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Reducing The Scale of Steam Generators in Pressurized Water Reactors

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Nuclear power has recently experienced a resurgence in interest due to its ability to generate significant amounts of relatively clean energy. However, the overall size of nuclear power plants still poses a problem to future advancements. The bulkiness of components

Nuclear power has recently experienced a resurgence in interest due to its ability to generate significant amounts of relatively clean energy. However, the overall size of nuclear power plants still poses a problem to future advancements. The bulkiness of components in the plant contribute to longer construction times, higher building and maintenance costs, and the isolation of nuclear plants from populated areas. The goal of this project was to analyze the thermal performance of nanocrystalline copper tantalum (NC Cu-Ta) inside the steam generator of a pressurized water reactor to see how much the size of these units could be reduced without affecting the amount of heat transferred through it. The analysis revealed that using this material, with its higher thermal conductivity than the traditional Inconel Alloy 600 that is typically used in steam generators, it is possible to reduce the height of a steam generator from 21 meters to about 18.6 meters, signifying a 11.6% reduction in height. This analysis also revealed a diminishing return that occurs with increasing the thermal conductivity on both reducing the required heat transfer area and increasing the overall heat transfer coefficient.

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2019-05

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LCOE Analyis of Solar Panel Recycling Methods

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Solar panels need to be both cost effective and environmentally friendly to compete with traditional energy forms. Photovoltaic recycling has the potential to mitigate the harm of waste, which is often landfilled, while putting material back into the manufacturing process.

Solar panels need to be both cost effective and environmentally friendly to compete with traditional energy forms. Photovoltaic recycling has the potential to mitigate the harm of waste, which is often landfilled, while putting material back into the manufacturing process. Out of many, three methods show much promise: Full Recovery End-of-Life Photovoltaic (FRELP), mechanical, and sintering-based recycling. FRELP recycling has quickly gained prominence in Europe and promises to fully recover the components in a solar cell. The mechanical method has produced high yields of valuable materials using basic and inexpensive processes. The sintering method has the potential to tap into a large market for feldspar. Using a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) analysis, the three methods could be compared on an economic basis. This showed that the mechanical method is least expensive, and the sintering method is the most expensive. Using this model, all recycling methods are less cost effective than the control analysis without recycling. Sensitivity analyses were then done on the effect of the discount rate, capacity factor, and lifespan on the LCOE. These results showed that the change in capacity factor had the most significant effect on the levelized cost of electricity. A final sensitivity analysis was done based on the decreased installation and balance of systems costs in 2025. With a 55% decrease in these costs, the LCOE decreased by close to $0.03/kWh for each method. Based on these results, the cost of each recycling method would be a more considerable proportion of the overall LCOE of the solar farm.

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2018-05

BIOELECTRIC IMPEDANCE ANALYSIS AS A METHOD FOR QUANTITATIVE HYDRATION MEASUREMENT

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Volume depletion can lead to migraines, dizziness, and significant decreases in a subject's ability to physically perform. A major cause of volume depletion is dehydration, or loss in fluids due to an imbalance in fluid intake to fluid excretion. Because

Volume depletion can lead to migraines, dizziness, and significant decreases in a subject's ability to physically perform. A major cause of volume depletion is dehydration, or loss in fluids due to an imbalance in fluid intake to fluid excretion. Because proper levels of hydration are necessary in order to maintain both short and long term health, the ability to monitor hydration levels is growing in clinical demand. Although devices capable of monitoring hydration level exist, these devices are expensive, invasive, or inaccurate and do not offer a continuous mode of measurement. The ideal hydration monitor for consumer use needs to be characterized by its portability, affordability, and accuracy. Also, this device would need to be noninvasive and offer continuous hydration monitoring in order to accurately assess fluctuations in hydration data throughout a specified time period. One particular method for hydration monitoring that fits the majority of these criteria is known as bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA). Although current devices using BIA do not provide acceptable levels of accuracy, portability, or continuity in data collection, BIA could potentially be modified to fit many, if not all, desired customer specifications. The analysis presented here assesses the viability of using BIA as a new standard in hydration level measurement. The analysis uses data collected from 22 subjects using an existing device that employs BIA. A regression derived for estimating TBW based on the parameters of age, weight, height, sex, and impedance is presented. Using impedance data collected for each subject, a regression was also derived for estimating impedance based on the factors of age, weight, height, and sex. The derived regression was then used to calculate a new impedance value for each subject, and these new impedance values were used to estimate TBW. Through a paired-t test between the TBW values derived by using the direct measurements versus the calculated measurements of impedance, the two samples were found to be comparable. Considerations for BIA as a noninvasive measurement of hydration are discussed.

