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SUSPOWER Report Summary

Project ID: 506253
Country: Sweden

Final Report Summary - SUSPOWER (The KTH Cluster of Research Infrastructures in Sustainable Thermal Power Generation)

The SUSPOWER project featured world-class facilities in three separate installations related to:
(i) innovative combustion - research facilities cover two critical topics, namely high-temperature air combustion and catalytic combustion. These topics are linked to promising technologies for significantly improved fuel conversion efficiencies along with ultra-low NOx emissions for fossil fuels and gasified biomass or wastes.
(ii) gasification - both atmospheric and pressurized gasifiers are available; feedstocks include biomass, wastes, and coal.
(iii) gas turbine technology - state-of-the-art facilities are available for investigating aerodynamics and aeroelasticity in gas turbine components, including advanced instrumentation such as a 3-D laser-2-focus velocimeter. These rigs allow for in-depth, targeted research in specific areas while collectively enabling the possibility of broad experimental programs involving several energy conversion steps. Coupling to numerical studies (either at detailed component level or system level) is another important feature.

The objective of SUSPOWER was to cluster these facilities to promote synergy effects between neighbouring facilities and to open up access to researchers across Europe. A total of 510 experimental days were offered for the three installations.

Sustainable thermal power generation is a key element in the search for new energy solutions both in Europe and worldwide. Combustion processes are central to the electricity sector and feature prominently in covering heating and industrial steam demands. Fossil fuels like coal and natural gas will continue to be major constituents for meeting short-term and future energy needs, thus it is imperative that new conversion technologies like gasification are developed to ensure resource-efficient and clean utilization of these supplies. Moreover, promising renewables like biomass require significant research efforts in order to maximise their impact in electricity markets. Opening up access to related major research infrastructures is one critical element towards establishing a broad European capacity building initiative in sustainable energy technology. These factors represent the principle driving forces behind the SUSPOWER project.

The first 12-18 months of SUSPOWER were marked by a start-up period whereby routines were established for publicity, information dissemination, proposal administration and review, and implementation of user visits. Thereafter, the number of accepted proposals and implemented user-visits increased rapidly, even given the fact that the majority of installations were relocated to a new laboratory in 2005.

A few project highlights are listed below:
- Experiments with me High temperature air and steam combustion and gasification (HTAC/G) facility demonstrated that this technology has significant advantages for ultralow- NOx conversion of biomass and refuse derived fuels under low oxygen conditions.
- The (HTAC/G) facility was employed in order to study the influence of primary and secondary air feeding for stoker-fired combustion, and to study transient effects.
- Four new catalysts types were tested in the innovative combustion installation, the first such experiments ever at high pressure. Two patents were linked to this research.
- Research conducted on the gas turbine installation considered a novel technique for unsteady pressure measurements in gas turbines, detailed measurements of unsteady flow, and a feasible study of a new type of high-temperature heat transfer enhancement technique.
- A joint publication on SUSPOWER and another related research infrastructure, ENGAS, was presented at ASME Turbo Expo in 2006. Leaders from both projects have continued to collaborate since then in forming a consortium for studying greenhouse gas management, together with several other European partners. Funding is being sought from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (N-INNER 2 Program).

Fifteen different countries were represented in the 26 user-projects, and roughly one quarter of all team members were women (attempts were made to encourage female participation in order to achieve gender balance). User-project titles and descriptions may be found in previous annual reports, and scientific reports may be downloaded from the SUSPOWER website.

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