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Best value implementation program for contractors

Description

The price based marketplace has dominated the construction industry. The majority of owners use price based practices of management (expectation and decision making, control, direction, and inspection.) The price based/management and control paradigm has not worked. Clients

The price based marketplace has dominated the construction industry. The majority of owners use price based practices of management (expectation and decision making, control, direction, and inspection.) The price based/management and control paradigm has not worked. Clients have now been moving toward the best value environment (hire contractors who know what they are doing, who preplan, and manage and minimize risk and deviation.) Owners are trying to move from client direction and control to hiring an expert and allowing them to do the quality control/risk management. The movement of environments changes the paradigm for the contractors from a reactive to a proactive, from a bureaucratic
on-accountable to an accountable position, from a relationship based
on-measuring to a measuring entity, and to a contractor who manages and minimizes the risk that they do not control. Years of price based practices have caused poor quality and low performance in the construction industry. This research identifies what is a best value contractor or vendor, what factors make up a best value vendor, and the methodology to transform a vendor to a best value vendor. It will use deductive logic, a case study to confirm the logic and the proposed methodology.

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2011

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A control engineering approach for designing an optimized treatment plan for fibromyalgia

Description

There is increasing interest in the medical and behavioral health communities towards developing effective strategies for the treatment of chronic diseases. Among these lie adaptive interventions, which consider adjusting treatment dosages over time based on participant response. Control engineering offers

There is increasing interest in the medical and behavioral health communities towards developing effective strategies for the treatment of chronic diseases. Among these lie adaptive interventions, which consider adjusting treatment dosages over time based on participant response. Control engineering offers a broad-based solution framework for optimizing the effectiveness of such interventions. In this thesis, an approach is proposed to develop dynamical models and subsequently, hybrid model predictive control schemes for assigning optimal dosages of naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, as treatment for a chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia. System identification techniques are employed to model the dynamics from the daily diary reports completed by participants of a blind naltrexone intervention trial. These self-reports include assessments of outcomes of interest (e.g., general pain symptoms, sleep quality) and additional external variables (disturbances) that affect these outcomes (e.g., stress, anxiety, and mood). Using prediction-error methods, a multi-input model describing the effect of drug, placebo and other disturbances on outcomes of interest is developed. This discrete time model is approximated by a continuous second order model with zero, which was found to be adequate to capture the dynamics of this intervention. Data from 40 participants in two clinical trials were analyzed and participants were classified as responders and non-responders based on the models obtained from system identification. The dynamical models can be used by a model predictive controller for automated dosage selection of naltrexone using feedback/feedforward control actions in the presence of external disturbances. The clinical requirement for categorical (i.e., discrete-valued) drug dosage levels creates a need for hybrid model predictive control (HMPC). The controller features a multiple degree-of-freedom formulation that enables the user to adjust the speed of setpoint tracking, measured disturbance rejection and unmeasured disturbance rejection independently in the closed loop system. The nominal and robust performance of the proposed control scheme is examined via simulation using system identification models from a representative participant in the naltrexone intervention trial. The controller evaluation described in this thesis gives credibility to the promise and applicability of control engineering principles for optimizing adaptive interventions.

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2011

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HTLS upgrades for power transmission expansion planning and operation

Description

Renewable portfolio standards prescribe for penetration of high amounts of re-newable energy sources (RES) that may change the structure of existing power systems. The load growth and changes in power flow caused by RES integration may result in re-quirements of

