Matching Items (8)

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

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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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Investigating The Performance Of 3-D Printed Sorbents For Direct Air Capture Of CO2

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In this study, the stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing method is used to manufacture honeycomb-shaped flat sorbents that can capture CO2 from the air. The 3D-printed sorbents were synthesized using polyvinyl

In this study, the stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing method is used to manufacture honeycomb-shaped flat sorbents that can capture CO2 from the air. The 3D-printed sorbents were synthesized using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), propylene glycol, photopolymer resin, and an ion exchange resin (IER). The one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) design-of-experiment approach was employed to determine the best combination ratio of materials to achieve high moisture swing and a good turnout of printed sorbents. The maximum load limit of the liquid photopolymer resin to enable printability of sorbents was found to be 44%. A series of moisture swing experiments was conducted to investigate the adsorption and desorption performance of the 3D-printed sorbents and compare them with the performance of IER samples prepared by a conventional approach. Results from these experiments conducted indicate that the printed sorbents showed less CO2 adsorptive characteristics compared to the conventional IER sample. It is proposed for future research that a liquid photopolymer resin made up of an IER be synthesized in order to improve the CO2-capturing ability of manufactured sorbents.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Investigating the Thermodynamic Cycle and Efficiency of the Thermal Hydraulic Engine

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About 20-50% of industrial processes energy is lost as waste heat in their operations. The thermal hydraulic engine relies on the thermodynamic properties of supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) to efficiently

About 20-50% of industrial processes energy is lost as waste heat in their operations. The thermal hydraulic engine relies on the thermodynamic properties of supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) to efficiently perform work. Carbon dioxide possesses great properties that makes it a safe working fluid for the engine’s applications. This research aims to preliminarily investigate the actual efficiency which can be obtained through experimental data and compare that to the Carnot or theoretical maximum efficiency. The actual efficiency is investigated through three approaches. However, only the efficiency results from the second method are validated since the other approaches are based on a complete actual cycle which was not achieved for the engine. The efficiency of the thermal hydraulic engine is found to be in the range of 0.5% to 2.2% based on the second method which relies on the boundary work by the piston. The heating and cooling phases of the engine’s operation are viewed on both the T-s (temperature-entropy) and p-v (pressure-volume) diagrams. The Carnot efficiency is also found to be 13.7% from a temperature difference of 46.20C based on the measured experimental data. It is recommended that the thermodynamic cycle and efficiency investigation be repeated using an improved heat exchanger design to reduce energy losses and gains during both the heating and cooling phases. The temperature of CO2 can be measured through direct contact with the thermocouple and pressure measurements can be improved using a digital pressure transducer for the thermodynamic cycle investigation.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Analyzing Controllable Factors Influencing Cycle Time Distribution in Semiconductor Industries

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Semiconductor manufacturing is one of the most complex manufacturing systems in today’s times. Since semiconductor industry is extremely consumer driven, market demands within this industry change rapidly. It is therefore

Semiconductor manufacturing is one of the most complex manufacturing systems in today’s times. Since semiconductor industry is extremely consumer driven, market demands within this industry change rapidly. It is therefore very crucial for these industries to be able to predict cycle time very accurately in order to quote accurate delivery dates. Discrete Event Simulation (DES) models are often used to model these complex manufacturing systems in order to generate estimates of the cycle time distribution. However, building models and executing them consumes sufficient time and resources. The objective of this research is to determine the influence of input parameters on the cycle time distribution of a semiconductor or high volume electronics manufacturing system. This will help the decision makers to implement system changes to improve the predictability of their cycle time distribution without having to run simulation models. In order to understand how input parameters impact the cycle time, Design of Experiments (DOE) is performed. The response variables considered are the attributes of cycle time distribution which include the four moments and percentiles. The input to this DOE is the output from the simulation runs. Main effects, two-way and three-way interactions for these input variables are analyzed. The implications of these results to real world scenarios are explained which would help manufactures understand the effects of the interactions between the input factors on the estimates of cycle time distribution. The shape of the cycle time distributions is different for different types of systems. Also, DES requires substantial resources and time to run. In an effort to generalize the results obtained in semiconductor manufacturing analysis, a non- complex system is considered.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Phase Change Materials for Thermal Management in Thermal Energy Storage Applications

Description

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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Chip production rate and tool wear estimation in micro-endmilling

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In this research, a new cutting edge wear estimator for micro-endmilling is developed and the reliabillity of the estimator is evaluated. The main concept of this estimator is the minimum

