Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 45991

Energy and Power Engineering

A Method Intensive Top down Approach for Generating Guidelines for an Energy Efficient Neighbourhood: A Case of Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, India
Neighbourhood energy efficiency is a newly emerged term to address the quality of urban strata of built environment in terms of various covariates of sustainability. The concept of sustainability paradigm in developed nations has encouraged the policymakers for developing urban scale cities to envision plans under the aegis of urban scale sustainability. The concept of neighbourhood energy efficiency is realized a lot lately just when the cities, towns and other areas comprising this massive global urban strata have started facing a strong blow from climate change, energy crisis, cost hike and an alarming shortfall in the justice which the urban areas required. So this step of urban sustainability can be easily referred more as a ‘Retrofit Action’ which is to cover up the already affected urban structure. So even if we start energy efficiency for existing cities and urban areas the initial layer remains, for which a complete model of urban sustainability still lacks definition. Urban sustainability is a broadly spoken off word with end number of parameters and policies through which the loop can be met. Out of which neighbourhood energy efficiency can be an integral part where the concept and index of neighbourhood scale indicators, block level indicators and building physics parameters can be understood, analyzed and concluded to help emerge guidelines for urban scale sustainability. The future of neighbourhood energy efficiency not only lies in energy efficiency but also important parameters like quality of life, access to green, access to daylight, outdoor comfort, natural ventilation etc. So apart from designing less energy-hungry buildings, it is required to create a built environment which will create less stress on buildings to consume more energy. A lot of literary analysis has been done in the Western countries prominently in Spain, Paris and also Hong Kong, leaving a distinct gap in the Indian scenario in exploring the sustainability at the urban strata. The site for the study has been selected in the upcoming capital city of Amaravati which can be replicated with similar neighbourhood typologies in the area. The paper suggests a methodical intent to quantify energy and sustainability indices in detail taking by involving several macro, meso and micro level covariates and parameters. Several iterations have been made both at macro and micro level and have been subjected to simulation, computation and mathematical models and finally to comparative analysis. Parameters at all levels are analyzed to suggest the best case scenarios which in turn is extrapolated to the macro level finally coming out with a proposal model for energy efficient neighbourhood and worked out guidelines with significance and correlations derived.
Develop Layered Metal Hydroxides as Low Cost and Effective Thin Film Adsorbent
Adsorption technology in waste water treatment is cost effective and remains as the only known practical method for removing soluble and non-biodegradable pollutants. Powdered and granular activated carbon is the state-of-the-art adsorbent material widely used in water treatment industry, owing to its large surface area. However, it is discovered that metal hydroxides, especially layered double hydroxide, can potentially surpass their efficiencies. In fact, some of the iron based hydroxides have already been used commercially for arsenic removal. The possible use of metal hydroxide for treating waste water containing other pollutants is now a pertinent research agenda in the water treatment industries. Little is known on why the adsorption performance differs for different pollutants and for different hydroxide adsorbents, this is attributed to a lack of understanding in the basic adsorption mechanism. The superior adsorption capacity demonstrated by layered double hydroxides with their capability of providing interlayer adsorption demands more scientific explanation and evaluation. This work aims to establish the correlation between material properties and the adsorption of various pollutants. Through this fundamental study, we can understand the governing principles of metal hydroxide adsorption that can have implications in affecting its capacity, selectivity, stability, and regeneration. Another advantage of using metal hydroxide materials instead of carbon is their potential of functioning as thin film adsorbents. The development of thin film adsorbents brings additional cost reduction because they can be easily separated from the treated water as a bulk while powdered or particulate adsorbents require additional filtration process that increases the risk of secondary contamination. On the other hand, using the thin film approach will aid in the elucidation of the adsorption mechanism as current studies using powders or particles is complicated by its discontinued structure and the diffusion limited intraparticle mass transport. In this work, we first highlight the advantages of using layered metal hydroxides as a low-cost and efficient adsorbent material that utilizes its layered structures and charges for enhanced adsorption capabilities. This is particularly important for developing thin film adsorbent because its surface area thus adsorption capacity will be compromised compared to powdered adsorbent. Secondly, we highlight the development of porous thin film adsorbent for cost reduction in water treatment process without sacrificing too much on its adsorption capacity. Last but not least, we conduct adsorption study and employ advanced surface characterization techniques to study the adsorption mechanism which will be translated into the development of efficient regeneration process for further cost reduction.
Energy Efficiency Analysis of Discharge Modes of an Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage System
Efficient energy storage is a crucial factor in facilitating the uptake of renewable energy resources. Among the many options available for energy storage systems required to balance imbalanced supply and demand cycles, compressed air energy storage (CAES) is a proven technology in grid-scale applications. This paper reviews the current state of CAES technology available in New Zealand and Australia and describes a proposed micro-scale advanced adiabatic CAES (AA-CAES) system, where heat generated during compression is stored for use in the discharge phase. It will also describe a thermodynamic model, developed in EES (Engineering Equation Solver) to evaluate the performance and critical parameters of the discharge phase of the proposed system, comparing three configurations, including single turbine without preheater, two turbines with preheaters, and three turbines with preheaters. It is shown that the micro-scale AA-CAES is highly dependent upon key parameters including; regulator pressure, air pressure and volume, thermal energy storage temperature and flow rate and the number of turbines. It was found that a micro-scale AA-CAES with an optimized configuration can deliver input to output efficiency of up to 70%.
Influence of Percentage and Melting Temperature of Phase Change Material on the Thermal Behavior of a Hollow-Brick
The present paper deals with the thermal performance of a hollow-brick filled with Phase Change Material (PCM). The main objective is to study the effect of percentage and melting temperature of the PCM on the thermal inertia and internal surface temperature of the hollow-brick. A numerical model based on the heat transfer equation and the apparent heat capacity method has been validated using experimental study from the literature. The results show that increasing the percentage of the PCM has a significant effect on time lag and decrement factor that define the thermal inertia; the internal temperature is reduced by 1.36°C to 5.39°C for a percentage from 11% to 71% in comparison to a brick without PCM. In addition, an appropriate melting temperature of 37°C has been deduced for the horizontal wall orientation in Rabat in comparison to 27°C and 47°C.
Development of High-Efficiency Down-Conversion Fluoride Phosphors to Increase the Efficiency of Solar Panels
Increase in the share of electricity received by conversion of solar energy results in the reduction of the industrial impact on the environment from the use of the hydrocarbon energy sources. One way to increase said share is to improve the efficiency of solar energy conversion in silicon-based solar panels. Such efficiency increase can be achieved by transferring energy from sunlight-insensitive areas of work of silicon solar panels to the area of their photoresistivity. To achieve this goal, a transition to new luminescent materials with the high quantum yield of luminescence is necessary. Improvement in the quantum yield can be achieved by quantum cutting, which allows obtaining a quantum yield of down conversion of more than 150% due to the splitting of high-energy photons of the UV spectral range into lower-energy photons of the visible and near infrared spectral ranges. The goal of present work is to test approach of excitation through sensibilization of 4f-4f fluorescence of Yb3+ by various RE ions absorbing in UV and Vis spectral ranges. One of promising materials for quantum cutting luminophores are fluorides. In our investigation we have developed synthesis of nano- and submicron powders of calcium fluoride and strontium doped with rare-earth elements (Yb: Ce, Yb: Pr, Yb: Eu) of controlled dimensions and shape by co-precipitation from water solution technique. We have used Ca(NO3)2*4H2O, Sr(NO3)2, HF, NH4F as precursors. After initial solutions of nitrates were prepared they have been mixed with fluorine containing solution by dropwise manner. According to XRD data, the synthesis resulted in single phase samples with fluorite structure. By means of SEM measurements, we have confirmed spherical morphology and have determined sizes of particles (50-100 nm after synthesis and 150-300 nm after calcination). Temperature of calcination appeared to be 600°C. We have investigated the spectral-kinetic characteristics of above mentioned compounds. Here the diffuse reflection and laser induced fluorescence spectra of Yb3+ ions excited at around 4f-4f and 4f-5d transitions of Pr3+, Eu3+ and Ce3+ ions in the synthesized powders are reported. The investigation of down conversion luminescence capability of synthesized compounds included measurements of fluorescence decays and quantum yield of 2F5/2-2F7/2 fluorescence of Yb3+ ions as function of Yb3+ and sensitizer contents. An optimal chemical composition of CaF2-YbF3- LnF3 (Ln=Ce, Eu, Pr), SrF2-YbF3-LnF3 (Ln=Ce, Eu, Pr) micro- and nano- powders according to criteria of maximal IR fluorescence yield is proposed. We suppose that investigated materials are prospective in solar panels improvement applications. Work was supported by Russian Science Foundation grant #17-73- 20352.
‘Greening’ Commercial Air Transportation: Assessment of the Potential of Alternative Fuels
This paper deals with an assessment of the potential of ternative fuels such as synthetic & biomass-derived SPK (Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene) and LH2 (Liquid Hydrogen) fuels for ‘greening’ commercial air transportation through reducing its life-cycle fuel consumption and related direct emissions of GHG (Green House Gases) in the medium- and long-term period of time. For such a purpose, the convenient analytical models for estimating this fuel consumption and corresponding direct emissions of GHG have been developed and applied according to the ‘what-if’ scenario approach. The results have shown that: i) the alternative SPK (F-T&HRJ) fuels could bring only a marginal reduction of the cumulative life-cycle emissions of CO2; and ii) the alternative LH2 fuel would almost immediately contribute to rather substantive reduction of the cumulative life-cycle emissions of CO2. If such latest implementation started earlier, it would contribute to achieving the globally agreed targets on reducing emissions of GHG by commercial air transportation.
Study of Mechanical Properties of Large Scale Flexible Silicon Solar Modules on the Various Substrates
Crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells are the main product in the market among the various photovoltaic technologies concerning such advantages as: material richness, high carrier mobilities, broad spectral absorption range and established technology. However, photovoltaic technology on the stiff substrates are heavier, more fragile and less cost-effective than devices on the flexible substrates to be applied in special applications. The main goal of our work was to incorporate silicon solar cells into various fabric, without any change of the electrical and mechanical parameters of devices. This work is realized for the GEKON project (No. GEKON2/O4/268473/23/2016) sponsored by The National Centre for Research and Development and The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. In our work, the polyamide or polyester fabrics were used as a flexible substrate in the created devices. Applied fabrics differ in tensile and tear strength. All investigated polyamide fabrics are resistant to weathering and UV, while polyester ones is resistant to ozone, water and ageing. The examined fabrics are tight at 100 cm water per 2 hours. In our work, commercial silicon solar cells with the size 156 × 156 mm were cut into nine parts (called single solar cells) by diamond saw and laser. Gap and edge after cutting of solar cells were checked by transmission electron microscope (TEM) to study morphology and quality of the prepared single solar cells. Modules with the size of 160 × 70 cm (containing about 80 single solar cells) were created and investigated by electrical and mechanical methods. Weight of constructed module is about 1.9 kg. Three types of solar cell architectures such as: -fabric/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/film for lamination, -backsheet PET/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/film for lamination, -fabric/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/tempered glass, were investigated taking into consideration type of fabric and lamination process together with the size of solar cells. In investigated devices EVA, it is ethylene-vinyl acetate, while PET - polyethylene terephthalate. Depend on the lamination process and compatibility of textile with solar cell an efficiency of investigated flexible silicon solar cells was in the range of 9.44-16.64 %. Multi folding and unfolding of flexible module has no impact on its efficiency as was detected by Instron equipment. Power (P) of constructed solar module is 30 W, while voltage about 36 V. Finally, solar panel contains five modules with the polyamide fabric and tempered glass will be produced commercially for different applications (dual use).
Analyses of Defects in Flexible Silicon Photovoltaic Modules via Thermal Imaging and Electroluminescence
It is known that for industrial applications using solar panel constructed from silicon solar cells require high-efficiency performance. One of the main problems in solar panels is different mechanical and structural defects, causing the decrease of generated power. To analyse defects in solar cells, various techniques are used. However, the thermal imaging is fast and simple method for locating defects. The main goal of this work was to analyze defects in constructed flexible silicon photovoltaic modules via thermal imaging and electroluminescence method. This work is realized for the GEKON project (No. GEKON2/O4/268473/23/2016) sponsored by The National Centre for Research and Development and The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Thermal behavior was observed using thermographic camera (VIGOcam v50, VIGO System S.A, Poland) using a DC conventional source. Electroluminescence was observed by Steinbeis Center Photovoltaics (Stuttgart, Germany) equipped with a camera, in which there is a Si-CCD, 16 Mpix detector Kodak KAF-16803type. The camera has a typical spectral response in the range 350 - 1100 nm with a maximum QE of 60 % at 550 nm. In our work commercial silicon solar cells with the size 156 × 156 mm were cut for nine parts (called single solar cells) and used to create photovoltaic modules with the size of 160 × 70 cm (containing about 80 single solar cells). Flexible silicon photovoltaic modules on polyamides or polyester fabric were constructed and investigated taking into consideration anomalies on the surface of modules. Thermal imaging provided evidence of visible voltage-activated conduction. In electro-luminescence images, two regions are noticeable: darker, where solar cell is inactive and brighter corresponding with correctly working photovoltaic cells. The electroluminescence method is non-destructive and gives greater resolution of images thereby allowing a more precise evaluation of microcracks of solar cell after lamination process. Our study showed good correlations between defects observed by thermal imaging and electroluminescence. Finally, we can conclude that the thermographic examination of large scale photovoltaic modules allows us the fast, simple and inexpensive localization of defects at the single solar cells and modules. Moreover, thermographic camera was also useful to detection electrical interconnection between single solar cells.
Numerical Modeling of a Molten Salt Power Tower Configuration Adaptable for Harsh Winter Climate
This paper proposes a novel configuration which introduces a natural draft dry cooling tower system in a molten salt power tower. A three-dimensional numerical modeling was developed based on the novel configuration. A plan of building 20 new concentrating solar power plants has been announced by Chinese government in September 2016, and among these 20 new plants, most of them are located in regions with long winter and harsh winter climate. The innovative configuration proposed includes an external receiver concrete tower at the center, a natural draft dry cooling tower which is surrounding the external receiver concrete tower and whose shell is fixed on the external receiver concrete tower, and a power block (including a steam generation system, a steam turbine system and hot/cold molten salt tanks, and water treatment systems) is covered by the roof of the natural draft dry cooling tower. Heat exchanger bundles are vertically installed at the furthest edge of the power block. In such a way, all power block equipment operates under suitable environmental conditions through whole year operation. The monthly performance of the novel configuration is simulated as compared to a standard one. The results show that the novel configuration is much more efficient in each separate month in a typical meteorological year. Moreover, all systems inside the power block have less thermal losses at low ambient temperatures, especially in harsh winter climate. It is also worthwhile mentioning that a photovoltaic power plant can be installed on the roof of the cooling tower to reduce the parasites of the molten salt power tower.
Hydrodynamics and Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Solar Thermochemical Fluidized Bed Reactor
In concentrated solar thermal industry, fluidized-bed technology has been used to produce hydrogen by thermochemical two step water splitting cycles, and synthetic gas by gasification of coal coke. Recently, couple of fluidized bed reactors have been developed and tested at Niigata University, Japan, for two-step thermochemical water splitting cycles and coal coke gasification using Xe light, solar simulator. The hydrodynamic behavior of the gas-solid flow plays a vital role in the aforementioned fluidized bed reactors. Thus, in order to study the dynamics of dense gas-solid flow, a CFD-DEM model has been developed; in which the contact forces between the particles have been calculated by the spring-dashpot model, based on the soft-sphere method. Heat transfer and hydrodynamics of a solar thermochemical fluidized bed reactor filled with ceria particles have been studied numerically and experimentally for beam-down solar concentrating system. An experimental visualization of particles circulation pattern and mixing of two-tower fluidized bed system has been presented. Simulation results have been compared with experimental data to validate the CFD-DEM model. Results indicate that the model can predict the particle-fluid flow of the two-tower fluidized bed reactor. Using this model, the key operating parameters can be optimized.
Influence of Recombination of Free and Trapped Charge Carriers on the Efficiency of Conventional and Inverted Organic Solar Cells
Organic solar cells (OSCs) have been actively investigated in the last two decades due to their several merits such as simple fabrication process, low-cost manufacturing, and lightweight. In this paper, using the optical transfer matrix method (OTMM) and solving the drift-diffusion equations processes of recombination are studied in inverted and conventional bulk heterojunction (BHJ) OSCs. Two types of recombination processes are investigated: 1) recombination of free charge carriers using the Langevin theory and 2) of trapped charge carriers in the tail states with exponential energy distribution. These recombination processes are incorporated in simulating the current- voltage characteristics of both conventional and inverted BHJ OSCs. The results of this simulation produces a higher power conversion efficiency in the inverted structure in comparison with conventional structure, which agrees well with the experimental results.
