Special Issue "Alternative Energy Sources"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Andrzej L. Wasiak
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Bialystok Tech Univ, Dept Prod Management, Wiejska St 45A, PL-15351 Bialystok, Poland
Interests: energetic efficiency of fuels; production of biofuels; energetic aspects of materials production and recycling; energetic aspects of sustainable development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of fossil fuels caused enormous progress in the development of civilization in the 20th century. Fossil fuels, providing an easy availability and abundance of energy, were the main factors assuring the creation and development of modern technologies.

Actually, the world’s economy is confronted with several problems associated with the present state of fossil fuel exploitation, as well as challenges associated with an increasing demand for energy. Increased atmospheric pollution, widely discussed effects of carbon dioxide emission, etc., are on one side of the problem. The other side is the unavoidable exhaustion of fossil resources themselves.

Efforts undertaken under the name "energy efficiency", tending to optimize the productivity of energy being consumed, are very important, but physically limited.

The mitigation of energy consumption by limiting the access to the energy resources seems to be unacceptable since it would result in stagnation or even regression in the global economy, and would cause a world-wide decrease in standard of life.

Consequently, the search for new resources as well as the development of corresponding technologies is needed. In fact, substantial achievements in this direction have already been made.

It is difficult to imagine instantaneous world-wide transfer to any new technology. Progress must be achieved by the gradual replacement of the old resources and technologies with developing ones. It would be nice to avoid big mistakes involving attempts to develop routes that go nowhere. Therefore, there is a need for a wide spectrum of research on alternative resources, including renewable ones, as well as those that seem to be inexhaustible (solar energy is one such example, but resources enabling the construction of appropriate converters are more or less limited).

One of the important factors is the energetic efficiency of the harvesting and exploitation of energy derived from both fossil and alternative resources. It can be expressed as a ratio of energy delivered by the converting system to the sum of energy fluxes consumed by that system in order to assure its functioning. The search for conversion routes that consume only a small part of the energy being delivered is perhaps the biggest challenge for technological development.

The present Issue is devoted to topics that reveal the state-of-the-art in the knowledge and technological development in all of the aspects discussed above. Papers concerning existing as well as novel concepts are highly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Andrzej Wasiak
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • alternative energy
  • renewable energy
  • energetic efficiency
  • energy productivity
  • carbon dioxide
  • alternative fuels

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of a Modified Equivalent Fuel-Consumption Minimization Strategy Considering Engine Start Frequency and Battery Parameters for a Plugin Hybrid Two-Wheeler
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3122; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123122 - 16 Jun 2020
Abstract
An appropriate energy management strategy is essential to enhance the performance of hybrid electric vehicles. A novel modified equivalent fuel-consumption minimization strategy (ECMS) is developed considering the engine operating point deviation from the optimum operating line. This paper focuses on an all-inclusive evaluation [...] Read more.
An appropriate energy management strategy is essential to enhance the performance of hybrid electric vehicles. A novel modified equivalent fuel-consumption minimization strategy (ECMS) is developed considering the engine operating point deviation from the optimum operating line. This paper focuses on an all-inclusive evaluation of this modified ECMS with other state-of-art energy management strategies concerning battery ageing, engine switching along with fuel economy and charge sustenance. The simulation-based results of a hybrid two-wheeler concept are analysed, which shows that the modified ECMS offers the highest benefit compared to rule-based controllers concerning fuel economy and reduction in engine switching events. However, the improvement in fuel economy using modified ECMS has significant negative potential effects on critical battery parameters influencing battery ageing. The results are analysed and found consistent for two different drive cycles and three different powertrain component configurations. The results show a significant reduction in fuel consumption of up to 21.18% and a reduction in engine switching events of up to 55% with modified ECMS when compared with rule-based strategies. However, there is a significant increase in battery temperature by 31% and battery throughput by 378%, which plays a major role in accelerating battery ageing. This paper emphasizes the need to consider battery-ageing parameters along with other control objectives for a robust assessment of energy management strategies. This study helps in laying down a foundation for future improvements in energy management development and it also aids in establishing a basis for comparing energy management controllers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Waste Plastic Oil-Biodiesel Blends as Alternative Fuels for Diesel Engines
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2823; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112823 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
This study examined the use of waste plastic oil (WPO) combined with biodiesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engines, also commonly known as compression ignition engines, and focused on comparison of the basic physical and chemical properties of fuels, engine performance, combustion [...] Read more.
