International Science Index

371
10010856
The Application of International Law in Terms of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and Another v Minister of Energy and Others 65662/16 (2017) Case
Abstract:

This study involves a legal analysis of the case Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Others. The case considered the impact of the Thabametsi Power Project if it operated to the expected year 2060 on the global climate and ever-changing climate, in South Africa. This judgment highlights the significance, place and principles of climate change and where climate change impacts the South African environmental law which has its founding principles in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This paper seeks to examine the advances for climate change regulation and application in terms of international law, in South Africa, through a qualitative study involving comparative national and international case law. A literature review study was conducted to compare and contrast the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands with reference to international law and interpretation. The relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act will be discussed. It then proceeds to outline the potential liability of the Minister in the interpretation and application of international law.

Paper Detail
11
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370
10010870
Suitability of Alternative Insulating Fluid for Power Transformer: A Laboratory Investigation
Abstract:

Power transformer is a vital element in a power system as it continuously regulates power flow, maintaining good voltage regulation. The working of transformer much depends on the oil insulation, the oil insulation also decides the aging of transformer and hence its reliability. The mineral oil based liquid insulation is globally accepted for power transformer insulation; however it is potentially hazardous due to its non-biodegradability. In this work efficient alternative biodegradable insulating fluid is presented as a replacement to conventional mineral oil. Dielectric tests are performed as distinct alternating fluid to evaluate the suitability for transformer insulation. The selection of the distinct natural esters for an insulation system is carried out by the laboratory investigation of Breakdown voltage, Oxidation stability, Dissipation factor, Permittivity, Viscosity, Flash and Fire point. It is proposed to study and characterize the properties of natural esters to be used in power transformer. Therefore for the investigation of the dielectric behavior rice bran oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil are considered for the study. The investigated results have been compared with the mineral oil to validate the dielectric behavior of natural esters.

Paper Detail
4
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369
10010880
Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety
Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Paper Detail
3
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368
10010884
Doubly Fed Induction Generator Based Variable Speed Wind Conversion System Control Enhancement by Applying Fractional Order Controller
Abstract:

In an electric power grid connected wind generation system, dynamic control strategy is essential to use the wind energy efficiently as well as for an energy optimization. The present study has focused on decoupled power regulation of doubly fed induction generator, operating in wind turbine, in accordance with the vector control approach by applying fractional order proportional integral (FOPI) controller. The FOPI controller is designed based on a simple method; up such that the response of closed loop process is similar to the response of a specified fractional model whose transfer function is Bode’s ideal function. In this tuning operation, the parameters of the proposed fractional controller are established analytically using the impulse closed-loop response of the controlled process. To show the superior action of the developed FOPI controller in comparison with standard PI controller in different function conditions, the study is validated through simulation using the software MATLAB/Simulink.

Paper Detail
1
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367
10010791
The Governance of Islamic Banks in Morocco: Meaning, Strategic Vision and Purposes Attributed to the Governance System
Abstract:

Due to the setbacks on the international scene and the wave of cacophonic financial scandals affecting large international groups, the new Islamic finance industry is not immune despite its initial resistance. The purpose of this paper is to understand and analyze the meaning of the Corporate Governance (CG) concept in Moroccan Islamic banking systems with specific reference to their institutions. The research objective is to identify also the path taken and adopted by these banks recently set up in Morocco. The foundation is rooted in shari'a, in particular, no stakeholder (the shareholding approach) must be harmed, and the ethical value is reflected into these parties’ behavior. We chose a qualitative method, semi-structured interviews where six managers provided answers about their banking systems. Since these respondents held a senior position (directors) within their organizations, it is felt that they are well placed and have the necessary knowledge to provide us with information to answer the questions asked. The results identified the orientation of participating banks and assessing how governance works, while determining which party is fovoured: shareholders, stakeholders or both. This study discusses the favorable condition to the harmonization of the regulations and therefore a better integration between Islamic finance and conventional ones in the economic context of Morocco.

Paper Detail
70
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366
10010793
A Legal Opinion on Mitigation and Adaptation on Air Pollution Strategies for Local Governments in South Africa
Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.

Paper Detail
61
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365
10010736
Considering Aerosol Processes in Nuclear Transport Package Containment Safety Cases
Abstract:
Packages designed for transport of radioactive material must satisfy rigorous safety regulations specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Higher Activity Waste (HAW) transport packages have to maintain containment of their contents during normal and accident conditions of transport (NCT and ACT). To ensure containment criteria is satisfied these packages are required to be leak-tight in all transport conditions to meet allowable activity release rates. Package design safety reports are the safety cases that provide the claims, evidence and arguments to demonstrate that packages meet the regulations and once approved by the competent authority (in the UK this is the Office for Nuclear Regulation) a licence to transport radioactive material is issued for the package(s). The standard approach to demonstrating containment in the RWM transport safety case is set out in BS EN ISO 12807. In this document a method for measuring a leak rate from the package is explained by way of a small interspace test volume situated between two O-ring seals on the underside of the package lid. The interspace volume is pressurised and a pressure drop measured. A small interspace test volume makes the method more sensitive enabling the measurement of smaller leak rates. By ascertaining the activity of the contents, identifying a releasable fraction of material and by treating that fraction of material as a gas, allowable leak rates for NCT and ACT are calculated. The adherence to basic safety principles in ISO12807 is very pessimistic and current practice in the demonstration of transport safety, which is accepted by the UK regulator. It is UK government policy that management of HAW will be through geological disposal. It is proposed that the intermediate level waste be transported to the geological disposal facility (GDF) in large cuboid packages. This poses a challenge for containment demonstration because such packages will have long seals and therefore large interspace test volumes. There is also uncertainty on the releasable fraction of material within the package ullage space. This is because the waste may be in many different forms which makes it difficult to define the fraction of material released by the waste package. Additionally because of the large interspace test volume, measuring the calculated leak rates may not be achievable. For this reason a justification for a lower releasable fraction of material is sought. This paper considers the use of aerosol processes to reduce the releasable fraction for both NCT and ACT. It reviews the basic coagulation and removal processes and applies the dynamic aerosol balance equation. The proposed solution includes only the most well understood physical processes namely; Brownian coagulation and gravitational settling. Other processes have been eliminated either on the basis that they would serve to reduce the release to the environment further (pessimistically in keeping with the essence of nuclear transport safety cases) or that they are not credible in the conditions of transport considered.
Paper Detail
66
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364
10010785
Origanum vulgare as a Possible Modulator of Testicular Endocrine Function in Mice
Abstract:

This study was designed to assess the in vitro effects of Origanum vulgare L. (oregano) extract on the testicular steroidogenesis. We focused on identifying major biomolecules present in the oregano extract, as well as to investigate its in vitro impact on the secretion of cholesterol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione by murine testicular fragments. The extract was subjected to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) which identified cyranosid, daidzein, thymol, rosmarinic and trans-caffeic acid among the predominant biochemical components of oregano. For the in vitro experiments, testicular fragments from 20 sexually mature Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were incubated in the absence (control group) or presence of the oregano extract at selected concentrations (10, 100 and 1000 μg/mL) for 24 h. Cholesterol levels were quantified using photometry and the hormones were assessed by ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay). Our data revealed that the release of cholesterol and androstenedione (but not dehydroepiandrosterone and testosterone) by the testicular fragments was significantly impacted by the oregano extract in a dose-dependent fashion. Supplementation of the extract resulted in a significant decline of cholesterol (P < 0.05 in case of 100 μg/mL; P < 0.01 with respect 100 μg/mL extract), as well as androstenedione (P < 0.01 with respect to 100 and 1000 μg/mL extract). Our results suggest that the biomolecules present in Origanum vulgare L. could exhibit a dose-dependent impact on the secretion of male steroids, playing a role in the regulation of testicular steroidogenesis.

Paper Detail
58
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363
10010584
Fire Resilient Cities: The Impact of Fire Regulations, Technological and Community Resilience
Authors:
Abstract:
Building resilience, sustainable buildings, urbanization, climate change, resilient cities, are just a few examples of where the focus of research has been in the last few years. It is obvious that there is a need to rethink how we are building our cities and how we are renovating our existing buildings. However, the question remaining is how can we assure that we are building sustainable yet resilient cities? There are many aspects one can touch upon when discussing resilience in cities, but after the event of Grenfell in June 2017, it has become clear that fire resilience must be a priority. We define resilience as a holistic approach including communities, society and systems, focusing not only on resisting the effects of a disaster, but also how it will cope and recover from it. Cities are an example of such a system, where components such as buildings have an important role to play. A building on fire will have an impact on the community, the economy, the environment, and so the entire system. Therefore, we believe that fire and resilience go hand in hand when we discuss building resilient cities. This article aims at discussing the current state of the concept of fire resilience and suggests actions to support the built of more fire resilient buildings. Using the case of Grenfell and the fire safety regulations in the UK, we will briefly compare the fire regulations in other European countries, more precisely France, Germany and Denmark, to underline the difference and make some suggestions to increase fire resilience via regulation. For this research, we will also include other types of resilience such as technological resilience, discussing the structure of buildings itself, as well as community resilience, considering the role of communities in building resilience. Our findings demonstrate that to increase fire resilience, amending existing regulations might be necessary, for example, how we performed reaction to fire tests and how we classify building products. However, as we are looking at national regulations, we are only able to make general suggestions for improvement. Another finding of this research is that the capacity of the community to recover and adapt after a fire is also an essential factor. Fundamentally, fire resilience, technological resilience and community resilience are closely connected. Building resilient cities is not only about sustainable buildings or energy efficiency; it is about assuring that all the aspects of resilience are included when building or renovating buildings. We must ask ourselves questions as: Who are the users of this building? Where is the building located? What are the components of the building, how was it designed and which construction products have been used? If we want to have resilient cities, we must answer these basic questions and assure that basic factors such as fire resilience are included in our assessment.
Paper Detail
119
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362
10010520
Investigating the Regulation System of the Synchronous Motor Excitation Mode Serving as a Reactive Power Source
Abstract:

