New International Partner from Thailand Joins Transformational STEP Demo Project to Reduce Costs and Environmental Impact of Power Generation
May 5, 2021
Des Plaines, IL
GTI is pleased to welcome the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power project known as the STEP Demo. EGAT is a state-owned enterprise that provides electric power generation and transmission for the whole country, and plans to develop more facilities to keep pace with growing energy demand.
EGAT joins other partners from around the globe in the STEP Demo Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) to demonstrate next-generation, higher-efficiency electric power plants enabled by supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) technology. International collaboration is critically important to successfully address the worldwide need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and EGAT’s contributions will improve the understanding of how sCO2 power plants can enable clean and cost-effective power that supports international standards.
With project oversight, technical guidance, and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (U.S. DOE/NETL) and funding from other industry partners, GTI is leading the STEP Demo team in collaboration with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and GE Research.
This first-of-a-kind 10 Megawatt-electric (MWe) sCO2 pilot plant will demonstrate a fully integrated functional power cycle in a test facility configured to enable optimization of system performance and characterization of critical components and subsystems. Construction of the dedicated building facility was completed at SwRI’s San Antonio campus in mid-2020. Component installation is now underway, and commissioning is anticipated in late 2021.
Once operational, the STEP Demo pilot plant will demonstrate the sCO2 Brayton power cycle which uses high-pressure and high-temperature CO2 as a working fluid instead of steam. The “supercritical” CO2 drives a turbine that is substantially smaller than a typical steam turbine and has great efficiency. The team expects to demonstrate lower capital costs and enhanced environmental performance.
"We are thrilled to have EGAT as a new international partner to help us demonstrate how sCO2 technology can play an important role in supporting the transition to a low carbon energy system. There’s never been a time when efficient, compact, on-demand power generation has been needed more," says Michael Rutkowski, GTI Senior Vice President, Research and Technology Development.
"EGAT’s goal is to protect the environment, and we have been continuously supporting and developing new technologies in support of that. One example is the installation of a 45 MWe combined solar energy and hydropower plant at Sirindhorn Dam, which is the largest hydro-floating solar hybrid project in Thailand. Concurrently, we are also developing a low-carbon conventional power plant with increased efficiency for stability of our power system, and Supercritical CO2 Brayton power cycle systems can support that. EGAT’s involvement in the STEP project can help develop technology expertise and provide guidance to improve the use of biogas-biomass, coal, and methane resources in power generation," says Dr. Jiraporn Sirikum, Deputy Governor of Strategy at EGAT.
The STEP Demo project welcomes additional project partners with an interest in sCO2 power cycle technology. Supercritical CO2 cycles can operate using a wide range of heat sources, including fossil fuel, renewables, next-generation nuclear, industrial waste heat recovery, and shipboard propulsion and can achieve substantial emissions benefits, versatility, scalability, and responsiveness.
EGAT is Thailand’s leading state-owned power utility under the Ministry of Energy, responsible for electric power generation and transmission for the whole country as well as bulk electric energy sales. It is the largest power producer in Thailand, owning and operating power plants of different types and sizes which are in 52 sites across the country with a total installed capacity of 16,037.32 MW (as of December 2020).
EGAT engages in energy-related services businesses and expands, through the EGAT Group, our business and investment in electricity and other energy-related businesses at home and abroad.
About STEP Demo
The STEP Demo pilot facility will demonstrate a fully integrated electricity generating power plant using transformational sCO2-based power cycle technology that can offer dramatically improved size, performance, economics, and operational flexibility, with less environmental impact. OEMs, engineering companies, and power plant owner/operators from around the globe are invited to join this open project to gain a better understanding of how sCO2 technology can improve high-efficiency power generation.
About National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that produces technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. By developing creative innovations and advanced energy systems that use our natural resources more efficiently and responsibly, NETL research is providing breakthroughs and discoveries that support clean energy, safeguard the environment, and improve the health, safety, and security of all Americans. Highly skilled innovators at NETL’s sites in Albany, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; Houston, Texas; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania conduct a broad range of research activities that support DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. NETL is committed to fostering an environment of inclusivity where diversity strengthens the organization and gender and social equality guides our mission.
GTI is a leading nonprofit research, development and training organization that has been addressing global energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government for nearly 80 years. GTI leads the STEP Demo project as the prime contractor with the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL).
Southwest Research Institute is a premier independent, nonprofit research and development organization using multidisciplinary services to provide solutions to some of the world’s most challenging scientific and engineering problems. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, SwRI occupies more than 1,500 acres, providing over 2.3 million square feet of laboratories, test facilities, workshops, and offices for approximately 3,000 employees who perform contract work for government and industry clients.
About GE Research
GE Research is GE’s innovation powerhouse where research meets reality. It is a world-class team of 1,000+ scientific, engineering and marketing minds (600+ Ph. Ds), working at the intersection of physics and markets, physical and digital technologies, and across a broad set of industries to deliver world-changing innovations and capabilities for their customers.