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Energies, Volume 12, Issue 4 (February-2 2019)

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Open AccessArticle Energy Embedded in Food Loss Management and in the Production of Uneaten Food: Seeking a Sustainable Pathway
Energies 2019, 12(4), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040767
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Recently, important efforts have been made to define food loss management strategies. Most strategies have mainly been focused on mass and energy recovery through mixed food loss in centralised recovery models. This work aims to highlight the need to address a decentralised food [...] Read more.
Recently, important efforts have been made to define food loss management strategies. Most strategies have mainly been focused on mass and energy recovery through mixed food loss in centralised recovery models. This work aims to highlight the need to address a decentralised food loss management, in order to manage the different fractions and on each of the different stages of the food supply chain. For this purpose, an energy flow analysis is made, through the calculation of the primary energy demand of four stages and 11 food categories of the Spanish food supply chain in 2015. The energy efficiency assessment is conducted under a resource use perspective, using the energy return on investment (EROI) ratio, and a circular economy perspective, developing an Energy return on investment – Circular economy index (EROIce), based on a food waste-to-energy-to-food approach. Results suggest that the embodied energy loss consist of 17% of the total primary energy demand, and related to the food categories, the vegetarian diet appears to be the most efficient, followed by the pescetarian diet. Comparing food energy loss values with the estimated energy provided for one consumer, it is highlighted the fact that the food energy loss generated by two to three persons amounts to one person's total daily intake. Moreover, cereals is the category responsible for the highest percentage on the total food energy loss (44%); following by meat, fish and seafood and vegetables. When the results of food energy loss and embodied energy loss are related, it is observed that categories such as meat and fish and seafood have a very high primary energy demand to produce less food, besides that the parts of the food supply chain with more energy recovery potential are the beginning and the end. Finally, the EROIce analysis shows that in the categories of meat, fish and seafood and cereals, anaerobic digestion and composting is the best option for energy recovery. From the results, it is discussed the possibility to developed local digesters at the beginning and end of the food supply chain, as well as to developed double digesters installations for hydrogen recovery from cereals loss, and methane recovery from mixed food loss. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modelling Load Profiles of Heat Pumps
Energies 2019, 12(4), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040766
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 24 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Approximately one quarter of energy-related emissions in Germany are caused by the domestic sector. At 81%, the largest share of these emissions is due to heat supply. Many measures are available to reduce these emissions. One of these measures, which is considered to [...] Read more.
Approximately one quarter of energy-related emissions in Germany are caused by the domestic sector. At 81%, the largest share of these emissions is due to heat supply. Many measures are available to reduce these emissions. One of these measures, which is considered to play an important role in many studies, is the replacement of fossil-fired boilers with electric heat pumps. In order to be able to analyse the impact of high penetrations of heat pumps on the energy system, the coefficient of performance (COP) must be modelled with high temporal resolution. In this study, a methodology is presented on how to calculate high-resolution COPs and the electrical load of heat pumps based on thermal load curves and temperature time series. The COP is determined by the reciprocal Carnot factor. Since heat pumps are often designed bivalently due to the cost structure, the methodology described can also be used for evaluating the combination of immersion heater and heat pump (here for the air/water heat pump). As a result the theoretical hourly COPs determined are calibrated with annual performance factors from field tests. The modelled COPs show clear differences. Currently, mostly air source heat pumps are installed in Germany. If this trend continues, the maximum electrical load of the heat supply will increase more than would be the case with higher shares of ground source heat pumps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Plants and Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Energy Efficiency and Its Determinants for Drinking Water Treatment Plants Using A Double-Bootstrap Approach
Energies 2019, 12(4), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040765
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
To achieve energy and climate goals, the energy performance of current and future drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) must be improved. A few studies have evaluated the energy efficiency of these facilities using data envelopment analysis (DEA), however, they have ignored the deterministic [...] Read more.
To achieve energy and climate goals, the energy performance of current and future drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) must be improved. A few studies have evaluated the energy efficiency of these facilities using data envelopment analysis (DEA), however, they have ignored the deterministic nature of the DEA method. To overcome this limitation, a double-bootstrap DEA approach was used in this study to estimate the energy efficiency of DWTPs. For a sample of Chilean DWTPs, bias-corrected energy efficiency scores were computed with consideration of data variability, and the determinants of DWTP energy efficiency were explored. Most DWTPs in the sample had much room for the improvement of energy efficiency. In the second stage of analysis, facility age, the volume of water treated, and the technology used for treatment were found to influence DWTP energy efficiency. These findings demonstrate the importance of using a reliable and robust method to evaluate the energy efficiency of DWTPs, which is essential to support decision making and to benchmark these facilities’ energy performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Driving Forces of Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Based on Expanded IPAT Decomposition Analysis: Evidence from ASEAN and Four Selected Countries
Energies 2019, 12(4), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040764
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
ASEAN is a dynamic and diverse region which has experienced rapid urbanization and population growth. Their energy demand grew by 60% in the last 15 years. In 2013, about 3.6% of global greenhouse-gas emissions was emitted from this region and the share is [...] Read more.
ASEAN is a dynamic and diverse region which has experienced rapid urbanization and population growth. Their energy demand grew by 60% in the last 15 years. In 2013, about 3.6% of global greenhouse-gas emissions was emitted from this region and the share is expected to rise substantially. Hence, a better understanding of driving forces of the changes in CO2 emissions is important to tackle global climate change and develop appropriate policies. Using IPAT combined with variance analysis, this study aims to identify the main driving factors of CO2 emissions for ASEAN and four selected countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand) during 1971–2013. The results show that population growth and economic growth were the main driving factors for increasing CO2 emissions for most of the countries. Fossil fuels play an important role in increasing CO2 emissions, however the growth in emissions was compensated by improved energy efficiency and carbon intensity of fossil energy. The results imply that to decouple energy use from high levels of emissions is important. Proper energy management through fuel substitution and decreasing emission intensity through technological upgrades have considerable potential to cut emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Elastomer Seal Energization: Implications for Conventional and Expandable Hanger Assembly
Energies 2019, 12(4), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040763
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Elastomer seals are extensively used in various wellhead and casing/liner hanger equipment as barriers for isolating fluids. Seal assemblies have been identified as one of the major cause of well control incidents. Majority of hangers utilize conventional weight- or mechanical-set slip-and-seal assembly. The [...] Read more.
