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Coupling of thermal mass with night ventilation in buildings

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Passive cooling designs & technologies offer great promise to lower energy use in buildings. Though the working principles of these designs and technologies are well understood, simplified tools to quantitatively evaluate their performance are lacking. Cooling by night ventilation, which

Passive cooling designs & technologies offer great promise to lower energy use in buildings. Though the working principles of these designs and technologies are well understood, simplified tools to quantitatively evaluate their performance are lacking. Cooling by night ventilation, which is the topic of this research, is one of the well known passive cooling technologies. The building's thermal mass can be cooled at night by ventilating the inside of the space with the relatively lower outdoor air temperatures, thereby maintaining lower indoor temperatures during the warmer daytime period. Numerous studies, both experimental and theoretical, have been performed and have shown the effectiveness of the method to significantly reduce air conditioning loads or improve comfort levels in those climates where the night time ambient air temperature drops below that of the indoor air. The impact of widespread adoption of night ventilation cooling can be substantial, given the large fraction of energy consumed by air conditioning of buildings (about 12-13% of the total electricity use in U.S. buildings). Night ventilation is relatively easy to implement with minimal design changes to existing buildings. Contemporary mathematical models to evaluate the performance of night ventilation are embedded in detailed whole building simulation tools which require a certain amount of expertise and is a time consuming approach. This research proposes a methodology incorporating two models, Heat Transfer model and Thermal Network model, to evaluate the effectiveness of night ventilation. This methodology is easier to use and the run time to evaluate the results is faster. Both these models are approximations of thermal coupling between thermal mass and night ventilation in buildings. These models are modifications of existing approaches meant to model dynamic thermal response in buildings subject to natural ventilation. Effectiveness of night ventilation was quantified by a parameter called the Discomfort Reduction Factor (DRF) which is the index of reduction of occupant discomfort levels during the day time from night ventilation. Daily and Monthly DRFs are calculated for two climate zones and three building heat capacities. It is verified that night ventilation is effective in seasons and regions when day temperatures are between 30 oC and 36 oC and night temperatures are below 20 oC. The accuracy of these models may be lower than using a detailed simulation program but the loss in accuracy in using these tools more than compensates for the insights provided and better transparency in the analysis approach and results obtained.

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Date Created
2011

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Re-sonification of objects, events, and environments

Description

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from arbitrary methods of altering recordings to precise simulations of vibrating objects. In this work, methods of sound synthesis by re-sonification are considered. Re-sonification, herein, refers to the general process of analyzing, possibly transforming, and resynthesizing or reusing recorded sounds in meaningful ways, to convey information. Applied to soundscapes, re-sonification is presented as a means of conveying activity within an environment. Applied to the sounds of objects, this work examines modeling the perception of objects as well as their physical properties and the ability to simulate interactive events with such objects. To create soundscapes to re-sonify geographic environments, a method of automated soundscape design is presented. Using recorded sounds that are classified based on acoustic, social, semantic, and geographic information, this method produces stochastically generated soundscapes to re-sonify selected geographic areas. Drawing on prior knowledge, local sounds and those deemed similar comprise a locale's soundscape. In the context of re-sonifying events, this work examines processes for modeling and estimating the excitations of sounding objects. These include plucking, striking, rubbing, and any interaction that imparts energy into a system, affecting the resultant sound. A method of estimating a linear system's input, constrained to a signal-subspace, is presented and applied toward improving the estimation of percussive excitations for re-sonification. To work toward robust recording-based modeling and re-sonification of objects, new implementations of banded waveguide (BWG) models are proposed for object modeling and sound synthesis. Previous implementations of BWGs use arbitrary model parameters and may produce a range of simulations that do not match digital waveguide or modal models of the same design. Subject to linear excitations, some models proposed here behave identically to other equivalently designed physical models. Under nonlinear interactions, such as bowing, many of the proposed implementations exhibit improvements in the attack characteristics of synthesized sounds.

