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[en] Highlights: • Trigeneration technologies classified and reviewed according to prime movers. • Relevant heat recovery equipment discussed with thermal energy storage. • Trigeneration evaluated based on energy, exergy, economy, environment criteria. • Design, optimization, and decision-making methods classified and presented. • System selection suggested according to user preferences. - Abstract: Electricity, heating, and cooling are the three main components constituting the tripod of energy consumption in residential, commercial, and public buildings all around the world. Their separate generation causes higher fuel consumption, at a time where energy demands and fuel costs are continuously rising. Combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) or trigeneration could be a solution for such challenge yielding an efficient, reliable, flexible, competitive, and less pollutant alternative. A variety of trigeneration technologies are available and their proper choice is influenced by the employed energy system conditions and preferences. In this paper, different types of trigeneration systems are classified according to the prime mover, size and energy sequence usage. A leveled selection procedure is subsequently listed in the consecutive sections. The first level contains the applied prime mover technologies which are considered to be the heart of any CCHP system. The second level comprises the heat recovery equipment (heating and cooling) of which suitable selection should be compatible with the used prime mover. The third level includes the thermal energy storage system and heat transfer fluid to be employed. For each section of the paper, a survey of conducted studies with CHP/CCHP implementation is presented. A comprehensive table of evaluation criteria for such systems based on energy, exergy, economy, and environment measures is performed, along with a survey of the methods used in their design, optimization, and decision-making. Moreover, a classification diagram of the main CHP/CCHP system components is summarized. A general selection approach of the appropriate CCHP system according to specific needs is finally suggested. In almost all reviewed works, CCHP systems are found to have positive technical and performance impacts.
[en] Highlights: ► A solar desiccant cooling/heating system is simulation studied. ► The mean deviation is about 10.5% for temperature and 9.6% for humidity ratio. ► The 51.7% of humidity load and 76% of the total cooling can be handled. ► About 49.0% of heating load can be handled by solar energy. ► An optimization of solar air collector has been investigated. - Abstract: To increase the fraction of solar energy might be used in supplying energy for the operation of a building, a solar desiccant cooling and heating system was modeled in Simulink. First, base case performance models were programmed according to the configuration of the installed solar desiccant system and verified by the experimental data. Then, the year-round performance about the system was simulated. Last, design parameters of solar air collectors were optimized that include collector area, air leakage and thermal insulation. Comparison between numerical and experimental results shows good agreement. During the simulation, the humidity load for 63 days (51.7%) can be totally handled by the two-stage desiccant cooling unit. For seasonal total heating load, about 49.0% can be handled by solar energy. Based on optimized results, the thermal energy subsystem functioned to its expected performance in solar energy collection and thermal storage
[en] Highlights: • New Hybrid system coupling photovoltaic and thermoelectric are studied. • Thermal transfer Method. • The effect of coupling types which are direct and indirect are examined. • The Heat Transfer is modeled in Hybrid system. • The indirect coupling significantly improves the overall efficiency. - Abstract: Advanced photovoltaic devices with a high performance/cost ratio is a major concern nowadays. In the present study, we investigate the energetic efficiency of a new concept based on an indirect (instead of direct) photovoltaic and thermoelectric coupling. Using state-of-the-art thermal transfer calculations, we have shown that such an indirect coupling is an interesting alternative to maximize solar energy exploitation. In our model, a concentrator is placed between photovoltaic and thermoelectric systems without any physical contact of the three components. Our major finding showed that the indirect coupling significantly improve the overall efficiency which is very promising for future photovoltaic developments.
[en] Highlights: • Mode 4 has the highest exergy efficiency. • Mode 2 has the largest exergy density. • Second heat exchanger has the largest exergy destruction. - Abstract: Advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage system plays an important role in smoothing out the fluctuated power from renewable energy. Under different operation modes of charge-discharge process, thermodynamic behavior of system will vary. In order to optimize system performance, four operation modes of charge-discharge process are proposed in this paper. The performance difference of four modes is compared with each other based on energy analysis and exergy analysis. The results show that exergy efficiency of mode 4 is the highest, 55.71%, and exergy density of mode 2 is the largest, 8.09 × 106 J m−3, when design parameters of system are identical. The second heat exchanger has the most improvement potential in elevating system performance. In addition, a parametric analysis and multi-objective optimization are also carried out to assess the effects of several key parameters on system performance.
[en] Highlights: • A technical solution to the power supply of wireless sensor networks is presented. • The low voltage produced by TEG is boosted from less than 1 V to more than 4 V. • An output current and voltage of TEG device is acquired as 21.47 mA and 221 mV. • The device successfully provides output power 4.7 mW in no electricity conditions. • The thermo-economic value of TEG device is demonstrated. - Abstract: Motivated by the limited power supply of wireless sensors used to monitor the natural environment, for example, in forests, this study presents a technical solution by recycling solar irradiation heat using thermoelectric generators. Based on solar irradiation and the earth’s surface-air temperature difference, a new type of thermoelectric power generation device has been devised, the distinguishing features of which include the application of an all-glass heat-tube-type vacuum solar heat collection pipe to absorb and transfer solar energy without a water medium and the use of a thin heat dissipation tube to cool the earth surface air temperature. The effects of key parameters such as solar illumination, air temperature, load resistance, the proportional coefficient, output power and power generation efficiency for thermoelectric energy conversion are analyzed. The results of realistic outdoor experiments show that under a state of regular illumination at 3.75 × 10"4 lx, using one TEG module, the thermoelectric device is able to boost the voltage obtained from the natural solar irradiation from 221 mV to 4.41 V, with an output power of 4.7 mW. This means that the electrical energy generated can provide the power supply for low power consumption components, such as low power wireless sensors, ZigBee modules and other low power loads
[en] Highlights: • A solar thermoelectric with micro-channel heat pipe system was presented. • Mathematical model of the system was built. • Experiment and the simulation were compared to verify the model. • Performance of the system with different factors was analyzed. - Abstract: Micro-channel heat pipe can convert the low heat flux to the high heat flux by changing the ratio of the evaporator area to the condenser area and has a higher heat transfer performance than the common heat pipe. Combining the solar concentrating thermoelectric generation with micro-channel heat pipe can save the quantity of thermoelectric generation and reduce the cost significantly. In this paper, a solar concentrating thermoelectric generator using the micro-channel heat pipe array was designed, and the mathematical model was built. Furthermore, the comparison of the experiment and the simulation between the solar concentrating thermoelectric generator using the micro-channel heat pipe array and the thermoelectric generations in series was made. In addition, the performance on the different areas of selective absorbing coating, different concentration ratios, different ambient temperatures, different wind speed all were analyzed. The outcomes showed the overall performance of the solar concentrating thermoelectric generator using the micro-channel heat pipe array system.
