|During April, a major focus was the Second International Low Rank Coal Symposium held in Melbourne. BCIA was a major sponsor of the Symposium and participated in the program organising committee. |
Also in April, BCIA held its annual Strategy Planning Day with participation by the Company’s member organisations. Member representatives worked with BCIA Directors, Research Advisory Committee members and senior executives to identify opportunities and priorities for the coming year.
|BCIA seeks to actively manage its research portfolio, and support its funding recipients. BCIA’s Research Advisory Committee has met twice in recent months to review projects and advise on research priorities. |
BCIA also hosted visits from research stakeholders from Japan and Korea and Chief Executive, Dr Gurney, recently visited the United States where he presented BCIA’s research program at the Florida Clearwater Coal Conference and met with a number of low emissions coal organisations including the US National Carbon Capture Center, the EERC and Lignite Energy Council in North Dakota, and with EPRI in California.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
|BCIA funding has so far contributed to more than 20 research projects that rely on the involvement of local universities, research institutes, manufacturers and power companies, as well as significant overseas linkages. The research portfolio includes projects in the areas of higher efficiency power generation, capture of carbon dioxide emissions, and new products derived from brown coal.|
One of BCIA's members, HRL Technology Pty Ltd, in collaboration with Monash University and local power generators, has recently completed a multi-strand project aimed at gaining an improved knowledge of the advanced materials and methods that will be needed to construct the next generation of high-efficiency brown coal-fired steam boilers. This project drew upon the specialist capabilities developed by HRL Technology as a consultant to the power industry.
The project involved very detailed studies of the changes that take place in advanced steel alloys during long-term exposure to high temperature steam environments, including the development of oxide film layers and changes in microcrystal structure. This required construction of a unique high-temperature steam oxidation facility utilising power plant conditions at Loy Yang B power station. The experiments allowed the development of sophisticated methods to estimate the thermal history of high-temperature pipework and assess the remaining working life of the equipment.
The project also involved the commissioning of an advanced testing facility to evaluate the slow deformation behaviour of advanced alloys under high-temperature conditions. Experimental observations were compared with various predictive modelling methods, leading to development of a method to estimate the remaining working life of metal components much more quickly than the existing procedure.