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Frontiers in Energy

ISSN 2095-1701 (Print)
ISSN 2095-1698 (Online)
CN 11-6017/TK
Postal Subscription Code 80-972
Formerly Known as Frontiers of Energy and Power Engineering in China
2019 Impact Factor: 2.657

, Volume 15 Issue 1

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Clean and highly-efficient utilization of coal
Guangxi YUE, Junfu LYU, Shuiqing LI
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 1-3.
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NOx and H2S formation in the reductive zone of air-staged combustion of pulverized blended coals
Jinzhi CAI, Dan LI, Denggao CHEN, Zhenshan LI
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 4-13.
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Low NOx combustion of blended coals is widely used in coal-fired boilers in China to control NOx emission; thus, it is necessary to understand the formation mechanism of NOx and H2S during the combustion of blended coals. This paper focused on the investigation of reductive gases in the formation of NOx and H2S in the reductive zone of blended coals during combustion. Experiments with Zhundong (ZD) and Commercial (GE) coal and their blends with different mixing ratios were conducted in a drop tube furnace at 1200°C–1400°C with an excessive air ratio of 0.6–1.2. The coal conversion and formation characteristics of CO, H2S, and NOx in the fuel-rich zone were carefully studied under different experimental conditions for different blend ratios. Blending ZD into GE was found to increase not only the coal conversion but also the concentrations of CO and H2S as NO reduction accelerated. Both the CO and H2S concentrations inblended coal combustion increase with an increase in the combustion temperature and a decrease in the excessive air ratio. Based on accumulated experimental data, one interesting finding was that NO and H2S from blended coal combustion were almost directly dependent on the CO concentration, and the CO concentration of the blended coal combustion depended on the single char gasification conversion.Thus, CO, NOx, and H2S formation characteristics from blended coal combustion can be well predicted by single char gasification kinetics.

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Effect of temperature on Lu’an bituminous char structure evolution in pyrolysis and combustion
Yandi ZHANG, Yinhe LIU, Xiaoli DUAN, Yao ZHOU, Xiaoqian LIU, Shijin XU
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 14-25.
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In the process of pyrolysis and combustion of coal particles, coal structure evolution will be affected by the ash behavior, which will further affect the char reactivity, especially in the ash melting temperature zone. Lu’an bituminous char and ash samples were prepared at the N2 and air atmospheres respectively across ash melting temperature. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the morphology of char and ash. The specific surface area (SSA) analyzer and thermogravimetric analyzer were respectively adopted to obtain the pore structure characteristics of the coal chars and combustion parameters. Besides, an X-ray diffractometer (XRD) was applied to investigate the graphitization degree of coal chars prepared at different pyrolysis temperatures. The SEM results indicated that the number density and physical dimension of ash spheres exuded from the char particles both gradually increased with the increasing temperature, thus the coalescence of ash spheres could be observed obviously above 1100°C. Some flocculent materials appeared on the surface of the char particles at 1300°C, and it could be speculated that β-Si3N4 was generated in the pyrolysis process under N2. The SSA of the chars decreased with the increasing pyrolysis temperature. Inside the char particles, the micropore area and its proportion in the SSA also declined as the pyrolysis temperature increased. Furthermore, the constantly increasing pyrolysis temperature also caused the reactivity of char decrease, which is consistent with the results obtained by XRD. The higher combustion temperature resulted in the lower porosity and more fragments of the ash.

