Department of Energy

Department of Energy Invests $8.8 Million in Innovative Technologies to Enhance Fossil Energy Power Systems

July 2, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 15 projects to receive nearly $8.8 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects to develop innovative technologies that enhance fossil energy power systems.

The newly selected projects fall under DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s Crosscutting Technology Research Program, which advances technologies that have a broad range of fossil energy applications. Specifically, the program fosters innovative R&D in sensors and controls, modeling and simulation, high-performance materials, and water management.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, listed below, and are funded under two separate funding opportunity announcements (FOA).

Innovative Technology Development to Enhance Fossil Power Systems Operability, Reliability, and Economic Performance FOA

Projects under this FOA fall under the following areas of interest:

Area of Interest 1: Sensors and Controls Technology Development for Cybersecure Fossil Power Generation

  1. Cyber Security Risk Reduction Framework for Generation I&C Technology – The Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, CA) intends to develop a comprehensive risk reduction framework that identifies the life cycle for instrumentation and control (I&C) equipment used in power generation plants; provides methodologies to protect I&C equipment; identifies technologies, programs, processes, integrations, and evolving approaches to detect and achieve threat resilience against cyber-attacks; and identifies processes for the design of systems to ensure cybersecurity.

    DOE Funding: $249,699; Non-DOE Funding: $62,426; Total Value: $312,125

  2. Physical Domain Approaches to Reduce Cybersecurity Risks Associated with Control SystemsGeneral Electric (Niskayuna, NY) aims to analyze how to turn distributed sensing nodes and communication and control infrastructures into monitoring and control systems. The project’s results could help improve the resiliency and fault tolerance of systems—providing more reliable power generation to the grid.

    DOE Funding: $249,661; Non-DOE Funding: $62,415; Total Value: $312,076

  3. Cyber Secure Sensor Network for Fossil Fuel Power Generation Assets Monitoring Siemens (Princeton, NJ) aims to develop a technology framework that integrates cyber-physical security solutions and connected sensors within fossil fuel power plants. The project addresses difficult challenges including limited visibility, inability to rapidly respond to threats, and difficulty in assessing tools on the market.

    DOE Funding: $250,000; Non-DOE Funding: $62,500; Total Value: $312,500

  4. Operational Technology Behavioral AnalyticsSouthern Company (Birmingham, AL) plans to implement a real-time monitoring and analysis system aimed at identifying, predicting, and responding to anomalies within operational networks using existing plant data with minimal effort and cost.

    DOE Funding: $250,000; Non-DOE Funding: $62,500; Total Value: $312,500

Area of Interest 2: Computational Tools to Support Advanced Manufacturing of Fossil Energy Technologies

  1. ICME for Advanced Manufacturing of Ni Superalloy Heat Exchangers with High Temperature Creep + Oxidation Resistance for Supercritical CO2 DNV GL USA (Dublin, OH) plans to develop and validate computational support tools that optimize novel material combinations for fabricating microchannel heat-exchangers via additive manufacturing for supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) power cycle technology, providing new options for materials with property gradients for the fossil power industry.

    DOE Funding: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $187,500; Total Value: $937,500

  2. Digital Twin Model for Advanced Manufacture of a Rotating Detonation Engine Injector Southwest Research Institute (San Antonio, TX) intends to use a digital twin material model to apply advanced manufacturing techniques to advance rotating detonation engine injector design.

    DOE Funding: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $187,501; Total Value: $937,501

  3. AM Tailored Properties Through Computational Microstructure and Creep PredictionUnited Technologies Research Center (East Hartford, CT) aims to demonstrate the application of computational methods and tools on microstructure evolution and mechanical properties prediction for additively manufactured (AM) nickel-based superalloy parts. This project extends computational phase field models for microstructure evolution by fully coupling microstructure, mechanical properties, and service life required for turbine engines.

