Sm Commercial Energy Mgt

(I’ve known Unity Systems for many years, on both personal and professional level. They are my principal resource for insights into home automation and related topics. The following summary was prepared with their help, to introduce you to them. EB)

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 650-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 650-328-5675

Focus Shifts from Home Automation to Small Commercial Energy Management
— Unity Systems, Inc.

Home automation hasn’t turned into the big market that many expected. Unity Systems is finding better applications with small commercial and industrial customers.

Unity made its start in home automation in 1986, controlling heating and cooling, security, lights and appliances in high-end homes. Unity was relatively successful. With systems in over 4,000 homes, its installed base exceeded all other players, including Honeywell. But the total market was limited to expensive new homes, less than 1% of the residential market.

Like many others (especially utility research groups), Unity was intrigued by the possiblity of using the powerline for communications to address one of the biggest obstacles to home automation: labor to install wiring, especially in existing homes. Unity joined the Home Automation Advisory Board of Echelon (Lonworks) and sent engineers through its training program. They also started working closely with Intellon (developers of the EIA’s CEBus standard). Based primarily on feedback from utility customers, Unity chose to develop several products incorporating the CEBus powerline carrier (“PLC”) protocol. Introduced in 1995, the CEBus Controller Card won the Home Automation Association award for the best network product. Over the next two years, Unity’s CEBus Controller and a number of related products were used by over 20 utilities in residential trials throughout North America.

Then, one by one, a majority of utilties terminated their trials and plans for major residential roll-outs. Utilities started to get feedback on customer interest and willingness to pay. They also started cranking in “real” costs, not optimistic estimates. The conclusion: at one fifth the cost, this stuff would be fantastic. It gives the customer automation and control, and gives the utility cheap AMR and a platform for additional services. But what to do for now?

Enter small commercial industrial customers, the “overlooked” part of the market. Generally they are diverse and hard to reach, but as a group they represent a significant energy market. Plus, for the most part, they’ve been paying top dollar for their energy. These are the kind of customers ENRON will be going after, not Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Plus, their energy bills are higher, typically 5 times that of the residential customer (which takes care of the 1/5 cost goal mentioned earlier).

Fortunately, Unity had already been working with its dealers and Honeywell to come up with a low cost modular controller for both residential and commercial applications (dubbed the Universal Controller, or UC). To communicate with devices on the premises, the UC can use low cost wiring when appropriate, and it can also use CEBus powerline. Moreover, the UC can be used with any kind of user interface (touchpanel, PC, smart phone, etc.) and with virtually any wide area communication to and from the customer’s premises — they have experience with RF (CellNet and ITRON), cable, and standard telco networks.

A key strength that Unity brings is expertise in cost-effective “smart” energy management. This includes the use of outside air, occupancy, carbon dioxide levels, utility time-of-use rates, and other key variables to minimize heating and cooling costs. It’s dubbed “smart” because it goes well beyond the limited logic of the typical thermostat. An example is using a fan to bring in cool evening outside air in lieu of running the air conditioning equipment. Another example is using a CO2 sensor to sense occupancy in a McDonald’s playland area, setting back temperatures when it’s unoccupied. The UC can even take utility rates into account to decide when and how to meet heating and cooling demands.

Unity’s easy-to-use Windows 95 setup software allows an authorized contractor to incorporate not only smart algorithms, but precise scheduling of temperature based on day of the week, time of day, holidays, and so on. A Unity study published in the ASHRAE Journal (Oct. ’89) documents the effectiveness of their zoning algorithms. Safeguards in the logic prevent excessive cycling of equipment, pressure build-up, or other detrimental conditions, based on detailed equipment models that are built into the software.

Standard thermostats are eliminated by using UnityÕs own flush-mounted temperature sensors that can be painted or covered to “disappear” into the wall. This is more pleasing aesthetically and does away one of the largest headaches especially for public facilities: fiddling by customers or well-meaning employees. The on site control is a simple touchpad, typically located in the manager’s office, passcode protected from unauthorized use. The system also offers extensive remote monitoring and control capabilities.

Unity’s installations to date include schools, churches, fast food restaurants, light industrial manufacturing operations, car dealerships, retail stores and warehouses. Hard data is starting to come in, and it’s pretty impressive, including a 36 percent savings from a car dealership in California and a whopping 61 percent from an office in Arizona.

Unity is now focused on the small commercial market, offering utilities and other distributors smart energy management and a platform for additional services such as remote monitoring and control and extended maintenance. They are working with unregulated utility subsidiaries (ESCOs, ESPs, etc.) who bundle the Unity products with energy and related products and services.

Contact: Tom Riley, President, Unity Systems, Inc.
650-369-3233 x100,
(Relocating from Redwood City to Sunnyvale, CA in July)
(new number effective July 6 — 408-530-0500)

Additional information is available on the company’s website at http://

Building Products from Fly Ash and CO2

Our friends at Materials Technology Ltd. have shared with me the following information about the significant progress they’re making to turn ash into useful materials using Supercritical CO2. Especially noteworthy is the fact that the CO2 is expected to come from the power plant flue gas, and thus represents significant sequestration of CO2 at the same time. Note the information presented on CO2 separation methods.

