DOE-NETL awards USD6 M to Penn State START Lab

12 September 2019

With industry support, the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab (DOE-NETL) has awarded the Penn State Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Lab USD6 M to spearhead the development of a National Experimental Turbine (NExT) rig, an initiative to help modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Under the START Lab’s leadership, NExT will be a turbine testing platform focused on U.S. technology advancement, designed in collaboration with four turbine manufacturers — Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Solar, and Siemens — in partnership with Agilis, a turbine design firm. DOE-NETL will provide USD4.6 M to the project.

In this collaboration, the NExT rig will become a common design that can be used quickly and relatively inexpensively by these collaborating companies to advance their turbines.

The START Lab also plans to collaborate with other universities to incorporate the NExT geometry in future research activities. Through the development of the NExT rig, new and innovative pathways for future gas turbine research will be possible in the START Lab and around the nation.