Thermodynamics and performance analysis of a biofueled boiler energy system

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Chaudhary, Amjad
Major Professor
Stephen J. Marley
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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An investigation was conducted to determine the performance characteristics of an integrated biofueled boiler energy system for space heating for farmstead applications. The integrated energy system has been recently installed at Iowa State University's McNay Memorial Research Center. The project was initiated to provide information to Iowa farmers and small industries concerning the operation of wood-fired energy systems and the management of domestic energy resources for potential substitution for imported heating energy. The McNay energy system includes the various processes required to convert wood energy on the ground to energy at point of actual use for space heating;Optimum operating conditions for maximum boiler system performance were determined experimentally by employing quadratic central composite design. The three independent variables such as primary air damper (PAD) opening, Secondary air damper (SAD), and depth of fuel bed (DFB) were varied to determine their effect on the wood-fired boiler system efficiency. A total of 20 performance tests were conducted. The seasonal thermal energy delivered for space heating in a farm house and farm workshop was monitored by employing energy measuring instruments and a data acquisition system;Under optimum operating conditions, the boiler system efficiency was found to be 54% while burning green wood chips at 45% moisture on a wet basis. The total seasonal thermal energy delivered for space heating for the farmstead application was 60,836 KWh (219 GJ), and the boiler consumed 60.5 metric tons of green wood chips during the winter season of three and a half months from December 16, 1989 to March 31, 1990;The analysis of energy cost of the wood energy system using net energy analysis and life cycle economic cost analysis showed that the wood energy system has the potential to be competitive with a fossil based system by improving system efficiency and reducing wood harvesting and handling costs.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1990