The efficient usage of the compensation abilities of the electrical drive synchronous motors used in production processes can essentially improve the technical and economic indices of the process.  Reducing the flows of the reactive electrical energy due to the compensation of reactive power allows to significantly reduce the load losses of power in the electrical networks. As a result of analyzing the scientific works devoted to the issues of regulating the excitation of the synchronous motors, the need for comprehensive investigation and estimation of the excitation mode has been substantiated. By means of the obtained transmission functions, in the Simulink environment of the software package MATLAB, the transition processes of the excitation mode have been studied. As a result of obtaining and estimating the graph of the Nyquist plot and the transient process, the necessity of developing the Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) regulator has been justified. The transient processes of the system of the PID regulator have been investigated, and the amplitude–phase characteristics of the system have been estimated. The analysis of the obtained results has shown that the regulation indices of the developed system have been improved. The developed system can be successfully applied for regulating the excitation voltage of different-power synchronous motors, operating with a changing load, ensuring a value of the power coefficient close to 1.

Paper Detail
117
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361
10010317
Implementation-Oriented Discussion for Historical and Cultural Villages’ Conservation Planning
Authors:
Abstract:
Since the State Council of China issued the Regulations on the Conservation of Historical Cultural Towns and Villages in 2008, formulation of conservation planning has been carried out in national, provincial and municipal historical and cultural villages for protection needs, which provides a legal basis for inheritance of historical culture and protection of historical resources. Although the quantity and content of the conservation planning are continually increasing, the implementation and application are still ambiguous. To solve the aforementioned problems, this paper explores methods to enhance the implementation of conservation planning from the perspective of planning formulation. Specifically, the technical framework of "overall objectives planning - sub-objectives planning - zoning guidelines - implementation by stages" is proposed to implement the planning objectives in different classifications and stages. Then combined with details of the Qiqiao historical and cultural village conservation planning project in Ningbo, five sub-objectives are set, which are implemented through the village zoning guidelines. At the same time, the key points and specific projects in the near-term, medium-term and long-term work are clarified, and the spatial planning is transformed into the action plan with time scale. The proposed framework and method provide a reference for the implementation and management of the conservation planning of historical and cultural villages in the future.
Paper Detail
182
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360
10010241
The Role of Glutamine-Rich Region of Candida Albicans Tec1p in Mediating Morphological Transition and Invasive Growth
Abstract:

Hyphal growth and the transcriptional regulation to the host environment are key issues during the pathogenesis of C. albicans. Tec1p is the C. albicans homolog of a TEA transcription factor family, which share a conserved DNA-binding TEA domain in their N-terminal. In order to define a structure-function relationship of the C. albicans Tec1p protein, we constructed several mutations on the N terminal, C terminal or in the TEA binding domain itself by homologous recombination technology. The modifications in the open reading frame of TEC1 were tested for reconstitution of the morphogenetic development of the tec1/tec1 mutant strain CaAS12. Mutation in the TEA consensus sequence did not confer transition to hyphae whereas the reconstitution of the full-length Tec1p has reconstituted hyphal development. A deletion in one of glutamine-rich regions either in the Tec1p N-terminal or the C-terminal in regions of 53-212 or 637–744 aa, respectively, did not restore morphological development in mutant CaAS12 strain. Whereas, the reconstitution with Tec1p mutants other than the glutamate-rich region has restored the morphogenetic switch. Additionally, the deletion of the glutamine-rich region has attenuated the invasive growth and the heat shock resistance of C. albicans. In conclusion, we show that a glutamine-rich region of Tec1p is essential for the hyphal development and mediating adaptation to the host environment of C. albicans.

