Theses (IESVic)

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    The influence of mooring dynamics on the performance of self reacting point absorbers
    (2016-06-08) Ortiz, Juan Pablo; Crawford, Curran; Buckham, Bradley Jason
    The design of a mooring system for a floating structure is a significant challenge; the choice of line structure and layout determine highly non-linear hydrodynamic behaviors that, in turn, influence the dynamics of the whole system. The difficulty is particularly acute for Self-Reacting Point Absorber Wave Energy Converters (SRPA WEC) as these machines rely on their movements to extract useful power from wave motions and the mooring must constrain the SRPA WEC motion without detracting from power production. In this thesis this topic has been addressed in an innovative way and new ideas on how these devices should be moored were investigated. As part of the study, an optimization routine was implemented to investigate the optimal mooring design and its characteristics. In this process, different challenges were faced. To evaluate the different mooring configurations, a high fidelity representation of the system hydrodynamics is necessary which captures the non-linearities of the system. Unfortunately, high-fidelity modeling tends to be very computationally expensive, and for this reason previous studies based mooring design largely relies on simplified representations that only reflect part of the mooring design space since some physical and hydrodynamic properties are dropped. In this work, we present how a full hydrodynamic time domain simulation can be utilized within a Metamodel-Based Optimization to better evaluate a wider range of mooring configurations spanning the breadth of the full design space. The method uses a Metamodel, defined in terms of the mooring physical parameters, to cover the majority of the optimization process a high fidelity model is used to establish the Metamodel in a pre-processing stage. The method was applied to a case study of a two-body heaving SRPA WEC. Survivability constrains where introduce into the model using a new statistical approach which reduces the execution time, and allowed the optimization routine. The analysis results lead to the conclusion that for SRPA WEC the mooring loads have a significant impact on how the body reacts with the waves, affecting both the energy that enter the system as well as the energy that is extracted as power. This implies that, in some cases, the mooring lines need to be considered in early stages of the designs as opposed to an afterthought, as is typically done. Results indicate that an optimal mooring design can result in a 26% increase in total annual power production. In addition, the mooring lines impact on mitigating parasitic pitch and roll were analyzed. It was established that in regular waves, the mooring lines can reduce the parametric excitations and improve the power extraction up to 56% for a particular sea state. By applying a computationally efficient iterative design approach to a device's mooring, parasitic motions and suboptimal device operation can be reduced, ultimately making WECs a more competitive source of energy.
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    Nanomechanical sensors: analyzing effects of laser-nanowire interaction and electrodeposited clamps on resonance spectra
    (2016-06-02) Weng, Fan; Bhiladvala, Rustom
    This thesis presents work to help enable the transition of sensitive nanoscale instruments from research laboratory demonstration to societal use. It focuses on nanomechanical resonators made by field-directed assembly, with contributions to understanding effects of materials, clamp geometries and laser measurement of motion, towards their use as commercial scientific instruments. Nanomechanical resonators in their simplest form are cantilevered or doubly- clamped nanowires or nanotubes made to vibrate near one of their resonant frequencies. Their small mass and high frequency enable extraordinary mass sensitivity, as shown in published laboratory-scale demonstrations of their use for detection of a few molecules of prostate cancer biomarker and of their response to mass equal to that of a single proton. However such sensitive devices have been prohibitively expensive for societal use, since the fabrication process cost scales with number of devices and the chip area covered, when they are made using standard electron beam lithography. Our laboratory has published new results for the method of field-directed assembly, in which the nanofabrication process cost is independent of the number of devices. While drastically lowering the cost, this method also broadens the range of device materials and properties that can be used in instrument applications for sensitive mass and force detection. Unanswered questions affecting the performance of devices made by this method are studied in this thesis. Clamping variability can cause uncertainties in the device resonant frequency (effective stiffness), raising manufacturing metrology costs to track reduced homogeneity in performance. Using a numerical model, we quantify how compliant clamp material and insufficient clamp depth reduce the effective stiffness and resonance frequency. Obliquely clamped nanowires and defects at the clamp-nanowire interface break the symmetry and split the resonance frequency into fast and slow modes. The difference of resonance frequency between the fast and slow modes corresponds to the degree of asymmetry and must be controlled in fabrication to keep device error bounded. Optical transduction has been used for measuring the nanoresonator frequency spectrum; however, the influence of the laser in the measurement process is only recently receiving attention and is not well understood. We found that the measured spectrum is significantly influenced by laser-nanowire interaction. Variation of input laser power could result in resonance peak shifts in the kHz range for a resonance frequency in the MHz range, which could reduce device mass resolution by a factor of 100 or greater. As the laser power is increased, the resonance frequency decreases. The heating effect of the laser on temperature-dependent Young’s modulus could explain this phenomenon. To our surprise, we also found that the amplitude and frequency of the resonance peak signal vary significantly with the angle made by the plane of laser polarization with the nanowire axis. Our measurements established that the maximum signal amplitude is seen when the plane of the linearly polarized laser is parallel to SiNW or perpendicular to RhNW. Maximum resonance frequency was found when laser is polarized perpendicular to SiNW or parallel to RhNW.