Developing a Design Matrix for Commercial Enhanced Geothermal Multi-Wells Reservoirs
The long term performance of the heat extraction of enhanced geothermal system (EGS) reservoirs is significantly influenced by the number and configuration of wells and the design parameters of the reservoir. The target of commercial EGS reservoirs is at a minimum production mass flow rate of 80 kg/s, and this target is not viable with doublet EGS reservoirs. Therefore, there is a strong need to increase the number of production wells to meet the commercial target of the production mass flow rate. Nevertheless, the high capital of well drilling cost is a big challenge to design EGS multi-wells reservoirs. In this paper, a numerical model using finite element method is developed for an EGS multi-well reservoir at Soultz-sous-Forêts, France, to optimize the long-term performance of a commercial EGS reservoir of a target mass flow rate of 80 kg/s via optimizing the number and configurations of production wells and fluid injection pressure. A matrix is developed for the parametric study of different EGS reservoir designs, which compiles the number of wells with the variation of well configuration and injection pressure using COMSOL Multiphysics code for the finite element simulation. In addition to the high drilling cost of wells, the parametric study has shown that there is a complex interaction between the studied design parameters and this complicity can be considered as a strong key challenge for the geothermal designers and the decision makers. Furthermore, the results revealed that the threshold number of production wells for a commercial design of the proposed case study is at three production wells with 600 m distance between the injection and production wells and 8 MPa of fluid injection pressure. The presented methodology in this paper provides an enhancement to understand the long-term performance of a required commercial EGS reservoirs.
Using the Ecological Analysis Method to Justify the Environmental Feasibility of Biohydrogen Production from Cassava Wastewater Biogas
The use bioenergy, in recent years, has become a good alternative to reduce the emission of polluting gases. Several Brazilian and foreign companies are doing studies related to waste management as an essential tool in the search for energy efficiency, taking into consideration, also, the ecological aspect. Brazil is one of the largest cassava producers in the world; the cassava sub-products are the food base of millions of Brazilians. The repertoire of results about the ecological impact of the production, by steam reforming, of biohydrogen from cassava wastewater biogas is very limited because, in general, this commodity is more common in underdeveloped countries. This hydrogen, produced from cassava wastewater, appears as an alternative fuel to fossil fuels since this is a low-cost carbon source. This paper evaluates the environmental impact of biohydrogen production, by steam reforming, from cassava wastewater biogas. The ecological efficiency methodology developed by Cardu and Baica was used as a benchmark in this study. The methodology mainly assesses the emissions of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO₂, SOₓ, CH₄ and particulate matter). As a result, some environmental parameters, such as equivalent carbon dioxide emissions, pollutant indicator, and ecological efficiency are evaluated due to the fact that they are important to energy production. The average values of the environmental parameters among different biogas compositions (different concentrations of methane) were calculated, the average pollution indicator was 10.11 kgCO₂e/kgH₂ with an average ecological efficiency of 93.37%. As a conclusion, bioenergy production using biohydrogen from cassava wastewater treatment plant is a good option from the environmental feasibility point of view. This fact can be justified by the determination of environmental parameters and comparison of the environmental parameters of hydrogen production via steam reforming from different types of fuels.
Determining Disparities in the Distribution of the Energy Efficiency Resource through the History of Michigan Policy
Energy efficiency has been increasingly recognized as a high value resource through state policies that require utility companies to implement efficiency programs. While policymakers have recognized the statewide economic, environmental, and health related value to residents who rely on this grid supplied resource, varying interests in energy efficiency between socioeconomic groups stands undifferentiated in most state legislation. Instead, the benefits are oftentimes assumed to be distributed equitably across these groups. Despite this fact, these policies are frequently sited by advocacy groups, regulatory bodies and utility companies for their ability to address the negative financial, health and other social impacts of energy poverty in low income communities. Yet, while most states like Michigan require programs that target low income consumers, oftentimes no requirements exist for the equitable investment and energy savings for low income consumers, nor does it stipulate minimal spending levels on low income programs. To further understand the impact of the absence of these factors in legislation, this study examines the distribution of program funds and energy efficiency savings to answer a fundamental energy justice concern; Are there disparities in the investment and benefits of energy efficiency programs between socioeconomic groups? This study compiles data covering the history of Michigan’s Energy Efficiency policy implementation from 2010-2016, analyzing the energy efficiency portfolios of Michigan’s two main energy providers. To make accurate comparisons between these two energy providers' investments and energy savings in low and non-low income programs, the socioeconomic variation for each utility coverage area was captured and accounted for using GIS and US Census data. Interestingly, this study found that both providers invested more equitably in natural gas efficiency programs, however, together these providers invested roughly three times less per household in low income electricity efficiency programs, which resulted in ten times less electricity savings per household. This study also compares variation in commission approved utility plans and actual spending and savings results, with varying patterns pointing to differing portfolio management strategies between companies. This study reveals that for the history of the implementation of Michigan’s Energy Efficiency Policy, that the 35% of Michigan’s population who qualify as low income have received substantially disproportionate funding and energy savings because of the policy. This study provides an overview of results from a social perspective, raises concerns about the impact on energy poverty and equity between consumer groups and is an applicable tool for law makers, regulatory agencies, utility portfolio managers, and advocacy groups concerned with addressing issues related to energy poverty.
Heterologous Expression of a Clostridium thermocellum Proteins and Assembly of Cellulosomes 'in vitro' for Biotechnology Applications
The utilization of lignocellulosic biomass as source of polysaccharides for industrial applications requires an arsenal of enzymes with different mode of action able to hydrolyze its complex and recalcitrant structure. Clostridium thermocellum is gram-positive, thermophilic bacterium producing lignocellulosic hydrolyzing enzymes in the form of multi-enzyme complex, termed celulossomes. This complex has several hydrolytic enzymes attached to a large and enzymically inactive protein known as Cellulosome-integrating protein (CipA), which serves as a scaffolding protein for the complex produced. This attachment occurs through specific interactions between cohesin modules of CipA and dockerin modules in enzymes. The present work aims to construct celulosomes in vitro with the structural protein CipA, a xylanase called Xyn10D and a cellulose called CelJ from C.thermocellum. A mini-scafoldin was constructed from modules derived from CipA containing two cohesion modules. This was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The other two genes were cloned under the control of the alcohol oxidase 1 promoter (AOX1) in the vector pPIC9 and integrated into the genome of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris GS115. Purification of each protein is being carried out. Further studies regarding enzymatic activity of the cellulosome is going to be evaluated. The cellulosome built in vitro and composed of mini-CipA, CelJ and Xyn10D, can be very interesting for application in industrial processes involving the degradation of plant biomass.
