UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Diesel exhaust heat recovery : a study on combined heat and power generation strategy for energy-efficient remote mining in Canada Baidya, Durjoy


Remote, off-grid mining operations in cold climate regions, like northern Canada, exclusively depend on diesel generators for power generation. Even with the best available technology, a typical diesel generator converts only one-third of its diesel fuel thermal capacity into electricity. The rest of this valuable heat is commonly discarded as waste heat. This research exhibits that the amount of energy discarded as heat through the exhaust of a diesel generator is almost the same as the amount of electrical energy generated by the generator. All the while, remote mines in cold regions, like those of Canada’s North, have a high demand for heating throughout most of the year which is generally met by burning fossil fuels. Aiming to provide this necessary heating in a greener way, the quantity and the quality of the thermal energy discarded from different types and sizes of generators have been analyzed thoroughly in the present thesis. A shell and tube heat exchanger-based heat recovery system for the exhaust of a small-scale diesel generator has been designed numerically with ANSYS Fluent and validated with appropriate experimental results. Various parametric studies have been conducted to evaluate the benefits of deploying the proposed system in both underground (pre-heating the mine intake air) and surface (space and process heating) applications. The results project significant savings for all evaluated remote locations and suggest that considerable reductions of carbon footprint can be achieved by using the proposed system. The equivalent carbon emission assessments show that employment of the proposed combined heat and power generation system can help remote mining operations with transitioning towards less carbon intensity.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International