which a continuously detonating wave can be sustained within a compact device in a controlled manner to allow for the extraction of useful work.  When combined with a gas turbine engine, the resultant pressure gain from the RDE provides both conventionally high temperatures and elevated pressures permitting greater work extraction by the turbine engine compared to combustion through deflagration.  However, achieving an actual pressure gain in an RDE in an effective manner is challenging. This AOI focuses on two main subjects of interest: air inlet and RDE exhaust flow transition. These could be addressed individually or collectively.

2. Advanced Materials Development for Hot Gas Path Turbine Components – This AOI seeks to develop and evaluate advanced materials or advanced manufacturing processes containing advanced materials. These materials and processes should improve capabilities for withstanding much higher temperatures for turbine hot gas path components needed to achieve combined cycle energy efficiencies greater than 65 percent. 

3. Advanced Manufacturing Development for Hot Gas Path Turbine Components – This AOI seeks to develop and evaluate advanced manufacturing processes for improved air-breathing gas turbine performance, including improved capabilities for withstanding much higher temperatures for hot gas path components needed to achieve combined cycle energy efficiencies greater than 65 percent.

4. Fundamental Research for sCO2 Power Cycle Development – This AOI seeks fundamental laboratory or bench-scale R&D to develop advanced technologies for indirect supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycles expected to operate at 715 degrees Celsius (°C) and 25 megapascal (MPa) turbine inlet conditions and for direct sCO2 power cycles expected to operate at 1200 °C and 30 MPa turbine inlet conditions.

5. Fossil Fuel-Based Power Generation with Large-Scale Energy Storage – This AOI will evaluate, through technical and economic system studies, large-scale energy storage concepts integrated with fossil fuel-based power generation systems.

Projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Read more details of the FOA.

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.