The original UFTO note about this work appeared on January 1, 1997 – available in the UFTO website database.

Here is the abstract of a paper they will present at the Green Chemistry Conf, Jun 30 – July 2 in Washington (conference details are attached below).


Roger Jones, President and CEO,
Materials Technology Ltd, 14525 Rim Rock Road, Reno, NV 89511;
Frank G. Baglin, Prof of Physical Chemistry, Univ of Nevada – Reno,
Bruce A. Salisbury, Plant Engineer, Four Corners Power Plant,
Arizona Public Service, P.O. Box 355, Fruitland, NM 87416.


Coal-fired electric power plant wastes, portland cement, calcium oxide and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) are feedstocks to make low-cost, superior roofing shingles, wallboard and other fiber-reinforced products. Flue-gas CO2, recovered using thermally-driven, gas-stripping techniques(1), is permanently bound into the products as carbonates, reducing atmospheric pollution and its contribution to global warming.

The purpose of this patented technology is to produce profitable building products and many other useful things using cemented “dusty” wastes treated with supercritical CO2 (2,3). Products are shaped from a paste made of quick lime, a small amount of portland cement, foamed fly ash and fiberglass reinforcement. Once hydrated, they are treated with supercritical CO2 (preferably recovered from flue gas) to react the hydroxide components, forming carbonates and water and reducing alkalinity to about neutral.

The process has four important advantages:

– Capital required is low (three-year plant and equipment payback).
– Parasitic energy loss to the power plant is low or non-existent.
– There is a sufficiently high value-added component in final products to offset the logistics costs of raw materials and finished goods.

Production of cementitious goods and gas separation technologies are well-settled. Practical gas-separation technologies can be subdivided into four broad categories (4):

Membrane separation followed by distillation
Membrane absorption
The appropriate technology depends upon feed stream composition and thermodynamics and upon required quantities of carbon dioxide. In our planned implementation, we will use propylene carbonate absorption. CO2 stripping will occur after sulfur and nitrogen scrubbing.

Forming fiber-reinforced cementitious products like wallboard and roof shingles is also settled technology. Presently, fiberglass reinforced cementitious products demand costly alkali-resistant or plastic-coated glass to prevent alkali-silica reaction. Supercritical carbonation technology allows use of low-cost e-glass instead.

With the exception of foaming agents, fiber reinforcement and portland cement, all raw materials are available on site. The lightweight building products (in this case, fiberglass reinforced roofing shingles and fiberglass reinforced wallboard) are made by cementing foamed fly ash (about 53,000 tons annually for this plant) with calcium oxide (quick lime) and a small amount of portland cement. Both products will be made on continuous lines. After cementing, the products are subjected to treatment with supercritical CO2, again, in a continuous process. The CO2 forms carbonates and carbonated zeolites and reduces the alkalinity of the product to about neutral (pH 7). This permits incorporation of low-cost e-glass fibers without fear of subsequent, harmful alkali-silica reaction. The reinforcement is in the form of both continuous and chopped fiber.

An analysis of the relative inputs to the prototype shingle compared with competing roofing products was made and the results appear in the chart at left (5).

Based on costs of raw materials and energy, our studies indicate that we will be able to sell these waste-based products at pricing points below those of the lowest-priced competing products.

These products are examples of practical, solid-waste-feedstock, chemically bonded ceramics. Many other products can be produced in a similar manner, sequestering large quantities of solid waste and CO2 while offsetting manufacture of products using more energy-intensive systems that increase atmospheric CO2. Examples of such systems include thermoplastics, metals, composites, ceramics and forest products.

As industrial infrastructure in the developed countries ages and requires replacement or renovation, it will be wise to consider supercritical CO2 treated chemically bonded ceramics to reduce energy, raw materials and atmospheric pollution. For developing countries, the benefits are even greater.

In a developing economy, the creation of new industrial infrastructure requires huge investments in transportation systems for feedstocks, raw materials and components. Investment is also required to develop primary, secondary and tertiary manufacturing capacity as well as power plants and facilities to dispose of all types of plant wastes at all levels. Supercritical CO2 chemically bonded ceramic technology reduces much of this investment. Wastes and CO2 simply replace most feedstocks. Ancillary benefits arise from reduction of capital and energy needed to harvest, mine, or otherwise produce raw materials and transport them and intermediate raw materials for secondary or tertiary manufacturing.

Supercritical CO2-treated chemically bonded ceramics rely upon proven, practical technology to produce valuable products from solid waste feedstocks. Capital requirements are lower than conventional production systems, particularly when considering cradle-to-grave economics. Parasitic energy loss to producers is essentially none. Profit margins are high, because most products can be produced with low-cost or no-cost feedstocks.


