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    Guangxi YUE, Junfu LYU, Shuiqing LI
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 1-3.
    Shouwei ZHOU, Qingping LI, Xin LV, Qiang FU, Junlong ZHU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 433-442.

    As a new clean energy resource in the 21st century, natural gas hydrate is considered as one of the most promising strategic resources in the future. This paper, based on the research progress in exploitation of natural gas hydrate (NGH) in China and the world, systematically reviewed and discussed the key issues in development of natural gas hydrate. From an exploitation point of view, it is recommended that the concepts of diagenetic hydrate and non-diagenetic hydrate be introduced. The main factors to be considered are whether diagenesis, stability of rock skeleton structure, particle size and cementation mode, thus NGHs are divided into 6 levels and used unused exploitation methods according to different types. The study of the description and quantitative characterization of abundance in hydrate enrichment zone, and looking for gas hydrate dessert areas with commercial exploitation value should be enhanced. The concept of dynamic permeability and characterization of the permeability of NGH by time-varying equations should be established. The ‘Three-gas co-production’ (natural gas hydrate, shallow gas, and conventional gas) may be an effective way to achieve early commercial exploitation. Although great progress has been made in the exploitation of natural gas hydrate, there still exist enormous challenges in basic theory research, production methods, and equipment and operation modes. Only through hard and persistent exploration and innovation can natural gas hydrate be truly commercially developed on a large scale and contribute to sustainable energy supply.

    Liang YIN, Yonglin JU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 530-544.

    The key technologies of liquefied hydrogen have been developing rapidly due to its prospective energy exchange effectiveness, zero emissions, and long distance and economic transportation. However, hydrogen liquefaction is one of the most energy-intensive industrial processes. A small reduction in energy consumption and an improvement in efficiency may decrease the operating cost of the entire process. In this paper, the detailed progress of design and optimization for hydrogen liquefaction in recent years are summarized. Then, based on the refrigeration cycles, the hydrogen liquefaction processes are divided into two parts, namely precooled liquefaction process and cascade liquefaction process. Among the existing technologies, the SEC of most hydrogen liquefaction processes is limited in the range of 5–8 kWh/ kgLH2: liquid hydrogen). The exergy efficiencies of processes are around 40% to 60%. Finally, several future improvements for hydrogen liquefaction process design and optimization are proposed. The mixed refrigerants (MRs) as the working fluids of the process and the combination of the traditional hydrogen liquefaction process with the renewable energy technology will be the great prospects for development in near future.

    Abdelkarim AMMAR, Amor BOUREK, Abdelhamid BENAKCHA
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 836-849.

    This paper proposes a design of control and estimation strategy for induction motor based on the variable structure approach. It describes a coupling of sliding mode direct torque control (DTC) with sliding mode flux and speed observer. This algorithm uses direct torque control basics and the sliding mode approach. A robust electromagnetic torque and flux controllers are designed to overcome the conventional SVM-DTC drawbacks and to ensure fast response and full reference tracking with desired dynamic behavior and low ripple level. The sliding mode controller is used to generate reference voltages in stationary frame and give them to the controlled motor after modulation by a space vector modulation (SVM) inverter. The second aim of this paper is to design a sliding mode speed/flux observer which can improve the control performances by using a sensorless algorithm to get an accurate estimation, and consequently, increase the reliability of the system and decrease the cost of using sensors. The effectiveness of the whole composed control algorithm is investigated in different robustness tests with simulation using Matlab/Simulink and verified by real time experimental implementation based on dS pace 1104 board.

    Alap Ali ZAHID, Syed Raza ur REHMAN, S. RUSHD, Anwarul HASAN, Mohammad Azizur RAHMAN
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 635-643.

    Imaging with high definition video camera is an important technique to visualize the drilling conditions and to study the physics of complex multiphase flow associated with the hole cleaning process. The main advantage of visualizing multiphase flow in a drilling annulus is that the viewer can easily distinguish fluid phases, flow patterns and thicknesses of cutting beds. In this paper the hole cleaning process which involves the transportation of cuttings through a horizontal annulus was studied. The two-phase (solid-liquid) and the three-phase (solid-liquid-gas) flow conditions involved in this kind of annular transportation were experimentally simulated and images were taken using a high definition camera. Analyzing the captured images, a number of important parameters like velocities of different phases, heights of solid beds and sizes of gas bubbles were determined. Two different techniques based on an image analysis software and MATLAB coding were used for the determinations. The results were compared to validate the image analyzing methodology. The visualization technique developed in this paper has a direct application in investigating the critical conditions required for efficient hole cleaning as well as in optimizing the mud program during both planning and operational phases of drilling. Particularly, it would be useful in predicting the cuttings transport performance, estimating solid bed height, gas bubble size, and mean velocities of bubbles/particles.

    S. Rupesh, C. Muraleedharan, P. Arun
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 607-619.

    Gasification is a thermo-chemical reaction which converts biomass into fuel gases in a reactor. The efficiency of conversion depends on the effective working of the gasifier. The first step in the conversion process is the selection of a suitable feedstock capable of generating more gaseous fuels. This paper analyses the performance of different biomasses during gasification through energy and exergy analysis. A quasi-equilibrium model is developed to simulate and compare the feasibility of different biomass materials as gasifier feedstock. Parametric studies are conducted to analyze the effect of temperature, steam to biomass ratio and equivalence ratio on energy and exergy efficiencies. Of the biomasses considered, sawdust has the highest energy and exergy efficiencies and lowest irreversibility. At a gasification temperature of 1000 K, the steam to biomass ratio of unity and the equivalence ratio of 0.25, the energy efficiency, exergy efficiency and irreversibility of sawdust are 35.62%, 36.98% and 10.62 MJ/kg, respectively. It is also inferred that the biomass with lower ash content and higher carbon content contributes to maximum energy and exergy efficiencies.

    Saeed GHAEMI, Farshad FAGHIHI
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 256-278.

    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.

    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 213-221.

    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.

    Shengchun LIU, Ming SONG, Ling HAO, Pengxiao WANG
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 201-207.

    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.

    Zhong HUANG, Lei DENG, Defu CHE
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 699-714.

    Circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boilers has realized the clean and efficient utilization of inferior coal like gangue and coal slime, high sulfur coal, anthracite, petroleum coke, oil shale and other resources. As a country with the largest amount of CFB boilers and the largest installed capacity in the world, China has 440 100–600 MWe CFB boilers with a total capacity of 82.29 GWe, including 227 units of 135 MWe, 95 units of 300 MWe, and 24 supercritical units. The statistics of typical 100–300 MWe CFB boilers showed that the average number of unplanned shut-down was only 0.37 times per year, among which the 135 MWe was 0.26 times per year and 300 MWe was 0.46 times per year. The auxiliary power ratio of some 300 MWe CFB boilers based on flow-pattern reconstruction can be reduced to about 4%, which is closed to the same level of pulverized coal (PC) boilers. This paper summarizes the development process and application status of China’s large-scale CFB boilers, analyzes the characteristics and technical performance of the iconic units, and introduces solutions to the problems such as water wall wear and bottom ash cooling.

    Ruixiang WANG, Yihao ZHANG, Yi LIAO
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 644-648.

    A novel way for a compressor to improve its coefficient of performance was proposed in this paper. Fullerenes (C70) and NiFe2O4 nanocomposites were modified by span 80 and dispersed in refrigeration oil by solid grinding (SG). Besides, the tribological properties of the nanocomposites were investigated using a four ball friction tester. The results show that when the mass concentration of fullerenes nanocomposite is higher than 60 ppm and the concentration of nano-oil is 2 g/L, the friction coefficient decreases from 0.13 to 0.06 which means the wear is reduced. The coefficient of performance of the compressor under the air conditioning test condition can be raised by 1.23%.

    Jianpeng ZHENG, Liubiao CHEN, Ping WANG, Jingjie ZHANG, Junjie WANG, Yuan ZHOU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 570-577.

