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EISSN : 1996-1073
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 24,161
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Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123679

Abstract:
Plaster has, from ancient times, been used as a decorative material. However, the advances in materials engineering such as thermal and moisture control provide new opportunities. Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) have been found to possess passive moisture control that may find utilization in modern buildings. However, the main drawback is associated with a limited number of applicable SAPs due to mechanical strength loss. In this regard, concurrent utilization of cellulose fibers may provide additional benefits linked with the reinforcing of plaster structure and preservation of superior hygric properties. In this regard, this study investigates the combined effect of SAP and cellulose fibers on the material properties of cement-lime plaster in terms of its mechanic, thermal, and hygric properties. To access the capability of such modified plasters to control the interior moisture fluctuations, the moisture buffering value is determined. Obtained results show the effect of both applied admixtures on material performance, whilst the synergic effect was most obvious for humidity control accessed through the moisture buffer coefficient.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123680

Abstract:
Power network operators are rapidly incorporating wind power generation into their power grids to meet the widely accepted carbon neutrality targets and facilitate the transition from conventional fossil-fuel energy sources to the clean and low-carbon renewable energy sources
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123682

Abstract:
The constant problems evidenced in the Brazilian hydrological scenario, where the source of hydraulic potential corresponds to about 63.9% of the energy matrix, coupled with the exponential growth in the supply of renewable energy, corroborates the importance of thermal power generation as the basis of Brazilian’s energy matrix. With the operation of thermal power plants, which characteristically involve a large number of systems, subsystems, and auxiliary equipment, there is a high demand for the use of methodologies for monitoring and controlling processes, analyzing failures, and implementing improvements and actions that increase the reliability and, consequently, reduce the failure rate. In this context, decision-making about prioritizing criticality for operational monitoring of an asset’s components, from the perspective of operation and maintenance planning and based on reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) concepts, can be considered a complex task. Given this, the research seeks to demonstrate how the “Measuring Attractiveness by a Category Based Evaluation Technique (MACBETH)” method can be applied to the development of a multiple criteria model to support decision making in ordering the criticality of systems in operational inspection routes of thermal power plants, to propose new routines execution methodologies, aiming at increasing the productivity of the operation team. According to the results of the judgment matrix, the ordering proposal allowed a strategy for the execution of the current operational routes, redefining criticality, periodicity, routing, and applied resources, maintaining the reliability of the plant. It limits itself to assessing the criticality of the subsystems and monitored points belonging to the boiler system. These are typical of thermoelectric plants classified within the Rankine thermodynamic cycle and represent a significant part of the evaluation proposal.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123685

Abstract:
This paper proposes a novel model predictive current control scheme for two-stage matrix converter. The switching frequency is kept constant by fixing the switching instant. The control strategy achieves to control source reactive power in the input side and output currents in the output side. In addition, the advantage of the proposed strategy compared with conventional model predictive control is firstly proved using the principle of vector synthesis and the law of sines in the vector distribution area. Moreover, a zero-current switching sequence is proposed and implemented to insure zero-current switching operations and reduce the switching losses. Furthermore, in order to suppress the input filter resonance, which is easier to be inspired by the model predictive control, compared with traditional control strategies, an innovative active damping technique is proposed and implemented. Finally, both simulation and experiment are implemented to verify the performance of the proposed strategy. The results demonstrate that the control system features both good steady and transient performance.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123686

Abstract:
When designing the cement slurry for casing string cementing in geothermal boreholes, the appropriate thermal conductivity is selected. In the zone of geothermal water, where thermal energy is collected, cement slurry is used, from which the cement sheath has high thermal conductivity. On the other hand, the remaining part of the opening is sealed with slurry, from which the cement sheath will reduce thermal energy losses through appropriate thermal insulation. Cement slurry with appropriate thermal insulation includes light insulating materials. However, the use of such additives is very problematic as they are fractionated due to their low density Therefore, measures should be taken to prevent fractionation of the cement slurry for sealing geothermal boreholes. This article presents the results of research on fractionation of cement slurries for sealing geothermal boreholes. 12 slurries were used for the tests. Six of them are based on class A cement, and six based on class G cement. This action shows the differences in fractionation depending on the binder used. However, the main area of research is determining the effectiveness of counteracting fractionation by the means used for this purpose. As a result of the conducted works, a very good improvement of the cement slurry stability is obtained after the introduction of xanthan gum, as well as filtration perlite. These measures prevent fractionation, so that the cement slurry has a homogeneous structure, and the cement sheath provides the required thermal insulation in the geothermal well.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123711

Abstract:
The interconnection between optimal control theory and the theory of energy-shaping control is described in our paper. For linear and nonlinear systems, the application of the theory of optimal control for the synthesis of parameters of energy-shaping control matrices is demonstrated in detail. The use of a Riccati equation allows us to form an optimality criterion and to synthesize the energy-shaping control system that provides the desired transient processes. The proposed approach was applied to the synthesis of control influences for electric vehicle subsystems, such as a two-mass system and a permanent magnets synchronous motor. The results of computer simulation studies, as well as those conducted on real experimental installations, are given in this paper.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123698