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2013-05

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Modeling of solid state transformer for the FREEDM system demonstration

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The Solid State Transformer (SST) is an essential component in the FREEDM system. This research focuses on the modeling of the SST and the controller hardware in the loop (CHIL) implementation of the SST for the support of the FREEDM

The Solid State Transformer (SST) is an essential component in the FREEDM system. This research focuses on the modeling of the SST and the controller hardware in the loop (CHIL) implementation of the SST for the support of the FREEDM system demonstration. The energy based control strategy for a three-stage SST is analyzed and applied. A simplified average model of the three-stage SST that is suitable for simulation in real time digital simulator (RTDS) has been developed in this study. The model is also useful for general time-domain power system analysis and simulation. The proposed simplified av-erage model has been validated in MATLAB and PLECS. The accuracy of the model has been verified through comparison with the cycle-by-cycle average (CCA) model and de-tailed switching model. These models are also implemented in PSCAD, and a special strategy to implement the phase shift modulation has been proposed to enable the switching model simulation in PSCAD. The implementation of the CHIL test environment of the SST in RTDS is described in this report. The parameter setup of the model has been discussed in detail. One of the dif-ficulties is the choice of the damping factor, which is revealed in this paper. Also the grounding of the system has large impact on the RTDS simulation. Another problem is that the performance of the system is highly dependent on the switch parameters such as voltage and current ratings. Finally, the functionalities of the SST have been realized on the platform. The distributed energy storage interface power injection and reverse power flow have been validated. Some limitations are noticed and discussed through the simulation on RTDS.

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2014

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Development of the selection procedure of an insulating foam for its application in gas insulated transmission lines, demonstrated using syntactic foam

Description

Due to increasing integration of renewable resources in the power grid, an efficient high power transmission system is needed in the near future to transfer energy from remote locations to the load centers. Gas Insulated Transmission Line (GIL) is a

Due to increasing integration of renewable resources in the power grid, an efficient high power transmission system is needed in the near future to transfer energy from remote locations to the load centers. Gas Insulated Transmission Line (GIL) is a specialized high power transmission system, designed by Siemens, for applications requiring direct burial or vertical installation of the transmission line. GIL uses SF6 as an insulating medium. Due to unavoidable gas leakages and high global warming potential of SF6, there is a need to replace this insulating gas by some other possible alternative. Insulating foam materials are characterized by excellent dielectric properties as well as their reduced weight. These materials can find their application in GIL as high voltage insulators. Syntactic foam is a polymer based insulating foam. It consists of a large number of microspheres embedded in a polymer matrix.

The work in this thesis deals with the development of the selection proce-dure for an insulating foam for its application in GIL. All the steps in the process are demonstrated considering syntactic foam as an insulator. As the first step of the procedure, a small representative model of the insulating foam is built in COMSOL Multiphysics software with the help of AutoCAD and Excel VBA to analyze electric field distribution for the application of GIL. The effect of the presence of metal particles on the electric field distribution is also observed. The AC voltage withstand test is performed on the insulating foam samples according to the IEEE standards. The effect of the insulating foam on electrical parameters as well as transmission characteristics of the line is analyzed as the last part of the thesis. The results from all the simulations and AC voltage withstand test are ob-served to predict the suitability of the syntactic foam as an insulator in GIL.

