configurations and reducing the development time and cost of building systems and components.

The committee strongly endorses the need for advanced modeling and systems analyses. Indeed, because the emphasis of the Vision 21 Program is on the development of hardware components, computer-based capabilities for system simulation, integration, and analysis will be essential to the development and deployment of Vision 21 facilities. Thus, modeling and simulation comprise critical components of the overall Vision 21 Program.

The Vision 21 Program Plan identifies the key developments in modeling and software for simulations of Vision 21 components and systems and sets milestones for accomplishing most of these objectives. The following discussion focuses primarily on the overall structure of the program plan relative to the long-term objectives of Vision 21. The findings and recommendations relate to four areas: modeling goals and objectives; modeling capabilities; modeling needs; and management.

But even with the most sophisticated modeling techniques available, Vision 21 will inevitably have to build or renovate facilities to test new components and systems. There appears to be an assumption by Vision 21 that this demand will somehow be met outside the program. The committee believes the Power Systems Development Facility, all of the Clean Coal Technology (CCT) Program projects, and the NETL facilities could be used for the sequential and concurrent development and testing of component technologies. Modifications and sidestream tests could be done at CCT plants, particularly IGCC plants, to test breakthroughs or evolve processes.

Modeling Goals and Objectives

The program plan identifies a number of specific technologies (e.g., fuel cells, gasifiers, turbines) for which simulation models are to be completed at specified times over the next ten years (Romanosky, 1999a, 1999b). But the exact definition of a completed model, the levels of detail and methods of validation, the intended users, the purposes and how and when revisions will be made in response to new data or process developments have not been determined. Until these and other questions have been answered, the adequacy of Vision 21 models cannot be assessed.

Unanswered questions also remain with regard to integrated systems models and virtual demonstration capability. What are the desired outputs of these models? For what purposes are they intended? For example, some committee members assumed that the virtual demonstrations were intended to provide a basis for the commercialization of a product or process without full-scale testing or physical demonstration. Although this does not appear to be DOE's intent, the current program plan and supporting documentation are ambiguous enough to raise

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement