Picture of Steve ZITNEYLogo of National Energy Technology LaboratoryWithin AIChE 2005 Annual Meeting, Stephen ZITNEY (National Energy Technology Laboratory) made a presentation within session “TE003 Sustainable Energy II” as paper 375c (PDF, 466 Kbytes) where he describes progress toward developing an Advanced Process Engineering Co-Simulator (APECS) for the design and optimization of future energy plants to achieve a sustainable balance between efficiency, economics, and environmental performance.

The APECS integration framework combines process simulation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, together with advanced visualization and high-performance computing. We apply APECS here to the U.S. Department of Energy’s coal-fired FutureGen power plant that will produce both hydrogen and electricity without emissions. Two high-fidelity CFD simulations, one for an entrained-flow gasifier and one for a gas turbine combustor, are coupled into an overall process simulation of a potential FutureGen plant configuration. The co-simulation results illustrate how APECS can help engineers understand and optimize the fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, and chemical reactions that drive overall power plant performance and sustainability.

In NETL’s APECS system, plug-and-play interoperability is achieved by using the process industry-standard CAPE-OPEN interfaces for unit operations, physical properties, and reaction kinetics.