Dec 2022, Volume 16 Issue 6

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  • About the Cover Image Jin XIAO, Yingdong CHENG, Jinlong WANG, et al. An experimental study of a single-piston free piston linear generator. p916-930 To mitigate the environmental and health problems caused by vehicle emissions, free piston linear generator (FPLG) is considered as an alternative solution which can be realized in the near future. It can be regarded as a device consisting of a crankshaft-less internal combustion engine, a linear electric machine and a reboundi [Detail] ...

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    Ziyuan TENG, Minfang HAN
    Hecong LIU, Weiwei CAI

    The control of combustion is a hot and classical topic. Among the combustion technologies, electric-field assisted combustion is an advanced techno-logy that enjoys major advantages such as fast response and low power consumption compared with thermal power. However, its fundamental principle and impacts on the flames are complicated due to the coupling between physics, chemistry, and electromagnetics. In the last two decades, tremendous efforts have been made to understand electric-field assisted combustion. New observations have been reported based on different combustion systems and improved diagnostics. The main impacts, including flame stabilization, emission reduction, and flame propagation, have been revealed by both simulative and experimental studies. These findings significantly facilitate the application of electric-field assisted combustion. This brief review is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the recent progress of this combustion technology and further point out research opportunities worth investigation.

    Chun XIA, Tingyu ZHAO, Junhua FANG, Lei ZHU, Zhen HUANG

    Due to increasingly stringent fuel consumption and emission regulation, improving thermal efficiency and reducing particulate matter emissions are two main issues for next generation gasoline engine. Lean burn mode could greatly reduce pumping loss and decrease the fuel consumption of gasoline engines, although the burning rate is decreased by higher diluted intake air. In this study, dual injection stratified combustion mode is used to accelerate the burning rate of lean burn by increasing the fuel concentration near the spark plug. The effects of engine control parameters such as the excess air coefficient (Lambda), direct injection (DI) ratio, spark interval with DI, and DI timing on combustion, fuel consumption, gaseous emissions, and particulate emissions of a dual injection gasoline engine are studied. It is shown that the lean burn limit can be extended to Lambda= 1.8 with a low compression ratio of 10, while the fuel consumption can be obviously improved at Lambda= 1.4. There exists a spark window for dual injection stratified lean burn mode, in which the spark timing has a weak effect on combustion. With optimization of the control parameters, the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) decreases 9.05% more than that of original stoichiometric combustion with DI as 2 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) at a 2000 r/min engine speed. The NOx emissions before three-way catalyst (TWC) are 71.31% lower than that of the original engine while the particle number (PN) is 81.45% lower than the original engine. The dual injection stratified lean burn has a wide range of applications which can effectively reduce fuel consumption and particulate emissions. The BSFC reduction rate is higher than 5% and the PN reduction rate is more than 50% with the speed lower than 2400 r/min and the load lower than 5 bar.

    Jin XIAO, Yingdong CHENG, Jinlong WANG, Chengwei ZHU, Zhen HUANG

    Free piston linear generator (FPLG) is a promising range extender for the electrical vehicle with unparallel advantages, such as compact structure, higher system efficiency, and reduced maintenance cost. However, due to the lack of the mechanic crankshaft, the related piston motion control is a challenge for the FPLG which causes problems such as misfire and crash and limits its widespread commercialization. Aimed at resolving the problems as misfire, a single-piston FPLG prototype has been designed and manufactured at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). In this paper, the development process and experimental validation of the related control strategies were detailed. From the experimental studies, significant misfires were observed at first, while the FPLG operated in natural-aspiration conditions. The root cause of this misfire was then identified as the poor scavenging process, and a compressed air source was leveraged to enhance the related scavenging pressure. Afterward, optimal control parameters, in terms of scavenging pressure, air-fuel equivalence ratio, and ignition position, were then calibrated in this charged-scavenging condition. Eventually, the FPLG prototype has achieved a continuous stable operation of over 1000 cycles with an ignition rate of 100% and a cycle-to-cycle variation of less than 0.8%, produced an indicated power of 2.8 kW with an indicated thermal efficiency of 26% and an electrical power of 2.5 kW with an overall efficiency of 23.2%.

