Abstract: As the frequency and intensity of heatwaves are growing in Australia, strategies to combat heat are becoming more vital. Cities are exposed to urban heat islands (UHIs) due to excess urbanisation. In this study, a definition of urban heatwave (UHW) is conceptualised to investigate the combined impacts of heatwaves and UHIs. To quantify the negative impacts of UHW, indicators—such as excess morbidity, electricity and water consumption—are considered. The intensity of UHWs is calculated using the unit of excess heat factor (EHF), developed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. EHF enables the comparability of UHWs in different geographical locations. Using the indicators and the intensity of UHWs, a calculation method to quantify heatwave resilience at a precincts scale is proposed. The study summarises the assumed influential factors of precinct heatwave resilience based on the existing literature and propose a “cool retrofitting toolkit” (CRT). CRT creates the framework to assess the adaptation to and mitigation of UHWs available to retrofit existing precincts, and to evaluate potential retrofitting strategies in terms of energy and carbon efficiency, financial affordability and perceived acceptability by population. This study illuminates the importance of climate, function, built environment and population characteristics-conscious retrofitting.
Abstract: The proliferation of non-scheduled generation from renewable electrical energy sources such concentrated solar power (CSP) presents a need for enabling scheduled generation by incorporating energy storage; either via directly coupled Thermal Energy Storage (TES) or Electrical Storage Systems (ESS) distributed within the electrical network or grid. The challenges for 100% renewable energy generation are: to minimise capitalisation cost and to maximise energy dispatch capacity. The aims of this review article are twofold: to review storage technologies and to survey the most appropriate optimisation techniques to determine optimal operation and size of storage of a system to operate in the Australian National Energy Market (NEM). Storage technologies are reviewed to establish indicative characterisations of energy density, conversion efficiency, charge/discharge rates and costings. A partitioning of optimisation techniques based on methods most appropriate for various time scales is performed: from “whole of year”, seasonal, monthly, weekly and daily averaging to those best suited matching the NEM bid timing of five minute dispatch bidding, averaged on the half hour as the trading settlement spot price. Finally, a selection of the most promising research directions and methods to determine the optimal operation and sizing of storage for renewables in the grid is presented.
Abstract: This user guide describes the rationale behind, and the modus operandi of a Unix script-driven package for evolutionary searching of optimal Support Vector Machine model parameters as computed by the libsvm package, leading to support vector machine models of maximal predictive power and robustness. Unlike common libsvm parameterizing engines, the current distribution includes the key choice of best-suited sets of attributes/descriptors, in addition to the classical libsvm operational parameters (kernel choice, kernel parameters, cost, and so forth), allowing a unified search in an enlarged problem space. It relies on an aggressive, repeated cross-validation scheme to ensure a rigorous assessment of model quality. Primarily designed for chemoinformatics applications, it also supports the inclusion of decoy instances, for which the explained property (bioactivity) is, strictly speaking, unknown but presumably “inactive”, thus additionally testing the robustness of a model to noise. The package was developed with parallel computing in mind, supporting execution on both multi-core workstations as well as compute cluster environments. It can be downloaded from http://infochim.u-strasbg.fr/spip.php?rubrique178.
Abstract: ChEMBL Beaker is an open source web framework, exposing a versatile chemistry-focused API (Application Programming Interface) to support the development of new cheminformatics applications. This paper describes the current functionality offered by Beaker and outlines the future technology roadmap.
Abstract: Despite the success in knowledge gained by the Mars missions in the last two decades, the search for traces of life on Mars is still in progress. The reconstruction of (paleo-) environments on Mars have seen a dramatic increase, in particular with regard to the potentially habitable conditions, and it is now possible to recognize a significant role to subaerial hydrothermal processes. For this reason, and because the conditions of the primordial Earth—when these extreme environments had to be common—probably resembled Mars during its most suitable time to host life, research on terrestrial extreme hydrothermal habitats may assist in understanding how to recognize life on Mars. A number of geological and environmental reasons, and logistics opportunities, make the geothermal field of El Tatio, in the Chilean Andes an ideal location to study.