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Paper Count: 4981

Search results for: volumetric efficiency

91 Model-Based Global Maximum Power Point Tracking at Photovoltaic String under Partial Shading Conditions Using Multi-Input Interleaved Boost DC-DC Converter

Authors: Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Seyed Majid Hashemzadeh


Solar energy is one of the remarkable renewable energy sources that have particular characteristics such as unlimited, no environmental pollution, and free access. Generally, solar energy can be used in thermal and photovoltaic (PV) types. The cost of installation of the PV system is very high. Additionally, due to dependence on environmental situations such as solar radiation and ambient temperature, electrical power generation of this system is unpredictable and without power electronics devices, there is no guarantee to maximum power delivery at the output of this system. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) should be used to achieve the maximum power of a PV string. MPPT is one of the essential parts of the PV system which without this section, it would be impossible to reach the maximum amount of the PV string power and high losses are caused in the PV system. One of the noticeable challenges in the problem of MPPT is the partial shading conditions (PSC). In PSC, the output photocurrent of the PV module under the shadow is less than the PV string current. The difference between the mentioned currents passes from the module's internal parallel resistance and creates a large negative voltage across shaded modules. This significant negative voltage damages the PV module under the shadow. This condition is called hot-spot phenomenon. An anti-paralleled diode is inserted across the PV module to prevent the happening of this phenomenon. This diode is known as the bypass diode. Due to the performance of the bypass diode under PSC, the P-V curve of the PV string has several peaks. One of the P-V curve peaks that makes the maximum available power is the global peak. Model-based Global MPPT (GMPPT) methods can estimate the optimal point with higher speed than other GMPPT approaches. Centralized, modular, and interleaved DC-DC converter topologies are the significant structures that can be used for GMPPT at a PV string. there are some problems in the centralized structure such as current mismatch losses at PV sting, loss of power of the shaded modules because of bypassing by bypass diodes under PSC, needing to series connection of many PV modules to reach the desired voltage level. In the modular structure, each PV module is connected to a DC-DC converter. In this structure, by increasing the amount of demanded power from the PV string, the number of DC-DC converters that are used at the PV system will increase. As a result, the cost of the modular structure is very high. We can implement the model-based GMPPT through the multi-input interleaved boost DC-DC converter to increase the power extraction from the PV string and reduce hot-spot and current mismatch error in a PV string under different environmental condition and variable load circumstances. The interleaved boost DC-DC converter has many privileges than other mentioned structures, such as high reliability and efficiency, better regulation of DC voltage at DC link, overcome the notable errors such as module's current mismatch and hot spot phenomenon, and power switches voltage stress reduction.

Keywords: solar energy, photovoltaic systems, interleaved boost converter, maximum power point tracking, model-based method, partial shading conditions

Procedia PDF Downloads 23
90 Using Business Simulations and Game-Based Learning for Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation Training

Authors: Carin Chuang, Kuan-Chou Chen


An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an integrated information system that supports the seamless integration of all the business processes of a company. Implementing an ERP system can increase efficiencies and decrease the costs while helping improve productivity. Many organizations including large, medium and small-sized companies have already adopted an ERP system for decades. Although ERP system can bring competitive advantages to organizations, the lack of proper training approach in ERP implementation is still a major concern. Organizations understand the importance of ERP training to adequately prepare managers and users. The low return on investment, however, for the ERP training makes the training difficult for knowledgeable workers to transfer what is learned in training to the jobs at workplace. Inadequate and inefficient ERP training limits the value realization and success of an ERP system. That is the need to call for a profound change and innovation for ERP training in both workplace at industry and the Information Systems (IS) education in academia. The innovated ERP training approach can improve the users’ knowledge in business processes and hands-on skills in mastering ERP system. It also can be instructed as educational material for IS students in universities. The purpose of the study is to examine the use of ERP simulation games via the ERPsim system to train the IS students in learning ERP implementation. The ERPsim is the business simulation game developed by ERPsim Lab at HEC Montréal, and the game is a real-life SAP (Systems Applications and Products) ERP system. The training uses the ERPsim system as the tool for the Internet-based simulation games and is designed as online student competitions during the class. The competitions involve student teams with the facilitation of instructor and put the students’ business skills to the test via intensive simulation games on a real-world SAP ERP system. The teams run the full business cycle of a manufacturing company while interacting with suppliers, vendors, and customers through sending and receiving orders, delivering products and completing the entire cash-to-cash cycle. To learn a range of business skills, student needs to adopt individual business role and make business decisions around the products and business processes. Based on the training experiences learned from rounds of business simulations, the findings show that learners have reduced risk in making mistakes that help learners build self-confidence in problem-solving. In addition, the learners’ reflections from their mistakes can speculate the root causes of the problems and further improve the efficiency of the training. ERP instructors teaching with the innovative approach report significant improvements in student evaluation, learner motivation, attendance, engagement as well as increased learner technology competency. The findings of the study can provide ERP instructors with guidelines to create an effective learning environment and can be transferred to a variety of other educational fields in which trainers are migrating towards a more active learning approach.

Keywords: business simulations, ERP implementation training, ERPsim, game-based learning, instructional strategy, training innovation

Procedia PDF Downloads 49
89 The Monitor for Neutron Dose in Hadrontherapy Project: Secondary Neutron Measurement in Particle Therapy

Authors: V. Giacometti, R. Mirabelli, V. Patera, D. Pinci, A. Sarti, A. Sciubba, G. Traini, M. Marafini


The particle therapy (PT) is a very modern technique of non invasive radiotherapy mainly devoted to the treatment of tumours untreatable with surgery or conventional radiotherapy, because localised closely to organ at risk (OaR). Nowadays, PT is available in about 55 centres in the word and only the 20\% of them are able to treat with carbon ion beam. However, the efficiency of the ion-beam treatments is so impressive that many new centres are in construction. The interest in this powerful technology lies to the main characteristic of PT: the high irradiation precision and conformity of the dose released to the tumour with the simultaneous preservation of the adjacent healthy tissue. However, the beam interactions with the patient produce a large component of secondary particles whose additional dose has to be taken into account during the definition of the treatment planning. Despite, the largest fraction of the dose is released to the tumour volume, a non-negligible amount is deposed in other body regions, mainly due to the scattering and nuclear interactions of the neutrons within the patient body. One of the main concerns in PT treatments is the possible occurrence of secondary malignant neoplasm (SMN). While SMNs can be developed up to decades after the treatments, their incidence impacts directly life quality of the cancer survivors, in particular in pediatric patients. Dedicated Treatment Planning Systems (TPS) are used to predict the normal tissue toxicity including the risk of late complications induced by the additional dose released by secondary neutrons. However, no precise measurement of secondary neutrons flux is available, as well as their energy and angular distributions: an accurate characterization is needed in order to improve TPS and reduce safety margins. The project MONDO (MOnitor for Neutron Dose in hadrOntherapy) is devoted to the construction of a secondary neutron tracker tailored to the characterization of that secondary neutron component. The detector, based on the tracking of the recoil protons produced in double-elastic scattering interactions, is a matrix of thin scintillating fibres, arranged in layer x-y oriented. The final size of the object is 10 x 10 x 20 cm3 (squared 250µm scint. fibres, double cladding). The readout of the fibres is carried out with a dedicated SPAD Array Sensor (SBAM) realised in CMOS technology by FBK (Fondazione Bruno Kessler). The detector is under development as well as the SBAM sensor and it is expected to be fully constructed for the end of the year. MONDO will make data tacking campaigns at the TIFPA Proton Therapy Center of Trento, at the CNAO (Pavia) and at HIT (Heidelberg) with carbon ion in order to characterize the neutron component and predict the additional dose delivered on the patients with much more precision and to drastically reduce the actual safety margins. Preliminary measurements with charged particles beams and MonteCarlo FLUKA simulation will be presented.

Keywords: secondary neutrons, particle therapy, tracking detector, elastic scattering

Procedia PDF Downloads 92
88 An Efficient Process Analysis and Control Method for Tire Mixing Operation

Authors: Hwang Ho Kim, Do Gyun Kim, Jin Young Choi, Sang Chul Park


Since tire production process is very complicated, company-wide management of it is very difficult, necessitating considerable amounts of capital and labors. Thus, productivity should be enhanced and maintained competitive by developing and applying effective production plans. Among major processes for tire manufacturing, consisting of mixing component preparation, building and curing, the mixing process is an essential and important step because the main component of tire, called compound, is formed at this step. Compound as a rubber synthesis with various characteristics plays its own role required for a tire as a finished product. Meanwhile, scheduling tire mixing process is similar to flexible job shop scheduling problem (FJSSP) because various kinds of compounds have their unique orders of operations, and a set of alternative machines can be used to process each operation. In addition, setup time required for different operations may differ due to alteration of additives. In other words, each operation of mixing processes requires different setup time depending on the previous one, and this kind of feature, called sequence dependent setup time (SDST), is a very important issue in traditional scheduling problems such as flexible job shop scheduling problems. However, despite of its importance, there exist few research works dealing with the tire mixing process. Thus, in this paper, we consider the scheduling problem for tire mixing process and suggest an efficient particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm to minimize the makespan for completing all the required jobs belonging to the process. Specifically, we design a particle encoding scheme for the considered scheduling problem, including a processing sequence for compounds and machine allocation information for each job operation, and a method for generating a tire mixing schedule from a given particle. At each iteration, the coordination and velocity of particles are updated, and the current solution is compared with new solution. This procedure is repeated until a stopping condition is satisfied. The performance of the proposed algorithm is validated through a numerical experiment by using some small-sized problem instances expressing the tire mixing process. Furthermore, we compare the solution of the proposed algorithm with it obtained by solving a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model developed in previous research work. As for performance measure, we define an error rate which can evaluate the difference between two solutions. As a result, we show that PSO algorithm proposed in this paper outperforms MILP model with respect to the effectiveness and efficiency. As the direction for future work, we plan to consider scheduling problems in other processes such as building, curing. We can also extend our current work by considering other performance measures such as weighted makespan or processing times affected by aging or learning effects.