[en] Highlights: • A new method for design of segmented TEG is proposed. • Optimal length ratios for output power and efficiency are different. • Material properties, geometry and heat transfer all need to be considered. • This method is approved to be accurate and time-efficient. - Abstract: A comprehensive method for indicating the length ratio of segmented thermoelectric generator (TEG) is proposed to increase the output power and thermoelectric conversion efficiency. It is found that for a segmented TEG, there is an optimal length ratio corresponding to the highest maximum output power or thermoelectric conversion efficiency, which is not only dependent on the material properties but also the heat transfer conditions and geometry structure. The optimal length ratios corresponding to the output power and thermoelectric conversion efficiency are different. This method is also validated, and the error is within a reasonable range, indicating that this method can be used accurately and time-efficiently for the design of segmented TEGs.
[en] Highlights: • We developed a thermoelectric cap (TC) to harvest hydrothermal energy. • The TC was deployed at a hydrothermal vent site near Kueishantao islet, Taiwan. • The TC monitored the temperature of the hydrothermal fluids during the field test. • The TC could make the thermal energy of hydrothermal fluids a viable power source. - Abstract: Long-term in situ monitoring is crucial to seafloor scientific investigations. One of the challenges of operating sensors in seabed is the lifespan of the sensors. Such sensors are commonly powered by batteries when other alternatives, such as tidal or solar energy, are unavailable. However, the batteries have a limited lifespan and must be recharged or replaced periodically, which is costly and impractical. A thermoelectric cap, which harvests the thermal energy of hydrothermal fluids through a conduction pipe and converts the heat to electrical energy by using thermoelectric generators, was developed to avoid these inconveniences. The thermoelectric cap was combined with a power and temperature measurement system that enables the thermoelectric cap to power a light-emitting diode lamp, an electronic load (60 Ω), and 16 thermocouples continuously. The thermoelectric cap was field tested at a shallow hydrothermal vent site near Kueishantao islet, which is located offshore of northeastern Taiwan. By using the thermal gradient between hydrothermal fluids and seawater, the thermoelectric cap obtained a sustained power of 0.2–0.5 W during the field test. The thermoelectric cap successfully powered the 16 thermocouples and recorded the temperature of the hydrothermal fluids during the entire field test. Our results show that the thermal energy of hydrothermal fluids can be an alternative renewable power source for oceanographic research.
[en] Highlights: • Thermal enhancement in a thermoelectric liquid generator is tested. • Thermal enhancement is brought upon by flow impeding inserts. • CFD simulations attribute thermal enhancement to velocity field alterations. • Thermoelectric power enhancement is measured and discussed. • Power enhancement relative to adverse pressure drop is investigated. - Abstract: Thermoelectric power production has many potential applications that range from microelectronics heat management to large scale industrial waste-heat recovery. A low thermoelectric conversion efficiency of the current state of the art prevents wide spread use of thermoelectric modules. The difficulties lie in material conversion efficiency, module design, and thermal system management. The present study investigates thermoelectric power improvement due to heat transfer enhancement at the channel walls of a liquid-to-liquid thermoelectric generator brought upon by flow turbulating inserts. Care is taken to measure the adverse pressure drop due to the presence of flow impeding obstacles in order to measure the net thermoelectric power enhancement relative to an absence of inserts. The results illustrate the power enhancement performance of three different geometric forms fitted into the channels of a thermoelectric generator. Spiral inserts are shown to offer a minimal improvement in thermoelectric power production whereas inserts with protruding panels are shown to be the most effective. Measurements of the thermal enhancement factor which represents the ratio of heat flux into heat flux out of a channel and numerical simulations of the internal flow velocity field attribute the thermal enhancement resulting in the thermoelectric power improvement to thermal and velocity field synergy
[en] Highlights: • The interaction between multiple boreholes is presented as an arising issue. • Thermal interaction among boreholes in long-term system operation is examined. • Effect of thermal interaction on heat pump COP is examined. • Borehole stores/removes heat in the ground under a periodic ground heat profile. • The analytical model is validated with a numerical finite volume approach. - Abstract: A semi-analytical model that couples a model outside the borehole with one inside the borehole is proposed. To examine the effect of temperature rise in the soil surrounding a vertical ground heat exchanger on the performance of an associated ground heat pump, the heat pump model should be coupled to the model inside the borehole and the conduction heat transfer model outside the borehole. The running fluid temperature, the borehole wall temperature and the heat load profile are the main coupling parameters between the three models. The results of the analytical model are compared with ones of a finite volume numerical model