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    Aero-elastic Energy Harvesting Device: Design and Analysis
    (2015-10-02) Pirquet, Oliver Johann; Nadler, Ben; Crawford, Curran
    An energy harvesting device driven by aeroelastic vibration with self-sustained pitching and heaving using an induction based power take off mechanism has been designed and tested for performance under various operating conditions. From the data collected the results show that the device achieved a maximum power output of 48.3 mW and a maximum efficiency of 2.26% at a dimensionless frequency of 0.143. For all airfoils tested the device was shown to be self-starting above 3 m/s. A qualitative description relating to the performance of the device considering dynamic stall and the flow conditions at optimal dimensionless frequency has been proposed and related to previous work. Performance for angles off the wind up to 22 degrees and was observed to have no reduction in power output due to the change in angle to the wind. The device has shown evidence of having a self-governing capability, tending to decrease its power output for heavy windpspeeds, a thorough examination of this capability is recommended for future work.
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    Multi-objective Optimization of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Powertrain Families considering Variable Drive Cycles and User Types over the Vehicle Lifecycle
    (2015-10-02) Al Hanif, S. Ehtesham; Crawford, Curran
    Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicle (PHEV) technology has the potential to reduce operational costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and gasoline consumption in the transportation market. However, the net benefits of using a PHEV depend critically on several aspects, such as individual travel patterns, vehicle powertrain design and battery technology. To examine these effects, a multi-objective optimization model was developed integrating vehicle physics simulations through a Matlab/Simulink model, battery durability, and Canadian driving survey data. Moreover, all the drivetrains are controlled implicitly by the ADVISOR powertrain simulation and analysis tool. The simulated model identifies Pareto optimal vehicle powertrain configurations using a multi-objective Pareto front pursuing genetic algorithm by varying combinations of powertrain components and allocation of vehicles to consumers for the least operational cost, and powertrain cost under various driving assumptions. A sensitivity analysis over the foremost cost parameters is included in determining the robustness of the optimized solution of the simulated model in the presence of uncertainty. Here, a comparative study is also established between conventional and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) to PHEVs with equivalent optimized solutions, size and performance (similar to Toyota Prius) under both the urban and highway driving environments. In addition, breakeven point analysis is carried out that indicates PHEV lifecycle cost must fall within a few percent of CVs or HEVs to become both the environmentally friendly and cost-effective transportation solutions. Finally, PHEV classes (a platform with multiple powertrain architectures) are optimized taking into account consumer diversity over various classes of light-duty vehicle to investigate consumer-appropriate architectures and manufacturer opportunities for vehicle fleet development utilizing simplified techno-financial analysis.
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    Dead Volume Effects in Passive Regeneration: Experimental and Numerical Characterization
    (2015-09-17) Liu, Yifeng; Rowe, Andrew Michael
    The regenerator is the key component in magnetic cycles for refrigeration and heat pumping. It works as temporal thermal energy storage and separates two thermal reservoirs. Regenerators are typically made up of porous structures which may create complex flow pathways for the heat transfer fluid through the regenerator. The periodically reversing flow allows the thermal energy exchange with the packing material in the regenerators. The performance of such thermal devices depends greatly on the geometry of the porous structure, material properties as well as operating conditions. This thesis is a study about the thermo-hydraulic properties of passive regenerators under oscillating flow conditions. The first part of the thesis presents a passive regenerator testing apparatus used to measure temperature distribution and pressure drop for various types of regenerators. Three kinds of loose spheres packed regenerator beds are characterized, and the regenerator effectiveness is evaluated. In the second part of the thesis, a numerical model is developed for the predictions of pressure drop and temperature field, and the theoretical findings are applied to experimentally obtained data to interpret regenerator performance. The dead volume is investigated quantitatively and considered to affect the regenerator performance adversely.
