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Energies, Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 2011), Pages 1-214

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Spatial Variation and Distribution of Urban Energy Consumptions from Cities in China
Energies 2011, 4(1), 26-38; doi:10.3390/en4010026
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 23 December 2010 / Accepted: 23 December 2010 / Published: 27 December 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With support of GIS tools and Theil index, the spatial variance of urban energy consumption in China was discussed in this paper through the parallel comparison and quantitative analysis of the 30 provincial capital cities of mainland China in 2005, in terms of
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With support of GIS tools and Theil index, the spatial variance of urban energy consumption in China was discussed in this paper through the parallel comparison and quantitative analysis of the 30 provincial capital cities of mainland China in 2005, in terms of scale, efficiency and structure. The indicators associated with urban energy consumption show large spatial variance across regions, possibly due to diversities of geographic features, economic development levels and local energy source availability in China. In absolute terms, cities with the highest total energy consumption are mostly distributed in economic-developed regions as Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan Area, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta of China, however, the per capita urban energy use is significantly higher in the Mid-and-Western regions. With regard to the energy mix, coal still plays the dominant role and cities in Mid-and-Western regions rely more on coal. In contrast, high quality energy carrier as electricity and oils are more used in southeast coastal zone and northern developed areas. The energy intensive cities are mainly located in the northwest, while the cities with higher efficiency are in southeast areas. The large spatial variance of urban energy consumption was also verified by the Theil indices. Considering the Chinese economy-zones of East, Middle and West, the within-group inequalities are the main factor contributing to overall difference, e.g., the Theil index for per capita energy consumption of within-group is 0.18, much higher than that of between group (0.07), and the same applies to other indicators. In light of the spatial variance of urban energy consumptions in China, therefore, regionalized and type-based management of urban energy systems is badly needed to effectively address the ongoing energy strategies and targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coal, Biomass & Solid Refuse Combustion)
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Open AccessArticle Offshore Antarctic Peninsula Gas Hydrate Reservoir Characterization by Geophysical Data Analysis
Energies 2011, 4(1), 39-56; doi:10.3390/en4010039
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 21 December 2010 / Accepted: 24 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1140 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A gas hydrate reservoir, identified by the presence of the bottom simulating reflector, is located offshore of the Antarctic Peninsula. The analysis of geophysical dataset acquired during three geophysical cruises allowed us to characterize this reservoir. 2D velocity fields were obtained by using
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A gas hydrate reservoir, identified by the presence of the bottom simulating reflector, is located offshore of the Antarctic Peninsula. The analysis of geophysical dataset acquired during three geophysical cruises allowed us to characterize this reservoir. 2D velocity fields were obtained by using the output of the pre-stack depth migration iteratively. Gas hydrate amount was estimated by seismic velocity, using the modified Biot-Geerstma-Smit theory. The total volume of gas hydrate estimated, in an area of about 600 km2, is in a range of 16 × 109–20 × 109 m3. Assuming that 1 m3 of gas hydrate corresponds to 140 m3 of free gas in standard conditions, the reservoir could contain a total volume that ranges from 1.68 to 2.8 × 1012 m3 of free gas. The interpretation of the pre-stack depth migrated sections and the high resolution morpho-bathymetry image allowed us to define a structural model of the area. Two main fault systems, characterized by left transtensive and compressive movement, are recognized, which interact with a minor transtensive fault system. The regional geothermal gradient (about 37.5 °C/km), increasing close to a mud volcano likely due to fluid-upwelling, was estimated through the depth of the bottom simulating reflector by seismic data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Gas Hydrate)
Open AccessArticle Fish Passage Assessment of an Advanced Hydropower Turbine and Conventional Turbine Using Blade-Strike Modeling
Energies 2011, 4(1), 57-67; doi:10.3390/en4010057
Received: 9 November 2010 / Revised: 19 December 2010 / Accepted: 27 December 2010 / Published: 4 January 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source in the world. However, in the Columbia and Snake River basins, several species of Pacific salmon and steelhead have been listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to significant declines of fish population. Dam
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Hydropower is the largest renewable energy source in the world. However, in the Columbia and Snake River basins, several species of Pacific salmon and steelhead have been listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act due to significant declines of fish population. Dam operators and design engineers are thus faced with the task of making hydroelectric facilities more fish friendly through changes in hydro-turbine design and operation. Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington, applied for relicensing from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to replace the 10 turbines at Wanapum Dam with advanced hydropower turbines that were designed to increase power generation and improve fish passage conditions. We applied both deterministic and stochastic blade-strike models to compare fish passage performance of the newly installed advanced turbine to an existing turbine. Modeled probabilities were compared to the results of a large-scale live-fish survival study and a Sensor Fish study under the same operational parameters. Overall, injury rates predicted by the deterministic model were higher than experimental rates of injury, while those predicted by the stochastic model were in close agreement with experimental results. Fish orientation at the time of entry into the plane of the leading edges of the turbine runner blades was an important factor contributing to uncertainty in modeled results. The advanced design turbine had slightly higher modeled injury rates than the existing turbine design; however, no statistical evidence suggested significant differences in blade-strike injuries between the two turbines, thus the hypothesis that direct fish survival rate through the advanced hydropower turbine is equal to or higher than that for fish passing through the conventional turbine could not be rejected. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Low Cost Wireless Data Acquisition System for a Remote Photovoltaic (PV) Water Pumping System
Energies 2011, 4(1), 68-89; doi:10.3390/en4010068
Received: 13 October 2010 / Revised: 14 December 2010 / Accepted: 23 December 2010 / Published: 4 January 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the design and development of a 16F877 microcontroller-based wireless data acquisition system and a study of the feasibility of different existing methodologies linked to field data acquisition from remote photovoltaic (PV) water pumping systems. Various existing data transmission techniques were
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This paper presents the design and development of a 16F877 microcontroller-based wireless data acquisition system and a study of the feasibility of different existing methodologies linked to field data acquisition from remote photovoltaic (PV) water pumping systems. Various existing data transmission techniques were studied, especially satellite, radio, Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). The system’s hardware and software and an application to test its performance are described. The system will be used for reading, storing and analyzing information from several PV water pumping stations situated in remote areas in the arid region of the south of Tunisia. The remote communications are based on the GSM network and, in particular, on the Short text Message Service (SMS). With this integrated system, we can compile a complete database of the different parameters related to the PV water pumping systems of Tunisia. This data could be made available to interested parties over the Internet. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Scale Effects on Solid Rocket Combustion Instability Behaviour
Energies 2011, 4(1), 90-107; doi:10.3390/en4010090
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 29 December 2010 / Published: 11 January 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ability to understand and predict the expected internal behaviour of a given solid-propellant rocket motor under transient conditions is important. Research towards predicting and quantifying undesirable transient axial combustion instability symptoms necessitates a comprehensive numerical model for internal ballistic simulation under dynamic
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The ability to understand and predict the expected internal behaviour of a given solid-propellant rocket motor under transient conditions is important. Research towards predicting and quantifying undesirable transient axial combustion instability symptoms necessitates a comprehensive numerical model for internal ballistic simulation under dynamic flow and combustion conditions. A numerical model incorporating pertinent elements, such as a representative transient, frequency-dependent combustion response to pressure wave activity above the burning propellant surface, is applied to the investigation of scale effects (motor size, i.e., grain length and internal port diameter) on influencing instability-related behaviour in a cylindrical-grain motor. The results of this investigation reveal that the motor’s size has a significant influence on transient pressure wave magnitude and structure, and on the appearance and magnitude of an associated base pressure rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion for Aerospace Propulsion)
Open AccessArticle Scenario Analyses of Road Transport Energy Demand: A Case Study of Ethanol as a Diesel Substitute in Thailand
Energies 2011, 4(1), 108-125; doi:10.3390/en4010108
Received: 15 October 2010 / Revised: 12 December 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 12 January 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2079 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ethanol is conventionally used as a blend with gasoline due to its similar properties, especially the octane number. However, ethanol has also been explored and used as a diesel substitute. While a low-blend of ethanol with diesel is possible with use of an
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Ethanol is conventionally used as a blend with gasoline due to its similar properties, especially the octane number. However, ethanol has also been explored and used as a diesel substitute. While a low-blend of ethanol with diesel is possible with use of an emulsifier additive, a high-blend of ethanol with diesel may require major adjustment of compression-ignition (CI) diesel engines. Since dedicated CI engines are commercially available for a high-blend ethanol in diesel (ED95), a fuel mixture comprised of 95% ethanol and 5% additive, this technology offers an option for an oil-importing country like Thailand to reduce its fossil import by use of its own indigenous bio-ethanol fuel. Among many strong campaigns on ethanol utilization in the transportation sector under Thailand’s Alternative Energy Strategic Plan (2008–2022), the Thai Ministry of Energy has, for the first time, conducted a demonstration project with ethanol (ED95) buses on the Thai road system. The current investigation thus aims to assess and quantify the impact of using this ED95 technology to reduce fossil diesel consumption by adjusting the commercially available energy demand model called the Long range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP). For this purpose, first, the necessary statistical data in the Thai transportation sector were gathered and analyzed to construct the predicative energy demand model. Then, scenario analyses were conducted to assess the benefit of ED95 technology on the basis of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy-Friendly Transportation)
