A large part of the world’s power production occurs from power plants utilizing steam turbines for power production. The turbines work on either coal, gas or biomass and often in a combined cycle gas turbine which contains a steam cycle and a condenser to cool the steam to water for recycling.
Coal and gas fired power plants emit large amounts of CO2 and it is therefore important that these plants operate as efficiently as possible.
Norway is an exception
97 % of Norwegian onshore energy supply is provided from hydropower and therefore emission free. However the oil and gas industry utilizes gas fired turbines offshore.
Graphene – Improved method for coating heat exchangers
Researchers at MIT developed in 2015 a method for coating heat exchangers in steam cycles with graphene to dramatically improve heat transfer properties. This will lead an efficiency improvement of 3 percent in power plants which means significant reductions on a global scale.
COMPACTS researchers were interviewed to estimate the significance of the invention for Norway and discusses the potential of utilizing graphene for offshore sea water condensers that are part of the bottoming cycle. However, these are made of titanium offshore due to utilizing sea water for cooling instead of tap water so it is not as straightforward.