Keywords: compound, error rate, flexible job shop scheduling problem, makespan, particle encoding scheme, particle swarm optimization, sequence dependent setup time, tire mixing process

Procedia PDF Downloads 181
87 Geophysical Methods and Machine Learning Algorithms for Stuck Pipe Prediction and Avoidance

Authors: Ammar Alali, Mahmoud Abughaban


Cost reduction and drilling optimization is the goal of many drilling operators. Historically, stuck pipe incidents were a major segment of non-productive time (NPT) associated costs. Traditionally, stuck pipe problems are part of the operations and solved post-sticking. However, the real key to savings and success is in predicting the stuck pipe incidents and avoiding the conditions leading to its occurrences. Previous attempts in stuck-pipe predictions have neglected the local geology of the problem. The proposed predictive tool utilizes geophysical data processing techniques and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to predict drilling activities events in real-time using surface drilling data with minimum computational power. The method combines two types of analysis: (1) real-time prediction, and (2) cause analysis. Real-time prediction aggregates the input data, including historical drilling surface data, geological formation tops, and petrophysical data, from wells within the same field. The input data are then flattened per the geological formation and stacked per stuck-pipe incidents. The algorithm uses two physical methods (stacking and flattening) to filter any noise in the signature and create a robust pre-determined pilot that adheres to the local geology. Once the drilling operation starts, the Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language (WITSML) live surface data are fed into a matrix and aggregated in a similar frequency as the pre-determined signature. Then, the matrix is correlated with the pre-determined stuck-pipe signature for this field, in real-time. The correlation used is a machine learning Correlation-based Feature Selection (CFS) algorithm, which selects relevant features from the class and identifying redundant features. The correlation output is interpreted as a probability curve of stuck pipe incidents prediction in real-time. Once this probability passes a fixed-threshold defined by the user, the other component, cause analysis, alerts the user of the expected incident based on set pre-determined signatures. A set of recommendations will be provided to reduce the associated risk. The validation process involved feeding of historical drilling data as live-stream, mimicking actual drilling conditions, of an onshore oil field. Pre-determined signatures were created for three problematic geological formations in this field prior. Three wells were processed as case studies, and the stuck-pipe incidents were predicted successfully, with an accuracy of 76%. This accuracy of detection could have resulted in around 50% reduction in NPT, equivalent to 9% cost saving in comparison with offset wells. The prediction of stuck pipe problem requires a method to capture geological, geophysical and drilling data, and recognize the indicators of this issue at a field and geological formation level. This paper illustrates the efficiency and the robustness of the proposed cross-disciplinary approach in its ability to produce such signatures and predicting this NPT event.

Keywords: drilling optimization, hazard prediction, machine learning, stuck pipe

Procedia PDF Downloads 36
86 Toward the Decarbonisation of EU Transport Sector: Impacts and Challenges of the Diffusion of Electric Vehicles

Authors: Francesca Fermi, Paola Astegiano, Angelo Martino, Stephanie Heitel, Michael Krail


In order to achieve the targeted emission reductions for the decarbonisation of the European economy by 2050, fundamental contributions are required from both energy and transport sectors. The objective of this paper is to analyse the impacts of a largescale diffusion of e-vehicles, either battery-based or fuel cells, together with the implementation of transport policies aiming at decreasing the use of motorised private modes in order to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, in the context of a future high share of renewable energy. The analysis of the impacts and challenges of future scenarios on transport sector is performed with the ASTRA (ASsessment of TRAnsport Strategies) model. ASTRA is a strategic system-dynamic model at European scale (EU28 countries, Switzerland and Norway), consisting of different sub-modules related to specific aspects: the transport system (e.g. passenger trips, tonnes moved), the vehicle fleet (composition and evolution of technologies), the demographic system, the economic system, the environmental system (energy consumption, emissions). A key feature of ASTRA is that the modules are linked together: changes in one system are transmitted to other systems and can feed-back to the original source of variation. Thanks to its multidimensional structure, ASTRA is capable to simulate a wide range of impacts stemming from the application of transport policy measures: the model addresses direct impacts as well as second-level and third-level impacts. The simulation of the different scenarios is performed within the REFLEX project, where the ASTRA model is employed in combination with several energy models in a comprehensive Modelling System. From the transport sector perspective, some of the impacts are driven by the trend of electricity price estimated from the energy modelling system. Nevertheless, the major drivers to a low carbon transport sector are policies related to increased fuel efficiency of conventional drivetrain technologies, improvement of demand management (e.g. increase of public transport and car sharing services/usage) and diffusion of environmentally friendly vehicles (e.g. electric vehicles). The final modelling results of the REFLEX project will be available from October 2018. The analysis of the impacts and challenges of future scenarios is performed in terms of transport, environmental and social indicators. The diffusion of e-vehicles produces a consistent reduction of future greenhouse gas emissions, although the decarbonisation target can be achieved only with the contribution of complementary transport policies on demand management and supporting the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for non-road transport modes. The paper explores the implications through time of transport policy measures on mobility and environment, underlying to what extent they can contribute to a decarbonisation of the transport sector. Acknowledgements: The results refer to the REFLEX project which has received grants from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 691685.

Keywords: decarbonisation, greenhouse gas emissions, e-mobility, transport policies, energy

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85 Evaluation of Wheat Varieties for Water Use Efficiency under Staggering Sowing Times and Variable Irrigation Regimes under Timely and Late Sown Conditions

Authors: Vaibhav Baliyan, S. S. Parihar


With the rise in temperature during reproductive phase and moisture stress, winter wheat yields are likely to decrease because of limited plant growth, higher rate of night respiration, higher spikelet sterility or number of grains per spike and restricted embryo development thereby reducing grain number. Crop management practices play a pivotal role in minimizing adverse effects of terminal heat stress on wheat production. Amongst various agronomic management practices, adjusting sowing date, crop cultivars and irrigation scheduling have been realized to be simple yet powerful, implementable and eco-friendly mitigation strategies to sustain yields under elevated temperature conditions. Taking into account, large variability in wheat production in space and time, a study was conducted to identify the suitable wheat varieties under both early and late planting with suitable irrigation schedule for minimizing terminal heat stress effect and thereby improving wheat production. Experiments were conducted at research farms of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India, separately for timely and late sown conditions with suitable varieties with staggering dates of sowing from 1st November to 30th November in case of timely sown and from 1st December to 31st December for late sown condition. The irrigation schedule followed for both the experiments were 100% of ETc (evapotranspiration of crop), 80% of ETc and 60% of ETc. Results of the timely sown experiment indicated that 1st November sowing resulted in higher grain yield followed by 10th November. However, delay in sowing thereafter resulted in gradual decrease in yield and the maximum reduction was noticed under 30th November sowing. Amongst the varieties, HD3086 produced higher grain yield compared to other varieties. Irrigation applied based on 100% of ETc gave higher yield comparable to 80% of ETc but both were significantly higher than 60% of ETc. It was further observed that even liberal irrigation under 100% of ETc could not compensate the yield under delayed sowing suggesting that rise in temperature beyond January adversely affected the growth and development of crop as well as forced maturity resulting in significant reduction of yield attributing characters due to terminal heat stress. Similar observations were recorded under late sown experiment too. Planting on 1st December along with 100% ETc of irrigation schedule resulted in significantly higher grain yield as compared to other dates and irrigation regimes. Further, it was observed that reduction in yield under late sown conditions was significantly large than the timely sown conditions irrespective of the variety grown and irrigation schedule followed. Delayed sowing resulted in reducing crop growth period and forced maturity in turn led to significant deterioration in all the yield attributing characters and there by reduction in yield suggesting that terminal heat stress had greater impact on yield under late sown crop than timely sown due to temperature rise coinciding with reproductive phase of the crop.

Keywords: climate, irrigation, mitigation, wheat

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84 Liposome Loaded Polysaccharide Based Hydrogels: Promising Delayed Release Biomaterials

Authors: J. Desbrieres, M. Popa, C. Peptu, S. Bacaita


Because of their favorable properties (non-toxicity, biodegradability, mucoadhesivity etc.), polysaccharides were studied as biomaterials and as pharmaceutical excipients in drug formulations. These formulations may be produced in a wide variety of forms including hydrogels, hydrogel based particles (or capsules), films etc. In these formulations, the polysaccharide based materials are able to provide local delivery of loaded therapeutic agents but their delivery can be rapid and not easily time-controllable due to, particularly, the burst effect. This leads to a loss in drug efficiency and lifetime. To overcome the consequences of burst effect, systems involving liposomes incorporated into polysaccharide hydrogels may appear as a promising material in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug loading systems. Liposomes are spherical self-closed structures, composed of curved lipid bilayers, which enclose part of the surrounding solvent into their structure. The simplicity of production, their biocompatibility, the size and similar composition of cells, the possibility of size adjustment for specific applications, the ability of hydrophilic or/and hydrophobic drug loading make them a revolutionary tool in nanomedicine and biomedical domain. Drug delivery systems were developed as hydrogels containing chitosan or carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) as polysaccharides and gelatin (GEL) as polypeptide, and phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol liposomes able to accurately control this delivery, without any burst effect. Hydrogels based on CMC were covalently crosslinked using glutaraldehyde, whereas chitosan based hydrogels were double crosslinked (ionically using sodium tripolyphosphate or sodium sulphate and covalently using glutaraldehyde). It has been proven that the liposome integrity is highly protected during the crosslinking procedure for the formation of the film network. Calcein was used as model active matter for delivery experiments. Multi-Lamellar vesicles (MLV) and Small Uni-Lamellar Vesicles (SUV) were prepared and compared. The liposomes are well distributed throughout the whole area of the film, and the vesicle distribution is equivalent (for both types of liposomes evaluated) on the film surface as well as deeper (100 microns) in the film matrix. An obvious decrease of the burst effect was observed in presence of liposomes as well as a uniform increase of calcein release that continues even at large time scales. Liposomes act as an extra barrier for calcein release. Systems containing MLVs release higher amounts of calcein compared to systems containing SUVs, although these liposomes are more stable in the matrix and diffuse with difficulty. This difference comes from the higher quantity of calcein present within the MLV in relation with their size. Modeling of release kinetics curves was performed and the release of hydrophilic drugs may be described by a multi-scale mechanism characterized by four distinct phases, each of them being characterized by a different kinetics model (Higuchi equation, Korsmeyer-Peppas model etc.). Knowledge of such models will be a very interesting tool for designing new formulations for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug delivery systems.

