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NETL-Led Partnership Releases Open-Source Tools to Design and Optimize Advanced Energy Systems

Cutting-edge computational tools developed by the NETL-led Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) are available for the first time as open-source software. The revolutionary IDAES Process Systems Engineering (PSE) framework expands process modeling and optimization capabilities to boost the efficiency, reliability and flexibility of today’s fossil fuel-based power plants and accelerate next-generation energy technologies.

The IDAES PSE framework addresses critical needs associated with improving the nation’s aging fossil energy fleet and developing tomorrow’s energy systems — challenging endeavors with the potential for considerable time and financial investments. Through a revolutionary process modeling approach that supports the design, analysis and optimization of fossil energy systems, the framework enables stakeholders to expedite technology development and improve operations by allowing them to assess how complex systems work together and consider novel processes for the future.  

“IDAES builds on multiple advances in process systems engineering that include a shift toward glass box models, which provide direct access to detailed mathematical equations,” said David Miller, NETL’s senior fellow for PSE. “Together with advances in algorithms and hardware, we are transforming the paradigm of modeling and simulation to one of modeling and optimization.”

The initial release of the IDAES PSE framework includes:

  • A process unit model library that supports conventional unit operations in chemical engineering
  • The core IDAES framework, which supports steady-state and dynamic simulations
  • An initial library of unit models specific to power generation
  • Interactive tutorials

The open-source release makes the toolset available to users in industry, government and academia, who can customize the software to meet their design needs. Periodic updates to the source code will expand the software’s capabilities by adding new features as they become available.

The IDAES PSE framework source code is hosted on GitHub. New users are encouraged to register to receive news about software updates.

IDAES is a collaborative partnership established in 2016 to create advanced computational tools that facilitate the state-of-the-art design of advanced energy systems. Partners include Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University and West Virginia University.

NETL’s IDAES work reflects the Lab’s world-renowned computational science and engineering capabilities, which aid in the strategic development of novel technological solutions to provide efficient, reliable and affordable energy for all Americans. To learn more about IDAES and its work, click here.