    DOE Funding: $749,944; Non-DOE Funding: $187,486; Total Value: $937,430

  4. Integrated Computational Materials and Mechanical Modeling for Additive Manufacturing of Alloys with Graded Structure Used in Fossil Fuel Power Plants – The University of Pittsburgh(Pittsburgh, PA) intends to develop an integrated computational materials engineering modeling framework. This project will lead to the design and manufacture of superior alloy components with excellent creep-rupture strength and oxidation resistance at elevated temperatures required for the efficient operation of fossil fuel power.

    DOE Funding: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $187,500; Total Value: $937,500

Innovative Technology Development to Enable and Enhance Highly Efficient Power Systems FOA

Projects under this FOA fall under the following areas of interest:

Area of Interest 1: ImPOWER – Improvements to Coal Combustion Power Plants

  1. Fast Load Change for Coal-Fired Drum Boilers with Natural Gas Co-firing Babcock & Wilcox Company (Barberton, OH) plans to develop control strategies and control logic for fast-load change applicable to coal-fired drum-type power plants with natural gas co-firing. The project will optimize the ability to produce electricity during peak price hours when the purchase price of electricity is high. 

    DOE Funding: $359,983; Non-DOE Funding: $89,996; Total Value: $449,979

Area of Interest 2: Innovative Concepts for Water Management in Coal Power Generation Systems

  1. A Novel Steam Condenser with Loop Thermosyphons and Film-Forming Agents for Enhanced Heat Transfer Efficiency and DurabilityAdvanced Cooling Technologies Inc. (Lancaster, PA) plans to improve the performance and efficiency of its novel steam surface condenser via thermosyphon and film-forming coating. The technology will lower operating and capital costs by enabling the manufacture of smaller condensing systems, thereby reducing coal-fired plants’ land footprint.

    DOE: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $187,500; Total Value: $937,500

  2. Capillary-driven Condensation for Heat Transfer Enhancement in Steam Power PlantsMassachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) intends to develop a new approach to enhance condensation heat transfer for steam power plants via capillary-driven condensation. Successful outcomes will enable a roughly fivefold enhancement in heat transfer coefficients compared to conventional filmwise condensation.

    DOE: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $187,595; Total Value: $937,596

  3. Enhancing Steam-Side Heat Transfer via Microdroplet Ejection using Inorganic CoatingsNelumbo (Menlo Park, CA) plans to adapt processes and compositions of Nelumbo coatings currently used on air conditioning and refrigeration materials for materials used in steam condensers. This technology could decrease the water usage of some steam condensers by up to 39 percent to save 78,000 gallons per minute and $6MM per year for a 500 MW turbine.

    DOE: $742,847; Non-DOE Funding: $202,950; Total Value: $945,797

Area of Interest 3: Effluent Water Management at Coal-Fired Energy Plants

  1. Demonstrations of Holistic, Lower Cost/Energy Effluent Water Management Approaches for Coal-Fired Energy PlantsElectric Power Research Institute Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) intends to develop strategies for long-term effluent water management at coal-fired energy plants through water balance management systems, innovative lower cost/energy water treatment systems, and techniques for generating reusable solids or stabilizing the residues for safe disposal.

    DOE: $736,983; Non-DOE Funding: $186,006; Total Value: $922,989

  2. Co-Gen Wastewater Treatment at Coal-Fired Energy PlantsGas Technology Institute (Des Plaines, IL) plans to demonstrate the effectiveness of its flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater clean-up technology at removing critical pollutants of concern. This technology will offer global benefits to coal-based power generation well into the future, as the need to treat wastewater streams grows.

    DOE: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $187,500; Total Value: $937,500

  3. FGD Effluent Management Using an Innovative Low-Energy Biosorption Treatment System to Remove Key ContaminantsMontrose Air Quality Services (Irvine, CA) intends to demonstrate an innovative, energy-efficient water-treatment system that uses an adsorption process enhanced by biological activity to remove selenium, arsenic, nitrate, and potentially other contaminants from FGD wastewater. The project will help reduce energy use associated with water treatment for power generating facilities and other sectors, including industrial, agricultural, and municipal.

    DOE: $750,000; Non-DOE Funding: $191,408; Total Value: $941,408

To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy visit their website HERE. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available HERE.