This study examined the use of waste plastic oil (WPO) combined with biodiesel as an alternative fuel for diesel engines, also commonly known as compression ignition engines, and focused on comparison of the basic physical and chemical properties of fuels, engine performance, combustion characteristics, and exhaust emissions. A preliminary study was conducted to determine the suitable ratio for the fuel blends in consideration of fuel lubricity and viscosity, and these results indicated that 10% biodiesel—derived from either palm oil or castor oil—in waste plastic oil was optimal. In addition, characterization of the basic properties of these fuel blends revealed that they had higher density and specific gravity and a lower flash point than diesel fuel, while the fuel heating value, viscosity, and cetane index were similar. The fuel blends, comprised of waste plastic oil with either 10% palm oil biodiesel (WPOP10) or 10% castor oil biodiesel (WPOC10), were selected for further investigation in engine tests in which diesel fuel and waste plastic oil were also included as baseline fuels. The experimental results of the performance of the engine showed that the combustion of WPO was similar to diesel fuel for all the tested engine loads and the addition of castor oil as compared to palm oil biodiesel caused a delay in the start of the combustion. Both biodiesel blends slightly improved brake thermal efficiency and smoke emissions with respect to diesel fuel. The addition of biodiesel to WPO tended to reduce the levels of hydrocarbon- and oxide-containing nitrogen emissions. One drawback of adding biodiesel to WPO was increased carbon monoxide and smoke. Comparing the two biodiesels used in the study, the presence of castor oil in waste plastic oil showed lower carbon monoxide and smoke emissions without penalty in terms of increased levels of hydrocarbon- and oxide-containing nitrogen emissions when the engine was operated at high load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Potentiality of Waste-to-Energy Sector Coupling in the MENA Region: Jordan as a Case Study
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2786; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112786 - 01 Jun 2020
Abstract
Population growth, urbanization, and changes in lifestyle have led to an increase in waste generation quantities. The waste management system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is still considered an adolescent system, while developed countries have made great progress in [...] Read more.
Population growth, urbanization, and changes in lifestyle have led to an increase in waste generation quantities. The waste management system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is still considered an adolescent system, while developed countries have made great progress in this field, including regulation, financing, administration, separation at source, recycling, and converting waste to energy. At the same time, in the MENA region, the best performance of the recycling process is around 7–10% of total waste. Nowadays, many developed countries like Germany are shifting from waste management to material flow systems, which represent the core of a circular economy. Also, it should be stated here that all countries that have a robust and integrated waste management system include waste-to-energy (W-to-E) incineration plants in their solutions for dealing with residual waste, which is still generated after passing through the entire treatment cycle (hierarchy). Therefore, this paper illustrates the potentiality of embedding waste incineration plants in the MENA region, especially in large cities, and addressing the economic and financial issues for the municipalities. Cities in these countries would like to build and operate waste treatment plants; however, municipalities do not have the sustainable investment and operating costs. The solution is to maximize the income from the output, such as energy, recycling materials, etc. In addition, the MENA region is facing another dilemma, which is water scarcity due to climate change, increasing evaporation, and reduction of precipitation. This research illustrates a simulated model for a waste incineration plant in the MENA region. The EBSILON 13.2 software package was used to achieve this process. Furthermore, the simulated plant applies the concept of waste-to-energy-to-water, so that not only is waste converted to energy but, by efficient usage of multi-stage flash (MSF) technology, this system is able to generate 23 MWe of electric power and 8500 m3/day of potable water. A cost analysis was also implemented to calculate the cost of thermal treatment of each ton of municipal solid waste (MSW) during the life span of the plant. It was found that the average cost of treatment over 30 years would be around US$39/ton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Classifying the Level of Energy-Environmental Efficiency Rating of Brazilian Ethanol
Energies 2020, 13(8), 2067; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13082067 - 21 Apr 2020
Abstract
