Study of the Thermal Performance of Bio-Sourced Materials Used as Thermal Insulation in Buildings under Humid Tropical Climate

In the fight against climate change, the energy consuming building sector must also be taken into account to solve this problem. In this case thermal insulation of buildings using bio-based materials is an interesting solution. Therefore, the thermal performance of some materials of this type has been studied. The advantages of these natural materials of plant origin are multiple, biodegradable, low economic cost, renewable and readily available. The use of biobased materials is widespread in the building sector in order to replace conventional insulation materials with natural materials. Vegetable fibers are very important because they have good thermal behaviour and good insulating properties. The aim of using bio-sourced materials is in line with the logic of energy control and environmental protection, the approach is to make the inhabitants of the houses comfortable and reduce their energy consumption (energy efficiency). In this research we will present the results of studies carried out on the thermal conductivity of banana leaves, latan leaves, vetivers fibers, palm kernel fibers, sargassum, coconut leaves, sawdust and bulk sugarcane leaves. The study on thermal conductivity was carried out in two ways, on the one hand using the flash method, and on the other hand a so-called hot box experiment was carried out. We will discuss and highlight a number of influential factors such as moisture and air pockets present in the samples on the thermophysical properties of these materials, in particular thermal conductivity. Finally, the result of a thermal performance test of banana leaves on a roof in Haiti will also be presented in this work.

Platform-as-a-Service Sticky Policies for Privacy Classification in the Cloud

In this paper, we present a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model for controlling the privacy enforcement mechanisms applied on user data when stored and processed in Cloud data centers. The proposed architecture consists of establishing user configurable ‘sticky’ policies on the Graphical User Interface (GUI) data-bound components during the application development phase to specify the details of privacy enforcement on the contents of these components. Various privacy classification classes on the data components are formally defined to give the user full control on the degree and scope of privacy enforcement including the type of execution containers to process the data in the Cloud. This not only enhances the privacy-awareness of the developed Cloud services, but also results in major savings in performance and energy efficiency due to the fact that the privacy mechanisms are solely applied on sensitive data units and not on all the user content. The proposed design is implemented in a real PaaS cloud computing environment on the Microsoft Azure platform.

Study of the Energy Efficiency of Buildings under Tropical Climate with a View to Sustainable Development: Choice of Material Adapted to the Protection of the Environment

In the context of sustainable development and climate change, the adaptation of buildings to the climatic context in hot climates is a necessity if we want to improve living conditions in housing and reduce the risks to the health and productivity of occupants due to thermal discomfort in buildings. One can find a wide variety of efficient solutions but with high costs. In developing countries, especially tropical countries, we need to appreciate a technology with a very limited cost that is affordable for everyone, energy efficient and protects the environment. Biosourced insulation is a product based on plant fibers, animal products or products from recyclable paper or clothing. Their development meets the objectives of maintaining biodiversity, reducing waste and protecting the environment. In tropical or hot countries, the aim is to protect the building from solar thermal radiation, a source of discomfort. The aim of this work is in line with the logic of energy control and environmental protection, the approach is to make the occupants of buildings comfortable, reduce their carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) and decrease their energy consumption (energy efficiency). We have chosen to study the thermo-physical properties of banana leaves and sawdust, especially their thermal conductivities, direct measurements were made using the flash method and the hot plate method. We also measured the heat flow on both sides of each sample by the hot box method. The results from these different experiences show that these materials are very efficient used as insulation. We have also conducted a building thermal simulation using banana leaves as one of the materials under Design Builder software. Air-conditioning load as well as CO2 release was used as performance indicator. When the air-conditioned building cell is protected on the roof by banana leaves and integrated into the walls with solar protection of the glazing, it saves up to 64.3% of energy and avoids 57% of CO2 emissions.

Handover for Dense Small Cells Heterogeneous Networks: A Power-Efficient Game Theoretical Approach

In this paper, a non-cooperative game method is formulated where all players compete to transmit at higher power. Every base station represents a player in the game. The game is solved by obtaining the Nash equilibrium (NE) where the game converges to optimality. The proposed method, named Power Efficient Handover Game Theoretic (PEHO-GT) approach, aims to control the handover in dense small cell networks. Players optimize their payoff by adjusting the transmission power to improve the performance in terms of throughput, handover, power consumption and load balancing. To select the desired transmission power for a player, the payoff function considers the gain of increasing the transmission power. Then, the cell selection takes place by deploying Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). A game theoretical method is implemented for heterogeneous networks to validate the improvement obtained. Results reveal that the proposed method gives a throughput improvement while reducing the power consumption and minimizing the frequent handover.