Open AccessArticle Estimating the Energy Consumption Impact of Casual Carpooling
Energies 2011, 4(1), 126-139; doi:10.3390/en4010126
Received: 8 December 2010 / Revised: 9 January 2011 / Accepted: 10 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (334 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Some of the transportation energy consumed during peak commuter periods is wasted through slow running in congested traffic. Strategies to increase average vehicle occupancy (and reduce vehicle counts and congestion) could be expected to be at the forefront of energy conservation policies. Casual
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Some of the transportation energy consumed during peak commuter periods is wasted through slow running in congested traffic. Strategies to increase average vehicle occupancy (and reduce vehicle counts and congestion) could be expected to be at the forefront of energy conservation policies. Casual carpooling (also called “slugging”) is a system of carpooling without trip-by-trip pre-arrangement. It operates in three US cities, and has been suggested in New Zealand as a strategy for managing transportation challenges when oil prices rise. The objective of the paper is to find out if casual carpooling reduces energy consumption, and if so, how much. Energy consumption by single occupant vehicles; casual carpool vehicles; and a mix of buses and single occupant vehicles; are estimated and compared, and the impact on the rest of the traffic is calculated. The paper estimates that casual carpooling in San Francisco is conserving in the order of 1.7 to 3.5 million liters of gasoline per year, or 200-400 liters for each participant, much of which comes from the impact on the rest of the traffic. The paper concludes by calling for applied research to discover how to catalyze casual carpooling in other cities as a means of reducing transportation energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy-Friendly Transportation)
Open AccessArticle Polyethylene Glycol Drilling Fluid for Drilling in Marine Gas Hydrates-Bearing Sediments: An Experimental Study
Energies 2011, 4(1), 140-150; doi:10.3390/en4010140
Received: 10 December 2010 / Revised: 23 December 2010 / Accepted: 14 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shale inhibition, low-temperature performance, the ability to prevent calcium and magnesium-ion pollution, and hydrate inhibition of polyethylene glycol drilling fluid were each tested with conventional drilling-fluid test equipment and an experimental gas-hydrate integrated simulation system developed by our laboratory. The results of these
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Shale inhibition, low-temperature performance, the ability to prevent calcium and magnesium-ion pollution, and hydrate inhibition of polyethylene glycol drilling fluid were each tested with conventional drilling-fluid test equipment and an experimental gas-hydrate integrated simulation system developed by our laboratory. The results of these tests show that drilling fluid with a formulation of artificial seawater, 3% bentonite, 0.3% Na2CO3, 10% polyethylene glycol, 20% NaCl, 4% SMP-2, 1% LV-PAC, 0.5% NaOH and 1% PVP K-90 performs well in shale swelling and gas hydrate inhibition. It also shows satisfactory rheological properties and lubrication at temperature ranges from −8 °C to 15 °C. The PVP K-90, a kinetic hydrate inhibitor, can effectively inhibit gas hydrate aggregations at a dose of 1 wt%. This finding demonstrates that a drilling fluid with a high addition of NaCl and a low addition of PVP K-90 is suitable for drilling in natural marine gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Gas Hydrate)
Open AccessArticle New Approaches for the Production of Hydrocarbons from Hydrate Bearing Sediments
Energies 2011, 4(1), 151-172; doi:10.3390/en4010151
Received: 5 November 2010 / Revised: 16 December 2010 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The presence of natural gas hydrates at all active and passive continental margins has been proven. Their global occurrence as well as the fact that huge amounts of methane and other lighter hydrocarbons are stored in natural gas hydrates has led to the
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The presence of natural gas hydrates at all active and passive continental margins has been proven. Their global occurrence as well as the fact that huge amounts of methane and other lighter hydrocarbons are stored in natural gas hydrates has led to the idea of using hydrate bearing sediments as an energy resource. However, natural gas hydrates remain stable as long as they are in mechanical, thermal and chemical equilibrium with their environment. Thus, for the production of gas from hydrate bearing sediments, at least one of these equilibrium states must be disturbed by depressurization, heating or addition of chemicals such as CO2. Depressurization, thermal or chemical stimulation may be used alone or in combination, but the idea of producing hydrocarbons from hydrate bearing sediments by CO2 injection suggests the potential of an almost emission free use of this unconventional natural gas resource. However, up to now there are still open questions regarding all three production principles. Within the framework of the German national research project SUGAR the thermal stimulation method by use of in situ combustion was developed and tested on a pilot plant scale and the CH4-CO2 swapping process in gas hydrates studied on a molecular level. Microscopy, confocal Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction were used for in situ investigations of the CO2-hydrocarbon exchange process in gas hydrates and its driving forces. For the thermal stimulation a heat exchange reactor was designed and tested for the exothermal catalytic oxidation of methane. Furthermore, a large scale reservoir simulator was realized to synthesize hydrates in sediments under conditions similar to nature and to test the efficiency of the reactor. Thermocouples placed in the reservoir simulator with a total volume of 425 L collect data regarding the propagation of the heat front. In addition, CH4 sensors are placed in the water saturated sediment to detect the distribution of CH4 in the sample. These data are used for numerical simulations for up-scaling from laboratory to field conditions. This study presents the experimental set up of the large scale reservoir simulator and the reactor design. Preliminary results indicate that the catalytic oxidation of CH4 operated as a temperature controlled, autothermal reaction in a countercurrent heat exchange reactor is a safe and promising tool for the thermal stimulation of hydrates. In addition, preliminary results from the laboratory studies on the CO2-hydrocarbon swapping process in simple and mixed gas hydrates are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Gas Hydrate)