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Date Created
2013

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Incorporating supervisory human inputs into autonomous robot navigation

Description

With robots being used extensively in various areas, a certain degree of robot autonomy has always been found desirable. In applications like planetary exploration, autonomous path planning and navigation are considered essential. But every now and then, a need to

With robots being used extensively in various areas, a certain degree of robot autonomy has always been found desirable. In applications like planetary exploration, autonomous path planning and navigation are considered essential. But every now and then, a need to modify the robot's operation arises, a need for a human to provide it some supervisory parameters that modify the degree of autonomy or allocate extra tasks to the robot. In this regard, this thesis presents an approach to include a provision to accept and incorporate such human inputs and modify the navigation functions of the robot accordingly. Concepts such as applying kinematical constraints while planning paths, traversing of unknown areas with an intent of maximizing field of view, performing complex tasks on command etc. have been examined and implemented. The approaches have been tested in Robot Operating System (ROS), using robots such as the iRobot Create, Personal Robotics (PR2) etc. Simulations and experimental demonstrations have proved that this approach is feasible for solving some of the existing problems and that it certainly can pave way to further research for enhancing functionality.

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Date Created
2013

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Smooth path planning using splines for unmanned planetary vehicles

Description

One of the main challenges in planetary robotics is to traverse the shortest path through a set of waypoints. The shortest distance between any two waypoints is a direct linear traversal. Often times, there are physical restrictions that prevent a

One of the main challenges in planetary robotics is to traverse the shortest path through a set of waypoints. The shortest distance between any two waypoints is a direct linear traversal. Often times, there are physical restrictions that prevent a rover form traversing straight to a waypoint. Thus, knowledge of the terrain is needed prior to traversal. The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) provides information about the terrain along with waypoints for the rover to traverse. However, traversing a set of waypoints linearly is burdensome, as the rovers would constantly need to modify their orientation as they successively approach waypoints. Although there are various solutions to this problem, this research paper proposes the smooth traversability of the rover using splines as a quick and easy implementation to traverse a set of waypoints. In addition, a rover was used to compare the smoothness of the linear traversal along with the spline interpolations. The data collected illustrated that spline traversals had a less rate of change in the velocity over time, indicating that the rover performed smoother than with linear paths.

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Date Created
2013

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Decentralized information search

Description

Our research focuses on finding answers through decentralized search, for complex, imprecise queries (such as "Which is the best hair salon nearby?") in situations where there is a spatiotemporal constraint (say answer needs to be found within 15 minutes) associated

Our research focuses on finding answers through decentralized search, for complex, imprecise queries (such as "Which is the best hair salon nearby?") in situations where there is a spatiotemporal constraint (say answer needs to be found within 15 minutes) associated with the query. In general, human networks are good in answering imprecise queries. We try to use the social network of a person to answer his query. Our research aims at designing a framework that exploits the user's social network in order to maximize the answers for a given query. Exploiting an user's social network has several challenges. The major challenge is that the user's immediate social circle may not possess the answer for the given query, and hence the framework designed needs to carry out the query diffusion process across the network. The next challenge involves in finding the right set of seeds to pass the query to in the user's social circle. One other challenge is to incentivize people in the social network to respond to the query and thereby maximize the quality and quantity of replies. Our proposed framework is a mobile application where an individual can either respond to the query or forward it to his friends. We simulated the query diffusion process in three types of graphs: Small World, Random and Preferential Attachment. Given a type of network and a particular query, we carried out the query diffusion by selecting seeds based on attributes of the seed. The main attributes are Topic relevance, Replying or Forwarding probability and Time to Respond. We found that there is a considerable increase in the number of replies attained, even without saturating the user's network, if we adopt an optimal seed selection process. We found the output of the optimal algorithm to be satisfactory as the number of replies received at the interrogator's end was close to three times the number of neighbors an interrogator has. We addressed the challenge of incentivizing people to respond by associating a particular amount of points for each query asked, and awarding the same to people involved in answering the query. Thus, we aim to design a mobile application based on our proposed framework so that it helps in maximizing the replies for the interrogator's query by diffusing the query across his/her social network.

