NET Power uses a technology called the Allam Cycle - named after British inventor Rodney Allam - in a new plant that is radically different from conventional combined-cycle plants, which use waste heat to make steam that turns a turbine. In practice, the technology uses high pressure CO2, instead of steam, as the working fluid to generate low-cost power from carbon-based fuels without producing air emissions. The only by-products of combustion in this system are high pressure CO2 and a small amount of water.
WSP’s Manchester office was commissioned in 2016 to provide detailed engineering services to make modifications to the demonstration plant, which was already under construction in Texas, USA, that enable it to also function as a combustor test facility. The test regime, which is currently underway, uses the full, integrated Allam Cycle demonstration plant process to bring the first-of-a-kind combustor into service before ultimately being connected to the turbine for power generation.
This combustor test rig design required close collaboration between NET Power and 13 of WSP’s offices spread across four countries. Services provided by WSP’s multi-disciplinary design team included process, mechanical, civil and structural, electrical engineering, CFD and FEA analysis together with 3D modelling and visualisation.
As Britain’s last coal-fired power plants are set to close by 2025, this natural gas technology could help the UK meet its renewable target over the next decade by providing a 100% sustainable alternative that would be cheaper to build and run than a traditional gas-fired power plant.
Steve Milward, Engineering Director at WSP said: “Our detailed knowledge of the Allam Cycle through our close relationship with the client meant that we were able to integrate the combustor test rig into the demonstration facility. This is an extremely complex project which has leveraged our specialist engineering expertise from around the world to deliver an innovative design. This has allowed NET Power to carry out the testing on site while also commissioning, validating, and operating the rest the Allam Cycle process, rather than testing at a bespoke test facility”
“8 Rivers was WSP’s subcontractor on this project, and we were pleased to partner with them,” said David Freed, Principal at 8 Rivers and 8 Rivers’ Project Manager for the NET Power demonstration plant.
“As a shareholder in NET Power and as the technology firm behind the Allam Cycle, 8 Rivers is excited about passing this most critical milestone in the development of this important new clean energy process.”
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About NET Power:
NET Power, LLC, is a Durham, NC-based company developing the natural gas-fueled Allam Cycle power system. NET Power is owned by 8 Rivers Capital, Exelon Generation and McDermott International. For more information, please visit www.NETPower.com.
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