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    Investigation of calculated adiabatic temperature change of MnFeP1-xAsx alloys
    (2015-04-30) Campbell, David Oliver; Rowe, Andrew Michael
    Magnetic refrigeration is an alternative cooling technology to vapour compression. Due to the large operating space of magnetic refrigeration devices, modelling is critical to predict results, optimize device parameters and regenerator design, and understand the physics of the system. Modeling requires accurate material data including specific heat, magnetization and adiabatic temperature change, . For a reversible material can be attained directly from measurement or indirectly through calculation from specific heat and magnetization data. Data sets of nine MnFeP1-xAsx alloys are used to compare calculated against measured . MnFeP1-xAsx is a promising first order material because of a tunable transition temperature, low material cost and large magnetocaloric properties. Because MnFeP1-xAsx alloys exhibit thermal hysteresis there are four possible calculation protocols for adiabatic temperature change; , , and . deviates the most from measured data and therefore it is assumed that this case is not representative of the material behavior. Results show and align with measured data as well as . The three protocols that align best with measured data have two consistent errors including a colder peak and a larger . With more data sets and analysis a preferred calculation protocol may be found.
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    Instrumentation, Control, and Testing of a Small Wind Turbine Test Rig
    (2015-04-29) Khorsand Asgari, Iman; Crawford, Curran
    As a cost-effective test method, a vehicle-based test rig can be utilized in small wind turbine experimental work to facilitate turbine performance tests under a range of controlled wind speeds, as well as to validate turbulent flow models. The instrumentation of a custom trailer-based mobile wind turbine test rig has been modified to provide a platform for full rotor speed control. A control system coupled to an electric vehicle controller with regenerative braking technology was developed in five steps, namely: system modeling in Simulink, system identification, control system design and analysis, control system implementation in LabVIEW, and Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller tuning in real-time. A custom Graphical User Interface (GUI) was also developed. Furthermore, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis was conducted to assess the potential impact of towing vehicle’s disturbance on the free stream available to the rotor disc. This trailer rig will allow up to a 1kW wind turbine. It can be towed behind a vehicle to conduct steady state tests or it can be parked in an open area to collect unsteady field data. It has been tested in a towed scenario and the Blade Element Momentum (BEM) predictions were compared with the obtained aggregate performance curve.
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    User-Constrained Algorithms for Aggregate Residential Demand Response Programs with Limited Feedback.
    (2015-03-27) Gray, Adam Charles; Crawford, Curran
    This thesis presents novel algorithms and a revised modeling framework to evaluate residential aggregate electrical demand response performance under scenarios with limited device-state feedback. These algorithms permit the provision of balancing reserves, or the smoothing of variable renewable energy generation, via an externally supplied target trajectory. The responsive load populations utilized were home heat pumps and deferred electric vehicle charging. As fewer devices in a responsive population report their state information, the error of the demand response program increases moderately but remains below 8%. The associated error of the demand response program is minimized with responsive load populations of approximately 4500 devices; the available capacity of the demand response system scales proportionally with population size. The results indicate that demand response programs with limited device-state feedback may provide a viable option to reduce overall system costs and address privacy concerns of individuals wishing to participate in a demand response program.
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    New Residential Thermostat for Transactive Systems
    (2014-12-16) Chassin, David P.; Djilali, Nedjib
    This thesis presents a residential thermostat that enables accurate aggregate load control systems for electricity demand response. The thermostat features a control strategy that can be modeled as a linear time-invariant system for short-term demand response signals from the utility. This control design gives rise to linear time-invariant models of aggregate load control and demand response, which is expected to facilitate the design of more accurate load-based regulation services for electricity interconnections and enable integration of more highly variable renewable electricity generation resources. A key feature of the new thermostat design is the elimination of aggregate short-term load control error observed with existing real-time pricing thermostats as they respond to price signals.
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    Investigation of Hygro-Thermal Strain in Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Using Optical Coherence Elastography
    (2014-08-12) Keller, Victor; Djilali, Nedjib; Wild, Peter Martin
    The work present in this thesis report introduces a novel non-destructive technique for experimentally measuring through thickness hygro-thermal strain of Nafion membranes though digital image correlation. An Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) system was used to acquire images of a Nafion-TiO2 (titanium dioxide powder) composite membranes in a fuel cell like device. The proposed technique, commonly known as optical coherence elastography (OCE) makes use of the normalized correlation algorithm to calculate strain between two successive scans of different relative humidity step values. Different normalized correlation parameters were compared to measured results of PDMS-TiO2 phantoms in order to analyze accuracy. The effect of TiO2 on Nafion membranbes mechanical properties was further analysed by comparing the swelling behaviour of membranes with different concentrations. It has been found that Nafion undergoes approximately 25 – 30% more strain on the land section than on the channel section, regardless gas diffusion electrode (GDE) layer presence. Furthermore, it was shown that the overall strain on the material decrease by approximately 10% when GDE layers are present. Overall this work demonstrated how OCE is a viable technique for measuring through thickness strain distribution in Nafion composite membranes and has the potential to be implemented for non-destructive in situ measurements.
