The latest ‘Topic Oriented Technical Meeting’ (number 45 in a series that started back in 1989) was held in Cardiff on 3-4th September on ‘Gas turbines for future energy systems’.
With gas (combustion) turbines accounting for around 23% of global electricity generation and year-on-year growth of generation from gas looking to continue into the future (particularly in distributed energy generation and cross-sector application, i.e. power, propulsion and mechanical power), the role of GTs in energy systems – and how these will complement the rapidly increasing generation from renewables (particularly from intermittent wind and PV) – was a highly relevant topic for an IFRF TOTeM…
However, GTs will need to meet a number of 21st century challenges, namely to be able to produce flexible power (both operationally and in terms of fuels flexibility) to be a companion to renewable generation; to fulfil the increasing need for cost-effective energy vectors in responsive energy storage solutions (so-called ‘storage-to-power’); to enable a move to decarbonised power (through greater efficiency, exhaust gas recirculation/recycling, carbon capture, and moving towards hydrogen energy); to have ever higher reliability, availability and maintainability; at lower cost (both in terms of capital cost and operational costs); all achieved with a greater safety of operation. No mean feat!
In this context, an eager and distinguished group of 35 GT practitioners, manufacturing industry representatives, system developers, experts and researchers met for two days of lively and interactive presentations and discussions, and a site visit to Cardiff University’s Gas Turbine Research Centre at Port Talbot and the Baglan Hydrogen R&D Centre. A fun evening was also spent enjoying ‘all things Welsh’ at Cardiff Castle.
Thanks are also due to our partners and sponsors for this fascinating meeting – GTRC, FLEXIS, APGTF, the Fossil Energy Research Forum and Infosys.