Photolytic Hydrogen from Sunlight

Researchers have been working on a process that uses sunlight to produce hydrogen by splitting water directly. To understand photoelectrolysis, think of a PV cell underwater, where the electrochemical energy produced is immediately used to electrolyze water, instead of creating an external current. The light hits the cell, and hydrogen bubbles appear on one side of the cell, while oxygen appears on the other side, just as in electrolysis. (Of course one could use a PV cell to power an electrolyzer, but the idea here is to make a simpler and more economical system.)

The interface between the water (electrolyte) and certain semiconductor materials forms a diode junction that generates power–and thus does the electrolysis. The presence of catalysts at the surface can also help with the energetics and kinetics of the reactions that form the hydrogen and oxygen, respectively.

One of the problems is that the minimum voltage for splitting water (1.3 volts) is higher than a photocell can easily produce, and high-bandgap materials capable of generating enough voltage can utilize only ultraviolet light, which is a small fraction of the solar spectrum.

Work at NREL and the University of Hawaii has focused on developing multijunction cells which use more of the solar spectrum. These additional layers are sandwiched inside the basic cell that does the photolysis, and provide a boost to the electro potential available to do the water splitting. The electrochemistry and solid state physics of these devices are very complex. One of the main challenges has been to come up with materials and configurations that will be less susceptible to corrosion from the electrolyte and which will last long enough to be practical. Efficencies above 12% have been seen (i.e., the energy value of the hydrogen produced vs. the amount of incident sunlight. (See the 2002 H2 DOE Program Reviews–ref. below. Also, the 2003 meeting in May will have new updates.)

Researchers at the University of Duquesne published an important development in Science Magazine last September. Titanium dioxide is known to be a cheap and stable photocatalyst for splitting water, but hydrogen yields were always less than 1% (due to the high band gap of the material). The new development involved preparing the material in a flame, introducing carbon into its structure. Cells using this new material saw a factor of 10 increase in hydrogen production. The University is actively seeking licensees or partners to pursue this technology. (Contact me for details).

The design goal at NREL and Hawaii is to come up with a monolithic device that needs no external electrical connections. The simple version of the Duquesne cell requires an external bias power source (which could be powered by a fuel cell using some of the hydrogen produced), but which would still be a net producer of power. Net yields are already at 8.5%, and are expected to improve.

Though commercial devices are a ways off, photosplitting of water is another process that could supply hydrogen by purely renewable means.


2002 Hydrogen Program Review Meeting – Renewable Production Electrolytic Processes

Science…27 Sept 02
“Efficient Photochemical Water Splitting by a Chemically Modified n-TiO2”

Science 17 April 98
“A Monolithic Photovoltaic-Photoelectrochemical Device for Hydrogen Production via Water Splitting”

( I can provide pdf copies of the Science articles).

T&D R&D Gaining Attention

Here are some high-level pointers to an array of resources related to ongoing developments in T&D research, sponsored by DOE, NSF and the CEC (Calif Energy Commission), which demonstrate a new level of attention to grid reliability and security.

Let me know if I can be helpful digging deeper into any of these areas.


DOE – Office of Electricity Transmission and Distribution

The Dept. of Energy will announce, perhaps as early as next week, the creation of a new office for T&D reporting directly to the Secretary, as recommended in the National Transmission Grid Study* done last year. The Office of Electricity Transmission and Distribution will start with a budget of $85 million, however all but $8 or 9 million is already committed to earmarks ($27 M) and high temperature superconductors ($40 M). The office will be headed by Jimmy Glotfelty, an assistant to Abrahams. The staff currently in the Transmission Reliability Program in EERE will move over to the new office.

Meanwhile next week, a new Center will be dedicated at Oak Ridge:

The dedication of the National Transmission Technology Research Center (NTTRC) and the Powerline Conductor Accelerated Facility (PCAT), the first working facility of four planned for the Center, will be held March 25. The Center, sponsored by ORNL, DOE, and TVA, will test and evaluate advanced technologies, including conductors, sensors and controls, and power electronics, under a wide range of electrical conditions without jeopardizing normal operations. The first component of the NTTRC, the PCAT facility, is initiating its first test protocol with 3M’s advanced Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced conductor.
— Overview of NTTRC:

The existing Transmission Reliability Program was reestablished by Congress in 1999 to conduct research on the reliability of the Nation’s electricity infrastructure during the transition to competitive markets under restructuring.
Go to “Documents and Resources” for recent studies and materials.

*(May 2002


Calif Energy Commission

The CEC Public Interest Energy Research program (PIER) has a very active effort underway in Transmission Research. They recently released a 140 page “Electricity Transmission Research and Development Assessment and Gap Analysis – Draft Consultant Report” — now available online along with other materials and presentations:

This report is one of two reports which were discussed at a public workshop held March 12, 2003 at the CEC.


National Science Foundation
Directorate for Engineering, Elec. And Communications Systems

1. Workshop on Modernizing the Electric Power Grid, Nov 02

Starting on slide 14 of James Momoh’s presentation there is a good overview of the EPNES initiative (next item)

2. NSF/ONR Partnership in Electric Power Networks Efficiency and Security (EPNES)

This solicitation seeks to obtain major advances in the integration of new concepts in control, modeling, component technology, social and economics theories for electrical power networks’ efficiency and security. It also encourages development of new interdisciplinary research-based curriculum… Proposals were due Feb 3.