Elastomer seals are extensively used in various wellhead and casing/liner hanger equipment as barriers for isolating fluids. Seal assemblies have been identified as one of the major cause of well control incidents. Majority of hangers utilize conventional weight- or mechanical-set slip-and-seal assembly. The objective of this paper is to conduct a detailed investigation of seal energization in conventional and relatively newer expandable type hanger seal assembly. To achieve the objective, the finite element modeling approach was employed. Three dimensional computer models consisting of concentric casings and annular elastomer seal element were constructed. Seal energization process was modelled by manipulating boundary conditions. Conventional seal energization was mimicked by applying rigid support at the bottom of elastomer element and compressing it from the top. Expandable hanger type seal energization was modelled by radially displacing the inner pipe to compress annular seal element. Seal quality was evaluated in terms of contact stress values and profile along the seal-pipe interface. Different amounts of seal energization were simulated. Both types of seal energization processes yielded different contact stress profiles. For the same amount of seal volumetric compression, contact stress profiles were compared. In case of conventional seal energization, contact stress profile decreases from the compression side towards support side. The seal in expandable hanger generates contact stress profile that peaks at the center of contact interface and reduces towards the ends. Convectional seal assembly has more moving parts, making it more prone to failure or under-energization. Finite Element Models were validated using analytical equations, and a good match was obtained. The majority of research related to elastomer seal is focused on material properties evaluation. Limited information is available in public domain on functional design and assessment of seal assembly. This paper adds novel information by providing detailed assessment of advantages and limitations of two different seal energization process. This opens doors for further research in functional failure modes in seal assembly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Permeability of Coal Samples of Various Porosities under Stress Conditions
Energies 2019, 12(4), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040762
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Among the numerous factors that have an impact on coal permeability, coal porosity is one of the main parameters. A change in the mechanical stress applied to coal results in a change of porosity. The main objective of the conducted research was to [...] Read more.
Among the numerous factors that have an impact on coal permeability, coal porosity is one of the main parameters. A change in the mechanical stress applied to coal results in a change of porosity. The main objective of the conducted research was to answer the following question: is a decline in coal permeability a direct effect of a decrease in coal porosity, and does mechanical stress result solely in a porosity change? A study of coal porosity under mechanical stress conditions was conducted using a uniquely constructed measurement stand. The coal samples used were briquettes prepared from a granular coal material (middle-rank coal of type B—meta bituminous, upper carboniferous formation) from the “Zofiówka” coal mine, in Poland. In order to describe coal permeability, the Klinkenberg equation was used, as it takes into consideration the slippage effect, typical of porous media characterized by low permeability. On the basis of the obtained results, it was established that the values of the Klinkenberg permeability coefficient decrease as the mechanical stress and the corresponding reduction in porosity become greater. As the briquette porosity increased, the Klinkenberg slippage effect: (i) disappeared in the case of nitrogen, (ii) and was minor for methane. The briquettes used were characterized by various porosities and showed that mechanical stress results mainly in a change in coal porosity, which, in turn, reduces coal permeability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Study and Mechanism Analysis of the Effect of Oil Viscosity and Asphaltene on Foamy Oil
Energies 2019, 12(4), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040761
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Foamy oil is considered an important reason for the anomalous performance in depletion development for some heavy oil reservoirs, but its influence factors remain to be fully investigated. In order to determine the effect of oil viscosity and asphaltene on foamy oil, ten [...] Read more.
Foamy oil is considered an important reason for the anomalous performance in depletion development for some heavy oil reservoirs, but its influence factors remain to be fully investigated. In order to determine the effect of oil viscosity and asphaltene on foamy oil, ten oil samples including two types (deasphalted oil and asphaltenic oil) and five viscosities were used in the work. On this basis, depletion experiments were conducted in a sandpack and microscopic visualization model. Then, viscoelastic moduli of the oil–gas interface were measured to analyze the mechanisms of viscosity and asphaltene of foamy oil from the perspective of interfacial viscoelasticity. Results show that, with the decrease of the oil viscosity, the foamy oil performance in depletion development worsened, including a rapider decline in average pressure, earlier appearance of gas channeling, shorter period of foamy oil, and lower contribution of foamy oil to recovery. Asphaltene had an influence on foamy oil only in the viscosity range between 870 mPa∙s and 2270 mPa∙s for this study. The effect of viscosity and asphaltene on foamy oil can be explained by the viscoelasticity of bubble film. With the increase of oil viscosity, the interfacial viscous modulus increases significantly, indicating the bubble film becomes stronger and more rigid. Asphaltene, like armor on the bubble film, can improve the viscoelastic modulus, especially at lower viscosity. This can inhibit the coalescence of micro-bubbles and increase the possibility of splitting. This work identifies the effects of oil viscosity and asphaltene on foamy oil systematically and provides theoretical support for foamy oil production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Oil Recovery 2019)
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Open AccessArticle Development of an Exergy-Rational Method and Optimum Control Algorithm for the Best Utilization of the Flue Gas Heat in Coal-Fired Power Plant Stacks
Energies 2019, 12(4), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040760
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Waste heat that is available in the flue gas of power plant stacks is a potential source of useful thermal power. In reclaiming and utilizing this waste heat without compromising plant efficiency, stacks usually need to be equipped with forced-draught fans in order [...] Read more.