Paper Detail
263
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359
10010300
The Quality of Fishery Product on the Moldovan Market, Regulations, National Institutions, Controls and Non-Compliant Products
Abstract:

This paper presents the aspects of the official control of fishery in the Republic of Moldova. Currently, the regulations and the activity of national institutions with responsibilities in the field of food quality are in a process of harmonization with the European rules, aiming at European integration, quality improvement and providing a higher level of food safety. The National Agency for Food Safety is the main national body with responsibilities in the field of food safety. In the field of fishery products, the Agency carries out an intensive activity of informing the citizen and controlling the products marketed. The paper presents the dangers related to the consumption of fish and fishery products traded on the national market, the sanitary-veterinary inspections conducted by the profile institution and the improper situations identified. The national market of fishery products depends largely on imports, mainly focused on ocean fish. The research carried out has shown that during the period 2011-2018, following the inspections carried out on fishery products traded on the national market, a number of inconsistencies have been identified. Thus, indigenous products were frequently detected with sensory characteristics unfit for consumption, and being commercialized in inappropriate locations or contaminated with chemical pollutants. On import products controlled, the most frequent inconsistent situations have been represented by inconsistent sensory aspects and by parasite contamination. Taking into account the specific aspects of aquatic products, including the high level of alterability, special conditions of growth, marketing, culinary preparation and consumption are necessary in order to decrease the risk of disease over the population. Certificates, attestations and other documents certifying the quality of batches, completed by additional laboratory examinations, are necessary in order to increase the level of confidence on the quality of products marketed in the Republic. The implementation of various control procedures and mechanisms at national level, correlated with the focused activity of the specialized institutions, can decrease the risk of contamination and avoid cases of disease on the population due to the consumption of fishery products.

Paper Detail
182
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358
10010111
Proposal of Blue and Green Infrastructure for the Jaguaré Stream Watershed, São Paulo, Brazil
Abstract:

The blue-green infrastructure in recent years has been pointed out as a possibility to increase the environmental quality of watersheds. The regulation ecosystem services brought by these areas are many, such as the improvement of the air quality of the air, water, soil, microclimate, besides helping to control the peak flows and to promote the quality of life of the population. This study proposes a blue-green infrastructure scenario for the Jaguaré watershed, located in the western zone of the São Paulo city in Brazil. Based on the proposed scenario, it was verified the impact of the adoption of the blue and green infrastructure in the control of the peak flow of the basin, the benefits for the avifauna that are also reflected in the flora and finally, the quantification of the regulation ecosystem services brought by the adoption of the scenario proposed. A survey of existing green areas and potential areas for expansion and connection of these areas to form a network in the watershed was carried out. Based on this proposed new network of green areas, the peak flow for the proposed scenario was calculated with the help of software, ABC6. Finally, a survey of the ecosystem services contemplated in the proposed scenario was made. It was possible to conclude that the blue and green infrastructure would provide several regulation ecosystem services for the watershed, such as the control of the peak flow, the connection frame between the forest fragments that promoted the environmental enrichment of these fragments, improvement of the microclimate and the provision of leisure areas for the population.

Paper Detail
272
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357
10010153
Strategies for E-Waste Management: A Literature Review
Abstract:
During the last few decades, with the high-speed upgrade of electronic products, electronic waste (e-waste) has become one of the fastest growing wastes of the waste stream. In this context, more efforts and concerns have already been placed on the treatment and management of this waste. To mitigate their negative influences on the environment and society, it is necessary to establish appropriate strategies for e-waste management. Hence, this paper aims to review and analysis some useful strategies which have been applied in several countries to handle e-waste. Future perspectives on e-waste management are also suggested. The key findings found that, to manage e-waste successfully, it is necessary to establish effective reverse supply chains for e-waste, and raise public awareness towards the detrimental impacts of e-waste. The result of the research provides valuable insights to governments, policymakers in establishing e-waste management in a safe and sustainable manner.
Paper Detail
820
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356
10010158
Self-Care Behavior and Performance Level Associated with Algerian Chronically Ill Patients
Abstract:

Chronic illnesses affect many Algerians. It is possible to investigate the impact of illness representations and coping on quality of life and whether illness representations are indirectly associated with quality of life through their influence on coping. This study aims at investigating the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life with chronic illness. Illness perceptions are indirectly associated with the quality of life through their influence on coping mediation. A sample of 316 participants with chronic illness living in the region of Batna, Algeria, has been adopted in this study. A correlation statistical analysis is used to determine the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies, and quality of life. Multiple regression analysis was employed to highlight the predictive ability of the dimensions of illness perception and coping strategies on the dependent variables of quality of life, where mediation analysis is considered in the exploration of the indirect effect significance of the mediator. This study provides insights about the relationship between illness perception, coping strategies and quality of life in the considered sample (r = 0.39, p < 0.01). Therefore, it proves that there is an effect of illness identity perception, external and medical attributions related to emotional role, physical functioning, and mental health perceived, and these were fully mediated by the asking for assistance (c’= 0.04, p < 0.05), the guarding (c’= 0.00, p < 0.05), and the task persistence strategy (c’= 0.05, p < 0.05). The findings imply partial support for the common-sense model of illness representations in a chronic illness population. Directions for future research are highlighted, as well as implications for psychotherapeutic interventions which target unhelpful beliefs and maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy).

