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  • Molecular Diversity Preservation International  (389,808)
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  • 1
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2021-01-01
    Electronic ISSN: 0718-1876
    Topics: Economics
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2021-01-01
    Electronic ISSN: 0718-1876
    Topics: Economics
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2021-01-01
    Electronic ISSN: 0718-1876
    Topics: Economics
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Agricultural intensification has stimulated the economy in the Guayas River basin in Ecuador, but also affected several ecosystems. The increased use of pesticides poses a serious threat to the freshwater ecosystem, which urgently calls for an improved knowledge about the impact of pesticide practices in this study area. Several studies have shown that models can be appropriate tools to simulate pesticide dynamics in order to obtain this knowledge. This study tested the suitability of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to simulate the dynamics of two different pesticides in the data scarce Guayas River basin. First, we set up, calibrated and validated the model using the streamflow data. Subsequently, we set up the model for the simulation of the selected pesticides (i.e., pendimethalin and fenpropimorph). While the hydrology was represented soundly by the model considering the data scare conditions, the simulation of the pesticides should be taken with care due to uncertainties behind essential drivers, e.g., application rates. Among the insights obtained from the pesticide simulations are the identification of critical zones for prioritisation, the dominant areas of pesticide sources and the impact of the different land uses. SWAT has been evaluated to be a suitable tool to investigate the impact of pesticide use under data scarcity in the Guayas River basin. The strengths of SWAT are its semi-distributed structure, availability of extensive online documentation, internal pesticide databases and user support while the limitations are high data requirements, time-intensive model development and challenging streamflow calibration. The results can also be helpful to design future water quality monitoring strategies. However, for future studies, we highly recommend extended monitoring of pesticide concentrations and sediment loads. Moreover, to substantially improve the model performance, the availability of better input data is needed such as higher resolution soil maps, more accurate pesticide application rate and actual land management programs. Provided that key suggestions for further improvement are considered, the model is valuable for applications in river ecosystem management of the Guayas River basin.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2020-03-04
    Description: Background: Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient for humans, the diet being the main source of exposure. Some epidemiological studies describe a negative association between prenatal Mn and later neuropsychological development, but results are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to explore the association between prenatal Mn exposure and neuropsychological development assessed at 4 years of age. Methods: Study subjects were 304 mother-child pairs from the Gipuzkoa cohort of the INMA (Environment and Childhood) Project. Mn was measured in newborns’ hair. Children’s neuropsychological development was assessed at 4 years of age using the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities. Multivariate linear regression models were built. Stratified analysis by sex was performed. Generalized additive models were used to assess the shape of the relation. Results: The median Mn concentration in newborns’ hair was 0.42 μg/g (95% CI = 0.38, 0.46). The association between Mn levels and the neuropsychological development was not statistically significant for the general cognitive scale (β [95% CI] = 0.36 [−5.23, 5.95]), motor scale (β [95% CI] = 1.9 [−3.74, 7.55]) or any of the other outcomes. No sex-specific pattern was found. The best shape describing the relationship was linear for all the scales. Conclusion: Our results suggest that prenatal Mn concentrations measured in newborns’ hair do not affect cognitive or motor development at 4 years of age in boys or in girls at the observed Mn levels.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2020-03-04
    Description: Personal air formaldehyde (air-FA) was measured as risk factor of airways inflammation and oxidative stress (SO) induction. Overall, 154 police officers were enrolled from two differently urbanised Italian cities, Turin and Pavia. Urinary F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP), a prostaglandin-like compound, was quantified as a biomarker of general OS in vivo and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) was measured for monitoring local inflammatory processes. Urinary cotinine was quantified as a biomarker of tobacco smoking exposure. Traffic police officers living in Turin showed an increased level of log air-FA (p 〈 0.001), equal to +53.6% (p 〈 0.001). Log air-(FA) mean values were 3.38 (C.I. 95% 3.33–3.43) and 2.84 (C.I. 95% 2.77–2.92) in Turin and Pavia, respectively. Log (air-FA) was higher in “outdoor workers” (3.18, C.I. 95% 3.13–3.24, p = 0.035) compared to “indoor workers”, showing an increase of +9.3%, even controlling for sex and city. The analyses on 15-F2t-IsoP and FeNO, both adjusted for log air-FA, highlighted that OS and inflammation were higher (+66.8%, p 〈 0.001 and +75%, p 〈 0.001, respectively) in Turin traffic police officers compared to those from Pavia. Our findings suggest that even low exposures to traffic-related emissions and urbanisation may influence both general oxidative stress levels and local inflammation.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: In order to improve the robustness and positioning accuracy of the matched field processing (MFP) in underwater acoustic systems, we propose a conditional probability constraint matched field processing (MFP-CPC) algorithm in this paper, which protects the main-lobe and suppresses the side-lobe to the AMFP by the constraint parameters, such as the posterior probability density of source locations obtained by Bayesian criterion under the assumption of white Gaussian noise. Under such constraint, the proposed MFP-CPC algorithm not only has the same merit of a high resolution as AMFP but also improves the robustness. To evaluate the algorithm, the simulated and experimental data in an uncertain shallow ocean environment is used. From the results, MFP-CPC is robust to the moored source, as well as the moving source. In addition, the localization and tracking performances of using the proposed algorithm are consistent with the trajectory of the moving source.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: We present rotational misalignment and bending effects on a hybrid system to transfer power and data wirelessly for an implantable device. The proposed system consists of a high-frequency coil (13.56 MHz) to transfer power and an ultra-high frequency antenna (905 MHz) for data communication. The system performance and the transmitted power were studied under two misalignment conditions: (1) receiver rotation around itself with reference to the transmitter, and (2) bending of the implanted receiver under three different radii. Implanted receiver was printed on a flexible Kapton substrate and placed inside a layered body tissue model at a 30 mm depth. It is shown that the inductive link is stable under rotational misalignment and three bending conditions, whereas the communication data link is suitable to be used if the rotation angle is less than 75° or larger than 150°. The results show that the resonance frequency varies by 1.6%, 11.05%, and 6.62% for the bending radii of 120 mm, 80 mm, and 40 mm, respectively. Moreover, transmission efficiency varies by 4.3% for the bending radius of 120 mm. Decreasing the bending radius has more effects on antenna transmission efficiency that may cause severe losses in the communication link.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Changes in a certain parameter are often a few magnitudes smaller than the base value of the parameter, specifying significant requirements for the dynamic range and noise levels of the measurement system. In case of electrical bioimpedance acquisition, the variations can be 1000 times smaller than the entire measured value. Synchronous or lock-in measurement of these variations is discussed in the current paper, and novel measurement solutions are presented. Proposed methods are simple and robust when compared to other applicable solutions. A common feature shared by all members of the group of the proposed solutions is differentiation. It is achieved by calculating the differences between synchronously acquired consecutive samples, with lock-in integration and analog differentiation. All these methods enable inherent separation of variations from the static component of the signal. The variable component of the bioimpedance can, thus, be acquired using the full available dynamic range of the apparatus for its detection. Additive disturbing signals and omnipresent wideband noise are considered and the method for their reduction is proposed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: With the rapid development of the Internet of Things and the popularization of 5G communication technology, the security of resource-constrained IoT devices such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-based applications have received extensive attention. In traditional RFID systems, the communication channel between the tag and the reader is vulnerable to various threats, including denial of service, spoofing, and desynchronization. Thus, the confidentiality and integrity of the transmitted data cannot be guaranteed. In order to solve these security problems, in this paper, we propose a new RFID authentication protocol based on a lightweight block cipher algorithm, SKINNY, (short for LRSAS). Security analysis shows that the LRSAS protocol guarantees mutual authentication and is resistant to various attacks, such as desynchronization attacks, replay attacks, and tracing attacks. Performance evaluations show that the proposed solution is suitable for low-cost tags while meeting security requirements. This protocol reaches a balance between security requirements and costs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) cluster is gradually attracting more attention, which takes advantage over a traditional single manned platform. Because the size of the UAV platform limits the transmitting power of its own radar, how to reduce the transmitting power while meeting the detection accuracy is necessary. Aim at multiple-target tracking (MTT), a joint radar node selection and power allocation algorithm for radar networks is proposed. The algorithm first uses fuzzy logic reasoning (FLR) to obtain the priority of targets to radars, and designs a radar clustering algorithm based on the priority to form several subradar networks. The radar clustering algorithm simplifies the problem of multiple-radar tracking multiple-target into several problems of multiple-radar tracking a single target, which avoids complex calculations caused by multiple variables in the objective function of joint radar node selection and power allocation model. Considering the uncertainty of the target RCS in practice, the chance-constraint programming (CCP) is used to balance power resource and tracking accuracy. Through the joint radar node selection and power allocation algorithm, the radar networks can use less power resource to achieve a given tracking performance, which is more suitable for working on drone platforms. Finally, the simulation proves the effectiveness of the algorithm.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: In this paper, nonlinearity associated with intense ultrasound is studied by using the one-dimensional motion of nonlinear shock wave in an ideal fluid. In nonlinear acoustics, the wave speed of different segments of a waveform is different, which causes distortion in the waveform and can result in the formation of a shock (discontinuity). Acoustic pressure of high-intensity waves causes particles in the ideal fluid to vibrate forward and backward, and this disturbance is of relatively large magnitude due to high-intensities, which leads to nonlinearity in the waveform. In this research, this vibration of fluid due to the intense ultrasonic wave is modeled as a fluid pushed by one complete cycle of piston. In a piston cycle, as it moves forward, it causes fluid particles to compress, which may lead to the formation of a shock (discontinuity). Then as the piston retracts, a forward-moving rarefaction, a smooth fan zone of continuously changing pressure, density, and velocity is generated. When the piston stops at the end of the cycle, another shock is sent forward into the medium. The variation in wave speed over the entire waveform is calculated by solving a Riemann problem. This study examined the interaction of shocks with a rarefaction. The flow field resulting from these interactions shows that the shock waves are attenuated to a Mach wave, and the pressure distribution within the flow field shows the initial wave is dissipated. The developed theory is applied to waves generated by 20 KHz, 500 KHz, and 2 MHz transducers with 50, 150, 500, and 1500 W power levels to explore the effect of frequency and power on the generation and decay of shock waves. This work enhances the understanding of the interactions of high-intensity ultrasonic waves with fluids.
