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Special Issue "Energy Conservation in Infrastructures"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hossam A. Gabbar

Energy Safety & Control Lab, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, and Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (Cross-Appointed), University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 905 721 8668 ext 5497
Interests: resilient smart energy grids and micro energy grids planning, control, and protection; advanced plasma generation and application on fusion energy; advanced safety and control systems for nuclear power plants; safety engineering, fault diagnosis and real time simulation; risk-based energy conservation, smart green buildings; process systems engineering of energy and nuclear facilities, and oil and gas production plants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue invites researchers from academia and industries to submit novel ideas, best practices, and case studies on energy conservation in infrastructures, such as commercial and residential buildings, towers, and houses, and government and public facilities, as well as transportation and roads.
Short and regular papers are expected to discuss challenges in energy conservation measures, analysis, control, and optimization for energy supply, storage, and conversion technologies that covers thermal, gas, and electricity systems.

Prof. Dr. Hossam A. Gabbar (Gaber)
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • infrastructure energy conservation
  • infrastructure thermal energy conservation
  • gas conservation in infrastructures
  • electric energy conservation in infrastructure
  • energy loss minimization in infrastructure
  • energy efficiency improvement in infrastructure

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Study on Development of a Cost Optimal and Energy Saving Building Model: Focused on Industrial Building
Energies 2016, 9(3), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9030181
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 12 March 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6343 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study suggests an optimization method for the life cycle cost (LCC) in an economic feasibility analysis when applying energy saving techniques in the early design stage of a building. Literature and previous studies were reviewed to select appropriate optimization and LCC analysis [...] Read more.
This study suggests an optimization method for the life cycle cost (LCC) in an economic feasibility analysis when applying energy saving techniques in the early design stage of a building. Literature and previous studies were reviewed to select appropriate optimization and LCC analysis techniques. The energy simulation (Energy Plus) and computational program (MATLAB) were linked to provide an automated optimization process. From the results, it is suggested that this process could outline the cost optimization model with which it is possible to minimize the LCC. To aid in understanding the model, a case study on an industrial building was performed to outline the operations of the cost optimization model including energy savings. An energy optimization model was also presented to illustrate the need for the cost optimization model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Mobile Application for Building Energy Prediction Using Performance Prediction Model
Energies 2016, 9(3), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9030160
Received: 20 August 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2016 / Accepted: 26 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, the Korean government has enforced disclosure of building energy performance, so that such information can help owners and prospective buyers to make suitable investment plans. Such a building energy performance policy of the government makes it mandatory for the building owners to [...] Read more.
Recently, the Korean government has enforced disclosure of building energy performance, so that such information can help owners and prospective buyers to make suitable investment plans. Such a building energy performance policy of the government makes it mandatory for the building owners to obtain engineering audits and thereby evaluate the energy performance levels of their buildings. However, to calculate energy performance levels (i.e., asset rating methodology), a qualified expert needs to have access to at least the full project documentation and/or conduct an on-site inspection of the buildings. Energy performance certification costs a lot of time and money. Moreover, the database of certified buildings is still actually quite small. A need, therefore, is increasing for a simplified and user-friendly energy performance prediction tool for non-specialists. Also, a database which allows building owners and users to compare best practices is required. In this regard, the current study developed a simplified performance prediction model through experimental design, energy simulations and ANOVA (analysis of variance). Furthermore, using the new prediction model, a related mobile application was also developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Feasibility Assessment of Using Power Plant Waste Heat in Large Scale Horticulture Facility Energy Supply Systems
Energies 2016, 9(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9020112
Received: 3 September 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, the Korean government has been carrying out projects to construct several large scale horticulture facilities. However, it is difficult for an energy supply to operate stably and economically with only a conventional fossil fuel boiler system. For this reason, several unused energy [...] Read more.
