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Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, 1996. IECEC 96., Proceedings of the 31st Intersociety

Date 11-16 Aug. 1996

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  • Proceedings of the 31st Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference Volume 4

    Page(s): ii - vi
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Page(s): 2355 - 2361
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Commercialization. The Engine For R & D

    Page(s): 2362 - 2366
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  • Energy efficiency considerations in the Indian foundry industry

    Page(s): 2263 - 2268 vol.4
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    The iron foundry industry in India comprises of units that are largely under the small scale sector. The foundry units are typically located in clusters, with the cluster size varying from 100 units to around 400 units. This paper details the findings of the energy efficiency study carried out for the foundry cluster located at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. A cluster approach was followed in the study, as there are certain commonalities in different units within a cluster like technology level, operating practices, product type, trade practices, etc. which makes the outcome of the study more useful in terms of wider applicability. There are 200 registered small scale foundry units in the cluster. The metal melting furnace (cupola) employed by the industry suffers from gross inefficiency. The coke feed rate of the furnaces (amount of coke required to melt one tonne of iron-an index of furnace efficiency) varies from 1:3 to 1:5, which is much higher than the achievable figure. Energy audits were undertaken in representative units in the cluster with a view to assess the energy use efficiency of these units. Detailed mass and energy balance of the furnaces were carried out to identify areas of energy wastages and possible energy saving options applicable for the melting furnaces. Based on the energy audits, a set of energy conservation measures were identified with a high rate of return and fairly attractive payback periods. It was concluded that by improving the furnace operating practices and by simple cost effective retrofit measures, it is possible to bring down the coke consumption in the furnaces by 25-35% View full abstract»

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  • Performance of Mohini-U, a single pot mud cookstove

    Page(s): 2269 - 2273 vol.4
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    Thermal analysis of Mohini-U, a single pot cookstove, at different wood burning rates has been reported in this paper. Heat losses due to radiation, convection and flue gas at different wood burning rates have also been presented. The results indicates that Mohini-U cookstove has a maximum efficiency of 27.56% at wood burning rate of 0.5 kg/h. CO/CO2 ratio is also minimum (0.04) at this burning rate. The results further show that the efficiency is above 20% at wood burning rates of 0.75 kg/h and 1.0 kg/h. This clearly indicates that the performance of the cookstove is stable over a wide range of wood burning rates so as to satisfy the requirements of a wide spectrum of users in rural areas of the developing countries View full abstract»

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  • Cable sizing-avoid shortcuts and do it right

    Page(s): 2341 - 2346 vol.4
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    The task of selecting power cable and wire types along with the sizing of the conductors for specific applications is a very important part of the design of any electrical system. Unfortunately, this is a task that is often performed with a minimum of effort and with little consideration for all of the relevant design issues. The resulting tragedy is that improper selection and sizing can easily increase the installed cost of a facility while also reducing the reliability of the complete system. This paper outlines some of the considerations that should be applied to cable selection each and every time. It then suggests the design for a computer based tool which will facilitate the selection process without resorting to simplifications. The conclusion is that cable and wire can be readily sized properly if the power of personal computers are used to evaluate the various criteria and economic options View full abstract»

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  • Overview of geothermal resource development with emphasis on engineering aspects

    Page(s): 2314 - 2317 vol.4
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    Geothermal energy is an important alternative energy resource that is commercially viable at some of the high-grade geothermal sites today. Although the worldwide geothermal resource base is very large, only a small fraction of these resources can be used economically due to inadequacies in technology. The geothermal industry is currently evaluating the state of the technology, and embarking on an R&D program, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy, that is aimed at improving technology and allowing more of the available resource base to be developed View full abstract»

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  • Highlights of the recommendations of the President's Council on Sustainable Development [energy policy]

    Page(s): 2318 - 2323 vol.4
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    After three years of investigation, listening and learning, the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) reached unanimous agreement and delivered its report to President Clinton in March, 1996. The 186-page document-a mixture of fundamental beliefs, goals, as well as scores of recommendations and implementation actions-is designed define sustainability and guide the nation toward achieving it. The recommendations are directed toward government, industry, citizen groups and individuals. The report calls for wide-ranging action that would fundamentally alter the way problems are solved in the United States View full abstract»

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  • The World Bank's Solar Initiative objectives, accomplishments, and plans