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    Shear layer instabilities and flow-acoustic coupling in valves: application to power plant components and cardiovascular devices
    (2014-05-07) Barannyk, Oleksandr; Oshkai, Peter
    In the first part of this dissertation, the phenomenon of self-sustained pressure os-cillations due to the flow past a circular, axisymmetric cavity, associated with inline gate valves, was investigated. In many engineering applications, such as flows through open gate valves, there exists potential for coupling between the vortex shedding from the up-stream edge of the cavity and a diametral mode of the acoustic pressure fluctuations. The effects of the internal pipe geometry immediately upstream and downstream of the shal-low cavity on the characteristics of partially trapped diametral acoustic modes were in-vestigated numerically and experimentally on a scaled model of a gate valve mounted in a pipeline that contained convergence-divergence sections in the vicinity of the valve. The resonant response of the system corresponded to the second acoustic diametral mode of the cavity. Excitation of the dominant acoustic mode was accompanied by pressure oscillations, and, in addition to that, as the angle of the converging-diverging section of the main pipeline in the vicinity of the cavity increased, the trapped behavior of the acoustic diametral modes diminished, and additional antinodes of the acoustic pressure wave were observed in the main pipeline. In addition to that, the effect of shallow chamfers, introduced at the upstream and/or downstream cavity edges, was investigated in the experimental system that con-tained a deep, circular, axisymmetric cavity. Through the measurements of unsteady pressure and associated acoustic mode shapes, which were calculated numerically for several representative cases of the internal cavity geometry, it was possible to identify the configuration that corresponded to the most efficient noise suppression. This arrangement also allowed calculation of the azimuthal orientation of the acoustic modes, which were classified as stationary, partially spinning or spinning. Introduction of shallow chamfers at the upstream and the downstream edges of the cavity resulted in changes of azimuthal orientation and spinning behaviour of the acoustic modes. In addition, introduction of splitter plates in the cavity led to pronounced change in the spatial orientation and the spinning behaviour of the acoustic modes. The short splitter plates changed the behaviour of the dominant acoustic modes from partially spinning to stationary, while the long split-ter plates enforced the stationary behaviour across all resonant acoustic modes. Finally, the evolution of fully turbulent, acoustically coupled shear layers that form across deep, axisymmetric cavities and the effects of geometric modifications of the cavity edges on the separated flow structure were investigated using digital particle image velocimetry (PIV). Instantaneous, time- and phase-averaged patterns of vorticity pro-vided insight into the flow physics during flow tone generation and noise suppression by the geometric modifications. In particular, the first mode of the shear layer oscillations was significantly affected by shallow chamfers located at the upstream and, to a lesser degree, the downstream edges of the cavity. In the second part of the dissertation, the performance of aortic heart valve pros-thesis was assessed in geometries of the aortic root associated with certain types of valve diseases, such as aortic valve stenosis and aortic valve insufficiency. The control case that corresponds to the aortic root of a patient without valve disease was used as a reference. By varying the aortic root geometry, it was possible to investigate corresponding changes in the levels of Reynolds shear stress and establish the possibility of platelet activation and, as a result of that, the formation of blood clots.
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    Fiber-optic sensor for detection of hydrogen peroxide in PEM fuel cells
    (2014-04-23) Botero-Cadavid, Juan F.; Djilali, Nedjid; Wild, Peter Martin
    This dissertation presents chemical sensors that are based on an emerging optical fiber sensing technology for the determination of the presence and concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at low concentrations. The motivation to determine hydrogen peroxide lies on the fact that this chemical species is generated as a by-product of the operation of hydrogen-based polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), and the presence and formation of this peroxide has been associated with the chemical degradation that results in low durability of PEMFCs. Currently, there are no techniques that allow the hydrogen peroxide to be determined in situ in PEMFCs in a reliable manner, since the only report of this type of measurement was performed using electrochemical techniques, which can be affected by the environmental conditions and that can alter the proper operation of the PEMFCs. The sensors presented in this dissertation are designed to detect the presence and quantify hydrogen peroxide in solution at the conditions at which PEMFCs operate. Since they are made using fused silica optical fibers and are based on a spectroscopic technique to perform the detection of H2O2 , they are not affected by the electromagnetic fields or the harsh chemical environment inside PEMFCs. In addition, they are able to still detect the presence of H2O2 at the operating temperatures. The construction of the sensing film on the tip of an optical fiber and its small size (125 µm diameter), make the sensors here developed an ideal solution for being deployed in situ in PEMFCs, ensuring that they would be minimally invasive and that the operation of the fuel cell would not be compromised by the presence of the sensor. The sensors developed in this dissertation not only present design characteristics that are applicable to PEMFCs, they are also suitable for applications in other fields such as environmental, defense, and biological processes.