2 United States Patent 5,518,540 issued May 21, 1996, Cement Treated with High-pressure CO2

3 United States Patent 5,690,729 issued November 27, 1997, Cement Mixtures with Alkali-Intolerant Matter and Method for Making Same

4 21 unpublished papers on methodology for practical recovery of food-grade CO2 from power plant flue gases, Carnegie Mellon University, Professor W.T. Berg, Senior Design Project, March 6, 1996


The 2nd Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference: Global Perspectives
June 30 – July 2, 1998
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

The Conference is cosponsored by the American Chemical Society, Committee on Environmental Improvement, Division of Environmental Chemistry, Division of Industrial & Chemical Engineering, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Chemical Manufacturers Association, Council for Chemical Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Research Council, National Science Foundation, Engineering Directorat, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics and Office of Research and Development.

Details, registration form and complete program available at:

Contact Dianne Ruddy at the ACS for further information at
(202) 872-4402, or e-mail

Next Meeting SEAB Elec Reliability TF

NOTE: For the first time, this meeting is in CHICAGO, not Washington DC…

Information on the Electric System Reliability Task Force, minutes of previous meetings, and the Task Force’s interim report may be found at the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s web site,

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 650-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 650-328-5675

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board – Electric System Reliability Task Force
Thursday, July 9, 1998, 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM.
The Rosemont Convention Center, Conference Rooms 12 & 13,
5555 North River Road, Rosemont, Illinois. (near the O’Hare International Airport)

The electric power industry is in the midst of a complex transition to competition, which will induce many far-reaching changes in the structure of the industry and the institutions which regulate it. This transition raises many reliability issues, as new entities emerge in the power markets and as generation becomes less integrated with transmission.

Purpose of the Task Force
The purpose of the Electric System Reliability Task Force is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board regarding the critical institutional, technical, and policy issues that need to be addressed in order to maintain the reliability of the nation’s bulk electric system in the context of a more competitive industry.
Thursday, July 9, 1998
8:30 AM Opening Remarks & Objectives
— Philip Sharp, ESR Task Force Chairman
8:45 AM Working Session: Discussion of Draft Position Paper
on State/Regional Issues in Transmission System
Reliability — Facilitated by Philip Sharp
10:30 PM Working Session: Discussion of Draft Position Paper
on Incentives for Transmission Enhancement
— Facilitated by Philip Sharp
12:00 Lunch
1:00 PM Working Session: Planning for the Final Report
— Facilitated by Philip Sharp
2:45 PM Public Comment Period
3:00 PM Adjourn

Technology Transfer Opportunities – Oak Ridge National Laboratory



Final Report

Technology Transfer Opportunities in the Federal Laboratories

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

June 1998

Prepared for:

Utility Federal Technology Opportunities (UFTO)


Edward Beardsworth


Overview & Organization
Technologies & Programs

This report is part of a series examining technology opportunities at National Laboratories of possible interest to electric utilities


This report is proprietary and confidential. It is for internal use by personnel of companies that are subscribers in the UFTO multi-client program. It is not to be otherwise copied or distributed except as authorized in writing.



This report details findings about technology and technology transfer opportunities at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that might be of strategic interest to electric utilities. It is a major update and revision materials developed previously, and is based on a visit to the lab in April 1998, and also draws from various publications, collateral information and website content.


A special note of thanks to Marilyn Brown for arranging the agenda and her gracious and tireless support, and to all the ORNL staff who gave generously of their time and attention.

Also to Mr. Scott Penfield of Technology Insights, who accompanied the visits (as a representative of one of the UFTO utilities) and kindly provided his written account of the meetings for use in the preparation this report.

ORNL — Overview & Organization

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a “GOCO” lab (government-owned, contractor operated). Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp. is the contractor that manages ORNL. (Lockheed Martin also manages the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, Idaho National Engineering Lab and Sandia National Lab.)

ORNL has a matrix organizational structure, where “divisions” aligned primarily by discipline have the people, and “programs” have the projects and budgets. On some occasions, divisions do get funds and projects of their own. ORNL finds that matrix management can work well if there is a balance of power and the right incentives.

Both divisions and programs live in research “ALD’s” or Associate Laboratory Directorates, headed by Associate Lab Directors who along with other administrative and support groups report to the Laboratory Director (Alvin Trivelpiece).

ORNL’s four research ALD’s are:

=> Energy and Engineering Sciences — Gil Gilliland 423-574-9920

(Div: Engineering Technology, Fusion., Instrum & Control)

(Prog: Energy Effic/Renew Energy, Energy Technology, Fossil Energy, Nuc Technol)

=> Life Sciences and Environmental Technologies

(Div: Chemical Technol, Energy, Environmental Sci, Life Sciences)

=> Adv. Materials, Physical and Neutron Sciences

(Div: Metals & Ceramics, Physics, Solid State, Chemical/Analytical Sci . . .)

