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Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
The Influence of Introducing Autonomous Vehicles on Conventional Transport Modes and Travel Time
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4163; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144163 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 10
Abstract
Introducing autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the market is likely to bring changes in the mobility of travelers. In this work, extensive research is conducted to study the impact of different levels of automation on the mobility of people, and full driving automation needs [...] Read more.
Introducing autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the market is likely to bring changes in the mobility of travelers. In this work, extensive research is conducted to study the impact of different levels of automation on the mobility of people, and full driving automation needs further study because it is still under development. The impacts of AVs on travel behavior can be studied by integrating AVs into activity-based models. The contribution of this study is the estimation of AVs’ impacts on travelers’ mobility when different travel demands are provided, and also the estimation of AVs’ impact on the modal share considering the different willingness of pay to travel by AVs. This study analyses the potential impacts of AVs on travel behavior by investigating a sample of 8500 travelers who recorded their daily activity plans in Budapest, Hungary. Three scenarios are derived to study travel behavior and to find the impacts of the AVs on the conventional transport modes. The scenarios include (1) a simulation of the existing condition, (2) a simulation of AVs as a full replacement for conventional transport modes, and (3) a simulation of the AVs with conventional transport modes concerning different marginal utilities of travel time in AVs. The simulations are done by using the Multi-Agent Transport Simulation (MATSim) open-source software, which applies a co-evolutionary optimization algorithm. Using the scenarios in the study, we develop a base model, determine the required fleet size of AVs needed to fulfill the demand of the different groups of travelers, and predict the new modal shares of the transport modes when AVs appear on the market. The results demonstrate that the travelers are exposed to a reduction in travel time once conventional transport modes are replaced by AVs. The impact of the value of travel time (VOT) on the usage of AVs and the modal share is demonstrated. The decrease in the VOT of AVs increases the usage of AVs, and it particularly decreases the usage of cars even more than other transport modes. AVs strongly affect the public transport when the VOT of AVs gets close to the VOT of public transport. Finally, the result shows that 1 AV can replace 7.85 conventional vehicles with acceptable waiting time. Full article
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Article
A Critical Look at Coulomb Counting Approach for State of Charge Estimation in Batteries
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4074; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144074 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 10
Abstract
In this paper, we consider the problem of state-of-charge estimation for rechargeable batteries. Coulomb counting is a well-known method for estimating the state of charge, and it is regarded as accurate as long as the battery capacity and the beginning state of charge [...] Read more.
In this paper, we consider the problem of state-of-charge estimation for rechargeable batteries. Coulomb counting is a well-known method for estimating the state of charge, and it is regarded as accurate as long as the battery capacity and the beginning state of charge are known. The Coulomb counting approach, on the other hand, is prone to inaccuracies from a variety of sources, and the magnitude of these errors has not been explored in the literature. We formally construct and quantify the state-of-charge estimate error during Coulomb counting due to four types of error sources: (1) current measurement error; (2) current integration approximation error; (3) battery capacity uncertainty; and (4) timing oscillator error/drift. It is demonstrated that the state-of-charge error produced can be either time-cumulative or state-of-charge-proportional. Time-cumulative errors accumulate over time and have the potential to render the state-of-charge estimation utterly invalid in the long term.The proportional errors of the state of charge rise with the accumulated state of charge and reach their worst value within one charge/discharge cycle. The study presents methods for reducing time-cumulative and state-of-charge-proportional mistakes through simulation analysis. Full article
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Article
The Effectiveness of Energy Cooperatives Operating on the Capacity Market
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3226; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113226 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 10
Abstract
The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 by shifting to a clean circular economy, combating biodiversity loss and reducing pollution levels. In Poland, whose economy invariably remains one of the most dependent on coal consumption [...] Read more.
The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 by shifting to a clean circular economy, combating biodiversity loss and reducing pollution levels. In Poland, whose economy invariably remains one of the most dependent on coal consumption in Europe, institutional responses to the above EU objectives have taken the shape of energy cooperatives aimed at filling the gaps in the development of the civic dimension of energy on a local scale and the use of potential renewable energy sources in rural areas, including in relation to the agricultural sector. This article is a continuation of the authors’ previous research work, which has so far focused on the analysis of the development of profitability of Polish institutions that fit into the European idea of a “local energy community”, which includes energy cooperatives. In this research paper, they present the results of subsequent research work and analyses performed on the basis of it which, on the one hand, complement the previously developed optimization model with variables concerning actual energy storage and, on the other hand, analyze the profitability of the operation of energy cooperatives in the conditions of the “capacity market”. The latter was actually introduced in Poland at the beginning of 2021. The research took account of the characteristics of energy producers and consumers in rural areas of Poland, the legally defined rules for the operation of the capacity market and the institutional conditions for the operation of energy cooperatives that can use the potential of energy storage. A dedicated mathematical model in mixed integer programming technology was used, enriched with respect to previous research, making it possible to optimize the operation of energy cooperative with the use of actual energy storage (batteries). Conclusions from the research and simulation show that the installation of energy storage only partially minimizes the volume of energy drawn from the grid in periods when fees related to the capacity market are in force (which should be avoided due to higher costs for consumers). The analysis also indicates that a key challenge is the proper parameterization of energy storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Sources from Agriculture and Rural Areas)
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Article
Forecasting Charging Demand of Electric Vehicles Using Time-Series Models
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051487 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 9
Abstract
This study compared the methods used to forecast increases in power consumption caused by the rising popularity of electric vehicles (EVs). An excellent model for each region was proposed using multiple scaled geographical datasets over two years. EV charging volumes are influenced by [...] Read more.
This study compared the methods used to forecast increases in power consumption caused by the rising popularity of electric vehicles (EVs). An excellent model for each region was proposed using multiple scaled geographical datasets over two years. EV charging volumes are influenced by various factors, including the condition of a vehicle, the battery’s state-of-charge (SOC), and the distance to the destination. However, power suppliers cannot easily access this information due to privacy issues. Despite a lack of individual information, this study compared various modeling techniques, including trigonometric exponential smoothing state space (i.e., Trigonometric, Box–Cox, Auto-Regressive-Moving-Average (ARMA), Trend, and Seasonality (TBATS)), autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), artificial neural networks (ANN), and long short-term memory (LSTM) modeling, based on past values and exogenous variables. The effect of exogenous variables was evaluated in macro- and micro-scale geographical areas, and the importance of historic data was verified. The basic statistics regarding the number of charging stations and the volume of charging in each region are expected to aid the formulation of a method that can be used by power suppliers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Vehicle Charging Networks)
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Article
A Di-Carbazole-Based Dye as a Potential Sensitizer for Greenhouse-Integrated Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041159 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
For the first time in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology, a di-carbazole-based dye was synthesized and evaluated for its usage as a potential sensitizer for the development of wavelength selective semi-transparent DSSCs for greenhouses-oriented applications. The dye was designed to demonstrate a blue [...] Read more.
For the first time in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology, a di-carbazole-based dye was synthesized and evaluated for its usage as a potential sensitizer for the development of wavelength selective semi-transparent DSSCs for greenhouses-oriented applications. The dye was designed to demonstrate a blue light absorption, allowing a high transmittance in the red region of the visible light, even after its adsorption on the anode semiconductor, which is the most important one for the photosynthetic action of the plants. The application of the new dye to DSSCs was examined using either a high-performance iodide-based electrolyte or a highly transparent iodine-free electrolyte to determine a good balance between electric power generation and device transparency. The spectral engineered DSSCs demonstrated quite promising characteristics, providing a high external quantum efficiency (higher than 70%) in the whole blue–green region of the visible light, while allowing high transparency (up to 55%) in the red region, where the second peak in the absorbance spectrum of chlorophyll is located. Finally, the derived results were discussed under the consideration of important metrics for this niche application, including the transparency of the solar cells in the region of photosynthetic active radiation and the attained crop growth factor. The present work constitutes one of the few comprehensive studies carried out up to now in the direction of the development of 3rd generation “agrivoltaics” for their possible integration as cladding materials in energy-autonomous greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells)
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Article
Coopetitive Nature of Energy Communities—The Energy Transition Context
Energies 2021, 14(4), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14040931 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 12
Abstract
The decentralization of the large-scale energy sector, its replacement with pro-ecological, dispersed production sources and building a citizen dimension of the energy sector are the directional objectives of the energy transformation in the European Union. Building energy self-sufficiency at a local level is [...] Read more.
The decentralization of the large-scale energy sector, its replacement with pro-ecological, dispersed production sources and building a citizen dimension of the energy sector are the directional objectives of the energy transformation in the European Union. Building energy self-sufficiency at a local level is possible, based on the so-called Energy Communities, which include energy clusters and energy cooperatives. Several dozen pilot projects for energy clusters have been implemented in Poland, while energy cooperatives, despite being legally sanctioned and potentially a simpler formula of operation, have not functioned in practice. This article presents the coopetitive nature of Energy Communities. The authors analysed the principles and benefits of creating Energy Communities from a regulatory and practical side. An important element of the analysis is to indicate the managerial, coopetitive nature of the strategies implemented within the Energy Communities. Their members, while operating in a competitive environment, simultaneously cooperate to achieve common benefits. On the basis of the actual data of recipients and producers, the results of simulations of benefits in the economic dimension will be presented, proving the thesis of the legitimacy of creating coopetitive structures of Energy Communities. Full article
Article
Confronting Energy Poverty in Europe: A Research and Policy Agenda
Energies 2021, 14(4), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14040858 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 21
Abstract
This paper scrutinizes existing policy efforts to address energy poverty at the governance scale of the European Union (EU) and its constituent Member States. Our main starting point is the recent expansion of energy poverty policies at the EU level, fuelled by the [...] Read more.
