Valorisation of waste heat in industrial system
Waste heat is a problem common to high temperature processing industries as a significantly underused resource, often due to challenges in economic heat valorisation. Secondary aluminium recycling and ceramic processing were identified as key examples with economically recoverable waste heat. Several challenges are inherent; these processes are batch-based rather than continuous with corrosive particulate-laden flue gas over a wide temperature range. The Smartrec system meets these challenges by development of a standard, modular solution for integration of heat recovery with thermal storage that valorises medium to high grade waste heat, adaptable to different temperatures and industries. Following end-user analysis and characterisation of exhaust streams and waste products, full life cycle costing and assessment will be carried out with candidate molten salts selected for thermal storage and heat transfer fluid, validated by corrosion testing. A custom heat pipe heat exchanger will be modelled and designed around the requirements of heat transport capacity wick structure and capable of heat exchange with a molten salt pumping loop. This loop will include dual media thermocline thermal storage system with cost/system modelling, validation and instrumentation incorporated. A pilot Smartrec system will be constructed and deployed in a secondary aluminium recycler and/or ceramic processor valorising high grade heat for continuous energy-intensive salt-cake recycling. Smartrec will be validated by integration with existing systems with >6 months operation including a fully developed instrumentation framework. A knowledge-based tool will be developed containing all relevant Smartrec parameters and information to model the system fully and allow users to determine their requirements, potential benefits and integrate Smartrec into their own systems via an open access workshop hosted by the consortium.
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In this project, FlowPhys is performing
a) flow simulations with 3D time-dependent LES combined with advanced shape & design optimization of heat exchangers;
b) development of a 1D pipe flow time-dependent thermodynamic process simulator for the whole SMARTREC system + performing process simulations and process parameter optimizations;
c) design and simulation of process control system
Development of Novel and Cost-Effective Corrosion Resistant Coatings for High Temperature Geothermal Applications
"The Geo-coat project has been specified as necessary by our geothermal power and equipment manufacturing members, who, in order to reliably provide energy, need to improve plant capability to withstand corrosion, erosion and scaling from geofluids, to maintain the equipment up-time and generation efficiency. Additionally they need to be able to produce better geothermal power plant equipment protection design concepts through virtual prototyping to meet the increasing requirements for life cycle costs, environmental impacts and end-of-life considerations.
Current materials, transferred from oil and gas applications to these exceptionally harsh environments, (and the corresponding design models) are not capable of performing, leading to constant need to inspect and repair damage. The Geo-coat project will develop new resistant materials in the form of high performance coatings of novel targeted ""High Entropy Alloys"" and Cermets, thermally applied to the key specified vulnerable process stages (components in turbines, valves, pumps, heat exchangers and pipe bends) in response to the specific corrosion and erosion forces we find at each point. We will also capture the underlying principles of the material resistance, to proactively design the equipment for performance while minimising overall capex costs from these expensive materials.
The Geo-coat consortium has user members from geothermal plant operations and equipment manufacture to ensure the project's focus on real-world issues, coupled with world-leading experience in the development of materials, protective coatings and their application to harsh environments. In addition to developing the new coating materials and techniques, we also aim to transfer our experiences from the development of Flow Assurance schemes for Oil&Gas and Chemical industries to provide a new overarching set of design paradigms and generate an underpinning Knowledge Based System.
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In this project, FlowPhys is extending its 1D pipe network time-dependent thermodynamic flow assurance simulator to geothermal multiphase flows. It is being coupled with chemical equilibrium modelling software PHREEQC. Models for predicting corrosion, erosion, scaling, are developed. The 1D flow assurance simulator is also being coupled with the FlowPhys FEM 3D structural heat transfer capability to support geothermal well modelling. Design-of-Experiment (DoE) is developed for constructing surrogate based models and surrogate-based parameter optimization of material coatings.
Digital Dynamic Knowledge Platform for Welding in Manufacturing Industries
WeldGalaxy project will deliver, a B2B online Platform that brings together global buyers (end-users/OEM) and EU sellers (manufacturers/suppliers/distributors/service providers) of welding equipment along with auxiliaries/consumables and services, thereby enhancing the visibility of EU’s welding products/prototypes/services to global users (via digital marketing strategies) and providing innovative web-based services (e.g. equipment selection and inventory management, digital design/testing of equipment capabilities) to boost EU market share and competitiveness. The digital platform will incorporate Knowledge base engineering (KBE) tool that streamlines equipment selection process for end-users and allows ‘plug and produce’ digital manufacturing of the right equipment to specified customers’/end-users’ requirements and regulatory compliance.
Though the full capability of the WeldGalaxy platform including associated product services (including the services from all third parties) will be demonstrated in welding equipment (along with auxiliaries) and consumables manufacturing domain, yet, the conceptual and functional framework of WeldGalaxy technology concept can be used in any industrial domain related to manufacturing.
