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Energies, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) For a long time, the development of electric vehicles has run up against electrical storage [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Feasibility Study of a Heating, Cooling and Domestic Hot Water System Combining a Photovoltaic-Thermal System and a Ground Source Heat Pump
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081243
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (10657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Renewable energy systems have received a lot of attention as sustainable technology in building sector. However, the efficiency of the renewable energy systems depends on the surrounding conditions, and it could gradually decrease by excessive and long-term operation. As a solution, a hybrid
[...] Read more.
Renewable energy systems have received a lot of attention as sustainable technology in building sector. However, the efficiency of the renewable energy systems depends on the surrounding conditions, and it could gradually decrease by excessive and long-term operation. As a solution, a hybrid system can increase the reliability of energy production and decrease investment costs through by reducing the system capacity. The hybrid system operates at the ideal performance, but the design and operation method for hybrid system have not been established. In this paper, the performance of the hybrid system combined with photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) system and ground source heat pump (GSHP) system was analyzed using TRNSYS 17 and feasibility was assessed. The energy consumption and performance efficiency of hybrid system were calculated according to operating modes. Furthermore, seasonal performance factor (SPF) of hybrid system was compared with that of conventional GSHP system. System performance was analyzed in various conditions such as the usage of storage tank heating and set temperature for solar heating. As a result, the average SPF of the developed system increased about 55.3% compared with the GSHP system. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Modelling and Control of Parallel-Connected Transformerless Inverters for Large Photovoltaic Farms
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081242
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a control structure for transformerless photovoltaic inverters connected in parallel to manage photovoltaic fields in the MW range. Large photovoltaic farms are usually divided into several photovoltaic fields, each one of them managed by a centralized high power inverter. The
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a control structure for transformerless photovoltaic inverters connected in parallel to manage photovoltaic fields in the MW range. Large photovoltaic farms are usually divided into several photovoltaic fields, each one of them managed by a centralized high power inverter. The current tendency to build up centralized inverters in the MW range is the use of several transformerless inverters connected in parallel, a topology that provokes the appearance of significant zero-sequence circulating currents among inverters. To eliminate this inconvenience, this paper proposes a control structure that avoids the appearance of circulating currents by controlling the zero-sequence component of the inverters. A second contribution of the paper is the development of a model of n parallel-connected inverters. To validate the concept, the proposed control structure has been applied to a photovoltaic field of 2 MW managed by four 500 kW photovoltaic inverters connected in parallel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Communication in Distributed Generation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation Study on the Effect of Fracturing Technology on the Production Efficiency of Natural Gas Hydrate
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081241
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3115 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural gas hydrate (NGH) concentrations hold large reserves of relatively pure unconventional natural gases, consisting mainly of methane. Depressurization is emerging as the optimum conversion technology for converting NGH in its reservoir to its constituent water and natural gas. NGH concentrations commonly have
[...] Read more.
Natural gas hydrate (NGH) concentrations hold large reserves of relatively pure unconventional natural gases, consisting mainly of methane. Depressurization is emerging as the optimum conversion technology for converting NGH in its reservoir to its constituent water and natural gas. NGH concentrations commonly have a pore fill of over 80%, which means that NGH is a low-permeability reservoir, as NGH has displaced water in terms of porosity. Fracturing technology (fracking) is a technology employed for increasing permeability-dependent production, and has been proven in conventional and tight oil and gas reservoirs. In this work, we carried out numerical simulations to investigate the effects on depressurization efficiency of a variably-fractured NGH reservoir, to make a first order assessment of fracking efficiency. We performed calculations for the variations in original NGH saturation, pressure distribution, CH4 gas production rate, and cumulative production under different fracturing conditions. Our results show that the rate of the pressure drop within the NGH-saturated host strata increases with increased fracturing. The CH4 gas production rate and cumulative production are greatly improved with fracturing. Crack quantity and spacing per volume have a significant effect on the improvement of NGH conversion efficiencies. Possibly most important, we identified an optimum fracking value beyond which further fracking is not required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Performance Assessment of a 2nd-Generation Vacuum Double Glazing Depending on Vacuum Layer Position and Building Type in South Korea
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081240
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: The application of high insulation to a building envelope helps reduce the heating load, but increases the cooling load. Evaluating the installation of high insulation glazing to buildings in climate zones with four distinct seasons, as in the case of South
[...] Read more.
(1) Background: The application of high insulation to a building envelope helps reduce the heating load, but increases the cooling load. Evaluating the installation of high insulation glazing to buildings in climate zones with four distinct seasons, as in the case of South Korea, is very important; (2) Methods: This study compared the heating energy performance of four types of glazing, inside vacuum double glazing, outside vacuum double glazing, single vacuum glazing, and low-e double glazing, with fixed low-e coating positions on the inside of the room in a mock-up chamber under the same conditions. The annual energy consumption according to the building type was analyzed using a simulation; (3) Results: As the insulation performance of building envelopes has increased, the energy saving rate of inside vacuum double glazing has been increased further in office buildings. In residential buildings, the energy saving rate of inside vacuum double glazing with a low SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) has become higher than that of outside vacuum double glazing; (4) Conclusions: Since the effects of SHGC on the energy saving rates are greater in high insulation buildings, SHGC should be considered carefully when selecting glazing in climate zones with distinct winter and summer seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zero-Carbon Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel FPGA-Based Real-Time Simulator for Micro-Grids
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081239
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract
To meet the requirements of micro-grid real-time simulation, a novel real-time simulator for micro-grids based on Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and orders (FO-RTDS) is designed. We describe the design idea of the real-time solver and the order generator. Multi-valued parameter prestorage and multi-rate
[...] Read more.
To meet the requirements of micro-grid real-time simulation, a novel real-time simulator for micro-grids based on Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and orders (FO-RTDS) is designed. We describe the design idea of the real-time solver and the order generator. Multi-valued parameter prestorage and multi-rate simulation are introduced to reduce the computational pressure. The data scheduling is carried out following the principle of saving the resources and the minimizing the average distance between variables. An example is performed on XC7VX690T-2FFG1761 chip, which proves the novel FO-RTDS method greatly improves the scale of real-time simulation of micro-grids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Noise Sources, Effects and Countermeasures in Narrowband Power-Line Communications Networks: A Practical Approach
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081238
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract
The integration of Distributed Generation, Electric Vehicles, and storage without compromising the quality of the power delivery requires the deployment of a communications overlay that allows monitoring and controlling low voltage networks in almost real time. Power Line Communications are gaining momentum for
[...] Read more.
The integration of Distributed Generation, Electric Vehicles, and storage without compromising the quality of the power delivery requires the deployment of a communications overlay that allows monitoring and controlling low voltage networks in almost real time. Power Line Communications are gaining momentum for this purpose since they present a great trade-off between economic and technical features. However, the power lines also represent a harsh communications medium which presents different problems such as noise, which is indeed affected by Distributed Generation, Electric Vehicles, and storage. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the types of noise that affects Narrowband Power Line Communications, including normative noises, noises coming from common electronic devices measured in actual operational power distribution networks, and noises coming from photovoltaic inverters and electric vehicle charging spots measured in a controlled environment. The paper also reviews several techniques to mitigate the effects of noise, paying special attention to passive filtering, as for being one of the most widely used solution to avoid this kind of problems in the field. In addition, the paper presents a set of tests carried out to evaluate the impact of some representative noises on Narrowband Power Line Communications network performance, as well as the effectiveness of different passive filter configurations to mitigate such an impact. In addition, the considered sources of noise can also bring value to further improve PLC communications in the new scenarios of the Smart Grid as an input to theoretical models or simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Extended Kalman Filter-Based State of Charge and State of Power Estimation Algorithm for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Li-Po Battery Packs
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1237; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081237
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Customer requirements for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with long flight times are increasing exponentially in the personal, commercial, and military use areas. Due to their limited payload, large numbers of on-board battery packs cannot be used and this is the main reason behind
[...] Read more.
