Oil as generated plant power
• Complete a research project on a facility that generates electricity.
• Demonstrate ways that engineers communicate – presentations and written reports.
• Have fun!
Engineering Fundamentals II covers a diverse series of topics including oscillatory motion, waves, fluid mechanics. statics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, thermal expansion, and entropy. These are topics used in many engineering designs. One thing that revolutionized society is the generation and transmission of electricity. Alternating current is created by electromagnetic induction, which is basically the moving of magnets inside a coil. The movement of the magnets can be accomplished as simply as a person rotating a crank. However, to generate the amount of electricity required for a nation, non-manual methods are used. The conservation of energy law mandates that energy must be put into a system in order to get an output of electrical energy. The type of energy input used to be highly dependent on economics. Fortunately, things such as environmental impact are also being taken into consideration and new methods of providing the energy to generate electricity are being used. In this project, each individual student will analyze one type of electrical generation facility from the list given below and communicate the findings in a written report and a presentation to the lab participants.
1. Choose a type of power generating plant from the following list:
• Coal fired.
• Natural gas
• Pumped storage hydroelectric
• Solar thermal power plants (NOT the type that use photovoltaic cells, but rather the system that focuses mirrors on a vessel to heat water).
2. Research to determine the following:
a. The type of input energy used.
b. The percentage of energy in the US that is generated by this method.
c. The average cost per kilowatt hour (kWh).
d. Closest facility to Knoxville. If there is a facility within a 20-mile radius of your home, visit the facility if possible (NO TREPASSING!!) and take pictures for the report.
e. A detailed description of the process from initial input to (but not including) the rotation of the electrical generator’s coils. Highlight the energy conversion, heat exchange (i.e. thermodynamics) and fluid mechanics (if any) of each step. You will also prepare a detailed computer-generated flow chart of the process, highlighting the energy and fluid systems for your report.
f. What specific considerations are needed for the static load on the structures of the system (for example the dam for a hydroelectric, containment for nuclear, etc.) ?
g. What specific areas of the system are susceptible to oscillatory motion that might fatigue the system?
h. What specific areas of the system are susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations and therefore high rates of thermal expansion?
i. Discuss the efficiency of the system (did the entropy increase or decrease in this energy conversion?).
j. Discuss the environmental impact of the facility (this is not just carbon emissions).
• Final Report – Due 4/25/2021 (60 points)
Include the following sections:
o Cover sheet/Title Page with group names, date, course, semester.
o Problem Statement
This is an overview which concisely summarizes the entire project. It should be written for the audience of an executive/project manager who does not have time to read the details of the project but needs a quick overview.
History of electricity/generation of electricity.
History of your specific choice as used for generation of electricity.
What led you to choose this type of facility?
What would an engineer in your field of study (i.e., civil, mechanical, etc.) be responsible for in the construction or operation of this facility?
o Results Section
An explanatory paragraph describing the data shown in the included tables/figures.
Relevant data presented in table or graph/picture (figure) form.
A detailed computer-generated schematic of the process flow chart, highlighting the energy and fluid systems.
A description of the entire process from the energy input up to, but not including the generation of the electricity. At a minimum, include the items addressed in Number 2 of the Project Description. This will be an average or “C” level discussion. There are many considerations that are not included above or are unique to the type of facility you have chosen. Include these at your discretion for a higher grade. The report should have a sense of continuity; the paragraphs should transition into one another.
Successes and challenges of the project
• What was the most challenging part of the project and why?
• Changes that would improve the design and how would it improve it (this is a minor part of the discussion).
References (Minimum of 8 Required!): Web sites, books, magazines, people, etc. Acknowledge where the information and ideas were found .
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