    Electronic ISSN: 2624-599X
    Topics: Physics
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: At present, the method of two-dimensional image recognition is mainly used to detect the abnormal fastener in the rail-track inspection system. However, the too-tight-or-too-loose fastener condition may cause the clip of the fastener to break or loose due to the high frequency vibration shock, which is difficult to detect from the two-dimensional image. In this practical application background, 3D visual detection technology provides a feasible solution. In this paper, we propose a fundamental multi-source visual data detection method, as well as an accurate and robust fastener location and nut or bolt segmentation algorithm. By combining two-dimensional intensity information and three-dimensional depth information generated by the projection of line structural light, the locating of nut or bolt position and accurate perception of height information can be realized in the dynamic running environment of railway. The experimental results show that the static measurement accuracy in the vertical direction using the structural light vision sensor is 0.1 mm under the laboratory condition, and the dynamic measurement accuracy is 0.5 mm under the dynamic train running environment. We use dynamic template matching algorithm to locate fasteners from 2D intensity map, which achieves 99.4% accuracy, then use the watershed algorithm to segment the nut and bolt from the corresponding depth image of located fastener. Finally, the 3D shape of the nut and bolt is analyzed to determine whether the nut or bolt height meets the local statistical threshold requirements, so as to detect the hidden danger of railway transportation caused by too loose or too tight fasteners.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Because of the limitations of the Global Positioning System (GPS) in indoor scenarios, various types of indoor positioning or localization technologies have been proposed and deployed. Wireless radio signals have been widely used for both communication and localization purposes due to their popular availability in indoor spaces. However, the accuracy of indoor localization based purely on radio signals is still not perfect. Recently, visible light communication (VLC) has made use of electromagnetic radiation from light sources for transmitting data. The potential for deploying visible light communication for indoor localization has been investigated in recent years. Visible-light-based localization enjoys low deployment cost, high throughput, and high security. In this article, the most recent advances in visible-light-based indoor localization systems have been reviewed. We strongly believe that visible-light-based localization will become a low-cost and feasible complementary solution for indoor localization and other smart building applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are undeniably already all around us, as we stand at the cusp of the next generation of IoT technologies. Indeed, the next-generation of IoT technologies are evolving before IoT technologies have been fully adopted, and smart dust IoT technology is one such example. The concept of smart dust IoT technology, which features very small devices with low computing power, is a revolutionary and innovative concept that enables many things that were previously unimaginable, but at the same time creates unresolved problems. One of the biggest problems is the bottlenecks in data transmission that can be caused by this large number of devices. The bottleneck problem was solved with the Dual Plane Development Kit (DPDK) architecture. However, the DPDK solution created an unexpected new problem, which is called the mixed packet problem. The mixed packet problem, which occurs when a large number of data packets and control packets mix and change at a rapid rate, can slow a system significantly. In this paper, we propose a dynamic partitioning algorithm that solves the mixed packet problem by physically separating the planes and using a learning algorithm to determine the ratio of separated planes. In addition, we propose a training data model eXtended Permuted Frame (XPF) that innovatively increases the number of training data to reflect the packet characteristics of the system. By solving the mixed packet problem in this way, it was found that the proposed dynamic partitioning algorithm performed about 72% better than the general DPDK environment, and 88% closer to the ideal environment.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: To reveal the nonlinear mechanism of the tri-stable piezoelectric vibration energy harvester based on composite shape beam (TPEH-C) and its influence on the system response, the nonlinear restoring force and the nonlinear magnetic force are discussed and analyzed in this paper. The nonlinear magnetic model is acquired by using equivalent magnetizing current theory, and the nonlinear resilience model is obtained by fitting experimental data. The corresponding distributed parameter model based on generalized Hamiltonian variation principle has been established. Frequency response functions for the TPEH-C are derived according to harmonic balance expansion, and the influence of different magnet distances and different excitation accelerations on the response amplitude and bandwidth of the TPEH-C are investigated. More importantly, the correctness of the theoretical analysis is verified by experiments. The results reveal that the spectrum of composite beam shows hard characteristic and the depth of potential well is changed, which provides a new way to ameliorate the potential well of the TPEH-C. A suitable magnet distance enables the TPEH-C to improve the response amplitude and the effective frequency range. The results in this paper have a theoretical guiding significance for the optimal design and engineering application of the TPEH-C.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The thermoelectric conversion technique has been explored in a broad range of heat-flow sensors. In this context, the Spin Seebeck Effect emerges as an attractive candidate for biosensor applications, not only for the sensibility improvement but also for the power-saving electronic devices development. Here, we investigate the Longitudinal Spin Seebeck Effect in films with a Co 2 FeAl/W bilayer structure grown onto GaAs (100) substrate, systems having induced uniaxial magnetic anisotropy combined with cubic magnetic anisotropy. From numerical calculations, we address the magnetic behavior and thermoelectric response of the films. By comparing experiment and theory, we explore the possibility of modulating a thermoelectric effect by magnetic anisotropy. We show that the thermoelectric voltage curves may be modulated by the association of magnetic anisotropy induction and experimental parameters employed in the LSSE experiment.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Two Covalent Organic Frameworks (COF), named TFP-BZ and TFP-DMBZ, were synthesized using the imine condensation between 1,3,5-triformylphloroglucinol (TFP) with benzidine (BZ) or 3,3-dimethylbenzidine (DMBZ). These materials were deposited, such as films over interdigitated electrodes (IDE), by chemical bath deposition, giving rise to TFP-BZ-IDE and TFP-DMBZ-IDE systems. The synthesized COFs powders were characterized by Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD), Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (ssNMR), nitrogen adsorption isotherms, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Raman spectroscopy, while the films were characterized by SEM and Raman. Ammonia and low molecular weight amine sensing were developed with the COF film systems using the impedance electrochemical spectroscopy (EIS). Results showed that the systems TFP-BZ-IDE and TFP-DMBZ-IDE detect low molecular weight amines selectively by impedimetric analysis. Remarkably, with no significant interference by other atmospheric gas compounds such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. Additionally, both COF films presented a range of sensitivity at low amine concentrations below two ppm at room temperature.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Pesticides represent some of the most common man-made chemicals in the world. Despite their unquestionable utility in the agricultural field and in the prevention of pest infestation in public areas of cities, pesticides and their biotransformation products are toxic to the environment and hazardous to human health. Esterase-based biosensors represent a viable alternative to the expensive and time-consuming systems currently used for their detection. In this work, we used the esterase-2 from Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius as bioreceptor for a biosensing device based on an automated robotic approach. Coupling the robotic system with a fluorescence inhibition assay, in only 30 s of enzymatic assay, we accomplished the detection limit of 10 pmol for 11 chemically oxidized thio-organophosphates in solution. In addition, we observed differences in the shape of the inhibition curves determined measuring the decrease of esterase-2 residual activity over time. These differences could be used for the characterization and identification of thio-organophosphate pesticides, leading to a pseudo fingerprinting for each of these compounds. This research represents a starting point to develop technologies for automated screening of toxic compounds in samples from industrial sectors, such as the food industry, and for environmental monitoring.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Damage significantly influences response of a strain sensor only if it occurs in the proximity of the sensor. Thus, two-dimensional (2D) sensing sheets covering large areas offer reliable early-stage damage detection for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. This paper presents a scalable sensing sheet design consisting of a dense array of thin-film resistive strain sensors. The sensing sheet is fabricated using flexible printed circuit board (Flex-PCB) manufacturing process which enables low-cost and high-volume sensors that can cover large areas. The lab tests on an aluminum beam showed the sheet has a gauge factor of 2.1 and has a low drift of 1.5 μ ϵ / d a y . The field test on a pedestrian bridge showed the sheet is sensitive enough to track strain induced by the bridge’s temperature variations. The strain measured by the sheet had a root-mean-square (RMS) error of 7 μ ϵ r m s compared to a reference strain on the surface, extrapolated from fiber-optic sensors embedded within the bridge structure. The field tests on an existing crack showed that the sensing sheet can track the early-stage damage growth, where it sensed 600 μ ϵ peak strain, whereas the nearby sensors on a damage-free surface did not observe significant strain change.