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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 301: Distribution of Rare Earth Elements in Sediments of the Marine Lake Mir (Dugi Otok, Croatia) Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8080301 Authors: Željka Fiket Marina Mlakar Goran Kniewald The Lake Mir represents a small, isolated, and shallow marine lake situated in the south-eastern part of the Dugi otok Island, in a karstic landscape of the eastern Adriatic coast. The surrounding karstic background, with occasional occurrences of red soil, characterizes the sediments in the lake as coarse grained and carbonate rich. Previous studies suggested the prevailing influence of the lake bathymetry, that is, the proportion of carbonates and grain size characteristics of the sediments, on the variability of the element composition of the lake sediments. To confirm previous assumptions and obtain a better understanding of the factors influencing sediment composition of this marine lake, the distribution of rare earth elements in sediments of the Lake Mir and the nearby Telašćica Bay, as well as surrounding soils, was investigated. In the lake sediments, the sum of rare earth elements, including Y (hereinafter referred as ΣREY), ranged from 10.6 mg kg−1 to 25.3 mg kg−1; in the Telašćica Bay sediments, ΣREY were higher compared to the lake and ranged from 56.4 mg kg−1 to 85.2 mg kg−1, while the highest ΣREY, from 83.3 mg kg−1 to 227 mg kg−1, were observed in soils surrounding the lake. Despite the difference in the levels of the rare earth elements, the REY normalized patterns and associated fractionation parameters (ΣLREE/ΣHREE, (La/Yb)N, and (Nd/Yb)N) showed similarities between the lake sediments and the surrounding soils, confirming a significant influence of local lithology on the lake composition. The results of the statistical analysis, on the other hand, suggest the contribution of both the carbonate (e.g., calcite) and non-carbonate minerals (i.e., alumosilicates and Al–Fe-hydroxides) on the total REY content in the lake sediments.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1458: Potential of Red Edge Spectral Bands in Future Landsat Satellites on Agroecosystem Canopy Green Leaf Area Index Retrieval Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091458 Authors: Zhaoyu Cui John P. Kerekes Vegetation biophysical parameter retrieval is an important earth remote sensing system application. In this paper, we studied the potential impact of the addition of new spectral bands in the red edge region in future Landsat satellites on agroecosystem canopy green leaf area index (LAI) retrieval. The test data were simulated from SPARC ‘03 field campaign HyMap hyperspectral data. Three retrieval approaches were tested: empirical regression based on vegetation index, physical model-based look-up-table (LUT) inversion, and machine learning. The results of all three approaches showed that a potential new spectral band located between the Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) red and NIR bands slightly improved the agroecosystem green LAI retrieval accuracy (R2 of 0.787 vs. 0.810 for vegetation index approach, 0.806 vs. 0.828 for LUT inversion approach, and 0.925 vs. 0.933 for machine learning approach). The results of this work are consistent with the conclusions from previous research on the value of Sentinel-2 red edge bands for agricultural green LAI retrieval.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1717: Effect of Bioaugmentation on Biogas Yields and Kinetics in Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081717 Authors: Magdalena Lebiocka Agnieszka Montusiewicz Agnieszka Cydzik-Kwiatkowska Bioaugmentation with a mixture of microorganisms (Bacteria and Archaea) was applied to improve the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. The study was performed in reactors operating at a temperature of 35 °C in semi-flow mode. Three runs with different doses of bioaugmenting mixture were conducted. Bioaugmentation of sewage sludge improved fermentation and allowed satisfactory biogas/methane yields and a biodegradation efficiency of more than 46%, despite the decrease in hydraulic retention time (HRT) from 20 d to 16.7 d. Moreover, in terms of biogas production, the rate constant k increased from 0.071 h−1 to 0.087 h−1 as doses of the bioaugmenting mixture were increased, as compared to values of 0.066 h−1 and 0.069 h−1 obtained with sewage sludge alone. Next-generation sequencing revealed that Cytophaga sp. predominated among Bacteria in digesters and that the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanoculleus sp. was the most abundant genus among Archaea.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3070: Study on the Magnetic-machine Coupling Characteristics of Giant Magnetostrictive Actuator Based on the Free Energy Hysteresis Characteristics Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093070 Authors: Zhen Yu Tao Wang Min Zhou A giant magnetostrictive actuator presents advantages such as large strain, high precision, and quick response. It is a hotly debated research topic in the field of micro drivers; however, the nonlinear intrinsic relationship between its output and input signals make it difficult to construct its nonlinear eigen model in the process of its practical application. Therefore, the motivation of this paper is to study the nonlinear magnetic–mechanical coupling characteristics of the giant magnetostrictive actuator, which is driven by free energy hysteresis characteristics. The nonlinear magnetic–mechanical coupling model under the weak form solution is deduced from the basic electromagnetic and mechanical theories, based on the distribution law of the axial magnetic field simulation, carried out to analyze the output displacement characteristics of the giant magnetostrictive actuator under preload. Experimental characterization of the device is also studied in the built experiment setup. Research results show that the experimental results coincide well with the simulation results, which show that the designed magnetic circuit for the giant magnetostrictive actuator is correct, and the coupling model of magnetic and machine of the giant magnetostrictive actuator based on the free energy hysteresis characteristics is reasonable.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3067: Out-of-Band Response for the Coastal Zone Imager (CZI) Onboard China’s Ocean Color Satellite HY-1C: Effect on the Observation Just above the Sea Surface Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093067 Authors: Tingwei Cui Jing Ding Fujuan Jia Bing Mu Rongjie Liu Pengmei Xu Jianqiang Liu Jie Zhang The out-of-band (OOB) response is one of the key specifications for satellite optical sensors, which has important influences on quantitative remote sensing retrieval. In this paper, the effect of OOB response on the radiometric measurements made just above the sea surface is evaluated for the three broad visible bands (i.e., blue, green, and red) of the Coastal Zone Imager (CZI) onboard China’s ocean satellite HY-1C to be launched in September 2018. For the turbid coastal (Case 2) waters whose optical properties are mainly dominated by suspended sediment and colored dissolved organic material, the OOB effect can be neglected (<2%) for all three CZI visible bands. For the phytoplankton-dominated (Case 1) waters which are mainly distributed in the clear open ocean, a significant (>2%) OOB effect was found in the green band over oligotrophic waters (chlorophyll a concentration ≤~0.1 mg/m3), and accordingly a model based on the CZI blue-green band ratio is proposed to correct this effect. The OOB influence on the CZI ocean color retrieval is discussed. This research highlights the importance of the comprehensive pre-launch radiometric characterization and the OOB effect correction for the broad band space-borne sensor, in order to achieve a high-quality quantitative ocean product.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3063: Display in the Wild (DIW): An Adaptive Projection-Imaging System to Screen Geometry in Real Time Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093063 Authors: Byungyong Ryu Sung-Ho Bae TVs and monitors are among the most widely used displays in various environments. However, they have limitations in their physical display conditions, such as a fixed size/position and a rigid/flat space. In this paper, we suggest a new “Display in the Wild” (DIW) concept to overcome the aforementioned problems. Our proposed DIW system allows us to display a flexibly large screen on dynamic non-planar surfaces at an arbitrary display position. To implement our DIW concept practically, we choose a projector as the hardware configuration in order to generate a screen anywhere with different sizes. However, distortion occurs when the projector displays content on a surface that is dynamic and/or non-planar. Therefore, we propose a distortion correction method for DIW to overcome the aforementioned surface constraints. Since projectors are not capture devices, we propose using a depth camera to determine the distortions on the surfaces quickly. We also propose DIW-specific calibration and fast/precise correction methods. Our calibration method is constructed to detect the projection surface easily and quickly, and also allows our proposed system to accommodate the intrinsic parameters such as a display resolution and field of view. We accomplish a fast undistortion process of the projector by considering only surface boundary pixels, which enables our method to run in real time. In our comprehensive experiments, the proposed DIW system generates undistorted screens such as TVs and monitors on dynamic non-planar surfaces at an arbitrary display position with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in a fast and accurate manner, demonstrating its usefulness in practical DIW scenarios.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3058: A KPI-Based Probabilistic Soft Sensor Development Approach that Maximizes the Coefficient of Determination Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093058 Authors: Yue Zhang Xu Yang Yuri A. W. Shardt Jiarui Cui Chaonan Tong Advanced technology for process monitoring and fault diagnosis is widely used in complex industrial processes. An important issue that needs to be considered is the ability to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), which often cannot be measured sufficiently quickly or accurately. This paper proposes a data-driven approach based on maximizing the coefficient of determination for probabilistic soft sensor development when data are missing. Firstly, the problem of missing data in the training sample set is solved using the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm. Then, by maximizing the coefficient of determination, a probability model between secondary variables and the KPIs is developed. Finally, a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) is used to estimate the joint probability distribution in the probabilistic soft sensor model, whose parameters are estimated using the EM algorithm. An experimental case study on the alumina concentration in the aluminum electrolysis industry is investigated to demonstrate the advantages and the performance of the proposed approach.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3057: Bayesian Finite Element Model Updating and Assessment of Cable-Stayed Bridges Using Wireless Sensor Data Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093057 Authors: Parisa Asadollahi Yong Huang Jian Li We focus on a Bayesian inference framework for finite element (FE) model updating of a long-span cable-stayed bridge using long-term monitoring data collected from a wireless sensor network (WSN). A robust Bayesian inference method is proposed which marginalizes the prediction-error precisions and applies Transitional Markov Chain Monte Carlo (TMCMC) algorithm. The proposed marginalizing error precision is compared with other two treatments of prediction-error precisions, including the constant error precisions and updating error precisions through theoretical analysis and numerical investigation based on a bridge FE model. TMCMC is employed to draw samples from the posterior probability density function (PDF) of the structural model parameters and the uncertain prediction-error precision parameters if required. It is found that the proposed Bayesian inference method with prediction-error precisions marginalized as “nuisance” parameters produces an FE model with more accurate posterior uncertainty quantification and robust modal property prediction. When applying the identified modal parameters from acceleration data collected during a one-year period from the large-scale WSN on the bridge, we choose two candidate model classes using different parameter grouping based on the clustering results from a sensitivity analysis and apply Bayes’ Theorem at the model class level. By implementing the TMCMC sampler, both the posterior distributions of the structural model parameters and the plausibility of the two model classes are characterized given the real data. Computation of the posterior probabilities over the candidate model classes provides a procedure for Bayesian model class assessment, where the computation automatically implements Bayesian Ockham razor that trades off between data-fitting and model complexity, which penalizes model classes that “over-fit” the data. The results of FE model updating and assessment based on the real data using the proposed method show that the updated FE model can successfully predict modal properties of the structural system with high accuracy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3055: Magnetic Noise Prediction and Evaluation in Tunneling Magnetoresistance Sensors Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093055 Authors: Jakub Chęciński Piotr Wiśniowski Marek Frankowski Tomasz Stobiecki We propose a simple model for prediction of magnetic noise level in tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) sensors. The model reproduces experimental magnetic 1/f and white noise components, which are dependent on sensors resistance and field sensitivity. The exact character of this dependence is determined by comparing the results with experimental data using a statistical cross-validation procedure. We show that the model is able to correctly predict magnetic noise level for systems within wide range of resistance, volume and sensitivity, and that it can be used as a robust method for noise evaluation in TMR sensors based on a small number of easily measurable parameters only.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3051: A Digital Shade-Matching Device for Dental Color Determination Using the Support Vector Machine Algorithm Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093051 Authors: Minah Kim Byungyeon Kim Byungjun Park Minsuk Lee Youngjae Won Choul-Young Kim Seungrag Lee In this study, we developed a digital shade-matching device for dental color determination using the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. Shade-matching was performed using shade tabs. For the hardware, the typically used intraoral camera was modified to apply the cross-polarization scheme and block the light from outside, which can lead to shade-matching errors. For reliable experiments, a precise robot arm with ±0.1 mm position repeatability and a specially designed jig to fix the position of the VITA 3D-master (3D) shade tabs were used. For consistent color performance, color calibration was performed with five standard colors having color values as the mean color values of the five shade tabs of the 3D. By using the SVM algorithm, hyperplanes and support vectors for 3D shade tabs were obtained with a database organized using five developed devices. Subsequently, shade matching was performed by measuring 3D shade tabs, as opposed to real teeth, with three additional devices. On average, more than 90% matching accuracy and a less than 1% failure rate were achieved with all devices for 10 measurements. In addition, we compared the classification algorithm with other classification algorithms, such as logistic regression, random forest, and k-nearest neighbors, using the leave-pair-out cross-validation method to verify the classification performance of the SVM algorithm. Our proposed scheme can be an optimum solution for the quantitative measurement of tooth color with high accuracy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3049: Low-Cost and Lightweight 3D-Printed Split-Ring Resonator for Chemical Sensing Applications Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093049 Authors: Ahmed Salim Saptarshi Ghosh Sungjoon Lim In this paper, a microwave cavity resonator is presented for chemical sensing applications. The proposed resonator is comprised of a three dimensional (3D) split-ring resonator (SRR) residing in an external cavity and capacitively coupled by a pair of coaxial probes. 