Keywords: controlled and delayed release, hydrogels, liposomes, polysaccharides

Procedia PDF Downloads 121
83 Cost Efficient Receiver Tube Technology for Eco-Friendly Concentrated Solar Thermal Applications

Authors: M. Shiva Prasad, S. R. Atchuta, T. Vijayaraghavan, S. Sakthivel


The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.

Keywords: concentrated solar thermal system, solar selective coating, tandem absorber, ultralow refractive index

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82 Soybean Lecithin Based Reverse Micellar Extraction of Pectinase from Synthetic Solution

Authors: Sivananth Murugesan, I. Regupathi, B. Vishwas Prabhu, Ankit Devatwal, Vishnu Sivan Pillai


Pectinase is an important enzyme which has a wide range of applications including textile processing and bioscouring of cotton fibers, coffee and tea fermentation, purification of plant viruses, oil extraction etc. Selective separation and purification of pectinase from fermentation broth and recover the enzyme form process stream for reuse are cost consuming process in most of the enzyme based industries. It is difficult to identify a suitable medium to enhance enzyme activity and retain its enzyme characteristics during such processes. The cost effective, selective separation of enzymes through the modified Liquid-liquid extraction is of current research interest worldwide. Reverse micellar extraction, globally acclaimed Liquid-liquid extraction technique is well known for its separation and purification of solutes from the feed which offers higher solute specificity and partitioning, ease of operation and recycling of extractants used. Surfactant concentrations above critical micelle concentration to an apolar solvent form micelles and addition of micellar phase to water in turn forms reverse micelles or water-in-oil emulsions. Since, electrostatic interaction plays a major role in the separation/purification of solutes using reverse micelles. These interaction parameters can be altered with the change in pH, addition of cosolvent, surfactant and electrolyte and non-electrolyte. Even though many chemical based commercial surfactant had been utilized for this purpose, the biosurfactants are more suitable for the purification of enzymes which are used in food application. The present work focused on the partitioning of pectinase from the synthetic aqueous solution within the reverse micelle phase formed by a biosurfactant, Soybean Lecithin dissolved in chloroform. The critical micelle concentration of soybean lecithin/chloroform solution was identified through refractive index and density measurements. Effect of surfactant concentrations above and below the critical micelle concentration was considered to study its effect on enzyme activity, enzyme partitioning within the reverse micelle phase. The effect of pH and electrolyte salts on the partitioning behavior was studied by varying the system pH and concentration of different salts during forward and back extraction steps. It was observed that lower concentrations of soybean lecithin enhanced the enzyme activity within the water core of the reverse micelle with maximizing extraction efficiency. The maximum yield of pectinase of 85% with a partitioning coefficient of 5.7 was achieved at 4.8 pH during forward extraction and 88% yield with a partitioning coefficient of 7.1 was observed during backward extraction at a pH value of 5.0. However, addition of salt decreased the enzyme activity and especially at higher salt concentrations enzyme activity declined drastically during both forward and back extraction steps. The results proved that reverse micelles formed by Soybean Lecithin and chloroform may be used for the extraction of pectinase from aqueous solution. Further, the reverse micelles can be considered as nanoreactors to enhance enzyme activity and maximum utilization of substrate at optimized conditions, which are paving a way to process intensification and scale-down.

Keywords: pectinase, reverse micelles, soybean lecithin, selective partitioning

Procedia PDF Downloads 246
81 Fully Instrumented Small-Scale Fire Resistance Benches for Aeronautical Composites Assessment

Authors: Fabienne Samyn, Pauline Tranchard, Sophie Duquesne, Emilie Goncalves, Bruno Estebe, Serge Boubigot


Stringent fire safety regulations are enforced in the aeronautical industry due to the consequences that potential fire event on an aircraft might imply. This is so much true that the fire issue is considered right from the design of the aircraft structure. Due to the incorporation of an increasing amount of polymer matrix composites in replacement of more conventional materials like metals, the nature of the fire risks is changing. The choice of materials used is consequently of prime importance as well as the evaluation of its resistance to fire. The fire testing is mostly done using the so-called certification tests according to standards such as the ISO2685:1998(E). The latter describes a protocol to evaluate the fire resistance of structures located in fire zone (ability to withstand fire for 5min). The test consists in exposing an at least 300x300mm² sample to an 1100°C propane flame with a calibrated heat flux of 116kW/m². This type of test is time-consuming, expensive and gives access to limited information in terms of fire behavior of the materials (pass or fail test). Consequently, it can barely be used for material development purposes. In this context, the laboratory UMET in collaboration with industrial partners has developed a horizontal and a vertical small-scale instrumented fire benches for the characterization of the fire behavior of composites. The benches using smaller samples (no more than 150x150mm²) enables to cut downs costs and hence to increase sampling throughput. However, the main added value of our benches is the instrumentation used to collect useful information to understand the behavior of the materials. Indeed, measurements of the sample backside temperature are performed using IR camera in both configurations. In addition, for the vertical set up, a complete characterization of the degradation process, can be achieved via mass loss measurements and quantification of the gasses released during the tests. These benches have been used to characterize and study the fire behavior of aeronautical carbon/epoxy composites. The horizontal set up has been used in particular to study the performances and durability of protective intumescent coating on 2mm thick 2D laminates. The efficiency of this approach has been validated, and the optimized coating thickness has been determined as well as the performances after aging. Reductions of the performances after aging were attributed to the migration of some of the coating additives. The vertical set up has enabled to investigate the degradation process of composites under fire. An isotropic and a unidirectional 4mm thick laminates have been characterized using the bench and post-fire analyses. The mass loss measurements and the gas phase analyses of both composites do not present significant differences unlike the temperature profiles in the thickness of the samples. The differences have been attributed to differences of thermal conductivity as well as delamination that is much more pronounced for the isotropic composite (observed on the IR-images). This has been confirmed by X-ray microtomography. The developed benches have proven to be valuable tools to develop fire safe composites.

Keywords: aeronautical carbon/epoxy composite, durability, intumescent coating, small-scale ‘ISO 2685 like’ fire resistance test, X-ray microtomography

Procedia PDF Downloads 167
80 Improved Approach to the Treatment of Resistant Breast Cancer

Authors: Lola T. Alimkhodjaeva, Lola T. Zakirova, Soniya S. Ziyavidenova


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is still one of the urgent oncology problems. The essential obstacle to the full anti-tumor therapy implementation is drug resistance development. Taking into account the fact that chemotherapy is main antitumor treatment in BC patients, the important task is to improve treatment results. Certain success in overcoming this situation has been associated with the use of methods of extracorporeal blood treatment (ECBT), plasmapheresis. Materials and Methods: We examined 129 women with resistant BC stages 3-4, aged between 56 to 62 years who had previously received 2 courses of CAF chemotherapy. All patients additionally underwent 2 courses of CAF chemotherapy but against the background ECBT with ultrasonic exposure. We studied the following parameters: 1. The highlights of peripheral blood before and after therapy. 2. The state of cellular immunity and identification of activation markers CD23 +, CD25 +, CD38 +, CD95 + on lymphocytes was performed using monoclonal antibodies. Evaluation of humoral immunity was determined by the level of main classes of immunoglobulins IgG, IgA, IgM in serum. 3. The degree of tumor regression was assessed by WHO recommended 4 gradations. (complete - 100%, partial - more than 50% of initial size, process stabilization–regression is less than 50% of initial size and tumor advance progressing). 4. Medical pathomorphism in the tumor was determined by Lavnikova. 5. The study of immediate and remote results, up to 3 years and more. Results and Discussion: After performing extracorporeal blood treatment anemia occurred in 38.9%, leukopenia in 36.8%, thrombocytopenia in 34.6%, hypolymphemia in 26.8%. Studies of immunoglobulin fractions in blood serum were able to establish a certain relationship between the classes of immunoglobulin A, G, M and their functions. The results showed that after treatment the values of main immunoglobulins in patients’ serum approximated to normal. Analysis of expression of activation markers CD25 + cells bearing receptors for IL-2 (IL-2Rα chain) and CD95 + lymphocytes that were mediated physiological apoptosis showed the tendency to increase, which apparently was due to activation of cellular immunity cytokines allocated by ultrasonic treatment. To carry out ECBT on the background of ultrasonic treatment improved the parameters of the immune system, which were expressed in stimulation of cellular immunity and correcting imbalances in humoral immunity. The key indicator of conducted treatment efficiency is the immediate result measured by the degree of tumor regression. After ECBT performance the complete regression was 10.3%, partial response - 55.5%, process stabilization - 34.5%, tumor advance progressing no observed. Morphological investigations of tumor determined therapeutic pathomorphism grade 2 in 15%, in 25% - grade 3 and therapeutic pathomorphism grade 4 in 60% of patients. One of the main criteria for the effect of conducted treatment is to study the remission terms in the postoperative period (up to 3 years or more). The remission terms up to 3 years with ECBT was 34.5%, 5-year survival was 54%. Carried out research suggests that a comprehensive study of immunological and clinical course of breast cancer allows the differentiated approach to the choice of methods for effective treatment.

