Technoeconomic Analysis of Textured Surfaces for Improved Condenser Performance in Thermoelectric Power Plants
Shoaei, Parisa Daghigh
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Nonwetting surfaces including superhydrophobic (SHS) and liquid infused surfaces (SLIPS) exhibit diverse exceptional characteristics promoting numerous application opportunities. Engineered textured surfaces demonstrate multiple features including drag reduction, fouling reduction, corrosion resistance, anti-fogging, anti-icing, and condensation enhancement. Integrating these properties, nonwetting surfaces have shown significant potential in improving the efficiency of energy applications. The first part of the thesis work aims at developing a fundamental mathematical understanding of the wetting process on the solid surface followed by presenting fabrication methodologies specifically focused on metallic substrates. The second part of this thesis presents an exhaustive survey on recent advancements and researches about features of nonwetting surfaces that could be implemented in major industrial applications. To establish how realistically these features could enhance the real-life applications, the third part of this work investigates the dynamic performance and economic benefits of using textured surfaces fabricated using an electrodeposition process for condenser tubes in thermoelectric power plants. The textured surfaces are expected to provide enhanced performance by deterring fouling and promoting dropwise condensation of the steam on the shell side. Using a thermal resistance network of a shell and tube condenser, detailed parametric studies are carried out to investigate the effect of various design parameters on the annual condenser performance measured in terms of its electric energy output of a representative 550 MW coal-fired power plant. A cost modeling tool and a new Levelized cost of condenser (LCOC) metric have been developed to evaluate the economic and performance benefits of enhanced condenser designs. The LCOC is defined as the ratio of the lifetime cost of the condenser (and associated costs such as coating, operation and maintenance) to the total electric energy produced by the iv thermoelectric power plant. The physical model is coupled with a numerical optimization method to identify the optimal design and operating parameters of the textured tubes that minimizes LCOC. Altogether, the study presents the first effort to construct and analyze enhanced condenser design with textured tube surfaces on annual thermoelectric power plant performance and compares it against the baseline condenser design with plain tubes.
General Audience Abstract
Liquid repellant surfaces have attracted lots of attention due to their numerous promising characteristics including promoting condensation, drag reduction, prohibiting fouling/deposition, corrosion, and fog/dew harvesting. These attributes have the potential to inspire a variety of applications for these surfaces in power plants, automotive and aviation industries, oils/organic solvents clean-up, fuel cells, solar panels, membrane distillation, stone/concrete protection, surgical fabrics, and biological applications, to name a few. Some of these applications have reached their potential for real-life implementation and more are still at the research phase needing more experimental and fundamental studies to get them ready. The first part of this study presents the fundamentals of the wetting process. Next, fabrication methods for metallic surfaces have been explored to identify the most scalable and cost-effective approaches which could be administered in large scale industrial applications. A comprehensive review of recent publications on features of nonwetting surfaces has been carried out and presented in the second part of this thesis. To establish how realistically these features could enhance the real-life applications of a thermo-economic a performance model is developed for a powerplant condenser in the third section. Through a simple and cost-effective electrodeposition process, the common condenser tubes are modified to achieve textured tubes with superhydrophobic properties. The influence of using textured tubes on the plant's performance and its economic benefits are investigated to predict the potential promises of nonwetting surfaces.
- Masters Theses