Laboratory Course on Energy Systems

Module number: MW1869

Duration: 1 Semester

Recurrence: Winter semester/Summer semester

Language: English

Number of ECTS: 5


Professor in charge: Hartmut Spliethoff

Amount of work

Class attendance: 21

Private study: 129

Total: 150

Course work and exam formalities

Students have to hand in 6 lab reports. The students demonstrate with the reports that they have gained deeper knowledge of the specific lab equipements and their components, of measurement methods incl. chemical measurements and can use analytical tools, methods and programs to optimize processes, simulate activities in order to solve different problems in power plants. They show that they are able to solve extensive measurement tasks, know normes to be considered and how to evaluate results, to interprete different components, to analyze data with the aid of the equipment. Student know how to document this knowledge in reports by using literature and with more time at their disposal.

In the written examination students demonstrate by answering questions under time pressure and without helping material the theoretical knowledge of components, processes and power plants as well as of the parameters and that can evaluate the effects of parameter changes on different processes.

The final grade is an averaged grade form the written examination (40%) and from the lab reports (10% each / overall 60 %).


The Lab Course covers five topics which are introduced by energy and power plant engineers:

1. Research and Development

Day 1: Fuel analysis: This lab courses focuses on preparation of biogenic and fossil fuel sample for further proximate and ultimate analysis. The students will get a deeper understanding of mechanisms and lab course skills required for running measurements on state of the art analysis tools like ash fusion microscopes and elemental analyzers.

Day 2: Temperature measurement: In this experiment students will learn how to use different technologies of temperature measurements as well as their limits. Special experiments equipement is provided to practically use the measurement instruments.

Day 3: Gasification of biomass: Special gasifiers allow students the analysis of the pyrolysis and gasification process of different biogenic fuels. The mass losses of these biomasses are determined at different temperatures with specially calibrated gas compositions and flow rates. In the evaluation of it, a reference to the gas composition and the theory of chemical equilibrium is established.

2. Project planning

Day 4: Computer-aided process optimization: With the aid of specific developed computational tools simulations of thermal power plant are performed. The efficiency and the effect on the overall process are described and different types of procesesses are studied and copared to each other with respect to the difference in efficiency. But for the electric efficiency not only the efficiency of power plant components such as turbines and heat exchangers but also the cycle itself is crucial. Alongside the dendency of realizing more and more efficient and complex water-steam cycle processes, the integration of the gas turbine cycle process for combined power plants or the consideration of the flue gas cleaning in the thermodynamic optimiation will be necessary.

3. Operation

Day 5: Combined cycle power plant simulator: The students learn how to operate a modern power plant. The simulator at the LES provides the complete functionality of a modern control system. Different scenarios like a start-up and a turbine trip are simulated.

Day 6: Solarthermal Power Plant: On a solarthermal simulator rig at laboratory scale students can measure stagnation temperatures. In these experiments it is possible to compare different efficiancy levels of solarthermal collectors. The results can be compared with an numeric model.

Learning outcome

After having attended the lab course, students should have the basic knowledge of measuring techniques and computer tools used in power plant engineering and operation. They can evaluate the impact of different componet and parameter changes on powerplant processes and can develop optimisation strategies. They know the functionsprinciples and areas of use for different measurement and analysys technology and can use them on experimental or industrial process setups.


Basic knowledge in thermodynamic and power plants. Recommended lectures and modules: Thermodynamcis in Energy Conversion


In the lab students work at test stands.


Spliethoff, H.: Power Generation from Solid Fuels, Springer Berlin

Moran, Michael J.: Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics, Hoboken, NJ, Wiley, 2010

Rayaprolu, Kumar: Boilers for Power and Process, CRC, Press 2009

Babcock & Wilcox Company: Steam, Its Generation and Use,

Goswami, D. Yogi: Energy conversion, CRC Press 2007

Teaching and studying methods

In the lab course students work in groups guided by tutors.