The present study aimed to assess and classify energy-environmental efficiency levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the production, commercialization, and use of biofuels certified by the Brazilian National Biofuel Policy (RenovaBio). The parameters of the level of energy-environmental efficiency were standardized and [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to assess and classify energy-environmental efficiency levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the production, commercialization, and use of biofuels certified by the Brazilian National Biofuel Policy (RenovaBio). The parameters of the level of energy-environmental efficiency were standardized and categorized according to the Energy-Environmental Efficiency Rating (E-EER). The rating scale varied between lower efficiency (D) and high efficiency + (highest efficiency A+). The classification method with the J48 decision tree and naive Bayes algorithms was used to predict the models. The classification of the E-EER scores using a decision tree using the J48 algorithm and Bayesian classifiers using the naive Bayes algorithm produced decision tree models efficient at estimating the efficiency level of Brazilian ethanol producers and importers certified by the RenovaBio. The rules generated by the models can assess the level classes (efficiency scores) according to the scale discretized into high efficiency (Classification A), average efficiency (Classification B), and standard efficiency (Classification C). These results might generate an ethanol energy-environmental efficiency label for the end consumers and resellers of the product, to assist in making a purchase decision concerning its performance. The best classification model was naive Bayes, compared to the J48 decision tree. The classification of the Energy Efficiency Note levels using the naive Bayes algorithm produced a model capable of estimating the efficiency level of Brazilian ethanol to create labels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Theoretical Study on the Critical Breaking Velocity of Marine Natural Gas Hydrate Sediments Breaking by Water Jet
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1725; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071725 - 04 Apr 2020
Abstract
Water jet technology is a key technology in the marine natural gas hydrate (NGH) solid fluidization mining method. As an important parameter in water jet breaking NGH sediments technology, the critical breaking velocity of NGH sediments is unknown. In the present research, an [...] Read more.
Water jet technology is a key technology in the marine natural gas hydrate (NGH) solid fluidization mining method. As an important parameter in water jet breaking NGH sediments technology, the critical breaking velocity of NGH sediments is unknown. In the present research, an orthogonal design experiment is carried out to study the critical velocity of NGH breakage by water jet, using frozen soil and sand as experimental samples. First, the time it takes to reach maximum NGH breaking depth is determined. Then, ultimate breaking distance is studied with respect to the NGH saturation, jet pressure, and nozzle diameter. Following that, the variation of critical velocity with NGH saturation is analyzed. Eventually, a formula to calculate the critical velocity for marine NGH breakage by water jet process is established, and the undetermined coefficient (η) in the formula is calibrated with the experiment data. The results show that the ultimate breaking distance is mostly achieved within 63 s. The three experimental factors in order of the effect on the ultimate breaking depth (from high to low) are NGH saturation, jet pressure, and nozzle diameter. The critical velocities for marine NGH breakage corresponding to the NGH saturations of 20%, 40,%, 6%, and 80% are 5.71 m/s, 7.14 m/s, 9.60 m/s, and 10.85 m/s, respectively. The undetermined coefficient η in critical velocity formula is 1.44 m/s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Energy, Economic, and Environmental Evaluation of a Proposed Solar-Wind Power On-grid System Using HOMER Pro®: A Case Study in Colombia
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071662 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The electrical sector in the Caribbean region of Colombia is currently facing problems that affect its reliability. Many thermo-electric plants are required to fill the gap and ensure energy supply. This paper thus proposes a hybrid renewable energy generation plant that could supply [...] Read more.
The electrical sector in the Caribbean region of Colombia is currently facing problems that affect its reliability. Many thermo-electric plants are required to fill the gap and ensure energy supply. This paper thus proposes a hybrid renewable energy generation plant that could supply a percentage of the total energy demand and reduce the environmental impact of conventional energy generation. The hybrid plant works with a photovoltaic (PV) system and wind turbine systems, connected in parallel with the grid to supply a renewable fraction of the total energy demand. The investigation was conducted in three steps: the first stage determined locations where the energy system was able to take advantage of renewable sources, the second identified a location that could work more efficiently from an economic perspective, and finally, the third step estimated the number of PV solar panels and wind turbines required to guarantee optimal functioning for this location using, as a main method of calculation, the software HOMER pro® for hybrid optimization with multiple energy resources. The proposed system is expected to not only limit environmental impacts but also decrease total costs of electric grid consumption from thermoelectric plants. The simulations helped identify Puerto Bolivar, Colombia, as the location where the hybrid plant made the best use of non-conventional resources of energy. However, Rancho Grande was found to offer the system more efficiency, while generating a considerable amount of energy at the lowest possible cost. An optimal combination was also obtained—441 PV arrays and 3 wind turbines, resulting in a net present cost (NPC) of $11.8 million and low CO2 production of 244.1 tons per year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Wind Power Plant Modernization
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061461 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The production of energy in wind power plants is regarded as ecologically clean because there being no direct emissions of harmful substances during the conversion of wind energy into electricity. The production and operation of wind power plant components make use of the [...] Read more.
