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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1043: Network Analysis on Green Technology in National Research and Development Projects in Korea Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10041043 Authors: Jae Jeong Inje Kang Ki Choi Byeong-Hee Lee This study examined how green technology (GT) has evolved recently in the domain of national research and development (R&D) in Korea. The analysis considered social network analysis by using keywords of national R&D projects in environmentally benign (‘green’ in this paper) technologies. Data for analysis were collected from the R&D database of the National Science and Technology Information Service (NTIS). By selecting the official GT category in the NTIS’s database, we gathered 53,896 GT R&D projects from 2011 to 2016 inclusive. By constructing a co-occurrence matrix with keywords, we conducted a centrality analysis (including degree, closeness, betweenness centrality) and visualized the network matrix to display a cluster map. This study presents the following findings: (1) the chronical trends of GT R&D, (2) focused fields of GT R&D, (3) the relations between keywords and GTs, and (4) the characteristics and problems in GT R&D. The paper ends with suggested policy implications to boost national GT R&D and to develop GTs in the future.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 92: Applying Genetic Programming with Similar Bug Fix Information to Automatic Fault Repair Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10040092 Authors: Geunseok Yang Youngjun Jeong Kyeongsic Min Jung-won Lee Byungjeong Lee Owing to the high complexity of recent software products, developers cannot avoid major/minor mistakes, and software bugs are generated during the software development process. When developers manually modify a program source code using bug descriptions to fix bugs, their daily workloads and costs increase. Therefore, we need a way to reduce their workloads and costs. In this paper, we propose a novel automatic fault repair method by using similar bug fix information based on genetic programming (GP). First, we searched for similar buggy source codes related to the new given buggy code, and then we searched for a fixed the buggy code related to the most similar source code. Next, we transformed the fixed code into abstract syntax trees for applying GP and generated the candidate program patches. In this step, we verified the candidate patches by using a fitness function based on given test cases to determine whether the patch was valid or not. Finally, we produced program patches to fix the new given buggy code.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 93: Big Data Analysis for Personalized Health Activities: Machine Learning Processing for Automatic Keyword Extraction Approach Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10040093 Authors: Jun-Ho Huh The obese population is increasing rapidly due to the change of lifestyle and diet habits. Obesity can cause various complications and is becoming a social disease. Nonetheless, many obese patients are unaware of the medical treatments that are right for them. Although a variety of online and offline obesity management services have been introduced, they are still not enough to attract the attention of users and are not much of help to solve the problem. Obesity healthcare and personalized health activities are the important factors. Since obesity is related to lifestyle habits, eating habits, and interests, I concluded that the big data analysis of these factors could deduce the problem. Therefore, I collected big data by applying the machine learning and crawling method to the unstructured citizen health data in Korea and the search data of Naver, which is a Korean portal company, and Google for keyword analysis for personalized health activities. It visualized the big data using text mining and word cloud. This study collected and analyzed the data concerning the interests related to obesity, change of interest on obesity, and treatment articles. The analysis showed a wide range of seasonal factors according to spring, summer, fall, and winter. It also visualized and completed the process of extracting the keywords appropriate for treatment of abdominal obesity and lower body obesity. The keyword big data analysis technique for personalized health activities proposed in this paper is based on individual’s interests, level of interest, and body type. Also, the user interface (UI) that visualizes the big data compatible with Android and Apple iOS. The users can see the data on the app screen. Many graphs and pictures can be seen via menu, and the significant data values are visualized through machine learning. Therefore, I expect that the big data analysis using various keywords specific to a person will result in measures for personalized treatment and health activities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 417: The Suitability of Pozzolan as Admixing Aggregate for Fe0-Based Filters Water doi: 10.3390/w10040417 Authors: Arnaud Ndé-Tchoupé Suzanne Makota Achille Nassi Hu Rui Chicgoua Noubactep Continuous gravity-fed column experiments using the methylene blue (MB) discoloration method were performed to characterize the suitability of a pozzolan (PZ) specimen as alternative admixing aggregate for metallic iron filters (Fe0-filters). Investigated systems were: (i) pure sand, (ii) pure PZ, (iii) pure Fe0, (iv) Fe0/sand, (v) Fe0/PZ, and (vi) Fe0/sand/PZ. The volumetric proportion of Fe0 was 25%. The volumetric proportions of the Fe0/sand/PZ system was 25/45/30. The initial MB concentration was 2.0 mg·L−1, 6.0 g of Fe0 was used, and the experiments lasted for 46 days. The individual systems were fed with 3.9 to 8.4 L (7.80 to 16.69 mg of MB) and were characterized by the time-dependent changes of: (i) the pH value, (ii) the iron breakthrough, (iii) the MB breakthrough, and (iv) the hydraulic conductivity. Results showed that the Fe0/sand/PZ system was the most efficient. This ternary system was also the most permeable and therefore the most sustainable. The suitability of MB as a powerful operative indicator for the characterization of processes in the Fe0/H2O system was confirmed. The tested PZ is recommended as an alternative material for efficient but sustainable Fe0 filters.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 416: A Hybrid Model for Annual Runoff Time Series Forecasting Using Elman Neural Network with Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition Water doi: 10.3390/w10040416 Authors: Xike Zhang Qiuwen Zhang Gui Zhang Zhiping Nie Zifan Gui Because of the complex nonstationary and nonlinear characteristics of annual runoff time series, it is difficult to achieve good prediction accuracy. In this paper, ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) coupled with Elman neural network (ENN)—namely the EEMD-ENN model—is proposed to reduce the difficulty of modeling and to improve prediction accuracy. The annual runoff time series from four hydrological stations in the lower reaches of the four main rivers in the Dongting Lake basin, and one at the outlet of the lake, are used as a case study to test this new hybrid model. First, the nonstationary and nonlinear original annual runoff time series are decomposed to several relatively stable intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) by using EEMD. Then, each IMF is predicted by using ENN. Next, the predicted results of each IMF are aggregated as the final prediction results for the original annual runoff time series. Finally, five statistical indices are adopted to measure the performance of the proposed hybrid model compared with a back propagation (BP) neural network, EEMD-BP, and ENN models—mean absolute error (MAE), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), root mean square error (RMSE), Pearson correlation coefficient (R) and Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient of efficiency (NSCE). The performance comparison results show that the proposed hybrid model performs better than the BP, EEMD-BP or ENN models. In short, the developed hybrid model can provide a significant improvement in annual runoff time series forecasting.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-04-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 415: Planning Water Resources in an Agroforest Ecosystem for Improvement of Regional Ecological Function Under Uncertainties Water doi: 10.3390/w10040415 Authors: Xueting Zeng Cong Chen Yinan Sheng Chunjiang An Xiangming Kong Shan Zhao Guohe Huang In this study, an agroforestry ecosystem project (AEP) is developed for confronting the conflict between agricultural development and forest protection. A fuzzy stochastic programming with Laplace scenario analysis (FSL) is proposed for planning water resources in an AEP issue under uncertainties. FSL can not only deal with spatial and temporal variations of hydrologic elements and meteorological conditions; but also handle uncertainties that are expressed in terms of probability, possibility distributions and fuzzy sets; meanwhile, policy scenario analysis with Laplace’s criterion (PSL) is introduced to handle probability of each scenario occurrence under the supposition of no data available. The developed FSL can be applied to an AEP issue in Xixian county, located in north of China. The result of ecological effects, water allocation patterns, pollution mitigation schemes and system benefits under various scenarios are obtained, which can support policymakers adjusting current strategy to improve regional ecological function with cost-effective and sustainable manners. Meanwhile, it can support generating a robust water plan for regional sustainability in an AEP issue under uncertainties.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-04-04
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 182: Ortet Age and Clonal Effects on Growth and Market Value of Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) Grafts as Christmas Trees Forests doi: 10.3390/f9040182 Authors: Eric Hinesley John Frampton Buddy Deal Earl Deal Grafting provides a means to clonally produce Fraser fir (Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.) Christmas trees that have desirable traits such as faster growth, greater crown density, increased pest resistance, or more desirable foliage attributes than seedling stock. Grafting Fraser fir to disease resistant rootstocks also provides a means to ameliorate the impact of root rot, predominantly caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands. The influence of ortet age on growth and market value of grafts has not been studied for Fraser fir Christmas tree production. A field trial was established in 2004 near Independence, Virginia (USA), with the objectives of assessing (1) the effect of ortet age (stock plants = 6 to 8, 10 to 12, and 18 to 20 years) and (2) shearing regimes (fixed leader length versus variable leader length) on growth, quality, and market value of Fraser fir Christmas trees. Commercial height, Christmas tree grade (based on U. S. Dept. of Agric. standards), and net present value (US dollars) were assessed at the time of harvest. Cone damage to quality was rated after 8 years in the field. Scions from Fraser fir Christmas trees 2 m or taller produced grafts that expressed maturation, resulting in lower tree quality, heavier cone damage, and decreased market value compared to seedling stock. In contrast, the quality and market value of grafts was similar to that of seedlings when scions were collected from young Fraser fir Christmas trees. For Christmas tree production, scions should be collected from the upper whorls of trees no older than 2 to 3 years in the field (6 to 8 years from seed). The effect of age on Fraser fir clones varies so that pre-screening might identify some older selections suitable for use as scion donors. Fixed versus variable shearing regimes had little effect on tree value, although some individual clones responded better to one regime or the other.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-04-04
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 181: Traffic-Induced Changes and Processes in Forest Road Aggregate Particle-Size Distributions Forests doi: 10.3390/f9040181 Authors: Hakjun Rhee James Fridley Deborah Page-Dumroese Traffic can alter forest road aggregate material in various ways, such as by crushing, mixing it with subgrade material, and sweeping large-size, loose particles (gravel) toward the outside of the road. Understanding the changes and physical processes of the aggregate is essential to mitigate sediment production from forest roads and reduce road maintenance efforts. We compared the particle-size distributions of forest road aggregate from the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, USA in three vertical layers (upper, middle, and bottom of the road aggregate), three horizontal locations (tire track, shoulder, and half-way between them), and three traffic uses (none, light (no logging vehicles), and heavy (logging vehicles and equipment)) using Tukey’s multiple comparison test. Light traffic appears to cause aggregate crushing where vehicle tires passed and caused sweeping on the road surface. Heavy traffic caused aggregate crushing at all vertical and horizontal locations, and subgrade mixing with the bottom layer at the shoulder location. Logging vehicles and heavy equipment with wide axles drove on the shoulder and exerted enough stress to cause subgrade mixing. These results can help identify the sediment source and define adequate mitigation measures to reduce sediment production from forest roads and reduce road maintenance efforts by providing information for best management practices.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-04-04
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 180: Tamarix microRNA Profiling Reveals New Insight into Salt Tolerance Forests doi: 10.3390/f9040180 Authors: Jianwen Wang Meng Xu Zhiting Li Youju Ye Hao Rong Li-an Xu The halophyte tamarisk (Tamarix) is extremely salt tolerant, making it an ideal material for salt tolerance-related studies. Although many salt-responsive genes of Tamarix were identified in previous studies, there are no reports on the role of post-transcriptional regulation in its salt tolerance. We constructed six small RNA libraries of Tamarix chinensis roots with NaCl treatments. High-throughput sequencing of the six libraries was performed and microRNA expression profiles were constructed. We investigated salt-responsive microRNAs to uncover the microRNA-mediated genes regulation. From these analyses, 251 conserved and 18 novel microRNA were identified from all small RNAs. From 191 differentially expressed microRNAs, 74 co-expressed microRNAs were identified as salt-responsive candidate microRNAs. The most enriched GO (gene ontology) terms for the 157 genes targeted by differentially expressed microRNAs suggested that transcriptions factors were highly active. Two hub microRNAs (miR414, miR5658), which connected by several target genes into an organic microRNA regulatory network, appeared to be the key regulators of post-transcriptional salt-stress responses. As the first survey on the tamarisk small RNAome, this study improves the understanding of tamarisk salt-tolerance mechanisms and will contribute to the molecular-assisted resistance breeding.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-04-04