    Page(s): 2256 - 2262 vol.4
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    This paper presents the motivation behind the acceleration of World Bank activities in renewable energy (RE) project development and financing. Analytical evidence is mounting that anthropogenic green-house gas emissions may have a serious effect on climate and hence drastic economic dislocations. In addition, dramatic progress in technical improvements and cost reduction in renewable energy technologies during the past few years have brought about a surge of interest in developing RE projects in developed as well as developing countries. The combined effect of these developments is leading the World Bank's clients and donors to the increasing consideration of renewable energy projects as the main means for a long-term solution to the atmospheric warming risk. Also, additional local and regional environmental benefits are expected to accrue from the gradual transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources. The Solar Initiative was established at the World Bank in the Spring of 1994 to fulfil two main objectives: (a) to provide active support to the Bank's regional units for (RE) project identification and preparation; and (b) to play a coordinating, strategic, and catalytic role in removing barriers that impede the introduction of renewable and other environmentally sustainable technologies in developing countries. The paper outlines these programmatic objectives, the accomplishments achieved to date, and the current plans of the Solar Initiative View full abstract»

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  • Atmospheric pollution in a coal mine region of Romania and solutions to assure sustainable development

    Page(s): 2299 - 2302 vol.4
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    The present paper examines the atmospheric pollution in the Jiu-Valley coal mining region of Romania. It identifies: polluting sources, pointing out the pollution favourizing conditions; the pollution impacts; and measures for short-, middle-, and long-term which could be taken in order to obtain a sustainable future development of this region. The importance of the problems presented in this paper is emphasized by the fact that beside cokeable and energetical coal reserves, this region has a high touristic potential the whole year View full abstract»

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  • Energy conservation programs in China

    Page(s): 2324 - 2329 vol.4
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    State-sponsored energy conservation policies and programs have been a key factor in the striking drop in energy intensity of China's economy since the 1980s. China established an extensive administrative structure for energy management that linked the highest policy-making bodies with all the country's major energy-users. A national agency was created to administer large grants and loans for energy-efficiency projects. A network of technical outreach and design centers provided end-users of efficient technologies with crucial information and expertise. Other important measures included energy-efficiency standards, financial incentives, support for research and development and educational programs. The economic system reforms have rendered many of these policies and programs obsolete. China faces great challenges in redirecting policies and institutions to continue pursuing energy efficiency. This a task that is vital to China's long-term economic and environmental health View full abstract»

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  • Micro-turbo-generator design and fabrication: a preliminary study

    Page(s): 2308 - 2313 vol.4
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    This paper discusses the design and fabrication issues associated with the creation of a micro-turbo-generator. The design involves the coupling of an impulse turbine to a switched reluctance generator via a single rotor which couples the two systems. The force of the gas on the rotor causes it to turn at high speeds. With proper current switching and control, this motion can be converted into an electrical power output. A parametric finite element model of the device was created in ANSYS to study its electromechanical performance and to determine the torque that would be required of the micro-turbine. A micro-turbine was fabricated to demonstrate the mechanical portion of this energy conversion system. A planar device was created using the LIGA fabrication technique in which all structures were electroplated copper. Experiments were conducted on five working micro-turbines. The variables studied included the stator design, rotor pole shape, device orientation and the distance between the rotor and the device cover View full abstract»

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  • High efficiency converters for thermophotovoltaic applications

    Page(s): 2238 - 2242 vol.4
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    Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters were developed and tested at the heat source operating temperature of 1700 K. Rare-earth-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) and lutetium yttrium aluminum garnet (Lu, YAG) selective emitters, as well as a blackbody emitter, were coupled to InGaAs/InP photovoltaic (PV) cells and bandpass/infrared (IR) reflector filters. YAG-based selective emitters were doped with Ho, Tm, and Er. PV cells had bandgaps of 0.51, 0.57, and 0.69 eV. Converter energy conversion efficiencies approaching 30%, as well as electrical output power densities near 2 W/cm2 were demonstrated. The overall performance of the filtered blackbody-based converter was found to be superior to the selective emitter YAG-based converters. The details of the measurements performed on the above converters and their individual components are presented View full abstract»

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  • Preliminary design of 1 kW bipolar Ni-MH battery for LEO-satellite application

    Page(s): 2303 - 2307 vol.4
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    Electro Energy, Inc. (EEI) is developing a bipolar nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery based upon the use of stackable wafer cells. The key to viable bipolar operation has been this unique modular (unitized) approach. The patented unit wafer-cell construct exploits the chemical and thermal properties of a proprietary electrically conductive plastic film. Characteristic of bipolar batteries, current flows across the cell interfaces-perpendicular to the electrode plane. EEI has recently contracted with NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) to develop an optimized design 1 kW flightweight battery, for low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite applications, over a 4-year period with a deliverable flightweight design package. The contract includes an option for EEI to deliver up to three flight quality batteries in an 18-month follow-on program. NASA LeRC has promulgated that the program steps include the design, fabrication, and evaluation of four evolutionary stages of the final battery design which have been designated preliminary, improved, optimized and flightweight design. Initial results from the preliminary stage are presented including a 1 kW battery design, thermal design, parameter study, and component development in subscale bipolar batteries View full abstract»

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  • Metal hydride storage requirements for transportation applications

