International Science Index

2290
10011295
Investigation of Boll Properties on Cotton Picker Machine Performance
Abstract:

Cotton, as a strategic crop, plays an important role in providing human food and clothing need, because of its oil, protein, and fiber. Iran has been one of the largest cotton producers in the world in the past, but unfortunately, for economic reasons, its production is reduced now. One of the ways to reduce the cost of cotton production is to expand the mechanization of cotton harvesting. Iranian farmers do not accept the function of cotton harvesters. One reason for this lack of acceptance of cotton harvesting machines is the number of field losses on these machines. So, the majority of cotton fields are harvested by hand. Although the correct setting of the harvesting machine is very important in the cotton losses, the morphological properties of the cotton plant also affect the performance of cotton harvesters. In this study, the effect of some cotton morphological properties such as the height of the cotton plant, number, and length of sympodial and monopodial branches, boll dimensions, boll weight, number of carpels and bracts angle were evaluated on the performance of cotton picker. In this research, the efficiency of John Deere 9920 spindle Cotton picker is investigated on five different Iranian cotton cultivars. The results indicate that there was a significant difference between the five cultivars in terms of machine harvest efficiency. Golestan cultivar showed the best cotton harvester performance with an average of 87.6% of total harvestable seed cotton and Khorshid cultivar had the least cotton harvester performance. The principal component analysis showed that, at 50.76% probability, the cotton picker efficiency is affected by the bracts angle positively and by boll dimensions, the number of carpels and the height of cotton plants negatively. The seed cotton remains (in the plant and on the ground) after harvester in PCA scatter plot were in the same zone with boll dimensions and several carpels.

Paper Detail
9
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2289
10011296
Energy Retrofitting Application Research to Achieve Energy Efficiency in Hot-Arid Climates in Residential Buildings: A Case Study of Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

This study aims to present an overview of recent research in building energy-retrofitting strategy applications and analyzing them within the context of hot arid climate regions which is in this case study represented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The main goal of this research is to do an analytical study of recent research approaches to show where the primary gap in knowledge exists and outline which possible strategies are available that can be applied in future research. Also, the paper focuses on energy retrofitting strategies at a building envelop level. The study is limited to specific measures within the hot arid climate region. Scientific articles were carefully chosen as they met the expression criteria, such as retrofitting, energy-retrofitting, hot-arid, energy efficiency, residential buildings, which helped narrow the research scope. Then the papers were explored through descriptive analysis and justified results within the Saudi context in order to draw an overview of future opportunities from the field of study for the last two decades. The conclusions of the analysis of the recent research confirmed that the field of study had a research shortage on investigating actual applications and testing of newly introduced energy efficiency applications, lack of energy cost feasibility studies and there was also a lack of public awareness. In terms of research methods, it was found that simulation software was a major instrument used in energy retrofitting application research. The main knowledge gaps that were identified included the need for certain research regarding actual application testing; energy retrofitting strategies application feasibility; the lack of research on the importance of how strategies apply first followed by the user acceptance of developed scenarios.

