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Challenges, Volume 4, Issue 1 (June 2013), Pages 1-135

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Exergetic, Environmental and Economic Effect of the Hydrostatic Design Static Pressure Level on the Pipe Dimensions of Low-Energy District Heating Networks
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 1-16; doi:10.3390/challe4010001
Received: 10 September 2012 / Revised: 28 November 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2013 / Published: 23 January 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Low-Energy District Heating (DH) systems, providing great energy savings by means of very low operating temperatures of 55 °C and 25 °C for supply and return respectively, were considered to be the 4th generation of the DH systems for a low-energy future. Low-temperature
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Low-Energy District Heating (DH) systems, providing great energy savings by means of very low operating temperatures of 55 °C and 25 °C for supply and return respectively, were considered to be the 4th generation of the DH systems for a low-energy future. Low-temperature operation is considered to be used in a low-energy DH network to carry the heat produced by renewable and/or low grade energy sources to low-energy Danish buildings. In this study, a comparison of various design considerations with different levels of maximum design static pressures was performed, and their results evaluated in terms of energetic, exergetic, economic, and environmental perspectives. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrating Emotional Attachment and Sustainability in Electronic Product Design
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 19-33; doi:10.3390/challe4010019
Received: 5 February 2013 / Revised: 24 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current models for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products encourage frequent product replacement with newer versions that offer only minor incremental improvements. This pattern, named planned obsolescence, diminishes user experience and shortens product lifespan. This paper presents the conceptual basis for a two-part
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Current models for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products encourage frequent product replacement with newer versions that offer only minor incremental improvements. This pattern, named planned obsolescence, diminishes user experience and shortens product lifespan. This paper presents the conceptual basis for a two-part integrated approach to combating planned obsolescence in ICT devices. First, design for emotional attachment, which creates products that users enjoy, value, and use for longer. Second, technological adaptability, which anticipates product upgrades and repairs as new technologies emerge. A model interdisciplinary design course in industrial design and sustainability, also described herein, trains students to apply this approach to create innovative ICT products with smaller environmental footprints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste — Impact, Policy and Green Design)
Open AccessArticle A Concept for Testing Decision Support Tools in Participatory Processes Applied to the ToSIA Tool
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 34-55; doi:10.3390/challe4010034
Received: 14 January 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 24 March 2013 / Published: 17 April 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment) offers a transparent and consistent methodological framework to assess impacts of changes (technological, policy, management, etc.) in the forest-based sector. This tool is able to facilitate the decision making process within and between diverse groups of
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ToSIA (Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment) offers a transparent and consistent methodological framework to assess impacts of changes (technological, policy, management, etc.) in the forest-based sector. This tool is able to facilitate the decision making process within and between diverse groups of stakeholders (e.g., forest managers and policymakers) as it provides a neutral, transparent and data-driven platform for stakeholder interaction and communication. To test these capabilities of ToSIA, a practical approach to test if a decision support system is suitable for participatory processes was developed based on a set of evaluation criteria for participatory processes. ToSIA’s performance was assessed and discussed in different categories against a selection of criteria for successful participatory processes: six criteria were fulfilled by ToSIA, in nine, ToSIA is potentially helpful, in two, criteria ToSIA has no influence, and for three criteria, no experiences exist until now. As a result, ToSIA’s conceptual suitability as a participatory decision support system was confirmed for two interlinked roles: as a decision support system to assess alternative scenarios, and as a communication platform for stakeholder interaction. Full article
Open AccessArticle Happiness versus the Environment—A Case Study of Australian Lifestyles
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 56-74; doi:10.3390/challe4010056
Received: 19 March 2013 / Revised: 4 April 2013 / Accepted: 9 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Crafting environmental policies that at the same time enhance, or at least not reduce people’s wellbeing, is crucial for the success of government action aimed at mitigating environmental impact. However, there does not yet exist any survey that refers to one and the
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Crafting environmental policies that at the same time enhance, or at least not reduce people’s wellbeing, is crucial for the success of government action aimed at mitigating environmental impact. However, there does not yet exist any survey that refers to one and the same population, and that allows the identifying relationships and trade-offs between subjective wellbeing and the complete environmental impact of households. In order to circumvent the lack of comprehensive survey information, we attempt to integrate two separate survey databases, and describe the challenges associated with this integration. Our results indicate that carbon footprints are likely to increase, but wellbeing levels off with increasing income. Living together with people is likely to create a win-win situation where both climate and wellbeing benefit. Car ownership obviously creates emissions, however personal car ownership enhances subjective wellbeing, but living in an area with high car ownership decreases subjective wellbeing. Finally, gaining educational qualifications is linked with increased emissions. These results indicate that policy-making is challenged in striking a wise balance between individual convenience and the common good. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Industrial Ecology)
Open AccessArticle The Computer is a Medium, Not a Tool: Collaborative Media Challenging Interaction Design
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 86-102; doi:10.3390/challe4010086
Received: 7 March 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 2 May 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Collaborative media entail an emerging set of digitally mediated practices, characterized by collaborative communicative action within organically developing, cross-medial infrastructures. We argue that computers are increasingly turning from tools into (collaborative) media in everyday use, and that this shift poses a significant challenge
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Collaborative media entail an emerging set of digitally mediated practices, characterized by collaborative communicative action within organically developing, cross-medial infrastructures. We argue that computers are increasingly turning from tools into (collaborative) media in everyday use, and that this shift poses a significant challenge to the discipline of interaction design. Particularly prominent aspects of the challenge include the way design processes are conceptualized and structured, and the way in which communicative perspectives take precedence over instrumental ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Interface and Interaction Design)
Open AccessArticle Drifting Down the Technologization of Life: Could Choreography-Based Interaction Design Support us in Engaging with the World and our Embodied Living?
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 103-115; doi:10.3390/challe4010103
Received: 8 March 2013 / Revised: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
PDF Full-text (498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of interactive technology is often based on the assumption of need to reduce the physical action and cognitive load of the user. However, recent conceptualizations, supported by research in various fields of science, emphasize human physical action in cognitive processes and
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The development of interactive technology is often based on the assumption of need to reduce the physical action and cognitive load of the user. However, recent conceptualizations, supported by research in various fields of science, emphasize human physical action in cognitive processes and knowledge formation. In fact, physical and closely related imaginary movement can be seen as the quintessence of humanity. Acknowledging this should imply a new approach to the design of interactive technology. In the current study, we propose a choreographic approach for shifting the focal point of interaction design to the aspects of human activity and movement within a technologized context. Hence, the proposed approach does not isolate use-related actions, which traditionally have been emphasized in interaction design, from the other activities of a person. The application of the methodological approach is divided into micro, local and macro levels, thus covering actions from minimal muscular activity of an individual to global movement-relevant issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges of Interface and Interaction Design)
Open AccessArticle Bridging the Fields of Solar Cell and Battery Research to Develop High-Performance Anodes for Photoelectrochemical Cells and Metal Ion Batteries
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 116-135; doi:10.3390/challe4010116
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 13 June 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (753 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Solar-to-electricity energy conversion and large scale electricity storage technologies are key to achieve a sustainable development of society. For energy conversion, photoelectrochemical solar cells were proposed as an economic alternative to the conventional Si-based technology. For energy storage, metal-ion batteries are a very
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Solar-to-electricity energy conversion and large scale electricity storage technologies are key to achieve a sustainable development of society. For energy conversion, photoelectrochemical solar cells were proposed as an economic alternative to the conventional Si-based technology. For energy storage, metal-ion batteries are a very promising technology. Titania (TiO2) based anodes are widely used in photoelectrochemical cells and have recently emerged as safe, high-rate anodes for metal-ion batteries. In both applications, titania interacts with electrolyte species: molecules and metal ions. Details of this interaction determine the performance of the electrode in both technologies, but no unified theoretical description exists, e.g., there is no systematic description of the effects of Li, Na insertion into TiO2 on solar cell performance (while it is widely studied in battery research) and no description of effects of surface adsorbents on the performance of battery anodes (while they are widely studied in solar cell research). In fact, there is no systematic description of interactions of electrolyte species with TiO2 of different phases and morphologies. We propose a computation-focused study that will bridge the two fields that have heretofore largely been developing in parallel and will identify improved anode materials for both photoelectrochemical solar cells and metal-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Alternative Energy)

