Term Project

The following titles are suggested for term projects. We expect the project effort and the final report to consist of a description of the idea/concept/design, with reference to the relevant literature, followed by analysis and conclusions. Analysis should use material covered in class and/or related tools. You can also choose to propose your own topic. In this case, the project work should be distinct from your thesis work, and you should send us a one-page description of what you propose to do. In either case, we encourage you to work in teams of two, but this is not required. Team projects are expected to have twice as much work as individual projects, and the team members will share the same grade. The duration of the project is five weeks, and the total effort should be equivalent to 40 hours work. Depending on your choice of project, one of the instructors will work with your team to guide the effort, especially in the early stages.

Suggested Projects

  1. Benefits and costs of using steam injection into the furnace of a gas turbine cycle for NOx control.
  2. Comparison of the CO2 emissions and energy efficiency of gasoline combustion engines and hydrogen combustion engines, when the hydrogen source is methane reforming.
  3. Comparison of the cycle efficiency of direct cycle helium cooled reactors with those of indirect cycle helium cooled reactors.
  4. Ideas for improvements of the energy efficiency of hydrogen production via high temperature electrolysis of steam.
  5. Compare the performance of a steam flashing power plant to an organic binary Rankine cycle power plant for converting low grade geothermal heat to electric power.
  6. Evaluate two processes currently being considered for carbon dioxide capture from combustion flue gas followed by sequestration in the deep ocean in terms of their energy requirements and efficiency.
  7. Compare the performance of generating hydrogen by electrolysis using off-peak wind energy versus gasification of residual biomass.
  8. Compare compressed air energy storage (CAES) and pumped hydro energy storage options for 1000 MWe of off-peak power from a nuclear power plant.
  9. Comparison of operation parameters and efficiency for H2-O2 fuel cells and electrolytic cells - thermodynamic considerations.
  10. Comparison of operation parameters and efficiency for H2-O2 fuel cells and electrolytic cells - electrochemical kinetics considerations.
  11. Calculation of different cell and electrode designs on the rate performance of H2- O2 fuel cells or lithium batteries - (include limiting cases).
  12. Hybrid operation of high temperature fuel cells and gas/steam turbines, choice of parameters that optimize the overall efficiency.
  13. Advanced power cycles, such as the HAT cycle, Atkinson cycle, balance between mechanical design complexity and improved efficiency.
  14. Analysis of a hydrocarbon reforming technology for maximum hydrogen yield and synergy with the energy conversion process; that is a fuel cell or a combined fuel cell and a heat engine.
  15. Analysis of an IGCC plant with different options for gasification, gas separation, and heat engines/fuel cell. Sequestration can also be allowed at any stage.
  16. Design of a solar based hydrogen generation system with a fuel cell/electrolyzer to generate hydrogen during the day and use it in the evening, or for transportation.

Important Dates

You should select the project you will work on by week 8.

You should identify the team if you choose to work in a team. If you choose to propose your own project, describe your proposal in a single page.

We expect you to start working on the project by week 10.

The project report is due 1 week after final week.

The oral presentation dates will be announced later. They will be during the final week.