Recently, the Korean government has been carrying out projects to construct several large scale horticulture facilities. However, it is difficult for an energy supply to operate stably and economically with only a conventional fossil fuel boiler system. For this reason, several unused energy sources have become attractive and it was found that power plant waste heat has the greatest potential for application in this scenario. In this study, we performed a feasibility assessment of power plant waste heat as an energy source for horticulture facilities. As a result, it was confirmed that there was a sufficient amount of energy potential for the use of waste heat to supply energy to the assumed area. In Dangjin, an horticultural area of 500 ha could be constructed by utilizing 20% of the energy reserves. In Hadong, a horticulture facility can be set up to be 260 ha with 7.4% of the energy reserves. In Youngdong, an assumed area of 65 ha could be built utilizing about 19% of the energy reserves. Furthermore, the payback period was calculated in order to evaluate the economic feasibility compared with a conventional system. The initial investment costs can be recovered by the approximately 83% reduction in the annual operating costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle ANN-Based Prediction and Optimization of Cooling System in Hotel Rooms
Energies 2015, 8(10), 10775-10795; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81010775
Received: 15 June 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 23 September 2015 / Published: 28 September 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (945 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed at developing an artificial-neural-network (ANN)-based model that can calculate the required time for restoring the current indoor temperature during the setback period in accommodation buildings to the normal set-point temperature in the cooling season. By applying the calculated time in [...] Read more.
This study aimed at developing an artificial-neural-network (ANN)-based model that can calculate the required time for restoring the current indoor temperature during the setback period in accommodation buildings to the normal set-point temperature in the cooling season. By applying the calculated time in the control logic, the operation of the cooling system can be predetermined to condition the indoor temperature comfortably in a more energy-efficient manner. Three major steps employing the numerical computer simulation method were conducted for developing an ANN model and testing its prediction performance. In the development process, the initial ANN model was determined to have input neurons that had a significant statistical relationship with the output neuron. In addition, the structure of the ANN model and learning methods were optimized through the parametrical analysis of the prediction performance. Finally, through the performance tests in terms of prediction accuracy, the optimized ANN model presented a lower mean biased error (MBE) rate between the simulation and prediction results under generally accepted levels. Thus, the developed ANN model was proven to have the potential to be applied to thermal control logic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Development of the Hybrid Operation Method of a Multi-Geothermal Heat Pump System and Absorption Chiller-Heater
Energies 2015, 8(9), 9320-9343; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8099320
Received: 8 June 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Considerable efforts have been made to reduce the energy consumption of buildings due to the energy crisis, and, the Korean government has supported the use of renewable energy through various grants. Among the possible renewable energy sources, geothermal energy can be used regardless [...] Read more.
Considerable efforts have been made to reduce the energy consumption of buildings due to the energy crisis, and, the Korean government has supported the use of renewable energy through various grants. Among the possible renewable energy sources, geothermal energy can be used regardless of the outside weather. Therefore, energy consumption can be reduced considerably in summer and winter. Despite the increasing use of renewable energy, the use of renewables has not been operating appropriately. Therefore, this study examined some of the problems of the operation of renewable energy and some possible improvements. The aim of the study is to evaluate a building containing an actual installed multi-geothermal heat pump (Multi-GHP) system, in terms of the energy efficiency. In addition, this study evaluated the present control system and the method of complex operation regarding existing heat sources systems and GHP systems through a simulation. The results can be regarded as the result of a hybrid operation method for the improvement of an existing operation. Therefore, the Multi-GHP system energy use of a hybrid operation condition of the Multi-GHP systems and the absorption (ABS) chiller-heater system was reduced compared to the operation condition of the Multi-GHP system, and the total energy consumption of the heat source equipment was reduced. The proposed operation plan was evaluated after applying the system to a building. These results showed that the efficient operation of a Multi-GHP hybrid operation method is possible. As a result, the GHP energy use of Multi-GHP systems and the ABS chiller-heater system was reduced by 30% compared to existing operation and the total energy consumption of heat source equipment was reduced by 78%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in Sunlight and Outdoor Thermal Environment Conditions Based on the Layout Plan of Flat Type Apartment Houses
Energies 2015, 8(9), 9155-9172; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8099155
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 18 August 2015 / Accepted: 24 August 2015 / Published: 27 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic growths lead to population increases in large cities. This has brought about the growing necessity for apartment housing which has resulted in higher density populations living in high-rise apartment complexes. Therefore, the urban microclimate is aggravated due to the increasing ratio of [...] Read more.
