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Designs, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This model was represented as a series of steps involving activation of biological knowledge, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
3D Conductive Polymer Printed Metasurface Antenna for Fresnel Focusing
Designs 2019, 3(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030046 - 04 Sep 2019
Viewed by 253
Abstract
We demonstrate a 3D printed holographic metasurface antenna for beam-focusing applications at 10 GHz within the X-band frequency regime. The metasurface antenna is printed using a dual-material 3D printer leveraging a biodegradable conductive polymer material (Electrifi) to print the conductive parts and polylactic [...] Read more.
We demonstrate a 3D printed holographic metasurface antenna for beam-focusing applications at 10 GHz within the X-band frequency regime. The metasurface antenna is printed using a dual-material 3D printer leveraging a biodegradable conductive polymer material (Electrifi) to print the conductive parts and polylactic acid (PLA) to print the dielectric substrate. The entire metasurface antenna is 3D printed at once; no additional techniques, such as metal-plating and laser etching, are required. It is demonstrated that using the 3D printed conductive polymer metasurface, high-fidelity beam focusing can be achieved within the Fresnel region of the antenna. It is also shown that the material conductivity for 3D printing has a substantial effect on the radiation characteristics of the metasurface antenna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D-Printed RF Devices and Antennas)
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Open AccessArticle
Process Modelling of Geothermal Drilling System Using Digital Twin for Real-Time Monitoring and Control
Designs 2019, 3(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030045 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Currently, Kenya supplies its energy demand predominantly through hydroelectric power, which fluctuates due to poor and unpredictable rainfall in particular years. Geothermal energy is proposed as a clean and reliable energy source in meeting Kenya’s increasing energy demand. During geothermal drilling operations, disruptions [...] Read more.
Currently, Kenya supplies its energy demand predominantly through hydroelectric power, which fluctuates due to poor and unpredictable rainfall in particular years. Geothermal energy is proposed as a clean and reliable energy source in meeting Kenya’s increasing energy demand. During geothermal drilling operations, disruptions due to tool wear and breakages increases the cost of operation significantly. Some of these causes can be mitigated by real-time monitoring of the tool head during operations. This paper presents the design and implementation of a digital twin model of a drilling tool head, represented as a section of a mechatronic assembly system. The system was modelled in Siemens NX and programmed via the TIA portal using S7 1200 PLC. The digital model was programmed to exactly match the operations of the physical system using OPC (open platform communications) standards. These operations were verified through the motion study by simultaneous running of the assembly system and digital twin model. The study results substantiate that a digital twin model of a geothermal drilling operation can closely mimic the physical operation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Data-Driven Process Re-Engineering and Process Interdependence for Manufacturing Optimization Supported by Smart Structured Data
Designs 2019, 3(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030044 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Process re-engineering and optimization in manufacturing industries is a big challenge because of process interdependencies characterized by a high failure rate. Research has shown that over 70% of approaches fail because of complexity as a result of process interdependencies during the implementation phase. [...] Read more.
Process re-engineering and optimization in manufacturing industries is a big challenge because of process interdependencies characterized by a high failure rate. Research has shown that over 70% of approaches fail because of complexity as a result of process interdependencies during the implementation phase. This paper investigates data from a manufacturing operation and designs a filtration algorithm to analyze process interdependencies as a new approach for process optimization. The algorithm examines the data from a manufacturing process to identify limitations through cause and effect relationships and implements changes to achieve an optimized result. The proposed cause and effect approach of re-engineering is termed the Khan-Hassan-Butt (KHB) methodology, and it can filter the process interdependencies and use those as key decision-making tools. It provides an improved process optimization framework that incorporates data analysis along with a cause and effect algorithm to filter out the process interdependencies as an approach to increase output and reduce failure factors simultaneously. It also provides a framework for filtering the manufacturing data into smart structured data. Based on the proposed KHB methodology, the study investigated a production line process using the WITNESS Horizon 22 simulation package and analyzed the efficiency of the proposed approach for production optimization. A case study is provided that integrated the KHB methodology with data-driven process re-engineering to analyze the process interdependencies to use them as decision-making tools for production optimization. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper
PeTaL (Periodic Table of Life) and Physiomimetics
Designs 2019, 3(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030043 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 775
Abstract
The Periodic Table of Life (PeTaL) is a system design tool and open source framework that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the systematic inquiry of nature for its application to human systems. This paper defines PeTaL’s architecture and workflow. Biomimicry, biophysics, [...] Read more.
The Periodic Table of Life (PeTaL) is a system design tool and open source framework that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the systematic inquiry of nature for its application to human systems. This paper defines PeTaL’s architecture and workflow. Biomimicry, biophysics, biomimetics, bionics and numerous other terms refer to the use of biology and biological principles to inform practices in other disciplines. For the most part, the domain of inquiry in these fields has been confined to extant biological models with the proponents of biomimicry often citing the evolutionary success of extant organisms relative to extinct ones. An objective of this paper is to expand the domain of inquiry for human processes that seek to model those that are, were or could be found in nature with examples that relate to the field of aerospace and to spur development of tools that can work together to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence, topology optimization and conventional modeling in problem solving. Specifically, specialized fields such as paleomimesis, anthropomimesis and physioteleology are proposed in conjunction with artificial evolution. The overarching philosophy outlined here can be thought of as physiomimetics, a holistic and systematic way of learning from natural history. The backbone of PeTaL integrates an unstructured database with an ontological model consisting of function, morphology, environment, state of matter and ecosystem. Tools that support PeTaL include machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision. Applications of PeTaL include guiding human space exploration, understanding human and geological history, and discovering new or extinct life. Also discussed is the formation of V.I.N.E. (Virtual Interchange for Nature-inspired Exploration), a virtual collaborative aimed at generating data, research and applications centered on nature. Details of implementation will be presented in subsequent publications. Recommendations for future work are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biologically Inspired Design)
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Open AccessArticle
The Viability of Energy Auditing in Countries with Low Energy Cost: A Case Study of a Residential Building in Cold Climates
Designs 2019, 3(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030042 - 08 Aug 2019
Viewed by 370
Abstract
The continuing importance of energy conservation in the building sector has drawn major attention to energy audits of existing buildings in different climates. In this paper, the energy conservation potential of a residential building located in Iran’s cold climate was investigated through an [...] Read more.
The continuing importance of energy conservation in the building sector has drawn major attention to energy audits of existing buildings in different climates. In this paper, the energy conservation potential of a residential building located in Iran’s cold climate was investigated through an analysis of its actual energy consumption and through computer simulation. The building base-load was determined using a linear regression method based on existing energy bills, and was used to validate the computer simulation of its energy usage. The impact of typical energy saving solutions was evaluated for three cost refurbishment scenarios: low, medium and high. The results show that the existing construction and envelope materials fail to meet the national standards of Iran, but insulating the envelope was found to be a more cost-effective measure than modifying the windows. The results also demonstrate that although the use of energy-saving solutions has a significant impact on energy consumption, even the most economic solutions investigated will have a payback period longer than one decade. Thus, with current energy prices the reviewed energy conservation strategies are not economically justified in Iran from the consumer perspective, as investment in the methods considered typical in other parts of the world will not show a return for at least a half-century. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Dimensional Modelling of a Trilateral Flash Cycle System with Two-Phase Twin-Screw Expanders for Industrial Low-Grade Heat to Power Conversion
Designs 2019, 3(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030041 - 29 Jul 2019
Viewed by 419
Abstract
This paper provides an overview of a one-dimensional modelling methodology for equipment and systems for heat to power conversion based on a staggered grid space discretization and implemented in the commercial software GT-SUITE®. Particular attention is given to a newly developed [...] Read more.
