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Energies 2016, 9(6), 461; doi:10.3390/en9060461

Energy Converter with Inside Two, Three, and Five Connected H2/Air Swirling Combustor Chambers: Solar and Combustion Mode Investigations

Department of Astronautic, Electrics & Energetics Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza” Via Eudossiana 18, Rome 00184, Italy
Academic Editor: George Kosmadakis
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro Combustor)

Abstract

This work reports the performance of an energy converter characterized by an emitting parallelepiped element with inside two, three, or five swirling connected combustion chambers. In particular, the idea is to adopt the heat released by H2/air combustion, occurring in the connected swirling chambers, to heat up the emitting surfaces of the thermally-conductive emitting parallelepiped brick. The final goal consists in obtaining the highest emitting surface temperature and the highest power delivered to the ambient environment, with the simultaneous fulfillment of four design constraints: dimension of the emitting surface fixed to 30 × 30 mm2, solar mode thermal efficiency greater than 20%, emitting surface peak temperature T > 1000 K, and its relative ∆T < 100 K in the combustion mode operation. The connected swirling meso-combustion chambers, inside the converter, differ only in their diameters. Combustion simulations are carried out adopting 500 W of injected chemical power, stoichiometric conditions, and detailed chemistry. All provide high chemical efficiency, η > 99.9%, and high peak temperature, but the emitting surface ∆T is strongly sensitive to the geometrical configuration. The present work is related to the “EU-FP7-HRC-Power” project, aiming at developing micro-meso hybrid sources of power, compatible with a thermal/electrical conversion by thermo-photovoltaic cells.
Keywords: meso-combustor; hydrogen-air combustion; whirl flow; fluid-structure interaction; computational fluid dynamics; detailed chemistry meso-combustor; hydrogen-air combustion; whirl flow; fluid-structure interaction; computational fluid dynamics; detailed chemistry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Minotti, A. Energy Converter with Inside Two, Three, and Five Connected H2/Air Swirling Combustor Chambers: Solar and Combustion Mode Investigations. Energies 2016, 9, 461.

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