Paper Detail
17
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2288
10011299
Power Production Performance of Different Wave Energy Converters in the Southwestern Black Sea
Abstract:
This study aims to investigate the amount of energy (economic wave energy potential) that can be obtained from the existing wave energy converters in the high wave energy potential region of the Black Sea in terms of wave energy potential and their performance at different depths in the region. The data needed for this purpose were obtained using the calibrated nested layered SWAN wave modeling program version 41.01AB, which was forced with Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) winds from 1979 to 2009. The wave dataset at a time interval of 2 hours was accumulated for a sub-grid domain for around Karaburun beach in Arnavutkoy, a district of Istanbul city. The annual sea state characteristic matrices for the five different depths along with a vertical line to the coastline were calculated for 31 years. According to the power matrices of different wave energy converter systems and characteristic matrices for each possible installation depth, the probability distribution tables of the specified mean wave period or wave energy period and significant wave height were calculated. Then, by using the relationship between these distribution tables, according to the present wave climate, the energy that the wave energy converter systems at each depth can produce was determined. Thus, the economically feasible potential of the relevant coastal zone was revealed, and the effect of different depths on energy converter systems is presented. The Oceantic at 50, 75 and 100 m depths and Oyster at 5 and 25 m depths presents the best performance. In the 31-year long period 1998 the most and 1989 is the least dynamic year.
Paper Detail
16
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2287
10011303
Efficiency Enhancement of Photovoltaic Panels Using an Optimised Air Cooled Heat Sink
Abstract:
Solar panels that use photovoltaic (PV) cells are popular for converting solar radiation into electricity. One of the major problems impacting the performance of PV panels is the overheating caused by excessive solar radiation and high ambient temperatures, which degrades the efficiency of the PV panels remarkably. To overcome this issue, an aluminum heat sink was used to dissipate unwanted heat from PV cells. The dimensions of the heat sink were determined considering the optimal fin spacing that fulfils hot climatic conditions. In this study, the effects of cooling on the efficiency and power output of a PV panel were studied experimentally. Two PV modules were used: one without and one with a heat sink. The experiments ran for 11 hours from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. where temperature readings in the rear and front of both PV modules were recorded at an interval of 15 minutes using sensors and an Arduino microprocessor. Results are recorded for both panels simultaneously for analysis, temperate comparison, and for power and efficiency calculations. A maximum increase in the solar to electrical conversion efficiency of 35% and almost 55% in the power output were achieved with the use of a heat sink, while temperatures at the front and back of the panel were reduced by 9% and 11%, respectively.
Paper Detail
19
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2286
10011238
Validation and Projections for Solar Radiation up to 2100: HadGEM2-AO Global Circulation Model
Abstract:

The objective of this work is to evaluate the results of solar radiation projections between 2006 and 2013 for the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The projections are provided by the General Circulation Models (MCGs) belonging to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Phase 5 (CMIP5). In all, the results of the simulation of six models are evaluated, compared to monthly data, measured by a network of thirteen meteorological stations of the National Meteorological Institute (INMET). The performance of the models is evaluated by the Nash coefficient and the Bias. The results are presented in the form of tables, graphs and spatialization maps. The ACCESS1-0 RCP 4.5 model presented the best results for the solar radiation simulations, for the most optimistic scenario, in much of the state. The efficiency coefficients (CEF) were between 0.95 and 0.98. In the most pessimistic scenario, HADGen2-AO RCP 8.5 had the best accuracy among the analyzed models, presenting coefficients of efficiency between 0.94 and 0.98. From this validation, solar radiation projection maps were elaborated, indicating a seasonal increase of this climatic variable in some regions of the Brazilian territory, mainly in the spring.

Paper Detail
56
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2285
10011261
The Absence of a National Industrial Effluent Policy: Imminent Risk to the Brazilian Bodies of Water
Abstract:

The existing legal gap regarding thes treatment and final disposal of industrial effluents in Brazil promotes legal uncertainty. The government has not structured itself to guarantee environmental protection. The current legal system and public policies must guarantee the protection of bodies of water and an effective treatment of industrial effluents. This is because economic progress, eco-efficiency and industrial ecology are inseparable. The lack of protection for the water bodies weakens environmental protection, with abuses by companies that do not give due treatment to their effluents, or fail to present the water balance of their factories. It is considered necessary to enact a specific law on industrial effluents related to a National Industrial Effluent Policy, because it is the location of the largest Integrated Industrial Complex in the Southern Hemisphere. The regulation of this subject cannot be limited by decrees of the local Executive Branch, allowing the inspection of the industrial activity or enterprise to be affected fundamentally by environmental self-control, or by private institutions.

Paper Detail
48
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2284
10011189
Analysis of Fixed Beamforming Algorithms for Smart Antenna Systems
Abstract:

The smart antenna is the prominent technology that has become known in recent years to meet the growing demands of wireless communications. In an overcrowded atmosphere, its application is growing gradually. A methodical evaluation of the performance of Fixed Beamforming algorithms for smart antennas such as Multiple Sidelobe Canceller (MSC), Maximum Signal-to-interference ratio (MSIR) and minimum variance (MVDR) has been comprehensively presented in this paper. Simulation results show that beamforming is helpful in providing optimized response towards desired directions. MVDR beamformer provides the most optimal solution.