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Date Created
2013

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Clinically relevant classification and retrieval of diabetic retinopathy images

Description

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common cause of blindness occurring due to prolonged presence of diabetes. The risk of developing DR or having the disease progress is increasing over time. Despite advances in diabetes care over the years, DR remains

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common cause of blindness occurring due to prolonged presence of diabetes. The risk of developing DR or having the disease progress is increasing over time. Despite advances in diabetes care over the years, DR remains a vision-threatening complication and one of the leading causes of blindness among American adults. Recent studies have shown that diagnosis based on digital retinal imaging has potential benefits over traditional face-to-face evaluation. Yet there is a dearth of computer-based systems that can match the level of performance achieved by ophthalmologists. This thesis takes a fresh perspective in developing a computer-based system aimed at improving diagnosis of DR images. These images are categorized into three classes according to their severity level. The proposed approach explores effective methods to classify new images and retrieve clinically-relevant images from a database with prior diagnosis information associated with them. Retrieval provides a novel way to utilize the vast knowledge in the archives of previously-diagnosed DR images and thereby improve a clinician's performance while classification can safely reduce the burden on DR screening programs and possibly achieve higher detection accuracy than human experts. To solve the three-class retrieval and classification problem, the approach uses a multi-class multiple-instance medical image retrieval framework that makes use of spectrally tuned color correlogram and steerable Gaussian filter response features. The results show better retrieval and classification performances than prior-art methods and are also observed to be of clinical and visual relevance.

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Date Created
2012

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Mechanics of silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries

Description

As one of the most promising materials for high capacity electrode in next generation of lithium ion batteries, silicon has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Advanced characterization techniques and atomic simulations helped to depict that the

As one of the most promising materials for high capacity electrode in next generation of lithium ion batteries, silicon has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Advanced characterization techniques and atomic simulations helped to depict that the lithiation/delithiation of silicon electrode involves processes including large volume change (anisotropic for the initial lithiation of crystal silicon), plastic flow or softening of material dependent on composition, electrochemically driven phase transformation between solid states, anisotropic or isotropic migration of atomic sharp interface, and mass diffusion of lithium atoms. Motivated by the promising prospect of the application and underlying interesting physics, mechanics coupled with multi-physics of silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries is studied in this dissertation. For silicon electrodes with large size, diffusion controlled kinetics is assumed, and the coupled large deformation and mass transportation is studied. For crystal silicon with small size, interface controlled kinetics is assumed, and anisotropic interface reaction is studied, with a geometry design principle proposed. As a preliminary experimental validation, enhanced lithiation and fracture behavior of silicon pillars via atomic layer coatings and geometry design is studied, with results supporting the geometry design principle we proposed based on our simulations. Through the work documented here, a consistent description and understanding of the behavior of silicon electrode is given at continuum level and some insights for the future development of the silicon electrode are provided.

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Date Created
2014

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Study of an epidemic multiple behavior diffusion model in a resource constrained social network

Description

In contemporary society, sustainability and public well-being have been pressing challenges. Some of the important questions are:how can sustainable practices, such as reducing carbon emission, be encouraged? , How can a healthy lifestyle be maintained?Even though individuals are interested, they

In contemporary society, sustainability and public well-being have been pressing challenges. Some of the important questions are:how can sustainable practices, such as reducing carbon emission, be encouraged? , How can a healthy lifestyle be maintained?Even though individuals are interested, they are unable to adopt these behaviors due to resource constraints. Developing a framework to enable cooperative behavior adoption and to sustain it for a long period of time is a major challenge. As a part of developing this framework, I am focusing on methods to understand behavior diffusion over time. Facilitating behavior diffusion with resource constraints in a large population is qualitatively different from promoting cooperation in small groups. Previous work in social sciences has derived conditions for sustainable cooperative behavior in small homogeneous groups. However, how groups of individuals having resource constraint co-operate over extended periods of time is not well understood, and is the focus of my thesis. I develop models to analyze behavior diffusion over time through the lens of epidemic models with the condition that individuals have resource constraint. I introduce an epidemic model SVRS ( Susceptible-Volatile-Recovered-Susceptible) to accommodate multiple behavior adoption. I investigate the longitudinal effects of behavior diffusion by varying different properties of an individual such as resources,threshold and cost of behavior adoption. I also consider how behavior adoption of an individual varies with her knowledge of global adoption. I evaluate my models on several synthetic topologies like complete regular graph, preferential attachment and small-world and make some interesting observations. Periodic injection of early adopters can help in boosting the spread of behaviors and sustain it for a longer period of time. Also, behavior propagation for the classical epidemic model SIRS (Susceptible-Infected-Recovered-Susceptible) does not continue for an infinite period of time as per conventional wisdom. One interesting future direction is to investigate how behavior adoption is affected when number of individuals in a network changes. The affects on behavior adoption when availability of behavior changes with time can also be examined.