3D-printing technology with polylactic acid (PLA) filament is used to build the 3D SRR and cavity. Then, the surfaces of the SRR and the inside walls of cavity are silver-coated. The novelty of our proposed structure is its light weight and inexpensive design, owing to the utilization of low density and low-cost PLA. A Teflon tube is passed through the split-gap of the SRR so that it is parallel to the applied electric field. With an empty tube, the resonance frequency of the structure is measured at 2.56 GHz with an insertion loss of 13.6 dB and quality factor (Q) of 75. A frequency shift of 205 MHz with respect to the empty channel was measured when deionized water (DIW) was injected into the tube. Using volume occupied by the structure, the weight of the proposed microwave resonator is estimated as 22.8 g which is significantly lighter than any metallic structure of comparable size.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3043: DOA Estimation for Coprime Linear Array Based on MI-ESPRIT and Lookup Table Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093043 Authors: Weike Zhang Xi Chen Kaibo Cui Tao Xie Naichang Yuan In order to improve the angle measurement performance of a coprime linear array, this paper proposes a novel direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation algorithm for a coprime linear array based on the multiple invariance estimation of signal parameters via rotational invariance techniques (MI-ESPRIT) and a lookup table method. The proposed algorithm does not require a spatial spectrum search and uses a lookup table to solve ambiguity, which reduces the computational complexity. To fully use the subarray elements, the DOA estimation precision is higher compared with existing algorithms. Moreover, the algorithm avoids the matching error when multiple signals exist by using the relationship between the signal subspace of two subarrays. Simulation results verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3263: A Multistage Distribution-Generation Planning Model for Clean Power Generation under Multiple Uncertainties—A Case Study of Urumqi, China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093263 Authors: Shen Wang Guohe Huang Yurui Fan In this research, a multistagedistribution-generation planning (MDGP) model is developed for clean power generation in the regional distributed generation (DG) power system under multiple uncertainties. The developed model has been applied for sustainable energy system management at Urumqi, China. Various scenarios are designed to reflect variations indemand modes of districts, seasonal limits, potentials of energy replacement, and clean power generation. The model can provide an effective linkage between economic cost and stability of DG power systems. Different power generation schemes would be obtained under different seasonal scenarios and system-failure risk levels. On the other hand, net system costs would be obtained and analyzed. The results indicate that the traditional power generation can be replaced by renewable energy power in DG power systems to satisfy the environmental requestsofthe city of Urumqi. The obtained solutions can help decision-makers get feasible decision alternatives to improve clean power planning in the Urumqi area under various uncertainties.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3262: Impact Assessment of Growth Drag and Its Contribution Factors: Evidence from China’s Agricultural Economy Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093262 Authors: Mengzhen Zhao Zhenhua Chen Hailing Zhang Junbo Xue The sustainable development of agriculture is important for China, where more than 20 percent of the world population live. Many factors affect the sustainable development of agriculture in China. The purpose of this paper is to find out what factors play influential roles on affecting the growth pattern. Based on a modified production function model built upon Slow (1956) and Romer (2001), the impact of growth drag on the agricultural economy, and the contribution resources, are evaluated empirically using a time-series regression analysis based on the case of China for the period 1978–2015. The estimated coefficient of the total agricultural growth drag in China is 1.32, which suggests that the annual agricultural growth is associated with a 1.32 percent decline due to the scarcities of land, water, and energy. Specifically, the growth drags from land, water, and energy are found to be 0.5 percent, 0.44 percent, and 0.38 percent, respectively. Additionally, the results suggest that capital is the most important factor in the agricultural sector, although agriculture is highly dependent on land. Capital contributes around 76.86 percent to the growth of the agricultural economy, whereas contributions from land, energy, water, and technological progress are relatively small. Therefore, more investment should be added to agriculture, to accelerate the technology progress. Furthermore, the saving of water and energy is also important for the sustainable development of agriculture.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 15
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3258: Decarbonisation of Urban Freight Transport Using Electric Vehicles and Opportunity Charging Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093258 Authors: Tharsis Teoh Oliver Kunze Chee-Chong Teo Yiik Diew Wong The high costs of using electric vehicles (EVs) is hindering wide-spread adoption of an EV-centric decarbonisation strategy for urban freight transport. Four opportunity charging (OC) strategies—during breaks and shift changes, during loading activity, during unloading activity, or while driving on highways—are evaluated towards reducing EV costs. The study investigates the effect of OC on the lifecycle costs and carbon dioxide emissions of four cases of different urban freight transport operations. Using a parametric vehicle model, the weight and battery capacity of operationally suitable fleets were calculated for ten scenarios (i.e., one diesel vehicle scenario, two EV scenarios without OC, and seven EV scenarios with four OC strategies and two charging technology types). A linearized energy consumption model sensitive to vehicle load was used to calculate the fuel and energy used by fleets for the transport operations. OC was found to significantly reduce lifecycle costs, and without any strong negative influence on carbon dioxide emissions. Other strong influences on lifecycle costs are the use of inductive technology, extension of service lifetime, and reduction of battery price. Other strong influences on carbon dioxide emissions are the use of inductive technology and the emissions factors of electricity production.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3257: Rescaled Statistics and Wavelet Analysis on Agricultural Drought Disaster Periodic Fluctuations in China from 1950 to 2016 Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093257 Authors: Qian Wang Yangyang Liu Linjing Tong Weihong Zhou Xiaoyu Li Jianlong Li An agricultural drought disaster was analyzed with the new insight of rescaled statistics (R/S) and wavelet analysis in this study. The results showed that: (1) the Hurst index of the agricultural disaster area, the inundated area of agricultural drought disaster, and the grain loss was 0.821, 0.874, and 0.953, respectively, indicating that the process of the agricultural drought disaster had stronger positive continuity during the study period; (2) based on the Morlet analysis of the agricultural disaster area, the inundated area of the agricultural drought disaster, and the grain loss of China from 1950 to 2016, the time series of the agricultural drought had multiple time scale features with the periodic variation on a large scale containing the periodic variation on a small scale; and (3) in the last 67 years, the strong wavelet energy spectrum of the agricultural disaster area, the inundated area of the agricultural drought disaster, and the grain loss was at the time scale of ≈22–32 years, ≈24–32 years, and ≈25–32 years, respectively. In addition, the first major period in the agricultural drought disaster area, the inundated area of agricultural drought disaster, and the grain loss had average periods of approximately 16 years, 16 years, and 18 years, respectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3255: How Do Verified Emissions Announcements Affect the Comoves between Trading Behaviors and Carbon Prices? Evidence from EU ETS Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093255 Authors: Jianfeng Guo Bin Su Guang Yang Lianyong Feng Yinpeng Liu Fu Gu Verified emissions announcements are the most influential events in the European Union emissions trading scheme (EU ETS); they reveal demand information and have a significant impact on the carbon market. The extant literature tends to focus on examining the impacts of these verification events on the prices of carbon allowances, while scholars barely discuss how trading behaviors react to the announcements. Moreover, most of the studies are carried out from a macroeconomic perspective. This paper fills this gap by analyzing the impacts of the verified emissions announcements on the comoves of trading behaviors and carbon prices in Phase I (2005–2007) and Phase II (2008–2012). Specifically, we construct GARCH models to investigate the events’ heterogeneous influences in different periods, i.e., the complete periods, the announcement periods, the pre- and post-announcement periods. We observe that the verified emissions announcements boost the volume of compliance trading, particularly in Phase I. Furthermore, we show that the over-allocation of carbon allowances can be even more influential in disturbing the comoves than the verification events. Our microeconomic findings confirm the maturity of EU ETS in Phase II, exhibiting good agreement with the extant macroeconomic literature.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 18
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3250: Universities as Models of Sustainable Energy-Consuming Communities? Review of Selected Literature Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093250 Authors: Milad Mohammadalizadehkorde Russell Weaver Given the prominent position of academia in sustainability studies and sustainability science, it is natural to want to look to universities as models of (or keepers of knowledge about) sustainable practices—including practices related to energy consumption. Nevertheless, there is a long history of and literature on universities failing to implement their own sustainability initiatives. Apart from typical justifications for implementation failure that include budget constraints and financial infeasibility, one of the main obstacles that consistently keeps universities from achieving their own sustainability-related goals is a lack of enforcement. More precisely, universities tend to codify their sustainability-related goals in non-binding declarations that are voluntary. In that respect, failure to achieve a goal does not result in any sort of formal sanction. As such, universities are free to claim a commitment to sustainability in their public communications, without having to consistently and persistently demonstrate that commitment in practice. Situated on this backdrop, the present review paper aims to concisely and selectively stitch together three streams of literature: (1) the rationale for sustainability and, by extension, sustainable energy consumption, in higher education; (2) the current state of sustainability planning and its (in)efficacy in institutions of higher education; and (3) effective practices for reducing energy consumption at scales comparable to university campuses.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 19
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 398: The Gauss Map and the Third Laplace-Beltrami Operator of the Rotational Hypersurface in 4-Space Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10090398 Authors: Erhan Güler Hasan Hilmi Hacısalihoğlu Young Ho Kim We study and examine the rotational hypersurface and its Gauss map in Euclidean four-space E 4 . We calculate the Gauss map, the mean curvature and the Gaussian curvature of the rotational hypersurface and obtain some results. Then, we introduce the third Laplace–Beltrami operator. Moreover, we calculate the third Laplace–Beltrami operator of the rotational hypersurface in E 4 . We also draw some figures of the rotational hypersurface.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 20
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1233: Stable Isotope Analysis Reveals the Importance of Riparian Resources as Carbon Subsidies for Fish Species in the Daning River, a Tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China Water doi: 10.3390/w10091233 Authors: Huatang Deng Yun Li Mingdian Liu Xinbin Duan Shaoping Liu Daqing Chen The patterns of carbon flow in large rivers influenced by dams are still not well known. We hypothesized that spatial variation in fish assimilation of basal production sources would be affected by heterogeneity of landscape-scale hydrology within a watershed due to the impoundment. We used stable isotope analysis and Bayesian mixing models to estimate relative contributions of basal production sources to fish consumers in a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) with remarkably heterogeneous habitats between the upper and lower reaches. Model estimates indicated that riparian C3 plants were the main basal food source irrespective of reaches or feeding groups. Autochthonous algae carbon also appeared to be important as secondary carbon sources. However, the major contributive aquatic algae in the upstream were benthic algae while planktonic algae were important in the downstream, and this difference was related to their distinct hydrological characteristics. The contribution from C4 plants was comparatively less important to all fish consumers. Our results highlighted the significance of the riparian C3 carbon source to fish consumers in the TGR tributary and that the difference in landscape-scale characteristics was not enough to influence the pattern, which may be attributed to abundant standing stock of the riparian plants as well as hydrologic regimes in this river.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 21