Paper Detail
73
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2283
10011199
Dual-Polarized Multi-Antenna System for Massive MIMO Cellular Communications
Abstract:

In this paper, a multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) antenna design with polarization and radiation pattern diversity is presented for future smartphones. The configuration of the design consists of four double-fed circular-ring antenna elements located at different edges of the printed circuit board (PCB) with an FR-4 substrate and overall dimension of 75×150 mm2. The antenna elements are fed by 50-Ohm microstrip-lines and provide polarization and radiation pattern diversity function due to the orthogonal placement of their feed lines. A good impedance bandwidth (S11 ≤ -10 dB) of 3.4-3.8 GHz has been obtained for the smartphone antenna array. However, for S11 ≤ -6 dB, this value is 3.25-3.95 GHz. More than 3 dB realized gain and 80% total efficiency are achieved for the single-element radiator. The presented design not only provides the required radiation coverage but also generates the polarization diversity characteristic.

Paper Detail
110
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2282
10011205
Control of Grid Connected PMSG-Based Wind Turbine System with Back-To-Back Converter Topology Using Resonant Controller
Abstract:

This paper presents modeling and control strategy for the grid connected wind turbine system based on Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator (PMSG). The considered system is based on back-to-back converter topology. The Grid Side Converter (GSC) achieves the DC bus voltage control and unity power factor. The Machine Side Converter (MSC) assures the PMSG speed control. The PMSG is used as a variable speed generator and connected directly to the turbine without gearbox. The pitch angle control is not either considered in this study. Further, Optimal Tip Speed Ratio (OTSR) based MPPT control strategy is used to ensure the most energy efficiency whatever the wind speed variations. A filter (L) is put between the GSC and the grid to reduce current ripple and to improve the injected power quality. The proposed grid connected wind system is built under MATLAB/Simulink environment. The simulation results show the feasibility of the proposed topology and performance of its control strategies.

Keywords:
Paper Detail
151
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2281
10011208
Graphene/ZnO/Polymer Nanocomposite Thin Film for Separation of Oil-Water Mixture
Abstract:

Offshore oil-spill has become the most emerging problem in the world. In the current paper, a graphene/ZnO/polymer nanocomposite thin film is coated on stainless steel mesh via layer by layer deposition method. The structural characterization of materials is determined by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and separation efficiency have been measured via gas chromatography – flame ionization detector (GC-FID). TPHs are reduced to 2 ppm and separation efficiency of the nanocomposite coated mesh is reached ≥ 99% for the final sample. The nanocomposite coated mesh acts as a promising candidate for the separation of oil- water mixture.

Paper Detail
62
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2280
10011210
Significance of Bike-Frame Geometric Factors for Cycling Efficiency and Muscle Activation
Abstract:

With the advocacy of green transportation and green traveling, cycling has become increasingly popular nowadays. Physiology and bike design are key factors for the influence of cycling efficiency. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the significance of bike-frame geometric factors on cycling efficiency and muscle activation for different body sizes of non-professional Asian male cyclists. Participants who represented various body sizes, as measured by leg and back lengths, carried out cycling tests using a tailor-assembled road bike with different ergonomic design configurations including seat-height adjustments (i.e., 96%, 100%, and 104% of trochanteric height) and bike frame sizes (i.e., small and medium frames) for an assessable distance of 1 km. A specific power meter and self-developed adaptable surface electromyography (sEMG) were used to measure average pedaling power and cadence generated and muscle activation, respectively. The results showed that changing the seat height was far more significant than the body and bike frame sizes. The sEMG data evidently provided a better understanding of muscle activation as a function of different seat heights. Therefore, the interpretation of this study is that the major bike ergonomic design factor dominating the cycling efficiency of Asian participants with different body sizes was the seat height.