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 120: Geology and Isotope Systematics of the Jianchaling Au Deposit, Shaanxi Province, China: Implications for Mineral Genesis Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8040120 Authors: Su-Wei Yue Deng-Feng Li Leon Bagas Jing Fang Zhen-Wen Lin The giant Jianchaling Au (52 t Au) deposit is located in the Mian-Lue-Yang Terrane in the southern part of the Qinling Orogen of central China and is hosted by metamorphosed carbonate rocks of the Late Neoproterozoic Duantouya Formation. The deposit consists of multiple generations of mineralised quartz(-carbonate) veins in WNW-trending extensional ductile-brittle shear zones. Based on the mineral assemblages and cross-cutting relationships between the quartz(-carbonate) veins, the paragenesis is characterised by an early coarse-grained pyrite-pyrrhotite-pentlandite-dolomite-quartz assemblage (I), followed by pyrite-sphalerite-galena-carbonate-arsenopyrite-fuchsite-carbonate-quartz containing gold (II), and fine-grained pyrite-dolomite-calcite-quartz-realgar (As2S2)-orpiment (As2S3) (III). The H-O-C isotope systematics for the three vein sets indicate that the mineralising fluid is probably sourced from the metamorphic dehydration of carbonate rocks in the Duantouya Formation, and gradually mixed with meteoric water during the emplacement of the third vein set. The δ34S values for sulfides (6.3–16.6‰) from the second auriferous vein set are greater than zero, indicating sulfates reduction from the Neoproterozoic metamorphic rocks (Duantouya Fm). The (206Pb/204Pb)i ratios from pyrite (17.521–18.477) from each of the vein sets overlap those of the ultramafic rocks (18.324–18.717) and the Bikou Group (17.399–18.417), indicating that the units are possible sources for the sulfides in the mineralisation. Both εNd(t) and Isr(t) of sulfide overlap with the meta-ultramafic field and Duantouya formation and dominated with mature Sr-Nd character, which indicated that the Duantouya may play an important role during the ore formation and there may exist a minor ultramafic source that is involved in the ore fluid. The S-Pb-Sr-Nd isotopic ratios are closely related to those of the Bikou Group and Duantouya Formation, which indicates that the mineralised fluid has interacted with both units. Combining the previously published data with data from this study on the mineralised area, we surmise that Jianchaling is characteristic of an orogenic-type gold deposit related to the Triassic Qinling Orogeny associated with continental collision.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 909: Identification of Depression and Screening for Work Disabilities among Long-Term Unemployed People International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050909 Authors: Kirsti Nurmela Aino Mattila Virpi Heikkinen Jukka Uitti Aarne Ylinen Pekka Virtanen The study explores whether clinical screening targeted at work disabilities among long-term unemployed people reveals eligible individuals for a disability pension and the importance of depression in granting the disability pensions. A total of 364 participants of the screening project were considered as eligible to apply for disability pension. Among them, 188 were diagnosed as clinically depressed. They were classified into those with earlier depression diagnosis (n = 85), those whose depression had not been diagnosed earlier (n = 103), and those without diagnosed depression (n = 176). The association of this ‘Depression identification pattern’ with being granted a disability pension was explored by logistic regression analyses. Compared to those with earlier diagnosis, those whose depression had not been diagnosed earlier were granted disability pension more commonly (72% vs. 54% OR 2.2, p = 0.012). Corresponding figures of the undepressed were 73%, OR 2.3, p = 0.002. The adjustments did not affect the results. Clinical examination of the long-term unemployed people in terms of work disability seems to be worthwhile. In particular, the examination reveals new depression diagnoses, which contribute more to the award of disability pension than depression diagnosed earlier by regular health care. Novel ways to detect depression among the unemployed should be implemented in the health and employment services.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 910: Suicide Prevention Guideline Implementation in Specialist Mental Healthcare Institutions in The Netherlands International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050910 Authors: Jan Mokkenstorm Gerdien Franx Renske Gilissen Ad Kerkhof Johannes Smit In The Netherlands, on average 40% of all suicides concern patients treated by mental healthcare institutions (MHIs). Recent evidence indicates that implemented guideline recommendations significantly reduce the odds for patients to die by suicide. Implementation of the multidisciplinary guideline for diagnosis and treatment of suicidal behaviors is a main objective of the Dutch National Suicide Prevention Strategy. To this end, 24 MHIs that collectively reported 73% of patient suicides in 2015 received an educational outreach intervention offered by the national center of expertise. Aim: To investigate changes in levels of implementation of guideline recommendations; and to assess the degree of variation on suicide prevention policies and practices between MHIs. Methods: Implementation study with a prospective cohort design studying change over time on all domains of a Suicide Prevention Monitor, a guideline-based instrument assessing suicide prevention policies and practices within MHIs. Data were collected in six-month intervals between 2015 and 2017. Results: MHIs improved significantly on four out of ten domains: the development of an organizational suicide prevention policy; monitoring and trend-analysis of suicides numbers; evaluations after suicide; and clinician training. No improvement was measured on the domains pertaining to multi-annual training policies; collaborative care with external partners; recording and evaluation of suicide attempts; routine assessment of suicidality in all patients; safety planning and involving next of kin and carers. Furthermore, marked practice variation between MHIs was found which did not decrease over time. Conclusion: This study shows significant improvement in the implementation of four out of ten guideline-based suicide prevention policies in 24 specialist mental healthcare institutions in The Netherlands. The implementation level of suicide prevention policies and practices still appears to vary significantly between MHIs in The Netherlands.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 908: Factors Associated with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Older Adults from Six Low- and Middle-Income Countries International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050908 Authors: Cadeyrn J. Gaskin Liliana Orellana Rising life expectancy in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), coupled with the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, accentuates the importance of generating information to support public health strategies. With this aim in mind, the purpose of this study was to identify correlates of physical activity and sedentary behavior in LMIC. We analyzed Wave 1 data (collected 2007–2010) from the World Health Organization’s longitudinal Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), which focuses on nationally representative samples of adults aged 50 years and older from six countries (China, n = 13,157; India, n = 6560; Mexico, n = 2301; Russian Federation, n = 3763; South Africa, n = 3836; and Ghana, n = 4305). Associations of physical activity (operationalized as meeting physical activity guidelines of ≥150 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity or not) and sedentary behavior (≥4 h/day versus <4 h/day) with demographic, health and health risk, functional, interpersonal, and environmental factors were assessed using multivariate logistic models. Across the six countries, we found fairly consistent and reasonably strong associations between both physical activity and sedentary behavior and several demographic factors (age and employment, in particular), self-reported health, instrumental activities of daily living, factors relating to socializing, and household location. Correlates of physical activity and sedentary behavior in LMIC appear to be similar to those found in high-income countries.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 907: The Relationship between Diabetes Mellitus and Respiratory Function in Patients Eligible for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050907 Authors: Aleksandra Szylińska Mariusz Listewnik Żaneta Ciosek Magdalena Ptak Anna Mikołajczyk Wioletta Pawlukowska Iwona Rotter Introduction: Spirometry performed prior to surgery provides information on the types of lung disorders in patients. The purpose of this study was to look for a relationship between the prevalence of diabetes and spirometry parameters. Material and Methods: The study was conducted in patients with coronary artery disease who were eligible for an isolated coronary artery bypass graft in 2013. The study group included 367 patients (287 men and 80 women) aged 68.7 ± 8.4 years. They were divided into those with diagnosed diabetes (group I, n = 138, 37.6%) and without diabetes (group II, n = 229, 62.4%). Spirometry tests were performed on the day of admission to the hospital. Results: Patients with diabetes (group I) had a significantly higher body mass index than those without diabetes (group II). Spirometry tests also showed that patients with diabetes had statistically significantly lower forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1.0). Both FVC and FEV1.0 were also statistically significantly lower for overweight and obese individuals in group I than those in group II. Conclusion: Patients with diabetes eligible for coronary artery bypass grafting with concurrent overweight or obesity are more likely to have lower spirometry parameters than those without diabetes.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 15
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 904: Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus in Roma Settlements: A Comparison with the General Population in Slovakia International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15050904 Authors: Monika Halánová Eduard Veseliny Zuzana Kalinová Peter Jarčuška Martin Janičko Ingrid Urbančíková Daniel Pella Sylvia Dražilová Ingrid Babinská HepaMeta Team Hepatitis E infection is one of the most frequent causes of acute hepatitis in the world. Currently five human genotypes with different geographical distributions and distinct epidemiologic patterns are identified. In Slovakia, only rare cases of hepatitis E have been reported in past years. Because the most important risk factors associated with HEV infection include consumption of contaminated pork meat and poor hygienic standards, the aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of anti-HEV total antibodies and the main risk factors for HEV in the population living in separated and segregated Roma settlements (n = 195), which represent places with increased risk of infection in Slovakia and to compare it with the prevalence in the general population (n = 69). Of 264 respondents included in the study, 47 (17.8%) showed positivity for anti-HEV antibodies, 42 of whom were Roma (21.5%, n = 195) and 5 (7.2%, n = 69) non-Roma. The population living in Roma settlements lives in poorer conditions and are at higher risk of HEV in comparison to the general population. However, differences in living conditions within the settlements do not contributed to lower risk of HEV antibody prevalence between Roma living in settlements.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 720: Microstructure Evolution and the Resulted Influence on Localized Corrosion in Al-Zn-Mg-Cu Alloy during Non-Isothermal Ageing Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11050720 Authors: Jun-Zhou Chen Guo-Ai Li Xin Cai Jian-Tang Jiang Wen-Zhu Shao Li Yang Liang Zhen A non-isothermal ageing process was proposed for an Al-Zn-Mg-Cu alloy aiming to accommodate the slow heating/cooling procedure during the ageing of large components. The evolution of microstructure and microchemistry was analyzed by using transmission electron microscopy, high-angle annular dark field imaging, and energy dispersive spectrometry. The age-hardening of the alloy was examined to evaluate the strengthening behavior during the non-isothermal process. The corrosion behavior was investigated via observing the specimens immersed in EXCO solution (solution for Exfoliation Corrosion Susceptibility test in 2xxx and 7xxx series aluminum alloys, referring ASTM G34-01). Secondary precipitation was observed during the cooling stage, leading to increased precipitate number density. The distribution of grain boundary precipitates transits from discontinuous to continuous at the cooling stage, due to the secondary precipitation’s linking-up effect. The solutes’ enrichment on grain boundary precipitates and the depletion in precipitate-free zones develops during the heating procedure, but remains invariable during the cooling procedure. The corrosion in NIA (Non-isothermal Ageing) treated specimens initiates from pitting and then transits to intergranular corrosion and exfoliation corrosion. The transition from pitting to intergranular corrosion is very slow for specimens heated to 190 °C, but accelerates slightly as the cooling procedure proceeds. The transition to exfoliation corrosion is observed to be quite slow in all specimens in non-isothermal aged to over-aged condition, suggesting a corrosion resistance comparable to that of RRA condition.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1400: A Flexible Temperature Sensor Based on Reduced Graphene Oxide for Robot Skin Used in Internet of Things Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051400 Authors: Guanyu Liu Qiulin Tan Hairong Kou Lei Zhang Jinqi Wang Wen Lv Helei Dong Jijun Xiong Flexible electronics, which can be distributed on any surface we need, are highly demanded in the development of Internet of Things (IoT), robot technology and electronic skins. Temperature is a fundamental physical parameter, and it is an important indicator in many applications. Therefore, a flexible temperature sensor is required. Here, we report a simple method to fabricate three lightweight, low-cost and flexible temperature sensors, whose sensitive materials are reduced graphene oxide (r-GO), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). By comparing linearity, sensitive and repeatability, we found that the r-GO temperature sensor had the most balanced performance. Furthermore, the r-GO temperature sensor showed good mechanical properties and it could be bent in different angles with negligible resistance change. In addition, the performance of the r-GO temperature sensor remained stable under different kinds of pressure and was unaffected by surrounding environments, like humidity or other gases, because of the insulating layer on its sensitive layer. The easy-fabricated process and economy, together with the remarkable performance of the r-GO temperature sensor, suggest that it is suitable for use as a robot skin or used in the environment of IoT.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 18
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1398: Dispersed Sensing Networks in Nano-Engineered Polymer Composites: From Static Strain Measurement to Ultrasonic Wave Acquisition Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051398 Authors: Yehai Li Kai Wang Zhongqing Su Self-sensing capability of composite materials has been the core of intensive research over the years and particularly boosted up by the recent quantum leap in nanotechnology. The capacity of most existing self-sensing approaches is restricted to static strains or low-frequency structural vibration. In this study, a new breed of functionalized epoxy-based composites is developed and fabricated, with a graphene nanoparticle-enriched, dispersed sensing network, whereby to self-perceive broadband elastic disturbance from static strains, through low-frequency vibration to guided waves in an ultrasonic regime. Owing to the dispersed and networked sensing capability, signals can be captured at any desired part of the composites. Experimental validation has demonstrated that the functionalized composites can self-sense strains, outperforming conventional metal foil strain sensors with a significantly enhanced gauge factor and a much broader response bandwidth. Precise and fast self-response of the composites to broadband ultrasonic signals (up to 440 kHz) has revealed that the composite structure itself can serve as ultrasound sensors, comparable to piezoceramic sensors in performance, whereas avoiding the use of bulky cables and wires as used in a piezoceramic sensor network. This study has spotlighted promising potentials of the developed approach to functionalize conventional composites with a self-sensing capability of high-sensitivity yet minimized intrusion to original structures.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 19