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Date Created
2013

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Designing m-health modules with sensor interfaces for DSP education

Description

Advancements in mobile technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of mobile devices to serve as powerful platforms for sensing, processing, and visualization. Surges in the sensing technology and the abundance of data have enabled the use of these portable devices

Advancements in mobile technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of mobile devices to serve as powerful platforms for sensing, processing, and visualization. Surges in the sensing technology and the abundance of data have enabled the use of these portable devices for real-time data analysis and decision-making in digital signal processing (DSP) applications. Most of the current efforts in DSP education focus on building tools to facilitate understanding of the mathematical principles. However, there is a disconnect between real-world data processing problems and the material presented in a DSP course. Sophisticated mobile interfaces and apps can potentially play a crucial role in providing a hands-on-experience with modern DSP applications to students. In this work, a new paradigm of DSP learning is explored by building an interactive easy-to-use health monitoring application for use in DSP courses. This is motivated by the increasing commercial interest in employing mobile phones for real-time health monitoring tasks. The idea is to exploit the computational abilities of the Android platform to build m-Health modules with sensor interfaces. In particular, appropriate sensing modalities have been identified, and a suite of software functionalities have been developed. Within the existing framework of the AJDSP app, a graphical programming environment, interfaces to on-board and external sensor hardware have also been developed to acquire and process physiological data. The set of sensor signals that can be monitored include electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmogram (PPG), accelerometer signal, and galvanic skin response (GSR). The proposed m-Health modules can be used to estimate parameters such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, step count, and heart rate variability. A set of laboratory exercises have been designed to demonstrate the use of these modules in DSP courses. The app was evaluated through several workshops involving graduate and undergraduate students in signal processing majors at Arizona State University. The usefulness of the software modules in enhancing student understanding of signals, sensors and DSP systems were analyzed. Student opinions about the app and the proposed m-health modules evidenced the merits of integrating tools for mobile sensing and processing in a DSP curriculum, and familiarizing students with challenges in modern data-driven applications.

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Date Created
2013

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Spatial temperature uniformity and statistical determination of dominant degradation modes in PV modules

Description

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 of this thesis investigates the influence of spatial temperature distribution on the accuracy of performance data of photovoltaic (PV) modules in outdoor conditions and provides physical approaches to improve the spatial temperature distribution of

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 of this thesis investigates the influence of spatial temperature distribution on the accuracy of performance data of photovoltaic (PV) modules in outdoor conditions and provides physical approaches to improve the spatial temperature distribution of the test modules so an accurate performance data can be obtained in the field. Conventionally, during outdoor performance testing, a single thermocouple location is used on the backsheet or back glass of a test module. This study clearly indicates that there is a large spatial temperature difference between various thermocouple locations within a module. Two physical approaches or configurations were experimented to improve the spatial temperature uniformity: thermally insulating the inner and outer surface of the frame; backsheet and inner surface of the frame. All the data were compared with un-insulated conventional configuration. This study was performed in an array setup of six modules under two different preconditioning electrical configurations, Voc and MPPT over several clear sunny days. This investigation concludes that the best temperature uniformity and the most accurate I-V data can be obtained only by thermally insulating the inner and outer frame surfaces or by using the average of four thermocouple temperatures, as specified in IEC 61853-2, without any thermal insulation.

Part 2 of this thesis analyzes the field data obtained from old PV power plants using various statistical techniques to identify the most influential degradation modes on fielded PV modules in two different climates: hot-dry (Arizona); cold-dry (New York). Performance data and visual inspection data of 647 modules fielded in five different power plants were analyzed. Statistical tests including hypothesis testing were carried out to identify the I-V parameter(s) that are affected the most. The affected performance parameters (Isc, Voc, FF and Pmax) were then correlated with the defects to determine the most dominant defect affecting power degradation. Analysis indicates that the cell interconnect discoloration (or solder bond deterioration) is the dominant defect in hot-dry climate leading to series resistance increase and power loss, while encapsulant delamination is being the most dominant defect in cold-dry climate leading to cell mismatch and power loss.

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Date Created
2015