Close up of machinery stamping squares out of steel with sparks flying.

Electrified test beds

Testbeds are available to EPIXC industry and institutional partners, and every consideration will be given to enable access for under-represented communities, small businesses and minority serving institutions.

Systems-level demonstrations are needed to prove the economic viability of electrified process heating. The success of EPIXC is built on innovative and unique test bed facilities that enable process and product development experimentation at scale.

These facilities allow manufacturers to:

  • Validate electric heating for their specific applications, heat duty and temperatures needs.
  • Analyze scale-up and decide on pathways for adapting and upgrading existing facilities to electric heating.
  • Provide similar or better levels of raw-materials flexibility compared to current heating methods.
  • Achieve comparable or better product quality and flexibility.

EPIXC testbeds have built their own industrial ecosystems — some of which have been operating for decades — and have accumulated over a century of combined domain expertise. EPIXC uniquely brings together people, knowledge and cutting edge facilities in a collaborative effort to conquer challenges and provide a viable path for the commercialization of emerging electric heating technologies.

The Process Science and Technology Center (PSTC) at The University of Texas at Austin

The PSTC is an academic research and pilot facility for process engineering, with a focus on separation processes. The PSTC has been operating since 1985, and the Separations Research Program has a strong industry ecosystem with around 15 members. As key part of EPIXC, the PSTC has electric boilers for steam generation, and direct electric heating of column feed streams.

The Peaslee Steel Manufacturing Research Center (PSMRC) at Missouri University of Science and Technology

The PSMRC is located in Rolla, Missouri and is currently engaged with 20 industry members. It features reduction, melting, smelting facilities, and a pilot-scale hot mill. Within EPIXC, induction and plasma heating capabilities will be added.

Pulp and Paper Technical Services at NC State University

The Pulp and Paper Technical Services at NCSU, has 30 industry members and capacity for pilot-scale production of large quantities of pulp or paper from a variety of sources. EPIXC -related research will incorporate electric plasma arc for paper drying and combination drying featuring non-thermal ultrasonic systems and IR, plasma, and microwave heating.

Penn State University plants

Penn State University offers a Wet Pilot Plant, Dry Pilot Plant, and Food Safety Pilot Plant, which feature state of the art equipment used in food manufacturing facilities around the world. EPIXC will support the development of customized industrial microwave heating processes for maximizing food safety and food quality.

In addition to these manufacturing-relevant facilities, EPIXC has extensive access to grid integration test beds. These offer digital and/or physical coupling of assets, and the ability to emulate the integration of electric heating with grids or micro-grids powered by renewable sources.