Matching Items (20)

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Direct Solar–powered Membrane Distillation for Small–scale Desalination Applications

Description

Water desalination has become one of the viable solutions to provide drinking water in regions with limited natural resources. This is particularly true in small communities in arid regions, which

Water desalination has become one of the viable solutions to provide drinking water in regions with limited natural resources. This is particularly true in small communities in arid regions, which suffer from low rainfall, declining surface water and increasing salinity of groundwater. Yet, current desalination methods are difficult to be implemented in these areas due to their centralized large-scale design. In addition, these methods require intensive maintenance, and sometimes do not operate in high salinity feedwater. Membrane distillation (MD) is one technology that can potentially overcome these challenges and has received increasing attention in the last 15 years. The driving force of MD is the difference in vapor pressure across a microporous hydrophobic membrane. Compared to conventional membrane-based technologies, MD can treat high concentration feedwater, does not need intensive pretreatment, and has better fouling resistance. More importantly, MD operates at low feed temperatures and so it can utilize low–grade heat sources such as solar energy for its operation. While the integration of solar energy and MD was conventionally indirect (i.e. by having two separate systems: a solar collector and an MD module), recent efforts were focused on direct integration where the membrane itself is integrated within a solar collector aiming to have a more compact, standalone design suitable for small-scale applications. In this dissertation, a comprehensive review of these efforts is discussed in Chapter 2. Two novel direct solar-powered MD systems were proposed and investigated experimentally: firstly, a direct contact MD (DCMD) system was designed by placing capillary membranes within an evacuated tube solar collector (ETC) (Chapter 3), and secondly, a submerged vacuum MD (S-VMD) system that uses circulation and aeration as agitation techniques was investigated (Chapter 4). A maximum water production per absorbing area of 0.96 kg·m–2·h–1 and a thermal efficiency of 0.51 were achieved. A final study was conducted to investigate the effect of ultrasound in an S-VMD unit (Chapter 5), which significantly enhanced the permeate flux (up to 24%) and reduced the specific energy consumption (up to 14%). The results add substantially to the understanding of integrating ultrasound with different MD processes.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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3D Printed Heat Exchangers: An Experimental Study

Description

As additive manufacturing grows as a cost-effective method of manufacturing, lighter, stronger and more efficient designs emerge. Heat exchangers are one of the most critical thermal devices in the thermal

As additive manufacturing grows as a cost-effective method of manufacturing, lighter, stronger and more efficient designs emerge. Heat exchangers are one of the most critical thermal devices in the thermal industry. Additive manufacturing brings us a design freedom no other manufacturing technology offers. Advancements in 3D printing lets us reimagine and optimize the performance of the heat exchangers with an incredible design flexibility previously unexplored due to manufacturing constraints.

In this research, the additive manufacturing technology and the heat exchanger design are explored to find a unique solution to improve the efficiency of heat exchangers. This includes creating a Triply Periodic Minimal Surface (TPMS) geometry, Schwarz-D in this case, using Mathematica with a flexibility to control the cell size of the models generated. This model is then encased in a closed cubical surface with manifolds for fluid inlets and outlets before 3D printed using the polymer nylon for thermal evaluation.

In the extent of this study, the heat exchanger developed is experimentally evaluated. The data obtained are used to derive a relationship between the heat transfer effectiveness and the Number of Transfer Units (NTU).The pressure loss across a fluid channel of the Schwarz D geometry is also studied.

The data presented in this study are part of initial experimental evaluation of 3D printed TPMS heat exchangers.Among heat exchangers with similar performance, the Schwarz D geometry is 32% smaller compared to a shell-and-tube heat exchanger.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Electrolyte- and transport-enhanced thermogalvanic energy conversion

Description

Waste heat energy conversion remains an inviting subject for research, given the renewed emphasis on energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. Solid-state thermoelectric devices have been widely investigated, but

Waste heat energy conversion remains an inviting subject for research, given the renewed emphasis on energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. Solid-state thermoelectric devices have been widely investigated, but their practical application remains challenging because of cost and the inability to fabricate them in geometries that are easily compatible with heat sources. An intriguing alternative to solid-state thermoelectric devices is thermogalvanic cells, which include a generally liquid electrolyte that permits the transport of ions. Thermogalvanic cells have long been known in the electrochemistry community, but have not received much attention from the thermal transport community. This is surprising given that their performance is highly dependent on controlling both thermal and mass (ionic) transport. This research will focus on a research project, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration between mechanical engineering (i.e. thermal transport) and chemistry, and is a largely experimental effort aimed at improving fundamental understanding of thermogalvanic systems. The first part will discuss how a simple utilization of natural convection within the cell doubles the maximum power output of the cell. In the second part of the research, some of the results from the previous part will be applied in a feasibility study of incorporating thermogalvanic waste heat recovery systems into automobiles. Finally, a new approach to enhance Seebeck coefficient by tuning the configurational entropy of a mixed-ligand complex formation of copper sulfate aqueous electrolytes will be presented. Ultimately, a summary of these results as well as possible future work that can be formed from these efforts is discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Phase Change Materials for Thermal Management in Thermal Energy Storage Applications

