Energies

Published by MDPI
Online ISSN: 1996-1073
Publications
Comparison gas composition for (a) palm kernel shell, (b) coconut shell and (c) bagasse at different temperature Figure 2 illustrates that hydrogen mol fraction significantly increased while the content of other produced gas particularly methane (CH 4 ) showed an opposite trend for all studied samples. This is in accordance with Le Chatelier’s principle; higher temperatures favour the 
Effect of feeding rate on gas composition at optimized condition of palm kernel shell gasification 
Effect of particle size on gas composition at optimized condition of palm kernel shell gasification 
Chapter
Recently, hydrogen production from biomass has become an attractive technology for power generation. The main objective pursued in this work is to investigate the hydrogen production potential from agricultural wastes (coconut coir and palm kernel shell) by applying the air gasification technique. An experimental study was conducted using a bench-scale fluidized bed gasifier with 60 mm diameter and 425 mm height. During the experiments, the fuel properties and the effects of operating parameters such as gasification temperatures (700 to 900 degrees C), fluidization ratio (2 to 3.33 m/s), static bed height (10 to 30 mm) and equivalence ratio (0.16 to 0.46) were studied. It was concluded that substantial amounts of hydrogen gas (up to 67 mol%) could be produced utilizing agricultural residues such as coconut and palm kernel shell by applying this fluidization technique. For both samples, the rise of temperature till 900 degrees C favored further hydrocarbon reactions and allowed an increase of almost 67 mol% in the release of hydrogen. However, other parameters such as fluidizing velocity and feed load showed only minor effects on hydrogen yield. In conclusion, agricultural waste can be assumed as an alternative renewable energy source to the fossil fuels, and the environmental pollution originating from the disposal of agricultural residues can be partially reduced.
 
Boiling point elevation of the ZnCl 2 solutions at 1 atm pressure. Data provided by Italshell [1]. The concentration is expressed as the ratio between the mass of the solute and the total mass of the solution. The lines are the linear approximation for dilute solutions, for two different values of the van 't Hoff factor. The actual boiling point elevation has an evident deviation from the ideal solution, also at low concentrations. A quite high boiling temperature is observed in concentrated solutions. 
Example of charge-discharge cycle. The cycle is clockwise. 
Average dissipated power density at Zn electrode. 
Example of AccMix cycle. The cycle is counterclockwise. The voltage rise is approximately 160 mV. The overvoltage, that reduces the cycle's surface, results from the flowing current of 4 mA. 
Average gained power in AccMix cycles. The concentrations of the ZnCl 2 solutions are c A = 4.5% and c C = 68%. The lines represent an evaluation of the power production obtained by subtracting the power dissipation, measured during charge/discharge cycles, from an "ideal" power production, obtained by assuming a voltage rise of 160 mV and no overvoltage. 
Article
The conversion of heat into current can be obtained by a process with two stages. In the first one, the heat is used for distilling a solution and obtaining two flows with different concentrations. In the second stage, the two flows are sent to an electrochemical cell that produces current by consuming the concentration difference. In this paper, we propose such an electrochemical cell, working with water solutions of zinc chloride. The cell contains two electrodes, made respectively of zinc and silver covered by silver chloride. The operation of the cell is analogous to that of the capacitive mixing and of the "mixing entropy battery": the electrodes are charged while dipped in the concentrated solution and discharged when dipped in the diluted solution. The cyclic operation allows us to extract a surplus of energy, at the expense of the free energy of the concentration difference. We evaluate the feasibility of such a cell for practical applications, and find that a power up to 2 W per square meter of surface of the electrodes can be achieved.
 
Article
We apply the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) to large eddy simulation data of a wind turbine wake in a turbulent atmospheric boundary layer. The turbine is modeled as an actuator disk. Our analyis mainly focuses on the question whether POD could be a useful tool to develop a simplified dynamic wake model. The extracted POD modes are used to obtain approximate descriptions of the velocity field. To assess the quality of these POD reconstructions, we define simple measures which are believed to be relevant for a sequential turbine in the wake such as the energy flux through a disk in the wake. It is shown that only a few modes are necessary to capture basic dynamical aspects of these measures even though only a small part of the turbulent kinetic energy is restored. Furthermore, we show that the importance of the individual modes depends on the measure chosen. Therefore, the optimal choice of modes for a possible model could in principle depend on the application of interest. We additionally present a possible interpretation of the POD modes relating them to specific properties of the wake. For example the first mode is related to the horizontal large scale movement. Besides yielding a deeper understanding, this also enables us to view our results in comparison to existing dynamic wake models.
 
Article
We propose a procedure to estimate the fatigue loads on wind turbines, based in a recent framework used for reconstructing data series of stochastic properties measured at wind turbines. Through a standard fatigue analysis, we show that it is possible to accurately estimate fatigue loads in any wind turbine within one wind park, using only the load measurements at one single turbine and the set of wind speed measurements. Our framework consists of deriving a stochastic differential equation that describes the evolution of the torque at one wind turbine driven by the wind speed. The stochastic equation is derived directly from the measurements and is afterwards used for predicting the fatigue loads at neighboring turbines. Such a framework could be used to mitigate the financial efforts usually necessary for placing measurement devices in all wind turbines within one wind farm. Finally, we also discuss the limitations and possible improvements of the proposed procedure.
 
Small medium large system (SMLsystem) sensors and actuators map.  
Energy consumption per subsystem. HVAC: heating, ventilation and air conditioning; HE: home electronics. 
Artificial neural network (ANN) topology for time series forecasting.  
Mean absolute error (MAE) box-and-whisker plots for ANNs with one hidden layer and the hyper-parameters of the grid search performed to optimize the ANN model, d + h. The x-axis of the learning rate, momentum and weight decay are log-scaled.  
MAE box-and-whisker plots for ANNs with two hidden layers and the hyper-parameters of the grid search performed to optimize the ANN model, d + h. The x-axis of the learning rate, momentum and weight decay are log-scaled.  
Article
The small medium large system (SMLSystem) is a house built at the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera (CEU-UCH) for participation in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition. Several technologies have been integrated to reduce power consumption. One of these is a forecasting system based on artificial neural networks (ANNs), which is able to predict indoor temperature in the near future using captured data by a complex monitoring system as the input. A study of the impact on forecasting performance of different covariate combinations is presented in this paper. Additionally, a comparison of ANNs with the standard statistical forecasting methods is shown. The research in this paper has been focused on forecasting the indoor temperature of a house, as it is directly related to HVAC---heating, ventilation and air conditioning---system consumption. HVAC systems at the SMLSystem house represent 53.9% of the overall power consumption. The energy used to maintain temperature was measured to be 30--38.9% of the energy needed to lower it. Hence, these forecasting measures allow the house to adapt itself to future temperature conditions by using home automation in an energy-efficient manner. Experimental results show a high forecasting accuracy and therefore, they might be used to efficiently control an HVAC system.
 