Renewable portfolio standards prescribe for penetration of high amounts of re-newable energy sources (RES) that may change the structure of existing power systems. The load growth and changes in power flow caused by RES integration may result in re-quirements of new available transmission capabilities and upgrades of existing transmis-sion paths. Construction difficulties of new transmission lines can become a problem in certain locations. The increase of transmission line thermal ratings by reconductoring using High Temperature Low Sag (HTLS) conductors is a comparatively new technology introduced to transmission expansion. A special design permits HTLS conductors to operate at high temperatures (e.g., 200oC), thereby allowing passage of higher current. The higher temperature capability increases the steady state and emergency thermal ratings of the transmission line. The main disadvantage of HTLS technology is high cost. The high cost may place special emphasis on a thorough analysis of cost to benefit of HTLS technology im-plementation. Increased transmission losses in HTLS conductors due to higher current may be a disadvantage that can reduce the attractiveness of this method. Studies described in this thesis evaluate the expenditures for transmission line re-conductoring using HTLS and the consequent benefits obtained from the potential decrease in operating cost for thermally limited transmission systems. Studies performed consider the load growth and penetration of distributed renewable energy sources according to the renewable portfolio standards for power systems. An evaluation of payback period is suggested to assess the cost to benefit ratio of HTLS upgrades. The thesis also considers the probabilistic nature of transmission upgrades. The well-known Chebyshev inequality is discussed with an application to transmission up-grades. The Chebyshev inequality is proposed to calculate minimum payback period ob-tained from the upgrades of certain transmission lines. The cost to benefit evaluation of HTLS upgrades is performed using a 225 bus equivalent of the 2012 summer peak Arizona portion of the Western Electricity Coordi-nating Council (WECC).

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Date Created
2014

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Understanding plasticity and fracture in aluminum alloys and their composites by 3D X-ray synchrotron tomography and microdiffraction

Description

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in these materials is critical in assessing their fatigue resistance. Two distinct experimental studies were performed to further the understanding of fatigue damage mechanisms in aluminum alloys and their composites, specifically fracture and plasticity. Fatigue resistance of metal matrix composites (MMCs) depends on many aspects of composite microstructure. Fatigue crack growth behavior is particularly dependent on the reinforcement characteristics and matrix microstructure. The goal of this work was to obtain a fundamental understanding of fatigue crack growth behavior in SiC particle-reinforced 2080 Al alloy composites. In situ X-ray synchrotron tomography was performed on two samples at low (R=0.1) and at high (R=0.6) R-ratios. The resulting reconstructed images were used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) rendering of the particles and fatigue crack. Behaviors of the particles and crack, as well as their interaction, were analyzed and quantified. Four-dimensional (4D) visual representations were constructed to aid in the overall understanding of damage evolution. During fatigue crack growth in ductile materials, a plastic zone is created in the region surrounding the crack tip. Knowledge of the plastic zone is important for the understanding of fatigue crack formation as well as subsequent growth behavior. The goal of this work was to quantify the 3D size and shape of the plastic zone in 7075 Al alloys. X-ray synchrotron tomography and Laue microdiffraction were used to non-destructively characterize the volume surrounding a fatigue crack tip. The precise 3D crack profile was segmented from the reconstructed tomography data. Depth-resolved Laue patterns were obtained using differential-aperture X-ray structural microscopy (DAXM), from which peak-broadening characteristics were quantified. Plasticity, as determined by the broadening of diffracted peaks, was mapped in 3D. Two-dimensional (2D) maps of plasticity were directly compared to the corresponding tomography slices. A 3D representation of the plastic zone surrounding the fatigue crack was generated by superimposing the mapped plasticity on the 3D crack profile.

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2014

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An educational approach for using performance criteria in the roofing industry

Description

Utilizing the Arizona State University's Performance Based Studies Research Group, and their PIPS program, a roofing materials manufacturing company can evaluate performance of representatives, products and contractors. Service life of the systems can be tracked and customer satisfaction measured it

Utilizing the Arizona State University's Performance Based Studies Research Group, and their PIPS program, a roofing materials manufacturing company can evaluate performance of representatives, products and contractors. Service life of the systems can be tracked and customer satisfaction measured it provides an objective viable tool for the consumer to choose a quality product and contractor without the distractions of marketing, promises, or a salesman's hype. Facilities purchasing a new roof system, can benefit from the information gathered as a guide in making sound, value based decisions. Creating a historical, concise and accurate documentation of roofing systems is a benefit to all involved. The procurement process, installation and longevity of the roofing systems can be tracked and graded.