Paper Detail
228
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355
10010193
Energy Harvesting and Storage System for Marine Applications
Abstract:

Rigorous international maritime regulations are in place to limit boat and ship hydrocarbon emissions. The global sustainability goals are reducing the fuel consumption and minimizing the emissions from the ships and boats. These maritime sustainability goals have attracted a lot of research interest. Energy harvesting and storage system is designed in this study based on hybrid renewable and conventional energy systems. This energy harvesting and storage system is designed for marine applications, such as, boats and small ships. These systems can be utilized for mobile use or off-grid remote electrification. This study analyzed the use of micro power generation for boats and small ships. The energy harvesting and storage system has two distinct systems i.e. dockside shore-based system and on-board system. The shore-based system consists of a small wind turbine, photovoltaic (PV) panels, small gas turbine, hydrogen generator and high-pressure hydrogen storage tank. This dockside system is to provide easy access to the boats and small ships for supply of hydrogen. The on-board system consists of hydrogen storage tanks and fuel cells. The wind turbine and PV panels generate electricity to operate electrolyzer. A small gas turbine is used as a supplementary power system to contribute in case the hybrid renewable energy system does not provide the required energy. The electrolyzer performs the electrolysis on distilled water to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in high-pressure tanks. The hydrogen from the high-pressure tank is filled in the low-pressure tanks on-board seagoing vessels to operate the fuel cell. The boats and small ships use the hydrogen fuel cell to provide power to electric propulsion motors and for on-board auxiliary use. For shore-based system, a small wind turbine with the total length of 4.5 m and the disk diameter of 1.8 m is used. The small wind turbine dimensions make it big enough to be used to charge batteries yet small enough to be installed on the rooftops of dockside facility. The small dimensions also make the wind turbine easily transportable. In this paper, PV, sizing and solar flux are studied parametrically. System performance is evaluated under different operating and environmental conditions. The parametric study is conducted to evaluate the energy output and storage capacity of energy storage system. Results are generated for a wide range of conditions to analyze the usability of hybrid energy harvesting and storage system. This energy harvesting method significantly improves the usability and output of the renewable energy sources. It also shows that small hybrid energy systems have promising practical applications.

Paper Detail
282
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354
10010011
Net Interest Margin of Cooperative Banks in Low Interest Rate Environment
Abstract:

This paper deals with the impact of decrease in interest rates on the performance of commercial and cooperative banks in the Eurozone measured by net interest margin. The analysis was performed on balanced dataset of 268 commercial and 726 cooperative banks spanning the 2008-2015 period. We employed Fixed Effects estimation panel method. As expected, we found a negative relationship between market rates and net interest margin. Our results suggest that the impact of negative interest income differs across individual banking business models. More precisely, those cooperative banks were much more hit by the decrease of market interest rates which might be due to their ownership structure and more restrictive business regulation.

Paper Detail
287
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353
10009974
Validation of Solar PV Inverter Harmonics Behaviour at Different Power Levels in a Test Network
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Grid connected solar PV inverters need to be compliant to standard regulations regarding unwanted harmonic generation. This paper gives an introduction to harmonics, solar PV inverter voltage regulation and balancing through compensation and investigates the behaviour of harmonic generation at different power levels. Practical measurements of harmonics and power levels with a power quality data logger were made, on a test network at a university in Germany. The test setup and test results are discussed. The major finding was that between the morning and afternoon load peak windows when the PV inverters operate under low solar insolation and low power levels, more unwanted harmonics are generated. This has a huge impact on the power quality of the grid as well as capital and maintenance costs. The design of a single-tuned harmonic filter towards harmonic mitigation is presented.

Paper Detail
643
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352
10009833
Teaching Translation in Brazilian Universities: A Study about the Possible Impacts of Translators’ Comments on the Cyberspace about Translator Education
Authors:
Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to discuss relevant points about teaching translation in Brazilian universities and the possible impacts of blogs and social networks to translator education today. It is intended to analyze the curricula of Brazilian translation courses, contrasting them to information obtained from two social networking groups of great visibility in the area concerning essential characteristics to become a successful profession. Therefore, research has, as its main corpus, a few undergraduate translation programs’ syllabuses, as well as a few postings on social networks groups that specifically share professional opinions regarding the necessity for a translator to obtain a degree in translation to practice the profession. To a certain extent, such comments and their corresponding responses lead to the propagation of discourses which influence the ideas that aspiring translators and recent graduates end up having towards themselves and their undergraduate courses. The postings also show that many professionals do not have a clear position regarding the translator education; while refuting it, they also encourage “free” courses. It is thus observed that cyberspace constitutes, on the one hand, a place of mobilization of people in defense of similar ideas. However, on the other hand, it embodies a place of tension and conflict, in view of the fact that there are many participants and, as in any other situation of interlocution, disagreements may arise. From the postings, aspects related to professionalism were analyzed (including discussions about regulation), as well as questions about the classic dichotomies: theory/practice; art/technique; self-education/academic training. As partial result, the common interest regarding the valorization of the profession could be mentioned, although there is no consensus on the essential characteristics to be a good translator. It was also possible to observe that the set of socially constructed representations in the group reflects characteristics of the world situation of the translation courses (especially in some European countries and in the United States), which, in the first instance, does not accurately reflect the Brazilian idiosyncrasies of the area.