=> Computing, Robotics, and Education

(Div: Computer Science and Mathematics, Robotics and Process Systems…)

There is work in all four ALDs of potential interest to utilities. The point of contact for this study was established through the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program, which oversees activities involving 11 different research divisions. Contact was also made with the Fossil Energy Program, with a similarly broad scope. Divisions encountered include Engineering Technology, Instrumentation & Control, Metals & Ceramics, and others.

Staffing level is now at approximately 5000, of which 1500 are scientists, of which about 1/2 are PhDs. ORNL’s 1997 budget was about $550 million. Of this amount, the largest program areas were Energy Research (28%), Environmental Management (25%) and Energy Efficiency (16%). Nuclear programs, which were once the principal focus of the Laboratory, are identified at a level of 4% in the overall budget; however, when supporting research topics (e.g., High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), materials, NRC Programs, etc.) are included, some $100 million can still be identified as nuclear related.

A major new initiative at ORNL is the Spallation Neutron Source facility. The 1999 budget year will constitute a major test for this project, as it will include a construction line item for the first time. If approved, construction is expected to take 6-7 years. A new ORNL directorate has been established to oversee the Spallation Neutron Source project.


Key Contacts:


Primary UFTO contact:

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program:

A.C.(Tony) Schaffhauser, Director, 423-574-4826,

Marilyn Brown, Deputy Director, 423-576-8152,

Working with ORNL:

Technology Transfer: (Licensing and CRADAs)

Dean Waters, Acting Director, Office of Technology Transfer,


Sylvester Scott, Director, Licensing, 423-576-9673,

Partnerships: (CRADAs, User Program, Personnel Exchanges, Guest Research Assignments)

Louise B. Dunlap, Director, Office of Science and Technology Partnerships,


Public Relations: Joe Culver, Director, Public Affairs,


Partnership Mechanisms

ORNL makes use of an increasingly broad array of contracting mechanisms, including CRADAs, Work for others, User Facility Agreements, etc. Greater use of simpler standard formats makes the process much quicker than in the past.

They are seeing an increasing number of “100% funds-in CRADAs” (i.e. no cost sharing by the lab) from industry, as a cheaper alternative to work-for-others with essentially equivalent intellectual property rights. The Lab also will have as many as 4000 guest assignments per year, 1/4 of which are from industry, where visitors use the facilities or work with staff on CRADAs, etc.


Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program

Tony Schaffhauser, Director 423-574-4826

Marilyn Brown, Deputy Director 423-576-8152

The EE/RE Program is a matrix organization that draws on several line divisions at ORNL for the majority of its personnel and technical facility resources, to set up multi disciplinary teams. DOE is the sponsor for most of the work, but they see industry and the public as the real customer.

ORNL budget expenditures controlled through the EE/RE Program office amount to some $80 million. The ORNL Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy (EE/RE) budget was lower in 1996, but the level now appears to be stable.

Major Research and Development Areas

=> Transportation systems, including advanced automotive technologies, advanced materials, utilization of alternative fuels including biofuels, and transportation data.

=> Efficient building systems and for state and community programs, including heating, cooling, and refrigerating equipment; roofs, walls, and foundations; insulating materials; technology transfer; and retrofit of existing residential and commercial structures.

=> Industrial processes, such as bioprocessing, electric motor systems, advanced turbine systems, advanced materials, industrial heat pumps, and evaluations of energy-related inventions.

=> Utilities, including high-temperature superconductors (for transformers and transmission cables), power transmission and distribution systems, electric and magnetic field effects, biomass for power generation, and international programs (including IEA and APEC programs).

Technologies & Programs

Superconducting Technology Program for Electric Energy Systems

Fossil Energy Technologies

Real-Time Corrosion Monitoring

Hot Gas Filters

Materials R&D

Furnace Wall Corrosion with retrofit low-NOx burners

Effects of Coal impurities on fireside corrosion

Improved Stainless Steels

“Perfect Microstructures”

Nickel-Aluminide Alloys

Sulfidation Resistant Alloys

Building Technology Center

Frostless Heat Pump

High Efficiency Refrigerator (1 kwh/day)

Power Systems Technology Program

Energy Conservation Standards for Distribution Transformers

Flywheels and Energy Storage Technologies

Utility Restructuring and Electric Power Ancillary Services

Grid Reliability-Control Center Survey

Electric and Magnetic Fields Bioeffects

Research and Public Information Dissemination (RAPID) Program

Advanced Turbine Systems

Bioenergy Program

Motor, Steam, and Compressed Air Challenge Programs

Oak Ridge Centers for Manufacturing Technology (ORCMT)

Electric Machinery Center

Power Electronics Technology Center and Inverter Technology

Instrumentation & Controls

Machine Condition Monitoring and Diagnostics

Electrical Signature Analysis (ESA) for Utility Applications

Nonlinear data analysis–Component Failure Prediction

NRC/INPO plant database

Photonics and Hybrid Lighting

Superconducting Technology Program for Electric Energy Systems

Bob Hawsey 423-574-8057

Web sites:

(See special report and series of articles on “Superconductivity in Electric Power,”

pp 18-49, IEEE Spectrum, July 1997)

The discovery of high-temperature (i.e., above the boiling temperature of liquid nitrogen) superconductor materials dates to 1986. Since that time, the challenge has been to develop these brittle, ceramic-based materials into a form that can be produced and practically used. DOE research in this area has taken a major step increase, from $19 million in 1997 to $32 million in 1998. (By comparison, Japan is investing $100 million/year in superconductor research.)

