Matching Items (50)

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Biodiesel: Sustainable Production and Commercialization for Community Support

Description

This research focused on how low-income communities in Ghana could convert Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) into biodiesel to supplement their energy demands. The 2016 World Energy Outlook estimates that about

This research focused on how low-income communities in Ghana could convert Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) into biodiesel to supplement their energy demands. The 2016 World Energy Outlook estimates that about 8 million Ghanaians do not have access to electricity while 82% of the population use biomass as cooking fuel. However, WVO is available in almost every home and is also largely produced by hotels and schools. There are over 2,700 registered hotels and more than 28,000 educational institutions from Basic to the Tertiary level. Currently, most WVOs are often discarded in open gutters or left to go rancid and later disposed of. Therefore, WVOs serve as cheap materials available in large quantities with a high potential for conversion into biodiesel and commercializing to support the economic needs of low-income communities. In 2013, a group of researchers at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana estimated that the country could be producing between 82,361 and 85,904 tons of biodiesel from WVOs generated by hotels alone in 2015. Further analysis was also carried out to examine the Ghana National Biofuel Policy that was introduced in 2005 with support from the Ghana Energy Commission. Based on the information identified in the research, a set of recommendations were made to help the central government in promoting the biodiesel industry in Ghana, with a focus on low-income or farming communities. Lastly, a self-sustaining biodiesel production model with high potential for commercialization, was proposed to enable low-income communities to produce their own biodiesel from WVOs to meet their energy demands.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Complex Systems Approach for Simulation & Analysis of Socio-Technical Infrastructure Systems - An Empirical Demonstration

Description

Over the past century, the world has become increasingly more complex. Modern systems (i.e blockchain, internet of things (IoT), and global supply chains) are inherently difficult to comprehend due to

Over the past century, the world has become increasingly more complex. Modern systems (i.e blockchain, internet of things (IoT), and global supply chains) are inherently difficult to comprehend due to their high degree of connectivity. Understanding the nature of complex systems becomes an acutely more critical skill set for managing socio-technical infrastructure systems. As existing education programs and technical analysis approaches fail to teach and describe modern complexities, resulting consequences have direct impacts on real-world systems. Complex systems are characterized by exhibiting nonlinearity, interdependencies, feedback loops, and stochasticity. Since these four traits are counterintuitive, those responsible for managing complex systems may struggle in identifying these underlying relationships and decision-makers may fail to account for their implications or consequences when deliberating systematic policies or interventions.

This dissertation details the findings of a three-part study on applying complex systems modeling techniques to exemplar socio-technical infrastructure systems. In the research articles discussed hereafter, various modeling techniques are contrasted in their capacity for simulating and analyzing complex, adaptive systems. This research demonstrates the empirical value of a complex system approach as twofold: (i) the technique explains systems interactions which are often neglected or ignored and (ii) its application has the capacity for teaching systems thinking principles. These outcomes serve decision-makers by providing them with further empirical analysis and granting them a more complete understanding on which to base their decisions.

The first article examines modeling techniques, and their unique aptitudes are compared against the characteristics of complex systems to establish which methods are most qualified for complex systems analysis. Outlined in the second article is a proof of concept piece on using an interactive simulation of the Los Angeles water distribution system to teach complex systems thinking skills for the improved management of socio-technical infrastructure systems. Lastly, the third article demonstrates the empirical value of this complex systems approach for analyzing infrastructure systems through the construction of a systems dynamics model of the Arizona educational-workforce system, across years 1990 to 2040. The model explores a series of dynamic hypotheses and allows stakeholders to compare policy interventions for improving educational and economic outcome measures.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Design of Suction Stabilized Floats for First Responder Localization via Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and Internet of Things (IoT)

Description

Suction stabilized floats have been implemented into a variety of applications such as supporting wind turbines in off-shore wind farms and for stabilizing cargo ships. This thesis proposes an alternative

Suction stabilized floats have been implemented into a variety of applications such as supporting wind turbines in off-shore wind farms and for stabilizing cargo ships. This thesis proposes an alternative use for the technology in creating a system of suction stabilized floats equipped with real time location modules to help first responders establish a localized coordinate system to assist in rescues. The floats create a stabilized platform for each anchor module due to the inverse slack tank effect established by the inner water chamber. The design of the float has also been proven to be stable in most cases of amplitudes and frequencies ranging from 0 to 100 except for when the frequency ranges from 23 to 60 Hz for almost all values of the amplitude. The modules in the system form a coordinate grid based off the anchors that can track the location of a tag module within the range of the system using ultra-wideband communications. This method of location identification allows responders to use the system in GPS denied environments. The system can be accessed through an Android app with Bluetooth communications in close ranges or through internet of things (IoT) using a module as a listener, a Raspberry Pi and an internet source. The system has proven to identify the location of the tag in moderate ranges with an approximate accuracy of the tag location being 15 cm.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Robotic augmentation of human locomotion for high speed running

Description

Human running requires extensive training and conditioning for an individual to maintain high speeds (greater than 10mph) for an extended duration of time. Studies have shown that running at

Human running requires extensive training and conditioning for an individual to maintain high speeds (greater than 10mph) for an extended duration of time. Studies have shown that running at peak speeds generates a high metabolic cost due to the use of large muscle groups in the legs associated with the human gait cycle. Applying supplemental external and internal forces to the human body during the gait cycle has been shown to decrease the metabolic cost for walking, allowing individuals to carry additional weight and walk further distances. Significant research has been conducted to reduce the metabolic cost of walking, however, there are few if any documented studies that focus specifically on reducing the metabolic cost associated with high speed running. Three mechanical systems were designed to work in concert with the human user to decrease metabolic cost and increase the range and speeds at which a human can run.

The methods of design require a focus on mathematical modeling, simulations, and metabolic cost. Mathematical modeling and simulations are used to aid in the design process of robotic systems and metabolic testing is regarded as the final analysis process to determine the true effectiveness of robotic prototypes. Metabolic data, (VO2) is the volumetric consumption of oxygen, per minute, per unit mass (ml/min/kg). Metabolic testing consists of analyzing the oxygen consumption of a test subject while performing a task naturally and then comparing that data with analyzed oxygen consumption of the same task while using an assistive device.

Three devices were designed and tested to augment high speed running. The first device, AirLegs V1, is a mostly aluminum exoskeleton with two pneumatic linear actuators connecting from the lower back directly to the user's thighs, allowing the device to induce a torque on the leg by pushing and pulling on the user's thigh during running. The device also makes use of two smaller pneumatic linear actuators which drive cables connecting to small lever arms at the back of the heel, inducing a torque at the ankles. Device two, AirLegs V2, is also pneumatically powered but is considered to be a soft suit version of the first device. It uses cables to interface the forces created by actuators located vertically on the user's back. These cables then connect to the back of the user's knees resulting in greater flexibility and range of motion of the legs. Device three, a Jet Pack, produces an external force against the user's torso to propel a user forward and upward making it easier to run. Third party testing, pilot demonstrations and timed trials have demonstrated that all three of the devices effectively reduce the metabolic cost of running below that of natural running with no device.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Indoor soiling method and outdoor statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an artificial chamber to maintain controlled environmental conditions and components/chemicals used in artificial soil formulation is briefly explained. Both poly-Si mini-modules and a single cell mono-Si coupons were soiled and characterization tests such as I-V, reflectance and quantum efficiency (QE) were carried out on both soiled, and cleaned coupons. From the results obtained, poly-Si mini-modules proved to be a good measure of soil uniformity, as any non-uniformity present would not result in a smooth curve during I-V measurements. The challenges faced while executing reflectance and QE characterization tests on poly-Si due to smaller size cells was eliminated on the mono-Si coupons with large cells to obtain highly repeatable measurements. This study indicates that the reflectance measurements between 600-700 nm wavelengths can be used as a direct measure of soil density on the modules.

Part 2 determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged PV modules using experimental data obtained in the field and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes of about 744 poly-Si glass/polymer frameless modules fielded for 18 years under the cold-dry climate of New York was evaluated. Defect chart, degradation rates (both string and module levels) and safety map were generated using the field measured data. A statistical reliability tool, FMECA that uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to determine the dominant failure or degradation modes in the strings and modules by means of ranking and prioritizing the modes. This study on PV power plants considers all the failure and degradation modes from both safety and performance perspectives.

The indoor and outdoor soiling studies were jointly performed by two Masters Students, Sravanthi Boppana and Vidyashree Rajasekar. This thesis presents the indoor soiling study, whereas the other thesis presents the outdoor soiling study. Similarly, the statistical risk analyses of two power plants (model J and model JVA) were jointly performed by these two Masters students. Both power plants are located at the same cold-dry climate, but one power plant carries framed modules and the other carries frameless modules. This thesis presents the results obtained on the frameless modules.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Application of Radiovoltmeters: Quick and Quantitative Power Determination of Individual PV Modules in a String without using I-V Curve Tracers

Description

The goal of any solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to generate maximum energy throughout its lifetime. The parameters that can affect PV module power output include: solar irradiance, temperature, soil

The goal of any solar photovoltaic (PV) system is to generate maximum energy throughout its lifetime. The parameters that can affect PV module power output include: solar irradiance, temperature, soil accumulation, shading, encapsulant browning, encapsulant delamination, series resistance increase due to solder bond degradation and corrosion and shunt resistance decrease due to potential induced degradation, etc. Several PV modules together in series makes up a string, and in a power plant there are a number of these strings in parallel which can be referred to as an array. Ideally, PV modules in a string should be identically matched to attain maximum power output from the entire string. Any underperforming module or mismatch among modules within a string can reduce the power output. The goal of this project is to quickly identify and quantitatively determine the underperforming module(s) in an operating string without the use of an I-V curve tracer, irradiance sensor or temperature sensor. This goal was achieved by utilizing Radiovoltmeters (RVM). In this project, it is demonstrated that the voltages at maximum power point (Vmax) of all the individual modules in a string can be simultaneously and quantitatively obtained using RVMs at a single irradiance, single module operating temperature, single spectrum and single angle of incidence. By combining these individual module voltages (Vmax) with the string current (Imax) using a Hall sensor, the power output of individual modules can be obtained, quickly and quantitatively.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Accelerated Reliability Testing of Fresh and Field-Aged Photovoltaic Modules: Encapsulant Browning and Solder Bond Degradation

Description

The popularity of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is growing across the globe with more than 500 GW installed in 2018 with a capacity of 640 GW in 2019. Improved PV

The popularity of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is growing across the globe with more than 500 GW installed in 2018 with a capacity of 640 GW in 2019. Improved PV module reliability minimizes the levelized cost of energy. Studying and accelerating encapsulant browning and solder bond degradation—two of the most commonly observed degradation modes in the field—in a lab requires replicating the stress conditions that induce the same field degradation modes in a controlled accelerated environment to reduce testing time.

Accelerated testing is vital in learning about the reliability of solar PV modules. The unique streamlined approach taken saves time and resources with a statistically significant number of samples being tested in one chamber under multiple experimental stress conditions that closely mirror field conditions that induce encapsulant browning and solder bond degradation. With short circuit current (Isc) and series resistance (Rs) degradation data sets at multiple temperatures, the activation energies (Ea) for encapsulant browning and solder bond degradation was calculated.

Regular degradation was replaced by the wear-out stages of encapsulant browning and solder bond degradation by subjecting two types of field-aged modules to further accelerated testing. For browning, the Ea calculated through the Arrhenius model was 0.37 ± 0.17 eV and 0.71 ± 0.07 eV. For solder bond degradation, the Arrhenius model was used to calculate an Ea of 0.12 ± 0.05 eV for solder with 2wt% Ag and 0.35 ± 0.04 eV for Sn60Pb40 solder.

To study the effect of types of encapsulant, backsheet, and solder on encapsulant browning and solder bond degradation, 9-cut-cell samples maximizing available data points while minimizing resources underwent accelerated tests described for modules. A ring-like browning feature was observed in samples with UV pass EVA above and UV cut EVA below the cells. The backsheet permeability influences the extent of oxygen photo-bleaching. In samples with solder bond degradation, increased bright spots and cell darkening resulted in increased Rs. Combining image processing with fluorescence imaging and electroluminescence imaging would yield great insight into the two degradation modes.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Multi-objective Resource Constrained Parallel Machine Scheduling Model with Setups, Machine Eligibility Restrictions, Release and Due Dates with User Interaction

Description

This dissertation explores the use of deterministic scheduling theory for the design and development of practical manufacturing scheduling strategies as alternatives to current scheduling methods, particularly those used to minimize

This dissertation explores the use of deterministic scheduling theory for the design and development of practical manufacturing scheduling strategies as alternatives to current scheduling methods, particularly those used to minimize completion times and increase system capacity utilization. The efficient scheduling of production systems can make the difference between a thriving and a failing enterprise, especially when expanding capacity is limited by the lead time or the high cost of acquiring additional manufacturing resources. A multi-objective optimization (MOO) resource constrained parallel machine scheduling model with setups, machine eligibility restrictions, release and due dates with user interaction is developed for the scheduling of complex manufacturing systems encountered in the semiconductor and plastic injection molding industries, among others. Two mathematical formulations using the time-indexed Integer Programming (IP) model and the Diversity Maximization Approach (DMA) were developed to solve resource constrained problems found in the semiconductor industry. A heuristic was developed to find fast feasible solutions to prime the IP models. The resulting models are applied in two different ways: constructing schedules for tactical decision making and constructing Pareto efficient schedules with user interaction for strategic decision making aiming to provide insight to decision makers on multiple competing objectives.
Optimal solutions were found by the time-indexed IP model for 45 out of 45 scenarios in less than one hour for all the problem instance combinations where setups were not considered. Optimal solutions were found for 18 out of 45 scenarios in less than one hour for several combinations of problem instances with 10 and 25 jobs for the hybrid (IP and heuristic) model considering setups. Regarding the DMA MOO scheduling model, the complete efficient frontier (9 points) was found for a small size problem instance in 8 minutes, and a partial efficient frontier (29 points) was found for a medium sized problem instance in 183 hrs.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Investigation of 1,900 individual field aged photovoltaic modules for potential induced degradation (PID) in a positive biased power plant

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures.

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation of the power degradation of field aged PV modules in various configurations is required. A detailed investigation of 1,900 field aged (12-18 years) PV modules deployed in a power plant application was conducted for this study. Analysis was based on the current-voltage (I-V) measurement of all the 1,900 modules individually. I-V curve data of individual modules formed the basis for calculating the performance degradation of the modules. The percentage performance degradation and rates of degradation were compared to an earlier study done at the same plant. The current research was primarily focused on identifying the extent of potential induced degradation (PID) of individual modules with reference to the negative ground potential. To investigate this, the arrangement and connection of the individual modules/strings was examined in detail. The study also examined the extent of underperformance of every series string due to performance mismatch of individual modules in that string. The power loss due to individual module degradation and module mismatch at string level was then compared to the rated value.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Angle of incidence and power degradation analysis of photovoltaic modules

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) module nameplates typically provide the module's electrical characteristics at standard test conditions (STC). The STC conditions are: irradiance of 1000 W/m2, cell temperature of 25oC and sunlight spectrum

Photovoltaic (PV) module nameplates typically provide the module's electrical characteristics at standard test conditions (STC). The STC conditions are: irradiance of 1000 W/m2, cell temperature of 25oC and sunlight spectrum at air mass 1.5. However, modules in the field experience a wide range of environmental conditions which affect their electrical characteristics and render the nameplate data insufficient in determining a module's overall, actual field performance. To make sound technical and financial decisions, designers and investors need additional performance data to determine the energy produced by modules operating under various field conditions. The angle of incidence (AOI) of sunlight on PV modules is one of the major parameters which dictate the amount of light reaching the solar cells. The experiment was carried out at the Arizona State University- Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL). The data obtained was processed in accordance with the IEC 61853-2 model to obtain relative optical response of the modules (response which does not include the cosine effect). The results were then compared with theoretical models for air-glass interface and also with the empirical model developed by Sandia National Laboratories. The results showed that all modules with glass as the superstrate had identical optical response and were in agreement with both the IEC 61853-2 model and other theoretical and empirical models. The performance degradation of module over years of exposure in the field is dependent upon factors such as environmental conditions, system configuration, etc. Analyzing the degradation of power and other related performance parameters over time will provide vital information regarding possible degradation rates and mechanisms of the modules. An extensive study was conducted by previous ASU-PRL students on approximately 1700 modules which have over 13 years of hot- dry climatic field condition. An analysis of the results obtained in previous ASU-PRL studies show that the major degradation in crystalline silicon modules having glass/polymer construction is encapsulant discoloration (causing short circuit current drop) and solder bond degradation (causing fill factor drop due to series resistance increase). The power degradation for crystalline silicon modules having glass/glass construction was primarily attributed to encapsulant delamination (causing open-circuit voltage drop).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013