Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2016/17
Energy applications of materials
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Energy And Nuclear Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Asinari Pietro ORARIO RICEVIMENTO O2 ING-IND/10 39 9 12 4 4
SSD CFU Activities Area context
D - A scelta dello studente
D - A scelta dello studente
A scelta dello studente
A scelta dello studente
Subject fundamentals
Graphical abstract: http://www.polito.it/small/energy/AppEnergeticheMateriali.jpg

Applications examples : www.polito.it/small/energy/solar/SMaLL-solar.pdf

Today the efficiency of energy processes is constantly increasing due to the availability of highly efficient materials. This change is made possible mainly due to the continuous and incredible advances in nanotechnology. tThis course intends primarily to give an overview of the most modern nanotechnology solutions used in the energy sector, both from the point of view of the realization of the adopted devices and from that of their use within the installations for energy conversion and transport. Thus, it is intended to emphasize that, today more than ever, the two are intimately connected. The course aims to provide technical and scientific tools that expand the engineer background, enabling the energy management aware of the technical capabilities of the devices and related materials. The underlying theme of this course is briefly explained: one aims to analyze, from the point of view of materials science and from that of plant design, the process of collecting energy from a given source, its transportation, storage and civilian use directly in thermal form. In particular, we will focus on the sunlight, even if the topics covered will have a wider applicability and can therefore be equally useful for different energy sources. The applications analysed in the course will offer the possibility of applying the concepts of molecular dynamics and then to understand the connections between the microscopic phenomena of the materials and their macroscopic effects.

At the end of the course, it is expected that the student has acquired advanced tools of design such that the ability to choose, for each involved sub-process (one sub-process is treated in each of the four modules of the course), the device and the most suitable material for the purpose. It is anticipated that the student acquires the ability to judge and plan the various components individually and in a systemic perspective.
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims to transmit a culture of most advanced engineering materials (i.e. nano - engineered) for energy applications, with particular emphasis on correlations between structure, microstructure and performance, thus revealing the potential of design with the materials through a control of their microstructure. The goal is to provide students with a robust and versatile tool for molecular dynamics that allows him/her to approach consciously the multitude of materials that modern material science makes available today for energy recovery and storage. In particular, the student will acquire advanced knowledge beyond merely descriptive approach, but constitutes the guidelines for a conscious knowledge of the materials to be used in energy devices.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Basic knowledge of the main topics of materials and their thermal, optical and mechanical behaviour. Basic knowledge of heat and mass transfer.
The course includes the following topics:

1) General methods for the selection of a material (Introduction, 7.5 hours, MATERIALS) : Introduction to the strategy of materials selection and the definition of basic guidelines for the selection of materials depending on the intended application and pre-requisites imposed on a planning level. Introduction to the use of software for the systematic selection of the materials. References to the composition-structure-property relationships of the main classes of materials.

2) Theory of classical molecular dynamics (Introduction, 7.5 hours, ENERGY) : Introduction to classical molecular dynamics. Interaction potential and force fields. Potential for the description of covalent bonds (strong interactions). Potential for description of forces induced by the dipoles (weak interactions). Van der Waals interactions, and Lennard-Jones model. Thermostats and pressostats. Numerical integration. Calculation of macroscopic thermophysical properties. Example of the thermal conductivity.

3) Materials for the conversion of solar radiation (the first part of the module 1, 3 hours, MATERIALS) : Materials for equipment for the recovery of solar power and definition of the guidelines for their selection. Materials for high reflection or absorption coatings: major properties and potential application of the selection strategy. Compositional and structural variations (at various levels) of the materials for the improvement of the physical and functional properties. Deposition of thin layers by means of PVD and CVD techniques.

4) Synthesis of micro- and nanoparticles for the direct collection of solar energy and heat transfer (the first part of the module 2, 3 hours, MATERIALS) : Fabrication technology for the production of nano- and micro-particles for the heat collection, transport and storage. Materials for the collection of solar energy and heat transfer: major properties and potential application of the selection strategy. Study of the strategies pursued in the selection of materials for the realization of the particles to ensure proper operation and durability.

5) Use and applications of micro- and nanotechnology to the direct collection of solar energy and heat transfer (part of module 2, 3 hours, ENERGY) : Nanotechnologies in thermal sciences: the concept of nano-fluid. Main thermo physical properties of nano fluids and main heuristic methods of their design. Overview of molecular dynamics. Modeling of the main transport properties using molecular dynamics. Black nano-fluids for direct solar radiation. Micro-fluid. Slurry fluids with micro-encapsulated particles with high thermal capacity for thermal transport and storage.

6) Materials and emerging technologies for manufacturing flexible and complex geometries (part of Module 3, 3 hours, MATERIALS) : Technologies for Additive Manufacturing (AM). Materials for heat exchangers that can be processed through AM techniques: major properties and potential. Definition of guidelines for the selection of materials for heat exchangers and application of the selection strategy. Influence of process parameters for the optimization of the response of the device under examination.

7) Design of new compact and flexible solutions in the field of heat transfer (part of Module 3, 3 hours, ENERGY) : Recovery of waste heat at low temperature and brief remarks on the thermo-electric devices. Metal-based compact heat exchangers made by modern techniques of 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing). Artificial roughness for heat transfer via 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing). Polymer-based heat exchangers using conductive plastics: challenges and advantages.