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    Separation of CO2 using ultra-thin multi-layer polymeric membranes for compartmentalized fiber optic sensor applications
    (2014-03-20) Davies, Benjamin; Wild, Peter Martin; Fyles, Thomas M.
    Carbon dioxide sequestration is one of many mitigation tools available to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions while other disposal/repurposing methods are being investigated. Geologic sequestration is the most stable option for long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), with significant CO2 trapping occurring through mineralization within the first 20-50 years. A fiber optic based monitoring system has been proposed to provide real time concentrations of CO2 at various points throughout the geologic formation. The proposed sensor is sensitive to the refractive index (RI) of substances in direct contact with the sensing component. As RI is a measurement of light propagating through a bulk medium relative to light propagating through a vacuum, the extraction of the effects of any specific component of that medium to the RI remains very difficult. Therefore, a requirement for a selective barrier to be able to prevent confounding substances from being in contact with the sensor and specifically isolate CO2 is necessary. As such a method to evaluate the performance of the selective element of the sensor was investigated. Polybenzimidazole (PBI) and VTEC polyimide (PI) 1388 are high performance polymers with good selectivity for CO2 used in high temperature gas separations. These polymers were spin coated onto a glass substrate and cured to form ultra-thin (>10 μm) membranes for gas separation. At a range of pressures (0.14 –0.41 MPa) and a set temperature of 24.2±0.8 °C, intrinsic permeabilities to CO2 and nitrogen (N2) were investigated as they are the gases of highest prevalence in underground aquifers. Preliminary RI testing for proof of concept has yielded promising results when the sensor is exposed exclusively to CO2 or N2. However, the use of both PBI and VTEC PI in these trials resulted in CO2 selectivities of 0.72 to 0.87 and 0.33 to 0.63 respectively, for corresponding feed pressures of 0.14 to 0.41 MPa. This indicates that both of the polymers are more selective for N2 and should not be used in CO2 sensing applications as confounding gas permeants, specifically N2, will interfere with the sensing element.
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    Design Principles and Performance Metrics for Magnetic Refrigerators Operating Near Room Temperature
    (2014-02-19) Arnold, Daniel Sean Robert; Rowe, Andrew Michael
    In the past decade, active magnetic regenerative (AMR) refrigeration technology has progressed towards commercial application. The number of prototype systems and test apparatuses has steadily increased thanks to the worldwide research efforts. Due to the extensive variety of possible implementations of AMR, design methods are not well established. This thesis proposes a framework for approaching AMR device design. The University of Victoria now has three functional AMR Refrigerators. The newest system constructed in 2012 operates near-room-temperature and is intended primarily as a modular test apparatus with a broad range of control parameters and operating conditions. The design objectives, considerations and analysis are presented. Extensive data has been collected using the machines at the University of Victoria. Performance metrics are used to compare the devices. A semi-analytical relationship is developed that can be used as an effective modelling tool during the design process.