Evaluation of Hollocelulase Production for Lignocellulosic Biomass Degradation by Penicillium polonicum
The use of hydrolyzing enzymes for degradation of lignocellulosic biomass is of great concern for the production of second generation ethanol. Although many hollocelulases have already been described in the literature, much more has to be discovered. Therefore, the aim of this study to evaluate hollocelulase production of P. polonicum grown in liquid media containing sugarcane bagasse as the carbon source. From a collection of twenty fungi isolated from Cerrado biome soil, P. polonicum was molecular identified by sequencing of ITS4, βtubulin and Calmodulin genes, and has been chosen to be further investigated regarding its potential production of hydrolyzing enzymes. Spore suspension (1x10-6 ml-1) solution was inoculated in sterilized minimal liquid medium containing 0,5%(w/v) of non-pretreated sugarcane bagasse as the carbon source, and incubated in shaker incubator at 28°C and 120 rpm. The supernatant obtained, was subjected to enzymatic assays to analyze xylanase, mannanase, pectinase and endoglucanase activities. Xylanase activity showed better results (67,36 UI/mg). Xylanases bands were indicated by zymogram and SDS-PAGE, and one of them was partially purified and characterized. It showed maximum activity at 50 °C, was thermostable for 72h at 40°C, and pH5.0 was the optimum observed. This study presents P. polonicum as an interesting source of hollocelulases, especially xylanase, for lignocellulose bio-conversion processes with commercial use.
Investigation of Solar Concentrator Prototypes under Tunisian Conditions
Concentrated solar power technology constitutes an interesting option to meet a part of future energy demand, especially when considering the high levels of solar radiation and clearness index that are available particularly in Tunisia. In this work, we present three experimental prototypes of solar concentrators installed in the research center of energy CRTEn in Tunisia. Two are medium temperature parabolic trough solar collector used to drive a cooling installation and for steam generation. The third is a parabolic dish concentrator used for hybrid generation of thermal and electric power. Optical and thermal evaluations were presented. Solutions and possibilities to construct locally the mirrors of the concentrator were discussed. In addition, the enhancement of the performances of the receivers by nano selective absorption coatings was studied. The improvement of heat transfer between the receiver and the heat transfer fluid was discussed for each application.
Performance Analysis of Organic Rankine Cycle Technology to Exploit Low-Grade Waste Heat to Power Generation in Indian Industry
The demand for energy is cumulatively increasing with time. Since the availability of conventional energy resources is dying out gradually, significant interest is being laid on searching for alternate energy resources and minimizing the wastage of energy in various fields. In such perspective, low-grade waste heat from several industrial sources can be reused to generate electricity. The present work is to further the adoption of the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology in Indian industrial sector. Till date, no significant application is noted in low-grade waste heat recovery in Indian industrial sector although the potential scope is already suggested. The present paper focuses on extending the previously reported idea to the next level through a comparative review with three different working fluids using practical data from an Indian industrial plant. For comprehensive study in the simulation platform of Aspen Hysys®, v8.6, the waste heat data has been collected from a current coke oven gas plant in India. A parametric analysis of non-regenerative ORC and regenerative ORC is executed using the working fluids R-123, R-11 and R-21 for subcritical ORC system. The primary goal is to determine the optimal working fluid considering various system parameters like turbine work output, obtained system efficiency, irreversibility rate and second law efficiency under applied multiple heat source temperature (160°C- 180°C). Selection of the turbo-expanders is one of the most crucial tasks for low-temperature applications in ORC system. The present work is an attempt to make suitable recommendation for the appropriate configuration of the turbine. In a nutshell, this study justifies the proficiency of integrating the ORC technology in Indian perspective and also finds the appropriate parameter of all components integrated into ORC system for building up an ORC prototype.
Experimental Proof of Concept for Piezoelectric Flow Harvesting for in-Pipe Metering Systems
Intelligent networking of devices has rapidly been gaining importance over the past years and with recent advances in the fields of microcontrollers, integrated circuits and wireless communication, low power applications have emerged, enabling this trend even more. Connected devices provide a much larger database thus enabling highly intelligent and accurate systems. Ensuring safe drinking water is one of the fields that require constant monitoring and can benefit from an increased accuracy. Monitoring is mainly achieved either through complex measures, such as collecting samples from the points of use, or through metering systems typically distant to the points of use which deliver less accurate assessments of the quality of water. Constant metering near the points of use is complicated due to their inaccessibility; e.g. buried water pipes, locked spaces, which makes system maintenance extremely difficult and often unviable. The research presented here attempts to overcome this challenge by providing these systems with enough energy through a flow harvester inside the pipe thus eliminating the maintenance requirements in terms of battery replacements or containment of leakage resulting from wiring such systems. The proposed flow harvester exploits the piezoelectric properties of polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) films to convert turbulence induced oscillations into electrical energy. It is intended to be used in standard water pipes with diameters between 0.5 and 1 inch. The working principle of the harvester uses a ring shaped bluff body inside the pipe to induce pressure fluctuations. Additionally the bluff body houses electronic components such as storage, circuitry and RF-unit. Placing the piezoelectric films downstream of that bluff body causes their oscillation which generates electrical charge. The PVDF-film is placed as a multilayered wrap fixed to the pipe wall leaving the top part to oscillate freely inside the flow. The warp, which allows for a larger active, consists of two layers of 30µm thick and 12mm wide PVDF layered alternately with two centered 6µm thick and 8mm wide aluminum foil electrodes. The length of the layers depends on the number of windings and is part of the investigation. Sealing the harvester against liquid penetration is achieved by wrapping it in a ring-shaped LDPE-film and welding the open ends. The fabrication of the PVDF-wraps is done by hand. After validating the working principle using a wind tunnel, experiments have been conducted in water, placing the harvester inside a 1 inch pipe at water velocities of 0.74m/s. To find a suitable placement of the wrap inside the pipe, two forms of fixation were compared regarding their power output. Further investigations regarding the number of windings required for efficient transduction were made. Best results were achieved using a wrap with 3 windings of the active layers which delivers a constant power output of 0.53µW at a 2.3MΩ load and an effective voltage of 1.1V. Considering the extremely low power requirements of sensor applications, these initial results are promising. For further investigations and optimization, machine designs are currently being developed to automate the fabrication and decrease tolerance of the prototypes.