Paper Detail
309
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351
10009838
Investigation of Improved Chaotic Signal Tracking by Echo State Neural Networks and Multilayer Perceptron via Training of Extended Kalman Filter Approach
Abstract:
This paper presents a prediction performance of feedforward Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Echo State Networks (ESN) trained with extended Kalman filter. Feedforward neural networks and ESN are powerful neural networks which can track and predict nonlinear signals. However, their tracking performance depends on the specific signals or data sets, having the risk of instability accompanied by large error. In this study we explore this process by applying different network size and leaking rate for prediction of nonlinear or chaotic signals in MLP neural networks. Major problems of ESN training such as the problem of initialization of the network and improvement in the prediction performance are tackled. The influence of coefficient of activation function in the hidden layer and other key parameters are investigated by simulation results. Extended Kalman filter is employed in order to improve the sequential and regulation learning rate of the feedforward neural networks. This training approach has vital features in the training of the network when signals have chaotic or non-stationary sequential pattern. Minimization of the variance in each step of the computation and hence smoothing of tracking were obtained by examining the results, indicating satisfactory tracking characteristics for certain conditions. In addition, simulation results confirmed satisfactory performance of both of the two neural networks with modified parameterization in tracking of the nonlinear signals.
Paper Detail
329
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350
10009856
A Six-Year Case Study Evaluating the Stakeholders’ Requirements and Satisfaction in Higher Educational Establishments
Abstract:

Worldwide and mainly in the European Union, many standards, regulations, models and systems exists for the evaluation and identification of stakeholders’ requirements of individual universities and higher education (HE) in general. All systems are targeting to measure or evaluate the Universities’ Quality Assurance Systems and the services offered to the recipients of HE, mainly the students. Numerous surveys were conducted in the past either by each university or by organized bodies to identify the students’ satisfaction or to evaluate to what extent these requirements are fulfilled. In this paper, the main results of an ongoing 6-year joint research will be presented very briefly. This research deals with an in depth investigation of student’s satisfaction, students personal requirements, a cup analysis among these two parameters and compares different universities. Through this research an attempt will be made to address four very important questions in higher education establishments (HEE): (1) Are there any common requirements, parameters, good practices or questions that apply to a large number of universities that will assure that students’ requirements are fulfilled? (2) Up to what extent the individual programs of HEE fulfil the requirements of the stakeholders? (3) Are there any similarities on specific programs among European HEE? (4) To what extent the knowledge acquired in a specific course program is utilized or used in a specific country? For the execution of the research an internationally accepted questionnaire(s) was used to evaluate up to what extent the students’ requirements and satisfaction were fulfilled in 2012 and five years later (2017). Samples of students and or universities were taken from many European Universities. The questionnaires used, the sampling method and methodology adopted, as well as the comparison tables and results will be very valuable to any university that is willing to follow the same route and methodology or compare the results with their own HHE. Apart from the unique methodology, valuable results are demonstrated from the four case studies. There is a great difference between the student’s expectations or importance from what they are getting from their universities (in all parameters they are getting less). When there is a crisis or budget cut in HEE there is a direct impact to students. There are many differences on subjects taught in European universities.

Paper Detail
294
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349
10009876
Investigation of Effective Parameters on Pullout Capacity in Soil Nailing with Special Attention to International Design Codes
Abstract:

An important and influential factor in design and determining the safety factor in Soil Nailing is the ultimate pullout capacity, or, in other words, bond strength. This important parameter depends on several factors such as material and soil texture, method of implementation, excavation diameter, friction angle between the nail and the soil, grouting pressure, the nail depth (overburden pressure), the angle of drilling and the degree of saturation in soil. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a customary regulation in the design of nailing, is considered only the effect of the soil type (or rock) and the method of implementation in determining the bond strength, which results in non-economic design. The other regulations are each of a kind, some of the parameters affecting bond resistance are not taken into account. Therefore, in the present paper, at first the relationships and tables presented by several valid regulations are presented for estimating the ultimate pullout capacity, and then the effect of several important factors affecting on ultimate Pullout capacity are studied. Finally, it was determined, the effect of overburden pressure (in method of injection with pressure), soil dilatation and roughness of the drilling surface on pullout strength is incremental, and effect of degree of soil saturation on pullout strength to a certain degree of saturation is increasing and then decreasing. therefore it is better to get help from nail pullout-strength test results and numerical modeling to evaluate the effect of parameters such as overburden pressure, dilatation, and degree of soil saturation, and so on to reach an optimal and economical design.