This paper scrutinizes existing policy efforts to address energy poverty at the governance scale of the European Union (EU) and its constituent Member States. Our main starting point is the recent expansion of energy poverty policies at the EU level, fuelled by the regulatory provisions of the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package, as well as the establishment of an EU Energy Poverty Observatory. Aided by a systematic and customized methodology, we survey the extensive scientific body of work that has recently been published on the topic, as well as the multiple strategies and measures to address energy poverty that have been formulated across the EU. This includes the principal mitigation approaches adopted by key European and national institutions. We develop a framework to judge the distributional and procedural justice provisions within the recently adopted National Energy and Climate Plans, as an indicator of the power, ability and resolve of relevant institutions to combat the causes and consequences of energy injustice. We also provide a research and policy agenda for future action, highlighting a series of scientific and decision-making challenges in the European and global context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section I: Energy Economics and Policy)
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Article
Evaluation of Urban Tree Leaf Biomass-Potential, Physico-Mechanical and Chemical Parameters of Raw Material and Solid Biofuel
Energies 2021, 14(4), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14040818 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 9
Abstract
The paper presents the results of research aimed at evaluating the possibility of using selected tree leaf species to produce solid biofuels. The possibility of production of qualitative solid biofuels from urban tree leaves meets the expectations of the municipal sector. Collection of [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of research aimed at evaluating the possibility of using selected tree leaf species to produce solid biofuels. The possibility of production of qualitative solid biofuels from urban tree leaves meets the expectations of the municipal sector. Collection of tree leaves in urban areas is very often necessary for road safety reasons, the need to collect biomass rich in dust and pollution as well as biomass infested with pests. The production of solid biofuels from tree leaves allows for effective management of this raw material with energy recovery. The performed research indicates such a possibility, and the obtained ash is used as a soil improver. The conducted research showed that the biomass of leaves of five tree species used in the experiment can be a source of raw materials for production of qualitative biofuels. The obtained pellets were characterized by properties comparable to those of classical wood pellets. The lower heating value of the obtained pellets ranged from 14.5 to 15.5 MJ∙kg−1. Physical properties of the obtained pellets described by bulk density (BD 600–660 kg∙m−3), mechanical durability (DU 90–96%), moisture (Mar 10–12.5%) indicate that these products can be used in existing combustion equipment. Preliminary analysis of the obtained ashes (determination of ash melting point, bulk density) indicates that they should not cause difficulties in ash removal systems from the combustion chamber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Pretreatment and Optimisation of Biofuel Production Processes)
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Article
Effect of Soiling on Solar Photovoltaic Performance under Desert Climatic Conditions
Energies 2021, 14(3), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030659 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 12
Abstract
The solar irradiation at the gulf Arabia is considered one of the highest in the world. However, this region is classified as a desert with high dust accumulation. Thus, the objective of this study is to analyze the effect of soiling and the [...] Read more.
The solar irradiation at the gulf Arabia is considered one of the highest in the world. However, this region is classified as a desert with high dust accumulation. Thus, the objective of this study is to analyze the effect of soiling and the photovoltaic (PV) tilt angle on the performance of 2.0 MWp of car park PV plant in Oman. Experimental measurements were taken and a model was developed for simulation. The power generation by the cleaned PV system was measured as 1460 kW around noon. After one week of operation, the power production (at the same irradiance level) reduced to 1390 kW due to soiling. It further reduced to 1196 kW and 904 kW after three and five weeks of operation, respectively. The results also show that a soiling-percentage of 7.5% reduced the monthly electricity generation (307 MWh) by 5.6% and a soiling-percentage of 12.5% reduced the generation by 10.8%. Furthermore, the increase in tilt is not recommended due to the duo-pitch canopy effect of the car park where the panels with 180° azimuth generate lower electricity than the panels with 0° azimuth. In addition, the part of the car park with 180° azimuth caused shading to the other part for high tilt angles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal Energy Systems)
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Article
Sustainable Spatial Energy Planning of Large-Scale Wind and PV Farms in Israel: A Collaborative and Participatory Planning Approach
Energies 2021, 14(3), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030551 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 11
Abstract
In this work, an innovative sustainable spatial energy planning framework is developed on national scale for identifying and prioritizing appropriate, technically and economically feasible, environmentally sustainable as well as socially acceptable sites for the siting of large-scale onshore Wind Farms (WFs) and Photovoltaic [...] Read more.
In this work, an innovative sustainable spatial energy planning framework is developed on national scale for identifying and prioritizing appropriate, technically and economically feasible, environmentally sustainable as well as socially acceptable sites for the siting of large-scale onshore Wind Farms (WFs) and Photovoltaic Farms (PVFs) in Israel. The proposed holistic framework consists of distinctive steps allocated in two successive modules (the Planning and the Field Investigation module), and it covers all relevant dimensions of a sustainable siting analysis (economic, social, and environmental). It advances a collaborative and participatory planning approach by combining spatial planning tools (Geographic Information Systems (GIS)) and multi-criteria decision-making methods (e.g., Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)) with versatile participatory planning techniques in order to consider the opinion of three different participatory groups (public, experts, and renewable energy planners) within the site-selection processes. Moreover, it facilitates verification of GIS results by conducting appropriate field observations. Sites of high suitability, accepted by all participatory groups and field verified, form the final outcome of the proposed framework. The results illustrate the existence of high suitable sites for large-scale WFs’ and PVFs’ siting and, thus, the potential deployment of such projects towards the fulfillment of the Israeli energy targets in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS and Remote Sensing for Renewable Energy Assessment and Maps)
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Article
The Importance of Local Investments Co-Financed by the European Union in the Field of Renewable Energy Sources in Rural Areas of Poland
Energies 2021, 14(2), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020450 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 16
Abstract
Local investments for the development of renewable energy sources (RESs) constitute an important element of sustainable rural development. They are conducive to the social and economic development of the said areas, and improve the environmental values and living conditions of their inhabitants. However, [...] Read more.
Local investments for the development of renewable energy sources (RESs) constitute an important element of sustainable rural development. They are conducive to the social and economic development of the said areas, and improve the environmental values and living conditions of their inhabitants. However, such advancement in rural areas is not possible without adequate financial support, including the funds from the EU budget. Therefore, the main objective of the research is to assess the scale, scope and importance of local investments in renewable energy sources in rural areas of Poland in 2014–2020, cofinanced from EU funds. The study covered 1117 projects, whose beneficiaries were rural and urban–rural municipalities. Evaluation of the municipal investment activities in acquiring EU subsidies in the area of environmentally friendly energy was conducted using selected methods of descriptive statistics and the analysis of variance. Subsequently, with the use of logistic regression, the study identified the main socioeconomic, financial and environmental conditions of the investment activities of the local government entities in RES in rural areas. Empirical studies allowed for the positive verification of the research hypothesis, which assumed that “The highest investment activity in the field of local projects co-financed from EU funds, related to the development of RES in rural areas, may be attributed to municipalities performing primarily agricultural functions, located in Eastern Poland”. The municipalities’ own income potential and investment activity are of major importance for the acquisition of EU funds used in RES financing. Municipalities at a lower development level demonstrated a greater activity in accessing these funds. They view the development of RES as an opportunity for accelerated growth. Full article
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Article
Effect of Thermal, Acoustic and Air Quality Perception Interactions on the Comfort and Satisfaction of People in Office Buildings
Energies 2021, 14(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020333 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 12
Abstract
Current research on human comfort has identified a gap in the investigation of multi-domain perception interactions. There is a lack of understanding the interrelationships of different physio-socio-psychological factors and the manifestation of their contextual interactions into cross-modal comfort perception. In that direction, this [...] Read more.
Current research on human comfort has identified a gap in the investigation of multi-domain perception interactions. There is a lack of understanding the interrelationships of different physio-socio-psychological factors and the manifestation of their contextual interactions into cross-modal comfort perception. In that direction, this study used data from a post occupancy evaluation survey (n = 26), two longitudinal comfort studies (n = 1079 and n = 52) and concurrent measurements of indoor environmental quality factors (one building) to assess the effect of thermal, acoustic and air quality perception interactions on comfort and satisfaction of occupants in three mixed-mode university office buildings. The study concluded that thermal sensation (TSV) is associated with both air quality (ASV) and noise perception (NSV). The crossed effect of the interaction of air quality and noise perception on thermal sensation was not evident. The key finding was the significant correlation of operative temperature (Top) with TSV as expected, but also with noise perception and overall acoustic comfort. Regarding the crossed main effects on thermal sensation, a significant effect was found for the interactions of (1) Top and (2) sound pressure levels (SPL30) with air quality perception respectively. Most importantly, this study has highlighted the importance of air quality perception in achieving occupants’ comfort and satisfaction with office space. Full article
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Article
An Energy Consumption Approach to Estimate Air Emission Reductions in Container Shipping
Energies 2021, 14(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020278 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 11
Abstract
Container shipping is the largest producer of emissions within the maritime shipping industry. Hence, measures have been designed and implemented to reduce ship emission levels. IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI, with its future plan of applying Tier III requirements, the Energy Efficiency Design Index [...] Read more.