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    Using mobile distributed pyrolysis facilities to deliver a forest residue resource for bio-fuel production
    (2013-12-10) Brown, Duncan; Rowe, Andrew Michael; Wild, Peter Martin
    Distributed mobile conversion facilities using either fast pyrolysis or torrefaction processes can be used to convert forest residues to more energy dense substances (bio-oil, bio-slurry or torrefied wood) that can be transported as feedstock for bio-fuel facilities. All feedstock are suited for gasification, which produces syngas that can be used to synthesise petrol or diesel via Fischer-Tropsch reactions, or produce hydrogen via water gas shift reactions. Alternatively, the bio-oil product of fast pyrolysis may be upgraded to produce petrol and diesel, or can undergo steam reformation to produce hydrogen. Implementing a network of mobile facilities reduces the energy content of forest residues delivered to a bio-fuel facility as mobile facilities use a fraction of the biomass energy content to meet thermal or electrical demands. The total energy delivered by bio-oil, bio-slurry and torrefied wood is 45%, 65% and 87% of the initial forest residue energy content, respectively. However, implementing mobile facilities is economically feasible when large transport distances are required. For an annual harvest of 1.717 million m3 (equivalent to 2000 ODTPD), transport costs are reduced to less than 40% of the total levelised delivered feedstock cost when mobile facilities are implemented; transport costs account for up to 80% of feedstock costs for conventional woodchip delivery. Torrefaction provides the lowest cost pathway of delivering a forest residue resource when using mobile facilities. Cost savings occur against woodchip delivery for annual forest residue harvests above 2.25 million m3 or when transport distances greater than 250 km are required. Important parameters that influence levelised delivered costs of feedstock are transport distances (forest residue spatial density), haul cost factors, thermal and electrical demands of mobile facilities, and initial moisture content of forest residues. Relocating mobile facilities can be optimised for lowest cost delivery as transport distances of raw biomass are reduced. The overall cost of bio-fuel production is determined by the feedstock delivery pathway and also the bio-fuel production process employed. Results show that the minimum cost of petrol and diesel production is 0.86 $ litre-1 when a bio-oil feedstock is upgraded. This corresponds to a 2750 TPD upgrading facility requiring an annual harvest of 4.30 million m3. The minimum cost of hydrogen production is 2.92 $ kg-1, via the gasification of a woodchip feedstock and subsequent water gas shift reactions. This corresponds to a 1100 ODTPD facility and requires an annual harvest of 947,000 m3. The levelised cost of bio-fuel strongly depends on the size of annual harvest required for bio-fuel facilities. There are optimal harvest volumes (bio-fuel facility sizes) for each bio-fuel production route, which yield minimum bio-fuel production costs. These occur as the benefits of economies of scale for larger bio-fuel facilities compete against increasing transport costs for larger harvests. Optimal harvest volumes are larger for bio-fuel production routes that use feedstock sourced from mobile facilities, as mobile facilities reduce total transport requirements.
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    Tuning the passive structural response of an oscillating-foil propulsion mechanism for improved thrust generation and efficiency
    (2013-11-19) Richards, Andrew James; Oshkai, Peter
    While most propulsion systems which drive aquatic and aerial vehicles today are based on rotating blades or foils, there has recently been renewed interest in the use of oscillating foils for this purpose, similar to the fins or wings of biological swimmers and flyers. These propulsion systems offer the potential to achieve a much higher degree of manoeuvrability than what is possible with current man-made propulsion systems. There has been extensive research both on the theoretical aspects of oscillating-foil propulsion and the implementation of oscillating foils in practical vehicles, but the current understanding of the physics of oscillating foils is incomplete. In particular, questions remain about the selection of the appropriate structural properties for the use of flexible oscillating foils which, under suitable conditions, have been demonstrated to achieve better propulsive performance than rigid foils. This thesis investigates the effect of the foil inertia, stiffness, resonant frequency and oscillation kinematics on the thrust generation and efficiency of a flexible oscillating-foil propulsion system. The study is based on experimental measurements made by recording the applied forces while driving foil models submerged in a water tunnel in an oscillating motion using servo-motors. The design of the models allowed for the construction of foils with various levels of stiffness and inertia. High-speed photography was also used to observe the dynamic deformation of the flexible foils. The results show that the frequency ratio, or ratio of oscillation frequency to resonant frequency, is one of the main parameters which determines the propulsive efficiency since the phase of the deformation and overall amplitude of the motion of the bending foil depend on this ratio. When comparing foils of equivalent resonant frequency, heavier and stiffer foils were found to achieve greater thrust production than lighter and more flexible foils but the efficiency of each design was comparable. Through the development of a semi-empirical model of the foil structure, it was shown that the heavier foils have a lower damping ratio which allows for greater amplification of the input motion by the foil deformation. It is expected that the greater motion amplitude in turn leads to the improved propulsive performance. Changing the Reynolds number of the flow over the foils was found to have little effect on the relation between structural properties and propulsive performance. Conversely, increasing the amplitude of the driven oscillating motion was found to reduce the differences in performance between the various structural designs and also caused the peak efficiency to be achieved at lower frequency ratios. The semi-empirical model predicted a corresponding shift in the frequency ratio which results in the maximum amplification of the input motion and also predicted more rapid development of a phase lag between the deformation and the actuating motion at low frequency ratios. The shift in the location of the peak efficiency was attributed to these changes in the structural dynamics. When considering the form of the oscillating motion, foils driven in combined active rotation and translation motions were found to achieve greater efficiency but lower thrust production than foils which were driven in translation only. The peak efficiencies achieved by the different structural designs relative to each other also changed considerably when comparing the results of the combined motion trials to the translation-only cases. To complete the discussion of the results, the implications of all of these findings for the design of practical propulsion systems are examined.