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Effect of oil shale semi-coke on deposit mineralogy and morphology in the flue path of a CFB burning Zhundong lignite
Zhuo LIU, Jianbo LI, Mingming ZHU, Xiaofeng LU, Zhezi ZHANG, Dongke ZHANG
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 26-37.
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The effect of oil shale semi-coke (SC) on the mineralogy and morphology of the ash deposited on probes situated in the flue path of a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) which burns Zhundong lignite (ZD) was investigated. 10 wt% or 20 wt% SC was added to ZD, which were then combusted in the CFB furnace at 950°C. Two probes with vertical and horizontal orientations were installed in the flue duct to simulate ash deposition. Both windward and leeward ash deposits on probes (P1W, P1L, P2W and P2L) were analyzed by using a scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry ICP-OES, and a particle size analyzer. When ZD was burned alone, the P1W deposit was comprised of agglomerates (<30 mm) enriched in CaSO4 and Na2SiO3, incurring significant sintering. The P1L and P2W deposits, however, were of both discrete and agglomerated particles in similar mineral phases but with coarser sizes. The P2L deposit was mainly fine ash particles where Na2SiO3 and Na2SO4 were absent. As SC was added, the agglomerates in both P1W and P1L decreased. Moreover, SiO2 and Ca/Na aluminosilicates dominated the mineral phases whereas Na2SiO3 and Na2SO4 disappeared, showing a decrease in deposit stickiness. Likewise, the P2W deposit was found less spread on the probe, decreasing its deposition propensity. Na-bearing minerals turned into (Na, K)(Si3Al)O8 and (Ca, Na)(Si, Al)4O8 in the P2W deposit. Moreover, Na in the deposits decreased from 32 mg/g to less than 15 mg/g as SC presented. The addition of SC would therefore help alleviate the propensity of ash deposition in the flue path in the CFB combustion of ZD.

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An experimental study on ignition of single coal particles at low oxygen concentrations
Wantao YANG, Yang ZHANG, Lilin HU, Junfu LYU, Hai ZHANG
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 38-45.
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An experimental study on the ignition of single coal particles at low oxygen concentrations ( XO2<21%) was conducted using a tube furnace. The surface temperature (Ts) and the center temperature (Tc) of the coal particles were obtained from the images taken by an infrared camera and thermocouples respectively. The ignition processes were recorded by a high-speed camera at different XO2 values and furnace temperatures Tw. Compared with literature experimental data obtained at a high XO2 value, the ignition delay time ti decreases more rapidly as XO2 increases at the low XO2 region. The responses of Ts and Tc to the variation of X O 2 are different: Ts decreases while Tc remains nearly constant with increasing XO2 at a low XO2 value. In addition, ti is less sensitive to Tw while the ignition temperature Ti is more sensitive to Tw at a low XO2 value than in air. Observations of the position of flame front evolution illustrate that the ignition of a coal particle may change from a homogeneous mode to a heterogeneous or combined ignition mode as XO2 decreases. At a low XO2 value, buoyancy plays a more significant role in sweeping away the released volatiles during the ignition process.

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A critical review of ash slagging mechanisms and viscosity measurement for low-rank coal and bio-slags
Md Tanvir ALAM, Baiqian DAI, Xiaojiang WU, Andrew HOADLEY, Lian ZHANG
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 46-67.
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Gasification or combustion of coal and biomass is the most important form of power generation today. However, the use of coal/biomass at high temperatures has an inherent problem related to the ash generated. The formation of ash leads to a problematic phenomenon called slagging. Slagging is the accumulation of molten ash on the walls of the furnace, gasifier, or boiler and is detrimental as it reduces the heat transfer rate, and the combustion/gasification rate of unburnt carbon, causes mechanical failure, high-temperature corrosion and on occasions, superheater explosions. To improve the gasifier/combustor facility, it is very important to understand the key ash properties, slag characteristics, viscosity and critical viscosity temperature. This paper reviews the content, compositions, and melting characteristics of ashes in differently ranked coal and biomass, and discusses the formation mechanism, characteristics, and structure of slag. In particular, this paper focuses on low-rank coal and biomass that have been receiving increased attention recently. Besides, it reviews the available methodologies and formulae for slag viscosity measurement/prediction and summarizes the current limitations and potential applications. Moreover, it discusses the slagging behavior of different ranks of coal and biomass by examining the applicability of the current viscosity measurement methods to these fuels, and the viscosity prediction models and factors that affect the slag viscosity. This review shows that the existing viscosity models and slagging indices can only satisfactorily predict the viscosity and slagging propensity of high-rank coals but cannot predict the slagging propensity and slag viscosity of low-rank coal, and especially biomass ashes, even if they are limited to a particular composition only. Thus, there is a critical need for the development of an index, or a model or even a measurement method, which can predict/measure the slagging propensity and slag viscosity correctly for all low-rank coal and biomass ashes.

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Influence of mass air flow ratio on gas-particle flow characteristics of a swirl burner in a 29 MW pulverized coal boiler
Rong YAN, Zhichao CHEN, Shuo GUAN, Zhengqi LI
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 68-77.
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In a gas/particle two-phase test facility, a three-component particle-dynamics anemometer was used to measure the characteristics of gas/particle two-phase flows in a 29 megawatt (MW) pulverized coal industrial boiler equipped with a new type of swirling pulverized coal burner. The distributions of three-dimensional gas/particle velocity, particle volume flux, and particle size distribution were measured under different working conditions. The mean axial velocity and the particle volume flux in the central region of the burner outlet were found to be negative. This indicated that a central recirculation zone was formed in the center of the burner. In the central recirculation zone, the absolute value of the mean axial velocity and the particle volume flux increased when the external secondary air volume increased. The size of the central reflux zone remained stable when the air volume ratio changed. Along the direction of the jet, the peak value formed by the tertiary air gradually moved toward the center of the burner. This tertiary air was mixed with the peak value formed by the air in the adiabatic combustion chamber after the cross-section of x/d = 0.7. Large particles were concentrated near the wall area, and the particle size in the recirculation zone was small.

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Effects of pyrolyzed semi-char blend ratio on coal combustion and pollution emission in a 0.35 MW pulverized coal-fired furnace
Yonghong YAN, Liutao SUN, Zhengkang PENG, Hongliang QI, Li LIU, Rui SUN
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 78-90.
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The effects of blend ratio on combustion and pollution emission characteristics for co-combustion of Shenmu pyrolyzed semi-char (SC), i.e., residuals of the coal pyrolysis chemical processing, and Shenhua bituminous coal (SB) were investigated in a 0.35 MW pilot-scale pulverized coal-fired furnace. The gas temperature and concentrations of gaseous species (O2, CO, CO2, NOx and HCN) were measured in the primary combustion zone at different blend ratios. It is found that the standoff distance of ignition changes monotonically from 132 to 384 mm with the increase in pyrolyzed semi-char blend ratio. The effects on the combustion characteristics may be neglected when the blend ratio is less than 30%. Above the 30% blend ratio, the increase in blend ratio postpones ignition in the primary stage and lowers the burnout rate. With the blend ratio increasing, NOx emission at the furnace exit is smallest for the 30% blend ratio and highest for the 100% SC. The NOx concentration was 425 mg/m3 at 6% O2 and char burnout was 76.23% for the 45% blend ratio. The above results indicate that the change of standoff distance and NOx emission were not obvious when the blend ratio of semi-char is less than 45%, and carbon burnout changed a little at all blend ratios. The goal of this study is to achieve blending combustion with a large proportion of semi-char without great changes in combustion characteristics. So, an SC blend ratio of no more than 45% can be suitable for the burning of semi-char.

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Experimental studies of ash film fractions based on measurement of cenospheres geometry in pulverized coal combustion
Siqi LIU, Yanqing NIU, Liping WEN, Yang LIANG, Bokang YAN, Denghui WANG, Shi’en HUI
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 91-98.
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In pulverized coal particle combustion, part of the ash forms the ash film and exerts an inhibitory influence on combustion by impeding the diffusion of oxygen to the encapsulated char core, while part of the ash diffuses toward the char core. Despite the considerable ash effects on combustion, the fraction of ash film still remains unclear. However, the research of the properties of cenospheres can be an appropriate choice for the fraction determination, being aware that the formation of cenospheres is based on the model of coal particles with the visco-plastic ash film and a solid core. The fraction of ash film X is the ratio of the measuring mass of ash film and the total ash in coal particle. In this paper, the Huangling bituminous coal with different sizes was burnt in a drop-tube furnace at 1273, 1473, and 1673 K with air as oxidizer. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) and cross-section analysis have been used to study the geometry of the collected cenospheres and the effects of combustion parameters on the fraction of ash film. The results show that the ash film fraction increases with increasing temperature and carbon conversion ratio but decreases with larger sizes of coal particles. The high fraction of ash film provides a reasonable explanation for the extinction event at the late burnout stage. The varied values of ash film fractions under different conditions during the dynamic combustion process are necessary for further development of kinetic models.

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Modeling of single coal particle combustion in O2/N2 and O2/CO2 atmospheres under fluidized bed condition
Xiehe YANG, Yang ZHANG, Daoyin LIU, Jiansheng ZHANG, Hai ZHANG, Junfu LYU, Guangxi YUE
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 99-111.
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A one-dimensional transient single coal particle combustion model was proposed to investigate the characteristics of single coal particle combustion in both O2/N2 and O2/CO2 atmospheres under the fluidized bed combustion condition. The model accounted for the fuel devolatilization, moisture evaporation, heterogeneous reaction as well as homogeneous reactions integrated with the heat and mass transfer from the fluidized bed environment to the coal particle. This model was validated by comparing the model prediction with the experimental results in the literature, and a satisfactory agreement between modeling and experiments proved the reliability of the model. The modeling results demonstrated that the carbon conversion rate of a single coal particle (diameter 6 to 8 mm) under fluidized bed conditions (bed temperature 1088 K) in an O2/CO2 (30:70) atmosphere was promoted by the gasification reaction, which was considerably greater than that in the O2/N2 (30:70) atmosphere. In addition, the surface and center temperatures of the particle evolved similarly, no matter it is under the O2/N2 condition or the O2/CO2 condition. A further analysis indicated that similar trends of the temperature evolution under different atmospheres were caused by the fact that the strong heat transfer under the fluidized bed condition overwhelmingly dominated the temperature evolution rather than the heat release of the chemical reaction.

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Mercury emission and adsorption characteristics of fly ash in PC and CFB boilers
Li JIA, Baoguo FAN, Xianrong ZHENG, Xiaolei QIAO, Yuxing YAO, Rui ZHAO, Jinrong GUO, Yan JIN
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 112-123.
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The mercury emission was obtained by measuring the mercury contents in flue gas and solid samples in pulverized coal (PC) and circulating fluidized bed (CFB) utility boilers. The relationship was obtained between the mercury emission and adsorption characteristics of fly ash. The parameters included unburned carbon content, particle size, and pore structure of fly ash. The results showed that the majority of mercury released to the atmosphere with the flue gas in PC boiler, while the mercury was enriched in fly ash and captured by the precipitator in CFB boiler. The coal factor was proposed to characterize the impact of coal property on mercury emissions in this paper. As the coal factor increased, the mercury emission to the atmosphere decreased. It was also found that the mercury content of fly ash in the CFB boiler was ten times higher than that in the PC boiler. As the unburned carbon content increased, the mercury adsorbed increased. The capacity of adsorbing mercury by fly ash was directly related to the particle size. The particle size corresponding to the highest content of mercury, which was about 560 ng/g, appeared in the range from 77.5 to 106 µm. The content of mesoporous (4–6 nm) of the fly ash in the particle size of 77.5–106 µm was the highest, which was beneficial to adsorbing the mercury. The specific surface area played a more significant role than specific pore volume in the mercury adsorption process.

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Large eddy simulation of a 660 MW utility boiler under variable load conditions
Haoshu SHEN, Yuxin WU, Minmin ZHOU, Hai ZHANG, Guangxi YUE, Junfu LYU
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 124-131.
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Large eddy simulation (LES) has become a promising tool for pulverized coal combustion with the development of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technologies in recent years. LES can better capture the unsteady features and turbulent structures of coal jet flame than Reynolds averaged Navier Stokes (RANS). The coal-fired power plants in China are now required to be operated in a wide load range and quickly respond to the electric grid. The boiler performance of variable loads should be evaluated in terms of flow, heat transfer, and combustion processes. In this paper, LES was applied to simulate a 660 MW ultra-supercritical boiler under BMCR (boiler maximum continue rate), 75%THA-100, and 50%THA-100 conditions. The predicted gas velocities agree well with the thermal calculation and the temperature error is less than 130 K. The simulation results show that the operation load has significant effects on the boiler performance. It is also proved that LES can provide guidance for the design and operation of advanced coal-fired boilers.

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Industrial-scale investigations on effects of tertiary-air declination angle on combustion and steam temperature characteristics in a 350-MW supercritical down-fired boiler
Xiaoguang LI, Lingyan ZENG, Hongye LIU, Yao LI, Yifu LI, Yunlong ZHAO, Bo JIAO, Minhang SONG, Shaofeng ZHANG, Zhichao CHEN, Zhengqi LI
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 132-142.
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Industrial-scale experiments were conducted to study the effects of tertiary air declination angle (TDA) on the coal combustion and steam temperature characteristics in the first 350-MW supercritical down-fired boiler in China with the multiple-injection and multiple-staging combustion (MIMSC) technology at medium and high loads. The experimental results indicated that as the TDA increased from 0° to 15°, the overall gas temperature in the lower furnace rose and the symmetry of temperature field was enhanced. The ignition distance of the fuel-rich coal/air flow decreased. In near-burner region, the concentration of O2 decreased while the concentrations of CO and NO increased. The concentration of NO decreased in near-tertiary-air region. The carbon in fly ash decreased significantly from 8.40% to 6.45% at a load of 260 MW. At a TDA of 15°, the ignition distances were the shortest (2.07 m and 1.73 m) at a load of 210 MW and 260 MW, respectively. The main and reheat steam temperatures were the highest (557.2°C and 559.4°C at a load of 210 MW, 558.4°C and 560.3°C at a load of 260 MW). The carbon in fly ash was the lowest (4.83%) at a load of 210 MW. On changing the TDA from 15° to 25°, the flame kernel was found to move downward and the main and reheat steam temperatures dropped obviously. The change of TDA has little effect on NOx emissions(660–681 mg/m3 at 6% O2). In comprehensive consideration of the pulverized coal combustion characteristics and the unit economic performance, an optimal TDA of 15° is recommended.

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Evaluation of the situational awareness effects for smart distribution networks under the novel design of indicator framework and hybrid weighting method
Leijiao GE, Yuanliang LI, Suxuan LI, Jiebei ZHU, Jun YAN
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 143-158.
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As a key application of smart grid technologies, the smart distribution network (SDN) is expected to have a high diversity of equipment and complexity of operation patterns. Situational awareness (SA), which aims to provide a critical visibility of the SDN, will enable a significant assurance for stable SDN operations. However, the lack of systematic evaluation through the three stages of perception, comprehensive, and prediction may prevent the SA technique from effectively achieving the performance necessary to monitor and respond to events in SDN. To analyze the feasibility and effectiveness of the SA technique for the SDN, a comprehensive evaluation framework with specific performance indicators and systematic weighting methods is proposed in this paper. Besides, to implement the indicator framework while addressing the key issues of human expert scoring ambiguity and the lack of data in specific SDN areas, an improved interval-based analytic hierarchy process-based subjective weighting and a multi-objective programming method-based objective weighting are developed to evaluate the SDN SA performance. In addition, a case study in a real distribution network of Tianjin, China is conducted whose outcomes verify the practicality and effectiveness of the proposed SA technique for SDN operating security.

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Optimization of process parameters for preparation of powdered activated coke to achieve maximum SO2 adsorption using response surface methodology
Binxuan ZHOU, Tao WANG, Tianming XU, Cheng LI, Yuan ZHAO, Jiapeng FU, Zhen ZHANG, Zhanlong SONG, Chunyuan MA
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 159-169.
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Powdered activated coke (PAC) is a good adsorbent of SO2, but its adsorption capacity is affected by many factors in the preparation process. To prepare the PAC with a high SO2 adsorption capacity using JJ-coal under flue gas atmosphere, six parameters (oxygen-coal equivalent ratio, reaction temperature, reaction time, O2 concentration, CO2 concentration, and H2O concentration) were screened and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM). The results of factor screening experiment show that reaction temperature, O2 concentration, and H2O (g) concentration are the significant factors. Then, a quadratic polynomial regression model between the significant factors and SO2 adsorption capacity was established using the central composite design (CCD). The model optimization results indicate that when reaction temperature is 904.74°C, O2 concentration is 4.67%, H2O concentration is 27.98%, the PAC (PAC-OP) prepared had a higher SO2 adsorption capacity of 68.15 mg/g while its SO2 adsorption capacity from a validation experiment is 68.82 mg/g, and the error with the optimal value is 0.98%. Compared to two typical commercial activated cokes (ACs), PAC-OP has relatively more developed pore structures, and its SBET and Vtot are 349 m2/g and 0.1475 cm3/g, significantly higher than the 186 m2/g and 0.1041 cm3/g of AC1, and the 132 m2/g and 0.0768 cm3/g of AC2. Besides, it also has abundant oxygen-containing functional groups, its surface O content being 12.09%, higher than the 10.42% of AC1 and 10.49% of AC2. Inevitably, the SO2 adsorption capacity of PAC-OP is also significantly higher than that of both AC1 and AC2, which is 68.82 mg/g versus 32.53 mg/g and 24.79 mg/g, respectively.

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Determining the optimum economic insulation thickness of double pipes buried in the soil for district heating systems
Fating LI, Pengfei JIE, Zhou FANG, Zhimei WEN
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 170-185.
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The insulation thickness (IT) of double pipes buried in the soil (DPBIS) for district heating (DH) systems was optimized to minimize the annual total cost of DPBIS for DH systems. An optimization model to obtain the optimum insulation thickness (OIT) and minimum annual total cost (MATC) of DPBIS for DH systems was established. The zero point theorem and fsolve function were used to solve the optimization model. Three types of heat sources, four operating strategies, three kinds of insulation materials, seven nominal pipe size (NPS) values, and three buried depth (BD) values were considered in the calculation of the OIT and MATC of DPBIS for DH systems, respectively. The optimization results for the above factors were compared. The results show that the OIT and MATC of DPBIS for DH systems can be obtained by using the optimization model. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to investigate the impact of some economic parameters, i.e., unit heating cost, insulation material price, interest rate, and insulation material lifetime, on optimization results. It is found out that the impact of sensitivity factors on the OIT and MATC of DPBIS for DH systems is different.

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MPC-based interval number optimization for electric water heater scheduling in uncertain environments
Jidong WANG, Chenghao LI, Peng LI, Yanbo CHE, Yue ZHOU, Yinqi LI
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 186-200.
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In this paper, interval number optimization and model predictive control are proposed to handle the uncertain-but-bounded parameters in electric water heater load scheduling. First of all, interval numbers are used to describe uncertain parameters including hot water demand, ambient temperature, and real-time price of electricity. Moreover, the traditional thermal dynamic model of electric water heater is transformed into an interval number model, based on which, the day-ahead load scheduling problem with uncertain parameters is formulated, and solved by interval number optimization. Different tolerance degrees for constraint violation and temperature preferences are also discussed for giving consumers more choices. Furthermore, the model predictive control which incorporates both forecasts and newly updated information is utilized to make and execute electric water heater load schedules on a rolling basis throughout the day. Simulation results demonstrate that interval number optimization either in day-ahead optimization or model predictive control format is robust to the uncertain hot water demand, ambient temperature, and real-time price of electricity, enabling customers to flexibly adjust electric water heater control strategy.

