Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
With the slowly diminishing supply of fossil fuels across the world and the heightened risk of carbon dioxide pollution leading to global warming, a shift towards renewable energy is gaining momentum. Recent advances in wind and solar power technology have increased the power density of alternative sources while decreasing the cost per kilowatt-hour, but the technology has not become advanced enough yet for large scale deployment. Combined Power Cooperative has developed a revolutionary design for a concentrated solar power plant that utilizes Fresnel reflectors and a large body of water in which to install them. In addition to being low-cost, the system allows for an integrated large thermal storage tank that can be used as a heat exchanger, using cool ambient air to remove heat from the stagnant water. This senior project will develop a scale model of a commercial-sized deployment and instrument the system to investigate the effectiveness of the cooling. Furthermore, we will examine the viability of using it for a full size heat exchanging system in comparison to a typical heat exchanger. This report will clarify the design of the system and the methods for instrumentation and testing.