    Liquid hydrogen (LH2) attracts widespread attention because of its highest energy storage density. However, evaporation loss is a serious problem in LH2 storage due to the low boiling point (20 K). Efficient insulation technology is an important issue in the study of LH2 storage. Hollow glass microspheres (HGMs) is a potential promising thermal insulation material because of its low apparent thermal conductivity, fast installation (Compared with multi-layer insulation, it can be injected in a short time.), and easy maintenance. A novel cryogenic insulation system consisting of HGMs and a self-evaporating vapor-cooled shield (VCS) is proposed for storage of LH2. A thermodynamic model has been established to analyze the coupled heat transfer characteristics of HGMs and VCS in the composite insulation system. The results show that the combination of HGMs and VCS can effectively reduce heat flux into the LH2 tank. With the increase of VCS number from 1 to 3, the minimum heat flux through HGMs decreases by 57.36%, 65.29%, and 68.21%, respectively. Another significant advantage of HGMs is that their thermal insulation properties are not sensitive to ambient vacuum change. When ambient vacuum rises from 103 Pa to 1 Pa, the heat flux into the LH2 tank increases by approximately 20%. When the vacuum rises from 103 Pa to 100 Pa, the combination of VCS and HGMs reduces the heat flux into the tank by 58.08%–69.84% compared with pure HGMs.

    Shaoning LIU, Xiangfei KONG, Hua YANG, Minchao FAN, Xin ZHAN
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 222-234.

    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.

    Yanxing ZHAO, Maoqiong GONG, Haocheng WANG, Hao GUO, Xueqiang DONG
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 667-682.

    With increasing consumption of natural gas (NG), small NG reservoirs, such as coalbed methane and oil field associated gas, have recently drawn significant attention. Owing to their special characteristics (e.g., scattered distribution and small output), small-scale NG liquefiers are highly required. Similarly, the mixed refrigerant cycle (MRC) is suitable for small-scale liquefaction systems due to its moderate complexity and power consumption. In consideration of the above, this paper reviews the development of mobile miniature NG liquefiers in Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (TIPC), China. To effectively liquefy the scattered NG and overcome the drawbacks of existing technologies, three main improvements, i.e., low-pressure MRC process driven by oil-lubricated screw compressor, compact cold box with the new designed heat exchangers, and standardized equipment manufacturing and integrated process technology have been made. The development pattern of “rapid cluster application and flexible liquefaction center” has been eventually proposed. The small-scale NG liquefier developed by TIPC has reached a minimum liquefaction power consumption of about 0.35 kW·h/Nm3. It is suitable to exploit small remote gas reserves which can also be used in boil-off gas reliquefaction and distributed peak-shaving of pipe networks.

    Ru Shien TAN, Tuan Amran TUAN ABDULLAH, Anwar JOHARI, Khairuddin MD ISA
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 545-569.

    Presently, the global search for alternative renewable energy sources is rising due to the depletion of fossil fuel and rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Among alternatives, hydrogen (H2) produced from biomass gasification is considered a green energy sector, due to its environmentally friendly, sustainable, and renewable characteristics. However, tar formation along with syngas is a severe impediment to biomass conversion efficiency, which results in process-related problems. Typically, tar consists of various hydrocarbons (HCs), which are also sources for syngas. Hence, catalytic steam reforming is an effective technique to address tar formation and improve H2 production from biomass gasification. Of the various classes in existence, supported metal catalysts are considered the most promising. This paper focuses on the current researching status, prospects, and challenges of steam reforming of gasified biomass tar. Besides, it includes recent developments in tar compositional analysis, supported metal catalysts, along with the reactions and process conditions for catalytic steam reforming. Moreover, it discusses alternatives such as dry and autothermal reforming of tar.

    Mohammad Reza NAZEMZADEGAN, Alibakhsh KASAEIAN, Somayeh TOGHYANI, Mohammad Hossein AHMADI, R. SAIDUR, Tingzhen MING
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 649-665.