Article
Fifty years ago, the secrecy surrounding magnetically controlled thermonuclear fusion had been lifted allowing researchers to freely share technical results and discuss the challenges of harnessing fusion power. There were only four magnetic confinement fusion concepts pursued internationally: tokamak, stellarator, pinch, and mirror. Since the early 1970s, numerous fusion designs have been developed for the four original and three new approaches: spherical torus, field-reversed configuration, and spheromak. At present, the tokamak is regarded worldwide as the most viable candidate to demonstrate fusion energy generation. Numerous power plant studies (>50), extensive R&D programs, more than 100 operating experiments, and an impressive international collaboration led to the current wealth of fusion information and understanding. As a result, fusion promises to be a major part of the energy mix in the 21st century. The fusion roadmaps developed to date take different approaches, depending on the anticipated power plant concept and the degree of extrapolation beyond ITER. Several Demos with differing approaches will be built in the US, EU, Japan, China, Russia, Korea, India, and other countries to cover the wide range of near-term and advanced fusion systems.
 
Article
I have stated in my recent review article [1] that no direct observation of multiple exciton generation (MEG) in the shape of photocurrent extracted from a semiconductor had been made yet. However, there have been indeed a couple of reports on the photocurrent measurements for colloidal II-VI semiconductor compound quantum dot (QD) and polymer-QD composite solar cells and photodetectors to indicate MEG in the QDs, including demonstrations of over-100% external quantum efficiencies [2-4]. Particularly, Sukhovatkin et al. have presented a universal spectral quantum efficiency enhancement curve dependent only on bandgap-normalized photon energy consistent among photodetectors with varied PbS QD bandgap energies as a signature of MEG, eliminating potential artifactual explanations for the observed photocurrent enhancement represented by external trap states induced absorption or transitions [5]. © 2009 by the authors; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland.
 
Article
If you meet someone at a party who says that he is Napoleon, you don’t start discussing cavalry tactics at Waterloo ─ Professor Robert SolowWell that depends, Robert. If he is the gentleman who gave the party, and you would like to receive another invitation from him some day, you might feel it wise to suggest that if his boys had been riding elephants or dinosaurs instead of horses, he might have enjoyed another few years in swinging Paris instead of being turned over to that nasty Sir Hudson Lowe on St. Helena. [...]
 
Article
For years the interest of the University of Roma 1 (UDR1) research group has been focused on the development of a Hybrid Series vehicle (called Lethe©), different from standard ones, thanks to the use of a Gas Turbine (GT) set as a thermal engine. The reason for this choice resides in the opportunity to reduce weight and dimensions, in comparison to a traditional Internal Combustion Engine. It’s currently not possible to use the GT engine set directly for the vehicle traction, so the UDR1 HS configuration only shows the GT set connected with the electric generator. The result is that the traction is purely electric. The resulting engine configuration is commonly described as a Hybrid Series Plug In. Several previous studies have been carried out, and this research has allowed us to define the correct ratio (Degree of Hybridization) between the installed power of the battery pack and that of the GT electric generator which simultaneously guarantee the main life for the battery package and the capacity of the vehicle to complete a common mission without lack of energy or stopping. This article reports the final step of the research: once all data has been calculated, how to “hybridize” a commercial city car, passenger sedan or any other vehicle.
 
A simplified single line diagram of a sample HVDC interconnection of wind generation sources and ac grids. 
Analytical relationships of power semiconductor per-unitized currents and voltages.
Summary of semiconductor selection and utilization data for converter realization.
Article
The application of high voltage dc (HVDC) transmission for integrating large scale and/or off-shore wind generation systems with the electric grid is attractive in comparison to extra high voltage (EHV) ac transmission due to a variety of reasons. While the technology of classical current sourced converters (CSC) using thyristors is well established for realization of large HVDC systems, the technology of voltage sourced converters (VSC) is emerging to be an alternative approach, particularly suitable for multi-terminal interconnections. More recently, a more modular scheme that may be termed ‘bridge of bridge’ converters (BoBC) has been introduced to realize HVDC systems. While all these three approaches are functionally capable of realizing HVDC systems, the converter power circuit design trade-offs between these alternatives are not readily apparent. This paper presents an examination of these topologies from the point of view of power semiconductor requirements, reactive component requirements, operating losses, fault tolerance, multi-terminal operation, modularity, complexity, etc. Detailed analytical models will be used along with a benchmark application to develop a comparative evaluation of the alternatives that maybe used by wind energy/bulk transmission developers for performing engineering trade-off studies.
 
The number of issued and cancelled EECS certificates per year from 2001 to 2008 (1 certificate equals 1 MWh) [12]. 
Comparison of a common Nordic residual mix for 2007, based on the present 
Article
According to the Electricity Directive, suppliers of electricity must disclose their electricity portfolio with regards to energy source and environmental impact. This paper gives some examples of disclosure systems and residual electricity mixes in Norway, Sweden and Finland, compared to an approach based on a common regional disclosure. Disclosures based on the E-TRACK standard are presented, as well as the variation in CO2 emissions from different residual mixes. The results from this study clearly show that there is a need for a harmonised, transparent and reliable system for the accounting of electricity disclosure in Europe.
 
Article
Production of fatty acid esters from stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids and short-chain alcohols (methanol, ethanol, propanol, and butanol) for the production of biodiesel was investigated in this work. A series of montmorillonite-based clays catalysts (KSF, KSF/0, KP10, and K10) were used as acidic catalysts. The influence of the specific surface area and the acidity of the catalysts on the esterification rate were investigated. The best catalytic activities were obtained with KSF/0 catalyst. The esterification reaction has been carried out efficiently in a semi-continuous reactor at 150°C temperature higher than the boiling points of water and alcohol. The reactor used enabled the continuous removal of water and esterification with hydrated alcohol (ethanol 95%) without affecting the original activity of the clay.
 
