Technology Development of Modular, Low-Cost, High-Temperature Recuperators for SCO2 Power Cycles Email Page
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Performer:  Thar Energy LLC Location:  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 06/30/2020 Award Number:  FE0026273
Technology Area:  Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technology (sCO2) Total Award Value:  $11,693,535
Key Technology:  Recuperators DOE Share:  $9,344,826
Performer Share:  $2,348,709

Microtubular heat exchanger layout
Microtubular heat exchanger layout

Project Description

Thar Energy LLC (Thar) will lead a technology development program with partner Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and subcontractors Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Georgia Institute of Technology (material characterization and corrosion expertise) to advance high-temperature, high-differential-pressure recuperator technologies suitable for use in the supercritical carbon dioxide (SCO2) recompression Brayton cycle (RCBC). The focus of the development program is to evaluate, advance, and demonstrate recuperator concepts, materials, and fabrication methods that facilitate the commercial availability of compact, low cost recuperators for use under RCBC conditions greater than 700°C and differential pressures of approximately 200 bar. Researchers will consider variations of the microtubular design to address operability, inspection, maintenance, scalability, manufacturability, and cost. The technology development program is structured to (1) evaluate the novel recuperator concepts using engineering analysis for comparison with the current state of the art; (2) advance promising concepts through initial design and down selection; (3) complete the detailed design of the selected concept; and (4) fabricate a 46.6 MW (thermal) recuperator to accommodate the 10 MW (electric) SCO2 Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) demonstration. This work builds on previous DOE contracts DE-EE0005804 and DE-FE0024012.

Project Benefits

The Thar-led team will reduce cost and performance uncertainties associated with the high-temperature recuperator through the development, evaluation, and demonstration of advanced technologies and manufacturing methods that will facilitate the commercial availability of cost effective, compact, scalable recuperators. A technical gap analysis will provide a competitive analysis that is sufficient to compare the costs of the project design against current commercial offerings. The project benchmark is a total manufacturing cost of under $100/kW of heat duty. Systems analyses of indirectly heated SCO2 power cycles indicate that a three-to-five percent improvement in plant efficiency as compared to traditional supercritical steam cycles is possible.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Seth Lawson:
Technology Manager Richard Dennis:
Principal Investigator Lalit Chordia: