Matching Items (5)

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Electrode Surface Area Roughness Effect on Power Output of Thermogalvanic Cells

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This paper presents an experimental investigation into the effects of altering electrode surface area roughness on thermogalvanic cell performance. A temperature difference between two electrodes was induced and brought to

This paper presents an experimental investigation into the effects of altering electrode surface area roughness on thermogalvanic cell performance. A temperature difference between two electrodes was induced and brought to steady state to achieve a difference of around 50 °C, which was maintained with a DC power generated hot wire and a pumped ice bath. The open-circuit voltage values at steady-state were measured by a programed multimeter and the temperatures were measured by a series of type K thermocouples. Electrode surface area roughness was altered using different grit values of sandpaper and measuring the values using a Zescope Optical Profilometer. Once three different surface area average values were achieved, 6 trials were performed with 2 trials per roughness value. The results were tabulated in Section 4 of this report.
It was predicted that increasing the surface area roughness would increase the number of electrons present in the reduction oxidation reaction and decrease the activation resistance of the thermogalvanic system. Decreasing the activation resistance, a component of total internal resistance, would therefore increase the power output of the cell by a small magnitude. The results showed that changing the surface area roughness of the Copper electrodes evidently had no effect on the outputs of the cell system. Additionally, the Seebeck coefficient was also unaffected by the presence of increased surface area roughness.
The work presented in the following paper is part of a continuing effort to better understand the performance of thermogalvanic cells and their heat to electrical energy transfer properties.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Analysis of the Reverse Osmosis Process

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This paper considers the state of desalination today and explores improvement of the reverse osmosis process via exergy analysis. Various methods of desalination in place today were explored, along with

This paper considers the state of desalination today and explores improvement of the reverse osmosis process via exergy analysis. Various methods of desalination in place today were explored, along with the proportion of each of those methods in use today. From literature reviews, it was found the reverse osmosis (RO) and multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination were the main methods of desalination in use today. Desalination is an energy intensive process and so this paper aimed to address this issue in three ways: by exploring various coupling with renewable energy sources, carrying out an exergy analysis on the MSF and RO processes, and finally exploring conceptual methods of interest. It was found that concentrated solar power was best suited for the MSF process, since the MSF process require direct heat. Wind energy was best suited for the RO process, since RO was less energy intensive and so could account for wind variability. The exergy analysis demonstrated very low second law efficiency for both desalination processes (~4%), with most of the exergy being destroyed in the separation process (~75%). The RO process also demonstrated a higher efficiency and lower exergy destruction, reinforcing the conlcusion that RO is the less energy intensive of the two. Based on the analysis, it was found throttling valves account for the next highest exergy destruction after the separation process. An alternate plant design was proposed to fully utilize wasted pressure, which resulted in less energy consumption. Finally, two conceptual methods, a mobile desalination plant and the Hybrid process, were explored that could potentially make the RO process a more valuable asset to society and more economically viable with a higher yield

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Burkina Faso Hospital Microgrid Case Study

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This paper analyzes Burkina Faso’s Souro Sanou University Hospital Center’s energy needs and discusses whether or not solar panels are a good investment. This paper also discusses a way to

This paper analyzes Burkina Faso’s Souro Sanou University Hospital Center’s energy needs and discusses whether or not solar panels are a good investment. This paper also discusses a way to limit the damage caused by power outages. The hospital has a history of problems with power outages; in the summer they have power outages every other day lasting between one to four hours, and in the rainy season they have outages once every other week lasting the same amount of time.
The first step in this analysis was collecting relevant data which includes: location, electricity rates, energy consumption, and existing assets. The data was entered into a program called HOMER. HOMER is a program which analyzes an electrical system and determines the best configuration and usage of assets to get the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE). In HOMER, five different analyses were performed. They reviewed the hospital’s energy usage over 25 years: the current situation, one of the current situation with added solar panels, and another where the solar panels have single axis tracking. The other two analyses created incentives to have more solar panels, one situation with net metering, and one with a sellback rate of 0.03 $/kWh. The result of the analysis concluded that the ideal situation would have solar panels with a capacity of 300 kW, and the LCOE in this situation will be 0.153 $/kWh. The analysis shows that investing in solar panels will save the hospital approximately $65,500 per year, but the initial investment of $910,000 only allows for a total savings of $61,253 over the life of the project. The analysis also shows that if the electricity company, Sonabel, eventually buys back electricity then net metering would be more profitable than reselling electricity for the hospital.
Solar panels will help the hospital save money over time, but they will not stop power outages from happening at the hospital. For the outages to stop affecting the hospital’s operations they will have to invest in an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). The UPS will power the hospital for the time between when the power goes out and when their generators are turning on which makes it an essential investment. This will stop outages from affecting the hospital, and if the power goes out during the day then the solar panels can help supplement the energy production which will take some of the strain from their generators.
The results of this study will be sent to officials at the hospital and they can decide if the large initial investment justifies the savings. If the solar panels and UPS can save one life, then maybe the large initial investment is worth it.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Microchannel flow boiling enhancement via cross-sectional expansion

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The heat transfer enhancements available from expanding the cross-section of a boiling microchannel are explored analytically and experimentally. Evaluation of the literature on critical heat flux in flow boiling and

The heat transfer enhancements available from expanding the cross-section of a boiling microchannel are explored analytically and experimentally. Evaluation of the literature on critical heat flux in flow boiling and associated pressure drop behavior is presented with predictive critical heat flux (CHF) and pressure drop correlations. An optimum channel configuration allowing maximum CHF while reducing pressure drop is sought. A perturbation of the channel diameter is employed to examine CHF and pressure drop relationships from the literature with the aim of identifying those adequately general and suitable for use in a scenario with an expanding channel. Several CHF criteria are identified which predict an optimizable channel expansion, though many do not. Pressure drop relationships admit improvement with expansion, and no optimum presents itself. The relevant physical phenomena surrounding flow boiling pressure drop are considered, and a balance of dimensionless numbers is presented that may be of qualitative use. The design, fabrication, inspection, and experimental evaluation of four copper microchannel arrays of different channel expansion rates with R-134a refrigerant is presented. Optimum rates of expansion which maximize the critical heat flux are considered at multiple flow rates, and experimental results are presented demonstrating optima. The effect of expansion on the boiling number is considered, and experiments demonstrate that expansion produces a notable increase in the boiling number in the region explored, though no optima are observed. Significant decrease in the pressure drop across the evaporator is observed with the expanding channels, and no optima appear. Discussion of the significance of this finding is presented, along with possible avenues for future work.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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A theoretical analysis of microchannel flow boiling enhancement via cross-sectional expansion

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Microchannel heat sinks can possess heat transfer characteristics unavailable in conventional heat exchangers; such sinks offer compact solutions to otherwise intractable thermal management problems, notably in small-scale electronics cooling. Flow

Microchannel heat sinks can possess heat transfer characteristics unavailable in conventional heat exchangers; such sinks offer compact solutions to otherwise intractable thermal management problems, notably in small-scale electronics cooling. Flow boiling in microchannels allows a very high heat transfer rate, but is bounded by the critical heat flux (CHF). This thesis presents a theoretical-numerical study of a method to improve the heat rejection capability of a microchannel heat sink via expansion of the channel cross-section along the flow direction. The thermodynamic quality of the refrigerant increases during flow boiling, decreasing the density of the bulk coolant as it flows. This may effect pressure fluctuations in the channels, leading to nonuniform heat transfer and local dryout in regions exceeding CHF. This undesirable phenomenon is counteracted by permitting the cross-section of the microchannel to increase along the direction of flow, allowing more volume for the vapor. Governing equations are derived from a control-volume analysis of a single heated rectangular microchannel; the cross-section is allowed to expand in width and height. The resulting differential equations are solved numerically for a variety of channel expansion profiles and numbers of channels. The refrigerant is R-134a and channel parameters are based on a physical test bed in a related experiment. Significant improvement in CHF is possible with moderate area expansion. Minimal additional manufacturing costs could yield major gains in the utility of microchannel heat sinks. An optimum expansion rate occurred in certain cases, and alterations in the channel width are, in general, more effective at improving CHF than alterations in the channel height. Modest expansion in height enables small width expansions to be very effective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011