Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 2417

Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

River Stage-Discharge Forecasting Based on Multiple-Gauge Strategy Using EEMD-DWT-LSSVM Approach
This study presented hybrid pre-processing approach along with a conceptual model to enhance the accuracy of river discharge prediction. In order to achieve this goal, Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition algorithm (EEMD), Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Mutual Information (MI) were employed as a hybrid pre-processing approach conjugated to Least Square Support Vector Machine (LSSVM). A conceptual strategy namely multi-station model was developed to forecast the Souris River discharge more accurately. The strategy used herein was capable of covering uncertainties and complexities of river discharge modeling. DWT and EEMD was coupled, and the feature selection was performed for decomposed sub-series using MI to be employed in multi-station model. In the proposed feature selection method, some useless sub-series were omitted to achieve better performance. Results approved efficiency of the proposed DWT-EEMD-MI approach to improve accuracy of multi-station modeling strategies.
Modeling Drying and Pyrolysis of Moist Wood Particles at Slow Heating Rates

Formulation for drying and pyrolysis process in packed beds at slow heating rates is presented. Drying of biomass particles bed is described by mass diffusion equation and local moisture-vapour-equilibrium relations. In gasifiers, volatilization rate during pyrolysis of biomass is modeled by using apparent kinetic rate expression, while product compositions at slow heating rates is modeled using empirical fitted mass ratios (i.e., CO/CO2, ME/CO2, H2O/CO2) in terms of pyrolysis temperature. The drying module is validated fairly with available chemical kinetics scheme and found that the testing zone in gasifier bed constituted of relatively smaller particles having high airflow with high isothermal temperature expedite the drying process. Further, volatile releases more quickly within the shorter zone height at high temperatures (isothermal). Both, moisture loss and volatile release profiles are found to be sensitive to temperature, although the influence of initial moisture content on volatile release profile is not so sensitive.

A Development of Creative Instruction Model through Digital Media

This purposes of the development of creative instruction model through digital media are to: 1) enable learners to learn from instruction media application; 2) help learners implementing instruction media correctly and appropriately; and 3) facilitate learners to apply technology for searching information and practicing skills to implement technology creatively. The sample group consists of 130 cases of secondary students studying in Bo Kluea School, Bo Kluea Nuea Sub-district, Bo Kluea District, Nan Province. The probability sampling was selected through the simple random sampling and the statistics used in this research are percentage, mean, standard deviation and one group pretest – posttest design. The findings are summarized as follows: The congruence index of instruction media for occupation and technology subjects is appropriate. By comparing between learning achievements before implementing the instruction media and learning achievements after implementing the instruction media, it is found that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. For the learning achievements from instruction media implementation, pretest mean is 16.24 while posttest mean is 26.28. Besides, pretest and posttest results are compared and differences of mean are tested, the test results show that the posttest achievements are higher than the pretest achievements with statistical significance at the level of .05. This can be interpreted that the learners achieve better learning progress.

Rain Cell Ratio Technique in Path Attenuation for Terrestrial Radio Links

A rain cell ratio model is proposed that computes attenuation of the smallest rain cell which represents the maximum rain rate value i.e. the cell size when rainfall rate is exceeded 0.01% of the time, R0.01 and predicts attenuation for other cells as the ratio with this maximum. This model incorporates the dependence of the path factor r on the ellipsoidal path variation of the Fresnel zone at different frequencies. In addition, the inhomogeneity of rainfall is modeled by a rain drop packing density factor. In order to derive the model, two empirical methods that can be used to find rain cell size distribution Dc are presented. Subsequently, attenuation measurements from different climatic zones for terrestrial radio links with frequencies F in the range 7-38 GHz are used to test the proposed model. Prediction results show that the path factor computed from the rain cell ratio technique has improved reliability when compared with other path factor and effective rain rate models, including the current ITU-R 530-15 model of 2013.

