Prof. Steivan Defilla
Research area: Sustainable urbanization
Title: Post-Pandemic New Normal – How to Engineer the Role of New Energies?
The COVID-19 pandemic will leave unprecedented scars in our societies (millions of job losses, billions of students off school campuses, trillions of income losses) calling for special efforts and economic stimulus packages at all levels for shaping a new normal. But pandemics are just one type of disaster, besides hydrometeorological and geological disasters. This pandemic illustrates the growing role of systemic risks. Systemic risks require systemic responses comprising not only specific “traditional” disaster resilience against each type of disaster, but systemic disaster resilience against systemic risks, which should become a corner stone of the new normal. The new normal should also be a pathway towards SDGs. For energy, this means doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement, doubling the share of renewables, increase the per capita installed renewable capacity, and diminish emissions intensity of local GDP. For the non-urbanized regions and the countryside, the proportion of the population with access to electricity and access to clean cooking fuels, respectively, should be added. Systemic disaster resilience and energy targets can best be monitored with target-based integrated urban planning. For this purpose, cities will also start collecting urban data on disaster resilience and on their cities’ contribution to national SDGs.
Prof. Di Yun
Xi'an Jiaotong University
Research area: Nuclear Fuels and Materials
Speech Title: A novel nuclear fuel concept for high burn-up applications in fast neutron reactors
Abstarct: A nuclear fuel that can achieve ultra-high burn-up would be beneficial to enhance the economics of nuclear reactor systems. In this paper, we developed a novel nuclear metallic fuel design that serves the goal of reaching ultra-high burn-up of 35-40at.%. A U-50Zr alloy fuel is utilized for its good swelling resistance in its δ-phase at the normal operation conditions. When fission gas and solid fission products accumulate and cause significant swelling, the fuel temperature is designed to be raised to cause a phase transition, which will eliminate the irradiation induced defects and drive the fission gas out for release. The remaining fuel slug is then effectively a highly porous medium which, when contacts the cladding material, will not lead to severe fuel cladding mechanical interaction (FCMI). After gas release, the temperature is designed to come down to a level that the fuel microstructure goes back to its originalδ-phase. As such, the transient-like operation serves multi-purpose of fission gas release, alleviating FCMI and eliminating crystal defects induced by the severe irradiation in a fast reactor. Such operations at certain time intervals will help the fuel to retrieve a state that is ideal for long term normal operation.
Dr. Congguang Zhang
Research area: New energy engineering, agricultural architectural design, bioenvironmental testing technology, etc.
Speech Title: Design, Construction and Sustainability Evaluation of A Distributed Hybrid Biomass-Solar Energy System
Abstarct: Based on the actual status of energy resources, this research designs a distributed hybrid biomass-solar domestic heating system, builds a mathematical model of the system's heat balance, and conducts a comprehensive technical performance evaluation of the system based on the principles of thermodynamics. The LCA method is used to quantify the environmental performance of the system. A life cycle model covering the entire process of system construction, system operation and maintenance, system disassembly and recycling is established on the LCA software platform. Based on many system boundary constraints and conditional assumptions, the model's multi-type environmental impact is quantitatively evaluated. Based on the unit process analysis of the system model, energy and mass balance calculations, and conditional assumptions, gradually determine the investment and operating costs within the system boundary, analyze the specific investment composition and interrelationships of the system and subsystems, and use the return on investment and internal rate of return , net present value and investment payback period and other indicators quantify the economic performance of the system, and use sensitivity analysis to discover key factors that have significant impacts on the system’s economy.