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Driver distraction and fatigue are among the leading contributing factors in various fatal accidents. Driver activity monitoring can effectively reduce the number of roadway accidents. Besides the traditional methods that rely on camera or wearable devices, wireless technology for driver’s activity monitoring has emerged with remarkable attention. With substantial progress in WiFi-based device-free localization and activity recognition, radio-image features have achieved better recognition performance using the proficiency of image descriptors. The major drawback of image features is computational complexity, which increases exponentially, with the growth of irrelevant information in an image. It is still unresolved how to choose appropriate radio-image features to alleviate the expensive computational burden. This paper explores a computational efficient wireless technique that could recognize the attentive and inattentive status of a driver leveraging Channel State Information (CSI) of WiFi signals. In this novel research work, we demonstrate an efficient scheme to extract the representative features from the discriminant components of radio-images to reduce the computational cost with significant improvement in recognition accuracy. Specifically, we addressed the problem of the computational burden by efficacious use of Gabor filters with gray level statistical features. The presented low-cost solution requires neither sophisticated camera support to capture images nor any special hardware to carry with the user. This novel framework is evaluated in terms of activity recognition accuracy. To ensure the reliability of the suggested scheme, we analyzed the results by adopting different evaluation metrics. Experimental results show that the presented prototype outperforms the traditional methods with an average recognition accuracy of 93 . 1 % in promising application scenarios. This ubiquitous model leads to improve the system performance significantly for the diverse scale of applications. In the realm of intelligent vehicles and assisted driving systems, the proposed wireless solution can effectively characterize the driving maneuvers, primary tasks, driver distraction, and fatigue by exploiting radio-image descriptors.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Nonlinear non-equilibrium thermodynamic relations have been constructed based on the generalized Ehrenfest–Klein model. Using these relations, the behavior of the entropy and its production in time at arbitrary deviations from equilibrium has been studied. It has been shown that the transient fluctuation theorem is valid for this model if a dissipation functional is treated as the thermodynamic entropy production.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2020-03-04
    Description: Genetic variations introduced via introgression from Western to Chinese pigs have contributed to the performance of Chinese breeds in traits such as growth rate and feed conversion efficiency. However, little is known about the underlying genomic changes that occurred during introgression and the types of traits affected by introgression. To address these questions, 525 animals were characterized using an SNP array to detect genomic regions that had been introgressed from European to indigenous Chinese breeds. The functions of genes located in introgressed regions were also investigated. Our data show that five out of six indigenous Chinese breeds show evidence of introgression from Western pigs, and eight introgressed genome regions are shared by five of the Chinese breeds. A region located on chr13: 12.8–13.1 M was affected by both introgression and artificial selection, and this region contains the glucose absorption related gene, OXSM, and the sensory related gene, NGLY. The results provide a foundation for understanding introgression from Western to indigenous Chinese pigs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: This note first summarizes the history of the manuscript “On a Continuum Model for Avalanche Flow and Its Simplified Variants” by Grigorian and Ostroumov—published in this Special Issue—since the early 1990s and explains the guiding principles in editing it for publication. The changes are then detailed and some explanatory notes given for the benefit of readers who are not familiar with the early Russian work on snow avalanche dynamics. Finally, the editor’s personal views as to why he still considers this paper of relevance for avalanche dynamics research today are presented in brief essays on key aspects of the paper, namely the role of simple and complex models in avalanche research and mitigation work, the status and possible applications of Grigorian’s stress-limited friction law, and non-monotonicity of the dynamics of the Grigorian–Ostroumov model in the friction coefficient. A comparison of the erosion model proposed by those authors with two other models suggests to enhance it with an additional equation for the balance of tangential momentum across the shock front. A preliminary analysis indicates that continuous scouring entrainment is possible only in a restricted parameter range and that there is a second erosion regime with delayed entrainment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Nord Pool is the leading power market in Europe. It has been documented that the forward contracts traded in this market exhibit a significant forward premium, which could be a sign of market inefficiency. Efficient power markets are important, especially when there is a goal to increase the share of the power mix stemming from renewable energy sources. We therefore contribute to the understanding of this topic by examining how the forward premium in the Nord Pool market depend on several economic and physical conditions. We utilise two methods: ordinary least squares and quantile regression. The results show that the reservoir level and the basis (the difference between the forward and spot price) have a significant impact on the forward premium. The realised volatility of futures prices and the implied volatility of the stock market have strong effects on both the conditional lower and upper tails of the forward premium. We also find that, as the market has matured, the forward premium has decreased, indicating an increase in market efficiency.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, and associated uncertainty, for wind turbines (WTs) is a significant burden for wind farm operators. Many wind turbine failures are unpredictable while causing loss of energy production, and may also cause loss of asset. This study utilized 753 O&M event data from 21 wind turbines operating in Germany, to improve the prediction of failure frequency and associated costs. We applied Bayesian updating to predict wind turbine failure frequency and time-to-repair (TTR), in conjunction to machine learning techniques for assessing costs associated with failures. We found that time-to-failure (TTF), time-to-repair and the cost of failures depend on operational and environmental conditions. High elevation (〉100 m) of the wind turbine installation was found to increase both the probability of failures and probability of delayed repairs. Furthermore, it was determined that direct-drive turbines are more favorable at locations with high capacity factor (more than 40%) whereas geared-drive turbines show lower failure costs than direct-drive ones at temperate-coastal locations with medium capacity factors (between 20% and 40%). Based on these findings, we developed a decision support tool that can guide a site-specific selection of wind turbine types, while providing a thorough estimation of O&M budgets.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Improvements in internal combustion engine efficiency can be achieved with proper thermal management. In this work, a simulation tool for the preliminary analysis of the engine cooling control is developed and a model-based controller, which enforces the coolant flow rate by means of an electrically driven pump is presented. The controller optimizes the coolant flow rate under each engine operating condition to guarantee that the engine temperatures and the coolant boiling levels are kept inside prescribed constraints, which guarantees efficient and safe engine operation. The methodology is validated at the experimental test rig. Several control strategies are analyzed during a standard homologation cycle and a comparison of the proposed methodology and the adoption of the standard belt-driven pump is provided. The results show that, according to the control strategy requirements, a fuel consumption reduction of up to about 8% with respect to the traditional cooling system can be achieved over a whole driving cycle. This proves that the proposed methodology is a useful tool for appropriately cooling the engine under the whole range of possible operating conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Solar radiation is the sole energy source for Chinese solar greenhouse agriculture. A favorable light environment is the foundation of a desirable crop growth environment, and it is key in solar greenhouse design. In this study, a mathematical model is established to quantitatively evaluate the solar greenhouse light environment. The model was developed considering the greenhouse shape parameters, materials’ optical properties, and interior solar radiation evolution, including the beam radiation, diffuse radiation, and multi-reflection. The model was validated under different weather conditions, and the results reveal a mean percentage error of 1.67 and 10.30% for clear sunny weather and cloudy weather, respectively, and a determination coefficient of 0.9756. By using this model, the solar radiation allocation in a solar greenhouse was calculated to determine the solar radiation availability for the heat-storage north wall and the entire greenhouse, and the dynamical spatial distribution of the solar radiation was obtained to describe the light environment quality. These allow the optimization of the greenhouse lighting regulation and planting pattern. Moreover, several optimizing measures are derived according to the model for improving the low-light environment near the north wall and maximizing the north wall’s heat storage/release capacity in a solar greenhouse.