Priority Line of research
Advance Research and Innovation in Solar Energy:
Solar Thermal Systems
Concentrating Solar Power Technologies
Advance Research and Innovation in Bioenergy:
Direct Biomass Combustion
Biofuels: Biodiesel, Syngas, Biogas
Gasification and Pyrolysis Technologies for Biofuels Production
Advance Research and Innovation in Wind/Geothermal Energy:
Shrouded/Airborne Wind Turbine
Advance Research and Innovation in Energy Efficiency/ Energy Modeling and Energy Management:
Energy System Modeling and Simulation
Life Cycle Analysis of Energy Systems
Integration of Solar Energy with Fast Pyrolysis Reactor to Convert Plastic Waste to Bio-Oil
Principal Investigator: Chaouki Ghenai
The main objective of the proposed research project is to develop innovative methods for the integration of renewable energy systems into the thermochemical process of converting solid waste to alternative and clean fuels. The proposed research project will address these concerns by: (1) converting the non-recycled plastic waste to useful clean bio-oil using fast pyrolysis thermochemical process, (2) integrating clean energy systems such as solar energy to provide the energy input for the reactor, and (3) developing an integrated sustainable system for solid waste to fuel conversion by reducing the materials, energy and water usage and the carbon foot print for the whole system. To achieve these objectives, experimental and modeling/simulations studies will be performed by a joint effort between the University of Sharjah and MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. The research efforts will focus on Sharjah solid waste and include: (1) characterization of solid waste feedstock (type, composition, energy density), (2) modeling and simulation of the fast pyrolysis process and optimization of the system, (3) design of an integrated solar reactor, (4) build and test the performance of the solar reactor to maximize the bio-oil yields, and (5) test the quality of bio-oil produced.
Solar Air Conditioning System
Investigators: Chaouki Ghenai, Ahmed Hachicha and Tareq Slameh
The main objective of this study is to build an Air Conditioning System that works completely by Solar Energy by using Lithium Bromide (LiBr) absorption cycle. The goal is to reduce the energy consumption from the fossil fuels and provide alternative system that is energy efficient, cost effective and easy to be implemented in UAE houses (Houses build in tropical climate like gulf countries). Cooling system, for air conditioning purpose, is essential during the summer days due to large solar radiation. This causes the greatest need for cooling and at the same time, maximum possible solar energy is also available. The demands for air cooling system in household, offices, hotels, laboratories or public buildings are increasing considerably. Due to the availability of solar power over almost all the days of the year in UAE, solar air cooling systems can be reasonable alternatives to regular air cooling systems.
3 kW PVT System with front/back cooling
Investigators: Abdul Kadir Hamid (PI), Maamar Bettayeb, Chaouki Ghenai and Ahemed Hachicha
UAE is a rich country of solar energy that could be one of the potential solutions of running out fossil fuels problem and its bad environmental impact. Solar photovoltaics and thermal systems are suitable for this purpose. It is found that as PV operating temperature increases its electrical efficiency decreases and cooling its surfaces become very essential at this stage. In this project, cooling its surfaces (back and front) by water cooling system is suggested. The aim is to increase the PV electrical efficiency at very high ambient temperature by decreasing its operating temperature as well as heating the cycled cooling water which make it hybrid PV/T system. A prototype of the hybrid PV/T cooling system of 3 KW capacities will be designed and the electrical and thermal performance of the PV will be studied for the climate of Sharjah.
Design, test and modeling of direct steam generation process using parabolic trough solar collector
Principal Investigator: Ahmed Hachicha.
Parabolic trough solar collectors (PTCs) are currently one of the most mature and prominent solar technology for the production of electricity. In order to reduce the electricity cost and improve the overall efficiency, Direct Stem generation (DSG) technology can be used in the solar fields for electricity production. This technology is experiencing an important development last decades and it is considered as one of the most feasible process of the next generation of power plants using PTC. One of the most relevant challenges of this technology is the thermal stress in the absorber tubes. Therefore, experiments under varying conditions of steam flow, pressure and solar radiation will help to study and improve the performances of DSG, demonstrate the stability of this process and determine the different issues related with the use of this technology. The modelling and numerical simulation of such process in the parabolic troughs are also essential to predict the thermos hydraulic aspects of the process which are relevant for the design of the solar field. This project aims to design and manufacture a small prototype of parabolic trough solar collector for direct steam generation process. After testing the installation, experiments will be performed for different conditions in order to study the thermos hydraulic performances of DSG process and the possible effects of the two phase flow. At the same time, detailed numerical simulations of the process will be conducted to study the two phase flow in the absorber tubes and will be compared with the experimental measurements
Design and fabrication of a solar reaction turbine
Principal Investigator: Abdul Hai Al Alami
The design, performance analysis and manufacturing of a self-sustaining, solar-driven reaction steam turbine will be investigated. The reaction turbine, placed horizontally, consists of two concentric cylinders with the outer one rotating with respect to the stationery inner cylinder, providing a compact and agile design. The inner cylinder, constantly filled and replenished with water, hosts conically shaped holes to allow a constant stream of feed water into the clearance between the two cylinders. With means of the thermal energy provided by the solar collector, water in the clearance will produce superheated steam that will be released in the form of steam jets causing rotational velocity, through a set of pressure relief valves placed at the surface of the outer cylinder. The main advantage of this turbine is the production of constant torque.
Study of a novel approach of atmospheric freeze drying system using vortex tube
Investigator: Dr. Shek Rahman (Principal Investigator), Dr. Ahmed Hachicha, Dr. Chaouki Ghenai and Dr. Tareq Salem
Heat pump assisted atmospheric freeze drying (AFD) is a suitable alternative of VFD. However, this process does not seem economical from the energy point of view due to bulky system of mechanical heat pump and a condenser. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to conduct a detailed investigating on atmospheric freeze drying system using a vortex chiller coupled with multimode and intermittent heat input by convection and radiation. The main idea of this research is to use the counter flow subzero and above zero carrier gas generates from vortex chiller into two drying chamber. In primary stage of drying subzero carrier gas will play a dual role in the process. It will maintain the frozen integrity of the product as well as will provide necessary heat for drying through convection. On the other hand hot carrier gas will enhances the drying kinetics by providing sufficient amount of heat energy at the later stage of drying. Therefore, no extra energy will be needed from external source in this stage of drying and hence process will be economically viable in terms of energy point of view. Quality parameters as well as a comparative study with vacuum freeze drying and heat pump assisted atmospheric freeze drying will be carried out. Finally CFD simulation for the vortex tube will carried out to capture the highly swirling compressible flow behavior and to gain basic understanding of temperature separation process.
Production of Biofuels from Locally Available Biomass and Waste Products
Principal Investigator: Prof. Abdallah Shanableh
The purpose of this work is to combine the production of biofuels, including bioethanol, biodiesel, and methane, with waste management. A variety of organic feedstocks are used, including locally grown algae, date, neem and other trees waste, and wastewater treatment sludge. Pretreatment methods used include sonication, enzyme hydrolysis, hydrothermal processing, and acid/alkaline processing.