This paper reviews a recent development in the integrative optimization of complex energy systems: the geometric optimization of tree-shaped networks that facilitate volume-point and area-point flows with minimum resistance, time, or cost. This method was originally developed in the design of conduction paths for cooling heat generating volumes, with application to the cooling of compact (volume constrained) packages of electronics. It was found that geometric form (e.g., the shape of each volume element) can be deduced from the minimization of global volume-point resistance subject to global constraints. When assembled into larger constructs, the optimized building blocks reveal a tree structure that guides the global flow with minimum resistance. This ‘constructal’ method provides a direct and extremely efficient route to the design of complex paths for flows between volumes (or areas) and discrete points. The paper illustrates the application of the method to three classes of flows that are important to the concepts of sustainable development: (i) Tree networks for fluid flow, with application to the distribution of drinking water, the collection of sewage and rain water, and the collection of oil and natural gas from wells; (ii) Tree networks for electricity, with application to the design of electric and electronic packages, the distribution of electric power over a territory, and the collection of photovoltaic current over a collector surface; (iii) Tree networks for people and goods, with application to designing geographic routes for transportation with minimum time and minimum cost between points and finite-size areas. The method is not only a valuable tool in a wide diversity of applications, but also a symbol of the integrative approach to the design and optimization of a complex energy system with diverse internal flows. Everything is considered together (e.g., volume, area) subject to global constraints, in the pursuit of global performance objectives. The design—the actual geometry of the flow structure—emerges as a result of the global optimization principle.
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- Constructal Optimization of Tree-Shaped Paths for the Collection and Distribution of Fluid, Electricity, Goods and People
- Springer US
Systemische Notwendigkeit zur Weiterentwicklung von Hybridnetzen