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Numerical simulation on flow of ice slurry in horizontal straight tube
Shengchun LIU, Ming SONG, Ling HAO, Pengxiao WANG
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 201-207.
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Numerical simulation on flow of ice slurry in horizontal straight tubes was conducted in this paper to improve its transportation characteristics and application. This paper determined the influence of the diameter and length of tubes, the ice packing factors (IPF) and the flow velocity of ice slurry on pressure loss by using numerical simulation, based on two-phase flow and the granular dynamic theory. Furthermore, it was found that the deviation between the simulation results and experimental data could be reduced from 20% to 5% by adjusting the viscosity which was reflected by velocity. This confirmed the reliability of the simulation model. Thus, two mathematical correlations between viscosity and flow velocity were developed eventually. It could also be concluded that future rheological model of ice slurry should be considered in three sections clarified by the flow velocity, which determined the fundamental difference from single-phase fluid.

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Tribological properties of onion like fullerenes and NiFe2O4 nanocomposites in reciprocating motion
Ruixiang WANG, Yihao ZHANG, Haizhou WU
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 208-212.
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A novel way for a compressor to improve its coefficient of performance and enhance its reliability by employing nano-refrigeration lubricant oil was proposed. Onion like fullerenes (OLFs) and NiFe2O4 nano-composites, modified by Span 80, were dispersed in refrigeration oil KFR22 by solid grinding (SG). Morphologies of NiFe2O4 nano-composites were characterized by using transmission electron microscope (TEM). The tribological properties as a refrigeration lubricants additive were investigated using SRV (II), a multi-functional reciprocating friction and wear tester. The results showed that the friction coefficient was decreased from 0.15 to 0.04.

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Experimental study of pollution effect on the behavior of high voltage insulators under alternative current
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 213-221.
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In this paper, the impact of the conductivity and the distribution of pollution on the behavior of the high voltage insulator cap and pin 1512L, artificially polluted is described. An experimental model in form of a disc is proposed. This experimental model reproduces the real model which is the 1512L insulator. Besides, a comparative study is presented. For this comparative study, different solutions are adopted to s`imulate the pollution (containing NaCl+ distilled water) that has different conductivities for a discontinuous distribution of the pollution on the insulator under an AC voltage. Furthermore, the influence of the pollution on the flashover voltage and the leakage current is studied. Finally, the behavior of real and experimental model of the insulator is investigated.

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Numerical study of thermal characteristics of double skin facade system with middle shade
Shaoning LIU, Xiangfei KONG, Hua YANG, Minchao FAN, Xin ZHAN
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 222-234.
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Architectural shade is an effective method for improving building energy efficiency. A new shade combined with the double skin façade (DSF) system, called middle shade (MS), was introduced and developed for buildings. In this paper, a 3D dynamic simulation was conducted to analyze the influence of MS combined with DSF on the indoor thermal characteristics. The research on MS for DSF involves the temperature, the ventilation rate, the velocity distribution of the air flow duct, and the indoor temperature. The results show that the angle and position of the shade in the three seasons are different, and different conditions effectively enhance the indoor thermal characteristics. In summer, the appearance of MS in DSF makes the indoor temperature significantly lower. The indoor temperature is obviously lower than that of the air flow duct, and the temperature of the air flow duct is less affected by MS. The influence of the position of blinds on indoor temperature and ventilation rate is greater than the influence of the angle of blinds. According to the climate characteristics of winter and transition season, in winter, early spring, and late autumn, the indoor temperature decreases with the increase of the position of blinds at daytime, but the opposite is true at night. The results found in this paper can provide reference for the design and use of MS combined with DSF in hot summer and cold winter zone.