Keywords: breast cancer, immunoglobulins, extracorporeal blood treatment, chemotherapy

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79 Low- and High-Temperature Methods of CNTs Synthesis for Medicine

Authors: Grzegorz Raniszewski, Zbigniew Kolacinski, Lukasz Szymanski, Slawomir Wiak, Lukasz Pietrzak, Dariusz Koza


One of the most promising area for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) application is medicine. One of the most devastating diseases is cancer. Carbon nanotubes may be used as carriers of a slowly released drug. It is possible to use of electromagnetic waves to destroy cancer cells by the carbon nanotubes (CNTs). In our research we focused on thermal ablation by ferromagnetic carbon nanotubes (Fe-CNTs). In the cancer cell hyperthermia functionalized carbon nanotubes are exposed to radio frequency electromagnetic field. Properly functionalized Fe-CNTs join the cancer cells. Heat generated in nanoparticles connected to nanotubes warm up nanotubes and then the target tissue. When the temperature in tumor tissue exceeds 316 K the necrosis of cancer cells may be observed. Several techniques can be used for Fe-CNTs synthesis. In our work, we use high-temperature methods where arc-discharge is applied. Low-temperature systems are microwave plasma with assisted chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) and hybrid physical-chemical vapor deposition (HPCVD). In the arc discharge system, the plasma reactor works with a pressure of He up to 0,5 atm. The electric arc burns between two graphite rods. Vapors of carbon move from the anode, through a short arc column and forms CNTs which can be collected either from the reactor walls or cathode deposit. This method is suitable for the production of multi-wall and single-wall CNTs. A disadvantage of high-temperature methods is a low purification, short length, random size and multi-directional distribution. In MPCVD system plasma is generated in waveguide connected to the microwave generator. Then containing carbon and ferromagnetic elements plasma flux go to the quartz tube. The additional resistance heating can be applied to increase the reaction effectiveness and efficiency. CNTs nucleation occurs on the quartz tube walls. It is also possible to use substrates to improve carbon nanotubes growth. HPCVD system involves both chemical decomposition of carbon containing gases and vaporization of a solid or liquid source of catalyst. In this system, a tube furnace is applied. A mixture of working and carbon-containing gases go through the quartz tube placed inside the furnace. As a catalyst ferrocene vapors can be used. Fe-CNTs may be collected then either from the quartz tube walls or on the substrates. Low-temperature methods are characterized by higher purity product. Moreover, carbon nanotubes from tested CVD systems were partially filled with the iron. Regardless of the method of Fe-CNTs synthesis the final product always needs to be purified for applications in medicine. The simplest method of purification is an oxidation of the amorphous carbon. Carbon nanotubes dedicated for cancer cell thermal ablation need to be additionally treated by acids for defects amplification on the CNTs surface what facilitates biofunctionalization. Application of ferromagnetic nanotubes for cancer treatment is a promising method of fighting with cancer for the next decade. Acknowledgment: The research work has been financed from the budget of science as a research project No. PBS2/A5/31/2013

Keywords: arc discharge, cancer, carbon nanotubes, CVD, thermal ablation

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78 Structural Remodeling Triggers Functional Maturation in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM)

Authors: Fatemeh Kermani, Markus Hecker, Nina D. Ullrich


Cardiac cell death during heart failure and myocardial infarction causes clinical challenges due to the heart’s incapability to regenerate. Hence, pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes are powerful candidates for biomedical research and future clinical applications. Currently, the major hurdle preventing the use of these novel cardiomyocytes (CMs)is their structural and functional immaturity. As such, these cells present rather unspecific shape compared to adult CMs and generally lack sarcolemmal invaginations called transverse (t-) tubules, which are instrumental for efficient excitation-contraction (EC) coupling. T-tubules create dyadic junctions between sarcolemmal L-type Ca²⁺ channels (LTCCs) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs) of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), which initiate cytosolic Ca²⁺release for contraction. Therefore, in addition to the aforementioned immature micro architecture, Ca²⁺ handling of hiPSC-CMs is poorly established. Numerous experimental strategies are tested to push iPSC-CMs towards better maturation. In this study, we hypothesize that a combination of morphological and molecular remodeling can modify cell microarchitecture and ameliorate Ca²⁺ handling in hiPSC-CMs. After differentiation, hiPSC-CMs are seeded on a plain surface or in three-dimensional (3D) cuboid micro scaffolds. Settled cells are transduced with cardiac BIN-1, a potential key player in the biogenesis of t-tubules, and dsRed as a fluorescent reporter. Live-cell confocal imaging is used to assess the t-tubule formation and dyad organization. Electrophysiological techniques, including whole-cell voltage-clamp in combination with laser-scanning confocal microscopy, are applied to investigate functional remodeling of BIN-1-overexpressing cells compared to control cells. Our data demonstrate that hiPSC-CMs reshape and form cuboid cells in rectangular 3D-micro scaffolds and establish a longitudinal axis similar to adult CMs. Moreover, BIN-1 expression and 3D-reshaping trigger robust sarcolemmal invaginations, an indication of early but still unstructured t-tubule network formation. Confocal images reveal enhanced LTCCs clustering along t-tubules induced by BIN-1 expression. In parallel, LTCC and RyR show enhanced co-localization leading to increased dyad formation. This suggests that BIN-1 clusters may also serve as a local anchor for SR and RyR stabilization. Functional tests reveal that structural remodeling isstrongly associated with accelerated cytosolic Ca²⁺ transients in reshaped and BIN-1 expressing hiPSC-CMs. Detailed electrophysiological investigations also show that despite similar LTCC current properties, EC-coupling efficiency is enhanced, confirming improved Ca²⁺ handling in these hiPSC-CMs. Taken together, our results support the notion that 3D-reshaping and enhanced BIN-1 expression significantly induce remodeling processes both at the structural and functional level. We conclude that cell morphology and membrane microarchitecture are involved to drive novel hiPSC-CMs towards stronger maturation of Ca²⁺ handling.

Keywords: ca²⁺ handling, remodeling, stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, t-tubules

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77 Characteristics of Plasma Synthetic Jet Actuator in Repetitive Working Mode

Authors: Haohua Zong, Marios Kotsonis


Plasma synthetic jet actuator (PSJA) is a new concept of zero net mass flow actuator which utilizes pulsed arc/spark discharge to rapidly pressurize gas in a small cavity under constant-volume conditions. The unique combination of high exit jet velocity (>400 m/s) and high actuation frequency (>5 kHz) provides a promising solution for high-speed high-Reynolds-number flow control. This paper focuses on the performance of PSJA in repetitive working mode which is more relevant to future flow control applications. A two-electrodes PSJA (cavity volume: 424 mm3, orifice diameter: 2 mm) together with a capacitive discharge circuit (discharge energy: 50 mJ-110 mJ) is designed to enable repetitive operation. Time-Resolved Particle Imaging Velocimetry (TR-PIV) system working at 10 kHz is exploited to investigate the influence of discharge frequency on performance of PSJA. In total, seven cases are tested, covering a wide range of discharge frequencies (20 Hz-560 Hz). The pertinent flow features (shock wave, vortex ring and jet) remain the same for single shot mode and repetitive working mode. Shock wave is issued prior to jet eruption. Two distinct vortex rings are formed in one cycle. The first one is produced by the starting jet whereas the second one is related with the shock wave reflection in cavity. A sudden pressure rise is induced at the throat inlet by the reflection of primary shock wave, promoting the shedding of second vortex ring. In one cycle, jet exit velocity first increases sharply, then decreases almost linearly. Afterwards, an alternate occurrence of multiple jet stages and refresh stages is observed. By monitoring the dynamic evolution of exit velocity in one cycle, some integral performance parameters of PSJA can be deduced. As frequency increases, the jet intensity in steady phase decreases monotonically. In the investigated frequency range, jet duration time drops from 250 µs to 210 µs and peak jet velocity decreases from 53 m/s to approximately 39 m/s. The jet impulse and the expelled gas mass (0.69 µN∙s and 0.027 mg at 20 Hz) decline by 48% and 40%, respectively. However, the electro-mechanical efficiency of PSJA defined by the ratio of jet mechanical energy to capacitor energy doesn’t show significant difference (o(0.01%)). Fourier transformation of the temporal exit velocity signal indicates two dominant frequencies. One corresponds to the discharge frequency, while the other accounts for the alternation frequency of jet stage and refresh stage in one cycle. The alternation period (300 µs approximately) is independent of discharge frequency, and possibly determined intrinsically by the actuator geometry. A simple analytical model is established to interpret the alternation of jet stage and refresh stage. Results show that the dynamic response of exit velocity to a small-scale disturbance (jump in cavity pressure) can be treated as a second-order under-damping system. Oscillation frequency of the exit velocity, namely alternation frequency, is positively proportional to exit area, but inversely proportional to cavity volume and throat length. Theoretical value of alternation period (305 µs) agrees well with the experimental value.

Keywords: plasma, synthetic jet, actuator, frequency effect

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76 Estimated Heat Production, Blood Parameters and Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number of Nellore Bulls with High and Low Residual Feed Intake

Authors: Welder A. Baldassini, Jon J. Ramsey, Marcos R. Chiaratti, Amália S. Chaves, Renata H. Branco, Sarah F. M. Bonilha, Dante P. D. Lanna


With increased production costs there is a need for animals that are more efficient in terms of meat production. In this context, the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) on physiological processes in liver, muscle and adipose tissues may account for inter-animal variation in energy expenditures and heat production. The purpose this study was to investigate if the amounts of mtDNA in liver, muscle and adipose tissue (subcutaneous and visceral depots) of Nellore bulls are associated with residual feed intake (RFI) and estimated heat production (EHP). Eighteen animals were individually fed in a feedlot for 90 days. RFI values were obtained by regression of dry matter intake (DMI) in relation to average daily gain (ADG) and mid-test metabolic body weight (BW). The animals were classified into low (more efficient) and high (less efficient) RFI groups. The bulls were then randomly distributed in individual pens where they were given excess feed twice daily to result in 5 to 10% orts for 90 d with diet containing 15% crude protein and 2.7 Mcal ME/kg DM. The heart rate (HR) of bulls was monitored for 4 consecutive days and used for calculation of EHP. Electrodes were fitted to bulls with stretch belts (POLAR RS400; Kempele, Finland). To calculate oxygen pulse (O2P), oxygen consumption was obtained using a facemask connected to the gas analyzer (EXHALYZER, ECOMedics, Zurich, Switzerland) and HR were simultaneously measured for 15 minutes period. Daily oxygen (O2) consumption was calculated by multiplying the volume of O2 per beat by total daily beats. EHP was calculated multiplying O2P by the average HR obtained during the 4 days, assuming 4.89 kcal/L of O2 to measure daily EHP that was expressed in kilocalories/day/kilogram metabolic BW (kcal/day/kg BW0.75). Blood samples were collected between days 45 and 90th after the beginning of the trial period in order to measure the concentration of hemoglobin and hematocrit. The bulls were slaughtered in an experimental slaughter house in accordance with current guidelines. Immediately after slaughter, a section of liver, a portion of longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle, plus a portion of subcutaneous fat (surrounding LT muscle) and portions of visceral fat (kidney, pelvis and inguinal fat) were collected. Samples of liver, muscle and adipose tissues were used to quantify mtDNA copy number per cell. The number of mtDNA copies was determined by normalization of mtDNA amount against a single copy nuclear gene (B2M). Mean of EHP, hemoglobin and hematocrit of high and low RFI bulls were compared using two-sample t-tests. Additionally, the one-way ANOVA was used to compare mtDNA quantification considering the mains effects of RFI groups. We found lower EHP (83.047 vs. 97.590 kcal/day/kgBW0.75; P < 0.10), hemoglobin concentration (13.533 vs. 15.108 g/dL; P < 0.10) and hematocrit percentage (39.3 vs. 43.6 %; P < 0.05) in low compared to high RFI bulls, respectively, which may be useful traits to identify efficient animals. However, no differences were observed between the mtDNA content in liver, muscle and adipose tissue of Nellore bulls with high and low RFI.