This paper provides an overview of a one-dimensional modelling methodology for equipment and systems for heat to power conversion based on a staggered grid space discretization and implemented in the commercial software GT-SUITE®. Particular attention is given to a newly developed modelling procedure for twin-screw machines that is based on a chamber modelling approach and considers leakage paths between cells and with the casing. This methodology is then applied to a low-grade heat to power conversion system based on a Trilateral Flash Cycle (TFC) equipped with two parallel two-phase twin-screw expanders and a control valve upstream of the machines to adapt the fluid quality for an optimal expander operation. The standalone expander model is used to generate performance maps of the machine, which serve as inputs for the TFC system model. Parametric analyses are eventually carried out to assess the impact of several operating parameters of the TFC unit on the recovered power and cycle thermal efficiency. The study shows that the most influencing factors on the TFC system’s performance are the inlet temperature of the heat source and the expander speed. While the first depends on the topping industrial process, the expander speed can be used to optimize and control the TFC system operation also in transient or off-design operating conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Physical Prototyping of a Novel Braking System for a Helicopter Rotor
Designs 2019, 3(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030040 - 28 Jul 2019
Viewed by 517
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to demonstrate the improved functionality and performance of an electromechanical brake for a helicopter main rotor, which to date has been hydraulically actuated using a disc brake and caliper arrangement. Increasingly, designers seek higher performing solutions to [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to demonstrate the improved functionality and performance of an electromechanical brake for a helicopter main rotor, which to date has been hydraulically actuated using a disc brake and caliper arrangement. Increasingly, designers seek higher performing solutions to traditional problems through the integration of modern actuation and control strategies. This electromechanical device is required to constrain the helicopter tail rotor shaft protruding from the main rotor gearbox to allow safe taxiing and storage of the helicopter. A systematic and rigorous design methodology was used to converge on an effective solution which satisfied a very demanding specification. The design was further detailed and optimized, leading to the development of a prototype at a high technology readiness level that was tested within a bespoke rig, simulating the torque requirements found on a helicopter main rotor using the torque and position control. The design was shown to meet the required holding torque whilst providing additional functionality of continuous holding capability and meeting the challenging volumetric constraints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of C-K Theory Based Approach for Innovative Solutions in Bioinspired Design
Designs 2019, 3(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030039 - 21 Jul 2019
Viewed by 520
Abstract
This paper discusses the investigation of a Concept-Knowledge (C-K) theory based approach for generating innovative design solutions in bioinspired design projects. Undergraduate students enrolled in sophomore engineering design courses at both the University of Georgia (UGA) and James Madison University (JMU) completed bioinspired [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the investigation of a Concept-Knowledge (C-K) theory based approach for generating innovative design solutions in bioinspired design projects. Undergraduate students enrolled in sophomore engineering design courses at both the University of Georgia (UGA) and James Madison University (JMU) completed bioinspired design projects using C-K theory based templates. Hypothesis testing, principal component analysis (PCA) and support vector machine (SVM) techniques were applied on the students’ performance scores of a C-K theory based bioinspired design process to identify the biomimicry attributes which supported the evolution of innovative design solutions. Results from the analysis suggest that the C-K theory based approach is useful for generating innovative design solutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Based Abstraction of Biomimicry Design Principles using Prototyping
Designs 2019, 3(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030038 - 16 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
A key challenge faced by biomimicry practitioners is making the conceptual leap between biology and design, particularly regarding collaborating across these knowledge domains and developing and evaluating design principles abstracted from biology. While many tools and resources to support biomimicry design exist, most [...] Read more.
A key challenge faced by biomimicry practitioners is making the conceptual leap between biology and design, particularly regarding collaborating across these knowledge domains and developing and evaluating design principles abstracted from biology. While many tools and resources to support biomimicry design exist, most largely rely on semantic techniques supporting analogical translation of information between biology and design. However, the challenges of evaluation and collaboration are common in design practice and frequently addressed through prototyping. This study explores the utility of prototyping in the unique context of biomimicry by investigating its impact on the abstraction and transfer of design principles derived from biology as well as on cross-domain collaboration between biologists and designers. Following a survey exploring current practices of practitioners, in depth interviews provided detailed accounts of project experiences that leveraged prototyping. Four primary themes were observed: (1) Approximation; (2) The Prototyping Principle; (3) Synthesis and Testing; and (4) Validation. These themes introduce a unique abstraction and transfer process based on form-finding and collaborative performance evaluation in contrast to the widely accepted semantic language-based approaches. Our findings illustrate how designers and engineers can leverage a prototyping skillset in order to develop boundary objects between the fields of biology and design to navigate challenges uniquely associated with the biomimicry approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biologically Inspired Design)
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Open AccessReview
An Overview of AI Methods for in-Core Fuel Management: Tools for the Automatic Design of Nuclear Reactor Core Configurations for Fuel Reload, (Re)arranging New and Partly Spent Fuel
Designs 2019, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030037 - 15 Jul 2019
Viewed by 502
Abstract
An important aspect of managing a nuclear reactor is how to design refuellings, and from the 1980s to the present different artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have been applied to this problem. A section of the reactor core resembles a symmetrical grid; long fuel [...] Read more.