Customer requirements for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with long flight times are increasing exponentially in the personal, commercial, and military use areas. Due to their limited payload, large numbers of on-board battery packs cannot be used and this is the main reason behind the need for battery management software (BMS) packages with state of charge (SOC) estimation functions to increase the flight time. At the same time, as the UAV application range has extended widely, the size of UAVs has increased and heavy-duty UAVs are slowly appearing. As a result, the system operating power of the UAVs has been increased tremendously and their safe system power operation has become an issue. This is the main reason for the need of BMS having state of power (SOP) estimation functions. In this work a 6 S Li-Po battery pack is simulated with two ladder equivalent circuit models (ECMs) considering an impedance effect whose parameters are found using hybrid pulse power characterization (HPPC) current patterns with parameter determination using the table-based linear interpolation (TBLI) method. Two state estimation methods, including the current integration method and the extended Kalman filter (EKF) method are developed and the estimation accuracies of SOC and SOP are compared. Results show that the most accurate SOC estimation turns out to be 0.1477% (indoor test with HPPC), 0.1324% (outdoor test with 0 kg payload), and 0.2021% (outdoor test with 10 kg payload). Also, the most accurate SOP estimation error turns out to be 1.2% (indoor test with HPPC), 3.6% (outdoor test with 0 kg payload), and 4.2% (outdoor test with 10 kg payload). Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Improving Tube Design of a Problematic Heat Exchanger for Enhanced Safety at Minimal Costs
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1236; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081236
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract
As part of a preliminary hazard analysis for a new phenol plant, the results of a hazard and operability study (HAZOP) conducted in the initial stages of the project design were re-evaluated due mechanical failure detected during the test operation. Out of the
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As part of a preliminary hazard analysis for a new phenol plant, the results of a hazard and operability study (HAZOP) conducted in the initial stages of the project design were re-evaluated due mechanical failure detected during the test operation. Out of the possible mechanical defects for the crude phenol column (CPC), the fact that the lowest risk grade was given to the column without consideration for any safety devices, was recognized as the cause of failure. After examining the design specifications of the safety valves of CPC, it was confirmed that the tube rupture case of the overhead condenser was also not taken into consideration. With this case included in HAZOP, the size of the safety valve had to be increased from 6Q8 to 8T10. In summary, when taking into consideration the economic impact on modification and re-purchase of the safety valve and the redesign of the piping system might have, it was determined that completely removing any possibility for the tube rupture case by mechanically reinforcing the overhead condenser would be the most economic decision. Therefore, the overhead condenser was mechanically reinforced in areas determined to require strengthening according to the results of the vibration analysis, and by adding these results to the safety device factors of the mechanical defects of CPC, the lowest safety risk grade could have been maintained. Full article
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Open AccessReview A Review of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Strategies and the Spent Nuclear Fuel Management Technologies
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081235
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (943 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nuclear power has been questioned almost since its beginnings and one of the major issues concerning its social acceptability around the world is nuclear waste management. In recent years, these issues have led to a rise in public opposition in some countries and,
[...] Read more.
Nuclear power has been questioned almost since its beginnings and one of the major issues concerning its social acceptability around the world is nuclear waste management. In recent years, these issues have led to a rise in public opposition in some countries and, thus, nuclear energy has been facing even more challenges. However, continuous efforts in R&D (research and development) are resulting in new spent nuclear fuel (SNF) management technologies that might be the pathway towards helping the environment and the sustainability of nuclear energy. Thus, reprocessing and recycling of SNF could be one of the key points to improve the social acceptability of nuclear energy. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review the state of the nuclear waste management technologies, its evolution through time and the future advanced techniques that are currently under research, in order to obtain a global vision of the nuclear fuel cycle strategies available, their advantages and disadvantages, and their expected evolution in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coupled Effects of Moisture Content and Inherent Clay Minerals on the Cohesive Strength of Remodelled Coal
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081234
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 20 August 2017
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Abstract
Injecting water into a coal seam to enhance the cohesive strength of coal and thus minimize and reduce the coal wall spalling risk must be considered in underground coal mining systems. In general, coal with low cohesive strength contains clay minerals which may
[...] Read more.
