Advanced process engineering co-simulator

The Advanced Process Engineering Co-Simula-tor (APECS), developed at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is an innovative software tool that the process and energy indus-tries are using to meet aggressive performance, economic, and environmental targets for some of the most sophisticated and expensive production plants in the world. APECS allows the industries to better understand and optimize overall plant performance with respect to complex thermal and fluid flow phenomena by combining best-in-class process simulation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software with high-performance computing and interactive, immersive, 3-D plant walk-through virtual engineering software. Us-ing APECS, these industries can also address the challenge of designing next-generation plants to operate with unprecedented efficiency and near-zero emissions, while operating profitably amid cost fluctuations for raw materials, finished prod-ucts, and energy. The tools used by NETL to transfer the APECS technology to the private sector include a DOE-funded cooperative R&D project and agreement among NETL; Fluent, the world’s leading sup-plier of CFD software and services; Aspen Tech-nology, a major supplier of process simulation software; West Virginia University; and Alstom Power, a major worldwide industrial player in equipment and services for power generation. To facilitate additional APECS R&D and tech-nology transfer, NETL recently launched the Collaboratory for Process & Dynamic Systems Research (CPDSR). Organized by NETL in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University, the main objective of the CPDSR is to accelerate development of process systems engineering methods and tools for fossil energy applications. As a result of successful technology transfer efforts, APECS is used worldwide today by engineers and researchers in the process and energy industries, as well as academia, national laboratories, and other research entities. In the chemical industry, process engineers are using APECS to optimize the performance of chemi-cal production plants by analyzing the impact of complex reactor mixing and fluid flow phenom-ena on overall plant product quality and yield. In the U.S. and United Kingdom power in-dustries, cycle engineers are routinely employ-ing APECS technology to develop competitive power plant solutions with significantly reduced development costs and technical risk. At NETL, system analysts are applying APECS to reduce the time, cost, and technical risk of developing high-efficiency, near-zero emissions power plants such as the coal-fired, gasification-based plant in the $1 billion, 10-year DOE FutureGen R&D Initiative.
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