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With an increasing problem of waste management and the continuous depletion of fossil fuel sources in our world, researchers are looking at different methods of alternative energy. Current research in plasma gasification shows that it is a strong candidate for managing waste and converting it into an alternative fuel source known as syngas, a hydrogen and carbon monoxide mixture. However, to fully determine if the system can be utilized as a solution to the waste management problem, several parameters have to be quantified to calculate the mass and energy balance of the system, as well as its efficiency. This project intended to obtain the performance of a plasma gasification unit currently being tested at the University of California, Merced. This was done by measuring the inputs and outputs to the system which include the rate at which biomass waste was gasified, the amount of steam being utilized, and the flow rate of syngas (including its chemical composition) produced during the gasification process. The power utilized to generate the plasma discharge was also measured. This study provides a detailed analysis of the results obtained.
EFFECTS OF CONFINEMENT ON FLAME PROPAGATION OF THIN FILM MG+MNO2 THERMITEJesus Cano, Kelsey Meeks, Michelle Pantoya.
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.
Thermite welds are widely used in the railway industry to provide a superior joint at endpoints of rail segments.
Though thermite welds offer stronger joints compared to traditional bolted joints, there are limitations, including the need for replaceable molds and impediment by wet or inclement weather as most rails are joined on-track. Confining a thin film thermite provides a solution to thermite welding in wet weather while still providing a quality weld at crucial junctures. The effects of containment on flame propagation will be studied on a thin film of a theoretically gasless thermite reaction. A gasless reaction is ideal to reduce effects of pressurization caused by an increasing volume of aerosolized products. These effects will be observed in both an open environment and in a contained flame tube apparatus (CFTA) for magnesium (Mg) and manganese oxide (MnO2) coatings bound together with a polyvinylidene diflouride (PVDF) and n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) mixture. This binder will provide an optimal coating of the energetic materials. An acrylic CFTA was chosen for its relatively low conduction coefficient and inertness with this reaction. The Mg+MnO2 coatings will be mixed in a Thinky centripetal planetary mixer, dried, and baked for 2 hours before being ignited. Ignition will occur using an electrically heated wire through grooves built into the CFTA. Flame propagation will be measured using a Phantom high speed camera and derived from flame distance over time. This study will provide valuable insight to confined thin film thermite reactions and a solution to on-track welding.
HYBRID VEHICLE SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS FOR OPTIMIZATION OF EFFICIENCY AND PERFORMANCESamuel Yacinthe, Shawn Midlam-Mohler.
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
EcoCar2 is an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM). This 3-year student program explores electric vehicle technology with primary goals of maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing vehicle emissions while maintaining consumer acceptability and safety.
As the competition transitions into its third year, the goal is to refine and optimize the vehicle in this final stage of competition. This research study utilizes design of experiment techniques to conduct a parametric analysis that identifies which vehicle parameters are most influential on the system efficiency. We simulate a model of the plug-in
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hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) via Matlab/Simulink software since this is a cost effective experimentation approach to considering all factors simultaneously. A cost model is also developed to determine associated resource costs for improving each parameter. With combination of cost and parametric sensitivity, we look to find the optimal point for refinements. Hence, by establishing the relative weight of each vehicle parameter with an associated cost model, this study will guide the focus of areas that will be most beneficial in improving efficiency and performance of the Ohio State University’s EcoCar2.
FLAMING IGNITION BEHAVIOR OF CELLULOSE FUEL BEDS BY HOT METAL SPHERESAdam Martin1, James Urban2, Casey Zak2, Carlos Fernandez-Pello2.
University of California, Merced, Merced, CA, 2University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.
1 Flaming ignition is problematic due to the severity of unwanted fires in wild land and industrial settings that lead to casualties as well as costly damage. The present research aims to study flaming ignition behavior of powdered cellulose fuel beds by hot metal spheres. Experiments were conducted by varying the temperature, diameter, and material of the spheres. The sphere materials studied were steel 302, aluminum 2017 & 1100, copper 110, and brass 260 with sizes ranging from 2 to 16 mm in diameter. These spheres were heated to temperatures between 575 and 1,100 °C. The ignition events were filmed with high-speed video and high-speed Schlieren video to record the time required for spheres to ignite. The steel, aluminum, copper, and brass spheres have different material properties and melted at various temperatures in the ranges tested, underscoring the importance of examining these properties in the ignition process. The results will help people anticipate fires and improve fire safety regulations for industrial processes by establishing set conditions associated with increased probability of solid fuel ignition.
REDUNDANCY RESOLUTION OF AN AUTONOMOUS HOLONOMIC DRIVE ROBOT VIA MOORE-PENROSE
GENERALIZED INVERSEArvin Niro1, Makana Ramos2, Lee Do1, Nathan Maldonado1, Eric Caldwell1, Aaron Hanai2.
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, 2University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu, HI.
1 Often, in hazardous or distant exploratory missions, humans may be substituted with robots to reduce injury or to communicate across far distances. While robots are often built to withstand extreme situations, they still require human input based on observations made either visually or electronically. This can be classified as a low level openloop control system. Improving on this system, a higher level closed-loop system can be introduced, making the robot entirely autonomous. To accomplish such autonomous behavior, linear algebra may be used to model processes linking input and output control values. Our robot features four independently driven Mecanum wheels that provide motion in 3 directions. A 3 x 4 matrix is used to express the relationship between the 3 directions and their control over the 4 wheels. Due to the nature of the non-square matrix needed, a Moore-Penrose generalized inverse, also known as the pseudoinverse, is then employed to achieve robot autonomy. This results in modeling the robot by a 4 x 3 matrix representing the connection between the 4 inputs from the wheels and the 3 allowed directions. As a result, this allows for other applications to utilize the pseudoinverse matrix such as traction control or regulation of power consumption onboard the robot. Autonomous robots allow the removal of human input, letting the system decide on the next state of action which may increase its efficiency and reliability over time.
DISPERSION OF NANOPARTICLE ADDITIVES FOR LUBRICANT OILSDamian Alanis, Israel Garcia.
University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.
Conventional engine oil lubricants contain zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) or other phosphorus compounds for wear protection and friction reduction. However, these phosphorous species are known to poison the catalytic converters. To help diminish this effect, studies utilizing several nanoparticle additives as ZDDP replacements have been developed. These additives are used for wear protection, significant friction decrease, and improvement of oil heat transfer. We prepared various dispersions of nanoparticle additives (i.e., Ag-C, Cu-C, and ZnO) in 2 types of engine oils. The nanoparticle dispersions were observed in a variable pressured scanning electron microscope (VPSEM) to search for nanoparticle aggregations. Future wear and friction analysis will be completed to fully characterize these additives. (This work is partially funded by the UTSA Work Study Research Training Program.)
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DYNAMIC PLANT DEVELOPMENT FOR CONTROL SYSTEMS AND MECHATRONICS EXPERIMENTSFederico Lopez-Casildo Jr.1, Victor Vargas1, Carl Lewis1, Nick Langhoff2, Ozken Celik2, Jesus Garcia.
Cañada College, Redwood City, CA, 2San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.
1 Haptics is the science of touch; the word haptics comes from the Greek word haptikos or haptesthai, meaning “to grasp or to touch.” The main purpose of this project was to engage community college students in a hands-on experience beyond the classroom and improve our engineering curriculum. Our project research entailed mechanical modifications, manufacturing, and testing of haptic paddles that have been revamped by many universities since Stanford University’s first design in the mid-1990s. The haptic paddle is a single-degree-of-freedom, forcefeedback joystick that is well-suited to use as a test plant for both basic and advanced concepts in courses such as system dynamics, mechatronics, control theory, and haptics. We have worked toward improving the paddle’s Engineering manufacturability, robustness, and, most substantially, reducing data-acquisition-system costs. In addition to redesigning a number of critical paddle components and finalizing the mechanical plant design, we also developed a detailed set of instructions for manufacturing and assembling the device, thereby increasing the opportunity for other engineering departments to replicate our design. Finally, we developed, tested, and documented of a set of laboratory exercises for a control systems lab course to provide an enhanced learning experience. The haptic paddle will enable students to physically interact with simulated dynamical systems that can be correlated to the real world. We met our goals by making the device affordable, robust, and easy to reproduce.
THERMAL AND MECHANICAL ANALYSIS OF PCM EMBEDDED BRICK FOR IMPROVED EFFICIENCY IN
COMFORT COOLING APPLICATIONSRodrigo Samano Sr.1, Marianna Vallejo2, Dereje Agonafer2.
Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, TX, 2University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX.
1 Thermal energy can be stored as latent heat when a substance changes from one phase to another, by either melting or freezing. The purpose of this study is to reduce the energy consumption of a building by increasing the thermal resistance to the heat flow into the space. A phase change material (PCM) can serve as latent heat storage and as a heat transfer fluid. Embedding PCM into manufactured brick for energy management can reduce the demand on comfort cooling systems, resulting in measurable energy cost savings. It is well known that insulation properties have a strong influence on the heating and cooling energy consumptions of a building. High thermal capacity and low thermal conductivity are the preferred standard for insulation materials. PCMs are classified as a captive type of insulation because they absorb heat. PCMs come in 3 groups: organic, nonorganic, and eutectic. Organic compounds include paraffin and nonparaffin organics. Inorganic compounds include hydrated salts, metals, and alloys. Eutectics are mixtures of 2 or more salts which have finite phases of matter. In this study, the thermal and mechanical properties of brick embedded with PCM are evaluated following ASTM standards for brick manufacturing. One key component under consideration is the sustainability of the new building material, especially with respect to the compatibility of the PCM and brick life cycles. Computational and experimental analysis is used to determine the effect on the thermal properties and manufacturing of brick. Additionally, the overall efficiency improvement of comfort cooling systems is estimated.
DESIGNING A LIFT FIXTURE AND SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR THE NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL CUBESATLAUNCHER Brian Lewis Jr., James Newman.
Hartnell College, Salinas, CA, 2Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.
1 A project at the Naval Postgraduate School is to design a shipping container for Cubesats. The container is approximately 3 cubic feet and is constructed of aluminum and must protect and transport multiple Cubesats built by other institutions from the assembly lab to the point of installation on the launch vehicle. The specific objective of this internship is to design a lifting fixture that satisfies a complex set of parameters. The current lifting fixture includes a large breakover fixture which rotates the container. Eliminating this breakover fixture would be ideal due to the time constraint for installing the container on the launch vehicle. A design will be rendered in NX 8.0, a prototype will be constructed, and finally, a fixture will be milled with the help of a machinist. The lift fixture must be light weight and durable to hold the 200 pound load. Currently, 3D drawings are complete and the prototype is under construction.
Based on the materials analysis, a suitable fixture can be made with stainless steel and aluminum. This abstract will be updated to reflect results of the completed project.
DEVELOPMENT OF A CONTROL LOGIC FOR AN ALUMINUM-BASED, MINI-CHANNEL SOLAR WATERHEATING SYSTEMAzucena Robles, Gerardo Diaz.
University of California, Merced, Merced, CA.