Waste heat that is available in the flue gas of power plant stacks is a potential source of useful thermal power. In reclaiming and utilizing this waste heat without compromising plant efficiency, stacks usually need to be equipped with forced-draught fans in order to compensate for the decrease in natural draught while stack gas is cooled. In addition, pumps are used to circulate the heat transfer fluid. All of these parasitic operations require electrical power. Electrical power has unit exergy of almost 1 W/W. On the contrary, the thermal power exergy that is claimed from the low-enthalpy flue gas has much lower unit exergy. Therefore, from an exergetic point of view, the additional electrical exergy that is required to drive pumps and fans must not exceed the thermal exergy claimed. Based on the First-Law of Thermodynamics, the net energy that is saved may be positive with an apparently high coefficient of performance; however, the same generally does not hold true for the Second-Law. This is a matter of determining the optimum amount of heat to be claimed and the most rational method of utilizing this heat for maximum net exergy gain from the process, under variable outdoor conditions and the plant operations. The four main methods were compared. These are (a) electricity generation by thermoelectric generators, electricity generation with an Organic-Rankine Cycle with (b) or without (c) a heat pump, and (d) the direct use of the thermal exergy that is gained in a district energy system. The comparison of these methods shows that exergy-rationality is the best for method (b). A new analytical optimization algorithm and the exergy-based optimum control strategy were developed, which determine the optimum pump flow rate of the heat recovery system and then calculate how much forced-draft fan power is required in the stack at dynamic operating conditions. Robust design metrics were established to maximize the net exergy gain, including an exergy-based coefficient of performance. Parametric studies indicate that the exergetic approach provides a better insight by showing that the amount of heat that can be optimally recovered is much different than the values given by classical economic and energy efficiency considerations. A case study was performed for method (d), which shows that, without any exergy rationality-based control algorithm and design method, the flue gas heat recovery may not be feasible in district energy systems or any other methods of utilization of the heat recovered. The study has implications in the field, since most of the waste heat recovery units in industrial applications, which are designed based on the First-Law of Thermodynamics, result in exergy loss instead of exergy gain, and are therefore responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions. These applications must be retrofitted with new exergy-based controllers for variable speed pumps and fans with optimally selected capacities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Performance of Short Stroke Engines with Valve Timing for Blended Bioethanol Internal Combustion
Energies 2019, 12(4), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040759
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
The present study provides a feasible strategy for minimizing automotive CO2 emissions by coupling the principle of the Atkinson cycle with the use of bioethanol fuel. Motor cycles and scooters have a stroke to bore ratio of less than unity, which allows [...] Read more.
The present study provides a feasible strategy for minimizing automotive CO2 emissions by coupling the principle of the Atkinson cycle with the use of bioethanol fuel. Motor cycles and scooters have a stroke to bore ratio of less than unity, which allows higher speeds. The expansion to compression ratio (ECR) of these engines can be altered by tuning the opening time of the intake and exhaust valves. The effect of ECR on fuel consumption and the feasibility of ethanol fuels are still not clear, especially for short stroke engines. Hence, in this study, the valve timing of a short stroke engine was tuned in order to explore potential bioethanol applications. The effect of valve timing on engine performance was theoretically and experimentally investigated. In addition, the application of ethanol/gasoline blended fuels, E3, E20, E50, and E85, were examined. The results show that consumption, as well as engine performance of short stroke motorcycle engines, can be improved by correctly setting the valve controls. In addition, ethanol/gasoline blended fuel can be used up to a composition of 20% without engine modification. The ignition time needs to be adjusted in fuel with higher compositions of blended ethanol. The fuel economy of a short stroke engine cannot be sharply improved using an Atkinson cycle, but CO2 emissions can be reduced using ethanol/gasoline blended fuel. The present study demonstrates the effect of ECR on the performance of short stroke engines, and explores the feasibility of applying ethanol/gasoline blended fuel to it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cleaner Combustion)
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Open AccessArticle Study on the Cooling Effect of Attached Fins on PV Using CFD Simulation
Energies 2019, 12(4), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040758
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
The issue of efficiency decrease according to temperature increase is a pending problem in the PV market. Several active and passive technologies have been suggested but few quantitative studies on the estimation of the cooling effect have been carried out. In this study, [...] Read more.
The issue of efficiency decrease according to temperature increase is a pending problem in the PV market. Several active and passive technologies have been suggested but few quantitative studies on the estimation of the cooling effect have been carried out. In this study, a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulation model was developed to analyze a passive cooling technology using fins attached to the back of the PV module. Furthermore, a method to improve airflow at the back of the PV module by forming slits in the frame was analyzed. The simulation model reproduced the indoor test that uses a solar simulator and the cooling performance was analyzed according to the shape of the fins and the presence of slits. In the simulation results, the surface temperature and expected electrical efficiency without cooling were 62.78 °C and 13.24% respectively under nominal operating cell temperature conditions. Moreover, the temperature reduced by approximately 15.13 °C because the fins attached at the bottom of the PV module increased the heat transfer area with airflow. Thus, the electrical efficiency according to the PV module temperature was predicted as 14.39%. Furthermore, when slits were installed between the fins, they increased the airflow velocity and accelerated the formation of turbulence, thereby improving the cooling performance of the fins. The simulation results showed that the temperature could be further reduced by approximately 8.62 °C at a lower air velocity. As the fins and slits can also reduce the non-uniformity of the temperature, they are expected to supplement the efficiency and durability reduction of the PV modules caused by the hot spot phenomenon. In addition, it was shown that slits in the frame could further improve the cooling performance of the fins at a low-velocity airflow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Modules)
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Open AccessArticle Accurate and Efficient Estimation of Lithium-Ion Battery State of Charge with Alternate Adaptive Extended Kalman Filter and Ampere-Hour Counting Methods
Energies 2019, 12(4), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040757
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
State of charge (SOC) estimation is a key issue in battery management systems. The challenge lies in balancing the trade-off between accuracy and computation cost. To this end, we propose an alternate method by combining the ampere-hour integral (AHI) method which has low [...] Read more.