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10009734
Jurisprudencial Analysis of Torture in Spain and in the European Human Rights System
Abstract:
Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (E.C.H.R.) proclaims that no one may be subjected to torture, punishment or degrading treatment. The legislative correlate in Spain is embodied in Article 15 of the Spanish Constitution, and there must be an overlapping interpretation of both precepts on the ideal plane. While it is true that there are not many cases in which the European Court of Human Rights (E.C.t.H.R. (The Strasbourg Court)) has sanctioned Spain for its failure to investigate complaints of torture, it must be emphasized that the tendency to violate Article 3 of the Convention appears to be on the rise, being necessary to know possible factors that may be affecting it. This paper addresses the analysis of sentences that directly or indirectly reveal the violation of Article 3 of the European Convention. To carry out the analysis, sentences of the Strasbourg Court have been consulted from 2012 to 2016, being able to address any previous sentences to this period if it provided justified information necessary for the study. After the review it becomes clear that there are two key groups of subjects that request a response to the Strasbourg Court on the understanding that they have been tortured or degradingly treated. These are: immigrants and terrorists. Both phenomena, immigration and terrorism, respond to patterns that have mutated in recent years, and it is important for this study to know if national regulations begin to be dysfunctional.
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374
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10009803
Effective Planning of Public Transportation Systems: A Decision Support Application
Abstract:

Decision making on the true planning of the public transportation systems to serve potential users is a must for metropolitan areas. To take attraction of travelers to projected modes of transport, adequately fair overall travel times should be provided. In this fashion, other benefits such as lower traffic congestion, road safety and lower noise and atmospheric pollution may be earned. The congestion which comes with increasing demand of public transportation is becoming a part of our lives and making residents’ life difficult. Hence, regulations should be done to reduce this congestion. To provide a constructive and balanced regulation in public transportation systems, right stations should be located in right places. In this study, it is aimed to design and implement a Decision Support System (DSS) Application to determine the optimal bus stop places for public transport in Istanbul which is one of the biggest and oldest cities in the world. Required information is gathered from IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel) Enterprises which manages all public transportation services in Istanbul Metropolitan Area. By using the most real-like values, cost assignments are made. The cost is calculated with the help of equations produced by bi-level optimization model. For this study, 300 buses, 300 drivers, 10 lines and 110 stops are used. The user cost of each station and the operator cost taken place in lines are calculated. Some components like cost, security and noise pollution are considered as significant factors affecting the solution of set covering problem which is mentioned for identifying and locating the minimum number of possible bus stops. Preliminary research and model development for this study refers to previously published article of the corresponding author. Model results are represented with the intent of decision support to the specialists on locating stops effectively.

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299
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10009597
A Decade of Creating an Alternative Banking System in Tanzania: The Current State of Affairs of Islamic Banks
Abstract:

The concept of financial inclusion has been tabled in the whole world where practitioners, academicians, policy makers and economists are working hard to look for the best possible opportunities in order to enable the whole society to be in the banking cycle. The Islamic banking system is considered to be one of the said opportunities. Countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the whole of the United Arab Emirates and many African countries have accommodated the aspect of Islamic banking in the conventional banking system as one of the financial inclusion strategies. This paper tries to analyse the current state of affairs of the Islamic Banking system in Tanzania in order to understand the improvement of the provision of Islamic banking products and services in the said country. The paper discusses the historical background of the banking system in Tanzania, the level of penetration of banking products and services and the coming of the Islamic banking system in the country. Furthermore, the paper discusses banking regulatory bodies, legal instruments governing banking operations as well as number of legal challenges facing Islamic banking operations in the country. Following a critical literature review, the paper discovered that there is no legal instrument which talks about the introduction and provision of Islamic banking system in Tanzania. Furthermore, the Islamic banking system was considered as a banking product which is absolutely incorrect because Islamic banking is considered to be as a banking system of its own. In addition to that, it has been discovered that lack of a proper regulatory system and legal instruments to harmonize the conventional and Islamic banking systems has resulted in the closure of one Islamic window in the country, which in the end affects the credibility of the newly introduced banking system. In its conclusive remarks, the paper suggests that Tanzania should work on all legal challenges affecting the smooth operations of the Islamic banking system. This can be in a way of adopting various Islamic banking legal models which are used in countries like Malaysia and others, or a borrowing legal harmonization process which has been adopted by the UK, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.