3. The Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC)
PSERC is an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, involving a consortium of13 universities working with government and industry. The website has a huge array of reports and publications.

For the NSF’s “fact sheet”, see:

DOE Distributed Power Review

DOE Distributed Power Program
& IEEE Interconnection Working Group

29 Jan ?1 Feb 2002, Arlington, VA.

-Tue/Wed = DOE Distributed Power Program
-Thur/Fri = IEEE SCC21 Working Group [Covered in a separate UFTO Note]
(P1547 Draft Standard For Interconnection)

Distributed Power Program Review

The DPP website has the proceedings (and pdf downloads) for this meeting, and also for the last review meeting held in Golden CO, Oct’01. (box in upper right corner.)

There is a requirement at DOE for “peer review”, so we’re seeing many of these meetings throughout the year. Last fall there was one for Distributed Energy Resources Program (DER), which includes the Distributed Power Program. (This confusing bit of terminology will be cleared up soon with a name change of the latter to something more accurately reflecting the focus on integration of DR in power systems, not DR itself.) OPT is the new entity formed last year to pull together a number of activities from across EREN.

Here is the line-up of these groups on the org chart:
– EREN — Efficiency and Renewable Energy
– OPT — Office of Power Technologies
– DER — Distributed Energy Resources Program
– DPP — Distributed Power Program [name to change]

^^The DER Review was held in DC, 28-30 Nov 2001

^^Proceedings of the 2001 Hydrogen Program Review are posted at:

Other upcoming review meetings:
^^Hydrogen and Fuel Cells — Denver, 6-10 May
(We may try to combine this with an UFTO visit to NREL)
^^Microturbine and Industrial Gas Turbines — Fairfax VA, 12-14 March


Presentations- Introductions and Overviews

Bob Dixon, head of OPT, opened the conference, commenting that September 11 is the main driving force in Washington. Energy security is a high profile part of it, which translates into redoubled interest in DG.

Bill Williams, IEEE-USA government liaison, outlined the many bills in Congress that deal with interconnection at both the bulk and DG level. He also noted that FERC has opened a rule-making for interconnection under 20 MW. (see below).

Richard Brent, Solar Turbines, pleaded the manufacturers’ concerns about there being different policies at every utility, in every state–sometimes different within the same utility. Many of these practices are still based on utility systems and technology of long ago.

Patricia Hoffman, head of DER, commented that just as with any infrastructure, the energy system needs to advance and evolve. One of the roles of DOE is to help bring consistency.

Joe Galdo, who leads the DPP Program, explained DPP’s mission to remove barriers to DG that arise from technology and regulation. The goal is to reduce installation cost, delay and hassle. The strategy is reflected in the array of projects supported, from the IEEE 1547, to system integration, interconnection and control, to institutional and regulatory barriers. A list of subcontracts awarded to date appears at:
See also “Research Activities” for a good overview:

Presentations – Technical Interconnection Standards and Testing

— First up, Dick DeBlasio gave an update on IEEE 1547. See separate UFTO Note on the Working Group meeting.

— Murray Davis of Detroit Edison reported on a study of penetration limits for DG on a distribution feeder. This ranks very high on the list of concerns about widespread deployment of DG. (Davis started with a quick aside that there would be no limit if grids were isolated–he’s submitted a paper to IEEE about this.) They did detailed modeling of two actual feeders using ASPEN and the Distribution WorkStation, and then modeled the impact of various amounts of DG placed at various locations. The striking conclusion, at least for these two particular feeders and for the two variables considered, is that DG penetration (or stiffness ratio, i.e. the amount of the DG compared to the size of the feeder) had no predictive value for when problems (e.g. over/under voltage) would arise. The line length, circuit particulars, and DG device sizes were far more significant. A feeder could accommodate as much as 10 times more total DG if it comes as many small units instead of 1 big one.

— NRECA has an aggressive program to support its members to do fuel cell demonstrations, with training, handbooks, databases, and a users group. Coops view DG as “a solution, not as a problem”. Together coops represent the largest “single” utility in the country, with 34 million customers in 46 states. The handbook will be available on the DOE website in the near future, and many more resources are available only to members of NRECA.
Contact Ed Torrero, 703-907-5518,

— DUIT — Distributed Utility Integration Test – This project is to come up with a plan, including a facility, to do testing of the interaction of DG with the electric system. A key element is the selection of a site or sites for the facility. To that end, a number of sites around the country at utilities and universities were evaluated as candidates. In addition, the Nevada Test Site received particular attention, in view of the extensive inventory of pre-existing buildings and equipment. (The NTS study came up with a conceptual design of a large “pole field” to be used to simulate actual distribution feeders. Rows and rows of utility poles could be patched together to provide everything from a single 30 mile feeder to countless different configurations.) (The DER Test Facility at NREL, which evaluates performance of DG interconnection systems, became operational Dec’01)
Contact Joe Iannucci, Distributed Utility Associates,, 925-447-0604.