Container shipping is the largest producer of emissions within the maritime shipping industry. Hence, measures have been designed and implemented to reduce ship emission levels. IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI, with its future plan of applying Tier III requirements, the Energy Efficiency Design Index for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan for all ships. To assist policy formulation and follow-up, this study applies an energy consumption approach to estimate container ship emissions. The volumes of sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrous oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from container ships are estimated using 2018 datasets on container shipping and average vessel speed records generated via AIS. Furthermore, the estimated reductions in SOx, NOx, PM, and CO2 are mapped for 2020. The empirical analysis demonstrates that the energy consumption approach is a valuable method to estimate ongoing emission reductions on a continuous basis and to fill data gaps where needed, as the latest worldwide container shipping emissions records date back to 2015. The presented analysis supports early-stage detection of environmental impacts in container shipping and helps to determine in which areas the greatest potential for emission reductions can be found. Full article
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Article
Fresh Validation of the Low Carbon Development Hypothesis under the EKC Scheme in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain
Energies 2021, 14(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14010250 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 25
Abstract
The present study is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) that address pertinent global issues. This study focuses on the need for access to clean and affordable energy consumption, responsible energy consumption, sustainable economic growth, and climate change mitigation. [...] Read more.
The present study is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) that address pertinent global issues. This study focuses on the need for access to clean and affordable energy consumption, responsible energy consumption, sustainable economic growth, and climate change mitigation. To this end, this paper evaluates the relevance of the renewable energy sector on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) framework in Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain for the period 1995–2015. As an econometric strategy, we adopt the use of panel data over the highlighted countries. In the first step, we apply the unit root test recommended by Levin, Lin, and Chu in conjunction with ADF-Fisher, and Phillips-Perron for robustness and consistency. We found that the variables used in this study are integrated I (1) in the first difference. In the second step, we apply the Pedroni cointegration test, and Kao Residual cointegration test, and we observe that the variables are cointegrated in the long run. The generalized least squares (GLS), the panel fully modified least squares (FMOLS), ordinary least squares robust (OLS), and panel quantile regression are considered in this research. The econometric results validate the assumption of the environmental Kuznets curve, i.e., and there is a positive correlation between income per capita and a negative effect of squared income per capita on carbon dioxide emissions. In contrast, we observe that renewable energy reduces CO2 emissions. Finally, we also find a direct connection between the urban population and the environmental degradation in the examined blocs. These results show that in Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain, more is required to achieve environmental sustainability in the respective countries growth trajectory. Further policy prescriptions are appended in the concluding section of this study. Full article
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Article
Wind Turbine Data Analysis and LSTM-Based Prediction in SCADA System
Energies 2021, 14(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14010125 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 13
Abstract
The number of wind farms is increasing every year because many countries are turning their attention to renewable energy sources. Wind turbines are considered one of the best alternatives to produce clean energy. Most of the wind farms installed supervisory control and data [...] Read more.
The number of wind farms is increasing every year because many countries are turning their attention to renewable energy sources. Wind turbines are considered one of the best alternatives to produce clean energy. Most of the wind farms installed supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system in their turbines to monitor wind turbines and logged the information as time-series data. It demands a powerful information extraction process for analysis and prediction. In this research, we present a data analysis framework to visualize the collected data from the SCADA system and recurrent neural network-based variant long short-term memory (LSTM) based prediction. The data analysis is presented in cartesian, polar, and cylindrical coordinates to understand the wind and energy generation relationship. The four features: wind speed, direction, generated active power, and theoretical power are predicted and compared with state-of-the-art methods. The obtained results confirm the applicability of our model in real-life scenarios that can assist the management team to manage the generated energy of wind turbines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Computing Techniques in Energy System)
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Article
Studying the Level of Sustainable Energy Development of the European Union Countries and Their Similarity Based on the Economic and Demographic Potential
Energies 2020, 13(24), 6643; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13246643 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 32
Abstract
The concept of sustainable economic development takes into account economic, social and environmental aspects and strives to achieve balance between them. One of the basic areas where it is required to revalue the current views on sustainable development is energy. The growing public [...] Read more.
The concept of sustainable economic development takes into account economic, social and environmental aspects and strives to achieve balance between them. One of the basic areas where it is required to revalue the current views on sustainable development is energy. The growing public awareness of environmental protection forces changes in this industry. Despite the global nature of this problem, its solution is perceived differently in various regions of the world. The unquestionable leader in introducing the idea of sustainable development economy is the European Union, where the energy sector is of key importance for the effectiveness of this process. In order to assess the sustainable energy development of the European Union countries, studies were conducted based on 13 selected indicators characterizing this sector in terms of energy, economy and environment. In order to assess the specificity of the European Union countries, these indicators were additionally compared to the gross domestic product value and the number of inhabitants of individual countries. For these cases, multi-criteria analyses were carried out using the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method. It allowed the authors to rank the European Union countries in terms of their adaptation to a sustainable energy economy. Based on the determined values of indicators versus the gross domestic product and the number of inhabitants of the countries in question, these countries were also divided into similar groups with the use of the Kohonen artificial neural networks. These groups can pursue a common energy policy in the field of sustainable development. The aim of the research was to present a new approach to the assessment of sustainable energy development of the European Union countries. The extensive ratio analysis (13 indicators of the sustainable energy development), including the economic and demographic potential of individual countries, and the use of modern tools made it possible to acquire new knowledge in the field of sustainable energy development in the European Union countries. The results should be utilized for more effective sustainable energy development of the European Union countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section B: Sustainable Energy)
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Article
Forecasting Photovoltaic Power Generation Using Satellite Images
Energies 2020, 13(24), 6603; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13246603 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
As the relative importance of renewable energy in electric power systems increases, the prediction of photovoltaic (PV) power generation has become a crucial technology, for improving stability in the operation of next-generation power systems, such as microgrid and virtual power plants (VPP). In [...] Read more.
As the relative importance of renewable energy in electric power systems increases, the prediction of photovoltaic (PV) power generation has become a crucial technology, for improving stability in the operation of next-generation power systems, such as microgrid and virtual power plants (VPP). In order to improve the accuracy of PV power generation forecasting, a fair amount of research has been applied to weather forecast data (to a learning process). Despite these efforts, the problems of forecasting PV power generation remains challenging since existing methods show limited accuracy due to inappropriate cloud amount forecast data, which are strongly correlated with PV power generation. To address this problem, we propose a PV power forecasting model, including a cloud amount forecasting network trained with satellite images. In addition, our proposed model adopts convolutional self-attention to effectively capture historical features, and thus acquire helpful information from weather forecasts. To show the efficacy of the proposed cloud amount forecast network, we conduct extensive experiments on PV power generation forecasting with and without the cloud amount forecast network. The experimental results show that the Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) of our proposed prediction model, combined with the cloud amount forecast network, are reduced by 22.5% compared to the model without the cloud amount forecast network. Full article
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Article
The Effect of CO2 Concentration on Children’s Well-Being during the Process of Learning
Energies 2020, 13(22), 6099; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13226099 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
There are more than 200 thousand pupils in Latvia. Most of them are still learning in non-renovated classrooms without proper mechanical ventilation. The classrooms are often ventilated only during the breaks by opening windows. This can lead to increased CO2 levels and [...] Read more.
There are more than 200 thousand pupils in Latvia. Most of them are still learning in non-renovated classrooms without proper mechanical ventilation. The classrooms are often ventilated only during the breaks by opening windows. This can lead to increased CO2 levels and reduced mental performance. To test how CO2 concentration in classrooms influences student attention level and their ability to perform mental tasks, the students had to complete a short test at the start and the end of the class. At the same time CO2 concentration, temperature and relative humidity were logged. In addition, an anonymous survey on how the pupils felt regarding the overall indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in the classroom, their thermal sensation, are they fatigued, any difficulty concentrating and if they have headaches during the lesson performed. The measurements were performed in a Secondary School in Daugavpils, Latvia. The analysis of results shows that existing 10 min breaks are not enough to fully ventilate the classroom, and they must be increased to at least 15 min. At the same time, 30 min breaks can be reduced to 20 min. The correlation between CO2 concentration and test results of pupils’ performance test results is noticeable but not definitive. It indicates that at increased CO2 levels the performance lowers—when the concentration of CO2 corresponds only to the Category 3 norm, the lowest results are achieved while the best results are when the CO2 concentration level corresponds to Category 1. To improve the study, observations of CO2 concentrations must be extended throughout the school year, as well as measurements in other classrooms in the school should be made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Performance and Indoor Climate in Buildings)
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Article
Towards 100 Positive Energy Districts in Europe: Preliminary Data Analysis of 61 European Cases
Energies 2020, 13(22), 6083; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13226083 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 24
Abstract
Positive Energy Districts and Neighborhoods (PEDs) are seen as a promising pathway towards sustainable urban areas. Several cities have already taken up such PED-related developments. To support such approaches, European countries joined forces to achieve 100 PEDs until 2025 through a comprehensive research [...] Read more.
Positive Energy Districts and Neighborhoods (PEDs) are seen as a promising pathway towards sustainable urban areas. Several cities have already taken up such PED-related developments. To support such approaches, European countries joined forces to achieve 100 PEDs until 2025 through a comprehensive research and innovation program. A solid understanding and consideration of cities’ strategies, experiences and project features serve as the basis for developing and designing the PED program. JPI Urban Europe has been collecting information on projects towards sustainable urbanization and the energy transition across Europe. The collected cases are summarized in a PED Booklet whose update was recently published on the JPI Urban Europe website. Results presented in this paper provide insights from the analysis of 61 projects in Europe and offer recommendations for future PED developments. Full article
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Article
Greenhouse Gases and Circular Economy Issues in Sustainability Reports from the Energy Sector in the European Union
Energies 2020, 13(22), 5993; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13225993 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
The achievement of climate neutrality and eco-economic decoupling requires explicit measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and to implement circular economy (CE) principles in practice. The energy sector is of particular importance in meeting these challenges because it exerts a substantial environmental [...] Read more.
