skip to main content

Title: 10 MW Supercritical CO2 Turbine Test

The Supercritical CO2 Turbine Test project was to demonstrate the inherent efficiencies of a supercritical carbon dioxide (s-CO2) power turbine and associated turbomachinery under conditions and at a scale relevant to commercial concentrating solar power (CSP) projects, thereby accelerating the commercial deployment of this new power generation technology. The project involved eight partnering organizations: NREL, Sandia National Laboratories, Echogen Power Systems, Abengoa Solar, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Electric Power Research Institute, Barber-Nichols, and the CSP Program of the U.S. Department of Energy. The multi-year project planned to design, fabricate, and validate an s-CO2 power turbine of nominally 10 MWe that is capable of operation at up to 700°C and operates in a dry-cooled test loop. The project plan consisted of three phases: (1) system design and modeling, (2) fabrication, and (3) testing. The major accomplishments of Phase 1 included: Design of a multistage, axial-flow, s-CO2 power turbine; Design modifications to an existing turbocompressor to provide s-CO2 flow for the test system; Updated equipment and installation costs for the turbomachinery and associated support infrastructure; Development of simulation tools for the test loop itself and for more efficient cycle designs that are of greater commercial interest; Simulation of s-CO2 power cyclemore » integration into molten-nitrate-salt CSP systems indicating a cost benefit of up to 8% in levelized cost of energy; Identification of recuperator cost as a key economic parameter; Corrosion data for multiple alloys at temperatures up to 650ºC in high-pressure CO2 and recommendations for materials-of-construction; and Revised test plan and preliminary operating conditions based on the ongoing tests of related equipment. Phase 1 established that the cost of the facility needed to test the power turbine at its full power and temperature would exceed the planned funding for Phases 2 and 3. Late in Phase 1 an opportunity arose to collaborate with another turbine-development team to construct a shared s-CO2 test facility. The synergy of the combined effort would result in greater facility capabilities than either separate project could produce and would allow for testing of both turbine designs within the combined budgets of the two projects. The project team requested a no-cost extension to Phase 1 to modify the subsequent work based on this collaborative approach. DOE authorized a brief extension, but ultimately opted not to pursue the collaborative facility and terminated the project.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE EE Office of Solar Energy Technology (EE-2A); CSP Subprogram
Contributing Orgs:
Sandia National Laboratories University of Wisconsin at Madison Echogen Power Systems Barber-Nichols, Inc.l Abengoa Solar Electric Power Research Institute
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; Supercritical carbon dioxide, CO2, concentrating solar power, CSP, Brayton cycle, turbine