Power Generation & Environment Laboratory

Fields of our research Power Generation & Environment Laboratory

With the launch of KEPRI, Power Generation & Environment is contributing to the development of domestic and foreign energy electricity industries, ranging from power generation, new energy and environmental fields through challenging and innovative R&D. Our research institute is leading technology centered on project teams intelligent digital power plant, power plant O&M, ammonia power generation, low carbon gas turbine, gas turbine reliability evaluation, environment&chemistry, carbon capture and reduction, and energy conversion. Main research fields include hydrogen and ammonia carbon-free power generation, digitalization of power generation facility, reliability evaluation, chemical-prevention diagnosis, carbon capture and utilization, fine dust reduction, greenhouse gas reduction, and clean fuel technology. In order to be reborn as a "Global Top" leading in clean energy technology in an upcoming carbon-neutral society, we are making continuous efforts to create a creative research environment, continuous technological innovation, and discover new business models in the future.

Intelligent Digital Power Plant Technology

By digitizing operating and maintenance data generated during power plant operation, technologies which is AI, and digital twin are combined to develop intelligent the facility operation/management system through analysis of the condition of major facilities and failure prevention. In collaboration with Five Power Generation Co.,Ltd, 16 intelligent apps such as intelligent monitoring/diagnosis, operation optimization, asset performance management, and digital twin had been developed and demonstrated. In addition, it is easier to develop intelligent apps than in the past because big data on the power plant operation of the Five Power Generation Co.,Ltd can be collected, stored, and analyzed through the establishment of Big data place. Recently, the IDPP platform and intelligent apps have been expanded and applied through technology transfer and commercialization to private and overseas power generation companies. Meanwhile, Development of Prediction and Reduction operation Technology for the Steam Turbine Rotors Thermal Stress, Development of stator wedge tightness evaluation system for gas turbine generator when rotor in situ and Development of open source based real time performance diagnosis and prediction app of power plant being operable in IDPP, are being carried out as follow-up research projects to advance the technology of IDPP by reflecting the VOC of power generation companies. Based on the results of the follow-up task, the IDPP project team aims to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supplying stable power, and creating a digital power ecosystem by promoting the expansion of IDPP at domestic and foreign.

Gas turbine high temperature part reliability evaluation technology

The 2050 Carbon Neutral Energy Policy has continued to try to reduce the dependence on coal -fired power generation, and the proportion of gas turbines is expected to expand to bridge power supply for stable power supply in the process of energy conversion for clean power generation. As a result, demand for gas turbine development is expected to increase, and dependence on foreign producers will be intensified in domestic situations where power generation facilities depend on imports. In order to solve this problem, a high -speed rotation test, burner league test, and test facilities have been established for the evaluation of gas turbine high temperature parts with joint investments, and the development of 『Gas Turbine High Temperature Parts Performance Verification Technology』 and proven reliability verification It is being studied for localization and commercialization through. In order to secure objective performance evaluation and reliability, the company is building a performance verification test facility, computer analysis model, and major parts and materials and materials DBs that are bossed with actual gas turbine actual load conditions.

Carbon-free gas turbine power generation technology

Gas turbine power generation technology using carbon-free fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia is becoming a new paradigm in the field of clean power generation. The carbon-free gas turbine team is striving to develop technology to convert gas turbines operating in Korea into hydrogen or ammonia gas turbines, and to this end, the Carbon-Free Gas Turbine Combustion Test Center, which can evaluate the application of hydrogen and ammonia, was established for the first time in Korea. Test and CFD Simulation are conducted on single nozzles and real-scale can combustors of gas turbine combustors to develop the optimal operation technology for combustors.

Power Plant O&M

Under the major trend of '4th industrial revolution and Energy transition', we are developing optimized O&M solutions that have high reliability to achieve technological independence and reducing power plant operating costs in the field of combined cycle power generation. Those solutions are 『Performance impact assessment solution』 which monitors/predicts the performance of combined cycle power plants and provides causes of performance degradation, 『Partial load performance prediction solution』 that analyzes the expected performance and economic feasibility of gas turbines, 『Power generation prediction solution』 that can predict maxium capacity of combined cycle power plants, 『Compressor performance optimization solution』 that provides the optimal cycle of cleaning and filter replacement of gas turbine compressors, and 『Abnormality diagnosis solution』 which monitor abnormal conditions to prevent failures of core facilities of combined cycle power plants, 『Life assessment solution』 that evaluates the service life of gas turbine high temperature parts such as 1st stage blades/vanes, and 『High temperature parts history management solution』 that can manage the history of combustion tuning, high temperature parts and the health of dynamic pressure sensors. In addition to developing/verifying solutions, we are also accelerating the diversification and commercialization of technology development so that the solutions can be universally used in various models of the combined cycle power plants.