DOE HTS Program


Jim Daley, Team Leader, 202-586-1165,

or Joe Mulholland, Utility Liaison


The DOE HTS program supports a balanced technology development effort. Wire and device technologies are developed through a large number of collaborative projects between U.S. national laboratories and industry, and systems technologies are supported through the SPI and other vertically integrated project teams.

DOE’s Superconducting Partnership Initiative (SPI) is a systems technology program designed to accelerate the development of HTS electric power systems. Begun in the fall of 1993, the SPI encourages the formation of vertically integrated teams comprised of partners who usually do not interact in the development cycle, involving close collaboration among system integrators, wire and device manufacturers, end-users (typically electric utilities)

Major projects include

– 5,000 hp high-temperature superconducting (HTS) motor

– 100 MVA HTS generator,

– 115 kV and 12.5 kV HTS transmission cable (2 projects)

– 5/10 MVA HTS transformers (2 projects)

– 15 kV HTS fault current limiter (2.4 kV successfully tested in 9/95 at a utility host site)

Fault Current Limiter

Later this year, pre-commercial (alpha) prototype will be tested by So Cal Edison and Lockheed Martin. Rating is 15-kV, normal 2 kA, intercepts/reduces by 80% a 20-kA peak symmetric or 45 kA peak assymmetric fault. Also functions as a 1/2 cycle circuit breaker. If demo successful, Edison will install it at a substation, and anticipates $1million in savings from avoiding need for a second bus. Next stage will be beta units.

Contact: Eddie Leung, Lockheed Martin program manager

619-874-7945, ext. 4636,

ORNL is participating in two of these partnerships.

Transformers — There is a strong need for medium power transformers (10-150 MVA) that are smaller, more efficient and free of fire hazard, to meet the growth in urban power density. These transformers will go inside building and in multistory substations, and provide higher ratings from existing substations.

— Waukesha Electric Systems (WES), Waukesha, WI

For the Waukesha program, ORNL is responsible for the engineering, design and science of the cooling system, while Intermagnetic General is producing the HTSC coil. WES did the core, instrumentation tank, pumps and test rig. An initial 1 MVA prototype has been constructed and entered testing at WES in February 1998. Initial results are good–the first operational US HTSC transformer easily sustains 2X overloads. Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) participated in this initial demonstration.

The next step will be a 5 MVA system, which will provide power to the WES plant beginning in 1999. A larger utility advisory group is participating in this second step (includes several UFTO members). The initial commercial target is a transformer in the range of 10-30 MVA.

Contact: Pat Sullivan, VP Marketing, Waukesha, 414-547-0121, x 1531.

There is a separate transformer development effort that involves ABB, EdF, Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) and American Superconductor.

Cable — HTSC Cables hold the promise of far greater capacity– 5X the power in the same 8″ diameter pipe of conventional buried cable, and without the losses, heat, oil and range limitations.

— Southwire,Carrolton, GA

The Southwire HTSC cable project is expected to culminate in an initial demonstration at Southwire in 1999. The planned 100 ft, 3-phase, 12.4 kV, 1250 Amp cable will provide power (30 MVA) to Southwire facilities. Southern Co, Georgia Transmission Co, and So Cal Edison are partners. DOE is providing half of the $14 million. Southwire has built a 200 ft clean room manufacturing facility, and recently delivered a 5 meter test cable to ORNL for testing.

Pirelli and Los Alamos are pursuing a parallel HTSC cable initiative, with participation by Detroit Edison. The initial objective is a 25 kV line.

Other HTSC development initiatives mentioned include motors/generators (including flywheel motors/generators under development at Boeing) and kaolin magnetic separation equipment being developed by Dupont for the paper industry.

NOTE- More uility participation is needed–to provide advice, and as partners, cofunders and beta test hosts. Any kind of innovative proposal is more than welcome.

RABiTS (TM) Process for Coated High-Temperature Superconductors

Oak Ridge researchers have produced a roll-textured, buffered metal, superconducting tape with a critical current density of 300,000 amperes per square centimeter in liquid nitrogen, which may pave the way for the future manufacture of practical yttrium- or thallium-based conductors for electric power applications.

To produce a superconducting wire sample, the ORNL researchers first developed a process called rolling-assisted biaxial textured substrates, or RABiTS(TM), which enables the superconducting materials to have a high degree of grain alignment in all directions, a necessary condition for more efficient current flow through the superconductor.