— Certification Lab Pilot — EPRI-PEAC’s project is to define a path to “certified grid-compatible DER”. They’re writing an accreditation plan and an interconnection handbook. The effort includes actual testing of interconnection standards. For details, see the pdf download^^^, and:
Contact: Tom Key, 865-218-8082,

— UL Standard for DG – Underwriters Lab is developing a standard for testing DG equipment, combining appropriate safety requirements with interconnection requirements from IEEE 1547, to produce a DG ANSI Standard that can be used to evaluate utility interconnected DG products for both electrical safety and utility interconnection to address the needs of Electrical AHJs and Utility Interconnection Engineers. This document will be UL 1741, The Standard for Inverters, Converters and Controllers for Use In Independent Power. Contact Tim Zgonena, UL, 847-272-8800 ext. 43051,

Presentations – Codes and Regulations

— Regulatory Policy Options for DG — The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) is a non profit that educates and helps state regulators with electric utility regulation. With DOE funding they’re developing a series of issue papers and prototype standards documents for states to use as templates or starting points for DG interconnection, emissions, etc. One interesting observation: RAP suggests that restructuring can actually works against DG, when wholesale markets (ISOs) don’t offer payment for demand reduction, and distribution-only companies become more susceptible to revenue loss. The website has a wealth of material. Of particular interest, policy papers on DG and Electric System reliability, cost methodologies, customer value, and “Accomodating DG in Wholesale Markets”. Particularly note the Draft of a “Model DG Emissions Rule” which is getting a lot of comment. DOE is looking for more input from industry.
Contact: Cheryl Harrington, 207-582-1135,

— DG and FERC – Dan Adamson has done a detailed report on FERC’s role in DG, including policy directions and numerous cases that have come up over the last 10 years or more. Expect increasing complexity and litigation. Adamson believes that FERC has the authority to assert jurisdiction over interconnection of DG no matter how small, if it involves wholesale transactions, but not retail or self-generation. Last October, FERC announced an ANOPR on generation interconnection. On 11 January, consensus drafting groups submitted a lengthy filing, with big disagreements between transmission owners and small generators. A new strawman proposal was due Feb 1. Expect a NOPR for comment soon; FERC hopes to issue a final rule later this year. Even if FERC does get jurisdiction, they don’t have the staff expertise or resources to regulate at the distribution level, and will likely look to the new RTOs do handle the details. States will still have a big role in any case. And, many bills are before Congress; how they’d interact with FERC’s efforts needs to be watched closely. (There is a case before the Supreme Court that may decide much of this issue.

A detailed report will be made available soon on the DOE/DPP website. See more information at:
Contact: Dan Adamson, 202-508-6600,
Also, go to the source:
[Sign up for FERC’s “intranet” to see more details. Of note–most utilities’ participants seem to be in transmission or regulatory affairs… is your DG effort in the loop?]

— Local Permitting – This presentation gives a sobering picture of the situation at the local level. There are over 44,000 independent building inspection jursidictions. It can take 10 years or more to get a new technology mentioned in codes, and even then it is up to states which vintage of a code it wants to use. (For example, Nevada still uses the 1978 Electrical Code!?) Most Fire and Building inspectors have little or no experience or understanding of hydrogen, methanol, fuel cells, etc. so developers can have a tough time. DOE is sponsoring an Education and Outreach effort, doing workshops around the country for local inspectors and state officials. Contact Ann Marie Borbely-Bartis, 202-586-5196,

******** Late Breaking News ******
NARUC passed a resolution this week (13 Feb) to support development of a Model DG Rule — See below for particulars. — I can also send the actual text of the resolution on request.

Presentations – System Integration and Control

A series of ongoing projects address implementation and hardware, including demonstrations of whole building systems, enterprise-wide generation management, and aggregation of DG. Others are developing new hardware to increase capabilities, reliablity and cost-effectiveness of interconnection systems. [As this note is getting a bit too long–please see proceedings for the individual presentations, or contact me to discuss.]

Presentations – Industrial DG

This series of projects involve actual installations or market studies of individual industry sectors. Others addressed market potential in NY, CA and Chicago.

– Increasing the Use of DG in the Semiconductor Industry
Barry Cummings, Salt River Project
– Highly Varying Industrial Load
Dr. Robert Kramer, NiSource
– DG Integration with Telecommunications Facility
Doug Peck, Syska & Hennessy
– CHP Integration with Fluid Heating Processes in the Chemical and Refining Sectors
– CHP Installation at 29 Palms Marine Air Ground Combat
Henry Mak, So Cal Gas
– DG Improvements in Industrial Applications
Rich Biljetina, Industrial Center
– Chicago Industrial Energy Plan
John Kelly, Gas Technology Institute
– New York State Industrial DG
Nag Patibandla, NYSERDA
– Industrial DG Market Transformation Tools
Paul Bautista, Onsite Sycom

Naruc Adopts Resolution Endorsing Development of Model Interconnection Agreements and Procedures

Washington, February 13, 2002
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), this week at the NARUC 2002 Winter Meetings in Washington, D.C., endorsed the development of model interconnection agreement and procedures under the direction of its Committees on Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment and Finance and Technology. Reiterating its support for open access to the nation’s electricity grid, and the importance of distributed energy resources to our energy future, NARUC noted in is resolution (attached) that:

– Coordination among the States could improve the consistency of treatment so important to the efficient integration of distributed energy resources; and

– Increased national consistency would lower entry barriers and enhance business economic efficiency, and,

– The ready availability of NARUC developed model agreements and procedures will aid in balancing those concerns; and the preparation of model interconnection agreement and procedures by NARUC could provide significant support and

– Efficiencies to those States which have yet to address the challenges of distributed energy resources, and the consideration, adaptation or adoption of such models could provide material assistance in achieving the coordination among the states called for by previous resolutions.

