In April 2012, Nexight Group worked with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to conduct a rigorous expert peer review of 16 projects, totaling nearly $715 million in federal R&D funding, of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Advanced Energy Systems Program.
The mission of the NETL-managed Advanced Energy Systems Program is to improve the efficiency of coal-based power systems, enabling affordable carbon dioxide capture; increase plant availability; and maintain the highest environmental standards. The Program supports gasification-related R&D to convert coal into synthesis gas that can in turn be converted into electricity, chemicals, hydrogen, and liquid fuels. In compliance with requirements from the Office of Management and Budget, NETL worked with ASME to plan a peer review with independent technical experts to assess ongoing Advanced Energy Systems Program research projects and, where applicable, to make recommendations for individual project improvement.
To help ASME facilitate and document the NETL Advanced Energy Systems Program peer review, we assembled a team of five Nexight writers and technical experts to attend the peer review meeting. During the five-day meeting, principal investigators presented 16 projects selected from the NETL Advanced Energy Systems Program to a panel of eight expert reviewers. These projects represented a portfolio of fundamental science, national laboratory research, and large-scale industry projects in the following focus areas:
- Hydrogen turbines
- Gasifier optimization
- Gas cleaning
- Gas separation
The Advanced Energy Systems Program peer review involved the independent review of nearly $715 million in federal R&D funding. The results from this peer review will be used to inform future Advanced Energy Systems Program funding decisions and enable program managers to track progress and improvements. The results from this peer review will be used to strengthen the 16 projects reviewed, improving the value generated by the investment of public R&D funds and ultimately increasing the likelihood of more cost-effective, reliable, and efficient coal-based power systems in the U.S. energy sector.