Article
This paper presents the design and development of a 16F877 microcontroller-based wireless data acquisition system and a study of the feasibility of different existing methodologies linked to field data acquisition from remote photovoltaic (PV) water pumping systems. Various existing data transmission techniques were studied, especially satellite, radio, Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). The system’s hardware and software and an application to test its performance are described. The system will be used for reading, storing and analyzing information from several PV water pumping stations situated in remote areas in the arid region of the south of Tunisia. The remote communications are based on the GSM network and, in particular, on the Short text Message Service (SMS). With this integrated system, we can compile a complete database of the different parameters related to the PV water pumping systems of Tunisia. This data could be made available to interested parties over the Internet.
 
Configuration of battery test bench.
Adaptive observer based SoC estimation.
Article
In order to safely and efficiently use the power as well as to extend the lifetime of the traction battery pack, accurate estimation of State of Charge (SoC) is very important and necessary. This paper presents an adaptive observer-based technique for estimating SoC of a lithium-ion battery pack used in an electric vehicle (EV). The RC equivalent circuit model in ADVISOR is applied to simulate the lithium-ion battery pack. The parameters of the battery model as a function of SoC, are identified and optimized using the numerically nonlinear least squares algorithm, based on an experimental data set. By means of the optimized model, an adaptive Luenberger observer is built to estimate online the SoC of the lithium-ion battery pack. The observer gain is adaptively adjusted using a stochastic gradient approach so as to reduce the error between the estimated battery output voltage and the filtered battery terminal voltage measurement. Validation results show that the proposed technique can accurately estimate SoC of the lithium-ion battery pack without a heavy computational load.
 
Article
The recent advances on the effects of microstructural refinement and various nano-catalytic additives on the hydrogen storage properties of metal and complex hydrides obtained in the last few years in the allied laboratories at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Military University of Technology (Warsaw, Poland) are critically reviewed in this paper. The research results indicate that microstructural refinement (particle and grain size) induced by ball milling influences quite modestly the hydrogen storage properties of simple metal and complex metal hydrides. On the other hand, the addition of nanometric elemental metals acting as potent catalysts and/or metal halide catalytic precursors brings about profound improvements in the hydrogen absorption/desorption kinetics for simple metal and complex metal hydrides alike. In general, catalytic precursors react with the hydride matrix forming a metal salt and free nanometric or amorphous elemental metals/intermetallics which, in turn, act catalytically. However, these catalysts change only kinetic properties i.e. the hydrogen absorption/desorption rate but they do not change thermodynamics (e.g., enthalpy change of hydrogen sorption reactions). It is shown that a complex metal hydride, LiAlH4, after high energy ball milling with a nanometric Ni metal catalyst and/or MnCl2 catalytic precursor, is able to desorb relatively large quantities of hydrogen at RT, 40 and 80 °C. This kind of behavior is very encouraging for the future development of solid state hydrogen systems.
 
Article
This paper presents the performance of an advanced cascading adsorption cycle that utilizes a driven heat source temperature between 90–130 ºC. The cycle consists of four beds that contain silica gel as an adsorber fill. Two of the beds work in a single stage cycle that is driven by an external heat source, while the other two beds work in a mass recovery cycle that is driven by waste heat of sensible and adsorption heat of the high temperature cycle. The performances, in terms of the coefficient of performance (COP) and the specific cooling power (SCP), are compared with conventional cascading-without-mass-recovery and single-stage cycles. The paper also presents the effect of the adsorbent mass on performance. The results show that the proposed cycle with mass recovery produces as high of a COP as the COP that is produced by the conventional cascading cycle. However, it produces a lower SCP than that of the single-stage cycle.
 
Article
A numerical investigation of the double-effect adsorption refrigeration cycle is examined in this manuscript. The proposed cycle is based on the cascading adsorption cycle, where condensation heat that is produced in the top cycle is utilized as the driving heat source for the bottom cycle. The results show that the double-effect cycle produces a higher coefficient of performance (COP) as compared to that of the conventional single-stage cycle for driving temperatures between 100 °C and 150 °C in which the average cycle chilled water temperature is fixed at 9 °C. Moreover, the COP of the double-effect cycle is more than twice that of the single-stage cycle when the temperature reaches 130 °C. It is also observed that the adsorbent mass ratio of the high temperature cycle (HTC) to the low temperature cycle (LTC) affects the performance of the double-effect adsorption refrigeration cycle.
 
Article
The performance of an advanced three-bed adsorption chiller with a mass recovery cycle has been experimentally investigated in the present study. The temperature and pressure of various components of the chiller were monitored to observe the dynamic behaviour of the chiller. The performances in terms of the coefficient of performance (COP) and specific cooling power (SCP) were compared with a conventional single stage. The results show that the proposed cycle produces COP and SCP values superior to those of the conventional single stage cycle for heat source temperature below 75 °C.
 
Article
Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source in the world. However, in the Columbia and Snake River basins, several species of Pacific salmon and steelhead have been listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to significant declines of fish population. Dam operators and design engineers are thus faced with the task of making hydroelectric facilities more fish friendly through changes in hydro-turbine design and operation. Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington, applied for relicensing from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to replace the 10 turbines at Wanapum Dam with advanced hydropower turbines that were designed to increase power generation and improve fish passage conditions. We applied both deterministic and stochastic blade-strike models to compare fish passage performance of the newly installed advanced turbine to an existing turbine. Modeled probabilities were compared to the results of a large-scale live-fish survival study and a Sensor Fish study under the same operational parameters. Overall, injury rates predicted by the deterministic model were higher than experimental rates of injury, while those predicted by the stochastic model were in close agreement with experimental results. Fish orientation at the time of entry into the plane of the leading edges of the turbine runner blades was an important factor contributing to uncertainty in modeled results. The advanced design turbine had slightly higher modeled injury rates than the existing turbine design; however, no statistical evidence suggested significant differences in blade-strike injuries between the two turbines, thus the hypothesis that direct fish survival rate through the advanced hydropower turbine is equal to or higher than that for fish passing through the conventional turbine could not be rejected.
 
Article
Silicon-based solar cells (SCs) promise to be an alternative energy source mainly due to: (1) a high efficiency-to-cost ratio, (2) the absence of environmental-degradation issues, and (3) great reliability. Transition from wafer-based to thin-film SC significantly reduces the cost of SCs, including the cost from the material itself and the fabrication process. However, as the thickness of the absorption (or the active) layer decreases, the energy-conversion efficiency drops dramatically. As a consequence, we discuss here three techniques to increase the efficiency of silicon-based SCs: (1) photonic crystal (PC) optical couplers and (2) plasmonic optical couplers to increase efficiency of light absorption in the SCs, and (3) a radial p-n junction structure, decomposing light absorption and diffusion path into two orthogonal directions. The detailed mechanisms and recent research progress regarding these techniques are discussed in this review article.
 
Article
Enzymatic fuel cells convert the chemical energy of biofuels into electrical energy. Unlike traditional fuel cell types, which are mainly based on metal catalysts, the enzymatic fuel cells employ enzymes as catalysts. This fuel cell type can be used as an implantable power source for a variety of medical devices used in modern medicine to administer drugs, treat ailments and monitor bodily functions. Some advantages in comparison to conventional fuel cells include a simple fuel cell design and lower cost of the main fuel cell components, however they suffer from severe kinetic limitations mainly due to inefficiency in electron transfer between the enzyme and the electrode surface. In this review article, the major research activities concerned with the enzymatic fuel cells (anode and cathode development, system design, modeling) by highlighting the current problems (low cell voltage, low current density, stability) will be presented.
 
The operating parameters and experiment results of some major DCL processes [3-9].
Article
The growing demand for petroleum, accompanied by the declining petroleum reserves and the concerns over energy security, has intensified the interest in direct coal liquefaction (DCL), particularly in countries such as China which is rich in coal resources, but short of petroleum. In addition to a general introduction on the mechanisms and processes of DCL, this paper overviews some recent advances in DCL technology with respect to the influencing factors for DCL reactions (temperature, solvent, pressure, atmospheres, etc.), the effects of coal pre-treatments for DCL (swelling, thermal treatment, hydrothermal treatment, etc.), as well as recent development in multi-staged DCL processes, DCL catalysts and co-liquefaction of coal with biomass.
 
Article
Due to its effect on the operation time of wind turbines, rotor imbalances of a wind turbine have to be detected early enough. We present a method that determines inhomogeneous mass distributions of the rotor as well as deviations in the pitch angles of the rotor blades from vibrational data only. To this end, a mathematical model connecting the load caused by the imbalances to the resulting vibrations was developed. After discretization, the resulting vibration equation was solved analytically. The inverse problem, i.e., the calculation of the mass and aerodynamic imbalance from vibrational data, was solved by using nonlinear regularization theory. Numerical simulations were performed using artificial vibration data.
 
Positions of detection modules at sending end D113. 
Figure A4 : The system diagnostic test. 
Figure A5 . The calculation algorithm for the current I. 
Figure A6 . The calculation algorithm for the active power P. 
Article
An analysis of the Medium Voltage (MV)electricity power distribution network operated by Cameroon’s AES-SONEL company shows that losses are very high due to energy which is produced but not distributed and that the duration of power interruptions as a result of these faults is long due to the time used in searching for the faults. Given that quick detection of faults is a sure means of improving availability and productivity in any company, we hereby propose a system of real-time diagnosis of the faults on AES-SONEL’s electric power distribution network. After an inventory of typical faults on electric power networks and the proposal of a tool for their identification, we propose a system for the detection and localization of these various failures. The implementation of the system on a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) enables the performance of the system to be assessed.
 
Physical model of the DSS (two transformers, two HV switchgears, one air inlet and two air outlets are considered in the model). 
Size of objects in the model.
Temperature field distribution in the studied DSS. 
Energy-saving cooling strategy.
Article
The different locations of the equipment in urban distribution substations (DSSs) and the location of inlet holes and outlet holes usually result in different ventilation effect, which means the power consumed by any ventilating devices present is different. In this paper the temperature field distribution in an urban distribution substation with different locations of the equipment in the substation was calculated first, then factors influencing the temperature field distribution were investigated, and the influence of the different factors was analyzed. When the distance between the apparatus and walls exceeds 3 m, the change of the temperature in the DSS is very small. Therefore considering the floor area of the DSS, 3 m is the best value of the distance between the apparatus. With the change of the environment temperature or the velocity of the ventilation fans, the maximum temperature in the DSS or apparatus will change. Hence an energy saving ventilation strategy is proposed in the paper, and an intelligent cooling control system is developed, which can modify the velocity of the ventilation fans according to the environment temperature, and thus realize energy savings.
 
Schematic diagram of the experimental apparatus.
Effect of temperature on gas composition for palm kernel shell (PKS) and coconut shell (CS).
Gas yield and LHV at different temperature.
Effect of fluidization ratio on gas composition for palm kernel shell (PKS) and coconut shell (CS).
Article
Recently, hydrogen production from biomass has become an attractive technology for power generation. The main objective pursued in this work is to investigate the hydrogen production potential from agricultural wastes (coconut coir and palm kernel shell) by applying the air gasification technique. An experimental study was conducted using a bench-scale fluidized bed gasifier with 60 mm diameter and 425 mm height. During the experiments, the fuel properties and the effects of operating parameters such as gasification temperatures (700 to 900°C), fluidization ratio (2 to 3.33 m/s), static bed height (10 to 30 mm) and equivalence ratio (0.16 to 0.46) were studied. It was concluded that substantial amounts of hydrogen gas (up to 67 mol%) could be produced utilizing agricultural residues such as coconut and palm kernel shell by applying this fluidization technique. For both samples, the rise of temperature till 900°C favored further hydrocarbon reactions and allowed an increase of almost 67 mol% in the release of hydrogen. However, other parameters such as fluidizing velocity and feed load showed only minor effects on hydrogen yield. In conclusion, agricultural waste can be assumed as an alternative renewable energy source to the fossil fuels, and the environmental pollution originating from the disposal of agricultural residues can be partially reduced.
 