    There are various analyses for a solar system with the dish-Stirling technology. One of those analyses is the finite time thermodynamic analysis by which the total power of the system can be obtained by calculating the process time. In this study, the convection and radiation heat transfer losses from collector surface, the conduction heat transfer between hot and cold cylinders, and cold side heat exchanger have been considered. During this investigation, four objective functions have been optimized simultaneously, including power, efficiency, entropy, and economic factors. In addition to the four-objective optimization, three-objective, two-objective, and single-objective optimizations have been done on the dish-Stirling model. The algorithm of multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) with post-expression of preferences is used for multi-objective optimizations while the branch and bound algorithm with pre-expression of preferences is used for single-objective and multi-objective optimizations. In the case of multi-objective optimizations with post-expression of preferences, Pareto optimal front are obtained, afterward by implementing the fuzzy, LINMAP, and TOPSIS decision making algorithms, the single optimum results can be achieved. The comparison of the results shows the benefits of MOPSO in optimizing dish Stirling finite time thermodynamic equations.

    Jinzhi CAI, Dan LI, Denggao CHEN, Zhenshan LI
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 4-13.

    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.

    Sheng ZHOU, Maosheng DUAN, Zhiyi YUAN, Xunmin OU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 740-758.

    This paper studies the pathways of peaking CO2 emissions of Dezhou city in China, by employing a bottom-up sector analysis model and considering future economic growth, the adjustment of the industrial structure, and the trend of energy intensity. Two scenarios (a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario and a CO2 mitigation scenario (CMS)) are set up. The results show that in the BAU scenario, the final energy consumption will peak at 25.93 million tons of coal equivalent (Mtce) (16% growth versus 2014) in 2030. In the CMS scenario, the final energy will peak in 2020 at 23.47 Mtce (9% lower versus peak in the BAU scenario). The total primary energy consumption will increase by 12% (BAU scenario) and decrease by 3% (CMS scenario) in 2030, respectively, compared to that in 2014. In the BAU scenario, CO2 emission will peak in 2025 at 70 million tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2), and subsequently decrease gradually in 2030. In the CMS scenario, the peak has occurred in 2014, and 60 MtCO2 will be emitted in 2030. Active policies including restructuring the economy, improving energy efficiency, capping coal consumption, and using more low-carbon /carbon free fuel are recommended in Dezhou city peaked CO2 emission as early as possible.

    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 240-255.

    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.

    Bojie WANG, Wen WANG, Chao QI, Yiwu KUANG, Jiawei XU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 452-462.

    The intermediate fluid vaporizer (IFV) is a typical vaporizer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which in general consists of three shell-and-tube heat exchangers (an evaporator, a condenser, and a thermolator). LNG is heated by seawater and the intermediate fluid in these heat exchangers. A one-dimensional heat transfer model for IFV is established in this paper in order to investigate the influences of structure and operation parameters on the heat transfer performance. In the rated condition, it is suggested to reduce tube diameters appropriately to get a large total heat transfer coefficient and increase the tube number to ensure the sufficient heat transfer area. According to simulation results, although the IFV capacity is much larger than the simplified-IFV (SIFV) capacity, the mode of SIFV could be recommended in some low-load cases as well. In some cases at high loads exceeding the capacity of a single IFV, it is better to add an AAV or an SCV operating to the IFV than just to increase the mass flow rate of seawater in the IFV in LNG receiving terminals.

    Xiao LIU, Zhilin LIU, Weidong JIAO, Xuan LI, Jintai LIN, Anthony KU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 235-239.

    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.

    Dengji ZHOU, Shixi MA, Dawen HUANG, Huisheng ZHANG, Shilie WENG
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 801-816.

    In view of the disadvantages of the traditional energy supply systems, such as separate planning, separate design, independent operating mode, and the increasingly prominent nonlinear coupling between various sub-systems, the production, transmission, storage and consumption of multiple energy sources are coordinated and optimized by the integrated energy system, which improves energy and infrastructure utilization, promotes renewable energy consumption, and ensures reliability of energy supply. In this paper, the mathematical model of the electricity-gas interconnected integrated energy system and its state estimation method are studied. First, considering the nonlinearity between measurement equations and state variables, a performance simulation model is proposed. Then, the state consistency equations and constraints of the coupling nodes for multiple energy sub-systems are established, and constraints are relaxed into the objective function to decouple the integrated energy system. Finally, a distributed state estimation framework is formed by combining the synchronous alternating direction multiplier method to achieve an efficient estimation of the state of the integrated energy system. A simulation model of an electricity-gas interconnected integrated energy system verifies the efficiency and accuracy of the state estimation method proposed in this paper. The results show that the average relative errors of voltage amplitude and node pressure estimated by the proposed distributed state estimation method are only 0.0132% and 0.0864%, much lower than the estimation error by using the Lagrangian relaxation method. Besides, compared with the centralized estimation method, the proposed distributed method saves 5.42 s of computation time. The proposed method is more accurate and efficient in energy allocation and utilization.