Review

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Open AccessReview Carbon Nanotubes in Electronics: Background and Discussion for Waste-Handling Strategies
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 75-85; doi:10.3390/challe4010075
Received: 26 February 2013 / Revised: 12 March 2013 / Accepted: 24 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are increasingly being used in electronics products. CNTs have unique chemical and nanotoxicological properties, which are potentially dangerous to public health and the environment. This report presents the most recent findings of CNTs’ toxicity and discusses aspects related to incineration,
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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are increasingly being used in electronics products. CNTs have unique chemical and nanotoxicological properties, which are potentially dangerous to public health and the environment. This report presents the most recent findings of CNTs’ toxicity and discusses aspects related to incineration, recycling and potential remediation strategies including chemical and biological remediation possibilities. Our analysis shows that recycling CNTs may be challenging given their physiochemical properties and that available strategies such as power-gasification methods, biological degradation and chemical degradation may need to be combined with pre-handling routines for hazardous materials. The discussion provides the background knowledge for legislative measures concerning specialized waste handling and recycling procedures/facilities for electronics products containing CNTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste — Impact, Policy and Green Design)

Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Emeakaroha, A. et al. Challenges in Improving Energy Efficiency in a University Campus through the Application of Persuasive Technology and Smart Sensors. Challenges 2012, 3, 290-318
Challenges 2013, 4(1), 17-18; doi:10.3390/challe4010017
Received: 20 January 2013 / Accepted: 30 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has come to our attention that our paper “Challenges in Improving Energy Efficiency in a University Campus through the Application of Persuasive Technology and Smart Sensors” [1] contains some minor errors. Based on that we have done some minor corrections as stated
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It has come to our attention that our paper “Challenges in Improving Energy Efficiency in a University Campus through the Application of Persuasive Technology and Smart Sensors” [1] contains some minor errors. Based on that we have done some minor corrections as stated below. The affiliation information has been changed to: School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NT, UK. [...] Full article

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