Development of a Feedback Control System for a Lab-Scale Biomass Combustion System Using Programmable Logic Controller

The application of combustion technologies for thermal conversion of biomass and solid wastes to energy has been a major solution to the effective handling of wastes over a long period of time. Lab-scale biomass combustion systems have been observed to be economically viable and socially acceptable, but major concerns are the environmental impacts of the process and deviation of temperature distribution within the combustion chamber. Both high and low combustion chamber temperature may affect the overall combustion efficiency and gaseous emissions. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a control system which measures the deviations of chamber temperature from set target values, sends these deviations (which generates disturbances in the system) in the form of feedback signal (as input), and control operating conditions for correcting the errors. In this research study, major components of the feedback control system were determined, assembled, and tested. In addition, control algorithms were developed to actuate operating conditions (e.g., air velocity, fuel feeding rate) using ladder logic functions embedded in the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The developed control algorithm having chamber temperature as a feedback signal is integrated into the lab-scale swirling fluidized bed combustor (SFBC) to investigate the temperature distribution at different heights of the combustion chamber based on various operating conditions. The air blower rates and the fuel feeding rates obtained from automatic control operations were correlated with manual inputs. There was no observable difference in the correlated results, thus indicating that the written PLC program functions were adequate in designing the experimental study of the lab-scale SFBC. The experimental results were analyzed to study the effect of air velocity operating at 222-273 ft/min and fuel feeding rate of 60-90 rpm on the chamber temperature. The developed temperature-based feedback control system was shown to be adequate in controlling the airflow and the fuel feeding rate for the overall biomass combustion process as it helps to minimize the steady-state error.

Semi-Analytic Method in Fast Evaluation of Thermal Management Solution in Energy Storage System

This article presents the application of the semi-analytic method (SAM) in the thermal management solution (TMS) of the energy storage system (ESS). The TMS studied in this work is fluid cooling. In fluid cooling, both effective heat conduction and heat convection are indispensable due to the heat transfer from solid to fluid. Correspondingly, an efficient TMS requires a design investigation of the following parameters: fluid inlet temperature, ESS initial temperature, fluid flow rate, working c rate, continuous working time, and materials properties. Their variation induces a change of thermal performance in the battery module, which is usually evaluated by numerical simulation. Compared to complicated computation resources and long computation time in simulation, the SAM is developed in this article to predict the thermal influence within a few seconds. In SAM, a fast prediction model is reckoned by combining numerical simulation with theoretical/empirical equations. The SAM can explore the thermal effect of boundary parameters in both steady-state and transient heat transfer scenarios within a short time. Therefore, the SAM developed in this work can simplify the design cycle of TMS and inspire more possibilities in TMS design.

Optimizing the Performance of Thermoelectric for Cooling Computer Chips Using Different Types of Electrical Pulses

Thermoelectric technology is currently being used in many industrial applications for cooling, heating and generating electricity. This research mainly focuses on using thermoelectric to cool down high-speed computer chips at different operating conditions. A previously developed and validated three-dimensional model for optimizing and assessing the performance of cascaded thermoelectric and non-cascaded thermoelectric is used in this study to investigate the possibility of decreasing the hotspot temperature of computer chip. Additionally, a test assembly is built and tested at steady-state and transient conditions. The obtained optimum thermoelectric current at steady-state condition is used to conduct a number of pulsed tests (i.e. transient tests) with different shapes to cool the computer chips hotspots. The results of the steady-state tests showed that at hotspot heat rate of 15.58 W (5.97 W/cm2), using thermoelectric current of 4.5 A has resulted in decreasing the hotspot temperature at open circuit condition (89.3 °C) by 50.1 °C. Maximum and minimum hotspot temperatures have been affected by ON and OFF duration of the electrical current pulse. Maximum hotspot temperature was resulted by longer OFF pulse period. In addition, longer ON pulse period has generated the minimum hotspot temperature.