The DOE DPP program has previously support state commissions in their efforts to address the new challenges presented by integrating distributed generation into their energy system, and has been supporting this new initiative. The issue was timely at NARUC because of the FERC’s ongoing inquiry into developing a national rule setting forth interconnection procedures and a standard agreement for FERC jurisdictional interconnections, typically at the transmission level. Some controversy may develop where both state commissions and FERC assert jurisdiction of interconnection issues at the distribution level. For additional information contact Gary Nakarado, DP Program NREL, 303-275-3719 or Gary_Nakarado@NREL.Gov

CERTS Draft White Papers – Grid of the Future

Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS)
Grid of the Future

White Papers — August 30, 1999

Prepared for the:
Transmission Reliability Program
Office of Power Technologies
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE

Attached are the six DRAFT white papers prepared for the CERTS program by the various participants (labs and others), which have been made available to UFTO for review and comment. These were presented at an invitational workshop last Friday Sept. 17. Apparently Hurricane Floyd dampened the attendance but not the enthusiasm.

Plans are to close the written comment period at the end of the month, finalize the white papers, and then use them to develop a multi-year research plan for DOE.

Comments should be directed to:
Joe Eto, LBNL, 510-486-7284,

(The six papers are together in a single zipped folder/directory. If you have trouble downloading or unzipping, I can supply them as word documents instead–total 2 MB)

1. scenario300899.doc

The Federal Role in Electric System Reliability RD&D During a Time of Industry Transition: An Application of Scenario Analysis; Joseph Eto, LBNL

2. integdr030999.doc

Interconnection and Controls for Reliable, Large Scale Integration of Distributed Energy Resources; Vikram Budhraja, Carlos Martinez, Jim Dyer, Mohan Kondragunta, Edison Technology Solutions

3. rcntevnt010999.doc

Review of Recent Reliability Issues and System Events;
John F. Hauer, Jeff E. Dagle, PNNL

4. bulkpowr070999.doc

Review of the Structure of Bulk Power Markets;
Brendan J. Kirby and John D. Kueck, ORNL

5. realtime300899.doc

Real-Time Security Monitoring and Control of Power Systems; G. Gross (UIUC), A. Bose (WSU), C. DeMarco (UWM), M. Pai (UIUC), J. Thorp (Cornell U) and P. Varaiya (UCB) PSERC

6. uncertai010999.doc

Accommodating Uncertainty in Planning and Operations;
M. Ivey, A. Akhil, D. Robinson, J. Stamp, K. Stamber, Sandia, K. Chu, PNNL


(Excerpt from:
UFTO Note – CERTS-New DOE Prog in Elec. Reliability, 01 Mar 1999)

FY 99 activities for DOE include work in five areas, the first of
which is:

“Grid of the Future”

The first year of a two year planning study to identify emerging gaps in reliability technology R&D. In the first year, CERTS will lay the groundwork for the development of a federal R&D roadmap by preparing six white papers, which will be the basis for industry-wide stakeholder workshops on:

(1) alternative scenarios for the future of the electric power system, including a detailed articulation of the technological assumptions underlying each of these futures;

(2) assessment of the technology and control R&D needs for widespread integration of distributed resources;

(3) recent reliability issues review, including in-depth analysis of technological and institutional aspects of recent reliability events (e.g., summer 1996 WSCC events; winter 1997 northeast ice storms; winter 1998 San Francisco outage, etc.);

(4) review and assessment of the current structure of U.S. bulk power markets and provision of reliability services (including 1998 price spikes in mid-west and west, and absence of meaningful opportunities for demand response);

(5) assessment of the technology and control R&D needs for real time system control;

(6) assessment of the treatment of uncertainty in planning and operational models.

Technology Transfer Opportunities – Argonne National Laboratory

by Edward Beardsworth
September 1994


This report details findings about technology and technology transfer opportunities at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) that might be of strategic interest to electric utilities. It is based on two visits to ANL near Chicago Illinois (in November 1993 and May 1994), as part of a project for PSI Energy, which had the additional goal to establish relationships that will enable PSI to monitor developments and gain access on an ongoing basis.

Noting the tremendous scope of research underway in the research facilities of the U.S. government, and a very strong impetus on the government’s part to foster commercial partnering with industry and applications of the technology it has developed, PSI Energy supported this project to become familiar with the content and process of those programs, and to seek out opportunities for collaboration, demonstration or other forms of participation that will further the business objectives of PSI. PSI has agreed to make these results available to the participants in UFTO.

ANL Organization

Similar to other DOE labs, ANL has a matrix organizational structure of “Divisions” and “Programs”. The divisions are aligned by programmatic area, and have the people, projects and budgets. Programs are mainly to coordinate the Laboratory’s efforts across divisions. In a few instances, programs take on a larger role, e.g. in the case of fuel cells.