Abstract:
Electricity companies around the world are constantly seeking ways to provide electricity more safely and efficiently while reducing the negative impact on the environment. Mineral oils have been the most popular transformer insulation, having excellent electrical insulating properties, but have many problems such as high flammability, significant cleaning problems, and are toxic to fish and wildlife. This paper presents an alternative approach to mineral oil: a transformer design that is clean and provides better performance and environmental benefits. A 50 kVA, 34.5/0.4 kV gas insulated distribution transformer was designed and evaluated using the COMSOL Multiphysics environment. R410A was used as insulation material. R410A is a near-azeotropic mixture of difluoromethane (CH2F2, called R-32) and pentafluoro ethane (C2HF5, called R-125), which is used as a refrigerant in air conditioning applications. It has excellent properties including environmentally friendly, no-ozone depletion, low greenhouse effect, non-explosive and non-flammable, First, the breakdown voltage of the selected gas was determined. The electrostatic and thermal properties of the R410A gas insulated transformer were investigated in the COMSOL environment. The simulation results for the performance of oil and SF6 gas insulated transformers using the same model were compared. The gas-insulated transformer is believed to have equivalent performance and is an environmentally friendly alternative to current oil-based transformers.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123703

Abstract:
In this study, ultrasound was used to accelerate two-stage (esterification–transesterification) catalytic synthesis of biodiesel from used cooking oil, which originally had a high acid value (4.35 mg KOH/g). In the first stage, acid-catalyzed esterification reaction conditions were developed with a 9:1 methanol/oil molar ratio, sulfuric acid dosage at 2 wt %, and a reaction temperature of 60 °C. Under ultrasound irradiation for 40 min, the acid value was effectively decreased from 4.35 to 1.67 mg KOH/g, which was decreased to a sufficient level (<2 mg KOH/g) to avoid the saponification problem for the subsequent transesterification reaction. In the following stage, base-catalyzed transesterification reactions were carried out with a 12:1 methanol/oil molar ratio, a sodium hydroxide dosage of 1 wt %, and a reaction temperature of 65 °C. Under ultrasound-assisted transesterification for 40 min, the conversion rate of biodiesel reached 97.05%, which met the requirement of EN 14214 standard, i.e., 96.5% minimum. In order to evaluate and explore the improvement of the ultrasound-assisted two-stage (esterification–transesterification) process in shortening the reaction time, additional two-stage biodiesel synthesis experiments using the traditional mechanical stirring method under the optimal conditions were further carried out in this study. It was found that, under the same optimal conditions, using the ultrasound-assisted two-stage process, the total reaction time was significantly reduced to only 80 min, which was much shorter than the total time required by the conventional method of 140 min. It is worth noting that compared with the traditional method without ultrasound, the intensification of the ultrasound-assisted two-stage process significantly shortened the total time from 140 min to 80 min, which is a reduction of 42.9%. It was concluded that the ultrasound-assisted two-stage (esterification–transesterification) catalytic process is an effective and time-saving method for synthesizing biodiesel from used cooking oil with a high acid value.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123704

Abstract:
The article deals with the competitiveness of regions in the face of climate change. The aim was to present the concept of measuring the Regional Climate Change Competitiveness Index. We used a comparative and logical analysis of the concept of regional competitiveness and heuristic conceptual methods to construct the index and measurement scale. The structure of the index includes six broad sub-indexes: Basic, Natural, Efficiency, Innovation, Sectoral, Social, and 89 indicators. A practical application of the model was presented for the Mazowieckie province in Poland. This allowed the region’s performance in the context of climate change to be presented, and regional weaknesses in the process of adaptation to climate change to be identified. The conclusions of the research confirm the possibility of applying the Regional Climate Change Competitiveness Index in the economic analysis and strategic planning. The presented model constitutes one of the earliest tools for the evaluation of climate change competitiveness at a regional level.
Published: 21 June 2021
Energies, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/en14123709

Abstract:
Recently, issues related to the effects (benefit or harm) of processing nuclear waste and its further use as fuel have been increasingly often raised in the scientific discussion. In this regard, the research aims to investigate issues related to the assessment of the economic potential of nuclear waste use, as well as the cooperation between states in the context of the reduction of risks associated with nuclear waste storage and processing. The research methodology is based on an integrated approach, including statistical, factor analysis, and the proposed system of performance indicators for managing spent nuclear fuel use. The research was carried out on the basis of materials from Russia and the EU countries. In the course of the study, a model of cooperation between states has been developed (based on the example of technologies and methods of processing nuclear waste used in the EU and Russia) according to the nuclear waste (spent nuclear fuel) management algorithm. The model considers the risks and threats associated with ecology and safety. The developments and other results described in the study should be used in further research devoted to the use of nuclear waste as heat-producing elements.
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