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Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is of great significance for many engineering applications as it allows surplus thermal energy to be stored and reused later, bridging the gap between requirement and

Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is of great significance for many engineering applications as it allows surplus thermal energy to be stored and reused later, bridging the gap between requirement and energy use. Phase change materials (PCMs) are latent heat-based TES which have the ability to store and release heat through phase transition processes over a relatively narrow temperature range. PCMs have a wide range of operating temperatures and therefore can be used in various applications such as stand-alone heat storage in a renewable energy system, thermal storage in buildings, water heating systems, etc. In this dissertation, various PCMs are incorporated and investigated numerically and experimentally with different applications namely a thermochemical metal hydride (MH) storage system and thermal storage in buildings. In the second chapter, a new design consisting of an MH reactor encircled by a cylindrical sandwich bed packed with PCM is proposed. The role of the PCM is to store the heat released by the MH reactor during the hydrogenation process and reuse it later in the subsequent dehydrogenation process. In such a system, the exothermic and endothermic processes of the MH reactor can be utilized effectively by enhancing the thermal exchange between the MH reactor and the PCM bed. Similarly, in the third chapter, a novel design that integrates the MH reactor with cascaded PCM beds is proposed. In this design, two different types of PCMs with different melting temperatures and enthalpies are arranged in series to improve the heat transfer rate and consequently shorten the time duration of the hydrogenation and dehydrogenation processes. The performance of the new designs (in chapters 2 and 3) is investigated numerically and compared with the conventional designs in the literature. The results indicate that the new designs can significantly enhance the time duration of MH reaction (up to 87%). In the fourth chapter, organic coconut oil PCM (co-oil PCM) is explored experimentally and numerically for the first time as a thermal management tool in building applications. The results show that co-oil PCM can be a promising solution to improve the indoor thermal environment in semi-arid regions.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Kuwait residential energy outlook: modeling the diffusion of energy conservation measures

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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

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.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Experiments on laminar convective heat transfer with r-Al2O3 nanofluids

Description

As miniature and high-heat-dissipation equipment became major manufacture and operation trends, heat-rejecting and heat-transport solutions faced increasing challenges. In the 1970s, researchers showed that particle suspensions can enhance the

As miniature and high-heat-dissipation equipment became major manufacture and operation trends, heat-rejecting and heat-transport solutions faced increasing challenges. In the 1970s, researchers showed that particle suspensions can enhance the heat transfer efficiency of their base fluids. However, their work was hindered by the sedimentation and erosion issues caused by the relatively large particle sizes in their suspensions. More recently, nanofluids--suspensions of nanoparticles in liquids-were proposed to be applied as heat transfer fluids, because of the enhanced thermal conductivity that has generally been observed. However, in practical applications, a heat conduction mechanism may not be sufficient for cooling high-heat-dissipation devices such as microelectronics or powerful optical equipment. Thus, the thermal performance under convective, i.e., flowing heat transfer conditions becomes of primary interest. In addition, with the presence of nanoparticles, the viscosity of a nanofluid is greater than its base fluid and deviates from Einstein's classical prediction. Through the use of a test rig designed and assembled as part of this dissertation, the viscosity and heat transfer coefficient of nanofluids can be simultaneously determined by pressure drop and temperature difference measurements under laminar flow conditions. An extensive characterization of the nanofluid samples, including pH, electrical conductivity, particle sizing and zeta potential, is also documented. Results indicate that with constant wall heat flux, the relative viscosities of nanofluid decrease with increasing volume flow rate. The results also show, based on Brenner's model, that the nanofluid viscosity can be explained in part by the aspect ratio of the aggregates. The measured heat transfer coefficient values for nanofluids are generally higher than those for base fluids. In the developing region, this can be at least partially explained by Prandtl number effects. The Nusselt number ( Nu ) results for nanofluid show that Nu increases with increasing nanofluid volume fraction and volume flow rate. However, only DI-H2O (deionized water) and 5/95 PG/H2O (PG = propylene glycol) based nanofluids with 1 vol% nanoparticle loading have Nu greater than the theoretical prediction, 4.364. It is suggested that the nanofluid has potential to be applied within the thermally developing region when utilizing the nanofluid as a heat transfer liquid in a circular tube. The suggested Reynold's number is greater than 100.