    Jing SUN, Guanqun YU, Kui AN, Wenlong WANG, Biao WANG, Zhenyu JIANG, Chenggong SUN, Yanpeng MAO, Xiqiang ZHAO, Zhanlong SONG

    Diverse interactions between microwaves and irradiated media provide a solid foundation for identifying novel organization pathways for energy flow. In this study, a high-energy-site phenomenon and targeted-energy transition mechanism were identified in a particular microwave heating (MH) process. Intense discharges were observed when microwaves were imposed on irregularly sized SiC particles, producing tremendous heat that was 8-fold the amount generated in the discharge-free case. Energy efficiency was thereby greatly improved in the electricity-microwaves-effective heat transition. Meanwhile, the dispersed microwave field energy concentrated in small sites, where local temperatures could reach 2000°C– 4000°C, with the energy density reaching up to 4.0 × 105 W/kg. This can be called a high-energy site phenomenon which could induce further processes or reactions enhancement by coupling effects of heat, light, and plasma. The whole process, including microwave energy concentration and intense site-energy release, shapes a targeted-energy transition mechanism that can be optimized in a controlled manner through morphology design. In particular, the discharge intensity, frequency, and high-energy sites were strengthened through the fabrication of sharp nano/microstructures, conferring twice the energy efficiency of untreated metal wires. The microwave-induced high-energy sites and targeted energy transition provide an important pathway for high-efficiency energy deployment and may lead to promising applications.

    Shun SANG, Chen ZHANG, Jianwen ZHANG, Gang SHI, Fujin DENG

    This paper investigates and discusses the interaction stability issues of a wind farm with weak grid connections, where the wind turbines (WTs) are controlled by a new type of converter control strategy referred to as the voltage source (VS) control. The primary intention of the VS control method is to achieve the high-quality inertial response capability of a single WT. However, when it is applied to multiple WTs within a wind farm, its weak-grid performance regarding the stability remains concealed and needs to be clarified. To this end, a frequency domain model of the wind farm under the VS control is first developed. Based on this model and the application of a stability margin quantification index, not only the interactions between the wind farm and the weak grid but also those among WTs will be systematically assessed in this paper. A crucial finding is that the inertial response of VS control has negative impacts on the stability margin of the system, and the dominant instability mode is more related to the interactions among the WTs rather than the typical grid-wind farm interaction. Based on this knowledge, a stabilization control strategy is then proposed, aiming for stability improvements of VS control while fulfilling the demand of inertial responses. Finally, all the results are verified by time-domain simulations in power systems computer aided design/electromagnetic transients including DC(PSCAD/EMTDC).

    Yue FU, Yongliang ZHAO, Ming LIU, Jinshi WANG, Junjie YAN

    Cold-end systems are heat sinks of thermal power cycles, which have an essential effect on the overall performance of thermal power plants. To enhance the efficiency of thermal power plants, multi-pressure condensers have been applied in some large-capacity thermal power plants. However, little attention has been paid to the optimization of the cold-end system with multi-pressure condensers which have multiple parameters to be identified. Therefore, the design optimization methods of cold-end systems with single- and multi-pressure condensers are developed based on the entropy generation rate, and the genetic algorithm (GA) is used to optimize multiple parameters. Multiple parameters, including heat transfer area of multi-pressure condensers, steam distribution in condensers, and cooling water mass flow rate, are optimized while considering detailed entropy generation rate of the cold-end systems. The results show that the entropy generation rate of the multi-pressure cold-end system is less than that of the single-pressure cold-end system when the total condenser area is constant. Moreover, the economic performance can be improved with the adoption of the multi-pressure cold-end system. When compared with the single-pressure cold-end system, the excess revenues gained by using dual- and quadruple-pressure cold-end systems are 575 and 580 k$/a, respectively.