Injecting water into a coal seam to enhance the cohesive strength of coal and thus minimize and reduce the coal wall spalling risk must be considered in underground coal mining systems. In general, coal with low cohesive strength contains clay minerals which may affect the stability of coal by interacting with water. Therefore, the coupled effects of moisture content and inherent clay minerals on the physical properties (i.e., cohesive strength and internal friction angle) of coal samples should be addressed. In this paper, direct shear tests were conducted by remodelling the Yiluo coal with various moisture contents ranging from 6.6% to 20.7%. According to Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion, cohesive strength and internal friction angle of coal were obtained. Afterwards, effects of moisture content and clay minerals (i.e., Kaolinite, Smectite and Illite) on the cohesive strength of coal were analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) method. The results show that cohesive strength increases when the moisture content rises from 6.6% to 17.6%, after which it decreases with increasing moisture content. This trend can be well illustrated by the relationship between typical water retention curve (WRC) and suction stress of soil. Therefore, a moisture content of 17.6% would be an optimal value to enhance the stability of the Yiluo coal seam. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Metric-Based Validation Process to Assess the Realism of Synthetic Power Grids
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1233; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081233
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4027 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public power system test cases that are of high quality benefit the power systems research community with expanded resources for testing, demonstrating, and cross-validating new innovations. Building synthetic grid models for this purpose is a relatively new problem, for which a challenge is
[...] Read more.
Public power system test cases that are of high quality benefit the power systems research community with expanded resources for testing, demonstrating, and cross-validating new innovations. Building synthetic grid models for this purpose is a relatively new problem, for which a challenge is to show that created cases are sufficiently realistic. This paper puts forth a validation process based on a set of metrics observed from actual power system cases. These metrics follow the structure, proportions, and parameters of key power system elements, which can be used in assessing and validating the quality of synthetic power grids. Though wide diversity exists in the characteristics of power systems, the paper focuses on an initial set of common quantitative metrics to capture the distribution of typical values from real power systems. The process is applied to two new public test cases, which are shown to meet the criteria specified in the metrics of this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Equivalence Ratio (ER) and Feedstock Particle Size on Birchwood Gasification
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081232
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5903 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the characteristics of Birchwood gasification using the simulated results of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. The CFD model is developed and validated with the experimental results obtained with the fixed bed downdraft gasifier available at the University of Agder
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This paper discusses the characteristics of Birchwood gasification using the simulated results of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. The CFD model is developed and validated with the experimental results obtained with the fixed bed downdraft gasifier available at the University of Agder (UIA), Norway. In this work, several parameters are examined and given importance, such as producer gas yield, syngas composition, lower heating value (LHV), and cold gas efficiency (CGE) of the syngas. The behavior of the parameters mentioned above is examined by varying the biomass particle size. The diameters of the two biomass particles are 11.5 mm and 9.18 mm. All the parameters investigate within the Equivalences Ratio (ER) range from 0.2 to 0.5. In the simulations, a variable air inflow rate is used to achieve different ER values. For the different biomass particle sizes, CO, CO2, CH4, and H2 mass fractions of the syngas are analyzed along with syngas yield, LHV, and CGE. At an ER value of 0.35, 9.18 mm diameter particle shows average maximum values of 60% of CGE and 2.79 Nm3/h of syngas yield, in turn showing 3.4% and 0.09 Nm3/h improvement in the respective parameters over the 11.5 mm diameter biomass particle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering Fluid Dynamics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle A New MCP Method of Wind Speed Temporal Interpolation and Extrapolation Considering Wind Speed Mixed Uncertainty
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081231
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a missing wind speed data temporal interpolation and extrapolation method in the wind energy industry was investigated. Given that traditional methods have previously ignored part of mixed uncertainty of wind speed, a concrete granular computing method is constructed and a