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Impact of “ultra low emission” technology of coal-fired power on PM2.5 pollution in the Jing-Jin-Ji Region
Xiao LIU, Zhilin LIU, Weidong JIAO, Xuan LI, Jintai LIN, Anthony KU
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 235-239.
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In response to severe haze pollution, the Chinese government has announced a series of policies focusing on controlling emissions from coal consumption. “Ultra-low emission” (ULE) technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, and have been deployed at some facilities in recent years. This paper estimated the potential environmental benefits of the widespread adoption of ULE in the Jing-Jin-Ji Region. Atmospheric modeling scenarios were analyzed for three cases: a “standard” scenario assuming no ULE deployment, a “best case” scenario assuming complete adoption of ULE across all power plants in the region, and a “natural gas” scenario, assuming emissions factors consistent with natural gas-fired power generation. The simulations show that the widespread adoption of ULE technologies can be an effective and economically competitive option for reducing the impacts of coal-fired power generation on air quality.

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Optimal placement of wind turbines within a wind farm considering multi-directional wind speed using two-stage genetic algorithm
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 240-255.
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Most wind turbines within wind farms are set up to face a pre-determined wind direction. However, wind directions are intermittent in nature, leading to less electricity production capacity. This paper proposes an algorithm to solve the wind farm layout optimization problem considering multi-angular (MA) wind direction with the aim of maximizing the total power generated on wind farms and minimizing the cost of installation. A two-stage genetic algorithm (GA) equipped with complementary sampling and uniform crossover is used to evolve a MA layout that will yield optimal output regardless of the wind direction. In the first stage, the optimal wind turbine layouts for 8 different major wind directions were determined while the second stage allows each of the previously determined layouts to compete and inter-breed so as to evolve an optimal MA wind farm layout. The proposed MA wind farm layout is thereafter compared to other layouts whose turbines have focused site specific wind turbine orientation. The results reveal that the proposed wind farm layout improves wind power production capacity with minimum cost of installation compared to the layouts with site specific wind turbine layouts. This paper will find application at the planning stage of wind farm.

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Core designing of a new type of TVS-2M FAs: neutronics and thermal-hydraulics design basis limits
Front. Energy. 2021, 15 (1): 256-278.
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One of the most important aims of this study is to improve the core of the current VVER reactors to achieve more burn-up (or more cycle length) and more intrinsic safety. It is an independent study on the Russian new proposed FAs, called TVS-2M, which would be applied for the future advanced VVERs. Some important aspects of neutronics as well as thermal hydraulics investigations (and analysis) of the new type of Fas are conducted, and results are compared with the standards PWR CDBL. The TVS-2M FA contains gadolinium-oxide which is mixed with UO2 (for different Gd densities and U-235 enrichments which are given herein), but the core does not contain BARs. The new type TVS-2M Fas are modeled by the SARCS software package to find the PMAXS format for three states of CZP and HZP as well as HFP, and then the whole core is simulated by the PARCS code to investigate transient conditions. In addition, the WIMS-D5 code is suggested for steady core modeling including TVS-2M FAs and/or TVS FAs. Many neutronics aspects such as the first cycle length (first cycle burn up in terms of MWthd/kgU), the critical concentration of boric acid at the BOC as well as the cycle length, the axial, and radial power peaking factors, differential and integral worthy of the most reactive CPS-CRs, reactivity coefficients of the fuel, moderator, boric acid, and the under-moderation estimation of the core are conducted and benchmarked with the PWR CDBL. Specifically, the burn-up calculations indicate that the 45.6 d increase of the first cycle length (which corresponds to 1.18 MWthd/kgU increase of burn-up) is the best improving aim of the new FA type called TVS-2M. Moreover, thermal-hydraulics core design criteria such as MDNBR (based on W3 correlation) and the maximum of fuel and clad temperatures (radially and axially), are investigated, and discussed based on the CDBL.

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24 articles