Tours

On May 22, Energy Days participants will have the opportunity to learn about the facilities and instrumentation that makes Penn State a world-class research University. Participants can choose two (2) Penn State facilities to tour during Energy Days. Transportation for all participants will be coordinated with buses.

  • Tour Session One will occur on May 22 from 1–2:15 p.m. It will include the following tours:
    • Battery & Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center
    • Breazeale Nuclear Reactor
    • Pennsylvania Housing Research Center/Energy Efficient Housing
    • Petroleum and natural gas engineering labs (Drilling/Subsurface)
    • Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Laboratory
  • From 2:15–2:45 p.m. there will be a break and bus transfers.
  • Tour Session Two will occur between 2:45–4 p.m. It will include the following tours:
    • Applied Research Lab, Center for Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition
    • Battery Application Technology Testing and Energy Research Laboratory (BATTERY) and the Hydrogen Fueling Station—Larson Transportation Institute
    • Biomass and Thermal Battery Labs
    • College of Earth and Mineral Sciences – Energy Institute and Center for Combustion, Power, and Propulsion
    • East Steam Plant

Please refer to the agenda for an overview of Energy Days.

Applied Research Lab, Center for Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition

Participants will tour the additive manufacturing facility with a review of the capabilities of the machines on hand as well as sample parts built with those systems.

Battery Application Technology Testing and Energy Research Laboratory (BATTERY) and the Hydrogen Fueling Station—Larson Transportation Institute

The Penn State Battery Application Technology Testing & Energy Research Laboratory (BATTERY) works to develop and test advanced chemistry batteries at the application level including full electric vehicle energy storage and management systems. The laboratory supports the efforts and initiatives of vehicle manufacturers and researchers in both government and industry.

The Hydrogen Fueling Station demonstrates commercial cost viability for a stand-alone, comprehensive hydrogen fueling station that can competitively deliver a hydrogen product stream strictly meeting end-use performance requirements in the emerging hydrogen-for-transportation markets.

Battery & Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center

Facilities in Battery Manufacturing Lab (BML) for fabrication of Li-ion cells from raw electrode materials.

Comprehensive facilities for battery testing under normal operation and extreme conditions, such as Arbin battery testing stations, environmental chambers, extended volume accelerated rate calorimeter, nail penetration test equipment, and 3-electrode cells.

Biomass and Thermal Battery Labs

The main focus of the Biomass and Thermal Battery Labs is the development of new renewable energy technologies, such as microbial fuel cells and thermal batteries, for achieving an energy sustainable water infrastructure.

Breazeale Nuclear Reactor

The Radiation Science & Engineering Center (RSEC) was established to manage Penn State’s comprehensive nuclear research facilities, including:

  • the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor,
  • Gamma irradiation facility,
  • Radioactive sources, and
  • Radiation measurement resources.

The RESC provides safe nuclear analytical and testing facilities in support of the research and education activities of faculty, staff, and students at Penn State. The RSEC facilities, most of which are housed in the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor Building, are some of the most unique and flexible in the country.

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences – Energy Institute

This tour includes facilities belonging to the Energy Institute and the Center for Combustion Power and Propulsion (CCPP). The participants will see:

  • The Institute’s bench- and pilot-scale combustion/gasification facilities with a brief overview of how they are used for fundamental research and support for industrial problem solving; and
  • Bench-scale catalysis facilities and an example of how this research has gone from the bench-top CO2 capture to a full-scale CO2-capture demonstration.
  • Laboratories focused on gas turbine combustion issues, including combustion instability, turbulent flame dynamics, and gas turbine fuel flexibility.
  • Fundamental experiments aimed at understanding combustion kinetics, including plasma chemistry, novel fuels, and the development of new combustion devices.

The mission of the Center for Combustion, Power, and Propulsion is to address the technological challenges of the 21st century through nationally and internationally recognized research and education programs, strong industry-government-university relationships and active engagement of researchers across the University.

East Steam Plant

Penn State’s East Steam Plant is part of a district energy system that produces steam distributed to more than 200 individual buildings via a network of 17 miles of underground piping. Two 1970’s vintage boilers produce saturated, high pressure (220 psig) steam. Pressure reducing stations reduce high-pressure steam to medium pressure (150 psig) for delivery to buildings further away from ECSP. One Combustion Turbine connected to a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (CT/HRSG) installed in 2010 produces 7 mW of electricity and 30,000 lb/hr of steam. A ductburner increases the HRSG capacity to 117,000 lb/hr.

  • Steam Capacity: 350,000 pounds per hour
  • Electric Capacity: 7 mW
  • Plant Efficiency: 80%

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC)/Energy-Efficient Housing

Among other activities, the PHRC provides research and development services to the home-building industry in order to improve the quality and affordability of housing and to promote sustainability and energy efficiency in residential construction. The PHRC conducts various types of applied research to support housing-related building product manufacturers in their efforts to improve product performance to today’s standards.

Petroleum and natural gas engineering labs (Drilling/Subsurface)

Drilling fluids and cement lab, rig floor simulation, production engineering lab, petrophysics lab, rock mechanics and hydraulic fracturing lab.

Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Laboratory

The START Lab at the Penn State was founded in 2011 through initial funding from the University; the Department of Energy – National Energy Technology Lab through Fossil Energy; and United Technologies Corporation—Pratt & Whitney. The focus of the lab includes the following: i) research novel methods for improving turbine cooling performance to improve turbine efficiencies; ii) exploit the uses of advanced manufacturing methods for turbine components; and iii) provide a test bed for new instrumentation development for turbines.

The focus of the lab includes the following:

  1. Research novel methods for improving turbine cooling performance to improve turbine efficiencies;
  2. Exploit the uses of advanced manufacturing methods for turbine components; and
  3. Provide a test bed for new instrumentation development for turbines.