The Dynamic Knowledge Management based B2B platform will be designed by following the standard 3-tier architecture. Scalability and reliability will be assured by the use of: RESTfull architecture for API layer, cloud-based backend platform hosted on mainstream cloud providers like AWS or Google Cloud Platform who offer clustering, loading balancing, caching to support scalability and redundant data backup to ensure reliability. Use of blockchain/Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) will make the platform inherently stable, highly scalable and always up. The digital platform, supported by integrated blockchain/DLT for improved reliability/visibility/ transparency/ security of transactions, will enhance the competitiveness of EU manufacturing sec
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In this project, FlowPhys is developing FEM software for
a) non-linear elasto-plastic thermo-mechanical computational welding mechanics simulations;
b) parametric solid modelling and meshing via templates;
c) Design-of-Experiments (DoE), surrogate-based modelling, and surrogate-based optimization.
Technologies for geothermal to enhance competitiveness in smart and flexible operation
Future energy systems will face serious operational challenges with system reliability due to fluctuations caused by progressive integration of solar and wind power. Reliable and sustainable energy sources that can be utilized in large parts of Europe and that are able to balance these fluctuations are needed. Geothermal energy has the potential to become an excellent source for both base and flexible energy demands, providing much lower environmental footprint than both fossil and biomass fuels, as well as much less risks and societal resistance than nuclear power.
There are however some techno-economic challenges which needs to be addressed to facilitate highly flexible operation of geothermal power plants. In GeoSmart, we propose to combine thermal energy storages with flexible ORC solutions to provide a highly flexible operational capability of a geothermal installation. During periods with low demand, energy will be stored in the storage to be released at a later stage when the demand is higher. As this approach does not influence the flow condition at the wellhead, critical infrastructures will be unaffected under variable energy generation. To improve efficiency, we also propose a hybrid cooling system for the ORC plant to prevent efficiency degradation due to seasonal variations. Efficiency will be further improved by larger power plant heat extraction enabled due to a scaling reduction system consisting of specially design retention tank, heat exchanger, and recombining with extracted gases. The scaling reduction system has the potential to almost double power production of many medium enthalpy geothermal plants. Overall, GeoSmart technologies will drastically reduce geothermal energy costs, making it cost competitive with its fossil fuel-based counterparts.
To bring GeoSmart technology to TRL7/8, we will demonstrate it in a medium/high (Turkey) and low (Belgium) temperature fields to show its potential benefits and applicability in different settings.
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In this project, FlowPhys performs 3D LES (CFD) combined with shape optimization to optimize a geothermal heat exchanger. Initial steps for developing combined 3D LES with geothermal thermodynamics and reaction kinetics with the purpose of minimize the scale reduction rate in a geothermal heat exchanger and maximize scale reduction in a retention tank will be taken. The FlowPhys 1D flow assurance pipe network simulator will be used to simulate the geothermal power plants and wells in Balmatt and Kilzidare fields.
Development of novel and cost-effective drilling technology for Geothermal Systems
Geothermal is the most under-utilized of renewable sources due to high investment costs and long development cycle. A big part (53%) of the cost is in drilling and it is time-dependent. Geo-Drill aims to reduce drilling cost with increased ROP and reduced tripping with improved tools lives. Geo-Drill is proposing drilling technology incorporating bi-stable fluidic amplifier driven mud hammer, low cost 3D printed sensors & cables, drill monitoring system, Graphene based materials and coatings. Geo-Drill fluidic amplifier driven hammer is less sensitive to issues with mud and tolerances, less impact of erosion on hammer efficiency and it continues to operate with varying mud quality in efficient manner. It is also less affected by the environmental influences such as shocks, vibrations, accelerations, temperature and high pressures. Low cost and robust 3D-printed sensors & cables along the surface of the whole length of the drill string provides real-time high bandwidth data during drilling; e.g. estimation of rock formation hardness, mud flow speed, density, temp, etc. Flow assurance simulations combined with sensor readings and knowledge-based system will assist in optimizing drilling parameters and cuttings transport performance and safety conditions. Graphene's ability to tune the particular form lends itself uniquely as a component in a wide variety of matrices for coating developments with enhanced adhesion and dispersion properties and improved resistance to abrasion, erosion, corrosion and impact. Placing few mm hard-strength materials on drill bit, drill stabilizer through diffusion bonding improves their wear resistance and improve the lifetime. Geo-Drill's hammers improved efficiency and lifetime, drill parameter optimisation and CTP via sensors, reduced time in replacing tools with improved lifetime work together to improve ROP & lifetime resulting in reduced drilling time. Thereby, Geo-Drill will reduce drilling cost by 29-60%.
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In this project, FlowPhys will extend its 1D flow assurance and 2D/3D CFD to include non-Newtonian fluids. 3D simulations and shape optimizations of DTH drilling hammers will be performed using ALE combined with fluid-structure interaction and LES for geothermal brine and drilling mud. A 1D FEM-based structural dynamics drill string simulator will be developed and integrated with the FlowPhys 1D dynamic flow assurance software.