Economic growths lead to population increases in large cities. This has brought about the growing necessity for apartment housing which has resulted in higher density populations living in high-rise apartment complexes. Therefore, the urban microclimate is aggravated due to the increasing ratio of artificial coverage and substandard daylight availability. To achieve a comfortable living environment and improve urban microclimates, a process considering the daylight availability and the outdoor thermal environment is required when designing apartment housing complexes. This study selected a total of 27 valid cases using an orthogonal array, L27(313) design of experiments (DOE). As a result of significance probability obtained in DOE analysis, the design factors that have an effect on the outdoor thermal environment and daylight availability were found to be building coverage ratio, distance between buildings, and azimuth. The rankings of the effect of design factors were shown to be in the order of azimuth > building coverage ratio > distance between buildings > floor area ratio > width/depth ratio. The surface temperature of the whole building decreased by 0.3 °C and Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT) decreased by 1.1 °C as a result of applying the greenery coverage ratio to apartment complexes. Heat Island Potential (HIP) also showed a decrease of 5.4 °C (at noon). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Synergetic Effect between Lighting Efficiency Enhancement and Building Energy Reduction Using Alternative Thermal Operating System of Indoor LED Lighting
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8736-8748; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088736
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 17 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1806 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the synergetic effect between light-emitting diode (LED) lighting efficiency and building energy savings in heating and cooling using an alternative thermal operating system (ATOS) of indoor LED lighting integrated with the ventilation system of a building as an active cooling device. [...] Read more.
We investigated the synergetic effect between light-emitting diode (LED) lighting efficiency and building energy savings in heating and cooling using an alternative thermal operating system (ATOS) of indoor LED lighting integrated with the ventilation system of a building as an active cooling device. The heat generated from LED lighting and the indoor lighting illuminance were experimentally determined. The indoor heat gains in cooling and heating periods were determined using measurement data; the annual energy savings of an office building in heating and cooling were calculated through simulation. The LED lighting illuminance increased by approximately 40% and the lighting contribution for indoor heat gain was 7.8% in summer, while 69.8% in winter with the ATOS. Consequently, the annual total energy use of the office building could be reduced by 5.9%; the energy use in cooling and heating was reduced by 18.4% and 3.3%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency Indicators for Assessing Construction Systems Storing Renewable Energy: Application to Phase Change Material-Bearing Façades
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8630-8649; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088630
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 1 August 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 13 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessing the performance or energy efficiency of a single construction element by itself is often a futile exercise. That is not the case, however, when an element is designed, among others, to improve building energy performance by harnessing renewable energy in a process [...] Read more.
Assessing the performance or energy efficiency of a single construction element by itself is often a futile exercise. That is not the case, however, when an element is designed, among others, to improve building energy performance by harnessing renewable energy in a process that requires a source of external energy. Harnessing renewable energy is acquiring growing interest in Mediterranean climates as a strategy for reducing the energy consumed by buildings. When such reduction is oriented to lowering demand, the strategy consists in reducing the building’s energy needs with the use of construction elements able to passively absorb, dissipate, or accumulate energy. When reduction is pursued through M&E services, renewable energy enhances building performance. The efficiency of construction systems that use renewable energy but require a supplementary power supply to operate can be assessed by likening these systems to regenerative heat exchangers built into the building. The indicators needed for this purpose are particularly useful for designers, for they can be used to compare the efficiency or performance to deliver an optimal design for each building. This article proposes a series of indicators developed to that end and describes their application to façades bearing phase change materials (PCMs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Study of Power Flow Algorithm of AC/DC Distribution System including VSC-MTDC
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8391-8405; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088391
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, distributed generation and a large number of sensitive AC and DC loads have been connected to distribution networks, which introduce a series of challenges to distribution network operators (DNOs). In addition, the advantages of DC distribution networks, such as the [...] Read more.