An important aspect of managing a nuclear reactor is how to design refuellings, and from the 1980s to the present different artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have been applied to this problem. A section of the reactor core resembles a symmetrical grid; long fuel assemblies are inserted there, some of them new, some of them partly spent. Rods of “burnable poisons” dangle above, ready to be inserted into the core, in order to stop the reactor. Traditionally, manual design was made by shuffling positions in the grid heuristically, but AI enabled to automatically generate families of candidate configurations, under safety constraints, as well as in order to optimize combustion, with longer cycles of operation between shutdown periods, thus delaying the end-of-cycle point (except in France, where shutdown is on an annual basis, and Canada, where individual fuel assemblies are replaced, with no need for shutdown for rearranging the entire batch). Rule-based expert systems, the first being FUELCON,1 were succeeded by projects combining neural and rule-based processing (a symbolic-to-neural compilation of rules we did not implement), and later on, genetic algorithms in FUELGEN.2 In the literature, one also comes across the application of fuzzy techniques, tabu search, cellular automata and simulated annealing, as well as particle swarms. Safety regulations require simulating the results using a parameter prediction tool; this is done using either nodal algorithms, or neural processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Supported Design and Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Mix Factors on the Mechanistic-Empirical Flexible Pavement Design
Designs 2019, 3(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030036 - 10 Jul 2019
Viewed by 423
Abstract
This study investigates the sensitivity of the mechanistic-empirical flexible pavement design performance parameters such as cracking, rutting, and smoothness to mix factors for 11 categories of hot-mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures. For each category of HMA mixture, the variations in the pavement performances for [...] Read more.
This study investigates the sensitivity of the mechanistic-empirical flexible pavement design performance parameters such as cracking, rutting, and smoothness to mix factors for 11 categories of hot-mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures. For each category of HMA mixture, the variations in the pavement performances for different effective binder content (Vbe), air void (Va), voids-in-mineral aggregates (VMA), voids-filled-with asphalt (VFA), and asphalt content (AC) are examined by the AASHTOWare Pavement Mechanistic-Empirical Design, simply the AASHTOWare software analysis. Five types of distresses: international roughness index (IRI), total rutting, rutting in the HMA layer, bottom-up fatigue cracking, and top-down longitudinal fatigue cracking are considered in the analysis. Results show that the prediction of distresses values after 20-year of service life using the AASHTOWare software may differ by up to 170% for different specimens of a certain mix design. All distresses, except rutting, increase in Va, VMA, and VFA. Rutting in HMA increases with an increase in VMA and VFA, and is insensitive to Vbe, Va, and AC in the study range of these parameters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of the Interface Button Design of Touch Screens on Operation and Interpretation by Elderly and Middle-Aged Adults
Designs 2019, 3(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030035 - 09 Jul 2019
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Body function begins to decline in middle age, with changes becoming increasingly noticeable over time. With the popularization of educational and information technology, people know more about healthcare and are becoming accustomed to self-testing using health equipment. Technological changes are reflected in products, [...] Read more.
Body function begins to decline in middle age, with changes becoming increasingly noticeable over time. With the popularization of educational and information technology, people know more about healthcare and are becoming accustomed to self-testing using health equipment. Technological changes are reflected in products, which present innovations including the switch from traditional to touch-controlled interface designs. This can cause difficulties in the interpretation and interface operation for older adults, who may be facing physiological and psychological alterations. Understanding users’ physiological limitations has become an important aspect of product design. This study explored the effects of physiological limitations on touch-screen operation in middle-aged and elderly people, specifically regarding button type, display position, and button size. A total of 64 participants were included in the study: 32 middle-aged people (aged 45–64 years) and 32 elderly people (65 years of age and older). Each participant was asked to complete 32 tasks (two button categories × four button sizes × four presentation positions). The results revealed no differences between the elderly and the middle-aged groups with regard to the interpretation of image buttons and text buttons; however, button size affected the operation and interpretation time. Middle-aged participants demonstrated good interpretation performance when the buttons were displayed in the upper or lower part of the screen, whereas elderly participants only had a good interpretation performance when the buttons were in the upper part. For both groups, the ideal image button size was 16 mm with a text font size of 22. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reliability-Based Design Optimization of Load Sharing Systems Using SSI-Markov Models
Designs 2019, 3(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030034 - 06 Jul 2019
Viewed by 471
Abstract
This paper presents a novel single loop approach to design the components of the load sharing systems by optimally allocating the failure probabilities to each component, thereby satisfying the overall system reliability requirement. The Reliability–Based Design Optimization (RBDO) of load sharing systems is [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel single loop approach to design the components of the load sharing systems by optimally allocating the failure probabilities to each component, thereby satisfying the overall system reliability requirement. The Reliability–Based Design Optimization (RBDO) of load sharing systems is computationally intensive due to the dynamic nature of component failure probabilities, since the failure of one component will vary the failure probabilities of other working components. Many RBDO methods have been successfully utilized to design individual components, however using these methods for handling system level reliability constraints is still a challenging task. This is because of a drop in accuracy and computational efficiency, especially when considering a load sharing system, where there is dependency in failure probabilities of components. The key idea is to integrate Stress–Strength Interference (SSI) theory with discrete (or) continuous time-discrete state Markov model for the reliability assessment of system, with the states being the condition of components (working/failed). This method takes advantage of the state transition probability matrix to represent the dynamic nature of the system performance. A numerical example of a simple load sharing system with two I-Beams is presented to illustrate and evaluate the performance of the proposed methodology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designing a Virtual Reality Platform to Facilitate Augmented Theatrical Experiences Based on Auralization
Designs 2019, 3(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030033 - 01 Jul 2019
Viewed by 473
Abstract
In the last few years, the immersive theater has become a new trend for modern performances. Venues increasingly utilize widely available computer technologies, such as virtual/augmented reality and spatial sound, to help facilitate the realization of different ideas. Motivated by this current trend, [...] Read more.