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1402: New-Generation BeiDou (BDS-3) Experimental Satellite Precise Orbit Determination with an Improved Cycle-Slip Detection and Repair Algorithm Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051402 Authors: Chao Hu Qianxin Wang Zhongyuan Wang Alberto Hernández Moraleda Currently, five new-generation BeiDou (BDS-3) experimental satellites are working in orbit and broadcast B1I, B3I, and other new signals. Precise satellite orbit determination of the BDS-3 is essential for the future global services of the BeiDou system. However, BDS-3 experimental satellites are mainly tracked by the international GNSS Monitoring and Assessment Service (iGMAS) network. Under the current constraints of the limited data sources and poor data quality of iGMAS, this study proposes an improved cycle-slip detection and repair algorithm, which is based on a polynomial prediction of ionospheric delays. The improved algorithm takes the correlation of ionospheric delays into consideration to accurately estimate and repair cycle slips in the iGMAS data. Moreover, two methods of BDS-3 experimental satellite orbit determination, namely, normal equation stacking (NES) and step-by-step (SS), are designed to strengthen orbit estimations and to make full use of the BeiDou observations in different tracking networks. In addition, a method to improve computational efficiency based on a matrix eigenvalue decomposition algorithm is derived in the NES. Then, one-year of BDS-3 experimental satellite precise orbit determinations were conducted based on iGMAS and Multi-GNSS Experiment (MGEX) networks. Furthermore, the orbit accuracies were analyzed from the discrepancy of overlapping arcs and satellite laser range (SLR) residuals. The results showed that the average three-dimensional root-mean-square error (3D RMS) of one-day overlapping arcs for BDS-3 experimental satellites (C31, C32, C33, and C34) acquired by NES and SS are 31.0, 36.0, 40.3, and 50.1 cm, and 34.6, 39.4, 43.4, and 55.5 cm, respectively; the RMS of SLR residuals are 55.1, 49.6, 61.5, and 70.9 cm and 60.5, 53.6, 65.8, and 73.9 cm, respectively. Finally, one month of observations were used in four schemes of BDS-3 experimental satellite orbit determination to further investigate the reliability and advantages of the improved methods. It was suggested that the scheme with improved cycle-slip detection and repair algorithm based on NES was optimal, which improved the accuracy of BDS-3 experimental satellite orbits by 34.07%, 41.05%, 72.29%, and 74.33%, respectively, compared with the widely-used strategy. Therefore, improved methods for the BDS-3 experimental satellites proposed in this study are very beneficial for the determination of new-generation BeiDou satellite precise orbits.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 20
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1396: Quantitative Study on Corrosion of Steel Strands Based on Self-Magnetic Flux Leakage Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051396 Authors: Runchuan Xia Jianting Zhou Hong Zhang Leng Liao Ruiqiang Zhao Zeyu Zhang This paper proposed a new computing method to quantitatively and non-destructively determine the corrosion of steel strands by analyzing the self-magnetic flux leakage (SMFL) signals from them. The magnetic dipole model and three growth models (Logistic model, Exponential model, and Linear model) were proposed to theoretically analyze the characteristic value of SMFL. Then, the experimental study on the corrosion detection by the magnetic sensor was carried out. The setup of the magnetic scanning device and signal collection method were also introduced. The results show that the Logistic Growth model is verified as the optimal model for calculating the magnetic field with good fitting effects. Combined with the experimental data analysis, the amplitudes of the calculated values (BxL(x,z) curves) agree with the measured values in general. This method provides significant application prospects for the evaluation of the corrosion and the residual bearing capacity of steel strand.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 21
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 700: Coastal Improvements for Tide Models: The Impact of ALES Retracker Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10050700 Authors: Gaia Piccioni Denise Dettmering Marcello Passaro Christian Schwatke Wolfgang Bosch Florian Seitz Since the launch of the first altimetry satellites, ocean tide models have been improved dramatically for deep and shallow waters. However, issues are still found for areas of great interest for climate change investigations: the coastal regions. The purpose of this study is to analyze the influence of the ALES coastal retracker on tide modeling in these regions with respect to a standard open ocean retracker. The approach used to compute the tidal constituents is an updated and along-track version of the Empirical Ocean Tide model developed at DGFI-TUM. The major constituents are derived from a least-square harmonic analysis of sea level residuals based on the FES2014 tide model. The results obtained with ALES are compared with the ones estimated with the standard product. A lower fitting error is found for the ALES solution, especially for distances closer than 20 km from the coast. In comparison with in situ data, the root mean squared error computed with ALES can reach an improvement larger than 2 cm at single locations, with an average impact of over 10% for tidal constituents K 2 , O 1 , and P 1 . For Q 1 , the improvement is over 25%. It was observed that improvements to the root-sum squares are larger for distances closer than 10 km to the coast, independently on the sea state. Finally, the performance of the solutions changes according to the satellite’s flight direction: for tracks approaching land from open ocean root mean square differences larger than 1 cm are found in comparison to tracks going from land to ocean.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 22
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 701: The Comparison of Canopy Height Profiles Extracted from Ku-band Profile Radar Waveforms and LiDAR Data Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10050701 Authors: Hui Zhou Yuwei Chen Ziyi Feng Fashuai Li Juha Hyyppä Teemu Hakala Mika Karjalainen Changhui Jiang Ling Pei An airborne Ku-band frequency-modulated continuous waveform (FM-CW) profiling radar, Tomoradar, records the backscatter signal from the canopy surface and the underlying ground in the southern boreal forest zone of Finland. The recorded waveforms are transformed into canopy height profiles (CHP) with a similar methodology utilized in large-footprint light detection and ranging (LiDAR). The point cloud data simultaneously collected by a Velodyne® VLP-16 LiDAR on-board the same platform represent the frequency of discrete returns, which are also applied to the extraction of the CHP by calculating the gap probability and incremental distribution. To thoroughly explore the relationships of the CHP derived from Tomoradar waveforms and LiDAR data we utilized the effective waveforms of one-stripe field measurements and comparison them with four indicators, including the correlation coefficient, the root-mean-square error (RMSE) of the difference, and the coefficient of determination and the RMSE of residuals of linear regression. By setting the Tomoradar footprint as 20 degrees to contain over 95% of the transmitting energy of the main lobe, the results show that 88.17% of the CHPs derived from Tomoradar waveforms correlated well with those from the LiDAR data; 98% of the RMSEs of the difference ranged between 0.002 and 0.01; 79.89% of the coefficients of determination were larger than 0.5; and 98.89% of the RMSEs of the residuals ranged from 0.001 to 0.01. Based on the investigations, we discovered that the locations of the greatest CHP derived from the Tomoradar were obviously deeper than those from the LiDAR, which indicated that the Tomoradar microwave signal had a stronger penetration capability than the LiDAR signal. Meanwhile, there are smaller differences (the average RMSEs of differences is only 0.0042 when the total canopy closure is less than 0.5) and better linear regression results in an area with a relatively open canopy than with a denser canopy.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 23
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 699: AHI/Himawari-8 Yonsei Aerosol Retrieval (YAER): Algorithm, Validation and Merged Products Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10050699 Authors: Hyunkwang Lim Myungje Choi Jhoon Kim Yasuko Kasai Pak Wai Chan Himawari-8, a next-generation geostationary meteorological satellite, was successfully launched by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) on 7 October 2014 and has been in official operation since 7 July 2015. The Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) onboard Himawari-8 has 16 channels from 0.47 to 13.3 μm and performs full-disk observations every 10 min. This study describes AHI aerosol optical property (AOP) retrieval based on a multi-channel algorithm using three visible and one near-infrared channels (470, 510, 640, and 860 nm). AOPs were retrieved by obtaining the visible surface reflectance using shortwave infrared (SWIR) data along with normalized difference vegetation index shortwave infrared (NDVISWIR) categories and the minimum reflectance method (MRM). Estimated surface reflectance from SWIR (ESR) tends to be overestimated in urban and cropland areas. Thus, the visible surface reflectance was improved by considering urbanization effects. Ocean surface reflectance is obtained using MRM, while it is from the Cox and Munk method in ESR with the consideration of chlorophyll-a concentration. Based on validation with ground-based sun-photometer measurements from Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data, the error pattern tends to the opposition between MRMver (using MRM reflectance) AOD and ESRver (Using ESR reflectance) AOD over land. To estimate optimal AOD products, two methods were used to merge the data. The final aerosol products and the two surface reflectances were merged, which resulted in higher accuracy AOD values than those retrieved by either individual method. All four AODs shown in this study show accurate diurnal variation compared with AERONET, but the optimum AOD changes depending on observation time.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 24
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 698: Predicting Tropical Tree Species Richness from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Time Series: The Devil Is Perhaps Not in the Detail Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10050698 Authors: Robin Pouteau Thomas W. Gillespie Philippe Birnbaum The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from remote sensing is a common explanatory variable inputted in correlative biodiversity models in the form of descriptive statistics summarizing complex time series. Here, we hypothesized that a single meaningful remotely-sensed scene can provide better prediction of species richness than any usual multi-scene statistics. We tested this idea using a 15-year time series of six-day composite MODIS NDVI data combined with field measurements of tree species richness in the tropical biodiversity hotspot of New Caledonia. Although some overall, seasonal, annual and monthly statistics appeared to successfully correlate with tree species richness in New Caledonia, a range of individual scenes were found to provide significantly better predictions of both the overall tree species richness (|r| = 0.68) and the richness of large trees (|r| = 0.91). A preliminary screening of the NDVI-species richness relationship within each time step can therefore be an effective and straightforward way to maximize the accuracy of NDVI-based correlative biodiversity models.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 25
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1423: Construction and Functionality of a Ceramic Resonant Pressure Sensor for Operation at Elevated Temperatures Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051423 Authors: Matej Sadl Andraz Bradesko Darko Belavic Andreja Bencan Barbara Malic Tadej Rojac Piezoelectric ceramic resonant pressure sensors have shown potential as sensing elements for harsh environments, such as elevated temperatures. For operating temperatures exceeding ~250 °C, conventional and widely used Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) piezoelectrics should be replaced. Here, a ceramic pressure sensor from low-temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC) was constructed by integrating a piezoelectric actuator made from bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) on a diaphragm. This ferroelectric material was selected because of its high Curie temperature (−8.7 Hz/kPa up to 171 °C. It was suggested that the main reason for the hindered operation at the elevated temperatures could lie in the thermo-mechanical properties of the diaphragm and the adhesive bonding at the actuator-diaphragm interconnection.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 26
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1420: A Finite State Machine Approach to Algorithmic Lateral Inhibition for Real-Time Motion Detection † Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051420 Authors: María T. López Aurelio Bermúdez Francisco Montero José L. Sánchez Antonio Fernández-Caballero Many researchers have explored the relationship between recurrent neural networks and finite state machines. Finite state machines constitute the best-characterized computational model, whereas artificial neural networks have become a very successful tool for modeling and problem solving. The neurally-inspired lateral inhibition method, and its application to motion detection tasks, have been successfully implemented in recent years. In this paper, control knowledge of the algorithmic lateral inhibition (ALI) method is described and applied by means of finite state machines, in which the state space is constituted from the set of distinguishable cases of accumulated charge in a local memory. The article describes an ALI implementation for a motion detection task. For the implementation, we have chosen to use one of the members of the 16-nm Kintex UltraScale+ family of Xilinx FPGAs. FPGAs provide the necessary accuracy, resolution, and precision to run neural algorithms alongside current sensor technologies. The results offered in this paper demonstrate that this implementation provides accurate object tracking performance on several datasets, obtaining a high F-score value (0.86) for the most complex sequence used. Moreover, it outperforms implementations of a complete ALI algorithm and a simplified version of the ALI algorithm—named “accumulative computation”—which was run about ten years ago, now reaching real-time processing times that were simply not achievable at that time for ALI.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 27
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1418: A Method for Estimating the Polarimetric Scattering Matrix of Moving Target for Simultaneous Fully Polarimetric Radar Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051418 Authors: Fulai Wang Chao Li Chen Pang Yongzhen Li Xuesong Wang To precisely obtain the polarimetric scattering matrix (PSM) of moving target, a measurement model for the simultaneous fully polarimetric radar is formulated. The calibration errors and isolation of the transmitted waveforms are considered. To address the decline in performance of the traditional PSM estimation methods when the target moves, a novel method with measurement selection is proposed. Numerical experiments are conducted to demonstrate and validate the superiority of the proposed method, especially for the PSM estimation of the target with non-uniform motion.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 28
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1417: Direct Reflectance Measurements from Drones: Sensor Absolute Radiometric Calibration and System Tests for Forest Reflectance Characterization Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051417 Authors: Teemu Hakala Lauri Markelin Eija Honkavaara Barry Scott Theo Theocharous Olli Nevalainen Roope Näsi Juha Suomalainen Niko Viljanen Claire Greenwell Nigel Fox Drone-based remote sensing has evolved rapidly in recent years. Miniaturized hyperspectral imaging sensors are becoming more common as they provide more abundant information of the object compared to traditional cameras. Reflectance is a physically defined object property and therefore often preferred output of the remote sensing data capture to be used in the further processes. Absolute calibration of the sensor provides a possibility for physical modelling of the imaging process and enables efficient procedures for reflectance correction. Our objective is to develop a method for direct reflectance measurements for drone-based remote sensing. It is based on an imaging spectrometer and irradiance spectrometer. This approach is highly attractive for many practical applications as it does not require in situ reflectance panels for converting the sensor radiance to ground reflectance factors. We performed SI-traceable spectral and radiance calibration of a tuneable Fabry-Pérot Interferometer -based (FPI) hyperspectral camera at the National Physical Laboratory NPL (Teddington, UK). The camera represents novel technology by collecting 2D format hyperspectral image cubes using time sequential spectral scanning principle. The radiance accuracy of different channels varied between ±4% when evaluated using independent test data, and linearity of the camera response was on average 0.9994. The spectral response calibration showed side peaks on several channels that were due to the multiple orders of interference of the FPI. The drone-based direct reflectance measurement system showed promising results with imagery collected over Wytham Forest (Oxford, UK).
