High Efficiency High-Temp Modular Power Workshop

High Efficiency High-Temp Modular Power Workshop
October 19-20, 2017 

Washington, D.C.

ARPA-E held a workshop on “High Efficiency, High Temperature Modular Power Utilizing Innovative Designs, Materials, and Manufacturing Techniques" from October 19-20, 2017 in the Washington, D.C. area.  

The workshop focused on the development of next generation of sub-megawatt (<1 MW) high efficiency modular electricity generation systems by taking advantage of recent advancements in process intensification, materials, and manufacturing techniques. The envisioned goal was a 60% 1st law thermodynamic cycle efficiency (vs less than 35% in state of the art systems) and an associated footprint that can be considerably smaller than state of the art systems. High efficiency compact power generation units are critical to a range of industries, including but not limited to modular power generation, aerospace, process, automotive, oil and gas, and waste heat recovery systems. The selected working fluid will operate in the single phase super critical region at all times, thus substantially reducing the risk and liability associated with the two-phase flow devices (boilers, condensers and associated accessories) in use in state of the art electricity generation systems. The workshop explored three subcategories with R&D needs: I) cycle design and simulations; II) high temperature/high pressure heat exchangers; and (III) rotating equipment and associated balance of plant components. 

The workshop convened leading experts in the above-referenced categories of critical importance to the proposed program with the objective to identify innovative research paths forward for the development of disruptive technologies that enable high efficiency modular (<1MW) power production systems.  Participants lent expertise to help set technical and cost targets that will define a successful research program and explore possible technology pathways. 

Super critical CO2 (sCO2) would seem to be the most feasible working fluid for achieving the envisioned objectives (but this will be further discussed at the workshop).  As such, ARPA-E is interested in technical pathways towards improving modular sCO2 power cycle technology.  One area of interest is the potential application of advanced fabrication techniques to promising, high temperature (≥700°C) materials to enable advanced, complex heat exchanger and turbomachinery designs that show promise for high performance and acceptable cost, but that cannot be cost-effectively realized with existing fabrication capabilities.  Another interest deals with the potential to redesign the sCO2 system for optimal performance at the modular (<1MW) scale, which has been a challenging size for more traditional designs.  Innovative concepts for key enabling components, including seals and bearings are also of interest. 

Targeted outcomes included:

    • Identification of heat exchanger and turbomachinery designs, concepts, and/or geometric features that show promise, but that cannot be realized with existing fabrication capabilities
    • Identification of candidate high temperature materials (>700°C)
    • Identification of fabrication limitations with these materials and potential technical pathways to overcome these limitations
    • Identification of any materials development that may need to be included in a potential program
    • Identification of promising system and/or component designs that are more optimal for the scale of interest (<1MW)
    • Identification of any other sCO2 power system components that may need to be developed (pumps, sensors, bearings, seals, etc)
    • Identification of potential markets for the modular sCO2 power systems and the requirements of these markets
    • Identification of other innovative technologies that meet the performance objectives.
    • Identification of potential performance and cost targets for an effort in this technical area.

Thursday, 10/19

12:00 PM – 12:15 PM Welcome and Introduction to ARPA-E
Dr. Eric Rohlfing, Acting Director, ARPA-E

12:15 - 12:45 PM High Efficiency High Temperature Modular Power Utilizing Innovative Designs, Materials, and Manufacturing Techniques
Dr. Mike Ohadi, Program Director ARPA-E

12:45 - 1:15 PM Workshop participant introductions

1:20 – 1:45 PM Dept. of Energy Fossil Energy’s Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycle Technology Program for Large Stationary Power
Guest Speaker 1: Richard Dennis, National Energy Technology Laboratory

1:45 –  2:10 PM Opportunities and Challenges for sub Megawatt Modular Supercritical Cycles
Guest Speaker 2: Marc Portnoff, Thar Energy, LLC.

2:10 – 2:35 PM Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Methods for High Temperature Thermal Management Applications
Guest Speaker 3: Dr. Ali Yousefani, Boeing Aerospace   

2:35 – 2:40 PM Breakout 1 Overview
Dr. Mike Ohadi,  ARPA-E

2:40 – 3:00 PM Break/Networking

3:00– 4:30 PM Breakout Session 1: Performance Metrics and Technical Opportunities

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM Individual meetings with Dr. Mike Ohadi & his technical team 

Friday, 10/20

8:30 - 8:45 AM Day 1 Summary/Readout, Group Feedback, and Day 2 Objectives
Dr. Mike Ohadi, ARPA-E

8:45 – 9:10 AM High-Temperature Heat Exchangers for Aerospace Applications
Guest Speaker 4: Dr. Hal Strumpf, Honeywell Aerospace   

9:10 – 9:35 AM Experience with <1MW Supercritical Power Generation Technology Development (Including Turbomachinery, Seals, Bearings)
Guest Speaker 5: Darryn Fleming, Sandia

9:35 – 10:00 AM Progress in 3D Printing of Metals, Including Superalloys
Guest Speaker 6: Frederick Claus, Stratasys

10:00 – 10:15 AM Waste Heat Recovery in Military Applications
Guest Speaker 7: Dr. Mark Spector, Office of Naval Research

10:15 – 10:20 AM Breakout 2 Overview
Dr. Mike Ohadi, ARPA-E

10:20 – 10:40 AM Break/Networking

10:40 – 12:00 PM Breakout Session 2: Metrics Refinements and Risk Assessment/Mitigation