Multisystem Modeling and Optimization of Solar Sintering System

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Morris, C.
Debeau, D.
Dressler, A.
Seepersad, C.C.

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University of Texas at Austin


In developing countries, the production of building materials such as tile and brick, require large amounts of non-renewable energy and/or time to produce. Previous work has shown that solar sintering machines are capable of producing ceramic parts in a viable amount of time using only solar energy. The systems focus sunlight on a bed of sand where the intensity is sufficient for sintering. Then by moving the sand bed, parts of complex geometry are formed. This study aims to identify optimal operating parameters for the solar sintering system by solving a multi-objective, multisystem model. The subsystems considered are the dynamics of the sand bed, optics of focusing sunlight, and heating of the sand bed. To reduce the computational expense, a Kriging surrogate model was employed to model the heating of the sand bed. Finally by performing a tradeoff analysis of production time and part quality, candidate operating parameters were identified.


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