Innovative Energy Concepts


Innovative Process Technologies is concerned with the development of innovative cost-effective technologies that promote efficiency, environmental performance, availability of advanced energy systems, and the development of computational tools that shorten development timelines of advanced energy systems. NETL, working with stakeholder to focus on these research tasks:

  • Advanced Power Generation Concepts
  • Power Electronics and Energetic Materials

Impacts and Benefits
The following impacts are possible through this proposed research:

  • Investigation of new materials for sensors, including nanocomposite thin films, or graphene films, may permit high-temperature gas speciation that is needed for future power plant operation, or lower cost energy harvesting for wireless sensors and other applications
  • Novel, environmentally benign Mg-based battery architecture with performance characteristics that are potentially superior in terms of economics and performance compared to NaS and Zebra batteries for grid scale applications.
  • Determination of the performance potential of innovative concepts like pressure-gain combustion and direct power extraction. Results will define the technical barriers that must be addressed to produce the desired benefits of the technology. Validation data is needed to insure that predicted performance is correct.

Advanced Power Generation Concepts such as direct power extraction, pressure-gain combustion, supercritical CO2 cycles, and other innovative ideas have the potential to increase the efficiency and offset the penalty associated with capturing CO2 from power generation from fossil fuels. Although these innovative energy concepts (IECs) have significant potential advantages, practical development is stymied by uncertain component performance, the need for new materials, or simply the cost of development. The goal of the IEC is to utilize validated, computational simulations that can predict performance of these IECs to identify gaps in simulations and technology and guide development and accelerate the deployment of IEC technologies.

Power Electronics and Energetic Materials research application for grid scale energy storage devices to improve reliability and stability of the grid; provide capacity to “peak shave or load shift,” enabling peak loads to be met during periods when generation, transmission, and distribution assets cannot yet be brought online; enable the integration of large scale renewable energy plants into the grid; and provide more stable and efficient delivery of electrical power— including power generated from fossil fuel sources. This will result in more stable and efficient delivery of electrical power, while reducing overall CO2 emissions.