The production of energy in wind power plants is regarded as ecologically clean because there being no direct emissions of harmful substances during the conversion of wind energy into electricity. The production and operation of wind power plant components make use of the significant potential of materials such as steel, plastics, concrete, oils, and greases. Energy is also used, which is a source of potential negative environmental impacts. Servicing a wind farm power plant during its operational years, which lasts most often 25 years, followed by its disassembly, involves energy expenditures as well as the recovery of post-construction material potential. There is little research in the world literature on models and methodologies addressing analyses of the environmental and energy aspects of wind turbine modernization, whether in reference to turbines within their respective lifecycles or to those which have already completed them. The paper presents an attempt to solve the problems of wind turbine modernization in terms of balancing energy and material potentials. The aim of sustainable modernization is to overhaul: assemblies, components, and elements of wind power plants to extend selected phases as well as the lifecycle thereof while maintaining a high quality of power and energy; high energy, environmental, and economic efficiency; and low harmfulness to operators, operational functions, the environment, and other technical systems. The aim of the study is to develop a methodology to assess the efficiency of energy and environmental costs incurred during the 25-year lifecycle of a 2 MW wind power plant and of the very same power plant undergoing sustainable modernization to extend its lifecycle to 50 years. The analytical and research procedure conducted is a new model and methodological approach, one which is a valuable source of data for the sustainable lifecycle management of wind power plants in an economy focused on process efficiency and the sustainability of energy and material resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
The Integrated Energy Consumption Index for Energy Biomass Grinding Technology Assessment
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061417 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The assessment of engineering objects in terms of energy consumption is an important part of sustainable development. Many materials, including those from the energy sector, need to undergo earlier processing, e.g., grinding. Grinding processes still demand a significant amount of energy, whereas current [...] Read more.
The assessment of engineering objects in terms of energy consumption is an important part of sustainable development. Many materials, including those from the energy sector, need to undergo earlier processing, e.g., grinding. Grinding processes still demand a significant amount of energy, whereas current energy assessment methods do not take into account important parameters of the process, which makes it difficult to choose their optimal values. The study presents the analysis, testing, and assessment of mechanical engineering systems in terms of the energy consumption involved in the grinding of biomass intended for energy production purposes. A testing methodology was developed to improve the parameters of multi-disc grinding, including the reduction of energy consumption, power input, product quality improvement, and process efficiency. An original model of integrated energy consumption was developed. Tests were carried out on a five-disc grinder for five programs to assess the programmable angular speeds of the grinder discs. Output values, including specific energy demand, fragmentation degree, and integrated energy consumption, were assigned to each testing program. The test results were subjected to statistical analysis. Based on the authors’ own research, it was found that the angular speed of the discs and, consequently, the linear speed of the grinding blades, have a significant influence on the values of the integrated energy consumption of the preliminary process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Advanced Turbine Cycles with Organic Media
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061327 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power plants have become very popular and have found their applications in systems with renewable sources of energy. So far their overall efficiencies are not very impressive and only for the upper temperature of about 300 °C do they [...] Read more.
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power plants have become very popular and have found their applications in systems with renewable sources of energy. So far their overall efficiencies are not very impressive and only for the upper temperature of about 300 °C do they exceed 20%. A drawback of these cycles is the limitation of the cycle upper temperature due to the heat exchanger technology and the materials used. However, it is possible to overcome these difficulties by certain modifications of the thermodynamic cycles, a proper choice of the working medium and the optimization of cycle parameters. In the paper the problems of choosing the working medium and the question of higher temperature at the turbine inlet have been discussed. Different modifications of the schemas of the thermodynamic cycles have also been taken into account. The variants of power plants with regenerators, reheaters and heat exchangers have been considered. The proposed increase in temperature (in some cases up to 600 °C or higher) and innovative modifications of the thermodynamic cycles allow to obtain the power plant efficiency of above 50%. The modified cycles have been described in detail in the paper. The proposed cycles equipped with regenerators and reheaters can have the efficiency even slightly higher than classical steam turbine plants with a reheater and regenerators. Appropriate cycle and turbine calculations have been performed for the micro power plants of turbine output in the range of 10 kW–300 kW (up to several MW in some cases). The best arrangements achieved very high values of the overall cycle efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Effect of CO2 Partial Pressure on CH4 Recovery in CH4-CO2 Swap with Simulated IGCC Syngas
Energies 2020, 13(5), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13051017 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
To investigate the influence of CO2 partial pressure on efficiency of CH4-CO2 swap from natural gas hydrates (NGHs), the replacement of CH4 from natural gas hydrate (NGH) is carried out with simulated Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) syngas [...] Read more.
