Research and Development
Research and Development
Research and development is one of the core values of Stork Thermeq. Innovation in all of our expertise area’s will provide optimal solutions for our customers.
The R&D team consists of experts in the fields of fluid dynamics, combustion, production methods and materials. They combine knowledge and experience with high tech tools, hardware as well as software.
The R&D department in Hengelo has its own In-House-Test rig available for combustion tests. In this test boiler, Stork can test burners of up to 9 MW using multiple gaseous and liquid fuels combined with variable air temperatures and oxygen contents. Besides the continuous development of our products the test rig is also used for demonstration purposes and as a test bed for new technologies or fuels.
Clean Combustion Concepts
An example is of a project from our Clean Combustion Concepts program: Heavy Fuel-oil combustion in a HiTAC boiler. In this partly governmental funded project, 2 universities cooperated with Stork Thermeq and a leading oil & gas company to determine how the very clean process of High-Air-Temperature-Combustion can be extended also for heavy fuel oil. This research has demonstrated to the participants how heavy fuel oil combustion can be optimized resulting in cleaner and more efficient combustion processes.
High Performance Computing and CFD-studies
Besides testing facilities Stork Thermeq also operates its own High-Performance-Computing Cluster. This cluster enables Stork Thermeq to run advanced software solutions for boiler studies and burner optimization. This cluster was initially configured and based on a series of tests in conjunction with Dell using new Dell hardware. Later on our R&D-engineers decided to configure a 40-core cluster to run the Windows HPC Server 2008 operating system on Dell PowerEdge R610 computers. The operating system is built on the Windows Server’® 2008 64-bit operating system and includes the Microsoft message passing interface (MPI). Recently the computing power was again more than doubled and further optimized by using the Microsoft Windows Server’® 2012 64-bit operating system.
The cluster is used for Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations, highly complex mathematical models and running in-house software tools specially developed for burner and boiler optimization.
The R&D department is also involved in international research and development activities involving research projects with various universities across Europe and as an active member of multiple technology foundations such as:
European Power Plant Suppliers Association
EPPSA – www.eppsa.eu
International Flame Research Foundation
IFRF – www.ifrf.net
Dutch Gas Turbine Association
DGTA – www.dgta.nl
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlamonderzoek
Vlamvereniging – www.vlamvereniging.nl
R&D uses its tools and expertise in conjunction with all four Stork Thermeq product lines. You will find below different examples of the activities within the four product lines.
Burners and Retrofits
Together with Cardiff university, an extensive study of atomization of liquid fuels was conducted. In this PhD project a 2D laser approach was used to determine the optimal internal design of the atomizer. By smartly varying the physical properties of the fuel we have been able to acquire a unique insight into the atomization process.
By using advanced analytical software we have translated these insights into models, and used this data to validate our CFD approach. This knowledge is used on a day-to-day basis to optimize the burner atomization process for cleaner emissions with minimal impact on boiler efficiency.
New Test Facility
Stork Thermeq is now in the process of realizing a new testing facility. This will be one of the worlds most advanced test rigs in the fields of supplementary firing burners and direct fired burners. This test rig will allow Stork Thermeq to further develop burner systems destined for the most challenging operating conditions. Especially important in the development of this test rig is the capability to simulate turbine exhaust gas flows in current and future gas turbines under development. The main objective is offering clients flexible burner solutions by optimizing boiler efficiency and lowering emission levels.
The R&D department assists our highly experienced Product Line Boilers Services group by developing new tools and assessing measurement techniques. For example developing a post-weld-heat treatment procedure. In this study the Stork Thermeq R&D engineers combined 3D scanning techniques and finite element analysis. The client was provided with an optimal strategy for its post-weld-heat treatment resulting in less rework and less deformation of the existing structure.
Recently the Stork Thermeq R&D department started a new project together with Twente University and the University of Eindhoven in order to investigate actual process of the formation of steam. The basic research question is: how does the actual process of transition from water to steam in boiler tubes actually progress? In this research project Stork Thermeq R&D engineers as well as students will develop an experiment to actually measure the transition from liquid to gas phases including all intermediate process modes. Parallel to this work, a numerical model will be developed at Twente University. These joint actions will result in a model for predicting the exact flow patterns in boiler tubes. Stork Thermeq service engineers will use this model for making more accurate forecasts of tube erosion, deposits and temperature peaks.
Due to the unique design of the Stork Spray Type deaerator customers worldwide are convinced of obtaining the best performance at the lowest price. But Stork Thermeq R&D-engineers focus on further optimization of the design. A key issue is developing an in-house-code that allows for fully modeling all of the internal physics of the workings of the deaerator. This code includes atomization, bubbly flow, condensation, evaporation and oxygen exchange. The final model will be used for optimizing the design in order to develop tailor made solutions for newly built deaerators as well as for retrofit projects.
Energy Efficiency Solutions (EES)
One of Product Line EES exciting projects is the realization of a 25 MWthpolygeneration pyrolysis plant. Together with partners in the Empyro project this plant was realized in 2014. It will eventually produce over 20 million liters of pyrolysis oil per year as well as steam and electricity for on-site industrial facilities.
Besides being a partner in de development of the pyrolosis plant, Stork Thermeq has tested the produced oil from the pilot plant for use in industrial boilers. The R&D-engineers have designed and tested an optimized burner for firing this bio-fuel. In 2015 the first integrated burner / boiler system for multifuel applications (pyrolysis oil + LNG) has been delivered to a dairy company. This company will be the launching customer for Empyro, the new pyrolysis-oil plant development.