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Switching losses of power transistors usually are the most relevant energy losses in high-frequency power converters. Soft-switching techniques allow a reduction of these losses, but even under soft-switching conditions, these losses can be significant, especially at light load and very high switching frequency. In this paper, hysteresis and energy losses are shown during the charge and discharge of the output capacitance (COSS) of commercial high voltage Superjunction MOSFETs. Moreover, a simple methodology to include information about these two phenomena in datasheets using a commercial system is suggested to manufacturers. Simulation models including COSS hysteresis and a figure of merit considering these intrinsic energy losses are also proposed. Simulation and experimental measurements using an LLC resonant converter have been performed to validate the proposed mechanism and the usefulness of the proposed simulation models.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: This paper proposes an adaptive droop gain-based consensus approach for reactive power sharing in microgrids (MGs) with the event triggered communication protocol (ETCP). A multi-agent system-based network is constructed to establish the communication with distributed generators (DGs) in MGs. An ETCP is proposed to reduce the communication among agents to save resources and improve system reliability, as the communication is only needed when the event triggered condition is fulfilled. A stability analysis is conducted to guarantee the existence of the equilibrium point and the freeness of the Zeno solution. Moreover, an adaptive droop gain is designed to reduce the impact of imbalanced feeder impedances. Four case studies are conducted to verify the effectiveness and performance of the proposed method. The simulation results show that the ETCP-based approach is capable of achieving power sharing consensus, communication reduction and shifting the information exchange mode based on the operation scenarios.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The use of forest biomass for bioenergy in Australia represents only 1% of total energy production but is being recognized for having the potential to deliver low-cost and low-emission, renewable energy solutions. This review addresses the potential of forest biomass for bioenergy production in Australia relative to the amount of biomass energy measures available for production, harvest and transport, conversion, distribution and emission. Thirty-Five Australian studies on forest biomass for bioenergy are reviewed and categorized under five hierarchical terms delimiting the level of assessment on the biomass potential. Most of these studies assess the amount of biomass at a production level using measures such as the allometric volume equation and form factor assumptions linked to forest inventory data or applied in-field weighing of samples to predict the theoretical potential of forest biomass across an area or region. However, when estimating the potential of forest biomass for bioenergy production, it is essential to consider the entire supply chain that includes many limitations and reductions on the recovery of the forest biomass from production in the field to distribution to the network. This review reiterated definitions for theoretical, available, technological, economic and environmental biomass potential and identified missing links between them in the Australian literature. There is a need for further research on the forest biomass potential to explore lower cost and lowest net emission solutions as a replacement to fossil resources for energy production in Australia but methods the could provide promising solutions are available and can be applied to address this gap.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Horizontal well drilling is a highly effective way to develop marine gas hydrate. During the drilling of horizontal wells in the marine gas hydrate layer, hydrate particles and cutting particles will migrate with the drilling fluid in the horizontal annulus. The gravity of cuttings is easy to deposit in the horizontal section, leading to the accumulation of cuttings. Then, a cuttings bed will be formed, which is not beneficial to bring up cuttings and results in the decrease of wellbore purification ability. Then the extended capability of the horizontal well will be restricted and the friction torque of the drilling tool will increase, which may cause blockage of the wellbore in severe cases. Therefore, this paper establishes geometric models of different hole enlargement ways: right-angle expansion, 45-degree angle expansion, and arc expanding. The critical velocity of carrying rock plates are obtained by EDEM and FLUENT coupling simulation in different hydrate abundance, different hydrate-cuttings particle sizes and different drilling fluid density. Then, the effects of hole enlargement way, particle size, hydrate abundance and drilling fluid density on rock carrying capacity are analyzed by utilizing an orthogonal test method. Simulation results show that: the critical flow velocity required for carrying cuttings increases with the increase of the particle size of the hydrate-cuttings particle when the hydrate abundance is constant. The critical flow velocity decreases with the increase of drilling fluid density, the critical flow velocity carrying cuttings decreases with the increase of hydrate abundance when the density of the drilling fluid is constant. Orthogonal test method was used to evaluate the influence of various factors on rock carrying capacity: hydrate-cuttings particle size 〉 hole enlargement way 〉 hydrate abundance 〉 drilling fluid density. This study provides an early technical support for the construction parameter optimization and well safety control of horizontal well exploitation models in a marine natural gas hydrate reservoir.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: In this study, three-dimensional transient numerical simulations of the flow around a cross flow water turbine of the type H-Darrieus are performed. The hydrodynamic characteristics and performance of the turbine are investigated by means of a time-accurate unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) commercial solver (ANSYS-Fluent v. 19) where the time dependent rotor-stator interaction is described by the sliding mesh approach. The transition shear stress transport turbulence model has been employed to represent the turbulent dynamics of the underlying flow. Computations are validated versus previous experimental work in terms of the turbine efficiency curve showing good agreement between numerical and experimental values. The behavior of the power and force coefficients as a function of turbine angular speed is analyzed. Moreover, visualizations and analyses of the instantaneous vorticity iso-surfaces developing at different blade rotational velocities are presented including a few movies as additional material. Finally, the fluid variables fields are averaged along a turbine revolution and are compared with the steady predictions of simplified steady approaches based on the blade element momentum theory and the double multiple streamtube method (BEM-DMS).
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: In this paper is provided a systematic, in-depth, behavioral analysis of renewable energy sources cooperatives’ members. The analysis proved that in, on hand, there was a noticeable difference in the portion of affection of each proposed intervention on the actual energy consumption, which may be to even ten times more in some cases, and on the other hand, the difference in energy consumption between the analyzed groups was noticeable as well. So, implementing energy efficiency interventions of various types, such as technical support, special tariffs, energy generation schemes, and smart meters, seems to lead to substantial energy reductions to even more than 10%, cumulatively, and reduces the environmental footprint. Additionally, the majority of energy efficiency interventions applied by the renewable energy sources cooperatives are proved to be effective in achieving their primary goal, sensitizing members, and leading them to a more efficient energy consumption behavior (“greener”). The results of the analysis showed that each proposed intervention had played a different but nonetheless significant role in the diminishing of the energy consumption of the members and that there was a noticeable difference in energy consumption between the analyzed groups. The results of the analysis demonstrated more than 22 GWh totally in green consumption, and almost 4500 tons of CO2 saved.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: To improve the noise immunity of a dq frame based open-loop phase detection (OPD) under high-frequency noise grid conditions, this paper develops a detailed model to quantitatively evaluate the phase detection error and noise immunity. It is found that the OPD behaves differently in terms of noise immunity when the dq frame is in different angle positions with the grid voltage. When the grid voltage coincides with the d axis, the high-frequency noise has the smallest impact on the phase detection accuracy, and the OPD thus has the strongest noise immunity. Inspired by this conclusion, an improved OPD algorithm is proposed in this paper, which can effectively reduce the phase detection error by fine-tuning the rotation angle of the dq frame to ensure that the angle between the voltage vector and d axis is always close to 0. The improved OPD algorithm has a fast and precise character to detect the phase information with less error and is flexible for application. Under heavy noise grid conditions, it can also effectively shorten the dynamic response time in the phase-detecting process using a low-pass filter (LPF) with a higher cut-off frequency. The correctness of the noise immunity analysis and the effectiveness of the improved OPD algorithm are verified by the simulations and experimental results in MATLAB and RT-LAB.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The excitation cross sections of the nS states, n = 2 to 6, of atomic hydrogen at various incident positron energies (10.23 to 300 eV) were calculated using the variational polarized-orbital method. Nine partial waves were used to obtain converged cross sections. The present results should be useful for comparison with results obtained from other theories and approximations. The positron-impact cross section was found to be higher than the electron-impact cross sections. Experimental and other theoretical results are discussed. The threshold law of excitation is discussed and the cross sections in this region were seen to obey the threshold law proportional to ( ln k f ) − 2 . Cross sections were calculated in the Born approximation also and compared to those obtained using the variational polarized orbital method.