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

Argonne’s four research ALD’s are:
– Physical Research (basic research in fundamental sciences)
– Advanced Photon Source (a new high energy x-ray facility for basic research)
– Engineering Research (mostly advanced nuclear and national security)
– Energy & Environmental Science & Technology (EEST)
(name recently changed from “Energy, Environmental and Biological Research”)

Of these, virtually all work of potential interest to utilities is in EEST. However it’s important to understand that EEST has Programs that are carried out by cross-ALD, cross-divisional teams. For example the work of the Electrochemical Technology Program involves major participation by staff from the Chemical Technology Division of the Engineering Research ALD.

ANL has a number of “User Facilities” and “Centers” that focus on particular subjects, and make special equipment, facilities and expertise available to outside users, on a fee or collaborative basis. These are housed within programs and divisions.

ANL also takes on a program management role nationally on behalf of DOE, for some aspect of a DOE program, e.g. supporting PETC or METC or the DOE program office directly, or in collaboration with another national lab.

One other general point: each labs annually publishes an “Institutional Plan”, which is organized according to which DOE Program Office supports the work, not the lab’s own organizational structure. Thus a “mapping” between the two structures is required to be able to see the work of the groups within a lab. In most instances, divisions and programs also publish annual progress reports, providing detailed though not always current accounts of the work

EEST itself is divided into 3 areas reporting to “General Managers”, and then into the divisions and Programs:

1. Energy & Industrial Technologies (Richard W.Weeks, General Manager, 252-9710)
(approx. # people)
Energy Systems Division (Norm Sather, Director, 252-3724) 200
Energy Technology Division (Roger Poeppel, Director, 252-5118) 120
(formerly called Materials & Component Technology Division)

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program (William Schertz)
Electrochemical Technology Programs (Mike Myles)
Fossil Energy Programs (David Schmalzer)
Industrial Technology Development Center (Don Mingesz) (acting)
(formerly called the Technology Transfer Center)

2. Environmental Sciences (Terry Surles, General Manager)
Environmental Research Division (Chris Reilly, Director)
Environmental Assessment Division (Anthony Dvorak, Director) 170
Decision & Information Sciences Division (Paula Scalingi, Director) 150

Environmental Technology & Restoration Program (James Helt)
Global Climate Research Programs (Ruth Reck)

3. Center for Mechanistic Biology & Biotechnology (E Huberman, Director)

Area Code is (708)
ANL Technologies & Programs

Covered in this section:

• Fossil Energy Program
• Advanced Cogeneration
• Plasma Chemistry
• Waste Mgt & Bioengineering
• Environmental Control Technology
• Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Capabilities
• MSW/Biomass Processing
• Advance Heat Exchangers
• Technology Evaluation
• Energy Technology Division Capabilities
• Measurement and NDE
• Superconductivity
• Ice Slurry/District Cooling
• Fuel Cells
• Batteries
• Environmental Assessment Div.
• Decision and Information Sciences Div.
• Global Climate Change Program

Telephone Area Code is (708)

• Fossil Energy Program Dave Schmalzer, Manager, 252-7723, or 202-488-2415 in Wash DC
Manages programs funded by DOE Fossil, including fuel cells. Also $$ from other sources.
Advanced Environmental Control Technology (under PETC). Increasing attention to air toxics, bag houses may be workable if adsorbents can be found. Coal Fired MHD a semi success technically, has been phased out by DOE. Direct Coal Turbine–ANL advisory to METC. Two approaches: UTC doing direct combustion of pulverized coal, and Foster Wheeler’s is mild pyrolysis, with char to be burned on water cooled walls (divides the coal into 2 parts).
Research on multi-phase flow — coal slurries. Also ion-exchange to put catalyst metals into the coal prior to liquefaction.

“Argonox” additives to reduce NOx — Pilot test at CG&E — Dave Livingood, 252-3737
Alkali control for PFBC — newly hot topic — Sheldon Lee, 252-4395
CO2 capture, utilization and disposal for IGCC — Richard Doctor (ESD)

• Advanced Cogeneration Roger Cole, 252-6245
O2 enriched air for diesels; H2O emulsified in fuel; low grade fuels
— research stage results –incr. power, reduce particulates, but incr. NOx
–Dupont looking at membranes to produce O2

HPSS (High performance steam system) hi pressure hi temp steam bottoming cycle for GT — DOE and Solar Turbine: Overall electric efficiency 55%, with flexible electricity/heat ratio — looking for industrial cogen demo site. OPPORTUNITY (may be too late)
Also can use it for stand-alone once-thru boiler–unique turbine, thick wall tubes in hi-temp section prevents H2 corrosion.

Tool/method to estimate “value” of steam from Cogen –> better pricing

• Plasma Chemistry John Harkness, 252-7636
Waste Treatment for H2S — big electric load– Based on Russian work — ANL has a proprietary position. Needs demo. Individual reactors 1-2 MW (EPRI/Houston & Ami Amarnath are aware of the project).
Destec gasifier repowering produces H2S — Microwave technology could recover chemical/fuel value of H2 (no current H2S treatment process can do this).