In the last few years, the immersive theater has become a new trend for modern performances. Venues increasingly utilize widely available computer technologies, such as virtual/augmented reality and spatial sound, to help facilitate the realization of different ideas. Motivated by this current trend, a prototype platform has been developed that enables the design and implementation of an augmented theatrical experience based on spatial sound immersion. This paper describes the implementation of the platform and, through several use case scenarios, its evaluation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the results and offers some thoughts on future developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Supported Design and Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
Control of Smart Home Operations Using Natural Language Processing, Voice Recognition and IoT Technologies in a Multi-Tier Architecture
Designs 2019, 3(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030032 - 01 Jul 2019
Viewed by 673
Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging Internet-based architecture, enabling the exchange of data and services in a global network. With the advent of the Internet of Things, more and more devices are connecting to the Internet in order to help people [...] Read more.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging Internet-based architecture, enabling the exchange of data and services in a global network. With the advent of the Internet of Things, more and more devices are connecting to the Internet in order to help people get and share data or program actions. In this paper, we introduce an IoT Agent, a Web application for monitoring and controlling a smart home remotely. The IoT Agent integrates a chat bot that can understand text or voice commands using natural language processing (NLP). With the use of NLP, home devices are more user-friendly and controlling them is easier, since even when a command or question/command is different from the presets, the system understands the user’s wishes and responds accordingly. Our solution exploits several available Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), namely: the Dialogflow API for the efficient integration of NLP to our IoT system, the Web Speech API for enriching user experience with voice recognition and synthesis features, MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) for the lightweight control of actuators and Firebase for dynamic data storage. This is the most significant innovation it brings: the integration of several third-party APIs and open source technologies into one mash-up, highlighting how a new IoT application can be built today using a multi-tier architecture. We believe that such a tiered architecture can be very useful for the rapid development of smart home applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Supported Design and Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical CFD Simulations and Indicated Pressure Measurements on a Sliding Vane Expander for Heat to Power Conversion Applications
Designs 2019, 3(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs3030031 - 26 Jun 2019
Viewed by 545
Abstract
The paper presents an extensive investigation of a small-scale sliding vane rotary expander operating with R245fa. The key novelty is in an innovative operating layout, which considers a secondary inlet downstream of the conventional inlet port. The additional intake supercharges the expander by [...] Read more.
The paper presents an extensive investigation of a small-scale sliding vane rotary expander operating with R245fa. The key novelty is in an innovative operating layout, which considers a secondary inlet downstream of the conventional inlet port. The additional intake supercharges the expander by increasing the mass of the working fluid in the working chamber during the expansion process; this makes it possible to harvest a greater power output within the same machine. The concept of supercharging is assessed in this paper through numerical computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations which are validated against experimental data, including the mass flow rate and indicated pressure measurements. When operating at 1516 rpm and between pressures of 5.4 bar at the inlet and 3.2 bar at the outlet, the supercharged expander provided a power output of 325 W. The specific power output was equal to 3.25 kW/(kg/s) with a mechanical efficiency of 63.1%. The comparison between internal pressure traces obtained by simulation and experimentally is very good. However, the numerical model is not able to account fully for the overfilling of the machine. A comparison between a standard and a supercharged configuration obtained by CFD simulation shows that the specific indicated power increases from 3.41 kW/(kg/s) to 8.30 kW/(kg/s). This large power difference is the result of preventing overexpansion by supercharging. Hence, despite the greater pumping power required for the increased flow through the secondary inlet, a supercharged expander would be the preferred option for applications where the weight of the components is the key issue, for example, in transport applications. Full article
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