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Date Created
2013

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Failure and degradation modes of PV modules in a hot dry climate: results after 4 and 12 years of field exposure

Description

This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF)

This study evaluates two photovoltaic (PV) power plants based on electrical performance measurements, diode checks, visual inspections and infrared scanning. The purpose of this study is to measure degradation rates of performance parameters (Pmax, Isc, Voc, Vmax, Imax and FF) and to identify the failure modes in a "hot-dry desert" climatic condition along with quantitative determination of safety failure rates and reliability failure rates. The data obtained from this study can be used by module manufacturers in determining the warranty limits of their modules and also by banks, investors, project developers and users in determining appropriate financing or decommissioning models. In addition, the data obtained in this study will be helpful in selecting appropriate accelerated stress tests which would replicate the field failures for the new modules and would predict the lifetime for new PV modules. The study was conducted at two, single axis tracking monocrystalline silicon (c-Si) power plants, Site 3 and Site 4c of Salt River Project (SRP). The Site 3 power plant is located in Glendale, Arizona and the Site 4c power plant is located in Mesa, Arizona both considered a "hot-dry" field condition. The Site 3 power plant has 2,352 modules (named as Model-G) which was rated at 250 kW DC output. The mean and median degradation of these 12 years old modules are 0.95%/year and 0.96%/year, respectively. The major cause of degradation found in Site 3 is due to high series resistance (potentially due to solder-bond thermo-mechanical fatigue) and the failure mode is ribbon-ribbon solder bond failure/breakage. The Site 4c power plant has 1,280 modules (named as Model-H) which provide 243 kW DC output. The mean and median degradation of these 4 years old modules are 0.96%/year and 1%/year, respectively. At Site 4c, practically, none of the module failures are observed. The average soiling loss is 6.9% in Site 3 and 5.5% in Site 4c. The difference in soiling level is attributed to the rural and urban surroundings of these two power plants.

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Date Created
2013

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Error detection and error correction for PMU data as applied to power system state estimators

Description

In modern electric power systems, energy management systems (EMSs) are responsi-ble for monitoring and controlling the generation system and transmission networks. State estimation (SE) is a critical `must run successful' component within the EMS software. This is dictated by the

In modern electric power systems, energy management systems (EMSs) are responsi-ble for monitoring and controlling the generation system and transmission networks. State estimation (SE) is a critical `must run successful' component within the EMS software. This is dictated by the high reliability requirements and need to represent the closest real time model for market operations and other critical analysis functions in the EMS. Tradi-tionally, SE is run with data obtained only from supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices and systems. However, more emphasis on improving the performance of SE drives the inclusion of phasor measurement units (PMUs) into SE input data. PMU measurements are claimed to be more accurate than conventional measurements and PMUs `time stamp' measurements accurately. These widely distributed devices meas-ure the voltage phasors directly. That is, phase information for measured voltages and currents are available. PMUs provide data time stamps to synchronize measurements. Con-sidering the relatively small number of PMUs installed in contemporary power systems in North America, performing SE with only phasor measurements is not feasible. Thus a hy-brid SE, including both SCADA and PMU measurements, is the reality for contemporary power system SE. The hybrid approach is the focus of a number of research papers. There are many practical challenges in incorporating PMUs into SE input data. The higher reporting rates of PMUs as compared with SCADA measurements is one of the salient problems. The disparity of reporting rates raises a question whether buffering the phasor measurements helps to give better estimates of the states. The research presented in this thesis addresses the design of data buffers for PMU data as used in SE applications in electric power systems. The system theoretic analysis is illustrated using an operating electric power system in the southwest part of the USA. Var-ious instances of state estimation data have been used for analysis purposes. The details of the research, results obtained and conclusions drawn are presented in this document.

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Date Created
2013

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Concentrated solar power generation

Description

Solar power generation is the most promising technology to transfer energy consumption reliance from fossil fuel to renewable sources. Concentrated solar power generation is a method to concentrate the sunlight from a bigger area to a smaller area. The collected

Solar power generation is the most promising technology to transfer energy consumption reliance from fossil fuel to renewable sources. Concentrated solar power generation is a method to concentrate the sunlight from a bigger area to a smaller area. The collected sunlight is converted more efficiently through two types of technologies: concentrated solar photovoltaics (CSPV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSTP) generation. In this thesis, these two technologies were evaluated in terms of system construction, performance characteristics, design considerations, cost benefit analysis and their field experience. The two concentrated solar power generation systems were implemented with similar solar concentrators and solar tracking systems but with different energy collecting and conversion components: the CSPV system uses high efficiency multi-junction solar cell modules, while the CSTP system uses a boiler -turbine-generator setup. The performances are calibrated via the experiments and evaluation analysis.