Paper Detail
92
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2279
10011177
Increasing Power Transfer Capacity of Distribution Networks Using Direct Current Feeders
Abstract:
Economic and population growth in densely-populated urban areas introduce major challenges to distribution system operators, planers, and designers. To supply added loads, utilities are frequently forced to invest in new distribution feeders. However, this is becoming increasingly more challenging due to space limitations and rising installation costs in urban settings. This paper proposes the conversion of critical alternating current (ac) distribution feeders into direct current (dc) feeders to increase the power transfer capacity by a factor as high as four. Current trends suggest that the return of dc transmission, distribution, and utilization are inevitable. Since a total system-level transformation to dc operation is not possible in a short period of time due to the needed huge investments and utility unreadiness, this paper recommends that feeders that are expected to exceed their limits in near future are converted to dc. The increase in power transfer capacity is achieved through several key differences between ac and dc power transmission systems. First, it is shown that underground cables can be operated at higher dc voltage than the ac voltage for the same dielectric stress in the insulation. Second, cable sheath losses, due to induced voltages yielding circulation currents, that can be as high as phase conductor losses under ac operation, are not present under dc. Finally, skin and proximity effects in conductors and sheaths do not exist in dc cables. The paper demonstrates that in addition to the increased power transfer capacity utilities substituting ac feeders by dc feeders could benefit from significant lower costs and reduced losses. Installing dc feeders is less expensive than installing new ac feeders even when new trenches are not needed. Case studies using the IEEE 342-Node Low Voltage Networked Test System quantify the technical and economic benefits of dc feeders.
Paper Detail
141
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2278
10011122
Plant Supporting Units (Ekobox) Application Project for Increasing Planting Success in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas
Abstract:
In this study, samples of plant types including rose hip (Rosa canina L.), jujube (Ziziphus jujube), sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) were grown using plant supporting units called Ekobox and drip irrigation systems in the Karapınar, Konya region of Turkey to reveal the efficiency of Ekobox and drip irrigation compared against a control with no irrigation. The plant diameter, height, and survival rates were determined, compared with each other, and statistically analyzed. According to the statistical analysis of the results, Ekobox applications resulted in the highest values for survival rate, diameter, and height measurements whereas the lowest values were determined in the control groups. These results indicate that the cultivation of plants with Ekobox may help protect against the loss of fertile soils as an effective mechanism for combating erosion and desertification. These advantages may also lead to a lasting economic effect on the cultivation of plants by locals of the Karapınar, Konya province who suffer from an ever-decreasing underground water level as a result of agricultural consumption.
Paper Detail
81
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2277
10011136
Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems
Abstract:

Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.

Paper Detail
96
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2276
10011048
Development of One-Axis Didactic Solar Tracker for Photovoltaic Panels
Abstract:

In recent years, solar energy has established itself as one of the main sources of renewable energy, gaining a large space in electricity generation around the world. However, due to the low performance of photovoltaic panels, technologies need to be sought to maximize the production of electricity. In this regard, the present study aims to develop a prototype of solar tracker for didactics applications, controlled with the Arduino® platform, that enables the movement of photovoltaic plates in relation to the sun positions throughout the day through an electromechanical system, optimizing, thus, the efficiency of solar photovoltaic generation and improvements for the photovoltaic effect. The solar tracking technology developed in this work was presented of the shape oral and practical in two middle schools in the municipality of Mossoró/RN, being one of the public network and other of the private network, always keeping the average age of the students, in the case, around 16 years, contemplating an average of 60 students in each of the visits. Thus, it is concluded that the present study contributed substantially to the dissemination of knowledge concerning the photovoltaic solar generation, as well as the study of solar trackers, thus arousing the interest and curiosity of the students regarding the thematic approached.

Paper Detail
195
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2275
10010985
Sustainable Hydrogel Nanocomposites Based on Grafted Chitosan and Clay for Effective Adsorption of Cationic Dye
Abstract:

Contamination of water, due to the discharge of untreated industrial wastewaters into the ecosystem, has become a serious problem for many countries. In this study, bioadsorbents based on chitosan-g-poly(acrylamide) and montmorillonite (MMt) clay (CTS-g-PAAm/MMt) hydrogel nanocomposites were prepared via free‐radical grafting copolymerization and crosslinking of acrylamide monomer (AAm) onto natural polysaccharide chitosan (CTS) as backbone, in presence of various contents of MMt clay as nanofiller. Then, they were hydrolyzed to obtain highly functionalized pH‐sensitive nanomaterials with uppermost swelling properties. Their structure characterization was conducted by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses. The adsorption performances of the developed nanohybrids were examined for removal of methylene blue (MB) cationic dye from aqueous solutions. The factors affecting the removal of MB, such as clay content, pH medium, adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration and temperature were explored. The adsorption process was found to be highly pH dependent. From adsorption kinetic results, the prepared adsorbents showed remarkable adsorption capacity and fast adsorption rate, mainly more than 88% of MB removal efficiency was reached after 50 min in 200 mg L-1 of dye solution. In addition, the incorporating of various content of clay has enhanced adsorption capacity of CTS-g-PAAm matrix from 1685 to a highest value of 1749 mg g-1 for the optimized nanocomposite containing 2 wt.% of MMt. The experimental kinetic data were well described by the pseudo-second-order model, while the equilibrium data were represented perfectly by Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum Langmuir equilibrium adsorption capacity (qm) was found to increase from 2173 mg g−1 until 2221 mg g−1 by adding 2 wt.% of clay nanofiller. Thermodynamic parameters revealed the spontaneous and endothermic nature of the process. In addition, the reusability study revealed that these bioadsorbents could be well regenerated with desorption efficiency overhead 87% and without any obvious decrease of removal efficiency as compared to starting ones even after four consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles, which exceeded 64%. These results suggest that the optimized nanocomposites are promising as low cost bioadsorbents.