A Mixing Matrix Estimation Algorithm for Speech Signals under the Under-Determined Blind Source Separation Model
The separation of speech signals has become a research hotspot in the field of signal processing in recent years. It has many applications and influences in teleconferencing, hearing aids, speech recognition of machines and so on. The sounds received are usually noisy. The issue of identifying the sounds of interest and obtaining clear sounds in such an environment becomes a problem worth exploring, that is, the problem of blind source separation. This paper focuses on the under-determined blind source separation (UBSS). Sparse component analysis is generally used for the problem of under-determined blind source separation. The method is mainly divided into two parts. Firstly, the clustering algorithm is used to estimate the mixing matrix according to the observed signals. Then the signal is separated based on the known mixing matrix. In this paper, the problem of mixing matrix estimation is studied. This paper proposes an improved algorithm to estimate the mixing matrix for speech signals in the UBSS model. The traditional potential algorithm is not accurate for the mixing matrix estimation, especially for low signal-to noise ratio (SNR).In response to this problem, this paper considers the idea of an improved potential function method to estimate the mixing matrix. The algorithm not only avoids the inuence of insufficient prior information in traditional clustering algorithm, but also improves the estimation accuracy of mixing matrix. This paper takes the mixing of four speech signals into two channels as an example. The results of simulations show that the approach in this paper not only improves the accuracy of estimation, but also applies to any mixing matrix.
Simplified 3R2C Building Thermal Network Model: A Case Study

Whole building energy simulation models are widely used for predicting future energy consumption, performance diagnosis and optimum control.  Black box building energy modeling approach has been heavily studied in the past decade. The thermal response of a building can also be modeled using a network of interconnected resistors (R) and capacitors (C) at each node called R-C network. In this study, a model building, Case 600, as described in the “Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Program”, ASHRAE standard 140, is studied along with a 3R2C thermal network model and the ASHRAE clear sky solar radiation model. Although building an energy model involves two important parts of building component i.e., the envelope and internal mass, the effect of building internal mass is not considered in this study. All the characteristic parameters of the building envelope are evaluated as on Case 600. Finally, monthly building energy consumption from the thermal network model is compared with a simple-box energy model within reasonable accuracy. From the results, 0.6-9.4% variation of monthly energy consumption is observed because of the south-facing windows.

Modeling Jordan University of Science and Technology Parking Using Arena Program
Over the last decade, the over population that has happened in urban areas has been reflecting on the services that various local institutions provide to car users in the form of car parks, which is becoming a daily necessity in our lives. This study focuses on car parks at Jordan University of Science and Technology, in Irbid, Jordan, to understand the university parking needs. Data regarding arrival and departure times of cars and the parking utilization were collected, to find various options that the university can implement to solve and develop an efficient car parking system. Arena software was used to simulate a parking model. This model allows measuring the different solutions that solve the parking problem at Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Supersonic Flow around a Dihedral Airfoil: Modeling and Experimentation Investigation

Numerical modeling of fluid flows, whether compressible or incompressible, laminar or turbulent presents a considerable contribution in the scientific and industrial fields. However, the development of an approximate model of a supersonic flow requires the introduction of specific and more precise techniques and methods. For this purpose, the object of this paper is modeling a supersonic flow of inviscid fluid around a dihedral airfoil. Based on the thin airfoils theory and the non-dimensional stationary Steichen equation of a two-dimensional supersonic flow in isentropic evolution, we obtained a solution for the downstream velocity potential of the oblique shock at the second order of relative thickness that characterizes a perturbation parameter. This result has been dealt with by the asymptotic analysis and characteristics method. In order to validate our model, the results are discussed in comparison with theoretical and experimental results. Indeed, firstly, the comparison of the results of our model has shown that they are quantitatively acceptable compared to the existing theoretical results. Finally, an experimental study was conducted using the AF300 supersonic wind tunnel. In this experiment, we have considered the incident upstream Mach number over a symmetrical dihedral airfoil wing. The comparison of the different Mach number downstream results of our model with those of the existing theoretical data (relative margin between 0.07% and 4%) and with experimental results (concordance for a deflection angle between 1° and 11°) support the validation of our model with accuracy.

‘Daily Speaking’: Designing an App for Construction of Language Learning Model Supporting ‘Seamless Flipped’ Environment

Seamless learning is becoming a research hotspot in recent years, and the emerging of micro-lectures, flipped classroom has strengthened the development of seamless learning. Based on the characteristics of the seamless learning across time and space and the course structure of the flipped classroom, and the theories of language learning, we put forward the language learning model which can support ‘seamless flipped’ environment (abbreviated as ‘S-F’). Meanwhile, the characteristics of the ‘S-F’ learning environment, the corresponding framework construction and the activity design of diversified corpora were introduced. Moreover, a language learning app named ‘Daily Speaking’ was developed to facilitate the practice of the language learning model in ‘S-F’ environment. In virtue of the learning case of Shanghai language, the rationality and feasibility of this framework were examined, expecting to provide a reference for the design of ‘S-F’ learning in different situations.

Numerical Study of the Influence of the Primary Stream Pressure on the Performance of the Ejector Refrigeration System Based on Heat Exchanger Modeling

Numerical models of the heat exchangers in ejector refrigeration system (ERS) were developed and validated with the experimental data. The models were based on the switched heat exchangers model using the moving boundary method, which were capable of estimating the zones’ lengths, the outlet temperatures of both sides and the heat loads at various experimental points. The developed models were utilized to investigate the influence of the primary flow pressure on the performance of an R245fa ERS based on its coefficient of performance (COP) and exergy efficiency. It was illustrated numerically and proved experimentally that increasing the primary flow pressure slightly reduces the COP while the exergy efficiency goes through a maximum before decreasing.

Monitoring of Belt-Drive Defects Using the Vibration Signals and Simulation Models

The main aim of this paper is to dedicate the belt drive system faults like cogs missing, misalignment and belt worm using vibration analysis technique. Experimentally, the belt drive test-rig is equipped to measure vibrations signals under different operating conditions. Finite element 3D model of belt drive system is created and vibration response analyzed using commercial finite element software ABAQUS/CAE.  Root mean square (RMS) and Crest Factor will serve as indicators of average amplitude of envelope analysis signals. The vibration signals pattern obtained from the simulation model and experimental data have the same characteristics. It can be concluded that each case of the RMS is more effective in detecting the defect for acceleration response. While Crest Factor parameter has a response with the displacement and velocity of vibration signals. Also it can be noticed that the model has difficulty in completing the solution when the misalignment angle is higher than 1 degree.

Evaluation of the Weight-Based and Fat-Based Indices in Relation to Basal Metabolic Rate-to-Weight Ratio

Basal metabolic rate is questioned as a risk factor for weight gain. The relations between basal metabolic rate and body composition have not been cleared yet. The impact of fat mass on basal metabolic rate is also uncertain. Within this context, indices based upon total body mass as well as total body fat mass are available. In this study, the aim is to investigate the potential clinical utility of these indices in the adult population. 287 individuals, aged from 18 to 79 years, were included into the scope of the study. Based upon body mass index values, 10 underweight, 88 normal, 88 overweight, 81 obese, and 20 morbid obese individuals participated. Anthropometric measurements including height (m), and weight (kg) were performed. Body mass index, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I, diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II, basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio were calculated. Total body fat mass (kg), fat percent (%), basal metabolic rate, metabolic age, visceral adiposity, fat mass of upper as well as lower extremities and trunk, obesity degree were measured by TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. Statistical evaluations were performed by statistical package (SPSS) for Windows Version 16.0. Scatterplots of individual measurements for the parameters concerning correlations were drawn. Linear regression lines were displayed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The strong correlations between body mass index and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I as well as diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II were obtained (p < 0.001). A much stronger correlation was detected between basal metabolic rate and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index I in comparison with that calculated for basal metabolic rate and body mass index (p < 0.001). Upon consideration of the associations between basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio and these three indices, the best association was observed between basal metabolic rate-to-weight and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II. In a similar manner, this index was highly correlated with fat percent (p < 0.001). Being independent of the indices, a strong correlation was found between fat percent and basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio (p < 0.001). Visceral adiposity was much strongly correlated with metabolic age when compared to that with chronological age (p < 0.001). In conclusion, all three indices were associated with metabolic age, but not with chronological age. Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index II values were highly correlated with body mass index values throughout all ranges starting with underweight going towards morbid obesity. This index is the best in terms of its association with basal metabolic rate-to-weight ratio, which can be interpreted as basal metabolic rate unit.

Study of Adsorption Isotherm Models on Rare Earth Elements Biosorption for Separation Purposes
The development of chemical routes for the recovery and separation of rare earth elements (REE) is seen as a priority and strategic action by several countries demanding these elements. Among the possibilities of alternative routes, the biosorption process has been evaluated in our laboratory. In this theme, the present work attempts to assess and fit the solution equilibrium data in Langmuir, Freundlich and DKR isothermal models, based on the biosorption results of the lanthanum and samarium elements by Bacillus subtilis immobilized on calcium alginate gel. It was observed that the preference of adsorption of REE by the immobilized biomass followed the order Sm (III)> La (III). It can be concluded that among the studied isotherms models, the Langmuir model presented better mathematical results than the Freundlich and DKR models.
Elastic and Plastic Collision Comparison Using Finite Element Method

The prevision of post-impact conditions and the behavior of the bodies during the impact have been object of several collision models. The formulation from Hertz’s theory is generally used dated from the 19th century. These models consider the repulsive force as proportional to the deformation of the bodies under contact and may consider it proportional to the rate of deformation. The objective of the present work is to analyze the behavior of the bodies during impact using the Finite Element Method (FEM) with elastic and plastic material models. The main parameters to evaluate are, the contact force, the time of contact and the deformation of the bodies. An advantage of using the FEM approach is the possibility to apply a plastic deformation to the model according to the material definition: there will be used Johnson–Cook plasticity model whose parameters are obtained through empirical tests of real materials. This model allows analyzing the permanent deformation caused by impact, phenomenon observed in real world depending on the forces applied to the body. These results are compared between them and with the model-based Hertz theory.

CFD Modeling of Mixing Enhancement in a Pitted Micromixer by High Frequency Ultrasound Waves

Use of ultrasound waves is one of the techniques for increasing the mixing and mass transfer in the microdevices. Ultrasound propagation into liquid medium leads to stimulation of the fluid, creates turbulence and so increases the mixing performance. In this study, CFD modeling of two-phase flow in a pitted micromixer equipped with a piezoelectric with frequency of 1.7 MHz has been studied. CFD modeling of micromixer at different velocity of fluid flow in the absence of ultrasound waves and with ultrasound application has been performed. The hydrodynamic of fluid flow and mixing efficiency for using ultrasound has been compared with the layout of no ultrasound application. The result of CFD modeling shows well agreements with the experimental results. The results showed that the flow pattern inside the micromixer in the absence of ultrasound waves is parallel, while when ultrasound has been applied, it is not parallel. In fact, propagation of ultrasound energy into the fluid flow in the studied micromixer changed the hydrodynamic and the forms of the flow pattern and caused to mixing enhancement. In general, from the CFD modeling results, it can be concluded that the applying ultrasound energy into the liquid medium causes an increase in the turbulences and mixing and consequently, improves the mass transfer rate within the micromixer.

A Mathematical Model Approach Regarding the Children’s Height Development with Fractional Calculus

The study aims to use a mathematical approach with the fractional calculus which is developed to have the ability to continuously analyze the factors related to the children’s height development. Until now, tracking the development of the child is getting more important and meaningful. Knowing and determining the factors related to the physical development of the child any desired time would provide better, reliable and accurate results for childcare. In this frame, 7 groups for height percentile curve (3th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, and 97th) of Turkey are used. By using discrete height data of 0-18 years old children and the least squares method, a continuous curve is developed valid for any time interval. By doing so, in any desired instant, it is possible to find the percentage and location of the child in Percentage Chart. Here, with the help of the fractional calculus theory, a mathematical model is developed. The outcomes of the proposed approach are quite promising compared to the linear and the polynomial method. The approach also yields to predict the expected values of children in the sense of height.

dynr.mi: An R Program for Multiple Imputation in Dynamic Modeling
Assessing several individuals intensively over time yields intensive longitudinal data (ILD). Even though ILD provide rich information, they also bring other data analytic challenges. One of these is the increased occurrence of missingness with increased study length, possibly under non-ignorable missingness scenarios. Multiple imputation (MI) handles missing data by creating several imputed data sets, and pooling the estimation results across imputed data sets to yield final estimates for inferential purposes. In this article, we introduce dynr.mi(), a function in the R package, Dynamic Modeling in R (dynr). The package dynr provides a suite of fast and accessible functions for estimating and visualizing the results from fitting linear and nonlinear dynamic systems models in discrete as well as continuous time. By integrating the estimation functions in dynr and the MI procedures available from the R package, Multivariate Imputation by Chained Equations (MICE), the dynr.mi() routine is designed to handle possibly non-ignorable missingness in the dependent variables and/or covariates in a user-specified dynamic systems model via MI, with convergence diagnostic check. We utilized dynr.mi() to examine, in the context of a vector autoregressive model, the relationships among individuals’ ambulatory physiological measures, and self-report affect valence and arousal. The results from MI were compared to those from listwise deletion of entries with missingness in the covariates. When we determined the number of iterations based on the convergence diagnostics available from dynr.mi(), differences in the statistical significance of the covariate parameters were observed between the listwise deletion and MI approaches. These results underscore the importance of considering diagnostic information in the implementation of MI procedures.
Feasibility Study of Friction Stir Welding Application for Kevlar Material

Friction stir welding (FSW) is a joining process in the solid state, which eliminates problems associated with the material melting and solidification, such as cracks, residual stresses and distortions generated during conventional welding. Among the most important advantages of FSW are; easy automation, less distortion, lower residual stress and good mechanical properties in the joining region. FSW is a recent approach to metal joining and although originally intended for aluminum alloys, it is investigated in a variety of metallic materials. The basic concept of FSW is a rotating tool, made of non-consumable material, specially designed with a geometry consisting of a pin and a recess (shoulder). This tool is inserted as spinning on its axis at the adjoining edges of two sheets or plates to be joined and then it travels along the joining path line. The tool rotation axis defines an angle of inclination with which the components to be welded. This angle is used for receiving the material to be processed at the tool base and to promote the gradual forge effect imposed by the shoulder during the passage of the tool. This prevents the material plastic flow at the tool lateral, ensuring weld closure on the back of the pin. In this study, two 4 mm Kevlar® plates which were produced with the Kevlar® fabrics, are analyzed with COMSOL Multiphysics in order to investigate the weldability via FSW. Thereafter, some experimental investigation is done with an appropriate workbench in order to compare them with the analysis results.

A Communication Signal Recognition Algorithm Based on Holder Coefficient Characteristics
Communication signal modulation recognition technology is one of the key technologies in the field of modern information warfare. At present, communication signal automatic modulation recognition methods are mainly divided into two major categories. One is the maximum likelihood hypothesis testing method based on decision theory, the other is a statistical pattern recognition method based on feature extraction. Now, the most commonly used is a statistical pattern recognition method, which includes feature extraction and classifier design. With the increasingly complex electromagnetic environment of communications, how to effectively extract the features of various signals at low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is a hot topic for scholars in various countries. To solve this problem, this paper proposes a feature extraction algorithm for the communication signal based on the improved Holder cloud feature. And the extreme learning machine (ELM) is used which aims at the problem of the real-time in the modern warfare to classify the extracted features. The algorithm extracts the digital features of the improved cloud model without deterministic information in a low SNR environment, and uses the improved cloud model to obtain more stable Holder cloud features and the performance of the algorithm is improved. This algorithm addresses the problem that a simple feature extraction algorithm based on Holder coefficient feature is difficult to recognize at low SNR, and it also has a better recognition accuracy. The results of simulations show that the approach in this paper still has a good classification result at low SNR, even when the SNR is -15dB, the recognition accuracy still reaches 76%.
Application of a Generalized Additive Model to Reveal the Relations between the Density of Zooplankton with Other Variables in the West Daya Bay, China

Zooplankton are a central issue in the ecology which makes a great contribution to maintaining the balance of an ecosystem. It is critical in promoting the material cycle and energy flow within the ecosystems. A generalized additive model (GAM) was applied to analyze the relationships between the density (individuals per m³) of zooplankton and other variables in West Daya Bay. All data used in this analysis (the survey month, survey station (longitude and latitude), the depth of the water column, the superficial concentration of chlorophyll a, the benthonic concentration of chlorophyll a, the number of zooplankton species and the number of zooplankton species) were collected through monthly scientific surveys during January to December 2016. GLM model (generalized linear model) was used to choose the significant variables’ impact on the density of zooplankton, and the GAM was employed to analyze the relationship between the density of zooplankton and the significant variables. The results showed that the density of zooplankton increased with an increase of the benthonic concentration of chlorophyll a, but decreased with a decrease in the depth of the water column. Both high numbers of zooplankton species and the overall total number of zooplankton individuals led to a higher density of zooplankton.

Comparison of Methods of Estimation for Use in Goodness of Fit Tests for Binary Multilevel Models

It can be frequently observed that the data arising in our environment have a hierarchical or a nested structure attached with the data. Multilevel modelling is a modern approach to handle this kind of data. When multilevel modelling is combined with a binary response, the estimation methods get complex in nature and the usual techniques are derived from quasi-likelihood method. The estimation methods which are compared in this study are, marginal quasi-likelihood (order 1 & order 2) (MQL1, MQL2) and penalized quasi-likelihood (order 1 & order 2) (PQL1, PQL2). A statistical model is of no use if it does not reflect the given dataset. Therefore, checking the adequacy of the fitted model through a goodness-of-fit (GOF) test is an essential stage in any modelling procedure. However, prior to usage, it is also equally important to confirm that the GOF test performs well and is suitable for the given model. This study assesses the suitability of the GOF test developed for binary response multilevel models with respect to the method used in model estimation. An extensive set of simulations was conducted using MLwiN (v 2.19) with varying number of clusters, cluster sizes and intra cluster correlations. The test maintained the desirable Type-I error for models estimated using PQL2 and it failed for almost all the combinations of MQL. Power of the test was adequate for most of the combinations in all estimation methods except MQL1. Moreover, models were fitted using the four methods to a real-life dataset and performance of the test was compared for each model.

Technical and Economic Analysis of Smart Micro-Grid Renewable Energy Systems: An Applicable Case Study

Renewable energy-based micro-grids are presently attracting significant consideration. The smart grid system is presently considered a reliable solution for the expected deficiency in the power required from future power systems. The purpose of this study is to determine the optimal components sizes of a micro-grid, investigating technical and economic performance with the environmental impacts. The micro grid load is divided into two small factories with electricity, both on-grid and off-grid modes are considered. The micro-grid includes photovoltaic cells, back-up diesel generator wind turbines, and battery bank. The estimated load pattern is 76 kW peak. The system is modeled and simulated by MATLAB/Simulink tool to identify the technical issues based on renewable power generation units. To evaluate system economy, two criteria are used: the net present cost and the cost of generated electricity. The most feasible system components for the selected application are obtained, based on required parameters, using HOMER simulation package. The results showed that a Wind/Photovoltaic (W/PV) on-grid system is more economical than a Wind/Photovoltaic/Diesel/Battery (W/PV/D/B) off-grid system as the cost of generated electricity (COE) is 0.266 $/kWh and 0.316 $/kWh, respectively. Considering the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, the off-grid will be competitive to the on-grid system as COE is found to be (0.256 $/kWh, 0.266 $/kWh), for on and off grid systems.

Biosorption of Azo Dye Reactive Black B onto Nonviable Biomass of Cladosporium cladosporioides LM1: Thermodynamic, Kinetic and Equilibrium Modeling

This study investigated the biosorption of the azo dye reactive Black B (RBB) from aqueous solution using the nonviable biomass of Cladosporium cladosporioides LM1. The biosorption systems were carried out in batch mode considering different conditions of initial pH, contact time, temperature, initial dye concentration and biosorbent dosage. Higher removal rate of RBB was obtained at pH 2. Biosorption data were successfully described by pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir isotherm model with the maximum monolayer biosorption capacity estimated at 71.43 mg/g. The values of thermodynamic parameters such as ∆G°, ∆H° and ∆S° indicated that the biosorption of RBB onto fungal biomass was spontaneous and exothermic in nature. It can be concluded that nonviable biomass of Cladosporium cladosporioides LM1 may be an attractive low-cost biosorbent for the removal of azo dye RBB from aqueous solution.

Application of the Least Squares Method in the Adjustment of Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) Regression Models

There are many situations in which human activities have significant effects on the environment. Damage to the ozone layer is one of them. The objective of this work is to use the Least Squares Method, considering the linear, exponential, logarithmic, power and polynomial models of the second degree, to analyze through the coefficient of determination (R²), which model best fits the behavior of the chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) in parts per trillion between 1992 and 2018, as well as estimates of future concentrations between 5 and 10 periods, i.e. the concentration of this pollutant in the years 2023 and 2028 in each of the adjustments. A total of 809 observations of the concentration of HCFC-142b in one of the monitoring stations of gases precursors of the deterioration of the ozone layer during the period of time studied were selected and, using these data, the statistical software Excel was used for make the scatter plots of each of the adjustment models. With the development of the present study, it was observed that the logarithmic fit was the model that best fit the data set, since besides having a significant R² its adjusted curve was compatible with the natural trend curve of the phenomenon.

Performance of Coded Multi-Line Copper Wire for Communications in the Presence of Impulsive Noise
In this paper, we focus on the design of a multi-line copper wire (MLCW) communication system. First, we construct our proposed MLCW channel and verify its characteristics based on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. In addition, we apply Middleton class A impulsive noise (IN) to the copper channel for further investigation. Second, the MIMO system is adopted utilizing the proposed MLCW channel model and is compared to a single line G-fast system. Second, the performance of the coded system is obtained utilizing concatenated interleaved Reed-Solomon (RS) code with four-dimensional trellis-coded modulation (4D TCM), and compared to the single line G-fast system. Simulations are obtained for high quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) constellations that are commonly used with G-fast communications, the results demonstrate that the bit error rate (BER) performance of the coded MLCW system shows an improvement compared to the single line G-fast systems.
Sustainable Building Technologies for Post-Disaster Temporary Housing: Integrated Sustainability Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment

After natural disasters, displaced people (DP) require important numbers of housing units, which have to be erected quickly due to emergency pressures. These tight timeframes can cause the multiplication of the environmental construction impacts. These negative impacts worsen the already high energy consumption and pollution caused by the building sector. Indeed, post-disaster housing, which is often carried out without pre-planning, usually causes high negative environmental impacts, besides other economic and social impacts. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a suitable strategy to deal with this problem which also takes into account the instability of its causes, like changing ratio between rural and urban population. To this end, this study aims to present a model that assists decision-makers to choose the most suitable building technology for post-disaster housing units. This model focuses on the alternatives sustainability and fulfillment of the stakeholders’ satisfactions. Four building technologies have been analyzed to determine the most sustainability technology and to validate the presented model. In 2003, Bam earthquake DP had their temporary housing units (THUs) built using these four technologies: autoclaved aerated concrete blocks (AAC), concrete masonry unit (CMU), pressed reeds panel (PR), and 3D sandwich panel (3D). The results of this analysis confirm that PR and CMU obtain the highest sustainability indexes. However, the second life scenario of THUs could have considerable impacts on the results.

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.

Stochastic Modeling for Parameters of Modified Car-Following Model in Area-Based Traffic Flow

The driving behavior in area-based (i.e., non-lane based) traffic is induced by the presence of other individuals in the choice space from the driver’s visual perception area. The driving behavior of a subject vehicle is constrained by the potential leaders and leaders are frequently changed over time. This paper is to determine a stochastic model for a parameter of modified intelligent driver model (MIDM) in area-based traffic (as in developing countries). The parametric and non-parametric distributions are presented to fit the parameters of MIDM. The goodness of fit for each parameter is measured in two different ways such as graphically and statistically. The quantile-quantile (Q-Q) plot is used for a graphical representation of a theoretical distribution to model a parameter and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test is used for a statistical measure of fitness for a parameter with a theoretical distribution. The distributions are performed on a set of estimated parameters of MIDM. The parameters are estimated on the real vehicle trajectory data from India. The fitness of each parameter with a stochastic model is well represented. The results support the applicability of the proposed modeling for parameters of MIDM in area-based traffic flow simulation.

Solar Seawater Desalination Still with Seawater Preheater Using Efficient Heat Transfer Oil: Numerical Investigation and Data Verification
The feasibility of improving the performance of the proposed solar still unit which operated in very hot climate is investigated numerically and verified with experimental data. This solar desalination unit with proposed auxiliary device as seawater preheating system using petrol based textherm oil was used to produce pure fresh water from seawater. The effective evaporation area of basin is about 1 m2. The unit was tested in two main operation modes which are normal and with seawater preheating system. The results showed that, there is good agreement between the theoretical data and the experimental data; this means that the numerical model can be accurately dependable for predicting the proposed solar still performance and design parameters. The results also showed that the fresh water productivity of the solar still in the modified preheating case which is higher than normal case, leads to an increase in productivity of 42%.
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