Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4979

Search results for: volumetric efficiency

4739 Efficiency of Storehouse Management: Case Study of Faculty of Management Science, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Authors: Thidarath Rungruangchaikongmi, Duangsamorn Rungsawanpho


This research aims to investigate the efficiency of storehouse management and collect problems of the process of storehouse work of Faculty of Management Science, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University. The subjects consisting of head of storehouse section and staffs, sampled through the Convenience Sampling Technique for 97 sampling were included in the study and the Content Analysis technique was used in analysis of data. The results of the study revealed that the management efficiency of the storehouse work on the part of work process was found to be relevant to university’s rules and regulations. The delay of work in particular steps had occurred due to more rules and regulations or practice guidelines were issued for work transparency and fast and easy inspection and control. The key problem of the management of storehouse work fell on the lack of knowledge and understanding regarding university’s rules and regulations or practice guidelines of the officers.

Keywords: efficiency of storehouse management, faculty of management science, process of storehouse work, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

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4738 Development and Comparative Analysis of a New C-H Split and Recombine Micromixer

Authors: Vladimir Viktorov, Readul Mahmud, Carmen Visconte


In the present study, a new passive micromixer based on SAR principle, combining the operation concepts of known Chain and H mixers, called C-H micromixer, is developed and studied. The efficiency and the pressure drop of the C-H mixer along with two known SAR passive mixers named Chain and Tear-drop were investigated numerically at Reynolds numbers up to 100, taking into account species transport. At the same time experimental tests of the Chain and Tear-drop mixers were carried out at low Reynolds number, in the 0.1≤Re≤4.2 range. Numerical and experimental results coincide considerably, which validate the numerical simulation approach. Results show that mixing efficiency of the Tear-drop mixer is good except at the middle range of Reynolds number but pressure drop is too high; conversely the Chain mixer has moderate pressure drop but relatively low mixing efficiency at low and middle Re numbers. Whereas, the C-H mixer gives excellent mixing efficiency at all range of Re numbers. In addition, the C-H mixer shows respectively about 3 and 2 times lower pressure drop than the Tear-drop mixer and the Chain mixer.

Keywords: CFD, micromixing, passive micromixer, SAR

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4737 An Experimental Study on the Effect of Heat Input on the Weld Efficiency of TIG-MIG Hybrid Welding of Type-304 Austenitic Stainless Steel

Authors: Emmanuel Ogundimu, Esther Akinlabi, Mutiu Erinosho


Welding is described as the process of joining metals so that bonding can be created as a result of inter-atomic penetration. This study investigated the influence of heat input on the efficiency of the welded joints of 304 stainless steel. Three welds joint were made from two similar 304 stainless steel plates of thickness 6 mm. The tensile results obtained showed that the maximum average tensile strength of 672 MPa is possessed by the sample A1 with low heat input. It was discovered that the tensile strength, % elongation and weld joint efficiency decreased with the increase in heat input into the weld. The average % elongation for the entire samples ranged from 28.4% to 36.5%. Sample A1 had the highest joint efficiency of 94.5%. However, the optimum welding current of 190 for TIG- MIG hybrid welding of type-304 austenite stainless steel can be recommended for advanced technological applications such as aircraft manufacturing, nuclear industry, automobile industry, and processing industry.

Keywords: microhardness, microstructure, tensile, MIG welding, process, tensile, shear stress TIG welding, TIG-MIG welding

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4736 Economic Efficiency of Cassava Production in Nimba County, Liberia: An Output-Oriented Approach

Authors: Kollie B. Dogba, Willis Oluoch-Kosura, Chepchumba Chumo


In Liberia, many of the agricultural households cultivate cassava for either sustenance purposes, or to generate farm income. Many of the concentrated cassava farmers reside in Nimba, a north-eastern County that borders two other economies: the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea. With a high demand for cassava output and products in emerging Asian markets coupled with an objective of the Liberia agriculture policies to increase the competitiveness of valued agriculture crops; there is a need to examine the level of resource-use efficiency for many agriculture crops. However, there is a scarcity of information on the efficiency of many agriculture crops, including cassava. Hence the study applying an output-oriented method seeks to assess the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba County, Liberia. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to generate a sample for the study. From 216 cassava farmers, data related to on-farm attributes, socio-economic and institutional factors were collected. The stochastic frontier models, using the Translog functional forms, of production and revenue, were used to determine the level of revenue efficiency and its determinants. The result showed that most of the cassava farmers are male (60%). Many of the farmers are either married, engaged or living together with a spouse (83%), with a mean household size of nine persons. Farmland is prevalently obtained by inheritance (95%), average farm size is 1.34 hectares, and most cassava farmers did not access agriculture credits (76%) and extension services (91%). The mean cassava output per hectare is 1,506.02 kg, which estimates average revenue of L$23,551.16 (Liberian dollars). Empirical results showed that the revenue efficiency of cassava farmers varies from 0.1% to 73.5%; with the mean revenue efficiency of 12.9%. This indicates that on average, there is a vast potential of 87.1% to increase the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba by improving technical and allocative efficiencies. For the significant determinants of revenue efficiency, age and group membership had negative effects on revenue efficiency of cassava production; while farming experience, access to extension, formal education, and average wage rate have positive effects. The study recommends the setting-up and incentivizing of farmer field schools for cassava farmers to primarily share their farming experiences with others and to learn robust cultivation techniques of sustainable agriculture. Also, farm managers and farmers should consider a fix wage rate in labor contracts for all stages of cassava farming.

Keywords: economic efficiency, frontier production and revenue functions, Nimba County, Liberia, output-oriented approach, revenue efficiency, sustainable agriculture

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4735 Load Balancing Technique for Energy - Efficiency in Cloud Computing

Authors: Rani Danavath, V. B. Narsimha


Cloud computing is emerging as a new paradigm of large scale distributed computing. Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., three service models, and four deployment networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics models. Load balancing is one of the main challenges in cloud computing, which is required to distribute the dynamic workload across multiple nodes, to ensure that no single node is overloaded. It helps in optimal utilization of resources, enhancing the performance of the system. The goal of the load balancing is to minimize the resource consumption and carbon emission rate, that is the direct need of cloud computing. This determined the need of new metrics energy consumption and carbon emission for energy-efficiency load balancing techniques in cloud computing. Existing load balancing techniques mainly focuses on reducing overhead, services, response time and improving performance etc. In this paper we introduced a Technique for energy-efficiency, but none of the techniques have considered the energy consumption and carbon emission. Therefore, our proposed work will go towards energy – efficiency. So this energy-efficiency load balancing technique can be used to improve the performance of cloud computing by balancing the workload across all the nodes in the cloud with the minimum resource utilization, in turn, reducing energy consumption, and carbon emission to an extent, which will help to achieve green computing.

Keywords: cloud computing, distributed computing, energy efficiency, green computing, load balancing, energy consumption, carbon emission

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4734 Exergy Losses Relation with Driving Forces in Heat Transfer Process

Authors: S. Ali Ashrafizadeh, M. Amidpour, N. Hedayat


Driving forces along with transfer coefficient affect on heat transfer rate, on the other hand, with regard to the relation of these forces with irriversibilities they are effective on exergy losses. Therefore, the driving forces can be used as a relation between heat transfer rate, transfer coefficients and exergy losses. In this paper, first, the relation of the exergetic efficiency and resistant forces is obtained, next the relation between exergy efficiency, relative driving force, heat transfer rate and heat resistances is considered. In all cases, results are argued graphically. Finally, a case study inspected by obtained results.

Keywords: heat transfer, exergy losses, exergetic efficiency, driving forces

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4733 Design and Implementation of DC-DC Converter with Inc-Cond Algorithm

Authors: Mustafa Engin Başoğlu, Bekir Çakır


The most important component affecting the efficiency of photovoltaic power systems are solar panels. Efficiency of these systems are significantly affected because of being low efficiency of solar panel. Therefore, solar panels should be operated under maximum power point conditions through a power converter. In this study, design boost converter with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) operation has been designed and performed with Incremental Conductance (Inc-Cond) algorithm by using direct duty control. Furthermore, it is shown that performance of boost converter with MPPT operation fails under low load resistance connection.

Keywords: boost converter, incremental conductance (Inc-Cond), MPPT, solar panel

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4732 Optimization of Effecting Parameters for the Removal of H₂S Gas in Self Priming Venturi Scrubber Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Manisha Bal, B. C. Meikap


Highly toxic and corrosive gas H₂S is recognized as one of the hazardous air pollutants which has significant effect on the human health. Abatement of H₂S gas from the air is very necessary. H₂S gas is mainly released from the industries like paper and leather industry as well as during the production of crude oil, during wastewater treatment, etc. But the emission of H₂S gas in high concentration may cause immediate death while at lower concentrations can cause various respiratory problems. In the present study, self priming venturi scrubber is used to remove the H₂S gas from the air. Response surface methodology with central composite design has been chosen to observe the effect of process parameters on the removal efficiency of H₂S. Experiments were conducted by varying the throat gas velocity, liquid level in outer cylinder, and inlet H₂S concentration. ANOVA test confirmed the significant effect of parameters on the removal efficiency. A quadratic equation has been obtained which predicts the removal efficiency very well. The suitability of the developed model has been judged by the higher R² square value which obtained from the regression analysis. From the investigation, it was found that the throat gas velocity has most significant effect and inlet concentration of H₂S has less effect on H₂S removal efficiency.

Keywords: desulfurization, pollution control, response surface methodology, venturi scrubber

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4731 Optimizing Pavement Construction Procedures in the Southern Desert of Libya

Authors: Khlifa El Atrash, Gabriel Assaf


Libya uses a volumetric analysis in designing asphalt mixtures, which can also be upgraded in hot, arid weather. However, in order to be effective, it should include many important aspects which are materials, environment, and method of construction. However, the quality of some roads was below a satisfactory level. This paper examines the factors that contribute to low quality of road performance in Libya. To evaluate these factors, a questionnaire survey and a laboratory comparative study were performed for a few mixes under-represented of temperature and traffic load. In laboratory, rutting test conducted on two different asphalt mixture, these mixes included, an asphalt concrete mix using local aggregate and asphalt binder B(60/70) at the optimum Marshall asphalt content, another mixes designed using Superpave design procedure with the same materials and performance asphalt binder grade PG (70-10). In the survey, the questionnaire was distributed to 55 engineers and specialists in this field. The interview was conducted to a few others, and the factors that were leading to poor performance of asphalt roads were listed as; 1) Owner Experience and technical staff 2) Asphalt characteristics 3) Updating and development of Asphalt Mix Design methods 4) Lack of data collection by authorization Agency 5) Construction and compaction process 6) Mentoring and controlling mixing procedure. Considering and improving these factors will play an important role to improve the pavement performances, longer service life, and lower maintenance costs. This research summarized some recommendations for making asphalt mixtures used in hot, dry areas. Such asphalt mixtures should use asphalt binder which is less affected by pavement temperature change and traffic load. The properties of the mixture, such as durability, deformation, air voids, and performance, largely depend on the type of materials, environment, and mixing method. These properties, in turn, affect the pavement performance.

Keywords: volumetric analysis, pavement performances, hot climate, traffic load, pavement temperature, asphalt mixture, environment, design and construction

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4730 Performance Evaluation of Iar Multi Crop Thresher

Authors: Idris Idris Sunusi, U.S. Muhammed, N.A. Sale, I.B. Dalha, N.A. Adam


Threshing efficiency and mechanical grain damages are among the important parameters used in rating the performance of agricultural threshers. To be acceptable to farmers, threshers should have high threshing efficiency and low grain. The objective of the research is to evaluate the performances of the thresher using sorghum and millet, the performances parameters considered are; threshing efficiency and mechanical grain damage. For millet, four drum speed levels; 700, 800, 900 and 1000 rpm were considered while for sorghum; 600, 700, 800 and 900 rpm were considered. The feed rate levels were 3, 4, 5 and 6 kg/min for both sorghum and millet; the levels of moisture content were 8.93 and 10.38% for sorghum and 9.21 and 10.81% for millet. For millet the test result showed a maximum of 98.37 threshing efficiencies and a minimum of 0.24% mechanical grain damage while for sorghum the test result indicated a maximum of 99.38 threshing efficiencies, and a minimum of 0.75% mechanical grain damage. In comparison to the previous thresher, the threshing efficiency and mechanical grain damage of the modified machine has improved by 2.01% and 330.56% for millet and 5.31%, 287.64% for sorghum. Also analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that, the effect of drum speed, feed rate and moisture content were significant on the performance parameters.

Keywords: Threshing Efficiency, Mechanical Grain Damages, Sorghum and Millet, Multi Crop Thresher

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4729 Efficiency and Factors Affecting Inefficiency in the Previous Enclaves of Northern Region of Bangladesh: An Analysis of SFA and DEA Approach

Authors: Md. Mazharul Anwar, Md. Samim Hossain Molla, Md. Akkas Ali, Mian Sayeed Hassan


After 68 years, the agreement between Bangladesh and India was ratified on 6 June 2015 and Bangladesh received 111 Indian enclaves. Millions of farm household lived in these previous enclaves, being detached from the mainland of the country, they were socially, economically and educationally deprived people in the world. This study was undertaken to compare of the Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) and the constant returns to scale (CRS) and variable returns to scale (VRS) output-oriented DEA models, based on a sample of 300 farms from the three largest enclaves of Bangladesh in 2017. However, the aim of the study was not only to compare estimates of technical efficiency obtained from the two approaches, but also to examine the determinants of inefficiency. The results from both the approaches indicated that there is a potential for increasing farm production through efficiency improvement and that farmers' age, educational level, new technology dissemination and training on crop production technology have a significant effect on efficiency. The detection and measurement of technical inefficiency and its determinants can be used as a basis of policy recommendations.

Keywords: DEA approach, previous enclaves, SFA approach, technical inefficiency

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4728 Data Envelopment Analysis of Allocative Efficiency among Small-Scale Tuber Crop Farmers in North-Central, Nigeria