    Shiquan SHAN, Chuyang CHEN, Peter G. LOUTZENHISER, Devesh RANJAN, Zhijun ZHOU, Zhuomin M. ZHANG
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 482-509.

    Micro/nanostructures play a key role in tuning the radiative properties of materials and have been applied to high-temperature energy conversion systems for improved performance. Among the various radiative properties, spectral emittance is of integral importance for the design and analysis of materials that function as radiative absorbers or emitters. This paper presents an overview of the spectral emittance measurement techniques using both the direct and indirect methods. Besides, several micro/nanostructures are also introduced, and a special emphasis is placed on the emissometers developed for characterizing engineered micro/nanostructures in high-temperature applications (e.g., solar energy conversion and thermophotovoltaic devices). In addition, both experimental facilities and measured results for different materials are summarized. Furthermore, future prospects in developing instrumentation and micro/nanostructured surfaces for practical applications are also outlined. This paper provides a comprehensive source of information for the application of micro/nanostructures in high-temperature energy conversion engineering.

    Ruixiang WANG, Yihao ZHANG, Haizhou WU
    Frontiers in Energy, 2021, 15(1): 208-212.

    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.

    Xiashuang LUO, Yangge GUO, Hongru ZHOU, Huan REN, Shuiyun SHEN, Guanghua WEI, Junliang ZHANG
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 767-777.

    Shape-controlled Pt-Ni alloys usually offer an exceptional electrocatalytic activity toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), whose tricks lie in well-designed structures and surface morphologies. In this paper, a novel synthesis of truncated octahedral PtNi3.5 alloy catalysts that consist of homogeneous Pt-Ni alloy cores enclosed by NiO-Pt double shells through thermally annealing defective heterogeneous PtNi3.5 alloys is reported. By tracking the evolution of both compositions and morphologies, the outward segregation of both PtOx and NiO are first observed in Pt-Ni alloys. It is speculated that the diffusion of low-coordination atoms results in the formation of an energetically favorable truncated octahedron while the outward segregation of oxides leads to the formation of NiO-Pt double shells. It is very attractive that after gently removing the NiO outer shell, the dealloyed truncated octahedral core-shell structure demonstrates a greatly enhanced ORR activity. The as-obtained truncated octahedral Pt2.1Ni core-shell alloy presents a 3.4-folds mass-specific activity of that for unannealed sample, and its activity preserves 45.4% after 30000 potential cycles of accelerated degradation test (ADT). The peak power density of the dealloyed truncated octahedral Pt2.1Ni core-shell alloy catalyst based membrane electrolyte assembly (MEA) reaches 679.8 mW/cm2, increased by 138.4 mW/cm2 relative to that based on commercial Pt/C.

    Zhen PAN, Yi WU, Liyan SHANG, Li ZHOU, Zhien ZHANG
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 463-481.

    Natural gas hydrate is an alternative energy source with a great potential for development. The addition of surfactants has been found to have practical implications on the acceleration of hydrate formation in the industrial sector. In this paper, the mechanisms of different surfactants that have been reported to promote hydrate formation are summarized. Besides, the factors influencing surfactant-promoted hydrate formation, including the type, concentration, and structure of the surfactant, are also described. Moreover, the effects of surfactants on the formation of hydrate in pure water, brine, porous media, and systems containing multiple surfactants are discussed. The synergistic or inhibitory effects of the combinations of these additives are also analyzed. Furthermore, the process of establishing kinetic and thermodynamic models to simulate the factors affecting the formation of hydrate in surfactant-containing solutions is illustrated and summarized.

    Quan CAO, Dongyan XU, Huanfei XU, Shengjun LUO, Rongbo GUO
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 443-451.