In recent years, distributed generation and a large number of sensitive AC and DC loads have been connected to distribution networks, which introduce a series of challenges to distribution network operators (DNOs). In addition, the advantages of DC distribution networks, such as the energy conservation and emission reduction, mean that the voltage source converter based multi-terminal direct current (VSC-MTDC) for AC/DC distribution systems demonstrates a great potential, hence drawing growing research interest. In this paper, considering losses of the reactor, the filter and the converter, a mathematical model of VSC-HVDC for the load flow analysis is derived. An AC/DC distribution network architecture has been built, based on which the differences in modified equations of the VSC-MTDC-based network under different control modes are analyzed. In addition, corresponding interface functions under five control modes are provided, and a back/forward iterative algorithm which is applied to power flow calculation of the AC/DC distribution system including VSC-MTDC is proposed. Finally, by calculating the power flow of the modified IEEE14 AC/DC distribution network, the efficiency and validity of the model and algorithm are evaluated. With various distributed generations connected to the network at appropriate locations, power flow results show that network losses and utilization of transmission networks are effectively reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Prediction Performance of an Artificial Neural Network Model for the Amount of Cooling Energy Consumption in Hotel Rooms
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8226-8243; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088226
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (704 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted to develop an artificial neural network (ANN)-based prediction model that can calculate the amount of cooling energy during the setback period of accommodation buildings. By comparing the amount of energy needed for diverse setback temperatures, the most energy-efficient optimal [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to develop an artificial neural network (ANN)-based prediction model that can calculate the amount of cooling energy during the setback period of accommodation buildings. By comparing the amount of energy needed for diverse setback temperatures, the most energy-efficient optimal setback temperature could be found and applied in the thermal control logic. Three major processes that used the numerical simulation method were conducted for the development and optimization of an ANN model and for the testing of its prediction performance, respectively. First, the structure and learning method of the initial ANN model was determined to predict the amount of cooling energy consumption during the setback period. Then, the initial structure and learning methods of the ANN model were optimized using parametrical analysis to compare its prediction accuracy levels. Finally, the performance tests of the optimized model proved its prediction accuracy with the lower coefficient of variation of the root mean square errors (CVRMSEs) of the simulated results and the predicted results under generally accepted levels. In conclusion, the proposed ANN model proved its potential to be applied to the thermal control logic for setting up the most energy-efficient setback temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle An Environmental and Economic Assessment for Selecting the Optimal Ground Heat Exchanger by Considering the Entering Water Temperature
Energies 2015, 8(8), 7752-7776; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8087752
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 23 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 29 July 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to solve environmental problems such as global warming and resource depletion in the construction industry, interest in new renewable energy (NRE) systems has increased. The ground source heat pump (GSHP) system is the most efficient system among NRE systems. However, since [...] Read more.
In order to solve environmental problems such as global warming and resource depletion in the construction industry, interest in new renewable energy (NRE) systems has increased. The ground source heat pump (GSHP) system is the most efficient system among NRE systems. However, since the initial investment cost of the GSHP is quite expensive, a feasibility study needs to be conducted from the life-cycle perspective. Meanwhile, the efficiency of GSHP depends most significantly on the entering water temperature (EWT) of the ground heat exchanger (GHE). Therefore, this study aims to assess the environmental and economic effects of the use of GHE for selecting the optimal GHE. This study was conducted in three steps: (i) establishing the basic information and selecting key factors affecting GHE performances; (ii) making possible alternatives of the GHE installation by considering EWT; and (iii) using life-cycle assessment and life-cycle cost, as well as comprehensive evaluation of the environmental and economic effects on the GHE. These techniques allow for easy and accurate determination of the optimal design of the GHE from the environmental and economic effects in the early design phase. In future research, a multi-objective decision support model for the GSHP will be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Experimental Analysis of an Exhaust Air Energy Recovery Wind Turbine Generator
Energies 2015, 8(7), 6566-6584; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8076566
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) was positioned at the discharge outlet of a cooling tower electricity generator. To avoid a negative impact on the performance of the cooling tower and to optimize the turbine performance, the determination of the VAWT position in [...] Read more.