Authors: Akindele Ojo, Olanike Ojo, Agatha Oseghale


The empirical study examined the allocative efficiency of small holder tuber crop farmers in North central, Nigeria. Data used for the study were obtained from primary source using a multi-stage sampling technique with structured questionnaires administered to 300 randomly selected tuber crop farmers from the study area. Descriptive statistics, data envelopment analysis and Tobit regression model were used to analyze the data. The DEA result on the classification of the farmers into efficient and inefficient farmers showed that 17.67% of the sampled tuber crop farmers in the study area were operating at frontier and optimum level of production with mean allocative efficiency of 1.00. This shows that 82.33% of the farmers in the study area can still improve on their level of efficiency through better utilization of available resources, given the current state of technology. The results of the Tobit model for factors influencing allocative inefficiency in the study area showed that as the year of farming experience, level of education, cooperative society membership, extension contacts, credit access and farm size increased in the study area, the allocative inefficiency of the farmers decreased. The results on effects of the significant determinants of allocative inefficiency at various distribution levels revealed that allocative efficiency increased from 22% to 34% as the farmer acquired more farming experience. The allocative efficiency index of farmers that belonged to cooperative society was 0.23 while their counterparts without cooperative society had index value of 0.21. The result also showed that allocative efficiency increased from 0.43 as farmer acquired high formal education and decreased to 0.16 with farmers with non-formal education. The efficiency level in the allocation of resources increased with more contact with extension services as the allocative efficeincy index increased from 0.16 to 0.31 with frequency of extension contact increasing from zero contact to maximum of twenty contacts per annum. These results confirm that increase in year of farming experience, level of education, cooperative society membership, extension contacts, credit access and farm size leads to increases efficiency. The results further show that the age of the farmers had 32% input to the efficiency but reduces to an average of 15%, as the farmer grows old. It is therefore recommended that enhanced research, extension delivery and farm advisory services should be put in place for farmers who did not attain optimum frontier level to learn how to attain the remaining 74.39% level of allocative efficiency through a better production practices from the robustly efficient farms. This will go a long way to increase the efficiency level of the farmers in the study area.

Keywords: allocative efficiency, DEA, Tobit regression, tuber crop

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4727 Thermodynamic Analysis of an Ejector-Absorption Refrigeration Cycle with Using NH3-H2O

Authors: Samad Jafarmadar, Amin Habibzadeh, Mohammad Mehdi Rashidi, Sayed Sina Rezaei, Abbas Aghagoli


In this paper, the ejector-absorption refrigeration cycle is presented. This article deals with the thermodynamic simulation and the first and second law analysis of an ammonia-water. The effects of parameters such as condenser, absorber, generator, and evaporator temperatures have been investigated. The influence of the various operating parameters on the performance coefficient and exergy efficiency of this cycle has been studied. The results show that when the temperature of different parts increases, the performance coefficient and the exergy efficiency of the cycle decrease, except for evaporator and generator, that causes an increase in coefficient of performance (COP). According to the results, absorber and ejector have the highest exergy losses in the studied conditions.

Keywords: absorption refrigeration, COP, ejector, exergy efficiency

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4726 High-Efficiency Comparator for Low-Power Application

Authors: M. Yousefi, N. Nasirzadeh


In this paper, dynamic comparator structure employing two methods for power consumption reduction with applications in low-power high-speed analog-to-digital converters have been presented. The proposed comparator has low consumption thanks to power reduction methods. They have the ability for offset adjustment. The comparator consumes 14.3 μW at 100 MHz which is equal to 11.8 fJ. The comparator has been designed and simulated in 180 nm CMOS. Layouts occupy 210 μm2.

Keywords: efficiency, comparator, power, low

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4725 Sustainability in Space: Material Efficiency in Space Missions

Authors: Hamda M. Al-Ali


From addressing fundamental questions about the history of the solar system to exploring other planets for any signs of life have always been the core of human space exploration. This triggered humans to explore whether other planets such as Mars could support human life on them. Therefore, many planned space missions to other planets have been designed and conducted to examine the feasibility of human survival on them. However, space missions are expensive and consume a large number of various resources to be successful. To overcome these problems, material efficiency shall be maximized through the use of reusable launch vehicles (RLV) rather than disposable and expendable ones. Material efficiency is defined as a way to achieve service requirements using fewer materials to reduce CO2 emissions from industrial processes. Materials such as aluminum-lithium alloys, steel, Kevlar, and reinforced carbon-carbon composites used in the manufacturing of spacecrafts could be reused in closed-loop cycles directly or by adding a protective coat. Material efficiency is a fundamental principle of a circular economy. The circular economy aims to cutback waste and reduce pollution through maximizing material efficiency so that businesses can succeed and endure. Five strategies have been proposed to improve material efficiency in the space industry, which includes waste minimization, introduce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure material efficiency, and introduce policies and legislations to improve material efficiency in the space sector. Another strategy to boost material efficiency is through maximizing resource and energy efficiency through material reusability. Furthermore, the environmental effects associated with the rapid growth in the number of space missions include black carbon emissions that lead to climate change. The levels of emissions must be tracked and tackled to ensure the safe utilization of space in the future. The aim of this research paper is to examine and suggest effective methods used to improve material efficiency in space missions so that space and Earth become more environmentally and economically sustainable. The objectives used to fulfill this aim are to identify the materials used in space missions that are suitable to be reused in closed-loop cycles considering material efficiency indicators and circular economy concepts. An explanation of how spacecraft materials could be re-used as well as propose strategies to maximize material efficiency in order to make RLVs possible so that access to space becomes affordable and reliable is provided. Also, the economic viability of the RLVs is examined to show the extent to which the use of RLVs has on the reduction of space mission costs. The environmental and economic implications of the increase in the number of space missions as a result of the use of RLVs are also discussed. These research questions are studied through detailed critical analysis of the literature, such as published reports, books, scientific articles, and journals. A combination of keywords such as material efficiency, circular economy, RLVs, and spacecraft materials were used to search for appropriate literature.

