Thermodynamic system

Techno-economic system analysis and optimization

Many novel and renewable energy systems have been proposed to enhance the power generation efficiency while reducing the environmental impact. To make these systems viable, it is imperative to investigate their performance characteristics and improve thermodynamic and economic efficiency. Our goal is to design novel and renewable energy system layouts, perform techno-economic analysis, and optimize the system performance.

1. Electrochemical system integration and hybridization

Electrochemical systems considered in the MES lab include solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC), and battery. The electrochemical systems require balance of plants to construct a complete operating system, and their integration and hybridization must be thoroughly studied to achieve optimal performance. Primary markets for SOFC include building energy supply and distributed power generation. Its system may provide both electrical power and heat to these applications, which enables hybridization with heating/cooling equipment, power turbines or energy storage devices. SOEC systems are used not only for hydrogen production but also for highly efficient CO2 decomposition and syngas production. Application of batteries is expanding to electric vehicles and energy storage systems. Because optimal temperature must be maintained throughout the operation of batteries, they should be integrated with a cooling system. To demonstrate the feasibility of such systems, the MES lab has developed an in-house simulation software based on C# programming language and assisted by an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm. Numerical simulation has been conducted to investigate the performance of electrochemical systems. Based on the simulation results, the MES lab has proposed new hybridization schemes, operating maps, and optimal thermal integration. Implementing graphical user interface (GUI) and reducing calculation time of the simulation software, it can be applied to the industrial field offering real-time analysis. With an aid of AI technology combined with our extensive empirical database, the MES lab will be able to expand the capability of the simulation software to various industrial applications.

2. Oxy-fuel power cycle for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)

Most current energy conversion systems utilize fossil fuels and discharge large quantities of carbon dioxide which is believed to be a significant contributor to climate change. Given the slow growth rate of renewable energy and the large capacity of fossil-fueled power generation, it will maintain its role in the power sector in the near future. To meet growing energy demands while reducing CO2 emissions, carbon capture and sequestration has been introduced, for which oxy-fuel combustion capture is a promising technology enabling high-purity CO2 capture. The MES lab has designed a pressurized oxy-fuel combustion power cycle, elucidated its key operating conditions and their effect on performance, increased its efficiency, and examined its cost competitiveness.