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381
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10009608
Tools and Techniques in Risk Assessment in Public Risk Management Organisations
Abstract:

Risk assessment and the knowledge provided through this process is a crucial part of any decision-making process in the management of risks and uncertainties. Failure in assessment of risks can cause inadequacy in the entire process of risk management, which in turn can lead to failure in achieving organisational objectives as well as having significant damaging consequences on populations affected by the potential risks being assessed. The choice of tools and techniques in risk assessment can influence the degree and scope of decision-making and subsequently the risk response strategy. There are various available qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques that are deployed within the broad process of risk assessment. The sheer diversity of tools and techniques available to practitioners makes it difficult for organisations to consistently employ the most appropriate methods. This tools and techniques adaptation is rendered more difficult in public risk regulation organisations due to the sensitive and complex nature of their activities. This is particularly the case in areas relating to the environment, food, and human health and safety, when organisational goals are tied up with societal, political and individuals’ goals at national and international levels. Hence, recognising, analysing and evaluating different decision support tools and techniques employed in assessing risks in public risk management organisations was considered. This research is part of a mixed method study which aimed to examine the perception of risk assessment and the extent to which organisations practise risk assessment’ tools and techniques. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative data analysis to include a range of public risk regulation organisations from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The results indicated the public risk management organisations mainly use diverse tools and techniques in the risk assessment process. The primary hazard analysis; brainstorming; hazard analysis and critical control points were described as the most practiced risk identification techniques. Within qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, the participants named the expert judgement, risk probability and impact assessment, sensitivity analysis and data gathering and representation as the most practised techniques.

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385
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10009719
Stimulating Policy for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in Georgia
Abstract:
Current state of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Georgia is analyzed and evaluated in the paper, the existing legislative background for regulating investments and stimulating policies to attract investments are shown. It is noted that in developing countries encouragement of investment activity, support and implementation are of the most important tasks, implying a consistent investment policy, investor-friendly tax regime and the legal system, reducing administrative barriers and restrictions, fare competitive conditions and business development infrastructure. The work deals with the determining factor of FDIs and the main directions of stimulation, as well as prospective industries where new investments are needed. Contributing and hindering factors and stimulating measures are analyzed. As a result of the research, the direct and indirect factors attracting FDI have been identified. Facilitating factors to FDI inflow are as follows: simplicity of starting business, geopolitical location, low taxes, access to credit, ease of ownership registration, natural resources, low burden of regulations, low level of corruption and low crime rates. Hindering factors to FDI inflow are as follows: small market, lack of policy for attracting investments, low qualification of the workforce (despite the large number of unemployed people it is difficult to find workers with necessary special skills and qualifications), high interest rates, instability of national currency exchange rate, presence of conflict zones within the country and so forth.
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258
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10009532
The Role of Chemerin and Myostatin after Physical Activity
Abstract:

Obesity and overweight is one of the most common metabolic disorders in industrialized countries and in developing countries. One consequence of pathological obesity is cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Chemerin is an adipocyne that plays a role in the regulation of the adipocyte function and the metabolism of glucose in the liver and musculoskeletal system. Most likely, chemerin is involved in obesity-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercises reduce the level of chemerin and cause macrophage penetration into fat cells and inflammatory factors. Several efforts have been made to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypertrophy and muscular atrophy. Myostatin, a new member of the TGF-β family, is a transforming growth factor β that its expression negatively regulates the growth of the skeletal muscle; and the increase of this hormone has been observed in conditions of muscular atrophy. While in response to muscle overload, its levels decrease after the atrophy period, TGF-β is the most important cytokine in the development of skeletal muscle. Myostatin plays an important role in muscle control, and animal and human studies show a negative role of myostatin in the growth of skeletal muscle. Separation of myostatin from Golgi begins on the ninth day of the onset period and continues until birth at all times of muscle growth. Higher levels of myostatin are found in obese people. Resistance training for 10 weeks could reduce levels of plasma myostatin.

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267
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10009537
Genetic Algorithm Optimization of the Economical, Ecological and Self-Consumption Impact of the Energy Production of a Single Building
Abstract:
This paper presents an optimization method based on genetic algorithm for the energy management inside buildings developed in the frame of the project Smart Living Lab (SLL) in Fribourg (Switzerland). This algorithm optimizes the interaction between renewable energy production, storage systems and energy consumers. In comparison with standard algorithms, the innovative aspect of this project is the extension of the smart regulation over three simultaneous criteria: the energy self-consumption, the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs. The genetic algorithm approach was chosen due to the large quantity of optimization variables and the non-linearity of the optimization function. The optimization process includes also real time data of the building as well as weather forecast and users habits. This information is used by a physical model of the building energy resources to predict the future energy production and needs, to select the best energetic strategy, to combine production or storage of energy in order to guarantee the demand of electrical and thermal energy. The principle of operation of the algorithm as well as typical output example of the algorithm is presented.
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253
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