KW21- Power Plants of the 21st Century

The research initiative “Power Plants of the 21st Century(KW21) with a total term of 8 years, from 01/2004 to 12/2012, was a particularly successful research program in the field of innovative power plant technology. KW21 made an essential contribution to ensure that power plants will become more viable, more reasonably priced, more flexible in their application and more efficient in their reduction of emissions. The project was a joint initiative PPS (public-private-partnership) of the Federal State of Bavaria, the State of Baden-Württemberg and partners from industry. 23 research groups and 11 industrial partners worked on 50 subprojects in 5 work-groups. These were energy, power generation systems and steam generators, fluid-dynamics and steam turbines, turbo components for gas turbines and combustion chambers for gas turbines. Scientific partners were the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart, the Research Institute for Energy Economy in Munich (FFE), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the universities of Bayreuth, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Munich and Stuttgart. The initiative with a total budget of € 6 million was funded by: Bavarian Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts; Bavarian Ministry of Economics, Infrastructure and Transport; Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (Future Offensive III) of Baden-Württemberg; the power plant operators EnBW Kraftwerke AG and E.ON Energie AG, the power plant manufacturers Alstom Power Systems GmbH and Siemens AG, as well as Clariant Produkte, ESYTEC Energie & Systemtechnik, MAN Diesel & Turbo, Martin GmbH für Umwelt- und Energietechnik, MTU Aero Engines GmbH, UTP Schweißmaterial GmbH and Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG. The challenge of this unique initiative was to develop research competence and infrastructure in the field of power plant technology, to establish a network between industry, universities and research centers, the solution of current issues in the areas of planning, development and operation of power plants. KW21 developed principles and tools that contribute to the development and operation of efficient, low-emission power plants. It developed models for example the NOx model, the pyrolysis and the coke fire model. Besides this, databases were created to supply important information to science and industry. A variety of innovative results have been achieved, which are documented in the evaluation of individual projects. The enthusiastic participation of the commercial partners underlined the brisance and high quality of the work and the excellent cooperation between universities and industry. KW21 II encouraged young academic talents to get involved in the research topic. Through a variety of public workshops, working group meetings and cooperation between subprojects the project partners achieved a significantly better networking than in the first phase. Through individual follow-up projects, such as in economic cooperation or in publicly funded projects at regional, national and European level, KW21 acts even the project is completed; in addition, two books with the results have been published, which are free for download.

Track record

  • 35 thesis- and master thesis
  • 46 bachelor thesis, study work and term paper
  • 25 theses
  • 63 papers reviewed, 42 papers
  • 55 research assistants



Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Sigrid Natalie Schulz-Reichwald

Geschäftsstelle „Kraftwerke des 21. Jahrhunderts“
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
Prof. Dr. Manfred Aigner
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40
70569 Stuttgart
Email: manfred.aigner(at)
Telefon: 0049-711-6862-308