Article
Anaerobic digestion is an optimal way to treat organic waste matter, resulting in biogas and residue. Utilization of the residue as a crop fertilizer should enhance crop yield and soil fertility, promoting closure of the global energy and nutrient cycles. Consequently, the requirement for production of inorganic fertilizers will decrease, in turn saving significant amounts of energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, and indirectly leading to global economic benefits. However, application of this residue to agricultural land requires careful monitoring to detect amendments in soil quality at the early stages.
 
Schematic of the MFC. The peristaltic pump connected the anode chamber, via the feed inlet/outlet, to a 200 mL reservoir of anode fluid.
EDL factors calculated via ECM for data taken over 113 days.
(a) Bode plot showing impedance data for superimposition of EIS scans taken over 113 days. (b) Bode plot showing phase shift data for superimposition of EIS scans taken over 113 days. (c) Nyquist plot showing superimposition of EIS scans taken over 113 days.
ECM analysis results for EIS data collected over 113 days of MFC operation.
ECM analysis results for EIS data while varying anode fluid flow rate.
Article
Impedance changes of the anode, cathode and solution were examined for an air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) under varying conditions. An MFC inoculated with a pre-enriched microbial culture resulted in a startup time of less than ten days. Over this period, the anode impedance decreased below the cathode impedance, suggesting a cathode-limited power output. Increasing the anode flow rate did not impact the anode impedance significantly, but it decreased the cathode impedance by 65%. Increasing the anode-medium ionic strength also decreased the cathode impedance. These impedance results provide insight into electron and proton transport mechanisms and can be used to improve MFC performance.
 
Article
Direct alkaline alcohol fuel cells (DAAFCs) have attracted increasing interest over the past decade because of their favourable reaction kinetics in alkaline media, higher energy densities achievable and the easy handling of the liquid fuels. In this review, principles and mechanisms of DAAFCs in alcohol oxidation and oxygen reduction are discussed. Despite the high energy densities available during the oxidation of polycarbon alcohols they are difficult to oxidise. Apart from methanol, the complete oxidation of other polycarbon alcohols to CO2 has not been achieved with current catalysts. Different types of catalysts, from conventional precious metal catalyst of Pt and Pt alloys to other lower cost Pd, Au and Ag metal catalysts are compared. Non precious metal catalysts, and lanthanum, strontium oxides and perovskite-type oxides are also discussed. Membranes like the ones used as polymer electrolytes and developed for DAAFCs are reviewed. Unlike conventional proton exchange membrane fuel cells, anion exchange membranes are used in present DAAFCs. Fuel cell performance with DAAFCs using different alcohols, catalysts and membranes, as well as operating parameters are summarised. In order to improve the power output of the DAAFCs, further developments in catalysts, membrane materials and fuel cell systems are essential.
 
Article
State of Charge (SoC) estimation is one of the most significant and difficult techniques to promote the commercialization of electric vehicles (EVs). Suffering from various interference in vehicle driving environment and model uncertainties due to the strong time-variant property and inconsistency of batteries, the existing typical SoC estimators such as coulomb counting and extended Kalman filter cannot perform their theoretically optimal efficacy in practical applications. Aiming at enhancing the robustness of SoC estimation and improving accuracy under the real driving conditions with noises and uncertainties, this paper proposes a framework consisting of (1) an adaptive-κ nonlinear diffusion filter to reduce the noise in current measurement, (2) a self-learning strategy to estimate and remove the zero-drift, (3) a coulomb counting algorithm to realize open-loop SoC estimation, (4) an H1 filter to implement closed-loop robust estimation, and (5) a data fusion unite to achieve the final estimation by integrating the advantages of the two SoC estimators. The availability and efficacy of each component have been demonstrated based on comparative studiesin simulation with the conventional approaches respectively, under the testing conditions of noises with various signal-noise-ratios, varying zero-drifts, and different model errors. The overall framework has also been verified to rationally and efficiently combine these components and achieve robust estimation results in the presence of kinds of noises and uncertainties.
 
Speed profile of the CYC-1015 drive cycle. 
Article
Compared to conventional vehicles Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) provide fairly high fuel economy with lower emissions. To enhance HEV performance in terms of fuel economy and emissions, and ensure user satisfaction with driving performance, the need for simultaneous optimization for the main parameters of powertrain components and control system is inevitable. However, this problem is challenging due to the large amount of coupling design parameters, conflicting design objectives and nonlinear constraints. Considering the defect of the methods which convert multi-objective optimization problems into single-objective ones, a comprehensive methodology based on the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithms II (NSGA II) to achieve parameter optimization for powertrain components and control system simultaneously and successfully find the Pareto-optimal solutions set is presented in this paper. A case simulation is carried out and simulated by ADVISOR, The simulation results show that this method can produce many Pareto-optimal solutions and a satisfactory solution can be selected by decision-makers according to their requirements. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithms proposed in this paper.
 
Article
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been investigated in recent years as a catalyst support for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Improved catalyst activities were observed and attributed to metal-support interactions. We report a study on the kinetics of methanol electro-oxidation on CNT supported Pt-Ru alloy nanoparticles. Alloy catalysts with different compositions, Pt53Ru47/CNT, Pt69Ru31/CNT and Pt77Ru23/CNT, were prepared and investigated in detail. Experiments were conducted at various temperatures, electrode potentials, and methanol concentrations. It was found that the reaction order of methanol electro-oxidation on the PtRu/CNT catalysts was consistent with what has been reported for PtRu alloys with a value of 0.5 in methanol concentrations. However, the electro-oxidation reaction on the PtRu/CNT catalysts displayed much lower activation energies than that on the Pt-Ru alloy catalysts unsupported or supported on carbon black (PtRu/CB). This study provides an overall kinetic evaluation of the PtRu/CNT catalysts and further demonstrates the beneficial role of CNTs.
 