The achievement of climate neutrality and eco-economic decoupling requires explicit measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and to implement circular economy (CE) principles in practice. The energy sector is of particular importance in meeting these challenges because it exerts a substantial environmental impact. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine how essential GHG and CE issues are for companies operating in the energy sector. This can be reflected in corporate strategies, but it can also be disclosed to the public in sustainability reports. For this reason, this article presents a comprehensive analysis of sustainability reports based on the latest GRI Standards published by companies representing the energy sector in the European Union to determine the existence, quality, and specificity of reporting GHG and CE issues. The research results demonstrate that sustainability reports from the energy sector companies tend to focus more on GHG issues. They rarely point to actions related to CE, including actions enabling a reduction in GHG emissions, as those with high priority. In addition, declarations from the analyzed companies regarding intentions related to GHG and CE issues at the strategic level find a rather poor reflection in the description of specific actions in this area or in demonstrating appropriate indicators at the operational level. Considering the indicators included in the reports, the analyzed companies insufficiently describe the methods they use to gather, compile, and analyze information on the effectiveness of actions taken to address GHG and CE issues. As for the identification of potential determinants of the quality of reporting GHG and CE issues, the research results indicate that it is mostly influenced by external assurance and the report option. Sustainability reports submitted for external assurance and reports with the comprehensive option are significantly more developed than other types of reports. However, the clarity of reports with the core option is higher compared to the comprehensive group. In addition, it was indicated that the clarity of stand-alone reports is higher compared to other types of reports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section I: Energy Economics and Policy)
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Article
Analysis of Wind Turbine Aging through Operation Curves
Energies 2020, 13(21), 5623; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215623 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
The worsening with age of technical systems performance is a matter of fact which is particularly timely to analyze for horizontal-axis wind turbines because they constitute a mature technology. On these grounds, the present study deals with the assessment of wind turbine performance [...] Read more.
The worsening with age of technical systems performance is a matter of fact which is particularly timely to analyze for horizontal-axis wind turbines because they constitute a mature technology. On these grounds, the present study deals with the assessment of wind turbine performance decline with age. The selected test case is a Vestas V52 wind turbine, installed in 2005 at the Dundalk Institute of Technology campus in Ireland. Operation data from 2008 to 2019 have been used for this study. The general idea is analyzing the appropriate operation curves for each working region of the wind turbine: in Region 2 (wind speed between 5 and 9 m/s), the generator speed–power curve is studied, because the wind turbine operates at fixed pitch. In Region 2 12 (wind speed between 9 and 13 m/s), the generator speed is rated and the pitch control is relevant: therefore, the pitch angle–power curve is analyzed. Using a support vector regression for the operation curves of interest, it is observed that in Region 2, a progressive degradation occurs as regards the power extracted for given generator speed, and after ten years (from 2008 to 2018), the average production has diminished of the order of 8%. In Region 2 12, the performance decline with age is less regular and, after ten years of operation, the performance has diminished averagely of the 1.3%. The gearbox of the test case wind turbine was substituted with a brand new one at the end of 2018, and it results that the performance in Region 2 12 has considerably improved after the gearbox replacement (+3% in 2019 with respect to 2018, +1.7% with respect to 2008), while in Region 2, an improvement is observed (+1.9% in 2019 with respect to 2018) which does not compensate the ten-year period decline (−6.5% in 2019 with respect to 2008). Therefore, the lesson is that for the test case wind turbine, the generator aging impacts remarkably on the power production in Region 2, while in Region 2 12, the impact of the gearbox aging dominates over the generator aging; for this reason, wind turbine refurbishment or component replacement should be carefully considered on the grounds of the wind intensity distribution onsite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Turbine Monitoring through Operation Data Analysis)
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Article
Integration of Large-Scale Variable Renewable Energy Sources into the Future European Power System: On the Curtailment Challenge
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5490; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205490 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
The future European power system is projected to rely heavily on variable renewable energy sources (VRES), primarily wind and solar generation. However, the difficulties inherent to storing the primary energy of these sources is expected to pose significant challenges in terms of their [...] Read more.
The future European power system is projected to rely heavily on variable renewable energy sources (VRES), primarily wind and solar generation. However, the difficulties inherent to storing the primary energy of these sources is expected to pose significant challenges in terms of their integration into the system. To account for the high variability of renewable energy sources VRES, a novel pan-European dispatch model with high spatio-temporal resolution including load shifting is introduced here, providing highly detailed information regarding renewable energy curtailments for all Europe, typically underestimated in studies of future systems. which also includes modeling of load shifting. The model consists of four separate levels with different approaches for modeling thermal generation flexibility, storage units and demand as well as with spatial resolutions and generation dispatch formulations. Applying the developed model for the future European power system follows the results of corresponding transmission expansion planning studies, which are translated into the desired high spatial resolution. The analysis of the “large scale-RES” scenario for 2050 shows considerable congestion between northern and central Europe, which constitutes the primary cause of VRES curtailments of renewables. In addition, load shifting is shown to mostly improve the integration of solar energy into the system and not wind, which constitutes the dominant energy source for this scenario. Finally, the analysis of the curtailments time series using ideal converters shows that the best locations for their exploitation can be found in western Ireland and western Denmark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section A: Electrical Engineering)
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Article
Mechanical Harvesting of Camelina: Work Productivity, Costs and Seed Loss Evaluation
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5329; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205329 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
Camelina is a low input crop than can be cultivated in rotation with cereals to provide vegetable oil suitable for bioenergy production, industrial applications and even as source of food for livestock. At large scale farming, camelina seeds are currently harvested using a [...] Read more.
Camelina is a low input crop than can be cultivated in rotation with cereals to provide vegetable oil suitable for bioenergy production, industrial applications and even as source of food for livestock. At large scale farming, camelina seeds are currently harvested using a combine harvester, equipped with a cereal header, but the literature still lacks the knowledge of the performance of the machine, the harvesting cost and the related loss of seeds. The present study aims to fulfill that gap by reporting the results obtained from an ad hoc harvest field test. Camelina seed yield was 0.95 Mg ha−1 which accounted for the 18.60% of the total above ground biomass. Theoretical field capacity, effective field capacity and field efficiency were 3.38 ha h−1, 3.17 ha h−1 and 93.7% respectively, albeit the seed loss was 80.1 kg ha−1 FM (7.82% w/w of the potential seed yield). The presence of material other than grain was rather high, 31.77% w/w, which implies a second step of cleaning to avoid undesired modification of the seed quality. Harvesting cost was estimated in 65.97 € ha−1. Our findings provide evidence on the suitability to use a conventional combine harvester equipped with a cereal header for the harvesting of camelina seeds, although some improvements are required to reduce both seed loss and impurities. Full article
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Article
Enhanced CH4-CO2 Hydrate Swapping in the Presence of Low Dosage Methanol
Energies 2020, 13(20), 5238; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13205238 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
CO2-rich gas injection into natural gas hydrate reservoirs is proposed as a carbon-neutral, novel technique to store CO2 while simultaneously producing CH4 gas from methane hydrate deposits without disturbing geological settings. This method is limited by the mass transport [...] Read more.
CO2-rich gas injection into natural gas hydrate reservoirs is proposed as a carbon-neutral, novel technique to store CO2 while simultaneously producing CH4 gas from methane hydrate deposits without disturbing geological settings. This method is limited by the mass transport barrier created by hydrate film formation at the liquid–gas interface. The very low gas diffusivity through hydrate film formed at this interface causes low CO2 availability at the gas–hydrate interface, thus lowering the recovery and replacement efficiency during CH4-CO2 exchange. In a first-of-its-kind study, we have demonstrate the successful application of low dosage methanol to enhance gas storage and recovery and compare it with water and other surface-active kinetic promoters including SDS and L-methionine. Our study shows 40–80% CH4 recovery, 83–93% CO2 storage and 3–10% CH4-CO2 replacement efficiency in the presence of 5 wt% methanol, and further improvement in the swapping process due to a change in temperature from 1–4 °C is observed. We also discuss the influence of initial water saturation (30–66%), hydrate morphology (grain-coating and pore-filling) and hydrate surface area on the CH4-CO2 hydrate swapping. Very distinctive behavior in methane recovery caused by initial water saturation (above and below Swi = 0.35) and hydrate morphology is also discussed. Improved CO2 storage and methane recovery in the presence of methanol is attributed to its dual role as anti-agglomerate and thermodynamic driving force enhancer between CH4-CO2 hydrate phase boundaries when methanol is used at a low concentration (5 wt%). The findings of this study can be useful in exploring the usage of low dosage, bio-friendly, anti-agglomerate and hydrate inhibition compounds in improving CH4 recovery and storing CO2 in hydrate reservoirs without disturbing geological formation. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first experimental study to explore the novel application of an anti-agglomerate and hydrate inhibitor in low dosage to address the CO2 hydrate mass transfer barrier created at the gas–liquid interface to enhance CH4-CO2 hydrate exchange. Our study also highlights the importance of prior information about methane hydrate reservoirs, such as residual water saturation, degree of hydrate saturation and hydrate morphology, before applying the CH4-CO2 hydrate swapping technique. Full article
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Article
Micro Nuclear Reactors: Potential Replacements for Diesel Gensets within Micro Energy Grids
Energies 2020, 13(19), 5172; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195172 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Resilient operation of medium/large scale off-grid energy systems, which is a key challenge for energy crisis solutions, requires continuous and sustainable energy resources. Conventionally, micro energy grids (MEGs) are adopted to supply electricity and thermal energy simultaneously. Fossil-fired gensets, such as diesel generators, [...] Read more.
