Thermodynamics and the optimisation of energy systems: Strengths and Limits

The Second Law of thermodynamics is known to be an essential guide for the improvement of energy conversion systems. Throughout the years it has been applied to various engineering methods in particular in methods based on exergy [1] including the 2nd Law, thermoeconomics and exergoeconomics. It has also been used in graphically attractive energy integration techniques such as pinch technology and its derivatives. Apart from economic considerations, the emissions and the overall life cycle impacts have become of growing importance, exceeding the scope of pure thermodynamics. The latter point is related to the fact that there is no direct link between the entropy of local pollutants and their impacts on health. An appropriate combination between thermodynamics and advanced optimisation techniques allows to overcome the inherent limits of thermodynamic approaches and provides meaningful results on real systems. Examples of thermoeconomic, extended exergy analysis and environomic optimisation problems including Life cycle considerations are also considered. Drying processes, power plants, fuel cell systems and storage systems are dealt with.

Presented at:
12th Joint European Thermodynamics Conference, Brescia, Italy, July 1-5, 2013

 Record created 2013-08-17, last modified 2018-03-18

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