Advanced material for cost-efficient and enhanced heat exchange performance for geothermal application
Heat exchangers (HXs) are the most critical components of a geothermal power plant specially for organic Rankine cycle (ORC) based plant and the capital cost of heat exchanger accounts for a large proportion of ORC, and even reaches about 86% when air cooled condenser is used. Direct heat exchangers (e.g. geothermal brine to district heating) and ORC HXs such as superheater, preheater, evaporator are in direct contact with the geothermal brine, causing scaling and corrosion at different extent based on the thermophysical condition and chemical composition of the geofluid. To handle corrosion, expensive materials are recommended, but due to lower thermal conductivity and degraded performance over time compel to increases the size of the HXs. Hence, improvements in the antiscaling and anticorrosion properties as well as heat transfer performance of the HX material will lead to smaller, more efficient and less costly systems.
GeoHex will rely on the use low cost carbon steel as base material for HX. Through modifying the surface with nano porous coating and controlling the surface chemistry (along with the surface structure), GeoHex will significantly improve the heat transfer performance of single phase and phase change heat transfer process respectively. To attribute the antiscaling and anticorrosion properties, the brine side of the surface will be Ni-P/Ni-P-PTFE duplex coated by electroless method.
GeoHex will significantly reduce the cost of ORC plant while lowering the environmental impact. The technology concept can be exploited to build cost efficient HXs for solar thermal energy, heat pumps, absorption chiller, geothermal energy-based district heating cooling system. GeoHex enabled ORC plant, heat pumps and absorption chiller can be used for waste heat recovery application. Hence, GeoHex will significantly contribute to enhance the energy security, decarbonise the economy, establish the EU leadership on renewables.
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In this project, FlowPhys software will be used to perform 3D CFD (LES) + ALE to simulate two-phase heat transfer (condensation, evaporation) of refrigerants in heat exchangers with focus on bubble/droplet dynamics. Shape optimization of bi-oleophilic surfaces for enhanced heat transfer.
Accurate Geofluid Properties as key to Geothermal Process Optimization
Rigorous thermodynamic models are crucial to understanding the properties of geofluids, as part of planning for exploration, design and operation of geothermal energy facilities. However, these models are currently incomplete and do not give accurate enough results for reliable planning; Operators commonly need to carry out empirical, site-specific trials instead, which are costly and occur ‘after the fact’, reducing their effectiveness. The GEOPRO project will produce a set of integrated knowledge based design and operation tools to allow the geothermal industry to explore, design and operate systems more effectively, reducing the LCOE to competitive levels.
To do this, we will firstly generate new experimentally derived datasets to fill gaps in current knowledge of the heat and mass transfer behaviour of complex and highly concentrated fluids under hot and superhot conditions. These will provide next-generation equations of state, which we incorporate into a set of operation and exploration tools. To address these objectives, we have assembled a consortium that combines excellent strength in all areas from the systematic and accurate experimental determination of fluid properties through beyond-industry standard reservoir modeling to process optimization and flow assurance modeling. Our consortium also contains geothermal industry partners, on whose sites we will verify the accuracy of the toolsets. We will then incorporate these into open-access knowledge base for use and development across the industry.
The geothermal industry will use these new tools to benefit from: the capability to better explore and ‘vector in’ on new resources; the ability to predict the return on a well more reliably for investment decisions; control-oriented simulations to reduce the engineering overkill currently required; improved energy extraction through knowledge of the real production constraints.
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In this project, FlowPhys will develop and implement new thermodynamic models and reaction kinetics + implementation into Flowphys1D and Flowphys3D. 3D CFD (LES) of heat exchangers with improved thermodynamic models + reaction kinetics. 3D CFD (LES) for simulating cavitation. Implementation of more advanced Equation-of-State (Span-Wagner).
Development of new side mirrors for Volvo Trucks. In this project, FlowPhys was used to perform 3D time-dependent LES and shape optimization of truck side mirrors, with the objective of minimizing water drops and soiling on the mirror’s hydrophobic surface.
evelopment of kill/choke/booster lines for Marathon Oil. In this project, FlowPhys was used to perform 3D LES to simulate erosion and pressure drop in kill/choke/booster lines. This was followed by shape optimization to minimize erosion and pressure drop.
Development of active flow control to reduce vortex shedding and drag on a truck. Bi-Stable fluidic oscillators (SaOB) actuators were installed on a full-size truck and road tested for functionality and performance. Funded by Volvo, FlowPhys was used to perform several hundred LES calculations in combination with Design-of-Experiments and surrogate-based shape and design optimization. See http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/~lada/projects/control/proright.html
FlowPhys was the main tool for development and optimization of hydrophone pocket (pressure sensor mounting) design to minimize turbulent noise on the Schlumberger Isometrix marine seismic acquisition streamer. High-resolution Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) of the turbulent boundary layer was used together with fluid-structure interaction to calculate pressure spectra on sensors, including also fluid-elastic resonance.
Development of new novel equations, algorithms, and 3D LES-based software for simulating turbulent flows and two-way coupled fluid-acoustic interaction in corrugated pipes. Funded by Statoil and implemented into the FlowPhys software.