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[en] Highlights: • Multi-objective optimization of solar single/multi-effect absorption chillers was conducted. • Primary energy consumption and total annual cost were considered as the objectives. • Optimized designs of the alternative configurations were compared. • A detailed sensitivity analysis of the Pareto optimal solutions was investigated. - Abstract: Solar heating and cooling (SHC) systems are currently under rapid development and deployment due to their potential to reduce the use of fossil fuel resources and to alleviate greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector – a sector which is responsible for ∼40% of the world energy use. Absorption chiller technology (traditionally powered by natural gas in large buildings), can easily be retrofitted to run on solar energy. However, numerous non-intuitive design choices must be analyzed to achieve the best techno-economic performance of these systems. To date, there has been little research into the optimal configurations among the long list of potential solar-driven absorption chiller systems. To address this lack of knowledge, this paper presents a systematic simulation-based, multi-objective optimization of three common, commercially available lithium bromide-water absorption chillers – single-effect, double-effect and triple-effect – powered by evacuated tube collectors (ETCs), evacuated flat plate collectors (EFPCs), and concentrating parabolic trough collectors (PTCs), respectively. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of its kind that compares the optimized designs of the most promising configurations of solar-assisted absorption chillers against a common set of energy, economic, and environmental metrics from a holistic perspective. A simulation model of these three configurations is developed using TRNSYS 17. A combined energy, economic, and environmental analysis of the modeled systems is conducted to calculate the primary energy use as well as the levelized total annual cost of each plant, which are considered as two conflicting objective functions. By coupling TRNSYS and MATLAB, a multi-objective optimization model is formulated using a genetic algorithm to simultaneously minimize these objectives, thereby determining a set of optimal Pareto solutions corresponding to each SHC configuration. The performance of the proposed systems at their optimal designs is then compared to that of a reference conventional system. A sensitivity analysis is also performed to assess the influence of fuel cost, capital cost of innovative components, and the annual interest rate on the Pareto front of optimal solutions. Overall, the optimization results reveal that of the proposed configurations, the SHC double-effect chiller has the best trade-off between the energetic, economic and environmental performance of the system, having a total cost of ∼0.7–0.9 M$ per year and reducing the annual primary energy use and CO_2 emissions by 44.5–53.8% and 49.1–58.2% respectively (relative to the reference conventional system). With the high capital cost associated with these systems, government subsidies and incentives are still required in order for them to achieve satisfactory payback times and become cost-competitive with conventional HVAC systems.
[en] Highlights: • World energy demand is analyzed. • Promising energy storage systems are shown to explore their potentials. • Different storage are considered and compared. • The efficiency and costs of each are shown. • Easy guidelines for selection of energy storage are provided. - Abstract: Energy production is changing in the world because of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce the dependence on carbon/fossil sources and to introduce renewable energy sources. Despite the great amount of scientific efforts, great care to energy storage systems is necessary to overcome the discontinuity in the renewable production. A wide variety of options and complex characteristic matrices make it difficult and so in this paper the authors show a clear picture of the available state-of-the-art technologies. The paper provides an overview of mechanical, electrochemical and hydrogen technologies, explaining operation principles, performing technical and economic features. Finally a schematic comparison among the potential utilizations of energy storage systems is presented.
[en] Highlights: • A double-step optimization tool for hybrid power generation systems is introduced. • Economical aspects and the impact of the system on the environment are considered. • A hybrid system comprises PV array-wind turbine-battery-diesel engine is considered. • Real time analysis of the system for full year simulation is carried out. • System optimum configuration at point where total performance index is maximized. - Abstract: This article aims to introduce a double-step performance assessment tool for the hybrid power generation systems. As a case study, a hybrid system comprising PV array, wind-turbine, battery bank and diesel engine is incorporated in hourly based simulations to meet power demand of a residence unit at Dhahran area, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Different indicators related to economical and environmental performance assessments of the hybrid system have been considered. In the economic related assessment case, cost of electricity, energy excess percentage, and operating life cycle indicators have been considered and combined to develop the first overall performance index. Renewable contribution, renewable source availability and environmental impact indicators have been considered for the environmental assessment case and they are combined in the second performance index. For either economical or environmental cases, the optimum configuration of the system is achieved by maximizing the first and second overall performance indicators. This innovative optimization tools gives the designer the freedom to assign suitable weights associated with economical aspect, environmental impact, governmental regulations and social impact, for the first and second overall performance indicators, and combine them in the total performance index. The optimum system configuration is at the point where the total performance index is maximized.
[en] Highlights: • New distillation process using thermoelectric to assist evaporation/condensation. • Novel thermoelectric distillation system with reduced specific energy consumption. • Freshwater production by thermoelectrically assisted evaporation and condensation. - Abstract: An efficient thermoelectric distillation system has been designed and constructed for production of drinkable water. The unique design of this system is to use the heat from hot side of the thermoelectric module for water evaporation and the cold side for vapour condensation simultaneously. This novel design significantly reduces energy consumption and improves the system performance. The results of experiments show that the average water production is 28.5 mL/h with a specific energy consumption of 0.00114 kW h/mL in an evaporation chamber filled with 10 × 10 × 30 mm"3 of water. This is significantly lower than the energy consumption required by other existing thermoelectric distillation systems. The results also show that a maximum temperature difference between the hot and cold side of the thermoelectric module is 42.3 °C, which led to temperature increases of 26.4 °C and 8.4 °C in water and vapour, respectively.