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Date Created
2013

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Synthesis and electrochemical characterization of silicon clathrates as anode materials for lithium ion batteries

Description

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major

Novel materials for Li-ion batteries is one of the principle thrust areas for current research in energy storage, more so than most, considering its widespread use in portable electronic gadgets and plug-in electric and hybrid cars. One of the major limiting factors in a Li-ion battery's energy density is the low specific capacities of the active materials in the electrodes. In the search for high-performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries, many alternatives to carbonaceous materials have been studied. Both cubic and amorphous silicon can reversibly alloy with lithium and have a theoretical capacity of 3500 mAh/g, making silicon a potential high density anode material. However, a large volume expansion of 300% occurs due to changes in the structure during lithium insertion, often leading to pulverization of the silicon. To this end, a class of silicon based cage compounds called clathrates are studied for electrochemical reactivity with lithium. Silicon-clathrates consist of silicon covalently bonded in cage structures comprised of face sharing Si20, Si24 and/or Si28 clusters with guest ions occupying the interstitial positions in the polyhedra. Prior to this, silicon clathrates have been studied primarily for their superconducting and thermoelectric properties. In this work, the synthesis and electrochemical characterization of two categories of silicon clathrates - Type-I silicon clathrate with aluminum framework substitution and barium guest ions (Ba8AlxSi46-x) and Type-II silicon clathrate with sodium guest ions (Nax Si136), are explored. The Type-I clathrate, Ba8AlxSi46-x consists of an open framework of aluminium and silicon, with barium (guest) atoms occupying the interstitial positions. X-ray diffraction studies have shown that a crystalline phase of clathrate is obtained from synthesis, which is powdered to a fine particle size to be used as the anode material in a Li-ion battery. Electrochemical measurements of these type of clathrates have shown that capacities comparable to graphite can be obtained for up to 10 cycles and lower capacities can be obtained for up to 20 cycles. Unlike bulk silicon, the clathrate structure does not undergo excessive volume change upon lithium intercalation, and therefore, the crystal structure is morphologically stable over many cycles. X-ray diffraction of the clathrate after cycling showed that crystallinity is intact, indicating that the clathrate does not collapse during reversible intercalation with lithium ions. Electrochemical potential spectroscopy obtained from the cycling data showed that there is an absence of formation of lithium-silicide, which is the product of lithium alloying with diamond cubic silicon. Type II silicon clathrate, NaxSi136, consists of silicon making up the framework structure and sodium (guest) atoms occupying the interstitial spaces. These clathrates showed very high capacities during their first intercalation cycle, in the range of 3,500 mAh/g, but then deteriorated during subsequent cycles. X-ray diffraction after one cycle showed the absence of clathrate phase and the presence of lithium-silicide, indicating the disintegration of clathrate structure. This could explain the silicon-like cycling behavior of Type II clathrates.

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Date Created
2013

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Fast, variable system delay correction for spiral MRI

Description

Magnetic Resonance Imaging using spiral trajectories has many advantages in speed, efficiency in data-acquistion and robustness to motion and flow related artifacts. The increase in sampling speed, however, requires high performance of the gradient system. Hardware inaccuracies from system delays

Magnetic Resonance Imaging using spiral trajectories has many advantages in speed, efficiency in data-acquistion and robustness to motion and flow related artifacts. The increase in sampling speed, however, requires high performance of the gradient system. Hardware inaccuracies from system delays and eddy currents can cause spatial and temporal distortions in the encoding gradient waveforms. This causes sampling discrepancies between the actual and the ideal k-space trajectory. Reconstruction assuming an ideal trajectory can result in shading and blurring artifacts in spiral images. Current methods to estimate such hardware errors require many modifications to the pulse sequence, phantom measurements or specialized hardware. This work presents a new method to estimate time-varying system delays for spiral-based trajectories. It requires a minor modification of a conventional stack-of-spirals sequence and analyzes data collected on three orthogonal cylinders. The method is fast, robust to off-resonance effects, requires no phantom measurements or specialized hardware and estimate variable system delays for the three gradient channels over the data-sampling period. The initial results are presented for acquired phantom and in-vivo data, which show a substantial reduction in the artifacts and improvement in the image quality.

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Date Created
2013