Close cooperation with universities and research institutes
is important for our success. Below, you will find an overview of our key cooperation partners.
We collaborate with the Gummersbach Campus of the Technology Arts Sciences TH Köln at many levels. Along with sponsoring the Steinmüller Engineering Auditorium and founding a Promotion Award for Master's and Doctoral degrees, continuous fostering of new talents is very important.
Many degree theses have been completed in cooperation with the Technology Arts Sciences TH Köln. One example is Jaime Paucar, who was born and grew up in Ecuador and came to Germany to accomplish Master degree studies. In his final thesis “Product Design and Process Development”, he investigated solar absorbers with the expert support of our employees. After graduation he joined Steinmüller Engineering as a permanent employee and is now working in the process engineering department for steam generators.
To simulate flows, computation-intensive three-dimensional flow models are created using computerized fluid dynamics (CFD). In cooperation with the informatics department of the Technology Arts Sciences TH Köln, a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster has been configured to enable product optimization despite very tight deadlines.
Another cooperation in the CFD area is the use of open source code, which does not incur license fees. A joint study examined the application areas where open source solutions yield cost savings compared to commercial software.
Scientific support for cooperation activities is provided in the framework of publicly funded research projects at the Technology Arts Sciences TH Köln. One project currently underway is an international optimization method for the industrial application (MCIOP) over a term of four years. The Spotseven research group led by Professor Thomas Bartz-Beielstein uses complex computational intelligence (CI) methods to develop techniques for reducing pollutant emissions from coal-fired power plants. A similar project dubbed CIMO, which utilizes genetic programming has already been completed. Just as natural evolution always brings forth organisms with greater capabilities this procedure generates almost self-learning mathematical models for pollutant emissions based on measured data.
We work together with the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Fuel Technology (IEVB) at Clausthal University of Technology, headed by Prof. Dr. Roman Weber, to analyze and model combustion processes. The institute's basic research on fuel chemistry has already been put to practical use in several joint projects. Along with providing suitable computational models, the IEVB has the laboratory facilities necessary to verify and refine the theoretical models through physical experiments.
A major project, in which the South African electricity company Eskom also participated, investigated the co-combustion of biomass in a coal-fired power plant. Based on theoretical considerations and available operational data from a reference plant, a computational model for heat release in the combustion process and heat transfer in the combustion chamber was developed and then used to investigate the feasibility of co-combustion in an existing power plant in South Africa.
To meet the demand for suitably trained staff for existing and future task areas, the state-owned South African electricity company Eskom founded the EPPEI training institute. Building on a basic education, such as a bachelor's degree in the field of engineering, the institute provides advanced training in subjects relevant to Eskom.
Steinmüller Engineering has been supporting Eskom's activities since 2013 with training courses that teach basic design principles for steam generators and associated plants for flue gas cleaning. Along with the viewpoint of Eskom as the plant operator, the course participants learn to see this from the viewpoint of the plant designer. This enables the employees to analyze the operation of the existing plant, discover opportunities for improvement and in cooperation with partners devise solutions based on sound expertise.
We have a long-standing and close relationship with the Dresden Excellence University of Technology. We are particularly interested in participating in the annual Power Plant Symposium with presentations that contribute to the transfer of practical knowledge and in sharing the results of our research in power plant engineering by participating in discussion groups.
The guiding principle of Dresden Excellence University of Technology, "Knowledge Builds Bridges", is very much in line with our motto "Efficiency through Expertise" at various levels, including fostering new talents as well as R&D activities.
IHI is a highly successful diversified corporation with key activities in aircraft engine engineering, general machinery engineering, turbine engineering and power plant engineering. Unlike other Japanese brands, the company is almost unknown among end users because it mainly acts as a supplier of large industrial equipment. In Germany IHI supplied a coal-fired boiler for the Trianel Lünen power plant, which has a gross electrical capacity of 813 MWel with highest net efficiency.
As a renowned corporation in Japan with a history extending over 160 years, IHI has R&D laboratories that are also used for the development of Steinmüller Engineering products.
For example, a Steinmüller SM V burner rated at 12 MWel is being investigated in depth on a burner test facility at the Aioi site in Japan. Even though burners of this type are used successfully in many plants and the operating characteristics have been analyzed and optimized by elaborate flow computations, detailed measurement data from a test provides a significantly improved analysis. These results on the test stand are therefore used not only to enhance burner operation, but also to refine the flow models and allow dependencies to be quantified more precisely.
Sharing knowledge is a two-way process that helps us achieve the best possible engineering level.