8) Materials for thermal storage (the first part of the module 4, 3 hours, MATERIALS) : Devices for thermal storage: current solutions and potential prospects. Materials for thermal storage: current solutions and main properties. Application of the strategy of selection of materials. Study of the control of the structure of materials at the nanoscale on their performance.

9) The equipment for thermal storage (second part of the module 4, 3 hours, POWER) : The challenge of preserving thermal energy. Approaches of heat storage in the short, medium and long term. Energy density and main figures of merit of the materials for the thermal storage. Main components in installations for solar thermal storage in domestic use. Brief overview of thermal storage in other industrial sectors (e.g. automotive).
Delivery modes
The course also provides the following laboratories with hands-on experience:

1) Computer Lab (7.5 hours MATERIALS) : During this activity students will be able to apply the strategies of selecting materials in a practical case relating to any of examples of energy devices during the course, from project definition of the selection criteria to the identification of one or more possible solutions.

2) Computer Lab of molecular dynamics simulations (9 hours, ENERGY) : In this computer lab, which occupies a significant part of the semester, computer tools to carry out numerical simulations of molecular dynamics will be studied. In particular, it will address the basics of the Linux operating system (Ubuntu) and the GROMACS simulation tool. Subsequently we will analyse step-by-step the simulations that will serve as an example to students. The reports required by students will be based on the modification of the examples carried out during this exercise.

3) Visit to experimental workshops (3 hours, ENERGY) : During the semester, two guided visits to relevant experimental workshops on the topics covered in the course will be organized, particularly with regard to solar concentration and the additive manufacturing.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources

- Ashby M. F., "Materials Selection in Mechanical Design", Third Edition, Elsevier, 2005.
- Fernández, A. I., Martínez, M., Segarra, M., & Cabeza, L. F. "Selection of Materials with Potential in Thermal Energy Storage" Effstock, 2009.
- Zalba B,Marin J. M.,Cabeza L. F.,Mehling H., "Review on Thermal Energy Storage with Phase Change: Materials, Heat Transfer Analysis and Applications", Applied Thermal Engineering 23, 2003.
- Lukaszkowicz K., "Review of Nanocomposite Thin Films and Coatings Deposited by PVD and CVD Technology", in "Nanomaterials", In Tech, 2011.
- Gibson I., Rosen D. W., Stucker B., "Additive Manufacturing Technologies", Springer, 2010.
- Chaudhuri R. G., Paria S., "Core/Shell Nanoparticles: Classes, Properties, Synthesis Mechanisms, Characterization, and Applications", Chem. Rev. 112, 2012.


- P. Asinari, E. Chiavazzo, "An Introduction to Multiscale Modeling with Applications", Esculapio, Bologna, 2013.
- A. Bejan, "Advanced Engineering Thermodynamic", John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
- A. Bejan, A.D. Kraus (Editors), "Heat Transfer Handbook", John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
- A. Moradi, E. Sani, M. Simonetti, F. Francini, E. Chiavazzo, P. Asinari, "Carbon-nanohorn based nanofluids for a direct absorption solar collector for civil application", J. Nanosci. Nanotech. 15, 2015.
- Matteo Fasano, Masoud Bozorg Bigdeli, Mohammad Rasool Vaziri Sereshk, Eliodoro Chiavazzo, Pietro Asinari, "Thermal transmittance of carbon nanotube networks: Guidelines for novel thermal storage systems and polymeric material of thermal interest", Ren. Sust. Energy Rev. 41, 2015.
- Luigi Ventola, Francesco Robotti, Masoud Dialameh, Flaviana Calignano, Diego Manfredi, Eliodoro Chiavazzo, Pietro Asinari, "Rough surfaces with enhanced heat transfer for electronics cooling by direct metal laser sintering", Int. J. Heat Mass Tran. 75, 2014.
- Eliodoro Chiavazzo, Matteo Fasano, Pietro Asinari, Paolo Decuzzi, "Scaling behaviour for the water transport in nanoconfined geometries", Nature Comm. 4565, 2014.
- Chiavazzo E., Asinari P., "Reconstruction and modeling of 3D percolation networks of carbon fillers in a polymer matrix" Int. J. Thermal. Sci. 49, 2010.
- Chiavazzo E., Asinari P., "Enhancing surface heat transfer by carbon nanofins: towards an alternative to nanofluids?" Nanosc. Res. Lett. 6, 2011.
Assessment and grading criteria
The exam includes a written test and an oral examination. The written test consists in the preparation of a written report, to be delivered a few days before the appeal, so that it can be evaluated by the teachers in time for the selected exam. The written report must contain assignments discussed during the semester, about the selection of the materials, the molecular dynamics simulations and the visits of the experimental laboratories.

The oral exam consists of the discussion of theory topics covered in the course on the choice of materials and their energy applications, including theoretical arguments based on the molecular dynamics. To pass the exam the student must obtain a valuation greater than or equal to 18/30 in both tests. The final grade will be the arithmetic average of the grades obtained in the two tests rounded up.

Urgent information regarding the course exams will be communicated using the appropriate web pages provided within the web portal of the Polytechnic. In these web sites, the student will be given all the other information about the course, such as the detailed program, sample exams, information on workshops etc.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2016/17

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