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2014

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Optimization of complex thermal-fluid processes

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First, in a large-scale structure, a 3-D CFD model was built to simulate flow and temperature distributions. The flow patterns and temperature distributions are characterized and validated through spot measurements. The detailed understanding of them then allows for optimization of

First, in a large-scale structure, a 3-D CFD model was built to simulate flow and temperature distributions. The flow patterns and temperature distributions are characterized and validated through spot measurements. The detailed understanding of them then allows for optimization of the HVAC configuration because identification of the problematic flow patterns and temperature mis-distributions leads to some corrective measures. Second, an appropriate form of the viscous dissipation term in the integral form of the conservation equation was considered, and the effects of momentum terms on the computed drop size in pressure-atomized sprays were examined. The Sauter mean diameter (SMD) calculated in this manner agrees well with experimental data of the drop velocities and sizes. Using the suggested equation with the revised treatment of liquid momentum setup, injection parameters can be directly input to the system of equations. Thus, this approach is capable of incorporating the effects of injection parameters for further considerations of the drop and velocity distributions under a wide range of spray geometry and injection conditions. Lastly, groundwater level estimation was investigated using compressed sensing (CS). To satisfy a general property of CS, a random measurement matrix was used, the groundwater network was constructed, and finally the l-1 optimization was run. Through several validation tests, correct estimation of groundwater level by CS was shown. Using this setup, decreasing trends in groundwater level in the southwestern US was shown. The suggested method is effective in that the total measurements of registered wells can be reduced down by approximately 42 %, sparse data can be visualized and a possible approach for groundwater management during extreme weather changes, e.g. in California, was demonstrated.

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2015

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An online monitoring and fault location methodology for underground power cables

Description

With the growing importance of underground power systems and the need for greater reliability of the power supply, cable monitoring and accurate fault location detection has become an increasingly important issue. The presence of inherent random fluctuations in power system

With the growing importance of underground power systems and the need for greater reliability of the power supply, cable monitoring and accurate fault location detection has become an increasingly important issue. The presence of inherent random fluctuations in power system signals can be used to extract valuable information about the condition of system equipment. One such component is the power cable, which is the primary focus of this research.

This thesis investigates a unique methodology that allows online monitoring of an underground power cable. The methodology analyzes conventional power signals in the frequency domain to monitor the condition of a power cable.

First, the proposed approach is analyzed theoretically with the help of mathematical computations. Frequency domain analysis techniques are then used to compute the power spectral density (PSD) of the system signals. The importance of inherent noise in the system, a key requirement of this methodology, is also explained. The behavior of resonant frequencies, which are unique to every system, are then analyzed under different system conditions with the help of mathematical expressions.

Another important aspect of this methodology is its ability to accurately estimate cable fault location. The process is online and hence does not require the system to be disconnected from the grid. A single line to ground fault case is considered and the trend followed by the resonant frequencies for different fault positions is observed.

The approach is initially explained using theoretical calculations followed by simulations in MATLAB/Simulink. The validity of this technique is proved by comparing the results obtained from theory and simulation to actual measurement data.

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2016

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Experimental demonstration of photovoltaic powered solar cooling with ice storage

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The ability to shift the photovoltaic (PV) power curve and make the energy accessible during peak hours can be accomplished through pairing solar PV with energy storage technologies. A prototype hybrid air conditioning system (HACS), built under supervision of project

