We study a multi-objective design and dispatch optimization model of a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly for unconventional oil and gas production. Fuel cells are galvanic cells which chemically convert hydrocarbon-based fuels to electricity. The Geothermic Fuel Cell concept involves utilizing heat from fuel cells during electricity generation to provide thermal energy required to pyrolyze kerogen into a mixture of oil, hydrocarbon gas and carbon-rich shale coke. Gladys Anyenya, Affiliated Mechanical Engineering, May 2017


A problem in the mining industry is production scheduling, or determining when, if ever, notional three-dimensional blocks of ore should be mined. Often lacking in underground production scheduling models are heat limitations, driven largely by the equipment used for underground activities such as development, extraction, and back-filling. To correct this, we attribute a specific heat load to each mining activity owing to equipment use, auto compression, broken rock and strata rock. We incorporate heat into a knapsack constraint in an integer programming model that produces more realistic schedules; adhering to them could increase revenue by lowering refrigeration costs for the mine. Oluwaseun Ogunmodede (Source: Chasm Consulting, 2015)


Concentrating solar power towers, which include a steam-Rankine cycle with molten salt thermal energy storage, is an emerging technology whose maximum effectiveness relies on an optimal operational and dispatch policy. Given parameters such as start-up and shut-down penalties, expected price profiles, solar availability, and system interoperability requirements, we seek a profit-maximizing solution that determines start-up and shut-down times for the power cycle and solar receiver, and the times at which to dispatch various quantities of energy over a 48-hour horizon at hourly fidelity. - Jennifer DiCarlo and Will Hamilton


This figure shows a continuous steel caster.  Steel is batched and alloyed in the ladle which is then poured into an intermediate container known as the tundish.  The tundish is what feeds the oscillating mold to form the steel slab which is then pulled out by the rollers.  The rollers also support the slab while the outside shell solidifies until the entire cross section is solid. ( - Joshua Betz

A mathematical model designs and operates a hybrid power system consisting of diesel generators, photovoltaic cells and battery storage to minimize fuel use at remote sites subject to meeting variable demand profiles, given the following constraints: power generated must meet demand in every time period; power generated by any technology cannot exceed its maximum rating; and best practices should be enforced to prolong the life of the technologies. - Mark Husted

Underground mining is commonly used to extract high value ore from deep underground for profit. In the design phase top-down open stope retreat mining, mine planners model the deposit as a discretized set of blocks, that are either are designated as pillars (and left in situ) or stopes (and extracted and processed). Safety is ensured by abiding by geotechnical restrictions on (i) the quotient of the area of a multiple-block stope region and its perimeter (i.e., the hydraulic radius), (ii) the length-to-width ratio of a pillar, (iii) the length of a stope relative to the length of an adjacent pillar, and (iv) the proximity of adjacent sheetlike groupings of blocks (called veins). We present a methodology consisting of (i) preprocessing, (ii) an integer program, and (iii) an iterative xing heuristic to determine the location of said pillars in order to maximize profit while ensuring structural stability. Our solutions provided a feasible design, as opposed to the current solution and significantly reduces design efforts of the mining engineer, when applied to an African mine. - Levente Sipeki

As the demand for water within the South Platte Basin grows, we seek to mitigate the shortage that will ensue by the optimal placement of additional reservoir storage while including water transfers via pipeline.

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Last Updated: 09/01/2017 16:47:22