Integrated Grey Rational Analysis-Standard Deviation Method for Handover in Heterogeneous Networks

The dense deployment of small cells is a promising solution to enhance the coverage and capacity of the heterogeneous networks (HetNets). However, the unplanned deployment could bring new challenges to the network ranging from interference, unnecessary handovers and handover failures. This will cause a degradation in the quality of service (QoS) delivered to the end user. In this paper, we propose an integrated Grey Rational Analysis Standard Deviation based handover method (GRA-SD) for HetNet. The proposed method integrates the Standard Deviation (SD) technique to acquire the weight of the handover metrics and the GRA method to select the best handover base station. The performance of the GRA-SD method is evaluated and compared with the traditional Multiple Attribute Decision Making (MADM) methods including Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) and VIKOR methods. Results reveal that the proposed method has outperformed the other methods in terms of minimizing the number of frequent unnecessary handovers and handover failures, in addition to improving the energy efficiency.

A Study on the Effectiveness of Alternative Commercial Ventilation Inlets That Improve Energy Efficiency of Building Ventilation Systems

Passive air pollution control devices known as aspiration efficiency reducers (AER) have been developed using aspiration efficiency (AE) concepts. Their purpose is to reduce the concentration of particulate matter (PM) drawn into a building air handling unit (AHU) through alterations in the inlet design improving energy consumption. In this paper an examination is conducted into the effect of installing a deflector system around an AER-AHU inlet for both a forward and rear-facing orientations relative to the wind. The results of the study found that these deflectors are an effective passive control method for reducing AE at various ambient wind speeds over a range of microparticles of varying diameter. The deflector system was found to induce a large wake zone at low ambient wind speeds for a rear-facing AER-AHU, resulting in significantly lower AE in comparison to without. As the wind speed increased, both contained a wake zone but have much lower concentration gradients with the deflectors. For the forward-facing models, the deflector system at low ambient wind speed was preferred at higher Stokes numbers but there was negligible difference as the Stokes number decreased. Similarly, there was no significant difference at higher wind speeds across the Stokes number range tested. The results demonstrate that a deflector system is a viable passive control method for the reduction of ventilation energy consumption.

A Particle Swarm Optimal Control Method for DC Motor by Considering Energy Consumption

In the actual start-up process of DC motors, the DC drive system often faces a conflict between energy consumption and acceleration performance. To resolve the conflict, this paper proposes a comprehensive performance index that energy consumption index is added on the basis of classical control performance index in the DC motor starting process. Taking the comprehensive performance index as the cost function, particle swarm optimization algorithm is designed to optimize the comprehensive performance. Then it conducts simulations on the optimization of the comprehensive performance of the DC motor on condition that the weight coefficient of the energy consumption index should be properly designed. The simulation results show that as the weight of energy consumption increased, the energy efficiency was significantly improved at the expense of a slight sacrifice of fastness indicators with the comprehensive performance index method. The energy efficiency was increased from 63.18% to 68.48% and the response time reduced from 0.2875s to 0.1736s simultaneously compared with traditional proportion integrals differential controller in energy saving.

A Comprehensive Review of Adaptive Building Energy Management Systems Based on Users’ Feedback

Over the past few years, the idea of adaptive buildings and specifically, adaptive building energy management systems (ABEMS) has become popular. Well-performed management in terms of energy is to create a balance between energy consumption and user comfort; therefore, in new energy management models, efficient energy consumption is not the sole factor and the user's comfortability is also considered in the calculations. One of the main ways of measuring this factor is by analyzing user feedback on the conditions to understand whether they are satisfied with conditions or not. This paper provides a comprehensive review of recent approaches towards energy management systems based on users' feedbacks and subsequently performs a comparison between them premised upon their efficiency and accuracy to understand which approaches were more accurate and which ones resulted in a more efficient way of minimizing energy consumption while maintaining users' comfortability. It was concluded that the highest accuracy rate among the presented works was 95% accuracy in determining satisfaction and up to 51.08% energy savings can be achieved without disturbing user’s comfort. Considering the growing interest in designing and developing adaptive buildings, these studies can support diverse inquiries about this subject and can be used as a resource to support studies and researches towards efficient energy consumption while maintaining the comfortability of users.

Assessment of Energy Consumption in Cluster Redevelopment: A Case Study of Bhendi Bazar in Mumbai

Cluster Redevelopment is a new concept in the city of Mumbai. Its regulations were laid down by the government in 2009. The concept of cluster redevelopment encompasses a group of buildings defined by a boundary as specified by the municipal authority (in this case, Mumbai), which may be dilapidated or approved for redevelopment. The study analyses the effect of cluster redevelopment in the form of renewal of old group of buildings as compared to refurbishment or restoration - on energy consumption. The methodology includes methods of assessment to determine increase or decrease in energy consumption in cluster redevelopment based on different criteria such as carpet area of the units, building envelope and its architectural elements. Results show that as the area and number of units increase the Energy consumption increases and the EPI (energy performance index) decreases as compared to the base case. The energy consumption per unit area declines by 29% in the proposed cluster redevelopment as compared to the original settlement. It is recommended that although the development is spacious and provides more light and ventilation, aspects such as glass type, traditional architectural features and consumer behavior are critical in the reduction of energy consumption.

Energy Retrofitting Application Research to Achieve Energy Efficiency in Hot-Arid Climates in Residential Buildings: A Case Study of Saudi Arabia

This study aims to present an overview of recent research in building energy-retrofitting strategy applications and analyzing them within the context of hot arid climate regions which is in this case study represented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The main goal of this research is to do an analytical study of recent research approaches to show where the primary gap in knowledge exists and outline which possible strategies are available that can be applied in future research. Also, the paper focuses on energy retrofitting strategies at a building envelop level. The study is limited to specific measures within the hot arid climate region. Scientific articles were carefully chosen as they met the expression criteria, such as retrofitting, energy-retrofitting, hot-arid, energy efficiency, residential buildings, which helped narrow the research scope. Then the papers were explored through descriptive analysis and justified results within the Saudi context in order to draw an overview of future opportunities from the field of study for the last two decades. The conclusions of the analysis of the recent research confirmed that the field of study had a research shortage on investigating actual applications and testing of newly introduced energy efficiency applications, lack of energy cost feasibility studies and there was also a lack of public awareness. In terms of research methods, it was found that simulation software was a major instrument used in energy retrofitting application research. The main knowledge gaps that were identified included the need for certain research regarding actual application testing; energy retrofitting strategies application feasibility; the lack of research on the importance of how strategies apply first followed by the user acceptance of developed scenarios.

Control of Grid Connected PMSG-Based Wind Turbine System with Back-To-Back Converter Topology Using Resonant Controller

This paper presents modeling and control strategy for the grid connected wind turbine system based on Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator (PMSG). The considered system is based on back-to-back converter topology. The Grid Side Converter (GSC) achieves the DC bus voltage control and unity power factor. The Machine Side Converter (MSC) assures the PMSG speed control. The PMSG is used as a variable speed generator and connected directly to the turbine without gearbox. The pitch angle control is not either considered in this study. Further, Optimal Tip Speed Ratio (OTSR) based MPPT control strategy is used to ensure the most energy efficiency whatever the wind speed variations. A filter (L) is put between the GSC and the grid to reduce current ripple and to improve the injected power quality. The proposed grid connected wind system is built under MATLAB/Simulink environment. The simulation results show the feasibility of the proposed topology and performance of its control strategies.

Increasing Power Transfer Capacity of Distribution Networks Using Direct Current Feeders

Economic and population growth in densely-populated urban areas introduce major challenges to distribution system operators, planers, and designers. To supply added loads, utilities are frequently forced to invest in new distribution feeders. However, this is becoming increasingly more challenging due to space limitations and rising installation costs in urban settings. This paper proposes the conversion of critical alternating current (ac) distribution feeders into direct current (dc) feeders to increase the power transfer capacity by a factor as high as four. Current trends suggest that the return of dc transmission, distribution, and utilization are inevitable. Since a total system-level transformation to dc operation is not possible in a short period of time due to the needed huge investments and utility unreadiness, this paper recommends that feeders that are expected to exceed their limits in near future are converted to dc. The increase in power transfer capacity is achieved through several key differences between ac and dc power transmission systems. First, it is shown that underground cables can be operated at higher dc voltage than the ac voltage for the same dielectric stress in the insulation. Second, cable sheath losses, due to induced voltages yielding circulation currents, that can be as high as phase conductor losses under ac operation, are not present under dc. Finally, skin and proximity effects in conductors and sheaths do not exist in dc cables. The paper demonstrates that in addition to the increased power transfer capacity utilities substituting ac feeders by dc feeders could benefit from significant lower costs and reduced losses. Installing dc feeders is less expensive than installing new ac feeders even when new trenches are not needed. Case studies using the IEEE 342-Node Low Voltage Networked Test System quantify the technical and economic benefits of dc feeders.

