Multi-use High-Technology Testbed Conference Paper uri icon



  • The efficient use of energy is one method of potentially reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are used world-wide to generate electricity. Nuclear energy presents a promising sustainable energy source for the future that generates few to no greenhouse gases. While it creates energy that can be used for electricity it also has many byproducts that are treated as waste or not utilized to their full potential. Waste heat is a major product of nuclear energy that should be harnessed and applied to other processes. These include water desalination/water purification hydrogen production, use in industrial chemical operations, or electricity production. Nuclear energy is most often base load following power and very inflexible. One way to address this is to use Hybrid Energy Systems (HES). By doing this the system can be load following and hence more efficient and sustainable. Therefore, the goal of this project is to create a system that mimics the waste heat from a reactor, demonstrate how to utilize that heat, and show that when energy demand is low the reactor does not need to reduce power; the energy can be directed elsewhere to create goods. This paper presents the details of the Energy Conversion Loop (ECL) that was developed to act as a test bed for experimentation of the aforementioned processes and test the possibility of nuclear HES. Further, the paper presents a proposed intelligent control system that can adapt to the system requirements for the ECL. In addition, the system has great potential for education on critical infrastructure protection and testing of future control logic systems and mechanical systems.

publication date

  • July 2016