[en] Highlights: • A solar-driven photo-electrochemical system (S/EC/PS) was first constructed. • Solar spectrum was fully used for the dye decolorization, power supply and thermal. • The electricity needed for EC was offered by the hybrid system. • In comparison with S/PS, decolorization time of S/EC/PS shorten 50%. • PV panels has lower working temperature due to the water cooling. - Abstract: This study presents a new solar-driven hybrid system that integrated a photo-electrochemical reactor with a photovoltaics (PV) panel for azo dyes’ decolorization and electricity generation. Full spectrum of sunlight is utilized to optimize the color removal of Acid Red 26 (AR26) in this hybrid system. Persulfate (PS, S2O42−) was selected as the photochemical oxidant and Ti/IrO2-Ta2O5 electrode was used as the anode. Experiments were made to evaluate the efficiency of decolorization and the performance of PV panels in different reaction conditions outdoors. The results showed that the synergistic effect of two processes was observed for the AR26 decolorization. Comparing with the solar/persulfate process or the electrochemical process alone, the complete color removal time by the hybrid system decreased up to 50% and 44.4% respectively. In this system, the water layer in the flow channel cooled PV panels by absorbing the far infrared spectrum of sunlight, and the increased temperature of wastewater from 7 °C to 16 °C enhanced the decolorization efficiency of AR26. Moreover, the generated electricity by PV panels could satisfy the energy demand of electrochemical oxidation.
[en] Highlights: • PV-T driven air-conditioning systems can cover 60% of the domestic heating demand. • PV-T air-conditioning systems can cover up to 100% of the domestic cooling needs. • The importance of high resolution energy performance simulations has been demonstrated. • The LCOE of PV-T air-conditioning varies between 0.06 and 0.12 €/kW h. - Abstract: Solar energy can play a leading role in reducing the current reliance on fossil fuels and in increasing renewable energy integration in the built environment, and its affordable deployment is widely recognised as an important global engineering grand challenge. Of particular interest are solar energy systems based on hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PV-T) collectors, which can reach overall efficiencies of 70% or higher, with electrical efficiencies up to 15–20% and thermal efficiencies in excess of 50%, depending on the conditions. In most applications, the electrical output of a hybrid PV-T system is the priority, hence the contacting fluid is used to cool the PV cells and to maximise their electrical performance, which imposes a limit on the fluid’s downstream use. When optimising the overall output of PV-T systems for combined heating and/or cooling provision, this solution can cover more than 60% of the heating and about 50% of the cooling demands of households in the urban environment. To achieve this, PV-T systems can be coupled to heat pumps, or absorption refrigeration systems as viable alternatives to vapour-compression systems. This work considers the techno-economic challenges of such systems, when aiming at a low cost per kW h of combined energy generation (co- or tri-generation) in the housing sector. First, the technical viability and affordability of the proposed systems are studied in ten European locations, with local weather profiles, using annually and monthly averaged solar-irradiance and energy-demand data relating to homes with a total floor area of 100 m2 (4–5 persons) and a rooftop area of 50 m2. Based on annual simulations, Seville, Rome, Madrid and Bucharest emerge as the most promising locations from those examined, and the most efficient system configuration involves coupling PV-T panels to water-to-water heat pumps that use the PV-T thermal output to maximise the system’s COP. Hourly resolved transient models are then defined in TRNSYS, including thermal energy storage, in order to provide detailed estimates of system performance, since it is found that the temporal resolution (e.g. hourly, daily, yearly) of the simulations strongly affects their predicted performance. The TRNSYS results indicate that PV-T systems have the potential to cover 60% of the combined (space and hot water) heating and almost 100% of the cooling demands of homes (annually integrated) at all four aforementioned locations. Finally, when accounting for all useful energy outputs from the PV-T systems, the overall levelised cost of energy of these systems is found to be in the range of 0.06–0.12 €/kW h, which is 30–40% lower than that of equivalent PV-only systems.
