Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located near the wellbore, generates an effective tensile stress on the porous rock frame. This tensile stress almost always exceeds the tensile strength of the rock and it causes a tensile failure of the rock, leading to wellbore instability. In a porous rock, not all pores are choked at the same flow rate, and when just one pore is choked, the flow through the entire porous medium should be considered choked as the gas pressure gradient at the point of choking becomes singular. This thesis investigates the choking condition for compressible gas flow in a single microscopic pore. Quasi-one-dimensional analysis and axisymmetric numerical simulations of compressible gas flow in a pore scale varicose tube with a number of bumps are carried out, and the local Mach number and pressure along the tube are computed for the flow near choking condition. The effects of tube length, inlet-to-outlet pressure ratio, the number of bumps and the amplitude of the bumps on the choking condition are obtained. These critical values provide guidance for avoiding the choking condition in practice.
Nanoparticle suspensions, popularly termed “nanofluids,” have been extensively investigated for their thermal and radiative properties. Such work has generated great controversy, although it is arguably accepted today that the presence of nanoparticles rarely leads to useful enhancements in either thermal conductivity or convective heat transfer. On the other hand, there are still examples of unanticipated enhancements to some properties, such as the reported specific heat of molten salt-based nanofluids and the critical heat flux. Another largely overlooked example is the apparent effect of nanoparticles on the effective latent heat of vaporization (hfg) of aqueous nanofluids. A previous study focused on molecular dynamics (MD) modeling supplemented with limited experimental data to suggest that hfg increases with increasing nanoparticle concentration.
Here, this research extends that exploratory work in an effort to determine if hfg of aqueous nanofluids can be manipulated, i.e., increased or decreased, by the addition of graphite or silver nanoparticles. Our results to date indicate that hfg can be substantially impacted, by up to ± 30% depending on the type of nanoparticle. Moreover, this dissertation reports further experiments with changing surface area based on volume fraction (0.005% to 2%) and various nanoparticle sizes to investigate the mechanisms for hfg modification in aqueous graphite and silver nanofluids. This research also investigates thermophysical properties, i.e., density and surface tension in aqueous nanofluids to support the experimental results of hfg based on the Clausius - Clapeyron equation. This theoretical investigation agrees well with the experimental results. Furthermore, this research investigates the hfg change of aqueous nanofluids with nanoscale studies in terms of melting of silver nanoparticles and hydrophobic interactions of graphite nanofluid. As a result, the entropy change due to those mechanisms could be a main cause of the changes of hfg in silver and graphite nanofluids.
Finally, applying the latent heat results of graphite and silver nanofluids to an actual solar thermal system to identify enhanced performance with a Rankine cycle is suggested to show that the tunable latent heat of vaporization in nanofluilds could be beneficial for real-world solar thermal applications with improved efficiency.
Tesla turbo-machinery offers a robust, easily manufactured, extremely versatile prime mover with inherent capabilities making it perhaps the best, if not the only, solution for certain niche applications. The goal of this thesis is not to optimize the performance of the Tesla turbine, but to compare its performance with various working fluids. Theoretical and experimental analyses of a turbine-generator assembly utilizing compressed air, saturated steam and water as the working fluids were performed and are presented in this work. A brief background and explanation of the technology is provided along with potential applications. A theoretical thermodynamic analysis is outlined, resulting in turbine and rotor efficiencies, power outputs and Reynolds numbers calculated for the turbine for various combinations of working fluids and inlet nozzles. The results indicate the turbine is capable of achieving a turbine efficiency of 31.17 ± 3.61% and an estimated rotor efficiency 95 ± 9.32%. These efficiencies are promising considering the numerous losses still present in the current design. Calculation of the Reynolds number provided some capability to determine the flow behavior and how that behavior impacts the performance and efficiency of the Tesla turbine. It was determined that turbulence in the flow is essential to achieving high power outputs and high efficiency. Although the efficiency, after peaking, begins to slightly taper off as the flow becomes increasingly turbulent, the power output maintains a steady linear increase.
Nanostructured materials show signicant enhancement in the thermoelectric g-
ure of merit (zT) due to quantum connement eects. Improving the eciency of
thermoelectric devices allows for the development of better, more economical waste
heat recovery systems. Such systems may be used as bottoming or co-generation
cycles in conjunction with conventional power cycles to recover some of the wasted
heat. Thermal conductivity measurement systems are an important part of the char-
acterization processes of thermoelectric materials. These systems must possess the
capability of accurately measuring the thermal conductivity of both bulk and thin-lm
samples at dierent ambient temperatures.