Other applications for plasmas and microwaves: degrading plastics for recycling, novel materials, hazardous waste disposal. (Research Cottrell/PETC project tried radio waves on stack gas, and got more NOx.)

• Waste Mgt & Bioengineering Jim Frank, 252-7693
Keen to solve problems! New aggressive group looking for business. Combined multidisciplinary group to develop better solutions for waste treatment problems, source reduction, and high-value by-product production. Doing projects for EPRI: Arsenic removal (Mary Maclearn) Corrosion, microbial (Joe Gilman).

Other areas of work include: removing impurities from Al scrap, removing lead from brass and bronze scrap, recovering plastics from auto scrap; recovery of H2S — H2 and S; converting food wastes. Also soil remediation, membrane separations, air toxics treatment, remediation sensor development, environmental biotech.

• Environmental Control Technology Dave Livingood, 252-3737
Test facility for dry scrubbing and spray drying –HANDBOOK — “5 yrs ahead of EPRI’s HSTF”. Combined NOx/SOx control –developed additives, systems for both wet and dry scrubbing at lab and pilot scale.

Dravo-Lime ThioNox (like Argonox but better) — add chemicals to wet scrubber to remove NOx along with SOx — it works! CG&E pilot will clarify economics in 1 yr.

Spray-dryer/fabric filter FGD for high sulfur coal — showed long term reliable operation

Air Toxics –have PETC to work with — how to capture heavy metals such as mercury.
dry sorbents (carbon) in wet scrubbers — waste testing (what’s in the output)
Activated carbon performance extreme variation depending on type/source

Sequestering CO2 from IGCC –system study of costs for METC. Estimate all costs, emissions from mining on. Don’t wait till the stack; modify the plant with a shift reactor to H2, and capture the CO2. Algae approach unrealistic.– paper 11/93 at Dallas PowerGen.Conference.

• Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Capabilities Pat Wilkey, 252-6258
Innovative Spatial Analysis system, began work 5 years ago for GRI on pipeline right-of-ways. Provides visualization of various “false terrains” e.g. when cost or other impact factors replace elevation as the z-variable. Allows routes to be optimized against different scenarios and tradeoffs. Graphic imaging to model the visual impact of projects (e.g. a transmission tower) against the “view-shed”. GIS can be a logical extension of CAD-AM/FM systems, as an integrated system.

Argonne also has extensive multi-disciplinary capabilities for analysis and field work in site rehabilitation and restoration.

• MSW/Biomass Processing Ole Ohlsson, 252-5593
Fuel pellets from MSW to cofire with coal–handles like coal — OK in cyclone or grate, not PC.
In ’87, tested 100’s of binders–lime works the best. NSP (NRG Energy is unreg subsid) is building a facility–EPRI involved. CRADA with Otter Tail, — Archer Midland Daniels, Decatur, wants to cofire in their FBCs.

• Advance Heat Exchangers Tom Rabas, 252-8995
“Enhanced Tubes” for condensers — actively seeking new users — TVA (only utility so far) doing it in 18 units, starting 14 years ago — see Power Engineering July ’93 page 36. ANL has software to predict heat rate improvements. Heat transfer enhanced x1.7. NIPSCo has a program, Alabama Power did some tests a while back; NYPA and PP&L are interested.

Need host utilities to test tubes. ANL would facilitate and provide specs, measurements and test program OPPORTUNITY

– Proposed a plate/fin type heat exchanger for H2 – cooling in generators –could reduce costs of new units — Westinghouse contact. CRADA proposal not selected. (copy on hand).

– With PG&E, proposed a study of potential to improve cooling of transmission transformers to increase system capacity. CRADA proposal not selected. (copy on hand).

(Note: this program is funded by DOE Industrial, not power program — these ideas tend to fall in between.)

• Technology Evaluation Alan Wolsky, Director, Industrial Partnership Program, Energy Systems Div. 252-3783
Capabilities available to utilities: (Crada or hire ANL)
– Modeling combustion–esp. FBC, erosion, gas-solid flows.
– Studies on CO2 capture/use.
– Recover SO2 as salable liquid (proprietary-ANL is under nondisclosure to an outside co.)
– SMES Demo/test–ANL has an idle magnet — 180 MW sec– could do Power quality tests.
– Superconductivity–available to consult; internal study on future applications
– Scrap Metals recycling — Tom Sparrow at Purdue has studied this with utilities
– Coal Ash — general area of interest, e.g. metals recovery, other..

• Energy Technology Division Capabilities Roger Poeppel, Director, 252-5118
Ken Natesan, 252-5103

– Component Failure Analysis — standing agreement to do tests for Commonwealth Ed.
– Corrosion — alloys, coatings. Particular focus on combustion and power plants via DOE Combustion 2000 program funding — sulfur-bearing gases effects, erosion prevention, etc. In ’70s, developed refractories for coal gasification–resistance to corrosion and thermal shock–led into ability to do HTSC materials.
– All kinds of NDE
– Thermal Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics — two phase flow, heat/mass transfer, flow-induced vibration ( issue for steam generators).
– Tribology — measure friction and wear; surface coating apparatus/techniques, lubricants