[en] Highlights: • Four double pressure low temperature Kalina cycle systems are introduced. • Pinch temperature difference is set for all the heat exchangers via an iterative method. • All the introduced cycles are optimized from thermodynamic point of view. • Levelized cost of electricity as the thermoeconomic criterion is calculated. • By increasing the heat source temperature both thermal and exergy efficiencies improve. - Abstract: In this paper four configurations of double pressure Kalina cycle system are presented and optimized all of which are modifications of Kalina cycle system 11. In order to set the exact pinch temperature difference an iterative method is applied. Prior to the optimization, the base cycle is validated by comparing the result with a reference. The heat transfer fluid of the inlet stream is supposed to be the product of combustion at 3 different temperatures, 383.15 K, 413.15 K and 443.15 and the results are compared at the base case and the optimum conditions. In order to present a thorough evaluation, thermoeconomic analysis is also presented in which levelized cost of electricity is selected as the criterion. Different decision variables can be defined for the cycles based on the cycle’s degrees of freedom. Pressure levels, mass flow rate and ammonia concentration of the base stream and split ratio are the decision variables. Exergy efficiency is considered as the objective function and the innovated double pressure Kalina cycles as well as the base Kalina cycle are compared. Results show that the Kalina cycle system named 112b is the most efficient cycle at the base condition. It is also shown that by increasing the heat source temperature the exergy efficiency and the purchased equipment cost at the optimum condition rises while the levelized cost of electricity lowers. Thermoeconomic evaluation indicates that at both base and the optimum conditions, the levelized cost of electricity of the base cycle is less.
[en] Highlights: • SAPG with concentrating and non-concentrating collectors has been compared. • Non-concentrating collectors could be superior to concentrating collectors in SAPG. • Using non-concentrating collectors is more effective in low latitude. - Abstract: The preheating of the feedwater in a Regenerative Rankine Cycle power plant with solar thermal energy, termed Solar Aided Power Generation, is an efficient method to use low to medium temperature solar thermal energy. Here, we compared the use of medium temperature (200–300 °C) energy from concentrating solar collectors (e.g. parabolic trough collectors) to displace the extraction steam to high temperature/pressure feedwater heaters with that from low temperature (100–200 °C) non-concentrating solar collectors (e.g. evacuated tube collectors) to displace the extraction steam to low temperature/pressure feedwater heaters of the power plant. In this paper, the in terms of net land based solar to power efficiency and annual solar power output per collector capital cost of a Solar Aided Power Generation using concentrating and non-concentrating solar collectors has been comparted using the annual hourly solar radiation data in three locations (Singapore; Multan, Pakistan and St. Petersburg, Russia). It was found that such a power system using non-concentrating solar collectors is superior to concentrating collectors in terms of net land based solar to power efficiency. In some low latitude locations e.g. Singapore, using non-concentrating solar collectors even have advantages of lower solar power output per collector capital cost over using the concentrating solar collectors in an SAPG plant.
[en] Highlights: • The integrated framework that combines IDA with energy-saving potential method is proposed. • Energy saving analysis and management framework of complex chemical processes is obtained. • This proposed method is efficient in energy optimization and carbon emissions of complex chemical processes. - Abstract: Energy saving and management of complex chemical processes play a crucial role in the sustainable development procedure. In order to analyze the effect of the technology, management level, and production structure having on energy efficiency and energy saving potential, this paper proposed a novel integrated framework that combines index decomposition analysis (IDA) with energy saving potential method. The IDA method can obtain the level of energy activity, energy hierarchy and energy intensity effectively based on data-drive to reflect the impact of energy usage. The energy saving potential method can verify the correctness of the improvement direction proposed by the IDA method. Meanwhile, energy efficiency improvement, energy consumption reduction and energy savings can be visually discovered by the proposed framework. The demonstration analysis of ethylene production has verified the practicality of the proposed method. Moreover, we can obtain the corresponding improvement for the ethylene production based on the demonstration analysis. The energy efficiency index and the energy saving potential of these worst months can be increased by 6.7% and 7.4%, respectively. And the carbon emissions can be reduced by 7.4–8.2%.
[en] Highlights: • A normal four-stroke cycle followed by a skip cycle without gas exchange is tested. • The normal and skipped mode results are compared at equal power levels. • The throttle valve is opened wider, thereby resulting in a higher volumetric efficiency. • The pumping work during the gas exchange decreases significantly. • The fuel consumption (BSFC) is reduced by approximately 14–26% under part load conditions. - Abstract: The efficiency decrease of spark ignition (SI) engines under part-load conditions is a considerable issue. Changing the effective stroke volume based on the load level is one of the methods using to improve the part-load efficiency. In this study, a novel alternative engine valve control technique in order to perform a cycle without gas exchange (skip cycle), is examined. The goal of skip cycle strategy is to reduce the effective stroke volume of an engine under part load conditions by skipping several of the four stroke cycles by cutting off the fuel injection and simultaneously deactivating the inlet and exhaust valves. To achieve the same power level in the skip cycle, the cylinder pressure level reaches higher values compared to those in a normal four stroke cycle operation, but inherently not higher than the maximum one at full load of normal cycle. According to the experimental results, the break specific fuel consumption (BSFC) was reduced by 14–26% at a 1–3 bar break mean effective pressure (BMEP) and a 1200–1800 rpm engine speed of skip cycle operation, in comparison to normal engine operation. The significant decrease in the pumping work from the gas exchange is one of the primary factors for an increase in efficiency under part load conditions. As expected, the fuel consumption reduction rate at lower load conditions was higher. These experimental results indicate a promising potential of the skip cycle system for reducing the fuel consumption under part load conditions.