Characterization of Anisotropic Deformation in Sandstones Using Micro-Computed Tomography Technique
Geomechanical characterization of rocks in detail and its possible implications on flow properties is an important aspect of reservoir characterization workflow. In order to gain more understanding of the microstructure evolution of reservoir rocks under stress a series of axisymmetric triaxial tests were performed on two different analogue rock samples. In-situ compression tests were coupled with high resolution micro-Computed Tomography to elucidate the changes in the pore/grain network of the rocks under pressurized conditions. Two outcrop sandstones were chosen in the current study representing a various cementation status of well-consolidated and weakly-consolidated granular system respectively. High resolution images were acquired while the rocks deformed in a purpose-built compression cell. A detailed analysis of the 3D images in each series of step-wise compression tests (up to the failure point) was conducted which includes the registration of the deformed specimen images with the reference pristine dry rock image. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique based on the intensity of the registered 3D subsets and particle tracking are utilized to map the displacement fields in each sample. The results suggest the complex architecture of the localized shear zone in well-cemented Bentheimer sandstone whereas for the weakly-consolidated Castlegate sandstone no discernible shear band could be observed even after macroscopic failure. Post-mortem imaging a sister plug from the friable rock upon undergoing continuous compression reveals signs of a shear band pattern. This suggests that for friable sandstones at small scales loading mode may affect the pattern of deformation. Prior to mechanical failure, the continuum digital image correlation approach can reasonably capture the kinematics of deformation. As failure occurs, however, discrete image correlation (i.e. particle tracking) reveals superiority in both tracking the grains as well as quantifying their kinematics (in terms of translations/rotations) with respect to any stage of compaction. An attempt was made to quantify the displacement field in compression using continuum Digital Image Correlation which is based on the reference and secondary image intensity correlation. Such approach has only been previously applied to unconsolidated granular systems under pressure. We are applying this technique to sandstones with various degrees of consolidation. Such element of novelty will set the results of this study apart from previous attempts to characterize the deformation pattern in consolidated sands.
A Selective and Fast Hydrogen Sensor Using Doped-LaCrO₃ as Sensing Electrode
As a clean energy, hydrogen shows many advantages such as renewability, high heat value, and extensive sources and may play an important role in the future society. However, hydrogen is a combustible gas because of its low ignition energy (0.02mJ) and wide explosive limit (4% ~ 74% in air). It is very likely to cause fire hazard or explosion once leakage is happened and not detected in time. Mixed-potential type sensor has attracted much attention in monitoring and detecting hydrogen due to its high response, simple support electronics and long-term stability. Typically, this kind of sensor is consisted of a sensing electrode (SE), a reference electrode (RE) and a solid electrolyte. The SE and RE materials usually display different electrocatalytic abilities to hydrogen. So hydrogen could be detected by measuring the EMF change between the two electrodes. Previous reports indicate that a high-performance sensing electrode is important for improving the sensing characteristics of the sensor. In this report, a planar type mixed-potential hydrogen sensor using La₀.₈Sr₀.₂Cr₀.₅Mn₀.₅O₃₋δ (LSCM) as SE, Pt as RE and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) as solid electrolyte was developed. The reason for selecting LSCM as sensing electrode is that it shows the high electrocatalytic ability to hydrogen in solid oxide fuel cells. The sensing performance of the fabricated LSCM/YSZ/Pt sensor was tested systemically. The experimental results show that the sensor displays high response to hydrogen. The response values for 100ppm and 1000ppm hydrogen at 450 ºC are -70 mV and -118 mV, respectively. The response time is an important parameter to evaluate a sensor. In this report, the sensor response time decreases with increasing hydrogen concentration and get saturated above 500ppm. The steady response time at 450 ºC is as short as 4s, indicating the sensor shows great potential in practical application to monitor hydrogen. An excellent response repeatability to 100ppm hydrogen at 450 ˚C and a good sensor reproducibility among three sensors were also observed. Meanwhile, the sensor exhibits excellent selectivity to hydrogen compared with several interfering gases such as NO₂, CH₄, CO, C₃H₈ and NH₃. Polarization curves were tested to investigate the sensing mechanism and the results indicated the sensor abide by the mixed-potential mechanism.
A Life Cycle Assessment of Multi-Crystalline Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technology
This study performs the life cycle assessment (LCA) of multi crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panel, considering environmental impacts, primary еnеrgy demand of the entire life cycle of PV systems. The process ranging from silica extraction, crystalline silicon ingot growth, wavering to module fabrication. Solar PV production and module packaging are major manufacturing processes within the context of environmental impacts. The life cycle assessment methodology is applied to drive a complete and extended еnеrgy and environmental profile of PV systems. The ISO 14040 and 14044 standards provide a framework for the LCA. The environmental burdens were obtained according to the indicators proposed by IMPACT 2002+ method. The results show that the main critical part of life cycle of PV system was the module assembly and silicon purification characterized by high electricity consumption, demonstrating the most of the environmental impacts.
