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Energy Conversion Processes

Direct: Single-step conversion process

photovoltaics: electromagnetic
batteries: chemical electrical
thermoelectric coolers (TEC): thermal
Indirect: Multi-step conversion
piezoelectric: mechanicalprocess

cycle (gas): chemical thermal
mechanical mechanical
Rankine cycle (liquid-vapor), steam turbine:
thermal mechanical elect
Brayton cycle (gas), gas turbine, turbojets:
al thermal mechanical electrical
mechanical mechanical mechanical
wave electrical
Energy Conversion Matrix
Energy Conversion

An electric commuter car requires 24 hp and is to

have a photovoltaic array on the roof to charge
the batteries both while moving and parked. The
overall electromagnetic to electrical to -
mechanical energy conversion is 13%. The
average solar flux is 650 Wem/m2. For each hour of
operation, you estimate that the vehicle will be
parked for four hours during daylight hours. If the
The effective efficiency
solar of the
power with batteries
energy is 60%,
storage per ho
determine the required area of the solar array.
The required area of solar array required to genera

This area is only the area required to collect 24

hp worth of electromagnetic energy. The
conversion of the electromagnetic energy to
mechanical energy (motion of vehicle) is 13%.
Thus, the area required to generate 24 hpm from
650 Wem/m2 is:
Energy Storage Systems

Comparison of energy storage technologies.

Discharge Time versus Power

Conversion of Energy
How do we calculate conversion of energy?
First Law of Thermodynamics

For a steady-state, open system:

so the first law is really:

change in transitional energy change in
stored energy
The sign convention on heat (Q) and work (W) may c
For example, some thermodynamic textbooks will
write the first law of thermodynamics as Q + W
in which case W is the work into the system.

The choice of sign convention will vary between

engineering disciplines as well. It is not
important which sign convention you use as long
as you are consistent.
The meaning of a positive or negative work can
always be ascertained by examining how the
stored energy term (E) changes.
From engineering thermodynamics:
Closed System
no mass flow in or out of
Open System
mass flow in and/or out
of system
Conservation of Energy

Steady, rate form of the 1st Law:

are balanced by
change in energy
stored in a fluid

implies that there is no energy or mass

accumulation within the system. That is different
than the exchange of energy in the mass which
passes through the system. The mass which
passes through may accumulate energy. The 1st
Law of Thermodynamics applies to the fluid which
is passing through the system.
1st Law of Thermodynamics: (subset of the general
Efficiency of Energy Conversion

Device Efficiency Definitions

Typical Conversion Efficiencies

Serial Efficiency

Each time energy is converted from one form to

another, there is a loss of available energy; in
other words, the efficiency of the energy
In a system is
conversion where there
always lessare multiple
than 1. energy
conversion processes
occurring, the efficiencies of each subsequent
conversion result in an ever decreasing net
energy output.

Example - Serial Effici