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1229: Quantitative Agricultural Flood Risk Assessment Using Vulnerability Surface and Copula Functions Water doi: 10.3390/w10091229 Authors: Yongfang Wang Guixiang Liu Enliang Guo Xiangjun Yun Agricultural flood disaster risk assessment plays a vital role in agricultural flood disaster risk management. Extreme precipitation events are the main causes of flood disasters in the Midwest Jilin province (MJP). Therefore, it is important to analyse the characteristics of extreme precipitation events and assess the flood risk. In this study, the Multifractal Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (MF-DFA) method was used to determine the threshold of extreme precipitation events. The total duration of extreme precipitation and the total extreme precipitation were selected as flood indicators. The copula functions were then used to determine the joint distribution to calculate the bivariate joint return period, which is the flood hazard. Historical data and flood indicators were used to build an agricultural flood disaster vulnerability surface model. Finally, the risk curve for agricultural flood disasters was established to assess the flood risk in the MJP. The results show that the proposed approaches precisely describe the joint distribution of the flood indicators. The results of the vulnerability surface model are in accordance with the spatiotemporal distribution pattern of the agricultural flood disaster loss in this area. The agricultural flood risk of the MJP gradually decreases from east to west. The results provide a firm scientific basis for flood control and drainage plans in the area.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 22
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1227: The Role of Attenuation and Land Management in Small Catchments to Remove Sediment and Phosphorus: A Modelling Study of Mitigation Options and Impacts Water doi: 10.3390/w10091227 Authors: Russell Adams Paul Quinn Nick Barber Sim Reaney It is well known that soil, hillslopes, and watercourses in small catchments possess a degree of natural attenuation that affects both the shape of the outlet hydrograph and the transport of nutrients and sediments. The widespread adoption of Natural Based Solutions (NBS) practices in the headwaters of these catchments is expected to add additional attenuation primarily through increasing the amount of new storage available to accommodate flood flows. The actual type of NBS features used to add storage could include swales, ditches, and small ponds (acting as sediment traps). Here, recent data collected from monitored features (from the Demonstration Test Catchments project in the Newby Beck catchment (Eden) in northwest England) were used to provide first estimates of the percentages of the suspended sediment (SS) and total phosphorus (TP) loads that could be trapped by additional features. The Catchment Runoff Attenuation Flux Tool (CRAFT) was then used to model this catchment (Newby Beck) to investigate whether adding additional attenuation, along with the ability to trap and retain SS (and attached P), will have any effect on the flood peak and associated peak concentrations of SS and TP. The modelling tested the hypothesis that increasing the amount of new storage (thus adding attenuation capacity) in the catchment will have a beneficial effect. The model results implied that a small decrease of the order of 5–10% in the peak concentrations of SS and TP was observable after adding 2000 m3 to 8000 m3 of additional storage to the catchment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 23
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Algorithms, Vol. 11, Pages 137: Learning Heterogeneous Knowledge Base Embeddings for Explainable Recommendation Algorithms doi: 10.3390/a11090137 Authors: Qingyao Ai Vahid Azizi Xu Chen Yongfeng Zhang Providing model-generated explanations in recommender systems is important to user experience. State-of-the-art recommendation algorithms—especially the collaborative filtering (CF)- based approaches with shallow or deep models—usually work with various unstructured information sources for recommendation, such as textual reviews, visual images, and various implicit or explicit feedbacks. Though structured knowledge bases were considered in content-based approaches, they have been largely ignored recently due to the availability of vast amounts of data and the learning power of many complex models. However, structured knowledge bases exhibit unique advantages in personalized recommendation systems. When the explicit knowledge about users and items is considered for recommendation, the system could provide highly customized recommendations based on users’ historical behaviors and the knowledge is helpful for providing informed explanations regarding the recommended items. A great challenge for using knowledge bases for recommendation is how to integrate large-scale structured and unstructured data, while taking advantage of collaborative filtering for highly accurate performance. Recent achievements in knowledge-base embedding (KBE) sheds light on this problem, which makes it possible to learn user and item representations while preserving the structure of their relationship with external knowledge for explanation. In this work, we propose to explain knowledge-base embeddings for explainable recommendation. Specifically, we propose a knowledge-base representation learning framework to embed heterogeneous entities for recommendation, and based on the embedded knowledge base, a soft matching algorithm is proposed to generate personalized explanations for the recommended items. Experimental results on real-world e-commerce datasets verified the superior recommendation performance and the explainability power of our approach compared with state-of-the-art baselines.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 24
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 346: Metal Sequestration through Coupled Dissolution–Precipitation at the Brucite–Water Interface Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8080346 Authors: Jörn Hövelmann Christine V. Putnis Liane G. Benning The increasing release of potentially toxic metals from industrial processes can lead to highly elevated concentrations of these metals in soil, and ground- and surface-waters. Today, metal pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems and thus, the development of effective remediation strategies is of paramount importance. In this context, it is critical to understand how dissolved metals interact with mineral surfaces in soil–water environments. Here, we assessed the processes that govern the interactions between six common metals (Zn, Cd, Co, Ni, Cu, and Pb) with natural brucite (Mg(OH)2) surfaces. Using atomic force microscopy and a flow-through cell, we followed the coupled process of brucite dissolution and subsequent nucleation and growth of various metal bearing precipitates at a nanometer scale. Scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy allowed for the identification of the precipitates as metal hydroxide phases. Our observations and thermodynamic calculations indicate that this coupled dissolution–precipitation process is governed by a fluid boundary layer at the brucite–water interface. Importantly, this layer differs in composition and pH from the bulk solution. These results contribute to an improved mechanistic understanding of sorption reactions at mineral surfaces that control the mobility and fate of toxic metals in the environment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 25
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3264: Harmony in Diversity: Can the One Belt One Road Initiative Promote China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment? Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093264 Authors: Lili Kang Fei Peng Yu Zhu An Pan This paper investigates the effect of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative on China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) using a dataset of all host countries for the period of 2010–2015. The employed econometric technique combines a difference-in-differences estimator with matching techniques. The results show that China’s OFDI in OBOR countries is about 40% higher than in non-OBOR countries. After the initiative, the OFDI from China increases by 46.2% in OBOR countries. However, after controlling for the heterogeneity across OBOR and non-OBOR countries using the matching approach, the significance of the increasing effect caused by the OBOR initiative disappears. We also find the OBOR initiative diminishes the resource-seeking motivation and improves the market-seeking motivation of China’s OFDI. Our results cast doubts on the infrastructure-led and institution-based strategy of the OBOR initiative, but support the boosting effect of the OBOR initiative on institutional cooperation and cultural convergence. Thus, the OBOR initiative is a sustainable continuation and development of the long tradition of economic, institutional, and cultural convergence with the OBOR countries, rather than a temporary policy shock.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 26
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2429: Transmission Expansion Planning under Uncertainty for Investment Options with Various Lead-Times Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092429 Authors: Wook-Won Kim Jong-Keun Park Yong-Tae Yoon Mun-Kyeom Kim Investment options of transmission expansion planning (TEP) involve different lead times according to their length, technology, and environmental and social impacts. TEP planners can utilize the various lead times to deal with the risk of uncertainty. This paper proposes a novel framework for TEP under an uncertain environment, which includes investment options with various lead times. A multi-stage model is developed to reflect the different lead times in the planning method. The level of demand uncertainty is represented using a relative standard deviation. Demand uncertainty in the presented multi-stage model and its influence on the optimal decision are studied. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear problem to which stochastic programming is applied, and the proposed framework is illustrated from case studies on a modified Garver’s six-bus system. The case studies verify the effectiveness of the framework for TEP problems with a mathematically tractable model and demonstrates that the proposed method achieves better performance than other methods when the problems involve investment candidates with various lead times under uncertain conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2430: Experimental Analysis on Flame Flickering of a Swirl Partially Premixed Combustion Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092430 Authors: Zhongya Xi Zhongguang Fu Syed Waqas Sabir Xiaotian Hu Yibo Jiang Tao Zhang An experiment was conducted to explore the flickering parameters under varying mass flow rate of fuel m ˙ F with spatial analysis and global analysis. The parameters include mean value, flickering weighted average frequency F, flickering coefficient of variation cv (firstly introduced), skewness s, and kurtosis k. From the spatial analysis, it was found that the brightest part of flame is located in its core, and the brightness gradually decreased from the inside out. The distributions of high levels of F, cv, s, and k are almost consistent, all lying in the flickering edge, which is a thin layer where the parameters sharply declined. From the global analysis, with the increment of m ˙ F, the global F decreased slightly; the global cv declined uniformly, which means the oscillation amplitude diminished and thus the flame became more stable; the global s linearly reduced; and the global k also showed a decreasing trend. The decreasing global s indicates that the number distribution gradually became symmetric, and the decreasing global k indicates that the number distribution progressively became flat. Consequently, the number distribution progressively tends to normal distribution at larger m ˙ F.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2426: Multi-Objective Optimization Design of an Electrohydrostatic Actuator Based on a Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm and an Analytic Hierarchy Process Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092426 Authors: Bo Yu Shuai Wu Zongxia Jiao Yaoxing Shang During the last few years, the concept of more-electric aircraft has been pushed ahead by industry and academics. For a more-electric actuation system, the electrohydrostatic actuator (EHA) has shown its potential for better reliability, low maintenance cost and reducing aircraft weight. Designing an EHA for aviation applications is a hard task, which should balance several inconsistent objectives simultaneously, such as weight, stiffness and power consumption. This work presents a method to obtain the optimal EHA, which combines multi-objective optimization with a synthetic decision method, that is, a multi-objective optimization design method, that can combine designers’ preferences and experiences. The evaluation model of an EHA in terms of weight, stiffness and power consumption is studied in the first section. Then, a multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) algorithm is introduced to obtain the Pareto front, and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is applied to help find the optimal design in the Pareto front. A demo of an EHA design illustrates the feasibility of the proposed method.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2424: A Stochastic Approach to Energy Policy and Management: A Case Study of the Pakistan Energy Crisis Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092424 Authors: Zaman Sajid Asma Javaid The energy policy of a country dictates its ability to better manage and deal with an energy crisis. A sustainable energy policy deals with not only energy production but also with energy consumption. In the past, the government of Pakistan has lacked such an approach. This study aims to develop a policy-making framework to improve the energy management of Pakistan through a probabilistic approach. Stochastic analysis is performed in this study and the uncertainty in energy data is used to propose a holistic energy policy. Energy-utilization data from 17 different sources are used to compare the accuracy of energy-consumption data from 1989 to 2013. The analysis reveals that there exists an uncertainty in energy-consumption data and the major cause of this uncertainty is energy theft. The analysis shows that the industry has the highest uncertainty in its energy-data utilization, followed by the transport and the domestic sectors of Pakistan. Based on stochastic analysis, seven recommended energy-policy guidelines are presented to manage the energy crisis in the country. The analysis proposes that Pakistan needs to take measures to control energy theft.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 704: Reply to “Comment on ‘Glass Transition, Crystallization of Glass-Forming Melts, and Entropy”’ by Zanotto and Mauro Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090704 Authors: Jürn Schmelzer Timur Tropin A response is given to a comment of Zanotto and Mauro on our paper published in Entropy 20, 103 (2018). Our arguments presented in this paper are widely ignored by them, and no new considerations are outlined in the comment, which would require a revision of our conclusions. For this reason, we restrict ourselves here to a brief response, supplementing it by some additional arguments in favor of our point of view not included in our above-cited paper.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 31
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 702: Big-Data-Mining-Based Improved K-Means Algorithm for Energy Use Analysis of Coal-Fired Power Plant Units: A Case Study Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090702 Authors: Binghan Liu Zhongguang Fu Pengkai Wang Lu Liu Manda Gao Ji Liu The energy use analysis of coal-fired power plant units is of significance for energy conservation and consumption reduction. One of the most serious problems attributed to Chinese coal-fired power plants is coal waste. Several units in one plant may experience a practical rated output situation at the same time, which may increase the coal consumption of the power plant. Here, we propose a new hybrid methodology for plant-level load optimization to minimize coal consumption for coal-fired power plants. The proposed methodology includes two parts. One part determines the reference value of the controllable operating parameters of net coal consumption under typical load conditions, based on an improved K-means algorithm and the Hadoop platform. The other part utilizes a support vector machine to determine the sensitivity coefficients of various operating parameters for the net coal consumption under different load conditions. Additionally, the fuzzy rough set attribute reduction method was employed to obtain the minimalist properties reduction method parameters to reduce the complexity of the dataset. This work is based on continuously-measured information system data from a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in China. The results show that the proposed strategy achieves high energy conservation performance. Taking the 600 MW load optimization value as an example, the optimized power supply coal consumption is 307.95 g/(kW·h) compared to the actual operating value of 313.45 g/(kW·h). It is important for coal-fired power plants to reduce their coal consumption.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 32
