The need to shift to carbon-free energy generation is impelling, but renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent. Significant storage and additional energy sources are needed to guarantee continuous supply of heat and power. To limit global warming, these sources need to be carbon-free/neutral. Hydrogen represents a promising alternative in future energy generation. It can be produced using renewable sources by electrolysis from excess energy or by gasification, stored, and then converted in highly efficient gas turbines delivering electrical energy and heat in peak demand periods. But it does not come without challenges. Hydrogen has unique combustion properties that differentiate it from traditional natural gases. They dramatically affect flame dynamics and combustion stability, particularly at the high-pressure conditions at which gas turbines operate. HYPOTHESis supports the paradigm shift to a carbon-free society by developing greater fundamental and applied understanding on combustion dynamics and control of pure and highly-enriched hydrogen flames and enabling future gas turbines to be operated at up to 100% hydrogen content. We will perform an extensive experimental campaign using our medium-pressure combustor to enable single stage hydrogen combustion at high pressure. Using both physics and machine learning based methods, novel models will be developed for predicting and controlling the dynamical behaviour of hydrogen flames. This will lead to (1) the understanding of the dynamics of hydrogen combustion, with a focus on the scaling of its properties at high pressure, for which little is yet known; (2) the establishment of new design strategies, thermoacoustic prediction methods and control tools that are of paramount importance for practical applications enabling industry to use hydrogen as a safe and clean future fuel. Ultimately, the proposed research will help in significantly accelerating the shift towards a carbon-free society.
The detrimental consequences of global warming and the scarceness of fossil energy resources make an increasing use of renewable energy sources imperative. However, the inherent volatility of most of these energy sources requires both the installation of fast fossil backup power and large amounts of storage capacity. In the ERC funded project GREENEST the fundamentals of an ultra-wet gas turbine cycle are developed. In the proposed project BlueStep : Blue Combustion for the Storage of Green Electrical Power, the idea of ultra-wet combustion is extended towards the demonstration of a very effective and clean energy storage and conversion technology. Excess renewable electrical energy is utilized in a high pressure electrolysis process to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Both gases are stored at high pressure and their combustion, referred to as blue combustion, can be directly incorporated in existing base load steam power plants, resulting in the BlueStep cycle. Combustion takes place in the steam cycle of the plant and the exhaust gases consist solely of steam that can further expand in the remaining stages of the closed steam cycle. Depending on the mode of application, the power output of the plant and the efficiency of the cycle can be enhanced significantly. The proposed BlueStep cycle outclasses competing technologies in terms of efficiency, flexibility, space requirements, and investment costs. In a highly conservative market sector the proposed technology offers an economical and efficient method to realize extensive energy storage. The proposal comprises two key aspects: (1) the demonstration of diluted hydrogen-oxygen combustion under engine conditions to prove the technical feasibility of the technique to future customers; and (2) the development of a thorough business plan for the construction and operation of a full scale BlueStep energy storage plant to show the high economic potential of the concept to future investors.
Recent global developments have significantly accelerated the redefinition of organizational spaces. An increasing number of organizations, particularly those in knowledge-intensive areas, have embraced work models partly localized away from the physical premises of the organization. This is primarily driven by digitalization, pandemic experiences, and increased demands for flexibility from the workforce, indicating a decoupling from fixed physical premises ‘a permanent feature of the future working environment’. This leads to a redefinition of organizational space as encompassing spaces beyond the physical boundaries of the organization. A core characteristic of this redefinition is the increased adoption of digital immersive technologies. Virtual reality (VR) solutions as additions to or even replacements of physical workspaces have accrued increased interest, evident in the rising investments of the last years. While companies start to adopt these technologies, there is little knowledge available on the impact of the use of these technologies on work outcomes.
Energy is of essential importance to our society. The global warming thread, coursed by massive greenhouse gas emissions, forces us to use existing energy sources with more responsibility. This includes the discovery of new energy sources as well as the improvement of process efficiencies in existing machines. Several technologies make use of ultra-compact transonic and supersonic turbomachinery stages. Occurring shock systems in the supersonic flows, e.g. at the leading edge of the turbomachine rotor, reduce the machine efficiency drastically and threaten the responsible use of energy. The proposed project aims at developing a new understanding of the shock establishment and high-frequency response within the rotor. A recent project allows the expectation to improve turbomachinery stage efficiencies by more than 14%points. The project includes a numerical analysis of observed phenomenon to develop a reduced model based on 3D characteristics. This model will thoroughly be validated by advanced experimental measurements. The final applicability of the reduced model and the functionality of the novel concept will be assessed by a design optimization of a turbine and a compressor geometry. With Purdue, a world unique lab owning advanced laser diagnostic tools and expertise on supersonic turbines and with TU Berlin, a lab with massive experience on compressors and the overall engine analysis will participate to assure the success of this project. The project is structured to allow a complete transfer of gained knowledge in the outgoing phase towards TU Berlin. Training activities in both entities plus the composition of the project topic will strengthen my professional formation. I can build on my experience in numerical simulations, one-dimensional modeling and experiments applied on radial turbomachinery. During the fellowship, I will be trained in transonic flow in turbines and compressors combined with reduced models based on 3D characteristics.