Press release - November 4, 2020

CONTACT Software explores new high-temperature applications for sustainable energy production

Climate change demands a greater use of alternative fuels in gas power plants. However, hydrogen or biogas require components with completely new features. This is the focus of a research project at the Werner-von-Siemens Centre in Berlin, in which CONTACT Software is a partner.

The Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science (WvSC) has started the project "high temperature applications" with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions from gas power plants. Since hydrogen-containing gases generate combustion temperatures that are too high for conventional gas turbines, the consortium wants to develop new components for "green" fuels whose function and material are designed for temperatures well above 1000 degrees Celsius and a long service life.

High-temperature components with innovative cooling concepts cannot be produced using traditional methods. Here, additive manufacturing (AM) offers the project partners the necessary freedom in the design as well as in the testing of materials that improve the efficiency of gas power plants. The later prototypes will be printed by selective laser sintering (SLS).

CONTACT's aim is to reduce the effort for the optimal setup of the SLS machine. Therefore, many parameters such as the power, focus and movement of the laser must be taken into account to ensure that 3D metal printing delivers the desired result. CONTACT Software approaches the solution from several sides: by repeatedly simulating a manufacturing process with live parameters from the real process. By analyzing simulation data as well as sensor values from the running production. And by comparing the virtual results with the real parameter sets. 

Basis for this is CONTACT Elements for IoT. "With our IoT platform, we digitize the entire AM process chain", explains Kevin Wrasse, who is one of CONTACT's Industry 4.0 experts working on this project. "The digital twin and new data analytics approaches help us to comprehensively test our simulation model and improve it step by step".

In total, experts from five industrial partners, the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Technical University of Berlin are conducting research on the new high-temperature applications for regenerative fuels. Just like the WvSC project "Electrical Drives", which is focused on more efficient power generators for industry, the EU and the Berlin Senate are also supporting this research with grants from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) and state funds.

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Barbara Scholvin
Senior Manager Public Relations & Corporate Communications

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