    Haoran ZHAO, Jinhua WANG, Xiao CAI, Zhijian BIAN, Hongchao DAI, Zuohua HUANG

    A fan-stirred combustion chamber is deve-loped for spherically expanding flames, with P and T up to 10 bar and 473 K, respectively. Turbulence characteristics are estimated using particle image velocimetry (PIV) at different initial pressures (P = 0.5–5 bar), fan frequencies (ω = 0–2000 r/min), and impeller diameters (D = 100 and 114 mm). The flame propagation of methanol/air is investigated at different turbulence intensities (u′=0–1.77 m/s) and equivalence ratios (φ = 0.7–1.5). The results show that u′ is independent of P and proportional to ω, which can be up to 3.5 m/s at 2000 r/min. LT is independent of P and performs a power regression with ω approximately. The turbulent field is homogeneous and isotropic in the central region of the chamber while the inertial subrange of spatial energy spectrum is more collapsed to –5/3 law at a high ReT. Compared to laminar expanding flames, the morpho-logy of turbulent expanding flames is wrinkled and the wrinkles will be finer with the growth of turbulence intensity, consistent with the decline of the Taylor scale and the Kolmogorov scale. The determined SL in the present study is in good agreement with that of previous literature. The SL and ST of methanol/air have a non-monotonic trend with φ while peak ST is shifted to the richer side compared to SL. This indicates that the newly built turbulent combustion chamber is reliable for further experimental study.

    Xin KANG, Yu WANG

    “Flame-street” is an interesting diffusion flame behavior in which a series of flame-segments is separately distributed along the mixing layer in a narrow channel. This experimental phenomenon was experimentally and numerically investigated with the focus on the steady-state, thermo-chemical flame structures in previous literature. In the present paper, the dynamic formation process of a methane-oxygen diffusion flame-street structure was simulated with a reacting flow solver developed based on the open-source framework OpenFOAM. By imposing a certain amount of ignition-energy near the channel outlet, a reaction-kernel was formed and bifurcated. Subsequently, three separate flames were consecutively generated from this kernel and propagated within the channel. The whole process was completed within 15 ms and all the discrete flames were eventually in a steady-state. Interestingly, different propagation features were observed for the three flame segments: The leading flame experienced a flame shape/type change from a tribrachial structure in its fast-propagating phase to a long, trailing diffusion tail after being anchored to the inlet. The successive flame had a much lower propagation speed, keeping its two wing-like (fuel-lean premixed and fuel-rich premixed) structure while moving toward its stabilization location, which was approximately in the middle of the channel. The last flame, after the ignition source was turned-off, was immediately convected a bit downstream, and eventually featured a similar two-branch-like structure as the second one. Moreover, chemical insights for the premixed and diffusion branches of the leading flame were also provided with the change of significance of some key elementary reactions focused on, in order to attain a detailed profiling of the flame-type transition. This paper is a first-ever one discussing the transient formation of flame-streets in literature and is believed to be useful for obtaining a comprehensive understanding of this unique flame characteristics from a dynamic point of view.

    Wei ZHU, Xiaodong REN, Xuesong LI, Chunwei GU, Zhitan LIU, Zhiyuan YAN, Hongfei ZHU, Tao ZHANG

    A novel adjusting method for improving gas turbine (GT) efficiency and surge margin (SM) under part-load conditions is proposed. This method adopts the inlet air heating technology, which uses the waste heat of low-grade heat source and the inlet guide vane (IGV) opening adjustment. Moreover, the regulation rules of the compressor inlet air temperature and the IGV opening are studied comprehensively to optimize GT performance. A model and calculation method for an equilibrium running line is adopted based on the characteristic curves of the compressor and turbine. The equilibrium running lines calculated through the calculation method involve three part-load conditions and three IGV openings with different inlet air temperatures. The results show that there is an optimal matching relationship between IGV opening and inlet air temperature. For the best GT performance of a given load, the IGV could be adjusted according to inlet air temperature. In addition, inlet air heating has a considerable potential for the improvement of part-load performance of GT due to the increase in compressor efficiency, combustion efficiency, and turbine efficiency as well as turbine inlet temperature, when inlet air temperature is lower than the optimal value with different IGV openings. Further, when the IGV is in a full opening state and an optimal inlet air temperature is achieved by using the inlet air heating technology, GT efficiency and SM can be obviously higher than other IGV openings. The IGV can be left unadjusted, even when the load is as low as 50%. These findings indicate that inlet air heating has a great potential to replace the IGV to regulate load because GT efficiency and SM can be remarkably improved, which is different from the traditional viewpoints.

    Jie JI, Junrui DUAN, Huaxian WAN

    The interaction of multiple fires may lead to a higher flame height and more intense radiation flux than a single fire, which increases the possibility of flame spread and risks to the surroundings. Experiments were conducted using three burners with identical heat release rates (HRRs) and propane as the fuel at various spacings. The results show that flames change from non-merging to merging as the spacing decreases, which result in a complex evolution of flame height and merging point height. To facilitate the analysis, a novel merging criterion based on the dimensionless spacing S/zc was proposed. For non-merging flames (S/zc >0.368), the flame height is almost identical to a single fire; for merging flames (S/zc ≤0.368), based on the relationship between thermal buoyancy B and thrust P (the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the flame), a quantitative analysis of the flame height, merging point height, and air entrainment was formed, and the calculated merging flame heights show a good agreement with the measured experimental values. Moreover, the multi-point source model was further improved, and radiation fraction of propane was calculated. The data obtained in this study would play an important role in calculating the external radiation of propane fire.

