Renewable Energy

With an emphasis on Mechanical and Energy, the department has increased impact on renewable energy
  • Solar, Wind, Geothermal Energy, Jiangtao Cheng, Yong X. Tao

Dr. Cheng’s group has developed electrowetting-controlled liquid prisms for active solar tracking and adaptive sunlight steering without mechanical moving parts. In comparison with traditional silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, the electrowetting-based self-tracking technology will generate 70% more green energy with a 50% cost reduction.

Researchers in PACCAR Technology Institute investigated the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) integrated with solar energy. The working fluids were studied to meet the specific range of temperatures desired for solar collectors of different configurations. Particular focuses were placed for hot and humid climates and the applications in a building or community scale. Researchers also collected data from 8 buildings in Florida on the effectiveness of geothermal heat pumps in hot and humid climate and anlyzed the results through both modeling and data validation. In addition, wind turbine systems installed on UNT campus have been analyzed through combined data collection and model simulation to access the real-time performance.

Energy is conducted in applied and fundamental approaches. The fundamental approach to solar cell efficiency is investigated by
  • Jiangtao Cheng: Optofluidics, Self-tracking, Electrowetting, Dual-axis Tracking, Liquid Prism

Renewable Energy

JiangtaoCheng utilizes liquid prisms to achieve dual-axis solar tracking.

Grants
  • PI: Jiangtao Cheng, Beam Steering via Bistable Optofluidic Systems, Source: NSFC 51328601, Total budget: $33,000, Duration: 1/1/2014 – 12/31/2015.
  • The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), 2010-2013
  • Department of Energy EERE program
  • PACCAR Foundation
Publications
  • Jiangtao Cheng, S.-Y. Park and C.-L. Chen, Optofluidic solar concentrators using electrowetting tracking: Concept, design, and characterization, Solar Energy, 89, 152-161, 2013.  (IF = 2.952)   (Featured on Renewable Energy Global Innovations and PV Insider and UNT Office of Research and Economic Development)
  • Jiangtao Cheng and C.-L. Chen, Adaptive beam tracking and steering via electrowetting-controlled liquid prism, Applied Physics Letters, 99, 191108, 2011. (IF = 3.794)
  • Jiangtao Cheng and C.-L. Chen, Adaptive beam tracking and steering via electrowetting-controlled liquid prism, Applied Physics Letters, 99, 191108, 2011.
  • Jiangtao Cheng, S.-Y. Park and C.-L. Chen, Optofluidic solar concentrators using electrowetting tracking: Concept, design, and characterization, Solar Energy, 89, 152-161, 2013.
  • Rayegan, R., Tao, Y. X., “Optimal Collector Type and Temperature in a Solar Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) System for Building-Scale Power Generation in Hot and Humid Climate,” ASME Transactions, Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 135, 011011 pp. 1-9 (2013).
  • Rayegan, R, and Tao, Y.-X., A procedure to select working fluids for Solar Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs), Renewable Energy, vol. 36, pp. 659-670 (2011). 
Partnerships
  • University of Maryland, Collage park
  • Florida International University
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