This paper discusses the construction, validation, and improvement of a thermal
conductivity measurement platform based on the 3-Omega technique. Room temperature
measurements of thermal conductivity done on control samples with known properties
such as undoped bulk silicon (Si), bulk gallium arsenide (GaAs), and silicon dioxide
(SiO2) thin lms yielded 150 W=mK, 50 W=mK, and 1:46 W=mK respectively.
These quantities were all within 8% of literature values. In addition, the thermal
conductivity of bulk SiO2 was measured as a function of temperature in a Helium-
4 cryostat from 75K to 250K. The results showed good agreement with literature
values that all fell within the error range of each measurement. The uncertainty in
the measurements ranged from 19% at 75K to 30% at 250K. Finally, the system
was used to measure the room temperature thermal conductivity of a nanocomposite
composed of cadmium selenide, CdSe, nanocrystals in an indium selenide, In2Se3,
matrix as a function of the concentration of In2Se3. The observed trend was in
qualitative agreement with the expected behavior.
Current organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) suffer from the low light extraction efficiency. In this thesis, novel OLED structures including photonic crystal, Fabry-Perot resonance cavity and hyperbolic metamaterials were numerically simulated and theoretically investigated. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method was employed to numerically simulate the light extraction efficiency of various 3D OLED structures. With photonic crystal structures, a maximum of 30% extraction efficiency is achieved. A higher external quantum efficiency of 35% is derived after applying Fabry-Perot resonance cavity into OLEDs. Furthermore, different factors such as material properties, layer thicknesses and dipole polarizations and locations have been studied. Moreover, an upper limit for the light extraction efficiency of 80% is reached theoretically with perfect reflector and single dipole polarization and location. To elucidate the physical mechanism, transfer matrix method is introduced to calculate the spectral-hemispherical reflectance of the multilayer OLED structures. In addition, an attempt of using hyperbolic metamaterial in OLED has been made and resulted in 27% external quantum efficiency, due to the similar mechanism of wave interference as Fabry-Perot structure. The simulation and optimization methods and findings would facilitate the design of next generation, high-efficiency OLED devices.
Origami and kirigami, the technique of generating three-dimensional (3D) structures from two-dimensional (2D) flat sheets, are now more and more involved in scientific and engineering fields. Therefore, the development of tools for their theoretical analysis becomes more and more important. Since much effort was paid on calculations based on pure mathematical consideration and only limited effort has been paid to include mechanical properties, the goal of my research is developing a method to analyze the mechanical behavior of origami and kirigami based structures. Mechanical characteristics, including nonlocal effect and fracture of the structures, as well as elasticity and plasticity of materials are studied. For calculation of relative simple structures and building of structures’ constitutive relations, analytical approaches were used. For more complex structures, finite element analysis (FEA), which is commonly applied as a numerical method for the analysis of solid structures, was utilized. The general study approach is not necessarily related to characteristic size of model. I believe the scale-independent method described here will pave a new way to understand the mechanical response of a variety of origami and kirigami based structures under given mechanical loading.
The energy crisis in the past decades has greatly boosted the search for alternatives to traditional fossil foils, and solar energy stands out as an important candidate due to its cleanness and abundance. However, the relatively low conversion efficiency and energy density strongly hinder the utilization of solar energy in wider applications. This thesis focuses on employing metamaterials and metafilms to enhance the conversion efficiency of solar thermal, solar thermophotovoltaic (STPV) and photovoltaic systems.
A selective metamaterial solar absorber is designed in this thesis to maximize the absorbed solar energy and minimize heat dissipation through thermal radiation. The theoretically designed metamaterial solar absorber exhibits absorptance higher than 95% in the solar spectrum but shows emittance less than 4% in the IR regime. This metamaterial solar absorber is further experimentally fabricated and optically characterized. Moreover, a metafilm selective absorber with stability up to 600oC is introduced, which exhibits solar absorptance higher than 90% and IR emittance less than 10%.
Solar thermophotovoltaic energy conversion enhanced by metamaterial absorbers and emitters is theoretically investigated in this thesis. The STPV system employing selective metamaterial absorber and emitter is investigated in this work, showing its conversion efficiency between 8% and 10% with concentration factor varying between 20 and 200. This conversion efficiency is remarkably enhanced compared with the conversion efficiency for STPV system employing black surfaces (<2.5%).