A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) was positioned at the discharge outlet of a cooling tower electricity generator. To avoid a negative impact on the performance of the cooling tower and to optimize the turbine performance, the determination of the VAWT position in the discharge wind stream was conducted by experiment. The preferable VAWT position is where the higher wind velocity matches the positive torque area of the turbine rotation. With the proper matching among the VAWT configurations (blade number, airfoil type, operating tip-speed-ratio, etc.) and exhaust air profile, the turbine system was not only able to recover the wasted kinetic energy, it also reduced the fan motor power consumption by 4.5% and increased the cooling tower intake air flow-rate by 11%. The VAWT had a free running rotational speed of 479 rpm, power coefficient of 10.6%, and tip-speed-ratio of 1.88. The double multiple stream tube theory was used to explain the VAWT behavior in the non-uniform wind stream. For the actual size of a cooling tower with a 2.4 m outlet diameter and powered by a 7.5 kW fan motor, it was estimated that a system with two VAWTs (side-by-side) can generate 1 kW of power which is equivalent to 13% of energy recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle An Experimental Investigation on the Combustion and Heat Release Characteristics of an Opposed-Piston Folded-Cranktrain Diesel Engine
Energies 2015, 8(7), 6365-6381; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8076365
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In opposed-piston folded-cranktrain diesel engines, the relative movement rules of opposed-pistons, combustion chamber components and injector position are different from those of conventional diesel engines. The combustion and heat release characteristics of an opposed-piston folded-cranktrain diesel engine under different operating conditions were investigated. [...] Read more.
In opposed-piston folded-cranktrain diesel engines, the relative movement rules of opposed-pistons, combustion chamber components and injector position are different from those of conventional diesel engines. The combustion and heat release characteristics of an opposed-piston folded-cranktrain diesel engine under different operating conditions were investigated. Four phases: ignition delay, premixed combustion, diffusion combustion and after combustion are used to describe the heat release process of the engine. Load changing has a small effect on premixed combustion duration while it influences diffusion combustion duration significantly. The heat release process has more significant isochoric and isobaric combustion which differs from the conventional diesel engine situation, except at high exhaust pressure and temperature, due to its two-stroke and uniflow scavenging characteristics. Meanwhile, a relatively high-quality exhaust heat energy is produced in opposed-piston folded-cranktrain diesel engines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Sheep Wool as a Construction Material for Energy Efficiency Improvement
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5765-5781; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065765
Received: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 9 June 2015 / Published: 16 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The building sector is responsible for 40% of the current CO2 emissions as well as energy consumption. Sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings are currently being evaluated, not only based on thermal insulation qualities and energy demands, but also based on primary [...] Read more.
The building sector is responsible for 40% of the current CO2 emissions as well as energy consumption. Sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings are currently being evaluated, not only based on thermal insulation qualities and energy demands, but also based on primary energy demand, CO2 reductions and the ecological properties of the materials used. Therefore, in order to make buildings as sustainable as possible, it is crucial to maximize the use of ecological materials. This study explores alternative usage of sheep wool as a construction material beyond its traditional application in the textile industry. Another goal of this research was to study the feasibility of replacement of commonly used thermal insulations with natural and renewable materials which have better environmental and primary energy values. Building physics, energy and environmental characteristics were evaluated and compared based on hygrothermal simulation and ecological balance methods. The observations demonstrate that sheep wool, compared with mineral wool and calcium silicate, provides comparable thermal insulation characteristics, and in some applications even reveals better performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Thermal Performance of Ventilated Double Skin Façades with Venetian Blinds
Energies 2015, 8(6), 4882-4898; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8064882
Received: 4 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1507 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Venetian blinds (VB) are shading devices of widespread use in residential and corporate buildings. They can reflect or transmit light into buildings and at the same time allow daylighting and exterior views. They can also efficiently block radiative heat from entering the building, [...] Read more.
