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Janusz S. Szmyd

Abstract

The development of civilisation is linked inextricably with growing demand for electricity. Thus, the still-rapid increase in the level of utilisation of natural resources, including fossil fuels, leaves it more and more urgent that conventional energy technologies and the potential of the renewable energy sources be made subject to re-evaluation. It is estimated that last 200 years have seen use made of more than 50% of the available natural resources. Equally, if economic forecasts prove accurate, for at least several more decades, oil, natural gas and coal will go on being the basic primary energy sources. The alternative solution represented by nuclear energy remains a cause of considerable public concern, while the potential for use to be made of renewable energy sources is seen to be very much dependent on local environmental conditions. For this reason, it is necessary to emphasise the impact of research that focuses on the further sharpening-up of energy efficiency, as well as actions aimed at increasing society’s awareness of the relevant issues. The history of recent centuries has shown that rapid economic and social transformation followed on from the industrial and technological revolutions, which is to say revolutions made possible by the development of power-supply technologies. While the 19th century was “the age of steam” or of coal, and the 20th century the era of oil and gas, the question now concerns the name that will at some point come to be associated with the 21st century. In this paper, the subjects of discussion are primary energy consumption and energy resources, though three international projects on the global scale are also presented, i.e. ITER, Hydrates and DESERTEC. These projects demonstrate new scientific and technical possibilities, though it is unlikely that commercialisation would prove feasible before 2050. Research should thus be focused on raising energy efficiency. The development of high-efficiency technologies that reinforce energy security is presented, with it being assumed that these new high-efficiency technologies are capable of being applied globally in the near future.

Open access

Janusz S. Szmyd, Yosuke Komatsu, Grzegorz Brus, Francesco Ghigliazza, Shinji Kimijima and Anna Ściążko

Abstract

This paper discusses the transient characteristics of the planar type SOFC cell stack, of which the standard output is 300 W. The transient response of the voltage to the manipulation of an electric current was investigated. The effects of the response and of the operating condition determined by the operating temperature of the stack were studied by mapping a current-voltage (I-V) correlation. The current-based fuel control (CBFC) was adopted for keeping the fuel utilization factor at constant while the value of the electric current was ramped at the constant rate. The present experimental study shows that the transient characteristics of the cell voltage are determined by primarily the operating temperature caused by the manipulation of the current. Particularly, the slope of the I-V curve and the overshoot found on the voltage was remarkably influenced by the operating temperature. The different values of the fuel utilization factor influence the height of the settled voltages. The CBFC has significance in determining the slope of the I-V characteristic, but the different values ofthe fuel utilization factor does not affect the slope as the operating temperature does. The CBFC essentially does not alter the amplitude of the overshoot on the voltage response, since this is dominated by the operating temperature and its change is caused by manipulating the current.