Keywords: access to space, circular economy, material efficiency, reusable launch vehicles, spacecraft materials

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4724 Studying the Effects of Job Training on Employees Efficiency: A Case Study of University Employees, Qom, Iran

Authors: Seyfollah Fazlollahi, Ahmad Bayan Memar


Background: A review of manpower planning includes a training analysis based on job descriptions and job specifications which looks carefully at training from the points of view of the company, its various departments and personnel. This may show weaknesses in some departments and as a result, training is needed for the staff. Purpose: The aim of this research is to investigate the effects of training on employee’s efficiency in different aspects of work. Methodology: This is a descriptive-survey study. Statistical population was 85 official employees of University of Qom, Iran. 70 of these individuals were selected on a statistical random sampling method using Morgan&Gorki table. The instrument used in this study was a questionnaire including 22 questions. Result: Findings in this study according to data analysis indicate that majority of respondents had positive attitude towards training programs, in the job or off the job. They believed that training programs promoted and enhanced their behavior positively which leads to high efficiency in their job. In fact, data support the main hypothesis that training has positive effects on job performance and efficiency. Conclusion: It is concluded from this study and other related researches that training (on the job and off the job) has positive and effective role in human development and labor as employee’s efficiency. Employees get acquainted with different tasks of a job. Group co-operation, creativity and innovation will be enforced. Training leads to job skills, increasing knowledge and information about a job. It also increases technical and conceptual human skills, which are important in an organization. We can also mention workers' increasing positive motivation toward their job, enforcement of coordinating moral, their good human relations and good contact with clients.

Keywords: training, work efficiency, employee, human relation, job satisfaction

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4723 Electro-Winning of Dilute Solution of Copper Metal from Sepon Mine, Lao PDR

Authors: S. Vasailor, C. Rattanakawin


Electro-winning of copper metal from dilute sulfate solution (13.7 g/L) was performed in a lab electrolytic cell with stainless-steel cathode and lead-alloy anode. The effects of various parameters including cell voltage, electro-winning temperature and time were studied in order to acquire an appropriate current efficiency of copper deposition. The highest efficiency is about 95% obtaining from electro-winning condition of 3V, 55°C and 3,600 s correspondingly. The cathode copper with 95.5% Cu analyzed using atomic absorption spectrometry can be obtained from this single-winning condition. In order to increase the copper grade, solvent extraction should be used to increase the sulfate concentration, say 50 g/L, prior to winning the cathode copper effectively.

Keywords: copper metal, current efficiency, dilute sulfate solution, electro-winning

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4722 Designing a Cricket Team Selection Method Using Super-Efficient DEA and Semi Variance Approach

Authors: Arnab Adhikari, Adrija Majumdar, Gaurav Gupta, Arnab Bisi


Team formation plays an instrumental role in the sports like cricket. Existing literature reveals that most of the works on player selection focus only on the players’ efficiency and ignore the consistency. It motivates us to design an improved player selection method based on both player’s efficiency and consistency. To measure the players’ efficiency measurement, we employ a modified data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique namely ‘super-efficient DEA model’. We design a modified consistency index based on semi variance approach. Here, we introduce a new parameter called ‘fitness index’ for consistency computation to assess a player’s fitness level. Finally, we devise a single performance score using both efficiency score and consistency score with the help of a linear programming model. To test the robustness of our method, we perform a rigorous numerical analysis to determine the all-time best One Day International (ODI) Cricket XI. Next, we conduct extensive comparative studies regarding efficiency scores, consistency scores, selected team between the existing methods and the proposed method and explain the rationale behind the improvement.

Keywords: decision support systems, sports, super-efficient data envelopment analysis, semi variance approach

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4721 The Size Effects of Keyboards (Keycaps) on Computer Typing Tasks

Authors: Chih-Chun Lai, Jun-Yu Wang


The keyboard is the most important equipment for computer tasks. However, improper design of keyboard would cause some symptoms like ulnar and/or radial deviations. The research goal of this study was to investigate the optimal size(s) of keycaps to increase efficiency. As shown in the questionnaire pre-study with 49 participants aged from 20 to 44, the most commonly used keyboards were 101-key standard keyboards. Most of the keycap sizes (W × L) were 1.3 × 1.5 cm and 1.5 × 1.5 cm. The fingertip breadths of most participants were 1.2 cm. Therefore, in the main study with 18 participants, a standard keyboard with each set of the 3-sized (1.2 × 1.4 cm, 1.3 × 1.5 cm, and 1.5 × 1.5 cm) keycaps was used to investigate their typing efficiency, respectively. The results revealed that the differences between the operating times for using 1.3 × 1.5 cm and 1.2 × 1.4 cm keycaps were insignificant while operating times for using 1.5 × 1.5 cm keycaps were significantly longer than for using 1.2 × 1.4 cm or 1.3 × 1.5 cm, respectively. As for the typing error rate, there was no significant difference.