Article
As crude oil price reach a new high, the need for developing alternate fuels has become acute. Alternate fuels should be economically attractive in order to compete with currently used fossil fuels. In this work, biodiesel (ethyl ester) was prepared from waste cooking oil collected from a local restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Ethyl alcohol with sodium hydroxide as a catalyst was used for the transesterification process. The fatty acid composition of the final biodiesel esters was determined by gas chromatography. The biodiesel was characterized by its physical and fuel properties including density, viscosity, acid value, flash point, cloud point, pour point, cetane index, water and sediment content, total and free glycerin content, diglycerides and monoglycerides, phosphorus content and sulfur content according to ASTM standards. The viscosity of the biodiesel ethyl ester was found to be 5.03 mm2/sec at 40oC. The viscosity of waste cooking oil measured in room temperature (at 21° C) was 72 mm2/sec. From the tests, the flash point was found to be 164oC, the phosphorous content was 2 ppm, those of calcium and magnesium were 1 ppm combined, water and sediment was 0 %, sulfur content was 2 ppm, total acid number was 0.29 mgKOH/g, cetane index was 61, cloud point was -1oC and pour point was -16oC. Production of biodiesel from waste cooking oils for diesel substitute is particularly important because of the decreasing trend of economical oil reserves, environmental problems caused due to fossil fuel use and the high price of petroleum products in the international market.
 
Article
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) have the advantage of being able to operate with fuels other than hydrogen. In particular, liquid fuels are especially attractive for powering portable applications such as small power generators or auxiliary power units, in which case the direct utilization of the fuel would be convenient. Although liquid fuels are easier to handle and transport than hydrogen, their direct use in SOFC can lead to anode deactivation due to carbon formation, especially on traditional nickel/yttria stabilized zirconia (Ni/YSZ) anodes. Significant advances have been made in anodic materials that are resistant to carbon formation but often these materials are less electrochemically active than Ni/YSZ. In this review the challenges of using liquid fuels directly in SOFC, in terms of gas-phase and catalytic reactions within the anode chamber, will be discussed and the alternative anode materials so far investigated will be compared.
 
Wind power density (kW/m 2 ) that was exceeded 5%, 32%, 50%, 68%, and 95% of the time during 1979-2006 as a function of altitude from the NCEP/DOE reanalyses [8]. The profiles at the five largest cities in the world are shown in (b-f). The global average profile (a) is the area weighted mean of values like those represented in panels (b) through (f) at all grid points.  
Optimal wind power density (kW/m 2 , left panels) and optimal height (km, right panels) that was exceeded 50%, 68%, and 95% of the times during years in 1979-2006 from the NCEP/DOE reanalyses  
Contours of wind power output per swept area (kW/m 2 ) that can be supplied from optimal high-altitude winds in New York with: (a) 68%, (b) 95%, (c) and 99.9% reliability as a function of battery size (kWh/m 2 , logarithmic scale) and transmission distance (km).  
Article
The available wind power resource worldwide at altitudes between 500 and 12,000 m above ground is assessed for the first time. Twenty-eight years of wind data from the reanalyses by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the Department of Energy are analyzed and interpolated to study geographical distributions and persistency of winds at all altitudes. Furthermore, intermittency issues and global climate effects of large-scale extraction of energy from high-altitude winds are investigated.
 
Article
In this article, the U.S. and southern Canadian natural gas supply market is considered. An important model for oil and natural gas supply is the Hubbert curve. Not all regions of the world are producing oil or natural gas following a Hubbert curve, even when price and market conditions are accounted for. One reason is that institutions are affecting supply. We investigate the possible effects of oil and gas market institutions in North America on natural gas supply. A multi-cycle Hubbert curve with inflection points similar to the Soviet Union’s oil production multi-cycle Hubbert curve is used to determine North American natural gas discovery rates and to analyze how market specific institutions caused the inflection points. In addition, we analyze the latest shale natural gas projections critically. While currently, unconventional resources of natural gas suggest that North American natural gas production will increase without bound, the model here suggests a peak in North American natural gas supplies could happen in 2013.
 
Article
From the viewpoints of securing a stable supply of energy and protecting our global environment in the future, the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power generation of various gasifying methods has been introduced in the world. Gasified fuels are chiefly characterized by the gasifying agents and the synthetic gas cleanup methods and can be divided into four types. The calorific value of the gasified fuel varies according to the gasifying agents and feedstocks of various resources, and ammonia originating from nitrogenous compounds in the feedstocks depends on the synthetic gas clean-up methods. In particular, air-blown gasified fuels provide low calorific fuel of 4 MJ/m3 and it is necessary to stabilize combustion. In contrast, the flame temperature of oxygen-blown gasified fuel of medium calorie between approximately 9–13 MJ/m3 is much higher, so control of thermal-NOx emissions is necessary. Moreover, to improve the thermal efficiency of IGCC, hot/dry type synthetic gas clean-up is needed. However, ammonia in the fuel is not removed and is supplied into the gas turbine where fuel-NOx is formed in the combustor. For these reasons, suitable combustion technology for each gasified fuel is important. This paper outlines combustion technologies and combustor designs of the high temperature gas turbine for various IGCCs. Additionally, this paper confirms that further decreases in fuel-NOx emissions can be achieved by removing ammonia from gasified fuels through the application of selective, non-catalytic denitration. From these basic considerations, the performance of specifically designed combustors for each IGCC proved the proposed methods to be sufficiently effective. The combustors were able to achieve strong results, decreasing thermal-NOx emissions to 10 ppm (corrected at 16% oxygen) or less, and fuel-NOx emissions by 60% or more, under conditions where ammonia concentration per fuel heating value in unit volume was 2.4 × 102 ppm/(MJ/m3) or higher. Consequently, principle techniques for combustor design for each IGCC were established by the present analytical and experimental research. Also, this paper contains some findings of the author’s previously published own works and engages in wide-ranging discussion into the future development of gasification technologies.
 
Article
In this paper, we present the design and fabrication of hybrid dielectric-metallic back surface reflectors, for applications in thin film amorphous silicon solar cells. Standard multilayer distributed Bragg reflectors, require a large number of layers in order to achieve high reflectance characteristics. As it turns out, the addition of a metallic layer, to the base of such a multilayer mirror, enables a reduction in the number of dielectric layers needed to attain high reflectance performance. This paper explores the design, experimental realization and opportunities, in thin film amorphous silicon solar cells, afforded by such hybrid dielectric-metallic back surface reflectors.
 
