SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Thomas Robbins
TIME: Thursday, June 26, 2014, 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4211
COMMITTEE: Dr. Srinivas Garimella, Chair (ME)
Dr. Samuel Graham (ME)
Dr. Sheldon Jeter (ME)
Dr. William Koros (ChBE)
Dr. Krista Walton (ChBE)


Heat driven adsorption cycles use heat sources ranging in temperature from 80 150 C to provide cooling, and have been used in both air conditioning and refrigeration applications. Adsorbent heat pumps operate with low cost, simple components, and very little vibration, making them appealing as an alternative heat pump technology. However, they have been limited thus far to commercial and industrial scale applications. To date, adsorption systems have predominantly used natural or industrial waste streams as heat sources in the 10s of kW range. This work expands the scope of adsorption applications to include heat driven cooling at small capacities (watts) and mobile cooling without electronic controls. Autonomous heat driven adsorption system controls are proposed and tested for these systems. Component and system level models are developed for design and assessment. Major trends in system performance with scale are identified and the causes for these scaling effects are presented. New adsorbent bed designs are proposed and modeled for small-scale adsorption systems. The small-scale adsorbent bed designs are fabricated and tested. Models are validated and refined based on the experimental results. Through a combination of modeling and experimental results, this work demonstrates the feasibility of adsorption system application at capacities that two orders of magnitude lower than any previously demonstrated work.