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a missing wind speed data temporal interpolation and extrapolation method in the wind energy industry was investigated. Given that traditional methods have previously ignored part of mixed uncertainty of wind speed, a concrete granular computing method is constructed and a new Measure–Correlate–Predict (MCP) method of wind speed data temporal interpolation and extrapolation considering all mixed uncertainties is proposed, based on granular computing theory by adopting the cloud model method, support vector regression method, artificial neural network, genetic algorithm, and fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm as tools. The importance of considering mixed wind speed uncertainty and the suitability of using granular computing method are illustrated, and wind speed mixed uncertainty analysis is implemented, then, recommended values and estimation tools for wind speed measurement uncertainty and combined uncertainty are provided. An interpolation case of two practical meteorological sites in central Southern China was used to implement and validate the method proposed in this paper. The following conclusions are reached: (a) by using the method proposed in this paper, mixed uncertainty of wind speed can be considered, comparing to other MCP methods used for purposes of comparison, a better estimation of the wind speed is provided, and most evaluation metrics employed in this analysis were superior to other methods, that is to say, the accuracy of the wind resource assessment improved, and the risks of wind farm construction were reduced; (b) granular computing method is suitable for the issue of wind speed data interpolation and extrapolation considering wind speed mixed uncertainty; (c) mixed uncertainty of wind speed can be divided into three levels, and recommended values of granularity are minimum interval of records, 0.3–0.8 m/s, and 1–3 m/s, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Heat Conduction in Porous Media Characterized by Fractal Geometry
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081230
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fractal geometry (fractional Brownian motion—FBM) is introduced to characterize the pore distribution of porous material. Based on this fractal characterization, a mathematical model of heat conduction is presented to study heat conduction behaviors in porous material with a focus on effective thermal conductivity.
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Fractal geometry (fractional Brownian motion—FBM) is introduced to characterize the pore distribution of porous material. Based on this fractal characterization, a mathematical model of heat conduction is presented to study heat conduction behaviors in porous material with a focus on effective thermal conductivity. The role of pore structure on temperature distribution and heat flux is examined and investigated for fractal porous material. In addition, the effects of fractal dimension, porosity, and the ratio of solid-matrix-to-fluid-phase thermal conductivity (ks/kf) on effective thermal conductivity are evaluated. The results indicate that pore structure has an important effect on heat conduction inside porous material. Increasing porosity lowers thermal conductivity. Even when porosity remains constant, effective thermal conductivity is affected by the fractal dimensions of the porous material. For porous material, the heat conduction capability weakens with increased fractal dimension. Additionally, fluid-phase thermal conduction across pores is effective in porous material only when ks/kf < 50. Otherwise, effective thermal conductivity for porous material with a given pore structure depends primarily on the thermal conductivity of the solid matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geothermal Heating and Cooling)
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Open AccessArticle Wind Energy Potential of Gaza Using Small Wind Turbines: A Feasibility Study
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081229
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we conduct a feasibility study of the wind energy potential in Gaza, which suffers from a severe shortage of energy supplies. Our calculated energy harvested from the wind is based on data for a typical meteorological year, which are fed
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we conduct a feasibility study of the wind energy potential in Gaza, which suffers from a severe shortage of energy supplies. Our calculated energy harvested from the wind is based on data for a typical meteorological year, which are fed into a small wind turbine of 5 kW power rating installable on the roof of residential buildings. The expected annual energy output at a height of 10 m amounts to 2695 kWh, but it can be increased by 35–125% at higher altitudes between 20 m and 70 m. The results also depict the great potential of wind energy to complement other renewable resources such as solar energy: the harvested energy of a wind system constitutes to up to 84% of the annual output of an equivalent power rating photovoltaic system and even outperforms the solar energy in the winter months. We also show that one wind turbine and one comparable photovoltaic system together could provide enough energy for 3.7 households. Hence, a combination of wind and solar energy could stabilize the decentralized energy production in Gaza. This is very important in a region where people seek to reach energy self-sufficient buildings due to the severe electricity shortage in the local grid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)
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