Keywords: bioenergetics, Bos indicus, feed efficiency, mitochondria

Procedia PDF Downloads 158
75 An Engineer-Oriented Life Cycle Assessment Tool for Building Carbon Footprint: The Building Carbon Footprint Evaluation System in Taiwan

Authors: Hsien-Te Lin


The purpose of this paper is to introduce the BCFES (building carbon footprint evaluation system), which is a LCA (life cycle assessment) tool developed by the Low Carbon Building Alliance (LCBA) in Taiwan. A qualified BCFES for the building industry should fulfill the function of evaluating carbon footprint throughout all stages in the life cycle of building projects, including the production, transportation and manufacturing of materials, construction, daily energy usage, renovation and demolition. However, many existing BCFESs are too complicated and not very designer-friendly, creating obstacles in the implementation of carbon reduction policies. One of the greatest obstacle is the misapplication of the carbon footprint inventory standards of PAS2050 or ISO14067, which are designed for mass-produced goods rather than building projects. When these product-oriented rules are applied to building projects, one must compute a tremendous amount of data for raw materials and the transportation of construction equipment throughout the construction period based on purchasing lists and construction logs. This verification method is very cumbersome by nature and unhelpful to the promotion of low carbon design. With a view to provide an engineer-oriented BCFE with pre-diagnosis functions, a component input/output (I/O) database system and a scenario simulation method for building energy are proposed herein. Most existing BCFESs base their calculations on a product-oriented carbon database for raw materials like cement, steel, glass, and wood. However, data on raw materials is meaningless for the purpose of encouraging carbon reduction design without a feedback mechanism, because an engineering project is not designed based on raw materials but rather on building components, such as flooring, walls, roofs, ceilings, roads or cabinets. The LCBA Database has been composited from existing carbon footprint databases for raw materials and architectural graphic standards. Project designers can now use the LCBA Database to conduct low carbon design in a much more simple and efficient way. Daily energy usage throughout a building's life cycle, including air conditioning, lighting, and electric equipment, is very difficult for the building designer to predict. A good BCFES should provide a simplified and designer-friendly method to overcome this obstacle in predicting energy consumption. In this paper, the author has developed a simplified tool, the dynamic Energy Use Intensity (EUI) method, to accurately predict energy usage with simple multiplications and additions using EUI data and the designed efficiency levels for the building envelope, AC, lighting and electrical equipment. Remarkably simple to use, it can help designers pre-diagnose hotspots in building carbon footprint and further enhance low carbon designs. The BCFES-LCBA offers the advantages of an engineer-friendly component I/O database, simplified energy prediction methods, pre-diagnosis of carbon hotspots and sensitivity to good low carbon designs, making it an increasingly popular carbon management tool in Taiwan. To date, about thirty projects have been awarded BCFES-LCBA certification and the assessment has become mandatory in some cities.

Keywords: building carbon footprint, life cycle assessment, energy use intensity, building energy

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74 Creation of a Test Machine for the Scientific Investigation of Chain Shot

Authors: Mark McGuire, Eric Shannon, John Parmigiani


Timber harvesting increasingly involves mechanized equipment. This has increased the efficiency of harvesting, but has also introduced worker-safety concerns. One such concern arises from the use of harvesters. During operation, harvesters subject saw chain to large dynamic mechanical stresses. These stresses can, under certain conditions, cause the saw chain to fracture. The high speed of harvester saw chain can cause the resulting open chain loop to fracture a second time due to the dynamic loads placed upon it as it travels through space. If a second fracture occurs, it can result in a projectile consisting of one-to-several chain links. This projectile is referred to as a chain shot. It has speeds similar to a bullet but typically has greater mass and is a significant safety concern. Numerous examples exist of chain shots penetrating bullet-proof barriers and causing severe injury and death. Improved harvester-cab barriers can help prevent injury however a comprehensive scientific understanding of chain shot is required to consistently reduce or prevent it. Obtaining this understanding requires a test machine with the capability to cause chain shot to occur under carefully controlled conditions and accurately measure the response. Worldwide few such test machine exist. Those that do focus on validating the ability of barriers to withstand a chain shot impact rather than obtaining a scientific understanding of the chain shot event itself. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design, fabrication, and use of a test machine capable of a comprehensive scientific investigation of chain shot. The capabilities of this machine are to test all commercially-available saw chains and bars at chain tensions and speeds meeting and exceeding those typically encountered in harvester use and accurately measure the corresponding key technical parameters. The test machine was constructed inside of a standard shipping container. This provides space for both an operator station and a test chamber. In order to contain the chain shot under any possible test conditions, the test chamber was lined with a base layer of AR500 steel followed by an overlay of HDPE. To accommodate varying bar orientations and fracture-initiation sites, the entire saw chain drive unit and bar mounting system is modular and capable of being located anywhere in the test chamber. The drive unit consists of a high-speed electric motor with a flywheel. Standard Ponsse harvester head components are used to bar mounting and chain tensioning. Chain lubrication is provided by a separate peristaltic pump. Chain fracture is initiated through ISO standard 11837. Measure parameters include shaft speed, motor vibration, bearing temperatures, motor temperature, motor current draw, hydraulic fluid pressure, chain force at fracture, and high-speed camera images. Results show that the machine is capable of consistently causing chain shot. Measurement output shows fracture location and the force associated with fracture as a function of saw chain speed and tension. Use of this machine will result in a scientific understanding of chain shot and consequently improved products and greater harvester operator safety.

Keywords: chain shot, safety, testing, timber harvesters

Procedia PDF Downloads 49
73 An Empirical Study of Determinants Influencing Telemedicine Services Acceptance by Healthcare Professionals: Case of Selected Hospitals in Ghana

Authors: Jonathan Kissi, Baozhen Dai, Wisdom W. K. Pomegbe, Abdul-Basit Kassim


Protecting patient’s digital information is a growing concern for healthcare institutions as people nowadays perpetually live their lives through telemedicine services. These telemedicine services have been confronted with several determinants that hinder their successful implementations, especially in developing countries. Identifying such determinants that influence the acceptance of telemedicine services is also a problem for healthcare professionals. Despite the tremendous increase in telemedicine services, its adoption, and use has been quite slow in some healthcare settings. Generally, it is accepted in today’s globalizing world that the success of telemedicine services relies on users’ satisfaction. Satisfying health professionals and patients are one of the crucial objectives of telemedicine success. This study seeks to investigate the determinants that influence health professionals’ intention to utilize telemedicine services in clinical activities in a sub-Saharan African country in West Africa (Ghana). A hybridized model comprising of health adoption models, including technology acceptance theory, diffusion of innovation theory, and protection of motivation theory, were used to investigate these quandaries. The study was carried out in four government health institutions that apply and regulate telemedicine services in their clinical activities. A structured questionnaire was developed and used for data collection. Purposive and convenience sampling methods were used in the selection of healthcare professionals from different medical fields for the study. The collected data were analyzed based on structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. All selected constructs showed a significant relationship with health professional’s behavioral intention in the direction expected from prior literature including perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, management strategies, financial sustainability, communication channels, patients security threat, patients privacy risk, self efficacy, actual service use, user satisfaction, and telemedicine services systems securities threat. Surprisingly, user characteristics and response efficacy of health professionals were not significant in the hybridized model. The findings and insights from this research show that health professionals are pragmatic when making choices for technology applications and also their willingness to use telemedicine services. They are, however, anxious about its threats and coping appraisals. The identified significant constructs in the study may help to increase efficiency, quality of services, quality patient care delivery, and satisfactory user satisfaction among healthcare professionals. The implantation and effective utilization of telemedicine services in the selected hospitals will aid as a strategy to eradicate hardships in healthcare services delivery. The service will help attain universal health access coverage to all populace. This study contributes to empirical knowledge by identifying the vital factors influencing health professionals’ behavioral intentions to adopt telemedicine services. The study will also help stakeholders of healthcare to formulate better policies towards telemedicine service usage.