Keywords: keyboard, keycap size, typing efficiency, computer tasks

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4720 Operation System for Aluminium-Air Cell: A Strategy to Harvest the Energy from Secondary Aluminium

Authors: Binbin Chen, Dennis Y. C. Leung


Aluminium (Al) -air cell holds a high volumetric capacity density of 8.05 Ah cm-3, benefit from the trivalence of Al ions. Additional benefits of Al-air cell are low price and environmental friendliness. Furthermore, the Al energy conversion process is characterized of 100% recyclability in theory. Along with a large base of raw material reserve, Al attracts considerable attentions as a promising material to be integrated within the global energy system. However, despite the early successful applications in military services, several problems exist that prevent the Al-air cells from widely civilian use. The most serious issue is the parasitic corrosion of Al when contacts with electrolyte. To overcome this problem, super-pure Al alloyed with various traces of metal elements are used to increase the corrosion resistance. Nevertheless, high-purity Al alloys are costly and require high energy consumption during production process. An alternative approach is to add inexpensive inhibitors directly into the electrolyte. However, such additives would increase the internal ohmic resistance and hamper the cell performance. So far these methods have not provided satisfactory solutions for the problem within Al-air cells. For the operation of alkaline Al-air cell, there are still other minor problems. One of them is the formation of aluminium hydroxide in the electrolyte. This process decreases ionic conductivity of electrolyte. Another one is the carbonation process within the gas diffusion layer of cathode, blocking the porosity of gas diffusion. Both these would hinder the performance of cells. The present work optimizes the above problems by building an Al-air cell operation system, consisting of four components. A top electrolyte tank containing fresh electrolyte is located at a high level, so that it can drive the electrolyte flow by gravity force. A mechanical rechargeable Al-air cell is fabricated with low-cost materials including low grade Al, carbon paper, and PMMA plates. An electrolyte waste tank with elaborate channel is designed to separate the hydrogen generated from the corrosion, which would be collected by gas collection device. In the first section of the research work, we investigated the performance of the mechanical rechargeable Al-air cell with a constant flow rate of electrolyte, to ensure the repeatability experiments. Then the whole system was assembled together and the feasibility of operating was demonstrated. During experiment, pure hydrogen is collected by collection device, which holds potential for various applications. By collecting this by-product, high utilization efficiency of aluminum is achieved. Considering both electricity and hydrogen generated, an overall utilization efficiency of around 90 % or even higher under different working voltages are achieved. Fluidic electrolyte could remove aluminum hydroxide precipitate and solve the electrolyte deterioration problem. This operation system provides a low-cost strategy for harvesting energy from the abundant secondary Al. The system could also be applied into other metal-air cells and is suitable for emergency power supply, power plant and other applications. The low cost feature implies great potential for commercialization. Further optimization, such as scaling up and optimization of fabrication, will help to refine the technology into practical market offerings.

Keywords: aluminium-air cell, high efficiency, hydrogen, mechanical recharge

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4719 An Analysis of Conditions for Efficiency Gains in Large ICEs Using Cycling

Authors: Bauer Peter, Murillo Jenny


This paper investigates the bounds of achievable fuel efficiency improvements in engines due to cycling between two operating points assuming a series hybrid configuration . It is shown that for linear bsfc dependencies (as a function of power), cycling is only beneficial if the average power needs are smaller than the power at the optimal bsfc value. Exact expressions for the fuel efficiency gains relative to the constant output power case are derived. This asymptotic analysis is then extended to the case where transient losses due to a change in the operating point are also considered. The case of the boundary bsfc trajectory where constant power application and cycling yield the same fuel investigated. It is shown that the boundary bsfc locations of the second non-optimal operating points is hyperbolic. The analysis of the boundary case allows to evaluate whether for a particular engine, cycling can be beneficial. The introduced concepts are illustrated through a number of real world examples, i.e. large production Diesel engines in series hybrid configurations.

Keywords: cycling, efficiency, bsfc, series hybrid, diesel, operating point

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4718 Simulation of Antimicrobial Resistance Gene Fate in Narrow Grass Hedges