    Dongdong LIU, Yanyan CHEN, Wei DAI, Ercang LUO

    Bi-directional turbines combined with rotary motors may be a feasible option for developing high power thermoacoustic generators with low cost. A general expression for the acoustic characteristics of the bi-directional turbine was proposed based on theoretical derivation, which was validated by computational fluid dynamics modeling of an impulse turbine with fixed guide vanes. The structure of the turbine was optimized primarily using steady flow with an efficiency of near 70% (the shaft power divided by the total energy consumed by the turbine). The turbine in the oscillating flow was treated in a lumped-parameter model to extract the acoustic impedance characteristics from the simulation results. The key acoustic impedance characteristic of the turbine was the resistance and inertance due to complex flow condition in the turbine, whereas the capacitance was treated as an adiabatic case because of the large-scale flow channel relative to the heat penetration depth. Correlations for the impedance were obtained from both theoretical predictions and numerical fittings. The good fit of the correlations shows that these characteristics are valid for describing the bi-directional turbine, providing the basis for optimization of the coupling between the thermoacoustic engine and the turbine using quasi-one-dimensional theory in the frequency domain.

    Linmin ZHANG, Bin LIU, Juntao WEI, Xudong SONG, Yonghui BAI, Jiaofei WANG, Ying ZHOU, Huijun YANG, Guangsuo YU

    Co-gasification of industrial sludge (IS) and coal was an effective approach to achieve harmless and sustainable utilization of IS. The long-term and stable operation of a co-gasification largely depends on fluidity of coal-ash slag. Herein, the effects of IS addition on the crystallization and viscosity of Shuangmazao (SMZ) coal were investigated by means of high temperature stage coupled with an optical microscope (HTSOM), a scanning electron microscopy coupled with an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR), and FactSage software. The results showed that when the proportion of IS was less than 60%, with the addition of IS, the slag existed in an amorphous form. This was due to the high content of SiO2 and Al2O3 in SMZ ash and blended ash, which had a high glass-forming ability (GFA). The slag formed at a high temperature had a higher polymerization degree and viscosity, which led to a decrease in the migration ability between ions, and ultimately made the slag difficult to crystallize during the cooling. When the proportion of IS was higher than 60%, the addition of IS increased the CaO and FeO content in the system. As network modifiers, CaO and FeO could provide O2− at a high temperature, which reacted with silicate network structure and continuously destroyed the complexity of network structure, thus reducing the polymerization degree and viscosity of slag. At this time, the migration ability between ions was enhanced, and needle-shaped/rod-shaped crystals were precipitated during the cooling process. Finally, the viscosity calculated by simulation and Einstein-Roscoe empirical formula demonstrated that the addition of IS could significantly improve the fluidity of coal ash and meet the requirements of the liquid slag-tapping gasifier. The purpose of this work was to provide theoretical support for slag flow mechanisms during the gasifier slagging-tapping process and the resource treatment of industrial solid waste.

    Dongqiang LEI, Yucong REN, Zhifeng WANG

    Parabolic trough receiver is a key component to convert solar energy into thermal energy in the parabolic trough solar system. The heat loss of the receiver has an important influence on the thermal efficiency and the operating cost of the power station. In this paper, conduction and radiation heat losses are analyzed respectively to identify the heat loss mechanism of the receiver. A 2-D heat transfer model is established by using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method for rarefied gas flow and heat transfer within the annulus of the receiver to predict the conduction heat loss caused by residual gases. The numerical results conform to the experimental results, and show the temperature of the glass envelope and heat loss for various conditions in detail. The effects of annulus pressure, gas species, temperature of heat transfer fluid, and annulus size on the conduction and radiation heat losses are systematically analyzed. Besides, the main factors that cause heat loss are analyzed, providing a theoretical basis for guiding the improvement of receiver, as well as the operation and maintenance strategy to reduce heat loss.