Keywords: telemedicine service, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, management strategies, security threats

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72 A Proposal of a Strategic Framework for the Development of Smart Cities: The Argentinian Case

Authors: Luis Castiella, Mariano Rueda, Catalina Palacio


The world’s rapid urbanisation represents an excellent opportunity to implement initiatives that are oriented towards a country’s general development. However, this phenomenon has created considerable pressure on current urban models, pushing them nearer to a crisis. As a result, several factors usually associated with underdevelopment have been steadily rising. Moreover, actions taken by public authorities have not been able to keep up with the speed of urbanisation, which has impeded them from meeting the demands of society, responding with reactionary policies instead of with coordinated, organised efforts. In contrast, the concept of a Smart City which emerged around two decades ago, in principle, represents a city that utilises innovative technologies to remedy the everyday issues of the citizen, empowering them with the newest available technology and information. This concept has come to adopt a wider meaning, including human and social capital, as well as productivity, economic growth, quality of life, environment and participative governance. These developments have also disrupted the management of institutions such as academia, which have become key in generating scientific advancements that can solve pressing problems, and in forming a specialised class that is able to follow up on these breakthroughs. In this light, the Ministry of Modernisation of the Argentinian Nation has created a model that is rooted in the concept of a ‘Smart City’. This effort considered all the dimensions that are at play in an urban environment, with careful monitoring of each sub-dimensions in order to establish the government’s priorities and improving the effectiveness of its operations. In an attempt to ameliorate the overall efficiency of the country’s economic and social development, these focused initiatives have also encouraged citizen participation and the cooperation of the private sector: replacing short-sighted policies with some that are coherent and organised. This process was developed gradually. The first stage consisted in building the model’s structure; the second, at applying the method created on specific case studies and verifying that the mechanisms used respected the desired technical and social aspects. Finally, the third stage consists in the repetition and subsequent comparison of this experiment in order to measure the effects on the ‘treatment group’ over time. The first trial was conducted on 717 municipalities and evaluated the dimension of Governance. Results showed that levels of governmental maturity varied sharply with relation to size: cities with less than 150.000 people had a strikingly lower level of governmental maturity than cities with more than 150.000 people. With the help of this analysis, some important trends and target population were made apparent, which enabled the public administration to focus its efforts and increase its probability of being successful. It also permitted to cut costs, time, and create a dynamic framework in tune with the population’s demands, improving quality of life with sustained efforts to develop social and economic conditions within the territorial structure.

Keywords: composite index, comprehensive model, smart cities, strategic framework

Procedia PDF Downloads 75
71 Predictive Maintenance: Machine Condition Real-Time Monitoring and Failure Prediction

Authors: Yan Zhang


Predictive maintenance is a technique to predict when an in-service machine will fail so that maintenance can be planned in advance. Analytics-driven predictive maintenance is gaining increasing attention in many industries such as manufacturing, utilities, aerospace, etc., along with the emerging demand of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and the maturity of technologies that support Big Data storage and processing. This study aims to build an end-to-end analytics solution that includes both real-time machine condition monitoring and machine learning based predictive analytics capabilities. The goal is to showcase a general predictive maintenance solution architecture, which suggests how the data generated from field machines can be collected, transmitted, stored, and analyzed. We use a publicly available aircraft engine run-to-failure dataset to illustrate the streaming analytics component and the batch failure prediction component. We outline the contributions of this study from four aspects. First, we compare the predictive maintenance problems from the view of the traditional reliability centered maintenance field, and from the view of the IoT applications. When evolving to the IoT era, predictive maintenance has shifted its focus from ensuring reliable machine operations to improve production/maintenance efficiency via any maintenance related tasks. It covers a variety of topics, including but not limited to: failure prediction, fault forecasting, failure detection and diagnosis, and recommendation of maintenance actions after failure. Second, we review the state-of-art technologies that enable a machine/device to transmit data all the way through the Cloud for storage and advanced analytics. These technologies vary drastically mainly based on the power source and functionality of the devices. For example, a consumer machine such as an elevator uses completely different data transmission protocols comparing to the sensor units in an environmental sensor network. The former may transfer data into the Cloud via WiFi directly. The latter usually uses radio communication inherent the network, and the data is stored in a staging data node before it can be transmitted into the Cloud when necessary. Third, we illustrate show to formulate a machine learning problem to predict machine fault/failures. By showing a step-by-step process of data labeling, feature engineering, model construction and evaluation, we share following experiences: (1) what are the specific data quality issues that have crucial impact on predictive maintenance use cases; (2) how to train and evaluate a model when training data contains inter-dependent records. Four, we review the tools available to build such a data pipeline that digests the data and produce insights. We show the tools we use including data injection, streaming data processing, machine learning model training, and the tool that coordinates/schedules different jobs. In addition, we show the visualization tool that creates rich data visualizations for both real-time insights and prediction results. To conclude, there are two key takeaways from this study. (1) It summarizes the landscape and challenges of predictive maintenance applications. (2) It takes an example in aerospace with publicly available data to illustrate each component in the proposed data pipeline and showcases how the solution can be deployed as a live demo.

Keywords: Internet of Things, machine learning, predictive maintenance, streaming data

Procedia PDF Downloads 282
70 Thai Cane Farmers' Responses to Sugar Policy Reforms: An Intentions Survey

Authors: Savita Tangwongkit, Chittur S Srinivasan, Philip J. Jones


Thailand has become the world’s fourth largest sugarcane producer and second largest sugar exporter. While there have been a number of drivers of this growth, the primary driver has been wide-ranging government support measures. Recently, the Thai government has emphasized the need for policy reform as part of a broader industry restructuring to bring the sector up-to-date with the current and future developments in the international sugar market. Because of the sectors historical dependence on government support, any such reform is likely to have a very significant impact on the fortunes of Thai cane farmers. This study explores the impact of three policy scenarios, representing a spectrum of policy approaches, on Thai cane producers. These reform scenarios were designed in consultation with policy makers and academics working in the cane sector. Scenario 1 captures the current ‘government proposal’ for policy reform. This scenario removes certain domestic production subsidies but seeks to maintain as much support as is permissible under current WTO rules. The second scenario, ‘protectionism’, maintains the current internal market producer supports, but otherwise complies with international (WTO) commitments. Third, the ‘libertarian scenario’ removes all production support and market interventions, trade and domestic consumption distortions. Most important driver of producer behaviour in all of the scenarios is the producer price of cane. Cane price is obviously highest under the protectionism scenario, followed by government proposal and libertarian scenarios, respectively. Likely producer responses to these three policy scenarios was determined by means of a large-scale survey of cane farmers. The sample was stratified by size group and quotas filled by size group and region. One scenario was presented to each of three sub-samples, consisting of approx.150 farmers. Total sample size was 462 farms. Data was collected by face-to-face interview between June and August 2019. There was a marked difference in farmer response to the three scenarios. Farmers in the ‘Protectionism’ scenario, which maintains the highest cane price and those who farm larger cane areas are more likely to continue cane farming. The libertarian scenario is likely to result in the greatest losses in terms of cane production volume broadly double that of the ‘protectionism’ scenario, primarily due to farmers quitting cane production altogether. Over half of loss cane production volume comes from medium-size farm, i.e. the largest and smallest producers are the most resilient. This result is likely due to the fact that the medium size group are large enough to require hired labour but lack the economies of scale of the largest farms. Over all size groups the farms most heavily specialized in cane production, i.e. those devoting 26-50% of arable land to cane, are also the most vulnerable, with 70% of all farmers quitting cane production coming from this group. This investigation suggests that cane price is the most significant determinant of farmer behaviour. Also, that where scenarios drive significantly lower cane price, policy makers should target support towards mid-sized producers, with policies that encourage efficiency gains and diversification into alternative agricultural crops.

Keywords: farmer intentions, farm survey, policy reform, Thai cane production

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69 Sorbitol Galactoside Synthesis Using β-Galactosidase Immobilized on Functionalized Silica Nanoparticles

Authors: Milica Carević, Katarina Banjanac, Marija ĆOrović, Ana Milivojević, Nevena Prlainović, Aleksandar Marinković, Dejan Bezbradica


Nowadays, considering the growing awareness of functional food beneficial effects on human health, due attention is dedicated to the research in the field of obtaining new prominent products exhibiting improved physiological and physicochemical characteristics. Therefore, different approaches to valuable bioactive compounds synthesis have been proposed. β-Galactosidase, for example, although mainly utilized as hydrolytic enzyme, proved to be a promising tool for these purposes. Namely, under the particular conditions, such as high lactose concentration, elevated temperatures and low water activities, reaction of galactose moiety transfer to free hydroxyl group of the alternative acceptor (e.g. different sugars, alcohols or aromatic compounds) can generate a wide range of potentially interesting products. Up to now, galacto-oligosaccharides and lactulose have attracted the most attention due to their inherent prebiotic properties. The goal of this study was to obtain a novel product sorbitol galactoside, using the similar reaction mechanism, namely transgalactosylation reaction catalyzed by β-galactosidase from Aspergillus oryzae. By using sugar alcohol (sorbitol) as alternative acceptor, a diverse mixture of potential prebiotics is produced, enabling its more favorable functional features. Nevertheless, an introduction of alternative acceptor into the reaction mixture contributed to the complexity of reaction scheme, since several potential reaction pathways were introduced. Therefore, the thorough optimization using response surface method (RSM), in order to get an insight into different parameter (lactose concentration, sorbitol to lactose molar ratio, enzyme concentration, NaCl concentration and reaction time) influences, as well as their mutual interactions on product yield and productivity, was performed. In view of product yield maximization, the obtained model predicted optimal lactose concentration 500 mM, the molar ratio of sobitol to lactose 9, enzyme concentration 0.76 mg/ml, concentration of NaCl 0.8M, and the reaction time 7h. From the aspect of productivity, the optimum substrate molar ratio was found to be 1, while the values for other factors coincide. In order to additionally, improve enzyme efficiency and enable its reuse and potential continual application, immobilization of β-galactosidase onto tailored silica nanoparticles was performed. These non-porous fumed silica nanoparticles (FNS)were chosen on the basis of their biocompatibility and non-toxicity, as well as their advantageous mechanical and hydrodinamical properties. However, in order to achieve better compatibility between enzymes and the carrier, modifications of the silica surface using amino functional organosilane (3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane, APTMS) were made. Obtained support with amino functional groups (AFNS) enabled high enzyme loadings and, more importantly, extremely high expressed activities, approximately 230 mg proteins/g and 2100 IU/g, respectively. Moreover, this immobilized preparation showed high affinity towards sorbitol galactoside synthesis. Therefore, the findings of this study could provided a valuable contribution to the efficient production of physiologically active galactosides in immobilized enzyme reactors.