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 29
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    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 552: Geometrical Structures and Electronic Properties of Ga6 and Ga5X (X = B, C, N, O, F, Al, Si, P, S, Cl) Clusters Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11040552 Authors: Yanfei Hu Guangfu Ji Yachuan Yao Jiaonan Yuan Weisen Xu Based on the unbiased CALYPSO (Crystal structure Analysis by Particle Swarm Optimization) structure searching method in combination with density functional theory (DFT), the geometrical structures and electronic properties are investigated theoretically for Ga6 and Ga5X (X = B, C, N, O, F, Al, Si, P, S, Cl) clusters. The PBE0 exchange-correlation functional and the 6-311G(d) basis set is carried out to determine global minima on potential energy surfaces. The relative stabilities of the clusters are examined by the binding energies and substitution reaction. Following the predictions of the Jellium model, the Ga5B cluster with the 18 valence electrons is the most stable structure. At last, with the obtained lowest energy structures, some physical properties such as electrons transfer, molecular orbitals, and total and partial densities of states are discussed, respectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 30
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 594: Opportunities and Limits of Using Meteorological Reanalysis Data for Simulating Seasonal to Sub-Daily Water Temperature Dynamics in a Large Shallow Lake Water doi: 10.3390/w10050594 Authors: Marieke A. Frassl Bertram Boehrer Peter L. Holtermann Weiping Hu Knut Klingbeil Zhaoliang Peng Jinge Zhu Karsten Rinke In lakes and reservoirs, physical processes control temperature dynamics and stratification, which are important determinants of water quality. In large lakes, even extensive monitoring programs leave some of the patterns undiscovered and unresolved. Lake models can complement measurements in higher spatial and temporal resolution. These models require a set of driving data, particularly meteorological input data, which are compulsory to the models but at many locations not available at the desired scale or quality. It remains an open question whether these meteorological input data can be acquired in a sufficient quality by employing atmospheric models. In this study, we used the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts’ (ECMWF) ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis data as meteorological forcing for the three-dimensional hydrodynamic General Estuarine Transport Model (GETM). With this combination, we modelled the spatio-temporal variation in water temperature in the large, shallow Lake Chaohu, China. The model succeeded in reproducing the seasonal patterns of cooling and warming. While the model did predict diurnal patterns, these patterns were not precise enough to correctly estimate the extent of short stratification events. Nevertheless, applying reanalysis data proved useful for simulating general patterns of stratification dynamics and seasonal thermodynamics in a large shallow lake over the year. Utilising reanalysis data together with hydrodynamic models can, therefore, inform about water temperature dynamics in the respective water bodies and, by that, complement local measurements.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Algorithms, Vol. 11, Pages 61: Relaxed Data Types as Consistency Conditions † Algorithms doi: 10.3390/a11050061 Authors: Edward Talmage Jennifer L. Welch In the quest for higher-performance shared data structures, weakening consistency conditions and relaxing the sequential specifications of data types are two of the primary tools available in the literature today. In this paper, we show that these two approaches are in many cases different ways to specify the same sets of allowed concurrent behaviors of a given shared data object. This equivalence allows us to use whichever description is clearer, simpler, or easier to achieve equivalent guarantees. Specifically, for three common data type relaxations, we define consistency conditions such that the combination of the new consistency condition and an unrelaxed type allows the same behaviors as Linearizability and the relaxed version of the data type. Conversely, for the consistency condition k-Atomicity, we define a new data type relaxation such that the behaviors allowed by the relaxed version of a data type, combined with Linearizability, are the same as those allowed by k-Atomicity and the original type. As an example of the possibilities opened by our new equivalence, we use standard techniques from the literature on consistency conditions to prove that the three data type relaxations we consider are not comparable to one another or to several similar known conditions. Finally, we show a particular class of data types where one of our newly-defined consistency conditions is comparable to, and stronger than, one of the known consistency conditions we consider.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 32
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 32: Anthropogenic Impacts on Coral Reef Harpacticoid Copepods Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020032 Authors: Marina Siqueira Barroso Brenno J. da Silva Manuel J. Flores Montes Paulo J. P. Santos The number of studies demonstrating the susceptibility of benthic reef communities to anthropogenic impacts is growing. However, for some of the components of reef fauna, such as meiobenthic harpacticoid copepods, information is still lacking. Here, different diversity and taxonomic distinctness indexes and multivariate analyses were used to test whether the assemblage of harpacticoid copepods colonizing Artificial Substrate Units (ASUs) is an appropriate tool for the identification of reefs subjected to different levels of anthropogenic pressure. Furthermore, we also evaluate if diffused, persistent, anthropogenic impacts generate the homogenization and simplification of Harpacticoida assemblages. Six reefs were organized into two groups along the coast, depending on their proximity to very large urban centers. ASUs were used for meiofauna colonization and, for each reef, 320 Harpacticoida individuals were separated for identification at the species level. Abiotic parameters were analyzed, and significant differences were found between the two groups of reefs, with an increase in dissolved inorganic nutrients found in areas near large urban centers. Both the multivariate analyses and the indexes of diversity showed a clear separation between the reefs closer to the urban zones and those further away, as a response to the anthropogenic pressure. As hypothesized, in the impacted reef areas, there was a strong simplification and homogenization of the harpacticoid copepod assemblages. However, the results of the indexes, based on taxonomic distinctness, suggest that there was no phylogenetic signal of anthropogenic impact on coral reef harpacticoid copepods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 33
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1151: Modelling the Dynamic Impacts of High Speed Rail Operation on Regional Public Transport—From the Perspective of Energy Economy Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051151 Authors: Ching-Chih Chou Chien-Wen Shen Dapeng Gao Yang Gao Kai Wang Sang-Bing Tsai While the introduction of a high speed rail (HSR) provides passengers with another more environmentally friendly, convenient, and time-saving transport option, it also disrupts the existing passenger transport market. This study adopts time series analysis to model the dynamic competition in a regional passenger transport market when an HSR is introduced. The analyses include examining the long-run equilibrium and causal relationships, and the short-run causality and dynamic relationships between transport modes. In addition, based on the model we conduct impulse response tests and variance decomposition tests to further interpret the interactions between two transport modes. An empirical study is carried out, and the findings indicate that the HSR has a negative impact on conventional rail and air transport in the long-run. In the short-run dynamics, the air passenger transport volume could be regarded as a good predictor of HSR passenger volume. In turn, the HSR passenger volume could be used to predict conventional rail transport volume. The operations of HSR and conventional rail are complementary in the short term. From the short-run market viewpoint, the HSR and conventional rail meet different kinds of passenger demand. Therefore, a previous increased passenger volume for the HSR implies an overall increasing demand for regional transport. Consequently, the past increased HSR passenger volume could be used to predict the growth of conventional rail transport. Through the impulse response test, we can further track the responses of the three transport modes to the shocks from themselves and each other.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1149: Experimental Investigation on Flow and Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Needle-Cylinder Type Ionic Wind Generator for LED Cooling Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051149 Authors: Jingguo Qu Lingjian Kong Jianfei Zhang Ionic wind cooling for electronic elements is a relevant research field. In order to study the cooling performance of ionic wind on a Light Emitting Diode (LED), an ionic wind generator with a needles-ring electrode configuration was set up. A cylindrical heat sink for the heat dissipation of a heating film representing the LED chip was also manufactured. Following this, the effect of the needle number, the distance between the needles and the ring electrode, and the polarity of the corona discharge on the ionic wind velocity were studied. Finally, the optimal distance between the needles and the ring electrode was adopted to attain the maximum wind velocity with different numbers of needles. After this, the ionic wind device was used to cool the heating film at the working power of 10 watts. The surface temperature of the heating film was measured to evaluate the cooling performance of the ionic wind device. The experimental results indicate that the maximum temperature drop in the heating film center reaches 35.6 °C in the five needle-electrode case, which is very effective and can meet the demands of a 10 watts LED heat dissipation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 35
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1145: A Pathway to Reduce Energy Consumption in the Thermal Stabilization Process of Carbon Fiber Production Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051145 Authors: Srinivas Nunna Maxime Maghe Seyed Mousa Fakhrhoseini Bhargav Polisetti Minoo Naebe Process parameters, especially in the thermal stabilization of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers, play a critical role in controlling the cost and properties of the resultant carbon fibers. This study aimed to efficiently handle the energy expense areas during carbon fiber manufacturing without reducing the quality of carbon fibers. We introduced a new parameter (recirculation fan frequency) in the stabilization stage and studied its influence on the evolution of the structure and properties of fibers. Initially, the progress of the cyclization reaction in the fiber cross-sections with respect to fan frequencies (35, 45, and 60 Hz) during stabilization was analyzed using the Australian Synchrotron-high resolution infrared imaging technique. A parabolic trend in the evolution of cyclic structures was observed in the fiber cross-sections during the initial stages of stabilization; however, it was transformed to a uniform trend at the end of stabilization for all fan frequencies. Simultaneously, the microstructure and property variations at each stage of manufacturing were assessed. We identified nominal structural variations with respect to fan frequencies in the intermediate stages of thermal stabilization, which were reduced during the carbonization process. No statistically significant variations were observed between the tensile properties of fibers. These observations suggested that, when using a lower fan frequency (35 Hz), it was possible to manufacture carbon fibers with a similar performance to those produced using a higher fan frequency (60 Hz). As a result, this study provided an opportunity to reduce the energy consumption during carbon fiber manufacturing.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1144: Wavelet Based Denoising for the Estimation of the State of Charge for Lithium-Ion Batteries Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051144 Authors: Xiao Wang Jun Xu Yunfei Zhao In practical electric vehicle applications, the noise of original discharging/charging voltage (DCV) signals are inevitable, which comes from electromagnetic interference and the measurement noise of the sensors. To solve such problems, the Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) based state of charge (SOC) estimation method is proposed in this paper. Through a multi-resolution analysis, the original DCV signals with noise are decomposed into different frequency sub-bands. The desired de-noised DCV signals are then reconstructed by utilizing the inverse discrete wavelet transform, based on the sure rule. With the de-noised DCV signal, the SOC and the parameters are obtained using the adaptive extended Kalman Filter algorithm, and the adaptive forgetting factor recursive least square method. Simulation and experimental results show that the SOC estimation error is less than 1%, which indicates an effective improvement in SOC estimation accuracy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 37
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Challenges, Vol. 9, Pages 22: ARTD10/PARP10 Induces ADP-Ribosylation of GAPDH and Recruits GAPDH into Cytosolic Membrane-Free Cell Bodies When Overexpressed in Mammalian Cells Challenges doi: 10.3390/challe9010022 Authors: Emilia Mayo Gaia Fabrizio Emanuele Salvatore Scarpa Annalisa Stilla Nadia Dani Fulvio Chiacchiera Henning Kleine Francesca Attanasio Bernhard Lüscher Maria Di Girolamo Protein ADP-ribosylation is a reversible post-translational modification of cellular proteins that is catalysed by enzymes that transfer one (mono) or several (poly) units of ADP-ribose from β-NAD+ to a specific amino acid of the target protein. The most studied member of the ADP-ribosyltransferase family is PARP1 (also known as ADP-ribosyltransferase diphtheria toxin-like 1, ARTD1), which is directly activated by DNA strand breaks and is involved in DNA damage repair, chromatin remodelling and transcriptional regulation. Much less is known about the further 16 members of this family. Among these, ARTD10/PARP10 has been previously characterised as a mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase with a role in cell proliferation and in NF-kB signalling. In the present study, we identified the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH as an interactor and a novel cellular target for ARTD10/PARP10. Moreover, we detected the co-localisation of GAPDH and ARTD10/PARP10 in well-defined cytosolic bodies, which we show here to be membrane-free, rounded structures using immunogold labelling and electron microscopy. Using the cognitive binding module macro domain to visualise ADP-ribosylated proteins by immunofluorescence microscopy in cells over-expressing the ARTD10/PARP10 enzyme, we show that the staining of the ARTD10/PARP10-dependent cytosolic bodies was lost when the cells were treated with compounds that inhibit ARTD10/PARP10, either by directly inhibiting the enzyme or by reducing the cellular NAD+ levels. In parallel, the same treatment affected the co-localisation of GAPDH and ARTD10/PARP10, as GAPDH disappeared from the cytosolic cell bodies, which indicates that its presence there depends on the catalytic activity of ARTD10/PARP10. In line with this, in cells over-expressing the ARTD10/PARP10 catalytic domain alone, which we show here to form stress granules, GAPDH was recruited into stress granules. These data identify ARTD10/PARP10 as the enzyme that modifies and recruits GAPDH into cytosolic structures.
