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Frequency response characteristics of respiratory flow-meters

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Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where the rate of airflow passing the aircraft is used to determine the speed of the plane. A clinical example would be that the flow of a patient's breath which could help determine the state of the patient's lungs. This project is focused on the flow-meter that are used for airflow measurement in human lungs. In order to do these measurements, resistive-type flow-meters are commonly used in respiratory measurement systems. This method consists of passing the respiratory flow through a fluid resistive component, while measuring the resulting pressure drop, which is linearly related to volumetric flow rate. These types of flow-meters typically have a low frequency response but are adequate for most applications, including spirometry and respiration monitoring. In the case of lung parameter estimation methods, such as the Quick Obstruction Method, it becomes important to have a higher frequency response in the flow-meter so that the high frequency components in the flow are measurable. The following three types of flow-meters were: a. Capillary type b. Screen Pneumotach type c. Square Edge orifice type To measure the frequency response, a sinusoidal flow is generated with a small speaker and passed through the flow-meter that is connected to a large, rigid container. True flow is proportional to the derivative of the pressure inside the container. True flow is then compared with the measured flow, which is proportional to the pressure drop across the flow-meter. In order to do the characterization, two LabVIEW data acquisition programs have been developed, one for transducer calibration, and another one that records flow and pressure data for frequency response testing of the flow-meter. In addition, a model that explains the behavior exhibited by the flow-meter has been proposed and simulated. This model contains a fluid resistor and inductor in series. The final step in this project was to approximate the frequency response data to the developed model expressed as a transfer function.

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2013

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Photovoltaic modules: effect of tilt angle on soiling

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the next generation's renewable energy sources for our world energy demand. PV modules are highly reliable. However, in polluted environments, over time, they will collect grime and dust. There are also limited field data studies about soiling losses on PV modules. The study showed how important it is to investigate the effect of tilt angle on soiling. The study includes two sets of mini-modules. Each set has 9 PV modules tilted at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 23, 30, 33 and 40°. The first set called "Cleaned" was cleaned every other day. The second set called "Soiled" was never cleaned after the first day. The short circuit current, a measure of irradiance, and module temperature was monitored and recorded every two minutes over three months (January-March 2011). The data were analyzed to investigate the effect of tilt angle on daily and monthly soiling, and hence transmitted solar insolation and energy production by PV modules. The study shows that during the period of January through March 2011 there was an average loss due to soiling of approximately 2.02% for 0° tilt angle. Modules at tilt anlges 23° and 33° also have some insolation losses but do not come close to the module at 0° tilt angle. Tilt anlge 23° has approximately 1.05% monthly insolation loss, and 33° tilt angle has an insolation loss of approximately 0.96%. The soiling effect is present at any tilt angle, but the magnitude is evident: the flatter the solar module is placed the more energy it will lose.

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2011

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Development of transition metal macrocyclic-catalysts supported on multi-walled carbon nanotubes for alkaline membrane fuel cell

Description

Low temperature fuel cells are very attractive energy conversion technology for automotive applications due to their qualities of being clean, quiet, efficient and good peak power densities. However, due to high cost and limited durability and reliability, commercialization of this

Low temperature fuel cells are very attractive energy conversion technology for automotive applications due to their qualities of being clean, quiet, efficient and good peak power densities. However, due to high cost and limited durability and reliability, commercialization of this technology has not been possible as yet. The high fuel cell cost is mostly due to the expensive noble catalyst Pt. Alkaline fuel cell (AFC) systems, have potential to make use of non-noble catalysts and thus, provides with a solution of overall lower cost. Therefore, this issue has been addressed in this thesis work. Hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells using an alkaline anion exchange membrane were prepared and evaluated. Various non-platinum catalyst materials were investigated by fabricating membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) using Tokuyama membrane (# A201) and compared with commercial noble metal catalysts. Co and Fe phthalocyanine catalyst materials were synthesized using multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as support materials. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic study was conducted in order to examine the surface composition. The electroreduction of oxygen has been investigated on Fe phthalocyanine/MWCNT, Co phthalocyanine/MWCNT and commercial Pt/C catalysts. The oxygen reduction reaction kinetics on these catalyst materials were evaluated using rotating disk electrodes in 0.1 M KOH solution and the current density values were consistently higher for Co phthalocyanine based electrodes compared to Fe phthalocyanine. The fuel cell performance of the MEAs with Co and Fe phthalocyanines and Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo Pt/C cathode catalysts were 100, 60 and 120 mW cm-2 using H22 and O2 gases. This thesis also includes work on synthesizing nitrogen doped MWCNTs using post-doping and In-Situ methods. Post-doped N-MWNCTs were prepared through heat treatment with NH4OH as nitrogen source. Characterization was done through fuel cell testing, which gave peak power density ~40mW.cm-2. For In-Situ N-MWCT, pyridine was used as nitrogen source. The sample characterization was done using Raman spectroscopy and RBS, which showed the presence ~3 at.% of nitrogen on the carbon surface.