    Electronic ISSN: 2218-2004
    Topics: Physics
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: For the purpose of investigating the effect of Zn replacement of In3Sn on the hydrogen production performance of Al-rich alloy ingots, Al-Ga-In3Sn alloys with various Zn dosages (0–5 wt.%) were prepared by a traditional melting and casting technique. The phase compositions and microstructures were characterized using X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an Energy Dispersed X-ray system (EDS). The SEM results indicate that, with a small amount of Zn instead of In3Sn, the number and total area of grain boundary (GB) phases will decrease gradually, and the average single GB area will eventually stabilize. The distribution of Zn in the alloy is similar to that of Ga, and an area with high Zn content appeared in the high-Zn-doped sample. The melting behaviors of Al with other metals were measured by DSC. The reaction of these alloys and water were investigated at different temperatures. Compared with Al-Ga-In3Sn alloy, low addition of Zn changed the composition of GB phase and increased the maximum hydrogen production rate. The reason for the changes in the hydrolysis reaction of Al with the addition of Zn was discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4352
    Topics: Physics
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: High-temperature fuel cells are one of the devices currently investigated for an integration into distributed power supply grids. Such distributed grids aim at the simultaneous production of thermal energy and electricity. To maximize the efficiency of fuel cell systems, it is reasonable to track the point of maximum electric power production and to operate the system in close vicinity to this point. However, variations of gas mass flows, especially the concentration of hydrogen contained in the anode gas, as well as variations of the internal temperature distribution in the fuel cell stack module lead to the fact that the maximum power point changes in dependence of the aforementioned phenomena. Therefore, this paper first proposes a real-time capable stochastic filter approach for the local identification of the electric power characteristic of the fuel cell. Second, based on this estimate, a maximum power point tracking procedure is derived. It is based on an iteration procedure under consideration of the estimation accuracy of the stochastic filter and adjusts the fuel cell’s electric current so that optimal operating points are guaranteed. Numerical simulations, based on real measured data gathered at a test rig available at the Chair of Mechatronics at the University of Rostock, Germany, conclude this paper.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Water is crucial for ecosystem health and socioeconomic development, but water scarcity is becoming a global concern. Management of transboundary watersheds is inherently challenging and has the potential to lead to conflict over the allocation of water resources. The metacoupling framework, which explores the relationships between coupled human and natural systems that are nested within multiple different scales, has been proposed to inform more holistic management of transboundary watersheds. This paper provides the first attempt to apply a metacoupling framework to a transboundary watershed for an improved integrated understanding of this complex system at multiple spatial scales. It does so with the transnational Limpopo River watershed in Southern Africa, which covers 1.3% of the continent and supports the livelihoods of 18.8 million people living in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a growing gap between water availability and demand; the primary drivers are population growth and agriculture expansion. The novelty of the paper is outlining the importance of applying a metacoupling framework to transboundary watersheds, identifying the limitations to this application, and providing a detailed assessment of the steps needed to complete this application. We also identify directions for future research including application of a metacoupling framework to other transboundary watersheds and exploration of spillover effects and externalities within this and other transboundary watersheds.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Clarifying the effects of climate warming on seed germination is critical for predicting plant community assembly and species renewal, especially in alpine grassland ecosystems where warming is occurring faster than in other biomes globally. We collected matured seeds of 19 common species from a typical alpine meadow steppe community in Central Tibet. Seeds were germinated in three incubators with manipulated day-night temperatures to impose three treatments: (1) theoretically optimal values of 25/15 °C, (2) temperatures observed in the field (control), and (3) a warming of 3 °C above the observed temperatures. We calculated seed germination percentage (SGP) and mean germination time (MGT) per species at different treatments. Our results showed that SGPs of Stipa capillacea, Kobresia macrantha, Potentilla saundersiana, Saussurea tibetica, Pedicularis kansuensis, and Androsace graminifolia were higher under the warming treatment than under control. Among them, the MGTs of S. capillacea, K. macrantha, and And. graminifolia were significantly shortened, while the MGT of Pe. kansuensis was significantly lengthened by warming of 3 °C. Significant decreases in MGT induced by warming were only observed for Festuca coelestis and Anaphalis xylorhiza. Additionally, the treatment with theoretically optimal temperatures restrained germination of Stipa purpurea, S. capillacea, F. coelestis, and Sa. tibetica seeds but promoted germination of K. macrantha, Astragalus strictus, P. saundersiana, Potentilla bifurca, Pe. kansuensis, Swertia tetraptera, Pleurospermum hedinii, and And. Graminifolia seeds, when compared with the control and warming treatments. Therefore, the response of seed germination to warming differs among alpine species, implying that future warming could result in significant changes in community assembly of alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: The quality of agri-foods in e-supply chains confronts more threats than that in the traditional agri-food supply chain. However, most of the existing studies focusing on the quality problems of fresh agri-products are mainly cases studies and statistical analyses, and they do not take into account the farmers’ willingness to comply with safe agri-food supply procedures. To solve the supply quality problems of fresh agri-foods and help participators make a better choice, the decision-making behavior on the supply quality of agri-foods in the e-supply chain was deeply studied in this paper using game theory. Some factors related to the decision behavior of the supply chain were analyzed, including the supervision intension of the government, the rights protection consciousness of consumers, and the intensity of punishment for poor-quality agri-foods. These factors have an important influence on the farmers’ willingness to provide high-quality products and e-business’ probability of inspection. Compared with three different decision models of agri-food e-supply chains, the results show that the decentralized decision model is better than the centralized model from the view of quality protection. The behavior of members of the supply chain is as follows: the farmers’ willingness to supply high-quality agri-foods increases with the increase in the consumers’ consciousness of their rights and the government's supervision intensity. The “experience deviation” phenomenon also occurs when a new e-business makes a decision about its quality inspection behavior in this e-supply chain where the quality information is traceable. As such, e-business enterprises should reduce their quality inspection behavior based on the increase in the government's supervision intensity. This happens to be opposite to the traditional experience where quality information is not traceable. This study not only extends the research framework of the novel electronic supply chain, but also provides a certain reference for the subsequent research and e-business practices of fresh produce in developing countries.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: The construction sector, by direct or indirect actions, consumes more than 40% of the global energy produced and is responsible for 30% of CO2 emissions. It is a need of the construction industry to transform its practices and processes by proposing systems of lower demand to the environment. In this sense, closed prefabrication and industrialization as a constructive process could be the key to seek savings and efficiency from its origin to the end of life of buildings. In this context, this article presents a methodological proposal of quantitative, qualitative and comparative analysis of the structural systems of eight prototypes presented in the "Solar Decathlon" contest in its North-American and Latin-American editions (both of them in 2015) and the European edition (in 2014). This methodology deduces the characteristics of a structural system of lower environmental demand and the characteristics of these constructive processes, in favor of a new paradigm of sustainability and to be applied in innovative systems of new housing models.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: This paper investigates the role of trust and control in networks of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a focus on both their direct and interaction effects on value creation. To delve into the interplay between trust and control, we unpack control mechanisms into three different forms: output, process, and social control. Our hypotheses are tested on a sample of 58 Italian SME networks based on formal agreements. Results show that the competitiveness and sustainability of inter-firm networks require trust-based relationships among entrepreneurs. Additionally, the adoption of output control mechanisms reinforces the positive link between trust and value creation, whereas a substitution effect exists between trust and process control and, with limited significance, between trust and social control.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: The high economic development in Vietnam contributes much momentum to boost the estate industry in this country. However, competition in this market is also increased. To survive better in this industry, the estate companies in the Vietnam estate industry can apply strategic alliance which, however, depends heavily on forming the right partnership. For this purpose, a hybrid approach combining Grey Theory with Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has been proposed in this research to assess and predict the performance of some Vietnamese estate companies, in addition to helping to form the right partnership. For empirical study, 16 companies in the Vietnam estate industry have been selected as Decision Making Units (DMUs). After collecting these DMUs’ historical data in the time period 2012-2017, the grey model GM (1,1) was first used to forecast the performance of these DMUs in 2018-2020. Then, the slacks-based measure (SBM) super efficiency (super SBM) model was used to assess their performance. To initiate partnerships, Becamex Infrastructure Development Joint Stock Company (IJC) has been selected as a target company and it can develop 15 different strategic alliance scenarios. The experimental results show that only some of the scenarios are beneficial. Thus, prudence is a necessity when using strategic alliance.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize a circular business model based on an Eco-Holonic Architecture, through the integration of circular economy and holonic principles. A conceptual model is developed to manage the complexity of integrating circular economy principles, digital transformation, and tools and frameworks for sustainability into business models. The proposed architecture is multilevel and multiscale in order to achieve the instantiation of the sustainable value chain in any territory. The architecture promotes the incorporation of circular economy and holonic principles into new circular business models. This integrated perspective of business model can support the design and upgrade of the manufacturing companies in their respective industrial sectors. The conceptual model proposed is based on activity theory that considers the interactions between technical and social systems and allows the mitigation of the metabolic rift that exists between natural and social metabolism. This study contributes to the existing literature on circular economy, circular business models and activity theory by considering holonic paradigm concerns, which have not been explored yet. This research also offers a unique holonic architecture of circular business model by considering different levels, relationships, dynamism and contextualization (territory) aspects.