pset7 - Verion...

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Verion 3/20/05 SUSTAINABLE ENERGY Spring 2005 1.818J/2.65J/3.564J/10.391J/11.371J/22.811J/ESD166J PROBLEM SET #7 Nuclear and Fossil Energy Due April 14, 2005 1. Millennial Energy for Green Applications. Rocky and Rochelle Jones have invented a new energy converter called MEGA (an abbreviation for M illennial E nergy for G reen A pplications ) that is under consideration for acquisition by MITY Industries. The MEGA system supposedly directly converts natural gas to electricity by harnessing the “intrinsic” chemical energy available by reacting natural gas (essentially pure CH 4 ) with O 2 in air in an electrochemical fuel cell. According to the inventors, “this direct conversion avoids the inherent limitations of the 2 nd Law of Thermodynamics imposed on conventional power cycle systems.” Rocky and Rochelle claim that “heat to work” efficiencies of over 90% are achievable with the MEGA . This level of performance seems very high given that currently available, state-of-the-art integrated combined cycles that couple gas and steam turbine technologies to produce electric power approach efficiencies of only 60% with CH 4 feeds. Another claimed advantage of the MEGA system is its scalability to provide high-efficiency power over a wide range of capacities (from 1 kW to 10MW) needed for distributed power application in remote regions of the world. Unfortunately, the details of how the MEGA operates are sketchy. We do know that air containing 20% O
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pset7 - Verion...

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