Article
Ultrasonication at a specific energy of 500 kJ/kgTS was applied to hog manure in a continuous mode completely mixed anaerobic digestion. A process model in BioWin was developed, calibrated and tested at different solids retention times (SRTs) to evaluate the process economics. The results showed that there was a 36% increase in volatile suspended solids (VSS) removal efficiency, a 20% increase in methane production rate, a 13.5% increase in destruction of bound proteins, and a reduction from 988 to 566 ppm in H2S concentration in the digester headspace. Furthermore, a calibrated model of the process using BioWin to assess the impact of SRTs on the economics of anaerobic digestion for unsonicated and sonicated hog manure revealed that ultrasonication resulted in a net benefit of $42–46/ton dry solids at SRTs of 15–30 days.
 
Flow diagram for FEUBD, the effect of time and short overbalanced pressure during UBD.  
Analytical model results-the flow efficiency vs. time of OBP, for two rock systems.  
The idealized models for naturally fractured reservoirs[20].  
Figure A.1. The effect of yield point of the mud system on the invasion model [19].  
Article
This paper describes an analytical approach to investigate the nature of short overbalanced conditions and time effects during underbalanced drilling (UBD) in a naturally fractured reservoir. This study uses an analytical model which is developed for kinetic invasion of mud into the fractures. The model is based on fluid flow between two parallel plates, which is further extended to model the fluid flow in a fractured formation. The effect of short overbalanced pressure and the time effect during UBD as well as the aspects of well productivity and flow efficiency are explained. This model is an Excel-based program and provides a fast and convenient tool for analysis and evaluation of drilling conditions (mud properties, time, and pressure of drilling) in a fractured formation. The model can also predict the impact of the fracture and mud properties on the depth of invasion in the fractured formations.
 
Article
Fast pyrolysis of poplar wood followed with catalytic cracking of the pyrolysis vapors was performed using analytical pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). The catalysts applied in this study were nano MgO, CaO, TiO2, Fe2O3, NiO and ZnO. These catalysts displayed different catalytic capabilities towards the pyrolytic products. The catalysis by CaO significantly reduced the levels of phenols and anhydrosugars, and eliminated the acids, while it increased the formation of cyclopentanones, hydrocarbons and several light compounds. ZnO was a mild catalyst, as it only slightly altered the pyrolytic products. The other four catalysts all decreased the linear aldehydes dramatically, while the increased the ketones and cyclopentanones. They also reduced the anhydrosugars, except for NiO. Moreover, the catalysis by Fe2O3 resulted in the formation of various hydrocarbons. However, none of these catalysts except CaO were able to greatly reduce the acids.
 
Article
Increasing levels of wind power penetration in modern power systems has set intensively high standards with respect to wind turbine technology during the last years. Security issues have become rather critical and operation of wind farms as conventional power plants is becoming a necessity as wind turbines replace conventional units on the production side. This article includes a review of the basic control issues regarding the capability of the Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) wind turbine configuration to fulfill the basic technical requirements set by the system operators and contribute to power system security. An overview of ancillary services provided by wind turbine technology nowadays is provided, i.e., fault ride-through capability, reactive power supply and frequency-active power control.
 
Article
A gas hydrate reservoir, identified by the presence of the bottom simulating reflector, is located offshore of the Antarctic Peninsula. The analysis of geophysical dataset acquired during three geophysical cruises allowed us to characterize this reservoir. 2D velocity fields were obtained by using the output of the pre-stack depth migration iteratively. Gas hydrate amount was estimated by seismic velocity, using the modified Biot-Geerstma-Smit theory. The total volume of gas hydrate estimated, in an area of about 600 km2, is in a range of 16 × 109–20 × 109 m3. Assuming that 1 m3 of gas hydrate corresponds to 140 m3 of free gas in standard conditions, the reservoir could contain a total volume that ranges from 1.68 to 2.8 × 1012 m3 of free gas. The interpretation of the pre-stack depth migrated sections and the high resolution morpho-bathymetry image allowed us to define a structural model of the area. Two main fault systems, characterized by left transtensive and compressive movement, are recognized, which interact with a minor transtensive fault system. The regional geothermal gradient (about 37.5 °C/km), increasing close to a mud volcano likely due to fluid-upwelling, was estimated through the depth of the bottom simulating reflector by seismic data.
 
Article
In this paper, measurements of the CO2 gasification kinetics for two types of Shenfu coal chars, which were respectively prepared by slow and rapid pyrolysis at temperatures of 950 °C and 1,400 °C, were performed by an isothermal thermo-gravimetric analysis under ambient pressure and elevated temperature conditions. Simultaneously, the applicability of the kinetic model for the CO2 gasification reaction of Shenfu coal chars was discussed. The results showed: (i) the shrinking un-reacted core model was not appropriate to describe the gasification reaction process of Shenfu coal chars with CO2 in the whole experimental temperature range; (ii) at the relatively low temperatures, the modified volumetric model was as good as the random pore model to simulate the CO2 gasification reaction of Shenfu coal chars, while at the elevated temperatures, the modified volumetric model was superior to the random pore model for this process; (iii) the integral expression of the modified volumetric model was more favorable than the differential expression of that for fitting the experimental data. Moreover, by simply introducing a function: A = A★exp(ft), it was found that the extensive model of the modified volumetric model could make much better predictions than the modified volumetric model. It was recommended as a convenient empirical model for comprehensive simulation of Shenfu coal char gasification with under conditions close to those of entrained flow gasification.
 