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Traffic signal control is an integral component of an intelligent transportation system (ITS) that play a vital role in alleviating traffic congestion. Poor traffic management and inefficient operations at signalized intersections cause numerous problems as excessive vehicle delays, increased fuel consumption, and vehicular emissions. Operational performance at signalized intersections could be significantly enhanced by optimizing phasing and signal timing plans using intelligent traffic control methods. Previous studies in this regard have mostly focused on lane-based homogenous traffic conditions. However, traffic patterns are usually non-linear and highly stochastic, particularly during rush hours, which limits the adoption of such methods. Hence, this study aims to develop metaheuristic-based methods for intelligent traffic control at isolated signalized intersections, in the city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Genetic algorithm (GA) and differential evolution (DE) were employed to enhance the intersection’s level of service (LOS) by optimizing the signal timings plan. Average vehicle delay through the intersection was selected as the primary performance index and algorithms objective function. The study results indicated that both GA and DE produced a systematic signal timings plan and significantly reduced travel time delay ranging from 15 to 35% compared to existing conditions. Although DE converged much faster to the objective function, GA outperforms DE in terms of solution quality i.e., minimum vehicle delay. To validate the performance of proposed methods, cycle length-delay curves from GA and DE were compared with optimization outputs from TRANSYT 7F, a state-of-the-art traffic signal simulation, and optimization tool. Validation results demonstrated the adequacy and robustness of proposed methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: This paper investigates outdoor thermal comfort in summer in commercial pedestrian streets in Harbin, using meteorological measurements and questionnaire surveys (1013 valid questionnaires). The results demonstrate that: (1) Thermal sensation has a lower range in an outdoor environment with smaller sky view factor (SVF) and less fluctuation, while the thermal sensation vote (TSV) range is more dispersed in an outdoor environment with larger SVF and more fluctuation; (2) In the urban, high-density commercial districts in Harbin, the air temperature and solar radiation have a greater influence on outdoor thermal sensation, while wind speed has less of an influence, and residents in areas with less fluctuations are more sensitive to air temperature and solar radiation; (3) The universal thermal climate index (UTCI) can accurately evaluate outdoor thermal comfort in Harbin in summer, with a neutral UTCI value of 19.3 °C and a range from 15.6 to 23.0 °C; (4) The actual acceptable thermal range is 16.8–29.3 °C, and this takes into account the psychological adaptation of the residents, which provides a more practical reference value; (5) With reference to the psychological adaptation, the outdoor thermal sensation of residents in early summer is about 0.5 TSV higher than that in late summer. These results provide a theoretical basis and a technical reference for the design of commercial pedestrian streets in severe cold regions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Higher education institutions (HEIs) in many developed and developing countries are facing big challenges in terms of quality in the face of growing global demand. Ensuring quality education is necessary to secure future prosperity and promote sustainable development. Hence; to ensure the success and sustainability of higher strategy; it is necessary for HEIs to improve the quality of strategy implementation processes and address the dynamic complexities of their attributes to identify areas for improvement. However; there are obvious issues associated with strategy implementation related to process modeling; automation; dynamic complexity; and cognitive limitations. This research is a step toward bridging the gap in adopting computational models in the higher education strategy implementation process to foster its automation and promote its sustainability. The aim of this research is to study the phenomenon of computational strategy implementation in the higher education domain using grounded theory to understand the criteria and quality attributes of the strategy implementation process and to generate a descriptive and explanatory model for strategy quality attributes (SQAs) of higher education; which entails the implementation of automated technology and computational models for more effective and sustainable strategy.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: This paper is focused on the measurement of interest rate risk of nonfinancial firms. The measurement is the initial step in the risk management, which, in the context of financial risks, it is expected to lead to better levels of enterprises’ financial sustainability. Concretely, we checked the performance of alternative estimation procedures of the implied equity duration as a measure of the exposure to interest rate risk of firms listed on a small stock market. Previous evidence in the US stock market shows that when the implied equity duration is computed using industry-specific parameters instead of market parameters, significant differences arise in their absolute and relative values and even in their ranking. In this paper, we checked the robustness of these results when we moved to a smaller stock market. To do so, we replicated previous analyses carried out in the Spanish stock market but using alternative estimation procedures. We conclude that significant differences arise in the implied equity duration estimations when we consider industry-specific parameters instead of market parameters. This finding in a small stock market is in line with previous evidence found for the US stock market.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The increasing discharge of wastewater containing inorganic salts, sometimes accompanied by high pH, has been a worldwide environmental problem. Constructed wetlands (CWs) are considered a viable technology for treating saline and/or alkaline wastewater provided that saline-alkaline tolerant plant species are selected and applied. The influence of both saline and alkaline stress on four wetland plant species during their seed germination, early growth, vegetative propagation and continued growth stages was evaluated by three experiments. Principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted for selecting representative indicators for evaluating the saline and alkaline tolerance of plants during vegetative propagation and plant growth stages. The saline and alkaline stress inhibited the vegetative propagation and plant growth of all tested plant species to varying degrees, therein the influences of saline-alkaline stress on plants were more marked than saline stress. The length of new roots, Na+ accumulation in plant tissue, Na+/K+ ratios in aerial tissue and the total dry biomass were selected as most representative indicators for evaluating the saline and alkaline tolerance of plants. Iris sibirica and Lythrum salicaria showed better saline and alkaline tolerance ability among tested species and could be grown in CWs for treating saline and/or alkaline wastewater.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between corporate environmental responsibility (CER) activities and investment efficiency as measured by overinvestment, and whether the industry-level competition affects this association. We investigate a sample of 2285 non-financial firms with fiscal year-end in December listed in the Korea Stock Exchange Market for the period of 2013–2018, measuring the investment efficiency by overinvestment model. Using environmental scores from the Korea Corporate Governance Service to measure CER activities, we show that, on average, firms can decrease overinvestment behavior through CER activities in South Korea. Moreover, in firms in a highly competitive market, the negative association between CER activities and overinvestment is pronounced, indicating that strong product market competition are effective in monitoring managerial opportunistic behavior. These results are robust, even after controlling for different setting and alternative CER. These findings also suggest that the relationship between CER and overinvestment appears to be benefit firms that are sound and sustainable and honestly present their financial information.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Due to the fact that Chinese tourists are becoming the main players in the international tourism market, with large growth potential, this research empirically identifies the psychological factors that affect Chinese outbound tourists’ memorable tourism experiences (MTEs), and investigates the relationships among MTEs, the “fun” emotion, and their recommendation and revisit intentions based on the stimulus–organism–response (S-O-R) model. In addition, the moderating role of perceived risk between the causal relationships among the “fun” emotion and recommendation and revisit intentions is identified. A total of 560 survey participants who had experienced overseas tourism in the last two years were selected as the target population, and the data from 413 valid surveys were empirically analyzed via structural equation modeling (SEM). Chinese outbound tourists’ MTEs, such as hedonism, novelty, meaningfulness, and social interaction, are found to positively influence their experience of the “fun” emotion, such as emotional spark and flow. Additionally, it is found that when Chinese outbound tourists have achieved a high level of the “fun” emotion, their intentions to recommend and revisit their destination will be stronger. In addition, perceived risk is found to have a negative moderating role in the causal relationships among emotional spark and recommendation and revisit intentions, and also has negative moderating effects on the causal relationship between flow and recommendation intentions. This study provides important practical insights for how international tourist destination marketers and managers provide Chinese tourists with MTEs, and how to elicit the “fun” emotion and loyalty behaviors from Chinese tourists via the investigation of the mechanism of MTEs, fun, and recommendation and revisit intentions. It is also found that it is beneficial for international tourist destination managers to lower the level of tourists’ perceived risk to improve tourists’ recommendation and revisit intentions. These findings can aid in the development of more effective strategies to increase the market share and the international competitiveness of destinations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Analyzing the seismic vulnerability of bridge structures is of great significance in assessing the sustainable capacity of bridges. However, previous seismic vulnerability analysis of bridge structures was based on theoretical simulation or experimental research, which couldn't really reflect the actual seismic damage. Therefore, this paper used Bayesian updating method to obtain a corrected vulnerability curve of bridge structures considering the theoretical simulation and historical seismic data, which overcame the shortcomings that information couldn't be updated. Specifically speaking, the seismic demand probability function of the bridge structure was obtained through numerical simulation, and a seismic vulnerability curve of a log-normal distribution with two parameters (median value and log-standard deviation ) was established, which was taken as the prior information. Then, combining the historical empirical damage data, the demand information is updated to obtain the posterior probability of the structural seismic demand. The possibility of exceeding the limit damage state of the bridge structure under different ground motion intensity can be obtained by using the corrected seismic vulnerability curve. The results show that the corrected seismic vulnerability curves are closer to theoretical simulation results, which provides a new idea for the reliability analysis of the bridge structure. Moreover, based on the corrected seismic vulnerability curve of Guxigou Middle Bridge, the post-earthquake traffic capacity of the bridge was evaluated by combining with traffic flow and traffic time. The research results show that the proposed method can quickly evaluate the sustainable traffic capacity of bridges after earthquakes, which has certain practicability and scientificity and provides the theoretical basis and practical guiding significance for the relief work after earthquakes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: In many areas of southern Europe, the scarcity of water due to climate change will increase, making its availability for irrigation an even more limiting factor for agriculture. One of the main necessary measures of adaptation of the vineyards in these areas will be the implementation of water-saving irrigation strategies and technologies to improve WUE (water use efficiency). The objective of the present study was to evaluate the long-term economic viability/profitability of different deficit irrigation techniques such as regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) and partial root-zone irrigation (PRI) with low water volume/fertilizer applied in a Monastrell vineyard in southeastern Spain to plants grafted on different rootstocks, and to assess the productive, social, and economic efficiency in these semiarid conditions. Through a cost/benefit analysis, socio-economic and environmental criteria for the selection of optimal deficit irrigation strategies