The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected Thar Energy, LLC to develop new recuperator technologies leading to more cost-effective and efficient supercritical carbon dioxide (SCO2)-based power cycles.

Power cycles based on a supercritical carbon dioxide (SCO2) working fluid have the potential for higher thermal efficiencies when compared to state of the art steam-based power cycles. However, the cost and effectiveness [D1] [ARW2] of the cycle’s recuperators are currently seen as a barrier to the full-scale SCO2 power cycle demonstration and economic viability.

The DOE Office of Fossil Energy’s Strategic Center for Coal supports research and development of SCO2 power cycle systems technologies in light of their potential advantages over conventional steam cycles. The selected project is designed to apply focused research and development to produce scalable, cost-effective recuperator technologies suitable for future deployment in large-scale SCO2 power cycle applications.

The project description follows.

Recuperator Technology Development and Assessment for Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (SCO2) Based Power Cycle

Thar Energy, LLC (Pittsburgh, PA) will partner with Southwest Research Institute; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Georgia Institute of Technology; and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory to advance high-temperature, high-differential-pressure recuperator technologies suitable for use in SCO2 recompression Brayton cycle[D3] , a likely candidate for the commercialization of SCO2 power cycles. The focus of the 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 Brayton cycle conditions.

Cost: DOE: $9,394,828 / Non-DOE: $2,348,707 / Total Funding: $11,743,535