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 563: Distribution Changes of Phosphorus in Soil–Plant Systems of Larch Plantations across the Chronosequence Forests doi: 10.3390/f9090563 Authors: Fanpeng Zeng Xin Chen Bin Huang Guangyu Chi Phosphorus (P) is one of the most important factors influencing the growth and quality of larch plantations. A systematic knowledge of the dynamic changes of P in soil–plant systems can provide a theoretical basis for the sustainable development of larch plantations. We determined the concentration, biomass, and accumulation of P in five tree components (i.e., leaf, branch, bark, stem, and root), and the concentrations of various soil P fractions of larch plantations in 10-, 25-, and 50-year-old stands in northeast China. Our results showed that the N:P ratio and P concentration in leaves increased with stand age, indicating that the growth of larch plantations might be limited by P in the development of stands. The N:P ratio and P concentration in roots, and P resorption efficiency, increased with stand age, indicating the use efficiency of P could be enhanced in older stands. The concentrations of soil-labile P fractions (Resin-P, NaHCO3-Pi, and NaHCO3-Po) in 25- and 50-year-old stands were significantly lower than those in 10-year-old stands, indicating the availability of soil P decreases with the development of larch plantations.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 33
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 346: Framework for Offline Flood Inundation Forecasts for Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Models Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8090346 Authors: Punit Kumar Bhola Jorge Leandro Markus Disse The paper presents a new methodology for hydrodynamic-based flood forecast that focuses on scenario generation and database queries to select appropriate flood inundation maps in real-time. In operational flood forecasting, only discharges are forecasted at specific gauges using hydrological models. Hydrodynamic models, which are required to produce inundation maps, are computationally expensive, hence not feasible for real-time inundation forecasting. In this study, we have used a substantial number of pre-calculated inundation maps that are stored in a database and a methodology to extract the most likely maps in real-time. The method uses real-time discharge forecast at upstream gauge as an input and compares it with the pre-recorded scenarios. The results show satisfactory agreements between offline inundation maps that are retrieved from a pre-recorded database and online maps, which are hindcasted using historical events. Furthermore, this allows an efficient early warning system, thanks to the fast run-time of the proposed offline selection of inundation maps. The framework is validated in the city of Kulmbach in Germany.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2000: Inequities in Childhood Vaccination Coverage in Zhejiang, Province: Evidence from a Decomposition Analysis on Two-Round Surveys International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092000 Authors: Yu Hu Hui Liang Ying Wang Yaping Chen Objective: The objectives of this study were to determine the degree and risk factors of the inequity in the childhood coverage of full primary immunization (FPI) in Zhejiang province. Method: We used data from two rounds of vaccination coverage surveys among children aged 24–35 months conducted in 2014 and 2017, respectively. The household income per month was used as an index of socioeconomic status for the inequality analysis. The concentration index (CI) was used to quantify the degree of inequality, and the decomposition approach was applied to quantify the contributions from demographic factors to inequality in the coverage of FPI. Results: The coverage rates of FPI were 80.6%, with a CI value of 0.12028 for the 2014 survey, while the coverage rates of FPI were 85.2%, with a CI value of 0.10129 for the 2017 survey. The results of decomposition analysis suggested that 68.2% and 67.1% of the socioeconomic inequality in the coverage of FPI could be explained by the mother’s education level for the 2014 and 2017 survey, respectively. Other risk factors including birth order, ethnic group, mother’s age, maternal employment status, residence, immigration status, GDP per-capita, and the percentage of the total health spending allocated to public health could also explain this inequality. Conclusion: The socioeconomic inequity in the coverage of FPI still remained, although this gap was reduced between 2014 and 2017. Policy recommendations for health interventions on reducing the inequality in the coverage of FPI should be focused on eliminating poverty and women’s illiteracy.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 35
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1997: Lead Poisoning and the Dangers of Pragmatism International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091997 Authors: Daniel Renfrew Drawing from ethnographic research on lead poisoning in Uruguay and secondary literature from lead poisoning cases around the world, the commentary argues that public health policy guided by pragmatism presents multiple dangers to effective health intervention.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1999: A Bayesian Downscaler Model to Estimate Daily PM2.5 Levels in the Conterminous US International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091999 Authors: Yikai Wang Xuefei Hu Howard H. Chang Lance A. Waller Jessica H. Belle Yang Liu There has been growing interest in extending the coverage of ground particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) monitoring networks based on satellite remote sensing data. With broad spatial and temporal coverage, a satellite-based monitoring network has a strong potential to complement the ground monitor system in terms of the spatiotemporal availability of the air quality data. However, most existing calibration models focus on a relatively small spatial domain and cannot be generalized to a national study. In this paper, we proposed a statistically reliable and interpretable national modeling framework based on Bayesian downscaling methods to be applied to the calibration of the daily ground PM2.5 concentrations across the conterminous United States using satellite-retrieved aerosol optical depth (AOD) and other ancillary predictors in 2011. Our approach flexibly models the PM2.5 versus AOD and the potential related geographical factors varying across the climate regions and yields spatial- and temporal-specific parameters to enhance model interpretability. Moreover, our model accurately predicted the national PM2.5 with an R2 at 70% and generated reliable annual and seasonal PM2.5 concentration maps with its SD. Overall, this modeling framework can be applied to national-scale PM2.5 exposure assessments and can also quantify the prediction errors.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 37
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1995: Associations of Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Primary School Children with Their Parental Behaviors and Supports International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091995 Authors: Chiaki Tanaka Masayuki Okuda Maki Tanaka Shigeru Inoue Shigeho Tanaka Background: The associations of objectively evaluated moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time between primary school children and their fathers or mothers have not been fully understood. Therefore, we tested the associations in children. Methods: The participants were first to sixth grade boys (n = 166, 9.4 ± 1.6 years) and girls (n = 202, 9.4 ± 1.6 years) and their parents (fathers, n = 123 and mothers, n = 321). MVPA and sedentary time were measured using triaxial accelerometry. The relationship between parental support which was assessed by self-reported questionnaire and children’s MVPA was also examined. Results: MVPA in the children was positively correlated with maternal MVPA after adjustment for the children’s gender, grade, body mass index z-score, paternal or maternal age, and school (p < 0.001). However, paternal or maternal sedentary time and paternal MVPA showed no significant association with sedentary time or MVPA in children. On the other hand, the percentage of MVPA in children who spent more time with their mothers on weekends was significantly lower than those who spent less time (p = 0.034). Children whose mothers watched their sports events had a significantly higher percentage of MVPA than those whose mothers did not watch these events (p = 0.008). There were no associations between children’s MVPA and paternal support. Conclusions: The findings of this study demonstrate the significance of maternal MVPA and support.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 38
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1993: Resistance of Escherichia coli in Turkeys after Therapeutic or Environmental Exposition with Enrofloxacin Depending on Flooring International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091993 Authors: Bussarakam Chuppava Birgit Keller Amr Abd El-Wahab Jessica Meißner Manfred Kietzmann Christian Visscher Gaining knowledge about the spread of resistance against antibacterial agents is a primary challenge in livestock farming. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of double antibiotic treatment (at days 10–14 and days 26–30) with enrofloxacin or solely environmental exposition (identical times, directly into the litter) on resistance against antibacterial agents in commensal Escherichia coli in comparison with the control (without treatment), depending on different flooring. A total of 720 Big 6 turkeys participated in three trials. Four different flooring designs were examined: An entire floor pen covered with litter, a floor pen with heating, a partially slatted flooring including 50% littered area, and a fully slatted flooring with a sand bath. A total of 864 Escherichia coli isolates were obtained from cloacal swabs and poultry manure samples at days 2, 9, 15, 21, and 35. The broth microdilution method (MIC) was used to determine the resistance of isolates to enrofloxacin and ampicillin. A double antibiotic treatment with enrofloxacin reduced the proportion of susceptible Escherichia coli isolates significantly in all flooring designs. Simulation of water losses had no significant effect, nor did the flooring design. Ampicillin-resistant isolates were observed, despite not using ampicillin.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 39
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1991: Faithful Families Cooking and Eating Smart and Moving for Health: Evaluation of a Community Driven Intervention International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091991 Authors: Caitlin Torrence Sarah F. Griffin Laura Rolke Kelli Kenison AltaMae Marvin Background: There is an increasing need to adapt and use community interventions to address modifiable behaviors that lead to poor health outcomes, like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Poor health outcomes can be tied to community-level factors, such as food deserts and individual behaviors, like sedentary lifestyles, consuming large portion sizes, and eating high-calorie fast food and processed foods. Methods: Through a social ecological approach with family, organization and community, the Faithful Families Cooking and Eating Smart and Moving for Health (FFCESMH) intervention was created to address these concerns in a rural South Carolina community. FFCESMH used gatekeepers to identify 18 churches and four apartment complexes in low-income areas; 176 participants completed both pre- and post-survey measures. Results: Paired t-test measures found statistically significant change in participant perception of food security (0.39, p-value = 0.005, d = 0.22), self-efficacy with physical activity and healthy eating (0.26, p-value = 000, d = 0.36), and cooking confidence (0.17, p-value = 0.01, d = 0.19). There was not significant change in cooking behaviors, as assessed through the Cooking Behaviors Scale. Conclusion: FFCESMH shows that a social ecological approach can be effective at increasing and improving individual healthy behaviors and addressing community-level factors in low-income rural communities.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 40
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 376: The Geography of Taste: Using Yelp to Study Urban Culture ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7090376 Authors: Sohrab Rahimi Sam Mottahedi Xi Liu This study aims to put forth a new method to study the sociospatial boundaries by using georeferenced community-authored reviews for restaurants. In this study, we show that food choice, drink choice, and restaurant ambience can be good indicators of socioeconomic status of the ambient population in different neighborhoods. To this end, we use Yelp user reviews to distinguish different neighborhoods in terms of their food purchases and identify resultant boundaries in 10 North American metropolitan areas. This dataset includes restaurant reviews as well as a limited number of user check-ins and rating in those cities. We use Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to select a set of potential features pertaining to food, drink and ambience from Yelp user comments for each geolocated restaurant. We then select those features which determine one’s choice of restaurant and the rating that he/she provides for that restaurant. After identifying these features, we identify neighborhoods where similar taste is practiced. We show that neighborhoods identified through our method show statistically significant differences based on demographic factors such as income, racial composition, and education. We suggest that this method helps urban planners to understand the social dynamics of contemporary cities in absence of information on service-oriented cultural characteristics of urban communities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 41
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1718: Core-Shell-Structured Particle Reinforced A356 Matrix Composite Prepared by Powder-Thixoforming: Effect of Reheating Temperature Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091718 Authors: Tijun Chen Libo Geng He Qin Min Gao A novel core-shell-structured Ti-(Al-Si-Ti) particle (Ti-(Al-Si-Ti)p) reinforced A356 matrix composite was fabricated by a new method, powder thixoforming, which combines the merits of both powder metallurgy and semisolid thixoforming. The effects of reheating temperature on the microstructure and tensile properties of the resulting composite were investigated. The results indicated that the thickening of the Al-Si-Ti compound shells, with rising the reheating temperature, significantly enhanced the strengthening role, but the fracture and peeling of the shells, at higher than 600 °C, impaired the strengthening effect. The composite formed at 600 °C had a favorable tensile elongation of 8.3% besides high tensile strengths. During tensile testing, the Ti@(Al-Si-Ti)p frequently fractured across the Ti cores and occasionally cracked around the Ti cores, but preferentially fractured between the outer cracked shells and the inner cores for the composites thixoformed at higher than 600 °C. The delayed formation of cracks in the Ti-(Al-Si-Ti)p and the small size of the cracks contributed to ductility improvement. The MSL model, modified according to the Ti@(Al-Si-Ti)p characteristics, was essentially suitable for predicting the yield strength of such composites. The largest contribution to the strength was resulted from solid solution strengthening of Ti element, but the strengthening role from geometrically necessary dislocations was significantly improved as the reheating temperature rose from 590 °C to 600 °C.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 42