The ability to shift the photovoltaic (PV) power curve and make the energy accessible during peak hours can be accomplished through pairing solar PV with energy storage technologies. A prototype hybrid air conditioning system (HACS), built under supervision of project head Patrick Phelan, consists of PV modules running a DC compressor that operates a conventional HVAC system paired with a second evaporator submerged within a thermal storage tank. The thermal storage is a 0.284m3 or 75 gallon freezer filled with Cryogel balls, submerged in a weak glycol solution. It is paired with its own separate air handler, circulating the glycol solution. The refrigerant flow is controlled by solenoid valves that are electrically connected to a high and low temperature thermostat. During daylight hours, the PV modules run the DC compressor. The refrigerant flow is directed to the conventional HVAC air handler when cooling is needed. Once the desired room temperature is met, refrigerant flow is diverted to the thermal storage, storing excess PV power. During peak energy demand hours, the system uses only small amounts of grid power to pump the glycol solution through the air handler (note the compressor is off), allowing for money and energy savings. The conventional HVAC unit can be scaled down, since during times of large cooling demands the glycol air handler can be operated in parallel with the conventional HVAC unit. Four major test scenarios were drawn up in order to fully comprehend the performance characteristics of the HACS. Upon initial running of the system, ice was produced and the thermal storage was charged. A simple test run consisting of discharging the thermal storage, initially ~¼ frozen, was performed. The glycol air handler ran for 6 hours and the initial cooling power was 4.5 kW. This initial test was significant, since greater than 3.5 kW of cooling power was produced for 3 hours, thus demonstrating the concept of energy storage and recovery.

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2012

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Design of an automated validation environment for a radiation hardened MIPS microprocessor

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Ever reducing time to market, along with short product lifetimes, has created a need to shorten the microprocessor design time. Verification of the design and its analysis are two major components of this design cycle. Design validation techniques can be

Ever reducing time to market, along with short product lifetimes, has created a need to shorten the microprocessor design time. Verification of the design and its analysis are two major components of this design cycle. Design validation techniques can be broadly classified into two major categories: simulation based approaches and formal techniques. Simulation based microprocessor validation involves running millions of cycles using random or pseudo random tests and allows verification of the register transfer level (RTL) model against an architectural model, i.e., that the processor executes instructions as required. The validation effort involves model checking to a high level description or simulation of the design against the RTL implementation. Formal techniques exhaustively analyze parts of the design but, do not verify RTL against the architecture specification. The focus of this work is to implement a fully automated validation environment for a MIPS based radiation hardened microprocessor using simulation based approaches. The basic framework uses the classical validation approach in which the design to be validated is described in a Hardware Definition Language (HDL) such as VHDL or Verilog. To implement a simulation based approach a number of random or pseudo random tests are generated. The output of the HDL based design is compared against the one obtained from a "perfect" model implementing similar functionality, a mismatch in the results would thus indicate a bug in the HDL based design. Effort is made to design the environment in such a manner that it can support validation during different stages of the design cycle. The validation environment includes appropriate changes so as to support architecture changes which are introduced because of radiation hardening. The manner in which the validation environment is build is highly dependent on the specifications of the perfect model used for comparisons. This work implements the validation environment for two MIPS simulators as the reference model. Two bugs have been discovered in the RTL model, using simulation based approaches through the validation environment.

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2011

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Modeling and optimization of a hybrid solar PV-powered air conditioning system with ice storage

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In this thesis the performance of a Hybrid AC System (HACS) is modeled and optimized. The HACS utilizes solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to help reduce the demand from the utility during peak hours. The system also includes an ice Thermal

In this thesis the performance of a Hybrid AC System (HACS) is modeled and optimized. The HACS utilizes solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to help reduce the demand from the utility during peak hours. The system also includes an ice Thermal Energy Storage (TES) tank to accumulate cooling energy during off-peak hours. The AC runs continuously on grid power during off-peak hours to generate cooling for the house and to store thermal energy in the TES. During peak hours, the AC runs on the power supplied from the PV, and cools the house along with the energy stored in the TES. A higher initial cost is expected due to the additional components of the HACS (PV and TES), but a lower operational cost due to higher energy efficiency, energy storage and renewable energy utilization. A house cooled by the HACS will require a smaller size AC unit (about 48% less in the rated capacity), compared to a conventional AC system. To compare the cost effectiveness of the HACS with a regular AC system, time-of-use (TOU) utility rates are considered, as well as the cost of the system components and the annual maintenance. The model shows that the HACS pays back its initial cost of $28k in about 6 years with an 8% APR, and saves about $45k in total cost when compared to a regular AC system that cools the same house for the same period of 6 years.

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2011