Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU Trondheim
NTNU is a university with an international focus, with headquarters in Trondheim and campuses in Ålesund and Gjøvik. NTNU has a main profile in science and technology, a variety of programmes of professional study, and great academic breadth that also includes the humanities, social sciences, economics, medicine, health sciences, educational science, architecture, entrepreneurship, art disciplines and artistic activities. NTNU has four strategic areas of research in 2014–2023: sustainability, energy, oceans, and health.
Thermal Energy research group
Our group works with thermal processes for energy conversion and industrial applications. Focus is on energy efficiency, emission control and safety. The technical basis comprise classic thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mass and heat transfer, combustion and thermophysical properties. Experimental activity is a foundation of our research.
The research spans from fundamental investigations of turbulent combustion and reacting multi-phase flows to a wide range of applications, including power generation plants, internal combustion engines, bioenergy furnaces, CO2 capture technologies, and thermal turbomachinery. Furthermore, the headquarter of The European CCS laboratory infrastructure (ECCSEL) is affiliated with this group.
The future European energy system will have a large portion of variable renewable energy primarily based on wind and solar energy. For thermal power plants with CO2 capture in such an energy system, flexibility will be of key importance. The power plants must be competitive and balance the variable renewable energy together with energy storage technologies and increased electric power transmission between areas. Flexibility in this sense is related to fast ramping and possibly fast startups of the power plant.
Today’s state-of-the-art gas turbine combined cycles are set up for flexible operation. The key question to answer was if the CO2 capture process can follow these fast load changes. And, how to operate and control the capture plant to make it possible.
The objectives of the testing together with associated process modeling and simulation work was to:
- Validate dynamic process model.
- Evaluate the transient performance of the post-combustion CO2 capture process with MEA via dynamic process model simulation and pilot plant testing.
- Evaluate the performance of decentralized control structures of the capture unit at a pilot plant via dynamic proces modeling and transient testing.
- Design of validation cases for dynamic process model of the post-combustion CO2 capture process with chemical absorption using MEA. The data consisted of ten data sets representing a wide range of steady-state operating conditions with flue gas from a natural gas fueled thermal power plant. The data included three transient tests for dynamic process model validation under transient conditions representing the main disturbances applied to the process.
- Validation of dynamic process models of the post-combustion CO2 capture process in the Modelica modeling language.
- Evaluation of process dynamics of a state-of-the-art PCC pilot plant. The evaluation was done via dynamic process model simulation and via transient testing at the pilot plant.
- Implementation and evaluation of transient performance of decentralized control structures applied to the PCC process at a state-of-the-art PCC pilot plant.
- Dissemination of results to other researchers and the public.
Most proud of
To be able to test transients event on the world’s largest CO2 test center and show that work based on process modeling, such as implementing control structures and predicting transient behavior, actually worked in the «real world.»
Three main benefits
- To be able to validate process models that later can be scaled-up to full-scale models of power plants with CCS.
- To actually implement control structures, based on process modeling work, in a large-scale pilot plant.
- To be present on site, study and get a feeling for the process dynamics of such a large pilot plant. This is key when analyzing a complex system.