Authors: Marzieh Khedmati, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt


Vegetative Filter Strips (VFS) are used for controlling the volume of runoff and decreasing contaminant concentrations in runoff before entering water bodies. Many studies have investigated the role of VFS in sediment and nutrient removal, but little is known about their efficiency for the removal of emerging contaminants such as antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs). Vegetative Filter Strip Modeling System (VFSMOD) was used to simulate the efficiency of VFS in this regard. Several studies demonstrated the ability of VFSMOD to predict reductions in runoff volume and sediment concentration moving through the filters. The objectives of this study were to calibrate the VFSMOD with experimental data and assess the efficiency of the model in simulating the filter behavior in removing ARGs (ermB) and tylosin. The experimental data were obtained from a prior study conducted at the University of Nebraska (UNL) Rogers Memorial Farm. Three treatment factors were tested in the experiments, including manure amendment, narrow grass hedges and rainfall events. Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) was defined as the filter efficiency and the related experimental and model values were compared to each other. The VFS Model generally agreed with the experimental results and as a result, the model was used for predicting filter efficiencies when the runoff data are not available. Narrow Grass Hedges (NGH) were shown to be effective in reducing tylosin and ARGs concentration. The simulation showed that the filter efficiency in removing ARGs is different for different soil types and filter lengths. There is an optimum length for the filter strip that produces minimum runoff volume. Based on the model results increasing the length of the filter by 1-meter leads to higher efficiency but widening beyond that decreases the efficiency. The VFSMOD, which was proved to work well in estimation of VFS trapping efficiency, showed confirming results for ARG removal.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance genes, emerging contaminants, narrow grass hedges, vegetative filter strips, vegetative filter strip modeling system

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4717 Testing the Weak Form Efficiency of Islamic Stock Market: Empirical Evidence from Indonesia

Authors: Herjuno Bagus Wicaksono, Emma Almira Fauni, Salma Amelia Dina


The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) states that, in an efficient capital market, price fully reflects the information available in the market. This theory has influenced many investors behavior in trading in the stock market. Advanced researches have been conducted to test the efficiency of the stock market in particular countries. Indonesia, as one of the emerging countries, has performed substantial growth in the past years. Hence, this paper aims to examine the efficiency of Islamic stock market in Indonesia in its weak form. The daily stock price data from Indonesia Sharia Stock Index (ISSI) for the period October 2015 to October 2016 were used to do the statistical tests: Run Test and Serial Correlation Test. The results show that there is no serial correlation between the current price with the past prices and the market follows the random walk. This research concludes that Indonesia Islamic stock market is weak form efficient.

Keywords: efficient market hypothesis, Indonesia sharia stock index, random walk, weak form efficiency

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4716 Effects of Nano-Coating on the Mechanical Behavior of Nanoporous Metals

Authors: Yunus Onur Yildiz, Mesut Kirca


In this study, mechanical properties of a nanoporous metal coated with a different metallic material are studied through a new atomistic modelling technique and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. This new atomistic modelling technique is based on the Voronoi tessellation method for the purpose of geometric representation of the ligaments. With the proposed technique, atomistic models of nanoporous metals which have randomly oriented ligaments with non-uniform mass distribution along the ligament axis can be generated by enabling researchers to control both ligament length and diameter. Furthermore, by the utilization of this technique, atomistic models of coated nanoporous materials can be numerically obtained for further mechanical or thermal characterization. In general, this study consists of two stages. At the first stage, we use algorithms developed for generating atomic coordinates of the coated nanoporous material. In this regard, coordinates of randomly distributed points are determined in a controlled way to be employed in the establishment of the Voronoi tessellation, which results in randomly oriented and intersected line segments. Then, line segment representation of the Voronoi tessellation is transformed to atomic structure by a special process. This special process includes generation of non-uniform volumetric core region in which atoms can be generated based on a specific crystal structure. As an extension, this technique can be used for coating of nanoporous structures by creating another volumetric region encapsulating the core region in which atoms for the coating material are generated. The ultimate goal of the study at this stage is to generate atomic coordinates that can be employed in the MD simulations of randomly organized coated nanoporous structures. At the second stage of the study, mechanical behavior of the coated nanoporous models is investigated by examining deformation mechanisms through MD simulations. In this way, the effect of coating on the mechanical behavior of the selected material couple is investigated.

Keywords: atomistic modelling, molecular dynamic, nanoporous metals, voronoi tessellation

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4715 Non-Parametric, Unconditional Quantile Estimation of Efficiency in Microfinance Institutions

Authors: Komlan Sedzro


We apply the non-parametric, unconditional, hyperbolic order-α quantile estimator to appraise the relative efficiency of Microfinance Institutions in Africa in terms of outreach. Our purpose is to verify if these institutions, which must constantly try to strike a compromise between their social role and financial sustainability are operationally efficient. Using data on African MFIs extracted from the Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) database and covering the 2004 to 2006 periods, we find that more efficient MFIs are also the most profitable. This result is in line with the view that social performance is not in contradiction with the pursuit of excellent financial performance. Our results also show that large MFIs in terms of asset and those charging the highest fees are not necessarily the most efficient.

Keywords: data envelopment analysis, microfinance institutions, quantile estimation of efficiency, social and financial performance

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4714 Design and Performance Evaluation of Synchronous Reluctance Machine (SynRM)

Authors: Hadi Aghazadeh, Mohammadreza Naeimi, Seyed Ebrahim Afjei, Alireza Siadatan


Torque ripple, maximum torque and high efficiency are important issues in synchronous reluctance machine (SynRM). This paper presents a view on design of a high efficiency, low torque ripple and high torque density SynRM. To achieve this goal SynRM parameters is calculated (such as insulation ratios in the d-and q-axes and the rotor slot pitch), while the torque ripple can be minimized by determining the best rotor slot pitch in the d-axis. The presented analytical-finite element method (FEM) approach gives the optimum distribution of air gap and iron portion for the maximizing torque density with minimum torque ripple.