Resilient operation of medium/large scale off-grid energy systems, which is a key challenge for energy crisis solutions, requires continuous and sustainable energy resources. Conventionally, micro energy grids (MEGs) are adopted to supply electricity and thermal energy simultaneously. Fossil-fired gensets, such as diesel generators, are indispensable components for off-grid MEGs due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, fossil-fired gensets emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Therefore, this study investigates an alternative source as an economical and environmental replacement for diesel gensets that can reduce GHG emissions and ensure system reliability. A MEG is developed in this paper to support a considerably large-scale electric and thermal demand at Ontario Tech University (UOIT). Different sizes of diesel gensets and RESs, such as solar, wind, hydro, and biomass, are combined in the MEG for off-grid applications. To evaluate diesel gensets’ competency, the diesel genset is substituted by an emission-free generation source named microreactor (MR). The fossil-fired MEG and MR-based MEG are optimized by an intelligent optimization technique, namely particle swarm optimization (PSO). The objective of the PSO is to minimize the net present cost (NPC). The simulation results show that MR-based MEG could be an excellent replacement for a diesel genset in terms of NPC and selected key performance indicators (KPIs). A comprehensive sensitivity analysis is also carried out to validate the simulation results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Power, including Fission and Fusion Technologies 2021)
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Article
Does the Balance Exist between Cost Efficiency of Different Energy Efficiency Measures? DH Systems Case
Energies 2020, 13(19), 5151; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13195151 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
The main aim of this study is to evaluate the results achieved by implementation of different support policies in form of subsidies for energy efficiency improvements and transition to renewable energy sources. The article compares the energy efficiency measures in district heating systems [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study is to evaluate the results achieved by implementation of different support policies in form of subsidies for energy efficiency improvements and transition to renewable energy sources. The article compares the energy efficiency measures in district heating systems with other support program. In order to assess the effectiveness of implementation of different renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency projects, the levelized costs of saved energy for different support programs were determined. Authors compared different co-financed projects related to replacement of fossil fuel energy sources in district heating (mainly to biomass) and the installation of new biomass boilers, heat pumps, solar collectors and other local technologies in municipal buildings. Results show that financial support for energy efficiency measures in industrial enterprises and district heating systems has been most cost-effective, mainly due to the low co-financing rate (30%) and the high potential for energy savings in different production processes. Authors have identified the blind-spots within the funding allocation for different municipalities, which is not always dedicated to achieved energy savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Studies in District Heating and Cooling Systems)
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Article
Impact of COVID-19 on the Level of Energy Poverty in Poland
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4977; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184977 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 23
Abstract
The main objective of the paper is to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the level of energy poverty in Poland. In order to achieve such a goal, the first part of the article presents the definition of energy poverty and [...] Read more.
The main objective of the paper is to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the level of energy poverty in Poland. In order to achieve such a goal, the first part of the article presents the definition of energy poverty and the nature of its measures, as well as the determinants and policies of the state addressing the issue of energy poverty mitigation. In the second part of the paper, the results of research into the level of energy poverty are analyzed and the variables affecting energy poverty in Poland during the pandemic are determined. It was established on the basis of these results that the present pandemic contributed to the aggravation of financial difficulties in Polish households with regard to financing expenditure on energy carriers. It was found that COVID-19 had a negative impact on the average disposable income of Polish households, which, with the increase in prices and expenditure on energy carriers, led to an increase in the proportion of disposable income spent on energy carriers. The most affected have been the poorest households. Moreover, the long downward trend in the level of energy poverty in Poland has reversed. Thus, it has been proved that COVID-19 has contributed to the intensification of energy poverty in Poland. The theoretical and empirical considerations contained in this paper may be a valuable source of scientific data on the impact of the pandemic on household energy poverty, while public institutions may find them a source of useful information, helping to create effective instruments to mitigate energy poverty in the Polish economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management and Technology for Energy Efficiency Development)
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Article
Parametric Design to Maximize Solar Irradiation and Minimize the Embodied GHG Emissions for a ZEB in Nordic and Mediterranean Climate Zones
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4981; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184981 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
This work presents a validated workflow based on an algorithm developed in Grasshopper to parametrically control the building’s shape, by maximizing the solar irradiation incident on the building envelope and minimizing the embodied emissions. The algorithm is applied to a zero-emission building concept [...] Read more.
This work presents a validated workflow based on an algorithm developed in Grasshopper to parametrically control the building’s shape, by maximizing the solar irradiation incident on the building envelope and minimizing the embodied emissions. The algorithm is applied to a zero-emission building concept in Nordic and Mediterranean climate zones. The algorithm enables conducting both energy and environmental assessments through Ladybug tools. The emissions embodied in materials and the solar irradiation incident on the building envelope were estimated in the early design stage. A three-steps optimization process through evolutionary solvers, such as Galapagos (one-objective) and Octopus (multi-objective), has been conducted to shape the most environmentally responsive ZEB model in both climates. The results demonstrated the replicability of the algorithm to optimize the solar irradiation by producing an increment of solar incident irradiation equal to 35% in the Mediterranean area, and to 20% in the Nordic climate. This could contribute to compensate the additional 15% of emissions due to the higher quantities of employed materials in the optimized design. The developed approach, which is based on the parametric design principles for ZEBs, represents a support instrument for designers to develop highly efficient energy solutions in the early design stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Thinking for a Sustainable Built Environment)
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Article
Development of a Variable Valve Actuation Control to Improve Diesel Oxidation Catalyst Efficiency and Emissions in a Light Duty Diesel Engine
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4561; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174561 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Growing interest has arisen to adopt Variable Valve Timing (VVT) technology for automotive engines due to the need to fulfill the pollutant emission regulations. Several VVT strategies, such as the exhaust re-opening and the late exhaust closing, can be used to achieve an [...] Read more.
Growing interest has arisen to adopt Variable Valve Timing (VVT) technology for automotive engines due to the need to fulfill the pollutant emission regulations. Several VVT strategies, such as the exhaust re-opening and the late exhaust closing, can be used to achieve an increment in the after-treatment upstream temperature by increasing the residual gas amount. In this study, a one-dimensional gas dynamics engine model has been used to simulate several VVT strategies and develop a control system to actuate over the valves timing in order to increase diesel oxidation catalyst efficiency and reduce the exhaust pollutant emissions. A transient operating conditions comparison, taking the Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Cycle (WLTC) as a reference, has been done by analyzing fuel economy, HC and CO pollutant emissions levels. The results conclude that the combination of an early exhaust and a late intake valve events leads to a 20% reduction in CO emissions with a fuel penalty of 6% over the low speed stage of the WLTC, during the warm-up of the oxidation catalyst. The same set-up is able to reduce HC emissions down to 16% and NOx emission by 13%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Thermal and Energy Systems)
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Article
The Role of Hydrogen in Achieving Long Term Japanese Energy System Goals
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4539; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174539 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 15
Abstract
This research qualitatively reviews literature regarding energy system modeling in Japan specific to the future hydrogen economy, leveraging quantitative model outcomes to establish the potential future deployment of hydrogen in Japan. The analysis focuses on the four key sectors of storage, supplementing the [...] Read more.
This research qualitatively reviews literature regarding energy system modeling in Japan specific to the future hydrogen economy, leveraging quantitative model outcomes to establish the potential future deployment of hydrogen in Japan. The analysis focuses on the four key sectors of storage, supplementing the gas grid, power generation, and transportation, detailing the potential range of hydrogen technologies which are expected to penetrate Japanese energy markets up to 2050 and beyond. Alongside key model outcomes, the appropriate policy settings, governance and market mechanisms are described which underpin the potential hydrogen economy future for Japan. We find that transportation, gas grid supplementation, and storage end-uses may emerge in significant quantities due to policies which encourage ambitious implementation targets, investment in technologies and research and development, and the emergence of a future carbon pricing regime. On the other hand, for Japan which will initially be dependent on imported hydrogen, the cost of imports appears critical to the emergence of broad hydrogen usage, particularly in the power generation sector. Further, the consideration of demographics in Japan, recognizing the aging, shrinking population and peoples’ energy use preferences will likely be instrumental in realizing a smooth transition toward a hydrogen economy. Full article
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Article
Intraday Electricity Pricing of Night Contracts
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4501; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174501 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
This paper investigates the intraday electricity pricing of 15-min. contracts in night hours. We tailor a recently introduced econometric model with fundamental impacts, which is successful in describing the pricing of day contracts. Our estimation results show that the mean reversion and the [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the intraday electricity pricing of 15-min. contracts in night hours. We tailor a recently introduced econometric model with fundamental impacts, which is successful in describing the pricing of day contracts. Our estimation results show that the mean reversion and the positive price impact of neighboring contracts are generic features of the price formation process on the intraday market, independent of the time of day. Intraday auction prices have higher explanatory power for the pricing of night than day contracts, particularly, for the first and last 15-min. contract in a night hour. Intradaily updated forecasts of wind power infeed are the only significant fundamental factors for intraday electricity prices at night. Neither expected conventional capacities nor the slope of the merit order curve contribute to explaining price dynamics. Overall, we conclude that fundamentals lose in importance in night hours and the 15-min. intraday market is rather driven by price information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uncertainties and Risk Management in Competitive Energy Markets)
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Article
Performance Comparison between Two Established Microgrid Planning MILP Methodologies Tested On 13 Microgrid Projects
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4460; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174460 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) optimization algorithms provide accurate and clear solutions for Microgrid and Distributed Energy Resources projects. Full-scale optimization approaches optimize all time-steps of data sets (e.g., 8760 time-step and higher resolutions), incurring extreme and unpredictable run-times, often prohibiting such approaches [...] Read more.
Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) optimization algorithms provide accurate and clear solutions for Microgrid and Distributed Energy Resources projects. Full-scale optimization approaches optimize all time-steps of data sets (e.g., 8760 time-step and higher resolutions), incurring extreme and unpredictable run-times, often prohibiting such approaches for effective Microgrid designs. To reduce run-times down-sampling approaches exist. Given that the literature evaluates the full-scale and down-sampling approaches only for limited numbers of case studies, there is a lack of a more comprehensive study involving multiple Microgrids. This paper closes this gap by comparing results and run-times of a full-scale 8760 h time-series MILP to a peak preserving day-type MILP for 13 real Microgrid projects. The day-type approach reduces the computational time between 85% and almost 100% (from 2 h computational time to less than 1 min). At the same time the day-type approach keeps the objective function (OF) differences below 1.5% for 77% of the Microgrids. The other cases show OF differences between 6% and 13%, which can be reduced to 1.5% or less by applying a two-stage hybrid approach that designs the Microgrid based on down-sampled data and then performs a full-scale dispatch algorithm. This two stage approach results in 20–99% run-time savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microgrids: Planning, Protection and Control)
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Article
New Reactive Power Compensation Strategies for Railway Infrastructure Capacity Increasing
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4379; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174379 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
In AC railway electrification systems, the impact of reactive power flow in the feeding voltage magnitude is one aspect contributing to the quality of supply degradation. Specifically, this issue results in limitations in the infrastructure capacity, either in the maximum number of trains [...] Read more.
In AC railway electrification systems, the impact of reactive power flow in the feeding voltage magnitude is one aspect contributing to the quality of supply degradation. Specifically, this issue results in limitations in the infrastructure capacity, either in the maximum number of trains and in maximum train power. In this paper, two reactive power compensation strategies are presented and compared, in terms of the theoretical railway infrastructure capacity. The first strategy considers a static VAR compensator, located in the neutral zone and compensating the substation reactive power, achieving a maximum capacity increase up to 50% without depending on each train active power. The second strategy adapts each train reactive power, achieving also a capacity increase around 50%, only with an increase of the train apparent power below 10%. With a smart metering infrastructure, the implementation of such compensation strategy is viable, satisfying the requirements of real-time knowledge of the railway electrification system state. Specifically, the usage of droop curves to adapt in real time the compensation scheme can bring the operation closer to optimality. Thus, the quality of supply and the infrastructure capacity can be increased with a mobile reactive power compensation scheme, based on a smart metering framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power Quality in Electrified Transportation Systems)
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Article
Power and Wind Shear Implications of Large Wind Turbine Scenarios in the US Central Plains
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4269; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164269 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
Continued growth of wind turbine physical dimensions is examined in terms of the implications for wind speed, power and shear across the rotor plane. High-resolution simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model are used to generate statistics of wind speed profiles for [...] Read more.
Continued growth of wind turbine physical dimensions is examined in terms of the implications for wind speed, power and shear across the rotor plane. High-resolution simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting model are used to generate statistics of wind speed profiles for scenarios of current and future wind turbines. The nine-month simulations, focused on the eastern Central Plains, show that the power scales broadly as expected with the increase in rotor diameter (D) and wind speeds at hub-height (H). Increasing wind turbine dimensions from current values (approximately H = 100 m, D = 100 m) to those of the new International Energy Agency reference wind turbine (H = 150 m, D = 240 m), the power across the rotor plane increases 7.1 times. The mean domain-wide wind shear exponent (α) decreases from 0.21 (H = 100 m, D = 100 m) to 0.19 for the largest wind turbine scenario considered (H = 168 m, D = 248 m) and the frequency of extreme positive shear (α > 0.2) declines from 48% to 38% of 10-min periods. Thus, deployment of larger wind turbines potentially yields considerable net benefits for both the wind resource and reductions in fatigue loading related to vertical shear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section B2: Wind, Wave and Tidal Energy)
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Article
Data for Urban Scale Building Energy Modelling: Assessing Impacts and Overcoming Availability Challenges
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4244; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164244 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Data are essential to urban building energy models and yet, obtaining sufficient and accurate building data at a large-scale is challenging. Previous studies have highlighted that the data impact on urban case studies has not been sufficiently discussed. This paper addresses this gap [...] Read more.
Data are essential to urban building energy models and yet, obtaining sufficient and accurate building data at a large-scale is challenging. Previous studies have highlighted that the data impact on urban case studies has not been sufficiently discussed. This paper addresses this gap by providing an analysis of the impact of input data on building energy modelling at an urban scale. The paper proposes a joint review of data impact and data accessibility to identify areas where future survey efforts should be concentrated. Moreover, a Morris sensitivity analysis is carried out on a large-scale residential case study, to rank input parameters by impact on space heating demand. This paper shows that accessible data impact the whole modelling process, from approach selection to model replicability. The sensitivity analysis shows that the setpoint and thermal characteristics were the most impactful for the case study considered. Solutions proposed to overcome availability and accessibility issues include organising annual workshops between data users and data owners, or developing online databases that could be populated on a volunteer-basis by data owners. Overall, overcoming data challenges is essential for the transition towards smarter cities, and will require an improved communication between all city stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section F: Energy and Buildings)
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Article
Power Resilience Enhancement of a Residential Electricity User Using Photovoltaics and a Battery Energy Storage System under Uncertainty Conditions
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4193; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164193 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 24
Abstract
Even in today’s modern electric grid infrastructure, the uncertainty in the power supply is more often seen and is mainly due to power outages. The reasons for power outages might be any of the following: extreme weather events, asset failure, natural disasters, power [...] Read more.
Even in today’s modern electric grid infrastructure, the uncertainty in the power supply is more often seen and is mainly due to power outages. The reasons for power outages might be any of the following: extreme weather events, asset failure, natural disasters, power surges, acute accidents, and even operational errors by the workforce. Such uncertain situations are permitting us to think of it as a resilience problem. In most cases, the power outages may last from a few minutes to a few weeks, depending on the nature of the resilience issue and the power supply system (PSS) configuration. Therefore, it is imperative to understand and improve the resilience of a PSS. In this paper, a four-component resilience framework is proposed to study and compare the resilience of three different PSS configurations of residential electricity users (REUs) considering the realistic power outage conditions in the humid subtropical ecosystem. The proposed PSS configurations contain electric grid (EG), natural gas power generator (NGPG), battery energy storage (BES), and photovoltaics (PV) as the assets. The three PSS configurations of a REUs are EG + BES, EG + NGPG + BES, and EG + PV + BES, respectively, and in these, one REU is only the consumer and the other two REUs are prosumers. By using the proposed framework, simulations are performed on the three PSS configuration to understand the increasing load resiliency in the event of a power outage. Also, a comparative techno-economic and life cycle based environmental assessment is performed to select the most resilient PSS configuration among the EG + BES, EG + NGPG + BES, and EG + PV + BES for an REU. From the results, it was established that EG + PV + BES configuration would enhance the power resilience of an REU better than the other two PSS configurations. Besides, it is also observed that the identified resilient PSS configuration is cost-effective and environmentally efficient. Overall, the proposed framework will enable the REUs to opt for the PSS configuration that is resilient and affordable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Photovoltaic-Battery Systems)
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A GIS-Based Planning Approach for Urban Power and Natural Gas Distribution Grids with Different Heat Pump Scenarios
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4052; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164052 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Next to building insulation, heat pumps driven by electrical compressors (eHPs) or by gas engines (geHPs) can be used to reduce primary energy demand for heating. They come with different investment requirements, operating costs and emissions caused. In addition, they affect both the [...] Read more.
Next to building insulation, heat pumps driven by electrical compressors (eHPs) or by gas engines (geHPs) can be used to reduce primary energy demand for heating. They come with different investment requirements, operating costs and emissions caused. In addition, they affect both the power and gas grids, which necessitates the assessment of both infrastructures regarding grid expansion planning. To calculate costs and CO2 emissions, 2000 electrical load profiles and 180 different heat demand profiles for single-family homes were simulated and heat pump models were applied. In a case study for a neighborhood energy model, the load profiles were assigned to buildings in an example town using public data on locations, building age and energetic refurbishment variants. In addition, the town’s gas distribution network and low voltage grid were modeled. Power and gas flows were simulated and costs for required grid extensions were calculated for 11% and 16% heat pump penetration. It was found that eHPs have the highest energy costs but will also have the lowest CO2 emissions by 2030 and 2050. For the investigated case, power grid investments of 11,800 euros/year are relatively low compared to gas grid connection costs of 70,400 euros/year. If eHPs and geHPs are combined, a slight reduction of overall costs is possible, but emissions would rise strongly compared to the all-electric case. Full article
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Article
Education for Sustainable Energy: Comparison of Different Types of E-Learning Activities
Energies 2020, 13(15), 4022; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13154022 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper reports a comparison of results obtained by using different e-learning strategies for teaching a biogas topic in two courses of the chemical engineering degree at the University of Granada. Particularly, four different asynchronous e-learning activities were carefully chosen: (1) noninteractive videos [...] Read more.
