Research for a new generation of power plants

This website is your point of access to the latest research on power plants.
You can browse information on the fundamentals using the upper bar or else find out about current research projects by using the box on the right.

news / 2017-07-11

The first meeting of the Flexible Energy Conversion Research Network, which was held on 30th of June 2017 in Jülich, in particular focussed on the structure of the future work. The meeting drew on proposals that were drafted in Berlin in February 2017 during the kick-off event for the network. The network is being launched with five working groups. A key task of the future activities is to provide advice on the development of the 7th Energy Research Programme. Read more

news / 2017-03-27

The founding event for the Flexible Energy Conversion Research Network was held at the end of February 2017 at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin. In future, classic power plant technologies will work under one roof with solar thermal power plants and thermal storage systems. The key task will be to increase flexibility and improve the partial load behaviour in order to support the fluctuating renewable energies. Read more

news / 2017-01-18

On 24 February 2017, the Flexible Energy Conversion Research Network was founded on the initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. This network encompasses highly efficient and flexible fossil-fuel power plants, solar thermal power plants and CO2 capture and recycling processes. The previous Cooretec research initiative was concluded on 7th November 2016 and will be integrated into the new network. Read more

news / 2016-12-14

Gas turbines used in power plants and for the propulsion of airplanes should emit as few pollutants as possible. To achieve this important development goal, the engineers need to better understand the combustion processes within the combustion chamber of the turbine. On a newly developed test rig, researchers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Rolls Royce Deutschland have jointly conducted an initial series of experiments. The project is called SCARLET and went into operation at the end of 2016. Read more

news / 2016-02-02

The third phase of the research project HotVeGas launched in early January. Previous findings in coal gasification will be further developed and consolidated in a fuel database. The project will run until the end of 2019. Technische Universität München is coordinating the project. Read more

news / 2015-06-24

Higher temperature differences can increase the efficiency of power plants, and thus lower CO2 emissions. The lower limit is determined by the outside or ambient temperature, and the upper limit depends on material properties. As part of the research project HWT II (high-temperature material test track II), experts examined the behaviour of thick-walled pipe and fitting components during the required flexible operation at temperatures of up to 725 °C. Read more

news / 2015-03-16

What options are available for the co-combustion of biomass in power plants in ever greater volumes? Researchers at the Hamburg University of Technology are currently exploring this issue in a simulation based on a detailed power plant model in the 800-megawatt power class. The aim is to ensure the rate of internal consumption of power plants remains as low as possible when using regenerative fuel too. Read more

news / 2014-11-03

The aim of the “Thermochemical energy storage unit for thermal power plants and industrial heat” research project, TcET for short, is to achieve continuous load delivery in fossil fuel-fired power plants. Scientists at TU Munich are investigating ways to operate the combustion chambers of power plants at a constant level of efficiency in the case of fluctuating electrical power output. Read more

news / 2014-10-24

In October, the COORETEC research initiative organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy celebrated its tenth anniversary in Berlin. In recent years, around 500 research projects have been initiated and funded with more than 500 million euros invested by both the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and the industry. During the two-day anniversary symposium, players from research institutions, industry and politics reviewed the successful partnership and presented their goals for the future. Read more

news / 2014-06-02

The development of compact switching points for DC transmission solves a problem caused by the grid expansion: the grid nodes and feed-in systems are becoming smaller and can thus be installed more conveniently in urban areas and on platforms for offshore wind farms. Siemens’ development manager Denis Imamovic is today presenting the latest results of the research project at the Berliner Energietage conference. Read more

opinion / 2013-11-19

Professor Karl Maile, Commercial Director of the Materials Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart (MPA Stuttgart), is heading the scientific support research on the high-temperature material test facilities (HWT I and II). In the interview, he talked about the importance of the ongoing material development for the flexibility and efficiency of power plants. Read more

news / 2013-10-30

Cryogenic air separation, a process employed to produce oxygen, requires a lot of energy. This high energy consumption impairs the efficiency of a number of industrial processes and procedures used to separate carbon dioxide from exhaust gases. In the context of the MEM-OXYCOAL research project headed by RWTH Aachen University, scientists have developed membranes that improve the energy efficiency of oxygen separation. Read more

news / 2013-10-28

The ideal course of a power route depends on a number of factors. Scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund have joined forces with the grid operator Amprion to model a weighting function which systematically reproduces the relevant criteria. A computer-aided planning tool shall enable planners to make an objective assessment of various route layouts, visualise different alternatives and swiftly develop suitable compromises. Read more

news / 2013-10-18

Small gas turbines are relatively inefficient. In the wake of the energy turnaround, demand for intermediate electricity storage systems is increasing. Scientists at RWTH Aachen and TU Freiberg are working on a new design concept to increase the efficiency of current small gas turbines. Read more

news / 2013-09-09

The “Partner-Dampfkraftwerk” research project, which has now begun, aims to significantly improve the demand-driven integration of electricity from fluctuating energy sources. For this purpose, their goal is that existing power plants will reliably balance out the fluctuating power from wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, in order to ensure grid stability. The optimisation measures could already be installed in the short term in existing power plants. With this aim in mind, four power plant operators are collaborating with three research institutes and two components manufacturers, under the project management of VGB PowerTech. Read more

news / 2013-08-12

Currently, the gas which is produced when mineral oil is mined is simply flared. This creates emissions and the energy potential remains unused. In the “Syngas to Fuel” project, the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg has developed a solution to the problem in collaboration with systems planner Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz. Read more

news / 2013-06-26

Conventional power plants use air to burn fossil fuels such as biomass, coal or gas. With oxyfuel processes, on the other hand, the fuel is burnt with a mixture of oxygen and flue gas, whereby the flue gas consists mainly of water vapour and CO2. The water vapour is captured as water by cooling the flue gas. Additional downstream processing stages bring the purity of the remaining carbon dioxide to values required for food production. This almost completely pure carbon dioxide can either be further deployed or stored in underground storage facilities where the CO2 cannot harm the climate. Read more

Current publication

Night-time electricity from solar thermal power plants:
Latent heat storage system supplies heat for steam turbines when the sun does not shine
BINE-Projektinfo 11/2017

Current publication

Flexible turbomachines stabilise the power grid:
ECOFLEX-turbo: Further development of power plant turbines for a grid with 80% renewable electricity
BINE-Projektinfo 07/2017

Background information

Solar thermal power plants:
Utilising concentrated sunlight for generating energy
BINE-Themeninfo II/2013