• Measurement and NDE Paul Raptis, 252-5930 & Stephen Dieckman, 252-5628
Acoustic leak detection (for Con Ed) Put microphones in the system — Identifying noise signatures for Steam Leaks. Some big wins finding leaks. NSP involved in testing. (Valves, boilers–straightforward, EPRI doing it.) Can apply to any steam system, not just distribution systems. Working on ASME guidelines. Next area for study is water leaks. Applicable in power plants!
Non-intrusive viscometer–good at high viscosity have working prototype — several manufacturers. interested.
Surface Wave Chemical Detector–exists commercially, but needs applications development, e.g. for stack gases.
Mass Spectrometer fits in a briefcase, measures to ppb; more sensitive than current CEM methods.
MM wave sensor chemical spectroscopy- recently declassified arms control spin-off. Can look at large spaces, e.g. plumes–wide angle, and as good as Lidar.
Measurement, generally — flow, density, concentration, on line NMR (chemistry), NDE via optics, acoustics neutrons, microwaves. Effluent detection. Stress analysis.

• Superconductivity John Hull, 252-8580, and Ken Uherka, 252-7814
High Temperature SuperConductors (HTSC) — 3 distinct areas of work: (all projects are with outside companies!)
1. Basic theory — physics and chemistry
2. Materials fabrication — wire and tape for devices (with mfgs.) largest Federal program center for measuring samples. Use high flux neutrons to look deep in metals; look for O2. Adding particulate Silver to increase fracture resistance. Alloy, draw, roll and heat treat–need grains aligned. Wire development getting close to practical for devices.
3. Applications (notably in the electric utility industry)
– Intermediate link for existing Low temp (liquid He) SC applications, as current leads to the outside, to get lower cooling and insulation needs — for SMES w/ Superconductivity Inc’s 1 MW-1 sec. UPS. Also for B&W 1/2 MW-hr (@ sev. MW for 5-10 min) SMES for Anchorage Electric (TRP/DOE funding).
– Fault current limiter–limits by going from superconducting to normal, limiting rather than interrupting–allows higher transmission line loading. Issues whether to interrupt all 3 phases, and question whether application limited to large concentrated loads.
– Levitation — very different materials requirement–don’t need to align grains! For very low friction bearings, flywheel energy storage program for large diurnal storage systems (with Comm Ed).
(DOE solicited teams 1 year ago for Superconducting Partnership Initiative to develop applications. ANL proposal with Allied Signal unsuccessful–had found sev. utilities willing to invest–Comm Ed, Southern, C&SW, NiMo…)

• Ice Slurry/District Cooling Ken Kasza, 252-9260 (additional info on hand)
Advanced energy transmission fluids–study for DOE — phase change and particulates in water
Additives to reduce friction in flow — very effective

Pelletized ice can be pumped with water in existing chilled water systems or new systems–greater heat transfer capacity & reduced pumping load, and customer storage volume is reduced by factor of 10. Small scale field demo being built with EPRI and NSP–NRG (unreg) subsid has proprietary position–sees business oppty in engineering consulting, licensing and TOU rates.

Handbook done–design for slurries. Have plan to develop Engineering Design Database (whoever does this will control the technology).

Large scale demo will be at ANL–800 ton ice maker–looking for utility participation–need funding for detailed engineering, testing, analysis, etc. Proprietary rights available.

Window of Opportunity –Equipment makers/users will have to phase out CFCs! Utilities can offer central cooling–sell ice , do peak shaving on customer site. Unreg business to sell engineering, equipment, service.

• Friction & Wear Technology George Fenske 252-5190
Surface Modification and characterization, and friction and wear assessment

Protective Surface Modification for High Temp. Alloys — dramatic increase in corrosion resistance of protective scale, by vapor deposition of silicon and high temperature heat treatment–feasible for treating large areas. (Jong Hee Park 252-5104)

Boric-Oxide/Acid coatings-dramatically effective high temperature bearing lubricant (R&D 100)
Diamond-like carbon on steel or ceramics — reduce friction and wear in bearings, fuel injectors, etc.

• Fuel Cells Mike Myles, Director, Electrochemical Technology Program, 252-4329
Michael Krumpelt, Manager, Fuel Cell Technology, 252-8520
ANL does in-house research and is lead lab for DOE Fuel Cell Program and manages the fuel cell effort. Solid Oxide(SO) and Molten Carbonate( MC) for stationary power applic. As phosphoric acid (PA) is considered to be a commercial reality, the only work at ANL is some management activity.

Also Polymer Electrolyte and DOE Bus Program for Transportation. Ballard Technology and Dow aggressive on PEM — big R&D effort with Mercedes Benz and others. Ballard is sub to GM-Allison for DOE passenger car. (IFC pursuing with GE lic., as is Seimens) On-board methanol –>H2

Argonne does Systems Analysis for DOE and EPRI, and work on CO tolerant catalysts and partial oxidation reforming.

MC — gets most of the R&D funding. Some in-house, some to MC Power for electrode development–goal is longer life cathode–trying double doped materials and conductive ceramics. DOE program goals are to double the power density to over 3000 amps/m2 to reduce the plant footprint, to simplify the design and to reduce corrosion. 10 years ago, MC was thought to be the next generation of fuel cell. Not working out easily. Demos in 2-300kw to 2 MW. R&D to increase power density and new stack configuration for cheaper mfg.