    Page(s): 2280 - 2285 vol.4
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    Vehicular application of hydrogen requires a lightweight, compact, safe and economic containment method. Although various hydrogen storage technologies are presently available, none completely satisfies all of the requirements. Fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen as the fuel and produce water as the only product of combustion. Fuel cells offer the best criteria for meeting the requirement of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Since fuel cells produce waste heat at much lower temperature than internal combustion engines, the operating temperature of the storage system is most important. Since fuel cells require high purity H 2, the ability of the storage system to deliver high purity hydrogen is also of primary importance. This paper aims at defining the design goals for hydride storage systems to be used with future fuel cell vehicle applications. The major conclusions and recommendations of this paper are: only three systems for on-board hydrogen storage appear close to commercialization-compressed gas at high pressure (3-5 kpsi, composite cylinder), liquid hydrogen, and low temperature metal hydrides. No single storage technology satisfies all criteria for on-board storage of H2. Metal hydrides offer high volumetric storage densities and highest crash worthy structure but suffer from excessive weight and very high cost. Off-road locomotives may be the best starting point for launching fuel cell transport View full abstract»

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  • A flywheel micro-energy storage hybrid vehicle having a direct injection diesel prime-mover engine

    Page(s): 2199 - 2202 vol.4
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    This paper investigates the fuel economy of a hybrid electric vehicle having a 0.1 kWh flywheel energy storage system and a direct injection diesel prime mover engine View full abstract»

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  • Methylmercury hazards and risks-what is the question?

    Page(s): 2330 - 2334 vol.4
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    Risk assessment (RA) of methylmercury (MeHg) must explicitly address the public health question being asked by decision makers (e.g., elected or appointed officials) or the public at large. Safety assessment (negligible or zero risk assessment) is useful for identifying contaminant exposures which are insignificant public health concerns. Many MeHg exposures can be inherently described as “unsafe”. Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) should then be used to express MeHg risk as a matter of degree. QRA can then be integrated with exposure avoidability, nutritional benefits/risks and competing dietary risks. A principle issue in QRA is uncertainty. In providing a quantitative measure of uncertainty it becomes an explicit part of the risk management process. Uncertainties in MeHg QRA involve every step of the process, including exposure, metabolism/toxicokinetics, hazard identification, mechanisms of cellular toxicity and dose-response. QRA of MeHg must provide the decision maker (e.g., individual citizen and public health official) with; (1) degree of expected harm; (2) variability of the adverse response in a population (e.g., sensitive subpopulations); and (3) degree of uncertainty associated with risk estimates. Measuring uncertainty provides a means of evaluating the utility of additional research and fosters confidence that decisions are based on a transparent analysis of science View full abstract»

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  • Fusion power plants-goals and technological challenges

    Page(s): 2220 - 2225 vol.4
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    Fusion is one of a few future power sources with the potential to be both economically acceptable and have attractive safety and environmental characteristics. In addition fusion fuel is inexhaustible, readily available, and affordable. Fusion can be an important option in the energy mix for the future because of environmental, supply, and political difficulties associated with fossil fuels and present-day nuclear power. An overview of the technological requirements for fusion power plants is given and their economic, safety, and environmental features are explored. Conceptual design studies predict that fusion power plants will be capital intensive and will be used as central electric power station. The cost of electricity from these power stations is estimated be comparable to other sources of energy. In addition, by using “low-activation” materials and care in design, fusion safety and environmental advantages (with respect to consequences of accidents, waste-disposal, and air pollution, etc.) can be realized. These advantages of fusion will not, however, be achieved automatically and a significant science and technology development program will be required for their realization View full abstract»

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  • The road to sustainable fusion power

    Page(s): 2215 - 2219 vol.4
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    Fusion energy has the potential to provide a vital, environmentally attractive energy option for a growing world population in the next century and beyond. While the development of a new energy source is not a critical near term need for the USA, there is a need to develop long term energy options that alleviate the environmental problems associated with fossil fuels. Presently, a worldwide fusion energy R&D program is working toward the goal of establishing the scientific and technological foundations for fusion energy. This paper concentrates on issues related to determining the scientific feasibility of fusion using magnetic confinement View full abstract»

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  • Operation of power electronic converters at cryogenic temperatures for utility energy conditioning applications

    Page(s): 2209 - 2214 vol.4
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    The operation of power MOSFET devices at cryogenic temperatures has been shown to offer potential advantages in large conversion systems, due primarily to a major drop in on-resistance. This paper investigates the use of high frequency switch mode power electronics converters based on available commercial devices operating at cryogenic temperatures, particularly in relation to electricity supply applications. Efficiency, transient response and power density are all important characteristics which show potential improvement over state of the art room temperature implementations. These characteristics are discussed in relation to both simulation and experimental measurements of a half bridge inverter configuration, and the initial results from tests on an experimental 50 kW three phase inverter are reported. A comparison is made between the circuit performance predicted using standard power electronics simulation tools, applied to modelling switching characteristics at 77 K, and results derived from measured values. The simulations show general full cycle waveform agreement with the experimental model, but there is considerable discrepancy when focusing on the switch transitions. This can result in an inaccurate estimate of overall converter switching power loss which must be accurately defined, since it is the dominant loss mechanism at cryogenic temperatures. Application areas where cryogenic power electronic converter systems may be used in the future are identified, and where, in combination with high temperature superconductor (HTS) power systems equipment, synergistic benefits may result View full abstract»