Open AccessArticle Short-Term Load Forecasting for Electric Power Systems Using the PSO-SVR and FCM Clustering Techniques
Energies 2011, 4(1), 173-184; doi:10.3390/en4010173
Received: 14 November 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 5 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a new combined method for the short-term load forecasting of electric power systems based on the Fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering, particle swarm optimization (PSO) and support vector regression (SVR) techniques. The training samples used in this method are of the
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This paper presents a new combined method for the short-term load forecasting of electric power systems based on the Fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering, particle swarm optimization (PSO) and support vector regression (SVR) techniques. The training samples used in this method are of the same data type as the learning samples in the forecasting process and selected by a fuzzy clustering technique according to the degree of similarity of the input samples considering the periodic characteristics of the load. PSO is applied to optimize the model parameters. The complicated nonlinear relationships between the factors influencing the load and the load forecasting can be regressed using the SVR. The practical load data from a city in Chongqing was used to illustrate the proposed method, and the results indicate that the proposed method can obtain higher accuracy compared with the traditional method, and is effective for forecasting the short-term load of power systems. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview A Review of Recent Advances on the Effects of Microstructural Refinement and Nano-Catalytic Additives on the Hydrogen Storage Properties of Metal and Complex Hydrides
Energies 2011, 4(1), 1-25; doi:10.3390/en4010001
Received: 11 November 2010 / Revised: 10 December 2010 / Accepted: 20 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (1129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The recent advances on the effects of microstructural refinement and various nano-catalytic additives on the hydrogen storage properties of metal and complex hydrides obtained in the last few years in the allied laboratories at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Military University of
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The recent advances on the effects of microstructural refinement and various nano-catalytic additives on the hydrogen storage properties of metal and complex hydrides obtained in the last few years in the allied laboratories at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and Military University of Technology (Warsaw, Poland) are critically reviewed in this paper. The research results indicate that microstructural refinement (particle and grain size) induced by ball milling influences quite modestly the hydrogen storage properties of simple metal and complex metal hydrides. On the other hand, the addition of nanometric elemental metals acting as potent catalysts and/or metal halide catalytic precursors brings about profound improvements in the hydrogen absorption/desorption kinetics for simple metal and complex metal hydrides alike. In general, catalytic precursors react with the hydride matrix forming a metal salt and free nanometric or amorphous elemental metals/intermetallics which, in turn, act catalytically. However, these catalysts change only kinetic properties i.e. the hydrogen absorption/desorption rate but they do not change thermodynamics (e.g., enthalpy change of hydrogen sorption reactions). It is shown that a complex metal hydride, LiAlH4, after high energy ball milling with a nanometric Ni metal catalyst and/or MnCl2 catalytic precursor, is able to desorb relatively large quantities of hydrogen at RT, 40 and 80 °C. This kind of behavior is very encouraging for the future development of solid state hydrogen systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Storage)
Open AccessReview Recent Progress in Metal Borohydrides for Hydrogen Storage
Energies 2011, 4(1), 185-214; doi:10.3390/en4010185
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 24 January 2011
Cited by 228 | PDF Full-text (488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prerequisite for widespread use of hydrogen as an energy carrier is the development of new materials that can safely store it at high gravimetric and volumetric densities. Metal borohydrides M(BH4)n (n is the valence of metal M
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The prerequisite for widespread use of hydrogen as an energy carrier is the development of new materials that can safely store it at high gravimetric and volumetric densities. Metal borohydrides M(BH4)n (n is the valence of metal M), in particular, have high hydrogen density, and are therefore regarded as one such potential hydrogen storage material. For fuel cell vehicles, the goal for on-board storage systems is to achieve reversible store at high density but moderate temperature and hydrogen pressure. To this end, a large amount of effort has been devoted to improvements in their thermodynamic and kinetic aspects. This review provides an overview of recent research activity on various M(BH4)n, with a focus on the fundamental dehydrogenation and rehydrogenation properties and on providing guidance for material design in terms of tailoring thermodynamics and promoting kinetics for hydrogen storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Storage)

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