    Electronic ISSN: 2078-1547
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary
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  • 38
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1419: Distributed Fast Self-Organized Maps for Massive Spectrophotometric Data Analysis Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051419 Authors: Carlos Dafonte Daniel Garabato Marco Álvarez Minia Manteiga Analyzing huge amounts of data becomes essential in the era of Big Data, where databases are populated with hundreds of Gigabytes that must be processed to extract knowledge. Hence, classical algorithms must be adapted towards distributed computing methodologies that leverage the underlying computational power of these platforms. Here, a parallel, scalable, and optimized design for self-organized maps (SOM) is proposed in order to analyze massive data gathered by the spectrophotometric sensor of the European Space Agency (ESA) Gaia spacecraft, although it could be extrapolated to other domains. The performance comparison between the sequential implementation and the distributed ones based on Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark is an important part of the work, as well as the detailed analysis of the proposed optimizations. Finally, a domain-specific visualization tool to explore astronomical SOMs is presented.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 39
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1421: Defense Strategies for Asymmetric Networked Systems with Discrete Components Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051421 Authors: Nageswara Rao Chris Ma Kjell Hausken Fei He David Yau Jun Zhuang We consider infrastructures consisting of a network of systems, each composed of discrete components. The network provides the vital connectivity between the systems and hence plays a critical, asymmetric role in the infrastructure operations. The individual components of the systems can be attacked by cyber and physical means and can be appropriately reinforced to withstand these attacks. We formulate the problem of ensuring the infrastructure performance as a game between an attacker and a provider, who choose the numbers of the components of the systems and network to attack and reinforce, respectively. The costs and benefits of attacks and reinforcements are characterized using the sum-form, product-form and composite utility functions, each composed of a survival probability term and a component cost term. We present a two-level characterization of the correlations within the infrastructure: (i) the aggregate failure correlation function specifies the infrastructure failure probability given the failure of an individual system or network, and (ii) the survival probabilities of the systems and network satisfy first-order differential conditions that capture the component-level correlations using multiplier functions. We derive Nash equilibrium conditions that provide expressions for individual system survival probabilities and also the expected infrastructure capacity specified by the total number of operational components. We apply these results to derive and analyze defense strategies for distributed cloud computing infrastructures using cyber-physical models.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 40
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1422: A Cross-Layer Optimized Opportunistic Routing Scheme for Loss-and-Delay Sensitive WSNs Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051422 Authors: Xin Xu Minjiao Yuan Xiao Liu Anfeng Liu Neal Xiong Zhiping Cai Tian Wang In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), communication links are typically error-prone and unreliable, so providing reliable and timely data routing for loss- and delay-sensitive applications in WSNs it is a challenge issue. Additionally, with specific thresholds in practical applications, the loss and delay sensitivity implies requirements for high reliability and low delay. Opportunistic Routing (OR) has been well studied in WSNs to improve reliability for error-prone and unreliable wireless communication links where the transmission power is assumed to be identical in the whole network. In this paper, a Cross-layer Optimized Opportunistic Routing (COOR) scheme is proposed to improve the communication link reliability and reduce delay for loss-and-delay sensitive WSNs. The main contribution of the COOR scheme is making full use of the remaining energy in networks to increase the transmission power of most nodes, which will provide a higher communication reliability or further transmission distance. Two optimization strategies referred to as COOR(R) and COOR(P) of the COOR scheme are proposed to improve network performance. In the case of increasing the transmission power, the COOR(R) strategy chooses a node that has a higher communication reliability with same distance in comparison to the traditional opportunistic routing when selecting the next hop candidate node. Since the reliability of data transmission is improved, the delay of the data reaching the sink is reduced by shortening the time of communication between candidate nodes. On the other hand, the COOR(P) strategy prefers a node that has the same communication reliability with longer distance. As a result, network performance can be improved for the following reasons: (a) the delay is reduced as fewer hops are needed while the packet reaches the sink in longer transmission distance circumstances; (b) the reliability can be improved since it is the product of the reliability of every hop of the routing path, and the count is reduced while the reliability of each hop is the same as the traditional method. After analyzing the energy consumption of the network in detail, the value of optimized transmission power in different areas is given. On the basis of a large number of experimental and theoretical analyses, the results show that the COOR scheme will increase communication reliability by 36.62–87.77%, decrease delay by 21.09–52.48%, and balance the energy consumption of 86.97% of the nodes in the WSNs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 41
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1415: Compact FTICR Mass Spectrometry for Real Time Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051415 Authors: Joël Lemaire Sébastien Thomas Allan Lopes Essyllt Louarn Hélène Mestdagh Hubert Latappy Julien Leprovost Michel Heninger In this paper, we present a compact Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FTICR-MS) designed for real time analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air or in water. The spectrometer is based on a structured permanent magnet made with NdFeB segments. Chemical ionization is implemented inside the ICR cell. The most widely used reaction is the proton transfer reaction using H3O+ precursor ions, but other ionic precursors can be used to extend the range of species that can be detected. Complex mixtures are studied by switching automatically from one precursor to another. The accuracy obtained on the mass to charge ratio (Δm/z 5 × 10−3), allows a precise identification of the VOCs present and the limit of detection is 200 ppb without accumulation. The time resolution is a few seconds, mainly limited by the time necessary to come back to background pressure after the gas pulses. The real time measurement will be illustrated by the monitoring of VOCs produced during the thermal degradation of a polymer and by an example where three different precursor ions are used alternatively to monitor a gas sample.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 42
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1414: A Sequential Multiplicative Extended Kalman Filter for Attitude Estimation Using Vector Observations Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051414 Authors: Fangjun Qin Lubin Chang Sai Jiang Feng Zha In this paper, a sequential multiplicative extended Kalman filter (SMEKF) is proposed for attitude estimation using vector observations. In the proposed SMEKF, each of the vector observations is processed sequentially to update the attitude, which can make the measurement model linearization more accurate for the next vector observation. This is the main difference to Murrell’s variation of the MEKF, which does not update the attitude estimate during the sequential procedure. Meanwhile, the covariance is updated after all the vector observations have been processed, which is used to account for the special characteristics of the reset operation necessary for the attitude update. This is the main difference to the traditional sequential EKF, which updates the state covariance at each step of the sequential procedure. The numerical simulation study demonstrates that the proposed SMEKF has more consistent and accurate performance in a wide range of initial estimate errors compared to the MEKF and its traditional sequential forms.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 43
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1411: Low-Cost, Distributed Environmental Monitors for Factory Worker Health Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18051411 Authors: Geb W. Thomas Sinan Sousan Marcus Tatum Xiaoxing Liu Christopher Zuidema Mitchell Fitzpatrick Kirsten A. Koehler Thomas M. Peters An integrated network of environmental monitors was developed to continuously measure several airborne hazards in a manufacturing facility. The monitors integrated low-cost sensors to measure particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide, noise, temperature and humidity. The monitors were developed and tested in situ for three months in several overlapping deployments, before a full cohort of 40 was deployed in a heavy vehicle manufacturing facility for a year of data collection. The monitors collect data from each sensor and report them to a central database every 5 min. The work includes an experimental validation of the particle, gas and noise monitors. The R2 for the particle sensor ranges between 0.98 and 0.99 for particle mass densities up to 300 μg/m3. The R2 for the carbon monoxide sensor is 0.99 for concentrations up to 15 ppm. The R2 for the oxidizing gas sensor is 0.98 over the sensitive range from 20 to 180 ppb. The noise monitor is precise within 1% between 65 and 95 dBA. This work demonstrates the capability of distributed monitoring as a means to examine exposure variability in both space and time, building an important preliminary step towards a new approach for workplace hazard monitoring.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 137: Atmospheric Distribution of PAHs and Quinones in the Gas and PM1 Phases in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico: Sources and Health Risk Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9040137 Authors: Valeria Ojeda-Castillo Alberto López-López Leonel Hernández-Mena Mario Murillo-Tovar José Díaz-Torres Iván Hernández-Paniagua Jorge del Real-Olvera Elizabeth León-Becerril Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and quinones in the gas phase and as submicron particles raise concerns due to their potentially carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. The majority of existing studies have investigated the formation of quinones, but it is also important to consider both the primary and secondary sources to estimate their contributions. The objectives of this study were to characterize PAHs and quinones in the gas and particulate matter (PM1) phases in order to identify phase distributions, sources, and cancer risk at two urban monitoring sites in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (GMA) in Mexico. The simultaneous gas and PM1 phases samples were analyzed using a gas chromatography–mass spectrometer. The lifetime lung cancer risk (LCR) due to PAH exposure was calculated to be 1.7 × 10−3, higher than the recommended risk value of 10−6, indicating a potential health hazard. Correlations between parent PAHs, criteria pollutants, and meteorological parameters suggest that primary sources are the main contributors to the Σ8 Quinones concentrations in PM1, while the secondary formation of 5,12-naphthacenequinone and 9,10-anthraquinone may contribute less to the observed concentration of quinones. Additionally, naphthalene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and anthracene in PM1, suggest photochemical degradation into unidentified species. Further research is needed to determine how these compounds are formed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 45
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1416: Sustainable Planning of Cross-Border Cooperation: A Strategy for Alliances in Border Cities Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10051416 Authors: Joanna Kurowska-Pysz Rui Alexandre Castanho Luís Loures In recent years, cooperation among nations has become a critical issue towards sustainable development of neighbor cities in border areas. In this regard, sustainable common planning approaches and policies are an increasing reality, particularly in European territories. Considering the significant amount of cross-border cooperation (CBC) projects and strategies within Europe, it is crucial to promote research approaches that are able to identify the most positive approaches towards the establishment of alliances in border territories, serving as pivotal methodologies for achieving success. Contextually, the present study considered direct and indirect research methods and tools, literature reviews, data collection, computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) and computer-assisted web interview (CAWI), all applied over two European border cities: Cieszyn (Poland) and Cesky Tesin (Czech Republic). These methods enabled the assembly of perspectives of local authorities, public and private institutions, non-governmental organizations, and entrepreneurs from the cities under study. Through the analysis of the collected data, five conditions have been identified for the success of strategic alliances in CBC projects: (i) well defining the alliance goals; (ii) ensuring participation in the alliance of various groups of stakeholders; (iii) involvement of both partners with extensive experience in CBC; (iv) ensuring the coherence of the key objective; and (v) guaranteeing the alliance benefits both sides. These conditions might effectively contribute to achieve more successful outputs in CBC projects, highlighting the relevance of previously developed strategies on the definition of future approaches.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1415: Structural Equation Model for Evaluating Factors Affecting Quality of Social Infrastructure Projects Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10051415 Authors: Shahid Hussain Zhu Fangwei Ahmed Faisal Siddiqi Zaigham Ali Muhammad Salman Shabbir The quality of the constructed social infrastructure project has been considered a necessary measure for the sustainability of projects. Studies on factors affecting project quality have used various techniques and methods to explain the relationships between particular variables. Unexpectedly, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) has acquired very little concern in factors affecting project quality studies. To address this limitation in the body of knowledge, the objective of this study was to apply the SEM approach and build a model that explained and identified the critical factors affecting quality in social infrastructure projects. The authors developed a quantitative approach using smart-PLS version 3.2.7. This study shed light on the views of different experts based on their experience in public construction projects in Pakistan. Particularly, the authors aimed to find out the relationships between construction, stakeholders, materials, design, and external factors, and how these relate to project quality. The findings of this study revealed that the R2 value of the model was scored at 0.749, which meant that the five exogenous latent constructs collectively explained 74.9% of the variance in project quality. The Goodness-of-Fit of the model was 0.458. The construction related factor was the most important out of the five constructs. This study determined that better planning and monitoring and evaluation should be developed to better address and control the quality defects by decision-makers, project managers as well as contractors. These findings might support practitioners and decision makers to focus on quality related problems that might occur in their current or future projects.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 47
