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# PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 1 of 11

## PAPER CODE EXAMINER : TEL. NO

MECH433 DEPARTMENT :

RESIT 2012 EXAMINATIONS

Master of Science (Engineering): Year 1
Master of Engineering: Year 4

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

TIME ALLOWED: Three Hours

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES :

Candidates should answer ONE QUESTION from SECTION A and FOUR
QUESTIONS from SECTION B.

All answers will be marked but only the best FIVE counted.

____________________________________________________________________

PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 2 of 11

SECTION A answer one question only

Question 1

Comment on the changes required in UK energy usage and the solutions presented by
MacKay in " Energy Sustainability without the hot air for future energy scenarios.
[20 marks]

Question 2

Considering the main sections of the 2009 Parsons Brinkerhoff report, Powering the
Future Mapping our (UK) low-carbon path to 2050, outline the actions required, and the
difficulty in achieving these, in order that the 2050 carbon reduction targets may be
reached.
[20 marks]

CONTINUED
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 3 of 11
SECTION B answer four questions from five

Question 3

Engineers caused climate change and only engineers can solve it. Discuss.
[20 marks]

Question 4

(a) A wind turbine has blades of 10 m in length and power coefficient of 0.3. Two sites
have been identified and which one will be selected for building the wind turbine will
depend on the profit to be made. On site A, the wind turbine can operate for 200 days
at wind speed of 8 m/s and for the rest of the year at wind speed of 5 m/s. While on
site B, the wind turbine can operate for 150 days at wind speed of 9 m/s and the rest
of the year at wind speed of 4 m/s. If the profit of 1kWh generated is 3 pence,
determine how much profit in pound can be made at each of the two sites in a year?
Note: The mass density of air is 1.2 kg/m
3
and a year is taken as having 365 days

[12 marks]

(b) Explain briefly why the performance of the rotor (blades) needs to match that of the
generator and how.
[4 marks]

(c) Write down at least four main reasons why wind energy is expensive.
[4 marks]

CONTINUED
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 4 of 11

Question 5

A circular tidal lagoon with diameter 4km is built with vertical sides in a sea where the tides
are modelled by the 2 major components M
2
and S
2
. These constituents have amplitudes
of 3m and 1m respectively.

(a) Write down the range for the spring and neap tides.
[4 marks]

(b) Calculate the potential energy yield from the spring and neap tides. [=1028 kg/m
3
; g =
9.81 m/s
2
]
[6 marks]

(c) Assuming an overall generation efficiency of 25% calculate an estimate for the annual
energy yield, assuming there are 705 tides per year.
[4 marks]

(d) A tidal straight has a flow speed of U
0
cos(t), where U
0
= 3.0 m/s and = 212.42
rads/hour. The tidal straight has the cross section shown in Figure Q5(d)

Assuming a Significant Impact Factor of 20% what is the annual energy yield from this
straight using the flux method?
noting

## , and there are 705 tides per year.

[6 marks]
200 m 1000 m
50 m
200 m
CONTINUED
Figure Q5(f)
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 5 of 11
Question 6

Figure Q6 shows the current voltage (I-V) curves of a silicon solar cell of area 100 cm
2
in
the dark and under illumination (light):

(a) Describe the three characteristic properties of the cell indicated at (1), (2)
and (3).
[3 marks]

(b) Using the data in the figure estimate the fill factor (FF) of the solar cell.
[3 marks]

(c) If the input irradiance is 100 mW cm
-2
, what is the cells conversion efficiency?
[3 marks]

(d) Describe the recombination mechanisms that limit the conversion efficiency.
[5 marks]

(e) Sketch a diagram of a dye sensitised solar cell (DSSC) and briefly describe its
principles of operation.
[6 marks]

Question 7

a) Explain the term U value and describe how it is calculated. Relate your answer to the
flow of heat across a cavity wall construction. Suggest what typical U values might be
for good quality double and triple glazing and well-insulated walls, floors and roofs.
[10 marks]

b) Discuss the concept of thermal mass and explain the various ways it can be used
modify the environmental performance of a building.
[10 marks]