and tolerant/water use efficient rootstocks for the vineyards in arid environments are proposed. Our analysis shows a clear conflict between productivity and quality in wine grape production. Productive and economic indices, such as yield, productive WUE (kg m-3), economic efficiency (€ m-3), break-even point (kg ha-1), and water productivity (€ m-3), were inversely related with berry quality. Besides, high berry quality was closely related with higher production costs. Under the current market of low-priced grapes, if the grower is not rewarded for the quality of the grapes (considering technological, phenolic, and nutraceutical quality), the productivity vision will continue and the cost-effective option will be to produce a lot of grapes, even if at the expense of the berry and wine quality. In this situation, it will be difficult to implement optimized deficit irrigation strategies and sustainable irrigation water use, and the pressure on water resources will increase in semiarid areas. Public policies should encourage vine growers to invest in producing high-quality grapes as a differentiating character, as well as to develop agronomic practices that are environmentally and socially sustainable, by the grapes more adjusted to their real quality and production costs. Only in this way we can implement agronomic measures such as optimized low-input DI (deficit irrigation) techniques and the use of efficient rootstocks to improve WUE and grape quality in semiarid regions in a context of climate change and water-limiting conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The aim of this study is the application of advanced modeling techniques to identify powdery mildew tolerant cultivars and reduce fungicides and energy consumption. The energy savings resulting from the increased efficiency of the use of fungicides is an innovative aspect investigated within the project AGROENER researching on energy efficiency. In this preliminary study, investigations through phenotyping methods could represent a potential solution, especially if they are used in combination with tools and algorithms able to extract and convert a large amount of data. Twelve different grapevine cultivars were tested. The construction of an artificial model, characterized by absolute optima of response to a pathogen (i.e., low values of disease incidence and severity and first day of the pathogen appearance), allowed us to cover the potential variability of a real dataset. To identify the cultivars that tolerate powdery mildew the most, two Soft Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA) models were built. The modeling efficiencies, indicated by sensitivity value, were equal to 100%. These statistical multivariate classifications identified some of these tolerant cultivars, as the best responding to the pathogen.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: A desiccant air handling unit is one of the major types of dehumidification handling systems and requires hot water or hot air to regenerate sorption materials. If solar thermal energy is used as the heat source for regeneration, in general, a backup electrical heater, backup boiler, or combined heat and power (CHP) is installed in order to maintain a stable hot water supply. In this study, effective control is proposed for a desiccant air handling system that uses solar thermal energy (flexible control), and its energy performance is compared to that of a traditional control (the fixed control) through a system simulation. The diurnal behavior shows that the system with a fixed control without a backup boiler cannot process the latent load properly (28 GJ of unprocessed latent load for July and August). On the other hand, the system with a flexible control without a backup boiler is able to process required latent heat load. Based on the fact that the fixed control needs a backup boiler to process the latent load, the system with a fixed control with a backup boiler is considered for the energy performance comparison. The simulation results show that the primary energy-based coefficient of performance (hereafter, COP) of the system with a flexible control without a backup boiler reaches 1.56. On the other hand, the primary energy-based COP of the system with a fixed control with a backup boiler reaches only 1.43. This proves that the flexible control contributes to the higher energy performance of the system and maximizes the use of solar thermal energy more than the fixed control.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The purpose of this article is to provide an insight into the specifics of social entrepreneurship in different business environments. The article, therefore, examines selected characteristics of social enterprises, namely social value, innovations, and market activities. In addition, differences in the start-up and operational phases of social enterprises were measured. Social enterprises must operate in a specific business context, which essentially hinders or promotes social entrepreneurship. As culture differs between north-western and south-eastern Europe, it is important to examine the differences in social entrepreneurship between these two groups of countries. To analyze the proposed characteristics, we used the latest data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor special report on social entrepreneurship. The results indicate that there exist differences in social impact measurement between observed groups of countries. Additionally, we confirmed differences between the observed groups of countries in terms of innovations and market activity of social enterprises in the operational phase. Our results also suggest that social entrepreneurship is more developed in north-western European countries than in south-eastern ones, with some elements in the north-western countries being more noticeable in the operational phase compared to the start-up phase.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The present research leverages prior works to automatically estimate wall and ceiling R-values using a combination of a smart WiFi thermostat, building geometry, and historical energy consumption data to improve the calculation of the mean radiant temperature (MRT), which is integral to the determination of thermal comfort in buildings. To assess the potential of this approach for realizing energy savings in any residence, machine learning predictive models of indoor temperature and humidity, based upon a nonlinear autoregressive exogenous model (NARX), were developed. The developed models were used to calculate the temperature and humidity set-points needed to achieve minimum thermal comfort at all times. The initial results showed cooling energy savings in excess of 83% and 95%, respectively, for high- and low-efficiency residences. The significance of this research is that thermal comfort control can be employed to realize significant heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) savings using readily available data and systems.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: We have measured the concentrations of toxic elements (Cd, Pb, As, and Hg) in 29 samples from agricultural soils in an iron ore mining area in the northern piedmont of Mount Wutai in Shanxi Province, China. The aim was to evaluate the potential health risks to local inhabitants based on the health risk assessment model derived from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The results show that the concentrations of the four heavy metals exceed their background values, especially in the case of Hg. The pollution level of the four heavy metals can be ordered as follows: Hg 〉 Cd 〉 Pb 〉 As. The spatial distribution of the concentrations of the four heavy metals was uneven: pollution levels were lowest in the basin of the E River, and centered on the E River there was an increasing trend towards the Yukou River in the west and the Yangyan River in the east. In terms of the degree of pollution, this trend can be summarized as: Qingyang River 〉 Yangyan River 〉 Yukou River 〉 E River. The main form of ingestion of the metals was via mouth and nose, and the risk to children is higher than for adults. Iron ore mining was the main cause of the increased concentrations of As and Cd, which represent a cancer risk for humans.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Technological developments are having a significant impact on purchasing habits and consumer behavior, and threaten the traditional model of the delivery of goods by post. The replacement of traditional letter-post items with electronic forms of communication has led to declines in the volume of postal items. Therefore, the collection of postal items has become very inefficient. This paper proposes that the postal network segment needs to be reorganized by reducing the current number of installed postboxes. To this end, a mathematical model has been defined. Considering that postboxes are one of the most basic access points to the postal network, territorial accessibility must be taken into account. The proposed model, with minor modifications, can easily be applied to optimize other access points in transportation networks. For testing purposes, this paper presents the results of computational experiments based on real data. The final result consists of scenarios that present a decision support system for the redesign of postal networks.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Adopting a voluntary simplicity lifestyle (VSL) contributes to a change in consumption patterns towards more sustainable ones, which is urgently needed. This study defines the VSL as a voluntary reduction of income and consumption in exchange for more free time. Our research aims to contribute with more detailed VSL criteria. A literature review develops initial VSL criteria, which are validated against and enriched by data gathered through in-depth interviews with nine voluntary simplicity practitioners. This study contributes with: (1) more detailed insights into the value changes during lifestyle adoption of a VSL, (2) a detailed perspective on significant aspects in VSL adoption as well as how they tend to happen in sequence, and (3) insight into how consumption reduces or changes and how free-time is spent when adopting a VSL. A conceptual framework for more detailed VSL criteria, as proposed in this study, is valuable to characterise the VSL lifestyle and differentiate it from other lifestyles. In sum, the study contributes to clearer perspectives on the VSL and provides detailed VSL criteria. Finally, we reaffirm the potential of VSL to contribute toward changing dominant unsustainable consumption patterns and indicate directions for future research.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: This paper explores the relationships between the moral philosophical foundations and strategic goals of two conceptions of energy justice: the “triumvirate conception” and the “principled approach”. We explore the extent to which the goals of these approaches align with their core aims and strategies. Having initially been developed to capture and reflect the values of activist-led environmental justice movements, we find that the triumvirate approach’s adoption of a trivalent conception of justice currently lies in tension with its overarching top-down approach. We note that the principled approach does not face the same tensions as the triumvirate conception of energy justice, but would benefit from illustrating the consequences of framing the same energy dilemma with conflicting moral theories. Aiming to ameliorate these limitations and further develop conceptions of energy justice, we outline a case study of hydro power in Hirakud, India and propose a framework which illustrates how using differing theories of justice to conceptualise the same energy dilemmas can result in substantially different normative framings and guidance. We illustrate how this framework, combined with a pluralistic appeal to moral theory, can enable both approaches to draw on a wider range of moral theory to assess energy dilemmas. This in turn provides a broader socio-political backdrop in which to view energy dilemmas. We outline how this backdrop contributes to the creation of a space in which the grievances of those who suffer in relation to energy systems can be heard and better understood.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: The European Directive 2014/95/EU regulating the disclosure of non-financial information for public interest organisations is enjoying its first years since entering into force in 2017. The emerging of social, environmental and sustainability issues in combination with the New Public Management (NPM) reforms, led public sector entities to huge demands of accountability. Long time before the European Union Directive (EUD) on non-financial information, public sector entities were pushed to demonstrate to a broad range of stakeholders how public resources are used. Accordingly, the stakeholders’ increasing demand for social and environmental information has encouraged the adoption of different types of reports by organisations, such as the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, Sustainability Reporting (SR) and the Integrated Report (IR).In the context of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the disclosure of non-financial information gains a pivotal relevance as these type of organisations face a more comprehensive range of stakeholders than private organisations. In this vein, the present paper aims to investigate whether the mandatory disclosure directive increased the level of information provided by SOEs issuing an IR between the years 2016 and 2017 in order to demonstrate whether a mandatory regulation leads to higher disclosure.