Skip to content
Provided by ASME Logo The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Panel & Tutorial

Moderator: Frank Michell
Panelist: Tony Licata
Panelist: Dr. Peter Schwarz

Description: The topics for the panel will include information on power plant retirements, the need to keep all forms of generating technologies in the mix, pros & cons for each generation technology and the economics driving the changes/retirements. Will explain that energy supply decisions need to be based upon sound economic analysis and include policy goals, impact on the environment, and sustainability. Future generations will bear the effects of decisions made today with regards to energy generation and supply technology changes. Challenges that utilities have with trying to reach low to zero net book value on an asset before retiring it will be discussed.


Moderators: Frank Michell & Navid Goudarzi
Panelist: John Grimes, ASME
Panelist: Luis Pulgarin, ASME
Panelist: Ahmad Al Rashdan, Ph.D., Idaho National Laboratory

Description: The panel will present information on ASME’s Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance (RfIM) Event and an update on the ASME’s Robotics standard Development activities which include UAS (drones) and Crawlers for Inspection and new robotic initiatives.

The panel will also discuss applications of drones in nuclear power plants and present an example of cutting edge drone technology enabling route-operatable unmanned navigation of drones (ROUNDS) without use of GPS under development by the Idaho National Laboratory.


Moderator: Andre Texiera
Panelist: Navid Goudarzi
Panelist: Steve Greco
Panelist: Jason Lee
Panelist: Mike Smiarowski
Panelist: Frank Michell
Panelist: TBD
Panelist: TBD

Description: Do you dream of working in the Power industry? Are you curious about the long-term strategies that will help you find success and thrive in industry or R&D? If you are asking these questions, this panel is here to help. Panelists will highlight their experience, their paths and their vision for the future in the power industry to give you a taste of the different opportunities available for you. You will hear about career development, alternative careers in the industry and the its development.


Moderator: Paolo Pezzini, Ph.D., Ames Laboratory, Department of Energy
Panelist: Chris Ritter, Ph. D., Digital Innovation Center of Excellence, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Panelist: Bobby Noble, Christopher Perullo, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), USA
Panelist: Luca Mantelli, Professor Mario Ferrari, Ph. D., University of Genoa, Italy
Panelist: Martina Hohloch, Ph.D., Matthias Metten, Ph. D., German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Description: This panel session will discuss the development of digital twin environments used to monitor dynamic performance operation of existing power assets and support the design of new integrated energy systems. The fundamental change of operating nuclear and fossil-based power plants due to the penetration of non-dispatchable resources exposed traditional power plants to aggressive electric load following operations and required the design of novel low/zero carbon technologies that can achieve high efficiency target at part-load condition. Real time models and digital twin environments with the support of artificial intelligent methodologies are becoming powerful tools used to monitor performance of existing power plants but they have been also extended to design new integrated energy systems that can achieve near-zero emission targets. Specifically, digital twin models have been coupled to supplemental data analytics, artificial intelligence techniques, and machine learning methodologies to predict power plant performance, detect failures, but also to optimize the design of new energy systems. Regarding the monitoring of existing power plants, digital twin model supports the prompt detection of abnormal operations and the optimization of scheduled maintenance and repair services of operators, which will avoid costly forced shutdowns, thereby increasing plant availability. Regarding the design of new energy systems, digital twin environments can reduce the risk of failures in the design and development of new low/zero carbon technologies. The panelists in this session will cover the state-of-the-art of digital twin systems in both areas, existing power plants and innovative cycles.


Moderators: Jason Lee and Mike Smiarowski
Panelist: Spencer Moore, VP Strategic Planning, Siemens Energy, Inc., Orlando, FL
Panelist: Xavier Dorai, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Babcock Power, Inc, Marlborough, MA
Panelist: TBD

Description: There are six main decarbonization focus area: Hydrogen/Green fuels, storage, brownfield transformation, solar PV, and hybrid solutions. OEMs are working are developing these technologies and integrating them into the power grid to offer hybrid decarbonized solutions. The current focus on existing coal plants has prompted many of these units to take the first step to evaluate of take the first step of fuel conversion from coal to natural gas. The speakers will discuss this current activity and the future steps, which will highlight future technologies that their respective companies are working on to support decarbonization and hybrid solutions. The discussion will also provide recent industry examples.


Speaker: Thorsten Wolf, Siemens Energy, Inc.
Speaker: Brian Vitalis, Babcock Power Systems

Abstract: The dramatic increase of the negative effects of climate change requires swift actions to reduce the emission of Carbon Dioxide, the leading cause of the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere.

Simply shutting down existing coal-fired power plants and relying on the hope that increased renewable generation will satisfy the ever-increasing electricity hunger of our society isn’t an option. Variable resources, like wind and solar, need fossil-fired electrical generation back-up, the grid needs rotating machines with enough inertia to supply a stable frequency and reactive power to keep a stable voltage and to transport electricity over long distances.

A straight-forward solution to drastically reduce the CO2 emissions of a coal-fired steam plant is the change to a more environmentally friendly fuel like natural gas. Stable gas prices between $2.5 and $3.0 per MMbtu makes this the logical dispatchable generation option for the long term. Power plant owners in the U.S. should consider the economic alternative to convert existing coal-fired assets to gas which is ideally suited to co-exist next to renewable energy, reduce emissions, and keep the fossil asset meaningful for further decades.

This tutorial addresses several stages of coal-to-gas repowering and describes the advantages depending on parameters like expected capacity factor and required load-following capability. Technologies and solutions that will be addressed are:

Boiler Conversion: Adding a gas supply system and changing the combustion from coal to low-NOx gas burners is the first step on this journey.

Steam Turbine Refurbishment: that not only improves plant efficiency but can recover losses in performance when switching to gas and resets equipment life.

Plant Flexibility Assessment: A Plant Flexibility Assessment goes systematically through all systems and evaluates methods to improve flexibility through an optimized control concept and low costs.

Hot Windbox Repowering: Adding a small industrial gas turbine to an existing gas fired steam power plant and ducting its exhaust gases into the windbox of the boiler is an excellent method of improving the efficiency of the entire plant.

Full repowering by replacing the boiler with a new set of gas turbines and heat recovery steam generators that is a significant investment but can be the economical beneficial making the project up to 30% cheaper than an entire new plant.

A new plant using the existing brown field infrastructure, like an ultra-compact single-shaft combined cycle allows the conversion to most modern technology, still maximizing savings by using infrastructure like cooling tower and grid connection.

The tutorial will discuss the above options on their technical and economic value in a commercial environment, using economical parameters typical for the US.