    Methane hydrate preparation is an effective method to store and transport methane. In promoters to facilitate methane hydrate formation, homogeneous surfactant solutions, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in particular, are more favorable than heterogeneous particles, thanks to their faster reaction rate, more storage capacity, and higher stability. Foaming, however, could not be avoided during hydrate dissociation with the presence of SDS. This paper investigated the ability of five fluorinated surfactants: potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate (PBS), potassium perfluorohexyl sulfonate (PHS), potassium perfluorooctane sulfonate (POS), ammonium perfluorooctane sulfonate (AOS), and tetraethylammonium perfluorooctyl sulfonate (TOS) to promote methane hydrate formation. It was found that both PBS and PHS achieve a storage capacity of 150 (V/V, the volume of methane that can be stored by one volume of water) within 30 min, more than that of SDS. Cationic ions and the carbon chain length were then discussed on their effects during the formation. It was concluded that PBS, PHS, and POS produced no foam during hydrate dissociation, making them promising promoters in large-scale application.

    Yeli ZENG, Cong DONG, Mikael HÖÖK, Jinhua SUN, Danyang SHI
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 726-739.

    China became the world’s second largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer in 2018 but has faced extremely high import costs due to a lack of bargaining power. Assessments of the Shanghai LNG Price Index, first released in 2015, are vital for improving the understanding of these cost dynamics. This paper, using the LNG price index data from the Shanghai Petroleum and Gas Exchange (SHPGX) coupled with domestic and international LNG prices from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018, estimates several econometric models to evaluate the long-term and short-term equilibriums of the Shanghai LNG Price Index, the responses to market information shocks and the leading or lagging relationships with LNG and alternative energy prices from other agencies. The results show that the LNG price index of the SHPGX has already exhibited a long-term equilibrium and short-term adjustment mechanisms to reflect the average price level and market movements, but the market information transparency and price discovery efficiency of the index are still inadequate. China’s LNG market is still relatively independent of other natural gas markets, and marketization reforms are under way in China. The influence of the SHPGX LNG price index on the trading decisions of market participants is expected to improve with further development of China’s LNG reforms, the formation of a natural gas entry-exit system, and the increasing liquidity of the hub.

    Philip Kofi ADOM, Michael Owusu APPIAH, Mawunyo Prosper AGRADI
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(3): 620-634.

    The growth-induced effects of financial development have been well-established in the empirical literature, as well as the significance of financial development to energy demand behavior. However, the empirical evidence on the relationship between financial development and energy intensity remains sparse in the literature. Given the multifaceted nature of the effects of financial development, the proposed relationship seems a complex one and warrants an empirical investigation. Using the case of Ghana, this study provides an empirical answer to the question: does financial development lower energy intensity? To provide solid grounds for either rejection or acceptance of the null hypothesis, this study performed several robustness checks. Generally, the evidence revealed that financial development lowers energy intensity. Further, the results revealed that the price of energy, trade liberalization and industry structure play significant roles. These results have important implications for the design of macro energy efficiency policies and the creation of a ‘Green Bank’.

    Bin ZHAO, Xianze AO, Nuo CHEN, Qingdong XUAN, Mingke HU, Gang PEI
    Frontiers in Energy, 2020, 14(4): 882-888.

    The sun and outer space are the ultimate heat and cold sources for the earth, respectively. They have significant potential for renewable energy harvesting. In this paper, a spectrally selective surface structure that has a planar polydimethylsiloxane layer covering a solar absorber is conceptually proposed and optically designed for the combination of photothermic conversion (PT) and nighttime radiative sky cooling (RC). An optical simulation is conducted whose result shows that the designed surface structure (i.e., PT-RC surface structure) has a strong solar absorption coefficient of 0.92 and simultaneously emits as a mid-infrared spectral-selective emitter with an average emissivity of 0.84 within the atmospheric window. A thermal analysis prediction reveals that the designed PT-RC surface structure can be heated to 79.1°C higher than the ambient temperature in the daytime and passively cooled below the ambient temperature of approximately 10°C in the nighttime, indicating that the designed PT-RC surface structure has the potential for integrated PT conversion and nighttime RC utilization.