MicroCoating Technologies (MCT) in Atlanta and ORNL announced on April 16 that MCT has licensed key patents. “MCT scientists within a six-month period have successfully deposited both HTS coatings and oxide “buffer layers” on several single crystal oxide substrates. MCT also successfully deposited buffer layer on textured nickel. The epitaxy of some buffer layers is as good or better than with any other deposition technique to date. In addition, MCT’s open atmosphere process can meet or exceed industry-wide cost targets to enable commercial-scale production of superconductor technology.”

Other licensees include Midwest Superconductivity and Oxford Superconducting Technology, with two more pending.

Fossil Energy Technologies

Rod Judkins 423-574-4572

ORNL described some additional advancements in materials and technology for fossil and related applications that were not addressed in the ORNL survey of utilities (developed by Technology Insights and sent to UFTO members in mid 1997). Some examples are:

Real-Time Corrosion Monitoring: A flash of laser light is impinged on a fossil boiler wall. By observing the infrared response of the area, corrosion related effects, such as thinning, debonding and delamination can be inferred.

Hot Gas Filters: In partnership with manufacturers, ORNL has developed two distinct classes of hot gas clean up filters.

– A ceramic composite (SiC-based) filter developed with 3-M is primarily targeted to fluidized bed combustion applications. The filter has been tested in AEP’s Tidd Plant and a Studvik incinerator in S. Carolina. It is available through 3-M. Contact Ed Fisher, 612-736-1005

– A lower temperature (700 – 1000 deg C) iron-aluminide filter, with high resistance to sulfidation, has been developed in partnership with Pall Corp. (Portland NY) and is nearing commercial introduction. An alternative to ceramics, it can be made with standard manufacturing equipment. Tests at the University of Cinncinnati show excellent corrosion resistance. Coal gasification is the target application.

Materials R&D

Ron Bradley 423-574-6095

Ian Wright, 423-574-4451

Furnace Wall Corrosion with retrofit low-NOx burners — root cause is flame licking walls, so that control of flame characteristics using sensor-feedback arrangements should be the best solution. Hence, there is a need to develop sensors to monitor flame condition as input to control mechanism. ORNL has approaches for this, using chaos theory to analyse the flame signatures, for instance (Stuart Daw, David Schoenwald). There will also be a continuing practical need for diagnostics, coatings, repair techniques, etc., since not all boilers will be amenable to combustion control, and the use of multiple and varying coal sources will lead to continuing corrosion problems in some parts of the furnace wall. Sulfidation-resistant ferritic alloys (ORNL’s iron aluminides) promising as overlay/cladding, but difficult to apply reproducibly. Development program with Lehigh Univ-utility boiler consortium (Prof. Arnie Marder) is showing good promise.

Effects of Coal impurities on fireside corrosion — Chlorine limits based on fundamental misunderstanding–only a problem when other combustion problems (flame impingement) present. Developing in situ probes to measure short-term corrosion.


The final report from the re-visit to Oak Ridge National Lab is now available.

It is a 24 page (100K) Word doc, so only the front matter is included below in this note. You can obtain the full text either:
— on line in the clients-only part of the UFTO website (html)
— on request as an email attachment (Word, RTF, or html)
— on request in hardcopy via snail mail

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 650-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 650-328-5675


UFTO Final Report

Technology Transfer Opportunities in the Federal Laboratories

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

June 1998

Prepared for:
Utility Federal Technology Opportunities (UFTO)

By: Edward Beardsworth

This report is part of a series examining technology opportunities at National Laboratories of possible interest to electric utilities


This report details findings about technology and technology transfer opportunities at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that might be of strategic interest to electric utilities. It is a major update and revision materials developed previously, and is based on a visit to the lab in April 1998, and also draws from various publications, collateral information and website content.

ORNL — Overview & Organization

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a “GOCO” lab (government-owned, contractor operated). Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp. is the contractor that manages ORNL. (Lockheed Martin also manages the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, Idaho National Engineering Lab and Sandia National Lab.)

Heat Transfer Research, Inc.(HTRI)

HTRI is a for-profit membership R&D consortium focusing on heat transfer in process industries. Members from all over the world include major engineering firms (e.g., ABB, B&W, Bechtel, Black & Veatch, Brown & Root, GE Power Systems, Kvaerner, Stone & Webster, etc.), major oil and chemicals companies, equipment makers, and exactly one utility (Ontario Hydro).
HTRI wants to increase its involvement with utilities, and has approached UFTO for help. While their work hasn’t yet addressed some of the core power plant systems (steam generators, surface condensers, etc.), they could certainly initiate programs in those areas.

At the same time, utilities do have innumerable other heat exchangers and heat transfer applications that are addressed by HTRI (e.g., shell-and-tube heat exchangers).

Perhaps more important, conventional steam boiler technology is being supplanted by combined cycles — primarily natural gas-fired at this time, but likely to include more coal, residual oil, and biomass gasification in the future. The major heat exchanger in a combined cycle plant — the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) — is a relatively new type of heat exchanger in terms of widespread commercial use. There will be many challenging design and operating approaches and challenges associated with HRSGs as combustion turbine and steam turbine designs evolve into higher temperature regimes.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that utilities (or ESCOs) could use HTRI resources in their continuing role of helping industrial customers be more efficient, productive and successful.