END
Figure Q6
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 6 of 11

Answers

Question 1

Write a review, including some of:-
Present UK per capita energy consumption ~ 125kWh/day + ~60kWh/day for
imported goods
Breakdown: Transport ~ 35%; Heating ~34%; electricity (lighting/applianes/process)
~ 30%
Ultimate contributions from potential renewables ~ 170kWh/day but only with
country sized developments taking up huge and impracticable swathes of the available
land. He suggests <20kWh/day would be considered tolerable in todays society.

Forward strategy is to reduce consumption by more efficient transport (electric vehicles)
and heating (insulation and heat pumps, with some CHP) and restrained use of electrics
(standby wastage etc)
This brings consumption down to 68kWh/day (excluding imported embedded energy) with
electricity at 48kWh/day.

The various plans range from requiring ~ 40% from sustainable clean coal and nuclear to
over 20% from imported solar energy and the renewables typically (for biofuels/wood
especially) threaten agricultural food production.

It is argued that the costs in the ballpark of 300billion should e affordable against other
national priorities.

The final solutions have been based on not markedly reducing living standards and as a
result do not demonstrably achieve contraction and convergence CO2 reduction targets.
[20 marks]

Question 2

Actions required include:

Transport: reduced road travel (-15%); biofuels (15%); road transport to battery power
(~80%), some cars to hydrogen

Domestic: improvement in insulation (80-100% of homes); domestic/community biomass
(replacing all oil and coal burning homes); domestic CHP (40%); heat pumps (10%); solar
water heating (60%); appliance efficiency (-44%); solar pv (30%); wind (10%).

Industry: transport fuel (-74%); insulation (-50%); electrical efficiency (~30%); efficiency
improvements (-50%); convert oil & coal to gas/biomass and CHP (70% of processes);
renewables wind & solar (20/10% of floorspace); industrial CCS (80% of emitters)

Commercial: insulation (heat reduction to 25%); cooling % vent (-30%); lighting efficiency
(-80%); hot water (-30%); convert oil/coal/electric heating to gas or biomass, CHP or heat
pumps (100%); solar hot water (-20%); wind and solar pv (30/10% floorspace)

Electricity: coal+CCS (12GW); nuclear (20GW); CCGT(28GW); wind (15GW); tidal(8GW)

Scale of challenge is indicated by the penetration figures given above and the investment
requirements that these imply.
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 7 of 11
[20 marks]
Question 3

Answer could include:
Human use of energy has increased by 2.9% (mean annual) since before the Industrial
Revolution;
The increase is energy demand is unsustainable;
Conventional energy sources (coal, oil, gas, uranium) are incapable of meeting demand
(current or future levels) sustainably;
The theoretical capacity of renewables (wind, wave, tidal, solar, biomass) may meet
current demand, but has external consequences;
Energy supply has geopolitical consequences (specifically oil from Middle East presently
and solar from North Africa potentially);
Developing economies have aspirations for Western-style standard of living. Should we
make room for them, or will they take what is ours?;
Are resources, including energy availability, sufficient for the global population to attain
Western-style standards of living?;
The potential for international conflict (A top answer might include reference to internal
unrest and suppression);
The difference between standard of living and quality of life (citing Max-Neef);
Political agreement, including of target figure for atmospheric CO
2
concentrations, citing
Montreal Protocol, Kyoto Protocol, Contraction and Convergence;
Time available for mitigation;
Methods and purpose of adaptation to climate change impacts;
Media portrayal of science, public perceptions, activities of contrarians (denialists);
Political understanding and will;
Non-linear change.
[20 marks]

Question 4

(a) The power extracted is

## and the energy extracted is

.
[2 marks]
The total energy on site A

This means profit of about 5009 a year. [5 mark]

This means profit of about 4177 a year. [5 mark]
(b) Blades rotate at low speeds because high rotational speeds generate high
centrifugal force and big vibration. However, a generator works best at high
rotational speeds. This mismatch is resolved by gearing up the rotor speeds to
generator speeds. [4 marks]

(c) The main reasons are (any four of the below):
(1) The intermittency of wind, (2) the fluctuation of wind speed and direction, (3) the
low power coefficient of wind turbines, (4) the time and cost of initial consultation
and planning, (5) the maintenance, (6) the storage of electricity, (7) the
connection to the grid. [4 marks]
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 8 of 11

Question 5

(a) A
Spring
= M
2
+ S
2
= 3 + 1 = 4m (2)
A
Neap
= M
2
- S
2
= 3 - 1 = 2m (2) [4 marks]

(b) Area of the Lagoon S
S = r
2
= (4/2)
2
=4 = 12.57 km
2

S = 12.57 x 10
6
m
2
(2)

Potential Energy Spring Tide
E
S
= 4xxgxSxA
Spring
2

E
S
= 4x1028x9.81x12.57x10
6
x4
2

E
S
= 8.1129 x 10
12
Ws
E
S
= 2.25 GWh (2)

Potential Energy Neap Tide
E
N
= 4xxgxSxA
Neap
2

E
N
= 4x1028x9.81x12.57x10
6
x2
2

E
N
= 2.0282 x 10
12
Ws
E
N
= 0.5634 GWh (2) [6 marks]

(c) Average Tide energy = 0.5*(E
S
+E
N
) = 1.4067 GWh
Annual Generation Energy = 705*1.4067*0.25 = 247.93 GWh [4 marks]

(d) ) E =

(2)
A = 1000x50+2x0.5x200x50 = 1200x50 = 60000 m
2
(2)
E = 0.5x1028x60000x2.4
3
x0.2x705x8/(3) = 618.9 GWh (2) [6 marks]

Question 6

(a)

(1) J
sc
is the short-circuit current density (estimate 32mA cm
-2
); (2) P
max
is the maximum
power (estimate 30mA cm
-2
x 100 cm
-2
x 0.42V = 1.26W); and (3) is V
oc
the open-circuit
voltage (estimate 0.55V). [3 marks]

(b) The solar cell fill factor (FF) is given by

PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 9 of 11

FF = 30mA cm
-2
x 100 cm
-2
x 0.42V ~ 0.72
0.55V x 32mA cm
-2
x 100 cm
-2

[3 marks]
(c) The cell conversion efficiency for an input irradiance of 100 mW cm
-2
is

= 0.72 x 0.55V x 32mA cm
-2
~ 13%
100 mW cm
-2

[3 marks]

(d) Recombination mechanisms that limit the conversion efficiency. The recombination of
charge carriers (electrons and holes) created by the light / photon absorption are
excited to higher energies. Instead of being collected by the junction and the external
electrical contacts, these charge carriers can come back together, resulting in light
(luminescence), or heat (non-radiative recombination). Photoluminescent emission
and non-radiative recombination compete with current extraction and power
production. Light is absorbed by the material to produce electrons in the Conduction
Band, which can recombine in three distinct ways: radiatively, giving up the excitation
energy in the form of an emitted luminescent photon; non-radiatively through traps,
recombination centres (RC); or through excitation of CB electrons to higher levels
producing a phonon or lattice vibration.
[5 marks]
(e) Sketch a diagram of a dye sensitised solar cell (DSSC) and briefly describe its
principles of operation.

PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 10 of 11
Dye sensitised solar (or Grtzel) cells consist of a porous layer of titanium dioxide
nanoparticles, covered with a molecular dye that absorbs sunlight. The titanium
dioxide is immersed under an electrolyte solution, above which is a platinum-based
catalyst. Sunlight passes through the transparent electrode into the dye layer where it
can excite electrons that then flow into the titanium dioxide. The electrons flow toward
the transparent electrode where they are collected for powering a load. After flowing
through the external circuit, they are re-introduced into the cell on a metal electrode on
the back, flowing into the electrolyte. The electrolyte then transports the electrons back
to the dye molecules. Dye-sensitized solar cells separate the two functions provided
by silicon in a traditional cell design. Normally the silicon acts as both the source of
photoelectrons, as well as providing the electric field to separate the charges and
create a current. In the dye-sensitized solar cell, the bulk of the semiconductor is used
solely for charge transport, the photoelectrons are provided from a separate
photosensitive dye. Charge separation occurs at the surfaces between the dye,
semiconductor and electrolyte.
[6 marks]

Question 7

(a) Thermal transmittance indicates the rate at which heat flows through a building
element. It depends on the thermal properties of the building materials and the
location/exposure of the building. The measure of overall thermal transmittance is called
the U-value (unit W/m
2
K). A high U-value indicates high heat loss and poor energy
performance whilst a low U-values indicate low heat loss and good energy performance.
Heat flow across building elements involves conduction, radiation and convection. The
heat flow meets a thermal resistance at each stage of its flow. The various resistances to
heat flow include resistances due to the surface layers of the building component (R
so
, R
si
)
and resistances from any air cavities (R
a
). The resistance of each solid building layer (R
1
,
R
2
etc.) is found by dividing the thickness (m) by the thermal conductivity whilst surface
and air cavity resistances are found in standard tables

Heat flow through ground floors has two components - an edge loss and a ground loss.
Edge losses depend upon inside/outside temperature differences and ground losses are
governed by inside/earth temperature differences.

The total thermal resistance of the building component is found by adding the individual
resistances together
(R) = R
so
+ R
1
+ R
2
+ R
a
+ R
si

The U value is calculated by taking the reciprocal of the total thermal resistance
U = 1/(R)
PAPER CODE MECH433 Page 11 of 11
For complex combinations of materials in a component each heat flow path needs to be
taken into account because some flow paths are weaker and provide less resistance (i.e.
mortar in a brick wall).

Typical good U values for well-insulated, energy efficient building components would be:
Roof: 0.2 W/m
2
K
External wall: 0.3 W/m
2
K
Ground floor: 0.35 W/m
2
K
Double glazing: 2.0 W/m
2
K
Triple glazing 0.8 W/m
2
K
[10 marks]

(b) Thermal mass refers to a materials ability to store thermal energy for extended periods
of time (i.e. several hours). Thermal mass can be used effectively to absorb daytime heat
gains (reducing cooling load) and release the heat during the night (reducing heating load).

The use of thermal mass in shelter dates back to the dawn of humans, and until recently
was the prevailing strategy for building climate control in hot regions. Traditional types of
thermal mass include water, rock, earth, brick, concrete, fibrous cement, and ceramic tile.
Modern phase change materials (PCM) store energy while maintaining constant
temperatures, using chemical bonds to store and release latent heat

The basic properties that indicate the thermal behaviour of materials are: density (p),
specific heat (c
m
) and conductivity (). The specific heat for most masonry materials is
similar (about 0.2-0.25Wh/kgC). Thus, the total heat storage capacity is a function of the
total mass of masonry materials, regardless of its type (concrete, brick, stone, and earth)

Material Density (kg/m
3
)
Concrete 600-2200
Stone 1900-2500
Bricks 1500-1900
Earth 1000-1500 (uncompressed)
Earth 1700-2200 (compressed)

Thermal mass can be used to damp oscillations in the internal air temperature or limit
peak temperatures when used in conjunction with night flushing (ventilation). However,
thermal mass can be problematic in buildings that are intermittently occupied and require a
fast thermal response. There is also a risk of under-heating on colder mornings and
condensation and mould growth.

The use of exposed thermal mass is typically employed in buildings (or spaces) likely to
experience overheating such as sunspaces, areas of high occupancy period and areas
with high equipment loads.

Thermal mass is used extensively in passive solar design, which is where buildings try to
use the heating benefits of the sun at appropriate times of the day and the year. The main
mechanisms for utilising mass in passive solar design are direct gain, thermal storage
walls and sunspaces.
[10 marks]