Development of One-Axis Didactic Solar Tracker for Photovoltaic Panels

In recent years, solar energy has established itself as one of the main sources of renewable energy, gaining a large space in electricity generation around the world. However, due to the low performance of photovoltaic panels, technologies need to be sought to maximize the production of electricity. In this regard, the present study aims to develop a prototype of solar tracker for didactics applications, controlled with the Arduino® platform, that enables the movement of photovoltaic plates in relation to the sun positions throughout the day through an electromechanical system, optimizing, thus, the efficiency of solar photovoltaic generation and improvements for the photovoltaic effect. The solar tracking technology developed in this work was presented of the shape oral and practical in two middle schools in the municipality of Mossoró/RN, being one of the public network and other of the private network, always keeping the average age of the students, in the case, around 16 years, contemplating an average of 60 students in each of the visits. Thus, it is concluded that the present study contributed substantially to the dissemination of knowledge concerning the photovoltaic solar generation, as well as the study of solar trackers, thus arousing the interest and curiosity of the students regarding the thematic approached.

Performing Diagnosis in Building with Partially Valid Heterogeneous Tests

Building system is highly vulnerable to different kinds of faults and human misbehaviors. Energy efficiency and user comfort are directly targeted due to abnormalities in building operation. The available fault diagnosis tools and methodologies particularly rely on rules or pure model-based approaches. It is assumed that model or rule-based test could be applied to any situation without taking into account actual testing contexts. Contextual tests with validity domain could reduce a lot of the design of detection tests. The main objective of this paper is to consider fault validity when validate the test model considering the non-modeled events such as occupancy, weather conditions, door and window openings and the integration of the knowledge of the expert on the state of the system. The concept of heterogeneous tests is combined with test validity to generate fault diagnoses. A combination of rules, range and model-based tests known as heterogeneous tests are proposed to reduce the modeling complexity. Calculation of logical diagnoses coming from artificial intelligence provides a global explanation consistent with the test result. An application example shows the efficiency of the proposed technique: an office setting at Grenoble Institute of Technology.

Fire Resilient Cities: The Impact of Fire Regulations, Technological and Community Resilience

Building resilience, sustainable buildings, urbanization, climate change, resilient cities, are just a few examples of where the focus of research has been in the last few years. It is obvious that there is a need to rethink how we are building our cities and how we are renovating our existing buildings. However, the question remaining is how can we assure that we are building sustainable yet resilient cities? There are many aspects one can touch upon when discussing resilience in cities, but after the event of Grenfell in June 2017, it has become clear that fire resilience must be a priority. We define resilience as a holistic approach including communities, society and systems, focusing not only on resisting the effects of a disaster, but also how it will cope and recover from it. Cities are an example of such a system, where components such as buildings have an important role to play. A building on fire will have an impact on the community, the economy, the environment, and so the entire system. Therefore, we believe that fire and resilience go hand in hand when we discuss building resilient cities. This article aims at discussing the current state of the concept of fire resilience and suggests actions to support the built of more fire resilient buildings. Using the case of Grenfell and the fire safety regulations in the UK, we will briefly compare the fire regulations in other European countries, more precisely France, Germany and Denmark, to underline the difference and make some suggestions to increase fire resilience via regulation. For this research, we will also include other types of resilience such as technological resilience, discussing the structure of buildings itself, as well as community resilience, considering the role of communities in building resilience. Our findings demonstrate that to increase fire resilience, amending existing regulations might be necessary, for example, how we performed reaction to fire tests and how we classify building products. However, as we are looking at national regulations, we are only able to make general suggestions for improvement. Another finding of this research is that the capacity of the community to recover and adapt after a fire is also an essential factor. Fundamentally, fire resilience, technological resilience and community resilience are closely connected. Building resilient cities is not only about sustainable buildings or energy efficiency; it is about assuring that all the aspects of resilience are included when building or renovating buildings. We must ask ourselves questions as: Who are the users of this building? Where is the building located? What are the components of the building, how was it designed and which construction products have been used? If we want to have resilient cities, we must answer these basic questions and assure that basic factors such as fire resilience are included in our assessment.