Paper Detail
204
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2274
10010986
Reinforced Concrete, Problems and Solutions: A Literature Review
Abstract:

Reinforced concrete is a concrete lined with steel so that the materials work together in the resistance forces. Reinforcement rods or mesh are used for tensile, shear, and sometimes intense pressure in a concrete structure. Reinforced concrete is subject to many natural problems or industrial errors. The result of these problems is that it reduces the efficiency of the reinforced concrete or its usefulness. Some of these problems are cracks, earthquakes, high temperatures or fires, as well as corrosion of reinforced iron inside reinforced concrete. There are also factors of ancient buildings or monuments that require some techniques to preserve them. This research presents some general information about reinforced concrete, the pros and cons of reinforced concrete, and then presents a series of literary studies of some of the late published researches on the subject of reinforced concrete and how to preserve it, propose solutions or treatments for the treatment of reinforced concrete problems, raise efficiency and quality for a longer period. These studies have provided advanced and modern methods and techniques in the field of reinforced concrete.

Paper Detail
205
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2273
10010987
Risk Assessment of Building Information Modelling Adoption in Construction Projects
Abstract:

Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.

Paper Detail
414
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2272
10010992
Performance Analysis of Three Absorption Heat Pump Cycles, Full and Partial Loads Operations
Abstract:

The environmental concerns related to global warming and ozone layer depletion along with the growing worldwide demand for heating and cooling have brought an increasing attention toward ecological and efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Furthermore, since space heating accounts for a considerable part of the European primary/final energy use, it has been identified as one of the sectors with the most challenging targets in energy use reduction. Heat pumps are commonly considered as a technology able to contribute to the achievement of the targets. Current research focuses on the full load operation and seasonal performance assessment of three gas-driven absorption heat pump cycles. To do this, investigations of the gas-driven air-source ammonia-water absorption heat pump systems for small-scale space heating applications are presented. For each of the presented cycles, both full-load under various temperature conditions and seasonal performances are predicted by means of numerical simulations. It has been considered that small capacity appliances are usually equipped with fixed geometry restrictors, meaning that the solution mass flow rate is driven by the pressure difference across the associated restrictor valve. Results show that gas utilization efficiency (GUE) of the cycles varies between 1.2 and 1.7 for both full and partial loads and vapor exchange (VX) cycle is found to achieve the highest efficiency. It is noticed that, for typical space heating applications, heat pumps operate over a wide range of capacities and thermal lifts. Thus, partially, the novelty introduced in the paper is the investigation based on a seasonal performance approach, following the method prescribed in a recent European standard (EN 12309). The overall result is a modest variation in the seasonal performance for analyzed cycles, from 1.427 (single-effect) to 1.493 (vapor-exchange).

Paper Detail
157
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2271
10011002
Lung Cancer Detection and Multi Level Classification Using Discrete Wavelet Transform Approach
Abstract:

Uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung in the form of tumor can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Patients with Lung Cancer (LC) have an average of five years life span expectancy provided diagnosis, detection and prediction, which reduces many treatment options to risk of invasive surgery increasing survival rate. Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for earlier detection of cancer are common. Gaussian filter along with median filter used for smoothing and noise removal, Histogram Equalization (HE) for image enhancement gives the best results without inviting further opinions. Lung cavities are extracted and the background portion other than two lung cavities is completely removed with right and left lungs segmented separately. Region properties measurements area, perimeter, diameter, centroid and eccentricity measured for the tumor segmented image, while texture is characterized by Gray-Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) functions, feature extraction provides Region of Interest (ROI) given as input to classifier. Two levels of classifications, K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) is used for determining patient condition as normal or abnormal, while Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is used for identifying the cancer stage is employed. Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) algorithm is used for the main feature extraction leading to best efficiency. The developed technology finds encouraging results for real time information and on line detection for future research.