This paper reports a comparison of results obtained by using different e-learning strategies for teaching a biogas topic in two courses of the chemical engineering degree at the University of Granada. Particularly, four different asynchronous e-learning activities were carefully chosen: (1) noninteractive videos and audio files; (2) reading papers and discussion; (3) virtual tour of recommended websites of entities/associations/organizations working in the biogas sector; (4) PowerPoint slides and class notes. Students evaluated their satisfaction level (assessment) and teachers gave scores for evaluation exams (scores). We discuss the results from a quantitative point of view to suggest recommendations for improving e-learning implementations in education for sustainable energy. For dependent variables, reached scores and satisfaction assessment, we find the differences between means for students in two different academic years are no significant. In addition, there are no significant differences between means depending on the type of course. Significant differences appear for scores and satisfaction assessment between different activities. Finally, we deeply analyze the relationship between score and satisfaction assessment. The results show a positive correlation between assessment of e-learning activities and the score level reached by students. Full article
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Article
Occupancy Prediction Using Differential Evolution Online Sequential Extreme Learning Machine Model
Energies 2020, 13(15), 4033; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13154033 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Despite increasing energy efficiency requirements, the full potential of energy efficiency is still unlocked; many buildings in the EU tend to consume more energy than predicted. Gathering data and developing models to predict occupants’ behaviour is seen as the next frontier in sustainable [...] Read more.
Despite increasing energy efficiency requirements, the full potential of energy efficiency is still unlocked; many buildings in the EU tend to consume more energy than predicted. Gathering data and developing models to predict occupants’ behaviour is seen as the next frontier in sustainable design. Measurements in the analysed open-space office showed accordingly 3.5 and 2.7 times lower occupancy compared to the ones given by DesignBuilder’s and EN 16798-1. This proves that proposed occupancy patterns are only suitable for typical open-space offices. The results of the previous studies and proposed occupancy prediction models have limited applications and limited accuracies. In this paper, the hybrid differential evolution online sequential extreme learning machine (DE-OSELM) model was applied for building occupants’ presence prediction in open-space office. The model was not previously applied in this area of research. It was found that prediction using experimentally gained indoor and outdoor parameters for the whole analysed period resulted in a correlation coefficient R2 = 0.72. The best correlation was found with indoor CO2 concentration—R2 = 0.71 for the analysed period. It was concluded that a 4 week measurement period was sufficient for the prediction of the building’s occupancy and that DE-OSELM is a fast and reliable model suitable for this purpose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section B: Sustainable Energy)
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Article
Adaptive Energy Management in 5G Network Slicing: Requirements, Architecture, and Strategies
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3984; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153984 - 02 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Energy consumption is a critical issue for the communications network operators, impacting deeply the cost of the services, as well as the ecological footprint. Network slicing architecture for 5G mobile communications enables multiple independent virtual networks to be created on top of a [...] Read more.
Energy consumption is a critical issue for the communications network operators, impacting deeply the cost of the services, as well as the ecological footprint. Network slicing architecture for 5G mobile communications enables multiple independent virtual networks to be created on top of a common shared physical infrastructure. Each network slice needs different types of resources, including energy, to fulfill the demands requested by each application, operator, or vertical market. The existing literature on network slicing is mainly targeted at the partition of network resources; however, the corresponding management of energy consumption is an unconsidered critical concern. This paper analyzes the requirements for an energy-aware 5G network slicing provisioning according to the 3GPP specifications, proposes an architecture, and studies the strategies to provide efficient energy consumption in terms of renewable and non-renewable sources. NFV and SDN technologies are the essential enablers and leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity provided by 5G networks. This paper also presents the technical 5G technology documentation related to the proposal, the requirements for adaptive energy management, and the Integer Linear Programming (ILP) formulation of the energy management model. To validate the improvements, an exact optimal algorithmic solution is presented and some heuristic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section A5: Smart Grids and Microgrids)
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Article
CFD Simulation and a Pragmatic Analysis of Performance and Emissions of Tomato Seed Biodiesel Blends in a 4-Cylinder Diesel Engine
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3688; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143688 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Rising global concerns about global warming caused by pollution from excessive fossil fuels consumption, along with the high price of them in diesel engines, are the important reasons to search for fuels which is readily available and do not have destructive effects on [...] Read more.
Rising global concerns about global warming caused by pollution from excessive fossil fuels consumption, along with the high price of them in diesel engines, are the important reasons to search for fuels which is readily available and do not have destructive effects on the environment. Biodiesel is arguably the most appropriate and sustainable alternative to diesel fuel. Tomato seeds are one of the potential sources of biodiesel. They make up about 72% by weight of tomato waste, which contains an average of 24% oil. Tomato seed oil (TSO) can be used as a cheap and non-edible source of biodiesel. This paper investigated, both experimentally and numerically, the effects of different diesel–TSOB (tomato seed oil biodiesel) blends on the performance and emissions parameters of a four-cylinder, four-stroke, indirect injection diesel engine. The main goal of the paper was the simulation of the formation process of the emissions in the combustion chamber. The experimentally measured parameters such as torque, brake specific fuel consumption, exhaust gas temperature, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, peak in-cylinder pressure, in-cylinder temperature and Reaction_Progress_Variable at different engine loads and speeds from 1200 to 2400 rpm at increments of 200 rpm are analyzed through ANOVA. The highest brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) was observed for pure diesel and the lowest for the fuel blend with 10% biodiesel. The fuel blend with 20% biodiesel produced the highest torque. The engine was modeled using the AVL FIRE software. The model simulation results revealed that the highest nitrogen oxide (NOx) is produced in the throat of the combustion chamber to the top of the piston, the place of carbon dioxides (CO2) formation is near the combustion chamber boundaries and the location of carbon monoxides (CO) formation is near the combustion chamber boundaries and at the center area of the top of the piston. These results also show that the particulate matter (PM) emissions are formed where the fuel is injected into the combustion chamber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Bio-Energy)
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Article
Optimal Model for Energy Management Strategy in Smart Building with Energy Storage Systems and Electric Vehicles
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3605; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143605 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The aim of this work was to develop an optimal model for an energy management strategy in a real micro-grid, which involves a smart building, a photovoltaic system with storage, and a plug-in full electric vehicle. A controller based on a mathematical algorithm [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to develop an optimal model for an energy management strategy in a real micro-grid, which involves a smart building, a photovoltaic system with storage, and a plug-in full electric vehicle. A controller based on a mathematical algorithm was the core of each strategy, which directly acted on a relay board managing the interconnection between the different elements comprising the micro-grid. The development of an optimization model involving binary variables required an efficient code that achieved solutions in a short time. The analyzed case-study corresponded to the solar energy research center (CIESOL) smart building, a bioclimatic building, that is located at the University of Almería (Spain), designated to research in renewable energies. Using the methodologies described in this work, the total cost of the smart building energy consumption was minimized by decreasing the power supplied from the grid, especially at peak hours. Highlighting the use of a simple model that provided better performance than the current state of the art methodologies. The optimal model for energy management strategy demonstrated the advantages of using classical optimization techniques to solve this specific optimization problem, compared to a rule-based controller. The linear modeling was capable of producing a simple algorithm with less code development and a reduction in the computational effort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Photovoltaic-Battery Systems)
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Article
Cities4ZERO Approach to Foresight for Fostering Smart Energy Transition on Municipal Level
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3533; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143533 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Smart energy transition efforts at the municipal level are gaining importance and go far beyond implementing single projects. Decarbonising cities involves complex strategic planning and needs system level thinking and changes. This has been increasingly realised at the municipal level, but challenges remain [...] Read more.
Smart energy transition efforts at the municipal level are gaining importance and go far beyond implementing single projects. Decarbonising cities involves complex strategic planning and needs system level thinking and changes. This has been increasingly realised at the municipal level, but challenges remain regarding the tools, involvement of stakeholders and on the development of policies. The focus of the research is on the use of participatory foresight for fostering smart energy transition on a municipal level, the key benefits and success factors that participatory foresight brings, and the replicability of this approach. Within the novel Cities4ZERO framework, an overarching methodology for a smart urban decarbonisation transition, guiding cities through the process of developing the most appropriate strategies, plans, projects, as well as looking for the commitment of key local stakeholders for an effective transition–foresight framework, was developed and tested in five pilot cities. Foresight as applied within the Cities4ZERO framework creates a participatory process which brings stakeholders together to achieve unified scenarios, and a common vision for future urban decarbonisation strategies. The methodology is replicable and increases the quality of strategic energy planning by fostering long-term system thinking. Full article
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Article
Optimal Sizing of Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Sources with Reliability Consideration
Energies 2020, 13(13), 3510; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13133510 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper addresses the issue of optimal sizing reliability applied to a fuel cell/battery hybrid system. This specific problem raises the global problem of strong coupling between hardware and control parameters. To tackle this matter, the proposed methodology uses nested optimization loops. Furthermore, [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the issue of optimal sizing reliability applied to a fuel cell/battery hybrid system. This specific problem raises the global problem of strong coupling between hardware and control parameters. To tackle this matter, the proposed methodology uses nested optimization loops. Furthermore, to increase the optimal design relevance, a reliability assessment of the optimal sizing set is introduced. This new paradigm enables showing the early impact of the reliability criteria on design choices regarding energetic performance index. It leads to a smart design methodology permitting to avoid complexity and save computing time. It considerably helps design engineers set up the best hybridization rate and enables practicing tradeoffs, including reliability aspects in the early design stages. Full article
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Article
An Electric Vehicle Charge Scheduling Approach Suited to Local and Supplying Distribution Transformers
Energies 2020, 13(13), 3486; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13133486 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Distribution networks with high electric vehicle (EV) penetration levels can experience transformer overloading and voltage instability issues. A charge scheduling approach is proposed to mitigate against these issues that suits smart home settings in residential areas. It comprises measurement systems located at distribution [...] Read more.