In this research, a new cutting edge wear estimator for micro-endmilling is developed and the reliabillity of the estimator is evaluated. The main concept of this estimator is the minimum chip thickness effect. This estimator predicts the cutting edge radius by detecting the drop in the chip production rate as the cutting edge of a micro- endmill slips over the workpiece when the minimum chip thickness becomes larger than the uncut chip thickness, thus transitioning from the shearing to the ploughing dominant regime. The chip production rate is investigated through simulation and experiment. The simulation and the experiment show that the chip production rate decreases when the minimum chip thickness becomes larger than the uncut chip thickness. Also, the reliability of this estimator is evaluated. The probability of correct estimation of the cutting edge radius is more than 80%. This cutting edge wear estimator could be applied to an online tool wear estimation system. Then, a large number of cutting edge wear data could be obtained. From the data, a cutting edge wear model could be developed in terms of the machine control parameters so that the optimum control parameters could be applied to increase the tool life and the machining quality as well by minimizing the cutting edge wear rate.

In addition, in order to find the stable condition of the machining, the stabillity lobe of the system is created by measuring the dynamic parameters. This process is needed prior to the cutting edge wear estimation since the chatter would affect the cutting edge wear and the chip production rate. In this research, a new experimental set-up for measuring the dynamic parameters is developed by using a high speed camera with microscope lens and a loadcell. The loadcell is used to measure the stiffness of the tool-holder assembly of the machine and the high speed camera is used to measure the natural frequency and the damping ratio. From the measured data, a stability lobe is created. Even though this new method needs further research, it could be more cost-effective than the conventional methods in the future.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Design and development of membrane electrode assembly for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Description

This work aimed to characterize and optimize the variables that influence the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) preparation using design of experiment (DOE) approach. In the process of GDL preparation, the

This work aimed to characterize and optimize the variables that influence the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) preparation using design of experiment (DOE) approach. In the process of GDL preparation, the quantity of carbon support and Teflon were found to have significant influence on the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). Characterization methods like surface roughness, wetting characteristics, microstructure surface morphology, pore size distribution, thermal conductivity of GDLs were examined using laser interferometer, Goniometer, SEM, porosimetry and thermal conductivity analyzer respectively. The GDLs were evaluated in single cell PEMFC under various operating conditions of temperature and relative humidity (RH) using air as oxidant. Electrodes were prepared with different PUREBLACK® and poly-tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content in the diffusion layer and maintaining catalytic layer with a Pt-loading (0.4 mg cm-2). In the study, a 73.16 wt.% level of PB and 34 wt.% level of PTFE was the optimal compositions for GDL at 70 °C for 70% RH under air atmosphere.

For most electrochemical processes the oxygen reduction is very vita reaction. Pt loading in the electrocatalyst contributes towards the total cost of electrochemical devices. Reducing the Pt loading in electrocatalysts with high efficiency is important for the development of fuel cell technologies. To this end, this thesis work reports the approach to lower down the Pt loading in electrocatalyst based on N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks (ZIF-67) for oxygen reduction. This electrocatalyst perform with higher electrocatalytic activity and stability for oxygen reduction in fuel cell testing. The electrochemical properties are mainly due to the synergistic effect from N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from ZIF and Pt loading. The strategy with low Pt loading forecasts in emerging highly active and less expensive electrocatalysts in electrochemical energy devices.

This thesis focuses on: (i) methods to obtain greater power density by optimizing content of wet-proofing agent (PTFE) and fine-grained, hydrophobic, microporous layer (MPL); (ii) modeling full factorial analysis of PEMFC for evaluation with experimental results and predicting further improvements in performance; (iii) methods to obtain high levels of performance with low Pt loading electrodes based on N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from ZIF-67 and Pt.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Smart HVAC Zoning For Residential Buildings

Description

The concept of this thesis came up as a part of the efforts being devoted around the world to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions, global warming and ozone layer depletion.

The concept of this thesis came up as a part of the efforts being devoted around the world to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions, global warming and ozone layer depletion. In the United States, HVAC units in residential buildings consumed about 350 billion kWh in 2017 [1],[2]. Although HVAC manufacturers are investing in new technologies and more efficient products to reduce energy consumption, there is still room for further improvement.

One way of reducing cooling and heating energy in residential buildings is by allowing the centralized HVAC unit to supply conditioned air to only occupied portions of the house by applying smart HVAC zoning. According to the United States Energy Information Administration [3], the percentage of houses equipped with centralized HVAC units is over 70%, which makes this thesis applicable to the majority of houses in the United States. This thesis proposes to implement HVAC zoning in a smart way to eliminate all human errors, such as leaving the AC unit on all day, which turns out to be causing a serious amount of energy to be wasted.

The total amount of energy that could be saved by implementing the concepts presented in this thesis in all single-family houses in the U.S. is estimated to be about 156 billion kWh annually. This amount of energy reduction is proportional to the electricity bills and the amount of dollars paid annually on energy that is technically being wasted.

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Date Created
  • 2018