Thermodynamics seminars

Advanced Understanding of Turbulent Combustion Processes

12:00–1:00pm Friday 17 November 2017

Venue: Level 3 seminar room, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Assaad Masri

Abstract

The presentation will report recent advances in current understanding of three key processes related to turbulent combustion of gaseous and liquid fuels: (i) auto-ignition, (ii) mixed mode flames, and (iii) reacting jets of dilute and dense sprays. Compositional inhomogeneities that prevail in practical combustion systems lead to mixed-mode flames that span the entire range from premixed to stratified to non-premixed. With liquid fuels, spray atomization remains a critical, but vaguely understood process in both reacting and non-reacting flows. These, along with auto-ignition are studied in well-designed, yet representative laboratory burners. Recent findings brought about by detailed measurements are reported for each case. The long-term objective is to develop reliable predictive tools for these processes in actual reacting systems.

Presenter

Professor Assaad Masri has received his PhD (1987) and BE Honours with the University Medal (1984) from the University of Sydney. He is currently a Professor in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney and Chairman of the Australia and New Zealand section of the Combustion Institute. Masri’s research lies in the broad area of efficient energy conversion with a focus on turbulent combustion of gaseous and liquid fuels and laser diagnostics. His current research areas include: combustion of bio-fuels and biodiesels, atomization of sprays, turbulent inhomogeneous flames, explosion and industrial safety and nanoparticle formation in flames. Masri has published over 130 journal papers and won many awards including the Silver Medal of the Combustion Institute. He was recently co-chair of the prestigious 36th International Combustion Symposium which took place in Seoul, August 2016.


Past seminars

Advancing understanding of particle-laden flows for application in concentrating solar thermal energy

2:15–3:15pm Thursday 26 October 2017

Venue: Level 3 seminar room, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Gus Nathan

Abstract

The application of particle-laden flows to concentrating solar thermal energy is receiving growing attention due to their potential to achieve temperatures of above 1000°C, to absorb radiation, to store thermal energy and to drive gasification reactions. However, these devices operate under conditions that are difficult to investigate, with high mass loadings and with heat transfer processes that are complex, non-linear and coupled. The seminar will summarise both the technology and the research being undertaken at the University of Adelaide to address these challenges. A hybrid dual fluidized technology is being developed for solar gasification, while detailed, in-situ and well-resolved measurements have been performed in turbulent jet flows using laser-diagnostic methods of the distributions of single-phase velocity, particle velocity, particle number density and particle temperature. The insights from these investigations will be summarised

Presenter

Professor Nathan is the founding Director of The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Energy Technology and recipient of a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council. He specialises in research supporting the development of innovative technology in concentrating solar thermal, combustion and gasification technologies, together with their hybrids. Gus is leader of Node 4 of the national Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative, which aims to lower the cost of solar fuels production, and project leader for an ARENA funded project to introduce concentrating solar thermal into the Bayer Alumina process in partnership with Alcoa and Hatch. He is an author of more than 10 patents, including three families of concentrating solar thermal technology, 50 commissioned reports, 150 international journal publications and 200 peer-review conferences.

Next Generation Solar Thermal Collectors

2:15–3:15pm Thursday 21 September 2017

Professor Gary Rosengarten

Abstract

Solar energy will become the prime renewable energy source in the future, soon to overtake wind and possibly, in the long-term, hydroelectricity. With the average rate of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface being approximately 4000TW, and the world’s current average rate of energy usage about 15TW, it is a resource ripe for harvesting. While $/kW for photovoltaics (PV) has fallen sharply over the last ten years, partly due to reductions in manufacturing cost, and partly due to efficiency improvements, solar thermal costs and efficiencies have remained almost stagnant. In this presentation I outline our ARENA funded programs to develop both new PV/Thermal collectors for simultaneous high temperature heat and electricity, and a mass manufacturable novel, low cost solar thermal collector that can deliver 250°C heat at approximately 50% efficiency without requiring any tracking. This solar thermal collector forms the basis of a system capable of producing high grade heat for industry with payback periods of less than five years.

Presenter

Professor Gary Rosengarten is head of the Laboratory for Innovative Fluid Thermal Systems (LIFTS) in the School of Engineering at RMIT University, and Adjunct Professor in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Prior to joining RMIT University in 2012, he spent 6 years at UNSW running the solar thermal energy group, and being head of the thermal fluids research area. He also has 2 years experience in consulting for sustainable building design. He has first class honours degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Physics from Monash University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of NSW. He won the inaugural American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Solar Energy Division Graduate Student award in 2000. In the last 6 years he has been awarded over $5.5million in funding from ARENA for various solar projects. He has approximately 150 refereed papers in fields ranging from Solar Energy to Biotechnology.