Article
The presence of natural gas hydrates at all active and passive continental margins has been proven. Their global occurrence as well as the fact that huge amounts of methane and other lighter hydrocarbons are stored in natural gas hydrates has led to the idea of using hydrate bearing sediments as an energy resource. However, natural gas hydrates remain stable as long as they are in mechanical, thermal and chemical equilibrium with their environment. Thus, for the production of gas from hydrate bearing sediments, at least one of these equilibrium states must be disturbed by depressurization, heating or addition of chemicals such as CO2. Depressurization, thermal or chemical stimulation may be used alone or in combination, but the idea of producing hydrocarbons from hydrate bearing sediments by CO2 injection suggests the potential of an almost emission free use of this unconventional natural gas resource. However, up to now there are still open questions regarding all three production principles. Within the framework of the German national research project SUGAR the thermal stimulation method by use of in situ combustion was developed and tested on a pilot plant scale and the CH4-CO2 swapping process in gas hydrates studied on a molecular level. Microscopy, confocal Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction were used for in situ investigations of the CO2-hydrocarbon exchange process in gas hydrates and its driving forces. For the thermal stimulation a heat exchange reactor was designed and tested for the exothermal catalytic oxidation of methane. Furthermore, a large scale reservoir simulator was realized to synthesize hydrates in sediments under conditions similar to nature and to test the efficiency of the reactor. Thermocouples placed in the reservoir simulator with a total volume of 425 L collect data regarding the propagation of the heat front. In addition, CH4 sensors are placed in the water saturated sediment to detect the distribution of CH4 in the sample. These data are used for numerical simulations for up-scaling from laboratory to field conditions. This study presents the experimental set up of the large scale reservoir simulator and the reactor design. Preliminary results indicate that the catalytic oxidation of CH4 operated as a temperature controlled, autothermal reaction in a countercurrent heat exchange reactor is a safe and promising tool for the thermal stimulation of hydrates. In addition, preliminary results from the laboratory studies on the CO2-hydrocarbon swapping process in simple and mixed gas hydrates are presented.
 
Article
A Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) is a transparent plate containing luminescent material with photovoltaic (PV) cells attached to its edges. Sunlight entering the plate is absorbed by the luminescent material, which in turn emits light. The emitted light propagates through the plate and arrives at the PV cells through total internal reflection. The ratio of the area of the relatively cheap polymer plate to that of the expensive PV cells is increased, and the cost per unit of solar electricity can be reduced by 75%. To improve the emission performance of LSCs, simulation modeling of LSCs becomes essential. Ray-tracing modeling is a popular approach for simulating LSCs due to its great ability of modeling various LSC structures under direct and diffuse sunlight. However, this approach requires substantial amount of measurement input data. Also, the simulation time is enormous because it is a forward-ray tracing method that traces all the rays propagating from the light source to the concentrator. On the other hand, the thermodynamic approach requires substantially less input parameters and simulation time, but it can only be used to model simple LSC designs with direct sunlight. Therefore, a new hybrid model was developed to perform various simulation studies effectively without facing the issues arisen from the existing ray-tracing and thermodynamic models. The simulation results show that at least 60% of the total output irradiance of a LSC is contributed by the light trapped and channeled by the LSC. The novelty of this hybrid model is the concept of integrating the thermodynamic model with a well-developed Radiance ray-tracing model, hence making this model as a fast, powerful and cost-effective tool for the design of LSCs.
 
Article
Distribution networks are undergoing radical changes due to the high level of penetration of dispersed generation. Dispersed generation systems require particular attention due to their incorporation of uncertain energy sources, such as wind farms, and due to the impacts that such sources have on the planning and operation of distribution networks. In particular, the foreseeable, extensive use of wind turbine generator units in the future requires that distribution system engineers properly account for their impacts on the system. Many new technical considerations must be addressed, including protection coordination, steady-state analysis, and power quality issues. This paper deals with the very short-term, steady-state analysis of a distribution system with wind farms, for which the time horizon of interest ranges from one hour to a few hours ahead. Several wind-forecasting methods are presented in order to obtain reliable input data for the steady-state analysis. Both deterministic and probabilistic methods were considered and used in performing deterministic and probabilistic load-flow analyses. Numerical applications on a 17-bus, medium-voltage, electrical distribution system with various wind farms connected at different busbars are presented and discussed.
 
Numerical models for groundwater and flow applicable to ATES simulations.
Article
Being a heat source or sink, aquifers have been used to store large quantities of thermal energy to match cooling and heating supply and demand on both a short-term and long-term basis. The current technical, economic, and environmental status of aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) is promising. General information on the basic operation principles, design, and construction of ATES systems is discussed in this paper. Numerous projects in operation around the world are summarized to illustrate the present status of ATES. Hydrogeological-thermal simulation has become an integral part of predicting ATES system performance. Numerical models which are available to simulate an ATES system by modeling mass and heat transport in the aquifer have been summarized. This paper also presents an example of numerical simulation and thermohydraulic evaluation of a two-well, ATES system operating under a continuous flow regime.
 
Computational domain of the superabsorber with arbitrary geometry. 
Electric field distribution in the vicinity of the absorbing materials (left column) and the superabsorber (right column) under TE plane wave irradiation. 
The electric field distribution in the computational domain. (a – b). The TE plane wave is incident from the left and the object is rotated by π /4; (c – d). the line source is located at (0, 0.5 m); (e – f). the line source is located at ( − 0.5 m, − 0.5 m). 
Comparison of the characteristics of the superabsorber based on linear and nonlinear transformations. a, c and e show the electric field distribution of an absorbing core ( ε c = – (1 – i ) ε ′ , μ c = – (1 – i ) μ ′ ) with radius of r = 0.05 m and coating with a shell of 
Article
The electromagnetic superabsorber that has larger absorption cross section than its real size may be a novel photothermal device with improved solar energy conversion rates. Based on a transformation optical approach, the material parameters for a two-dimensional (2D) metamaterial-assisted electromagnetic superabsorber with arbitrary geometries are derived and validated by numerical simulation. We find that for the given geometry size, the absorption cross section of the superabsorber using nonlinear transformation is larger than that using linear transformation. These transformations can also be specialized to the designing the N-sided regular polygonal superabsorber just by changing the contour equation. All theoretical and numerical results validate the material parameters for the 2D electromagnetic superabsorber we have developed.
 
Article
Organic solar cells show great promise as an economically and environmentally friendly technology to utilize solar energy because of their simple fabrication processes and minimal material usage. However, new innovations and breakthroughs are needed for organic solar cell technology to become competitive in the future. This article reviews research efforts and accomplishments focusing on three issues: power conversion efficiency, device stability and processability for mass production, followed by an outlook for optimizing OSC performance through device engineering and new architecture designs to realize next generation organic solar cells.
 
Top-cited authors
P. Sanjeevikumar
  • Aarhus University
Mohammad Rasul
  • Central Queensland University
he Hongwen
  • Beijing Institute of Technology
Pierluigi Siano
  • Università degli Studi di Salerno
Joeri Van Mierlo
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel