To address this, the European Commission issued a call for proposals within the Horizon 2020 programme to support research and innovation into the matter. The objective of this proposal is to develop technology for modern flexible power plants with turbines that would have the ability to handle a high number of starts with short start-up cycles while maintaining the safety, efficacy and durability of turbines.
Doosan Škoda Power accepted the call for proposals from the European Commission which also addressed major turbine manufacturers; GE Switzerland, Ansaldo Energia, GE Global Research, GE Oil and Gas, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Siemens for knowledge sharing in this field and to jointly propose a flexible power plant model. Additionally, 14 scientific and research institutes were also invited to cooperate in the grant project and to form a consortium of partners to achieve the EU Commission’s objective. Assistance in the form of consultations and feedback was also promised by representatives of the transmission system operators. In the course of solving the task they will also provide feedback on the usability of proposed technologies.
Investigators have divided the problem into five working packages within which they will propose the methods of assessing the usage of critical turbine components during repeated starts, the development of the latest low-pressure blade resistant to asynchronous aerodynamic excitation, and the development of new types of seals and bearings enabling reliable operation of the turbine during transient conditions. The outcome shall be a flexible turbine concept constructed for the use of the proposed new solutions.
The financial support terminates on 31 December 2018, giving the consortium three years to achieve objectives as set under the grant project. It is expected that the investigators will continue to solve various technical problems and challenges even after the end of the grant support either individually or within similar specialized consortia.