May 22, 2018 — Southwest Research Institute has been awarded two contracts totaling $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance turbine technology for power plants.
“These projects are a part of SwRI’s continuing contribution toward DOE’s goal of developing the most efficient and reliable energy infrastructure,” said Dr. Klaus Brun, a program director in SwRI’s Mechanical Engineering Division.
In one effort, SwRI will develop a concept for a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2), coal syngas or natural gas-fired oxy-fuel turbine. The goal is to improve high-cycle efficiencies and increase power output, thus reducing both the size and cost of a power plant. SwRI will lead the effort, which includes contributing research from GE Global, Air Liquide, 8 Rivers, EPRI and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
For the second project, SwRI will develop a modular, highly efficient combined-cycle power system. The system will be cleaner and more fuel-efficient, thus reducing operating costs and plant size. In addition, an sCO2-based waste-heat recovery system will be added to an existing gas turbine to increase efficiency and environmental performance. SwRI will lead the effort, which includes contributing research from Hanwha, Solar Turbines and Williams.
Both projects are slated to begin in June 2018, with a completion date of December 2019.
SwRI is a leader in research and development of oxy-combustion cycle technology, which aims to provide high-efficiency electricity generation for next-generation power plants.