Thermodynamic Analysis of Ammonia-Water Based Regenerative Rankine Cycle with Partial Evaporation
A thermodynamic analysis of a partial evaporating Rankine cycle with regeneration using zeotropic ammonia-water mixture as a working fluid is presented in this paper. The thermodynamic laws were applied to evaluate the system performance. Based on the thermodynamic model, the effects of the vapor quality and the ammonia mass fraction on the system performance were extensively investigated. The results showed that thermal efficiency has a peak value with respect to the vapor quality as well as the ammonia mass fraction. The partial evaporating ammonia based Rankine cycle has a potential to improve recovery of low-grade finite heat source.
Performance Analysis of a Planar Membrane Humidifier for Pem Fuel Cell
In this work, the experimental measurement was applied to examine the membrane type and flow field design on the performance of a planar membrane humidifier. The performance indexes were used to evaluate the planar membrane humidifier. The performance indexes of the membrane humidifier include the dew point approach temperature (DPAT), water recovery ratio (WRR), water flux (J) and pressure loss (P). The experiments contain mainly three parts. In the first part, a single membrane humidifier was tested using different flow field under different dry-inlet temperatures. The measured results show that the dew point approach temperature decreases with increasing the depth of flow channel at the same width of flow channel. However, the WRR and J reduce with an increase in the dry air-inlet temperature. The pressure loss tests indicate that pressure loss decreases with increasing the hydraulic diameter of flow channel, resulting from an increase in Darcy friction. Owing to the comparison of humidifier performances and pressure losses, the flow channel of width W=1 and height H=1.5 was selected as the channel design of the multi-membrane humidifier in the second part of experiment. In the second part, the multi-membrane humidifier was used to evaluate the humidification performance under different relative humidity and flow rates. The measurement results indicate that the humidifier at both lower temperature and relative humidity of inlet dry air have higher DPAT but lower J and WRR. In addition, the counter flow approach has better mass and heat transfer performance than the parallel flow approach. Moreover, the effects of dry air temperature, relative humidity and humidification approach are not significant to the pressure loss in the planar membrane humidifier. For the third part, different membranes were tested in this work in order to find out which kind membrane is appropriate for humidifier.
Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis of Hydrocarbon-In-Place in Sandstone Reservoir Modeling: A Case Study
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has been producing from its major reservoirs that are well defined and highly productive and of superior reservoir quality. These reservoirs are maturing and priority is shifting towards difficult reservoir to meet future production requirements. This paper discusses the results of the detailed integrated study for one of the satellite complex field discovered in the early 1960s. Following acquisition of new 3D seismic data in 1998 and re-processing work in the year 2006, an integrated G&G study was undertaken to review Lower Cretaceous prospectivity of this reservoir. Nine wells have been drilled in the area, till date with only three wells showing hydrocarbons in two formations. The average oil density is around 300API (American Petroleum Institute), and average porosity and water saturation of the reservoir is about 23% and 26%, respectively. The area is dissected by a number of NW-SE trending faults. Structurally, the area consists of horsts and grabens bounded by these faults and hence compartmentalized. The Wara/Burgan formation consists of discrete, dirty sands with clean channel sand complexes. There is a dramatic change in Upper Wara distributary channel facies, and reservoir quality of Wara and Burgan section varies with change of facies over the area. So predicting reservoir facies and its quality out of sparse well data is a major challenge for delineating the prospective area. To characterize the reservoir of Wara/Burgan formation, an integrated workflow involving seismic, well, petro-physical, reservoir and production engineering data has been used. Porosity and water saturation models are prepared and analyzed to predict reservoir quality of Wara and Burgan 3rd sand upper reservoirs. Subsequently, boundary conditions are defined for reservoir and non-reservoir facies by integrating facies, porosity and water saturation. Based on the detailed analyses of volumetric parameters, potential volumes of stock-tank oil initially in place (STOIIP) and gas initially in place (GIIP) were documented after running several probablistic sensitivity analysis using Montecalro simulation method. Sensitivity analysis on probabilistic models of reservoir horizons, petro-physical properties, and oil-water contacts and their effect on reserve clearly shows some alteration in the reservoir geometry. All these parameters have significant effect on the oil in place. This study has helped to identify uncertainty and risks of this prospect particularly and company is planning to develop this area with drilling of new wells.
Life Cycle Assessment of Todays and Future Electricity Grid Mixes of EU27
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 a global agreement on the reduction of climate change was achieved stating CO₂ reduction targets for all countries. For instance, the EU targets a reduction of 40 percent in emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the environmental performance of the different European electricity grid mixes is crucial. First, the electricity directly needed for everyone’s daily life (e.g. heating, plug load, mobility) and therefore a reduction of the environmental impacts of the electricity grid mix reduces the overall environmental impacts of a country. Secondly, the manufacturing of every product depends on electricity. Thereby a reduction of the environmental impacts of the electricity mix results in a further decrease of environmental impacts of every product. As a result, the implementation of the two-degree goal highly depends on the decarbonization of the European electricity mixes. Currently the production of electricity in the EU27 is based on fossil fuels and therefore bears a high GWP impact per kWh. Due to the importance of the environmental impacts of the electricity mix, not only today but also in future, within the European research projects, CommONEnergy and Senskin, time-dynamic Life Cycle Assessment models for all EU27 countries were set up. As a methodology, a combination of scenario modeling and life cycle assessment according to ISO14040 and ISO14044 was conducted. Based on EU27 trends regarding energy, transport, and buildings, the different national electricity mixes were investigated taking into account future changes such as amount of electricity generated in the country, change in electricity carriers, COP of the power plants and distribution losses, imports and exports. As results, time-dynamic environmental profiles for the electricity mixes of each country and for Europe overall were set up. Thereby for each European country, the decarbonization strategies of the electricity mix are critically investigated in order to identify decisions, that can lead to negative environmental effects, for instance on the reduction of the global warming of the electricity mix. For example, the withdrawal of the nuclear energy program in Germany and at the same time compensation of the missing energy by non-renewable energy carriers like lignite and natural gas is resulting in an increase in global warming potential of electricity grid mix. Just after two years this increase countervailed by the higher share of renewable energy carriers such as wind power and photovoltaic. Finally, as an outlook a first qualitative picture is provided, illustrating from environmental perspective, which country has the highest potential for low-carbon electricity production and therefore how investments in a connected European electricity grid could decrease the environmental impacts of the electricity mix in Europe.