Ozone Assisted Low Temperature Catalytic Benzene Oxidation over Al2O3, SiO2, AlOOH Supported Ni/Pd Catalytic

Catalytic oxidation of benzene assisted by ozone, on alumina, silica, and boehmite-supported Ni/Pd catalysts was investigated at 353 K to assess the influence of the support on the reaction. Three bimetallic Ni/Pd nanosized samples with loading 4.7% of Ni and 0.17% of Pd supported on SiO2, AlOOH and Al2O3 were synthesized by the extractive-pyrolytic method. The phase composition was characterized by means of XRD and the surface area and pore size were estimated using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) methods. At the beginning of the reaction, catalysts were significantly deactivated due to the accumulation of intermediates on the catalyst surface and after 60 minutes it turned stable. Ni/Pd/AlOOH catalyst showed the highest steady-state activity in comparison with the Ni/Pd/SiO2 and Ni/Pd/Al2O3 catalysts. Their activity depends on the ozone decomposition potential of the catalysts because of generating oxidizing active species. The sample with the highest ozone decomposition ability which correlated to the surface area of the support oxidizes benzene to the highest extent.

Research of Amplitude-Frequency Characteristics of Nonlinear Oscillations of the Interface of Two-Layered Liquid

The problem of nonlinear oscillations of a two-layer liquid completely filling a limited volume is considered. Using two basic asymmetric harmonics excited in two mutually perpendicular planes, ordinary differential equations of nonlinear oscillations of the interface of a two-layer liquid are investigated. In this paper, hydrodynamic coefficients of linear and nonlinear problems in integral relations were determined. As a result, the instability regions of forced oscillations of a two-layered liquid in a cylindrical tank occurring in the plane of action of the disturbing force are constructed, as well as the dynamic instability regions of the parametric resonance for different ratios of densities of the upper and lower liquids depending on the amplitudes of liquids from the excitations frequencies. Steady-state regimes of fluid motion were found in the regions of dynamic instability of the initial oscillation form. The Bubnov-Galerkin method is used to construct instability regions for approximate solution of nonlinear differential equations.

Modelling and Simulating CO2 Electro-Reduction to Formic Acid Using Microfluidic Electrolytic Cells: The Influence of Bi-Sn Catalyst and 1-Ethyl-3-Methyl Imidazolium Tetra-Fluoroborate Electrolyte on Cell Performance

A modified steady-state numerical model is developed for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formic acid. The numerical model achieves a CD (current density) (~60 mA/cm2), FE-faradaic efficiency (~98%) and conversion (~80%) for CO2 electro-reduction to formic acid in a microfluidic cell. The model integrates charge and species transport, mass conservation, and momentum with electrochemistry. Specifically, the influences of Bi-Sn based nanoparticle catalyst (on the cathode surface) at different mole fractions and 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium tetra-fluoroborate ([EMIM][BF4]) electrolyte, on CD, FE and CO2 conversion to formic acid is studied. The reaction is carried out at a constant concentration of electrolyte (85% v/v., [EMIM][BF4]). Based on the mass transfer characteristics analysis (concentration contours), mole ratio 0.5:0.5 Bi-Sn catalyst displays the highest CO2 mole consumption in the cathode gas channel. After validating with experimental data (polarisation curves) from literature, extensive simulations reveal performance measure: CD, FE and CO2 conversion. Increasing the negative cathode potential increases the current densities for both formic acid and H2 formations. However, H2 formations are minimal as a result of insufficient hydrogen ions in the ionic liquid electrolyte. Moreover, the limited hydrogen ions have a negative effect on formic acid CD. As CO2 flow rate increases, CD, FE and CO2 conversion increases.

Simulation-Based Optimization of a Non-Uniform Piezoelectric Energy Harvester with Stack Boundary

This research presents an analytical model for the development of an energy harvester with piezoelectric rings stacked at the boundary of the structure based on the Adomian decomposition method. The model is applied to geometrically non-uniform beams to derive the steady-state dynamic response of the structure subjected to base motion excitation and efficiently harvest the subsequent vibrational energy. The in-plane polarization of the piezoelectric rings is employed to enhance the electrical power output. A parametric study for the proposed energy harvester with various design parameters is done to prepare the dataset required for optimization. Finally, simulation-based optimization technique helps to find the optimum structural design with maximum efficiency. To solve the optimization problem, an artificial neural network is first trained to replace the simulation model, and then, a genetic algorithm is employed to find the optimized design variables. Higher geometrical non-uniformity and length of the beam lowers the structure natural frequency and generates a larger power output.

