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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X


KAPOORIA, Raj Kumar. Possible developments in energy conversion using liquid metal magnetohydrodynamics. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2009, vol.20, n.2, pp.17-25. ISSN 2413-3051.

Liquid metal magneto-hydrodynamic-energy-con-version (LMMHDEC) systems have been a matter of great interest and research & development since 1960. The various states of design and development of such systems go through a step-by-step progress with time. This paper highlights the phenomenon of direct thermal energy conversion systems using liquid metal as an electrodynamics fluid and gas/vapour as a thermodynamic fluid. An analysis of the technological drawbacks responsible for low efficiency of these LMMHDEC systems along with possible R & D solutions have been discussed in this technical research paper. The separation of electrodynamics fluid from thermodynamic fluid at various stages of MHD conversion remained an efficiency challenge of the various types of systems. To meet this challenge, a Dual-cycle MHD system has been designed in this paper. Both the fluids viz. thermodynamic and electrodynamics go through a phase change in this cycle. The thermal efficiency is optimized when one fluid goes into a phase change during a cycle and another fluid does not experience any phase change. The information covered in this paper enables an overview of concepts and the background to choose a cycle for a given temperature range.

Keywords : density difference; energy-conversion; liquid metal; magnetohydrodynamic; pressure-gradient; solar collector.

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