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1411: Keep Them Engaged: Romanian County Inspectorates for Emergency Situations’ Facebook Usage for Disaster Risk Communication and Beyond Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10051411 Authors: Monika Meltzer Lucrina Ștefănescu Alexandru Ozunu Nowadays, the use of social media by public institutions involved in disaster management is starting to become common practice. However, despite scientific interest in the effect of social media on disaster risk and crisis communication, data exploring emergency management agencies’ round-the-clock Facebook usage and the impact of their content and media choices on stakeholder engagement is limited. This study set out to investigate Romanian local emergency agencies’ Facebook usage patterns and stakeholders’ engagement with their content. The data is comprised of 7810 messages posted between the 1st January and 25th October 2017 by 32 County Inspectorates for Emergency Situations. First, using content analysis techniques, the topics of the posts were summarized to illustrate how these agencies use Facebook. Second, stakeholder engagement was investigated using social media marketing techniques. Third, messages related to natural hazards were analyzed in greater depth to reveal disaster risk communication patterns. The results suggest that Romanian emergency agencies mainly promote transparency and their institutional image on Facebook. Stakeholders were most likely to engage with brand-oriented posts, especially if these also offered rich multimedia feature. Meanwhile, stakeholders were less likely to interact with messages about natural hazards, particularly if they incorporated educational content. These observations suggest that, while at the moment Romanian local emergency management agencies take advantage of Facebook to create and maintain relationships with their stakeholders, they bypass opportunities to implement communication strategies for effective disaster risk reduction.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1412: How Does a Staggered Board Provision Affect Corporate Strategic Change?—Evidence from China’s Listed Companies Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10051412 Authors: Kai Wang Kun-Kun Xue Jin-Hua Xu Chien-Chi Chu Sang-Bing Tsai He-Jun Fan Zhen-Yu Wang Jiangtao Wang As China’s capital market has become more and more developed, listed companies have begun to establish some anti-takeover provisions to protect their controlling right. Existing studies have examined the consequences of the establishment of such provisions. However, few studies have explored how these provisions affect corporate strategic change. Based on agency theory and prospect theory, this paper proposes two channels through which one of the anti-takeover provisions, staggered board provision, impacts strategic change. Using the data of China’s listed companies which issue A-shares in Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges from 2007 to 2014, these two channels are tested. We find that the existence of a staggered board provision negatively affects the extent of strategic change. In addition, if governance mechanisms restrict directors’ power, the relationship between staggered board provision and strategic change will be weakened, which supports the agency theory. If the listed company is faced with a more dynamic external environment, the relationship between staggered board provision and strategic change will be stronger, which supports the prospect theory. These results are robust after we use a different method to measure strategic change. Our conclusions not only enrich literature about strategic change and anti-takeover provisions, but also are helpful for improving corporate governance in China and other developing countries.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1407: Sustainable Urban Development: Spatial Analyses as Novel Tools for Planning a Universally Designed City Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10051407 Authors: Joanna Borowczyk The aim of the research was to analyze the “design for all” concept as a key strategy for creating social sustainability. The paper attempts to answer the question: how can universal design contribute to the rational development of the city space? The author has taken part in participatory experiments. The research took into account various criteria, including the level of the city space’s adaptation to the needs and capabilities of persons with different disabilities. Analyses included qualitative studies concerning the possibilities of developing the social capital as well as creating and preserving a cohesive social structure. The analytic process allowed determining the means of raising the quality of urban planning. Finding effective and reliable analytical tools enabling the development of healthy cities which are compatible with the principles of sustainability could become both a great chance and a great challenge for urban planners. Transition from the microplanning to the macroplanning scale and following the principles of universal design at the stage of the formation of urban concepts using spatiotemporal modelling methods will lead to the creation of harmonious accessible spaces adjusted to the needs of present and future users, which will generate sustainable development and lead to the healing of a city.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1406: An Empirical Research on Bank Client Credit Assessments Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10051406 Authors: Quan Chen Sang-Bing Tsai Yuming Zhai Chien-Chi Chu Jie Zhou Guodong Li Yuxiang Zheng Jiangtao Wang Li-Chung Chang Chao-Feng Hsu Individual microcredit loans involve large quantities and small amounts and necessitate rapid approval, therefore making simple and fast application approvals rather critical. Creditors must evaluate clients’ credit status and default risk within the shortest time when determining whether to approve or decline their applications, preventing overdue responses that negatively impact bank profits and management practices, and could trigger domestic financial crises. This study investigates client credit quality criteria, focusing on the expert opinions of bank managers. The decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory method is adopted to enable a comparison and analysis of the similarities and differences in how banks evaluate their clients’ character, ability, financial capability, and collateral. Based on causality and correlations among the criteria, we also identify the core problems and key improvement criteria in the evaluation system. Through survey results of professional managers from Taiwanese banks, this study uses the DEMATEL method to compare the differences in bank evaluation methods based on the four dimensions of clients’ character, ability, pockets, and collateral, as well as the corresponding 14 criteria. In order to improve the reliability and usefulness in bank client credit risk assessment, the assessment dimensions and indicators of bank client credit risk assessment are first discussed; second, the causal relationship and degree of mutual influence between different dimensions and criteria are researched and assessed; in the end, the paper discusses how to improve the function and the benefits of bank client credit risk assessment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 51
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 593: Brooks–Corey Modeling by One-Dimensional Vertical Infiltration Method Water doi: 10.3390/w10050593 Authors: Xuguang Xing Heng Wang Xiaoyi Ma The laboratory methods used for the soil water retention curve (SWRC) construction and parameter estimation is time-consuming. A vertical infiltration method was proposed to estimate parameters α and n and to further construct the SWRC. In the present study, the relationships describing the cumulative infiltration and infiltration rate with the depth of the wetting front were established, and simplified expressions for estimating α and n parameters were proposed. The one-dimensional vertical infiltration experiments of four soils were conducted to verify if the proposed method would accurately estimate α and n. The fitted values of α and n, obtained from the RETC software, were consistent with the calculated values obtained from the infiltration method. The comparison between the measured SWRCs obtained from the centrifuge method and the calculated SWRCs that were based on the infiltration method displayed small values of root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), and mean absolute error. SWMS_2D-based simulations of cumulative infiltration, based on the calculated α and n, remained consistent with the measured values due to small RMSE and MAPE values. The experiments verified the proposed one-dimensional vertical infiltration method, which has applications in field hydraulic parameter estimation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 52
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1154: Multiple Authorities Attribute-Based Verification Mechanism for Blockchain Mircogrid Transactions Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051154 Authors: Sarmadullah Khan Rafiullah Khan Recently, advancements in energy distribution models have fulfilled the needs of microgrids in finding a suitable energy distribution model between producer and consumer without the need of central controlling authority. Most of the energy distribution model deals with energy transactions and losses without considering the security aspects such as information tampering. The transaction data could be accessible online to keep track of the energy distribution between the consumer and producer (e.g., online payment records and supplier profiles). However this data is prone to modification and misuse if a consumer moves from one producer to other. Blockchain is considered to be one solution to allow users to exchange energy related data and keep track of it without exposing it to modification. In this paper, electrical transactions embedded in blockchain are validated using the signatures of multiple producers based on their assigned attributes. These signatures are verified and endorsed by the consumers satisfying those attributes without revealing any information. The public and private keys for these consumers are generated by the producers and endorsement procedure using these keys ensures that these consumers are authorized. This approach does not need any central authority. To resist against collision attacks, producers are given a secret pseudorandom function seed. The comparative analysis shows the efficiency of proposed approach over the existing ones.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 53
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1150: An ADRC-Based Control Strategy for FRT Improvement of Wind Power Generation with a Doubly-Fed Induction Generator Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051150 Authors: Chenxing Yang Xu Yang Yuri A. W. Shardt This paper proposes a second-order active disturbance rejection control (ADRC)-based control strategy with an integrated design of the flux damping method, for the fault ride-through (FRT) improvement in wind power generation systems with a doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG). First, a first principles model of the rotor and grid side converter of DFIG is developed, which is then used to theoretically analyze the system characteristics and show the damage caused to the DFIG system by a grid voltage fault. Then, the flux damping method is used to suppress the rotor current during a fault ride-through. In order to enhance the robustness and effectiveness of the flux damping method under complex working conditions, an ADRC approach is proposed for disturbance attenuation of the DFIG systems. Finally, a comparison of the proposed method with three other control approaches on a 1.5-MV DFIG system benchmark is performed. It is shown that the proposed method can adaptively and effectively improve the system performance during an FRT.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 54
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1147: A Novel Three-Level Voltage Source Converter for AC–DC–AC Conversion Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051147 Authors: Zongbin Ye Anni Chen Shiqi Mao Tingting Wang Dongsheng Yu Xianming Deng This paper presents a novel three-level voltage source converter for AC–DC–AC conversion. The proposed converter based on H-bridge structure is studied in detail. The control method with traditional double-closed-loop control strategy and voltage balancing algorithm is applied to the rectifier side. Correspondingly, a simplified modulation algorithm is applied to the inverter side, and the voltage balancing of inverter side is realized through the optimal selection of switching combination. Then, the application of the proposed topology is assessed in general and ideal operation conditions. Furthermore, the proposed topology with a variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF) is verified in experimental conditions. The performance of the proposed converter and control strategy is evaluated by experimental and simulation results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1146: Theoretical Modeling and Parameter Analysis of Micro-Pulsed Plasma Thruster Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051146 Authors: Yang Ou Jianjun Wu Yu Zhang Jian Li Sheng Tan In this paper, a new numerical modeling method that combines a modified electromechanical model with a Teflon ablation model is proposed to simulate the working process of micro-pulsed plasma thruster (μPPT). The ablation mass accumulation during the discharge process and the non-Fourier effect during the ablation process are considered to improve simulation accuracy. Simulation results are in good agreement with experimental results. Furthermore, the influence of both the electrical and structural parts on the performance of μPPT was investigated by applying the combined model. It was proven that large capacitance of the capacitor and large gap-to-plate-width ratios can effectively improve the comprehensive performance of the thruster concluding the specific impulse, impulse bit, and efficiency. The results not only validate the theoretical model, but also guide the design and operation optimization of μPPT.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 56
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1142: A Fault Isolation Method via Classification and Regression Tree-Based Variable Ranking for Drum-Type Steam Boiler in Thermal Power Plant Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051142 Authors: Jungwon Yu Jaeyel Jang Jaeyeong Yoo June Ho Park Sungshin Kim Accurate detection and isolation of possible faults are indispensable for operating complex industrial processes more safely, effectively, and economically. In this paper, we propose a fault isolation method for steam boilers in thermal power plants via classification and regression tree (CART)-based variable ranking. In the proposed method, binary classification trees are constructed by applying the CART algorithm to a training dataset which is composed of normal and faulty samples for classifier learning then, to perform faulty variable isolation, variable importance values for each input variable are extracted from the constructed trees. The importance values for non-faulty variables are not influenced by faulty variables, because the values are extracted from the trees with decision boundaries only in the original input space; the proposed method does not suffer from smearing effect. Furthermore, the proposed method, based on the nonparametric CART classifier, can be applicable to nonlinear processes. To confirm the effectiveness, the proposed and comparison methods are applied to two benchmark problems and 250 MW drum-type steam boiler. Experimental results show that the proposed method isolates faulty variables more clearly without the smearing effect than the comparison methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 57
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1141: Multi-Objective Optimization of Start-up Strategy for Pumped Storage Units Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051141 Authors: Jinjiao Hou Chaoshun Li Ziqin Tian Yanhe Xu Xinjie Lai Nan Zhang Taoping Zheng Wei Wu This paper proposes a multi-objective optimization method for the start-up strategy of pumped storage units (PSU) for the first time. In the multi-objective optimization method, the speed rise time and the overshoot during the process of the start-up are taken as the objectives. A precise simulation platform is built for simulating the transient process of start-up, and for calculating the objectives based on the process. The Multi-objective Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm (MOPSO) is adopted to optimize the widely applied start-up strategies based on one-stage direct guide vane control (DGVC), and two-stage DGVC. Based on the Pareto Front obtained, a multi-objective decision-making method based on the relative objective proximity is used to sort the solutions in the Pareto Front. Start-up strategy optimization for a PSU of a pumped storage power station in Jiangxi Province in China is conducted in experiments. The results show that: (1) compared with the single objective optimization, the proposed multi-objective optimization of start-up strategy not only greatly shortens the speed rise time and the speed overshoot, but also makes the speed curve quickly stabilize; (2) multi-objective optimization of strategy based on two-stage DGVC achieves better solution for a quick and smooth start-up of PSU than that of the strategy based on one-stage DGVC.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 58
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1138: Short-Term Load Forecasting with Multi-Source Data Using Gated Recurrent Unit Neural Networks Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051138 Authors: Yixing Wang Meiqin Liu Zhejing Bao Senlin Zhang Short-term load forecasting is an important task for the planning and reliable operation of power grids. High-accuracy forecasting for individual customers helps to make arrangements for generation and reduce electricity costs. Artificial intelligent methods have been applied to short-term load forecasting in past research, but most did not consider electricity use characteristics, efficiency, and more influential factors. In this paper, a method for short-term load forecasting with multi-source data using gated recurrent unit neural networks is proposed. The load data of customers are preprocessed by clustering to reduce the interference of electricity use characteristics. The environmental factors including date, weather and temperature are quantified to extend the input of the whole network so that multi-source information is considered. Gated recurrent unit neural networks are used for extracting temporal features with simpler architecture and less convergence time in the hidden layers. The detailed results of the real-world experiments are shown by the forecasting curve and mean absolute percentage error to prove the availability and superiority of the proposed method compared to the current forecasting methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 59
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1140: Unit Commitment Towards Decarbonized Network Facing Fixed and Stochastic Resources Applying Water Cycle Optimization Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051140 Authors: Heba-Allah I. ElAzab R. A. Swief Noha H. El-Amary H. K. Temraz This paper presents a trustworthy unit commitment study to schedule both Renewable Energy Resources (RERs) with conventional power plants to potentially decarbonize the electrical network. The study has employed a system with three IEEE thermal (coal-fired) power plants as dispatchable distributed generators, one wind plant, one solar plant as stochastic distributed generators, and Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) which can work either loads or generators based on their charging schedule. This paper investigates the unit commitment scheduling objective to minimize the Combined Economic Emission Dispatch (CEED). To reduce combined emission costs, integrating more renewable energy resources (RER) and PEVs, there is an essential need to decarbonize the existing system. Decarbonizing the system means reducing the percentage of CO2 emissions. The uncertain behavior of wind and solar energies causes imbalance penalty costs. PEVs are proposed to overcome the intermittent nature of wind and solar energies. It is important to optimally integrate and schedule stochastic resources including the wind and solar energies, and PEVs charge and discharge processes with dispatched resources; the three IEEE thermal (coal-fired) power plants. The Water Cycle Optimization Algorithm (WCOA) is an efficient and intelligent meta-heuristic technique employed to solve the economically emission dispatch problem for both scheduling dispatchable and stochastic resources. The goal of this study is to obtain the solution for unit commitment to minimize the combined cost function including CO2 emission costs applying the Water Cycle Optimization Algorithm (WCOA). To validate the WCOA technique, the results are compared with the results obtained from applying the Dynamic Programming (DP) algorithm, which is considered as a conventional numerical technique, and with the Genetic Algorithm (GA) as a meta-heuristic technique.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 60