An Efficient Design of Static Synchronous Series Compensator Based Fractional Order PID Controller Using Invasive Weed Optimization Algorithm
This paper treated the problem of power system stability with the aid of Static Synchronous Series Compensator (SSSC) installed in the transmission line of single machine infinite bus (SMIB) power system. A fractional order PID (FOPID) controller has been applied as a robust controller for optimal SSSC design to control the power system characteristics. Additionally, the SSSC based FOPID parameters are smoothly tuned using Invasive Weed Optimization algorithm (IWO). To verify the strength of the proposed controller, SSSC based FOPID controller is validated in a wide range of operating condition and compared with the conventional scheme SSSC-POD controller. The main purpose of the proposed process is greatly enhanced the dynamic states of the tested system. Simulation results clearly prove the superiority and performance of the proposed controller design.
Renovate to nZEB of an Existing Building in the Mediterranean Area: Analysis of the Use of Renewable Energy Sources for the HVAC System
The energy renovation of existing buildings represents an important opportunity to increase the decarbonization and the sustainability of urban environments. In this context, the work carried out has the objective of demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of an energy renovate of a public building destined for offices located on the island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean Sea. By applying the Italian transpositions of European Directives 2010/31/EU and 2009/28/EC, the building has been renovated from the current energy requirements of 111.7 kWh/m² to 16.4 kWh/m². The result achieved classifies the building as nZEB (nearly Zero Energy Building) according to the Italian national definition. The analysis was carried out using in parallel a quasi-stationary software, normally used in the professional field, and a dynamic simulation model often used in the academic world. The proposed interventions cover the components of the building’s envelope, the heating-cooling system and the supply of energy from renewable sources. In these latter points, the analysis has focused more on assessing two aspects that affect the supply of renewable energy. The first concerns the use of advanced logic control systems for air conditioning units in order to increase photovoltaic self-consumption. With these adjustments, a considerable increase in photovoltaic self-consumption and a decrease in the electricity exported to the Island's electricity grid have been obtained. The second point concerned the evaluation of the building's energy classification considering the real efficiency of the heating-cooling plant. Normally the energy plants have lower operational efficiency than the designed one due to multiple reasons; the decrease in the energy classification of the building for this factor has been quantified. This study represents an important example for the evaluation of the best interventions for the energy renovation of buildings in the Mediterranean Climate and a good description of the correct methodology to evaluate the resulting improvements.
Efficient Liquid Desiccant Regeneration for Fresh Air Dehumidification Application
Fresh Air Dehumidifier having a capacity of 1 TR has been developed by Heat Pump Laboratory at IITB. This fresh air dehumidifier is based on potassium formate liquid desiccant. The regeneration of the liquid desiccant can be done in two stages. The first stage of liquid desiccant regeneration involves the boiling of liquid desiccant inside the evacuated glass type solar thermal collectors. Further regeneration of liquid desiccant can be achieved using Low Temperature Regenerator, LTR. The coefficient of performance of the fresh air dehumidifier greatly depends on the performance of the major components such as high temperature regenerator, low temperature regenerator, fresh air dehumidifier, and solution heat exchangers. High effectiveness solution heat exchanger has been developed and tested. The solution heat exchanger is based on a patented aluminium extrusion with special passage geometry to enhance the heat transfer rate. Effectiveness up to 90% was achieved. Before final testing of the dehumidifier, major components have been tested individually. Testing of the solar thermal collector as hot water and steam generator reveals that efficiency up to 55% can be achieved. In this paper, the development of 1 TR fresh air dehumidifier with special focus on solution heat exchangers and solar thermal collector performance is presented.
Modified 'Perturb and Observe' with 'Incremental Conductance' Algorithm for Maximum Power Point Tracking
The trend of renewable energy resources has been amplified due to global warming and other environmental related complications in the 21st century. Recent research has very much emphasized on the generation of electrical power through renewable resources like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, etc. The use of the photovoltaic cell has become very public as it is very useful for the domestic and commercial purpose overall the world. Although a single cell gives the low voltage output but connecting a number of cells in a series formed a complete module of the photovoltaic cells, it is becoming a financial investment as the use of it fetching popular. This also reduced the prices of the photovoltaic cell which gives the customers a confident of using this source for their electrical use. Photovoltaic cell gives the MPPT at single specific point of operation at a given temperature and level of solar intensity received at a given surface whereas the focal point changes over a large range depending upon the manufacturing factor, temperature conditions, intensity for insolation, instantaneous conditions for shading and aging factor for the photovoltaic cells. Two improved algorithms have been proposed in this article for the MPPT. The widely used algorithms are the ‘Incremental Conductance’ and ‘Perturb and Observe’ algorithms. To extract the maximum power from the source to the load, the duty cycle of the convertor will be effectively controlled. After assessing the previous techniques, this paper presents the improved and reformed idea of harvesting maximum power point from the photovoltaic cells. A thoroughly go through of the previous ideas has been observed before constructing the improvement in the traditional technique of MPP. Each technique has its own importance and boundaries at various weather conditions. An improved technique of implementing the use of both ‘Perturb and Observe’ and ‘Incremental Conductance’ is introduced.