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    Design and Analysis of a Nested Halbach Permanent Magnet Magnetic Refrigerator
    (2013-08-19) Tura, Armando; Rowe, Andrew Michael
    A technology with the potential to create efficient and compact refrigeration devices is an active magnetic regenerative refrigerator (AMRR). AMRRs exploit the magnetocaloric effect displayed by magnetic materials whereby a reversible temperature change is induced when the material is exposed to a change in applied magnetic field. By using the magnetic materials in a regenerator as the heat storage medium and as the means of work input, one creates an active magnetic regenerator (AMR). Although several laboratory devices have been developed, no design has yet demonstrated the performance, reliability, and cost needed to compete with traditional vapor compression refrigerators. There are many reasons for this and questions remain as to the actual potential of the technology. The objective of the work described in this thesis is to quantify the actual and potential performance of a permanent magnet AMR system. A specific device configuration known as a dual-nested-Halbach system is studied in detail. A laboratory scale device is created and characterized over a wide range of operating parameters. A numerical model of the device is created and validated against experimental data. The resulting model is used to create a cost-minimization tool to analyze the conditions needed to achieve specified cost and efficiency targets. Experimental results include cooling power, temperature span, pumping power and work input. Although the magnetocaloric effect of gadolinium is small, temperature spans up to 30 K are obtained. Analysis of power input shows that the inherent magnetic work is a small fraction of the total work input confirming the assumption that potential cycle efficiencies can be large. Optimization of the device generates a number of areas for improvement and specific results depend upon targeted temperature spans and cooling powers. A competitive cost of cooling from a dual-nested-Halbach configuration is challenging and will depend on the ability to create regenerator matrices with near-ideal adiabatic temperature change scaling as a function of temperature.
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    A Detailed Analysis of Guard-Heated Wall Shear Stress Sensors for Turbulent Flows
    (2013-07-30) Ale Etrati Khosroshahi, Seyed Ali; Bhiladvala, Rustom
    This thesis presents a detailed, two-dimensional analysis of the performance of multi-element guard-heated hot-film wall shear stress microsensors for turbulent flows. Previous studies of conventional, single-element sensors show that a significant portion of heat generated in the hot-film travels through the substrate before reaching the fluid, causing spectral and phase errors in the wall shear stress signal and drastically reducing the spatial resolution of the sensor. Earlier attempts to reduce these errors have focused on reducing the effective thermal conductivity of the substrate. New guard-heated microsensor designs proposed to overcome the severe deficiencies of the conventional design are investigated in this thesis. Guard-heaters remove the errors associated with substrate heat conduction, by forcing zero temperature gradient at the edges and bottom face of the hot-film, and hence, block the indirect heat transfer to the flow. Air and water flow over the sensors are studied numerically to investigate design, performance and signal strength of the guard-heated sensors. Our results show, particularly for measurements in low-conductivity fluids such as air, that edge guard-heating needs to be supplemented by a sub-surface guard-heater, to make substrate conduction errors negligible. With this two-plane guard-heating, a strong non-linearity in the standard single-element designs can be corrected, and spectral and phase errors arising from substrate conduction can be eliminated.
