Tag: Thermodynamics

How if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality

How if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality

How if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality

11/21/18

“Why should restaurants use less ice?”

 

In the United States, it is customary for restaurants to serve ice with water. Although it may seem benign, having to store extra ice uses energy and water which contribute to climate change. Therefore, if Restaurants Used Less Ice it Would be Good for Climate Neutrality.

Fuel-Limited Fire

Fuel-Limited Fire

Fuel-Limited Fire

10/18/18

“How does a basic open-air fire develop?”

 

Depending on environmental conditions, fires develop in many different ways. The one that firefighters are first taught is often the simplest case. In this scenario, a couch is burned in an open lot, and the temperature curve can be seen by the image above. First, the object combusts, and the temperature begins to rise. It eventually reaches a maximum temperature and stays that way until the fire becomes less potent and cools off. This is known as a Fuel-Limited Fire and is one of the most famous fire curves in the world.

 

Image credit aemstatic-ww1.azureedge.ne

Plate Heat Exchangers

Plate Heat Exchangers

Plate Heat Exchangers

10/09/18

“What is a more efficient heat exchanger design?”

 

Heat exchangers come in all shapes and sizes. But how could we make a more efficient design? Well, what if we were to have a series of long metal plates with holes on their four corners, with one pipe carrying a hot fluid moving through one and another one carrying cold fluid moving through the other. Let’s allow for the heat to transfer between these two plates also. By allowing this to occur, we can warm up one fluid while cooling the other one very efficiently. These are known as Plate Heat Exchangers and are commonly applied in building HVAC.

 

Image credit youtube.

Surface Temperature Probes

Surface Temperature Probes

Surface Temperature Probes

09/26/18

“How can we measure an object’s surface temperature?”

 

Engineers and Scientists love to measure things. And one of the most important things to measure is often the surface temperature of objects. So how can we accomplish this? Well, we can use a thermistor with a specialized shape for surface monitoring called a Surface Temperature Probe to accomplish this.

How Adding Fins can Achieve Better Thermal Management

How Adding Fins can Achieve Better Thermal Management

How Adding Fins can Achieve Better Thermal Management

09/17/18

“How can adding fins help thermal management?”

 

In engineering, objects can overheat from a variety of operations. As a result, they will need some form of thermal dissipation. But how can we do this? Well, let’s use our engineering mindsets to find out. We know that if we add more surface area to an object, then it will be more exposed to the surrounding atmosphere. And if it is more exposed, then more heat transfer will take place. So what if we were to make our system more conductive by adding fins? This is the fundamental idea of How Adding Fins can Achieve Better Thermal Management.

Containment Structures for Phase-Changing Materials

Containment Structures for Phase-Changing Materials

Containment Structures for Phase Changing Materials

09/10/18

“How can we make contain phase-changing materials in building integrated solar PV?”

 

While building integrated PV holds so much promise for distributed energy generation, inefficiency from overheating can be a terrible bottleneck. This is commonly solved by integrating the structure with some phase-changing materials. But how can we actually mount it onto the system? Well, what if we were to build a containment structure with adiabatic materials at the top and bottom to ensure temperature stability? This is an example of Containment Structures for Phase Changing Materials. An air gap is usually provided at the back to ensure proper cooling. The extra thermal energy from the PCM can also be used to heat vital building components such as water.

 

Photo credit ClimateTechWiki

Heat Pipes

Heat Pipes

Heat Pipes

08/31/18

“How can we have a completely passive thermal cooling mechanism?”

 

Thermal cooling is often required in many cases. But sometimes an active cooling solution may not be appropriate. So how can we have truly passive cooling? Well, what if we were to have a pipe with a working fluid, and have it constructed such that the heat source will heat up the medium to evaporation, which then moves along the pipe until it cools down and condensates, turning back into its original form and repeating the process? These are known as Heat Pipes and are an interesting application of passive cooling.

 

Photo credit www.myheatsinks.com