Honors Students' Abstracts
Energy Storage in Multi-functional Nanoparticle Dispersions
The research project’s aim was to test different nanoparticle dispersions to measure the transient heat transfer effects. Applications for this technology are currently being created for improved electricity generation and heat storage from solar heat. By effectively increasing the amount of heat captured and the amount of time it can be stored, nanoparticle dispersions hold bright potential in improving the amount of energy we can capture and utilize from the sun. The research involved testing different nanoparticle dispersions to see which ones were most effective in carrying out these goals. The variables changed in the experiment were the size and volumetric concentrations of silver nanoparticles used. The dispersions were heated with an electrical power supply in a vial placed within an insulating Styrofoam apparatus. Temperatures were measured with thermocouples at various locations. After reaching a fixed temperature, the heater was turned off and the dispersions’ heat storage capacity over time was measured. Results reveal that particle size and volumetric concentration does influence the transient performance. Greater concentrations of smaller nanoparticles absorb and retain heat more effectively than larger nanoparticles at low concentrations. In conclusion, a great deal was learned on the thermodynamic and heat transfer characteristics of silver nanoparticles. The importance of surfactants and well dispersed nanoparticles for experimentation was also noted.