State of charge (SOC) estimation is a key issue in battery management systems. The challenge lies in balancing the trade-off between accuracy and computation cost. To this end, we propose an alternate method by combining the ampere-hour integral (AHI) method which has low computation cost, and the adaptive extended Kalman filter (AEKF) method, which has high accuracy. The technical viability of this alternate method is verified on a LiMnO2-LiNiO2 battery module with a nominal capacity of 130 Ah under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) condition. Drifts in current and voltage measurement are considered. The experimental results show that the absolute SOC error using the AHI method monotonously increases from 0% to 7.2% with the computation time of 10 s while the calculation time is obtained on a ThinkPad E450 PC with an Intel Core i7-5500U CPU @2.40 GHz and 16.0 GB RAM. The absolute SOC error of the AEKF method maintains within 3.5% with the computation time of 49 s. Therefore, the alternate method almost maintains the same SOC accuracy compared to the AEKF method which reduces the maximum absolute SOC error by 50% compared to the AHI method. Therefore, the alternate method almost has the same computation time compared with the AHI method which reduces the computation time by nearly 75% compared to the AEKF method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progresses in Advanced Research on Intelligent Electric Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Planning of Integrated Energy Systems for Offshore Oil Extraction and Processing Platforms
Energies 2019, 12(4), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040756
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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With the introduction of new technologies, such as waste heat recovery units (WHRU), associated gas utilization, the energy flow coupling relationship is further deepened within the energy system of the offshore oil and gas production platform. Besides, the energy system is closely linked [...] Read more.
With the introduction of new technologies, such as waste heat recovery units (WHRU), associated gas utilization, the energy flow coupling relationship is further deepened within the energy system of the offshore oil and gas production platform. Besides, the energy system is closely linked with the oil and gas production system, and a closed-loop relationship between energy flow and material flow can be revealed. Uncertainties of energy supply and production process may lead to system-wide fluctuations, which threaten the stable operation of the platform. Therefore, an optimal planning model of integrated energy system for offshore oil and gas production platform is proposed in this paper. Firstly, a generalized energy and material flow model is proposed, three matrixes are defined based on laws of thermodynamics, including energy matrix, process matrix and feedback matrix. Secondly, the energy-material conversion relationship between the energy system and production system of a typical offshore oil and gas platform is quantitatively described, together with the coupling between the input and output of the two systems. Thirdly, considering the energy-material balance constraints and the uncertainties of production system, a multi-objective stochastic planning model for the offshore integrated energy system is established, which takes economics and environmental protection into consideration. A Monte Carlo simulation-based NSGA-II algorithm is proposed to solve the model. Finally, the validity and feasibility of the proposed methodology are demonstrated through an offshore oil and gas platform in Bohai, China. Compared with the traditional planning method, the total cost and CO2 emissions of the proposed method are reduced by 18.9% and 17.3%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy and Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Techno-Economic Assessment of Turboexpander Application at Natural Gas Regulation Stations
Energies 2019, 12(4), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040755
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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During the natural gas pipeline transportation process, gas stream pressure is reduced at natural gas regulation stations (GRS). Natural gas pressure reduction is accompanied by energy dissipation which results in irreversible exergy losses in the gas stream. Energy loss depends on the thermodynamic [...] Read more.
During the natural gas pipeline transportation process, gas stream pressure is reduced at natural gas regulation stations (GRS). Natural gas pressure reduction is accompanied by energy dissipation which results in irreversible exergy losses in the gas stream. Energy loss depends on the thermodynamic parameters of the natural gas stream on inlet and outlet gas pressure regulation and metering stations. Recovered energy can be used for electricity generation when the pressure regulator is replaced with an expander to drive electric energy generation. To ensure the correct operation of the system, the natural gas stream should be heated, on inlet to expander. This temperature should be higher than the gas stream during choking in the pressure regulator. The purpose of this research was to investigate GRS operational parameters which influence the efficiency of the gas expansion process and to determine selection criteria for a cost-effective application of turboexpanders at selected GRS, instead of pressure regulators. The main novelty presented in this paper shows investigation on discounted payback period (DPP) equation which depends on the annual average natural gas flow rate through the analyzed GRS, average annual level of gas expansion, average annual natural gas purchase price, average annual produced electrical energy sale price and CAPEX. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Power Flow Analysis of the Advanced Co-Phase Traction Power Supply System
Energies 2019, 12(4), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040754
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
The development of the traction power supply system (TPSS) is limited by the existence of the neutral section in the present system. The advanced co-phase traction power supply system (ACTPSS) can reduce the neutral section completely and becomes an important research and development [...] Read more.
The development of the traction power supply system (TPSS) is limited by the existence of the neutral section in the present system. The advanced co-phase traction power supply system (ACTPSS) can reduce the neutral section completely and becomes an important research and development direction of the railway. To ensure the stable operation of ACTPSS, it is necessary to carry out an appropriate power analysis. In this paper, the topology of advanced co-phase traction substation is mainly composed by the three-phase to single-phase cascaded converter. Then, the improved PQ decomposition algorithm is proposed to analyze the power flow. The impedance model of the traction network is calculated and established. The power flow analysis and calculation of the ACTPSS with different locations of locomotive are carried out, which theoretically illustrates that the system can maintain stable operation under various working conditions. The feasibility and operation stability of the ACTPSS are verified by the simulations and low power experiments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adaptive Gains Control Scheme for PMSG-Based Wind Power Plant to Provide Voltage Regulation Service
Energies 2019, 12(4), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040753
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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High-penetration wind power will count towards a significant portion of future power grid. This significant role requires wind turbine generators (WTGs) to contribute to voltage and reactive power support. The maximum reactive power capacity (MRPC) of a WTG depends on its current input [...] Read more.