Keywords: β-galactosidase, immobilization, silica nanoparticles, transgalactosylation

Procedia PDF Downloads 168
68 Regulatory Governance as a De-Parliamentarization Process: A Contextual Approach to Global Constitutionalism and Its Effects on New Arab Legislatures

Authors: Abderrahim El Maslouhi


The paper aims to analyze an often-overlooked dimension of global constitutionalism, which is the rise of the regulatory state and its impact on parliamentary dynamics in transition regimes. In contrast to Majone’s technocratic vision of convergence towards a single regulatory system based on competence and efficiency, national transpositions of regulatory governance and, in general, the relationship to global standards primarily depend upon a number of distinctive parameters. These include policy formation process, speed of change, depth of parliamentary tradition and greater or lesser vulnerability to the normative conditionality of donors, interstate groupings and transnational regulatory bodies. Based on a comparison between three post-Arab Spring countries -Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, whose constitutions have undergone substantive review in the period 2011-2014- and some European Union state members, the paper intends, first, to assess the degree of permeability to global constitutionalism in different contexts. A noteworthy divide emerges from this comparison. Whereas European constitutions still seem impervious to the lexicon of global constitutionalism, the influence of the latter is obvious in the recently drafted constitutions in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. This is evidenced by their reference to notions such as ‘governance’, ‘regulators’, ‘accountability’, ‘transparency’, ‘civil society’, and ‘participatory democracy’. Second, the study will provide a contextual account of internal and external rationales underlying the constitutionalization of regulatory governance in the cases examined. Unlike European constitutionalism, where parliamentarism and the tradition of representative government function as a structural mechanism that moderates the de-parliamentarization effect induced by global constitutionalism, Arab constitutional transitions have led to a paradoxical situation; contrary to the public demands for further parliamentarization, the 2011 constitution-makers have opted for a de-parliamentarization pattern. This is particularly reflected in the procedures established by constitutions and regular legislation, to handle the interaction between lawmakers and regulatory bodies. Once the ‘constitutional’ and ‘independent’ nature of these agencies is formally endorsed, the birth of these ‘fourth power’ entities, which are neither elected nor directly responsible to elected officials, will raise the question of their accountability. Third, the paper shows that, even in the three selected countries, the de-parliamentarization intensity is significantly variable. By contrast to the radical stance of the Moroccan and Egyptian constituents who have shown greater concern to shield regulatory bodies from legislatures’ scrutiny, the Tunisian case indicates a certain tendency to provide lawmakers with some essential control instruments (e. g. exclusive appointment power, adversarial discussion of regulators’ annual reports, dismissal power, later held unconstitutional). In sum, the comparison reveals that the transposition of the regulatory state model and, more generally, sensitivity to the legal implications of global conditionality essentially relies on the evolution of real-world power relations at both national and international levels.

Keywords: Arab legislatures, de-parliamentarization, global constitutionalism, normative conditionality, regulatory state

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67 An Evaluation of a Prototype System for Harvesting Energy from Pressurized Pipeline Networks

Authors: Nicholas Aerne, John P. Parmigiani


There is an increasing desire for renewable and sustainable energy sources to replace fossil fuels. This desire is the result of several factors. First, is the role of fossil fuels in climate change. Scientific data clearly shows that global warming is occurring. It has also been concluded that it is highly likely human activity; specifically, the combustion of fossil fuels, is a major cause of this warming. Second, despite the current surplus of petroleum, fossil fuels are a finite resource and will eventually become scarce and alternatives, such as clean or renewable energy will be needed. Third, operations to obtain fossil fuels such as fracking, off-shore oil drilling, and strip mining are expensive and harmful to the environment. Given these environmental impacts, there is a need to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources as a primary energy source. Various sources of renewable energy exist. Many familiar sources obtain renewable energy from the sun and natural environments of the earth. Common examples include solar, hydropower, geothermal heat, ocean waves and tides, and wind energy. Often obtaining significant energy from these sources requires physically-large, sophisticated, and expensive equipment (e.g., wind turbines, dams, solar panels, etc.). Other sources of renewable energy are from the man-made environment. An example is municipal water distribution systems. The movement of water through the pipelines of these systems typically requires the reduction of hydraulic pressure through the use of pressure reducing valves. These valves are needed to reduce upstream supply-line pressures to levels suitable downstream users. The energy associated with this reduction of pressure is significant but is currently not harvested and is simply lost. While the integrity of municipal water supplies is of paramount importance, one can certainly envision means by which this lost energy source could be safely accessed. This paper provides a technical description and analysis of one such means by the technology company InPipe Energy to generate hydroelectricity by harvesting energy from municipal water distribution pressure reducing valve stations. Specifically, InPipe Energy proposes to install hydropower turbines in parallel with existing pressure reducing valves in municipal water distribution systems. InPipe Energy in partnership with Oregon State University has evaluated this approach and built a prototype system at the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Lab. The Oregon State University evaluation showed that the prototype system rapidly and safely initiates, maintains, and ceases power production as directed. The outgoing water pressure remained constant at the specified set point throughout all testing. The system replicates the functionality of the pressure reducing valve and ensures accurate control of down-stream pressure. At a typical water-distribution-system pressure drop of 60 psi the prototype, operating at an efficiency 64%, produced approximately 5 kW of electricity. Based on the results of this study, this proposed method appears to offer a viable means of producing significant amounts of clean renewable energy from existing pressure reducing valves.

Keywords: pressure reducing valve, renewable energy, sustainable energy, water supply

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66 Improved Morphology in Sequential Deposition of the Inverted Type Planar Heterojunction Solar Cells Using Cheap Additive (DI-H₂O)

Authors: Asmat Nawaz, Ceylan Zafer, Ali K. Erdinc, Kaiying Wang, M. Nadeem Akram


Hybrid halide Perovskites with the general formula ABX₃, where X = Cl, Br or I, are considered as an ideal candidates for the preparation of photovoltaic devices. The most commonly and successfully used hybrid halide perovskite for photovoltaic applications is CH₃NH₃PbI₃ and its analogue prepared from lead chloride, commonly symbolized as CH₃NH₃PbI₃_ₓClₓ. Some researcher groups are using lead free (Sn replaces Pb) and mixed halide perovskites for the fabrication of the devices. Both mesoporous and planar structures have been developed. By Comparing mesoporous structure in which the perovskite materials infiltrate into mesoporous metal oxide scaffold, the planar architecture is much simpler and easy for device fabrication. In a typical perovskite solar cell, a perovskite absorber layer is sandwiched between the hole and electron transport. Upon the irradiation, carriers are created in the absorber layer that can travel through hole and electron transport layers and the interface in between. We fabricated inverted planar heterojunction structure ITO/PEDOT/ Perovskite/PCBM/Al, based solar cell via two-step spin coating method. This is also called Sequential deposition method. A small amount of cheap additive H₂O was added into PbI₂/DMF to make a homogeneous solution. We prepared four different solution such as (W/O H₂O, 1% H₂O, 2% H₂O, 3% H₂O). After preparing, the whole night stirring at 60℃ is essential for the homogenous precursor solutions. We observed that the solution with 1% H₂O was much more homogenous at room temperature as compared to others. The solution with 3% H₂O was precipitated at once at room temperature. The four different films of PbI₂ were formed on PEDOT substrates by spin coating and after that immediately (before drying the PbI₂) the substrates were immersed in the methyl ammonium iodide solution (prepared in isopropanol) for the completion of the desired perovskite film. After getting desired films, rinse the substrates with isopropanol to remove the excess amount of methyl ammonium iodide and finally dried it on hot plate only for 1-2 minutes. In this study, we added H₂O in the PbI₂/DMF precursor solution. The concept of additive is widely used in the bulk- heterojunction solar cells to manipulate the surface morphology, leading to the enhancement of the photovoltaic performance. There are two most important parameters for the selection of additives. (a) Higher boiling point w.r.t host material (b) good interaction with the precursor materials. We observed that the morphology of the films was improved and we achieved a denser, uniform with less cavities and almost full surface coverage films but only using precursor solution having 1% H₂O. Therefore, we fabricated the complete perovskite solar cell by sequential deposition technique with precursor solution having 1% H₂O. We concluded that with the addition of additives in the precursor solutions one can easily be manipulate the morphology of the perovskite film. In the sequential deposition method, thickness of perovskite film is in µm and the charge diffusion length of PbI₂ is in nm. Therefore, by controlling the thickness using other deposition methods for the fabrication of solar cells, we can achieve the better efficiency.

Keywords: methylammonium lead iodide, perovskite solar cell, precursor composition, sequential deposition

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65 Electrochemical Activity of NiCo-GDC Cermet Anode for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operated in Methane

Authors: Kamolvara Sirisuksakulchai, Soamwadee Chaianansutcharit, Kazunori Sato


Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) have been considered as one of the most efficient large unit power generators for household and industrial applications. The efficiency of an electronic cell depends mainly on the electrochemical reactions in the anode. The development of anode materials has been intensely studied to achieve higher kinetic rates of redox reactions and lower internal resistance. Recent studies have introduced an efficient cermet (ceramic-metallic) material for its ability in fuel oxidation and oxide conduction. This could expand the reactive site, also known as the triple-phase boundary (TPB), thus increasing the overall performance. In this study, a bimetallic catalyst Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was combined with Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ (GDC) to be used as a cermet anode (NiCo-GDC) for an anode-supported type SOFC. The synthesis of Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was carried out by ball milling NiO and Co3O4 powders in ethanol and calcined at 1000 °C. The Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ was prepared by a urea co-precipitation method. Precursors of Gd(NO₃)₃·6H₂O and Ce(NO₃)₃·6H₂O were dissolved in distilled water with the addition of urea and were heated subsequently. The heated mixture product was filtered and rinsed thoroughly, then dried and calcined at 800 °C and 1500 °C, respectively. The two powders were combined followed by pelletization and sintering at 1100 °C to form an anode support layer. The fabrications of an electrolyte layer and cathode layer were conducted. The electrochemical performance in H₂ was measured from 800 °C to 600 °C while for CH₄ was from 750 °C to 600 °C. The maximum power density at 750 °C in H₂ was 13% higher than in CH₄. The difference in performance was due to higher polarization resistances confirmed by the impedance spectra. According to the standard enthalpy, the dissociation energy of C-H bonds in CH₄ is slightly higher than the H-H bond H₂. The dissociation of CH₄ could be the cause of resistance within the anode material. The results from lower temperatures showed a descending trend of power density in relevance to the increased polarization resistance. This was due to lowering conductivity when the temperature decreases. The long-term stability was measured at 750 °C in CH₄ monitoring at 12-hour intervals. The maximum power density tends to increase gradually with time while the resistances were maintained. This suggests the enhanced stability from charge transfer activities in doped ceria due to the transition of Ce⁴⁺ ↔ Ce³⁺ at low oxygen partial pressure and high-temperature atmosphere. However, the power density started to drop after 60 h, and the cell potential also dropped from 0.3249 V to 0.2850 V. These phenomena was confirmed by a shifted impedance spectra indicating a higher ohmic resistance. The observation by FESEM and EDX-mapping suggests the degradation due to mass transport of ions in the electrolyte while the anode microstructure was still maintained. In summary, the electrochemical test and stability test for 60 h was achieved by NiCo-GDC cermet anode. Coke deposition was not detected after operation in CH₄, hence this confirms the superior properties of the bimetallic cermet anode over typical Ni-GDC.