Maximization of Lifetime for Wireless Sensor Networks Based on Energy Efficient Clustering Algorithm

Since last decade, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been used in many areas like health care, agriculture, defense, military, disaster hit areas and so on. Wireless Sensor Networks consist of a Base Station (BS) and more number of wireless sensors in order to monitor temperature, pressure, motion in different environment conditions. The key parameter that plays a major role in designing a protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks is energy efficiency which is a scarcest resource of sensor nodes and it determines the lifetime of sensor nodes. Maximizing sensor node’s lifetime is an important issue in the design of applications and protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks. Clustering sensor nodes mechanism is an effective topology control approach for helping to achieve the goal of this research. In this paper, the researcher presents an energy efficiency protocol to prolong the network lifetime based on Energy efficient clustering algorithm. The Low Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy (LEACH) is a routing protocol for clusters which is used to lower the energy consumption and also to improve the lifetime of the Wireless Sensor Networks. Maximizing energy dissipation and network lifetime are important matters in the design of applications and protocols for wireless sensor networks. Proposed system is to maximize the lifetime of the Wireless Sensor Networks by choosing the farthest cluster head (CH) instead of the closest CH and forming the cluster by considering the following parameter metrics such as Node’s density, residual-energy and distance between clusters (inter-cluster distance). In this paper, comparisons between the proposed protocol and comparative protocols in different scenarios have been done and the simulation results showed that the proposed protocol performs well over other comparative protocols in various scenarios.

Performance Assessment of a Variable-Flux Permanent-Magnet Memory Motor

The variable flux permanent magnet synchronous motor (VF-PMSM), also called "Memory Motor", is a new generation of motor capable of modifying the magnetization state with short pulses of current during operation or standstill. The impact of such operation is the expansion of the operating range in the torque-speed characteristic and an improvement in energy efficiency at high-speed in comparison to conventional permanent magnet synchronous machines (PMSMs). This paper reviews the operating principle and the unique features of the proposed memory motor. The benefits of this concept are highlighted by comparing the performance of the rotor of the VF-PMSM to that of two PM rotors that are typically found in the industry. The investigation emphasizes the properties of the variable magnetization and presents the comparison of the torque-speed characteristic with the capability of loss reduction in a VF-PMSM by means of experimental results, especially when tests are conducted under identical conditions for each rotor (same stator, same inverter and same experimental setup). The experimental results demonstrated that the VF-PMSM gives an additional degree of freedom to optimize the efficiency over a wide speed range. Thus, with a design easy to manufacture and with the possibility of controlling the magnetization and the demagnetization of the magnets during operations, the VF-PMSM can be interesting for various applications.

Comparison of Machine Learning Models for the Prediction of System Marginal Price of Greek Energy Market

The Greek Energy Market is structured as a mandatory pool where the producers make their bid offers in day-ahead basis. The System Operator solves an optimization routine aiming at the minimization of the cost of produced electricity. The solution of the optimization problem leads to the calculation of the System Marginal Price (SMP). Accurate forecasts of the SMP can lead to increased profits and more efficient portfolio management from the producer`s perspective. Aim of this study is to provide a comparative analysis of various machine learning models such as artificial neural networks and neuro-fuzzy models for the prediction of the SMP of the Greek market. Machine learning algorithms are favored in predictions problems since they can capture and simulate the volatilities of complex time series.

Consumer Load Profile Determination with Entropy-Based K-Means Algorithm

With the continuous increment of smart meter installations across the globe, the need for processing of the load data is evident. Clustering-based load profiling is built upon the utilization of unsupervised machine learning tools for the purpose of formulating the typical load curves or load profiles. The most commonly used algorithm in the load profiling literature is the K-means. While the algorithm has been successfully tested in a variety of applications, its drawback is the strong dependence in the initialization phase. This paper proposes a novel modified form of the K-means that addresses the aforementioned problem. Simulation results indicate the superiority of the proposed algorithm compared to the K-means.

Evaluation of Energy Upgrade Measures and Connection of Renewable Energy Sources Using Software Tools: Case Study of an Academic Library Building in Larissa, Greece

Increased energy consumption in the academic buildings, creates the need to implement energy saving measures and to take advantage of the renewable energy sources to cover the electrical needs of those buildings. An Academic Library will be used as a case study. With the aid of RETScreen software that takes into account the energy consumptions and characteristics of the Library Building, it is proved that measures such as the replacement of fluorescent lights with led lights, the installation of outdoor shading, the replacement of the openings and Building Management System installation, provide a high level of energy savings. Moreover, given the available space of the building and the climatic data, the installation of a photovoltaic system of 100 kW can also cover a serious amount of the building energy consumption, unlike a wind system that seems uncompromising. Lastly, HOMER software is used to compare the use of a photovoltaic system against a wind system in order to verify the results that came up from the RETScreen software concerning the renewable energy sources.