High-penetration wind power will count towards a significant portion of future power grid. This significant role requires wind turbine generators (WTGs) to contribute to voltage and reactive power support. The maximum reactive power capacity (MRPC) of a WTG depends on its current input wind speed, so that the reactive power regulating ability of the WTG itself and adjacent WTGs are not necessarily identical due to the variable wind speed and the wake effect. This paper proposes an adaptive gains control scheme (AGCS) for a permanent magnet synchronous generator (PMSG)-based wind power plant (WPP) to provide a voltage regulation service that can enhance the voltage-support capability under load disturbance and various wind conditions. The droop gains of the voltage controller for PMSGs are spatially and temporally dependent variables and adjusted adaptively depending on the MRPC which are a function of the current variable wind speed. Thus, WTGs with lower input wind speed can provide greater reactive power capability. The proposed AGCS is demonstrated by using a PSCAD/EMTDC simulator. It can be concluded that, compared with the conventional fixed-gains control scheme (FGCS), the proposed method can effectively improve the voltage-support capacity while ensuring stable operation of all PMSGs in WPP, especially under high wind speed conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Determining Soil-Water Characteristic Curves from Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter Test Data Using Fractal Theory
Energies 2019, 12(4), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040752
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
Accurate determination of soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is of immense importance for understanding the mechanical behavior of unsaturated soils. Due to the difficulty and long duration of experimental procedures, it is of great significance to estimate the SWCC by indirect methods. To address [...] Read more.
Accurate determination of soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is of immense importance for understanding the mechanical behavior of unsaturated soils. Due to the difficulty and long duration of experimental procedures, it is of great significance to estimate the SWCC by indirect methods. To address this issue, in this article an effective fractal method is proposed for predicting the SWCC based on mercury intrusion porosimeter (MIP) data. Only two characteristic parameters, namely the fractal dimension and air-entry value, are needed in the presented approach. Detailed procedures for determining the parameters are clearly elaborated. Due to the influence of sample size difference on the equivalent connected pore size, a sample scale effect coefficient is proposed to predict air-entry values. The concept of “critical pore size” is introduced to obtain the optimal fractal dimension, which can accurately reflect the fractal behaviour of SWCC samples. By comparisons between predicted and experimental SWCCs, the validation of the proposed method is verified. The comparisons reveal the good agreement between the proposed approach and laboratory experiments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design and Control of Coupled Inductor DC–DC Converters for MVDC Ship Power Systems
Energies 2019, 12(4), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040751
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper deals with the design and control aspects of modern ship power systems within the paradigm of an all-electric ship. The widespread use of power electronic converters is central in this context due to the technological advances in automation systems and the [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the design and control aspects of modern ship power systems within the paradigm of an all-electric ship. The widespread use of power electronic converters is central in this context due to the technological advances in automation systems and the integration of the electrical propulsion systems and other components, such as electrical energy storage systems and renewable energy sources. The issue to address in this scenario is related to the request of increased performances in dynamic operation while pursuing advantages in terms of energy savings and overall system security. In addition, the presence of large load changes requires providing robustness of the control in terms of system stability. This paper is focused on medium voltage direct current (MVDC) ship power systems and the design and control of coupled inductor DC–DC converters. The load is handled in terms of a constant power model, which generally is considered the most critical case for testing the stability of the system. The robustness of the design procedure, which is verified numerically against large and rapid load variations, allowed us to confirm the feasibility and the attractiveness of the design and the control proposal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic Emulation of a PEM Electrolyzer by Time Constant Based Exponential Model
Energies 2019, 12(4), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040750
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to develop a dynamic emulator of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer (EL) through an equivalent electrical model. Experimental investigations have highlighted the capacitive effect of EL when subjecting to dynamic current profiles, which so far [...] Read more.
The main objective of this paper is to develop a dynamic emulator of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer (EL) through an equivalent electrical model. Experimental investigations have highlighted the capacitive effect of EL when subjecting to dynamic current profiles, which so far has not been reported in the literature. Thanks to a thorough experimental study, the electrical domain of a PEM EL composed of 3 cells has been modeled under dynamic operating conditions. The dynamic emulator is based on an equivalent electrical scheme that takes into consideration the dynamic behavior of the EL in cases of sudden variation in the supply current. The model parameters were identified for a suitable current interval to consider them as constant and then tested with experimental data. The obtained results through the developed dynamic emulator have demonstrated its ability to accurately replicate the dynamic behavior of a PEM EL. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Inter-Criteria Dependencies-Based Decision Support in the Sustainable wind Energy Management
Energies 2019, 12(4), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040749
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
Decision problems related to the wind energy require considering many, often interrelated and dependent on each other, criteria. To solve such problems, decision systems based on Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methods are usually used. Unfortunately, most methods assume independence between the criteria, therefore, [...] Read more.
