Monitoring Networks for Advanced Power Systems Selected

Tuesday - 9/14/2010, 11:56am EDT

Fossil fuel power plants generate about two-thirds of the world's total electricity, and are expected to continue to play an important role in the years ahead. But, increasing energy demands worldwide means that there will be a need to better monitor power plants for signs of age and inefficiency, while stricter emission requirements will require higher levels of performance, capacity, and efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy is about to fund five projects that will develop technologically sophisticated monitoring networks for advanced fossil energy power systems.

The projects will support efforts by the Office of Fossil Energy's Advanced Research-Coal Utilization Science Program. They'll study new ways to develop and validate models of these networks; and the wireless, self-powered sensors used for advanced, next-generation power systems. They'll monitor the status of equipment, the degradation of materials, and the conditions that impact the overall health of any one component or system in the harsh high-temperature, highly corrosive environments of advanced power plants.

These advanced networks will help enhance the overall reliability, performance, and availability of emerging near-zero emissions power production systems.

$6.5 million will be invested in the projects, with nearly $5 million from the Energy Department and the remaining $1.5 million in cost share provided by the recipients.