Moreover, plasmonic light trapping in ultra-thin solar cells employing concave grating nanostructures is discussed in this thesis. The plasmonic light trapping inside an ultrathin GaAs layer in the film-coupled metamaterial structure is numerically demonstrated. By exciting plasmonic resonances inside this structure, the short-circuit current density for the film-coupled metamaterial solar cell is three times the short-circuit current for a free-standing GaAs layer.
The dissertation is concluded by discussing about the future work on selective solar thermal absorbers, STPV/TPV systems and light trapping structures. Possibilities to design and fabricate solar thermal absorber with better thermal stability will be discussed, the experimental work of TPV system will be conducted, and the light trapping in organic and perovskite solar cells will be looked into.
Demand for green energy alternatives to provide stable and reliable energy
solutions has increased over the years which has led to the rapid expansion of global
markets in renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Newest
amongst these technologies is the Bifacial PV modules, which harvests incident radiation
from both sides of the module. The overall power generation can be significantly increased
by using these bifacial modules. The purpose of this research is to investigate and maximize
the effect of back reflectors, designed to increase the efficiency of the module by utilizing
the intercell light passing through the module to increase the incident irradiance, on the
energy output using different profiles placed at varied distances from the plane of the array
(POA). The optimum reflector profile and displacement of the reflector from the module
are determined experimentally.
Theoretically, a 60-cell bifacial module can produce 26% additional energy in
comparison to a 48-cell bifacial module due to the 12 excess cells found in the 60-cell
module. It was determined that bifacial modules have the capacity to produce additional
energy when optimized back reflectors are utilized. The inverted U reflector produced
higher energy gain when placed at farther distances from the module, indicating direct
dependent proportionality between the placement distance of the reflector from the module
and the output energy gain. It performed the best out of all current construction geometries
with reflective coatings, generating more than half of the additional energy produced by a
densely-spaced 60-cell benchmark module compared to a sparsely-spaced 48-cell reference
A gain of 11 and 14% was recorded on cloudy and sunny days respectively for the
inverted U reflector. This implies a reduction in the additional cells of the 60-cell module
by 50% can produce the same amount of energy of the 60-cell module by a 48-cell module
with an inverted U reflector. The use of the back reflectors does not only affect the
additional energy gain but structural and land costs. Row to row spacing for bifacial
systems(arrays) is reduced nearly by half as the ground height clearance is largely
minimized, thus almost 50% of height constraints for mounting bifacial modules, using
back reflectors resulting in reduced structural costs for mounting of bifacial modules
The residential building sector accounts for more than 26% of the global energy consumption and 17% of global CO2 emissions. Due to the low cost of electricity in Kuwait and increase of population, Kuwaiti electricity consumption tripled during the past 30 years and is expected to increase by 20% by 2027. In this dissertation, a framework is developed to assess energy savings techniques to help policy-makers make educated decisions. The Kuwait residential energy outlook is studied by modeling the baseline energy consumption and the diffusion of energy conservation measures (ECMs) to identify the impacts on household energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
The energy resources and power generation in Kuwait were studied. The characteristics of the residential buildings along with energy codes of practice were investigated and four building archetypes were developed. Moreover, a baseline of end-use electricity consumption and demand was developed. Furthermore, the baseline energy consumption and demand were projected till 2040. It was found that by 2040, energy consumption would double with most of the usage being from AC. While with lighting, there is a negligible increase in consumption due to a projected shift towards more efficient lighting. Peak demand loads are expected to increase by an average growth rate of 2.9% per year. Moreover, the diffusion of different ECMs in the residential sector was modeled through four diffusion scenarios to estimate ECM adoption rates. ECMs’ impact on CO2 emissions and energy consumption of residential buildings in Kuwait was evaluated and the cost of conserved energy (CCE) and annual energy savings for each measure was calculated. AC ECMs exhibited the highest cumulative savings, whereas lighting ECMs showed an immediate energy impact. None of the ECMs in the study were cost effective due to the high subsidy rate (95%), therefore, the impact of ECMs at different subsidy and rebate rates was studied. At 75% subsidized utility price and 40% rebate only on appliances, most of ECMs will be cost effective with high energy savings. Moreover, by imposing charges of $35/ton of CO2, most ECMs will be cost effective.