Energies2015, 8(5), 3403-3417; doi:10.3390/en8053403 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Study on Napier grass leaf (NGL), stem (NGS) and leaf and stem (NGT) was carried out. Proximate, ultimate and structural analyses were evaluated. Functional groups and crystalline components in the biomass were examined. Pyrolysis study was conducted in a thermogravimetric analyzer under nitrogen atmosphere of 20 mL/min at constant heating rate of 10 K/min. The results reveal that Napier grass biomass has high volatile matter, higher heating value, high carbon content and lower ash, nitrogen and sulfur contents. Structural analysis shows that the biomass has considerable cellulose and lignin contents which are good candidates for good quality bio-oil production. From the pyrolysis study, degradation of extractives, hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin occurred at temperature around 478, 543, 600 and above 600 K, respectively. Kinetics of the process was evaluated using reaction order model. New equations that described the process were developed using the kinetic parameters and data compared with experimental data. The results of the models fit well to the experimental data. The proposed models may be a reliable means for describing thermal decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass under nitrogen atmosphere at constant heating rate.
Energies2015, 8(5), 3386-3402; doi:10.3390/en8053386 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper focuses on the electro-thermal analysis of a doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG) in a wind turbine (WT) with gear transmission configuration. The study of the thermal mechanism plays an important role in the development of cost-effective fault diagnostic techniques, design for reliability and premature failure prevention. Starting from an analysis of the DFIG system control and its power losses mechanism, a model that synthesizes the thermal mechanism of the DFIG and a WT system principle is developed to study the thermodynamics of generator stator winding. The transient-state and steady-state temperature characteristics of stator winding under constant and step-cycle patterns of wind speed are studied to show an intrinsic thermal process within a variable-speed WT generator. Thermal behaviors of two failure modes, i.e., generator ventilation system failure and generator stator winding under electric voltage unbalance, are examined in details and validated by both simulation and data analysis. The effective approach presented in this paper for generator fault diagnosis using the acquired SCADA data shows the importance of simulation models in providing guidance for post-data analysis and interpretation. WT generator winding lifetime is finally estimated based on a thermal ageing model to investigate the impacts of wind speed and failure mode.
Energies2015, 8(5), 3370-3385; doi:10.3390/en8053370 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The behaviors of the slag layers formed by the deposition of molten ash onto the wall are important for the operation of entrained coal gasifiers. In this study, the effects of design/operation parameters and slag properties on the slag behaviors were assessed in a commercial coal gasifier using numerical modeling. The parameters influenced the slag behaviors through mechanisms interrelated to the heat transfer, temperature, velocity, and viscosity of the slag layers. The velocity profile of the liquid slag was less sensitive to the variations in the parameters. Therefore, the change in the liquid slag thickness was typically smaller than that of the solid slag. The gas temperature was the most influential factor, because of its dominant effect on the radiative heat transfer to the slag layer. The solid slag thickness exponentially increased with higher gas temperatures. The influence of the ash deposition rate was diminished by the high-velocity region developed near the liquid slag surface. The slag viscosity significantly influenced the solid slag thickness through the corresponding changes in the critical temperature and the temperature gradient (heat flux). For the bottom cone of the gasifier, steeper angles were favorable in reducing the thickness of the slag layers.
Energies2015, 8(5), 3351-3369; doi:10.3390/en8053351 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems are nowadays an option for local and domestic cogeneration of heat and electric power. Very interesting are micropower systems for heat recovery from low potential (40–90 °C) waste and renewable heat sources. Designing an ORC system dedicated to heat recovery from such a source is very difficult. Most important problems are connected with the selection of a suitable expander. Volumetric machines, such as scroll and screw expanders, are adopted as turbine alternative in small-power ORC systems. However, these machines are complicated and expensive. Vane expanders on the other hand are simple and cheap. This paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of the operation of a micro-ORC rotary vane expander under variable heat source temperature conditions. The main objective of this research was therefore a comprehensive analysis of relation between the vane expander output power and the heat source temperature. A series of experiments was performed using the micropower ORC test-stand. Results of these experiments are presented here, together with a mathematical description of multivane expanders. The analysis presented in this paper indicates that the output power of multivane expanders depend on the heat source temperature, and that multivane expanders are cheap alternatives to other expanders proposed for micropower ORC systems.
Energies2015, 8(5), 3328-3350; doi:10.3390/en8053328 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As the use of fossil fuel has increased, not only in construction, but also in agriculture due to the drastic industrial development in recent times, the problems of heating costs and global warming are getting worse. Therefore, the introduction of more reliable and environmentally-friendly alternative energy sources has become urgent and the same trend is found in large-scale horticulture facilities. In this study, among many alternative energy sources, we investigated the reserves and the potential of various different unused energy sources which have infinite potential, but are nowadays wasted due to limitations in their utilization. This study investigated the effects of the distance between the greenhouse and the actual heat source by taking into account the heat transfer taking place inside the pipe network. This study considered CO2 emissions and economic aspects to determine the optimal heat source. Payback period analysis against initial investment cost shows that a heat pump based on a power plant’s waste heat has the shortest payback period of 7.69 years at a distance of 0 km. On the other hand, the payback period of a heat pump based on geothermal heat showed the shortest payback period of 10.17 year at the distance of 5 km, indicating that heat pumps utilizing geothermal heat were the most effective model if the heat transfer inside the pipe network between the greenhouse and the actual heat source is taken into account.
Energies2015, 8(5), 3313-3327; doi:10.3390/en8053313 - published 23 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents a novel hybrid-flux magnetic gear, which integrates a transverse-flux magnetic gear and an axial-flux magnetic gear into a single unit. Compared to its conventional counterparts, the proposed magnetic gear transmits a relatively high torque density. When compared to the transverse-flux magnetic gear, this new structure employs an extra iron segment between the low-speed rotor and high-speed rotor to modulate the magnetic field and contribute to the transmission of additional torque. A three-dimensional (3-D) finite element method (FEM) is used for the analysis of the magnetic field. In the paper a variables-decoupling method based on the sensitivity analysis of the design parameters is also presented to accelerate the optimization process of the proposed machine.