Paper Detail
204
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2270
10011006
Experimental Investigation on Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Sections via California Bearing Ratio Test
Abstract:

Loose soils normally are of weak bearing capacity due to their structural nature. Being exposed to heavy traffic loads, they would fail in most cases. To tackle the aforementioned issue, geotechnical engineers have come up with different approaches; one of which is making use of geosynthetic-reinforced soil-aggregate systems. As these polymeric reinforcements have highlighted economic and environmentally-friendly features, they have become widespread in practice during the last decades. The present research investigates the efficiency of four different types of these reinforcements in increasing the bearing capacity of two-layered soil sections using a series California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test. The studied sections are comprised of a 10 cm-thick layer of no. 161 Firouzkooh sand (weak subgrade) and a 10 cm-thick layer of compacted aggregate materials (base course) classified as SP and GW according to the United Soil Classification System (USCS), respectively. The aggregate layer was compacted to the relative density (Dr) of 95% at the optimum water content (Wopt) of 6.5%. The applied reinforcements were including two kinds of geocomposites (type A and B), a geotextile, and a geogrid that were embedded at the interface of the lower and the upper layers of the soil-aggregate system. As the standard CBR mold was not appropriate in height for this study, the mold used for soaked CBR tests were utilized. To make a comparison between the results of stress-settlement behavior in the studied specimens, CBR values pertinent to the penetrations of 2.5 mm and 5 mm were considered. The obtained results demonstrated 21% and 24.5% increments in the amount of CBR value in the presence of geocomposite type A and geogrid, respectively. On the other hand, the effect of both geotextile and geocomposite type B on CBR values was generally insignificant in this research.

Paper Detail
132
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2269
10011014
Effective Photodegradation of Tetracycline by a Heteropoly Acid/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Based on Uio-66
Abstract:

Heteropoly acid nanoparticles anchored on graphene oxide based on UiO-66 were synthesized via in-situ growth hydrothermal method and tested for photodegradation of a tetracycline as critical pollutant. Results showed that presence of graphene oxide and UiO-66 with high specific surface area, great electron mobility and various functional groups make an excellent support for heteropoly acid and improve photocatalytic efficiency up to 95% for tetracycline. Furthermore, total organic carbon (TOC) analysis verified 79% mineralization of this pollutant under optimum condition.

Paper Detail
120
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2268
10010932
Design and Analysis of a Piezoelectric Linear Motor Based on Rigid Clamping
Abstract:

Piezoelectric linear motors have the characteristics of great electromagnetic compatibility, high positioning accuracy, compact structure and no deceleration mechanism, which make it promising to applicate in micro-miniature precision drive systems. However, most piezoelectric motors are employed by flexible clamping, which has insufficient rigidity and is difficult to use in rapid positioning. Another problem is that this clamping method seriously affects the vibration efficiency of the vibrating unit. In order to solve these problems, this paper proposes a piezoelectric stack linear motor based on double-end rigid clamping. First, a piezoelectric linear motor with a length of only 35.5 mm is designed. This motor is mainly composed of a motor stator, a driving foot, a ceramic friction strip, a linear guide, a pre-tightening mechanism and a base. This structure is much simpler and smaller than most similar motors, and it is easy to assemble as well as to realize precise control. In addition, the properties of piezoelectric stack are reviewed and in order to obtain the elliptic motion trajectory of the driving head, a driving scheme of the longitudinal-shear composite stack is innovatively proposed. Finally, impedance analysis and speed performance testing were performed on the piezoelectric linear motor prototype. The motor can measure speed up to 25.5 mm/s under the excitation of signal voltage of 120 V and frequency of 390 Hz. The result shows that the proposed piezoelectric stacked linear motor obtains great performance. It can run smoothly in a large speed range, which is suitable for various precision control in medical images, aerospace, precision machinery and many other fields.