Distribution networks with high electric vehicle (EV) penetration levels can experience transformer overloading and voltage instability issues. A charge scheduling approach is proposed to mitigate against these issues that suits smart home settings in residential areas. It comprises measurement systems located at distribution transformers that communicate directly with fuzzy logic controller (FLC) systems embedded within EV supply equipment (EVSE). This realizes a reduction in data processing requirements compared to more centralized control approaches, which is advantageous for distribution networks with large numbers of transformers and EV scheduling requests. A case study employing the proposed approach is presented. Realistic driver behavior patterns, EV types, and multivariate probabilistic modeling were used to estimate EV charging demands, daily travel mileage, and plug-in times. A Monte Carlo simulation approach was developed to obtain EV charging loads. The effectiveness of mitigation in terms of reducing distribution transformer peak load levels and losses, as well as improving voltage stability is demonstrated for a distribution network in Jakarta, Indonesia. Full article
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Article
Life Cycle Assessment of Classic and Innovative Batteries for Solar Home Systems in Europe
Energies 2020, 13(13), 3454; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13133454 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
This paper presents an environmental sustainability assessment of residential user-scale energy systems, named solar home systems, encompassing their construction, operation, and end of life. The methodology adopted is composed of three steps, namely a design phase, a simulation of the solar home systems’ [...] Read more.
This paper presents an environmental sustainability assessment of residential user-scale energy systems, named solar home systems, encompassing their construction, operation, and end of life. The methodology adopted is composed of three steps, namely a design phase, a simulation of the solar home systems’ performance and a life cycle assessment. The analysis aims to point out the main advantages, features, and challenges of lithium-ion batteries, considered as a benchmark, compared with other innovative devices. As the environmental sustainability of these systems is affected by the solar radiation intensity during the year, a sensitivity analysis is performed varying the latitude of the installation site in Europe. For each site, both isolated and grid-connected solar home systems have been compared considering also the national electricity mix. A general overview of the results shows that, regardless of the installation site, solid state nickel cobalt manganese and nickel cobalt aluminium lithium-ion batteries are the most suitable choices in terms of sustainability. Remarkably, other novel devices, like sodium-ion batteries, are already competitive with them and have great potential. With these batteries, the solar home systems’ eco-profile is generally advantageous compared to the energy mix, especially in on-grid configurations, with some exceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Assessment of Sustainable Energy System)
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Article
Dependencies for Determining the Thermal Conductivity of Moist Capillary-Porous Materials
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3211; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123211 - 20 Jun 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
A method of determining the effective thermal conductivity of moist capillary-porous materials has been proposed, in which calculations are carried out while taking into account all components of the system (solid, liquid and gas) at once. The method makes it easy to take [...] Read more.
A method of determining the effective thermal conductivity of moist capillary-porous materials has been proposed, in which calculations are carried out while taking into account all components of the system (solid, liquid and gas) at once. The method makes it easy to take into account the way water is distributed in the pore space of the material, either as isolated inclusions (drops) or as a continuous component, depending on the moisture content of the material. In the analysis of heat transport in moist capillary-porous materials, the theory of generalized conductivity is used and the structure of moist material is modeled using an ordered geometric structure consisting of identical unit cells in the form of a cube. An equation is obtained for calculating the effective conductivity of capillary-porous materials with isolated and continuous liquid inclusions, with adiabatic and isothermal division of the unit cell. The proposed method is compared to the previously proposed method of determining the effective thermal conductivity of moist materials, in which the three-component system is gradually reduced to a binary system, showing disadvantages of this method compared to the currently proposed. It has been shown that the proposed formulas grant the possibility of a sufficiently accurate prediction of experimental results using the experimental results of the thermal conductivity of moist aerated concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section F: Energy and Buildings)
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Article
Waste to Energy: Solid Fuel Production from Biogas Plant Digestate and Sewage Sludge by Torrefaction-Process Kinetics, Fuel Properties, and Energy Balance
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3161; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123161 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Sustainable solutions are needed to manage increased energy demand and waste generation. Renewable energy production from abundant sewage sludge (SS) and digestate (D) from biogas is feasible. Concerns about feedstock contamination (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria) in SS and D limits [...] Read more.
Sustainable solutions are needed to manage increased energy demand and waste generation. Renewable energy production from abundant sewage sludge (SS) and digestate (D) from biogas is feasible. Concerns about feedstock contamination (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria) in SS and D limits the use (e.g., agricultural) of these carbon-rich resources. Low temperature thermal conversion that results in carbonized solid fuel (CSF) has been proposed as sustainable waste utilization. The aim of the research was to investigate the feasibility of CSF production from SS and D via torrefaction. The CSF was produced at 200~300 °C (interval of 20 °C) for 20~60 min (interval 20 min). The torrefaction kinetics and CSF fuel properties were determined. Next, the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) of SS and D torrefaction were used to build models of energy demand for torrefaction. Finally, the evaluation of the energy balance of CSF production from SS and D was completed. The results showed that torrefaction improved the D-derived CSF’s higher heating value (HHV) up to 11% (p < 0.05), whereas no significant HHV changes for SS were observed. The torrefied D had the highest HHV of 20 MJ∙kg−1 under 300 °C and 30 min, (the curve fitted value from the measured time periods) compared to HHV = 18 MJ∙kg−1 for unprocessed D. The torrefied SS had the highest HHV = 14.8 MJ∙kg−1 under 200 °C and 20 min, compared to HHV 14.6 MJ∙kg−1 for raw SS. An unwanted result of the torrefaction was an increase in ash content in CSF, up to 40% and 22% for SS and D, respectively. The developed model showed that the torrefaction of dry SS and D could be energetically self-sufficient. Generating CSF with the highest HHV requires raw feedstock containing ~15.4 and 45.9 MJ∙kg−1 for SS and D, respectively (assuming that part of feedstock is a source of energy for the process). The results suggest that there is a potential to convert biogas D to CSF to provide renewable fuel for, e.g., plants currently fed/co-fed with municipal solid waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials Recycling and Energy Use of Waste)
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Article
A Real-Time Dynamic Fuel Cell System Simulation for Model-Based Diagnostics and Control: Validation on Real Driving Data
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123148 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
Fuel cell systems are regarded as a promising candidate in replacing the internal combustion engine as a renewable and emission free alternative in automotive applications. However, the operation of a fuel cell stack fulfilling transient power-demands poses significant challenges. Efficiency is to be [...] Read more.
Fuel cell systems are regarded as a promising candidate in replacing the internal combustion engine as a renewable and emission free alternative in automotive applications. However, the operation of a fuel cell stack fulfilling transient power-demands poses significant challenges. Efficiency is to be maximized while adhering to critical constraints, avoiding adverse operational conditions (fuel starvation, membrane flooding or drying, etc.) and mitigating degradation as to increase the life-time of the stack. Owing to this complexity, advanced model-based diagnostic and control methods are increasingly investigated. In this work, a real time stack model is presented and its experimental parameterization is discussed. Furthermore, the stack model is integrated in a system simulation, where the compressor dynamics, the feedback controls for the hydrogen injection and back-pressure valve actuation, and the purging strategy are considered. The resulting system simulation, driven by the set-point values of the operating strategy is evaluated and validated on experimental data obtained from a fuel cell vehicle during on-road operation. It will be shown how the internal states of the fuel cell simulation evolve during the transient operation of the fuel cell vehicle. The measurement data, for which this analysis is conducted, stem from a fuel cell research and demonstrator vehicle, developed by a consortium of several academic and industrial partners under the lead of AVL List GmbH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Systems)
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Article
Partial Discharge Behaviour of a Protrusion in Gas-Insulated Systems under DC Voltage Stress
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3102; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123102 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
High reliability, independence from environmental conditions, and the compact design of gas-insulated systems will lead to a wide application in future high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems. Reliable operation of these assets can be ensured by applying meaningful and robust partial discharge [...] Read more.
High reliability, independence from environmental conditions, and the compact design of gas-insulated systems will lead to a wide application in future high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems. Reliable operation of these assets can be ensured by applying meaningful and robust partial discharge diagnosis during development tests, acceptance tests, or operation. Therefore, the discharge behavior must be well understood. This paper aims to contribute to this understanding by investigating the partial discharge behavior of a distorted weakly inhomogeneous electrode arrangement in sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and synthetic air under high DC voltage stress. In order to get a better understanding, the partial discharge current is measured under the variation of the insulation gas pressure, the gas type, the electric field strength, and the voltage polarity. Derived from this, a classification of the different discharge types is performed. As a result, four different discharge types can be categorized depending on the experimental parameters: discharge impulses, discharge impulses with superimposed pulseless discharges, discharge impulses with superimposed pulseless discharges, and subsequent smaller discharges and pulseless discharges. Concluding suggestions for partial discharge measurements under DC voltage stress are given: recommendations for the necessary measurement time, the applied voltage and polarity, and useful measurement techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outdoor Insulation and Gas Insulated Switchgears)
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