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Energy researchers make strong showing at international coal conference

Researchers from Lehigh's Energy Research Center taught a tutorial, chaired two technical sessions and presented three papers at the 30th International Technical Conference on Coal Utilization and Fuel Systems held recently in Clearwater, Florida.

Nenad Sarunac, ERC principal research engineer and associate director, taught a three-hour tutorial titled "Artificial Neural Networks and Optimization." Sarunac also chaired technical sessions on "Energy Visions and Perspectives" and on "Advanced Power Plant Controls and Sensors."

Sarunac also presented three papers that he co-wrote with other members of the ERC.

"Impact of Coal Drying on Power Plant Efficiency, Emissions and Water Usage," co-authored with ERC director Edward Levy, discussed ERC's investigation into the effect of reduced coal moisture and the configuration of the coal drying system on plant performance, emissions and cooling water usage. The study was conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The other two papers, co-authored with Carlos Romero and Harun Bilirgen, were "Comprehensive Approach to Performance Improvement and Emissions Reduction on a 400 MW Tangentially-Fired Boiler: Part 1 - Combustion Optimization" and "Part 2 - ESP Performance Improvement and Sootblowing Optimization."

These papers described the results of a comprehensive combustion optimization project performed for an U.S. electric utility company.

Romero is principal research scientist and associate director of the ERC. Bilirgen is an ERC research scientist.

The conference, informally known as the Clearwater Coal Conference, serves as a clearinghouse for the power generation industry, especially for scientists and engineers involved in coal utilization and the related areas of environmental regulation and energy economics.

The conference draws about 300 people. It is organized by the Energy Department, ASME, and the Coal Technology Association and National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2005

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