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1717: Morphometric Analysis of One-Component Polyurethane Foams Applicable in the Building Sector via X-ray Computed Microtomography Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091717 Authors: Aurelia Blazejczyk A detailed morphometric analysis of one-component polyurethane (PU) expanding foams, with densities of 26 and 28 kg/m3 (‘SUMMER’ and ‘WINTER’ product versions), was conducted to evaluate the topology of the foam cells and to discover processing-to-structure relationships. The microstructural analysis of the heterogeneously distributed pores revealed tight relationships between the foam morphology and the cell topology, depending on the growth rate and local environmental conditions, governed by the properties of the blowing gas used. The most significant morphometric output included the following: open/closed porosity and (heterogeneous) pore distribution, relative density and (homogeneous) strut distribution, and total solid matrix surface and closed pore surface area—at the macroscopic level of the foam. While, at the microscopic level of the cells, the results embraced the following: the size of every detected strut and pore, identified two-dimensional (2D) shapes of the cell faces, and proposed three-dimensional (3D) topologies modelling the PU foam cells. The foam microstructure could be then related with macroscopic features, significant in building applications. Our protocol outlines the common procedures that are currently used for the sample preparation, X-ray scanning, 3D image reconstruction and dataset analysis in the frame of the X-ray computed microtomography (µ-CT) testing of the one-component PU foams, followed by a statistical (multiple Gaussian) analysis and conceptual considerations of the results in comparison with thematic literature.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 43
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1716: Biomedical Porous Shape Memory Alloys for Hard-Tissue Replacement Materials Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091716 Authors: Bin Yuan Min Zhu Chi Yuen Chung Porous shape memory alloys (SMAs), including NiTi and Ni-free Ti-based alloys, are unusual materials for hard-tissue replacements because of their unique superelasticity (SE), good biocompatibility, and low elastic modulus. However, the Ni ion releasing for porous NiTi SMAs in physiological conditions and relatively low SE for porous Ni-free SMAs have delayed their clinic applications as implantable materials. The present article reviews recent research progresses on porous NiTi and Ni-free SMAs for hard-tissue replacements, focusing on two specific topics: (i) synthesis of porous SMAs with optimal porous structure, microstructure, mechanical, and biological properties; and, (ii) surface modifications that are designed to create bio-inert or bio-active surfaces with low Ni releasing and high biocompatibility for porous NiTi SMAs. With the advances of preparation technique, the porous SMAs can be tailored to satisfied porous structure with porosity ranging from 30% to 85% and different pore sizes. In addition, they can exhibit an elastic modulus of 0.4–15 GPa and SE of more than 2.5%, as well as good cell and tissue biocompatibility. As a result, porous SMAs had already been used in maxillofacial repairing, teeth root replacement, and cervical and lumbar vertebral implantation. Based on current research progresses, possible future directions are discussed for “property-pore structure” relationship and surface modification investigations, which could lead to optimized porous biomedical SMAs. We believe that porous SMAs with optimal porous structure and a bioactive surface layer are the most competitive candidate for short-term and long-term hard-tissue replacement materials.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1713: Investigating Metal–Insulator Transition and Structural Phase Transformation in the (010)-VO2/(001)-YSZ Epitaxial Thin Films Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091713 Authors: Yuanjun Yang Yingxue Yao Benjian Zhang Hui Lin Zhenlin Luo Chen Gao Cong Zhang Chaoyang Kang The VO2 thin films with sharp metal–insulator transition (MIT) were epitaxially grown on (001)-oriented Yttria-stabilized zirconia substrates (YSZ) using radio-frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering techniques. The MIT and structural phase transition (SPT) were comprehensively investigated under in situ temperature conditions. The amplitude of MIT is in the order of magnitude of 104, and critical temperature is 342 K during the heating cycle. It is interesting that both electron concentration and mobility are changed by two orders of magnitude across the MIT. This research is distinctively different from previous studies, which found that the electron concentration solely contributes to the amplitude of the MIT, although the electron mobility does not. Analysis of the SPT showed that the (010)-VO2/(001)-YSZ epitaxial thin film presents a special multi-domain structure, which is probably due to the symmetry matching and lattice mismatch between the VO2 and YSZ substrate. The VO2 film experiences the SPT from the M1 phase at low temperature to a rutile phase at a high temperature. Moreover, the SPT occurs at the same critical temperature as that of the MIT. This work may shed light on a new MIT behavior and may potentially pave the way for preparing high-quality VO2 thin films on cost-effective YSZ substrates for photoelectronic applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 45
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1711: Porous Calcium Phosphate Ceramic Scaffolds with Tailored Pore Orientations and Mechanical Properties Using Lithography-Based Ceramic 3D Printing Technique Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091711 Authors: Jung-Bin Lee Woo-Youl Maeng Young-Hag Koh Hyoun-Ee Kim This study demonstrates the usefulness of the lithography-based ceramic 3-dimensional printing technique with a specifically designed top-down process for the production of porous calcium phosphate (CaP) ceramic scaffolds with tailored pore orientations and mechanical properties. The processing parameters including the preparation of a photocurable CaP slurry with a high solid loading (φ = 45 vol%), the exposure time for photocuring process, and the initial designs of the porous scaffolds were carefully controlled. Three types of porous CaP scaffolds with different pore orientations (i.e., 0°/90°, 0°/45°/90°/135°, and 0°/30°/60°/90°/120°/150°) were produced. All the scaffolds exhibited a tightly controlled porous structure with straight CaP frameworks arranged in a periodic pattern while the porosity was kept constant. The porous CaP scaffold with a pore orientation of 0°/90° demonstrated the highest compressive strength and modulus due to a number of CaP frameworks parallel to the loading direction. On the other hand, scaffolds with multiple pore orientations may exhibit more isotropic mechanical properties regardless of the loading directions. The porous CaP scaffolds exhibited an excellent in vitro apatite-forming ability in a stimulated body fluid (SBF) solution. These findings suggest that porous CaP scaffolds with tailored pore orientations may provide tunable mechanical properties with good bone regeneration ability.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 46
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1704: Antimicrobial Features of Organic Functionalized Graphene-Oxide with Selected Amines Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091704 Authors: Irina Zarafu Ioana Turcu Daniela C. Culiță Simona Petrescu Marcela Popa Mariana C. Chifiriuc Carmen Limban Alexandra Telehoiu Petre Ioniță (1) Background: Graphene oxide is a new carbon-based material that contains functional groups (carboxyl, hydroxyl, carbonyl, epoxy) and therefore can be easily functionalized with organic compounds of interest, yielding hybrid materials with important properties and applications. (2) Methods: Graphene oxide has been obtained by a modified Hummers method and activated by thionyl chloride in order to be covalently functionalized with amines. Thus obtained hybrid materials were characterized by infrared and Raman spectroscopy, elemental analysis and scanning electron microscopy and then tested for their antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity. (3) Results: Eight amines of interest were used to functionalize grapheme oxide and the materials thus obtained were tested against Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacterial strainsin plankonic and biofilm growth state. Both amines, as well as the functionalized materials, exhibited anti-microbial features. Three to five functionalized graphene oxide materials exhibited improved inhibitory activity against planktonic strains as compared with the respective amines. In exchange, the amines alone proved generally more efficient against biofilm-embedded cells. (4) Conclusions: Such hybrid materials may have a wide range of potential use in biomedical applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 47
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1702: Synthetic and Marine-Derived Porous Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091702 Authors: Ana S. Neto José M. F. Ferreira Bone is a vascularized and connective tissue. The cortical bone is the main part responsible for the support and protection of the remaining systems and organs of the body. The trabecular spongy bone serves as the storage of ions and bone marrow. As a dynamic tissue, bone is in a constant remodelling process to adapt to the mechanical demands and to repair small lesions that may occur. Nevertheless, due to the increased incidence of bone disorders, the need for bone grafts has been growing over the past decades and the development of an ideal bone graft with optimal properties remains a clinical challenge. This review addresses the bone properties (morphology, composition, and their repair and regeneration capacity) and puts the focus on the potential strategies for developing bone repair and regeneration materials. It describes the requirements for designing a suitable scaffold material, types of materials (polymers, ceramics, and composites), and techniques to obtain the porous structures (additive manufacturing techniques like robocasting or derived from marine skeletons) for bone tissue engineering applications. Overall, the main objective of this review is to gather the knowledge on the materials and methods used for the production of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering and to highlight the potential of natural porous structures such as marine skeletons as promising alternative bone graft substitute materials without any further mineralogical changes, or after partial or total transformation into calcium phosphate.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1703: Cell Type Influences Local Delivery of Biomolecules from a Bioinspired Apatite Drug Delivery System Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091703 Authors: Jumana Alhamdi Emily Jacobs Gloria Gronowicz Nadia Benkirane-Jessel Marja Hurley Liisa Kuhn Recently, the benefit of step-wise sequential delivery of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and bone morphogenetic protein-2 from a bioinspired apatite drug delivery system on mouse calvarial bone repair was demonstrated. The thicknesses of the nanostructured poly-l-Lysine/poly-l-Glutamic acid polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) and the bone-like apatite barrier layer that make up the delivery system, were varied. The effects of the structural variations of the coating on the kinetics of cell access to a cytotoxic factor delivered by the layered structure were evaluated. FGF-2 was adsorbed into the outer PEM, and cytotoxic antimycin-A (AntiA) was adsorbed to the substrate below the barrier layer to detect the timing of the cell access. While MC3T3-E1 osteoprogenitor cells accessed AntiA after three days, the RAW 264.7 macrophage access occurred within 4 h, unless the PEM layer was removed, in which case the results were reversed. Pits were created in the coating by the RAW 264.7 macrophages and initiated delivery, while the osteoprogenitor cell access to drugs occurred through a solution-mediated coating dissolution, at junctions between the islands of crystals. Macrophage-mediated degradation is therefore a mechanism that controls drug release from coatings containing bioinspired apatite.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1701: Measurement and Analysis of Thermal Conductivity of Ti3C2Tx MXene Films Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091701 Authors: Lin Chen Xuguo Shi Nanjie Yu Xing Zhang Xiaoze Du Jun Lin A new class of 2D materials named “MXene” has recently received significant research interest as they have demonstrated great potential for the applications in batteries, supercapacitors, and electronic devices. However, the research on their thermal properties is still very limited. In this work, Ti3C2Tx films were prepared by the vacuum-assisted filtration of delaminated nano-flake Ti3C2Tx MXenes. The thermal and electrical conductivity of the Ti3C2Tx films were measured by the state-of-the-art T-type method. The results showed that the effective thermal conductivity of the films increased from 1.26 W·m−1·K−1 at 80 K to 2.84 W·m−1·K−1 at 290 K, while the electrical conductivity remained at 12,800 Ω−1·m−1 for the same temperature range. Thermal resistance model was applied to evaluate the inherent thermal conductivity of the Ti3C2Tx flakes, which was estimated to be in the range of tens to hundreds W·m−1·K−1.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1700: Influence of Multi-Holes on Fatigue Behaviors of Cast Magnesium Alloys Based on In-Situ Scanning Electron Microscope Technology Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091700 Authors: Xi-Shu Wang Chang-Hao Tan Juan Ma Xiao-Dong Zhu Qing-Yuan Wang The low cycle fatigue tests on the crack initiation and propagation of cast magnesium alloys with two small holes were carried out by using in-situ scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation technology. The fatigue crack propagation behaviors and fatigue life, which are affected by two small artificial through holes, including the distances between two holes and their locations, were discussed in detail based on the experimental results and the finite element analysis (FEA). The results indicated that the fatigue multi-cracks occurred chiefly at the edges of two holes and the main crack propagation was along the weak dendrite boundary with the plastic deformation vestiges on the surface of α-Mg phase of cast AM50 and AM60B alloys. The fatigue cracking characteristics of cast AZ91 alloy depended mainly on the brittle properties of β-Mg17Al12 phase, in which the multi-cracks occurred still at the edges of two holes and boundaries of β-Mg17Al12 phase. The fatigue crack initiation position of cast magnesium alloys depends strongly on the radius of curvature of through hole or stress concentration factor at the closed edges of two through holes. In addition, the fatigue multi-cracks were amalgamated for the samples with titled 45° of two small holes of cast Mg-Al alloys when the hole distance is less than 4D (D is the diameter of the small hole).
