August 2021 Update: Process Heater Delivered
The STEP Demo project reached another important milestone with the delivery of the process heater coil module and completion of the mechanical assembly of the supercritical CO2 process heater for the facility.
Under contract to GTI Energy, Optimus Industries LLC manufactured the primary process heater, incorporating a ~80 MWt gas-fired burner and heat recovery steam-generator-style CO2 heater that is made up of 11 modules. The heater coil operates at temperatures up to 1,320° F (over 700° C) and pressures to 4000 psi (270 bar). The heater coil is fabricated from superalloy tubing with over 1500 welds demonstrating the large scale fabrication methods needed for future commercialization. The heater coil weighs 167,500 pounds and required a 140-foot-long tractor with 14 axles, along with a police escort, to deliver the equipment to the facility.
Although the process heater appears to be a large piece of equipment, because sCO2 is a thermal medium, the facility has a much smaller footprint—physically and environmentally— than conventional power plants.
The project will demonstrate the highly efficient, supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) Brayton power cycle in a pilot-scale power plant. The facility is configured to enable optimization of system performance and characterization of critical components and subsystems to help move the technology from the lab towards commercial scales.