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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Sergey Alekseenko: “Vortex phenomenon is a key to future technologies in the energy field”

Sergey Alekseenko, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the 2018 Global Energy Prize laureate, is convinced that vortex processes play an important role in the development of promising energy technologies, making possible to increase the efficiency of fuel combustion and control the operation modes of hydropower plants. He expressed such opinion during delivering a report within the Energy of Knowledge Program of the Global Energy Association at the 17th Brazilian Congress on Thermal Science and Engineering ENCIT-2018 in Aguas di Lindoy (Sao Paulo state).

The scientific team of Sergey Alekseenko was the first to describe and prove a number of the fundamental vortex phenomenon, for example, a spiral form of vortex and a double spiral. According to the expert, vortex technologies can effectively burn fuel. In the combustion chambers vortex-type burners are often used, where the vortex disintegrates due to the twist and steady ignition of the fuel with good mixing and turbulization takes place. In the same way, it is possible to burn lean fuel mixtures with low emissions of nitrogen oxides.

Alekseenko also mentioned that he alongside with his staff, discovered the phenomenon of vortex reconnection . This process provides new opportunities for monitoring the operating modes of hydroelectric power stations and preventing accidents at hydroelectric power plants. Observations show that a precessing spiral vortex is formed in the suction pipe of the turbine, which causes powerful vibrations that can lead to accidents and equipment breakdown. “In the unstable mode, the turns of the spiral vortex are close enough to each other, and a fast reconnection of the sections of the vortex rope with a vortex ring separation occurs, but the vortex line remains continuous. The vortex ring hits the wall, causing deaf knocks, which have not previously been explained. This phenomenon is very important, because during the rotation of a spiral vortex powerful vibrations occur, which became one of the causes of the accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station”, – the scientist explained. He also noted that in order to prevent accidents at the stations it is necessary to operate at the nominal mode of the generator, however, other modes often have to be activated. To predict various processes and simulate real hydroelectric devices, Alekseenko's team conducts researches at a complex of hydraulic stands, equipped unique measuring systems of diagnostics.

Recall that Sergey Alekseenko, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of heat and mass transfer’s laboratory of Institute of Thermophysics of the RAS Siberian Branch, became the 2018 Global Energy Prize laureate for preparing the thermal principles for creating modern energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies that allow to design environmentally friendly thermal power plants.

The Energy of Knowledge Program is a series of interactive lectures given by the Global Energy Prize laureates and other prominent energy scholars. The aim of the program is to raise interest in energy issues among young people and to unleash the potential of young researchers within the sector.

The 17th Brazilian Congress on Thermal Science and Engineering ENCIT-2018 will last until November 28, 2018, in Aguas de Lindoy (Sao Paulo state). The scientific event is held every two years under the auspices of the Brazilian Society of Mechanics and Engineering in order to unite the professorial and student communities to share the latest achievements of the industry and strengthen the scientific community.

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