Effects of Initial State on Opinion Formation in Complex Social Networks with Noises

Opinion formation in complex social networks may exhibit complex system dynamics even when based on some simplest system evolution models. An interesting and important issue is the effects of the initial state on the final steady-state opinion distribution. By carrying out extensive simulations and providing necessary discussions, we show that, while different initial opinion distributions certainly make differences to opinion evolution in social systems without noises, in systems with noises, given enough time, different initial states basically do not contribute to making any significant differences in the final steady state. Instead, it is the basal distribution of the preferred opinions that contributes to deciding the final state of the systems. We briefly explain the reasons leading to the observed conclusions. Such an observation contradicts with a long-term belief on the roles of system initial state in opinion formation, demonstrating the dominating role that opinion mutation can play in opinion formation given enough time. The observation may help to better understand certain observations of opinion evolution dynamics in real-life social networks.

A Simulation Model and Parametric Study of Triple-Effect Desalination Plant

A steady-state analysis of triple-effect thermal vapor compressor desalination unit was performed. A mathematical model based on mass, salinity and energy balances is developed. The purpose of this paper is to develop a connection between process simulator and process optimizer in order to study the influence of several operating variables on the performance and the produced water cost of the unit. A MATLAB program is used to solve the model equations, and Aspen HYSYS is used to model the plant. The model validity is examined against a commercial plant and showed a good agreement between industrial data and simulations results. Results show that the pressures of the last effect and the compressed vapor have an important influence on the produced cost, and the increase of the difference temperature in the condenser decreases the specific heat area about 22%.

Speciation Analysis by Solid-Phase Microextraction and Application to Atrazine

The main hypothesis of the dynamics of solid phase microextraction (SPME) is that steady-state mass transfer is respected throughout the SPME extraction process. It considers steady-state diffusion is established in the two phases and fast exchange of the analyte at the solid phase film/water interface. An improved model is proposed in this paper to handle with the situation when the analyte (atrazine) is in contact with colloid suspensions (carboxylate latex in aqueous solution). A mathematical solution is obtained by substituting the diffusion coefficient by the mean of diffusion coefficient between analyte and carboxylate latex, and also thickness layer by the mean thickness in aqueous solution. This solution provides an equation relating the extracted amount of the analyte to the extraction a little more complicated than previous models. It also gives a better description of experimental observations. Moreover, the rate constant of analyte obtained is in satisfactory agreement with that obtained from the initial curve fitting.

Analysis of One-Way and Two-Way FSI Approaches to Characterise the Flow Regime and the Mechanical Behaviour during Closing Manoeuvring Operation of a Butterfly Valve

Butterfly valves are widely used industrial piping components as on-off and flow controlling devices. The main challenge in the design process of this type of valves is the correct dimensioning to ensure proper mechanical performance as well as to minimise flow losses that affect the efficiency of the system. Butterfly valves are typically dimensioned in a closed position based on mechanical approaches considering uniform hydrostatic pressure, whereas the flow losses are analysed by means of CFD simulations. The main limitation of these approaches is that they do not consider either the influence of the dynamics of the manoeuvring stage or coupled phenomena. Recent works have included the influence of the flow on the mechanical behaviour for different opening angles by means of one-way FSI approach. However, these works consider steady-state flow for the selected angles, not capturing the effect of the transient flow evolution during the manoeuvring stage. Two-way FSI modelling approach could allow overcoming such limitations providing more accurate results. Nevertheless, the use of this technique is limited due to the increase in the computational cost. In the present work, the applicability of FSI one-way and two-way approaches is evaluated for the analysis of butterfly valves, showing that not considering fluid-structure coupling involves not capturing the most critical situation for the valve disc.

Hardware-in-the-Loop Test for Automatic Voltage Regulator of Synchronous Condenser

Automatic voltage regulator (AVR) plays an important role in volt/var control of synchronous condenser (SC) in power systems. Test AVR performance in steady-state and dynamic conditions in real grid is expensive, low efficiency, and hard to achieve. To address this issue, we implement hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) test for the AVR of SC to test the steady-state and dynamic performances of AVR in different operating conditions. Startup procedure of the system and voltage set point changes are studied to evaluate the AVR hardware response. Overexcitation, underexcitation, and AVR set point loss are tested to compare the performance of SC with the AVR hardware and that of simulation. The comparative results demonstrate how AVR will work in a real system. The results show HiL test is an effective approach for testing devices before deployment and is able to parameterize the controller with lower cost, higher efficiency, and more flexibility.