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2012

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Meta-stability of crystalline thin-film photovoltaic devices

Description

Given the growing market in solar energy, specifically by the thin-film technologies, it is imperative that adequate and accurate standards be developed for these newer photovoltaic devices. Cadmium Telluride, CdTe, one of the major players in the thin-film PV industry

Given the growing market in solar energy, specifically by the thin-film technologies, it is imperative that adequate and accurate standards be developed for these newer photovoltaic devices. Cadmium Telluride, CdTe, one of the major players in the thin-film PV industry is currently rated and certified using standards that have been developed under the context of older technologies. The behavior of CdTe has been shown to be unique enough to suggesting that standards be revised. In this research, methods built on previous industry and independent studies are used to identify these unique behaviors. As well new methods are developed to further characterize CdTe modules in the context of current standards. Clear transient and meta-stable behavior is identified across modules from four different commercial manufacturers. Conclusions drawn from this study show illumination and temperature hysteresis effects on module ratings. Furthermore, suggestions for further study are given that could be used to define parameters for any reexamination of module standards.

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2010

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Dispatch strategy development for grid-tied household energy systems

Description

The prevalence of renewable generation will increase in the next several decades and offset conventional generation more and more. Yet this increase is not coming without challenges. Solar, wind, and even some water resources are intermittent and unpredictable, and thereby

The prevalence of renewable generation will increase in the next several decades and offset conventional generation more and more. Yet this increase is not coming without challenges. Solar, wind, and even some water resources are intermittent and unpredictable, and thereby create scheduling challenges due to their inherent “uncontrolled” nature. To effectively manage these distributed renewable assets, new control algorithms must be developed for applications including energy management, bridge power, and system stability. This can be completed through a centralized control center though efforts are being made to parallel the control architecture with the organization of the renewable assets themselves—namely, distributed controls. Building energy management systems are being employed to control localized energy generation, storage, and use to reduce disruption on the net utility load. One such example is VOLTTRONTM, an agent-based platform for building energy control in real time. In this thesis, algorithms developed in VOLTTRON simulate a home energy management system that consists of a solar PV array, a lithium-ion battery bank, and the grid. Dispatch strategies are implemented to reduce energy charges from overall consumption ($/kWh) and demand charges ($/kW). Dispatch strategies for implementing storage devices are tuned on a month-to-month basis to provide a meaningful economic advantage under simulated scenarios to explore algorithm sensitivity to changing external factors. VOLTTRON agents provide automated real-time optimization of dispatch strategies to efficiently manage energy supply and demand, lower consumer costs associated with energy usage, and reduce load on the utility grid.

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2015

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Hybrid microgrid model based on solar photovoltaics with batteries and fuel cells system for intermittent applications

Description

Microgrids are a subset of the modern power structure; using distributed generation (DG) to supply power to communities rather than vast regions. The reduced scale mitigates loss allowing the power produced to do more with better control, giving greater security,

Microgrids are a subset of the modern power structure; using distributed generation (DG) to supply power to communities rather than vast regions. The reduced scale mitigates loss allowing the power produced to do more with better control, giving greater security, reliability, and design flexibility. This paper explores the performance and cost viability of a hybrid grid-tied microgrid that utilizes Photovoltaic (PV), batteries, and fuel cell (FC) technology. The concept proposes that each community home is equipped with more PV than is required for normal operation. As the homes are part of a microgrid, excess or unused energy from one home is collected for use elsewhere within the microgrid footprint. The surplus power that would have been discarded becomes a community asset, and is used to run intermittent services. In this paper, the modeled community does not have parking adjacent to each home allowing for the installment of a privately owned slower Level 2 charger, making EV ownership option untenable. A solution is to provide a Level 3 DC Quick Charger (DCQC) as the intermittent service. The addition of batteries and Fuel Cells are meant to increase load leveling, reliability, and instill limited island capability.

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2013