skip to main content

Title: A dynamic model for the optimization of oscillatory low grade heat engines

The efficiency of a thermodynamic system is a key quantity on which its usefulness and wider application relies. This is especially true for a device that operates with marginal energy sources and close to ambient temperatures. Various definitions of efficiency are available, each of which reveals a certain performance characteristic of a device. Of these, some consider only the thermodynamic cycle undergone by the working fluid, whereas others contain additional information, including relevant internal components of the device that are not part of the thermodynamic cycle. Yet others attempt to factor out the conditions of the surroundings with which the device is interfacing thermally during operation. In this paper we present a simple approach for the modeling of complex oscillatory thermal-fluid systems capable of converting low grade heat into useful work. We apply the approach to the NIFTE, a novel low temperature difference heat utilization technology currently under development. We use the results from the model to calculate various efficiencies and comment on the usefulness of the different definitions in revealing performance characteristics. We show that the approach can be applied to make design optimization decisions, and suggest features for optimal efficiency of the NIFTE.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)
  2. Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PJ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22390921
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1642; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: ICCMSE-2010: International Conference of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering 2010, Kos (Greece), 3-8 Oct 2010; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; EFFICIENCY; ENERGY SOURCES; HEAT ENGINES; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; OPERATION; OPTIMIZATION; PERFORMANCE; THERMODYNAMIC CYCLES; THERMODYNAMICS; WORKING FLUIDS