SO — Westinghouse is the prime developer. 25-40KW system demos. Alternative for Distributed Generation. More entries internationally. In U.S., B&W with a major chem co. Also, Allied Signal is prime to ANL for work on “Monolithic SO”. Need to control shrinkage, flatness, match coeffic. of thermal expansion–going to thin layers.

ANL has some funding from SCE — opportunities in SO. EPRI forming consortium for new concept “Planar SO” (Rocky Goldstein and John O’Sullivan)

Suggest that in the long run MC may drop back and end up like phosphoric acid (basically leapfrogged) — remains to be seen! World competition is picking up, and U.S. losing lead. The Westinghouse SO technology is expensive. Utilities unwilling to pay higher initial cost of early systems, and private sector can’t do it by themselves (DOE study by Prof. Penner –why commercialization hasn’t happened). Need utilities to work with mg and govt. to commercialize existing systems and support new concepts — 3-way teams.

PEM, primarily being developed for transportation use, could reach low cost mass production first–despite disadvantages for stationary use. Dow is committed to be supplier of membranes –ANL to do concept design for stationary applications. OPPORTUNITY for a 3-way partnership–other utilities avoiding, due to belief that PEM not appropriate for stationary.

NREL/DOE solicitation on infrastructure for H2–utilities to have role in demos.

• Batteries Gary Henriksen, 252-4176
Most action is in transportation. Hybrids getting attention. High power requirement is a problem.
ANL has proposed a bipolar Li Sulfide battery–has small funding from USABC.
ANL has major battery test facility, able to handle anything from cells to systems. All work is tied to manufacturers, one way or another. ANL did ABC tests — results to be announced very soon.

• Environmental Assessment Div. Tony Dvorak, Director, Contact: Dale Pflug, 252-6682
Environmental Impact, Decision support software, Risk Management — lots of work for others

New program Technology Connection: Identify needs for restoration at DOE sites, and identify/inventory available technologies in DOE that can be used–verify claims. Also search for technology domestic and foreign–now monitoring over 800 items in Database.

Expedited Site Characterization — Shrink time and cost by 90% — first done for Dept. of Agric, now being implemented across DOE–accepted by EPA and state regulators. Looking of users, collaborators and trainees. Smart sampling schemes, based on other information.

“ConSolve-site planner” visualization tool
“Plume” licensable code, could add transport and ground water modeling
Chemical Risk Code based on radiation risk code
Geographic Information Systems: graphical interpretation for environ impact, planning.

• Decision and Information Sciences Div. Paula Scalingi, Director
Contact: Dave South, Technology and Environmental Policy, 252-6107

– Compliance with Environmental Mandates (e.g. CAA, CWA,CERCLA/RCRA, greenhouse gases, etc.) — Analysis of regulations, synergies and conflicts, trade-off analysis/ decision framework at the plant level of compliance strategies, vis a vis other business goals, rate regulation etc. A dynamic and complicated process. Models developed allow rapid assessment of scenarios, based on actual plant data.

– Incentive regulation–adoption of innovative technologies–detailed analyses.
– Integrated Resource Planning
– Technology Assessment (e.g. CFC replacement — utilities need to inventory commercial a/c installed base and plan a response.)
– AI applied to reliability/value based maintenance. Did earlier (non-AI) work on boiler aging/vintaging.

– R&D Portfolio Management–long standing program for Defense Nuclear Agency, and other applications (e.g. Wisc PUC!) –software and information gathering techniques. A rigorous approach using multi-attribute utility function decision techniques, for optimizing portfolio and prioritizing projects, against measurable objectives, as the situation changes.

• Global Climate Program Ruth Reck, Director (Contact David South)
Climate Processes, Societal and Environmental Impacts, Response Strategies and Assessment, and Data Management. Policy and Regulatory analysis; interactions between climate change and other environmental issues (domestic and international); voluntary/joint implementation. Publish an extensive quarterly report called “Global Change Scaler”.

ANL Contacts (general phone # is 708-252-2000)

The primary contacts for UFTO are:

Thomas J. Marciniak, Manager Industrial and Utility Technology, Energy Systems Division,

David W. South, Technology and Environmental Policy Program, Decision and Information Sciences Division, 252-6107

Roger Poeppel, Director, Energy Technology Division, 252-511. Also Chuck Malefyt, 252-5125

Technology Transfer:

The Industrial Technology Development Center (ITDC) (formerly called the Technology Transfer Center) — Don Mingesz is the acting director; Primary contact is Shari Zussman (252-5230) — is administratively located in EEST, but serves the entire lab. It handles interactions with industry and DOE on all tech transfer matters. The ITDC has a Hotline 800#: 1-800-627-2596.

ITDC publishes a newsletter called Tech Transfer Highlights. Call the above hotline # to be put on the mailing list

There was recently a new program put in place to have each Division appoint a tech transfer point of contact. Most of these people, however, already have demanding full time jobs, some as heads of sizable research groups. Their role and way of working is just beginning to evolve.

Information Source Contacts / Technical Information Services:

Office of Public Affairs : 708-252-5575 — can provide general information, annual reports, etc.
They publish a biannual “Research Highlights” and a technical magazine called “logos”.