Abstract:The growing search for alternative energy sources is not only due to the present shortage of non-renewable energy sources, but also due to their negative environmental impacts. Therefore, a lot of attention is drawn to the use of biomass as a renewable energy source. However, using biomass in its natural state has not proven to be an efficient technique, giving rise to a wide range of processing treatments that enhance the properties of biomass as an energy source. Torrefaction is a thermal process that enhances the properties of biomass through its thermal decomposition at temperatures between 200 and 300 • C. The torrefaction process is defined by several parameters, which also have impacts on the final quality of the torrefied biomass. The final quality is measured by considering parameters, such as humidity, heating value (HV), and grindability. Studies have focused on maximizing the torrefied biomass' quality using the best possible combination for the different parameters. The main objective of this article is to present new information regarding the conventional torrefaction process, as well as study the innovative techniques that have been in development for the improvement of the torrefied biomass qualities. With this study, conclusions were made regarding the importance of torrefaction in the energy field, after considering the economic status of this renewable resource. The importance of the torrefaction parameters on the final properties of torrefied biomass was also highly considered, as well as the importance of the reactor scales for the definition of ideal protocols.
Abstract:Recently the circular economy has increasingly received attention worldwide due to the recognition that the security of the supply of resources and environmental sustainability are crucial for the prosperity of all the countries and businesses. G20 countries are stimulating the development of frameworks that enhance the circular economy and generally more sustainable production and consumption modes. In this context, this paper aims to suggest an index to assess the sustainability and the circularity of manufacturing companies. With this tenet, a Sustainable Circular Index (SCI) is proposed based on a five-phase framework. This index could support managers in assessing their level of sustainability and circularity and in implementing some practices that could improve the performances of their companies regarding these two topics. This index represents an important benchmarking tool for manufacturing companies to assess their sustainable and circular behavior and represents a guideline for managers.
The inclusion of plug-in electrical vehicles (PEVs) in microgrids not only could bring benefits by reducing the on-peak demand, but could also improve the economic efficiency and increase the environmental sustainability. Therefore, in this paper a two stage energy management strategy for the contribution of PEVs in demand response (DR) programs of commercial building microgrids is addressed. The main contribution of this work is the incorporation of the uncertainty of electricity prices in a model predictive control (MPC) based plan for energy management optimization. First, the optimization problem considers the operation of PEVs and wind power in order to optimize the energy management in the commercial building. Second, the total charged power reference which is computed for PEVs in this stage is sent to the PEVs control section so that it could be allocated to each PEV. Therefore, the power balance can be achieved between the power supply and the load in the proposed microgrid building while the operational cost is minimized. The predicted values for load demand, wind power, and electricity price are forecasted by a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model. In addition, the conditional value at risk (CVaR) is used for the uncertainty in the electricity prices. In the end, the results confirm that the PEVs can effectively contribute in the DR programs for the proposed microgrid model. Index Terms-Demand response (DR), model predictive control (MPC), conditional value at risk (CVaR), plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), wind power, commercial building microgrids. I. NOMENCLATURE
Abstract:The growing demand for electricity is a challenge for the electricity sector as it not only involves the search for new sources of energy, but also the increase of generation capacity of the existing electrical infrastructure and the need to upgrade the existing grid. Therefore, new ways to reduce the consumption of energy are necessary to be implemented. When comparing an average house with an energy efficient house, it is possible to reduce annual energy bills up to 40%. Homeowners and tenants should consider developing an energy conservation plan in their homes. This is both an ecological and economically rational action. With this goal in mind, the need for the energy optimization arises. However, this has to be made by ensuring a fair level of comfort in the household, which in turn spawns a few control challenges. In this paper, the ON/OFF, proportional-integral-derivative (PID) and Model Predictive Control (MPC) control methods of an air conditioning (AC) of a room are compared. The model of the house of this study has a PV domestic generation. The recorded climacteric data for this case study are for Évora, a pilot Portuguese city in an ongoing demand response (DR) project. Six Time-of-Use (ToU) electricity rates are studied and compared during a whole week of summer, typically with very high temperatures for this period of the year. The overall weekly expense of each studied tariff option is compared for every control method and in the end the optimal solution is reached.
Industrial symbiosis, which is characterised mainly by the reuse of waste from one company as raw material by another, has been applied worldwide with recognised environmental, economic, and social benefits. However, the potential for industrial symbiosis is not exhausted in existing cases, and there is still a wide range of opportunities for its application. Through a comprehensive literature review, this article aims to compile and analyse studies that focus on potential industrial symbiosis in real contexts, to highlight the margin of optimisation that is not being used. The cases reported in the publications identified here were characterised and analysed according to geographic location, type of economic activity, waste/by-products, main benefits, and the methods employed in the studies. From this analysis, we conclude that there is great potential for applications involving industrial symbiosis throughout the world, and especially in Europe, corresponding to 53% of the total cases analysed. Manufacturing stood out as the sector with the highest potential for establishing symbiosis relationships, and the most common types of waste streams in potential networks were organic, plastic and rubber, wood, and metallic materials. This article also discusses the main drivers and barriers to realising the potential of industrial symbiosis. The diversity of industries, geographical proximity, facilitating entities and legislation, plans, and policies are shown to be the main drivers.
Transformers are one of the more expensive pieces of equipment found in a distribution network. The transformer's role has not changed over the last decades. With simple construction and at the same time mechanically robust, they offer long term service that on average can reach half a century. Today, with the ongoing trend to supply a growing number of non-linear loads along with the notion of distributed generation (DG), a new challenge has arisen in terms of transformer sustainability, with one of the possible consequences being accelerated ageing. In this paper we carefully review the existing studies in the literature of the effect of loads and other key factors on oil-transformer ageing. The state-of-the-art is reviewed, each factor is analysed in detail, and in the end a smart transformer protection method is sought in order to monitor and protect it from upcoming challenges.
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