Keywords: torque ripple, efficiency, insulation ratio, FEM, synchronous reluctance machine (SynRM), induction motor (IM)

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4713 Theoretical Performance of a Sustainable Clean Energy On-Site Generation Device to Convert Consumers into Producers and Its Possible Impact on Electrical National Grids

Authors: Eudes Vera


In this paper, a theoretical evaluation is carried out of the performance of a forthcoming fuel-less clean energy generation device, the Air Motor. The underlying physical principles that support this technology are succinctly described. Examples of the machine and theoretical values of input and output powers are also given. In addition, its main features like portability, on-site energy generation and delivery, miniaturization of generation plants, efficiency, and scaling down of the whole electric infrastructure are discussed. The main component of the Air Motor, the Thermal Air Turbine, generates useful power by converting in mechanical energy part of the thermal energy contained in a fan-produced airflow while leaving intact its kinetic energy. Due to this fact an air motor can contain a long succession of identical air turbines and the total power generated out of a single airflow can be very large, as well as its mechanical efficiency. It is found using the corresponding formulae that the mechanical efficiency of this device can be much greater than 100%, while its thermal efficiency is always less than 100%. On account of its multiple advantages, the Air Motor seems to be the perfect device to convert energy consumers into energy producers worldwide. If so, it would appear that current national electrical grids would no longer be necessary, because it does not seem practical or economical to bring the energy from far-away distances while it can be generated and consumed locally at the consumer’s premises using just the thermal energy contained in the ambient air.

Keywords: electrical grid, clean energy, renewable energy, in situ generation and delivery, generation efficiency

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4712 Technical Efficiency and Challenges of Smallholder Horticultural Farmers in Ghana: A Wake-Up Call for Policy Implementers

Authors: Freda E. Asem, R. D. Osei, D. B. Sarpong, J. K. Kuwornu


While market access remains important, Ghana’s major handicap is her inability to sustain export growth on the open market. The causes of these could be attributed to inefficiency, lack of competitiveness and supply-side constraints. This study examined the challenges faced by smallholder horticultural farmers and how it relates to their technical efficiency. The study employed mixed methods to address the problem. Using the Millennium Development Account (MiDA) Farmer Based Organization survey data on farm households in 23 districts in Ghana, the study assessed the technical efficiency of smallholder horticultural farmers (taking into account production risks). Focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews were also conducted on smallholder mango, pineapple, and chilli pepper farmers selected districts in Ghana. Results revealed the constraints faced by smallholder horticultural farmers to be marketing, training, funding, accessibility, and affordability of inputs, land, access to credit, and the disconnect between themselves and policy makers and implementers.

Keywords: productivity, gender, policy, efficiency, constraints

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4711 A Neural Network Approach to Evaluate Supplier Efficiency in a Supply Chain

Authors: Kishore K. Pochampally


The success of a supply chain heavily relies on the efficiency of the suppliers involved. In this paper, we propose a neural network approach to evaluate the efficiency of a supplier, which is being considered for inclusion in a supply chain, using the available linguistic (fuzzy) data of suppliers that already exist in the supply chain. The approach is carried out in three phases, as follows: In phase one, we identify criteria for evaluation of the supplier of interest. Then, in phase two, we use performance measures of already existing suppliers to construct a neural network that gives weights (importance values) of criteria identified in phase one. Finally, in phase three, we calculate the overall rating of the supplier of interest. The following are the major findings of the research conducted for this paper: (i) linguistic (fuzzy) ratings of suppliers such as 'good', 'bad', etc., can be converted (defuzzified) to numerical ratings (1 – 10 scale) using fuzzy logic so that those ratings can be used for further quantitative analysis; (ii) it is possible to construct and train a multi-level neural network in order to determine the weights of the criteria that are used to evaluate a supplier; and (iii) Borda’s rule can be used to group the weighted ratings and calculate the overall efficiency of the supplier.

Keywords: fuzzy data, neural network, supplier, supply chain

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4710 Investigating the Efficiency of Stratified Double Median Ranked Set Sample for Estimating the Population Mean

Authors: Mahmoud I. Syam


Stratified double median ranked set sampling (SDMRSS) method is suggested for estimating the population mean. The SDMRSS is compared with the simple random sampling (SRS), stratified simple random sampling (SSRS), and stratified ranked set sampling (SRSS). It is shown that SDMRSS estimator is an unbiased of the population mean and more efficient than SRS, SSRS, and SRSS. Also, by SDMRSS, we can increase the efficiency of mean estimator for specific value of the sample size. SDMRSS is applied on real life examples, and the results of the example agreed the theoretical results.

Keywords: efficiency, double ranked set sampling, median ranked set sampling, ranked set sampling, stratified

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