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  • From concept to consumer-the commercialization of technology [heat pipes]

    Page(s): 2335 - 2340 vol.4
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    The path leading to the commercialization of technology is littered with far more unsuccessful projects than is generally appreciated. The odds on the success of a given project have been likened to those of wildcatting in the oil or gas industry: perhaps one-in-three to one-in-five within a previously established field and from one-in-six to one-in-ten in a new field. This paper examines the commercialization of heat pipe technology as seen through the eyes of the authors, who themselves helped to make it happen. It covers the period from August 1962 to the present. This is the time span from the initial concept of the heat pipe, as reinvented by Dr. George M. Grover of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, to the present day production at DTX of more than 4000 heat pipes per day. The initial application, Government-sponsored nuclear power in space, has not prospered. The present volume market lies in the cooling of CPU chips in notebook computers. The paper explores the personal, engineering, facilitation and market aspects of this transition View full abstract»

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  • The role of space plasma simulation chambers in spacecraft design and testing

    Page(s): 2188 - 2192 vol.4
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    Space plasma simulation chambers have been used, since the earliest days of the space program, to investigate the effects of the space plasma environment on spacecraft systems. A space plasma simulation chamber is a vacuum chamber capable of producing and retaining a high vacuum (10-6 to 10-5 torr) during operation of a plasma source capable of producing a plasma of up to 10 6 electrons and ions per cubic centimeter. Usually, the chamber must be large enough that plasma effects on the spacecraft systems or subsystems to be tested will not be influenced directly by the plasma source or the chamber walls. This means that the chamber must be several times the size of the plasma sheath surrounding the sample even when it is biased to high voltages relative to the surrounding plasma View full abstract»

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  • Considerations to improve the recovery of the thermic component of the compressed air for compressor stations

    Page(s): 2291 - 2298 vol.4
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    The paper refers to energetic and ecological aspects in the operation of volumetric piston compressors used in compressor stations in mines. The applied analysis method is based on the generalization of the pinch technology and the use of Carnot temperature, also taking into account thermodynamics concepts in finite time. As a result of this analysis, a series of solutions for recovery and valorification of the thermal component in the compressed air energy on the following circuits are proposed: low pressure stage of the intermediate cooler compressor; and high pressure stage of the final cooler. Simultaneously, the effects of recovery on the humidity of compressed air, forced in the transport and distribution network are followed, paying attention to the aspects concerning the environmental pollution. This paper is justified by the big energy losses reported at coal mines compressor stations, where the installed power afferent to the compressors is of the order of thousands of kW and the delivered compressed air flows reach 1000-1500 m3 N/min. The proposed recovery and valorification solutions are comparatively analyzed, advantages and disadvantages being pointed out. The proposed recovery solutions include: classic heat exchangers; heat exchangers with plates; heat exchangers with thermal tubes; and absorbtion heat pumps View full abstract»

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  • 20-500 watt AMTEC auxiliary electric power system

    Page(s): 2232 - 2237 vol.4
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    This paper describes the results of a Phase I SBIR effort to design an innovative, efficient, reliable, long life AMTEC Auxiliary Electric Power System (AEPS) for remote site applications (20-500 watts). The concept uses high voltage AMTEC cells, each containing 7 to 9 small electrolyte tubes, integrated with a combustor and recuperator. These multi-tube AMTEC cells are low cost, reliable, long life static converters. The simplicity, efficiency (20% systems) and modularity of this technology allow it to fill applications as varied as light-weight backpacks, remote site power supplies, and military base power. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of a 20% system design, and showed that the development needs to focus on identifying long life AMTEC cell components, determining the AMTEC cell and system reliability, and demonstrating that a 20 watt AMTEC system is 3-5 times more efficient than existing systems for the same application. By replacing the existing 10-120 watt remote site systems with AMTEC systems, the Air Force would save $6-9 million per year in fuel transportation costs and reduce the personnel risks associated with transporting propane. The system developed for this application will then be used for self-powered furnaces and cogeneration AMTEC systems. The potential total annual market size for these commercial applications is estimated at $500 million. The military could realize additional annual savings of $100 million by installing these commercial AMTEC products on base heating systems increasing the potential savings to the nation to a total of $1 billion with these commercial products View full abstract»

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