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Research and development (R&D) investment is widely recognised as one of the crucial elements of generating the competitive advantage of contemporary companies. At the same time, it is also considered to represent one of the key determinants of overall sustainable development. Global competition, which is becoming increasingly harsh and forces companies to provide value-added products, processes and services, constitutes a reason why R&D investment is indispensable in contemporary business operations as they facilitate keeping the companies’ position in the market in terms of their competitiveness. The main aim of this paper is therefore to examine the impact of R&D expenditures on corporate performance. Using a multiple regression analysis, two different panel datasets covering Slovenian and world R&D companies are analysed. This gives a unique opportunity to obtain comprehensive and interesting findings, representing the main originality and value of the paper. The empirical results reveal that R&D expenditures are not effective in the short-term period and bring certain benefits in the long-term period. The findings of this paper provide several important theoretical and practical implications.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: In this research, vegetation indices (VIs) were analyzed as indicators of the spatio-temporal variation of vegetation in a semi-arid region. For a better understanding of this dynamic, interactions between vegetation and climate should be studied more widely. To this end, the following methodology was proposed: (1) acquire the NDVI, EVI, SAVI, MSAVI, and NDMI by classification of vegetation and land cover categories in a monthly period from 2014 to 2018; (2) perform a geostatistical analysis of rainfall and temperature; and (3) assess the application of ordinary and uncertainty least squares linear regression models to experimental data from the response of vegetation indices to climatic variables through the BiDASys (bivariate data analysis system) program. The proposed methodology was tested in a semi-arid region of Zacatecas, Mexico. It was found that besides the high values in the indices that indicate good health, the climatic variables that have an impact on the study area should be considered given the close relationship with the vegetation. A better correlation of the NDMI and EVI with rainfall and temperature was found, and similarly, the relationship between VIs and climatic factors showed a general time lag effect. This methodology can be considered in management and conservation plans of natural ecosystems, in the context of climate change and sustainable development policies.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2020-03-03
    Description: Background: The analysis of the problems derived from globalization has become one of the most densely studied topics at the beginning of this millennium, as they can have a crucial impact on present and future sustainable development. This paper analyzes the differential patterns of globalization in four worldwide areas predefined by The World Bank (namely, High-, Upper-Middle-, Lower-Middle-, and Low-Income countries). The main objective of this work is to estimate the effect of globalization on some economic development indicators (specifically per capita income and public expenditure on health) in 217 countries over the period 2000–2016. Methods: Our empirical approach is based on the implementation of a novel econometric methodology: The so-called Toda–Yamamoto procedure, which has been used to analyze the possible causal relationships between the involved variables. We employ World Development Indicators, provided by The World Bank, and the KOF Globalization Index, elaborated by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute. Results: The results show that there is a causal relationship in the sense of Granger between globalization and public expenditure on health, except in High-Income countries. This can be interpreted both negatively and positively, confirming the double character of globalization, as indicated by Stiglitz.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: This research concentrated on the socio-financial qualities of Poland’s co-op banking. The study’s results enabled answering the question of whether the cooperative banks (co-op banks) are exclusively focused on maximum financial effectiveness or faithful to the idea of cooperation, which basically means supporting its membership and community development. The main objective of the study was to determine the influence of internal factors on initiated support to the community within the framework defining the activities pertaining to a business’s social responsibility, as seen for Poland’s co-op banks. A seven-year study period was adopted, i.e., 2011–2017, inclusive. The research indicated that the co-op banks decide about a sum of contributions for community initiatives based on their current condition—according to current profits, current credits volume, total accounts number and considering financial security as expressed by the level of the solvency coefficient of the previous year.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Energy-rich cities tend to rely on resource-based industries for economic growth, which leads to a great challenge for its low-carbon and sustainable economic development. The contiguous area of Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (SSIM) is one of the most important national energy bases in China. Its development pattern, dominated by the coal industry, has led to increasingly prominent structural problems along with difficult low-carbon transition. Taking energy-rich cities in the contiguous area of SSIM as examples, this study analyzes the main drivers of CO2 emissions and explores the role of economic structure transformation in carbon emission reduction during 2002–2012 based on structural decomposition analysis (SDA). The results show that CO2 emissions increase significantly with the coal industry expansion in energy-rich cities. Economic growth and structure are the main drivers of CO2 emission increments. An energy structure dominated by coal and improper product allocation structure can also cause CO2 emission increases. Energy consumption intensity is the main factor curbing CO2 emission growth in energy-rich cities. The decline of agriculture and services contributes to carbon emission reduction, while the expansion of mining and primary energy processing industries has far greater effects on CO2 emission growth. Finally, we propose that energy-rich cities must make more efforts to transform energy-driven economic growth patterns, cultivate new pillar industries by developing high-end manufacturing, improve energy efficiency through more investment in key technologies and the market-oriented reform of energy pricing and develop natural gas and renewable energy to accelerate low-carbon transition.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: One of the main objectives of human society in the present century is to achieve clean and sustainable energy through utilization of renewable energy sources (RESs). In this paper, the main purpose is to identify the locations that are suitable for solar energy in the Kurdistan province of Iran. Initially, solar-related data are collected, and suitable criterion and assessment methods are chosen according to the available data. Then, the theoretical potential of solar energy is assessed and the solar radiation map is prepared. Moreover, the technical potential of various solar technologies is evaluated in that study area. These technologies include concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) in power plant applications, and rooftop PV panels and solar water heaters in general applications. The results show that the Kurdistan province has the potential capacity for 691 MW of solar photovoltaic power plants and 645 MW of CSP plants. In the case of using solar water heaters, 283 million cubic meters of natural gas and 1.2 million liters of gasoline could be saved in fuel consumption. The savings in the application of domestic PV will be 10.2 MW in power generation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: A large number of sand shrubs have been planted in western China, especially in Inner Mongolia. Sand shrubs produce a large amount of stump residue, and wood biomass power generation enterprises that use stump residue as raw materials have emerged in Wushen Banner and other areas. In this paper, the Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model is used to optimize the raw material supply chain of forest biomass power generation enterprises. Optimizations with different objectives represent the choices of different stakeholders. The optimization results are listed as follows. (1) The self-issuance behavior of enterprises is inconsistent with the enterprise behavior required by social planners; (2) When social planners only pay attention to environmental benefits, the utilization rate of raw materials in towns located far from a power plant will be greatly reduced, which is not conducive for the reuse of stump residue; (3) When social planners consider economic, environmental, and social benefits simultaneously, the utilization rate of raw materials in each town will be significantly improved, resources will be effectively utilized, and certain economic benefits will be realized; (4) It is possible to reduce the difficulty of achieving optimization goals by promoting industrial development and encouraging technological progress.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Faced with a number of socio-economic challenges and a continuously rising risk of more frequent and higher-impact disasters, the Japanese government, in cooperation with the private sector, has formulated a new comprehensive strategy, under the name of “Society 5.0”, which is to utilize a number of various technological innovative solutions in an attempt to provide a secure future for its citizens, centering around several important sectors. The current paper aims to discuss disaster risk and climate change policies in Society 5.0 in particular, with some special focus on adaptation and inclusiveness. We start with giving details on the Society 5.0 concept and its goals, after which we focus more specifically on how disaster and climate change policies are integrated into the new strategy and proceed to discuss several contentious issues which represent both opportunities and risks or challenges for implementing the concept in a truly sustainable way. The paper tries to present various points of view and hopes to provide some food for future thought and research, rather than solutions or specific suggestions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: Recently, a new organizational form of syndicate—multiple lead underwriter (MLU) initial public offerings (IPOs)—has emerged in IPOs. In addition to the increased deal complexity, lead underwriters in MLU IPOs face a new competition between them after underwriter selection, which is not present in single lead underwriter (SLU) IPOs. It is therefore questionable whether recommendations by analysts from lead underwriters of the MLU IPOs are as sustainable as those of the SLU IPOs. We examine IPO recommendations to capture how this new syndicate structure affects analyst behavior in terms of analyst optimism and investment value. In contrast to the popular conflict of interest perspective, our findings point to the notion that the new syndicate structure suppresses bias in recommendations and that reputation upholding incentive dominates pressure from competition. MLU-affiliated analysts are not more optimistic and provide more informative research coverage whose informativeness, however, fades away shortly after the recommendation releases. Our findings overall indicate the existence of sustainability in the MLU IPO recommendations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2020-03-02
    Description: The implementation of the bioeconomy, i.e., the conversion of an economic system from fossil to biogenic, renewable resources, is seen as an important component of sustainable development by many bioeconomy strategies. What has hardly been taken into account and investigated are the spatial requirements for a sustainable transition to this new system. In order to clarify this, bioeconomy related strategies and policy papers were analyzed thematically. It was shown that spatially relevant issues are addressed to very different extents. Some strategies have a clear technological and economic orientation, while other documents point to the importance of the regional and local levels and the use of spatial planning measures to successfully and sustainably implement a bioeconomy. Overall, the picture emerged that many strategies are still a long way from mainstreaming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as set out by the United Nations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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