Venetian blinds (VB) are shading devices of widespread use in residential and corporate buildings. They can reflect or transmit light into buildings and at the same time allow daylighting and exterior views. They can also efficiently block radiative heat from entering the building, and if combined with a heat dissipation system such as forced ventilation, they can improve the thermal performance of double skin façades (DSF). Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has proven to be a useful tool for modeling flow and heat transfer in DSF, including conduction, convection and radiation heat transfer phenomena. The aim of this work is to evaluate, by means of CFD, the influence of several optical, construction and operation parameters of a DSF (such as optical properties of the materials, geometrical relations of the VB or flow stream conditions) in terms of energy savings, measured as a reduction of the solar load entering the building. Results obtained show that parameters such as the proximity of the VB to the exterior skin of the façade or a differentiated surface treatment for the exterior and interior faces of the VB louvers can notably affect the thermal performance of the DSF and hence the heat gains experienced by the building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Power Management of Conventional Units and Industrial Loads in China’s Ancillary Services Scheduling
Energies 2015, 8(5), 3955-3977; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8053955
Received: 15 February 2015 / Revised: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 28 April 2015 / Published: 6 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the development of the smart grid in China, new opportunities for responsive industrial loads to participate in the provision of ancillary services (AS) will become accessible. This paper summarizes AS in China and analyzes the necessary characteristics and advantages of industrial users [...] Read more.
With the development of the smart grid in China, new opportunities for responsive industrial loads to participate in the provision of ancillary services (AS) will become accessible. This paper summarizes AS in China and analyzes the necessary characteristics and advantages of industrial users to provide AS according to their response mechanism. Cement manufacturing and aluminum smelter processes are selected as two representatives of responsive industrial loads. An agent-based model that includes generation, industrial user, and grid agents is proposed. Using two case studies, we analyze the integrated power management of conventional units and industrial loads in day-ahead and real-time AS scheduling based on real device parameters, price mechanisms and production data. The simulation results indicate that the participation of responsive industrial loads in the provision of AS, in China, can improve the coal consumption rate and the system-wide load factor as well as reduce the total system cost for the provision of AS significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Energetic and Economic Assessment of Pipe Network Effects on Unused Energy Source System Performance in Large-Scale Horticulture Facilities
Energies 2015, 8(5), 3328-3350; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8053328
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 24 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3029 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the use of fossil fuel has increased, not only in construction, but also in agriculture due to the drastic industrial development in recent times, the problems of heating costs and global warming are getting worse. Therefore, the introduction of more reliable and [...] Read more.
As the use of fossil fuel has increased, not only in construction, but also in agriculture due to the drastic industrial development in recent times, the problems of heating costs and global warming are getting worse. Therefore, the introduction of more reliable and environmentally-friendly alternative energy sources has become urgent and the same trend is found in large-scale horticulture facilities. In this study, among many alternative energy sources, we investigated the reserves and the potential of various different unused energy sources which have infinite potential, but are nowadays wasted due to limitations in their utilization. This study investigated the effects of the distance between the greenhouse and the actual heat source by taking into account the heat transfer taking place inside the pipe network. This study considered CO2 emissions and economic aspects to determine the optimal heat source. Payback period analysis against initial investment cost shows that a heat pump based on a power plant’s waste heat has the shortest payback period of 7.69 years at a distance of 0 km. On the other hand, the payback period of a heat pump based on geothermal heat showed the shortest payback period of 10.17 year at the distance of 5 km, indicating that heat pumps utilizing geothermal heat were the most effective model if the heat transfer inside the pipe network between the greenhouse and the actual heat source is taken into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Envelope Design Alternatives on the Energy Consumption of Residential Houses in Indonesia
Energies 2015, 8(4), 2788-2802; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8042788
Received: 1 November 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (514 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As an emerging country and one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia requires a sufficient energy supply to ensure the nation’s continued development. In response to this increasing energy demand, various studies have proposed energy-saving measures; building envelope design is [...] Read more.
As an emerging country and one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia requires a sufficient energy supply to ensure the nation’s continued development. In response to this increasing energy demand, various studies have proposed energy-saving measures; building envelope design is considered to be a typical energy-saving technique. A significant goal in achieving greener buildings is learning how to reduce a building’s energy consumption by applying an efficient energy-saving design. This study used the eQUEST software to investigate how different types of roof construction, glazing and sun-shading techniques affect the energy consumption of residential structures in Indonesia in common scenarios. The results indicate that window shading has the most significant impact on a building’s overall energy consumption, followed by the use of an appropriate glazing, whereas the roof type produced smaller energy efficiency benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Building Integrated Photovoltaics: A Concise Description of the Current State of the Art and Possible Research Pathways
Energies 2016, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9010021
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (12045 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) offer an aesthetical, economical and technical solution to integrate solar cells harvesting solar radiation to produce electricity within the climate envelopes of buildings. Photovoltaic (PV) cells may be mounted above or onto the existing or traditional roofing or wall [...] Read more.
Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) offer an aesthetical, economical and technical solution to integrate solar cells harvesting solar radiation to produce electricity within the climate envelopes of buildings. Photovoltaic (PV) cells may be mounted above or onto the existing or traditional roofing or wall systems. However, BIPV systems replace the outer building envelope skin, i.e., the climate screen, hence serving simultanously as both a climate screen and a power source generating electricity. Thus, BIPV may provide savings in materials and labor, in addition to reducing the electricity costs. Hence, for the BIPV products, in addition to specific requirements put on the solar cell technology, it is of major importance to have satisfactory or strict requirements of rain tightness and durability, where building physical issues like e.g., heat and moisture transport in the building envelope also have to be considered and accounted for. This work, from both a technological and scientific point of view, summarizes briefly the current state-of-the-art of BIPV, including both BIPV foil, tiles, modules and solar cell glazing products, and addresses possible research pathways for BIPV in the years to come. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessReview Controllable Load Management Approaches in Smart Grids
Energies 2015, 8(10), 11187-11202; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81011187
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 28 September 2015 / Accepted: 29 September 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With rapid smart grid technology development, the customer can actively participate in demand-side management (DSM) with the mutual information communication between the distributor operation company and the smart devices in real-time. Controllable load management not only has the advantage of peak shaving, load [...] Read more.
With rapid smart grid technology development, the customer can actively participate in demand-side management (DSM) with the mutual information communication between the distributor operation company and the smart devices in real-time. Controllable load management not only has the advantage of peak shaving, load balance, frequency regulation, and voltage stability, but is also effective at providing fast balancing services to the renewable energy grid in the distributed power system. The load management faces an enormous challenge as the customer has a large number of both small residential loads and dispersed renewable sources. In this paper, various controllable load management approaches are discussed. The traditional controllable load approaches such as the end users’ controllable appliances, storage battery, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), and heat storage are reviewed. The “broad controllable loads” management, such as the microgrid, Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and the load aggregator are also presented. Furthermore, the load characteristics, control strategies, and control effectiveness are analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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Open AccessReview A Review of Approaches for Sensing, Understanding, and Improving Occupancy-Related Energy-Use Behaviors in Commercial Buildings
Energies 2015, 8(10), 10996-11029; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81010996
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 2 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 1 October 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buildings currently account for 30–40 percent of total global energy consumption. In particular, commercial buildings are responsible for about 12 percent of global energy use and 21 percent of the United States’ energy use, and the energy demand of this sector continues to [...] Read more.
Buildings currently account for 30–40 percent of total global energy consumption. In particular, commercial buildings are responsible for about 12 percent of global energy use and 21 percent of the United States’ energy use, and the energy demand of this sector continues to grow faster than other sectors. This increasing rate therefore raises a critical concern about improving the energy performance of commercial buildings. Recently, researchers have investigated ways in which understanding and improving occupants’ energy-consuming behaviors could function as a cost-effective approach to decreasing commercial buildings’ energy demands. The objective of this paper is to present a detailed, up-to-date review of various algorithms, models, and techniques employed in the pursuit of understanding and improving occupants’ energy-use behaviors in commercial buildings. Previous related studies are introduced and three main approaches are identified: (1) monitoring occupant-specific energy consumption; (2) Simulating occupant energy consumption behavior; and (3) improving occupant energy consumption behavior. The first approach employs intrusive and non-intrusive load-monitoring techniques to estimate the energy use of individual occupants. The second approach models diverse characteristics related to occupants’ energy-consuming behaviors in order to assess and predict such characteristics’ impacts on the energy performance of commercial buildings; this approach mostly utilizes agent-based modeling techniques to simulate actions and interactions between occupants and their built environment. The third approach employs occupancy-focused interventions to change occupants’ energy-use characteristics. Based on the detailed review of each approach, critical issues and current gaps in knowledge in the existing literature are discussed, and directions for future research opportunities in this field are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)
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