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1139: A Novel Busbar Protection Based on the Average Product of Fault Components Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051139 Authors: Guibin Zou Shenglan Song Shuo Zhang Yuzhi Li Houlei Gao This paper proposes an original busbar protection method, based on the characteristics of the fault components. The method firstly extracts the fault components of the current and voltage after the occurrence of a fault, secondly it uses a novel phase-mode transformation array to obtain the aerial mode components, and lastly, it obtains the sign of the average product of the aerial mode voltage and current. For a fault on the busbar, the average products that are detected on all of the lines that are linked to the faulted busbar are all positive within a specific duration of the post-fault. However, for a fault at any one of these lines, the average product that has been detected on the faulted line is negative, while those on the non-faulted lines are positive. On the basis of the characteristic difference that is mentioned above, the identification criterion of the fault direction is established. Through comparing the fault directions on all of the lines, the busbar protection can quickly discriminate between an internal fault and an external fault. By utilizing the PSCAD/EMTDC software (4.6.0.0, Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada), a typical 500 kV busbar model, with one and a half circuit breakers configuration, was constructed. The simulation results show that the proposed busbar protection has a good adjustability, high reliability, and rapid operation speed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1135: Economic Analysis of Pellet Production in Co-Digestion Biogas Plants Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051135 Authors: Dávid Nagy Péter Balogh Zoltán Gabnai József Popp Judit Oláh Attila Bai In our paper we examine the economics of a technological process which utilizes the separated biogas plant digestate as the primary material and, as auxiliary material, the waste heat produced by the cogeneration process, to produce a marketable pellet which can be used in two ways (to supply soil nutrients and heat energy). Using multivariate linear regression model we developed an equation for the biogas yield from the modelled production recipe and expected nutrient pellet prices, and sensitivity analysis were also performed for the substrate dry matter content. We found that pellets can be produced at a cost of 88–90 EUR/ton with a 6 to 10% dry matter substrate content and that, primarily, sales of pellets for heating justify pelleting; producer’s own use and use for nutrient purposes can only be justified in exceptional cases. In the case of dry solid content above 5%, the process does not require the total amount of waste heat; some of this can be used to cover other heat requirements.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1136: Analysis of an Attached Sunspace with a Thermal Inertia Floor Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051136 Authors: María José Suárez López Antonio José Gutiérrez Trashorras Jorge Luis Parrondo Gayo Eduardo Blanco Marigorta An attached sunspace is a partially or fully glazed enclosure, usually located on the first floor, facing south (in the Northern Hemisphere) and adjacent to a conditioned room. Because of the length and orientation of the glazed area, the temperature in the sunspace is usually higher than outside the building. As a Trombe–Mitchel wall, the sunspace has a considerable mass that accumulates thermal energy, but in this case the thermal mass is located in the floor. This capacity to accumulate thermal energy confers the attached sunspace features beyond passive insulation. The sunspace studied in this paper is part of an experimental building located in the North of Spain that was built in the frame of the so-called ARFRISOL project. It consists of a south-facing glazed exterior wall with both clear glass and semi-transparent photovoltaic panels, an intermediate space with a thick layer of sand over a concrete floor, and a partially glazed interior wall. In this paper, a three-dimensional computational model has been implemented to analyse the thermal behaviour inside the sunspace. This analysis takes into account, among other factors, the effects of sun position, incident solar irradiation and temperature both inside and outside.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1137: Portuguese Plan for Promoting Efficiency of Electricity End-Use: Policy, Methodology and Consumer Participation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051137 Authors: José L. Sousa António G. Martins The Portuguese Electricity Demand-Side Efficiency Promotion Plan (PPEC) is a voluntary financial mechanism, under which several entities, among them electric utilities, may submit proposals of measures aiming at the reduction of electricity consumption or load management. It is one of the alternative options followed by the Portuguese government to the Energy Efficiency Obligations (EEO) stated in Article 7 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. A brief review is presented of the state of the implementation of Article 7 in EU. PPEC is one of the schemes that provide financial support to the implementation of measures whose results contribute to the commitments made under the Portuguese National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), the framework under which the alternatives to the EEO were designed. In the first edition of the PPEC, only three energy services were addressed, while, in the most recent PPEC edition, the sixth, measures addressed nine energy services. In addition, the co-funding by participating consumers and other agents has increased, raising the investment in energy efficiency from actors other than the program administrator. PPEC, although a voluntary mechanism, has proven to be a very competitive one, involving an increasing number of economic agents, measures and addressed energy services.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1134: Application of Hybrid Meta-Heuristic Techniques for Optimal Load Shedding Planning and Operation in an Islanded Distribution Network Integrated with Distributed Generation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051134 Authors: Jafar Jallad Saad Mekhilef Hazlie Mokhlis Javed Laghari Ola Badran In a radial distribution network integrated with distributed generation (DG), frequency and voltage instability could occur due to grid disconnection, which would result in an islanded network. This paper proposes an optimal load shedding scheme to balance the electricity demand and the generated power of DGs. The integration of the Firefly Algorithm and Particle Swarm Optimization (FAPSO) is proposed for the application of the planned load shedding and under frequency load shedding (UFLS) scheme. In planning mode, the hybrid optimization maximizes the amount of load remaining and improves the voltage profile of load buses within allowable limits. Moreover, the hybrid optimization can be used in UFLS scheme to identify the optimal combination of loads that need to be shed from a network in operation mode. In order to assess the capabilities of the hybrid optimization, the IEEE 33-bus radial distribution system and part of the Malaysian distribution network with different types of DGs were used. The response of the proposed optimization method in planning and operation were compared with other optimization techniques. The simulation results confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid optimization in planning mode and demonstrated that the proposed UFLS scheme is quick enough to restore the system frequency without overshooting in less execution time.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1133: Techno, Economic and Environmental Assessment of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System—A Case Study for a University Campus Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051133 Authors: Khuram Pervez Amber Tony Day Naeem Iqbal Ratyal Adnan Khalid Kiani Rizwan Ahmad Universities in the United Kingdom that have installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology are making good moves towards achieving their CO2 reduction targets. However, CHP may not always be an economical option for a university campus due to numerous factors. Identification of such factors is highly important before making an investment decision. A detailed technical, economic, and environmental feasibility of CHP is, therefore, indispensable. This study aims to undertake a detailed assessment of CHP for a typical university campus and attempts to highlight the significance of such factors. Necessary data and information were collected through site visits, whereas the CHP sizing was performed using the London South Bank University (LSBU) CHP model. The results suggest that there is a strong opportunity of installing a 230 kW CHP that will offset grid electricity and boilers thermal supply by 47% and 75%, respectively, and will generate financial and environmental yearly savings of £51k and 395 t/CO2, respectively. A wider spark gap decreases the payback period of the project and vice versa. The capital cost of the project could affect the project’s economics due to factors, such as unavailability of space for CHP, complex existing infrastructure, and unavailability of a gas connection.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 170: A Multivariate Approach to Study Drivers of Land-Cover Changes through Remote Sensing in the Dry Chaco of Argentina ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7050170 Authors: Laura E. Hoyos Marcelo R. Cabido Ana M. Cingolani Land-cover changes are driven by different combinations of biophysical, economic, and cultural drivers that are acting at different scales. We aimed to (1) analyze trends in land use and land cover changes (conversion, abandonment, forest persistence) in the dry Chaco in central Argentina (1979 to 2010), and (2) examine how physical and socio-economic drivers have influenced those changes. Based on Landsat data, we obtained the proportion of 16 classes of land cover changes for 81 individual circular samples. We performed a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to identify the main trends of change across the whole region. To explore the relationships between the changes in land cover and drivers, we developed a GIS comprising thematic maps representing the different drivers. The drivers were first correlated with the two first PCA axes, and in a second approximation were subjected to multiple regression analyses. We obtained in this way the best model to explain each PCA axis. The highest conversion, as indicated by PCA axis 1, was experienced by flat areas close to roads and with the highest annual rainfall. Besides agricultural expansion that was triggered by precipitation increase as a major driver of forest conversion, changes that were observed during the period 1979–2010, may have also been influenced by several other driving forces acting at different spatial scales and contexts.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1131: The Influences of Various Testing Conditions on the Evaluation of Household Biomass Pellet Fuel Combustion Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051131 Authors: Yixiang Zhang Zongxi Zhang Yuguang Zhou Renjie Dong Direct combustion of solid biomass fuel is one of the most common energy sources in developing countries. Evaluation of technology for household biomass pellet fuel combustion is critical, since promoting poorly designed devices may have risks due to exposure to high levels of emissions. This study evaluated the effects of various testing conditions on a top-lit forced-up-draft semi-gasifier cooking stove. An orthogonal test was designed with different fuel masses, chamber heights, air supply rates, and ending points. The investigation showed that using forced secondary air and more fuel tended to improve both thermal and gas emissions performance. The ending points did not have significant effects on thermal efficiency or the carbon dioxide emission factor, but did affect particulate matter emission. A relatively lower chamber height demonstrated better performance on thermal metrics. However, a taller flame had better performance on particulate matter emission factors. The results of the indicators reported by different bases, such as fuel mass-based or useful energy-based were also quite different. The study showed that different testing conditions had significant effects on combustion performances. Testing sequences and emission factors should be reviewed and defined clearly when forming testing methods and standards for biomass pellet fuel combustion.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 31: Patterns of Long-Term Population Trends of Three Lupine-Feeding Butterflies in Wisconsin Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020031 Authors: Ann B. Swengel Scott R. Swengel We monitored consecutive generations of three lupine-feeding specialist butterflies in pine-oak barrens in central Wisconsin, USA: Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus), Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), and Persius Duskywing (Erynnis persius) during 1991–2014. We also monitored the summer generation of Karner Blues in northwestern Wisconsin. We present results on 24 sites for Frosted Elfin and Persius Duskywing, and 39 sites for Karner Blue. Land uses in sites occupied by the federally endangered Karner Blue are regulated. Economically utilized lands classified as “Shifting Mosaic” (SM) (forestry land) or “Permanency of Habitat” (PH) (rights-of-way) are afforded a lower standard of conservation results than the more favorable management expected of Reserves (R). For all three species, reserve sites had more favorable trends than permanency of habitat and shifting mosaic sites. Frosted Elfin and Persius Duskywing had more strongly negative trends in permanency of habitat than shifting mosaic, but vice versa for Karner Blue. Shifting mosaic sites added more recently to the study had negative trends, but not as strongly as longer-monitored shifting mosaic sites. Another large shifting mosaic complex (Hunter Haven), monitored in 17 years during 1995–2014 for Frosted Elfin and Persius Duskywing, had non-negative trends. Individual reserve sites also had more favorable trends than collectively for all reserve sites, including significant positive trends for Persius Duskywing and Karner Blue, and a stable trend for Frosted Elfin. Thus, land use is implicated not only for declines but also for effective conservation of these species.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1153: Comparison of Axial Magnetic Gears Based on Magnetic Composition Topology Differences Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051153 Authors: Sudirman Syam Sudjito Soeparman Denny Widhiyanuriawan Slamet Wahyudi This paper proposes a design and implementation of an axial type magnetic gear (MG) based on the composition of the magnetic arrangement. We report a quantitative comparison of two MG topologies with rectangular magnets arranged in series and parallel. Increased magnetic flux is done through magnetic circuit analysis and electrical circuit approach. Testing is done by using the rotation of a DC motor drive from 300–2600 rpm with a DC generator under load conditions. Measurement of load current and generator output power for both axial MG topologies are taken and analyzed. The results showed that the performance of an axial MG with the rectangular magnetic arrangement in parallel is better than that of a series arrangement. Based on the measured loading current of the two axial MG topologies, at generator rotation between 300–1300 rpm with 100, 200, and 300 Ω resistance loads show the same load current. Conversely, after a DC generator rotation approaches ½ of the maximum rotation (1300–2600 rpm) there is a significant increase in load current fluctuations. That is, with an increase of load currents occurring, the parallel magnetic topology shows an increase in load torque due to an increase of magnetic flux in the gear train magnets of the MG.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 70
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1152: Photovoltaic Integrated Shunt Active Power Filter with Simpler ADALINE Algorithm for Current Harmonic Extraction Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051152 Authors: Muhammad Ammirrul Atiqi Mohd Zainuri Mohd Amran Mohd Radzi Azura Che Soh Norman Mariun Nasrudin Abd Rahim Jiashen Teh Ching-Ming Lai This manuscript presents a significant work in improving the current harmonics extraction algorithm and indirectly improving the injection current produced by a single-phase Photovoltaic Shunt Active Power Filter (PV SAPF). Improvement to the existing adaptive linear neuron (ADALINE) technique has been carried out, leading to the formation of a simpler ADALINE; it is expected to perform as fast as the current harmonics extraction algorithm. Further analysis on the DC link capacitor control algorithm, called “self-charging with step size error cancellation”, was also done to inspect the performance of the algorithm in a single-phase photovoltaic shunt active power filter system. Both algorithms, configured in single-phase PV SAPF, were simulated in MATLAB/Simulink (R2012b). A laboratory prototype was developed, and the algorithms were computed on a TMS320F28335 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) board for hardware implementation purposes. From the acquired results, the simpler ADALINE algorithm has effectively performed with lower total harmonic Distortion (THD) and outstanding compensation. The established algorithm of self-charging with step size error cancellation works well with single-phase PV SAPF and has shown less overshoot, a fast response time, and minimal energy losses.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1148: Architecture Optimization of Hybrid Electric Vehicles with Future High-Efficiency Engine Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051148 Authors: Jinlong Hong Liangchun Zhao Yulong Lei Bingzhao Gao The great development of engine technologies can help to improve the engine characteristics and performance: a better thermal efficiency and an extending fuel economy area, which will subsequently decrease the fuel consumption and thus influence the overall architecture of the vehicle. In this paper, an investigation is carried out to assess the influence of the high-efficiency engine on the transmission gear numbers. First, according to the relevant studies and the integration of the advanced engine technology, a future engine fuel consumption map is obtained, based on which, the preliminary simulations are applied to explore the best match between the transmission and the proposed future engine from the perspective of fuel consumption. The simulation results indicate that the transmission with four gears is the best option to match the future engine while maintaining good fuel economy and meeting the driving demands. Then, based on this conclusion, a new hybrid powertrain architecture, which includes four gears for the engine, is introduced and analyzed in detail, with the advantage of seamless gear shift due to the compensation torque of the motor. Finally, to further examine the fuel economy and gear shift quality of the proposed powertrain, the dynamic model is established and the simulation results demonstrate that the new powertrain architecture shows a good fuel consumption performance and the gear shift process can be achieved without power interruption.