Heat and Hydrogen Energy Utilization Technology

The project team researches for energy recovery on waste heat(cold thermal) conversion, renewable energy. We are working on research such as supercritical CO2 power generation, cryogenic power generation(ORC), heat pump system(P2H), Bio combustion, blue hydrogen production and SOFC power generation technology. Supercritical CO2 power generation technology has shown the potential for increased heat-to-electricity conversion efficiencies and simplicity of operation compared to existing steam based power generation technology. Design technology for 2MW scale system has been secured, and the 「Industrialization support center construction project of Supercritical CO2 power generation」 began in 2023. Pilot facility construction and performance evaluation are scheduled for completion by 2025. The cold cogeneration technology recovers the cold heat discarded during LNG regasification to generate electricity while simultaneously supplying cold heat. Development of kW scale pilot systems and testing technology began in 2023, Test facility construction at Boryeong Thermal Power Plant and performance evaluation are scheduled for completion by 2025. Research on heat pump(P2H) for energy efficiency in the building sector is planning to establish the KEPCO performance standards after field trials over a year, and there are also plans for group-level demonstration studies of buildings. We have been developed a 2MWth biomass(Livestock manure solid fuel) CHP(Combined heat and power generation) system through studying on biomass pre-treatment, combustion, and post-treatment technologies and system optimization, and plan to research techonologies for converting various bio-resources into energy and increasing efficiency. Blue hydrogen production technology, which utilizes the oxdiation/reduction materials and thermochemical reaction of steam to produce high-purity hydrogen, has successfully completed a 20 kWth-class demonstration and is currently researching a 1MW class pressurized production system. Highly efficient SOFC technology, which generates electricity directly from electrochemical reactions with low energy conversion losses, is being developed as a highly reliable electrolyte-supported stack after demonstrations of 3kW (KGS/KS certified) and 20kW systems.

Ammonia Power Generation Technology

Co-firing Ammonia, which is carbon-free fuel, at existing coal power plants is promising technology to be essential in national carbon neutral policy by reducing great deal amount of greenhouse gas emission. In this manner, the government funded projects have been launched with the content of 20% Ammonia co-combustion at pulverized and circulating fluidized coal power plants. By these projects, total four different domestic coal power plants are expected to co-firing 20% of Ammonia in 2027, contributing to achieve 2030 NDC goal. In addition, we are conducting R&D projects on the optimization of circulating fluidized bed boiler combustion and environmental facilities for the purpose of optimizing power plant combustion and reducing power generation costs, as well as developing specialized engineering technology for improving power generation system performance. Furthermore, in order to have stable, efficient, and eco-friendly power generation environment, the research is also being conducted on Low Coal spontaneous combustion Extinguishing Technology and power generation system design for chemical looping combustion. KEPRI is developing zero-carbon power generation technologies for pioneering new businesses in the carbon-neutral era, contributing to lowering operating costs and ensuring stable power supply through the development of high-efficiency and optimized power generation technologies.

Carbon Capture and Reduction (CCR) Technology

CCR team develops innovative technologies for CCUS and carbon neutral hydrogen production: post-combustion advanced amine CO2 capture, chemical looping combustion (CLC), and NH3 cracking. The amine CO2 capture is currently run in 10MW scale with an annual capture capacity of 50,000 tons. 150MW FEED was completed for a demonstration. CLC is a combustion technology with inherent separation of CO2. Based on the recently constructed 3MWth plant, 100MWth concept design is on progress. Lastly, NH3 cracking offers a stable hydrogen supply for hydrogen power generation. 1TPD plant demonstration and 150TPD concept design are targeted in current project. Besides that, cryogenic CO2 capture and bi-reforming of methane are being developed as carbon reduction technology.

Environmental and Chemical Technology in Power Sector

KEPCO is developing the technology to reduce air pollutants emitted from power plants, the lifecycle technology for SF6 used as an insulating material for power facilities, and the chemical diagnostic technology for life assessment of power facilities. The air pollutant reduction technology which removes primary and secondary particulate matter emitted from power plant has demonstrated at pilot facility in the Shinincheon power plant, and its full-scale demonstaion is currently being pursued. In addition, the simultaneous removal system of NOx and PM has been installed in Yeonpyeong Island's diesel power plant, expanding its application is being planned. The SF6 lifecylce technology consists of two technolgies; 1) Purification technology that serapartes and removes impurities to reuse low-purity SF6 and the 2) Decomposition technology that converts used SF6 into harmless substances in accordance with the introduction of eco-friedly power facilities. The purification technology has contributed to the reduction of more than 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually since 2020, and the decomposition technology is currently being expanded for its application. The portable furan diagnostic technology for transformer life evaluation has been widely used in KEPCO, and other domestic companies. It is now in the process of commerciallization in overseas. Additionally, transformer busing and transmission cable degradation diagnosis technologies have been newly developed and are being demonstrated on-site. Currently, KEPCO is also developing technologies for operating eco-friendly transformers in 345kV offshore substations and domestic synthetic ester insulating oil.