Analyses of Natural Convection Heat Transfer from a Heated Cylinder Mounted in Vertical Duct

Experiments are conducted to analyze the steady-state and the power-on transient natural convection heat transfer from a horizontal cylinder mounted in a vertical up flow circular duct. The heat flux ranges from 177 W/m2 to 2426 W/m2 and the Rayleigh number ranges from 1×104 to 4.35×104. For natural air flow and constant heat flux condition, the effects of heat transfer around the cylinder under steady-state condition are investigated. The steady-state results compare favorably with that of the available data. The effects of transient heat transfer data on different angular position of the thermocouple (0o, 90o, 180o) are also reported. It is observed that the transient heat transfer around the cylinder is strongly affected by the position of thermocouples. In the transient region, the rate of heat transfer obtained at 90o and 180o are higher than that of stagnation point (0o). Finally, the dependence of the average Nusselt number on Rayleigh number for steady and transient natural convection heat transfer are analyzed, and a correlation equation is presented.

A Two-Phase Flow Interface Tracking Algorithm Using a Fully Coupled Pressure-Based Finite Volume Method

Two-phase and multi-phase flows are common flow types in fluid mechanics engineering. Among the basic and applied problems of these flow types, two-phase parallel flow is the one that two immiscible fluids flow in the vicinity of each other. In this type of flow, fluid properties (e.g. density, viscosity, and temperature) are different at the two sides of the interface of the two fluids. The most challenging part of the numerical simulation of two-phase flow is to determine the location of interface accurately. In the present work, a coupled interface tracking algorithm is developed based on Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) approach using a cell-centered, pressure-based, coupled solver. To validate this algorithm, an analytical solution for fully developed two-phase flow in presence of gravity is derived, and then, the results of the numerical simulation of this flow are compared with analytical solution at various flow conditions. The results of the simulations show good accuracy of the algorithm despite using a nearly coarse and uniform grid. Temporal variations of interface profile toward the steady-state solution show that a greater difference between fluids properties (especially dynamic viscosity) will result in larger traveling waves. Gravity effect studies also show that favorable gravity will result in a reduction of heavier fluid thickness and adverse gravity leads to increasing it with respect to the zero gravity condition. However, the magnitude of variation in favorable gravity is much more than adverse gravity.

Modeling the Effect of Thermal Gradation on Steady-State Creep Behavior of Isotropic Rotating Disc Made of Functionally Graded Material

In this paper, an attempt has been made to study the effect of thermal gradation on the steady-state creep behavior of rotating isotropic disc made of functionally graded material using threshold stress based Sherby’s creep law. The composite discs made of aluminum matrix reinforced with silicon carbide particulate have been taken for analysis. The stress and strain rate distributions have been calculated for the discs rotating at elevated temperatures having thermal gradation. The material parameters of creep vary radially and have been estimated by regression fit of the available experimental data. Investigations for discs made up of linearly increasing particle content operating under linearly decreasing temperature from inner to outer radii have been done using von Mises’ yield criterion. The results are displayed and compared graphically in designer friendly format for the above said disc profile with the disc made of particle reinforced composite operating under uniform temperature profile. It is observed that radial and tangential stresses show minor variation and the strain rates vary significantly in the presence of thermal gradation as compared to disc having uniform temperature.

Effect of Linear Thermal Gradient on Steady-State Creep Behavior of Isotropic Rotating Disc

The present paper investigates the effect of linear thermal gradient on the steady-state creep behavior of rotating isotropic disc using threshold stress based Sherby’s creep law. The composite discs made of aluminum matrix reinforced with silicon carbide particulate has been taken for analysis. The stress and strain rate distributions have been calculated for discs rotating at linear thermal gradation using von Mises’ yield criterion. The material parameters have been estimated by regression fit of the available experimental data. The results are displayed and compared graphically in designer friendly format for the above said temperature profile with the disc operating under uniform temperature profile. It is observed that radial and tangential stresses show minor variation and the strain rates vary significantly in the presence of thermal gradation as compared to disc having uniform temperature.