Decision problems related to the wind energy require considering many, often interrelated and dependent on each other, criteria. To solve such problems, decision systems based on Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methods are usually used. Unfortunately, most methods assume independence between the criteria, therefore, their application in decision problems related to the wind energy is debatable. This paper presents the use of the Analytic Network Process (ANP) method to solve a decision problem consisting in selecting the location and design of a wind farm. The use of the ANP method allows capturing the complexity of the decision problem by taking into consideration dependencies between criteria. As part of the verification of the solution, the results of the ANP method were compared with those of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, which uses only hierarchical dependencies between criteria. The conducted verification showed that the inter-criteria dependencies may have a significant influence on the obtained solution. On the basis of the conducted sensitivity analysis and the research into robustness of the rankings to the rank reversal phenomenon, it has been found out that the ranking obtained with the use of the ANP is characterized by a higher quality than by means of the AHP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Energy–Environment–Economy Interrelations)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Salts on Interfacial Tension and CO2 Mass Transfer in Carbonated Water Injection
Energies 2019, 12(4), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040748
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
Carbonated water injection (CWI) is a promising enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and CO2 sequestration method, which overcomes the problems associated with CO2 EOR. CO2 mass transfer and interfacial tension (IFT) are important parameters that influence oil recovery efficiency. This study [...] Read more.
Carbonated water injection (CWI) is a promising enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and CO2 sequestration method, which overcomes the problems associated with CO2 EOR. CO2 mass transfer and interfacial tension (IFT) are important parameters that influence oil recovery efficiency. This study addresses the impact of MgCl2 and Na2SO4 in carbonated water (CW) on CW/hydrocarbon IFT and CO2 mass transfer. An axisymmetric drop shape analysis was used to estimate the IFT and the CO2 diffusion coefficient. It was found that CW+MgCl2 reduced both the CW/n-decane IFT (36.5%) and CO2 mass transfer, while CW+Na2SO4 increased both the IFT and CO2 mass transfer (57%). It is suggested that reduction in IFT for CW+MgCl2 brine is mainly due to the higher hydration energy of Mg2+. The Mg2+ ion forms a tight bond to the first hydration shell [Mg(H2O)6]2+, this increases the effective size at the interface, hence reduce IFT. Meanwhile, the SO42− outer hydration shell has free OH groups, which may locally promote CO2 mass transfer. The study illustrates the potential of combining salts and CW in enhancing CO2 mass transfer that can be the base for further investigations. Furthermore, the contribution and proposed mechanisms of the different ions (SO42− and Mg2+) to the physical process in carbonated water/hydrocarbon have been addressed, which forms one of primary bases of EOR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Study of Particle Deposition on Surface at Different Mainstream Velocity and Temperature
Energies 2019, 12(4), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040747
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
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Abstract
The effect of mainstream velocity and mainstream temperature on the behavior of deposition on a flat plate surface has been investigated experimentally. Molten wax particles were injected to generate particle deposition in a two-phase flow wind tunnel. Tests indicated that deposition occurs mainly [...] Read more.
The effect of mainstream velocity and mainstream temperature on the behavior of deposition on a flat plate surface has been investigated experimentally. Molten wax particles were injected to generate particle deposition in a two-phase flow wind tunnel. Tests indicated that deposition occurs mainly at the leading edge and the middle and backward portions of the windward side. The mass of deposition at the leading edge was far more than that on the windward and lee sides. For the windward and lee sides, deposition mass increased as the mainstream velocity was increased for a given particle concentration. Capture efficiency was found to increase initially until the mainstream velocity reaches a certain value, where it begins to drop with mainstream velocity increasing. For the leading edge, capture efficiency followed a similar trend due to deposition spallation and detachment induced by aerodynamic shear at high velocity. Deposition formation was also strongly affected by the mainstream temperature due to its control of particle phase (solid or liquid). Capture efficiency initially increased with increasing mainstream temperature until a certain threshold temperature (near the wax melting point). Subsequently, it began to decrease, for wax detaches from the model surface when subjected to the aerodynamic force at the surface temperature above the wax melting point. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation Model for the Scope of DC Interference Generated by Stray Currents in Light Rail Systems
Energies 2019, 12(4), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040746
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
Electrochemical corrosion caused by stray currents reduces the lifespan of buried gas pipelines and the safety of light rail systems. Determining the scope of stray current corrosion will help prevent the corrosion of existing buried pipelines and provide an effective reference for new [...] Read more.
Electrochemical corrosion caused by stray currents reduces the lifespan of buried gas pipelines and the safety of light rail systems. Determining the scope of stray current corrosion will help prevent the corrosion of existing buried pipelines and provide an effective reference for new pipeline siting. In response to this problem, in this paper the surface potential gradient was used to evaluate the scope of stray current corrosion. First, an analytical model for the scope of the stray current corrosion combined with distributed parameters and the electric field generated by a point current source was put forward. Second, exemplary calculations were conducted based on the proposed model. Sensitivity of the potential gradient was analyzed with an example of the transition resistance, and the dynamic distribution of surface potential gradient under different locomotive operation modes was also analyzed in time-domain. Finally, the scope was evaluated at four different intervals with the parameters from the field test to judge whether the protective measures need to be taken in areas with buried pipelines and light rail systems nearby or not. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Optimal Operation of Smart Microgrids Serving a Cluster of Buildings on a Campus with Centralized and Distributed Hybrid Renewable Energy Units
Energies 2019, 12(4), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040745
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
Micro-district heating networks based on cogeneration plants and renewable energy technologies are considered efficient, viable and environmentally-friendly solutions to realizing smart multi-energy microgrids. Nonetheless, the energy production from renewable sources is intermittent and stochastic, and cogeneration units are characterized by fixed power-to-heat ratios, [...] Read more.