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Date Created
  • 2010

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A study of latent heat of vaporization in aqueous nanofluids

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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

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.

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Date Created
  • 2015

Modeling, experimentation, and analysis of data center waste heat recovery and utilization

Description

Increasing computational demands in data centers require facilities to operate at higher ambient temperatures and at higher power densities. Conventionally, data centers are cooled with electrically-driven vapor-compressor equipment. This paper

Increasing computational demands in data centers require facilities to operate at higher ambient temperatures and at higher power densities. Conventionally, data centers are cooled with electrically-driven vapor-compressor equipment. This paper proposes an alternative data center cooling architecture that is heat-driven. The source is heat produced by the computer equipment. This dissertation details experiments investigating the quantity and quality of heat that can be captured from a liquid-cooled microprocessor on a computer server blade from a data center. The experiments involve four liquid-cooling setups and associated heat-extraction, including a radical approach using mineral oil. The trials examine the feasibility of using the thermal energy from a CPU to drive a cooling process. Uniquely, the investigation establishes an interesting and useful relationship simultaneously among CPU temperatures, power, and utilization levels. In response to the system data, this project explores the heat, temperature and power effects of adding insulation, varying water flow, CPU loading, and varying the cold plate-to-CPU clamping pressure. The idea is to provide an optimal and steady range of temperatures necessary for a chiller to operate. Results indicate an increasing relationship among CPU temperature, power and utilization. Since the dissipated heat can be captured and removed from the system for reuse elsewhere, the need for electricity-consuming computer fans is eliminated. Thermocouple readings of CPU temperatures as high as 93°C and a calculated CPU thermal energy up to 67Wth show a sufficiently high temperature and thermal energy to serve as the input temperature and heat medium input to an absorption chiller. This dissertation performs a detailed analysis of the exergy of a processor and determines the maximum amount of energy utilizable for work. Exergy as a source of realizable work is separated into its two contributing constituents: thermal exergy and informational exergy. The informational exergy is that usable form of work contained within the most fundamental unit of information output by a switching device within a CPU. Exergetic thermal, informational and efficiency values are calculated and plotted for our particular CPU, showing how the datasheet standards compare with experimental values. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the work's significance.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Plasmonic nanoparticles and their suspensions for solar energy conversion

Description

Plasmon resonance in nanoscale metallic structures has shown its ability to concentrate electromagnetic energy into sub-wavelength volumes. Metal nanostructures exhibit a high extinction coefficient in the visible and near infrared

Plasmon resonance in nanoscale metallic structures has shown its ability to concentrate electromagnetic energy into sub-wavelength volumes. Metal nanostructures exhibit a high extinction coefficient in the visible and near infrared spectrum due to their large absorption and scattering cross sections corresponding to their surface plasmon resonance. Hence, they can serve as an attractive candidate for solar energy conversion. Recent papers have showed that dielectric core/metallic shell nanoparticles yielded a plasmon resonance wavelength tunable from visible to infrared by changing the ratio of core radius to the total radius. Therefore it is interesting to develop a dispersion of core-shell multifunctional nanoparticles capable of dynamically changing their volume ratio and thus their spectral radiative properties. Nanoparticle suspensions (nanofluids) are known to offer a variety of benefits for thermal transport and energy conversion. Nanofluids have been proven to increase the efficiency of the photo-thermal energy conversion process in direct solar absorption collectors (DAC). Combining these two cutting-edge technologies enables the use of core-shell nanoparticles to control the spectral and radiative properties of plasmonic nanofluids in order to efficiently harvest and convert solar energy. Plasmonic nanofluids that have strong energy concentrating capacity and spectral selectivity can be used in many high-temperature energy systems where radiative heat transport is essential. In this thesis,the surface plasmon resonance effect and the wavelength tuning ranges for different metallic shell nanoparticles are investigated, the solar-weighted efficiencies of corresponding core-shell nanoparticle suspensions are explored, and a quantitative study of core-shell nanoparticle suspensions in a DAC system is provided. Using core-shell nanoparticle dispersions, it is possible to create efficient spectral solar absorption fluids and design materials for applications which require variable spectral absorption or scattering.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Microchannel flow boiling enhancement via cross-sectional expansion

Description

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