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 51
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1698: Theoretical and Experimental Study on the Effective Piezoelectric Properties of 1-3 Type Cement-Based Piezoelectric Composites Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091698 Authors: Jun Zhu Zhi Wang Xingyi Zhu Bo Yang Chuanqing Fu The double asymptotic homogenization method originated for analyzing physical systems containing two or more length scales was adopted to predict the characteristic of 1-3 type cement-based piezoelectric composites for the first time. The piezoelectric properties of 1-3 type cement-based piezoelectric composites were measured and comparisons between the experimental data and predicted values validate the effectiveness of the present analytical model. Moreover, numerical discussions and experiments show that one should choose proper volume fraction of constituents to achieve the best performance of the 1-3 type cement-based piezoelectric composites.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 52
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1699: Enhancing High-Frequency Dielectric Properties of Beta-SiC Filled Nanocomposites from Synergy between Percolation and Polarization Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091699 Authors: Cheng Peng Yefeng Feng Jianbing Hu Promising comprehensive properties, including high permittivity, low dielectric loss, high breakdown strength, low electrical conductivity, and high thermal conductivity, are very hard to simultaneously obtain in high-frequency applicable polymer nanocomposite dielectrics. Instead of traditional electric percolation, in this work, a novel route based on a synergy between electric percolation and induced polarization has been raised to prepare 0–3 type nanocomposites with an enhanced high permittivity (high-k) property and low loss at high frequency. This work aimed at optimizing that synergy to achieve the favorable properties mentioned above in composite dielectrics used at high frequencies such as 1 MHz and 1 GHz. Conductive beta-SiC nanoparticles with a particle size of ~30 nm were employed as filler and both insulating poly(vinyl alcohol) and polyvinyl chloride were employed as polymer matrices to construct two composite systems. Utilizing polyvinyl chloride rather than poly(vinyl alcohol) realizes higher comprehensive electrical properties in composites, ascribed to optimization of that synergy. The optimization was achieved based on a combination of mild induced polarization and polarization-assisted electric percolation. Therefore, this work might open the way for large-scale production of high-frequency applicable composite dielectrics with competitive comprehensive electrical properties.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 53
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 402: Effect of H2O2 on the Separation of Mo-Bi-Containing Ore by Flotation Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8090402 Authors: Shangyong Lin Runqing Liu Wei Sun Yuehua Hu Haisheng Han Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a strong oxidizer that causes non-selective oxidation of sulfide minerals, and its influence on bismuth sulfide ores is not well-documented. In this study, H2O2 was proposed as an alternative bismuthinite depressant, and its effect on a Mo-Bi-containing ore was intensively investigated by batch flotation tests. Results showed that the addition of H2O2 significantly destabilized the froth phase, thus decreasing the solids and water recovery. The recovery of bismuth in molybdenum concentrate was dramatically decreased to 4.64% by H2O2 compared with that in the absence of H2O2 (i.e., 50.14%). The modified first-order kinetic model demonstrated that the flotation rate of molybdenite slightly declined after H2O2 addition, whereas that of bismuthinite was drastically reduced from 0.30 min−1 to 0.08 min−1 under the same condition. Simulation revealed that H2O2 affected the floatability of both molybdenite and bismuthinite but resulted in more detrimental effect to bismuthinite. Hence, H2O2 has the potential to act as an effective depressant in bismuth sulfide ore flotation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 54
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 403: Characterization of Mine Waste and Acid Mine Drainage Prediction by Simple Testing Methods in Terms of the Effects of Sulfate-Sulfur and Carbonate Minerals Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8090403 Authors: Shinji Matsumoto Hirotaka Ishimatsu Hideki Shimada Takashi Sasaoka Ginting Jalu Kusuma Characterization of mine waste rocks and prediction of acid mine drainage (AMD) play an important role in preventing AMD. Although high-tech analytical methods have been highlighted for mineral characterization and quantification, simple testing methods are still practical ways to perform in a field laboratory in mines. Thus, this study applied some simple testing methods to the characterization of mine wastes and AMD prediction in addition to a leaching test and the sequential extraction test with HCl, HF, and HNO3, which have not been applied for these purposes, focusing on the form of sulfur and the neutralization effects of carbonates. The results of the Acid Buffering Characteristic Curve test supported the changing trend of the pH attributing carbonates only during the first 10 leaching cycles in the leaching test. The change in the Net Acid Generating (NAG) pH in the sequential NAG test reflected the solubility of sulfur in the rocks, providing information on the form of sulfur in the rocks and the acid-producing potential over time. Consequently, the sequential NAG test and sequential extraction with the acids in combination with the current standards tests (Acid Base Accounting and NAG tests) provided important information for preventing AMD.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 404: Fundamental Studies of SHMP in Reducing Negative Effects of Divalent Ions on Molybdenite Flotation Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8090404 Authors: Wanqing Li Yubiao Li Zhenlun Wei Qing Xiao Shaoxian Song Seawater has been considered as an alternative to freshwater for flotation. However, many ions in seawater were reported to depress molybdenite (MoS2), with the depressing mechanisms being insufficiently understood. In this study, the influence of divalent ions (e.g., Ca2+ and Mg2+) and dispersant on MoS2 flotation was systematically investigated. It was found that the detrimental effects of Ca2+ and Mg2+ on the natural flotability of MoS2 were mainly due to the attachment of formed CaMoO4 precipitates and Mg(OH)2 colloids onto MoS2 surface. However, the addition of sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) reduced the negative effects. Various measurements, including contact angle, zeta potential, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscope (AFM), were conducted to understand the influencing mechanisms of divalent ions and the beneficial effects of SHMP on MoS2 flotation. In addition, the Extended Derjguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (EDLVO) theory was applied to investigate the total interaction energy between MoS2 particles and formed colloids, revealing that the reduced attraction force between MoS2 and Mg(OH)2 colloids in the presence of SHMP primarily resulted in the increased MoS2 recovery. In addition, SHMP combined with Mg2+ and Ca2+ to form dissolvable complexes, thereby reducing insoluble Mg2+ and Ca2+ compounds or precipitation. Thus, this study demonstrated for the first time two influencing mechanisms of SHMP in improving MoS2 recovery in the presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 56
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 405: Geology, Apatite Geochronology, and Geochemistry of the Ernest Henry Inter-Lens: Implications for a Re-Examined Deposit Model Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8090405 Authors: Bradley W. Cave Richard Lilly Stijn Glorie Jack Gillespie The Ernest Henry Iron-Oxide-Copper-Gold deposit is the largest known Cu-Au deposit in the Eastern Succession of the Proterozoic Mount Isa Inlier, NW Queensland. Cu-Au mineralization is hosted in a K-feldspar altered breccia, bounded by two major pre-mineralization shear zones. Previous research suggests that Cu-Au mineralization and the ore-bearing breccia formed simultaneously through an eruption style explosive/implosive event, facilitated by the mixing of fluids at ~1530 Ma. However, the preservation of a highly deformed, weakly mineralized, pre-mineralization feature (termed the Inter-lens) within the orebody indicates that this model must be re-examined. The paragenesis of the Inter-lens is broadly consistent with previous studies on the deposit, and consists of albitization; an apatite-calcite-quartz-garnet assemblage; biotite-magnetite ± garnet alteration; K-feldspar ± hornblende alteration; Cu-Au mineralization and post-mineralization alteration and veining. Apatite from the paragenetically early apatite-calcite-quartz-garnet assemblage produce U–Pb ages of 1584 ± 22 Ma and 1587 ± 22 Ma, suggesting that the formation of apatite, and the maximum age of the Inter-lens is synchronous with D2 deformation of the Isan Orogeny and regional peak-metamorphic conditions. Apatite rare earth element-depletion trends display: (1) a depletion in rare earth elements evenly, corresponding with an enrichment in arsenic and (2) a selective light rare earth element depletion. Exposure to an acidic NaCl and/or CaCl2-rich sedimentary-derived fluid is responsible for the selective light rare earth element-depletion trend, while the exposure to a neutral to alkaline S, Na-, and/or Ca-rich magmatic fluid resulted in the depletion of rare earth elements in apatite evenly, while producing an enrichment in arsenic. We suggest the deposit experienced at least two hydrothermal events, with the first event related to peak-metamorphism (~1585 Ma) and a subsequent event related to the emplacement of the nearby (~1530 Ma) Williams–Naraku Batholiths. Brecciation resulted from competency contrasts between ductile metasedimentary rocks of the Inter-lens and surrounding shear zones against the brittle metavolcanic rocks that comprise the ore-bearing breccia, providing permeable pathways for the subsequent ore-bearing fluids.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 57
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2623: Metal Contamination Distribution Detection in High-Voltage Transmission Line Insulators by Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082623 Authors: Naixiao Wang Xilin Wang Ping Chen Zhidong Jia Liming Wang Ronghui Huang Qishen Lv The fast detection of classical contaminants and their distribution on high-voltage transmission line insulators is essential for ensuring the safe operation of the power grid. The analysis of existing insulator contamination has traditionally relied on taking samples during a power cut, taking the samples back to the lab and then testing them with elemental analysis equipment, especially for sugars, bird droppings, and heavy metal particulates, which cannot be analysed by the equivalent salt deposit density (ESDD) or non-soluble deposit density (NSDD) methods. In this study, a novel method called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) offering the advantages of no sample preparation, being nearly nondestructive and having a fast speed was applied for the analysis of metal contamination. Several LIBS parameters (laser energy and delay time) were optimized to obtain better resolution of the spectral data. The limit of detection (LOD) of the observed elements was obtained using a calibration curve. Compared to calibration curves, multivariate analysis methods including principal component analysis (PCA), k-means and partial least squares regression (PLSR) showed their superiority in analyzing metal contamination in insulators. Then, the elemental distribution of natural pollution was predicted using LIBS to fully capture information about the bulk elements (Na, Ni, Cu, Mn, Ca, etc.) of entire areas with PLSR. The results showed that LIBS could be a promising method for accurate direct online quantification of metal contamination in insulators.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 58
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2621: Future Trend Forecast by Empirical Wavelet Transform and Autoregressive Moving Average Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082621 Authors: Qiusheng Wang Haipeng Li Jinyong Lin Chunxia Zhang In engineering and technical fields, a large number of sensors are applied to monitor a complex system. A special class of signals are often captured by those sensors. Although they often have indirect or indistinct relationships among them, they simultaneously reflect the operating states of the whole system. Using these signals, the field engineers can evaluate the operational states, even predict future behaviors of the monitored system. A novel method of future operational trend forecast of a complex system is proposed in this paper. It is based on empirical wavelet transform (EWT) and autoregressive moving average (ARMA) techniques. Firstly, empirical wavelet transform is used to extract the significant mode from each recorded signal, which reflects one aspect of the operating system. Secondly, the system states are represented by the indicator function which are obtained from those normalized and weighted significant modes. Finally, the future trend is forecast by the parametric model of ARMA. The effectiveness and practicality of the proposed method are verified by a set of numerical experiments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 59
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2620: Design and Implementation of a Novel Polarimetric Active Radar Calibrator for Gaofen-3 SAR Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082620 Authors: Liang Li Yongtao Zhu Jun Hong Feng Ming Yu Wang The Chinese first fully polarimetric space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR)-Gaofen-3 (GF-3) was launched in August 2016, which operates at the C-band and the resolution can reach 1 m. Polarimetric SAR calibration is a procedure that corrects the polarization distortion of a measured scattering matrix by referring to the scattering matrix of a known target. The present paper describes the principle, design, manufacture, and measurement results of a novel polarimetric active radar calibrator (PARC) designed for GF-3. A new design method for PARC was presented and two dual-polarized antennas with very high polarization purity were used. The internal calibration technique was introduced to ensure balance in the amplitude and phase, which ensures the precision of the PARC’s scattering matrices. The results we obtained through measurement in the microwave anechoic chamber and experiments in in-orbit calibration agree well with the theoretical predictions, and the novel PARC presented is proved to be well suited for polarization and radiometric calibration of GF-3.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 60
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2618: Energy Efficient Management of Pipelines in Buildings Using Linear Wireless Sensor Networks Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082618 Authors: Sudeep Varshney Chiranjeev Kumar Abhishek Swaroop Ashish Khanna Deepak Gupta Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues Plácido R. Pinheiro Victor Hugo C. de Albuquerque The efficient and safe management of air conditioner (AC), Piped Natural Gas (PNG) and water pipelines in large buildings is a major challenge for the safety of these buildings. In recent years, Linear Wireless Sensor Networks (LWSN) are being used extensively for monitoring of long natural gas, water, and oil pipelines. LWSNs can also be used for efficient and safe management of AC, PNG and water pipelines in large buildings. In this paper, a scheme for optimal placement of sensors and base stations in a linear fashion to monitor the various pipelines used in large buildings has been proposed. The proposed scheme utilizes the Lion Optimization Algorithm (LOA) and has been compared with three strategies, namely Ant Colony Optimization (ACO), Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Greedy Approach with respect to throughput, lifetime and end-to-end delay. The simulation results show that the proposed scheme exhibits better performance in comparison to the other three considered techniques for all the three parameters. The most striking feature of the proposed approach is that optimization is more effective when the length of the pipeline is more as far as end-to-end delay is concerned. The lifetime of the network is significantly improved using the proposed approach, especially when the length of the pipeline is of medium size, which makes the proposed scheme suitable for energy efficient buildings.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 61