Micro-district heating networks based on cogeneration plants and renewable energy technologies are considered efficient, viable and environmentally-friendly solutions to realizing smart multi-energy microgrids. Nonetheless, the energy production from renewable sources is intermittent and stochastic, and cogeneration units are characterized by fixed power-to-heat ratios, which are incompatible with fluctuating thermal and electric demands. These drawbacks can be partially overcome by smart operational controls that are capable of maximizing the energy system performance. Moreover, electrically driven heat pumps may add flexibility to the system, by shifting thermal loads into electric loads. In this paper, a novel configuration for smart multi-energy microgrids, which combines centralized and distributed energy units is proposed. A centralized cogeneration system, consisting of an internal combustion engine is connected to a micro-district heating network. Distributed electric heat pumps assist the thermal production at the building level, giving operational flexibility to the system and supporting the integration of renewable energy technologies, i.e., wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, and solar thermal collectors. The proposed configuration was tested in a hypothetical case study, namely, a University Campus located in Trieste, Italy. The system operation is based on a cost-optimal control strategy and the effect of the size of the cogeneration unit and heat pumps was investigated. A comparison with a conventional configuration, without distributed heat pumps, was also performed. The results show that the proposed configuration outperformed the conventional one, leading to a total-cost saving of around 8%, a carbon emission reduction of 11%, and a primary energy saving of 8%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment and Possible Solution to Increase Resilience: Flooding Threats in Terni Distribution Grid
Energies 2019, 12(4), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040744
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
In recent years, because of increasing frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, the main stakeholders of electric power systems are emphasizing issues about resilience. Whenever networks are designed and development plans are drawn, this new feature must be assessed and implemented. In [...] Read more.
In recent years, because of increasing frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, the main stakeholders of electric power systems are emphasizing issues about resilience. Whenever networks are designed and development plans are drawn, this new feature must be assessed and implemented. In this paper, a procedure to evaluate the resilience of a distribution network against flooding threats is presented. Starting from a detailed analysis about the resilience of each asset of the grid, the procedure implements the exploration of the network in order to evaluate the impact of interruptions (e.g., in terms of number of disconnected users) produced by the specific threat; then, it calculates the resilience indices of the whole system. The procedure is applied with respect to the flooding threats, on a real distribution network in the center of Italy (i.e., the distribution network of Terni). Referring to this case study, the proposed method suggests countermeasures able to reduce the impact of flooding events and evaluates their benefits. Results indicate that, at the present time, the network is adequately resilient with respect to flooding events, as demonstrated by the index values. However, the remedial actions identified by the procedure are also able to improve the resilience of the network and, in addition, they are in agreement with the development plan already established by the distribution system operator (DSO). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Narrow Band State of Charge (SOC) Control Strategy for Hybrid Container Cranes
Energies 2019, 12(4), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040743
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 16 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper evaluates possibility of using a new hybrid system based on variable speed diesel generator (VSDG), Li-ion battery bank and supercapacitor bank (SC) for a rubber tire gantry crane (RTGC) used in container terminals. Existing commercial hybrid systems face difficulties producing high [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates possibility of using a new hybrid system based on variable speed diesel generator (VSDG), Li-ion battery bank and supercapacitor bank (SC) for a rubber tire gantry crane (RTGC) used in container terminals. Existing commercial hybrid systems face difficulties producing high efficiencies, higher life span, and lower initial investment cost due to inheriting characteristics of batteries and supercapacitors. In the proposed power system, a variable speed diesel generator act as the principal energy source, while a Li-ion battery bank and SC bank act as an energy storage system. The battery supports the diesel generator during steady demand and further, it absorbs a part of energy during regeneration. The energy management strategy, control the power flow from different sources while maintaining battery state of charge (SOC) level within a narrow band. Unlike most battery systems, this narrow band operation of battery system increases its life span while reducing capacity fade. The originality of this study can be emphasized from this narrow band SOC control technique. Simulation results for real operational load cycles are presented showing a stable system operating under defined current limits which can enhance lifetime of battery system and increase fuel saving by downsizing 400 kW constant speed diesel generator to 200 kW VSDG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Control Strategies of Full-Voltage to Half-Voltage Operation for LCC and Hybrid LCC/MMC based UHVDC Systems
Energies 2019, 12(4), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040742
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
With the increasing demand of transmitting bulk-power over long-distance, the ultra high-voltage direct-current (UHVDC) transmission systems become an attractive option. Nowadays, not only the line commutated converter (LCC) based systems, but also the modular multilevel converter (MMC) based systems have reached UHVDC levels. [...] Read more.
With the increasing demand of transmitting bulk-power over long-distance, the ultra high-voltage direct-current (UHVDC) transmission systems become an attractive option. Nowadays, not only the line commutated converter (LCC) based systems, but also the modular multilevel converter (MMC) based systems have reached UHVDC levels. The converter stations of UHVDC systems normally utilize two series-connected valve-groups to reduce the difficulties of device manufacturing and transportation. This high-voltage and low-voltage valve-group configuration allows the UHVDC systems to achieve a full-voltage to half-voltage operation which increases the flexibility of the systems. However, the existing research only focuses on the full-voltage to half-voltage control of LCC-UHVDC systems. The control strategies for hybrid LCC/MMC UHVDC systems are underresearched. Moreover, the approaches to reduce the load-shedding caused by the full-voltage to half-voltage control for both LCC and hybrid LCC/MMC based UHVDC systems have not been investigated. In this paper, full-voltage to half-voltage control strategies for both LCC and hybrid LCC/MMC based UHVDC systems have been proposed. Moreover, to avoid load-shedding caused by the half-voltage operation, a power rescheduling method that re-sets the power references of the half-voltage operating and full-voltage operating poles has been proposed. The proposed full-voltage to half-voltage control strategies and power rescheduling method can achieve a stable and fast control process with a minimum power loss. The proposed methods have been verified through the time-domain simulations conducted in PSCAD/EMTDC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Protection of HVDC-Connected Offshore Wind Power Plants)
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Open AccessArticle Low-Cost Position Sensorless Speed Control of PMSM Drive Using Four-Switch Inverter
Energies 2019, 12(4), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040741
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
A low-cost position sensorless speed control method for permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) is proposed using a space vector PWM based four-switch three-phase (FSTP) inverter. The stator feedforward dq-axes voltages are obtained for the position sensorless PMSM drive. The q-axis [...] Read more.