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1143: Photovoltaics (PV) System Energy Forecast on the Basis of the Local Weather Forecast: Problems, Uncertainties and Solutions Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051143 Authors: Kristijan Brecl Marko Topič When integrating a photovoltaic system into a smart zero-energy or energy-plus building, or just to lower the electricity bill by rising the share of the self-consumption in a private house, it is very important to have a photovoltaic power energy forecast for the next day(s). While the commercially available forecasting services might not meet the household prosumers interests due to the price or complexity we have developed a forecasting methodology that is based on the common weather forecast. Since the forecasted meteorological data does not include the solar irradiance information, but only the weather condition, the uncertainty of the results is relatively high. However, in the presented approach, irradiance is calculated from discrete weather conditions and with correlation of forecasted meteorological data, an RMS error of 65%, and a R2 correlation factor of 0.85 is feasible.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 248: Species- and Elevation-Dependent Growth Responses to Climate Warming of Mountain Forests in the Qinling Mountains, Central China Forests doi: 10.3390/f9050248 Authors: Bo Liu Eryuan Liang Kang Liu J. Julio Camarero Climate warming is significantly affecting the composition and function of forest ecosystems. However, the forest responses to climate change in sub-humid and temperate areas are understudied compared with cold and semi-arid areas. Here, we investigate the radial-growth responses of two subalpine conifer species along an elevational gradient located in the Qinling Mountains, a sub-humid and temperate area situated in central China. Three sites dominated by larch (Larix chinensis Beissn.) and two other sites dominated by fir (Abies fargesii Franch.) located at different elevations were sampled. L. chinensis at a higher elevation showed more common and stronger climatic signals than A. fargesii at a lower elevation. The radial growth of L. chinensis was limited by low pre-growing season temperatures and showed an increasing growth trend in the last few years. On the other hand, A. fargesii growth was limited by summer water shortage and it was characterized by a declining trend in the most recent decade. Consequently, L. chinensis would benefit from climate warming, whereas A. fargesii could be regarded as a vulnerable tree species to warming-induced drought stress.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 74
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-05-05
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 247: Leaf Venation Variation and Phenotypic Plasticity in Response to Environmental Heterogeneity in Parrotia subaequalis (H. T. Chang) R. M. Hao et H. T. Wei, An Endemic and Endangered Tree Species from China Forests doi: 10.3390/f9050247 Authors: Lifang Zhang Jing Yang Yang Huang Zhiyi Jia Yanming Fang Plant leaf vein traits are partially the result of adaptation to environmental factors during long-term evolution. For terrestrial plants, leaf veins greatly vary in size and numbers. Parrotia subaequalis (H. T. Chang) R. M. Hao et H. T. Wei, an endangered tree species endemic to China, has a limited distribution, and inhabits both hillsides and valleys. The variations in P. subaequalis leaf venation and vein density in response to environmental changes were examined by collecting samples from all 14 extant populations and analyzing the association between leaf vein density and environmental factors. The results revealed that leaf characteristics were strongly associated with different habitats. A set of vein traits, namely base angle, intercostal tertiary areole development and shape, and free ending veinlet branching, were related to habitat. Significant relationships between vein density and environmental variables (mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, and elevation) were doubtless confirmed by this study. These findings indicate that phenotypic plasticity in leaf vein traits is an important ecophysiological characteristic that enables P. subaequalis to adapt to spatiotemporally fluctuating environments. Furthermore, these results also provide important reference data for in-depth studies on the protection strategies used by the tree.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 75
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1162: Experimental Study of the Pore Structure and Permeability of Coal by Acidizing Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051162 Authors: Bo Zhao Guangcai Wen Haitao Sun Xusheng Zhao The permeability of coal reservoirs prominently determines methane flow in reservoirs. A large amount of coal reservoirs containing methane, however, have low permeability because pores in reservoirs are sealed. To solve this issue, we investigated the pore structure and permeability law of coal through contrastive analysis of the microstructure and macrostructure before and after acidizing, using ASAP 2020 and triaxial servo-controlled seepage equipment. An analysis of the experimental data revealed the mechanism and the key parameters of acidizing, such as acid mass fraction and acidizing time. In addition, we hold that the optimal mass fraction for the test specimens is about 12~15%. Furthermore, the acid reaction is divided into three stages according to characteristics of the reaction progress. An analysis of the reaction kinetics of “HCl-HF” states that the significant factors will impact the process of reaction, like the composition of coal, surface area of the acid-coal reaction, mass fraction of acids, and environment of the reaction system. The results provide a new idea and research method for further enhancing permeability and gas extraction.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 76
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 33: Unveiling the History of a Peculiar Weevil-Plant Interaction in South America: A Phylogeographic Approach to Hydnorobius hydnorae (Belidae) Associated with Prosopanche americana (Aristolochiaceae) Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020033 Authors: Sequeira Rocamundi Ferrer Baranzelli Marvaldi Interspecific interactions take place over both long and short time-frames. However, it is not completely understood if the interacting-partners persisted, migrated, or expanded in concert with Quaternary climate and landscape changes. We aim to understand whether there is concordance between the specialist weevil Hydnorobius hydnorae and its parasitic host plant, Prosopanche americana in space and time. We aim to determine whether Prosopanche had already established its range, and Hydnorobius later actively colonized this rare resource; or, if both host plant and herbivore expanded their range concomitantly. We performed population genetic, phylogeographic and Bayesian diffusion analysis of Cytochrome B sequences from 18 weevil localities and used paleodistribution models to infer host plant dispersal patterns. We found strong but uneven population structure across the range for H. hydnorae with weak signals of population growth, and haplotype network structure and SAMOVA groupings closely following biogeographic region boundaries. The ancestral areas for both Hydnorobius and Prosopanche are reconstructed in San Luis province within the Chaco Biogeographic province. Our results indicate a long trajectory of host-tracking through space and time, where the weevil has expanded its geographic range following its host plant, without significant demographic growth. We explore the past environmental changes that could underlie the boundaries between locality groups. We suggest that geographic dispersal without population growth in Hydnorobius could be enabled by the scarcity of the host plant itself, allowing for slow expansion rates and stable populations, with no need for significant demographic growth pulses to support range expansion.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 77
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1161: Direct-Lyapunov-Based Control Scheme for Voltage Regulation in a Three-Phase Islanded Microgrid with Renewable Energy Sources Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051161 Authors: Hadi Hosseini Kordkheili Mahdi Banejad Ali Akbarzadeh Kalat Edris Pouresmaeil João P. S. Catalão In this paper, the local control structure of a microgrid is partially modified by a Lyapunov-based controller. This controller is derived based on direct Lyapunov stability theory (DLST) in order to calculate proper switching functions for the stable operation of the local controller as well as proper local performance of each inverter-based distributed generation (DG) unit. The main contribution is the use of DLST-based controller in a hierarchical primary control structure along with a DC-side voltage regulator. A current-based droop controller is also introduced along with a voltage harmonic compensation technique. The control limits of droop equations are calculated based on steady-state and dynamic capability curve as well as voltage-frequency ellipse curve. The effect of the variations of voltages and circuit parameters on the capability curves are also investigated and the microgrid (MG) steady-state operation area is obtained. In the proposed method, the DC-voltage variations are regulated by an additional voltage control loop based on a current reference correction signal. The above-mentioned approaches are derived thoroughly with mathematical equations. The effectiveness of the designed controllers is verified by a MATLAB/SIMULINK simulation platform (Matlab/Simulink R2014a, Mathworks, Inc.) with harmonically distorted intermittent loads. The results show the appropriate performance of the proposed controllers during both steady-state and transient dynamic conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 78
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1158: Synthesis of Heat-Integrated Water Allocation Networks: A Meta-Analysis of Solution Strategies and Network Features Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051158 Authors: Maziar Kermani Ivan D. Kantor François Maréchal Industries consume large quantities of energy and water in their processes which are often considered to be peripheral to the process operation. Energy is used to heat or cool water for process use; additionally, water is frequently used in production support or utility networks as steam or cooling water. This enunciates the interconnectedness of water and energy and illustrates the necessity of their simultaneous treatment to improve energy and resource efficiency in industrial processes. Since the seminal work of Savulescu and Smith in 1998 introducing a graphical approach, many authors have contributed to this field by proposing graphically- or optimization-based methodologies. The latter encourages development of mathematical superstructures encompassing all possible interconnections. While a large body of research has focused on improving the superstructure development, solution strategies to tackle such optimization problems have also received significant attention. The goal of the current article is to study the proposed methodologies with special focus on mathematical approaches, their key features and solution strategies. Following the convention of Jeżowski, solution strategies are categorized into: decomposition, sequential, simultaneous, meta-heuristics and a more novel strategy of relaxation/transformation. A detailed, feature-based review of all the main contributions has also been provided in two tables. Several gaps have been highlighted as future research directions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 79
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1159: Tolerance Sensitivity Analysis and Robust Optimal Design Method of a Surface-Mounted Permanent Magnet Motor by Using a Hybrid Response Surface Method Considering Manufacturing Tolerances Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051159 Authors: Jun Kwon Kwon This paper presents a robust optimal design method using a hybrid response surface method (H-RSM) which directly finds an optimal point satisfying a target Z-value or a probability of failure. Through three steps, this paper achieves the goal that is to increase the open-circuit airgap flux (OCAF) in a surface-mounted permanent magnet motor and decrease its variation caused by variations of the airgap lengths including an additional one between permanent magnets and rotor back yoke. First, the OCAF equation is derived from the magnetic equivalent circuit (MEC) considering the additional airgap. Then, the equation is validated by comparing its results with those of the finite element method (FEM) modeled by the slotless stator. Next, the tolerance sensitivity analysis, using the partial derivative of the OCAF equation with respect to the airgap length, is performed to investigate the effects of design variables on the OCAF. It is shown that increasing the magnet thickness is effective for both increasing mean of the OCAF and reducing its variation. Finally, robust optimal design is performed using the H-RSM, in which all data are obtained from the FEM modeled by the slotted stator. The results of the robust optimal design are verified using the FEM.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 80
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1156: Smart Meter Traffic in a Real LV Distribution Network Energies doi: 10.3390/en11051156 Authors: Nikoleta Andreadou Evangelos Kotsakis Marcelo Masera The modernization of the distribution grid requires a huge amount of data to be transmitted and handled by the network. The deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure systems results in an increased traffic generated by smart meters. In this work, we examine the smart meter traffic that needs to be accommodated by a real distribution system. Parameters such as the message size and the message transmission frequency are examined and their effect on traffic is showed. Limitations of the system are presented, such as the buffer capacity needs and the maximum message size that can be communicated. For this scope, we have used the parameters of a real distribution network, based on a survey at which the European Distribution System Operators (DSOs) have participated. For the smart meter traffic, we have used two popular specifications, namely the G3-PLC–“G3 Power Line communication” and PRIME–acronym for “PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution”, to simulate the characteristics of a system that is widely used in practice. The results can be an insight for further development of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems that control and monitor the Low Voltage (LV) distribution grid. The paper presents an analysis towards identifying the needs of distribution networks with respect to telecommunication data as well as the main parameters that can affect the Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT) system performance. Identifying such parameters is consequently beneficial to designing more efficient ICT systems for Advanced Metering Infrastructure.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 81
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    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 197: Linkages between the Genesis and Resource Potential of Ferromanganese Deposits in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8050197 Authors: Amaya Menendez Rachael James Natalia Shulga Doug Connelly Steve Roberts In addition to iron and manganese, deep sea ferromanganese deposits, including nodules and crusts, contain significant amounts of economically interesting metals, such as cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), and rare Earth elements and yttrium (REY). Some of these metals are essential in the development of emerging and new-generation green technologies. However, the resource potential of these deposits is variable, and likely related to environmental conditions that prevail as they form. To better assess the environmental controls on the resource potential of ferromanganese deposits, we have undertaken a detailed study of the chemical composition of ferromanganese nodules and one crust sample from different oceanic regions. Textural and chemical characteristics of nodules from the North Atlantic and a crust from the South Pacific suggest that they acquire metals from a hydrogenous source. These deposits are potentially an economically important source of Co and the REY. On the other hand, nodules from the Pacific Ocean represent a marginal resource of these metals, due to their relatively fast growth rate caused by diagenetic precipitation. By contrast, they have relatively high concentrations of Ni and Cu. A nodule from the Arctic Ocean is characterised by the presence of significant quantities of detrital silicate material, which significantly reduces their metal resource.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 82
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 252: Separating Tree Photosynthetic and Non-Photosynthetic Components from Point Cloud Data Using Dynamic Segment Merging Forests doi: 10.3390/f9050252 Authors: Di Wang Jasmin Brunner Zhenyu Ma Hao Lu Markus Hollaus Yong Pang Norbert Pfeifer Many biophysical forest properties such as wood volume and leaf area index (LAI) require prior knowledge on either photosynthetic or non-photosynthetic components. Laser scanning appears to be a helpful technique in nondestructively quantifying forest structures, as it can acquire an accurate three-dimensional point cloud of objects. In this study, we propose an unsupervised geometry-based method named Dynamic Segment Merging (DSM) to identify non-photosynthetic components of trees by semantically segmenting tree point clouds, and examining the linear shape prior of each resulting segment. We tested our method using one single tree dataset and four plot-level datasets, and compared our results to a supervised machine learning method. We further demonstrated that by using an optimal neighborhood selection method that involves multi-scale analysis, the results were improved. Our results showed that the overall accuracy ranged from 81.8% to 92.0% with an average value of 87.7%. The supervised machine learning method had an average overall accuracy of 86.4% for all datasets, on account of a collection of manually delineated representative training data. Our study indicates that separating tree photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic components from laser scanning data can be achieved in a fully unsupervised manner without the need of