Keywords: bimetallic catalyst, ceria-based SOFCs, methane oxidation, solid oxide fuel cell

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64 Identification of Failures Occurring on a System on Chip Exposed to a Neutron Beam for Safety Applications

Authors: S. Thomet, S. De-Paoli, F. Ghaffari, J. M. Daveau, P. Roche, O. Romain


In this paper, we present a hardware module dedicated to understanding the fail reason of a System on Chip (SoC) exposed to a particle beam. Impact of Single-Event Effects (SEE) on processor-based SoCs is a concern that has increased in the past decade, particularly for terrestrial applications with automotive safety increasing requirements, as well as consumer and industrial domains. The SEE created by the impact of a particle on an SoC may have consequences that can end to instability or crashes. Specific hardening techniques for hardware and software have been developed to make such systems more reliable. SoC is then qualified using cosmic ray Accelerated Soft-Error Rate (ASER) to ensure the Soft-Error Rate (SER) remains in mission profiles. Understanding where errors are occurring is another challenge because of the complexity of operations performed in an SoC. Common techniques to monitor an SoC running under a beam are based on non-intrusive debug, consisting of recording the program counter and doing some consistency checking on the fly. To detect and understand SEE, we have developed a module embedded within the SoC that provide support for recording probes, hardware watchpoints, and a memory mapped register bank dedicated to software usage. To identify CPU failure modes and the most important resources to probe, we have carried out a fault injection campaign on the RTL model of the SoC. Probes are placed on generic CPU registers and bus accesses. They highlight the propagation of errors and allow identifying the failure modes. Typical resulting errors are bit-flips in resources creating bad addresses, illegal instructions, longer than expected loops, or incorrect bus accesses. Although our module is processor agnostic, it has been interfaced to a RISC-V by probing some of the processor registers. Probes are then recorded in a ring buffer. Associated hardware watchpoints are allowing to do some control, such as start or stop event recording or halt the processor. Finally, the module is also providing a bank of registers where the firmware running on the SoC can log information. Typical usage is for operating system context switch recording. The module is connected to a dedicated debug bus and is interfaced to a remote controller via a debugger link. Thus, a remote controller can interact with the monitoring module without any intrusiveness on the SoC. Moreover, in case of CPU unresponsiveness, or system-bus stall, the recorded information can still be recovered, providing the fail reason. A preliminary version of the module has been integrated into a test chip currently being manufactured at ST in 28-nm FDSOI technology. The module has been triplicated to provide reliable information on the SoC behavior. As the primary application domain is automotive and safety, the efficiency of the module will be evaluated by exposing the test chip under a fast-neutron beam by the end of the year. In the meantime, it will be tested with alpha particles and electromagnetic fault injection (EMFI). We will report in the paper on fault-injection results as well as irradiation results.

Keywords: fault injection, SoC fail reason, SoC soft error rate, terrestrial application

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63 Investigation of Pu-238 Heat Source Modifications to Increase Power Output through (α,N) Reaction-Induced Fission

Authors: Alex B. Cusick


The objective of this study is to improve upon the current ²³⁸PuO₂ fuel technology for space and defense applications. Modern RTGs (radioisotope thermoelectric generators) utilize the heat generated from the radioactive decay of ²³⁸Pu to create heat and electricity for long term and remote missions. Application of RTG technology is limited by the scarcity and expense of producing the isotope, as well as the power output which is limited to only a few hundred watts. The scarcity and expense make the efficient use of ²³⁸Pu absolutely necessary. By utilizing the decay of ²³⁸Pu, not only to produce heat directly but to also indirectly induce fission in ²³⁹Pu (which is already present within currently used fuel), it is possible to see large increases in temperature which allows for a more efficient conversion to electricity and a higher power-to-weight ratio. This concept can reduce the quantity of ²³⁸Pu necessary for these missions, potentially saving millions on investment, while yielding higher power output. Current work investigating radioisotope power systems have focused on improving efficiency of the thermoelectric components and replacing systems which produce heat by virtue of natural decay with fission reactors. The technical feasibility of utilizing (α,n) reactions to induce fission within current radioisotopic fuels has not been investigated in any appreciable detail, and our study aims to thoroughly investigate the performance of many such designs, develop those with highest capabilities, and facilitate experimental testing of these designs. In order to determine the specific design parameters that maximize power output and the efficient use of ²³⁸Pu for future RTG units, MCNP6 simulations have been used to characterize the effects of modifying fuel composition, geometry, and porosity, as well as introducing neutron moderating, reflecting, and shielding materials to the system. Although this project is currently in the preliminary stages, the final deliverables will include sophisticated designs and simulation models that define all characteristics of multiple novel RTG fuels, detailed enough to allow immediate fabrication and testing. Preliminary work has consisted of developing a benchmark model to accurately represent the ²³⁸PuO₂ pellets currently in use by NASA; this model utilizes the alpha transport capabilities of MCNP6 and agrees well with experimental data. In addition, several models have been developed by varying specific parameters to investigate their effect on (α,n) and (n,fi ssion) reaction rates. Current practices in fuel processing are to exchange out the small portion of naturally occurring ¹⁸O and ¹⁷O to limit (α,n) reactions and avoid unnecessary neutron production. However, we have shown that enriching the oxide in ¹⁸O introduces a sufficient (α,n) reaction rate to support significant fission rates. For example, subcritical fission rates above 10⁸ f/cm³-s are easily achievable in cylindrical ²³⁸PuO₂ fuel pellets with a ¹⁸O enrichment of 100%, given an increase in size and a ⁹Be clad. Many viable designs exist and our intent is to discuss current results and future endeavors on this project.

Keywords: radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG), Pu-238, subcritical reactors, (alpha, n) reactions

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62 Application of Alumina-Aerogel in Post-Combustion CO₂ Capture: Optimization by Response Surface Methodology

Authors: S. Toufigh Bararpour, Davood Karami, Nader Mahinpey


Dependence of global economics on fossil fuels has led to a large growth in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Among the various GHGs, carbon dioxide is the main contributor to the greenhouse effect due to its huge emission amount. To mitigate the threatening effect of CO₂, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies have been studied widely in recent years. For the combustion processes, three main CO₂ capture techniques have been proposed such as post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxyfuel combustion. Post-combustion is the most commonly used CO₂ capture process as it can be readily retrofit into the existing power plants. Multiple advantages have been reported for the post-combustion by solid sorbents such as high CO₂ selectivity, high adsorption capacity, and low required regeneration energy. Chemical adsorption of CO₂ over alkali-metal-based solid sorbents such as K₂CO₃ is a promising method for the selective capture of diluted CO₂ from the huge amount of nitrogen existing in the flue gas. To improve the CO₂ capture performance, K₂CO₃ is supported by a stable and porous material. Al₂O₃ has been employed commonly as the support and enhanced the cyclic CO₂ capture efficiency of K₂CO₃. Different phases of alumina can be obtained by setting the calcination temperature of boehmite at 300, 600 (γ-alumina), 950 (δ-alumina) and 1200 °C (α-alumina). By increasing the calcination temperature, the regeneration capacity of alumina increases, while the surface area reduces. However, sorbents with lower surface areas have lower CO₂ capture capacity as well (except for the sorbents prepared by hydrophilic support materials). To resolve this issue, a highly efficient alumina-aerogel support was synthesized with a BET surface area of over 2000 m²/g and then calcined at a high temperature. The synthesized alumina-aerogel was impregnated on K₂CO₃ based on 50 wt% support/K₂CO₃, which resulted in the preparation of a sorbent with remarkable CO₂ capture performance. The effect of synthesis conditions such as types of alcohols, solvent-to-co-solvent ratios, and aging times was investigated on the performance of the support. The best support was synthesized using methanol as the solvent, after five days of aging time, and at a solvent-to-co-solvent (methanol-to-toluene) ratio (v/v) of 1/5. Response surface methodology was used to investigate the effect of operating parameters such as carbonation temperature and H₂O-to-CO₂ flowrate ratio on the CO₂ capture capacity. The maximum CO₂ capture capacity, at the optimum amounts of operating parameters, was 7.2 mmol CO₂ per gram K₂CO₃. Cyclic behavior of the sorbent was examined over 20 carbonation and regenerations cycles. The alumina-aerogel-supported K₂CO₃ showed a great performance compared to unsupported K₂CO₃ and γ-alumina-supported K₂CO₃. Fundamental performance analyses and long-term thermal and chemical stability test will be performed on the sorbent in the future. The applicability of the sorbent for a bench-scale process will be evaluated, and a corresponding process model will be established. The fundamental material knowledge and respective process development will be delivered to industrial partners for the design of a pilot-scale testing unit, thereby facilitating the industrial application of alumina-aerogel.

Keywords: alumina-aerogel, CO₂ capture, K₂CO₃, optimization

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