Thus, there would appear to be a number of ways HTRI and the electric power industry could grow together. As one example, HTRI is planning a new “sub” consortium to address heat exchanger fouling, certainly an important topic for utilities.


–>> UFTO Members are invited to attend the upcoming HTRI Annual Meeting, July 26-31, Amelia Island, FL, which will feature technical presentations and workshops on the IST and EHT codes (described below).
Contact Susan Edwards at HTRI to request a copy of the program agenda.
tel 409-260-6203


Claudette Beyer, President and CEO 409-260-6222,
Fernando Aguirre, Dir. Marketing 409-260-6200,
Heat Transfer Research, Inc.
1500 Research Parkway, Suite 100
College Station, Texas 77845 USA
Tel 409-260-6200 Fax 409-260-6249

The material attached below is excerpted and
adapted from HTRI publications and their website

1. Conducts research on heat transfer equipment of a type and scale, and with fluids and operating conditions, relevant to industry.
2. Develops methods for the thermal/hydraulic design and rating of heat transfer equipment that are soundly based on experimental data.
3. Creates, maintains, and supports superior quality computer programs that utilize HTRI methods, are user-oriented, and easily interfaced with other programs.
4. Serves as a source of support and expertise addressing current and future needs in heat transfer technology.
5. Recruits and supports staff and consultants or partners who bring the necessary expertise, dedication, and vision.

HTRI products are based on decades of member-sponsored proprietary R&D, and are not available on the open market. HTRI members have access to HTRI’s product line and become part of a research consortium comprised of industry leaders from around the world—all for less than the salary of a single additional engineer. (Membership fee varies with size of company–to a maximum of approximately $50,000 per year.) Subsidiaries of a member company may also use HTRI products, if they are more than 50% owned.

Joining HTRI is like adding a dedicated team of heat transfer experts to a member’s company. Members gain access not only to our software and research data, but also to the collective experience of the staff. HTRI technical support can improve productivity with expert answers to questions about software, methods, correlations, and research, as well as theoretical questions concerning heat transfer and exchanger design.

— History

Incorporated in 1962, Heat Transfer Research, Inc. was chartered for the purpose of conducting application-oriented research on large-scale equipment in the general field of heat transfer and associated fluid flow, and converting the results into dependable design methods for industrial purposes. This was a depar-ture from the more typical method of companies conducting individual experiments based on university-derived theory. A few years later, the company moved from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to Alhambra, California, and continued to grow in size and reputation. While in California, HTRI’s experiments were conducted on research units located at C. F. Braun, Inc., an HTRI member.

In 1990, HTRI relocated from California to College Station, Texas, where we built a multi-million dollar research facility with industrial-scale units. This strategic location also provides collaboration opportunities with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas A&M University, one of the United States’ top engineering schools.

— Research Facilities
The HTRI Research Facility, developed in 1991, is a well-equipped multimillion dollar experimental facility. The site has four research units with supporting facilities and equipment. The facility can be customized to meet the changing needs of our customers. We also are available to conduct research and construct new rigs under contract.

The facility’s physical plant includes a 500-horsepower Johnson Boiler with a heating capacity of 17 million Btu/hour and a two-cell Marley Cooling Tower with a cooling capacity of 21 million Btu/hour. The machine shop includes welding equipment, a milling machine, lathe, drill press, band saw, and pipe threader. Instrument calibration and electrical tests are performed on site using a variety of testing components.

A laboratory also is on site to perform tests ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and to analyze test fluids from the research units.
– High Temperature Fouling Unit – provides data for defining process operating conditions and exchanger design features so that fouling of typical industrial fluids can be minimized. A wide variety of fluids can be tested, including gas oils and crude oils. The unit can operate at up to 1000 psig (6,895 kPa) and 800 °F (427 °C). The HTFU has two test sections that can operate simultaneously at different conditions.

– Multipurpose Boiling Unit – provides flow boiling heat transfer and pressure drop data for pure fluids, hydrocarbon mixtures, and alcohol-water mixtures. The MBU can operate over a range of conditions typical of industrial heat exchange processes.

– Single Phase Unit – (formerly known as the Plate Heat Exchanger Unit) provides information to develop heat transfer and pressure drop methods in single-phase flow. This unit has two plate-and-frame heat exchangers, a spiral heat exchanger, and a welded plate heat exchanger. The SPU can operate under a wide range of conditions with a variety of process fluids.

– Vertical In Tube Condensation Unit – provides data used to develop heat transfer and pressure drop methods for intube condensation. A variety of fluids including alcohols and hydrocarbon mixtures with and without inerts can be tested. The unit can operate from low vacuum to 450 psia.

— Software
Software modeling and simulation tools, based on proprietary, relevant, and quality research, helps HTRI members design efficient heat exchangers.

