Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become a powerful simulation technology used in iron/steelmaking industrial applications for process design and optimization to save energy. In this paper, a Virtual Engineering (VE) application is presented that uses Virtual Reality (VR) to visualize CFD results in a tracked immersive projection system. The interactive Virtual Reality (VR) was specifically adapted for CFD post-processing to better understand CFD results and more efficiently communicate with non-CFD experts. The VE application has been utilized to make an assessment in terms of visualization and optimization for steelmaking furnaces. The immersive system makes it possible to gain a quick, intuitive understanding of the flow characteristics and distributions of pressure, temperature, and species properties in the industrial equipment. By introducing the virtual engineering environment, the value of CFD simulations has been greatly enhanced to allow engineers to gain much needed process insights for the design and optimization of industrial processes.
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) systems are used widely as a stable and reliable renewable source of energy. However, intermittency of this power source and the variability in demand for electrical power creates challenges that necessitate the integration with energy storage for reliable dispatch of power. Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems provide a cheap, cost-effective and reliable option for energy storage in renewable power delivery systems. Due to their low vapor pressures at elevated temperatures, molten salts and their eutectics are used in conventional high temperature thermal energy storage (TES) systems and also as coolants for energy conversion, such as in power tower configurations that are typically used in CSP applications. A major drawback of the molten salts is their relatively poor thermo-physical properties, which may lead to lower systemic efficiencies in CSP/TES. Recent reports in the literature have shown that doping molten salts with nanoparticles at minute concentrations (typically less than 5% mass fraction and ideally at less than 1-2% mass fraction) can significantly enhance the thermo-physical properties of these nanomaterial (also termed as "nanocomposites" in solid state and "nanofluids" in liquid state). The dominant factor that controls the resultant thermo-physical properties of these nanomaterials is the interfacial thermal resistance (or Kapitza Resistance "R k ") that impedes the heat transfer between the nanoparticle surface and the bulk solvent molecules.ii In this study, the interfacial thermal resistance between a carbon nanotube (CNT) and carbonate molten salt eutectics were calculated by using numerical models that were then implemented in Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. The estimates for "R k " obtained from these simulations enabled the prediction of the optimum dimensions of the nanoparticles for maximizing the thermo-physical properties of the mixture, i.e. thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity values of these nanomaterial. The simulations were restricted to the carbonate salt eutectic, which is composed of a molar ratio of 62:38 for lithium carbonate (Li 2 CO 3 ) and potassium carbonate (K 2 CO 3 ). In this study, parametric simulations were performed to estimate the values of "R k " by varying the chirality of a single walled CNT (i.e, for armchair, chiral, and zig-zag CNT). The results show that the Kapitza resistance of the CNT is significantly affected by the change in the chirality of the CNT.
The uniform flow rate is a fundamental requirement in the design of air distributors for the hydrogen reformer furnace. Constraints of flow rate primarily demands on configuration of air distributors. Particularly for the air with different temperature, velocity and pressure, an even distribution of air distributors is especially important. Air distributors containing one inlet and eleven outlets are connected with burners so that uniform flow rate of each outlet is required. Based on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) method, temperature, velocity and pressure distribution in the air distributors are simulated. The results show that flow rate is sensitive to the rate of pressure and velocity change but not for temperature change. The maldistribution of each outlet cannot accord with engineering standard. So, it is necessary to take some methods to decrease the maldistribution of each outlet. The dampers exist at each outlet are controlled individually. Hence, the flow rate can be constrained by adjust pressure according to the proportion of maldistribution.
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