Experimental and Graphical Investigation on Oil Recovery by Buckley-Leveret Theory

Recently increasing oil production from petroleum reservoirs is one of the most important issues in the global energy sector. So, in this paper, the recovery of oil by the waterflooding technique from petroleum reservoir are considered. To investigate the aforementioned phenomena, the relative permeability of two immiscible fluids in sand is measured in the laboratory based on the steady-state method. Two sorts of oils, kerosene and heavy oil, and water are pumped simultaneously into a vertical sand column with different pumping ratio. From the change in fractional discharge measured at the outlet, a method for determining the relative permeability is developed focusing on the displacement mechanism in sand. Then, displacement mechanism of two immiscible fluids in the sand is investigated under the Buckley-Leveret frontal displacement theory and laboratory experiment. Two sorts of experiments, one is the displacement of pore water by oil, the other is the displacement of pore oil by water, are carried out. It is revealed that the relative permeability curves display tolerably different shape owing to the properties of oils, and produce different amount of residual oils and irreducible water saturation.

Computer Modeling and Plant-Wide Dynamic Simulation for Industrial Flare Minimization

Flaring emissions during abnormal operating conditions such as plant start-ups, shut-downs, and upsets in chemical process industries (CPI) are usually significant. Flare minimization can help to save raw material and energy for CPI plants, and to improve local environmental sustainability. In this paper, a systematic methodology based on plant-wide dynamic simulation is presented for CPI plant flare minimizations under abnormal operating conditions. Since off-specification emission sources are inevitable during abnormal operating conditions, to significantly reduce flaring emission in a CPI plant, they must be either recycled to the upstream process for online reuse, or stored somewhere temporarily for future reprocessing, when the CPI plant manufacturing returns to stable operation. Thus, the off-spec products could be reused instead of being flared. This can be achieved through the identification of viable design and operational strategies during normal and abnormal operations through plant-wide dynamic scheduling, simulation, and optimization. The proposed study includes three stages of simulation works: (i) developing and validating a steady-state model of a CPI plant; (ii) transiting the obtained steady-state plant model to the dynamic modeling environment; and refining and validating the plant dynamic model; and (iii) developing flare minimization strategies for abnormal operating conditions of a CPI plant via a validated plant-wide dynamic model. This cost-effective methodology has two main merits: (i) employing large-scale dynamic modeling and simulations for industrial flare minimization, which involves various unit models for modeling hundreds of CPI plant facilities; (ii) dealing with critical abnormal operating conditions of CPI plants such as plant start-up and shut-down. Two virtual case studies on flare minimizations for start-up operation (over 50% of emission savings) and shut-down operation (over 70% of emission savings) of an ethylene plant have been employed to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed study.

Internal Power Recovery in Cryogenic Cooling Plants Part I: Expander Development

The amount of the electrical power required by refrigeration systems is relevant worldwide. It is evaluated in the order of 15% of the total electricity production taking refrigeration and air-conditioning into consideration. For this reason, in the last years several energy saving techniques have been proposed to reduce the power demand of such plants. The paper deals with the development of an innovative internal recovery system for cryogenic cooling plants. Such a system consists in a Compressor-Expander Group (CEG) designed on the basis of the automotive turbocharging technology. In particular, the paper is focused on the design of the expander, the critical component of the CEG system. Due to the low volumetric flow entering the expander and the high expansion ratio, a commercial turbocharger expander wheel was strongly modified. It was equipped with a transonic nozzle, designed to have a radially inflow full admission. To verify the performance of such a machine and suggest improvements, two different set of nozzles have been designed and modelled by means of the commercial Ansys-CFX software. steady-state 3D CFD simulations of the second-generation prototype are presented and compared with the initial ones.

Active Islanding Detection Method Using Intelligent Controller

An active islanding detection method using disturbance signal injection with intelligent controller is proposed in this study. First, a DC\AC power inverter is emulated in the distributed generator (DG) system to implement the tracking control of active power, reactive power outputs and the islanding detection. The proposed active islanding detection method is based on injecting a disturbance signal into the power inverter system through the d-axis current which leads to a frequency deviation at the terminal of the RLC load when the utility power is disconnected. Moreover, in order to improve the transient and steady-state responses of the active power and reactive power outputs of the power inverter, and to further improve the performance of the islanding detection method, two probabilistic fuzzy neural networks (PFNN) are adopted to replace the traditional proportional-integral (PI) controllers for the tracking control and the islanding detection. Furthermore, the network structure and the online learning algorithm of the PFNN are introduced in detail. Finally, the feasibility and effectiveness of the tracking control and the proposed active islanding detection method are verified with experimental results.