A low-cost position sensorless speed control method for permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) is proposed using a space vector PWM based four-switch three-phase (FSTP) inverter. The stator feedforward d q -axes voltages are obtained for the position sensorless PMSM drive. The q-axis current controller output with a first order low-pass filter formulates the rotor speed estimation algorithm in a closed-loop fashion similar to PLL (Phase Lock Loop) and the output of the d-axis current controller acts as the derivative representation in the stator feedforward voltage equation. The proposed method is quite insensitive to multiple simultaneous parameter variations such as rotor flux linkage and stator resistance due to the dynamic effects of the PI current regulator outputs that are used in the stator feedforward voltages with a proper value of K gain in the q-axis stator voltage equation. The feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed position sensorless speed control scheme for the PMSM drive using an FSTP inverter are verified by simulation and experimental studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle Production of Oxygenated Fuel Additives from Residual Glycerine Using Biocatalysts Obtained from Heavy-Metal-Contaminated Jatropha curcas L. Roots
Energies 2019, 12(4), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040740
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
This work aims to shed light on the use of two biochars, obtained from the pyrolysis at 550 °C of heavy-metal-contaminated Jatropha curcas L. roots, as heterogeneous catalysts for glycerol esterification using residual glycerine. To do this, glycerine from biodiesel production was purified. [...] Read more.
This work aims to shed light on the use of two biochars, obtained from the pyrolysis at 550 °C of heavy-metal-contaminated Jatropha curcas L. roots, as heterogeneous catalysts for glycerol esterification using residual glycerine. To do this, glycerine from biodiesel production was purified. In a first step, H3PO4 or H2SO4 was used to remove non-glycerol organic matter. The glycerol-rich phase was then extracted with ethanol or propanol, which increased the glycerol content from 43.2% to up to 100%. Subsequently, the esterification of both purified glycerine and commercial USP glycerine was assayed with acetic acid (AA) or with acetic anhydride (AH) at 9:1 molar ratio to glycerol using Amberlyst-15 as catalyst. Different reaction times (from 1.5 to 3 h) and temperatures (100–115 °C when using AA and 80–135 °C when using AH) were assessed. Results revealed that the most suitable conditions were 80 °C and 1.5 h reaction time using AH, achieving 100% yield and selectivity towards triacetylglycerol (TAG) almost with both glycerines. Finally, the performance and reuse of the two heterogeneous biocatalysts was assessed. Under these conditions, one of the biocatalysts also achieved 100% TAG yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bio-Energy)
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Open AccessArticle Electric Energy Consumption Prediction by Deep Learning with State Explainable Autoencoder
Energies 2019, 12(4), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040739
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
As energy demand grows globally, the energy management system (EMS) is becoming increasingly important. Energy prediction is an essential component in the first step to create a management plan in EMS. Conventional energy prediction models focus on prediction performance, but in order to [...] Read more.
As energy demand grows globally, the energy management system (EMS) is becoming increasingly important. Energy prediction is an essential component in the first step to create a management plan in EMS. Conventional energy prediction models focus on prediction performance, but in order to build an efficient system, it is necessary to predict energy demand according to various conditions. In this paper, we propose a method to predict energy demand in various situations using a deep learning model based on an autoencoder. This model consists of a projector that defines an appropriate state for a given situation and a predictor that forecasts energy demand from the defined state. The proposed model produces consumption predictions for 15, 30, 45, and 60 min with 60-min demand to date. In the experiments with household electric power consumption data for five years, this model not only has a better performance with a mean squared error of 0.384 than the conventional models, but also improves the capacity to explain the results of prediction by visualizing the state with t-SNE algorithm. Despite unsupervised representation learning, we confirm that the proposed model defines the state well and predicts the energy demand accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Grids and Microgrids)
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Open AccessArticle Application of the Impedance Spectroscopy as a New Tool for Studying Biodiesel Fuel Aging Processes
Energies 2019, 12(4), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12040738
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), which are presently the main component of biodiesel fuels, undergo relatively fast oxidation processes. This behavior prevents long term storage of this fuel. From laboratory practices, it transpires that even after a very short period of storage, the [...] Read more.
Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), which are presently the main component of biodiesel fuels, undergo relatively fast oxidation processes. This behavior prevents long term storage of this fuel. From laboratory practices, it transpires that even after a very short period of storage, the oxidative stability of the biodiesel exceeds the values required by European regulations. Therefore, the goal of this work was to devise a parameter (marker) allowing for fast and convenient identification of the chemical stability of biodiesel. Moreover, we were aiming to devise a marker which can also be used for the evaluation of the chemical stability of other hydrocarbon fuels containing biocomponents. To this end, in the presented study, selected biodiesel samples were subjected to controlled aging processes in laboratory conditions at 95 °C and oxygen flow according to the norm. Then, physico-chemical parameters were selected that are critical from the point of view of the fuel practical application. Those included density, refractive index, oxidative stability and resistance to oxidation. The appropriate physico-chemical properties were measured before and after an aging process conducted for various times. Simultaneously, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) studies were performed for all the studied samples yielding the electrical parameters of the sample, including resistance, relaxation time and capacitance. Subsequently, a correlation between the results of the EIS studies and the selected critical parameters has been established. The obtained results indicate that the resistance, relaxation time and capacitance of the studied biodiesel fuel increase with aging time. This indicates the formation of long chain compounds with increased polarity. Interestingly, the electrical parameter changes are faster at the early stages of the aging process. This suggests a change of the oxidation mechanism during prolonged aging. The devised methodology of impedimetric biodiesel testing can be proposed as a fast and inexpensive method of fuel chemical stability evaluation, allowing for estimating the useful storage time of biodiesel in real conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiesel Production)
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