To investigate the influence of CO2 partial pressure on efficiency of CH4-CO2 swap from natural gas hydrates (NGHs), the replacement of CH4 from natural gas hydrate (NGH) is carried out with simulated Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) syngas under different pressures, and the gas chromatography (GC), in-situ Raman, and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) are employed to analyze the hydrate compositions and hydrate structures. The results show that with the P-T (pressure and temperature) condition shifting from that above the hydrate equilibrium curve of IGCC syngas to that below the hydrate equilibrium curve of IGCC syngas, the rate of CH4 recovery drastically rises from 32% to 71%. The presence of water can be clearly observed when P-T condition is above the hydrate equilibrium curve of IGCC syngas; however the presence of water only occurs at the interface between gas phase and hydrate phase. No H2 is found to present in the final hydrate phase at the end of process of CH4-CO2 swap with IGCC syngas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on the Kinetics of Pyrolysis of Wood-Based Panels in Terms of Waste Management
Energies 2019, 12(19), 3705; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12193705 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Currently, there is a lot of interest in implementing the idea of a circular economy along with searching for optimal methods of waste management in terms of raw materials and energy. Waste wood-based floor panels are part of this discussion with regard to [...] Read more.
Currently, there is a lot of interest in implementing the idea of a circular economy along with searching for optimal methods of waste management in terms of raw materials and energy. Waste wood-based floor panels are part of this discussion with regard to its management. The interest in this waste results from statistics and the prediction of its future quantities on the waste market. The separation and testing of individual layers of the waste floor panel was undertaken to answer the following question: Is it reasonable to mechanically separate the contaminated upper panel layer from the remaining part (which is suitable for material recycling) and subject it to thermal transformation methods? Thermogravimetric studies did not confirm the rationale of mechanical separation of layers for further management. Therefore, the use of pyrolysis was proposed as an alternative by showing the advantages of this process in the thermal transformation of the tested waste. The analyzed kinetics of this process included: mass loss, the influence of heating rate on the decomposition process, the impact of volatile parts in the substrate on the rate of mass loss, and the share of coke residue. Empirical formulas of the tested substrates in the molecular formula C–H–O–N (carbon-hydrogen-oxygen-nitrogen) were also proposed to assess its energy usefulness by entering the analyzed waste into a Van Krevelen diagram. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Optimization of an Integrated Turbo-Generator and Thermoelectric Generator for Vehicle Exhaust Electrical Energy Recovery
Energies 2019, 12(16), 3134; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12163134 - 15 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The performance of turbo-generators significantly depends on the design of the power turbine. In addition, the thermoelectric generator can convert waste heat into another source of energy. This research aims to design and optimize an integrated turbo-generator and thermoelectric generator for diesel engines. [...] Read more.
The performance of turbo-generators significantly depends on the design of the power turbine. In addition, the thermoelectric generator can convert waste heat into another source of energy. This research aims to design and optimize an integrated turbo-generator and thermoelectric generator for diesel engines. The goal is to generate electricity from the vehicle exhaust gas. Electrical energy is derived from generators using the flow, pressure, and temperature of exhaust gases from combustion engines and heat-waste. In the case of turbo-generators and thermoelectric generators, the system automatically adjusts the power provided by an inverter. Typically, vehicle exhausts are discarded to the environment. Hence, the proposed conversion to electrical energy will reduce the alternator charging system. This work focuses on design optimization of a turbo-generator and thermoelectric generator for 2500 cc. diesel engines, due to their widespread usage. The concept, however, can also be applied to gasoline engines. Moreover, this model is designed for a hybrid vehicle. Charging during running will save time at the charging station. The optimization by variable van angles of 40°, 50°, 62°, 70°, and 80° shows that the best output power is 62°, which is identical to that calculated. The maximum power outputted from the designed prototype was 1262 watts when operating with an exhaust mass flow rate of 0.1024 kg/s at 3400 rpm (high performance of the engine). This research aims to reduce fuel consumption and reduce pollution from the exhaust, especially for hybrid vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources)
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