HTRI software methods are derived from extensive research and documented in our publications. Many of the research programs are ongoing, leading to continual improvement of methods and simulations. All software accepts data in U.S. Customary, SI, and MKH units (except our Fired Heater program, which currently accepts U.S. Customary units only). Most programs have identical user interfaces and input structure: process conditions and physical properties are specified similarly, using the same data input lines. To ease interpretation of data, printed output follows a standard format in nearly all applications.

Interfaces between our software and other computer programs allow easy data transfer to process simulators, mechanical design systems, and database systems. Interfaces are available for software from such companies as AspenTech, B-JAC, Bryan Research & Engi-neering (BR&E), Physical Properties Data Service, ABB Lummus, SimSci, and others. HTRI is a member of the Process Data eXchange Institute (pdXi).

Before release, every HTRI program undergoes a rigorous testing process on several different platforms. These tests verify software results against HTRI’s proprietary research data. Test sets are extensive, making use of as many as 2,600 separate cases.

– ACE rates and simulates air-cooled heat exchangers and economizers. The program handles forced draft, induced draft, and “fans off” air-cooled heat exchangers. The economizer option also may be used to rate air preheater bundles. ACE is a fully incremental program.

– CST, using a fully incremental approach with HTRI’s latest pointwise correlations, designs shell-and-tube condensers from a set of process conditions and rates the performance of a geometrically specified condenser. Used with confidence since 1974, CST handles TEMA E, F, J, and X shells.

– FH simulates the behavior of fired heaters. Its capabilities include the solution of combustion and tube design problems and the simulation of cylindrical heaters, box heaters, and convection tube banks.

– IST rates the performance of geometrically specified shell-and-tube heat exchangers. A fully incremental program, IST contains HTRI’s latest pointwise equations for predicting condensing, boiling, and single-phase heat transfer and pressure drop. IST handles TEMA E, F, G, H, J, and X shells.

– PHE rates plate heat exchangers for liquid-phase applications. The program uses average local properties within each plate group. Various plate types may be selected from an automatic data bank or entered manually.

– RKH designs and rates kettle reboiler, column internal bundles, and horizontal thermosiphon reboilers.

– RTF designs and rates shell-and-tube vertical thermosiphons and vertical or horizontal forced-flow reboilers with the boiling on the tube side. The program also rates spiral plate reboilers. RTF is a fully incremental program.

– ST designs single-phase shell-and-tube heat exchangers from a set of process conditions. It also rates the performance of a geometrically specified exchanger. ST handles TEMA E, J, X, H, G, and F shells.

– ST Educational is an educational package for engineers wanting to learn about or review shell and tube heat exchanger calculations. Utilizing the full calculation engine from ST, this product provides companies and educational institutions with an accurate and user-friendly training tool.

– TWALL calculates the mean tubewall metal temperature in each tubepass for a TEMA E shell with fixed tubesheets. The TEMA Standards use these temperatures in their design equations.

– VIB conducts a rigorous analysis of the vibration of a single tube in a tube bundle. Additionally, VIB calculates natural frequencies for up to 15 modes.


This program centers around applied research and data taken from industrial-scale experimental rigs. Findings are published in the Design Manual, data books, and reports, all of which are available only to members. HTRI’s research programs provide the data and correlations which make our software the most accurate available—a distinct advantage over software based only on simulations and theory.

Over 120 reports are available to members. Multi-volume report books, data books, and our design manual provide you with an edge over your competitors. Some of our report areas include

– Agitated Vessels
– Air-cooled Heat Exchangers
– Boiling in Tubes
– Boiling in Kettle Reboilers
– Condensation on the Shell Side
– Crossflow Boiling outside Horizontal Tube Bundles
– Extended Surfaces
– Fouling
– General Studies in Boiling
– General Studies in Condensation
– Plate Heat Exchangers
– Flow-Induced Vibration in Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers
– Shellside Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop Methods
– Tubeside Enhanced Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop Methods
– Tubeside Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop Methods
– Two-phase Flow
Our data books provide you with raw data from experiments run on HTRI’s industrial-scale research units.

The Design Manual, our most used publication, provides you with a single source for our methods and correla-tions. This manual is also a great place to browse HTRI technology, providing you with an easy way to search for information from our reports. And if you need more detail, each report is referenced in the appropriate section of the Design Manual.

In conjunction with meetings, hands-on software workshops and theoretical short courses are routinely conducted. Software workshops provide participants with practical information on the computer programs, an overview of the program’s inputs and outputs, example cases for discussion, and an actual problem to solve. The length of short courses varies by topic.

If regularly scheduled training sessions don’t meet the need, customized training can be arranged either at HTRI facilities in Texas or at a company’s site. Charges for customized training are based on the specific request.

Interaction is important both to members and to HTRI. For this reason, HTRI holds meetings and training sessions all over the world, providing a wide range of opportunities for members to:

– Help to shape the direction of future research and development by serving on subcommittees
– Learn new skills at our training and workshop sessions

Members are encouraged to interact with HTRI and each other through Communication Committees. These committees can be formed by any group with common goals, providing a formal means of communication.