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    Mooring line modelling and design optimization of floating offshore wind turbines
    (2013-05-27) Hall, Matthew Thomas Jair; Buckham, Bradley Jason; Crawford, Curran
    Floating offshore wind turbines have the potential to become a significant source of affordable renewable energy. However, their strong interactions with both wind- and wave-induced forces raise a number of technical challenges in both modelling and design. This thesis takes aim at some of those challenges. One of the most uncertain modelling areas is the mooring line dynamics, for which quasi-static models that neglect hydrodynamic forces and mooring line inertia are commonly used. The consequences of using these quasi-static mooring line models as opposed to physically-realistic dynamic mooring line models was studied through a suite of comparison tests performed on three floating turbine designs using test cases incorporating both steady and stochastic wind and wave conditions. To perform this comparison, a dynamic finite-element mooring line model was coupled to the floating wind turbine simulator FAST. The results of the comparison study indicate the need for higher-fidelity dynamic mooring models for all but the most stable support structure configurations. %It was also observed that small inaccuracies in the platform motion time series introduced by a quasi-static mooring model can cause much larger inaccuracies in the time series of the rotor blade dynamics. Industry consensus on an optimal floating wind turbine configuration is inhibited by the complex support structure design problem; it is difficult to parameterize the full range of design options and intuitive tools for navigating the design space are lacking. The notion of an alternative, ``hydrodynamics-based'' optimization approach, which would abstract details of the platform geometry and deal instead with hydrodynamic performance coefficients, was proposed as a way to obtain a more extensive and intuitive exploration of the design space. A basis function approach, which represents the design space by linearly combining the hydrodynamic performance coefficients of a diverse set of basis platform geometries, was developed as the most straightforward means to that end. Candidate designs were evaluated in the frequency domain using linearized coefficients for the wind turbine, platform, and mooring system dynamics, with the platform hydrodynamic coefficients calculated according to linear hydrodynamic theory. Results obtained for two mooring systems demonstrate that the approach captures the basic nature of the design space, but further investigation revealed limitations on the physical interpretability of linearly-combined basis platform coefficients.. A different approach was then taken for exploring the design space: a genetic algorithm-based optimization framework. Using a nine-variable support structure parameterization, this framework is able to span a greater extent of the design space than previous approaches in the literature. With a frequency-domain dynamics model that includes linearized viscous drag forces on the structure and linearized mooring forces, it provides a good treatment of the important physical considerations while still being computationally efficient. The genetic algorithm optimization approach provides a unique ability to visualize the design space. Application of the framework to a hypothetical scenario demonstrates the framework's effectiveness and identifies multiple local optima in the design space -- some of conventional configurations and others more unusual. By optimizing to minimize both support structure cost and root-mean-square nacelle acceleration, and plotting the design exploration in terms of these quantities, a Pareto front can be seen. Clear trends are visible in the designs as one moves along the front: designs with three outer cylinders are best below a cost of \$6M, designs with six outer cylinders are best above a cost of \$6M, and heave plate size increases with support structure cost. The complexity and unconventional configuration of the Pareto optimal designs may indicate a need for improvement in the framework's cost model.
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    Energy input, carbon intensity, and cost for ethanol produced from brown seaweed
    (2013-01-15) Philippsen, Aaron; Wild, Peter Martin; Rowe, Andrew Michael
    Brown macroalgae or brown seaweed is a promising source of ethanol that may avoid the challenges of arable land use, water use, lignin content, and the food vs. fuel debate associated with first generation and cellulosic ethanol sources; however, this promise is challenged by seaweed’s high water content, high ash content, and natural composition fluctuations. Notably, lifecycle studies of seaweed ethanol are lacking in the literature. To address this gap, a well-to-wheel model of ethanol production from farmed brown seaweed was constructed and applied to the case of Saccharina latissima farming in British Columbia (BC), Canada, to determine energy return on energy invested (EROI), carbon intensity (CI), and near shore seaweed farming production potential for seaweed ethanol and to examine the production cost of seaweed ethanol. Seaweed farming and ethanol production were modeled based on current BC farming methods and the dry grind corn ethanol production process; animal feed was included as an ethanol co-product, and co-product credits were considered. A seaweed ethanol yield calculation tool that accounts for seaweed composition was proposed, and a sensitivity study was done to examine case study data assumptions. In the case study, seaweed ethanol had lower CI than sugarcane, wheat, and corn ethanol at 10.1 gCO2e/MJ, and it had an EROI comparable to corn ethanol at 1.78. Seaweed ethanol was potentially profitable due to significant revenue from animal feed sales; however, the market for seaweed animal feed was limited by the feed’s high sodium content. Near shore seaweed farming could meet the current demand for ethanol in BC, but world near shore ethanol potential is likely an order of magnitude lower than world ethanol production and two orders of magnitude lower than world gasoline production. Composition variation and a limited harvest season make solar thermal or geothermal seaweed drying and storage necessary for ethanol production in BC. Varying seaweed composition, solar thermal drying performance, co-product credits, the type of animal feed produced, transport distances, and seaweed farming performance in the sensitivity study gave an EROI of over 200 and a CI of -42 gCO2e/MJ in the best case and an EROI of 0.64 and CI of 33 gCO2e/MJ in the worst case. Co-product credits and the type of animal feed produced had the most significant effect overall, and the worst cases of seaweed composition and solar thermal seaweed drying system performance resulted in EROI of 0.64 and 1.0 respectively. Brown seaweed is concluded to be a potentially profitable source of ethanol with climate benefits that surpass current ethanol sources; however, additional research into seaweed animal feed value, co-product credits, large scale seaweed conversion, and the feasibility of solar thermal or geothermal seaweed drying is required to confirm this conclusion.
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