Paper Detail
134
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2267
10010944
Response Delay Model: Bridging the Gap in Urban Fire Disaster Response System
Abstract:

The need for modeling response to urban fire disaster cannot be over emphasized, as recurrent fire outbreaks have gutted most cities of the world. This necessitated the need for a prompt and efficient response system in order to mitigate the impact of the disaster. Promptness, as a function of time, is seen to be the fundamental determinant for efficiency of a response system and magnitude of a fire disaster. Delay, as a result of several factors, is one of the major determinants of promptgness of a response system and also the magnitude of a fire disaster. Response Delay Model (RDM) intends to bridge the gap in urban fire disaster response system through incorporating and synchronizing the delay moments in measuring the overall efficiency of a response system and determining the magnitude of a fire disaster. The model identified two delay moments (pre-notification and Intra-reflex sequence delay) that can be elastic and collectively plays a significant role in influencing the efficiency of a response system. Due to variation in the elasticity of the delay moments, the model provides for measuring the length of delays in order to arrive at a standard average delay moment for different parts of the world, putting into consideration geographic location, level of preparedness and awareness, technological advancement, socio-economic and environmental factors. It is recommended that participatory researches should be embarked on locally and globally to determine standard average delay moments within each phase of the system so as to enable determining the efficiency of response systems and predicting fire disaster magnitudes.

Paper Detail
177
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2266
10010966
Improving Lubrication Efficiency at High Sliding Speeds by Plasma Surface Texturing
Abstract:

Cathodic plasma electrolysis (CPE) is used to create surface textures on cast iron samples for improving the tribological properties. Micro craters with confined size distribution were successfully formed by CPE process. These craters can generate extra hydrodynamic pressure that separates two sliding surfaces, increase the oil film thickness and accelerate the transition from boundary to mixed lubrication. It was found that the optimal crater size was 1.7 μm, at which the maximum lubrication efficiency was achieved. The Taguchi method was used to optimize the process parameters (voltage and roughness) for CPE surface texturing. The orthogonal array and the signal-to-noise ratio were employed to study the effect of each process parameter on the coefficient of friction. The results showed that with higher voltage and lower roughness, the lower friction coefficient can be obtained, and thus the lubrication can be more efficiently used for friction reduction.

Paper Detail
186
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2265
10010860
Non-parametric Linear Technique for Measuring the Efficiency of Winter Road Maintenance in the Arctic Area
Abstract:

Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.

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119
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10010866
TiO2 Nanowires as Efficient Heterogeneous Photocatalysts for Waste-Water Treatment
Abstract:

One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanorods find variety of practical application owing to their unique physico-chemical properties. In this work, TiO2 nanowires were synthesized by direct oxidation of titanium particles in a unique microwave plasma jet reactor. The prepared TiO2 nanowires manifested the flexible features, and were characterized by using X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analyzer, UV-Visible and FTIR spectrophotometers, Scanning electron microscope, and Transmission electron microscope. Further, the photodegradation efficiency of these nanowires were tested against toxic organic dye like methylene blue (MB) and the results were compared with the commercial TiO2. It was found that TiO2 nanowires exhibited superior photocatalytic performance (89%) as compared to commercial TiO2 (75%) after 60 min of reaction. This is attributed to the lower recombination rate and increased interfacial charge transfer in TiO2 nanowire. Pseudo-first order kinetic modelling performed with the experimental results revealed that the rate constant of photodegradation in case of TiO2 nanowire was 1.3 times higher than that of commercial TiO2. Superoxide radical (O2˙−) was found to be the major contributor in the photodegradation mechanism. Based on the trapping experiments, a plausible mechanism of the photocatalytic reaction is discussed.

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178
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10010877
Numerical and Experimental Comparison of Surface Pressures around a Scaled Ship Wind-Assisted Propulsion System
Abstract:

Significant legislative changes are set to revolutionise the commercial shipping industry. Upcoming emissions restrictions will force operators to look at technologies that can improve the efficiency of their vessels -reducing fuel consumption and emissions. A device which may help in this challenge is the Ship Wind-Assisted Propulsion system (SWAP), an actively controlled aerofoil mounted vertically on the deck of a ship. The device functions in a similar manner to a sail on a yacht, whereby the aerodynamic forces generated by the sail reach an equilibrium with the hydrodynamic forces on the hull and a forward velocity results. Numerical and experimental testing of the SWAP device is presented in this study. Circulation control takes the form of a co-flow jet aerofoil, utilising both blowing from the leading edge and suction from the trailing edge. A jet at the leading edge uses the Coanda effect to energise the boundary layer in order to delay flow separation and create high lift with low drag. The SWAP concept has been originated by the research and development team at SMAR Azure Ltd. The device will be retrofitted to existing ships so that a component of the aerodynamic forces acts forward and partially reduces the reliance on existing propulsion systems. Wind tunnel tests have been carried out at the de Havilland wind tunnel at the University of Glasgow on a 1:20 scale model of this system. The tests aim to understand the airflow characteristics around the aerofoil and investigate the approximate lift and drag coefficients that an early iteration of the SWAP device may produce. The data exhibits clear trends of increasing lift as injection momentum increases, with critical flow attachment points being identified at specific combinations of jet momentum coefficient, Cµ, and angle of attack, AOA. Various combinations of flow conditions were tested, with the jet momentum coefficient ranging from 0 to 0.7 and the AOA ranging from 0° to 35°. The Reynolds number across the tested conditions ranged from 80,000 to 240,000. Comparisons between 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and the experimental data are presented for multiple Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models in the form of normalised surface pressure comparisons. These show good agreement for most of the tested cases. However, certain simulation conditions exhibited a well-documented shortcoming of RANS-based turbulence models for circulation control flows and over-predicted surface pressures and lift coefficient for fully attached flow cases. Work must be continued in finding an all-encompassing modelling approach which predicts surface pressures well for all combinations of jet injection momentum and AOA.

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166
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10010879
Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania
Abstract:

Wild almond is a woody species, which is difficult to propagate either generatively by seed or by vegetative methods (grafting or cuttings) and also considered as Endangered (EN) in Albania based on IUCN criteria. As a wild relative of cultivated fruit trees, this species represents a source of genetic variability and can be very important in breeding programs and cultivation. For this reason, it would be of interest to use an effective method of in vitro mid-term conservation, which involves strategies to slow plant growth through physicochemical alterations of in vitro growth conditions. Multiplication of wild almond was carried out using zygotic embryos, as primary explants, with the purpose to develop a successful propagation protocol. Results showed that zygotic embryos can proliferate through direct or indirect organogenesis. During subculture, stage was obtained a great number of new plantlets identical to mother plants derived from the zygotic embryos. All in vitro plantlets obtained from subcultures underwent in vitro conservation by minimal growth in low temperature (4ºC) and darkness. The efficiency of this technique was evaluated for 3, 6, and 10 months of conservation period. Maintenance in these conditions reduced micro cuttings growth. Survival and regeneration rates for each period were evaluated and resulted that the maximal time of conservation without subculture on 4ºC was 10 months, but survival and regeneration rates were significantly reduced, specifically 15.6% and 7.6%. An optimal period of conservation in these conditions can be considered the 5-6 months storage, which can lead to 60-50% of survival and regeneration rates. This protocol may be beneficial for mass propagation, mid-term conservation, and for genetic manipulation of wild almond.

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148
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10010885
Adsorption and Electrochemical Regeneration for Industrial Wastewater Treatment
Abstract:

Graphite intercalation compound (GIC) has been demonstrated to be a useful, low capacity and rapid adsorbent for the removal of organic micropollutants from water. The high electrical conductivity and low capacity of the material lends itself to electrochemical regeneration. Following electrochemical regeneration, equilibrium loading under similar conditions is reported to exceed that achieved by the fresh adsorbent. This behavior is reported in terms of the regeneration efficiency being greater than 100%. In this work, surface analysis techniques are employed to investigate the material in three states: ‘Fresh’, ‘Loaded’ and ‘Regenerated’. ‘Fresh’ GIC is shown to exhibit a hydrogen and oxygen rich surface layer approximately 150 nm thick. ‘Loaded’ GIC shows a similar but slightly thicker surface layer (approximately 370 nm thick) and significant enhancement in the hydrogen and oxygen abundance extending beyond 600 nm from the surface. 'Regenerated’ GIC shows an oxygen rich layer, slightly thicker than the fresh case at approximately 220 nm while showing a very much lower hydrogen enrichment at the surface. Results demonstrate that while the electrochemical regeneration effectively removes the phenol model pollutant, it also oxidizes the exposed carbon surface. These results may have a significant impact on the estimation of adsorbent life.

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157
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