Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are the biggest consumers of energy in a building. For smart buildings, technologies have evolved to improve energy efficiency of HVAC systems, but faults often occur. A team of researchers led by Professor Marios Polycarpou from University of Cyprus has developed a distributed sensor fault diagnosis algorithm, a sequence of well-defined computer-implementable instructions for detecting and isolating multiple sensor faults in large-scale HVAC systems in smart buildings.
University of Bergamo and Princeton University researchers found that the masonry of Italian renaissance domes, such as the duomo in Florence, use a double-helix structure that is self-supporting during and after construction. Their study is the first to quantitatively prove the forces at work in such masonry domes, which may lead to advances in modern drone construction techniques.
The performance of materials is strongly influenced by their alloying elements: Adding elements beyond the basic composition of the alloy can strongly influence the properties and performance of it. In practice, it is not only important which elements are added, but also to which amounts and how they order in the host lattice.
Plastic waste often ends up in river bodies and oceans, posing a serious threat to the marine ecosystem. To prevent the accumulation of plastic debris, we must find out where plastic emission is prevalent. To this end, scientists in Japan have come up with a new method to track plastic emissions from inland areas to sea. This method is useful to identify the 'hotspots' of plastic emission and can even help to implement appropriate measures to avoid plastic pollution.
Fly ash generated by coal-fired power stations is a global environmental headache, creating groundwater and air pollution from vast landfills and ash dams. The waste product can be repurposed into geopolymer concrete, such as precast heat-cured structural elements for buildings. However, a critical durability problem has been low resistance to extreme alkali attack. UJ researchers found that high temperature heat-treatment at 200 degrees Celsius can halve this harmful mechanism in fly ash geopolymer concretes.
One of the main pedestrian issues considered in facilities and traffic signal design is pedestrian walking speed. It is, therefore, necessary to evaluate the walking speed change patterns at crosswalks and the appropriate design walking speed for pedestrians, which can then be used to design pedestrian facilities and traffic signals.
Built as part of the sustainable features of a new Australian building, the specially-designed solar chimney radically boosts safe evacuation time in a fire - from 2 minutes to over 14 minutes.
Researchers at the University of Southampton have mapped the global locations of major renewable energy sites, providing a valuable resource to help assess their potential environmental impact.
Careful engineering of low, plant-covered hills along shorelines can mitigate tsunami risks with less disruption of coastal life and lower costs compared to seawalls.
Researchers at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Engineering -Vitoria-Gasteiz have proposed using the energy generated on offshore wind turbine farms to produce hydrogen in situ instead of conveying it ashore by cable. They have shown that this is technically possible and economically viable. They have also confirmed that incorporating some very low-cost components significantly improves wind turbine efficiency. The research has been published by the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.