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2619: Validation of the Apple Watch for Heart Rate Variability Measurements during Relax and Mental Stress in Healthy Subjects Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082619 Authors: David Hernando Surya Roca Jorge Sancho Álvaro Alesanco Raquel Bailón Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis is a noninvasive tool widely used to assess autonomic nervous system state. The market for wearable devices that measure the heart rate has grown exponentially, as well as their potential use for healthcare and wellbeing applications. Still, there is a lack of validation of these devices. In particular, this work aims to validate the Apple Watch in terms of HRV derived from the RR interval series provided by the device, both in temporal (HRM (mean heart rate), SDNN, RMSSD and pNN50) and frequency (low and high frequency powers, LF and HF) domain. For this purpose, a database of 20 healthy volunteers subjected to relax and a mild cognitive stress was used. First, RR interval series provided by Apple Watch were validated using as reference the RR interval series provided by a Polar H7 using Bland-Altman plots and reliability and agreement coefficients. Then, HRV parameters derived from both RR interval series were compared and their ability to identify autonomic nervous system (ANS) response to mild cognitive stress was studied. Apple Watch measurements presented very good reliability and agreement (>0.9). RR interval series provided by Apple Watch contain gaps due to missing RR interval values (on average, 5 gaps per recording, lasting 6.5 s per gap). Temporal HRV indices were not significantly affected by the gaps. However, they produced a significant decrease in the LF and HF power. Despite these differences, HRV indices derived from the Apple Watch RR interval series were able to reflect changes induced by a mild mental stress, showing a significant decrease of HF power as well as RMSSD in stress with respect to relax, suggesting the potential use of HRV measurements derived from Apple Watch for stress monitoring.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2852: Supply Chain Efficiency Measurement to Maintain Sustainable Performance in the Automobile Industry Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082852 Authors: Illi Kim Changhee Kim The automobile industry is set to undergo a structural transformation in the progress toward next-generation industries that involve autonomous vehicles and connected cars. Thus, supply chain management has become increasingly important for corporate competitiveness. This study aims to identify opportunities for improving supply chain performance by quantifying suppliers’ impact on the supply chain. An analysis was conducted in two phases. First, the efficiency of 139 partners that supply automobile components to the Hyundai Motor Company was measured using the Charnes–Cooper–Rhodes model, while the efficiency of Hyundai Motor Company’s 540 supply chains comprising partners, subsidiaries, and parent companies was measured using the network epsilon-based measure model. Second, the relationship between the partner efficiency and the supply chain efficiency was analyzed using the Mann–Whitney U test and the Tobit regression model. The results showed that efficient operation of partners hampers the efficiency of the total supply chain. Thus, there may be several partners that are not committed to quality improvement, while the Hyundai Motor Company seeks to promote quality management through win–win cooperation with partners. Consequently, automakers must review their partner management system, including the evaluation criteria and the incentive system.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2851: An Analysis of the Factors behind the Citizen’s Attitude of Rejection towards Tourism in a Context of Overtourism and Economic Dependence on This Activity Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082851 Authors: José María Martín Martín Jose Manuel Guaita Martínez José Antonio Salinas Fernández New tourism trends, such as vacation rentals websites and low-cost tourism, have generated a new environment of interactions between tourism and the citizens. To this, we must add the fortuitous increase in demand in some touristic destinations. This has derived in situations of rejection in traditionally tourism-dependent environments. In this study, which is focused on the city of Barcelona, we use work-field data to analyze the elements that lie behind the popular aversion to tourism. Assuming a non-forced analysis that takes the Social Exchange Theory as a framework, we have determined that the negative economic effects derived from the increase in the number of accommodations destined for vacation rentals and in the demand lie behind this rejection. The main impacts that are perceived directly from these factors are: the increase in residential rentals prices and a shift from a traditional market to one oriented to the tourist with higher prices. It has also been determined that the most vulnerable population groups are those who manifest a stronger rejection, tenants of apartments in city centers, and citizens with a low/medium income, who perceive rises in the prices and a change in the market focus to a larger extent.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2850: Economic Vulnerability and Resilience to Natural Hazards: A Survey of Concepts and Measurements Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082850 Authors: Ilan Noy Rio Yonson With the shift from a hazard-centered disaster paradigm to one that places emphasis on vulnerability and resilience, disasters triggered by natural hazards have begun to be perceived as unnatural occurrences. To date, the theoretical conceptualization and empirical measures of vulnerability and resilience remain subjects of contentions. This survey of the empirical economic literature aims to describe the progress made in the conceptualization and measurement of the economic dimensions of vulnerability and resilience in the context of natural hazards, and to provide useful insights for policy-making. Economic vulnerability and economic resilience, interacting with the hazard itself, and the exposure of populations and physical assets, are considered to be critical determinants of the resulting impacts of disasters. The empirical evidence provides systematic support for the hypothesis that apart from the characteristics of the hazards, the potential for people and economies to avoid adverse impacts and their capacity to withstand and rebound from a disaster are influenced by a confluence of socio-economic factors.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2849: Coordinated Control Model of Main-Signal and Pre-Signal for Intersections with Dynamic Waiting Lanes Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082849 Authors: Chen Zhao Yulin Chang Peng Zhang In order to alleviate the problem of the oversaturation of intersections, a traffic control method using a main-signal and pre-signals to periodically control the direction of dynamic waiting lanes was proposed in this paper. Based on the research on vehicle delay at intersections with dynamic waiting lanes and constraint relationships among a set of timing elements of the main-signal and pre-signal, a coordinated control model of a main-signal and pre-signal was built to minimize the average delay. Finally, a case study was performed to show that the proposed model is feasible. The objective optimization was performed by using a genetic algorithm to determine the main-signal and pre-signal timing scheme of the case study intersection, and then the average delay before and after installing dynamic waiting lanes was calculated and analyzed. The proposed method was found to be effective in reducing the intersection delay by 31.8% compared with the present situation of the intersection. Subsequently, the traffic volumes in the directions with dynamic waiting lanes installed were changed. It was demonstrated that with increasing traffic volumes, the effectiveness of the model to reduce intersection delay would be significant.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-11
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2848: A Social Norms Intervention Going Wrong: Boomerang Effects from Descriptive Norms Information Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082848 Authors: Isabel Richter John Thøgersen Christian A. Klöckner A large body of research supports the idea of social norms communication promoting pro-social and pro-environmental behaviour. This paper investigates social norms communication in the field. Signs prompting consumers about sustainable seafood labels and informing them about other consumers’ sustainable choices were displayed in supermarkets in Norway and Germany. Seafood sales (sustainably labelled versus unlabelled products) were observed before, during, and after the implementation of the signs. The expected change towards more sustainable choices was generally not found. In Norway, the choice of sustainable seafood increased in the prompt-only condition, but the effect was neutralised when social norms information was added. In Germany, social norm messages lead to a decline in sustainable choices compared to baseline, a boomerang effect. Overall, an increase in the purchase of seafood (both sustainably labelled and unlabelled) was noted during the intervention. A second study was carried out to further explore the finding that consumers were mainly primed with “seafood” as a food group. In a laboratory setting, participants were confronted with stereotypical food pictures, combined with short sentences encouraging different consumption patterns. Subsequently, they were asked to choose food products in a virtual shop. Confirming the findings of Study 1, participants chose more of the groceries belonging to the food group they were primed with. These studies suggest that social norms interventions—recently often perceived as “the Holy Grail” for behaviour change—are not as universally applicable as suggested in the literature. According to this study, even descriptive norm messages can produce boomerang effects.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1415: In Situ Stress Tensor Determination during Phase Transformation of a Metal Matrix Composite by High-Energy X-ray Diffraction Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081415 Authors: Guillaume Geandier Lilian Vautrot Benoît Denand Sabine Denis In situ high-energy X-ray diffraction using a synchrotron source performed on a steel metal matrix composite reinforced by TiC allows the evolutions of internal stresses during cooling to be followed thanks to the development of a new original experimental device (a transportable radiation furnace with controlled rotation of the specimen). Using the device on a high-energy beamline during in situ thermal treatment, we were able to extract the evolution of the stress tensor components in all phases: austenite, TiC, and even during the martensitic phase transformation of the matrix.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 68
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1271: Spectral and Spatial Classification of Hyperspectral Images Based on Random Multi-Graphs Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10081271 Authors: Feng Gao Qun Wang Junyu Dong Qizhi Xu Hyperspectral image classification has been acknowledged as the fundamental and challenging task of hyperspectral data processing. The abundance of spectral and spatial information has provided great opportunities to effectively characterize and identify ground materials. In this paper, we propose a spectral and spatial classification framework for hyperspectral images based on Random Multi-Graphs (RMGs). The RMG is a graph-based ensemble learning method, which is rarely considered in hyperspectral image classification. It is empirically verified that the semi-supervised RMG deals well with small sample setting problems. This kind of problem is very common in hyperspectral image applications. In the proposed method, spatial features are extracted based on linear prediction error analysis and local binary patterns; spatial features and spectral features are then stacked into high dimensional vectors. The high dimensional vectors are fed into the RMG for classification. By randomly selecting a subset of features to create a graph, the proposed method can achieve excellent classification performance. The experiments on three real hyperspectral datasets have demonstrated that the proposed method exhibits better performance than several closely related methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 69
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1270: Greening and Browning of the Hexi Corridor in Northwest China: Spatial Patterns and Responses to Climatic Variability and Anthropogenic Drivers Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10081270 Authors: Qingyu Guan Liqin Yang Ninghui Pan Jinkuo Lin Chuanqi Xu Feifei Wang Zeyu Liu The arid region of northwest China provides a unique terrestrial ecosystem to identify the response of vegetation activities to natural and anthropogenic changes. To reveal the influences of climate and anthropogenic factors on vegetation, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), climate data, and land use and land cover change (LUCC) maps were used for this study. We analyzed the spatiotemporal change of NDVI during 2000–2015. A partial correlation analysis suggested that the contribution of precipitation (PRE) and temperature (TEM) on 95.43% of observed greening trends was 47% and 20%, respectively. The response of NDVI in the eastern section of the Qilian Mountains (ESQM) and the western section of the Qilian Mountains (WSQM) to PRE and TEM showed opposite trends. The multiple linear regressions used to quantify the contribution of anthropogenic activity on the NDVI trend indicated that the ESQM and oasis areas were mainly affected by anthropogenic activities (26%). The observed browning trend in the ESQM was attributed to excessive consumption of natural resources. A buffer analysis and piecewise regression methods were further applied to explore the influence of urbanization on NDVI and its change rate. The study demonstrated that urbanization destroys the vegetation cover within the developed city areas and extends about 4 km beyond the perimeter of urban areas and the NDVI of buffer cities (counties) in the range of 0–4 km (0–3 km) increased significantly. In the range of 5–15 (4–10) km (except for Jiayuguan), climate factors were the major drivers of a slight downtrend in the NDVI. The relationship of land use change and NDVI trends showed that construction land, urban settlement, and farmland expanded sharply by 171.43%, 60%, and 10.41%, respectively. It indicated that the rapid process of urbanization and coordinated urban-rural development shrunk ecosystem services.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 70
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2645: An Efficient Sampling-Based Algorithms Using Active Learning and Manifold Learning for Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Task Allocation under Uncertainty Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082645 Authors: Xiaowei Fu Hui Wang Bin Li Xiaoguang Gao This paper presents a sampling-based approximation for multiple unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) task allocation under uncertainty. Our goal is to reduce the amount of calculations and improve the accuracy of the algorithm. For this purpose, Gaussian process regression models are constructed from an uncertainty parameter and task reward sample set, and this training set is iteratively refined by active learning and manifold learning. Firstly, a manifold learning method is used to screen samples, and a sparse graph is constructed to represent the distribution of all samples through a small number of samples. Then, multi-points sampling is introduced into the active learning method to obtain the training set from the sparse graph quickly and efficiently. This proposed hybrid sampling strategy could select a limited number of representative samples to construct the training set. Simulation analyses demonstrate that our sampling-based algorithm can effectively get a high-precision evaluation model of the impact of uncertain parameters on task reward.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 71
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2644: Effects of the Ground Resolution and Thresholding on Crack Width Measurements Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082644 Authors: Cho Yoon Jung When diagnosing the condition of a structure, it is necessary to measure the widths of any existing cracks in the structure. To ensure safety when relying on images of cracks, the selected imaging parameters and processing technology must be well understood. In this study, the effects of the ground sample distance and threshold values on the crack width measurement error are analyzed from a theoretical perspective. Here, the main source of such errors is assumed to be due to the mixed pixel phenomena in the left and right boundary pixels. Thus, a mathematical model is proposed in which the intensity changes in these pixels are computed via an equation. In addition, the relationship between the error and error probability distribution is represented with an equation based on the threshold values and mean error. Upon analysis, it was found that the threshold value that minimizes the error is at the mid-point between the background and foreground, and the probabilistic nature of the error indicates that it is theoretically possible to predict both the error and its probability distribution. The proposed model was validated using artificial images.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2643: Galfenol Thin Films and Nanowires Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082643 Authors: Bethanie J. H. Stadler Madhukar Reddy Rajneeta Basantkumar Patrick McGary Eliot Estrine Xiaobo Huang Sang Yeob Sung Liwen Tan Jia Zou Mazin Maqableh Daniel Shore Thomas Gage Joseph Um Matthew Hein Anirudh Sharma Galfenol (Fe1−xGax, 10 < x < 40) may be the only smart material that can be made by electrochemical deposition which enables thick film and nanowire structures. This article reviews the deposition, characterization, and applications of Galfenol thin films and nanowires. Galfenol films have been made by sputter deposition as well as by electrochemical deposition, which can be difficult due to the insolubility of gallium. However, a stable process has been developed, using citrate complexing, a rotating disk electrode, Cu seed layers, and pulsed deposition. Galfenol thin films and nanowires have been characterized for crystal structures and magnetostriction both by our group and by collaborators. Films and nanowires have been shown to be largely polycrystalline, with magnetostrictions that are on the same order of magnitude as textured bulk Galfenol. Electrodeposited Galfenol films were made with epitaxial texture on GaAs. Galfenol nanowires have been made by electrodeposition into anodic aluminum oxide templates using similar parameters defined for films. Segmented nanowires of Galfenol/Cu have been made to provide engineered magnetic properties. Applications of Galfenol and other magnetic nanowires include microfluidic sensors, magnetic separation, cellular radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast, and hyperthermia.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 73
