Beyond the Boilerplate
Monthly Newsletter - Curated by Boilersource
Welcome to the first edition of Boilersource’s Beyond the Boilerplate newsletter! In these monthly newsletters, we will be sharing local and global industry trends, new regulations, technology, and much more! This newsletter will allow Boilersource to share our decades of experience and give expert advice to make sure you have all of the knowledge you need to remain competitive and in the know.
Discover upcoming events and webinars to expand your knowledge on current and future technology or simply expand your network. Plus, enjoy fun trivia, puzzles, and employee recipes that you can share with your family and friends!
Scientists Have Found a Way to Save Energy And Boil Water More Efficiently
David Nield - 16 JULY 2022
Water gets boiled a lot – whether it's a cup of tea brewing in a kitchen or a power plant generating electricity. Any improvements in the efficiency of this process will have a huge impact on the overall amount of energy used for it every day.
One such improvement could come with a newly developed treatment for surfaces involved in heating and evaporating water. The treatment improves two key parameters that determine the boiling process: the heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and the critical heat flux (CHF).
Most of the time, there's a trade-off between the two – as one improves, the other gets worse. After years of investigation, the research term behind the technique has found a way of enhancing both.
"Both parameters are important, but enhancing both parameters together is kind of tricky because they have intrinsic trade-off," says bioinformatics scientist Youngsup Song from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
"If we have lots of bubbles on the boiling surface, that means boiling is very efficient, but if we have too many bubbles on the surface, they can coalesce together, which can form a vapor film over the boiling surface."
Any vapor film between the hot surface and the water introduces resistance, lowering the heat transfer efficiency and the CHF value. To get around the issue, the researchers devised three different kinds of surface modification.
First, a series of microscale tubes are added. This array of 10-micrometer-wide tubes, spaced about 2 millimeters apart, controls bubble formation and keeps the bubbles pinned to the cavities. That prevents a vapor film from forming.
At the same time, it reduces the concentration of bubbles on the surface, reducing boiling efficiency. To tackle that, the researchers introduced an even smaller-scale treatment as the second modification, adding bumps and ridges just nanometers in size within the surface of the hollow tubes. That increases the available surface area and promotes evaporation rates.
Lastly, the microscale cavities were housed in the center of a series of pillars on the material surface. These pillars speed up the drawing-off process for the liquid by adding more surface area. In combination, the boiling efficiency is significantly increased.
Above: A slowed-down video of the researchers' set-up shows water boiling on a specially treated surface that causes bubbles to form at specific separate points.
As the nanostructures also promote evaporation under the bubbles, and the pillars keep up a steady supply of liquid to that bubble base, a layer of water between the boiling surface and the bubbles can be maintained – enhancing the maximum heat flux.
"Showing that we can control the surface in this way to get enhancement is a first step," says mechanical engineer Evelyn Wang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Then the next step is to think about more scalable approaches."
"These kinds of structures we're making are not meant to be scaled in their current form."
Taking the work from a small-scale laboratory setting into something that can be used in commercial industries won't be all that straightforward, but the researchers are confident that it can be done.
One challenge is going to be finding ways of creating the surface textures and the three "tiers" of modifications. The good news is that there are different approaches that can be explored, and the procedure should work for different kinds of liquids too.
"Those kinds of details can be changed, and that can be our next step," says Song.
The research has been published in Advanced Materials.
DOE Issues Notice of Intent to Provide Funding for Clean Hydrogen and Grid Resilience Projects to Support Climate Goals
JULY 27, 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a notice of intent for a potential funding opportunity to accelerate the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean-hydrogen technologies and grid resilience. The potential funding will advance the Biden Administration's goals of achieving carbon-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions across the entire economy by 2050.
This potential funding will advance the Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade ("1 1 1"), while supporting DOE's H2@Scale initiative to develop clean and affordable hydrogen across multiple sectors in the economy and improve energy resilience. These goals will be advanced through RD&D efforts in several areas, including advanced pathways for solar-based hydrogen fuel production; technologies for high-resolution hydrogen sensing; demonstrations of materials-based hydrogen storage and transport systems; and development of high-performance, durable, low-cost fuel cell components for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
The potential funding will also seek to establish a grid resilience university consortium with agreements between universities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to foster information sharing on best practices and cross-border dependencies. This consortium will work collaboratively with tribes, states, regions, industry, utilities, and other stakeholders to support grid resilience planning and pilot projects that can serve as a model for others.
DOE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements, with the period of performance being approximately two to four years. DOE encourages applicant teams that include stakeholders within academia, industry, and national laboratories across multiple technical disciplines. Teams are also encouraged to include representation from diverse entities such as minority-serving institutions or through linkages with Opportunity Zones.
Learn more about this DOE notice of intent.
Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Office Achieves Major Biofuel Technology and Production Milestone
Josh Messner - JULY 26, 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has achieved a significant milestone in decreasing the minimum fuel selling price (MFSP) of drop-in biofuels, which are fuels made from biomass and other waste carbon sources, and that are compatible with existing petroleum fuel infrastructure and conventional vehicles. BETO partnered with T2C-Energy, LLC (T2C) to validate pilot-scale production of drop-in biofuels with a price of $3 per gallon of gas equivalent (GGE) and at least 60% lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum, using T2C’s TRIFTS® process.
The TRIFTS process converts anaerobic digestor produced biogas (or landfill gas) to liquid transportation fuels. TRIFTS has allowed drop-in renewable diesel fuel to reach a MFSP of $2.91/GGE without the use of credits from the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, California Low Carbon Fuels Standard, or other carbon credits while reducing GHG emissions by 130% when compared to traditional petroleum diesel fuel.
T2C and BETO have previously partnered on projects that have been key to advancing bioenergy technology to its current state. Previous BETO-funded Small Business Innovation Research awards allowed T2C to advance their technology to pilot scale, which was critical to reaching this important biofuel milestone. The T2C process has been thoroughly tested at the pilot scale since 2018 and uses both carbon dioxide and methane portions of biogas, using nearly 100% of biogas components as a feedstock to produce fuel. This technical achievement was verified by an independent engineering firm.
BETO’s efforts to reduce the price of drop-in biofuels is part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s larger strategy for decarbonizing transportation across all modes.
Upcoming Events & Webinars
Demand Grows: How Biodiesel Can Fuel Food Sustainability
August 30th, 2022
Join the Center for Food Integrity and United Soybean Board for a free webinar from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) and United Soybean Board (USB), hosted by CFI’s Melanie Fitzpatrick, to learn more about how biodiesel can fuel food companies’ sustainability efforts.
Biodiesel 101: How it’s made and the current market
Benefits to the environment and our health
A Success Story: Incorporating biodiesel into fleets
Insights into sustainably grown soy, an important biodiesel feedstock
Busting biodiesel myths
2022 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild Co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA
September 14-16, 2022 | Chicago, IL
ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA will jointly host the annual Building Performance Analysis Conference & SimBuild for 2022. The theme of the conference, “Better Buildings, Less Carbon: Supporting the Transition to A Clean and Just Climate” focuses on improving the decision-making process through the application of simulation and modeling over the entire building life cycle. Practitioners, vendors, researchers, utility and government officials, and owners will address the practices of energy modeling and building performance simulation using existing simulation tools, software development, and future simulation research and applications.
The anticipated conference program consists of Keynote Speakers, Invited Speakers, a Call for Papers, a Call for Presentations and the eighth ASHRAE LowDown Showdown.
August Brain Teasers
What is the most abundant element in the Universe?
(Hint) - See Industry News Articles
What is the volume of 1lb of water when it is heated to steam at atmospheric pressure?
Chicken Cacciatore ala BOILERSOURCE
Recipe by Tony Ranallo
4 - 6 lbs chicken breast (boneless & skinless) cut into pieces
Approx. 2 cups flour (seasoned with salt and pepper) in 1 gal Ziploc
8 oz. sliced mushrooms, like cremini and shiitake
1 onion, diced medium
1 small yellow or red pepper, diced medium
1 cup shoe string carrots
Optional: 1 cup - olives, beans or garbanzo beans
5 - 7 garlic cloves, shaved
1 cup beef broth
1 cup white wine
2 - 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes or sauce.
Assorted herbs, parsley (fresh), basil (fresh), oregano (dry) and thyme leaves (dry)
1 ⁄ 2 - 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Place cut-up chicken in Ziploc bag with flour salt, pepper and shake to coat
Heat a 6 qt. or larger stew pot, short and wide is better than tall, drizzled with olive oil
Place dusted chicken in pot and brown - do not move it until it reaches a deep golden brown and it's easy to turn
Brown other side for a few minutes, remove chicken and set aside
Add vegetables, garlic, salt & pepper, 1 tbsp of thyme, 2 tbsp oregano, sautée for 5 minutes until soft
Add wine and let it reduce
Add beef broth, diced tomatoes and sauce
Toss in 1 tsp of salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil
Place the chicken back into the pan and sink into the juices
Simmer on low, uncovered on stove top, for 1 - 2 hours or until chicken is tender and the sauce is thickened
Add Parmesan cheese to taste a few minutes before serving, this will also help thicken the sauce
Garnish with fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan
Serve with pasta, rice, polenta or warm crusty bread