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Improving climate projections through the assessment of model uncertainty and bias in the global water cycle

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The implications of a changing climate have a profound impact on human life, society, and policy making. The need for accurate climate prediction becomes increasingly important as we better understand these implications. Currently, the most widely used climate prediction relies

The implications of a changing climate have a profound impact on human life, society, and policy making. The need for accurate climate prediction becomes increasingly important as we better understand these implications. Currently, the most widely used climate prediction relies on the synthesis of climate model simulations organized by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP); these simulations are ensemble-averaged to construct projections for the 21st century climate. However, a significant degree of bias and variability in the model simulations for the 20th century climate is well-known at both global and regional scales. Based on that insight, this study provides an alternative approach for constructing climate projections that incorporates knowledge of model bias. This approach is demonstrated to be a viable alternative which can be easily implemented by water resource managers for potentially more accurate projections. Tests of the new approach are provided on a global scale with an emphasis on semiarid regional studies for their particular vulnerability to water resource changes, using both the former CMIP Phase 3 (CMIP3) and current Phase 5 (CMIP5) model archives. This investigation is accompanied by a detailed analysis of the dynamical processes and water budget to understand the behaviors and sources of model biases. Sensitivity studies of selected CMIP5 models are also performed with an atmospheric component model by testing the relationship between climate change forcings and model simulated response. The information derived from each study is used to determine the progressive quality of coupled climate models in simulating the global water cycle by rigorously investigating sources of model bias related to the moisture budget. As such, the conclusions of this project are highly relevant to model development and potentially may be used to further improve climate projections.

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2013

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Investigating the costs and benefits of controllable inlet orifice hydraulic diameter in microchannel cooling devices

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Recent literature indicates potential benefits in microchannel cooling if an inlet orifice is used to suppress pressure oscillations that develop under two-phase conditions. This study investigates the costs and benefits of using an adjustable microchannel inlet orifice. The focus is

Recent literature indicates potential benefits in microchannel cooling if an inlet orifice is used to suppress pressure oscillations that develop under two-phase conditions. This study investigates the costs and benefits of using an adjustable microchannel inlet orifice. The focus is on orifice effect during steady-state boiling and critical heat flux (CHF) in the channels using R134a in a pumped refrigerant loop (PRL). To change orifice size, a dam controlled with a micrometer was placed in front of 31 parallel microchannels. Each channel had a hydraulic diameter of 0.235 mm and a length of 1.33 cm. For steady state two-phase conditions, mass fluxes of 300 kg m-2 s-1 and 600 kg m-2 s-1were investigated. For orifice sizes with a hydraulic diameter to unrestricted hydraulic diameter (Dh:Dh,ur) ratio less than 35 percent, oscillations were reduced and wall temperatures fell up to 1.5 °C. Critical heat flux data were obtained for 7 orifice sizes with mass fluxes from 186 kg m-2 s-1 to 847 kg m-2 s-1. For all mass fluxes and inlet conditions tested, CHF values for a Dh:Dh,ur ratio of 1.8 percent became increasingly lower (up to 37 W cm-2 less) than those obtained with larger orifices. An optimum orifice size with Dh:Dh,ur of 35 percent emerged, offering up to 5 W cm-2 increase in CHF over unrestricted conditions at the highest mass flux tested, 847 kg m-2 s-1. These improvements in cooling ability with inlet orifices in place under both steady-state and impending CHF conditions are modest, leading to the conclusion that inlet orifices are only mildly effective at improving heat transfer coefficients. Stability of the PRL used for experimentation was also studied and improved. A vapor compression cycle's (VCC) proportional, integral, and derivative controller was found to adversely affect stability within the PRL and cause premature CHF. Replacing the VCC with an ice water heat sink maintained steady pumped loop system pressures and mass flow rates. The ice water heat sink was shown to have energy cost savings over the use of a directly coupled VCC for removing heat from the PRL.

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Date Created
2012