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2862: Regional Innovation Systems as Complex Adaptive Systems: The Case of Lagging European Regions Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082862 Authors: Cristina Ponsiglione Ivana Quinto Giuseppe Zollo This article proposes an agent-based model to support the development of self-sustaining regional innovation systems (RIS). The model is the base of a computational laboratory, CARIS (Complex Adaptive Regional Innovation System), which aims at evaluating the self-sustainability of RIS and at investigating what are the resources, competencies and mechanisms able to trigger powerful innovation and economic growth processes. Such a topic is particularly interesting for the so-called lagging regions, which, notwithstanding noticeable policy interventions, have been unable to significantly improve their innovation performances. Results of this study show that the exploration capacity, the propensity to cooperation, and the endowed competencies of actors belonging to a region could be considered as key aspects in affecting the regional innovation performance. This means that policy-makers should (i) incentivize investments in research and development activities both at the public and private levels; (ii) support public-private partnerships; (iii) enhance national and regional university systems; and (iv) increase the number of researchers employed both in the public and private sectors. In the next future, the CARIS laboratory could be adopted as policy support instrument to evaluate how much effective are current innovation policies and what are the most effective ones to reassess the current patterns.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 74
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-13
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 337: A Dynamic Adjusting Novel Global Harmony Search for Continuous Optimization Problems Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10080337 Authors: Chiu Shih Li A novel global harmony search (NGHS) algorithm, as proposed in 2010, is an improved algorithm that combines the harmony search (HS), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and a genetic algorithm (GA). Moreover, the fixed parameter of mutation probability was used in the NGHS algorithm. However, appropriate parameters can enhance the searching ability of a metaheuristic algorithm, and their importance has been described in many studies. Inspired by the adjustment strategy of the improved harmony search (IHS) algorithm, a dynamic adjusting novel global harmony search (DANGHS) algorithm, which combines NGHS and dynamic adjustment strategies for genetic mutation probability, is introduced in this paper. Moreover, extensive computational experiments and comparisons are carried out for 14 benchmark continuous optimization problems. The results show that the proposed DANGHS algorithm has better performance in comparison with other HS algorithms in most problems. In addition, the proposed algorithm is more efficient than previous methods. Finally, different strategies are suitable for different situations. Among these strategies, the most interesting and exciting strategy is the periodic dynamic adjustment strategy. For a specific problem, the periodic dynamic adjustment strategy could have better performance in comparison with other decreasing or increasing strategies. These results inspire us to further investigate this kind of periodic dynamic adjustment strategy in future experiments.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 317: The Three-Dimensional Locating of VHF Broadband Lightning Interferometers Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9080317 Authors: Hengyi Liu Shi Qiu Wansheng Dong VHF (Very High Frequency) lightning interferometers can locate and observe lightning discharges with a high time resolution. Especially the appearance of continuous interferometers makes the 2-D location of interferometers further improve in time resolution and completeness. However, there is uncertainty in the conclusion obtained by simply analyzing the 2-D locating information. Without the support of other 3-D total lightning locating networks, the 2-station interferometer becomes an option to obtain 3-D information. This paper introduces a 3-D lightning location method of a 2-station broadband interferometer, which uses the theodolite wind measurement method for reference, and gives the simulation results of the location accuracy. Finally, using the multi-baseline continuous 2-D locating method and the 3-D locating method, the locating results of one intra-cloud flash and the statistical results of the initiation heights of 61 cloud-to-ground flashes and 80 intra-cloud flashes are given. The results show that the two-station interferometer has high observation accuracy on both sides of the connection between the two sites. The locating accuracy will deteriorate as the distance between the radiation source and the two stations increases or the height decreases. The actual locating results are similar to those of the existing VHF TDOA (Time Difference of Arrival) lightning locating network.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3268: Empowerment and Tech Adoption: Introducing the Treadle Pump Triggers Farmers’ Innovation in Eastern Ethiopia Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093268 Authors: Shimelis Beyene Teshome H. Regassa Belaineh Legesse Martha Mamo Tsegaye Tadesse In 2013, thirty-eight treadle pumps (TPs) were installed as low-cost technology introduction for small-scale irrigation in eastern Ethiopia. This pilot project also trained six farmers on tube well excavation, as well as the installation and maintenance of pumps. In June 2015, researchers visited nine of the thirty-eight TP villages and found only two TPs functioning as originally installed. The rest were replaced with a new technology developed by the trained farmers. Farmers, empowered by training, gained more control in developing technology options tailored to local needs and conditions of their communities. Adopters of the new technology stated that the limited water output and high labor demand of the conventional TP did not optimally fulfil their irrigation water requirements. The new technology had spread quickly to more than one hundred households due to three key factors. First, farmers’ innovative modifications of the initial excavation technique addressed the discharge limitations of the conventional TP by excavating boreholes with wider diameter. Second, local ownership of the new technology, including skills used in well drilling and manufacturing excavation implements, made the modified irrigation technology affordable and accessible to the majority of households. Third, this innovation spread organically without any external support, confirming its sustainability.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 315: Identification and Characterization of an Anomaly in Two-Dimensional Video Disdrometer Data Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9080315 Authors: Michael L. Larsen Michael Schönhuber The two-dimensional video distrometer (2DVD) is a well known ground based point-monitoring precipitation gauge, often used as a ground truth instrument to validate radar or satellite rainfall retrieval algorithms. This instrument records a number of variables for each detected hydrometeor, including the detected position within the sample area of the instrument. Careful analyses of real 2DVD data reveal an artifact—there are time periods where hydrometeor detections within parts of the sample area are artificially enhanced or diminished. Here, we (i) illustrate this anomaly with an exemplary 2DVD data set, (ii) describe the origin of this anomaly, (iii) develop and present an algorithm to help flag data potentially partially corrupted by this anomaly, and (iv) explore the prevalence and quantitative impact of this anomaly. Although the anomaly is seen in every major rain event studied and by every 2DVD the authors have examined, the anomaly artificially induces less than 3% of all detected drops and typically alters estimates of rain rates and accumulations by less than 2%.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 78
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2105: SOLIS—A Novel Decision Support Tool for the Assessment of Solar Radiation in ArcGIS Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082105 Authors: Jan K. Kazak Małgorzata Świąder The global Sustainable Development Goals influence the implementation of energy development strategies worldwide. However, in order to support local stakeholders in sustainable energy development strategies and climate change adaptation plans and the implementation of policies, there is a need to equip local decision makers with tools enabling the assessment of sustainable energy investments. In order to do so, the aim of this study is to create a novel tool for the assessment of solar radiation (SOLIS) in ArcGIS. The SOLIS tool builds on the existing ArcGIS algorithm by including input data conversion and post-processing of the results. This should expand the group of potential users of solar radiation analyses. The self-filtering tool excludes surfaces that are not suitable for solar energy investments due to geometrical reasons. The reduction of the size of the output data is positive for technical reasons (speed of the calculation and occupied storage place) and for cognitive reasons (reduction of the number of objects necessary to analyse by the user). The SOLIS tool limits the requirement for users to insert three-dimensional (3D) models of roofs (with any geometry) and select solar radiation calculation periods. The highlight of this research is to develop the decision support tool for the assessment of solar radiation, which would reduce the requirements for potential users, in order to promote indicator-based assessments among non-Geographical Information Systems (GIS) specialists.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 79
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2102: Electromechanical Transient Modeling of Line Commutated Converter-Modular Multilevel Converter-Based Hybrid Multi-Terminal High Voltage Direct Current Transmission Systems Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082102 Authors: Liang Xiao Yan Li Huangqing Xiao Zheren Zhang Zheng Xu A method for electromechanical modeling of line commutated converter (LCC)-modular multilevel converter (MMC)-based hybrid multi-terminal High Voltage Direct Current Transmission (HVDC) systems for large-scale power system transient stability study is proposed. Firstly, the general idea of modeling the LCC-MMC hybrid multi-terminal HVDC system is presented, then the AC-side and DC-side models of the LCC/MMC are established. Different from the conventional first-order DC-side model of the MMC, an improved second-order DC-side model of the MMC is established. Besides considering the firing angle limit of the LCC, a sequential power flow algorithm is proposed for the initialization of LCC-MMC hybrid multi-terminal HVDC system. Lastly, simulations of small scale and large scale power systems embedded with a three-terminal LCC-MMC hybrid HVDC system are performed on the electromechanical simulation platform PSS/E. It is demonstrated that if the firing angle limit is not considered, the accuracy of the power flow solutions will be greatly affected. Steady state calculation and dynamic simulation show that the developed LCC-MMC hybrid MTDC model is accurate enough for electromechanical transient stability studies of large-scale AC/DC system.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 80
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2103: A Study on the Fuel Economy Potential of Parallel and Power Split Type Hybrid Electric Vehicles Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082103 Authors: Hyunhwa Kim Junbeom Wi Jiho Yoo Hanho Son Chiman Park Hyunsoo Kim What is the best number of gear steps for parallel type hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and what are the pros and cons of the power split type HEV compared to the parallel type have been interesting issues in the development of HEVs. In this study, a comparative analysis was performed to evaluate the fuel economy potential of a parallel HEV and a power split type HEV. First, the fuel economy potential of the parallel HEV was investigated for the number of gear steps. Four-speed, six-speed, and eight-speed automatic transmissions (ATs) and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) were selected, and their drivetrain losses were considered in the dynamic programming (DP). It was found from DP results that the power electronics system (PE) loss decreased because the magnitude of the motor load leveling power decreased as the number of gear steps increased. On the other hand, the drivetrain losses including the electric oil pump (EOP) loss increased with increasing gear step. The improvement rate from the 4-speed to the 6-speed was the greatest, while it decreased for the higher gear step. The fuel economy of the CVT HEV was rather low due to the large EOP loss in spite of the reduced PE loss. In addition, the powertrain characteristics of the parallel HEV were compared with the power split type HEV. In the power split type HEV, the PE loss was almost double compared to that of the parallel HEV because two large capacity motor-generators were used. However, the drivetrain loss and EOP loss of the power split type HEV were found to be much smaller due to its relatively simple architecture. It is expected that the power characteristics of the parallel and power split type HEVs obtained from the DP results can be used in the development of HEV systems.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2100: A Novel Computational Approach for Harmonic Mitigation in PV Systems with Single-Phase Five-Level CHBMI Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082100 Authors: Rosario Miceli Giuseppe Schettino Fabio Viola In this paper, a novel approach to low order harmonic mitigation in fundamental switching frequency modulation is proposed for high power photovoltaic (PV) applications, without trying to solve the cumbersome non-linear transcendental equations. The proposed method allows for mitigation of the first-five harmonics (third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh harmonics), to reduce the complexity of the required procedure and to allocate few computational resource in the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based control board. Therefore, the voltage waveform taken into account is different respect traditional voltage waveform. The same concept, known as “voltage cancelation”, used for single-phase cascaded H-bridge inverters, has been applied at a single-phase five-level cascaded H-bridge multilevel inverter (CHBMI). Through a very basic methodology, the polynomial equations that drive the control angles were detected for a single-phase five-level CHBMI. The acquired polynomial equations were implemented in a digital system to real-time operation. The paper presents the preliminary analysis in simulation environment and its experimental validation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Publication Date: 2018-08-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2098: Analysis of Shallow Subsurface Geological Structures and Ground Effective Thermal Conductivity for the Evaluation of Ground-Source Heat Pump System Installation in the Aizu Basin, Northeast Japan Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082098 Authors: Takeshi Ishihara Gaurav Shrestha Shohei Kaneko Youhei Uchida Shallow subsurface geological structure mapping combined with ground effective thermal conductivity values at the basin scale provide an appropriate method to evaluate the installation potential of ground-source heat pump systems. This study analyzed the geological structure of the Aizu Basin (Northeast Japan) using sedimentary cores and boring log and mapped the distribution of average ground effective thermal conductivity in the range from −10 m to −100 m depth calculated from cores and logs. Gravel layers dominate in alluvial fans of the northern and southern basin areas, which are found to be associated with higher average ground effective thermal conductivity values, 1.3–1.4 W/m/K, while central and western floodplain areas show lower values of 1.0–1.3 W/m/K due to the existence of thick mud layers in the shallow subsurface. The results indicate that the conventional closed-loop systems are more feasible in northern and southern basin areas than in the central and western areas. Evaluation for the installation potential of the ground-source heat pump systems using depth-based distribution maps of average ground effective thermal conductivity is the originality of this study. This approach is valuable and proper for the simple assessment of the system installation in different sedimentary plains and basins in Japan and other countries.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing