Sample records for assistance improve efficiency

  1. Microwave-Assisted Ignition for Improved Internal Combustion Engine Efficiency (United States)

    DeFilippo, Anthony Cesar

    The ever-present need for reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation motivates this investigation of a novel ignition technology for internal combustion engine applications. Advanced engines can achieve higher efficiencies and reduced emissions by operating in regimes with diluted fuel-air mixtures and higher compression ratios, but the range of stable engine operation is constrained by combustion initiation and flame propagation when dilution levels are high. An advanced ignition technology that reliably extends the operating range of internal combustion engines will aid practical implementation of the next generation of high-efficiency engines. This dissertation contributes to next-generation ignition technology advancement by experimentally analyzing a prototype technology as well as developing a numerical model for the chemical processes governing microwave-assisted ignition. The microwave-assisted spark plug under development by Imagineering, Inc. of Japan has previously been shown to expand the stable operating range of gasoline-fueled engines through plasma-assisted combustion, but the factors limiting its operation were not well characterized. The present experimental study has two main goals. The first goal is to investigate the capability of the microwave-assisted spark plug towards expanding the stable operating range of wet-ethanol-fueled engines. The stability range is investigated by examining the coefficient of variation of indicated mean effective pressure as a metric for instability, and indicated specific ethanol consumption as a metric for efficiency. The second goal is to examine the factors affecting the extent to which microwaves enhance ignition processes. The factors impacting microwave enhancement of ignition processes are individually examined, using flame development behavior as a key metric in determining microwave effectiveness. Further development of practical combustion applications implementing microwave-assisted

  2. A Wearable Hip Assist Robot Can Improve Gait Function and Cardiopulmonary Metabolic Efficiency in Elderly Adults. (United States)

    Lee, Hwang-Jae; Lee, Suhyun; Chang, Won Hyuk; Seo, Keehong; Shim, Youngbo; Choi, Byung-Ok; Ryu, Gyu-Ha; Kim, Yun-Hee


    The aims of this paper were to investigate the effectiveness of a newly developed wearable hip assist robot, that uses an active assist algorithm to improve gait function, muscle effort, and cardiopulmonary metabolic efficiency in elderly adults. Thirty elderly adults (15 males/ 15 females) participated in thispaper. The experimental protocol consisted of overground gait at comfortable speed under three different conditions: free gait without robot assistance, robot-assisted gait with zero torque (RAG-Z), and full RAG. Under all conditions, muscle effort was analyzed using a 12-channel surface electromyography system. Spatio-temporal data were collected at 120 Hz using a 3-D motion capture system with six infrared cameras. Metabolic cost parameters were collected as oxygen consumption per unit (ml/min/kg) and aerobic energy expenditure (Kcal/min). In the RAG condition, participants demonstrated improved gait function, decreased muscle effort, and reduced metabolic cost. Although the hip assist robot only provides assistance at the hip joint, our results demonstrated a clear reduction in knee and ankle muscle activity in addition to decreased hip flexor and extensor activity. Our findings suggest that this robot has the potential to improve stabilization of the trunk during walking in elderly adults.

  3. Improved Efficiency of Brewer’s Spent Grain Arabinoxylans by Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction


    Reis, Sofia; Coelho, Elisabete; Coimbra, Manuel; Abu-Ghannam, Nissreen


    Arabinoxylan (AX) rich extracts from brewer’s spent grain (BSG) were produced by the application of ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and conventional alkaline extraction (AKE). UAE and AKE were optimised for the production of the highest yield of ethanol insoluble material using response surface methodology (RSM). The efficiency of UAE was established by the significant reduction of time (7h to 25 min) and energy when compared to AKE, to recover similar amount of AX (60%) from BSG, leadin...

  4. Improved efficiency of brewer's spent grain arabinoxylans by ultrasound-assisted extraction. (United States)

    Reis, Sofia F; Coelho, Elisabete; Coimbra, Manuel A; Abu-Ghannam, Nissreen


    Arabinoxylan (AX) rich extracts from brewer's spent grain (BSG) were produced by the application of ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and conventional alkaline extraction (AKE). UAE and AKE were optimised for the production of the highest yield of ethanol insoluble material using response surface methodology (RSM). The efficiency of UAE was established by the significant reduction of time (7h to 25 min) and energy when compared to AKE, to recover similar amounts of AX (60%) from BSG, leading to the production of starch-free AX-rich extracts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Physician Assistants Improve Efficiency and Decrease Costs in Outpatient Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. (United States)

    Resnick, Cory M; Daniels, Kimberly M; Flath-Sporn, Susan J; Doyle, Michael; Heald, Ronald; Padwa, Bonnie L


    To determine the effects on time, cost, and complication rates of integrating physician assistants (PAs) into the procedural components of an outpatient oral and maxillofacial surgery practice. This is a prospective cohort study of patients from the Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital who underwent removal of 4 impacted third molars with intravenous sedation in our outpatient facility. Patients were separated into the "no PA group" and PA group. Process maps were created to capture all activities from room preparation to patient discharge, and all activities were timed for each case. A time-driven activity-based costing method was used to calculate the average times and costs from the provider's perspective for each group. Complication rates were calculated during the periods for both groups. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and significance was set at P oral and maxillofacial surgeon was directly involved in the procedure decreased by an average of 19.2 minutes after the introduction of PAs (P oral and maxillofacial surgery practice resulted in decreased costs whereas complication rates remained constant. The increased availability of the oral and maxillofacial surgeon after the incorporation of PAs allows for more patients to be seen during a clinic session, which has the potential to further increase efficiency and revenue. Copyright © 2016 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving the Efficiency of Psychotherapy for Depression: Computer-Assisted Versus Standard CBT. (United States)

    Thase, Michael E; Wright, Jesse H; Eells, Tracy D; Barrett, Marna S; Wisniewski, Stephen R; Balasubramani, G K; McCrone, Paul; Brown, Gregory K


    The authors evaluated the efficacy and durability of a therapist-supported method for computer-assisted cognitive-behavioral therapy (CCBT) in comparison to standard cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). A total of 154 medication-free patients with major depressive disorder seeking treatment at two university clinics were randomly assigned to either 16 weeks of standard CBT (up to 20 sessions of 50 minutes each) or CCBT using the "Good Days Ahead" program. The amount of therapist time in CCBT was planned to be about one-third that in CBT. Outcomes were assessed by independent raters and self-report at baseline, at weeks 8 and 16, and at posttreatment months 3 and 6. The primary test of efficacy was noninferiority on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale at week 16. Approximately 80% of the participants completed the 16-week protocol (79% in the CBT group and 82% in the CCBT group). CCBT met a priori criteria for noninferiority to conventional CBT at week 16. The groups did not differ significantly on any measure of psychopathology. Remission rates were similar for the two groups (intent-to-treat rates, 41.6% for the CBT group and 42.9% for the CCBT group). Both groups maintained improvements throughout the follow-up. The study findings indicate that a method of CCBT that blends Internet-delivered skill-building modules with about 5 hours of therapeutic contact was noninferior to a conventional course of CBT that provided over 8 additional hours of therapist contact. Future studies should focus on dissemination and optimizing therapist support methods to maximize the public health significance of CCBT.

  7. Assisting people with multiple disabilities to improve computer typing efficiency through a mouse wheel and on-screen keyboard software. (United States)

    Shih, Ching-Hsiang


    The main purpose of this study was to find out whether three students with multiple disabilities could increase their keyboard typing performance by poking the standard mouse scroll wheel with the newly developed Dynamic Typing Assistive Program (DTAP) and the built-in On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) computer software. The DTAP is a software solution that allows users to complete typing tasks with OSK software easily, quickly, and accurately by poking the mouse wheel. This study was performed according to a multiple baseline design across participants, and the experimental data showed that all of the participants significantly increased their typing efficiency in the intervention phase. Moreover, this improved performance was maintained during the maintenance phase. Practical and developmental implications of the findings were discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Assisting People with Multiple Disabilities and Minimal Motor Behavior to Improve Computer Pointing Efficiency through a Mouse Wheel (United States)

    Shih, Ching-Hsiang; Chang, Man-Ling; Shih, Ching-Tien


    This study evaluated whether two people with multiple disabilities and minimal motor behavior would be able to improve their pointing performance using finger poke ability with a mouse wheel through a Dynamic Pointing Assistive Program (DPAP) and a newly developed mouse driver (i.e., a new mouse driver replaces standard mouse driver, changes a…

  9. Polyelectrolyte-assisted preparation of gold nanocluster-doped silica particles with high incorporation efficiency and improved stability (United States)

    Wang, Haonan; Huang, Zhenzhen; Guo, Zilong; Yang, Wensheng


    In this paper, we reported an approach for efficient incorporation of glutathione-capped gold nanoclusters (GSH-Au NCs) into silica particles with the assistance of a polyelectrolyte, poly-diallyldimethyl-ammoniumchloride (PDDA). In this approach, the negatively charged GSH-Au NCs were firstly mixed with the positively charged PDDA to form PDDA-Au NC complexes. Then, the complexes were added into a pre-hydrolyzed Stöber system to get the Au NCs-doped silica particles. With increased ratio of PDDA in the complexes, the negative charges on surface of the Au NCs were neutralized gradually and finally reversed to positive in presence of excess PDDA, which facilitated the incorporation of the Au NCs into the negatively charged silica matrix. Under the optimal amount of PDDA in the complexes, the incorporation efficiency of Au NCs could be as high as 88%. After being incorporated into the silica matrix, the Au NCs become much robust against pH and heavy metal ions attributed to the protection effect of silica and PDDA. This approach was also extendable to highly efficient incorporation of other negatively charged metal nanoclusters, such as bovine serum albumin-capped Cu nanoclusters, into silica matrix.

  10. Postharvest Ultrasound-Assisted Freeze-Thaw Pretreatment Improves the Drying Efficiency, Physicochemical Properties, and Macamide Biosynthesis of Maca (Lepidium meyenii). (United States)

    Chen, Jin-Jin; Gong, Peng-Fei; Liu, Yi-Lan; Liu, Bo-Yan; Eggert, Dawn; Guo, Yuan-Heng; Zhao, Ming-Xia; Zhao, Qing-Sheng; Zhao, Bing


    A novel technique of ultrasound-assisted freeze-thaw pretreatment (UFP) was developed to improve the drying efficiency of maca and bioactive amide synthesis in maca. The optimal UFP conditions are ultrasonic processing 90 min at 30 °C with 6 freeze-thaw cycles. Samples with freeze-thaw pretreatment (FP), ultrasound pretreatment (UP), and UFP were prepared for further comparative study. A no pretreatment (NP) sample was included as a control. The results showed that UFP improved the drying efficiency of maca slices, showing the highest effective moisture diffusivity (1.75 × 10 -9 m 2 /s). This result was further supported by low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (LF-NMR) analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The rehydration capacity and protein content of maca slices were improved by UFP. More importantly, contents of bioactive macamides and their biosynthetic precursors were increased in 2.5- and 10-fold, respectively. In conclusion, UFP is an efficient technique to improve drying efficiency, physicochemical properties, and bioactive macamides of maca, which can be applied in the industrial manufacture of maca products. © 2018 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  11. Assisting People with Disabilities Improves Their Collaborative Pointing Efficiency through the Use of the Mouse Scroll Wheel (United States)

    Shih, Ching-Hsiang


    This study provided that people with multiple disabilities can have a collaborative working chance in computer operations through an Enhanced Multiple Cursor Dynamic Pointing Assistive Program (EMCDPAP, a new kind of software that replaces the standard mouse driver, changes a mouse wheel into a thumb/finger poke detector, and manages mouse…

  12. Assisting People with Multiple Disabilities by Improving Their Computer Pointing Efficiency with an Automatic Target Acquisition Program (United States)

    Shih, Ching-Hsiang; Shih, Ching-Tien; Peng, Chin-Ling


    This study evaluated whether two people with multiple disabilities would be able to improve their pointing performance through an Automatic Target Acquisition Program (ATAP) and a newly developed mouse driver (i.e. a new mouse driver replaces standard mouse driver, and is able to monitor mouse movement and intercept click action). Initially, both…

  13. Investigations on the Influence of Liquid-Assisted Laser Ablation of NiTi Rotating Target to Improve the Formation Efficiency of Spherical Alloyed NiTi Nanoparticles (United States)

    Nandini, Patra; Akash, K.; Rohit, Gagrani; Vipul, Singh; Palani, I. A.


    In this work, the liquid-assisted laser ablation of NiTi rotating target has been used as a promising technique for generating spherical NiTi alloy nanoparticles with higher formation efficiency. Nd: YAG nanosecond laser with three different laser wavelengths (355, 532 and 1064 nm), three different laser fluences (30, 40 and 50 J/cm2) and three different rotational speeds (10 RPM, 20 RPM and 30 RPM) of target has been used to ablate the nitinol (Ni-55%, Ti-45%) target. The influences of different laser parameters (wavelengths and fluences) and different RPMs have been studied on the size, morphology and formation of alloy nanoparticles. It has been observed that the formation efficiency is maximum (39.9 mg/h) for smaller size nanoparticle ( 40 nm) at 355 nm wavelength, 50 J/cm2 fluence and 10 RPM rotational speed. On the other hand, we find that the formation efficiency (10.5 mg/h) is lowest with a bigger size of nanoparticle ( 110 nm) at 1064 nm wavelength, 50 J/cm2 fluence and 30 RPM speed. Therefore, this is a promising technique to synthesize spherical alloy nanoparticles with higher ablation efficiency. Thus, the higher ablation of particles helps to improve the optical absorption of the colloidal solution as optical absorption has a direct relation with the particle concentration. The shape and size of particles were characterized through SEM and DLS analysis whereas the crystallinity was confirmed through TEM and XRD analysis, respectively. Moreover, the elemental analysis was done with the help of XPS and EDS and optical absorption through UV-Vis spectrum analysis.

  14. Refines Efficiency Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Refinery processes that convert heavy oils to lighter distillate fuels require heating for distillation, hydrogen addition or carbon rejection (coking). Efficiency is limited by the formation of insoluble carbon-rich coke deposits. Heat exchangers and other refinery units must be shut down for mechanical coke removal, resulting in a significant loss of output and revenue. When a residuum is heated above the temperature at which pyrolysis occurs (340 C, 650 F), there is typically an induction period before coke formation begins (Magaril and Aksenova 1968, Wiehe 1993). To avoid fouling, refiners often stop heating a residuum before coke formation begins, using arbitrary criteria. In many cases, this heating is stopped sooner than need be, resulting in less than maximum product yield. Western Research Institute (WRI) has developed innovative Coking Index concepts (patent pending) which can be used for process control by refiners to heat residua to the threshold, but not beyond the point at which coke formation begins when petroleum residua materials are heated at pyrolysis temperatures (Schabron et al. 2001). The development of this universal predictor solves a long standing problem in petroleum refining. These Coking Indexes have great potential value in improving the efficiency of distillation processes. The Coking Indexes were found to apply to residua in a universal manner, and the theoretical basis for the indexes has been established (Schabron et al. 2001a, 2001b, 2001c). For the first time, a few simple measurements indicates how close undesired coke formation is on the coke formation induction time line. The Coking Indexes can lead to new process controls that can improve refinery distillation efficiency by several percentage points. Petroleum residua consist of an ordered continuum of solvated polar materials usually referred to as asphaltenes dispersed in a lower polarity solvent phase held together by intermediate polarity materials usually referred to as

  15. Assisting People with Multiple Disabilities and Minimal Motor Behavior to Improve Computer Drag-and-Drop Efficiency through a Mouse Wheel (United States)

    Shih, Ching-Hsiang


    This study evaluated whether two people with multiple disabilities and minimal motor behavior would be able to improve their Drag-and-Drop (DnD) performance using their finger/thumb poke ability with a mouse scroll wheel through a Dynamic Drag-and-Drop Assistive Program (DDnDAP). A multiple probe design across participants was used in this study…

  16. Improving efficiency in stereology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keller, Kresten Krarup; Andersen, Ina Trolle; Andersen, Johnnie Bremholm


    of the study was to investigate the time efficiency of the proportionator and the autodisector on virtual slides compared with traditional methods in a practical application, namely the estimation of osteoclast numbers in paws from mice with experimental arthritis and control mice. Tissue slides were scanned...... in a digital slide scanner and the autodisector was applied on the obtained virtual tissue slides. Every slide was partitioned into fields of view, and cells were counted in all of them. Based on the original exhaustive data set comprising 100% of fields of view and covering the total section area...

  17. Improving Gas Flooding Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid Grigg; Robert Svec; Zheng Zeng; Alexander Mikhalin; Yi Lin; Guoqiang Yin; Solomon Ampir; Rashid Kassim


    This study focuses on laboratory studies with related analytical and numerical models, as well as work with operators for field tests to enhance our understanding of and capabilities for more efficient enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Much of the work has been performed at reservoir conditions. This includes a bubble chamber and several core flood apparatus developed or modified to measure interfacial tension (IFT), critical micelle concentration (CMC), foam durability, surfactant sorption at reservoir conditions, and pressure and temperature effects on foam systems.Carbon dioxide and N{sub 2} systems have been considered, under both miscible and immiscible conditions. The injection of CO2 into brine-saturated sandstone and carbonate core results in brine saturation reduction in the range of 62 to 82% brine in the tests presented in this paper. In each test, over 90% of the reduction occurred with less than 0.5 PV of CO{sub 2} injected, with very little additional brine production after 0.5 PV of CO{sub 2} injected. Adsorption of all considered surfactant is a significant problem. Most of the effect is reversible, but the amount required for foaming is large in terms of volume and cost for all considered surfactants. Some foams increase resistance to the value beyond what is practical in the reservoir. Sandstone, limestone, and dolomite core samples were tested. Dissolution of reservoir rock and/or cement, especially carbonates, under acid conditions of CO2 injection is a potential problem in CO2 injection into geological formations. Another potential change in reservoir injectivity and productivity will be the precipitation of dissolved carbonates as the brine flows and pressure decreases. The results of this report provide methods for determining surfactant sorption and can be used to aid in the determination of surfactant requirements for reservoir use in a CO{sub 2}-foam flood for mobility control. It also provides data to be used to determine rock permeability

  18. Energy planning and energy efficiency assistance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markel, L. [Electrotek Concepts, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States)


    Electrotek is an engineering services company specializing in energy-related programs. Clients are most utilities, large energy users, and the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute. Electrotek has directed energy projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Energy in Poland and other countries of Central Europe. The objective is to assist the host country organizations to identify and implement appropriate energy efficiency and pollution reduction technologies, to transfer technical and organizational knowledge, so that further implementations are market-driven, without needed continuing foreign investment. Electrotek has worked with the Silesian Power Distribution Company to design an energy efficiency program for industrial customers that has proven to be profitable for the company and for its customers. The program has both saved energy and costs, and reduced pollution. The program is expanding to include additional customers, without needing more funding from the U.S. government.

  19. Improving efficiency in meat production. (United States)

    Brameld, John M; Parr, Tim


    Selective breeding and improved nutritional management over the past 20-30 years has resulted in dramatic improvements in growth efficiency for pigs and poultry, particularly lean tissue growth. However, this has been achieved using high-quality feed ingredients, such as wheat and soya that are also used for human consumption and more recently biofuels production. Ruminants on the other hand are less efficient, but are normally fed poorer quality ingredients that cannot be digested by human subjects, such as grass or silage. The challenges therefore are to: (i) maintain the current efficiency of growth of pigs and poultry, but using more ingredients not needed to feed the increasing human population or for the production of biofuels; (ii) improve the efficiency of growth in ruminants; (iii) at the same time produce animal products (meat, milk and eggs) of equal or improved quality. This review will describe the use of: (a) enzyme additives for animal feeds, to improve feed digestibility; (b) known growth promoting agents, such as growth hormone, β-agonists and anabolic steroids, currently banned in the European Union but used in other parts of the world; (c) recent transcriptomic studies into molecular mechanisms for improved growth efficiency via low residual feed intake. In doing so, the use of genetic manipulation in animals will also be discussed.

  20. GATE: Improving the computational efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Staelens, S. [UGent-ELIS, St-Pietersnieuwstraat, 41, B-9000 Gent (Belgium)]. E-mail:; De Beenhouwer, J. [UGent-ELIS, St-Pietersnieuwstraat, 41, B-9000 Gent (Belgium); Kruecker, D. [Institute of Medicine-Forschungszemtrum Juelich, D-52425 Juelich (Germany); Maigne, L. [Departement de Curietherapie-Radiotherapie, Centre Jean Perrin, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand (France); Rannou, F. [Departamento de Ingenieria Informatica, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago (Chile); Ferrer, L. [INSERM U601, CHU Nantes, F-44093 Nantes (France); D' Asseler, Y. [UGent-ELIS, St-Pietersnieuwstraat, 41, B-9000 Gent (Belgium); Buvat, I. [INSERM U678 UPMC, CHU Pitie-Salpetriere, F-75634 Paris (France); Lemahieu, I. [UGent-ELIS, St-Pietersnieuwstraat, 41, B-9000 Gent (Belgium)


    GATE is a software dedicated to Monte Carlo simulations in Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). An important disadvantage of those simulations is the fundamental burden of computation time. This manuscript describes three different techniques in order to improve the efficiency of those simulations. Firstly, the implementation of variance reduction techniques (VRTs), more specifically the incorporation of geometrical importance sampling, is discussed. After this, the newly designed cluster version of the GATE software is described. The experiments have shown that GATE simulations scale very well on a cluster of homogeneous computers. Finally, an elaboration on the deployment of GATE on the Enabling Grids for E-Science in Europe (EGEE) grid will conclude the description of efficiency enhancement efforts. The three aforementioned methods improve the efficiency of GATE to a large extent and make realistic patient-specific overnight Monte Carlo simulations achievable.

  1. GATE: Improving the computational efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staelens, S.; De Beenhouwer, J.; Kruecker, D.; Maigne, L.; Rannou, F.; Ferrer, L.; D'Asseler, Y.; Buvat, I.; Lemahieu, I.


    GATE is a software dedicated to Monte Carlo simulations in Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). An important disadvantage of those simulations is the fundamental burden of computation time. This manuscript describes three different techniques in order to improve the efficiency of those simulations. Firstly, the implementation of variance reduction techniques (VRTs), more specifically the incorporation of geometrical importance sampling, is discussed. After this, the newly designed cluster version of the GATE software is described. The experiments have shown that GATE simulations scale very well on a cluster of homogeneous computers. Finally, an elaboration on the deployment of GATE on the Enabling Grids for E-Science in Europe (EGEE) grid will conclude the description of efficiency enhancement efforts. The three aforementioned methods improve the efficiency of GATE to a large extent and make realistic patient-specific overnight Monte Carlo simulations achievable

  2. Sedimentation assisted preparation of ground particles of silica monolith and their C18 modification resulting in a chromatographic phase of improved separation efficiency. (United States)

    Ali, Ashraf; Ali, Faiz; Cheong, Won Jo


    The sedimentation procedure has been adopted in production of ground silica monolith particles to improve chromatographic separation efficiency of the resultant phase. First, silica monolith particles have been successfully prepared in a large scale by a sol-gel process followed by grinding. The particles after calcination were separated by sedimentation into three zones using an Imhoff sedimentation cone. The particles of the bottom zone were derivatized with a C18 ligand and end-capped. The sedimentation process was found to not only eliminate troublesome minute particles but also narrow down the particle size distribution. The resultant phase was packed in glass lined stainless steel micro-columns. The average number of theoretical plates (N) of the columns for a test mixture was 47,000 and 29,300 for the 300 and 150mm columns (1mm internal diameter), corresponding to 157,000/m and 195,000/m, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Automatic systems for assistance in improving pronunciations

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Badenhorst, JAC


    Full Text Available Improving the pronunciations of non-native language learners is an important task in a multilingual society. We focus on segmental aspects of pronunciation, and investigate the design of automated assistants that can be used to improve (1...

  4. Improving embryo quality in assisted reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mantikou, E.


    The goal of this thesis was to improve embryo quality in assisted reproductive technologies by gaining more insight into human preimplantation embryo development and by improving in vitro culture conditions. To do so, we investigated an intriguing feature of the human preimplantation embryo, i.e.

  5. Assisted closed-loop optimization of SSVEP-BCI efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacobo eFernandez-Vargas


    Full Text Available We designed a novel assisted closed-loop optimization protocol to improve the efficiency of brain computer interfaces (BCI based on steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP. In traditional paradigms, the control over the BCI-performance completely depends on the subjects’ ability to learn from the given feedback cues. By contrast, in the proposed protocol both the subject and the machine share information and control over the BCI goal. Generally, the innovative assistance consists in the delivery of online information together with the online adaptation of BCI stimuli properties. In our case, this adaptive optimization process is realized by (i a closed-loop search for the best set of SSVEP flicker frequencies and (ii feedback of actual SSVEP magnitudes to both the subject and the machine. These closed-loop interactions between subject and machine are evaluated in real-time by continuous measurement of their efficiencies, which are used as online criteria to adapt the BCI control parameters. The proposed protocol aims to compensate for variability in possibly unknown subjects’ state and trait dimensions. In a study with N = 18 subjects, we found significant evidence that our protocol outperformed classic SSVEP-BCI control paradigms. Evidence is presented that it takes indeed into account interindividual variabilities: e.g. under the new protocol, baseline resting state EEG measures predict subjects’ BCI performances. This paper illustrates the promising potential of assisted closed-loop protocols in BCI systems. Probably their applicability might be expanded to innovative uses, e.g. as possible new diagnostic/therapeutic tools for clinical contexts and as new paradigms for basic research.

  6. Improving Health Care for Assisted Living Residents (United States)

    Kane, Robert L.; Mach, John R., Jr.


    Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explore how medical care is delivered to older people in assisted living (AL) settings and to suggest ways for improving it. Design and Methods: We present a review of the limited research available on health care for older AL residents and on building testable models of better ways to organize primary…

  7. Improving efficiency in pig production

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    made, are that each system is 100% efficient, and that the levels of production have at least been achieved in some of the experimental work. No allowance has been made for any penalty which the processor may apply to the carcass, the assumption being entirely that the objective is to produce lean meat independently of ...

  8. Understanding Millennials to Improve Recruiting Efficiency (United States)


    efficient recruiting of Millennials . There is not a consistently strong linkage within the command to explain national advertising messaging methodology to...St ra te gy R es ea rc h Pr oj ec t UNDERSTANDING MILLENNIALS TO IMPROVE RECRUITING EFFICIENCY BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL HEATHER GARRETT...Research Project 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Understanding Millennials to Improve Recruiting Efficiency 5a

  9. Common challenge in resource efficiency improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    La Motta, Sergio; Peronaci, Marcello


    Energy efficiency and technology improvements on their own will not achieve the Low Carbon Societies (LCS) goals. Thus, resource efficiency and a circular economy are keys to a low carbon society. Resource efficiency improvement potential has been analysed from the industrial and territorial management perspectives. Exploring synergies between LCS and the larger area of sustainable development and green economy, highlighting co-benefits and trade-offs, is of utmost importance to pave the way to a more equitable and largely participated low carbon transition.

  10. The gain from improved market efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejrnæs, Mette; Persson, Karl Gunnar


    This article looks at the gains from improved market efficiency in long-distance grain trade in the second half of the nineteenth century, when violations of the law of one price were reduced due to improved information transmission. Two markets, a major export centre, Chicago, and a major importer...

  11. Measures for energy efficiency improvement of buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukadinović Ana V.


    Full Text Available The increase in energy consumption in buildings causes the need to propose energy efficiency improvement measures. Urban planning in accordance with micro location conditions can lead to energy consumption reduction in buildings through the passive solar design. While satisfying the thermal comfort to the user space purpose, energy efficiency can be achieved by optimizing the architectural and construction parameters such as shape of the building, envelope structure and the percentage of glazing. The improvement of the proposed measures, including the use of renewable energy sources, can meet requirements of Directive 2010/31 / EU of 'nearly zero energy buildings'.

  12. Electric motor systems in developing countries: Opportunities for efficiency improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyers, S.; Monahan, P.; Lewis, P.; Greenberg, S. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States); Nadel, S. [American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Washington, DC (United States)


    This report presents an overview of the current status and efficiency improvement potential of industrial motor systems in developing countries. Better management of electric motor systems is of particular relevance in developing countries, where improved efficiency can lead to increased productivity and slower growth in electricity demand. Motor systems currently consume some 65--80% of the industrial electricity in developing countries. Drawing on studies from Thailand, India, Brazil, China, Pakistan, and Costa Rica, we describe potential efficiency gains in various parts of the motor system, from the electricity delivery system through the motor to the point where useful work is performed. We report evidence of a significant electricity conservation potential. Most of the efficiency improvement methods we examine are very cost-effective from a societal viewpoint, but are generally not implemented due to various barriers that deter their adoption. Drawing on experiences in North America, we discuss a range of policies to overcome these barriers, including education, training, minimum efficiency standards, motor efficiency testing protocols, technical assistance programs, and financial incentives.

  13. The Gains from Improved Market Efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Persson, Karl Gunnar; Ejrnæs, Mette

    This paper looks at the gains from improved market efficiency in long-distance grain trade in the second half of the 19th century when violations of the law of one price were reduced due to improved information transmission. Two markets, a major export centre, Chicago, and a major importer......, Liverpool, are analyzed. We show that there was a law of one price equilibrium throughout the period but that markets displayed spells of demand- or supply-constrained trade when the law of one price was violated. Over time adjustments back to equilibrium, as measured by the half-life of a shock, become...... faster, violations of the law of one price become smaller and hence less persistent. There were also significant gains from improved market efficiency but that improvement took place after the information ‘regime’ shifted from pre-telegraphic communication to a regime with swift transmission...

  14. SAGD CO2 mitigation through energy efficiency improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plessis du, D.


    An evaluation of the carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions reductions achieved using energy efficiency measures in steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations was presented. The efficiency of a typical SAGD operation was analyzed using an indexing tool based on the Carnot cycle efficiency to develop an ideal SAGD heat cycle. The benefits of using an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) technology to convert waste heat to electrical power were also investigated. A CO 2 abatement curve was used to identify the economic benefits and costs of various greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. The level of recovered energy was determined in relation to energy prices, capital costs, and carbon penalties in order to determine the most efficient means of decreasing energy usage. The study demonstrated that energy efficiency can be improved by up to 20 percent, and water loss reductions of up to 50 percent can be achieved using cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Results of the study can be used to guide government policy and provide industry with practical tools to benchmark performance and improve efficiencies. 4 refs., 1 tab., 10 figs.

  15. Improving plasmonic waveguides coupling efficiency using nanoantennas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andryieuski, Andrei; Malureanu, Radu; Bouillard, Jean-Sebastien


    . The classical dipole antenna scheme can be improved by changing the nanoantenna geometry, adding constructive elements such as reflecting bars and mirrors and using arrays of antennas. The modelling designates that the coupling efficiency from a vertical fiber to a plasmonic waveguide can be improved more than......Plasmonic waveguides bear a lot of potential for photonic applications. However, one of the challenges for implementing them in devices is the low coupling efficiency to and from optical fibers. We report on our approach to facilitate the coupling efficiency with the use of metallic nanoantennas...... in 180 times in comparison with a direct fiber-waveguide coupling. Pros and cons of each configuration are discussed. Fabrication and characterisation results are reported....

  16. Constraints limiting efficient utilization of improved cassava ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Unfavorable weather conditions and the poor performance of the institutions charged with the responsibility of making these improved inputs readily available to farmers constitute a major barrier to their efficient utilization. It is therefore recommended that there is a need for an effective public – private partnership in the ...

  17. Quantum entanglement helps in improving economic efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du Jiangfeng; Ju Chenyong; Li Hui


    We propose an economic regulation approach based on quantum game theory for the government to reduce the abuses of oligopolistic competition. Theoretical analysis shows that this approach can help government improve the economic efficiency of the oligopolistic market, and help prevent monopoly due to incorrect information. These advantages are completely attributed to the quantum entanglement, a unique quantum mechanical character

  18. Improving biological efficiency of Oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences ... Yield improvement were observed in both pigeon pea and sunflower seed cake supplemented treatments with the highest mycelium vigor (91.65%) and biological ... Keywords: biological efficiency, compost, mycelium vigor, pigeon pea, sunflower seed cake

  19. Improving the efficiency of aerodynamic shape optimization (United States)

    Burgreen, Greg W.; Baysal, Oktay; Eleshaky, Mohamed E.


    The computational efficiency of an aerodynamic shape optimization procedure that is based on discrete sensitivity analysis is increased through the implementation of two improvements. The first improvement involves replacing a grid-point-based approach for surface representation with a Bezier-Bernstein polynomial parameterization of the surface. Explicit analytical expressions for the grid sensitivity terms are developed for both approaches. The second improvement proposes the use of Newton's method in lieu of an alternating direction implicit methodology to calculate the highly converged flow solutions that are required to compute the sensitivity coefficients. The modified design procedure is demonstrated by optimizing the shape of an internal-external nozzle configuration. Practically identical optimization results are obtained that are independent of the method used to represent the surface. A substantial factor of 8 decrease in computational time for the optimization process is achieved by implementing both of the design procedure improvements.

  20. Idaho Chemical Processing Plant Process Efficiency improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Griebenow, B.


    In response to decreasing funding levels available to support activities at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP) and a desire to be cost competitive, the Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) and Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company have increased their emphasis on cost-saving measures. The ICPP Effectiveness Improvement Initiative involves many activities to improve cost effectiveness and competitiveness. This report documents the methodology and results of one of those cost cutting measures, the Process Efficiency Improvement Activity. The Process Efficiency Improvement Activity performed a systematic review of major work processes at the ICPP to increase productivity and to identify nonvalue-added requirements. A two-phase approach was selected for the activity to allow for near-term implementation of relatively easy process modifications in the first phase while obtaining long-term continuous improvement in the second phase and beyond. Phase I of the initiative included a concentrated review of processes that had a high potential for cost savings with the intent of realizing savings in Fiscal Year 1996 (FY-96.) Phase II consists of implementing long-term strategies too complex for Phase I implementation and evaluation of processes not targeted for Phase I review. The Phase II effort is targeted for realizing cost savings in FY-97 and beyond

  1. Panorama parking assistant system with improved particle swarm optimization method (United States)

    Cheng, Ruzhong; Zhao, Yong; Li, Zhichao; Jiang, Weigang; Wang, Xin'an; Xu, Yong


    A panorama parking assistant system (PPAS) for the automotive aftermarket together with a practical improved particle swarm optimization method (IPSO) are proposed in this paper. In the PPAS system, four fisheye cameras are installed in the vehicle with different views, and four channels of video frames captured by the cameras are processed as a 360-deg top-view image around the vehicle. Besides the embedded design of PPAS, the key problem for image distortion correction and mosaicking is the efficiency of parameter optimization in the process of camera calibration. In order to address this problem, an IPSO method is proposed. Compared with other parameter optimization methods, the proposed method allows a certain range of dynamic change for the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters, and can exploit only one reference image to complete all of the optimization; therefore, the efficiency of the whole camera calibration is increased. The PPAS is commercially available, and the IPSO method is a highly practical way to increase the efficiency of the installation and the calibration of PPAS in automobile 4S shops.

  2. Efficiency improvements in pipeline transportation systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Banks, W. F.; Horton, J. F.


    This report identifies potential energy-conservative pipeline innovations that are most energy- and cost-effective and formulates recommendations for the R, D, and D programs needed to exploit those opportunities. From a candidate field of over twenty classes of efficiency improvements, eight systems are recommended for pursuit. Most of these possess two highly important attributes: large potential energy savings and broad applicability outside the pipeline industry. The R, D, and D program for each improvement and the recommended immediate next step are described. The eight technologies recommended for R, D, and D are gas-fired combined cycle compressor station; internally cooled internal combustion engine; methanol-coal slurry pipeline; methanol-coal slurry-fired and coal-fired engines; indirect-fired coal-burning combined-cycle pump station; fuel-cell pump station; drag-reducing additives in liquid pipelines; and internal coatings in pipelines.

  3. MPACT Subgroup Self-Shielding Efficiency Improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stimpson, Shane; Liu, Yuxuan; Collins, Benjamin S.; Clarno, Kevin T.


    Recent developments to improve the efficiency of the MOC solvers in MPACT have yielded effective kernels that loop over several energy groups at once, rather that looping over one group at a time. These kernels have produced roughly a 2x speedup on the MOC sweeping time during eigenvalue calculation. However, the self-shielding subgroup calculation had not been reevaluated to take advantage of these new kernels, which typically requires substantial solve time. The improvements covered in this report start by integrating the multigroup kernel concepts into the subgroup calculation, which are then used as the basis for further extensions. The next improvement that is covered is what is currently being termed as ''Lumped Parameter MOC''. Because the subgroup calculation is a purely fixed source problem and multiple sweeps are performed only to update the boundary angular fluxes, the sweep procedure can be condensed to allow for the instantaneous propagation of the flux across a spatial domain, without the need to sweep along all segments in a ray. Once the boundary angular fluxes are considered to be converged, an additional sweep that will tally the scalar flux is completed. The last improvement that is investigated is the possible reduction of the number of azimuthal angles per octant in the shielding sweep. Typically 16 azimuthal angles per octant are used for self-shielding and eigenvalue calculations, but it is possible that the self-shielding sweeps are less sensitive to the number of angles than the full eigenvalue calculation.

  4. Improving energy efficiency in the transportation sector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plotkin, S.E.


    A primary characteristic of transportation in the United States is its high per capita energy consumption. The average US citizen consumes nearly five times as much energy for transportation as the average Japanese and nearly three times as much as the average citizen of France, Britain, or West Germany. The energy efficiency of US transportation has improved substantially over the past two decades (both absolutely and in comparison to Europe), and US travel volume has grown more slowly than in most of the developed world. However, the United States still consumes more than one-third of the world`s transport energy. Also, 96 percent of US transport energy is in the form of oil products. This is more oil than the United States produces, despite its position as one of the world`s largest oil producers. With current problems and expectation of continued growth in travel and energy use, Congress has increasingly turned to transportation energy conservation - in the form of improvements in the technical efficiency of travel, increases in load factors, reductions in travel demand, shifting to alternative fuels, and shifts to more efficient travel modes - as an important policy goal. For example, the Clean Air Amendments of 1990 incorporate transportation demand management as a critical tool in reducing urban air pollution. Legislation proposed in the 102d Congress sought rigorous new automobile and light truck fuel economy standards. With continued increases in U.S. oil imports, urban traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions, and the failure of many urban areas to meet air quality standards, strong congressional interest in new energy conservation initiates is likely to continue.

  5. Land Acquisition and Relocation Assistance for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Assisted Projects (United States)


    This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance to sponsors of airport projects developed under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to meet the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Pl 9...

  6. Efficiency improvements of offline metrology job creation (United States)

    Zuniga, Victor J.; Carlson, Alan; Podlesny, John C.; Knutrud, Paul C.


    Progress of the first lot of a new design through the production line is watched very closely. All performance metrics, cycle-time, in-line measurement results and final electrical performance are critical. Rapid movement of this lot through the line has serious time-to-market implications. Having this material waiting at a metrology operation for an engineer to create a measurement job plan wastes valuable turnaround time. Further, efficient use of a metrology system is compromised by the time required to create and maintain these measurement job plans. Thus, having a method to develop metrology job plans prior to the actual running of the material through the manufacture area can significantly improve both cycle time and overall equipment efficiency. Motorola and Schlumberger have worked together to develop and test such a system. The Remote Job Generator (RJG) created job plans for new device sin a manufacturing process from an NT host or workstation, offline. This increases available system tim effort making production measurements, decreases turnaround time on job plan creation and editing, and improves consistency across job plans. Most importantly this allows job plans for new devices to be available before the first wafers of the device arrive at the tool for measurement. The software also includes a database manager which allows updates of existing job plans to incorporate measurement changes required by process changes or measurement optimization. This paper will review the result of productivity enhancements through the increased metrology utilization and decreased cycle time associated with the use of RJG. Finally, improvements in process control through better control of Job Plans across different devices and layers will be discussed.

  7. Client Oriented Approach for Assisting Business Improvement Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Pitic


    Full Text Available An important aspect of the corporate responsibility towards the customers is to ensure the correct value transfer, through the quality and price of the product/service. By using customer satisfaction in order to measure value and the quality provided to customers, this paper proposes a methodology of assisting management decisions in improving business processes. The proposed techniques and tools, specific to quality management, are used for determining the processes which need to be improved or innovated in order to increase customer satisfaction. Thus, the methodology contributes to the creation of a decision-making framework for an efficient orientation of the resources for maximising the generated value and minimising the costs. In order to illustrate its application, we present a study based on the responses regarding satisfaction elements of 679 companies, the customers of a distribution chain in the field of interior fittings. The research highlights the practical method of determining the priority processes for increasing customer satisfaction, taking into account the satisfaction targets and the nature of the necessary actions in order to maximize the created value and to minimize the costs of these processes.

  8. Improving efficiency in the radiology department

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Towbin, Alexander J.; Perry, Laurie A. [Cincinnati Children' s Hospital Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Cincinnati, OH (United States); Larson, David B. [Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Stanford, CA (United States)


    The modern radiology department is built around the flow of information. Ordering providers request imaging studies to be performed, technologists complete the work required to perform the imaging studies, and radiologists interpret and report on the imaging findings. As each of these steps is performed, data flow between multiple information systems, most notably the radiology information system (RIS), the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and the voice dictation system. Even though data flow relatively seamlessly, the majority of our systems and processes are inefficient. The purpose of this article is to describe the radiology value stream and describe how radiology informaticists in one department have worked to improve the efficiency of the value stream at each step. Through these examples, we identify and describe several themes that we believe have been crucial to our success. (orig.)

  9. Improving the workflow of nursing assistants at a general hospital in Japan. (United States)

    Isono, Hiroki; Suzuki, Sayuri; Ogura, Jun; Haruta, Junji; Maeno, Tetsuhiro


    Transferring non-specialised tasks from registered nurses to nursing assistants may help registered nurses focus on specialised tasks. Optimising the workflow of nursing assistants by making their tasks more efficient may improve problems associated with the shortage of registered nurses. The nursing assistants at our hospital were stressed about referring inpatients to outpatient specialty clinics. Therefore, we initiated a project to optimise the referral process and reduce the time spent by nursing assistants on this task, with the collaboration of physicians, registered nurses and administrative assistants. The Training for Effective & Efficient Action in Medical Service-Better Process (TEAMS-BP) method, which was developed by modifying the Japanese Training Within Industry-Job Method, was used for the optimisation process. TEAMS-BP teaches users how to break each task down into its individual components, to scrutinise the details, and then to develop new processes by eliminating, combining, rearranging and simplifying tasks. At baseline, each referral took 10 min and was performed 39 times over 10 days in six wards. The first TEAMS-BP cycle did not yield satisfactory results for the nursing assistants. In the second TEAMS-BP cycle, participants included inpatient and outpatient physicians, registered nurses and administrative assistants. As a result, we changed the referral process from paper to electronic records and streamlined referrals that were ordered by inpatient physicians to outpatient physicians. The use of this method saved the equivalent of 175 hours of nursing assistants' time per year at no additional cost. If we had been able to define the referral process as an interdisciplinary task and show the merits to each department from the beginning, we may have been able to form the interprofessional team in the first TEAMS-BP. Improving the efficiency of nursing assistants can allow other professionals to focus on their specialised tasks more

  10. Computational efficiency improvements for image colorization (United States)

    Yu, Chao; Sharma, Gaurav; Aly, Hussein


    We propose an efficient algorithm for colorization of greyscale images. As in prior work, colorization is posed as an optimization problem: a user specifies the color for a few scribbles drawn on the greyscale image and the color image is obtained by propagating color information from the scribbles to surrounding regions, while maximizing the local smoothness of colors. In this formulation, colorization is obtained by solving a large sparse linear system, which normally requires substantial computation and memory resources. Our algorithm improves the computational performance through three innovations over prior colorization implementations. First, the linear system is solved iteratively without explicitly constructing the sparse matrix, which significantly reduces the required memory. Second, we formulate each iteration in terms of integral images obtained by dynamic programming, reducing repetitive computation. Third, we use a coarseto- fine framework, where a lower resolution subsampled image is first colorized and this low resolution color image is upsampled to initialize the colorization process for the fine level. The improvements we develop provide significant speedup and memory savings compared to the conventional approach of solving the linear system directly using off-the-shelf sparse solvers, and allow us to colorize images with typical sizes encountered in realistic applications on typical commodity computing platforms.

  11. Improving pumping system efficiency at coal plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Livoti, W.C.; McCandless, S.; Poltorak, R. [Baldor Electric Co. (United States)


    The industry must employ ultramodern technologies when building or upgrading power plant pumping systems thereby using fuels more efficiently. The article discusses the uses and efficiencies of positive displacement pumps, centrifugal pumps and multiple screw pumps. 1 ref., 4 figs.

  12. Improving efficiency in bilateral emission trading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burtraw, D.; Harrison, K.W.; Turner, P.


    When environmental damages from emissions are spatially nonuniform, permit trading has been modeled most often as a 'pollution offset program' in which emission permits are traded between agents, subject to constraints on ambient air quality. To date the institution envisioned to implement such a program involves trading on a bilateral and sequential basis. However, simulation studies indicate that the sequence of trades may alter the outcome and undermine the cost savings from a pollution offset program. This paper identifies a design for the trading institution that tends to overcome this phenomenon and improve the efficiency of equilibria obtained in a simulation model. We model a bilateral trading process for the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions with a stochastic description of the sequence of trades within groups of nations in Europe. When trading takes place between disaggregated, stylistic representations of economic enterprises, rather than between national governments, a significantly greater portion of potential savings is achieved. In fact, under most sets of assumptions, approximate first order stochastic dominance is achieved wherein the more decentralized the trading agents, the greater the expected savings from a trading program. 4 figs., 2 tabs., 31 refs

  13. Improving energy efficiency for local energy systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oh, Se-Young; Binns, Michael; Yeo, Yeong-Koo; Kim, Jin-Kuk


    Highlights: • Multi-period design methodology for heat recovery in local energy systems. • A systematic targeting for minimum utility requirements for urban utility systems. • Integration of industrial waste heat with local energy systems. • A case study providing insights for the heat recovery of discontinuous systems. - Abstract: This study aims to develop a novel design method for reducing the energy consumption and CO 2 emissions of local energy systems, simultaneously considering the recovery of industrial waste heat, and effectively dealing with the non-continuous nature of energy usage and heat recovery. A multi-period concept has been adopted for characterizing the change of heat demand and associated heat recovery in local energy systems which is used for targeting of the minimum energy consumption. In addition, techno-economic analysis is used to provide design guidelines for better heat integration. This design methodology also incorporates the impacts of heat storage and part-load performance of energy production equipment. Opportunities for utilization of low grade heat in process industries have been systematically considered for the minimization of energy generation in local energy systems together with the evaluation of the economic feasibility of such systems for integration of industrial low grade heat with local energy systems. Case studies are used to demonstrate the applicability and practicality of the heat integration methodology developed in this work, and to illustrate how a holistic approach can improve the overall energy efficiency of local energy systems

  14. Efficiency improvement of thermal coal power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hourfar, D. [VEBA Kraftwerke Ruhr Ag, Gelsenkirchen (Germany)


    The discussion concerning an increase of the natural greenhouse effect by anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere has increased over the past years. The greenhouse effect has become an issue of worldwide debate. Carbon dioxide is the most serious emission of the greenhouse gases. Fossil-fired power plants have in the recent past been responsible for almost 30 % of the total CO{sub 2} emissions in Germany. Against this background the paper will describe the present development of CO{sub 2} emissions from power stations and present actual and future opportunities for CO{sub 2} reduction. The significance attached to hard coal as one of today`s prime sources of energy with the largest reserves worldwide, and, consequently, its importance for use in power generation, is certain to increase in the years to come. The further development of conventional power plant technology, therefore, is vital, and must be carried out on the basis of proven operational experience. The main incentive behind the development work completed so far has been, and continues to be, the achievement of cost reductions and environmental benefits in the generation of electricity by increasing plant efficiency, and this means that, in both the short and the long term, power plants with improved conventional technology will be used for environmentally acceptable coal-fired power generation.

  15. Eco Assist Techniques through Real-time Monitoring of BEV Energy Usage Efficiency. (United States)

    Kim, Younsun; Lee, Ingeol; Kang, Sungho


    Energy efficiency enhancement has become an increasingly important issue for battery electric vehicles. Even if it can be improved in many ways, the driver's driving pattern strongly influences the battery energy consumption of a vehicle. In this paper, eco assist techniques to simply implement an energy-efficient driving assistant system are introduced, including eco guide, eco control and eco monitoring methods. The eco guide is provided to control the vehicle speed and accelerator pedal stroke, and eco control is suggested to limit the output power of the battery. For eco monitoring, the eco indicator and eco report are suggested to teach eco-friendly driving habits. The vehicle test, which is done in four ways, consists of federal test procedure (FTP)-75, new european driving cycle (NEDC), city and highway cycles, and visual feedback with audible warnings is provided to attract the driver's voluntary participation. The vehicle test result shows that the energy usage efficiency can be increased up to 19.41%.

  16. Energy efficiency improvement and cost saving opportunities forpetroleum refineries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worrell, Ernst; Galitsky, Christina


    The petroleum refining industry in the United States is the largest in the world, providing inputs to virtually any economic sector,including the transport sector and the chemical industry. The industry operates 146 refineries (as of January 2004) around the country,employing over 65,000 employees. The refining industry produces a mix of products with a total value exceeding $151 billion. Refineries spend typically 50 percent of cash operating costs (i.e., excluding capital costs and depreciation) on energy, making energy a major cost factor and also an important opportunity for cost reduction. Energy use is also a major source of emissions in the refinery industry making energy efficiency improvement an attractive opportunity to reduce emissions and operating costs. Voluntary government programs aim to assist industry to improve competitiveness through increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. ENERGY STAR (R), a voluntary program managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, stresses the need for strong and strategic corporate energy management programs. ENERGY STAR provides energy management tools and strategies for successful corporate energy management programs. This Energy Guide describes research conducted to support ENERGY STAR and its work with the petroleum refining industry.This research provides information on potential energy efficiency opportunities for petroleum refineries. This Energy Guide introduces energy efficiency opportunities available for petroleum refineries. It begins with descriptions of the trends, structure, and production of the refining industry and the energy used in the refining and conversion processes. Specific energy savings for each energy efficiency measure based on case studies of plants and references to technical literature are provided. If available, typical payback periods are also listed. The Energy Guide draws upon the experiences with energy efficiency measures of petroleum refineries worldwide

  17. Assistive technology pricing in Australia: is it efficient and equitable? (United States)

    Summers, Michael P; Verikios, George


    Objective To examine available systematically collected evidence regarding prices for assistive technology (AT; e.g. disability aids and equipment) in Australia with other comparable countries. Issues of appropriate AT pricing are coming to the fore as a consequence of efforts to move to consumer-centric purchasing decisions with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and also in the recent aged care reforms. Methods We identified and present three sets of AT price comparisons. Two comparisons were based solely on the lowest prices advertised on the internet, and one comparison examined recommended retail prices. Variables essential to ensuring accurate comparisons, as well as significant supply-chain issues were also examined and considered in the analyses. Results The first internet-only price comparison found that overall AT prices were 38% higher in Australia compared to other countries, but did not factor in shipping and other related costs that are essential to include given that most AT is imported. The second internet-only price comparison found that overall Australian prices were 24% lower when shipping and related costs were included. The recommended retail price comparisons found that Australian prices were between 14% and 27% lower. Prices for internet-only retailers (those with no bricks-and-mortar presence) are consistently lower for all products than those sold by retailers with actual shop-fronts. Further, there is no evidence of suppliers earning supranormal profits in Australia. Conclusions The results indicate that AT prices in Australia are efficient and equitable, with no significant indicators of market failure which would require government intervention. Efforts to reduce prices through the excessive use of large-scale government procurement programs are likely to reduce diversity and innovation in AT and raise AT prices over time. Open markets and competition with centralised tracking of purchases and providers to minimise possible

  18. Improving the efficiency of manuscript selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Martínez–Abrain


    previous submittal were taken into account. Option b is suggested as an alternative to obliging authors to declare whether or not their submission was previously rejected by another journal, because they think this could prejudice the evaluation of the new submission. However, I believe that the system I propose here would prevent prejudiced evaluations because authors would have the opportunity to upload the response to reviewer’s comments so that second-round reviewers would have the chance to see both the problems previously de¬tected in the manuscript and the defence offered by authors. Although not a perfect system its benefits would probably outweigh the caveats. Such a system would improve the quality of the final paper and facilitate the work load for second–round reviewers and editors. Indeed, some journals already seem to be implementing a solution which is fairly similar to our proposal, asking authors of rejected papers for permission to forward reviewer reports to the new journal chosen by the authors to submit the revised work (see Hochberg et al., 2009. Proposals to reward or punish reviewers depending on their rapidity to elaborate their reports (Hauser & Fehr, 2007 does not foster accumulated quality improvement. Science quality would undoubtedly gain from making previous information concerning a manuscript’s review available to new reviewers, as in a Bayesian framework of inference (Martin et al., 2005 because starting a new each time, as if previous information did not exist, is simply not an efficient way to proceed in science.

  19. Improving Remote Species Identification through Efficient Training Data Collection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire A. Baldeck


    Full Text Available Plant species identification and mapping based on remotely-sensed spectral signatures is a challenging task with the potential to contribute enormously to ecological studies. Success in this task rests upon the appropriate collection and use of costly field-based training data, and researchers are in need of ways to improve collection efficiency based on quantitative evidence. Using imaging spectrometer data collected by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory for hundreds of field-identified tree crowns in Kruger National Park, South Africa, we developed woody plant species classification models and evaluated how classification accuracy increases with increasing numbers of training crowns. First, we show that classification accuracy must be estimated while respecting the crown as the basic unit of data; otherwise, accuracy will be overestimated and the amount of training data needed to perform successful classification will be underestimated. We found that classification accuracy and the number of training crowns needed to perform successful classification varied depending on the number and spectral separability of species in the model. We also used a modified Michaelis-Menten function to describe the empirical relationship between training crowns and model accuracy, and show how this function may be useful for predicting accuracy. This framework can assist researchers in designing field campaigns to maximize the efficiency of field data collection, and thus the amount of biodiversity information gained from remote species identification models.

  20. Information technology applications in improving energy efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtonen, M.; Heine, P. (Helsinki Univ. of Technology, Power systems, Espoo (Finland)); Koski, P. (Motiva, Helsinki (Finland)), email:


    The goal of the project was to study how the different statistical analysis and optimization methods can be applied in the data obtained from data systems and energy measurement databases, in order to increase the energy efficiency in small and medium size industry, in commercial and public sector and in households. The project had two subtasks: (1) Development of analysis techniques and their applications in kWh-metering databases, combined with data from various other databases, like customer data bases, data bases of building authorities etc. The aim is to identify the key technologies of energy efficiency, and their potential. (2) Development of business models for energy saving activities: How to find motivation for increasing energy efficiency, howto divide benefits, how to divide activities between different parties. (orig.)

  1. Organisational perspective on market driven efficiency improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongkind, R.; Korver, T.; Oeij, P.; Vaas, F.


    In the report "Market regulation : lessons from other disciplines" of the Dutch Ministery of Economic Affairs, papers are presented of scientists from a wide range of disciplines on different aspects of market regulation. This paper gives an organisational perspective on market driven efficiency

  2. Approaches of Improving University Assets Management Efficiency (United States)

    Wang, Jingliang


    University assets management, as an important content of modern university management, is generally confronted with the issue of low efficiency. Currently, to address the problems exposed in university assets management and take appropriate modification measures is an urgent issue in front of Chinese university assets management sectors. In this…

  3. Improving MCMC Using Efficient Importance Sampling


    Liesenfeld, Roman; Richard, Jean-François


    This paper develops a systematic Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) framework based upon Efficient Importance Sampling (EIS) which can be used for the analysis of a wide range of econometric models involving integrals without an analytical solution. EIS is a simple, generic and yet accurate Monte-Carlo integration procedure based on sampling densities which are chosen to be global approximations to the integrand. By embedding EIS within MCMC procedures based on Metropolis-Hastings (MH) one can s...

  4. Improving Clinical Efficiency of Military Treatment Facilities (United States)


    the number of deliveries performed. Productivity is often measured in terms of average length of stay (ALOS), cesarean section rate, case-mix index...woman who has a cesarean section delivery may remain in the hospital for 2 days following surgery while if treated at another hospital, she may stay 4...making units (DMU) (Charnes et al., 1994). DEA also has a history of being used to measure efficiency in MTFs but what this study attempts to do is

  5. Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Handling Efficiency Improvement (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Stennis Space Center (SSC) is NASA’s top annual consumer of cryogenic propellants. Improvements in ground propellant system operations at SSC require having the...

  6. Targeting Memory Improvement in Assisted Living: A Pilot Study


    Williams, Kristine N.


    This pilot study tested an intervention designed to improve memory for Assisted Living (AL) residents. Seven residents in one midwestern AL facility participated in a 6-session memory program based on qualitative research that identified typical memory challenges of residents (remembering names, schedules, and appointments). Scores on memory self-efficacy (the Memory Complaint in Age-Associated Impairment [MAC-Q]) and performance (Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test) measures were compared befor...

  7. Animal-Assisted Therapy for Improving Human Health


    Sibel Cevizci; Ethem Erginoz; Zuhal Baltas


    ABSTRACT Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet Therapy is an adjunctive therapy by taking advantage of human and animal interaction, activate the physiological and psychological mechanisms, initiate positive changes improving health in metabolism. In recent years, this interaction are in use to treat psychological and psychiatric disorders such as stress, depression, loneliness, pervasive developmental disorders affect negatively to human health. Furthermore, AAT has been increasingly used to ...

  8. Improving patient safety and efficiency of medication reconciliation through the development and adoption of a computer-assisted tool with automated electronic integration of population-based community drug data: the RightRx project. (United States)

    Tamblyn, Robyn; Winslade, Nancy; Lee, Todd C; Motulsky, Aude; Meguerditchian, Ari; Bustillo, Melissa; Elsayed, Sarah; Buckeridge, David L; Couture, Isabelle; Qian, Christina J; Moraga, Teresa; Huang, Allen


    Many countries require hospitals to implement medication reconciliation for accreditation, but the process is resource-intensive, thus adherence is poor. We report on the impact of prepopulating and aligning community and hospital drug lists with data from population-based and hospital-based drug information systems to reduce workload and enhance adoption and use of an e-medication reconciliation application, RightRx. The prototype e-medical reconciliation web-based software was developed for a cluster-randomized trial at the McGill University Health Centre. User-centered design and agile development processes were used to develop features intended to enhance adoption, safety, and efficiency. RightRx was implemented in medical and surgical wards, with support and training provided by unit champions and field staff. The time spent per professional using RightRx was measured, as well as the medication reconciliation completion rates in the intervention and control units during the first 20 months of the trial. Users identified required modifications to the application, including the need for dose-based prescribing, the role of the discharge physician in prescribing community-based medication, and access to the rationale for medication decisions made during hospitalization. In the intervention units, both physicians and pharmacists were involved in discharge reconciliation, for 96.1% and 71.9% of patients, respectively. Medication reconciliation was completed for 80.7% (surgery) to 96.0% (medicine) of patients in the intervention units, and 0.7% (surgery) to 82.7% of patients in the control units. The odds of completing medication reconciliation were 9 times greater in the intervention compared to control units (odds ratio: 9.0, 95% confidence interval, 7.4-10.9, P < .0001) after adjusting for differences in patient characteristics. High rates of medication reconciliation completion were achieved with automated prepopulation and alignment of community and hospital

  9. Innovative financing for energy-efficiency improvements. Phase I report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klepper, M.; Schwartz, H.K.; Feder, J.M.; Smith, D.C.; Green, R.H.; Williams, J.; Sherman, J.L.; Carroll, M.


    The use of utility-assisted financing, tax-exempt financing, bank financing, leasing, and joint venture financing to promote energy efficiency investments for each of three different categories of buildings (multifamily, commercial, and industrial) is discussed in separate chapters. (MCW)

  10. Anticipation, teamwork and cognitive load: chasing efficiency during robot-assisted surgery. (United States)

    Sexton, Kevin; Johnson, Amanda; Gotsch, Amanda; Hussein, Ahmed A; Cavuoto, Lora; Guru, Khurshid A


    Robot-assisted surgery (RAS) has changed the traditional operating room (OR), occupying more space with equipment and isolating console surgeons away from the patients and their team. We aimed to evaluate how anticipation of surgical steps and familiarity between team members impacted efficiency. We analysed recordings (video and audio) of 12 robot-assisted radical prostatectomies. Any requests between surgeon and the team members were documented and classified by personnel, equipment type, mode of communication, level of inconvenience in fulfilling the request and anticipation. Surgical team members completed questionnaires assessing team familiarity and cognitive load (National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Task Load Index). Predictors of team efficiency were assessed using Pearson correlation and stepwise linear regression. 1330 requests were documented, of which 413 (31%) were anticipated. Anticipation correlated negatively with operative time, resulting in overall 8% reduction of OR time. Team familiarity negatively correlated with inconveniences. Anticipation ratio, per cent of requests that were non-verbal and total request duration were significantly correlated with the console surgeons' cognitive load (r=0.77, p=0.006; r=0.63, p=0.04; and r=0.70, p=0.02, respectively). Anticipation and active engagement by the surgical team resulted in shorter operative time, and higher familiarity scores were associated with fewer inconveniences. Less anticipation and non-verbal requests were also associated with lower cognitive load for the console surgeon. Training efforts to increase anticipation and team familiarity can improve team efficiency during RAS. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  11. Process improvement in healthcare: Overall resource efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Mast, J.; Kemper, B.; Does, R.J.M.M.; Mandjes, M.; van der Bijl, Y.


    This paper aims to develop a unifying and quantitative conceptual framework for healthcare processes from the viewpoint of process improvement. The work adapts standard models from operation management to the specifics of healthcare processes. We propose concepts for organizational modeling of

  12. Improved input-legitimacy and efficient policies?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agger, Annika

    a proliferation of attempts to create both more efficient as well as flexible public services. Theories of innovation haw inspired efforts to close the gap between high public expecta-tions and limited public resources. The fact that the innovation agenda is to a large extent inspired by theories and models from......-ours. Empirically, the paper draws on a case study of collaborative policy innovation in a Danish municipality. We have studied a local task force set up to develop a municipal policy for “Citizen – and stakeholder participation”. The members of the taskforce were the local mayor, the city manager, 6 citizens, 6...... local politicians and 2 administrators. The taskforce have experimented with new forms of conversations and facilitated dialogues and in new ways of getting inputs from a broad variety of stakeholders. Moreover, a theatre workshop and an innovation camp have been held as part of the project...

  13. Efficient Solar-Thermal Energy Harvest Driven by Interfacial Plasmonic Heating-Assisted Evaporation. (United States)

    Chang, Chao; Yang, Chao; Liu, Yanming; Tao, Peng; Song, Chengyi; Shang, Wen; Wu, Jianbo; Deng, Tao


    The plasmonic heating effect of noble nanoparticles has recently received tremendous attention for various important applications. Herein, we report the utilization of interfacial plasmonic heating-assisted evaporation for efficient and facile solar-thermal energy harvest. An airlaid paper-supported gold nanoparticle thin film was placed at the thermal energy conversion region within a sealed chamber to convert solar energy into thermal energy. The generated thermal energy instantly vaporizes the water underneath into hot vapors that quickly diffuse to the thermal energy release region of the chamber to condense into liquids and release the collected thermal energy. The condensed water automatically flows back to the thermal energy conversion region under the capillary force from the hydrophilic copper mesh. Such an approach simultaneously realizes efficient solar-to-thermal energy conversion and rapid transportation of converted thermal energy to target application terminals. Compared to conventional external photothermal conversion design, the solar-thermal harvesting device driven by the internal plasmonic heating effect has reduced the overall thermal resistance by more than 50% and has demonstrated more than 25% improvement of solar water heating efficiency.

  14. Improving hospital efficiency: a process model of organizational change commitments. (United States)

    Nigam, Amit; Huising, Ruthanne; Golden, Brian R


    Improving hospital efficiency is a critical goal for managers and policy makers. We draw on participant observation of the perioperative coaching program in seven Ontario hospitals to develop knowledge of the process by which the content of change initiatives to increase hospital efficiency is defined. The coaching program was a change initiative involving the use of external facilitators with the goal of increasing perioperative efficiency. Focusing on the role of subjective understandings in shaping initiatives to improve efficiency, we show that physicians, nurses, administrators, and external facilitators all have differing frames of the problems that limit efficiency, and propose different changes that could enhance efficiency. Dynamics of strategic and contested framing ultimately shaped hospital change commitments. We build on work identifying factors that enhance the success of change efforts to improve hospital efficiency, highlighting the importance of subjective understandings and the politics of meaning-making in defining what hospitals change.

  15. Efficient Parallel Strategy Improvement for Parity Games


    Fearnley, John


    We study strategy improvement algorithms for solving parity games. While these algorithms are known to solve parity games using a very small number of iterations, experimental studies have found that a high step complexity causes them to perform poorly in practice. In this paper we seek to address this situation. Every iteration of the algorithm must compute a best response, and while the standard way of doing this uses the Bellman-Ford algorithm, we give experimental results that show that o...

  16. Improving Reliability, Security, and Efficiency of Reconfigurable Hardware Systems (Habilitation)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ziener, Daniel


    In this treatise,  my research on methods to improve efficiency, reliability, and security of reconfigurable hardware systems, i.e., FPGAs, through partial dynamic reconfiguration is outlined. The efficiency of reconfigurable systems can be improved by loading optimized data paths on-the-fly on an

  17. Improvement of the Dehulling Efficiency of Sorghum and Millet using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conditioning of grain with heat and moisture is known to loosen the adhesion of the seed coat from the endosperm and therefore improve the dehulling efficiency of some grains such as beans, cowpea and canola. This study investigated the effect of hydrothermal treatment on the improvement of dehulling efficiency of ...

  18. Energy efficiency improvement by gear shifting optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blagojevic Ivan A.


    Full Text Available Many studies have proved that elements of driver’s behavior related to gear selection have considerable influence on the fuel consumption. Optimal gear shifting is a complex task, especially for inexperienced drivers. This paper presents an implemented idea for gear shifting optimization with the aim of fuel consumption minimization with more efficient engine working regimes. Optimized gear shifting enables the best possible relation between vehicle motion regimes and engine working regimes. New theoretical-experimental approach has been developed using On-Board Diagnostic technology which so far has not been used for this purpose. The matrix of driving modes according to which tests were performed is obtained and special data acquisition system and analysis process have been developed. Functional relations between experimental test modes and adequate engine working parameters have been obtained and all necessary operations have been conducted to enable their use as inputs for the designed algorithm. The created Model has been tested in real exploitation conditions on passenger car with Otto fuel injection engine and On-Board Diagnostic connection without any changes on it. The conducted tests have shown that the presented Model has significantly positive effects on fuel consumption which is an important ecological aspect. Further development and testing of the Model allows implementation in wide range of motor vehicles with various types of internal combustion engines.

  19. Integer programming for improving radiotherapy treatment efficiency. (United States)

    Lv, Ming; Li, Yi; Kou, Bo; Zhou, Zhili


    Patients received by radiotherapy departments are diverse and may be diagnosed with different cancers. Therefore, they need different radiotherapy treatment plans and thus have different needs for medical resources. This research aims to explore the best method of scheduling the admission of patients receiving radiotherapy so as to reduce patient loss and maximize the usage efficiency of service resources. A mix integer programming (MIP) model integrated with special features of radiotherapy is constructed. The data used here is based on the historical data collected and we propose an exact method to solve the MIP model. Compared with the traditional First Come First Served (FCFS) method, the new method has boosted patient admission as well as the usage of linear accelerators (LINAC) and beds. The integer programming model can be used to describe the complex problem of scheduling radio-receiving patients, to identify the bottleneck resources that hinder patient admission, and to obtain the optimal LINAC-bed radio under the current data conditions. Different management strategies can be implemented by adjusting the settings of the MIP model. The computational results can serve as a reference for the policy-makers in decision making.

  20. Integer programming for improving radiotherapy treatment efficiency (United States)

    Lv, Ming; Kou, Bo; Zhou, Zhili


    Background and purpose Patients received by radiotherapy departments are diverse and may be diagnosed with different cancers. Therefore, they need different radiotherapy treatment plans and thus have different needs for medical resources. This research aims to explore the best method of scheduling the admission of patients receiving radiotherapy so as to reduce patient loss and maximize the usage efficiency of service resources. Materials and methods A mix integer programming (MIP) model integrated with special features of radiotherapy is constructed. The data used here is based on the historical data collected and we propose an exact method to solve the MIP model. Results Compared with the traditional First Come First Served (FCFS) method, the new method has boosted patient admission as well as the usage of linear accelerators (LINAC) and beds. Conclusions The integer programming model can be used to describe the complex problem of scheduling radio-receiving patients, to identify the bottleneck resources that hinder patient admission, and to obtain the optimal LINAC-bed radio under the current data conditions. Different management strategies can be implemented by adjusting the settings of the MIP model. The computational results can serve as a reference for the policy-makers in decision making. PMID:28700726

  1. TIG welding power supply with improved efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Сергій Володимирович Гулаков


    Full Text Available In the article, the influence of the DC component of the welding current during TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas welding is discussed. Known methods of DC current cancellation are reviewed, such as capacitor bank or diode/thyristor network insertion in the secondary circuit of the welding transformer. A new method of controlling the magnitude and shape of the TIG welding current is proposed. The idea is to insert a controlled voltage source in the secondary circuit of the welding transformer. This controlled voltage source is realized using a full-bridge voltage source inverter (VSI. VSI control system design issues are discussed. VSI is controlled by a three-level hysteretic current controller, while current reference is generated using lookup table driven by PLL (Phase Locked Loop locked to the mains frequency. Simulation results are shown. The proposed topology of TIG power supply allows to provide magnitude and shape control of the welding current, with the limitation that its DC component must be zero. Thus, some capabilities of professional AC-TIG welders are obtained using substantially lower cost components: VSI built using high-current low voltage MOSFETs with control system based on 32-bit ARM microcontroller. The use of proposed TIG welding power supply will eliminate the DC component of the welding current, improve welding transformer’s power factor and improve welding technology by increasing the welding arc stability

  2. Geospatial Technologies to Improve Urban Energy Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bharanidharan Hemachandran


    Full Text Available The HEAT (Home Energy Assessment Technologies pilot project is a FREE Geoweb mapping service, designed to empower the urban energy efficiency movement by allowing residents to visualize the amount and location of waste heat leaving their homes and communities as easily as clicking on their house in Google Maps. HEAT incorporates Geospatial solutions for residential waste heat monitoring using Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA and Canadian built Thermal Airborne Broadband Imager technology (TABI-320 to provide users with timely, in-depth, easy to use, location-specific waste-heat information; as well as opportunities to save their money and reduce their green-house-gas emissions. We first report on the HEAT Phase I pilot project which evaluates 368 residences in the Brentwood community of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and describe the development and implementation of interactive waste heat maps, energy use models, a Hot Spot tool able to view the 6+ hottest locations on each home and a new HEAT Score for inter-city waste heat comparisons. We then describe current challenges, lessons learned and new solutions as we begin Phase II and scale from 368 to 300,000+ homes with the newly developed TABI-1800. Specifically, we introduce a new object-based mosaicing strategy, an adaptation of Emissivity Modulation to correct for emissivity differences, a new Thermal Urban Road Normalization (TURN technique to correct for scene-wide microclimatic variation. We also describe a new Carbon Score and opportunities to update city cadastral errors with automatically defined thermal house objects.

  3. On-Line Efficiency Improvement of Induction Motor Vector Controlled

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Djamel Benoudjit


    Full Text Available Efficiency improvement is an important challenge for electric motor driven systems. For an induction motor, operation under rated conditions (at rated load with rated flux is very efficient. However, in many situations, operation with rated flux causes low efficiency especially at light load ranges. In these applications, induction motor should operate at reduced flux which causes a balance between iron losses and copper losses leading to an improved efficiency. This paper concerns energy optimization, i.e. efficiency improvement is carried out via a controller designed on the basis of imposing the rated power factor, by finding a relationship between rotor flux and torque current component which can optimize the compromise between torque and efficiency in steady state as well as in transient state. Experimental results are presented to prove the effectiveness and validity of the proposed controller.

  4. Improving Defibrillation Efficiency in Area Schools. (United States)

    Thomas, Vincent C; Shen, Jay J; Stanley, Ramona; Dahlke, Jeffrey; McPartlin, Sheri; Row, Lynn


    Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the young is a rare event but the effects can be devastating. We sought to identify variables that would lead to an improvement in time to defibrillation (TDFB), a previously noted factor significantly influencing survival from cardiac arrest. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Clark county school district performed quarterly drills to practice the coordinated automated external defibrillator (AED) response. Variables including school, AED carrier, and drill characteristics were measured to determine influence on TDFB. Schools were grouped by TDFB at a cutoff of three minutes. Characteristics were sought for schools with TDFB below three minutes. A mixed regression model taking into account repeated measures was created to determine which variables influenced TDFB. Time to overhead announcement, distance of AED from drill site, and time to setup AED were the variables influencing TDFB with statistical significance (P <.01). This study supports the notion of early recognition, announcement, and close proximity to an AED during a SCA to ensure an early TDFB. These results are consistent with basic life support and the chain of survival tenets of the American Heart Association. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Sense of agency in continuous action: Assistance-induced performance improvement is self-attributed even with knowledge of assistance. (United States)

    Inoue, Kazuya; Takeda, Yuji; Kimura, Motohiro


    In a task involving continuous action to achieve a goal, the sense of agency increases with an improvement in task performance that is induced by unnoticed computer assistance. This study investigated how explicit instruction about the existence of computer assistance affects the increase of sense of agency that accompanies performance improvement. Participants performed a continuous action task in which they controlled the direction of motion of a dot to a goal by pressing keys. When instructions indicated the absence of assistance, the sense of agency increased with performance improvement induced by computer assistance, replicating previous findings. Interestingly, this increase of sense of agency was also observed even when instructions indicated the presence of assistance. These results suggest that even when a plausible cause of performance improvement other than one's own action exists, the improvement can be misattributed to one's own control of action, resulting in an increased sense of agency. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Animal-Assisted Therapy for Improving Human Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sibel Cevizci


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT or Pet Therapy is an adjunctive therapy by taking advantage of human and animal interaction, activate the physiological and psychological mechanisms, initiate positive changes improving health in metabolism. In recent years, this interaction are in use to treat psychological and psychiatric disorders such as stress, depression, loneliness, pervasive developmental disorders affect negatively to human health. Furthermore, AAT has been increasingly used to improve quality of life, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, chronic illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. The aim of this paper is to identify AAT by reviewing human and animal interaction, evaluate how AAT has a scientific background from past to now. Also, we aim to give some information about the risks, institutional applications, some factors referring AAT’s mechanism of action and chronic diseases, psychological and physical improvements provided with animal assisted therapies. The therapy results will be evaluated more advisable providing AAT is being applied with public health specialist, veterinarian, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist and veterinary public health experts who are monitor applications. Especially, the psychosomatic effects result from physical, emotional and play mechanism of action of HDT can be used for improving quality of life in individuals with chronic diseases. In Turkey, there is no any investigation which have been performed in this scientific field. It is quitely important to evaluate the benefits of this therapy accurately and to select various methods proper to diseases. Consequently, it is obvious that AAT will be considered by the healthcare services as a supportive therapy process for improving human health in Turkey and needs further studies. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2009; 8(3.000: 263-272

  7. Improved efficiency in OLEDs with a thin Alq3 interlayer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lian Jiarong; Yuan Yongbo; Cao Lingfang; Zhang Jie; Pang Hongqi; Zhou Yunfei; Zhou Xiang


    We demonstrate an improved efficiency in OLEDs with a thin Alq 3 interlayer, which is inserted into the hole-transport layer for adjusting the hole-injection and transport, and improving the hole-electron balance. The thin Alq 3 interlayer can effectively influence the electrical performance and electroluminescence (EL) efficiency of the devices. The devices with an optimum Alq 3 interlayer exhibit a maximum EL efficiency of around 3.3 cd/A, which is improved by a factor of two over the conventional devices (1.6 cd/A) without the interlayer

  8. Superefficient Refrigerators: Opportunities and Challenges for Efficiency Improvement Globally

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shah, Nihar; Park, Won Young; Bojda, Nicholas; McNeil, Michael A.


    As an energy-intensive mainstream product, residential refrigerators present a significant opportunity to reduce electricity consumption through energy efficiency improvements. Refrigerators expend a considerable amount of electricity during normal use, typically consuming between 100 to 1,000 kWh of electricity per annum. This paper presents the results of a technical analysis done for refrigerators in support of the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative. Beginning from a base case representative of the average unit sold in India, we analyze efficiency improvement options and their corresponding costs to build a cost-versus-efficiency relationship. We then consider design improvement options that are known to be the most cost effective and that can improve efficiency given current design configurations. We also analyze and present additional super-efficient options, such as vacuum-insulated panels. We estimate the cost of conserved electricity for the various options, allowing flexible program design for market transformation programs toward higher efficiency. We estimate ~;;160TWh/year of energy savings are cost effective in 2030, indicating significant potential for efficiency improvement in refrigerators in SEAD economies and China.

  9. Thermal efficiency improvements - an imperative for nuclear generating stations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassanien, S.; Rouse, S.


    A one and a half percent thermal performance improvement of Ontario Hydro's operating nuclear units (Bruce B, Pickering B, and Darlington) means almost 980 GWh are available to the transmission system (assuming an 80% capacity factor). This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 34,000 electrically-heated homes in Ontario, and worth more than $39 million in revenue to Ontario Hydro Nuclear Generation. Improving nuclear plant thermal efficiency improves profitability (more GWh per unit of fuel) and competitiveness (cost of unit energy), and reduces environmental impact (less spent fuel and nuclear waste). Thermal performance will naturally decrease due to the age of the units unless corrective action is taken. Most Ontario Hydro nuclear units are ten to twenty years old. Some common causes for loss of thermal efficiency are: fouling and tube plugging of steam generators, condensers, and heat exchangers; steam leaks in the condenser due to valve wear, steam trap and drain leaks; deposition, pitting, cracking, corrosion, etc., of turbine blades; inadequate feedwater metering resulting from corrosion and deposition. This paper stresses the importance of improving the nuclear units' thermal efficiency. Ontario Hydro Nuclear has demonstrated energy savings results are achievable and affordable. Between 1994 and 1996, Nuclear reduced its energy use and improved thermal efficiency by over 430,000 MWh. Efficiency improvement is not automatic - strategies are needed to be effective. This paper suggests practical strategies to systematically improve thermal efficiency. (author)

  10. Melatonin improves spermatogonial stem cells transplantation efficiency in azoospermic mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammadreza Gholami


    Conclusion: Administration of melatonin (20 mg/kg simultaneously with transplantation of spermatogonial stem cells in azoospermia mouse testis increases the efficiency of transplantation and improves structural properties of the testes tissue.

  11. A history of industrial statistics and quality and efficiency improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Mast, J.; Coleman, S.; Greenfield, T.; Stewardson, D.; Montgomery, D.C.


    The twentieth century witnessed incredible increases in product quality, while in the same period product priced dropped dramatically. These important improvements in quality and efficiency in industry were the result of innovations in management and engineering. But these developments were

  12. Improvement in light-extraction efficiency of light emitting diode ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The effect of various microlens parameters such as diameter and area fraction on light-extraction efficiency was systematically studied. Improvement of 4% in extraction efficiency was obtained by employing it on white light emitting diode. The area fraction of microlenses was increased up to 0.34 by reducing the spin speed.

  13. Does automation improve stock market efficiency in Ghana ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The automation of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) in 2008, among other reforms, was expected to improve the efficiency of the market. The extent of this truism has, however, not been empirically established for the GSE. In this study, we attempt to assess the impact of the automation on the efficiency of the GSE within the ...

  14. A Three-Step Methodology to Improve Domestic Energy Efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molderink, Albert; Bakker, Vincent; Bosman, M.G.C.; Hurink, Johann L.; Smit, Gerardus Johannes Maria


    Increasing energy prices and the greenhouse effect lead to more awareness of energy efficiency of electricity supply. During the last years, a lot of technologies have been developed to improve this efficiency. Next to large scale technologies such as windturbine parks, domestic technologies are

  15. Refractories for Industrial Processing. Opportunities for Improved Energy Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hemrick, James G. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hayden, H. Wayne [Metals Manufacture Process and Controls Technology, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Angelini, Peter [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Moore, Robert E. [R.E. Moore Associates, Maricopa, AZ (United States); Headrick, William L. [R.E. Moore Associates, Maricopa, AZ (United States)


    Refractories are a class of materials of critical importance to manufacturing industries with high-temperature unit processes. This study describes industrial refractory applications and identifies refractory performance barriers to energy efficiency for processing. The report provides recommendations for R&D pathways leading to improved refractories for energy-efficient manufacturing and processing.

  16. Improvement in light-extraction efficiency of light emitting diode ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Feb 2, 2018 ... parameters such as diameter and area fraction on light-extraction efficiency was systematically studied. Improvement of. 4% in extraction efficiency was obtained by employing it on white light emitting diode. The area fraction .... on feature size due to (i) weak van der Waals destabilizing forces and (ii) high ...

  17. Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist and proportional assist ventilation both improve patient-ventilator interaction. (United States)

    Schmidt, Matthieu; Kindler, Felix; Cecchini, Jérôme; Poitou, Tymothée; Morawiec, Elise; Persichini, Romain; Similowski, Thomas; Demoule, Alexandre


    The objective was to compare the impact of three assistance levels of different modes of mechanical ventilation; neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA), proportional assist ventilation (PAV), and pressure support ventilation (PSV) on major features of patient-ventilator interaction. PSV, NAVA, and PAV were set to obtain a tidal volume (VT) of 6 to 8 ml/kg (PSV₁₀₀, NAVA₁₀₀, and PAV₁₀₀) in 16 intubated patients. Assistance was further decreased by 50% (PSV₅₀, NAVA₅₀, and PAV₅₀) and then increased by 50% (PSV₁₅₀, NAVA₁₅₀, and PAV₁₅₀) with all modes. The three modes were randomly applied. Airway flow and pressure, electrical activity of the diaphragm (EAdi), and blood gases were measured. VT, peak EAdi, coefficient of variation of VT and EAdi, and the prevalence of the main patient-ventilator asynchronies were calculated. PAV and NAVA prevented the increase of VT with high levels of assistance (median 7.4 (interquartile range (IQR) 5.7 to 10.1) ml/kg and 7.4 (IQR, 5.9 to 10.5) ml/kg with PAV₁₅₀ and NAVA₁₅₀ versus 10.9 (IQR, 8.9 to 12.0) ml/kg with PSV₁₅₀, P PAV than with PSV at level₁₀₀ and level₁₅₀. The coefficient of variation of VT was higher with NAVA and PAV (19 (IQR, 14 to 31)% and 21 (IQR 16 to 29)% with NAVA₁₀₀ and PAV₁₀₀ versus 13 (IQR 11 to 18)% with PSV₁₀₀, P PAV and NAVA than with PSV (P PAV and PSV (P PAV and NAVA both prevent overdistention, improve neuromechanical coupling, restore the variability of the breathing pattern, and decrease patient-ventilator asynchrony in fairly similar ways compared with PSV. Further studies are needed to evaluate the possible clinical benefits of NAVA and PAV on clinical outcomes. NCT02056093 . Registered 18 December 2013.

  18. Final priority; technical assistance to improve state data capacity--National Technical Assistance Center to improve state capacity to accurately collect and report IDEA data. Final priority. (United States)


    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Technical Assistance to Improve State Data Capacity program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and later years. We take this action to focus attention on an identified national need to provide technical assistance (TA) to States to improve their capacity to meet the data collection and reporting requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). We intend this priority to establish a TA center to improve State capacity to accurately collect and report IDEA data (Data Center).

  19. DTU International Energy Report 2012: Energy efficiency improvements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Increased energy efficiency can reduce global CO2 emissions over the period to 2050 with up to 25%. On the top of that large profits can be gained for very little investment. Energy efficiency improvements can save investment in new energy infrastructure, cut fuel costs, increase competitiveness...... and increase consumer welfare. Thus, it is natural for DTU International Energy Report 2012 to take up this issue and analyze the global, regional and national challenges in exploiting energy efficiency and promote research and development in energy efficiency....

  20. Trunk Flexibility Improvement in Response to Powered Assisted Exercise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.S. Bains


    Full Text Available Background study: Flexibility in human spine has always plays an important role in dexterity and seamless ambulatory activities. When optimum range is not maintained by the trunk column, due to lack of flexibility, the posture gets affected resulting in reduce trunk rotation flexibility and mobility hence loss of complete trunk rotation. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of Shapemaster Power Assisted Exercise Equipment (SPAEE on trunk flexibility. Methodology: Twenty healthy individual ages between 40 to 60 years were randomly divided into control and exercise groups. Shapemaster exercise program performed two times per week for 5 weeks and 45 minutes per session. Before and after 10 sessions of Shapemaster exercise protocol, Seated trunk rotation test was used to measure trunk flexibility. Results: Repeated measurement ANOVA were used to analysis data between groups. The results of this study illustrated that after 10th sessions trunk flexibility significantly improved (F (1.0, 18 = 11.732, p < 0.003. Conclusion: In conclusion results were determined that SPAEE is safe and it did effectively enhance flexibility among individual healthy adults. Keyword: Shapemaster Power Assisted Exercise Equipment (SPAEE, Trunk Flexibility, Healthy individual

  1. Method for calculating annual energy efficiency improvement of TV sets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varman, M.; Mahlia, T.M.I.; Masjuki, H.H.


    The popularization of 24 h pay-TV, interactive video games, web-TV, VCD and DVD are poised to have a large impact on overall TV electricity consumption in the Malaysia. Following this increased consumption, energy efficiency standard present a highly effective measure for decreasing electricity consumption in the residential sector. The main problem in setting energy efficiency standard is identifying annual efficiency improvement, due to the lack of time series statistical data available in developing countries. This study attempts to present a method of calculating annual energy efficiency improvement for TV set, which can be used for implementing energy efficiency standard for TV sets in Malaysia and other developing countries. Although the presented result is only an approximation, definitely it is one of the ways of accomplishing energy standard. Furthermore, the method can be used for other appliances without any major modification

  2. Method for calculating annual energy efficiency improvement of TV sets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varman, M. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, Lembah Pantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Mahlia, T.M.I. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, Lembah Pantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)]. E-mail:; Masjuki, H.H. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, Lembah Pantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)


    The popularization of 24 h pay-TV, interactive video games, web-TV, VCD and DVD are poised to have a large impact on overall TV electricity consumption in the Malaysia. Following this increased consumption, energy efficiency standard present a highly effective measure for decreasing electricity consumption in the residential sector. The main problem in setting energy efficiency standard is identifying annual efficiency improvement, due to the lack of time series statistical data available in developing countries. This study attempts to present a method of calculating annual energy efficiency improvement for TV set, which can be used for implementing energy efficiency standard for TV sets in Malaysia and other developing countries. Although the presented result is only an approximation, definitely it is one of the ways of accomplishing energy standard. Furthermore, the method can be used for other appliances without any major modification.

  3. Costs and benefits of energy efficiency improvements in ceiling fans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shah, Nihar; Sathaye, Nakul; Phadke, Amol; Letschert, Virginie [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA (United States). Environmental Energy Technology Division


    Ceiling fans contribute significantly to residential electricity consumption, especially in developing countries with warm climates. The paper provides analysis of costs and benefits of several options to improve the efficiency of ceiling fans to assess the global potential for electricity savings and green house gas (GHG) emission reductions. Ceiling fan efficiency can be cost-effectively improved by at least 50% using commercially available technology. If these efficiency improvements are implemented in all ceiling fans sold by 2020, 70 terawatt hours per year could be saved and 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions per year could be avoided, globally. We assess how policies and programs such as standards, labels, and financial incentives can be used to accelerate the adoption of efficient ceiling fans in order to realize potential savings.

  4. Improving Energy Efficiency of Buildings in the Urals (United States)

    Kiyanets, A. V.


    The article is devoted to the results of studies of energy efficiency improvements of the buildings which are constructed under the climatic conditions of the Ural Federal District of the Russian Federation. The relevance of the stated problem is corroborated. The requirements of the existing regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation on energy conservation and energy efficiency in construction are given. The article specifies that energy efficiency in construction refers to a set of measures aimed at the reduction of energy resources which are consumed by buildings and are necessary to maintain the required microclimate parameters indoors. The main modern measures for improving the energy efficiency of buildings are presented, and their application under the climatic conditions of the Urals are analyzed and calculated. Each of the proposed methods is evaluated. Basing on the research results, it is concluded that most of the currently known measures for improving the energy efficiency of buildings are significantly limited in the Ural Federal District due to the small economic effect connected with the complexity and high cost of their implementation and operation, the peculiarities of climatic conditions and the conditions of the population density of the territories or significant ineffectiveness of the measures themselves; the most promising measures for improving the energy efficiency of buildings under the climatic and economic conditions of the Urals are the measures for reducing heat loss through the building envelopes (for improving the heat-insulation characteristics of the applied materials and structures).

  5. Rolling resistance and propulsion efficiency of manual and power-assisted wheelchairs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pavlidou, E.; Kloosterman, M.G.M.; Buurke, J.H.; Rietman, J.S.; Janssen, T.W.J.


    Rolling resistance is one of the main forces resisting wheelchair propulsion and thus affecting stress exerted on the upper limbs. The present study investigates the differences in rolling resistance, propulsion efficiency and energy expenditure required by the user during power-assisted and manual

  6. Highly efficient and reliable chemically assisted enucleation method for handmade cloning in cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vajta, Gábor; Maddox-Hyttel, Poul; Skou, Christina T.


    The purpose of the present study was to find an efficient and reliable assisted procedure for enucleation related to the handmade cloning (HMC) technique. After in vitro maturation oocytes were incubated in 0.5 µgmL-¹ demecolcine for 2 h. Subsequently, zonae pellucidae were digested with pronase...

  7. Improving feed efficiency in fish using selective breeding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verdal, de Hugues; Komen, Hans; Quillet, Edwige; Chatain, Béatrice; Allal, François; Benzie, John A.H.; Vandeputte, Marc


    Improving feed efficiency (FE) is key to reducing production costs in aquaculture and to achieving sustainability for the aquaculture industry. Feed costs account for 30-70% of total production costs in aquaculture; much work has been done on nutritional and husbandry approaches to improve FE but

  8. Improved production efficiency in cattle to reduce their carbon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... in place to mitigate this effect. The improvement of production efficiency through increased production per constant unit, crossbreeding and genetic improvement may be a cost effective and permanent way of reducing the carbon footprint of beef cattle. Keywords: Methane, global warming, greenhouse gas, crossbreeding, ...

  9. Barriers to efficiency improvement and fuel switching in Karnataka, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reddy, A.


    Implementing energy efficiency changes requires a wide range measures. Improvements, therefore, require actions at the lowest level of the consumer, through the highest level of the global agencies. Due to the multiplicity of participants, however, barriers to achieving these improvements can arise at every level. The major barriers to improving energy efficiency in developing countries are defined and paths to overcome these challenges are identified. Topics of discussion include: energy consumers; end-use equipment manufacturers; end-use equipment providers; energy carrier producers and distributors; actual/potential cogenerators; financial institutions; government; and international, multilateral and industrialized country funding/aid agencies

  10. Efficiency improvements of public hospitals under a capitation payment scheme. (United States)

    García-Lacalle, Javier; Martín, Emilio


    In a context of cost containment and demands for better quality in public health care, payment systems are used as an instrument to promote efficiency improvements in service providers. Andalusia has adopted an original type of risk-adjusted capitation payment mechanism to reimburse public hospitals. This paper presents the main characteristics of the reimbursement mechanism of the Andalusian Health Service highlighting some differences with the mechanisms adopted in other parts of Europe. The paper also explores the evolution of the efficiency and quality of the hospitals after its implementation using the Malmquist index. Results indicate that hospitals have slightly improved their efficiency, particularly urban hospitals, and these improvements are not significantly related to a negative evolution of quality. However, it is not possible to assert to what extent, improvements are the consequence of the new payment system. The organisation of the Servicio Andaluz de Salud and the limited competition between hospitals reduce the effectiveness of the reform.

  11. Efficiency improvement opportunities in TVs: Implications for market transformation programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Won Young; Phadke, Amol; Shah, Nihar; Letschert, Virginie


    Televisions (TVs) account for a significant portion of residential electricity consumption and global TV shipments are expected to continue to increase. We assess the market trends in the energy efficiency of TVs that are likely to occur without any additional policy intervention and estimate that TV efficiency will likely improve by over 60% by 2015 with savings potential of 45 terawatt-hours [TW h] per year in 2015, compared to today’s technology. We discuss various energy-efficiency improvement options and evaluate the cost effectiveness of three of them. At least one of these options improves efficiency by at least 20% cost effectively beyond ongoing market trends. We provide insights for policies and programs that can be used to accelerate the adoption of efficient technologies to further capture global energy savings potential from TVs which we estimate to be up to 23 TW h per year in 2015. - Highlights: • We analyze the impact of the recent TV market transition on TV energy consumption. • We review TV technology options that could be realized in the near future. • We assess the cost-effectiveness of selected energy-efficiency improvement options. • We estimate global electricity savings potential in selected scenarios. • We discuss possible directions of market transformation programs

  12. Spreading The Net: The Multiple Benefits Of Energy Efficiency Improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Improving energy efficiency can deliver a range of benefits to the economy and society. However energy efficiency programmes are often evaluated only on the basis of the energy savings they deliver. As a result, the full value of energy efficiency improvements in both national and global economies may be significantly underestimated. This also means that energy efficiency policy may not be optimised to target the potential of the full range of outcomes possible. Moreover, when the merit of energy efficiency programmes is judged solely on reductions in energy demand, programmes are susceptible to criticisms related to the rebound effect when the energy savings are less than expected due to other welfare gains. There are several reasons why the full range of outcomes from energy efficiency policy is not generally evaluated. First, it is due to the non-market, somewhat intangible, nature of the socioeconomic benefits, which makes them difficult to quantify. Second, the effects due to energy efficiency alone can be complex to isolate and to determine causality. Third, evaluators and policy makers working in the energy efficiency sphere are usually energy professionals, working for an energy agency or ministry, with little experience of how energy efficiency might impact other non-energy sectors. The result is an under-appreciation – and related underinvestment – in energy efficiency, and as a consequence, missed opportunities and benefits. These foregone benefits represent the ‘opportunity cost’ of failing to adequately evaluate and prioritize energy efficiency investments. The objective of this report is to fully outline the array of different benefits from improved energy efficiency and investigate their implications for policy design. By better understanding the different benefits arising from energy efficiency it should be easier for policy makers to prioritise the most significant outcomes, in addition to energy savings, in optimising energy efficiency

  13. Potentials and policy implications of energy and material efficiency improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worrell, Ernst; Levine, Mark; Price, Lynn; Martin, Nathan; van den Broek, Richard; Block, Kornelis


    There is a growing awareness of the serious problems associated with the provision of sufficient energy to meet human needs and to fuel economic growth world-wide. This has pointed to the need for energy and material efficiency, which would reduce air, water and thermal pollution, as well as waste production. Increasing energy and material efficiency also have the benefits of increased employment, improved balance of imports and exports, increased security of energy supply, and adopting environmentally advantageous energy supply. A large potential exists for energy savings through energy and material efficiency improvements. Technologies are not now, nor will they be, in the foreseeable future, the limiting factors with regard to continuing energy efficiency improvements. There are serious barriers to energy efficiency improvement, including unwillingness to invest, lack of available and accessible information, economic disincentives and organizational barriers. A wide range of policy instruments, as well as innovative approaches have been tried in some countries in order to achieve the desired energy efficiency approaches. These include: regulation and guidelines; economic instruments and incentives; voluntary agreements and actions, information, education and training; and research, development and demonstration. An area that requires particular attention is that of improved international co-operation to develop policy instruments and technologies to meet the needs of developing countries. Material efficiency has not received the attention that it deserves. Consequently, there is a dearth of data on the qualities and quantities for final consumption, thus, making it difficult to formulate policies. Available data, however, suggest that there is a large potential for improved use of many materials in industrialized countries.

  14. Recovery Act--Class 8 Truck Freight Efficiency Improvement Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trucks, Daimler [Daimler Trucks North America Llc, Portland, OR (United States)


    Daimler Trucks North America completed a five year, $79.6M project to develop and demonstrate a concept vehicle with at least 50% freight efficiency improvement over a weighted average of several drive cycles relative to a 2009 best-in-class baseline vehicle. DTNA chose a very fuel efficient baseline vehicle, the 2009 Freightliner Cascadia with a DD15 engine, yet successfully demonstrated a 115% freight efficiency improvement. DTNA learned a great deal about the various technologies that were incorporated into Super Truck and those that, through down-selection, were discarded. Some of the technologies competed with each other for efficiency, and notably some of the technologies complemented each other. For example, we found that Super Truck’s improved aerodynamic drag resulted in improved fuel savings from eCoast, relative to a similar vehicle with worse aerodynamic drag. However, some technologies were in direct competition with each other, namely the predictive technologies which use GPS and 3D digital maps to efficiently manage the vehicles kinetic energy through controls and software, versus hybrid which is a much costlier technology that essentially targets the same inefficiency. Furthermore, the benefits of a comprehensive, integrated powertrain/vehicle approach was proven, in which vast improvements in vehicle efficiency (e.g. lower aero drag and driveline losses) enabled engine strategies such as downrating and downspeeding. The joint engine and vehicle developments proved to be a multiplier-effect which resulted in large freight efficiency improvements. Although a large number of technologies made the selection process and were used on the Super Truck demonstrator vehicle, some of the technologies proved not feasible for series production.

  15. Linking quality improvement and energy efficiency/waste reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, R.E.; Moore, N.L.


    For some time industry has recognized the importance of both energy efficiency/waste reduction (ee/wr) and quality/manufacturing improvement. However, industry has not particularly recognized that manufacturing efficiency is, in part, the result of a more efficient use of energy. For that reason, the energy efficiency efforts of most companies have involved admonishing employees to save energy. Few organizations have invested resources in training programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste. This describes a program to demonstrate how existing utility and government training and incentive programs can be leveraged to increase ee/wr and benefit both industry and consumers. Fortunately, there are a variety of training tools and resources that can be applied to educating workers on the benefits of energy efficiency and waste reduction. What is lacking is a method of integrating ee/wr training with other important organizational needs. The key, therefore, is to leverage ee/wr investments with other organizational improvement programs. There are significant strides to be made by training industry to recognize fully the contribution that energy efficiency gains make to the bottom line. The federal government stands in the unique position of being able to leverage the investments already made by states, utilities, and manufacturing associations by coordinating training programs and defining the contribution of energy-efficiency practices. These aims can be accomplished by: developing better measures of energy efficiency and waste reduction; promoting methods of leveraging manufacturing efficiency programs with energy efficiency concepts; helping industry understand how ee/wr investments can increase profits; promoting research on the needs of, and most effective ways to, reach the small and medium-sized businesses that so often lack the time, information, and finances to effectively use the hardware and training technologies available.

  16. Marker-assisted backcrossing: a useful method for rice improvement. (United States)

    Hasan, Muhammad Mahmudul; Rafii, Mohd Y; Ismail, Mohd R; Mahmood, Maziah; Rahim, Harun A; Alam, Md Amirul; Ashkani, Sadegh; Malek, Md Abdul; Latif, Mohammad Abdul


    The world's population is increasing very rapidly, reducing the cultivable land of rice, decreasing table water, emerging new diseases and pests, and the climate changes are major issues that must be addressed to researchers to develop sustainable crop varieties with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, recent scientific discoveries and advances particularly in genetics, genomics and crop physiology have opened up new opportunities to reduce the impact of these stresses which would have been difficult if not impossible as recently as the turn of the century. Marker assisted backcrossing (MABC) is one of the most promising approaches is the use of molecular markers to identify and select genes controlling resistance to those factors. Regarding this, MABC can contribute to develop resistant or high-yielding or quality rice varieties by incorporating a gene of interest into an elite variety which is already well adapted by the farmers. MABC is newly developed efficient tool by which using large population sizes (400 or more plants) for the backcross F 1 generations, it is possible to recover the recurrent parent genotype using only two or three backcrosses. So far, many high yielding, biotic and abiotic stresses tolerance, quality and fragrance rice varieties have been developed in rice growing countries through MABC within the shortest timeframe. Nowadays, MABC is being used widely in plant breeding programmes to develop new variety/lines especially in rice. This paper reviews recent literature on some examples of variety/ line development using MABC strategy.

  17. TV Energy Consumption Trends and Energy-Efficiency Improvement Options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Won Young; Phadke, Amol; Shah, Nihar; Letschert, Virginie


    The SEAD initiative aims to transform the global market by increasing the penetration of highly efficient equipment and appliances. SEAD is a government initiative whose activities and projects engage the private sector to realize the large global energy savings potential from improved appliance and equipment efficiency. SEAD seeks to enable high-level global action by informing the Clean Energy Ministerial dialogue as one of the initiatives in the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge. In keeping with its goal of achieving global energy savings through efficiency, SEAD was approved as a task within the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) in January 2010. SEAD partners work together in voluntary activities to: (1) ?raise the efficiency ceiling? by pulling super-efficient appliances and equipment into the market through cooperation on measures like incentives, procurement, awards, and research and development (R&D) investments; (2) ?raise the efficiency floor? by working together to bolster national or regional policies like minimum efficiency standards; and (3) ?strengthen the efficiency foundations? of programs by coordinating technical work to support these activities. Although not all SEAD partners may decide to participate in every SEAD activity, SEAD partners have agreed to engage actively in their particular areas of interest through commitment of financing, staff, consultant experts, and other resources. In addition, all SEAD partners are committed to share information, e.g., on implementation schedules for and the technical detail of minimum efficiency standards and other efficiency programs. Information collected and created through SEAD activities will be shared among all SEAD partners and, to the extent appropriate, with the global public.As of April 2011, the governments participating in SEAD are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden

  18. Efficient Generation and Selection of Combined Features for Improved Classification

    KAUST Repository

    Shono, Ahmad N.


    This study contributes a methodology and associated toolkit developed to allow users to experiment with the use of combined features in classification problems. Methods are provided for efficiently generating combined features from an original feature set, for efficiently selecting the most discriminating of these generated combined features, and for efficiently performing a preliminary comparison of the classification results when using the original features exclusively against the results when using the selected combined features. The potential benefit of considering combined features in classification problems is demonstrated by applying the developed methodology and toolkit to three sample data sets where the discovery of combined features containing new discriminating information led to improved classification results.

  19. Opportunities for improving phosphorus-use efficiency in crop plants. (United States)

    Veneklaas, Erik J; Lambers, Hans; Bragg, Jason; Finnegan, Patrick M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Plaxton, William C; Price, Charles A; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Shane, Michael W; White, Philip J; Raven, John A


    Limitation of grain crop productivity by phosphorus (P) is widespread and will probably increase in the future. Enhanced P efficiency can be achieved by improved uptake of phosphate from soil (P-acquisition efficiency) and by improved productivity per unit P taken up (P-use efficiency). This review focuses on improved P-use efficiency, which can be achieved by plants that have overall lower P concentrations, and by optimal distribution and redistribution of P in the plant allowing maximum growth and biomass allocation to harvestable plant parts. Significant decreases in plant P pools may be possible, for example, through reductions of superfluous ribosomal RNA and replacement of phospholipids by sulfolipids and galactolipids. Improvements in P distribution within the plant may be possible by increased remobilization from tissues that no longer need it (e.g. senescing leaves) and reduced partitioning of P to developing grains. Such changes would prolong and enhance the productive use of P in photosynthesis and have nutritional and environmental benefits. Research considering physiological, metabolic, molecular biological, genetic and phylogenetic aspects of P-use efficiency is urgently needed to allow significant progress to be made in our understanding of this complex trait. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Potential Global Benefits of Improved Ceiling Fan Energy Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sathaye, Nakul [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Phadke, Amol [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Shah, Nihar [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Letschert, Virginie [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)


    Ceiling fans contribute significantly to residential electricity consumption, both in an absolute sense and as a proportion of household consumption in many locations, especially in developing countries in warm climates. However, there has been little detailed assessment of the costs and benefits of efficiency improvement options for ceiling fans and the potential resulting electricity consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. We analyze the costs and benefits of several options to improve the efficiency of ceiling fans and assess the global potential for electricity savings and GHG emission reductions with more detailed assessments for India, China, and the U.S. We find that ceiling fan efficiency can be cost-effectively improved by at least 50% using commercially available technology. If these efficiency improvements are implemented in all ceiling fans sold by 2020, 70 terrawatt hours per year (TWh/year) could be saved and 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year could be avoided, globally. We assess how policies and programs such as standards, labels, and financial incentives can be used to accelerate the adoption of efficient ceiling fans in order to realize this savings potential.

  1. Efficiency improvement for wind energy pumped storage systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forcos, A.; Marinescu, C.; Teodorescu, Remus


    Integrating wind energy into the grid may raise stability problems. Solutions for avoiding these situations are studied and energy storage methods are suitable for balancing the energy between the wind turbine and grid. In this paper, an autonomous wind turbine pumped storage system is presented....... The focus of this paper is to improve the efficiency of this system, which is small at low power levels. The driving motorpump group of the storage system is the key point presented in this paper for efficiency improving. Two control methods, experimentally implemented for induction machine are presented...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    William M. Bond; Salih Ersayin


    This project involved industrial scale testing of a mineral processing simulator to improve the efficiency of a taconite processing plant, namely the Minorca mine. The Concentrator Modeling Center at the Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory, University of Minnesota Duluth, enhanced the capabilities of available software, Usim Pac, by developing mathematical models needed for accurate simulation of taconite plants. This project provided funding for this technology to prove itself in the industrial environment. As the first step, data representing existing plant conditions were collected by sampling and sample analysis. Data were then balanced and provided a basis for assessing the efficiency of individual devices and the plant, and also for performing simulations aimed at improving plant efficiency. Performance evaluation served as a guide in developing alternative process strategies for more efficient production. A large number of computer simulations were then performed to quantify the benefits and effects of implementing these alternative schemes. Modification of makeup ball size was selected as the most feasible option for the target performance improvement. This was combined with replacement of existing hydrocyclones with more efficient ones. After plant implementation of these modifications, plant sampling surveys were carried out to validate findings of the simulation-based study. Plant data showed very good agreement with the simulated data, confirming results of simulation. After the implementation of modifications in the plant, several upstream bottlenecks became visible. Despite these bottlenecks limiting full capacity, concentrator energy improvement of 7% was obtained. Further improvements in energy efficiency are expected in the near future. The success of this project demonstrated the feasibility of a simulation-based approach. Currently, the Center provides simulation-based service to all the iron ore mining companies operating in northern

  3. Supply Chain Management for Improved Energy Efficiency: Review and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatrice Marchi


    Full Text Available Energy efficiency represents a key resource for economic and social development, providing substantial benefits to different stakeholders, ranging from the entities which develop energy efficient measures to everyone in society. In addition to cost savings, multiple benefits can be achieved by supporting a better alignment between energy issues and strategic business priorities: e.g., improved competitiveness, profitability, quality, etc. Thus, energy efficiency can be a strategic advantage, not just a marginal issue, for companies. However, most firms, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs, face many problems and, in some cases, hostility when trying to effectively implement energy efficiency actions. The most dominant barriers are the access to capital and the lack of awareness (especially in terms of life cycle cost effects. The supply chain viewpoint represents one of the main opportunities for overcoming those barriers and improving energy performance even for weaker companies. Since the current literature on energy efficiency and practical approaches to ensure energy efficiency mainly focus on energy performance on a single-firm basis, this paper aims to provide a systematic review of papers on the integration of energy efficiency in supply chain design and management published in academic journal, thereby defining potential research streams to close the gaps in the literature. A number of literature reviews have been published focusing on specific aspects of sustainable or on green supply chain management; however, to the best of our knowledge, no review has focused on the energy efficiency issue. Firstly, the present paper shows how considering energy consumption in supply chain management can contribute to more energy-efficient processes from a systemic point of view. Then, the review methodology used is defined and the sampled papers are analyzed and categorized based on the different approaches they propose. From these

  4. Efficiency Improvement and Quality Initiatives Application in Financial Institutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MSc. Ajtene Avdullahi


    Full Text Available Financial institutions in today’s economy have no longer the luxury to improve profit simply by increasing revenue. These firms, due to the significant measuring reductions in the financial services industry needed to improve operational efficiencies and merely support existing processes with fewer resources. This paper explains the benefits of Lean, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management and Lean Six Sigma that have improved organization's performance, by cutting costs and waste, improving their products or services, increasing profitability as well as enhancing customer satisfaction. The applicability of quality management practices in financial institutions in Kosovo is presented and also their efficiency and effectiveness. By analyzing data from Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo, this paper highlights the benefits of Individual and Micro companies customer segment as the result of organizational change and successful application of quality initiatives from financial institutions in Kosovo.

  5. Improving radiation use efficiency in greenhouse production systems


    Li, Tao


    SUMMARY A large increase in agricultural production is needed to feed the increasing world population with their increasing demand per capita. However, growing competition for arable land, water, energy, and the degradation of the environment impose challenges to improve crop production. Hence agricultural production efficiency needs to increase. Greenhouses provide the possibility to create optimal growth conditions for crops, thereby improving production and product quality. Light is the dr...

  6. Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage for Improved Air Conditioning Efficiency (United States)


    EW-201013) Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage for Improved Air Conditioning Efficiency November 2016 This document has been cleared for public...December 2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 10-C-0027-A Cost and Performance Report. Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage for Improved...distribution is unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT This project involved a field demonstration of subsurface thermal energy storage for

  7. Scaling production and improving efficiency in DEA: an interactive approach (United States)

    Rödder, Wilhelm; Kleine, Andreas; Dellnitz, Andreas


    DEA models help a DMU to detect its (in-)efficiency and to improve activities, if necessary. Efficiency is only one economic aim for a decision-maker; however, up- or downsizing might be a second one. Improving efficiency is the main topic in DEA; the long-term strategy towards the right production size should attract our attention as well. Not always the management of a DMU primarily focuses on technical efficiency but rather is interested in gaining scale effects. In this paper, a formula for returns to scale (RTS) is developed, and this formula is even applicable for interior points of technology. Particularly, technical and scale inefficient DMUs need sophisticated instruments to improve their situation. Considering RTS as well as efficiency, in this paper, we give an advice for each DMU to find an economically reliable path from its actual situation to better activities and finally to most productive scale size (mpss), perhaps. For realizing this path, we propose an interactive algorithm, thus harmonizing the scientific findings and the interests of the management. Small numerical examples illustrate such paths for selected DMUs; an empirical application in theatre management completes the contribution.

  8. Peer Assisted Learning Strategy for Improving Students’ Physiologic Literacy (United States)

    Diana, S.


    Research about the implementation of the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) strategy in Plant Physiology lecture has carried out, in which it aims to improve students’ physiologic literacy. The PAL strategy began with a briefing by the lecturers to the students tutor about pretest questions, followed by the interaction between student tutors with their peers to discuss response problems, terminated by answering responsiveness questions individually. This study used a quasi-experimental method, one - group pre-test post-test design. This design includes a group of students observed in the pre-test phase (tests carried out before PAL treatment) which is then followed by treatment with PAL and ends with post-test. The other students group (control) was given the pre-test and post-test only. The results showed that the PAL strategy can increase student’s physiologic literacy significantly. One of the weaknesses of students’ physiologic literacy is that they have not been able to read the graph. The faculties are encouraged to begin introducing and teaching material using a variety of strategies with scientific literacy aspects, for example teaching research-based material. All students respond positively to the PAL strategy.

  9. Efficiency-optimal power partitioning for improved partial load efficiency of electric drives


    Béthoux, Olivier; Laboure, Eric; Remy, Ghislain; Berthelot, Éric


    International audience; In this paper, the global power conversion efficiency is improved for a fault-tolerant drive architecture.The fault-tolerant architecture is obtained by combination of a 3-phase open-end winding machine anda 3H-bridge inverter. This combination offers more degrees of freedom for the control strategy than aclassical 3-leg inverter. This paper demonstrates that the additional degree of freedom of this powersystem can be exploited for efficiency optimization purposes in n...

  10. Efficient Work Team Scheduling: Using Psychological Models of Knowledge Retention to Improve Code Writing Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Pelosi


    Full Text Available Development teams and programmers must retain critical information about their work during work intervals and gaps in order to improve future performance when work resumes. Despite time lapses, project managers want to maximize coding efficiency and effectiveness. By developing a mathematically justified, practically useful, and computationally tractable quantitative and cognitive model of learning and memory retention, this study establishes calculations designed to maximize scheduling payoff and optimize developer efficiency and effectiveness.

  11. Codon-optimized antibiotic resistance gene improves efficiency of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Oct 1, 2013 ... native gentamicin resistance gene, suggesting that codon optimization improved translation efficiency of the marker gene and ... to be taken into account when exogenous transgenes are expressed in Frankia cells. [Kucho K, Kakoi K, ..... gene coding for the green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a versatile ...

  12. Improved production efficiency in cattle to reduce their carbon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Keywords: Methane, global warming, greenhouse gas, crossbreeding, residual feed intake, feed efficiency. #Corresponding ... improved production per constant unit, crossbreeding and selection for residual feed intake. ... convert such a measure into kg calf produced per kg CO2 equivalent (CH4 can be converted to a CO2.

  13. Energy efficiency improvements in ammonia production--perspectives and uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rafiqul, Islam; Weber, Christoph; Lehmann, Bianca; Voss, Alfred


    The paper discusses the energy consumption and energy saving potential for a major energy-intensive product in the chemical industry-ammonia, based on technologies currently in use and possible process improvements. The paper consists of four parts. In the first part, mainly references to various ammonia production technologies are given. Energy consumption, emissions and saving potentials are discussed in the second part. Thereby, the situation in Europe, the US and India is highlighted and various data sources are compared. In the third part of the paper, a novel approach for modeling energy efficiency improvements is described that accounts for uncertainties and unobserved heterogeneity in the production processes. Besides new investments, revamping investments are also included in the modeling and the development of the production stock is accounted for. Finally, in the fourth part, this approach is applied to the modeling of energy efficiency improvements and CO 2 emission reductions in ammonia production. Thereby, considerable improvements in specific energy use and CO 2 emissions are found in the reference scenario, yet under the assumption of high oil and gas prices, a partial switch to coal based technologies is expected which lowers notably the CO 2 efficiency. Introduction of a CO 2 penalty under a certificate trading or other regime is on contrary found to foster energy efficiency and the use of low carbon technologies

  14. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis (United States)

    Misra, Kaustav; Grimes, Paul W.; Rogers, Kevin E.


    Advocates for educational reform frequently call for policies to increase competition between schools because it is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. Researchers examining this issue are confronted with difficulties in defining reasonable measures…

  15. Codon-optimized antibiotic resistance gene improves efficiency of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Success rate of transient transformation and cell growth in selective culture were significantly increased by use of fgmR instead of a native gentamicin resistance gene, suggesting that codon optimization improved translation efficiency of the marker gene and increased antibiotic resistance. Our result shows that similarity in ...

  16. Numerical Processing Efficiency Improved in Experienced Mental Abacus Children (United States)

    Wang, Yunqi; Geng, Fengji; Hu, Yuzheng; Du, Fenglei; Chen, Feiyan


    Experienced mental abacus (MA) users are able to perform mental arithmetic calculations with unusual speed and accuracy. However, it remains unclear whether their extraordinary gains in mental arithmetic ability are accompanied by an improvement in numerical processing efficiency. To address this question, the present study, using a numerical…

  17. Improved efficiency of budesonide nebulization using surface-active agents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijstra, M. P.; Schaefer, N. C.; Duiverman, E. J.; LeSouef, P. N.; Devadason, S. G.


    Our aim was to improve the efficiency of nebulised budesonide using surface-active agents. Cationic, anionic, and nonionic detergents were added to commercial budesonide suspension, and the particle size distribution during nebulization was measured using both cascade impaction and laser

  18. Low Impedance Voice Coils for Improved Loudspeaker Efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iversen, Niels Elkjær; Knott, Arnold; Andersen, Michael A. E.


    -mode technology, can be designed to much lower loads. A thorough analysis of the loudspeaker efficiency is presented and its relation to the voice coil fill factor is described. A new parameter, the drivers mass ratio, is introduced and it indicates how much a fill factor optimization will improve a driver’s...

  19. Audit of the quality of medical care as a way to improve the efficiency of medical organizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana A. Mukhortova


    Full Text Available The article analyzes the possibilities of auditing the quality of medical care to improve the efficiency of medical organizations. The audit of the medical organization is a closed cycle to improve the quality of medical care, which should include assessing the actual assistance provided in relation to the approved high quality standards, developing a plan to bring the actual level of medical care into compliance with the declared standards, and improving this assistance to achieve the best health indicators. The review examines the different forms of clinical audit and the experience of their use in various countries of the world.

  20. Operational Efficiency and Productivity Improvement Initiatives in a Large Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. (United States)

    Reed, Grant W; Hantz, Scott; Cunningham, Rebecca; Krishnaswamy, Amar; Ellis, Stephen G; Khot, Umesh; Rak, Joe; Kapadia, Samir R


    This study sought to report outcomes from an efficiency improvement project in a large cardiac cath lab. Operational inefficiencies are common in the cath lab, yet solutions are challenging. A detailed report describing and providing solutions for these inefficiencies may be valuable in guiding improvements in productivity. In this observational study, the authors report metrics of efficiency before and after a cath lab quality improvement program in June 2014. Main outcomes included lab room start times, room turnaround times, laboratory use, and employee satisfaction. Time series analysis was used to assess trend over time. Chi-square testing and analysis of variance were used to assess change before and after the initiative. The principal changes included implementation of a pyramidal nursing schedule, increased use of an electronic scheduling system, and increased utilization of a preparation and recovery area. Comparing before with after the program, start times improved an average of 17 min, and on-time starts improved from 61.8% to 81.7% (p = 0.0024). Turnaround times improved from 20.5 min to 16.4 min (trend p productivity. This knowledge may be helpful in assisting other cath labs in similar efficiency improvement initiatives. Copyright © 2018 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Evaluating a Computer-Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT) Technique for Efficient Classroom Instruction (United States)

    Luo, Beate


    This study investigates a computer-assisted pronunciation training (CAPT) technique that combines oral reading with peer review to improve pronunciation of Taiwanese English major students. In addition to traditional in-class instruction, students were given a short passage every week along with a recording of the respective text, read by a native…

  2. LEPA: A Lightweight and Efficient Public Auditing Scheme for Cloud-Assisted Wireless Body Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Song Li


    Full Text Available From smart watch to remote healthcare system, wireless body sensor networks (WBSNs play an important role in modern healthcare system. However, the weak capacity of devices has limited WBSNs development. Considering the huge processing and storage capacity of the cloud, it can be merged with WBSNs to make up for the deficiencies of weak capacity. Based on this consideration, the concept of cloud-assisted WBSNs has been proposed recently. In contrast to generic data, the data in cloud-assisted WBSNs will be used for providing medical diagnosis, so the integrity of data is very important because any modification will result in severe consequences such as misdiagnosis. The public auditing scheme could provide an efficient solution to check the data integrity remotely without downloading them. However, the traditional public auditing scheme for cloud cannot be used directly due to the high data density and weak processing capacity in WBSNs. So, in this paper, we proposed a lightweight and efficient public auditing scheme, LEPA, for cloud-assisted WBSNs. Compared with similar schemes, the WBSNs’ client only needs to do one symmetrical encryption with low computational cost in LEPA. Security proof shows that LEPA can resist two types of adversaries in random oracle model. The efficiency evaluation also shows that LEPA outperforms previous proposals.

  3. Efficient Adoption and Assessment of Multiple Process Improvement Reference Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Jeners


    Full Text Available A variety of reference models such as CMMI, COBIT or ITIL support IT organizations to improve their processes. These process improvement reference models (IRMs cover different domains such as IT development, IT Services or IT Governance but also share some similarities. As there are organizations that address multiple domains and need to coordinate their processes in their improvement we present MoSaIC, an approach to support organizations to efficiently adopt and conform to multiple IRMs. Our solution realizes a semantic integration of IRMs based on common meta-models. The resulting IRM integration model enables organizations to efficiently implement and asses multiple IRMs and to benefit from synergy effects.

  4. Collaborative gaze channelling for improved cooperation during robotic assisted surgery. (United States)

    Kwok, Ka-Wai; Sun, Loi-Wah; Mylonas, George P; James, David R C; Orihuela-Espina, Felipe; Yang, Guang-Zhong


    The use of multiple robots for performing complex tasks is becoming a common practice for many robot applications. When different operators are involved, effective cooperation with anticipated manoeuvres is important for seamless, synergistic control of all the end-effectors. In this paper, the concept of Collaborative Gaze Channelling (CGC) is presented for improved control of surgical robots for a shared task. Through eye tracking, the fixations of each operator are monitored and presented in a shared surgical workspace. CGC permits remote or physically separated collaborators to share their intention by visualising the eye gaze of their counterparts, and thus recovers, to a certain extent, the information of mutual intent that we rely upon in a vis-à-vis working setting. In this study, the efficiency of surgical manipulation with and without CGC for controlling a pair of bimanual surgical robots is evaluated by analysing the level of coordination of two independent operators. Fitts' law is used to compare the quality of movement with or without CGC. A total of 40 subjects have been recruited for this study and the results show that the proposed CGC framework exhibits significant improvement (p robotic surgery. Detailed experimental validation results demonstrate the potential clinical value of the proposed CGC framework.

  5. Comparative study of the efficiency of synthetic and natural mediators in laccase-assisted bleaching of eucalyptus kraft pulp. (United States)

    Moldes, D; Díaz, M; Tzanov, T; Vidal, T


    The natural phenolic compounds syringaldehyde and vanillin were compared to the synthetic mediators 1-hydroxybenzotriazole, violuric acid and promazine in terms of boosting efficiency in a laccase-assisted biobleaching of eucalyptus kraft pulp. Violuric acid and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole revealed to be the most effective mediators of the bioprocess. Nevertheless, laccase-syringaldehyde system also improved the final pulp properties (28% delignification and 63.5% ISO brightness) compared to the process without mediator (23% and 61.5% respectively), in addition to insignificant denaturation effect over laccase. The efficiency of the biobleaching process was further related to changes in non-conventionally used optical and chromatic parameters of pulp, such as (L*), chroma (C*) and dye removal index (DRI) showing good correlation. Adverse coupling reactions of the natural phenolic mediators on pulp lignin were predicted by electrochemical studies, demonstrating the complexity of the laccase-mediator reaction on pulp.

  6. Energy efficient recovery and dehydration of ethanol from fermentation broths by Membrane Assisted Vapor Stripping technology (United States)

    Distillation combined with molecular sieve dehydration is the current state of the art for fuel grade ethanol production from fermentation broths. To improve the sustainability of bioethanol production, energy efficient separation alternatives are needed, particularly for lower ...

  7. Voluntary agreements with white certificates for energy efficiency improvement as a hybrid policy instrument

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oikonomou, V.; Patel, M.K.; Rietbergen, M.; Van der Gaast, W.


    In this paper we examine the implementation of a combined policy scheme that consists of a traditional instrument, the voluntary agreements (VAs), and an innovative one, the white certificates (WhC). The basic structure of this scheme is that energy suppliers who undertake an energy efficiency obligation under a white certificate scheme can make use of voluntary actions to enhance investments in innovative energy savings projects. Energy suppliers and other market parties can additionally or in parallel participate in voluntary agreements and set energy efficiency targets. For fulfilling their voluntary agreement target, these market parties can receive tax exemptions or receive white certificates that they can sell in the market. Transaction costs and baseline definition for demonstrating energy efficiency improvement deserve special attention. This policy can assist a country to enhance energy efficiency improvement while it stimulates innovation. Cost effectiveness can be higher than the case of stand-alone policy instruments, since more financing options are available for more expensive projects. Nevertheless, the added value of the scheme lies more in the implementation of innovative measures for enhanced energy efficiency. Furthermore, market parties can discover more business opportunities in energy efficiency and establish a green image; hence an integrated scheme should achieve higher political acceptability. (author)

  8. Process efficiency. Redesigning social networks to improve surgery patient flow. (United States)

    Samarth, Chandrika N; Gloor, Peter A


    We propose a novel approach to improve throughput of the surgery patient flow process of a Boston area teaching hospital. A social network analysis was conducted in an effort to demonstrate that process efficiency gains could be achieved through redesign of social network patterns at the workplace; in conjunction with redesign of organization structure and the implementation of workflow over an integrated information technology system. Key knowledge experts and coordinators in times of crisis were identified and a new communication structure more conducive to trust and knowledge sharing was suggested. The new communication structure is scalable without compromising on coordination required among key roles in the network for achieving efficiency gains.

  9. Proportional assist ventilation improves exercise capacity in patients with obesity. (United States)

    Dreher, Michael; Kabitz, Hans-Joachim; Burgardt, Verena; Walterspacher, Stephan; Windisch, Wolfram


    Exercise capacity is reduced in obese patients due to disadvantageous respiratory mechanics that lead to dyspnea. Proportional assist ventilation (PAV) has the potential to unload resistive and elastic burdens of the ventilatory system. The present study aimed to test if PAV can increase endurance and reduce exercise-related dyspnea in obese patients. Two symptom-limited exercise tests were performed at 75% of V.O(2max): (1) without PAV and (2) with PAV. Exercise endurance, blood gases, dyspnea and limb discomfort (Borg scale) were assessed. Responders to PAV were defined as those increasing their exercise duration by more than 20%. Eighteen male obese patients (body mass index 35 +/- 5 kg/m(2)) were investigated. Overall, PAV increased exercise duration by 13% (p = 0.037) and improved exercise-induced dyspnea (p = 0.004). In responders (n = 10), PAV increased the exercise duration by 31% from 721 +/- 300 to 1,041 +/- 454 s (p PAV can only be predicted from total lung capacity (p = 0.02), considering total lung capacity, V.O(2max) and body mass index. PAV applied during exercise led to an overall prolongation in exercise endurance and a reduction in dyspnea in obese patients. There was a broad spectrum of response to PAV, with more than 50% of patients increasing their exercise endurance by a mean of 31%. Therefore, PAV might serve as a novel treatment option to enhance exercise capacity in a subgroup of obese patients in rehabilitation programs. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Nitrate-assisted photocatalytic efficiency of defective Eu-doped Pr(OH)3 nanostructures. (United States)

    Aškrabić, S; Araújo, V D; Passacantando, M; Bernardi, M I B; Tomić, N; Dojčinović, B; Manojlović, D; Čalija, B; Miletić, M; Dohčević-Mitrović, Z D


    Pr(OH) 3 one-dimensional nanostructures are a less studied member of lanthanide hydroxide nanostructures, which recently demonstrated an excellent adsorption capacity for organic pollutant removal from wastewater. In this study, Pr 1-x Eu x (OH) 3 (x = 0, 0.01, 0.03, and 0.05) defective nanostructures were synthesized by a facile and scalable microwave-assisted hydrothermal method using KOH as an alkaline metal precursor. The phase and surface composition, morphology, vibrational, electronic and optical properties of the as-prepared samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), Raman, infrared (IR), photoluminescence (PL), and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). It was deduced that the incorporation of Eu 3+ ions promoted the formation of oxygen vacancies in the already defective Pr(OH) 3 , subsequently changing the Pr(OH) 3 nanorod morphology. The presence of KNO 3 phase was registered in the Eu-doped samples. The oxygen-deficient Eu-doped Pr(OH) 3 nanostructures displayed an improved photocatalytic activity in the removal of reactive orange (RO16) dye under UV-vis light irradiation. An enhanced photocatalytic activity of the Eu-doped Pr(OH) 3 nanostructures was caused by the synergetic effect of oxygen vacancies and Eu 3+ (NO 3 - ) ions present on the Pr(OH) 3 surface, the charge separation efficiency and the formation of the reactive radicals. In addition, the 3% Eu-doped sample exhibited very good adsorptive properties due to different morphology and higher electrostatic attraction with the anionic dye. Pr 1-x Eu x (OH) 3 nanostructures with the possibility of tuning their adsorption/photocatalytic properties present a great potential for wastewater treatment.

  11. Improving the Efficiency of Solid State Light Sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joanna McKittrick


    This proposal addresses the national need to develop a high efficiency light source for general illumination applications. The goal is to perform research that would lead to the fabrication of a unique solid state, white-emitting light source. This source is based on an InGaN/GaN UV-emitting chip that activates a luminescent material (phosphor) to produce white light. White-light LEDs are commercially available which use UV from a GaN chip to excite a phosphor suspended in epoxy around the chip. Currently, these devices are relatively inefficient. This research will target one technical barrier that presently limits the efficiency of GaN based devices. Improvements in efficiencies will be achieved by improving the internal conversion efficiency of the LED die, by improving the coupling between the die and phosphor(s) to reduce losses at the surfaces, and by selecting phosphors to maximize the emissions from the LEDs in conversion to white light. The UCSD research team proposes for this project to develop new phosphors that have high quantum efficiencies that can be activated by the UV-blue (360-410 nm) light emitted by the GaN device. The main goal for the UCSD team was to develop new phosphor materials with a very specific property: phosphors that could be excited at long UV-wavelengths (λ=350-410 nm). The photoluminescence of these new phosphors must be activated with photons emitted from GaN based dies. The GaN diodes can be designed to emit UV-light in the same range (λ=350-410 nm). A second objective, which is also very important, is to search for alternate methods to fabricate these phosphors with special emphasis in saving energy and time and reduce pollution

  12. Improving the Efficiency of Solid State Light Sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joanna McKittrick


    This proposal addresses the national need to develop a high efficiency light source for general illumination applications. The goal is to perform research that would lead to the fabrication of a unique solid state, white-emitting light source. This source is based on an InGaN/GaN UV-emitting chip that activates a luminescent material (phosphor) to produce white light. White-light LEDs are commercially available which use UV from a GaN chip to excite a phosphor suspended in epoxy around the chip. Currently, these devices are relatively inefficient. This research will target one technical barrier that presently limits the efficiency of GaN based devices. Improvements in efficiencies will be achieved by improving the internal conversion efficiency of the LED die, by improving the coupling between the die and phosphor(s) to reduce losses at the surfaces, and by selecting phosphors to maximize the emissions from the LEDs in conversion to white light. The UCSD research team proposes for this project to develop new phosphors that have high quantum efficiencies that can be activated by the UV-blue (360-410 nm) light emitted by the GaN device. The main goal for the UCSD team was to develop new phosphor materials with a very specific property: phosphors that could be excited at long UV-wavelengths ({lambda}=350-410 nm). The photoluminescence of these new phosphors must be activated with photons emitted from GaN based dies. The GaN diodes can be designed to emit UV-light in the same range ({lambda}=350-410 nm). A second objective, which is also very important, is to search for alternate methods to fabricate these phosphors with special emphasis in saving energy and time and reduce pollution.

  13. Energy-Efficiency Improvement Opportunities for the Textile Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    China Energy Group; Hasanbeigi, Ali


    The textile industry is one of the most complicated manufacturing industries because it is a fragmented and heterogeneous sector dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Energy is one of the main cost factors in the textile industry. Especially in times of high energy price volatility, improving energy efficiency should be a primary concern for textile plants. There are various energy-efficiency opportunities that exist in every textile plant, many of which are cost-effective. However, even cost-effective options often are not implemented in textile plants mostly because of limited information on how to implement energy-efficiency measures, especially given the fact that a majority of textile plants are categorized as SMEs and hence they have limited resources to acquire this information. Know-how on energy-efficiency technologies and practices should, therefore, be prepared and disseminated to textile plants. This guidebook provides information on energy-efficiency technologies and measures applicable to the textile industry. The guidebook includes case studies from textile plants around the world and includes energy savings and cost information when available. First, the guidebook gives a brief overview of the textile industry around the world, with an explanation of major textile processes. An analysis of the type and the share of energy used in different textile processes is also included in the guidebook. Subsequently, energy-efficiency improvement opportunities available within some of the major textile sub-sectors are given with a brief explanation of each measure. The conclusion includes a short section dedicated to highlighting a few emerging technologies in the textile industry as well as the potential for the use of renewable energy in the textile industry.

  14. Improving Security Force Assistance Capability in the Army’s Advise and Assist Brigade (United States)


    South Korea, Nicaragua, El Salvador , and Georgia, and it currently provides support to The Philippines, Iraq, and Afghanistan, among others...Korea, Vietnam, and El Salvador (Fort Leavenworth, KS: CSI Press, 2008), 31. The requirement for advisors blossomed during the war and KMAG was...Assistance Training Advisor ( MATA ) course for conventional and SOF advisors supporting the MAAG, and later the Military Assistance Command – Vietnam

  15. Improving the efficiency of aerodynamic shape optimization procedures (United States)

    Burgreen, Greg W.; Baysal, Oktay; Eleshaky, Mohamed E.


    The computational efficiency of an aerodynamic shape optimization procedure which is based on discrete sensitivity analysis is increased through the implementation of two improvements. The first improvement involves replacing a grid point-based approach for surface representation with a Bezier-Bernstein polynomial parameterization of the surface. Explicit analytical expressions for the grid sensitivity terms are developed for both approaches. The second improvement proposes the use of Newton's method in lieu of an alternating direction implicit (ADI) methodology to calculate the highly converged flow solutions which are required to compute the sensitivity coefficients. The modified design procedure is demonstrated by optimizing the shape of an internal-external nozzle configuration. A substantial factor of 8 decrease in computational time for the optimization process was achieved by implementing both of the design improvements.

  16. Improving the efficiency of patient throughput via centralized inpatient scheduling. (United States)

    Steffen, Mark W


    Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center implemented a centralized scheduling system in order to increase efficiency and throughput, improve customer satisfaction, improve communication between departments,and create a single schedule (IP/ED/OP) per modality. Most resistance for the change came from technologists, so a formal design team was established for each modality, which included a core information systems (IS) team member,the lead technologist of the modality, and the technologist most able to influence the other technologists who might be resistant to change. Overall,throughput increased by 3.14% post-implementation of the inpatient scheduling software.

  17. Solution for Improve the Efficiency of Solar Photovoltaic Installation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru Chioncel


    Full Text Available This paper present a solution for improving efficiency of solar photovoltaic installation, realized with fixed solar photovoltaic modules, placed in solar parks or individual installations. The proposed solution to increase the radiation on the solar photovoltaic panels is to use some thin plates covered with a reflective blanket, mounted in front of the solar photovoltaic modules, with the possibility of their adjustment.

  18. New approaches for improving energy efficiency in the Brazilian industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Henrique de Mello Santana


    Full Text Available The Brazilian government has been promoting energy efficiency measures for industry since the eighties but with very limited returns, as shown in this paper. The governments of some other countries dedicated much more effort and funds for this area and reached excellent results. The institutional arrangements and types of programmes adopted in these countries are briefly evaluated in the paper and provide valuable insights for several proposals put forward here to make more effective the Brazilian government actions directed to overcome market barriers and improve energy efficiency in the local industry. The proposed measures include the creation of Industrial Assessment Centres and an executive agency charged with the coordination of all energy efficiency programmes run by the Federal government. A large share of the Brazilian industry energy consumption comes from energy-intensive industrial branches. According to a recent survey, most of them have substantial energy conservation potentials. To materialize a fair amount of them, voluntary targets concerning energy efficiency gains should start to be negotiated between the Government and associations representing these industrial branches. Credit facilities and tax exemptions for energy-efficient equipment’s should be provided to stimulate the interest of the entrepreneurs and the setting-up of bolder targets.

  19. Electric field assisted sintering to improve the performance of nanostructured dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) (United States)

    Shojaeifar, Mohsen; Mohajerani, Ezeddin; Fathollahi, Mohammadreza


    Herein, we report the application of electric field assisted sintering (EFAS) procedure in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The EFAS process improved DSSC performance by enhancing optical and electrical characteristics simultaneously. The EFAS procedure is shown to be capable of reducing the TiO2 nanoparticle aggregation leading to the higher surface area for dye molecules adsorbates. Lower nanoparticle aggregation can be evidently observed by field emission scanning electron microscopy imaging. By applying an external electric field, the current density and conversion efficiency improved significantly about 30% and 45%, respectively. UV-Visible spectra of the desorbed dye molecules on the porous nanoparticles bedding confirm a higher amount of dye loading in the presence of an external electric field. Correspondingly, comprehensive J-V characteristics modeling reveals the enhancement of the diffusion coefficient by EFAS process. The proposed method can be applied to improve the efficiency of the mesostructured hybrid perovskite solar cells, photodetectors, and quantum dot-sensitized solar cells, as well as reduction of the surface area loss in all porous media.

  20. High Performance Healthcare Buildings: A Roadmap to Improved Energy Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, Brett C.; Tschudi, William F.


    This document presents a road map for improving the energy efficiency of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The report compiles input from a broad array of experts in healthcare facility design and operations. The initial section lists challenges and barriers to efficiency improvements in healthcare. Opportunities are organized around the following ten themes: understanding and benchmarking energy use; best practices and training; codes and standards; improved utilization of existing HVAC designs and technology; innovation in HVAC design and technology; electrical system design; lighting; medical equipment and process loads; economic and organizational issues; and the design of next generation sustainable hospitals. Achieving energy efficiency will require a broad set of activities including research, development, deployment, demonstration, training, etc., organized around 48 specific objectives. Specific activities are prioritized in consideration of potential impact, likelihood of near- or mid-term feasibility and anticipated cost-effectiveness. This document is intended to be broad in consideration though not exhaustive. Opportunities and needs are identified and described with the goal of focusing efforts and resources.

  1. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications. (United States)

    Li, Xinxin; Zeng, Rensen; Liao, Hong


    Improving crop nutrient efficiency becomes an essential consideration for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Plant growth and development is dependent on 17 essential nutrient elements, among them, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important mineral nutrients. Hence it is not surprising that low N and/or low P availability in soils severely constrains crop growth and productivity, and thereby have become high priority targets for improving nutrient efficiency in crops. Root exploration largely determines the ability of plants to acquire mineral nutrients from soils. Therefore, root architecture, the 3-dimensional configuration of the plant's root system in the soil, is of great importance for improving crop nutrient efficiency. Furthermore, the symbiotic associations between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi/rhizobial bacteria, are additional important strategies to enhance nutrient acquisition. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the current understanding of crop species control of root architecture alterations in response to nutrient availability and root/microbe symbioses, through gene or QTL regulation, which results in enhanced nutrient acquisition. © 2015 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  2. Improving the energy efficiency of mine fan assemblages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Souza, Euler


    Energy associated with ventilating an underground operation comprises a significant portion of a mine operation's base energy demand and is consequently responsible for a large percentage of the total operating costs. Ventilation systems may account from 25 to 40% of the total energy costs and 40–50% of the energy consumption of a mine operation. Fans are the most important mechanical devices used to ventilate underground mines and the total fan power installed in a single mine operation can easily exceed 10,000 kW. Investigations of a number of mine main fan installations have determined their assemblage to be, in general, very energy inefficient. The author has found that 40–80% of the energy consumed by a main fan is used to overcome the resistance of fan assemblage components. This paper presents how engineering design principles can be applied to improve the performance and efficiency of fan installations, resulting in substantial reductions in power consumption, operating cost and greenhouse gas emissions. A detailed case study is presented to demonstrate that, by designing fan assemblages using proper engineering concepts of fluid physics and industrial ventilation design, main fan systems will operate at efficiencies well above 80–90% (compared to common operating efficiencies of between 20 and 65%), resulting in a drastic reduction in a mine's overall costs and base electrical and energy loads. - Highlights: • Increases in fan assemblage efficiencies with minimum capital investment. • Improved designs for substantial fan power and operating cost savings. • General solutions and tactics for improving existing main fan installations. • Case study presented to demonstrate proper design of fan assemblages.

  3. Improving the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) panels by oil coating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abd-Elhady, M.S.; Fouad, M.M.; Khalil, T.


    Highlights: • It is possible to improve the efficiency of PV panels by increasing the amount of light transmitted to the panel. • Coating PV panels by a fine layer of Labovac oil increases the amount of sun light transmitted to the panel. • Coating PV panels by a fine layer of Labovac oil increases the power output of the panel. • Coating PV panels with a layer of Labovac oil has to be applied in cold countries and not in hot regions. - Abstract: The objective of this research is to develop a new technique for improving the efficiency of Photovoltaic (PV) panels. This technique is done by coating the front surface of the PV panel by a fine layer of oil in order to increase the amount of light transmitted to the panel, and consequently its efficiency. Different types of oils are examined, including both mineral oils and natural oils. In case of mineral oils; vacuum pump oil (Labovac oil), engine oil (Mobil oil) and brake oil (Abro oil) are examined, while in case of natural oils; olive and sunflower oils are examined. An experimental setup has been developed to examine the performance of the PV panels as a function of oil coatings. The experimental setup consists of an artificial sun, the PV panel under investigation, a cooling system and a measuring system to measure the performance of the panel. It has been found that coating the PV panel with a fine layer of Labovac oil, ∼1 mm thick, improves the efficiency of the PV panel by more than 20%, and this is due to the high transmissivity of the Labovac oil compared to other oils. However, the Labovac oil has a drawback which is overheating of the panel due to its high transmissivity. Coating of PV panels with a fine layer of Labovac oil should be done only in cold regions, in order to avoid the heating effect that can decrease the power output of PV panels.

  4. 75 FR 30010 - Improving Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Agenda and... (United States)


    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Improving Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... discuss issues related to unit commitment software. The technical conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5..., Secretary. Agenda for AD10-12 Staff Technical Conference on Unit Commitment Software Federal Energy...

  5. A Simple Sonication Improves Protein Signal in Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Imaging (United States)

    Lin, Li-En; Su, Pin-Rui; Wu, Hsin-Yi; Hsu, Cheng-Chih


    Proper matrix application is crucial in obtaining high quality matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). Solvent-free sublimation was essentially introduced as an approach of homogeneous coating that gives small crystal size of the organic matrix. However, sublimation has lower extraction efficiency of analytes. Here, we present that a simple sonication step after the hydration in standard sublimation protocol significantly enhances the sensitivity of MALDI MSI. This modified procedure uses a common laboratory ultrasonicator to immobilize the analytes from tissue sections without noticeable delocalization. Improved imaging quality with additional peaks above 10 kDa in the spectra was thus obtained upon sonication treatment. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  6. Study of the efficiency of chemically assisted enucleation method for handmade cloning in goat (Capra hircus). (United States)

    Akshey, Y S; Malakar, D; De, A K; Jena, M K; Sahu, S; Dutta, R


    The present investigation was carried out to find an efficient chemically assisted procedure for enucleation of goat oocytes related to handmade cloning (HMC) technique. After 22-h in vitro maturation, oocytes were incubated with 0.5 μg/ml demecolcine for 2 h. Cumulus cells were removed by pipetting and vortexing in 0.5 mg/ml hyaluronidase, and zona pellucida were digested with pronase. Oocytes with extrusion cones were subjected to oriented bisection. One-third of the cytoplasm with the extrusion cone was removed with a micro blade. The remaining cytoplasts were used as recipients in HMC. Goat foetal fibroblasts were used as nuclear donors. The overall efficiency measured as the number of cytoplasts obtained per total number of oocytes used was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in chemically assisted handmade enucleation (CAHE) than oriented handmade enucleation without demecolcine (OHE) (80.02 ± 1.292% vs. 72.9 ± 1.00%, respectively, mean ± SEM). The reconstructed and activated embryos were cultured in embryo development medium (EDM) for 7 days. Fusion, cleavage and blastocyst development rate were 71.63 ± 1.95%, 92.94 ± 0.91% and 23.78 ± 3.33% (mean ± SEM), respectively which did not differ significantly from those achieved with random handmade enucleation and OHE. In conclusion, chemically assisted enucleation is a highly efficient and reliable enucleation method for goat HMC which eliminates the need of expensive equipment (inverted fluorescence microscope) and potentially harmful chromatin staining and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation for cytoplast selection. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Assisting Secondary Schools in Career Education School Improvement: Some Lessons. (United States)

    Temkin, Sanford

    Research for Better Schools, Inc., has been working with local education agencies (LEAs), intermediate service agencies (ISAs), and state education agencies (SEAs) to bring about career education impact in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Their strategy includes three essential elements: assist LEAs in planning and implementing career…

  8. Accountability feedback assessments for improving efficiency of nuclear regulatory institutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lavarenne, Jean; Shwageraus, Eugene; Weightman, Michael


    The Fukushima-Daiichi Accident demonstrated the need of assessing and strengthening institutions involved in nuclear safety, including the accountability of regulators. There are a few problems hindering the path towards a greater understanding of accountability systems, the ensemble of mechanisms holding to account the nuclear regulator on behalf of the public. There is no consensus on what it should deliver and no systematic assessment method exists. This article proposes a method of assessing institutions based on defence in depth concepts and inspired from risk-assessment techniques used for nuclear safety. As a first step in testing the proposal, it presents a simple Monte-Carlo simulation, illustrating some of the workings of the method of assessment and demonstrating the kind of results it will be able to supply. This on-going work will assist policy-makers take better informed decisions about the size, structure and organisation of a nuclear regulator and the cost-effective funding of its accountability system. It will assist in striking a balance between efficiency and resilience of regulatory decision-making processes. It will also promote the involvement of stakeholders and allow them to have a more meaningful impact on regulatory decisions, thereby enhancing the robustness of the regulatory system and potentially trust and confidence. - Highlights: •A general introduction to regulatory accountability is given. •A definition of an effective accountability system is proposed. •A method to assess accountability systems is proposed. •A simplified simulation of a regulatory system demonstrates the method’s capabilities.

  9. Representation scaffolds improve diagnostic efficiency in medical students. (United States)

    Braun, Leah T; Zottmann, Jan M; Adolf, Christian; Lottspeich, Christian; Then, Cornelia; Wirth, Stefan; Fischer, Martin R; Schmidmaier, Ralf


    Diagnostic efficiency is important in daily clinical practice as doctors have to face problems within a limited time frame. To foster the clinical reasoning of students is a major challenge in medical education research. Little is known about students' diagnostic efficiency. On the basis of current theories, scaffolds for case representation (statement of the case as far as it is summarised in the mind) could be a promising approach to make the diagnostic reasoning of intermediate medical students more efficient. Clinical case processing of 88 medical students in their fourth and fifth years was analysed in a randomised, controlled laboratory study. Cases dealing with dyspnoea were provided in an electronic learning environment (CASUS). Students could freely choose the time, amount and sequence of clinical information. During the learning phase the intervention group was asked to write down case representation summaries while working on the cases. In the assessment phase diagnostic efficiency was operationalised as the number of correct diagnoses divided by the time spent on diagnosing. Diagnostic efficiency was significantly improved by the representation scaffolding (M = 0.12 [SD = 0.07], M = 0.09 [SD = 0.06] correct cases/time, p = 0.045), whereas accuracy remained unchanged (M = 2.28 [SD = 1.10], M = 2.09 [SD = 1.08], p = 0.52). Both groups screened the same amount of clinical information, but the scaffolding group did this faster (M = 20.8 minutes [SD = 7.15], M = 24.6 minutes [SD = 7.42], p = 0.01; Cohen's d = 0.5). Diagnostic efficiency is an important outcome variable in clinical reasoning research as it corresponds to workplace challenges. Scaffolding for case representations significantly improved the diagnostic efficiency of fourth and fifth-year medical students, most likely because of a more targeted screening of the available information. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and The Association for the Study of Medical

  10. Policy modeling for energy efficiency improvement in US industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Worrell, Ernst; Price, Lynn; Ruth, Michael


    We are at the beginning of a process of evaluating and modeling the contribution of policies to improve energy efficiency. Three recent policy studies trying to assess the impact of energy efficiency policies in the United States are reviewed. The studies represent an important step in the analysis of climate change mitigation strategies. All studies model the estimated policy impact, rather than the policy itself. Often the policy impacts are based on assumptions, as the effects of a policy are not certain. Most models only incorporate economic (or price) tools, which recent studies have proven to be insufficient to estimate the impacts, costs and benefits of mitigation strategies. The reviewed studies are a first effort to capture the effects of non-price policies. The studies contribute to a better understanding of the role of policies in improving energy efficiency and mitigating climate change. All policy scenarios results in substantial energy savings compared to the baseline scenario used, as well as substantial net benefits to the U.S. economy

  11. Improvement of Engineering Work Efficiency through System Integration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Sangdae; Jo, Sunghan; Hyun, Jinwoo


    This paper presents the concept of developing an integrated engineering system for ER to improve efficiency and utilization of engineering system. Each process including computer system and database was introduced separately by each department at that different time. Each engineering process has a close relation with other engineering processes. The introduction of processes in a different time has caused the several problems such as lack of interrelationship between engineering processes, lack of integration fleet-wide statistical data, lack of the function of data comparison among plants and increase of access time by different access location on internet. These problems have caused inefficiency of engineering system utilization to get proper information and degraded engineering system utilization. KHNP has introduced and conducted advanced engineering processes to maintain equipment effectively in a highly reliable condition since 2000s. But engineering systems for process implementation have been developed in each department at a different time. This has caused the problems of process inefficiency and data discordance. Integrated Engineering System(IES) to integrate dispersed engineering processes will improve work efficiency and utilization of engineering system because integration system would enable engineer to get total engineering information easily and do engineering work efficiently

  12. Modified paraffin wax for improvement of histological analysis efficiency. (United States)

    Lim, Jin Ik; Lim, Kook-Jin; Choi, Jin-Young; Lee, Yong-Keun


    Paraffin wax is usually used as an embedding medium for histological analysis of natural tissue. However, it is not easy to obtain enough numbers of satisfactory sectioned slices because of the difference in mechanical properties between the paraffin and embedded tissue. We describe a modified paraffin wax that can improve the histological analysis efficiency of natural tissue, composed of paraffin and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) resin (0, 3, 5, and 10 wt %). Softening temperature of the paraffin/EVA media was similar to that of paraffin (50-60 degrees C). The paraffin/EVA media dissolved completely in xylene after 30 min at 50 degrees C. Physical properties such as the amount of load under the same compressive displacement, elastic recovery, and crystal intensity increased with increased EVA content. EVA medium (5 wt %) was regarded as an optimal composition, based on the sectioning efficiency measured by the numbers of unimpaired sectioned slices, amount of load under the same compressive displacement, and elastic recovery test. Based on the staining test of sectioned slices embedded in a 5 wt % EVA medium by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), Masson trichrome (MT), and other staining tests, it was concluded that the modified paraffin wax can improve the histological analysis efficiency with various natural tissues. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. DNA Targeting Sequence Improves Magnetic Nanoparticle-Based Plasmid DNA Transfection Efficiency in Model Neurons. (United States)

    Vernon, Matthew M; Dean, David A; Dobson, Jon


    Efficient non-viral plasmid DNA transfection of most stem cells, progenitor cells and primary cell lines currently presents an obstacle for many applications within gene therapy research. From a standpoint of efficiency and cell viability, magnetic nanoparticle-based DNA transfection is a promising gene vectoring technique because it has demonstrated rapid and improved transfection outcomes when compared to alternative non-viral methods. Recently, our research group introduced oscillating magnet arrays that resulted in further improvements to this novel plasmid DNA (pDNA) vectoring technology. Continued improvements to nanomagnetic transfection techniques have focused primarily on magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) functionalization and transfection parameter optimization: cell confluence, growth media, serum starvation, magnet oscillation parameters, etc. Noting that none of these parameters can assist in the nuclear translocation of delivered pDNA following MNP-pDNA complex dissociation in the cell's cytoplasm, inclusion of a cassette feature for pDNA nuclear translocation is theoretically justified. In this study incorporation of a DNA targeting sequence (DTS) feature in the transfecting plasmid improved transfection efficiency in model neurons, presumably from increased nuclear translocation. This observation became most apparent when comparing the response of the dividing SH-SY5Y precursor cell to the non-dividing and differentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.

  14. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve the Success of Women Assistant Professors. (United States)

    Grisso, Jeane Ann; Sammel, Mary Dupuis; Rubenstein, Arthur H; Speck, Rebecca M; Conant, Emily F; Scott, Patricia; Tuton, Lucy Wolf; Westring, Alyssa Friede; Friedman, Stewart; Abbuhl, Stephanie B


    Given the persistent disparity in the advancement of women compared with men faculty in academic medicine, it is critical to develop effective interventions to enhance women's careers. We carried out a cluster-randomized, multifaceted intervention to improve the success of women assistant professors at a research-intensive medical school. Twenty-seven departments/divisions were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. The three-tiered intervention included components that were aimed at (1) the professional development of women assistant professors, (2) changes at the department/division level through faculty-led task forces, and (3) engagement of institutional leaders. Generalized linear models were used to test associations between assignment and outcomes, adjusting for correlations induced by the clustered design. Academic productivity and work self-efficacy improved significantly over the 3-year trial in both intervention and control groups, but the improvements did not differ between the groups. Average hours worked per week declined significantly more for faculty in the intervention group as compared with the control group (-3.82 vs. -1.39 hours, respectively, p = 0.006). The PhD faculty in the intervention group published significantly more than PhD controls; however, no differences were observed between MDs in the intervention group and MDs in the control group. Significant improvements in academic productivity and work self-efficacy occurred in both intervention and control groups, potentially due to school-wide intervention effects. A greater decline in work hours in the intervention group despite similar increases in academic productivity may reflect learning to "work smarter" or reveal efficiencies brought about as a result of the multifaceted intervention. The intervention appeared to benefit the academic productivity of faculty with PhDs, but not MDs, suggesting that interventions should be more intense or tailored to specific faculty

  15. Technologies and Policies to Improve Energy Efficiency in Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, Lynn; Price, Lynn


    The industrial sector consumes nearly 40% of annual global primary energy use and is responsible for a similar share of global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Many studies and actual experience indicate that there is considerable potential to reduce the amount of energy used to manufacture most commodities, concurrently reducing CO2 emissions. With the support of strong policies and programs, energy-efficient technologies and measures can be implemented that will reduce global CO2 emissions. A number of countries, including the Netherlands, the UK, and China, have experience implementing aggressive programs to improve energy efficiency and reduce related CO2 emissions from industry. Even so, there is no silver bullet and all options must be pursued if greenhouse gas emissions are to be constrained to the level required to avoid significant negative impacts from global climate change.

  16. Evaluation and Improvement of Lighting Efficiency in Working Spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Castillo-Martinez


    Full Text Available Lighting is an essential element for modern life, promoting a sense of wellbeing for users. However, bad illumination may produce health problems such as headaches and fatigue, among other vision problems. For that reason, this paper proposes the development of a smartphone-based application to help in lighting evaluation to guarantee the compliance of illumination regulations and to help increase illuminance efficiency, reducing its energy consumption. To perform this evaluation, the smartphone can be used as a lighting measurement tool, evaluating those measurements through an intelligent agent based in rules capable of guiding the decision-making process. As a result, this tool allows the evaluation of the real working environment to guarantee lighting requirements, helping in the prevention of health problems derived from bad illumination and improving the lighting efficiency at the same time.

  17. Bacterial capture efficiency in fluid bloodstream improved by bendable nanowires. (United States)

    Liu, Lizhi; Chen, Sheng; Xue, Zhenjie; Zhang, Zhen; Qiao, Xuezhi; Nie, Zongxiu; Han, Dong; Wang, Jianlong; Wang, Tie


    Bacterial infectious diseases, such as sepsis, can lead to impaired function in the lungs, kidneys, and other vital organs. Although established technologies have been designed for the extracorporeal removal of bacteria, a high flow velocity of the true bloodstream might result in low capture efficiency and prevent the realization of their full clinical potential. Here, we develop a dialyzer made by three-dimensional carbon foam pre-grafted with nanowires to isolate bacteria from unprocessed blood. The tip region of polycrystalline nanowires is bent readily to form three-dimensional nanoclaws when dragged by the molecular force of ligand-receptor, because of a decreasing Young's moduli from the bottom to the tip. The bacterial capture efficiency was improved from ~10% on carbon foam and ~40% on unbendable single-crystalline nanowires/carbon foam to 97% on bendable polycrystalline nanowires/carbon foam in a fluid bloodstream of 10 cm s -1 velocity.

  18. CRISPR/Cas9-Assisted Transformation-Efficient Reaction (CRATER) for Near-Perfect Selective Transformation (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Greenberg, Daniel T.; Takahashi, Jack R.; Thompson, Kirsten A.; Maheshwari, Akshay J.; Kent, Ryan E.; McCutcheon, Griffin; Shih, Joseph D.; Calvet, Charles; Devlin, Tyler D.; hide


    The CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas9 system has revolutionized genome editing by providing unprecedented DNA-targeting specificity. Here we demonstrate that this system can be also applied in vitro to fundamental cloning steps to facilitate efficient plasmid selection for transformation and selective gene insertion into plasmid vectors by cleaving unwanted plasmid byproducts with a single-guide RNA (sgRNA)-Cas9 nuclease complex. Using fluorescent and chromogenic proteins as reporters, we demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9 cleavage excludes multiple plasmids as well as unwanted ligation byproducts resulting in an unprecedented increase in the transformation success rate from approximately 20% to nearly 100%. Thus, this CRISPR/Cas9-Assisted Transformation-Efficient Reaction (CRATER) protocol is a novel, inexpensive, and convenient application to conventional molecular cloning to achieve near-perfect selective transformation.

  19. Improving crop water use efficiency using carbon isotope discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serraj, R.


    Water scarcity, drought and salinity are among the most important environmental constraints challenging crop productivity in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, especially the rain-fed production systems. The current challenge is to enhance food security in water-limited and/or salt-affected areas for the benefit of resource-poor farmers in developing countries. There is also an increasing need that water use in agriculture should focus on improvement in the management of existing water resources and enhancing crop water productivity. The method based on carbon-13 discrimination in plant tissues has a potentially important role in the selection and breeding of some crop species for increased water use efficiency in some specific environments. Under various water-limited environments, low delta in the plants, indicating low carbon isotope discrimination has been generally associated with high transpiration efficiency (TE). In contrast, for well-watered environments many positive genotypic correlations have been reported between delta and grain yield indicating potential value in selecting for greater delta in these environments. Few studies have been reported on the impact of selection for delta on adaptation and grain yield in saline environments. Studies of the impact of genetic selection for greater and lower delta are currently coordinated by the Soil and water Management and Crop Nutrition Section (SWMCN) of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division. A Coordinated Research Project (CRP) is currently on-going on the Selection for Greater Agronomic Water-Use Efficiency in Wheat and Rice using Carbon Isotope Discrimination (D1-20 08). The overall objective of this project is to contribute to increasing the agronomic water-use efficiency of wheat and rice production, where agronomic water-use efficiency is defined as grain yield/total water use including both transpiration and evaporation. The CRP is also aiming at increasing wheat productivity under drought and rice

  20. FORSCOM installation characterization and ranking for water efficiency improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitzpatrick, Q.K.; McMordie, K.L.; Di Massa, F.V. [and others


    On March 11, 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12902-Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation at Federal Facilities. Section 302 of the Executive Order calls for energy and water prioritization surveys of federal facilities to be conducted. The surveys will be used to establish priorities for conducting comprehensive facility audits. In response to the requirements of the Executive Order, the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) has tasked Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to initiate a broad study of the water savings potential at each of its major installations. This report provides an assessment of the water, sewer, energy (for hot water production and pumping), and associated cost savings potential at ten of the major FORSCOM installations. This assessment is meant to be a {open_quotes}first pass{close_quotes} estimate of the water savings potential, to assist FORSCOM in prioritizing installations for detailed water audits and potential water efficient retrofits. In addition, the end uses (toilets, sinks, showerheads, irrigation, etc.) with the greatest water savings potential are identified at each installation. This report is organized in the following manner. Following this Introduction, Section 2 provides important background information pertaining to the water analysis. Section 3 describes the methodology employed in the analysis, and Section 4 summarizes the study results. Section 5 prioritizes the installations based on both water/sewer savings and cost associated with water, sewer, and energy savings. Section 6 provides recommendations on where to start detailed water audits, as well as other recommendations. References are listed in Section 7. The appendices provide specific information on the analysis results and methodology, along with a discussion of special issues.

  1. Improving Patient Care Outcomes Through Better Delegation-Communication Between Nurses and Assistive Personnel. (United States)

    Wagner, Elissa A

    In acute care settings, registered nurses need to delegate effectively to unlicensed assistive personnel to provide safe care. This project explored the impact of improved delegation-communication between nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel on pressure injury rates, falls, patient satisfaction, and delegation practices. Findings revealed a tendency for nurses to delay the decision to delegate. However, nurses' ability to explain performance appraisals, facilitate clearer communication, and seek feedback improved. Patient outcomes revealed decreased falls and improved patient satisfaction.

  2. Indoor climate quality after renovation for improved energy efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsen, Lars Bo; Løck, Sebastian; Kolarik, Barbara


    before and after the retrofitting. The results showed significant energy savings in all projects. There was a marked difference between expected and measured energy consumption in one building and good agreement in the two others indicating a strong impact of good maintenance and operations on energy......The building sector is responsible for approximately 40 % of the Danish energy consumption. As every year less than 1 % of the building stock is rebuild after demolition of old buildings, improved energy efficiency of existing buildings are in focus. In the late seventies to mid-eighties unwise...

  3. Discontinuous interleaving of parallel inverters for efficiency improvement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rannestad, Bjørn; Munk-Nielsen, Stig; Gadgaard, Kristian


    Interleaved switching of parallel inverters has previously been proposed for efficiency/size improvements of grid connected three-phase inverters. This paper proposes a novel interleaving method which practically eliminates insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) turn-on losses and drastically...... reduces diode reverse recovery losses. The reduction in switching losses are obtained by interleaving two parallel inverter branches so that only one branch conducts the load current at a time. By placing saturable inductors between the parallel branches, soft switching may be obtained, and thereby...

  4. Improving the Efficient of Ernie Turner Center. Final Progress Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fredeen, Amy


    The objective of this project was to complete the specifications and drawings for a variable speed kitchen exhaust system and the boiler heating system which when implemented will improve the heating efficiency of the building. The design work was focused in two key areas: kitchen ventilation and heating for the Ernie Turner Center building (ETC). RSA completed design work and issued a set of 100% drawings. RSA also worked with a cost estimator to put together a detailed cost estimate for the project. The design components are summarized.

  5. Improving efficiency of NPP software based I and C

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ukhina, A.V.; Bilenko, A.A.; Sitnikov, V.S.


    The paper considers improving efficiency of NPP software based I and C during adjustment and readjustment of its characteristics. The research analyzes impact of transfer function coefficient of digital components on features of frequency - response characteristics, which shall be considered during design of software based I and C. The paper objective was to determine the numerator and denominator dependencies of transfer function of first order high - pass and low - pass digital filters of cut - off frequency, and also to determine dependencies on pulsation coefficient

  6. Fast reactor core concepts to improve transmutation efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimura, Koji; Kawashima, Katsuyuki; Itooka, Satoshi


    Fast Reactor (FR) core concepts to improve transmutation efficiency were conducted. A heterogeneous MA loaded core was designed based on the 1000MWe-ABR breakeven core. The heterogeneous MA loaded core with Zr-H loaded moderated targets had a better transmutation performance than the MA homogeneous loaded core. The annular pellet rod design was proposed as one of the possible design options for the MA target. It was shown that using annular pellet MA rods mitigates the self-shielding effect in the moderated target so as to enhance the transmutation rate

  7. Energy efficiency improvement of medical electric tools and devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meshkov Aleksandr S.


    Full Text Available With the ever-increasing volume of applications of various kinds of electric drives in all spheres of human activity, the issues in improving the efficiency of the electromechanical converters of electric energy, one of the most important components of the electric drive (ED, are becoming increasingly important. Such issues include reducing their weight and size, improving the functional characteristics of these devices to increase their operational life and reducing the cost of manufacture. Taking full advantage of these opportunities relates to the AC and DC single-phase commutator motor (SCM, which is widely used in regulated and high-speed motor drives in medical electric hand tools. The SCM is used in machinery where the load torque has a hyperbolic dependence on the rotational speed and the need to work with a large motor overload due to the “soft” mechanical characteristics of such motors.

  8. Efficiency improvements in pipeline transportation systems. Technical report, Task 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Banks, W. F.; Horton, J. H.


    This report identifies those potential energy-conservative pipeline innovations that are most energy- and cost-effective, and formulates recommendations for the R, D, and D programs needed to exploit those opportunities. From a candidate field of over twenty classes of efficiency improvements, eight systems are recommended for pursuit. Most of these possess two highly important attributes: large potential energy savings and broad applicability outside the pipeline industry. The R, D, and D program for each improvement and the recommended immediate next step are described. The eight programs recommended for pursuit are: gas-fired combined-cycle compressor station; internally cooled internal combustion engine; methanol-coal slurry pipeline; methanol-coal slurry-fired and coal-fired engines; indirect-fired coal-burning combined-cycle pump station; fuel-cycle pump station; internal coatings in pipelines; and drag-reducing additives in liquid pipelines.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reid B. Grigg; Robert K. Svec; Zheng-Wen Zeng; Liu Yi; Baojun Bai


    A three-year contract for the project, DOE Contract No. DE-FG26-01BC15364, ''Improving CO 2 Efficiency for Recovering Oil in Heterogeneous Reservoirs'', was started on September 28, 2001. This project examines three major areas in which CO 2 flooding can be improved: fluid and matrix interactions, conformance control/sweep efficiency, and reservoir simulation for improved oil recovery. The project has received a one-year, no-cost extension to September 27, 2005. During this extra time additional deliverables will be (1) the version of MASTER that has been debugged and a foam option added for CO 2 mobility control and (2) adsorption/desorption data on pure component minerals common in reservoir rock that will be used to improve predictions of chemical loss to adsorption in reservoirs. This report discusses the activity during the six-month period covering October 1, 2003 through March 31, 2004 that comprises the first and second fiscal quarters of the project's third year. During this period of the project several areas have advanced: reservoir fluid/rock interactions and their relationships to changing injectivity, and surfactant adsorption on quarried core and pure component granules, foam stability, and high flow rate effects. Presentations and papers included: a papers covered in a previous report was presented at the fall SPE ATCE in Denver in October 2003, a presentation at the Southwest ACS meeting in Oklahoma City, presentation on CO 2 flood basic behavior at the Midland Annual CO 2 Conference December 2003; two papers prepared for the biannual SPE/DOE Symposium on IOR, Tulsa, April 2004; one paper accepted for the fall 2004 SPE ATCE in Houston; and a paper submitted to an international journal Journal of Colloid and Interface Science which is being revised after peer review

  10. Improving building energy efficiency in India: State-level analysis of building energy efficiency policies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Sha; Tan, Qing; Evans, Meredydd; Kyle, Page; Vu, Linh; Patel, Pralit L.


    India is expected to add 40 billion m2 of new buildings till 2050. Buildings are responsible for one third of India’s total energy consumption today and building energy use is expected to continue growing driven by rapid income and population growth. The implementation of the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) is one of the measures to improve building energy efficiency. Using the Global Change Assessment Model, this study assesses growth in the buildings sector and impacts of building energy policies in Gujarat, which would help the state adopt ECBC and expand building energy efficiency programs. Without building energy policies, building energy use in Gujarat would grow by 15 times in commercial buildings and 4 times in urban residential buildings between 2010 and 2050. ECBC improves energy efficiency in commercial buildings and could reduce building electricity use in Gujarat by 20% in 2050, compared to the no policy scenario. Having energy codes for both commercial and residential buildings could result in additional 10% savings in electricity use. To achieve these intended savings, it is critical to build capacity and institution for robust code implementation.

  11. Evaluating the Management System Approach for Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Zobel


    Full Text Available Voluntary environmental management systems (EMS based on the international standard ISO 14001 have become widespread globally in recent years. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of voluntary management systems on energy efficiency in the Swedish manufacturing industry by means of objective industrial energy data derived from mandatory annual environmental reports. The study focuses on changes in energy efficiency over a period of 12 years and includes both ISO 14001-certified companies and non-certified companies. Consideration is given to energy improvement efforts in the companies before the adoption of ISO 14001. The analysis has been carried out using statistical methods for two different industrial energy parameters: electricity and fossil fuel consumption. The results indicate that ISO 14001 adoption and certification has increased energy efficiency regarding the use of fossil fuel. In contrast, no effect of the management systems has been found concerning the use of electricity. The mixed results of this study are only partly in line with the results of previous studies based on perceptions of company representatives.

  12. Restructuring and energy efficiency improvement of the Bulgarian energy economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moumdjian, G.


    The structure of the national energy economy of Bulgaria implies characteristic features that specify low efficiency as regards power production, ecology and economics. Even the qualitative assessments show that these indices stand far away from the standards established in developed countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden, etc. The best starting position for harmful energy efficiency improvement as well as emission reduction must be based on the restructuring of energy economy. The strategy of restructuring and development of energy economy covers the whole integrated national energy flow system 'resources - end user'. The preliminary study shows that energy efficiency can be increased by 25-30% within a period of 6-10 years using the least-cost investment strategy (including the research and development activities expenses). The study covers the existing structure of energy sector. Scenarios are being elaborated for its development and restructuring in respect to: heat production and transfer; electricity generation and transmission; energy consumption and conservation in residential buildings, public buildings and commercial sector; energy consumption in transport sector and agriculture. The approach for identification of the real potential opportunities in relation to the above stated areas is based on mathematical statistics and stochastic differential equations, multicriterial assessments, approach of self organisation systems and demand-side management. (author)

  13. Efficiency Improvements of Antenna Optimization Using Orthogonal Fractional Experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yen-Sheng Chen


    Full Text Available This paper presents an extremely efficient method for antenna design and optimization. Traditionally, antenna optimization relies on nature-inspired heuristic algorithms, which are time-consuming due to their blind-search nature. In contrast, design of experiments (DOE uses a completely different framework from heuristic algorithms, reducing the design cycle by formulating the surrogates of a design problem. However, the number of required simulations grows exponentially if a full factorial design is used. In this paper, a much more efficient technique is presented to achieve substantial time savings. By using orthogonal fractional experiments, only a small subset of the full factorial design is required, yet the resultant response surface models are still effective. The capability of orthogonal fractional experiments is demonstrated through three examples, including two tag antennas for radio-frequency identification (RFID applications and one internal antenna for long-term-evolution (LTE handheld devices. In these examples, orthogonal fractional experiments greatly improve the efficiency of DOE, thereby facilitating the antenna design with less simulation runs.

  14. Improving computational efficiency of Monte Carlo simulations with variance reduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, A.; Davis, A.


    CCFE perform Monte-Carlo transport simulations on large and complex tokamak models such as ITER. Such simulations are challenging since streaming and deep penetration effects are equally important. In order to make such simulations tractable, both variance reduction (VR) techniques and parallel computing are used. It has been found that the application of VR techniques in such models significantly reduces the efficiency of parallel computation due to 'long histories'. VR in MCNP can be accomplished using energy-dependent weight windows. The weight window represents an 'average behaviour' of particles, and large deviations in the arriving weight of a particle give rise to extreme amounts of splitting being performed and a long history. When running on parallel clusters, a long history can have a detrimental effect on the parallel efficiency - if one process is computing the long history, the other CPUs complete their batch of histories and wait idle. Furthermore some long histories have been found to be effectively intractable. To combat this effect, CCFE has developed an adaptation of MCNP which dynamically adjusts the WW where a large weight deviation is encountered. The method effectively 'de-optimises' the WW, reducing the VR performance but this is offset by a significant increase in parallel efficiency. Testing with a simple geometry has shown the method does not bias the result. This 'long history method' has enabled CCFE to significantly improve the performance of MCNP calculations for ITER on parallel clusters, and will be beneficial for any geometry combining streaming and deep penetration effects. (authors)

  15. An efficiency improvement in warehouse operation using simulation analysis (United States)

    Samattapapong, N.


    In general, industry requires an efficient system for warehouse operation. There are many important factors that must be considered when designing an efficient warehouse system. The most important is an effective warehouse operation system that can help transfer raw material, reduce costs and support transportation. By all these factors, researchers are interested in studying about work systems and warehouse distribution. We start by collecting the important data for storage, such as the information on products, information on size and location, information on data collection and information on production, and all this information to build simulation model in Flexsim® simulation software. The result for simulation analysis found that the conveyor belt was a bottleneck in the warehouse operation. Therefore, many scenarios to improve that problem were generated and testing through simulation analysis process. The result showed that an average queuing time was reduced from 89.8% to 48.7% and the ability in transporting the product increased from 10.2% to 50.9%. Thus, it can be stated that this is the best method for increasing efficiency in the warehouse operation.

  16. Assembly Line Efficiency Improvement by Using WITNESS Simulation Software (United States)

    Yasir, A. S. H. M.; Mohamed, N. M. Z. N.


    In the nowadays-competitive world, efficiencies and the productivity of the assembly line are essential in manufacturing company. This paper demonstrates the study of the existing production line performance. The actual cycle time observed and recorded during the working process. The current layout was designed and analysed using Witness simulation software. The productivity and effectiveness for every single operator are measured to determine the operator idle time and busy time. Two new alternatives layout were proposed and analysed by using Witness simulation software to improve the performance of production activities. This research provided valuable and better understanding of production effectiveness by adjusting the line balancing. After analysing the data, simulation result from the current layout and the proposed plan later been tabulated to compare the improved efficiency and productivity. The proposed design plan has shown an increase in yield and productivity compared to the current arrangement. This research has been carried out in company XYZ, which is one of the automotive premises in Pahang, Malaysia.

  17. Improving thermoelectric energy harvesting efficiency by using graphene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Usman


    Full Text Available This study is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of a thermoelectric (TE energy harvesting system by using a thick graphene layer. This method is a simple yet effective way to increase the temperature gradient across a conventional TE module by accelerating heat dissipation on the cold side of the system. Aqueous dispersions of graphene were used to prepare a 112-μm thick graphene layer on the cold side of the TE system with aluminum as the substrate material. The maximum efficiency of the proposed system was improved by 25.45 %, as compared to the conventional TE system, which does not have a graphene layer. Additionally, the proposed system shows very little performance deterioration (2.87 % in the absence of enough air flow on the cold side of the system, compared to the case of the conventional system (10.59 %. Hence, the proposed system, when coupled with the latest research on high performance TE materials, presents a groundbreaking improvement in the practical application of the TE energy harvesting systems.

  18. Improving thermoelectric energy harvesting efficiency by using graphene (United States)

    Usman, Muhammad; Kim, In-Ho; Jung, Hyung-Jo


    This study is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of a thermoelectric (TE) energy harvesting system by using a thick graphene layer. This method is a simple yet effective way to increase the temperature gradient across a conventional TE module by accelerating heat dissipation on the cold side of the system. Aqueous dispersions of graphene were used to prepare a 112-μm thick graphene layer on the cold side of the TE system with aluminum as the substrate material. The maximum efficiency of the proposed system was improved by 25.45 %, as compared to the conventional TE system, which does not have a graphene layer. Additionally, the proposed system shows very little performance deterioration (2.87 %) in the absence of enough air flow on the cold side of the system, compared to the case of the conventional system (10.59 %). Hence, the proposed system, when coupled with the latest research on high performance TE materials, presents a groundbreaking improvement in the practical application of the TE energy harvesting systems.

  19. Military Base Realignments and Closures: Process for Reusing Property for Homeless Assistance Needs Improvements (United States)


    shortfalls, including addressing the issue of homelessness . According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, as of October 2013 the...MILITARY BASE REALIGNMENTS AND CLOSURES Process for Reusing Property for Homeless Assistance Needs Improvements...COVERED 00-00-2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Military Base Realignments and Closures: Process for Reusing Property for Homeless Assistance

  20. An improved tuned mass damper (SMA-TMD) assisted by a shape memory alloy spring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mishra, Sudib K; Gur, Sourav; Chakraborty, Subrata


    The tuned mass damper (TMD) is a well acclaimed passive control device for vibration control of structures. However, the requirement of a higher mass ratio restricts its applicability for seismic vibration control of civil engineering structures. Improving the performance of TMDs has been attempted by supplementing them with nonlinear restoring devices. In this regard, the ability of shape memory alloy (SMA) in dissipating energy through a hysteretic phase transformation of its microstructure triggered by cyclic loading is notable. An improved version of TMD assisted by a nonlinear shape memory alloy (SMA) spring, referred as SMA-TMD, is studied here for seismic vibration mitigation. Extensive numerical simulations are conducted based on nonlinear random vibration analysis via stochastic linearization of the nonlinear force–deformation hysteresis of the SMA. A design optimization based on minimizing the root mean square displacement of the main structure is also carried out to postulate the optimal design parameters for the proposed system. The viability of the optimal design is verified with respect to its performance under recorded earthquake motions. Significant improvements of the control efficiency and a reduction of the TMD displacement at a much reduced mass ratio are shown to be achieved in the proposed SMA-TMD over those in the linear TMD. (paper)

  1. Improving water resources management efficiency for cranberry production (United States)

    Rousseau, A. N.; Bigah, Y.; Gumiere, S.


    Water needs vary significantly from one plant to another and unlike many other plants cranberry is a very sensitive to weather conditions. This inherent sensitivity requires irrigation for protection against frost and excessive heat when the air temperature falls below 0o C and rises above 25o C, respectively. In addition, cranberry fields require significant amount of water as fields require about 406 mm of water to ease the harvesting process. Lastly, fields need icing for protection during winter months and that requires maintaining almost 203 mm of water above cranberry plants for at least three consecutive days. The intensive use of water for cranberry production has triggered several water management projects, particularly in Canada, the second largest producer in the world. The outcomes of these projects have improved water management to a point where nowadays most cranberry farms recycle water in a closed circuit during the production cycle, especially during the harvesting and icing phases. However, up till now very little effort had been put into assessing the efficiency of the recycling system such that a question remained: how much does a closed circuit system contribute to reducing the annual water use? The objective of this project is to assess water use for cranberry production and associated management efficiency of two different recycling systems located within watersheds under slightly different climatic conditions. The methodological approach is based on the development of a mathematical model capable of simulating water needs for a wide range of climatic conditions and over an extended period of time (e.g., 30 years). The outcome of this project has potential to further improve our understanding of the inter-annual dynamics of water needs and supply and ultimately improved recycling systems.

  2. Implementing electronic handover: interventions to improve efficiency, safety and sustainability. (United States)

    Alhamid, Sharifah Munirah; Lee, Desmond Xue-Yuan; Wong, Hei Man; Chuah, Matthew Bingfeng; Wong, Yu Jun; Narasimhalu, Kaavya; Tan, Thuan Tong; Low, Su Ying


    Effective handovers are critical for patient care and safety. Electronic handover tools are increasingly used today to provide an effective and standardized platform for information exchange. The implementation of an electronic handover system in tertiary hospitals can be a major challenge. Previous efforts in implementing an electronic handover tool failed due to poor compliance and buy-in from end-users. A new electronic handover tool was developed and incorporated into the existing electronic medical records (EMRs) for medical patients in Singapore General Hospital (SGH). There was poor compliance by on-call doctors in acknowledging electronic handovers, and lack of adherence to safety rules, raising concerns about the safety and efficiency of the electronic handover tool. Urgent measures were needed to ensure its safe and sustained use. A quality improvement group comprising stakeholders, including end-users, developed multi-faceted interventions using rapid PDSA (P-Plan, D-Do, S-Study, A-Act ) cycles to address these issues. Innovative solutions using media and online software provided cost-efficient measures to improve compliance. The percentage of unacknowledged handovers per day was used as the main outcome measure throughout all PDSA cycles. Doctors were also assessed for improvement in their knowledge of safety rules and their perception of the electronic handover tool. An electronic handover tool complementing daily clinical practice can be successfully implemented using solutions devised through close collaboration with end-users supported by the senior leadership. A combined 'bottom-up' and 'top-down' approach with regular process evaluations is crucial for its long-term sustainability. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

  3. 75 FR 30387 - Improving Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Agenda and... (United States)


    ... Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Agenda and Procedures for Staff... planning models and software. The technical conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT) on June... on the Commission's Web site at . A free Webcast of this event is available...

  4. Improving The Efficiency Of Ammonia Electrolysis For Hydrogen Production (United States)

    Palaniappan, Ramasamy

    Given the abundance of ammonia in domestic and industrial wastes, ammonia electrolysis is a promising technology for remediation and distributed power generation in a clean and safe manner. Efficiency has been identified as one of the key issues that require improvement in order for the technology to enter the market phase. Therefore, this research was performed with the aim of improving the efficiency of hydrogen production by finding alternative materials for the cathode and electrolyte. 1. In the presence of ammonia the activity for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) followed the trend Rh>Pt>Ru>Ni. The addition of ammonia resulted in lower rates for HER for Pt, Ru, and Ni, which have been attributed to competition from the ammonia adsorption reaction. 2. The addition of ammonia offers insight into the role of metal-hydrogen underpotential deposition (M-Hupd) on HER kinetics. In addition to offering competition via ammonia adsorption it resulted in fewer and weaker M-Hupd bonds for all metals. This finding substantiates the theory that M-Hupd bonds favor HER on Pt electrocatalyst. However, for Rh results suggest that M-Hupd bond may hinder the HER. In addition, the presence of unpaired valence shell electrons is suggested to provide higher activity for HER in the presence of ammonia. 3. Bimetals PtxM1-x (M = Ir, Ru, Rh, and Ni) offered lower overpotentials for HER compared to the unalloyed metals in the presence of ammonia. The activity of HER in the presence of ammonia follows the trend Pt-Ir>Pt-Rh>Pt-Ru>Pt-Ni. The higher activity of HER is attributed to the synergistic effect of the alloy, where ammonia adsorbs onto the more electropositive alloying metal leaving Pt available for Hupd formation and HER to take place. Additionally, this supports the theory that the presence of a higher number of unpaired electrons favors the HER in the presence of ammonia. 4. Potassium polyacrylate (PAA-K) was successfully used as a substitute for aqueous KOH for ammonia

  5. Stepwise hydrolysis to improve carbon releasing efficiency from sludge. (United States)

    Liu, Hongbo; Wang, Yuanyuan; Wang, Ling; Yu, Tiantian; Fu, Bo; Liu, He


    Based on thermal alkaline hydrolysis (TAH), a novel strategy of stepwise hydrolysis was developed to improve carbon releasing efficiency from waste activated sludge (WAS). By stepwise increasing hydrolysis intensity, conventional sludge hydrolysis (the control) was divided into four stages for separately recovering sludge carbon sources with different bonding strengths, namely stage 1 (60 °C, pH 6.0-8.0), stage 2 (80 °C, pH 6.0-8.0), stage 3 (80 °C, pH 10.0) and stage 4 (90 °C, pH 12.0). Results indicate stepwise hydrolysis could enhance the amount of released soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) for almost 2 times, from 7200 to 14,693 mg/L, and the released carbon presented better biodegradability, with BOD/COD of 0.47 and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) yield of 0.37 g VFAs/g SCOD via anaerobic fermentation. Moreover, stepwise hydrolysis also improved the dewaterability of hydrolyzed sludge, capillary suction time (CST) reducing from 2500 to 1600 s. Economic assessment indicates stepwise hydrolysis shows less alkali demand and lower thermal energy consumption than those of the control. Furthermore, results of this study help support the concepts of improving carbon recovery in wastewater by manipulating WAS composition and the idea of classifiably recovering the nutrients in WAS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. An improved nickel/zinc battery for ventricular assist systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coates, D. [Energy Research Corp., Danbury, CT (United States); Ferreira, E. [Energy Research Corp., Danbury, CT (United States); Charkey, A. [Energy Research Corp., Danbury, CT (United States)


    Nickel/zinc batteries are currently being manufactured under contract to the national institutes of health (NIH) for a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The nickel/zinc system is being developed to replace the current lead-acid battery in this application. First generation prototype cells provide 60 Wh kg{sup -1}, which is a weight saving of more than 35% compared to the lead-acid battery in current use. Further optimization of this design will result in a projected energy density of 70 Wh kg{sup -1} by reducing the cell weight by 15%. Cell characterization and accelerated testing are underway to establish cell performance as a function of cycle life. (orig.)

  7. Danish energy efficiency policy: revisited and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Togeby, Mikael; Dyhr-Mikkelsen, Kirsten (Ea Energy Analyses (Denmark)); Larsen, Anders; Juel Hansen, Morten (Roskilde Univ., Dept. of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde (Denmark)); Bach, Peter (Danish Energy Authority, Copenhagen (Denmark))


    Ten groups of policy instruments for promoting energy efficiency are actively used in Denmark. Among these are the EU instruments such as the CO{sub 2} emissions trading scheme and labelling of appliances, labelling of all buildings, combined with national instruments such as high taxes especially on households and the public sector, obligations for energy companies (electricity, natural gas, district heating, and oil) to deliver documented savings, strict building codes, special instructions for the public sector, and an Electricity Saving Trust. A political agreement from 2005 states that an evaluation of the entire Danish energy efficiency policy portfolio must be carried out before end 2008 and put forward for discussion among governing parties no later than February 2009. A consortium comprising Ea Energy Analyses, Niras, the Dept. of Society and Globalisation (Roskilde Univ.) and 4-Fact was assigned with this task. The evaluation aimed to answer the crucial questions: - Is the overall design of the portfolio of instruments appropriate? - Does the impact of the instruments justify the costs, so that we reach the national goals in a cost efficient way? - Will the current instrument portfolio be able to meet the required reduction in final energy consumption (goal for 2013) and in primary energy consumption (with goals in 2011 and 2020) as planned by parliament? Recommendations were made on how to improve and develop the portfolio using cost effectiveness as well as organisational clarity as criteria in developing the recommendations. The evaluation was completed in December 2008, and this paper presents the main findings and proceeds to discuss the issues from an EU perspective.

  8. Challenges in biobutanol production: How to improve the efficiency?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, Veronica; Paekkilae, Johanna; Muurinen, Esa; Keiski, Riitta L. [Mass and Heat Transfer Process Laboratory, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering, POB 4300, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Oulu (Finland); Ojamo, Heikki [Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering, POB 4300, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Oulu (Finland)


    There is an increasing interest in the production of chemicals and fuels from renewable resources due to the continuing price increase of fossil resources, the insecurity of the availability of fossil resources in the future, and additionally environmental concerns and legislations. Biobutanol may be produced by the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation. This paper reviews the biobutanol production bringing up the problems and challenges to overcome. The aim of the paper is to help in finding opportunities to make the process feasible in the near future. The analysis stresses the idea of improving the efficiency of the fermentation stage by altering the up (pretreatment of the raw material) and downstream (product recovery and purification) processes. The paper also explores the biobutanol production from the biorefinery perspective. Finally the review brings up the important role of research in developing and implementing the production of biobutanol by the ABE fermentation. (author)

  9. Leanergy(TM): how lean manufacturing can improve energy efficiency. (United States)

    Riche, Jean-Pierre


    Energy efficiency has become a competitive issue for industrial companies. The evolution of energy prices and regulation will make this issue even more important in the future. For several years, the energy-intensive chemical industry has been implementing corrective actions. Helped by the absorption of base load energy consumption by larger production volumes, specific energy consumption (KWh per production unit) has been significantly reduced in recent years. However, most plants have reached the end of their first action plan based on improving the utilities performance. The Leanergy(TM) method developed by the consultancy company Okavango-energy, is a structured approach based on lean manufacturing which widens the scope of saving sources to process and operations. Starting from the analysis of actual production requirements, Okavango is able to adjust consumption to minimum requirements and so remove any energy consumption that does not contribute to the added value creation.

  10. Renewable energy: An efficient mechanism to improve GDP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chien, Taichen [Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research, Taipei (China); Hu, Jin-Li [Institute of Business and Management, National Chiao Tung University (China)


    This article analyzes the effects of renewable energy on GDP for 116 economies in 2003 through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. In order to decipher the mechanism of how the use of renewables improves macroeconomic efficiency, we decompose GDP by the ''expenditure approach''. Although previous theory predicts positive effects of renewables on capital formation and trade balance, the SEM results show that renewables have a significant positive influence on capital formation only. The result that renewables do not have a significant impact on trade balance implies that renewables do not have an import substitution effect. Thus, we confirm the positive relationship between renewable energy and GDP through the path of increasing capital formation, but not for the path of increasing trade balance. (author)

  11. Renewable energy: An efficient mechanism to improve GDP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chien Taichen [Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research, Taipei, Taiwan (China)], E-mail:; Hu Jinli [Institute of Business and Management, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (China)


    This article analyzes the effects of renewable energy on GDP for 116 economies in 2003 through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. In order to decipher the mechanism of how the use of renewables improves macroeconomic efficiency, we decompose GDP by the 'expenditure approach'. Although previous theory predicts positive effects of renewables on capital formation and trade balance, the SEM results show that renewables have a significant positive influence on capital formation only. The result that renewables do not have a significant impact on trade balance implies that renewables do not have an import substitution effect. Thus, we confirm the positive relationship between renewable energy and GDP through the path of increasing capital formation, but not for the path of increasing trade balance.

  12. Teleglaucoma: improving access and efficiency for glaucoma care. (United States)

    Kassam, Faazil; Yogesan, Kanagasingam; Sogbesan, Enitan; Pasquale, Louis R; Damji, Karim F


    Teleglaucoma is the application of telemedicine for glaucoma. We review and present the current literature on teleglaucoma; present our experience with teleglaucoma programs in Alberta, Canada and Western Australia; and discuss the challenges and opportunities in this emerging field. Teleglaucoma is a novel area that was first explored a little over a decade ago and early studies highlighted the technical challenges of delivering glaucoma care remotely. Advanced technologies have since emerged that show great promise in providing access to underserviced populations. Additionally, these technologies can improve the efficiency of healthcare systems burdened with an increasing number of patients with glaucoma, and a limited supply of ophthalmologists. Additional benefits of teleglaucoma systems include e-learning and e-research. Further work is needed to fully validate and study the cost and comparative effectiveness of this approach relative to traditional models of healthcare.

  13. Renewable energy: An efficient mechanism to improve GDP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chien Taichen; Hu Jinli


    This article analyzes the effects of renewable energy on GDP for 116 economies in 2003 through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach. In order to decipher the mechanism of how the use of renewables improves macroeconomic efficiency, we decompose GDP by the 'expenditure approach'. Although previous theory predicts positive effects of renewables on capital formation and trade balance, the SEM results show that renewables have a significant positive influence on capital formation only. The result that renewables do not have a significant impact on trade balance implies that renewables do not have an import substitution effect. Thus, we confirm the positive relationship between renewable energy and GDP through the path of increasing capital formation, but not for the path of increasing trade balance

  14. Improved efficiency of budesonide nebulization using surface-active agents. (United States)

    Bouwman, A M; Heijstra, M P; Schaefer, N C; Duiverman, E J; Lesouëf, P N; Devadason, S G


    Our aim was to improve the efficiency of nebulised budesonide using surface-active agents. Cationic, anionic, and nonionic detergents were added to commercial budesonide suspension, and the particle size distribution during nebulization was measured using both cascade impaction and laser diffraction. Our results showed that the emitted dose was increased after addition of cationic (p < 0.001) and nonionic detergents (p < 0.01) compared with the commercial formulation alone. The respirable fraction was increased for all detergent formulations (p < 0.001) compared with the commercial formulation. We concluded that cationic and nonionic detergent increased the total output of budesonide from the Sidestream. All detergent formulations increased the respirable fraction of nebulized budesonide.

  15. Evaluation of economic efficiency of process improvement in food packaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Hron


    Full Text Available In general, we make gains in process by the three fundamental ways. First, we define or redefine our process in a strategic sense. Second, once defined or redefined, we commence process operations and use process control methods to target and stabilize our process. Third, we use process improvement methods, as described in this paper, along with process control to fully exploit our process management and/or technology. Process improvement is focused primarily in our subprocesses and sub-subprocesses. Process leverage is the key to process improvement initiatives. This means that small improvements of the basic manufacturing operations can have (with the assumption of mass repetition of the operation a big impact on the functioning of the whole production unit. The complexity within even small organizations, in people, products, and processes, creates significant challenges in effectively and efficiently using these initiatives tools. In this paper we are going to place process purposes in the foreground and initiatives and tools in the background as facilitator to help accomplish process purpose. Initiatives and tools are not the ends we are seeking; result/outcomes in physical, economics, timeliness, and customer service performance matter. In the paper process boundaries (in a generic sense are set by our process purpose and our process definition. Process improvement is initiated within our existing process boundaries. For example, in a fast-food restaurant, if we define our cooking process around a frying technology, then we provide process improvements within our frying technology. On the other hand, if we are considering changing to a broiling technology, then we are likely faced with extensive change, impacting our external customers, and a process redefinition may be required. The result / aim of the paper are based on the example of the process improving of a food packaging quality. Specifically, the integration of two approaches

  16. Improving the energy efficiency of industrial refrigeration systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oh, Jin-Sik; Binns, Michael; Park, Sangmin; Kim, Jin-Kuk


    Various retrofit design options are available for improving the energy efficiency and economics of industrial refrigeration systems. This study considers a novel retrofit option using a mixed refrigerant (MR) in refrigeration cycles designed for use with a pure refrigerant (PR). In this way energy savings can be realized by switching refrigerants without requiring extensive and expensive reconfiguration of equipment. Hence, the aim here is to test the common thinking that equipment should always be extensively reconfigured when switching from pure to mixed refrigerants. To determine the most energy-efficient operating conditions for each refrigeration design an optimization framework is utilized linking a process simulator with an external optimization method. A case study is presented to demonstrate how the proposed process modeling and optimization framework can be applied and to illustrate the economic benefits of using the retrofit design options considered here. For the case considered in this paper, savings of shaft power required for the refrigeration cycle can be achieved from 16.3% to 27.2% when the pure refrigerant is replaced with mixed refrigerants and operating conditions are re-optimized. - Highlights: • Design methods for the design of refrigeration cycles in retrofit cases. • Consideration of mixed refrigerants to the existing multi-level pure-refrigerant cycles. • Optimization of refrigeration cycles with integrated use of a process simulator with an optimizer.

  17. Improving robustness and computational efficiency using modern C++

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paterno, M; Kowalkowski, J; Green, C


    For nearly two decades, the C++ programming language has been the dominant programming language for experimental HEP. The publication of ISO/IEC 14882:2011, the current version of the international standard for the C++ programming language, makes available a variety of language and library facilities for improving the robustness, expressiveness, and computational efficiency of C++ code. However, much of the C++ written by the experimental HEP community does not take advantage of the features of the language to obtain these benefits, either due to lack of familiarity with these features or concern that these features must somehow be computationally inefficient. In this paper, we address some of the features of modern C+-+, and show how they can be used to make programs that are both robust and computationally efficient. We compare and contrast simple yet realistic examples of some common implementation patterns in C, currently-typical C++, and modern C++, and show (when necessary, down to the level of generated assembly language code) the quality of the executable code produced by recent C++ compilers, with the aim of allowing the HEP community to make informed decisions on the costs and benefits of the use of modern C++.

  18. Improving routing efficiency through intermediate target based geographic routing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongming Fei


    Full Text Available The greedy strategy of geographical routing may cause the local minimum problem when there is a hole in the routing area. It depends on other strategies such as perimeter routing to find a detour path, which can be long and result in inefficiency of the routing protocol. In this paper, we propose a new approach called Intermediate Target based Geographic Routing (ITGR to solve the long detour path problem. The basic idea is to use previous experience to determine the destination areas that are shaded by the holes. The novelty of the approach is that a single forwarding path can be used to determine a shaded area that may cover many destination nodes. We design an efficient method for the source to find out whether a destination node belongs to a shaded area. The source then selects an intermediate node as the tentative target and greedily forwards packets to it, which in turn forwards the packet to the final destination by greedy routing. ITGR can combine multiple shaded areas to improve the efficiency of representation and routing. We perform simulations and demonstrate that ITGR significantly reduces the routing path length, compared with existing geographic routing protocols.

  19. Rapeseed is an efficient energy crop which can still improve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flenet Francis


    Full Text Available The ability of biofuels to contribute efficiently to the replacement of fossil energy and to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has been a matter of debate. Hence, there is a need to assess accurately the energy balance of biofuels and their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to evaluate and to improve the benefit for society. In rapeseed, the energy ratio (energy produced per unit of non-renewable energy input is well above 2 whatever the method of calculation. In order to investigate the variability of energy ratios and to identify ways of improvement, a study was conducted in France in 2005 and 2006. The method of mass allocation of input energy was used for calculations, instead of the substitution method, because with this method the results do not depend on the utilization of co-products. Hence, this method is better adapted to follow improvements. A great variability in the energy ratio was observed in 2005 and 2006. Seed yields and energy cost of fertilizer N explained most of this variability. Hence, improvements should focus on increasing yield with little increase in energy cost, and on decreasing wasting of N fertilizer. However the farmer incomes, and the net production of energy per hectare, must also be a matter of concern. The inventories of greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels are still uncertain because of the great variability of soil emissions, due to environmental and management factors. Hence, in order to assess the effect of rapeseed on greenhouse gas emissions, methods based on process-oriented models accounting for these factors must be used. Such models give promising results, but further testing is still needed.

  20. Highly efficient isocyanate-free microwave-assisted synthesis of [6]-oligourea

    KAUST Repository

    Qaroush, Abdussalam K.


    A new eco-friendly, isocyanate-free, energy-saving method for the production of [6]-oligourea, utilizing a green carbonylating agent, viz. propylene carbonate, is reported. It comprises an organocatalyzed, microwave-assisted, solvent-free synthesis. Two modes of microwave-assisted synthesis, viz. dynamic and fixed energy modes, were applied. Upon optimization, the dynamic mode gave 79% yields of [6]-oligourea. On the other hand, almost quantitative yields were obtained using the fixed mode, within 20 min, at 10 W and with the same catalyst loading. Combination of both organocatalysis and microwave energy input appears to be a key issue for the efficiency of the reaction, with the fixed energy mode being best suited. It should be noted that all data reported are reproducible (due to the homogeneous microwave technology used by CEM Discover S-Class of microwave reactors). To the best of our knowledge, this is the best eco-friendly synthetic approach for the preparation of the title oligomers. It paves the way for using more of the biorenewable and sustainable chemicals as a feedstock for the production of polyureas. The oligomer produced was analyzed by EA, ATR-FTIR, XRD, 1H and 13CNMR. Furthermore, thermal properties of the resulting [6]-oligourea were analyzed using TGA and DSC. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.

  1. Efficiency improvement of technological preparation of power equipment manufacturing (United States)

    Milukov, I. A.; Rogalev, A. N.; Sokolov, V. P.; Shevchenko, I. V.


    Competitiveness of power equipment primarily depends on speeding-up the development and mastering of new equipment samples and technologies, enhancement of organisation and management of design, manufacturing and operation. Actual political, technological and economic conditions cause the acute need in changing the strategy and tactics of process planning. At that the issues of maintenance of equipment with simultaneous improvement of its efficiency and compatibility to domestically produced components are considering. In order to solve these problems, using the systems of computer-aided process planning for process design at all stages of power equipment life cycle is economically viable. Computer-aided process planning is developed for the purpose of improvement of process planning by using mathematical methods and optimisation of design and management processes on the basis of CALS technologies, which allows for simultaneous process design, process planning organisation and management based on mathematical and physical modelling of interrelated design objects and production system. An integration of computer-aided systems providing the interaction of informative and material processes at all stages of product life cycle is proposed as effective solution to the challenges in new equipment design and process planning.

  2. Efficiency improvement of flat plate solar collector using reflector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himangshu Bhowmik


    Full Text Available Solar collectors are the main components of a solar heating system. The collectors collect the sun’s energy, transform this radiation into heat, and then transfer this heat into a fluid, water or air, which has many household or industrial applications. This paper introduces a new technology to improve the performance of the solar thermal collectors. The solar reflector used here with the solar collector to increase the reflectivity of the collector. Thus, the reflector concentrates both direct and diffuse radiation of the sun toward the collector. To maximize the intensity of incident radiation, the reflector was allowed to change its angle with daytime. The radiations coming from the sun’s energy were converted into heat, and then this heat was transferred to the collector fluid, water. A prototype of a solar water heating system was constructed and obtained the improvement of the collector efficiency around 10% by using the reflector. Thus, the present solar water heating systems having the best thermal performance compared to the available systems.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid B. Grigg; Robert K. Svec


    This document is the First Annual Report for the U.S. Department of Energy under contract No., a three-year contract entitled: ''Improving CO{sub 2} Efficiency for Recovering Oil in Heterogeneous Reservoirs.'' The research improved our knowledge and understanding of CO{sub 2} flooding and includes work in the areas of injectivity and mobility control. The bulk of this work has been performed by the New Mexico Petroleum Recovery Research Center, a research division of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. This report covers the reporting period of September 28, 2001 and September 27, 2002. Injectivity continues to be a concern to the industry. During this period we have contacted most of the CO{sub 2} operators in the Permian Basin and talked again about their problems in this area. This report has a summary of what we found. It is a given that carbonate mineral dissolution and deposition occur in a formation in geologic time and are expected to some degree in carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) floods. Water-alternating-gas (WAG) core flood experiments conducted on limestone and dolomite core plugs confirm that these processes can occur over relatively short time periods (hours to days) and in close proximity to each other. Results from laboratory CO{sub 2}-brine flow experiments performed in rock core were used to calibrate a reactive transport simulator. The calibrated model is being used to estimate in situ effects of a range of possible sequestration options in depleted oil/gas reservoirs. The code applied in this study is a combination of the well known TOUGH2 simulator, for coupled groundwater/brine and heat flow, with the chemistry code TRANS for chemically reactive transport. Variability in response among rock types suggests that CO{sub 2} injection will induce ranges of transient and spatially dependent changes in intrinsic rock permeability and porosity. Determining the effect of matrix changes on CO{sub 2} mobility is crucial in

  4. Berkeley Lab Sheds Light on Improving Solar Cell Efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


    Typical manufacturing methods produce solar cells with an efficiency of 12-15%; and 14% efficiency is the bare minimum for achieving a profit. In work performed at the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA, 5 10-486-577 1)--a US Department of Energy national laboratory that conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California--scientist Scott McHugo has obtained keen insights into the impaired performance of solar cells manufactured from polycrystalline silicon. The solar cell market is potentially vast, according to Berkeley Lab. Lightweight solar panels are highly beneficial for providing electrical power to remote locations in developing nations, since there is no need to build transmission lines or truck-in generator fuel. Moreover, industrial nations confronted with diminishing resources have active programs aimed at producing improved, less expensive solar cells. 'In a solar cell, there is a junction between p-type silicon and an n-type layer, such as diffused-in phosphorous', explained McHugo, who is now with Berkeley Lab's Accelerator and Fusion Research Division. 'When sunlight is absorbed, it frees electrons, which start migrating in a random-walk fashion toward that junction. If the electrons make it to the junction; they contribute to the cell's output of electric current. Often, however, before they reach the junction, they recombine at specific sites in the crystal' (and, therefore, cannot contribute to current output). McHugo scrutinized a map of a silicon wafer in which sites of high recombination appeared as dark regions. Previously, researchers had shown that such phenomena occurred not primarily at grain boundaries in the polycrystalline material, as might be expected, but more often at dislocations in the crystal. However, the dislocations themselves were not the problem. Using a unique heat treatment technique, McHugo performed electrical measurements to investigate the material

  5. Energy-Efficient Channel Handoff for Sensor Network-Assisted Cognitive Radio Network. (United States)

    Usman, Muhammad; Khan, Muhammad Sajjad; Vu-Van, Hiep; Insoo, Koo


    The visiting and less-privileged status of the secondary users (SUs) in a cognitive radio network obligates them to release the occupied channel instantly when it is reclaimed by the primary user. The SU has a choice to make: either wait for the channel to become free, thus conserving energy at the expense of delayed transmission and delivery, or find and switch to a vacant channel, thereby avoiding delay in transmission at the expense of increased energy consumption. An energy-efficient decision that considers the tradeoff between energy consumption and continuous transmission needs to be taken as to whether to switch the channels. In this work, we consider a sensor network-assisted cognitive radio network and propose a backup channel, which is sensed by the SU in parallel with the operating channel that is being sensed by the sensor nodes. Imperfect channel sensing and residual energy of the SU are considered in order to develop an energy-efficient handoff strategy using the partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP), which considers beliefs about the operating and backup channels and the remaining energy of the SU in order to take an optimal channel handoff decision on the question "Should we switch the channel?" The objective is to dynamically decide in each time slot whether the SU should switch the channel or not in order to maximize throughput by utilizing energy efficiently. Extensive simulations were performed to show the effectiveness of the proposed channel handoff strategy, which was demonstrated in the form of throughput with respect to various parameters, i.e., detection probability, the channel idle probabilities of the operating and backup channels, and the maximum energy of the SU.

  6. Plasma-Assisted Synthesis of NiCoP for Efficient Overall Water Splitting

    KAUST Repository

    Liang, Hanfeng


    Efficient water splitting requires highly active, earth-abundant, and robust catalysts. Monometallic phosphides such as NiP have been shown to be active toward water splitting. Our theoretical analysis has suggested that their performance can be further enhanced by substitution with extrinsic metals, though very little work has been conducted in this area. Here we present for the first time a novel PH plasma-assisted approach to convert NiCo hydroxides into ternary NiCoP. The obtained NiCoP nanostructure supported on Ni foam shows superior catalytic activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with a low overpotential of 32 mV at 10 mA cm in alkaline media. Moreover, it is also capable of catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with high efficiency though the real active sites are surface oxides in situ formed during the catalysis. Specifically, a current density of 10 mA cm is achieved at overpotential of 280 mV. These overpotentials are among the best reported values for non-noble metal catalysts. Most importantly, when used as both the cathode and anode for overall water splitting, a current density of 10 mA cm is achieved at a cell voltage as low as 1.58 V, making NiCoP among the most efficient earth-abundant catalysts for water splitting. Moreover, our new synthetic approach can serve as a versatile route to synthesize various bimetallic or even more complex phosphides for various applications.

  7. Plasma-Assisted Synthesis of NiCoP for Efficient Overall Water Splitting. (United States)

    Liang, Hanfeng; Gandi, Appala N; Anjum, Dalaver H; Wang, Xianbin; Schwingenschlögl, Udo; Alshareef, Husam N


    Efficient water splitting requires highly active, earth-abundant, and robust catalysts. Monometallic phosphides such as Ni 2 P have been shown to be active toward water splitting. Our theoretical analysis has suggested that their performance can be further enhanced by substitution with extrinsic metals, though very little work has been conducted in this area. Here we present for the first time a novel PH 3 plasma-assisted approach to convert NiCo hydroxides into ternary NiCoP. The obtained NiCoP nanostructure supported on Ni foam shows superior catalytic activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with a low overpotential of 32 mV at -10 mA cm -2 in alkaline media. Moreover, it is also capable of catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with high efficiency though the real active sites are surface oxides in situ formed during the catalysis. Specifically, a current density of 10 mA cm -2 is achieved at overpotential of 280 mV. These overpotentials are among the best reported values for non-noble metal catalysts. Most importantly, when used as both the cathode and anode for overall water splitting, a current density of 10 mA cm -2 is achieved at a cell voltage as low as 1.58 V, making NiCoP among the most efficient earth-abundant catalysts for water splitting. Moreover, our new synthetic approach can serve as a versatile route to synthesize various bimetallic or even more complex phosphides for various applications.

  8. Bronchodilation improves endurance but not muscular efficiency in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Vaart, Hester; Postma, Dirkje S.; Grevink, Rene; Roemer, Willem; ten Hacken, Nick


    We hypothesized that bronchodilator treatment not only improves hyperinflation and endurance capacity but also muscular efficiency in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We aimed to demonstrate that tiotropium and salmeterol improve muscular efficiency compared with placebo.

  9. 75 FR 45623 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice Establishing Date for... (United States)


    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... conferences regarding models and software related to wholesale electricity markets and planning: \\1\\ \\1\\ Notice of Technical Conference to Discuss Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved...

  10. Assisted Diagnosis Research Based on Improved Deep Autoencoder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Zhang-Han


    Full Text Available Deep Autoencoder has the powerful ability to learn features from large number of unlabeled samples and a small number of labeled samples. In this work, we have improved the network structure of the general deep autoencoder and applied it to the disease auxiliary diagnosis. We have achieved a network by entering the specific indicators and predicting whether suffering from liver disease, the network using real physical examination data for training and verification. Compared with the traditional semi-supervised machine learning algorithm, deep autoencoder will get higher accuracy.

  11. Improving efficiency (optimization) of CIGS thin film solar cell using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jsc ,Voc , FF and Quantum efficiency (QE) decrease due to absorption of electrons of electrons to the surface of back connection and their participation in recomposition. Efficiency increases from 20.3399% to 21.3721% by increasing impurity density of absorbent layer and efficiency increases to 28.9266% and the quantum ...

  12. Improved tactile resonance sensor for robotic assisted surgery (United States)

    Oliva Uribe, David; Schoukens, Johan; Stroop, Ralf


    This paper presents an improved tactile sensor using a piezoelectric bimorph able to differentiate soft materials with similar mechanical characteristics. The final aim is to develop intelligent surgical tools for brain tumour resection using integrated sensors in order to improve tissue tumour delineation and tissue differentiation. The bimorph sensor is driven using a random phase multisine and the properties of contact between the sensor's tip and a certain load are evaluated by means of the evaluation of the nonparametric FRF. An analysis of the nonlinear contributions is presented to show that the use of a linear model is feasible for the measurement conditions. A series of gelatine phantoms were tested. The tactile sensor is able to identify minimal differences in the consistency of the measured samples considering viscoelastic behaviour. A variance analysis was performed to evaluate the reliability of the sensors and to identify possible error sources due to inconsistencies in the preparation method of the phantoms. The results of the variance analysis are discussed showing that ability of the proposed tactile sensor to perform high quality measurements.

  13. REHEARSAL Using Patient-Specific Simulation to Improve Endovascular Efficiency. (United States)

    Wooster, Mathew; Doyle, Adam; Hislop, Sean; Glocker, Roan; Armstrong, Paul; Singh, Michael; Illig, Karl A


    To determine whether rehearsal using patient-specific information loaded onto an endovascular simulator prior to carotid stenting improves procedural efficiency and outcomes. Patients scheduled for carotid artery stenting who had adequate preoperative computed tomography (CT) imaging were considered for enrollment. After obtaining informed consent, patients were randomized to control versus rehearsal groups. Those in the rehearsal group had their CT scans loaded into an endovascular simulator (Angio Mentor) followed by case rehearsal by the attending on the simulator within 24 hours prior to the procedure; control patients underwent routine carotid stenting without rehearsal. Contrast usage, fluoroscopy time, and timing of procedural steps were recorded by a blinded observer during the actual case to determine benefit. Fifteen patients were enrolled, with 6 patients randomized to the rehearsal group and 9 to the control. All measures showed improvement in the rehearsal group: Mean contrast volume (59.2 vs 76.9 mL), fluoroscopy time (11.4 vs 19.4 minutes), overall operative time (31.9 vs 42.5 minutes), time to common carotid sheath placement (17.0 vs 23.3 minutes), and total carotid sheath dwell time (14.9 vs 19.2 minutes) were all lower (more favorable) in the rehearsal group. The study was terminated early due to the lack of simulator access, and all P values were thus greater than .05 due to the lack of power. No strokes or other adverse events occurred in either group. Case-specific simulator rehearsal using patient-specific imaging prior to carotid stenting is associated with numerically less contrast usage, operative time, and radiation exposure, although this study was underpowered.

  14. Modeling of Glass Making Processes for Improved Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas P. Seward III


    The overall goal of this project was to develop a high-temperature melt properties database with sufficient reliability to allow mathematical modeling of glass melting and forming processes for improved product quality, improved efficiency and lessened environmental impact. It was initiated by the United States glass industry through the NSF Industry/University Center for Glass Research (CGR) at Alfred University [1]. Because of their important commercial value, six different types/families of glass were studied: container, float, fiberglass (E- and wool-types), low-expansion borosilicate, and color TV panel glasses. CGR member companies supplied production-quality glass from all six families upon which we measured, as a function of temperature in the molten state, density, surface tension, viscosity, electrical resistivity, infrared transmittance (to determine high temperature radiative conductivity), non-Newtonian flow behavior, and oxygen partial pres sure. With CGR cost sharing, we also studied gas solubility and diffusivity in each of these glasses. Because knowledge of the compositional dependencies of melt viscosity and electrical resistivity are extremely important for glass melting furnace design and operation, these properties were studied more fully. Composition variations were statistically designed for all six types/families of glass. About 140 different glasses were then melted on a laboratory scale and their viscosity and electrical resistivity measured as a function of temperature. The measurements were completed in February 2003 and are reported on here. The next steps will be (1) to statistically analyze the compositional dependencies of viscosity and electrical resistivity and develop composition-property response surfaces, (2) submit all the data to CGR member companies to evaluate the usefulness in their models, and (3) publish the results in technical journals and most likely in book form.

  15. Evaluation of strategic management in assisting South African municipalities improve service delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandiso Ngcobo


    Full Text Available The reports tabled by the Auditor General on yearly basis reflect poor performance on a number of areas in respect of service delivery in South African municipalities. As a possible solution, the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs (DLGTAs has introduced a strategic management plan that should be implemented by municipalities to assist them improve their performance. Hence, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the perceptions of municipal managers and councillors on the role of the strategic management in assisting them improve service delivery. The findings show that the assistance provided by the EC DLGTAs is not without weaknesses. It is then recommended that the areas of improvement should be addressed in an effort to improve audit reports.

  16. 75 FR 56858 - Improvements to the Supplemental Security Income Program-Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief... (United States)


    ... Improvements to the Supplemental Security Income Program--Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008... to incorporate improvements to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program made by the HEART Act... number, 1-800-772-1213, or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at...

  17. Retrofit of ammonia plant for improving energy efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panjeshahi, M.H.; Ghasemian Langeroudi, E.; Tahouni, N.


    The aim of this work is to perform a retrofit study of an ammonia plant, in purpose of improving energy efficiency. As a common practice, one can divide an ammonia plant into two parts: the hot-end and the cold-end. In the hot section, two different options are investigated that both lead to a threshold condition and achieve maximum energy saving. The first option covers only process-to-process energy integration, while the second option considers some modification in the convection section of the primary reformer through a new arrangement of the heating coils. Thus, a considerable reduction in cooling water, HP steam and fuel gas consumption is achieved. In the cold section, retrofit study is dominated by reducing the amount of shaft work or power consumption in the refrigeration system. Application of the Combined Pinch and Exergy Analysis revealed that part of the shaft work, which was originally being used, was inefficient and could have been avoided in a well-integrated design. Therefore, by proposing optimum refrigeration levels, reasonable saving (15%) in power consumption was observed without the need for new investment

  18. Improve the efficiency of PEMFC using neutron imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Tae Joo; Shim, Chulmuu


    The water management is one of the most critical issues for PEMFC commercialization. In order to make a proper scheme for water management, the information of water distribution and behavior is very important. But the visualization is difficult due to metallic coverage. Recently, neutron imaging has joined the canon of diagnostic methods for fuel cell research and is applied worldwide with qualitative and quantitative results. In this investigation, we prepared 3-parallel serpentine single PEMFC. The active area is 250 mm 2 and channel size is 1 Χ 1 mm, respectively. Distribution and transport of water in an operating PEMFC were observed as functions of flow directions and differential pressures between anode and cathodes. This investigation was performed at BST-2, Nest. The collimation ratio is 600 and neutron fluence of BST-2 is 7.2 Χ 10 6 n/s, respectively. Neutron image was captured by A-Si detector with 1 sec expsosure time. The PEMFC has different performances for each differential pressure and flow directions. When the neutron images are compared with operating conditions, the distribution and behavior of water are different. Total water fraction is increased and then decreases as the current density increases. This situation is similar trend for the flow directions. It is shown that neutron imaging technique is powerful tool to visualize the PEMFC and the water distribution and behavior of an operating PEMFC helps improve the efficiency of PEMFC

  19. Process Cycle Efficiency Improvement Through Lean: A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.V. Mohanram


    Full Text Available Lean manufacturing is an applied methodology of scientific, objective techniques that cause work tasks in a process to be performed with a minimum of non-value adding activities resulting in greatly reduced wait time, queue time, move time, administrative time, and other delays. This work addresses the implementation of lean principles in a construction equipment company. The prime objective is to evolve and test several strategies to eliminate waste on the shop floor. This paper describes an application of value stream mapping (VSM. Consequently, the present and future states of value stream maps are constructed to improve the production process by identifying waste and its sources. A noticeable reduction in cycle time and increase in cycle efficiency is confirmed. The production flow was optimized thus minimizing several non-value added activities/times such as bottlenecking time, waiting time, material handling time, etc. This case study can be useful in developing a more generic approach to design lean environment.

  20. Electronic Equipment Proposal to Improve the Photovoltaic Systems Efficiency (United States)

    Flores-Mena, J. E.; Juárez Morán, L. A.; Díaz Reyes, J.


    This paper reports a new technique proposal to improve the photovoltaic systems. It was made to design and implement an electronic system that will detect, capture, and transfer the maximum power of the photovoltaic (PV) panel to optimize the supplied power of a solar panel. The electronic system works on base technical proposal of electrical sweeping of electric characteristics using capacitive impedance. The maximum power is transformed and the solar panel energy is sent to an automotive battery. This electronic system reduces the energy lost originated when the solar radiation level decreases or the PV panel temperature is increased. This electronic system tracks, captures, and stores the PV module's maximum power into a capacitor. After, a higher voltage level step-up circuit was designed to increase the voltage of the PV module's maximum power and then its current can be sent to a battery. The experimental results show that the developed electronic system has 95% efficiency. The measurement was made to 50 W, the electronic system works rightly with solar radiation rate from 100 to 1,000 W m - 2 and the PV panel temperature rate changed from 1 to 75°C. The main advantage of this electronic system compared with conventional methods is the elimination of microprocessors, computers, and sophisticated numerical approximations, and it does not need any small electrical signals to track the maximum power. The proposed method is simple, fast, and it is also cheaper.

  1. Robot-assisted intersphincteric resection facilitates an efficient sphincter-saving in patients with low rectal cancer. (United States)

    Kim, Jin Cheon; Lee, Jong Lyul; Alotaibi, Abdulrahman Muaod; Yoon, Yong Sik; Kim, Chan Wook; Park, In Ja


    Few investigations of robot-assisted intersphincteric resection (ISR) are presently available to support this procedure as a safe and efficient procedure. We aimed to evaluate the utility of robot-assisted ISR by comparison between ISR and abdominoperineal resection (APR) using both robot-assisted and open approaches. The 558 patients with lower rectal cancer (LRC) who underwent curative operation was enrolled between July 2010 and June 2015 to perform either by robot-assisted (ISR vs. APR = 310 vs. 34) or open approaches (144 vs. 70). Perioperative and functional outcomes including urogenital and anorectal dysfunctions were measured. Recurrence and survival were examined in 216 patients in which >3 years had elapsed after the operation. The robot-assisted approach was the most significant parameter to determine ISR achievement among potent parameters (OR = 3.467, 95% CI = 2.095-5.738, p robot-assisted ISR at 12 and 24 months, respectively (p robot-assisted ISR replaced a significant portion of APR to achieve successful SSO via mostly transabdominal approach and double-stapled anastomosis. The robot-assisted ISR with minimal invasiveness might be a help to reduce anorectal and urogenital dysfunctions.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid B. Grigg


    The second annual report of ''Improving CO{sub 2} Efficiency for Recovery Oil in Heterogeneous Reservoirs'' presents results of laboratory studies with related analytical models for improved oil recovery. All studies have been undertaken with the intention to optimize utilization and extend the practice of CO{sub 2} flooding to a wider range of reservoirs. Many items presented in this report are applicable to other interest areas: e.g. gas injection and production, greenhouse gas sequestration, chemical flooding, reservoir damage, etc. Major areas of studies include reduction of CO{sub 2} mobility to improve conformance, determining and understanding injectivity changes in particular injectivity loses, and modeling process mechanisms determined in the first two areas. Interfacial tension (IFT) between a high-pressure, high-temperature CO{sub 2} and brine/surfactant and foam stability are used to assess and screen surfactant systems. In this work the effects of salinity, pressure, temperature, surfactant concentration, and the presence of oil on IFT and CO{sub 2} foam stability were determined on the surfactant (CD1045{trademark}). Temperature, pressure, and surfactant concentration effected both IFT and foam stability while oil destabilized the foam, but did not destroy it. Calcium lignosulfonate (CLS) can be used as a sacrificial and an enhancing agent. This work indicates that on Berea sandstone CLS concentration, brine salinity, and temperature are dominant affects on both adsorption and desorption and that adsorption is not totally reversible. Additionally, CLS adsorption was tested on five minerals common to oil reservoirs; it was found that CLS concentration, salinity, temperature, and mineral type had significant effects on adsorption. The adsorption density from most to least was: bentonite > kaolinite > dolomite > calcite > silica. This work demonstrates the extent of dissolution and precipitation from co-injection of CO{sub 2} and

  3. Worked examples are more efficient for learning than high-assistance instructional software

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLaren, Bruce M.; van Gog, Tamara; Ganoe, Craig; Yaron, David; Karabinos, Michael


    The ‘assistance dilemma’, an important issue in the Learning Sciences, is concerned with how much guidance or assistance should be provided to help students learn. A recent study comparing three high-assistance approaches (worked examples, tutored problems, and erroneous examples) and one

  4. Potential energy efficiency improvements in Swedish energy intensive industries using an Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme


    Xylia, Maria; Silveira, Semida


    Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes (EEOS) as suggested in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) could help remove barriers to energy efficiency. However, despite the fact that such schemes have been successfully implemented and proven cost-effective in several Member States, not all countries are convinced of their potential benefits. In this paper, we investigate the policy instruments that Sweden has introduced or is planning to introduce for achieving increased industrial efficiency unde...

  5. Efficient extraction of olive pulp and stone proteins by using an enzyme-assisted method. (United States)

    Vergara-Barberán, María; Lerma-García, María Jesús; Herrero-Martínez, José Manuel; Simó-Alfonso, Ernesto Francisco


    An efficient protein extraction protocol for proteins from olive pulp and stone by using enzymes was developed. For this purpose, different parameters that affect the extraction process, such as enzyme type and content, pH, and extraction temperature and time, were tested. The influence of these factors on protein recovery was examined using the standard Bradford assay, while the extracted proteins were characterized by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The best extraction conditions were achieved at pH 7.0 and 5% (v/v) Palatase® 20000 L (lipase) for pulp and Lecitase® Ultra (phospholipase) for stone proteins. The optimal extraction temperature and time were 30 and 40 °C for 15 min for pulp and stone tissues, respectively. Under these conditions, several protein extracts coming from olive fruits of different genetic variety were analyzed, their profiles being compared by SDS-PAGE. The developed enzyme-assisted extraction method showed faster extraction, higher recovery, and reduced solvent usage than the nonenzymatic methods previously described in the literature. In the case of stone proteins, different electrophoretic profiles and band intensities were obtained that could be helpful to distinguish samples according to their genetic variety. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  6. Characterization and cytotoxicity studies of DPPC:M(2+) novel delivery system for cisplatin thermosensitivity liposome with improving loading efficiency. (United States)

    Liu, Hong; Zhang, Yongle; Han, Yazhu; Zhao, Sha; Wang, Lu; Zhang, Zhaoxin; Wang, Jing; Cheng, Jianxin


    A novel, metal ion-assisted drug-loading model, in which the metal ion was used to modify the microstructure of DPPC bilayers, has been developed to improve the drug-loading efficiency of cisplatin thermosensitivity liposomes. The reactions of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) with diverse metal ions (Zn(2+), Cu(2+), Mn(2+) and Mg(2+)) yield four typical liposomes, which have been characterized by FT-IR, Raman and fluorescence techniques; the mechanism for higher drug encapsulation efficiency has also been investigated. In these prepared liposomes, the conformation of DPPC is changed due to the electrostatic interaction between the metal ions and phospholipid acyl group, leading to a closer arrangement of the lipid hydrocarbon chains and higher Tm of DPPC. As a result, the encapsulation efficiency of metal ion-assisted loading liposome is significantly higher than that of metal ion-free state. While for the release time, all four metal ion-assisted liposomes could be released within 10min at 42±0.5°C, which approach to the phase transition temperature, indicating that the introduction of metal ions into the DPPC bilayer membranes has no influence on the thermosensitivity of the liposome. Furthermore, the higher cytotoxicity of metal ion-bounded liposomes than that of free cisplatin solution suggests that high encapsulation efficiency can cause cytotoxicity increase. Hence, this work highlighted that metal ion-assisted loading model increased the encapsulation efficiency and cell cytotoxicity of cisplatin in thermosensitive liposomes with no obvious effects on sustained and temperature-dependent drug release. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Developing concepts for improved efficiency of robot work preparation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Essers, M.S.; Vaneker, Thomas H.J.


    SInBot[1] is a large research project that focuses on maximizing the efficient use of mobile industrial robots during medium sized production runs. The system that will be described in this paper will focusses on the development and validation of concepts for efficient work preparation for cells of

  8. Improvement of Wearable Power Assist Wear for Low Back Support using Pneumatic Actuator (United States)

    Cho, Feifei; Sugimoto, Riku; Noritsugu, Toshiro; Li, Xiangpan


    This study focuses on developing a safe, lightweight, power assist device that can be worn by people who like caregivers during lifting or static holding tasks to prevent low back pain (LBP). Therefore in consideration of their flexibility, light weight, and large force to weight ratio we have developed a Wearable Power Assist Wear for caregivers, two types of pneumatic actuators are employed in assisting low back movement for their safety and comfort. The device can be worn directly on the body like normal clothing. Because there is no rigid exoskeleton frame structure, it is lightweight and user friendly. In this paper, we proposed the new type of the wearable power assist wear and improved the controller of control system.

  9. Novel Radiofrequency-Assisted Thermal Processing Improves the Gelling Properties of Standard Egg White Powder. (United States)

    Boreddy, Sreenivasula Reddy; Thippareddi, Harshavardhan; Froning, Glenn; Subbiah, Jeyamkondan


    Effect of radiofrequency (RF)-assisted thermal processing on quality and functional properties of high-foaming standard egg white powder (std. EWP, pH approximately 7.0) was investigated and compared with traditional processing (heat treatment in a hot room at 58 °C for at least 14 d). The RF-assisted thermal treatments were selected to meet the pasteurization requirements and to improve the functional properties of the std. EWP. The treatment conditions were: RF heating to 60, 70, 80, and 90 °C followed by holding in a hot air oven at those temperatures for different periods ranging from 4 h at 90 °C to 72 h at 60 °C. The quality (color and solubility) and functional properties (foaming properties: foaming capacity and foam stability; and gelling properties: water holding capacity and gel-firmness) of the std. EWP were investigated. RF-assisted thermal processing did not affect the color and solubility of std. EWP at any of the treatment conditions. In general, the foaming and gelling properties of RF-assisted thermally processed std. EWP increased with an increase in temperature and treatment duration. The optimal RF-assisted treatment conditions to produce std. EWP with similar functional properties as the traditionally processed (hot room processed) std. EWP were 90 °C for ≥8 h. These optimal conditions were similar to those for high gel egg white powder (HG-EWP, pH approximately 9.5). The RF-assisted thermal pasteurization improved the gelling properties of std. EWP to the levels of HG-EWP, leading to newer applications of this functionally improved safe product. The RF-assisted thermal processing allows the processor to produce a HG-EWP from std. EWP subsequent to processing while simultaneously pasteurizing the product, thus assuring the product safety. © 2016 Institute of Food Technologists®

  10. Quasi-Resonant Absorption for Quantum Efficiency Improvement in Detectors (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Quasi-resonant absorption has been demonstrated to enhance the quantum efficiency of devices across the spectrum, but specifically it is a challenge in the UV...

  11. An Improved, Highly Efficient Method for the Synthesis of Bisphenols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. S. Patil


    Full Text Available An efficient synthesis of bisphenols is described by condensation of substituted phenols with corresponding cyclic ketones in presence of cetyltrimethylammonium chloride and 3-mercaptopropionic acid as a catalyst in extremely high purity and yields.

  12. Improvement in light-extraction efficiency of light emitting diode ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ) to obtain the microlenses. Dimension of these microlenses was measured to be the order of 1–2 μ m. The effect of various microlens parameters such as diameter and area fraction on light-extraction efficiency was systematically studied.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid B. Grigg; Robert K. Svec; Zhengwen Zeng; Baojun Bai; Yi Liu


    The third annual report of ''Improving CO{sub 2} Efficiency for Recovery Oil in Heterogeneous Reservoirs'' presents results of laboratory studies with related analytical models for improved oil recovery. All studies were designed to optimize utilization and extend the practice of CO{sub 2} flooding to a wider range of reservoirs. Chapter 1 describes the behavior at low concentrations of the surfactant Chaser International CD1045{trademark} (CD) versus different salinity, pressure and temperature. Results of studies on the effects of pH and polymer (hydrolyzed polyacrylamide?HPAM) and CO{sub 2} foam stability after adsorption in the core are also reported. Calcium lignosulfonate (CLS) transport mechanisms through sandstone, description of the adsorption of CD and CD/CLS onto three porous media (sandstone, limestone and dolomite) and five minerals, and the effect of adsorption on foam stability are also reported. In Chapter 2, the adsorption kinetics of CLS in porous Berea sandstone and non-porous minerals are compared by monitoring adsorption density change with time. Results show that adsorption requires a much longer time for the porous versus non-porous medium. CLS adsorption onto sandstone can be divided into three regions: adsorption controlled by dispersion, adsorption controlled by diffusion and adsorption equilibrium. NaI tracer used to characterize the sandstone had similar trends to earlier results for the CLS desorption process, suggesting a dual porosity model to simulate flow through Berea sandstone. The kinetics and equilibrium test for CD adsorption onto five non-porous minerals and three porous media are reported in Chapter 3. CD adsorption and desorption onto non-porous minerals can be established in less than one hour with adsorption densities ranging from 0.4 to 1.2 mg of CD per g of mineral in decreasing order of montmorillonite, dolomite, kaolinite, silica and calcite. The surfactant adsorption onto three porous media takes

  14. Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of SiC Nanoparticles for the Efficient Adsorptive Removal of Nitroimidazole Antibiotics from Aqueous Solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Fakhri


    Full Text Available Environmental pollution caused by the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals is a matter of global concern, and warrants immediate attention. Of particular concern is the aquatic contamination caused by the increasing use of antibiotics, which could give rise to superbugs. While researchers have mainly focused on improving the adsorption capacity of mostly activated carbon-based adsorbents, we have developed a non-conventional adsorbent (SiC nanoparticles in the present work for the adsorptive removal of four different nitroimidazole antibiotics, namely metronidazole (MNZ, dimetridazole (DMZ, ronidazole (RNZ, and tinidazole (TNZ. In addition to the unique properties which are inherent to SiC, the present adsorbent not only possesses a high adsorption capacity, but also shows one of the highest adsorption rates; both of which are prerequisites for an efficient and cost-effective adsorption-based separation technology. Silicon carbide (SiC nanoparticles, synthesized by a microwave-assisted method, were thoroughly characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller method. The adsorption isotherm data were accurately described by the Langmuir isotherm model. On the other hand, the adsorption kinetics, closely represented by the pseudo-second order kinetic model, were faster than most previously reported adsorbents. The reaction rate constants were 0.0089, 0.0079, 0.0072, and 0.0055 g/(mg min, for MNZ, DMZ, RNZ, and TNZ, respectively.

  15. imFASP: An integrated approach combining in-situ filter-aided sample pretreatment with microwave-assisted protein digestion for fast and efficient proteome sample preparation. (United States)

    Zhao, Qun; Fang, Fei; Wu, Ci; Wu, Qi; Liang, Yu; Liang, Zhen; Zhang, Lihua; Zhang, Yukui


    An integrated sample preparation method, termed "imFASP", which combined in-situ filter-aided sample pretreatment and microwave-assisted trypsin digestion, was developed for preparation of microgram and even nanogram amounts of complex protein samples with high efficiency in 1 h. For imFASP method, proteins dissolved in 8 M urea were loaded onto a filter device with molecular weight cut off (MWCO) as 10 kDa, followed by in-situ protein preconcentration, denaturation, reduction, alkylation, and microwave-assisted tryptic digestion. Compared with traditional in-solution sample preparation method, imFASP method generated more protein and peptide identifications (IDs) from preparation of 45 μg Escherichia coli protein sample due to the higher efficiency, and the sample preparation throughput was significantly improved by 14 times (1 h vs. 15 h). More importantly, when the starting amounts of E. coli cell lysate decreased to nanogram level (50-500 ng), the protein and peptide identified by imFASP method were improved at least 30% and 44%, compared with traditional in-solution preparation method, suggesting dramatically higher peptide recovery of imFASP method for trace amounts of complex proteome samples. All these results demonstrate that the imFASP method developed here is of high potential for high efficient and high throughput preparation of trace amounts of complex proteome samples. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Federal Educational Assistance Programs Available to Service Members: Program Features and Recommendations for Improved Delivery (United States)


    family of origin having a lower socioeconomic background – having been a foster child or homeless youth – being a first-generation college analyze programs’ effectiveness. xiii Acknowledgments Many people provided valuable assistance and support to our research and to our con- tinuing... people ; developing a talent, hobby, or skill; and simple love of learning. Service Figure 4.3 Decision Model of Efficient Pathways to a Degree for

  17. Heat Shock Protein 90 Ensures Efficient Mumps Virus Replication by Assisting with Viral Polymerase Complex Formation. (United States)

    Katoh, Hiroshi; Kubota, Toru; Nakatsu, Yuichiro; Tahara, Maino; Kidokoro, Minoru; Takeda, Makoto


    Paramyxoviral RNAs are synthesized by a viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) consisting of the large (L) protein and its cofactor phosphoprotein (P protein). The L protein is a multifunctional protein that catalyzes RNA synthesis, mRNA capping, and mRNA polyadenylation. Growing evidence shows that the stability of several paramyxovirus L proteins is regulated by heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90). In this study, we demonstrated that Hsp90 activity was important for mumps virus (MuV) replication. The Hsp90 activity was required for L-protein stability and activity because an Hsp90-specific inhibitor, 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), destabilized the MuV L protein and suppressed viral RNA synthesis. However, once the L protein formed a mature polymerase complex with the P protein, Hsp90 activity was no longer required for the stability and activity of the L protein. When the Hsp90 activity was inhibited, the MuV L protein was degraded through the CHIP (C terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein)-mediated proteasomal pathway. High concentrations of 17-AAG showed strong cytotoxicity to certain cell types, but combined use of an Hsp70 inhibitor, VER155008, potentiated degradation of the L protein, allowing a sufficient reduction of 17-AAG concentration to block MuV replication with minimum cytotoxicity. Regulation of the L protein by Hsp90 and Hsp70 chaperones was also demonstrated for another paramyxovirus, the measles virus. Collectively, our data show that the Hsp90/Hsp70 chaperone machinery assists in the maturation of the paramyxovirus L protein and thereby in the formation of a mature RdRp complex and efficient viral replication. IMPORTANCE Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is nearly universally required for viral protein homeostasis. Here, we report that Hsp90 activity is required for efficient propagation of mumps virus (MuV). Hsp90 functions in the maintenance of the catalytic subunit of viral polymerase, the large (L) protein, prior to formation of a

  18. Authoring Robot-Assisted Instructional Materials for Improving Learning Performance and Motivation in EFL Classrooms (United States)

    Hong, Zeng-Wei; Huang, Yueh-Min; Hsu, Marie; Shen, Wei-Wei


    Anthropomorphized robots are regarded as beneficial tools in education due to their capabilities of improving teaching effectiveness and learning motivation. Therefore, one major trend of research, known as Robot- Assisted Language Learning (RALL), is trying to develop robots to support teaching and learning English as a foreign language (EFL). As…

  19. Using swing resistance and assistance to improve gait symmetry in individuals post-stroke. (United States)

    Yen, Sheng-Che; Schmit, Brian D; Wu, Ming


    A major characteristic of hemiplegic gait observed in individuals post-stroke is spatial and temporal asymmetry, which may increase energy expenditure and the risk of falls. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of swing resistance/assistance applied to the affected leg on gait symmetry in individuals post-stroke. We recruited 10 subjects with chronic stroke who demonstrated a shorter step length with their affected leg in comparison to the non-affected leg during walking. They participated in two test sessions for swing resistance and swing assistance, respectively. During the adaptation period, subjects counteracted the step length deviation caused by the applied swing resistance force, resulting in an aftereffect consisting of improved step length symmetry during the post-adaptation period. In contrast, subjects did not counteract step length deviation caused by swing assistance during adaptation period and produced no aftereffect during the post-adaptation period. Locomotor training with swing resistance applied to the affected leg may improve step length symmetry through error-based learning. Swing assistance reduces errors in step length during stepping; however, it is unclear whether this approach would improve step length symmetry. Results from this study may be used to develop training paradigms for improving gait symmetry of stroke survivors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 38 CFR 3.714 - Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries. (United States)


    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries. 3.714 Section 3.714 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation...

  1. Improving Speaking and Listening Skills. New Directions for College Learning Assistance, Number 12. (United States)

    Rubin, Rebecca B., Ed.

    Providing insight into how learning assistance practitioners can effect positive change in the ability of their students to speak and to listen, this book presents the experiences of communication professionals who have succeeded in improving students' skills. The first five chapters describe a variety of instructional methods useful in teaching…

  2. Improving teaching assistants' orientation in a school of nursing: a lean approach. (United States)

    Aaltonen, Pamela M; Foli, Karen J; Kirby, Kristen F; Simpson, Vicki L; Walters, Becky


    Newly hired teaching assistants (TAs) come to schools of nursing with varying levels of experience in academic institutions. Therefore, the orientation of TAs becomes important at a micro level (student instruction) and macro level (mission of the organization). We describe a Lean approach to strengthening TA orientation and reducing waste and inconsistency. Developed solutions and tools through the lens of quality improvement are discussed.

  3. 75 FR 9879 - Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information Magnet Schools Assistance Program... (United States)


    ... DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information Magnet Schools... Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) provides grants to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) and consortia of LEAs to support magnet...

  4. Preventing falls in assisted living: Results of a quality improvement pilot study. (United States)

    Zimmerman, Sheryl; Greene, Angela; Sloane, Philip D; Mitchell, Madeline; Giuliani, Carol; Nyrop, Kirsten; Walsh, Edith

    Residents of assisted living (AL) communities are at high risk for falls, which result in negative outcomes and high health care costs. Adapting effective falls prevention programs for AL quality improvement (QI) has the potential to reduce falls, improve resident quality of life, and reduce costs. This project tested the feasibility and outcomes of an evidence-based multi-component QI program, the Assisted Living Falls Prevention and Monitoring Program (AL-FPMP). Resident posture and gait improved, likely due to exercise and/or physical therapy. Effective falls prevention QI programs can be implemented in AL, and are advised to (1) establish and maintain a falls team to create a culture focused on the reduction of falls risk; (2) teach staff to assess residents using the Morse Falls Scale to increase their awareness of residents' falls risk and improvement; and (3) modify existing exercise programs to address balance and lower body strength. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Efficient Use of Geothermal Energy in Spas - Call for Improvements (United States)

    Straka, W.; Ponweiser, K.; Gollob, K.; Götzl, G.; Schneider, J. F.


    European partners contributed to the attempt to develop the energy flow calculation model designed for said spa into a numerical planning tool with broad applicability to other technical boundary conditions. This aim could not yet be fully achieved with the given means, by virtue of the fact that huge differences exist among spas, regarding technical design (sometimes accumulations of ad-hoc solutions to past technical problems) as well as characteristic energy demand of the various functional units of the investigated facilities. What could be achieved, though, was a better understanding how the communication between clients and consultants shall be conducted and what steps have to be taken in order to reach the original goal in a subsequent project. Furthermore, it was the ideational aim of our work to set up a network of established players, capable of influencing national developments, and make it a proponent of the envisaged improvements in their home countries and beyond. Among the recommended measures to improve on the energy management of existing thermal spas, on the one hand, there are those that only specialized knowledge can reveal or the proper application of which only painstaking monitoring and calculation can ascertain and which, therefore, will not easily be at the hand of many planners. These include, for example, combining geothermal heat with advanced heating technology (gas condensing boiler, cogeneration plant) for peak load conditions, deciding on the kind of advanced technology to be used (condensing boiler or cogeneration plus heat pump), making consistent said technology with the temperature control system (e.g. substitution of bypass design of heat exchanger control by volume flow control); introducing solar energy, in particular, has to be carefully designed. On the other hand, there are some improvements to be called for, which are meaningful and applicable even as belated additions, and in cases would, on top of this, be obvious to most non

  6. The Multiple Benefits of Measures to Improve Energy Efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Puig, Daniel; Farrell, Timothy Clifford

    Understanding the barriers to, and enablers for, energy efficiency requires targeted information and analysis. This report is a summary of four detailed studies providing new insights on how to promote efficiency in selected priority areas. It complements initiatives such as the so-called energy...... in a scenario where the price of carbon dioxide equivalents was USD 70 per tonne. • In absolute terms, the energy supply and industry sectors show the highest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions attributable to energy efficiency. In relative terms, it is the transport sector that shows the highest levels...... of emission reductions. • The three mitigation scenarios considered suggest that the higher the carbon price, the greater the energy savings, and the larger the economic growth and employment benefits. • While G20 countries account for about 90 percent of total emission reductions in the three mitigation...

  7. Improving Energy Efficiency in Industrial Solutions – Walk the Talk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wegener, Dieter; Finkbeiner, Matthias; Holst, Jens-Christian


    and removing sulfur dioxide and other acidic gas components present in the off-gas stream by using dry absorbents and additional electrical power. Advantage in the impact category of acidification potential (by desulfurization) is a trade-off to disadvantages in global warming and resource depletion potential......This paper describes the outline of the energy efficiency and environmental care policy and management at Siemens Industry Solutions Division. This environmental policy coherently embraces strategic planning, eco-design of energy-efficient industrial processes and solutions, design evaluation...

  8. Improvement of efficiency droop in resonance tunneling LEDs (United States)

    Liu, Chaowang; Wang, Wang N.; Shields, Philip A.; Denchitcharoen, Somyod; Causa, Federica; Allsopp, Duncan E. W.


    A resonance tunnelling LED structure having a high efficiency, low droop and negligible wavelength shift with current is reported in this study. The LED structure contains a thick InGaN bottom spacer between an n-GaN contact layer and a multiple quantum well (MQW) active region, and a thin InGaN top spacer between the MQW and an AlGaN electron blocking layer (EBL). The observed high efficiency and negligible wavelength shift with applied current are attributed to the thick InGaN bottom spacer that nucleates V-pits and acts as a strain control layer for the MQW. The thick InGaN layer also provides an electron reservoir for efficient electron tunnelling injection into the MQW and reduces the electropotential difference between the n-emitter and the p-emitter, to suppress current leakage at high driving current and reduce droop. The top InGaN spacer was designed to act as a magnesium back-diffusion barrier and strain relief layer from EBL so as to obtain high efficiency.

  9. Improving Farmers' Efficiency in Rice Production In Nigeria: The ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper assesses the effects of extension services on farmers' efficiency and productivity in rice production in Kano State, Nigeria. Data for the study were collected from 126 rice farmers selected using multi stage sampling technique. Stochastic production frontier function was estimated to ascertain the effects of ...

  10. Shuttle vector system for Methanococcus maripaludis with improved transformation efficiency. (United States)

    Walters, Alison D; Smith, Sarah E; Chong, James P J


    We have identified an open reading frame and DNA element that are sufficient to maintain shuttle vectors in Methanococcus maripaludis. Strain S0001, containing ORF1 from pURB500 integrated into the M. maripaludis genome, supports a significantly smaller shuttle vector, pAW42, and a 7,000-fold increase in transformation efficiency for pURB500-based vectors.

  11. Cambridge journals blog: Improving feed efficiency in dairy production (United States)

    Because the cost of feeding animals is one of the greatest expenses in dairy production (40-60% of production costs), research focused on ways to identify and select for animals that are the most efficient at converting feed into milk has greatly expanded during the last decade. The animal Article o...

  12. Improving the efficiency of deconvolution algorithms for sound source localization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lylloff, Oliver Ackermann; Fernandez Grande, Efren; Agerkvist, Finn T.


    of the unknown acoustic source distribution and the beamformer's response to a point source, i.e., point-spread function. A significant limitation of deconvolution is, however, an additional computational effort compared to beamforming. In this paper, computationally efficient deconvolution algorithms...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roselaine Cristina Pereira


    Full Text Available Simple and quick hybridization procedures and ways to keep pollen grains viable for long periods are sought in plant breeding programs to provide greater work flexibility. The presentstudy was carried out to assess the efficiency of pollinations made shortly after flower emasculationand the viability of stored pollen from Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Eucalyptus urophylla clones cultivated in Northwestern Minas Gerais State. Controlled pollinations were carried out at zero, one,three, five and seven days after emasculation. Hybridization efficiency was assessed by thepercentage of viable fruits, number of seeds produced per fruit, percentage of viable seeds and also bycytological observation of the pollen development along the style. Flower buds from clones of the twospecies were collected close to anthesis to assess the viability of pollen grain storage. Pollen was thencollected and stored in a freezer (-18oC for 1, 2 and 3 months. Pollen assessed was carried out by invitro and in vivo germination tests. The efficiency of the pollinations varied with their delay and alsobetween species. The greatest pollination efficiency was obtained when they were carried out on thethird and fifth day after emasculation, but those performed simultaneously with emasculationproduced enough seeds to allow this practice in breeding programs. The decrease in pollen viabilitywith storage was not sufficiently significant to preclude the use of this procedure in artificialhybridization.

  14. Policies for improving energy efficiency in the European housing stock

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sunikka, M.M.


    According to EC forecasts, if energy efficiency could be increased 1% annually until 2010, two-thirds of the potential energy saving in the EU could be achieved. This would comply with 40% of the EU's Kyoto obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% on the 1990 level by 2010-12, by cutting

  15. Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage for Improved Heating and Air Conditioning Efficiency (United States)


    FINAL REPORT Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage for Improved Heating and Air Conditioning Efficiency ESTCP Project EW-201013 NOVEMBER 2016 Ronald...TITLE AND SUBTITLE Final Report. Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage for Improved 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 10-C-0027-A Air Conditioning...This project involved a field demonstration of subsurface thermal energy storage for improving the geothermal heat pump air conditioning efficiency

  16. Acute pain management efficiency improves with point-of-care handheld electronic billing system. (United States)

    Fahy, Brenda G


    Technology advances continue to impact patient care and physician workflow. To enable more efficient performance of billing activities, a point-of-care (POC) handheld computer technology replaced a paper-based system on an acute pain management service. Using a handheld personal digital assistant (PDA) and software from MDeverywhere (MDe, MDeverywhere, Long Island, NY), we performed a 1-yr prospective observational study of an anesthesiology acute pain management service billings and collections. Seventeen anesthesiologists providing billable acute pain services were trained and entered their charges on a PDA. Twelve months of data, just before electronic implementation (pre-elec), were compared to a 12-m period after implementation (post-elec). The total charges were 4883 for 890 patients pre-elec and 5368 for 1128 patients post-elec. With adoption of handheld billing, the charge lag days decreased from 29.3 to 7.0 (P billing using PDAs to replace a paper-based billing system improved the collection rate and decreased the number of charge lag days with a positive return on investment. The handheld PDA billing system provided POC support for physicians during their daily clinical (e.g., patient locations, rounding lists) and billing activities, improving workflow.

  17. Pulsatile operation of a continuous-flow right ventricular assist device (RVAD) to improve vascular pulsatility. (United States)

    Ng, Boon C; Kleinheyer, Matthias; Smith, Peter A; Timms, Daniel; Cohn, William E; Lim, Einly


    Despite the widespread acceptance of rotary blood pump (RBP) in clinical use over the past decades, the diminished flow pulsatility generated by a fixed speed RBP has been regarded as a potential factor that may lead to adverse events such as vasculature stiffening and hemorrhagic strokes. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of generating physiological pulse pressure in the pulmonary circulation by modulating the speed of a right ventricular assist device (RVAD) in a mock circulation loop. A rectangular pulse profile with predetermined pulse width has been implemented as the pump speed pattern with two different phase shifts (0% and 50%) with respect to the ventricular contraction. In addition, the performance of the speed modulation strategy has been assessed under different cardiovascular states, including variation in ventricular contractility and pulmonary arterial compliance. Our results indicated that the proposed pulse profile with optimised parameters (Apulse = 10000 rpm and ωmin = 3000 rpm) was able to generate pulmonary arterial pulse pressure within the physiological range (9-15 mmHg) while avoiding undesirable pump backflow under both co- and counter-pulsation modes. As compared to co-pulsation, stroke work was reduced by over 44% under counter-pulsation, suggesting that mechanical workload of the right ventricle can be efficiently mitigated through counter-pulsing the pump speed. Furthermore, our results showed that improved ventricular contractility could potentially lead to higher risk of ventricular suction and pump backflow, while stiffening of the pulmonary artery resulted in increased pulse pressure. In conclusion, the proposed speed modulation strategy produces pulsatile hemodynamics, which is more physiologic than continuous blood flow. The findings also provide valuable insight into the interaction between RVAD speed modulation and the pulmonary circulation under various cardiovascular states.

  18. The Efficacy of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies on Improving Physical Function. (United States)

    Rigby, B Rhett; Grandjean, Peter W


    To summarize the physical benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and hippotherapy and suggest directions for future research. Review of databases for peer-reviewed articles related to equine-assisted activities and therapies. Databases included MEDLINE via EBSCO, Web of Science, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Complete. Articles were limited to those with full-text access published in English since 1987. Acute and residual improvements in physical benefits, such as gross motor function (e.g., walking, running, jumping), spasticity, muscle symmetry, posture, balance, and gait occur in adults and children with varying disabilities. The benefits appear to be greatest following multiweek interventions with one or more sessions per week. Modest acute cardiovascular responses are observed during equine-assisted activities and therapies with little or no evidence for training improvements in heart rate or blood pressure at rest or during riding. The present body of literature provides evidence that equine-assisted activities and therapies are an effective means of improving many measures of physical health. However, more controlled trials are urgently needed to strengthen the current knowledge base, establish dose-response characteristics of equine-assisted activities and therapies, and explore the physiologic basis for the promising results suggested from the literature.

  19. Lower Limb Voluntary Movement Improvement Following a Robot-Assisted Locomotor Training in Spinal Cord Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirbagheri Mehdi


    Full Text Available Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI suffer from severe impairments in voluntary movements. Literature reports a reduction in major kinematic and kinetic parameters of lower limbs’ joints. A body weight support treadmill training with robotic assistance has been widely used to improve lower-extremity function and locomotion in persons with SCI. Our objective was to explore the effects of 4-weeks robot-assisted locomotor training on voluntary movement of the ankle musculature in patients with incomplete SCI. In particular, we aimed to characterize the therapeutic effects of Lokomat training on kinematic measures (range of motion, velocity, smoothness during a dorsiflexion movement. We hypothesized that training would improve these measures. Preliminary results show an improvement of kinematic parameters during ankle dorsiflexion voluntary movement after a 4-weeks training in the major part of our participants. Complementary investigations are in progress to confirm these results and understand underlying mechanisms associated with the recovery.

  20. TeamSTEPPS Improves Operating Room Efficiency and Patient Safety. (United States)

    Weld, Lancaster R; Stringer, Matthew T; Ebertowski, James S; Baumgartner, Timothy S; Kasprenski, Matthew C; Kelley, Jeremy C; Cho, Doug S; Tieva, Erwin A; Novak, Thomas E


    The objective was to evaluate the effect of TeamSTEPPS on operating room efficiency and patient safety. TeamSTEPPS consisted of briefings attended by all health care personnel assigned to the specific operating room to discuss issues unique to each case scheduled for that day. The operative times, on-time start rates, and turnover times of all cases performed by the urology service during the initial year with TeamSTEPPS were compared to the prior year. Patient safety issues identified during postoperative briefings were analyzed. The mean case time was 12.7 minutes less with TeamSTEPPS (P safety issues declined from an initial rate of 16% to 6% at midyear and remained stable (P operating room efficiency and diminished patient safety issues in the operating room. © The Author(s) 2015.

  1. Improving efficiencies of irrigation and nitrogen uptake in wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bazza, M.


    Three years of field studies and lysimeter experiments on irrigated wheat had the objective of finding ways of managing irrigation and N fertilization to minimize losses and reduce contamination of groundwater. Applied N had significant positive effects on crop-water consumptive use. The highest N losses occurred during early growth. Irrigation had little effect on N loss when it was practiced efficiently. Under the prevailing conditions, it is recommended that no N be applied to wheat at planting, in order to limit N losses by leaching caused by the high precipitation that usually occurs during early development when crop-N requirements are small. No more than 120 kg N ha -1 should be applied in total to minimize groundwater pollution and maximize N-uptake efficiency and economic returns. Also, for economic and environmental reasons, irrigation should be limited to 80% of the total requirement and to depths of 40 to 60 mm. (author)

  2. Trust As a Means of Improving Corporate Governance and Efficiency


    Ralph Chami; Connel Fullenkamp


    Agency problems within the firm are a significant hindrance to efficiency. We propose trust between coworkers as a superior alternative to the standard tools used to mitigate agency problems: increased monitoring and incentive-based pay. We show how trust induces employees to work harder, relative to those at firms that use the standard tools. In addition, we show that employees at trusting firms have higher job satisfaction, and that these firms enjoy lower labor cost and higher profits. Fin...

  3. Improving CO2 Efficiency for Recovering Oil in Heterogeneous Reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigg, Reid B.; Svec, Robert K.


    The work strived to improve industry understanding of CO2 flooding mechanisms with the ultimate goal of economically recovering more of the U.S. oil reserves. The principle interests are in the related fields of mobility control and injectivity.

  4. Method of improving photoelectric efficiency for laser power beaming based on photovoltaic cell layout optimization (United States)

    Li, Beibei; Li, Xiaojiang


    In accordance with the high impact of the uneven distribution of laser beam power on the photovoltaic efficiency of photovoltaic cell (PV) array, a method based on PV layout optimization is proposed to improve the photovoltaic efficiency. First of all, a mathematical model of series-parallel PV array is built, and by analyzing the influencing factors on photovoltaic efficiency, the idea and scheme to improve the photovoltaic efficiency based on PV layout optimization is provided; then, the MATLAB/Simulink simulation tool is used to simulate the effects of improving photoelectric efficiency. The simulation results show that compared to the traditional PV array, the optimized PV array can obtain higher photovoltaic efficiency, and compared to the situation with uneven temperature distribution, the array efficiency has higher efficiency under even temperature distribution.

  5. Ecofriendly laccase-hydrogen peroxide/ultrasound-assisted bleaching of linen fabrics and its influence on dyeing efficiency. (United States)

    Abou-Okeil, A; El-Shafie, A; El Zawahry, M M


    This study evaluates the bleaching efficiency of enzymatically scoured linen fabrics using a combined laccase-hydrogen peroxide bleaching process with and without ultrasonic energy, with the goal of obtaining fabrics with high whiteness levels, well preserved tensile strength and higher dye uptake. The effect of the laccase enzyme and the combined laccase-hydrogen peroxide bleaching process with and without ultrasound has been investigated with regard to whiteness value, tensile strength, dyeing efficiency and dyeing kinetics using both reactive and cationic dyes. The bleached linen fabrics were characterized using X-ray diffraction and by measuring tensile strength and lightness. The dyeing efficiency and kinetics were characterized by measuring dye uptake and colour fastness. The results indicated that ultrasound was an effective technique in the combined laccase-hydrogen peroxide bleaching process of linen fabrics. The whiteness values expressed as lightness of linen fabrics is enhanced by using ultrasonic energy. The measured colour strength values were found to be slightly better for combined laccase-hydrogen peroxide/ultrasound-assisted bleached fabrics than for combined laccase-hydrogen peroxide for both reactive and cationic dyes. The fastness properties of the fabrics dyed with reactive dye were better than those obtained when using cationic dye. The time/dye uptake isotherms were also enhanced when using combined laccase-hydrogen peroxide/ultrasound-assisted bleached fabric, which confirms the efficiency of ultrasound in the combined oxidative bleaching process. The dyeing rate constant, half-time of dyeing and dyeing efficiency have been calculated and discussed.


    Ciulla, Thomas A; Tatikonda, Mohan V; ElMaraghi, Yehya A; Hussain, Rehan M; Hill, Amanda L; Clary, Julie M; Hattab, Eyas


    Ophthalmologists serve an increasing volume of a growing elderly population undergoing increasingly complex outpatient medical care, including extensive diagnostic testing and treatment. The resulting prolonged patient visit times ("patient flow times") limit quality, patient and employee satisfaction, and represent waste. Lean Six Sigma process improvement was used in a vitreoretinal practice to decrease patient flow time, demonstrating that this approach can yield significant improvement in health care. Process flow maps were created to determine the most common care pathways within clinic. Three months' visits from the electronic medical record system, which tracks patient task times at each process step in the office were collected. Care tasks and care pathways consuming the greatest time and variation were identified and modified. Follow-up analysis from 6 weeks' visits was conducted to assess improvement. Nearly all patients took one of five paths through the office. Patient flow was redesigned to reduce waiting room time by having staff members immediately start patients into one of those five paths; staffing was adjusted to address high demand tasks, and scheduling was optimized around derived predictors of patient flow times. Follow-up analysis revealed a statistically significant decline in mean patient flow time by 18% and inpatient flow time SD by 4.6%. Patient and employee satisfaction scores improved. Manufacturing industry techniques, such as Lean and Six Sigma, can be used to improve patient care, minimize waste, and enhance patient and staff satisfaction in outpatient clinics.

  7. Expected Improvements in Work Truck Efficiency Through Connectivity and Automation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walkowicz, Kevin A [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)


    This presentation focuses on the potential impact of connected and automated technologies on commercial vehicle operations. It includes topics such as the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) program and the Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation (SMART) Mobility Initiative. It also describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) research findings pertaining to the potential energy impacts of connectivity and automation and stresses the need for integration and optimization to take advantage of the benefits offered by these transformative technologies while mitigating the potential negative consequences.

  8. Independent brachytherapy plan verification software: Improving efficacy and efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damato, Antonio L.; Devlin, Phillip M.; Bhagwat, Mandar S.; Buzurovic, Ivan; Friesen, Scott; Hansen, Jorgen L.; Lee, Larissa J.; Molodowitch, Christina; Nguyen, Paul L.; O’Farrell, Desmond A.; Viswanathan, Akila N.; Williams, Christopher L.; Killoran, Joseph H.; Cormack, Robert A.


    Background and purpose: To compare the pre-treatment brachytherapy plan verification by a physicist assisted by custom plan verification software (SAV) with those performed manually (MV). Materials and methods: All HDR brachytherapy plans used for treatment in 2013, verified using either SAV or MV, were retrospectively reviewed. Error rate (number of errors/number of plans) was measured and verification time calculated. All HDR brachytherapy safety events recorded between 2010 and 2013 were identified. The rate of patient-related safety events (number of events/number of fractions treated) and the impact of SAV on the underlying errors were assessed. Results: Three/106 errors (2.8%) were found in the SAV group and 24/273 (8.8%) in the MV group (p = 0.046). The mean ±1 standard deviation plan verification time was 8.4 ± 4.0 min for SAV and 11.6 ± 5.3 for MV (p = 0.006). Seven safety events out of 4729 fractions delivered (0.15%) were identified. Four events (57%) were associated with plan verification and could have been detected by SAV. Conclusions: We found a safety event rate in HDR brachytherapy of 0.15%. SAV significantly reduced the number of undetected errors in HDR treatment plans compared to MV, and reduced the time required for plan verification

  9. Oklahoma Orchestrates Energy Efficiency Solutions: Weatherization Assistance Close-Up Fact Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D& R International


    Oklahoma demonstrates its commitment to technology and efficiency through the Weatherization Program. Weatherization uses advanced technologies and techniques to reduce energy costs for low-income families by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes.

  10. A Foundation of Energy Efficiency in South Carolina: Weatherization Assistance Close-Up Fact Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D& R International


    South Carolina demonstrates its commitment to technology and efficiency through the Weatherization Program. Weatherization uses advanced technologies and techniques to reduce energy costs for low-income families by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes.

  11. Launching an Energy-Efficient Future in Alabama: Weatherization Assistance Close-Up Fact Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D& R International


    Alabama demonstrates its commitment to technology and efficiency through the Weatherization Program. Weatherization uses advanced technologies and techniques to reduce energy costs for low-income families by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes.

  12. [Nurses as a support to improve the quality of life during assisted reproduction]. (United States)

    Castells-Ayuso, Paula; Berenguer-Labaig, Cristina; Sánchez-Martín, Pascual; Sánchez-Martín, Fernando


    The aim of this study was to measure how infertility and assisted reproduction treatments (including artificial insemination) could affect the quality of life, and to evaluate how nurses could be helpful in this process, by alleviating anxiety and increasing the quality of life. A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on 48 patients (26 cycles) in an Assisted Reproduction Unit from 2nd December 2013 to 30th April 2014. Socio-demographic data were obtained, with the quality of life being assessed using the FertiQoL questionnaire before and after the treatment, and the consultations with a nurse by telephone or e-mail of these patients were also analyzed. The study results show a decreased quality of life in these patients, which was worse in men and in couples who had no previous children. Patient-centered care improved quality of life and tolerability to the assisted reproduction treatment. Patients frequently telephoned the nurse to solve their doubts and problems. The present study suggests that nurses can play an important role in improving the quality of life of patients undergoing assisted reproduction treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  13. Layout design in order to improve efficiency in manufacturing (United States)

    Siregar, I.; Tarigan, U.; Nasution, T. H.


    This research was conducted at the company that produces bobbins and ream type cigarette paper. Problems that found on the production process is the back and forth (back tracking) movement. Back and forth (back tracking) movement extending the total distance moved by the material and increase the total moment of transfer materials thus reducing the efficiency of the transfer of materials in the production process. The purpose of this study is to give design for the layout of production facilities in the company, so that the expected production produced by the company can reach the targets set by the management company. The method used in this research is the Graph-Based Construction and Travel Chart Method. The results of the analysis of the proposed layout with Graph-Based Construction was selected with a total value that is equal to the moment of transfer of 780 758 m / year. This result is better than the actual layout in the amount of 1,021,038.12 meters / year and the results of the method Travel Alternative Chart I of 826.236,60 meters/year, Alternative II of 1.004.433,56 meters / year, and Alternative III for 828,467.12 meters/year. The design layout of Graph-Based Construction material increases the transfer efficiency for 23.53%. With this layout proposal, expected production capacity will be increased along with the shortening of the distance of the displacement that must be passed by the material to be processed.

  14. System solution to improve energy efficiency of HVAC systems (United States)

    Chretien, L.; Becerra, R.; Salts, N. P.; Groll, E. A.


    According to recent surveys, heating and air conditioning systems account for over 45% of the total energy usage in US households. Three main types of HVAC systems are available to homeowners: (1) fixed-speed systems, where the compressor cycles on and off to match the cooling load; (2) multi-speed (typically, two-speed) systems, where the compressor can operate at multiple cooling capacities, leading to reduced cycling; and (3) variable-speed systems, where the compressor speed is adjusted to match the cooling load of the household, thereby providing higher efficiency and comfort levels through better temperature and humidity control. While energy consumption could reduce significantly by adopting variable-speed compressor systems, the market penetration has been limited to less than 10% of the total HVAC units and a vast majority of systems installed in new construction remains single speed. A few reasons may explain this phenomenon such as the complexity of the electronic circuitry required to vary compressor speed as well as the associated system cost. This paper outlines a system solution to boost the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of a traditional single-speed unit through using a low power electronic converter that allows the compressor to operate at multiple low capacity settings and is disabled at high compressor speeds.

  15. Nuclear turbine efficiency improvement by wet steam study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishikawa, Tsuyoshi; Morson, A.; Markytan, R.


    Most of the turbine used at the nuclear power plant are operated at environment of wet steam, which composes of a big factor of its inner loss in comparison with those of the thermal power plant. If an analytical method predictable on behavior of the wet steam is established, it could be upgraded efficiency of the turbine and also reliability against corrosion formed by moisture. This study, therefore, aims at understanding of physical property of the wet steam flow scarcely known at present, development of an optimum turbine cascade design tool reflected by the property, development of a turbine cascade design reducible of steam loss due to wet steam by using the tool, and development on a method of removing moisture in the turbine to its outer portion. For the tool, a new three dimensional flow numerical analysis is necessary to be developed, to aim at accurately and numerically understanding of the behavior of wet steam. As this study is in advancing now, by using a turbine cascade optimized on the wet steam flow and a developed moisture removing apparatus, about 0.6 % of upgrading in turbine efficiency can be predicted in comparison with that of the advanced aero-cascade of the GE Corporation. (G.K.)

  16. Improving radiation use efficiency in greenhouse production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Tao



    A large increase in agricultural production is needed to feed the increasing world population with their increasing demand per capita. However, growing competition for arable land, water, energy, and the degradation of the environment impose challenges to improve

  17. Improving radiation use efficiency in greenhouse production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Tao


    SUMMARY A large increase in agricultural production is needed to feed the increasing world population with their increasing demand per capita. However, growing competition for arable land, water, energy, and the degradation of the environment impose challenges to improve crop

  18. Gender and relative economic efficiency in improved cassava farms ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Educational level and extension contact were positive and significant at 5% for both gender farmer groups. Credit was negative but significant at 5% amongst female farmer groups. Gender participation in improved new cassava showed that those energy sapping operations were dominated by male folk while light operation ...

  19. Pathways to improving the N efficiency of grazing bovines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, N.J.; Schulte, R.P.O.; Struik, P.C.; Lantinga, E.A.


    Livestock production has been identified as a major source of nitrogen (N) losses. Therefore, it is important to reduce N output through animal excretions by improving N utilisation by the animal. The objective of this paper is to identify pathways for producing grass-based diets that maximise

  20. Improving the efficiency and sustainability of disinfection at a small ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Alice Water Treatment Plant (AWTP) has several operating problems, which often result in poor turbidity removal and inadequate disinfection residual. Some progress has been made in upgrading the skills of plant operators, but the plant performance has failed to improve because of faulty equipment, a shortage of ...

  1. Energy efficiency improvement target for SIC 34 - fabricated metal products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byrer, T. G.; Billhardt, C. F.; Farkas, M. S.


    A March 15, 1977 revision of a February 15, 1977 document on the energy improvement target for the Fabricated Metal Products industry (SIC 34) is presented. A net energy savings in 1980 of 24% as compared with 1972 energy consumption in SIC 34 is considered a realistic goal. (ERA citation 04:045008)

  2. Membrane-assisted vapor stripping: energy efficient hybrid distillation-vapor permeation process for alcohol-water separation (United States)

    BACKGROUND: Energy efficient alternatives to distillation for alcohol recovery from dilute solution are needed to improve biofuel sustainability. A process integrating steam stripping with a vapor compression step and a vapor permeation membrane separation step is proposed. The...

  3. Improving energy efficiency in industrial solutions - Walk the talk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wegener, D. (Siemens AG. Industry Solutions Div., Erlangen (Germany)); Finkbeiner, M. (Technische Univ. Berlin (TUB). Sustainable Engineering, Berlin (Germany)); Holst, J.-C.; Walachowicz, F. (Siemens AG. Corporate Technology, Berlin (Germany)); Irving Olsen, S. (Technical Univ. of Denmark (DTU). Management Engineering, Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark))


    This paper describes the outline of the energy efficiency and environmental care policy and management at Siemens Industry Solutions Division. This environmental policy coherently embraces strategic planning, eco-design of energy-efficient industrial processes and solutions, design evaluation and finally communication of both environmental and economic performance of solutions to customers. One of the main tools supporting eco-design and evaluation and controlling of derived design solutions is the so called 'Eco-Care-Matrix' (ECM). The ECM simply visualizes the eco-efficiency of solutions compared to a given baseline. In order to prevent from 'green washing' criticism and to ensure 'walk the talk' attitude the ECM should be scientifically well-founded using appropriate and consistent methodology. The vertical axis of an ECM illustrates the environmental performance and the horizontal axis describes the economical customer benefit of one or more green solutions compared to a defined reference solution. Different scientific approaches for quantifying the environmental performance based on life cycle assessment methodology are discussed especially considering the ISO standards 14040/14044:2006. Appropriate ECM application is illustrated using the example of the Siemens MEROS technology (Maximized Emission Reduction of Sintering) for the steel industry. MEROS is currently the most modern and powerful system for cleaning off-gas in sinter plants. As an environmental technology MEROS is binding and removing sulfur dioxide and other acidic gas components present in the off-gas stream by using dry absorbents and additional electrical power. Advantage in the impact category of acidification potential (by desulfurization) is a trade-off to disadvantages in global warming and resource depletion potential caused by use of electricity. Representing different impacts, indicator results for impact categories with different tendencies have to be

  4. Can we improve the identification of cold homes for targeted home energy-efficiency improvements?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutchinson, Emma J.; Wilkinson, Paul; Hong, Sung H.; Oreszczyn, Tadj


    Objective: To investigate the extent to which homes with low indoor-temperatures can be identified from dwelling and household characteristics. Design: Analysis of data from a national survey of dwellings, occupied by low-income households, scheduled for home energy-efficiency improvements. Setting: Five urban areas of England: Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton. Methods: Half-hourly living-room temperatures were recorded for two to four weeks in dwellings over the winter periods November to April 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. Regression of indoor on outdoor temperatures was used to identify cold-homes in which standardized daytime living-room and/or nighttime bedroom-temperatures were o C (when the outdoor temperature was 5 o C). Tabulation and logistic regression were used to examine the extent to which these cold-homes can be identified from dwelling and household characteristics. Results: Overall, 21.0% of dwellings had standardized daytime living-room temperatures o C, and 46.4% had standardized nighttime bedroom-temperatures below the same temperature. Standardized indoor-temperatures were influenced by a wide range of household and dwelling characteristics, but most strongly by the energy efficiency (SAP) rating and by standardized heating costs. However, even using these variables, along with other dwelling and household characteristics in a multi-variable prediction model, it would be necessary to target more than half of all dwellings in our sample to ensure at least 80% sensitivity for identifying dwellings with cold living-room temperatures. An even higher proportion would have to be targeted to ensure 80% sensitivity for identifying dwellings with cold-bedroom temperatures. Conclusion: Property and household characteristics provide only limited potential for identifying dwellings where winter indoor temperatures are likely to be low, presumably because of the multiple influences on home heating, including personal choice and

  5. Engineering crassulacean acid metabolism to improve water-use efficiency. (United States)

    Borland, Anne M; Hartwell, James; Weston, David J; Schlauch, Karen A; Tschaplinski, Timothy J; Tuskan, Gerald A; Yang, Xiaohan; Cushman, John C


    Climatic extremes threaten agricultural sustainability worldwide. One approach to increase plant water-use efficiency (WUE) is to introduce crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) into C3 crops. Such a task requires comprehensive systems-level understanding of the enzymatic and regulatory pathways underpinning this temporal CO2 pump. Here we review the progress that has been made in achieving this goal. Given that CAM arose through multiple independent evolutionary origins, comparative transcriptomics and genomics of taxonomically diverse CAM species are being used to define the genetic 'parts list' required to operate the core CAM functional modules of nocturnal carboxylation, diurnal decarboxylation, and inverse stomatal regulation. Engineered CAM offers the potential to sustain plant productivity for food, feed, fiber, and biofuel production in hotter and drier climates. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving IC process efficiency with critical materials management (United States)

    Hanson, Kathy L.; Andrews, Robert E.


    The management of critical materials in a high technology manufacturing facility is crucial to obtaining consistently high production yield. This is especially true in an industry like semiconductors where the success of the product is so dependent on the integrity of the critical production materials. Bar code systems, the traditional management tools, are voluntary, defeatable, and do not continuously monitor materials when in use. The significant costs associated with mis-management of chemicals can be captured with a customized model resulting in highly favorable ROI"s for the NOWTrak RFID chemical management system. This system transmits reliable chemical data about each individual container and generates information that can be used to increase wafer production efficiency and yield. The future of the RFID system will expand beyond the benefits of chemical management and into dynamic IC process management

  7. Taxing energy to improve the environment. Efficiency and distributional effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heijdra, B.J.; Van der Horst, A.


    The effects of environmental tax policy in a dynamic overlapping-generations model of a small open economy with environmental quality incorporated as a durable consumption good have been studied. Raising the energy tax may deliver an efficiency gain if agents care enough about the environment. The benefits are unevenly distributed across generations since capital ownership, and the capital loss induced by a tax increase, rises with age. A suitable egalitarian bond policy can be employed in order to ensure everybody gains to the same extent. With this additional instrument the optimal energy tax can be computed. The authors further considered a tax reform that simultaneously lowers labour taxation and raises the energy tax. This policy delivers qualitatively similar consequences as the first scenario, though all changes are less pronounced. A double dividend may appear soon after the reform but vanishes in the course of the transition. 22 refs

  8. Application of gold nanoparticles for improved drug efficiency (United States)

    Shittu, K. O.; Bankole, M. T.; Abdulkareem, A. S.; Abubakre, O. K.; Ubaka, A. U.


    Due to increasing resistance of microorganisms towards current antibiotics, there is a need for new or enhanced antibiotics. Nanotechnology is a technology that enhances the use of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) in area of medical applications, especially as a drug carrier for targeted drug delivery. In this research, AuNPs was synthesized using biological method via bioreduction of Piper guineense aqueous leaf extract on tetra gold chloride, characterized using UV-Vis spectrophometer, DLS, TEM/EDS and FTIR. The synthesized AuNPs was covalently functionalized with polyethylene glycol and encapsulated with Lincomycin and in vitro dissolution methods was used to evaluate the potential performance of the formulated nanodrug. The nanodrug has highest release efficiency at the 9th minutes (23.4 mg ml-1 for 40 °C) and (29.5 mg ml-1 for 60 °C) compared with the non-nanodrug. The antibacterial potential of the nanodrug was seen on the gram-positive bacteria of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes with highest inhibitions of 18 mm (at 40 °C) and 16 mm (at 60 °C) for S. aureus, and 16 mm for S. pyogenes (both at 40 °C and 60 °C). The bacteria growth inhibition continued and lasted for 15 min, while that of non-nanodrug lasted for 9 min with lesser growth inhibition compared to the formulated nanodrug. This work shows that the presence of the AuNPs increased the release efficiency of lincomycin even at a lower concentration and also bacteria growth inhibition thereby suggesting the effectiveness of the nanodrug formulation.

  9. Improving phosphorus use efficiency: a complex trait with emerging opportunities. (United States)

    Heuer, Sigrid; Gaxiola, Roberto; Schilling, Rhiannon; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; López-Arredondo, Damar; Wissuwa, Matthias; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Rouached, Hatem


    Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential nutrients for plants, and is indispensable for plant growth and development. P deficiency severely limits crop yield, and regular fertilizer applications are required to obtain high yields and to prevent soil degradation. To access P from the soil, plants have evolved high- and low-affinity Pi transporters and the ability to induce root architectural changes to forage P. Also, adjustments of numerous cellular processes are triggered by the P starvation response, a tightly regulated process in plants. With the increasing demand for food as a result of a growing population, the demand for P fertilizer is steadily increasing. Given the high costs of fertilizers and in light of the fact that phosphate rock, the source of P fertilizer, is a finite natural resource, there is a need to enhance P fertilizer use efficiency in agricultural systems and to develop plants with enhanced Pi uptake and internal P-use efficiency (PUE). In this review we will provide an overview of continuing relevant research and highlight different approaches towards developing crops with enhanced PUE. In this context, we will summarize our current understanding of root responses to low phosphorus conditions and will emphasize the importance of combining PUE with tolerance of other stresses, such as aluminum toxicity. Of the many genes associated with Pi deficiency, this review will focus on those that hold promise or are already at an advanced stage of testing (OsPSTOL1, AVP1, PHO1 and OsPHT1;6). Finally, an update is provided on the progress made exploring alternative technologies, such as phosphite fertilizer. © 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Prior-knowledge-independent equalization to improve battery uniformity with energy efficiency and time efficiency for lithium-ion battery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Shumei; Qiang, Jiaxi; Yang, Lin; Zhao, Xiaowei


    To improve battery uniformity as well as energy efficiency and time efficiency, a SOC (state of charge)-based equalization by AGA (adaptive genetic algorithm) is proposed on basis of two-stage DC/DC converters. The simulation results indicate that compared with FLC (fuzzy logic controller) equalization, the standard deviation of final SOC is improved by 78.7% while energy efficiency is improved by 6.01% and equalization time is decreased by 20% for AGA equalization of extreme dispersion. Additionally, AGA improves the battery uniformity by 30.77% with shortening equalization time by 16.29% and saving energy loss by 1.51% compared with FLC for equalization of regular dispersion. For further validation, the equalization optimization is verified by experiment based on the data-driven parameter identification method which is used to enhance the real-time capability of AGA. For AGA equalization of extreme dispersion, the standard deviation of final SOC is just 0.41% while equalization time prolongs only 14 min and energy efficiency is decreased by 0.81% compared with simulation results. Moreover, not only the standard deviation of final SOC is just 0.28% but also the energy efficiency is decreased by 0.69% and equalization time prolongs by 10.4 min compared with the simulation results for equalization of regular dispersion. - Highlights: • Issues of over equalization, time consumption and energy loss are addressed. • A SOC-based equalization is proposed based on adaptive genetic algorithm. • The equalization aims to improve battery uniformity, efficiency of energy and time. • Data-driven parameter identification is used to enhance the real-time capability.

  11. Innovative semielliptical seismic pattern improving line-change efficiency (United States)

    Walus, Artur; Gucma, Lucjan; Bąk, Andrzej


    The paper presents a new method for conducting turns by vessels towing seismic cables. A comparison was made between the traditional way of turning to indicate the advantages of the proposed pattern. In order to improve the overview of the complete geometry of a towed streamer system, a model of marine seismic research quality coefficients was applied. The turning method was tested onboard a seismic vessel towing eight streamers of 6 km in length. A significant reduction of time required for line-change was achieved (up to 45 % depending on ocean current speed and direction, speed of the vessel, skills of navigating team). The introduced quality coefficient of geophysical research works is based on the mathematical model of positions deviation of streamers geophones with relation to their idealized position. The model was created to be used while the vessel is on a steady course to improve the quality of acquired data; however, it was found useful during line changes as well.

  12. Grinding efficiency improvement of hydraulic cylinders parts for mining equipment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korotkov Aleksandr


    Full Text Available The aim of the article is to find out ways to improve parts treatment and components of mining equipment on the example of hydraulic cylinders parts, used as pillars for mine roof supports, and other actuator mechanisms. In the course of the research work methods of machine retaining devices design were used, the scientific approaches for the selection of progressive grinding schemes were applied; theoretical and practical experience in the design and production of new constructions of grinding tools was used. As a result of this work it became possible to create a progressive construction of a machine retaining device for grinding of large parts of hydraulic cylinders, to apply an effective scheme of rotary abrasive treatment, to create and implement new design of grinding tools by means of grains with controllable shape and orientation. Implementation of the results obtained in practice will improve the quality and performance of repairing and manufacturing of mining equipment.

  13. Design to improve photoelectric efficiency for photovoltaic cell array for laser power beaming (United States)

    Li, Xiaojiang; Li, Beibei


    Photovoltaic cell (PV) array is a photovoltaic conversion device for laser power beaming, and uneven distribution of laser beam energy will have negative influence on the photovoltaic efficiency of PV array. In order to improve the photovoltaic efficiency under uneven laser irradiation, an optimized and efficient parallel-series PV array is designed. Based on the mathematical model and MATLB/Simulink simulation model of PV array , the influencing factors of photovoltaic efficiency are analyzed, and the concept and scheme to improve the photovoltaic efficiency of parallel-series PV array are proposed. Finally, compared with typical PV array, the effects improving efficiency of optimized array is simulated and analyzed. The simulation results show that under uneven laser irradiation, the optimized parallel-series PV array can obtain higher photovoltaic efficiency.

  14. Improving the performance and energy-efficiency of virtual memory


    Karakostas, Vasileios


    Virtual memory improves programmer productivity, enhances process security, and increases memory utilization. However, virtual memory requires an address translation from the virtual to the physical address space on every memory operation. Page-based implementations of virtual memory divide physical memory into fixed size pages, and use a per-process page table to map virtual pages to physical pages. The hardware key component for accelerating address translation is the Translation Lookasi...

  15. Improving the efficiency of plasma heat treatment of metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gabdrakhmanov, Az T; Israphilov, I H; Galiakbarov, A T; Samigullin, A D; Gabdrakhmanov, Al T


    This paper proposes an effective way of the plasma hardening the surface layer at the expense combined influence of the plasma jet and a cold air flow. After that influence occurs a distinctive by plasma treatment microstructure with increased microhardness (an increase of 35%) and depth. There is proposed an improved design of the vortex tube for receiving the air flow with a temperature of 20 C to - 120C. (paper)

  16. Improved Efficient, Nearly Orthogonal, Nearly Balanced Mixed Designs (United States)


    Institute of Aeronautics. Her research interests include the following subjects: Multicriteria Decision Making Methods, Problem Structuring Methods (PSM) and OR Education. Her email address is 3616 ...randomization, replication, and control to allow the analyst to make statistically valid inferences about the behavior of a system. As noted by... making restrictive or unwarranted assumptions. Fortunately, recent advances in DoE is expanding the design portfolio available to analysts, improving

  17. 76 FR 41790 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice Establishing Date for... (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... discuss opportunities for increasing real-time and day- ahead market efficiency through improved software...

  18. 75 FR 27341 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical... (United States)


    ... resources and demand resources (DR, DG, and storage) in planning software. Additional issues to be discussed... Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical Conference To Discuss Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software May 7, 2010. Take notice that Commission...

  19. Energy Efficiency Improvements to Wundar Hall, a Historic Building on the Concordia Campus, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karman, Nathan


    The Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC or Community) implemented energy efficiency improvements to revitalize Wundar Hall, a 34,000 square foot (SF) building that was formerly used as a dormitory and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, into an office building. Wundar Hall is the first of many architecturally and historically significant buildings that the Community hopes to renovate at the former Concordia College campus, property on the near west side of Milwaukee that was taken into trust for the Community by the United States on July 10, 1990 (collectively, the Concordia Trust Property). As part of this project, which was conducted with assistance from the Department of Energy's Tribal Energy Program (TEP), the Community updated and/or replaced the building envelope, mechanical systems, the plumbing system, the electrical infrastructure, and building control systems. The project is expected to reduce the building's natural gas consumption by 58% and the electricity consumption by 55%. In addition, the project was designed to act as a catalyst to further renovation of the Concordia Trust Property and the neighborhood. The City of Milwaukee has identified redevelopment of the Concordia Trust Property as a Catalytic Project for revitalizing the near west side. The Tribe envisions a revitalized, mixed-use campus of community services, education, and economic developmen-providing services to the Indian community and jobs to the neighborhood.

  20. FES-assisted Cycling Improves Aerobic Capacity and Locomotor Function Postcerebrovascular Accident. (United States)

    Aaron, Stacey E; Vanderwerker, Catherine J; Embry, Aaron E; Newton, Jennifer H; Lee, Samuel C K; Gregory, Chris M


    After a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) aerobic deconditioning contributes to diminished physical function. Functional electrical stimulation (FES)-assisted cycling is a promising exercise paradigm designed to target both aerobic capacity and locomotor function. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the effects of an FES-assisted cycling intervention on aerobic capacity and locomotor function in individuals post-CVA. Eleven individuals with chronic (>6 months) post-CVA hemiparesis completed an 8-wk (three times per week; 24 sessions) progressive FES-assisted cycling intervention. V˙O2peak, self-selected, and fastest comfortable walking speeds, gait, and pedaling symmetry, 6-min walk test (6MWT), balance, dynamic gait movements, and health status were measured at baseline and posttraining. Functional electrical stimulation-assisted cycling significantly improved V˙O2peak (12%, P = 0.006), self-selected walking speed (SSWS, 0.05 ± 0.1 m·s, P = 0.04), Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale score (12.75 ± 17.4, P = 0.04), Berg Balance Scale score (3.91 ± 4.2, P = 0.016), Dynamic Gait Index score (1.64 ± 1.4, P = 0.016), and Stroke Impact Scale participation/role domain score (12.74 ± 16.7, P = 0.027). Additionally, pedal symmetry, represented by the paretic limb contribution to pedaling (paretic pedaling ratio [PPR]) significantly improved (10.09% ± 9.0%, P = 0.016). Although step length symmetry (paretic step ratio [PSR]) did improve, these changes were not statistically significant (-0.05% ± 0.1%, P = 0.09). Exploratory correlations showed moderate association between change in SSWS and 6-min walk test (r = 0.74), and moderate/strong negative association between change in PPR and PSR. These results support FES-assisted cycling as a means to improve both aerobic capacity and locomotor function. Improvements in SSWS, balance, dynamic walking movements, and participation in familial and societal roles are important targets for rehabilitation of individuals

  1. Design of cladding rods-assisted depressed-core few-mode fibers with improved modal spacing (United States)

    Han, Jiawei; Zhang, Jie


    This paper investigates the design details of cladding rods-assisted (CRA) depressed-core (DC) few-mode fibers (FMFs) that feature more equally spaced linearly polarized (LP) modal effective indices, suitable for high-spatial-density weakly-coupled mode-division multiplexing systems. The influences of the index profile of cladding rods on LP mode-resolved effective index, bending sensitivity, and effective area Aeff, are numerically described. Based on the design considerations of LP modal Aeff-dependent spatial efficiency and LP modal bending loss-dependent robustness, the small LP21-LP02 and LP22-LP03 modal spacing limitations, encountered in state-of-the-art weakly-coupled step-index FMFs, have been substantially improved by at least 25%. In addition, the proposed CRA DC FMFs also show sufficiently large effective areas (in excess of 110 μm2) for all guided LP modes, which are expected to exhibit good nonlinear performance.

  2. [Does upper limb robot-assisted rehabilitation contribute to improve the prognosis of post-stroke hemiparesis?]. (United States)

    Duret, C; Gracies, J-M


    Upper limb robot-assisted rehabilitation is a novel physical treatment for neurological motor impairments. During the last decade, this rehabilitation option utilizing technological tools has been evaluated in hemiparetic patients, mostly after stroke. Studies at acute and chronic stages suggested good tolerance and a significant and persistent reduction of motor impairment; a real impact on disability has been shown in acute/sub acute patients. Improved access to rehabilitation robots and an optimal use will probably be associated with higher efficiency of rehabilitative work in the paretic upper limb. Even if this treatment is still confined to a narrow circle of users, the device's biomechanical properties and clinical suggestions from the literature may show promise for the future of rehabilitation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Content-based VLE designs improve learning efficiency in constructivist statistics education.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Wessa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We introduced a series of computer-supported workshops in our undergraduate statistics courses, in the hope that it would help students to gain a deeper understanding of statistical concepts. This raised questions about the appropriate design of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE in which such an approach had to be implemented. Therefore, we investigated two competing software design models for VLEs. In the first system, all learning features were a function of the classical VLE. The second system was designed from the perspective that learning features should be a function of the course's core content (statistical analyses, which required us to develop a specific-purpose Statistical Learning Environment (SLE based on Reproducible Computing and newly developed Peer Review (PR technology. OBJECTIVES: The main research question is whether the second VLE design improved learning efficiency as compared to the standard type of VLE design that is commonly used in education. As a secondary objective we provide empirical evidence about the usefulness of PR as a constructivist learning activity which supports non-rote learning. Finally, this paper illustrates that it is possible to introduce a constructivist learning approach in large student populations, based on adequately designed educational technology, without subsuming educational content to technological convenience. METHODS: Both VLE systems were tested within a two-year quasi-experiment based on a Reliable Nonequivalent Group Design. This approach allowed us to draw valid conclusions about the treatment effect of the changed VLE design, even though the systems were implemented in successive years. The methodological aspects about the experiment's internal validity are explained extensively. RESULTS: The effect of the design change is shown to have substantially increased the efficiency of constructivist, computer-assisted learning activities for all cohorts of the student

  4. Car Assembly Line Efficiency Improvement by Lean Principle (United States)

    Sawassalung, Suwalee; Chutima, Parames


    This research aimed to increase the efficiency of actual working time to compare to design standard time ratio (DSTR) as per analysing process of Lean System of the assembly line in a car manufacturer in Thailand. Currently, the case study factory and its group of factories, which have many branches all over the world, have competed with each other on quality, delivered time and production cost. The production cost which can reduce without affecting quality and acceptable by clients is the manpower cost. The index of competition is DSTR. The factory now has DSTR of 6.13 and DSTR of the assembly department is 4.24 which is very high comparing to other departments. The low DSTR indicates that the factory has good quality. The ways to solve the problem are to apply the following tools, i.e. Lean principle, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Waste Analysis and ECRS. After implementing the above tools, the results showed that DSTR decreased from 4.24 to 4.06 or 4.25%.

  5. Sheep Wool as a Construction Material for Energy Efficiency Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azra Korjenic


    Full Text Available The building sector is responsible for 40% of the current CO2 emissions as well as energy consumption. Sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings are currently being evaluated, not only based on thermal insulation qualities and energy demands, but also based on primary energy demand, CO2 reductions and the ecological properties of the materials used. Therefore, in order to make buildings as sustainable as possible, it is crucial to maximize the use of ecological materials. This study explores alternative usage of sheep wool as a construction material beyond its traditional application in the textile industry. Another goal of this research was to study the feasibility of replacement of commonly used thermal insulations with natural and renewable materials which have better environmental and primary energy values. Building physics, energy and environmental characteristics were evaluated and compared based on hygrothermal simulation and ecological balance methods. The observations demonstrate that sheep wool, compared with mineral wool and calcium silicate, provides comparable thermal insulation characteristics, and in some applications even reveals better performance.

  6. The National Nursing Assistant Survey: Improving the Evidence Base for Policy Initiatives to Strengthen the Certified Nursing Assistant Workforce (United States)

    Squillace, Marie R.; Remsburg, Robin E.; Harris-Kojetin, Lauren D.; Bercovitz, Anita; Rosenoff, Emily; Han, Beth


    Purpose: This study introduces the first National Nursing Assistant Survey (NNAS), a major advance in the data available about certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and a rich resource for evidence-based policy, practice, and applied research initiatives. We highlight potential uses of this new survey using select population estimates as examples of…

  7. Efficient and 'green' microwave-assisted synthesis of haloalkylphosphonates via the Michaelis-Arbuzov reaction

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jansa, Petr; Holý, Antonín; Dračínský, Martin; Baszczyňski, Ondřej; Česnek, Michal; Janeba, Zlatko


    Roč. 13, č. 4 (2011), s. 882-888 ISSN 1463-9262 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB400550903; GA MŠk 1M0508 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : microwave-assisted synthesis * haloalkylphosphonates * Michaelis-Arbuzov reaction Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 6.320, year: 2011

  8. Robotic-assisted flexible colonoscopy: preliminary safety and efficiency in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozeboom, Esther; Bastiaansen, Barbara A.; de Vries, Elsemieke S.; Dekker, Evelien; Fockens, Paul A.; Broeders, Ivo Adriaan Maria Johannes

    Background and Aims The flexible endoscope is used as a platform for minimally invasive interventions. However, control of the conventional endoscope and multiple instruments is difficult. Robotic assistance could provide a solution and better control for a single operator. A novel platform should

  9. Robotic-assisted flexible colonoscopy: preliminary safety and efficiency in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozeboom, Esther D.; Bastiaansen, Barbara A.; de Vries, Elsemieke S.; Dekker, Evelien; Fockens, Paul A.; Broeders, Ivo A. M. J.


    The flexible endoscope is used as a platform for minimally invasive interventions. However, control of the conventional endoscope and multiple instruments is difficult. Robotic assistance could provide a solution and better control for a single operator. A novel platform should also enable

  10. Incentives and technologies for improving irrigation water use efficiency (United States)

    Bruggeman, Adriana; Djuma, Hakan; Giannakis, Elias; Eliades, Marinos


    The European Water Framework Directive requires Member States to set water prices that provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently. These new water pricing policies need to consider cost recovery of water services, including financial, environmental and resource cost. Prices were supposed to have been set by 2010. So far the record has been mixed. The European Commission has sent reasoned opinions to a number of countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden) requesting them to adjust their national legislation to include all water services. Unbalanced water pricing may negatively affect the agricultural sector, especially in the southern EU countries, which are more dependent on irrigation water for production. The European Commission is funding several projects that aim to reduce the burden of increasing water prices on farmers by developing innovative technologies and decision support systems that will save water and increase productivity. The FP7 ENORASIS project (grant 282949) has developed a new integrated irrigation management decision support platform, which include high-resolution, ensemble weather forecasting, a GIS widget for the location of fields and sensors and a comprehensive decision support and database management software package to optimize irrigation water management. The field component includes wireless, solar-powered soil moisture sensors, small weather stations, and remotely controlled irrigation valves. A mobile App and a web-package are providing user-friendly interfaces for farmers, water companies and environmental consultants. In Cyprus, agricultural water prices have been set to achieve a cost recovery rate of 54% (2010). The pricing policy takes in consideration the social importance and financial viability of the agricultural sector, an important flexibility provided by the Water Framework Directive. The new price was set at 0.24 euro per m3 for water supply

  11. Automated Boiler Combustion Controls for Emission Reduction and Efficiency Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None


    In the late 1980s, then President Bush visited Krakow, Poland. The terrible air quality theremotivated him to initiate a USAID-funded program, managed by DOE, entitled "Krakow Clean Fossil Fuels and Energy Efficiency Program." The primary objective of this program was to encourage the formation of commercial ventures between U.S. and Polish firms to provide equipment and/or services to reduce pollution from low-emission sources in Krakow, Poland. This program led to the award of a number of cooperative agreements, including one to Control Techtronics International. The technical objective of CTI's cooperative agreement is to apply combustion controls to existing boiler plants in Krakow and transfer knowledge and technology through a joint U.S. and Polish commercial venture. CTI installed automatic combustion controls on five coal boilers for the district heating system in Krakow. Three of these were for domestic hot-water boilers, and two were for steam for industrial boilers. The following results have occurred due to the addition of CTI's combustion controls on these five existing boilers: ! 25% energy savings ! 85% reduction in particulate emissions The joint venture company CTI-Polska was then established. Eleven additional technical and costing proposals were initiated to upgrade other coal boilers in Krakow. To date, no co-financing has been made available on the Polish side. CTI-Polska continues in operation, serving customers in Russia and Ukraine. Should the market in Poland materialize, the joint venture company is established there to provide equipment and service.

  12. Energy Efficiency Improvement Opportunities for the Cement Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, Lynn; Worrell, Ernst; Galitsky, Christina; Price, Lynn


    This report provides information on the energy savings, costs, and carbon dioxide emissions reductions associated with implementation of a number of technologies and measures applicable to the cement industry. The technologies and measures include both state-of-the-art measures that are currently in use in cement enterprises worldwide as well as advanced measures that are either only in limited use or are near commercialization. This report focuses mainly on retrofit measures using commercially available technologies, but many of these technologies are applicable for new plants as well. Where possible, for each technology or measure, costs and energy savings per tonne of cement produced are estimated and then carbon dioxide emissions reductions are calculated based on the fuels used at the process step to which the technology or measure is applied. The analysis of cement kiln energy-efficiency opportunities is divided into technologies and measures that are applicable to the different stages of production and various kiln types used in China: raw materials (and fuel) preparation; clinker making (applicable to all kilns, rotary kilns only, vertical shaft kilns only); and finish grinding; as well as plant wide measures and product and feedstock changes that will reduce energy consumption for clinker making. Table 1 lists all measures in this report by process to which they apply, including plant wide measures and product or feedstock changes. Tables 2 through 8 provide the following information for each technology: fuel and electricity savings per tonne of cement; annual operating and capital costs per tonne of cement or estimated payback period; and, carbon dioxide emissions reductions for each measure applied to the production of cement. This information was originally collected for a report on the U.S. cement industry (Worrell and Galitsky, 2004) and a report on opportunities for China's cement kilns (Price and Galitsky, in press). The information provided in

  13. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton


    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  14. Streamlining cardiovascular clinical trials to improve efficiency and generalisability. (United States)

    Zannad, Faiez; Pfeffer, Marc A; Bhatt, Deepak L; Bonds, Denise E; Borer, Jeffrey S; Calvo-Rojas, Gonzalo; Fiore, Louis; Lund, Lars H; Madigan, David; Maggioni, Aldo Pietro; Meyers, Catherine M; Rosenberg, Yves; Simon, Tabassome; Stough, Wendy Gattis; Zalewski, Andrew; Zariffa, Nevine; Temple, Robert


    Controlled trials provide the most valid determination of the efficacy and safety of an intervention, but large cardiovascular clinical trials have become extremely costly and complex, making it difficult to study many important clinical questions. A critical question, and the main objective of this review, is how trials might be simplified while maintaining randomisation to preserve scientific integrity and unbiased efficacy assessments. Experience with alternative approaches is accumulating, specifically with registry-based randomised controlled trials that make use of data already collected. This approach addresses bias concerns while still capitalising on the benefits and efficiencies of a registry. Several completed or ongoing trials illustrate the feasibility of using registry-based controlled trials to answer important questions relevant to daily clinical practice. Randomised trials within healthcare organisation databases may also represent streamlined solutions for some types of investigations, although data quality (endpoint assessment) is likely to be a greater concern in those settings. These approaches are not without challenges, and issues pertaining to informed consent, blinding, data quality and regulatory standards remain to be fully explored. Collaboration among stakeholders is necessary to achieve standards for data management and analysis, to validate large data sources for use in randomised trials, and to re-evaluate ethical standards to encourage research while also ensuring that patients are protected. The rapidly evolving efforts to streamline cardiovascular clinical trials have the potential to lead to major advances in promoting better care and outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  15. Improving Dryer and Press Efficiencies Through Combustion of Hydrocarbon Emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sujit Banerjee


    Emission control devices on dryers and presses have been legislated into the industry, and are now an integral part of the drying system. These devices consume large quantities of natural gas and electricity and down-sizing or eliminating them will provide major energy savings. The principal strategy taken here focuses on developing process changes that should minimize (and in some cases eliminate) the need for controls. A second approach is to develop lower-cost control options. It has been shown in laboratory and full-scale work that Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) emerge mainly at the end of the press cycle for particleboard, and, by extension, to other prod-ucts. Hence, only the air associated with this point of the cycle need be captured and treated. A model for estimating terpene emissions in the various zones of veneer dryers has been developed. This should allow the emissions to be concentrated in some zones and minimized in others, so that some of the air could be directly released without controls. Low-cost catalysts have been developed for controlling HAPs from dryers and presses. Catalysts conventionally used for regenerative catalytic oxidizers can be used at much lower temperatures for treating press emissions. Fluidized wood ash is an especially inexpensive mate-rial for efficiently reducing formaldehyde in dryer emissions. A heat transfer model for estimating pinene emissions from hot-pressing strand for the manufacture of flakeboard has been constructed from first principles and validated. The model shows that most of the emissions originate from the 1-mm layer of wood adjoining the platen surface. Hence, a simple control option is to surface a softwood mat with a layer of hardwood prior to pressing. Fines release a disproportionate large quantity of HAPs, and it has been shown both theo-retically and in full-scale work that particles smaller than 400 µm are principally responsible. Georgia-Pacific is considering green

  16. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality. (United States)

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe


    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming.

  17. Advancing rig design: latest rig technologies improving efficiency and safety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenaway, R.


    Recent advances in drilling rig technologies that improve the ways for finding oil and natural gas, and are also solving some safety and transportation problems, have been reviewed. The coiled tubing drilling rig developed by joint venture TransOcean Ensign Drilling Technology was one of the innovations described. It is able to run a three-and-a-quarter inch coiled tubing, the only system capable of doing this in a land-based application. Tesco Corporation`s new casing drilling rig, which is expected to lower the cost of moving the rig, and Brinkerhoff Drilling`s new generation modular (NGM)-rig, claimed to be the most mobile rig in North America, are other new developments worthy of note. Tesco`s casing drilling rig has the potential to reduce drilling costs by as much as 30 to 40 per cent, while the NGM-rig could reduce rig mobilization time by 50 to 80 per cent, and the number of wells drilled by the same rig could increase by 20 per cent, due to the NGM-rig`s versatility and flexibility.

  18. Improving efficiency of a regional stand alone bone bank. (United States)

    Warnock, Jonathan M; Rowan, Clare H; Davidson, Helen; Millar, Ciara; McAlinden, M Gavan


    The introduction of a stand-alone Bone Bank in our Regional Orthopaedic Hospital has improved the availability of femoral head allograft. Benninger et al. (Bone Joint J 96-B:1307-1311, 2014), demonstrated their institutions bank to be cost effective despite a 30 % discard rate for harvested allograft. We sought to audit our own discard rates and subsequent cost-effectiveness of our bone bank. Donor recruitment. Before approaching a potential donor, our establishment's nurse specialists review their clinical notes and biochemical laboratory results, available on a regional Electronic Care Records. They view femoral head architecture on radiographs against set criteria, Patient Archive and Communication system (SECTRA, Sweden). In total 1383 femoral heads were harvested, 247 were discarded giving an overall rate of 17.9 %. The most common reasons for discard of harvested graft was a positive microbiology/bacteriology result, n = 96 (38.9 %). After a rise in discard rates in 2007, we have steadily reduced our discard rates since 2006/2007 (28.2 %), 2008/2009 (17 %), 2010/2011 (14.8 %), and finally to 10.3 % in 2012/2013. In the current financial year, our cost to harvest, test, store and release a femoral head is £ 610. With a structured donor recruitment process and unique pre-operative radiographic analysis we have successfully reduced our discard rates bi-annually making our bone bank increasingly cost-effective.

  19. Final Scientific Report - "Improved Fuel Efficiency from Nanocomposite Tire Tread"

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Andrew Myers


    Rolling resistance, a measure of the energy lost as a tire rotates while moving, is a significant source of power and fuel loss. Recently, low rolling resistant tires have been formulated by adding silica to tire tread. These "Green Tires" (so named from the environmental advantages of lower emissions and improved fuel economy) have seen some commercial success in Europe, where high fuel prices and performance drive tire selection. Unfortunately, the higher costs of the silica and a more complicated manufacturing process have prevented significant commercialization - and the resulting fuel savings - in the U.S. In this project, TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) prepared an inexpensive alternative to silica that leads to tire components with lower rolling resistance. These new tire composite materials were processed with traditional rubber processing equipment. We prepared specially designed nanoparticle additives, based on a high purity, inorganic mineral whose surface can be easily modified for compatibility with tire tread formulations. Our nanocomposites decreased energy losses to hysteresis, the loss of energy from the compression and relaxation of an elastic material, by nearly 20% compared to a blank SBR sample. We also demonstrated better performance than a leading silica product, with easier production of our final rubber nanocomposite.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. V. Bochkov


    Full Text Available The urgency of thermoelectric energy conversion is proved. Perspectives of nanostructures usage as thermoelectric materials are shown. The authors have systematized and generalized the methods and investigation results of bulk nanostructure thermoelectrics based on Bi-Sb-Te solid solutions. Ways of nanoparticles fabrication and their subsequent sintering into a bulk sample, results of structure study of the received materials are shown by methods of electronic microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy, results of mechanical properties investigation. Methods of manufacturing suggested with the authors’ participation and properties of thermoelectric nanocomposites, fabricated with addition of fullerene, thermally split graphite, graphene and molybdenum disulphide are discussed. Methods for prevention of recrystallization, measurement methods of thermoelectric properties of studied nanothermoelectrics are considered, including electric and thermal conductivities, thermoemf and the figure of merit. Factors that influence on thermoelectric figure of merit, including the tunneling of carriers through interfaces between nanograins, the additional phonon scattering on nanograin borders and the energy filtration of carriers through barriers have been theoretically investigated. Mechanisms and ways for improvement of the figure of merit are determined. Experimental confirmation for thermoelectric figure of merit increase is received. Physical mechanisms of thermoelectric figure of merit increase are shown by perceptivity of nanostructures utilization. The growth of thermoelectric figure of merit means an expansion of areas for rational application of thermoelectric energy generation and thermoelectric cooling.

  1. Efficiency and hospital effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems ratings. (United States)

    Al-Amin, Mona; Makarem, Suzanne C; Rosko, Michael


    Efficiency has emerged as a central goal to the operations of health care organizations. There are two competing perspectives on the relationship between efficiency and organizational performance. Some argue that organizational slack is a waste and that efficiency contributes to organizational performance, whereas others maintain that slack acts as a buffer, allowing organizations to adapt to environmental demands and contributing to organizational performance. As value-based purchasing becomes more prevalent, health care organizations are incented to become more efficient and, at the same time, improve their patients' experiences and outcomes. Unused slack resources might facilitate the timely implementation of these improvements. Building on previous research on organizational slack and inertia, we test whether efficiency and other organizational factors predict organizational effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings. We rely on data from the American Hospital Association and HCAHPS. We estimate hospital cost-efficiency by Stochastic Frontier Analysis and use regression analysis to determine whether efficiency, competition, hospital size, and other organizational factors are significant predictors of hospital effectiveness. Our findings indicate that efficiency and hospital size have a significant negative association with organizational ability to improve HCAHPS ratings. Although achieving organizational efficiency is necessary for health care organizations, given the changes that are currently occurring in the U.S. health care system, it is important for health care managers to maintain a certain level of slack to respond to environmental demands and have the resources needed to improve their performance.

  2. Robot-Assisted Reach Training for Improving Upper Extremity Function of Chronic Stroke. (United States)

    Cho, Ki Hun; Song, Won-Kyung


    Stroke, as a major risk factor for chronic impairment of upper limb function, can severely restrict the activities of daily living. Recently, robotic devices have been used to enhance the functional upper extremity movement of stroke patients. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether a robot-assisted reach training program using a whole arm manipulator (WAM) could improve upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement for chronic stroke patients. Using a single-group design, this study followed 10 people with chronic stroke (6 men, 61.5 years; Mini-Mental State Examination score: 27.0; onset duration: 8.9 years). WAM with seven degrees of freedom for the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints was used during robot-assisted reach exercises. Subjects participated in the training program for 40 minutes per day, 2 times a week, for 4 weeks. The main outcome measures were upper extremity kinematic performance (movement velocity) for three directions and functional movement (Action Research Arm Test). Upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement measures were performed three times: at baseline, during intervention (at 2 weeks), and post intervention. Upper extremity kinematic performance and functional movement showed improvement after two weeks (P robot-assisted reach training on upper extremity kinematic performance as well as functional movement in individuals with chronic stroke. In addition, the findings of the current study may provide valuable information for subsequent randomized controlled trials.

  3. Improved hydrogen production via thermophilic fermentation of corn stover by microwave-assisted acid pretreatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Chun-zhao; Cheng, Xi-yu [National Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (China); Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093 (China)


    A microwave-assisted acid pretreatment (MAP) strategy has been developed to enhance hydrogen production via thermophilic fermentation of corn stover. Pretreatment of corn stover by combining microwave irradiation and acidification resulted in the increased release of soluble substances and made the corn stover more accessible to microorganisms when compared to thermal acid pretreatment (TAP). MAP showed obvious advantages in short duration and high efficiency of lignocellulosic hydrolysis. Analysis of the particle size and specific surface area of corn stover as well as observation of its cellular microstructure were used to elucidate the enhancement mechanism of the hydrolysis process by microwave assistance. The cumulative hydrogen volume reached 182.2 ml when corn stover was pretreated by MAP with 0.3 N H{sub 2}SO{sub 4} for 45 min, and the corresponding hydrogen yield reached 1.53 mol H{sub 2}/mol-glucose equivalents converted to organic end products. The present work demonstrates that MAP has potential to enhance the bioconversion efficiency of lignocellulosic waste to renewable biofuel. (author)

  4. Progress in improving provincial plans for nutrition through targeted technical assistance and local advocacy in Vietnam. (United States)

    Harris, Jody; Nguyen, Phuong H; To, Quyen; Frongillo, Edward A; Menon, Purnima


    Vietnam has been decentralizing nutrition planning to provinces, which could help with local relevance and accountability. Assessment in 2009 found a continuing top-down approach, limited human capacity, and difficulty in integrating multiple sectors. Alive and Thrive (A&T) provided targeted assistance and capacity-building for 15 provincial plans for nutrition (PPNs). We aimed to (i) assess PPN content and quality improvements 2009-2014, and (ii) explain processes through which change occurred. Data consisted of interview-based assessments of provincial planning processes, annual PPN assessments, and tracking of A&T involvement. At endline, some provinces produced higher quality plans. Local planning skills improved, but capacity remained insufficient. Awareness of and support for nutrition improved, but some policy and legal environments were contradictory. Objectives were clearer, but use of data for planning remained inconsistent. Provinces became more proactive and creative, but remained constrained by slow approval processes and insufficient funding. Targeted assistance and local advocacy can improve decentralized planning, with success dependent on policy and programming contexts and ability to overcome constraints around capacity, investment, data use and remnants of centralized planning. We recommend strong engagement with planners at the national level to understand how to unblock major constraints; solutions must take into consideration the particular political, financial and administrative context. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

  5. Utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) to improve workface efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haines, A.; Rasmussen, J.


    Improving the efficiency of personnel at the workface is a key objective for executing construction, maintenance, quality, engineering and human performance activities. Schedule and cost overruns have a significant impact on the bottom line and on future business efficiency in execution of tasks is paramount to success. Leveraging information and communications technology (ICT) in construction, maintenance and operation environments can create a mobile workforce where personnel efficiency is improved, significant gains are made on schedule and cost, and the overall quality of work is raised. This paper will discuss the impact of mobile technology specifically on workface efficiency and productivity. (author)

  6. Utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) to improve workface efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haines, A.; Rasmussen, J. [Industrial Audit Corp., Toronto, Ontario (Canada)


    Improving the efficiency of personnel at the workface is a key objective for executing construction, maintenance, quality, engineering and human performance activities. Schedule and cost overruns have a significant impact on the bottom line and on future business efficiency in execution of tasks is paramount to success. Leveraging information and communications technology (ICT) in construction, maintenance and operation environments can create a mobile workforce where personnel efficiency is improved, significant gains are made on schedule and cost, and the overall quality of work is raised. This paper will discuss the impact of mobile technology specifically on workface efficiency and productivity. (author)

  7. Improved SHSAW transduction efficiency using grating and uniform electrode guiding. (United States)

    Pollard, Thomas B; da Cunha, Mauricio Pereira


    Pure shear-horizontal surface acoustic wave (SHSAW) devices have been increasingly considered for liquidphase and biosensing applications because of their ability to operate under liquid-loaded conditions and intrinsic sensitivity to mass, stiffness, viscosity, and electrical perturbations occurring at the device/fluid interface. Typically, the SHSAW is weakly guided by a free surface boundary condition (BC) or may not even exist for some materials and orientations, such as the quartz ST-90° orientation considered in this work. For a surrounding free surface BC, the interdigital transducer (IDT) typically generates strong shear-horizontal bulk acoustic waves (SHBAWs) relative to SHSAW. For that reason, guiding structures, e.g., dense and/or thick electrodes in periodic or uniform configurations, are incorporated into the design and placed between IDTs in delay-line devices to increase the ratio of transduced SHSAW power to IDT input power, ηSHSAW. The degree of ηSHSAW improvement depends on the thickness, composition, and geometry of the guiding structure. In previous work, the authors evaluated ηSHSAW using hybrid finite and boundary element method (FEM/BEM) models, but were limited to cases of stress-free or finite-thickness-grating surrounding surfaces. This work extends the analysis to the important boundary condition case of uniform finite-thickness electrode guiding, which is typically employed in liquid-phase and biosensor applications. To integrate the uniform electrode guiding structure with the SHSAW device analysis, a combined finite-length uniform electrode structure followed by an additional quarter-wavelength electrode was considered. In this work, it is shown that adjusting the quarter-wavelength electrode's film thickness and length allows cancellation of the SHSAW reflection from the edge discontinuity. As a result, the finite-length uniform guiding electrode can be treated as if it extends to infinity, and ηSHSAW can be easily obtained. In

  8. Improvement of a sample preparation method assisted by sodium deoxycholate for mass-spectrometry-based shotgun membrane proteomics. (United States)

    Lin, Yong; Lin, Haiyan; Liu, Zhonghua; Wang, Kunbo; Yan, Yujun


    In current shotgun-proteomics-based biological discovery, the identification of membrane proteins is a challenge. This is especially true for integral membrane proteins due to their highly hydrophobic nature and low abundance. Thus, much effort has been directed at sample preparation strategies such as use of detergents, chaotropes, and organic solvents. We previously described a sample preparation method for shotgun membrane proteomics, the sodium deoxycholate assisted method, which cleverly circumvents many of the challenges associated with traditional sample preparation methods. However, the method is associated with significant sample loss due to the slightly weaker extraction/solubilization ability of sodium deoxycholate when it is used at relatively low concentrations such as 1%. Hence, we present an enhanced sodium deoxycholate sample preparation strategy that first uses a high concentration of sodium deoxycholate (5%) to lyse membranes and extract/solubilize hydrophobic membrane proteins, and then dilutes the detergent to 1% for a more efficient digestion. We then applied the improved method to shotgun analysis of proteins from rat liver membrane enriched fraction. Compared with other representative sample preparation strategies including our previous sodium deoxycholate assisted method, the enhanced sodium deoxycholate method exhibited superior sensitivity, coverage, and reliability for the identification of membrane proteins particularly those with high hydrophobicity and/or multiple transmembrane domains. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Highly efficient removal of chromium(VI) by Fe/Ni bimetallic nanoparticles in an ultrasound-assisted system. (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaobin; Jing, Guohua; Lv, Bihong; Zhou, Zuoming; Zhu, Runliang


    Highly active Fe/Ni bimetallic nanocomposites were prepared by using the liquid-phase reduction method, and they were proven to be effective for Cr(VI) removal coupled with US irradiation. The US-assisted Fe/Ni bimetallic system could maintain a good performance for Cr(VI) removal at a wide pH range of 3-9. Based on the characterization of the Fe/Ni nanoparticles before and after reaction, the high efficiency of the mixed system could attribute to the synergistic effects of the catalysis of Ni(0) and US cavitation. Ni(0) could facilitate the Cr(VI) reduction through electron transfer and catalytic hydrogenation. Meanwhile, US could fluidize the Fe/Ni nanoparticles to increase the actual reactive surface area and clean off the co-precipitated Fe(III)-Cr(III) hydroxides to maintain the active sites on the surface of the Fe/Ni nanoparticles. Thus, compared with shaking, the US-assisted Fe/Ni system was more efficient on Cr(VI) removal, which achieved 94.7% removal efficiency of Cr(VI) within 10 min. The pseudo-first-order rate constant (kobs) in US-assisted Fe/Ni system (0.5075 min(-1)) was over 5 times higher than that under shaking (0.0972 min(-1)). Moreover, the Fe/Ni nanoparticles still have a good performance under US irradiation after 26 days aging as well as regeneration. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Music-assisted relaxation to improve sleep quality: meta-analysis. (United States)

    de Niet, Gerrit; Tiemens, Bea; Lendemeijer, Bert; Hutschemaekers, Giel


    This paper is a report of a meta-analysis conducted to evaluate the efficacy of music-assisted relaxation for sleep quality in adults and elders with sleep complaints with or without a co-morbid medical condition. Clinical studies have shown that music can influence treatment outcome in a positive and beneficial way. Music holds the promise of counteracting psychological presleep arousal and thus improving the preconditions for sleep. We conducted a search in the Embase (1997 - July 2008), Medline (1950 - July 2008), Cochrane (2000 - July 2008), Psychinfo (1987 - July 2008) and Cinahl (1982 - July 2008) databases for randomized controlled trials reported in English, German, French and Dutch. The outcome measure of interest was sleep quality. Data were extracted from the included studies using predefined data fields. The researchers independently assessed the quality of the trials using the Delphi list. Only studies with a score of 5 points or higher were included. A pooled analysis was performed based on a fixed effect model. Five randomized controlled trials with six treatment conditions and a total of 170 participants in intervention groups and 138 controls met our inclusion criteria. Music-assisted relaxation had a moderate effect on the sleep quality of patients with sleep complaints (standardized mean difference, -0.74; 95% CI: -0.96, -0.46). Subgroup analysis revealed no statistically significant contribution of accompanying measures. Music-assisted relaxation can be used without intensive investment in training and materials and is therefore cheap, easily available and can be used by nurses to promote music-assisted relaxation to improve sleep quality.

  11. Improving hemodynamics of cardiovascular system under a novel intraventricular assist device support via modeling and simulations. (United States)

    Zhu, Shidong; Luo, Lin; Yang, Bibo; Li, Xinghui; Wang, Xiaohao


    Ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are increasingly recognized for supporting blood circulation in heart failure patients who are non-transplant eligible. Because of its volume, the traditional pulsatile device is not easy to implant intracorporeally. Continuous flow LVADs (CF-LVADs) reduce arterial pulsatility and only offer continuous flow, which is different from physiological flow, and may cause long-term complications in the cardiovascular system. The aim of this study was to design a new pulsatile assist device that overcomes this disadvantage, and to test this device in the cardiovascular system. Firstly, the input and output characteristics of the new device were tested in a simple cardiovascular mock system. A detailed mathematical model was established by fitting the experimental data. Secondly, the model was tested in four pathological cases, and was simulated and coupled with a fifth-order cardiovascular system and a new device model using Matlab software. Using assistance of the new device, we demonstrated that the left ventricle pressure, aortic pressure, and aortic flow of heart failure patients improved to the levels of a healthy individual. Especially, in state IV level heart failure patients, the systolic blood pressure increased from 81.34 mmHg to 132.1 mmHg, whereas the diastolic blood pressure increased from 54.28 mmHg to 78.7 mmHg. Cardiac output increased from 3.21 L/min to 5.16 L/min. The newly-developed assist device not only provided a physiological flow that was similar to healthy individuals, but also effectively improved the ability of the pathological ventricular volume. Finally, the effects of the new device on other hemodynamic parameters are discussed.

  12. Incorporating robotic-assisted telerehabilitation in a home program to improve arm function following stroke. (United States)

    Linder, Susan M; Reiss, Aimee; Buchanan, Sharon; Sahu, Komal; Rosenfeldt, Anson B; Clark, Cindy; Wolf, Steven L; Alberts, Jay L


    After stroke, many individuals lack resources to receive the intensive rehabilitation that is thought to improve upper extremity motor function. This case study describes the application of a telerehabilitation intervention using a portable robotic device combined with a home exercise program (HEP) designed to improve upper extremity function. The participant was a 54-year-old man, 22 weeks following right medullary pyramidal ischemic infarct. At baseline, he exhibited residual paresis of the left upper extremity, resulting in impaired motor control consistent with a flexion synergistic pattern, scoring 22 of 66 on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment. The participant completed 85 total hours of training (38 hours of robotic device and 47 hours of HEP) over the 8-week intervention period. The participant demonstrated an improvement of 26 points on the Action Research Arm Test, 5 points on the Functional Ability Scale portion of the Wolf Motor Function Test, and 20 points on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, all of which surpassed the minimal clinically important difference. Of the 17 tasks of the Wolf Motor Function Test, he demonstrated improvement on 11 of the 15 time-based tasks and both strength measures. The participant reported an overall improvement in his recovery from stroke on the Stroke Impact Scale quality-of-life questionnaire from 40 of 100 to 65 of 100. His score on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale improved by 19 points. This case demonstrates that robotic-assisted therapy paired with an HEP can be successfully delivered within a home environment to a person with stroke. Robotic-assisted therapy may be a feasible and efficacious adjunct to an HEP program to elicit substantial improvements in upper extremity motor function, especially in those persons with stroke who lack access to stroke rehabilitation centers.

  13. Tariff-based incentives for improving coal-power-plant efficiencies in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chikkatur, Ananth P.; Sagar, Ambuj D.; Abhyankar, Nikit; Sreekumar, N.


    Improving the efficiency of coal-based power plants plays an important role in improving the performance of India's power sector. It allows for increased consumer benefits through cost reduction, while enhancing energy security and helping reduce local and global pollution through more efficient coal use. A focus on supply-side efficiency also complements other ongoing efforts on end-use efficiency. The recent restructuring of the Indian electricity sector offers an important route to improving power plant efficiency, through regulatory mechanisms that allow for an independent tariff setting process for bulk purchases of electricity from generators. Current tariffs based on normative benchmarks for performance norms are hobbled by information asymmetry (where regulators do not have access to detailed performance data). Hence, we propose a new incentive scheme that gets around the asymmetry problem by setting performance benchmarks based on actual efficiency data, rather than on a normative basis. The scheme provides direct tariff-based incentives for efficiency improvements, while benefiting consumers by reducing electricity costs in the long run. This proposal might also be useful for regulators in other countries to incorporate similar incentives for efficiency improvement in power generation. (author)

  14. Usability of an adaptive computer assistant that improves self-care and health literacy of older adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blanson Henkemans, O.A.; Rogers, W.A.; Fisk, A.D.; Neerincx, M.A.; Lindenberg, J.; Mast, C.A.P.G. van der


    Objectives: We developed an adaptive computer assistant for the supervision of diabetics' self-care, to support limiting illness and need for acute treatment, and improve health literacy. This assistant monitors self-care activities logged in the patient's electronic diary. Accordingly, it provides

  15. 25 CFR 30.122 - Must the Bureau assist a school it identified for school improvement, corrective action, or... (United States)


    ... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Must the Bureau assist a school it identified for school..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR EDUCATION ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS Failure To Make Adequate Yearly Progress § 30.122 Must the Bureau assist a school it identified for school improvement, corrective action, or...

  16. Ultrathin Alumina Mask-Assisted Nanopore Patterning on Monolayer MoS2 for Highly Catalytic Efficiency in Hydrogen Evolution Reaction. (United States)

    Su, Shaoqiang; Zhou, Qingwei; Zeng, Zhiqiang; Hu, Die; Wang, Xin; Jin, Mingliang; Gao, Xingsen; Nötzel, Richard; Zhou, Guofu; Zhang, Zhang; Liu, Junming


    Nanostructured molybdenum disulfide (MoS 2 ) has been considered as one of the most promising catalysts in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), for its approximately intermediate hydrogen binding free energy to noble metals and much lower cost. The catalytically active sites of MoS 2 are along the edges, whereas thermodynamically MoS 2 favors the presence of a two-dimensional (2-D) basal plane and the catalytically active atoms only constitute a small portion of the material. The lack of catalytically active sites and low catalytic efficiency impede its massive application. To address the issue, we have activated the basal plane of monolayer 2H MoS 2 through an ultrathin alumina mask (UTAM)-assisted nanopore arrays patterning, creating a high edge density. The introduced catalytically active sites are identified by Cu electrochemical deposition, and the hydrogen generation properties are assessed in detail. We demonstrate a remarkably improved HER performance as well as the identical catalysis of the artificial edges and the pristine metallic edges of monolayer MoS 2 . Such a porous monolayer nanostructure can achieve a much higher edge atom ratio than the pristine monolayer MoS 2 flakes, which can lead to a much improved catalytic efficiency. This controllable edge engineering can also be extended to the basal plane modifications of other 2-D materials, for improving their edge-related properties.

  17. Improving energy efficiency: Strategies for supporting sustained market evolution in developing and transitioning countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyers, S.


    This report presents a framework for considering market-oriented strategies for improving energy efficiency that recognize the conditions of developing and transitioning countries, and the need to strengthen the effectiveness of market forces in delivering greater energy efficiency. It discusses policies that build markets in general, such as economic and energy pricing reforms that encourage competition and increase incentives for market actors to improve the efficiency of their energy use, and measures that reduce the barriers to energy efficiency in specific markets such that improvement evolves in a dynamic, lasting manner. The report emphasizes how different policies and measures support one another and can create a synergy in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In addressing this topic, it draws on the experience with market transformation energy efficiency programs in the US and other industrialized countries.

  18. Improvement in Cormack and Lehane grading with laparoscopic assistance during tracheal intubation. (United States)

    Gupta, Anjeleena K; Sharma, Bimla; Kumar, Arvind; Sood, Jayashree


    To use laparoscope as an easily available and easy to use alternative option to videolaryngoscope. The aim of the study was to assess the improvement in the glottic view using a conventional direct laryngoscope (DL) assisted by a laparoscope with its endovision system along with the time taken for tracheal intubation. A prospective, double blind, randomized, controlled study was conducted in a tertiary care centre. Sixty patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status I and II requiring general anaesthesia and tracheal intubation for elective surgery were included in the study. The patients were anaesthetized, paralysed, DL was performed and Cormack and Lehane grade (C and L) noted, followed by the introduction of the laparoscope alongside the flange of the Macintosh laryngoscope and a further C and L grading done as seen on monitor. Demographic data, ASA physical status, airway assessment, mouth opening, modified Mallampatti class, jaw protrusion, thyromental and sternomental distances, optimal external laryngeal manipulation, time taken for intubation, pulse oximetry, blood on; tracheal tube, lip, dentition or mucosal trauma, sore throat, hoarseness of voice, excessive secretions and regurgitation were recorded. Statistical analysis was done using statistics package for social sciences software (17.0 version). A P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Eighty-three percent of the patients showed improvement in glottic view after laparoscopic assistance. Eighty-one and 85% of the patients with C and L grade II and III respectively on DL had an improved glottic view with this technique. The mean time to intubate was 37 seconds. Laparoscopic assistance provided a better glottic view than DL in most patients (83%). It has a potential advantage over standard DL in difficult intubation.

  19. Yoga Can Improve Assisted Reproduction Technology Outcomes in Couples With Infertility. (United States)

    Darbandi, Sara; Darbandi, Mahsa; Khorram Khorshid, Hamid Reza; Sadeghi, Mohammad Reza


    Context • Depending on the cause of the infertility, nonsurgical or surgical treatments may be used to treat men and women with infertility. Despite improved outcomes due to medical advances, assisted reproductive technology (ART) for couples with infertility is sometimes unsuccessful. Success may be affected by the patient's social, psychological, and physical status. Objective • The study examined the effects of yoga-including asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (proper breathing), shavasana, and meditation-on male and female fertility and ART outcomes. Design • The research team performed a literature review, electronically searching for articles published between January 1978 and January 2016 in the PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases. Setting • The study took place at the Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center at the Avicenna Research Institute at the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (Tehran, Iran). Participants • Participants were couples with infertility taking part in 87 reviewed studies. Intervention • Yoga was the intervention. Outcome Measures • The outcome measures comprised fertility factors in males and females, fertility rate, and ART success rate. Results • The reviewed studies showed that yoga can provide stress management for patients with infertility, with beneficial effects on fertility, helping couples give birth. They found that yoga also could reduce pain; decrease depression, anxiety, and stress; reduce the rate of assisted vaginal delivery; and improve fetal outcomes. Conclusions • Yoga can help couples overcome infertility and increase the ART success rate by improving the physiological and psychological states of both men and women.

  20. Technical assistance for Meharry Medical College Energy Efficiency Project. Final project status and technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    This report presents the results of a program to provide technical assistance to Meharry Medical College. The purpose of the program is to facilitate Meharry`s effort to finance a campus-wide facility retrofit. The US Department of Energy (USDOE) funded the program through a grant to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TECD). The University of Memphis-Technology and Energy Services (UM-TES), under contract to TECD, performed program services. The report has three sections: (1) introduction; (2) project definition, financing, and participants; and (3) opportunities for federal participation.

  1. A novel junction-assisted programming scheme for Si-nanocrystal memory devices with improved performance (United States)

    Jiang, Dandan; Huo, Zongliang; Zhang, Manhong; Jin, Lin; Bai, Jie; Yu, Zhaoan; Liu, Jing; Wang, Qin; Yang, Xiaonan; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Bo; Chen, Junning; Liu, Ming


    A novel drain-junction-assisted hot electron programming scheme has been proposed for Si nanocrystal memory devices. Different from the conventional channel hot electron (CHE) injection, two electron injection paths are responsible for the proposed scheme. Experimental results show that the new scheme has a nearly 1 V memory window increase and almost 300 times faster programming speed rather than the conventional CHE method. Meanwhile, improved data retention and endurance characteristics have also been achieved with the enlarged memory window, which is mainly due to less tunnel oxide degradation during the program/erase cycling. Therefore, the new scheme is shown to be more promising for Si nanocrystal memory application.

  2. Effect of Inductive Coil Geometry on the Thrust Efficiency of a Microwave Assisted Discharge Inductive Plasma Accelerator (United States)

    Hallock, Ashley; Polzin, Kurt; Emsellem, Gregory


    Pulsed inductive plasma thrusters [1-3] are spacecraft propulsion devices in which electrical energy is capacitively stored and then discharged through an inductive coil. The thruster is electrodeless, with a time-varying current in the coil interacting with a plasma covering the face of the coil to induce a plasma current. Propellant is accelerated and expelled at a high exhaust velocity (O(10-100 km/s)) by the Lorentz body force arising from the interaction of the magnetic field and the induced plasma current. While this class of thruster mitigates the life-limiting issues associated with electrode erosion, pulsed inductive plasma thrusters require high pulse energies to inductively ionize propellant. The Microwave Assisted Discharge Inductive Plasma Accelerator (MAD-IPA) [4, 5] is a pulsed inductive plasma thruster that addressees this issue by partially ionizing propellant inside a conical inductive coil via an electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) discharge. The ECR plasma is produced using microwaves and permanent magnets that are arranged to create a thin resonance region along the inner surface of the coil, restricting plasma formation, and in turn current sheet formation, to a region where the magnetic coupling between the plasma and the inductive coil is high. The use of a conical theta-pinch coil is under investigation. The conical geometry serves to provide neutral propellant containment and plasma plume focusing that is improved relative to the more common planar geometry of the Pulsed Inductive Thruster (PIT) [2, 3], however a conical coil imparts a direct radial acceleration of the current sheet that serves to rapidly decouple the propellant from the coil, limiting the direct axial electromagnetic acceleration in favor of an indirect acceleration mechanism that requires significant heating of the propellant within the volume bounded by the current sheet. In this paper, we describe thrust stand measurements performed to characterize the performance

  3. How can innovative project delivery systems improve the overall efficiency of GDOT in transportation project delivery? (United States)


    The USDOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recommend the smart use of innovative project : delivery systems, such as design-build, to improve efficiency and effectiveness of developing transportation : projects. Although design-build provide...

  4. Improving Energy Efficiency of Micro-Networks Connected to a Smart Grid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Błajszczak


    Full Text Available Technological development of distribution and transmission grids and building a so called smart grid also enable improving the efficiency of microgrids and microgenerators. Better coordination and scheduling of microgenerators operation make more effective adjustment to local conditions and achieving better overall energy efficiency possible. Due to smart communication interfaces the microgrids and microgenerators can also contribute to ancillary services.

  5. Self-assessment as an approach to improvement of efficient implementation of Ukrainian NPP operational experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecheritsya, L.M.; Lyigots'kij, O.Yi.; Pecheritsya, O.V.; Tarasenko, V.M.


    the paper contains a brief description of the procedure for implementation of operational experience, focuses on the role of self -assessment in efficient use of operational experience, presents a review of international and national practices of self-assessment and review of the main features, issues and ways to improve self-assessment of efficient use of operational experience in Ukraine

  6. Identifying entry points to improve fertilizer use efficiency in Taihu Basin, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ma, Li; Feng, S.; Reidsma, P.; Qu, F.; Heerink, N.


    Overuse of fertilizers in China causes environmental problems and high costs for farmers. In this paper we aim to identify entry points to improve fertilizer use efficiency in Taihu Basin, China. We use stochastic frontier analysis to estimate the technical and fertilizer use efficiency of rice

  7. Improving the efficiency of a chemotherapy day unit: Applying a business approach to oncology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lent, W.A.M.; Goedbloed, N.; van Harten, Willem H.


    Aim: To improve the efficiency of a hospital-based chemotherapy day unit (CDU). - Methods: The CDU was benchmarked with two other CDUs to identify their attainable performance levels for efficiency, and causes for differences. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis using a business approach, called lean

  8. 78 FR 31916 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Supplemental Agenda Notice (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software..., and 26, 2013 to discuss opportunities for increasing real-time and day-ahead market efficiency through...

  9. Improving efficiency of supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibers by direct degenerate four-wave-mixing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nikolov, N.I.; Bang, O.; Bjarklev, A.


    The efficiency of supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibers is significantly improved by designing the dispersion to allow widely separated spectral lines generated by degenerate four-wave-mixing directly from the pump to broaden and merge.......The efficiency of supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibers is significantly improved by designing the dispersion to allow widely separated spectral lines generated by degenerate four-wave-mixing directly from the pump to broaden and merge....

  10. Improved Efficiency of Miscible CO2 Floods and Enhanced Prospects for CO2 Flooding Heterogeneous Reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigg, Reid B.; Schechter, David S.


    The goal of this project is to improve the efficiency of miscible CO2 floods and enhance the prospects for flooding heterogeneous reservoirs. This report provides results of the second year of the three-year project that will be exploring three principles: (1) Fluid and matrix interactions (understanding the problems). (2) Conformance control/sweep efficiency (solving the problems. 3) Reservoir simulation for improved oil recovery (predicting results).

  11. Potentials for energy efficiency improvements and implementation of renewable energy sources in hotel industry in Macedonia


    Cingoski, Vlatko


    In this presentation, potentials for energy efficiency improvements and implementation of renewable energy sources in hotel industry in Macedonia are discussed. This presentation was part of the research project entitled "Opportunities and Methods for Energy Substitution, Savings and Efficiency Improvements in the Hotel Industry" funded by the University "Goce Delcev", Stip, Macedonia. It was prsented at the joint workshop between University "Goce Delcev", Stip, Macedonia and the Bashkent Un...

  12. Variable cross-section windings for efficiency improvement of electric machines (United States)

    Grachev, P. Yu; Bazarov, A. A.; Tabachinskiy, A. S.


    Implementation of energy-saving technologies in industry is impossible without efficiency improvement of electric machines. The article considers the ways of efficiency improvement and mass and dimensions reduction of electric machines with electronic control. Features of compact winding design for stators and armatures are described. Influence of compact winding on thermal and electrical process is given. Finite element method was used in computer simulation.

  13. Improving primary health care facility performance in Ghana: efficiency analysis and fiscal space implications. (United States)

    Novignon, Jacob; Nonvignon, Justice


    Health centers in Ghana play an important role in health care delivery especially in deprived communities. They usually serve as the first line of service and meet basic health care needs. Unfortunately, these facilities are faced with inadequate resources. While health policy makers seek to increase resources committed to primary healthcare, it is important to understand the nature of inefficiencies that exist in these facilities. Therefore, the objectives of this study are threefold; (i) estimate efficiency among primary health facilities (health centers), (ii) examine the potential fiscal space from improved efficiency and (iii) investigate the efficiency disparities in public and private facilities. Data was from the 2015 Access Bottlenecks, Cost and Equity (ABCE) project conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) was used to estimate efficiency of health facilities. Efficiency scores were then used to compute potential savings from improved efficiency. Outpatient visits was used as output while number of personnel, hospital beds, expenditure on other capital items and administration were used as inputs. Disparities in efficiency between public and private facilities was estimated using the Nopo matching decomposition procedure. Average efficiency score across all health centers included in the sample was estimated to be 0.51. Also, average efficiency was estimated to be about 0.65 and 0.50 for private and public facilities, respectively. Significant disparities in efficiency were identified across the various administrative regions. With regards to potential fiscal space, we found that, on average, facilities could save about GH₵11,450.70 (US$7633.80) if efficiency was improved. We also found that fiscal space from efficiency gains varies across rural/urban as well as private/public facilities, if best practices are followed. The matching decomposition showed an efficiency gap of 0.29 between private

  14. Have Dutch Municipalities Become More Efficient in Managing the Costs of Social Assistance Dependency?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersma, Lourens; Edzes, Arjen; van Dijk, Jouke


    Many welfare reforms undertaken in OECD-countries are directed towards enhancing efficiency in the administration and implementation of social security and social benefits. In this perspective the governance reforms in The Netherlands are an example of decentralisation through budgeting of means to

  15. Efficient and Mild Microwave-Assisted Stepwise Functionalization of Naphthalenediimide with α-Amino Acids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pengo, Paolo; Pantoş, G. Dan; Otto, Sijbren; Sanders, Jeremy K.M.


    Microwave dielectric heating proved to be an efficient method for the one-pot and stepwise syntheses of symmetrical and unsymmetrical naphthalenediimide derivatives of α-amino acids. Acid-labile side chain protecting groups are stable under the reaction conditions; protection of the α-carboxylic

  16. Efficient Microwave Assisted Syntheses of 2,5-Diketopiperazines in Aqueous Media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Yolanda Rios


    Full Text Available Aqueous in situ one-pot N-Boc-deprotection-cyclization of Nα-Boc-dipeptidyl-tert-butyl and methyl esters under microwave irradiation afforded 2,5-diketopiperazines (DKPs in excellent yields. This protocol is rapid, safe, environmentally friendly, and highly efficient, and showed that the tert-butoxy moiety is also an excellent leaving group for these cyclizations.

  17. Critical evaluation of pressurized microwave-assisted digestion efficiency using nitric acid oxidizing systems (M7)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matusiewicz, H.


    Full text: The possibilities of enhancement of a medium-pressure microwave-assisted digestion system for sample preparation in trace element analysis of biological material was investigated. Based on optimal digestion conditions for oxidizing systems with nitric acid, different digestion procedures were examined to minimize residual carbon. The substitution of nitric acid and the addition of hydrogen peroxide and ozone to nitric acid was evaluated. The residual carbon content of the digestate was determined coulometrically. Addition of hydrogen peroxide during organic oxidation reactions does not lower the resolved carbon in the solution. Ozone was tested as an additional, potentially non-contaminating, digestion/oxidation system to the nitric acid used in the sample preparation method. (author)

  18. Genomics-assisted breeding for boosting crop improvement in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lekha ePazhamala


    Full Text Available Pigeonpea is an important pulse crop grown predominantly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Although pigeonpea growing area has considerably increased, yield has remained stagnant for the last six decades mainly due to the exposure of the crop to various biotic and abiotic constraints. In addition, low level of genetic variability and limited genomic resources have been serious impediments to pigeonpea crop improvement through modern breeding approaches. In recent years, however, due to the availability of next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies, the scenario has changed tremendously. The reduced sequencing costs resulting in the decoding of the pigeonpea genome has led to the development of various genomic resources including molecular markers, transcript sequences and comprehensive genetic maps. Mapping of some important traits including resistance to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease, fertility restoration, determinacy with other agronomically important traits have paved the way for applying genomics-assisted breeding (GAB through marker assisted selection as well as genomic selection. This would lead to accelerate the development and improvement of both varieties and hybrids in pigeonpea. Particularly for hybrid breeding programme, mitochondrial genomes of cytoplasmic male sterile lines, maintainers and hybrids have also been sequenced to identify genes responsible for cytoplasmic male sterility. Furthermore, several diagnostic molecular markers have been developed to assess the purity of commercial hybrids. In summary, pigeonpea has become a genomic resources-rich crop and efforts have already been initiated to integrate these resources in pigeonpea breeding.

  19. Microwave-assisted surface modification of metallocene polyethylene for improving blood compatibility. (United States)

    Mohandas, Hemanth; Sivakumar, Gunalan; Kasi, Palaniappan; Jaganathan, Saravana Kumar; Supriyanto, Eko


    A wide number of polymers are being used for various medical applications. In this work, microwave-assisted surface modification of metallocene polyethylene (mPE) was studied. FTIR analysis showed no significant changes in the chemical groups after treatment. Contact angle analysis revealed a decrease in contact angle of the treated samples insinuating increasing hydrophilicity and better biocompatibility. Qualitative analysis of treated samples using scanning electron microscope (SEM) depicted increasing surface roughness and holes formation further corroborating the results. Coagulation assays performed for estimating prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) showed an increase in the clotting time which further confirmed the improved blood compatibility of the microwave-treated surfaces. Further, the extent of hemolysis in the treated sample was lower than the untreated one. Hence, microwave-assisted surface modification of mPE resulted in enhanced blood compatibility. Improved blood compatibility of mPE may be exploited for fabrication of artificial vascular prostheses, implants, and various blood contacting devices.

  20. Microwave-Assisted Surface Modification of Metallocene Polyethylene for Improving Blood Compatibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hemanth Mohandas


    Full Text Available A wide number of polymers are being used for various medical applications. In this work, microwave-assisted surface modification of metallocene polyethylene (mPE was studied. FTIR analysis showed no significant changes in the chemical groups after treatment. Contact angle analysis revealed a decrease in contact angle of the treated samples insinuating increasing hydrophilicity and better biocompatibility. Qualitative analysis of treated samples using scanning electron microscope (SEM depicted increasing surface roughness and holes formation further corroborating the results. Coagulation assays performed for estimating prothrombin time (PT and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT showed an increase in the clotting time which further confirmed the improved blood compatibility of the microwave-treated surfaces. Further, the extent of hemolysis in the treated sample was lower than the untreated one. Hence, microwave-assisted surface modification of mPE resulted in enhanced blood compatibility. Improved blood compatibility of mPE may be exploited for fabrication of artificial vascular prostheses, implants, and various blood contacting devices.

  1. Improvement of mechanical properties by additive assisted laser sintering of PEEK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kroh, M.; Bonten, C.; Eyerer, P.


    The additive assisted laser sintering was recently developed at IKT: A carbon black (CB) additive is used to adjust the polymer's laser absorption behavior with the aim to improve the interconnection of sintered powder layers. In this paper a parameter study, Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) samples were prepared with different contents of carbon black and were laser sintered with varying thermal treatment. The samples were mechanically tested and investigated by optical light and transmission electron microscopy. An influence on the morphology at the border areas of particles and intersections of laser sintered layers was found. Depending on the viscosity of the raw material and CB content, different shapes of lamellae were observed. These (trans-) crystalline or polymorph structures, respectively, influence the thermal and mechanical behavior of the virgin PEEK. Moreover, the thermal treatment during the sintering process caused an improvement of mechanical properties like tensile strength and elongation at break

  2. Efficient Cleavage of Lignin-Carbohydrate Complexes and Ultrafast Extraction of Lignin Oligomers from Wood Biomass by Microwave-Assisted Treatment with Deep Eutectic Solvent. (United States)

    Liu, Yongzhuang; Chen, Wenshuai; Xia, Qinqin; Guo, Bingtuo; Wang, Qingwen; Liu, Shouxin; Liu, Yixing; Li, Jian; Yu, Haipeng


    Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant and renewable resource for the production of biobased value-added fuels, chemicals, and materials, but its effective exploitation by an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly strategy remains a challenge. Herein, a facile approach for efficiently cleaving lignin-carbohydrate complexes and ultrafast fractionation of components from wood by microwave-assisted treatment with deep eutectic solvent is reported. The solvent was composed of sustainable choline chloride and oxalic acid dihydrate, and showed a hydrogen-bond acidity of 1.31. Efficient fractionation of lignocellulose with the solvent was realized by heating at 80 °C under 800 W microwave irradiation for 3 min. The extracted lignin showed a low molecular weight of 913, a low polydispersity of 1.25, and consisted of lignin oligomers with high purity (ca. 96 %), and thus shows potential in downstream production of aromatic chemicals. The other dissolved matter mainly comprised glucose, xylose, and hydroxymethylfurfural. The undissolved material was cellulose with crystal I structure and a crystallinity of approximately 75 %, which can be used for fabricating nanocellulose. Therefore, this work promotes an ultrafast lignin-first biorefinery approach while simultaneously keeping the undissolved cellulose available for further utilization. This work is expected to contribute to improving the economics of overall biorefining of lignocellulosic biomass. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

  3. Exploring health professionals' perspectives on factors affecting Iranian hospital efficiency and suggestions for improvement. (United States)

    Afzali, Hossein Haji Ali; Moss, John R; Mahmood, Mohammad Afzal


    While numerous studies have been undertaken in many developed countries and in a few developing countries, there has so far been no systematic attempt to identify factors affecting efficiency in the Iranian hospitals. This study was designed to elicit the perspectives of a group of health professionals and managers so as to analyse factors affecting the efficiency of hospitals owned by the Iranian Social Security Organization (SSO), which is the second largest institutional source of hospital care in that country. This study also aimed to identify actions that would improve efficiency. Using purposive sampling (to identify key informants), interviews with seventeen health professionals and hospital managers involved in the SSO health system were conducted. The respondents identified a number of organizational factors affecting efficiency, particularly the hospital budgeting and payment system used to fund physicians, and the lack of the managerial skills needed to manage complex facilities such as hospitals. The interviewees stressed the necessity for reforms of the regulatory framework to improve efficiency. A few participants recommended the concept of a funder-provider split. The results of this exploratory study have provided meaningful insight into Iranian health professionals views of factors affecting efficiency, and of possible remedial actions. It is expected that the findings will provide guidance for health policy makers and hospital managers in the Iranian SSO to analyse factors affecting efficiency and to identify remedial actions to improve efficiency. Hospitals in other developing countries may be affected by similar factors. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Improving Light Outcoupling Efficiency for OLEDs with Microlens Array Fabricated on Transparent Substrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Wang


    Full Text Available Low light outcoupling efficiency restricts the wide application of organic light-emitting diodes in solid state light market although the internal quantum efficiency of the device could reach near to 100%. In order to improve the output efficiency, different kinds of microlens array on the substrate emission surface were designed and simulated using light tracing method. Simulation results indicate that the microlens array on the substrate could efficiently improve the light output efficiency and an enhancement of 1.8 could be obtained with optimized microlens structure design. The microlens array with semicircle shape using polymer material was fabricated on glass substrate by a facile approach. Finally, the organic device with microlens array substrate was manufactured and the light output of the device with surface microlens structure could increase to 1.64 times comparing with the device without microlens.

  5. Improving the Efficiency of Organic Solar Cells upon Addition of Polyvinylpyridine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Rodrigues


    Full Text Available We report on the efficiency improvement of organic solar cells (OPVs based on the low energy gap polyfluorene derivative, APFO-3, and the soluble C60 fullerene PCBM, upon addition of a residual amount of poly (4-vinylpyridine (PVP. We find that the addition of 1% by weight of PVP with respect to the APFO-3 content leads to an increase of efficiency from 2.4% to 2.9%. Modifications in the phase separation details of the active layer were investigated as a possible origin of the efficiency increase. At high concentrations of PVP, the blend morphology is radically altered as observed by Atomic Force Microscopy. Although the use of low molecular weight additives is a routine method to improve OPVs efficiency, this report shows that inert polymers, in terms of optical and charge transport properties, may also improve the performance of polymer-based solar cells.

  6. Improving extraction efficiency of the third integer resonant extraction using higher order multipoles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, K. A. [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Schoefer, V. [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Tomizawa, M. [High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba (Japan)


    The new accelerator complex at J-PARC will operate with both high energy and very high intensity proton beams. With a design slow extraction efficiency of greater than 99% this facility will still be depositing significant beam power onto accelerator components [2]. To achieve even higher efficiencies requires some new ideas. The design of the extraction system and the accelerator lattice structure leaves little room for improvement using conventional techniques. In this report we will present one method for improving the slow extraction efficiency at J-PARC by adding duodecapoles or octupoles to the slow extraction system. We will review the theory of resonant extraction, describe simulation methods, and present the results of detailed simulations. From our investigations we find that we can improve extraction efficiency and thereby reduce the level of residual activation in the accelerator components and surrounding shielding.

  7. The effects of energy efficiency improvement in China with global interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solveig Glomsrød


    Full Text Available China has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity defined as carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40–45% by 2020 and by 60–65% by 2030 compared to the 2005 level. To fulfill the pledges, China’s government has made energy efficiency its de facto climate policy. This article raises the question to what extent energy efficiency will be an efficient mitigation measure for reaching the targets as pledged by China to the UNFCCC. In this context, two issues blur the picture. One is the potential rebound effect, generally causing one percent improvement in energy efficiency to generate less than one percent reduction in energy-related emissions since users adapt to the direct and indirect productivity gains and cost reductions in energy use. Further, there is the impact on energy use in China from interaction with global markets, in which China has emerged as a dominant player. In the present paper, we study the net implications of energy efficiency improvement in China within alternative global climate policy regimes. Our results show that a one percent energy efficiency improvement in China reduces energy use by 0.38–0.59 percent per year depending on alternative international contexts. Hence, policy makers should consider climate policies adopted by the other regions such as carbon trading system when assessing the implications of energy efficiency for energy consumption and climate mitigation. Policy makers should also consider overlapping effects of alternative energy policies, as energy efficiency improvement might have no effect on energy and emission reduction if there is global carbon trade. However, policy makers can expect more reduction in energy use and emissions due to energy efficiency improvement in the new mechanism announced in the Paris Agreement at the COP21.

  8. Precision of lumbar intervertebral measurements: does a computer-assisted technique improve reliability? (United States)

    Pearson, Adam M; Spratt, Kevin F; Genuario, James; McGough, William; Kosman, Katherine; Lurie, Jon; Sengupta, Dilip K


    Comparison of intra- and interobserver reliability of digitized manual and computer-assisted intervertebral motion measurements and classification of "instability." To determine if computer-assisted measurement of lumbar intervertebral motion on flexion-extension radiographs improves reliability compared with digitized manual measurements. Many studies have questioned the reliability of manual intervertebral measurements, although few have compared the reliability of computer-assisted and manual measurements on lumbar flexion-extension radiographs. Intervertebral rotation, anterior-posterior (AP) translation, and change in anterior and posterior disc height were measured with a digitized manual technique by three physicians and by three other observers using computer-assisted quantitative motion analysis (QMA) software. Each observer measured 30 sets of digital flexion-extension radiographs (L1-S1) twice. Shrout-Fleiss intraclass correlation coefficients for intra- and interobserver reliabilities were computed. The stability of each level was also classified (instability defined as >4 mm AP translation or 10° rotation), and the intra- and interobserver reliabilities of the two methods were compared using adjusted percent agreement (APA). Intraobserver reliability intraclass correlation coefficients were substantially higher for the QMA technique THAN the digitized manual technique across all measurements: rotation 0.997 versus 0.870, AP translation 0.959 versus 0.557, change in anterior disc height 0.962 versus 0.770, and change in posterior disc height 0.951 versus 0.283. The same pattern was observed for interobserver reliability (rotation 0.962 vs. 0.693, AP translation 0.862 vs. 0.151, change in anterior disc height 0.862 vs. 0.373, and change in posterior disc height 0.730 vs. 0.300). The QMA technique was also more reliable for the classification of "instability." Intraobserver APAs ranged from 87 to 97% for QMA versus 60% to 73% for digitized manual

  9. 76 FR 28022 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical... (United States)


    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice...- ] market utilities, the software industry, government, research centers and academia for the purposes of... focus on improving performance of day-ahead markets, including general unit-commitment software and...

  10. Testing improvements in the chocolate traceability system: Impact on product recalls and production efficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saltini, Rolando; Akkerman, Renzo


    hypothetical improvements of the traceability system within the chocolate production system and supply chain and we illustrate the resulting benefits by using a case study. Based on the case study, we quantify the influence of these improvements on production efficiency and recall size in case of a safety...

  11. Efficiency Improvement of Rotary Compressor by Improving the Discharge path through Simulation


    Bolloju, Siva Rama Krishna; Tiruveedhula, Vamsi; Munnangi, Naveen; Vaddadi, Koteswara Rao; M, Pratap Reddy


    To help raise consumer awareness on saving energy and create more energy efficient appliances, the government is upgrading the requirements of star rating of air conditioners. The enhanced star rating in air conditioners will significantly support the energy conservation and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change. The increasing demand for star rated air-conditioners is compelling the compressor designers to develop & optimize more ene...

  12. Graphene-assisted high-efficiency liquid crystal tunable terahertz metamaterial absorber. (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Ge, Shijun; Hu, Wei; Nakajima, Makoto; Lu, Yanqing


    In this paper, few-layer porous graphene is integrated onto the surface of a metasurface layer to provide a uniform static electric field to efficiently control liquid crystal, thereby enabling flexible metamaterial designs. We demonstrate a tunable cross-shaped metamaterial absorber with different arm lengths driven by this combined metasurface and graphene electrode. The resulting absorber supports a resonant frequency tunable from 0.75 to 1 THz with a high-quality factor, and amplitude modulation of ~80% at these frequencies with an applied voltage of 10 V. Furthermore, the near-field intensity and hot spot distribution can be manipulated over a broad range.

  13. Microemulsion-assisted synthesis of mesoporous aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoflakes for efficient removal of gaseous formaldehyde. (United States)

    Xu, Zhihua; Yu, Jiaguo; Low, Jingxiang; Jaroniec, Mietek


    Mesoporous aluminum oxyhydroxides composed of nanoflakes were prepared via a water-in-oil microemulsion-assisted hydrothermal process at 50 °C using aluminum salts as precursors and ammonium hydroxide as a precipitating agent. The microstructure, morphology, and textural properties of the as-prepared materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nitrogen adsorption, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) techniques. It is shown that the aluminum oxyhydroxide nanostructures studied are effective adsorbents for removal of formaldehyde (HCHO) at ambient temperature, due to the abundance of surface hydroxyl groups, large specific surface area, and suitable pore size. Also, the type of aluminum precursor was essential for the microstructure formation and adsorption performance of the resulting materials. Namely, the sample prepared from aluminum sulfate (Al-s) exhibited a relatively high HCHO adsorption capacity in the first run, while the samples obtained from aluminum nitrate (Al-n) and chloride (Al-c) exhibited high adsorption capacity and relatively stable recyclability. A combination of high surface area and strong surface affinity of the prepared aluminum oxyhydroxide make this material a promising HCHO adsorbent for indoor air purification.

  14. High energy efficiency desiccant assisted automobile air-conditioner and its temperature and humidity control system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagaya, K.; Senbongi, T.; Li, Y.; Zheng, J.; Murakami, I.


    The energy efficiency is of importance in air conditioning systems for automobiles. The present article provides a new type air conditioning system for automobiles in which energy loss is small in comparison with the previous system. In the system, a desiccant is installed in the air conditioning system for controlling both temperature and humidity. The control is performed by an electromagnetic control valve, which controls an inclination of the rotating plate of a compressor. It is difficult to control both temperature and humidity precisely, because there are some delays in the control due to the time of heat exchange and that of coolant flow from the actuator (electromagnetic valve) to the evaporator. In order to have precise control, this article also presents a method of control with consideration of control delays. The energy of our system is compared with that in the previous conventional system in the same condition. It is shown that our controlled results and energy efficiency are better than those in the previous system

  15. Highly efficient and selective pressure-assisted photon-induced polymerization of styrene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guan, Jiwen [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7 (Canada); Song, Yang, E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 3K7 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7 (Canada)


    The polymerization process of condensed styrene to produce polystyrene as an industrially important polymeric material was investigated using a novel approach by combining external compression with ultraviolet radiation. The reaction evolution was monitored as a function of time and the reaction products were characterized by in situ Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. By optimizing the loading pressures, we observed highly efficient and selective production of polystyrene of different tacticities. Specifically, at relatively low loading pressures, infrared spectra suggest that styrene monomers transform to amorphous atactic polystyrene (APS) with minor crystalline isotactic polystyrene. In contrast, APS was found to be the sole product when polymerization occurs at relatively higher loading pressures. The time-dependent reaction profiles allow the examination of the polymerization kinetics by analyzing the rate constant and activation volume as a function of pressure. As a result, an optimized pressure condition, which allows a barrierless reaction to proceed, was identified and attributed to the very desirable reaction yield and kinetics. Finally, the photoinitiated reaction mechanism and the growth geometry of the polymer chains were investigated from the energy diagram of styrene and by the topology analysis of the crystal styrene. This study shows strong promise to produce functional polymeric materials in a highly efficient and controlled manner.

  16. Improving near-peer teaching quality in anatomy by educating teaching assistants: An example from Sweden. (United States)

    Johansson, Ellen; Holmin, Tobias E; Johansson, Bengt R; Braide, Magnus


    Peer-assisted learning has gained momentum in a variety of disciplines, including medical education. In Gothenburg, Sweden, medical students who have finished their compulsory anatomy courses have the option of working as teaching assistants (TAs). Teaching assistants provide small group teaching sessions as a complement to lectures given by faculty. Previously, TAs were left to handle the role as junior teachers by themselves, but since 2011, a continuation course in anatomy has been developed with the aim of providing the TAs better anatomy knowledge and guidance for teaching. The course was designed to comprise 7.5 ECTS credits (equivalent to 5 weeks of full-time studies), and today all TAs are required to take this course before undertaking their own teaching responsibilities. This study aims to compare course evaluations of TA teaching before and after the introduction of the anatomy continuation course, in order to understand how students perceived teaching performed by self-learned versus trained TAs. The results of this study demonstrate that there was a trend towards better teaching performed by trained TAs. The variability in rankings decreased significantly after the introduction of the continuation course. This was mainly due to an improvement among the TAs with the lowest levels of performance. In addition to comparing student rankings, TAs were interviewed regarding their experiences and perceptions within the continuation course. The course was generally positively regarded. The TAs described a sense of cohesion and appreciation since the institute invested in a course dedicated specifically for them. Anat Sci Educ. © 2018 American Association of Anatomists. © 2018 American Association of Anatomists.

  17. Development of Supply Chain : Information System Integration at Consignment Warehouse for Improved Efficiency


    van Hooff, Jonathan; Tegni, Oscar


    Sandvik Rock Tools is operating in a highly competitive market. This requires them to constantly improve the efficiency of their organization, in order for them to maintain their position as market leaders, both in a short-term and a long-term perspective. Sandvik Rock Tools is currently working on developing and further improving their supply chain. The supply chain is a key organizational function and improvements of the supply chain aim to yield benefits like lowered total costs and better...

  18. Vacuum assisted closure improves the quality of life in patients with diabetic foot. (United States)

    Karatepe, O; Eken, I; Acet, E; Unal, O; Mert, M; Koc, B; Karahan, S; Filizcan, U; Ugurlucan, M; Aksoy, M


    Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is the most common endocrine disease worldwide. One of the most important chronic complications of this disease is the development of diabetic foot. The management of diabetic foot wounds is quite important with respect to public health. To determine the effect of Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) therapy on the quality of life in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and compare it with standart wound care. Between May 2007 to December 2008, 67 consecutive patients with diabetic foot ulcers were randomly assigned to VAC therapy (Group 1, n : 30) or standart wound care (Group 2, n : 37). The SF-36 questionnaire was administered the day before and in the month following wound healing. Global analyses of the 8 domains and 2 comprehensive indexes of SF-36, Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) were performed. Clinical measures included standard antidiabetic treatment, daily wound care including antiseptic bath, debridement, toe removal for gangrene when necessary, and wound care with conventional methods or VAC. Healing time was calculated as the time from hospital admission to the time of re-epithelization. There were no differences in the mean age, ulcer size and pulse status of the patients in both groups. Healing time in the VAC group was significantly reduced (p VAC therapy. Vacuum Assisted Closure therapy was found to be effective in the treatment of chronic diabetic ulcers. The improvement of quality of life demonstrates a clear-cut indication in this particular group of patients.

  19. Robotic-assisted gastroplication in a morbidly obese adolescent: early improvement in metabolic and neurohormonal parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Calcaterra


    Full Text Available Bariatric surgery has to be considered in the management of severely obese adolescents when all conservative measures have been proven to be unresponsive. Short term metabolic and neurohormonal profile changes after robotic-assisted gastroplication are evaluated. The benefits and the usefulness of this surgical-reversal procedure in adolescent need to be defined. Fiveteen years old girl with body mass index 42.2 kg/m2, hyperinsulinism, hyperandrogenism, amenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypertension with left ventricular hypertrophy. Gastric volume after surgical procedure reduction was 80-100 mL. One month postoperatively significant weigh loss was obtained. Insulin levels, insulin-resistance, leptin and ghrelin concentration were substantially ameliorated. We can conclude that bariatric surgery should be considered for a minority of severely obese adolescents under the supervision of a multidisciplinary pediatric team. Our experience confirmed that the gastroplication is safe, feasible and effective and furthermore is a reversible technique. The early improvement of the obesity co-morbities is allowed. The increased surgical accuracy in robotic assistance could limit postoperative complications rate in obese adolescents.

  20. Meniscus-assisted solution printing of large-grained perovskite films for high-efficiency solar cells. (United States)

    He, Ming; Li, Bo; Cui, Xun; Jiang, Beibei; He, Yanjie; Chen, Yihuang; O'Neil, Daniel; Szymanski, Paul; Ei-Sayed, Mostafa A; Huang, Jinsong; Lin, Zhiqun


    Control over morphology and crystallinity of metal halide perovskite films is of key importance to enable high-performance optoelectronics. However, this remains particularly challenging for solution-printed devices due to the complex crystallization kinetics of semiconductor materials within dynamic flow of inks. Here we report a simple yet effective meniscus-assisted solution printing (MASP) strategy to yield large-grained dense perovskite film with good crystallization and preferred orientation. Intriguingly, the outward convective flow triggered by fast solvent evaporation at the edge of the meniscus ink imparts the transport of perovskite solutes, thus facilitating the growth of micrometre-scale perovskite grains. The growth kinetics of perovskite crystals is scrutinized by in situ optical microscopy tracking to understand the crystallization mechanism. The perovskite films produced by MASP exhibit excellent optoelectronic properties with efficiencies approaching 20% in planar perovskite solar cells. This robust MASP strategy may in principle be easily extended to craft other solution-printed perovskite-based optoelectronics.

  1. Meniscus-assisted solution printing of large-grained perovskite films for high-efficiency solar cells (United States)

    He, Ming; Li, Bo; Cui, Xun; Jiang, Beibei; He, Yanjie; Chen, Yihuang; O'Neil, Daniel; Szymanski, Paul; Ei-Sayed, Mostafa A.; Huang, Jinsong; Lin, Zhiqun


    Control over morphology and crystallinity of metal halide perovskite films is of key importance to enable high-performance optoelectronics. However, this remains particularly challenging for solution-printed devices due to the complex crystallization kinetics of semiconductor materials within dynamic flow of inks. Here we report a simple yet effective meniscus-assisted solution printing (MASP) strategy to yield large-grained dense perovskite film with good crystallization and preferred orientation. Intriguingly, the outward convective flow triggered by fast solvent evaporation at the edge of the meniscus ink imparts the transport of perovskite solutes, thus facilitating the growth of micrometre-scale perovskite grains. The growth kinetics of perovskite crystals is scrutinized by in situ optical microscopy tracking to understand the crystallization mechanism. The perovskite films produced by MASP exhibit excellent optoelectronic properties with efficiencies approaching 20% in planar perovskite solar cells. This robust MASP strategy may in principle be easily extended to craft other solution-printed perovskite-based optoelectronics.

  2. Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems: Approaches Used by TA Providers to Improve Quality in Early Care and Education Programs and Home-Based Settings (United States)

    Smith, Sheila; Robbins, Taylor; Schneider, Will; Kreader, J. Lee; Ong, Christine


    Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRISs) commonly offer on-site technical assistance (TA) and coaching to help early care and education settings achieve quality improvements and a higher QRIS rating. In surveys of administrators overseeing statewide QRISs, almost all states reported the use of on-site TA and coaching in both center-based and…

  3. Optimizing hyaluronidase dose and plasmid DNA delivery greatly improves gene electrotransfer efficiency in rat skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Åkerström, Thorbjörn; Vedel, Kenneth; Needham Andersen, Josefine


    Transfection of rat skeletal muscle in vivo is a widely used research model. However, gene electrotransfer protocols have been developed for mice and yield variable results in rats. We investigated whether changes in hyaluronidase pre-treatment and plasmid DNA delivery can improve transfection...... efficiency in rat skeletal muscle. We found that pre-treating the muscle with a hyaluronidase dose suitable for rats (0.56. U/g b.w.) prior to plasmid DNA injection increased transfection efficiency by >200% whereas timing of the pre-treatment did not affect efficiency. Uniformly distributing plasmid DNA...... with a homogenous distribution. We also show that transfection was stable over five weeks of regular exercise or inactivity. Our findings show that species-specific plasmid DNA delivery and hyaluronidase pre-treatment greatly improves transfection efficiency in rat skeletal muscle....

  4. Exploiting Genomic Resources for Efficient Conservation and Use of Chickpea, Groundnut, and Pigeonpea Collections for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. L. Laxmipathi Gowda


    Full Text Available Both chickpea ( L. and pigeonpea [ (L. Millsp.] are important dietary source of protein while groundnut ( L. is one of the major oil crops. Globally, approximately 1.1 million grain legume accessions are conserved in genebanks, of which the ICRISAT genebank holds 49,485 accessions of cultivated species and wild relatives of chickpea, pigeonpea, and groundnut from 133 countries. These genetic resources are reservoirs of many useful genes for present and future crop improvement programs. Representative subsets in the form of core and mini core collections have been used to identify trait-specific genetically diverse germplasm for use in breeding and genomic studies in these crops. Chickpea, groundnut, and pigeonpea have moved from “orphan” to “genomic resources rich crops.” The chickpea and pigeonpea genomes have been decoded, and the sequences of groundnut genome will soon be available. With the availability of these genomic resources, the germplasm curators, breeders, and molecular biologists will have abundant opportunities to enhance the efficiency of genebank operations, mine allelic variations in germplasm collection, identify genetically diverse germplasm with beneficial traits, broaden the cultigen’s genepool, and accelerate the cultivar development to address new challenges to production, particularly with respect to climate change and variability. Marker-assisted breeding approaches have already been initiated for some traits in chickpea and groundnut, which should lead to enhanced efficiency and efficacy of crop improvement. Resistance to some pests and diseases has been successfully transferred from wild relatives to cultivated species.

  5. Improved metal assisted chemical etching method for uniform, vertical and deep silicon structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miao, Bin; Ding, Xiangzhen; Wu, Dongmin; Li, Jiadong; Zhang, Jian; Wu, Yihui; Lu, Wenhui


    This paper presents a preliminary result about ultra-deep etched microstructures on 〈1 0 0〉 silicon wafer based on metal assisted chemical etching (MaCE). Honeycomb hole arrays with 50 µ m width were successfully etched, as deep as 280 µ m. The porous defects on the patterned surface and the lateral etching on the sidewall were effectively suppressed by optimizing the etchant solution. The results in this paper indicate that 〈1 0 0〉 silicon can be etched vertically with smooth sidewalls by an etchant solution containing ethanol, instead of the conventional aqueous-based solution. This improved method of MaCE has potential application in large-scale Si etching as a supplementary method to the expensive and complicated dry etching method. (paper)

  6. Dynamic stability analysis of spring loaded safety valves elements for improved valve performance through assistance device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Catalani, L.


    For a given valve design (internal profile and ring setting), the dynamic performance which depends strongly on the piping t/h response can be judged only in terms of a coupled problem between valve and piping hydraulic transient. To fulfill this aim an analytical model was developed (valve dynamic model coupled with an existing thermal-hydraulics code for the upstream piping) that provides the means to assess the influence of the main parameters on the valve stability: ring setting, upstream fluid conditions (vapour or liquid discharge), upstream piping length (between pressurizer and safety valves). At last, the performance of a spring loaded safety valve may be greatly improved by the introduction of a pneumatic or electromagnetic assistance device

  7. TSO assistance towards the improvement of nuclear safety in Lithuania: achievements and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butcher, P.; Bystedt, P.; Chouha; Weber, J.P.; Zilys, K.


    This paper explores the improvements that have taken place at INPP (Ignalina nuclear power plant) in both the engineering and operational aspects of nuclear safety, discussing as example some areas where there has been a large involvement of international experts. The development of the Lithuanian Nuclear Regulatory Authority VATESI, and also the technical support organisations for both the regulator and the NPP are discussed. In each of these sections the paper describes some of the successes and also the areas where there have been some problems. Many of the problems have been resolved but challenges remain for the future. The paper only deals with the assistance towards enhancing the safety of the NPP up to the time of its closure. Regulation of decommissioning is an important area for the future and is receiving urgent attention and active planning at the present time. (authors)

  8. Effectiveness of Animal Assisted Therapy after brain injury: A bridge to improved outcomes in CRT. (United States)

    Stapleton, Mary


    Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has been widely used as a complementary therapy in mental health treatment especially to remediate social skill deficits. The goal of AAT is to improve social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. The purpose of this article is to draw upon the literature on AAT and explore specific applications to cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) and social skills training. This study provides a systematic review of most of the available literature on ATT and assesses that potential uses of ATT for brain injury rehabilitation. Although the efficacy of AAT is not currently well documented by rigorous research, (Kazin, 2010) anecdotal evidence suggests that brain injury survivors may benefit from the combination of AAT and cognitive rehabilitation techniques. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) survivors with cognitive impairments can benefit from AAT as part of a comprehensive and holistic rehabilitation treatment plan.

  9. Laminated Copper Nanocluster Incorporated Antioxidative Paper Device with RGB System-Assisted Signal Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chong-You Chen


    Full Text Available Paper-based analytical devices are an emerging class of lightweight and simple-to-use analytical platform. However, challenges such as instrumental requirements and chemical reagents durability, represent a barrier for less-developed countries and markets. Herein, we report an advanced laminated device using red emitting copper nanocluster and RGB digital analysis for signal improvement. Upon RGB system assistance, the device signal-to-background ratio and the calibration sensitivity are highly enhanced under a filter-free setup. In addition, the calibration sensitivity, limit of detection, and coefficient of determination are on par with those determined by instrumental fluorescence analysis. Moreover, the limitation of using oxidation-susceptible fluorescent nanomaterials is overcome by the introduction of protecting tape barriers, antioxidative sheets, and lamination enclosing. The robustness of device is highly advanced, and the durability is prolonged to more than tenfold.

  10. Steam Pressure-Reducing Station Safety and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lower, Mark D [ORNL; Christopher, Timothy W [ORNL; Oland, C Barry [ORNL


    The Facilities and Operations (F&O) Directorate is sponsoring a continuous process improvement (CPI) program. Its purpose is to stimulate, promote, and sustain a culture of improvement throughout all levels of the organization. The CPI program ensures that a scientific and repeatable process exists for improving the delivery of F&O products and services in support of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Management Systems. Strategic objectives of the CPI program include achieving excellence in laboratory operations in the areas of safety, health, and the environment. Identifying and promoting opportunities for achieving the following critical outcomes are important business goals of the CPI program: improved safety performance; process focused on consumer needs; modern and secure campus; flexibility to respond to changing laboratory needs; bench strength for the future; and elimination of legacy issues. The Steam Pressure-Reducing Station (SPRS) Safety and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project, which is under the CPI program, focuses on maintaining and upgrading SPRSs that are part of the ORNL steam distribution network. This steam pipe network transports steam produced at the ORNL steam plant to many buildings in the main campus site. The SPRS Safety and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project promotes excellence in laboratory operations by (1) improving personnel safety, (2) decreasing fuel consumption through improved steam system energy efficiency, and (3) achieving compliance with applicable worker health and safety requirements. The SPRS Safety and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project being performed by F&O is helping ORNL improve both energy efficiency and worker safety by modifying, maintaining, and repairing SPRSs. Since work began in 2006, numerous energy-wasting steam leaks have been eliminated, heat losses from uninsulated steam pipe surfaces have been reduced, and deficient pressure retaining components have been replaced. These improvements helped ORNL

  11. Pedagogic Approach in the Surgical Learning: The First Period of "Assistant Surgeon" May Improve the Learning Curve for Laparoscopic Robotic-Assisted Hysterectomy. (United States)

    Favre, Angeline; Huberlant, Stephanie; Carbonnel, Marie; Goetgheluck, Julie; Revaux, Aurelie; Ayoubi, Jean Marc


    time, while the learning curve of S2 showed no improvement in operative time with respect to case number. Twenty robot-assisted hysterectomies are necessary to achieve control of surgical skills. The companionship to learn robotic surgery seems also promising, by improving the learning phase for this surgical technique.

  12. Pedagogic approach in the surgical learning: The first period of “assistant surgeon” may improve the learning curve for laparoscopic robotic-assisted hysterectomy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angeline Favre


    decrease of the operative time while the learning curve of S2 showed no improvement in operative time with respect to case number.Conclusion: 20 robot-assisted hysterectomies are necessary to achieve control of surgical skills. The companionship to learn robotic surgery seems also promising, by improving the learning phase for this surgical technique.

  13. 25 CFR 256.25 - Is my Federal government-assisted dwelling eligible for services under the Housing Improvement... (United States)


    ... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Is my Federal government-assisted dwelling eligible for services under the Housing Improvement Program? 256.25 Section 256.25 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS... dwelling eligible for services under the Housing Improvement Program? Yes. You may receive services under...

  14. Does Computer-Assisted Femur First THR Improve Musculoskeletal Loading Conditions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim A. Weber


    Full Text Available We have developed a novel, computer-assisted operation method for minimal-invasive total hip replacement (THR following the concept of “femur first/combined anteversion,” which incorporates various aspects of performing a functional optimization of the prosthetic stem and cup position (CAS FF. The purpose of this study is to assess whether the hip joint reaction forces and patient’s gait parameters are being improved by CAS FF in relation to conventional THR (CON. We enrolled 60 patients (28 CAS FF/32 CON and invited them for gait analysis at three time points (preoperatively, postop six months, and postop 12 months. Data retrieved from gait analysis was processed using patient-specific musculoskeletal models. The target parameters were hip reaction force magnitude (hrf, symmetries, and orientation with respect to the cup. Hrf in the CAS FF group were closer to a young healthy normal. Phase-shift symmetry showed an increase in the CAS FF group. Hrf orientation in the CAS FF group was closer to optimum, though no edge or rim-loading occurred in the CON group as well. The CAS FF group showed an improved hrf orientation in an early stage and a trend to an improved long-term outcome.

  15. Rebound effect of improved energy efficiency for different energy types: A general equilibrium analysis for China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Yingying; Liu, Yu; Zhou, Meifang


    This paper explores the rebound effect of different energy types in China based on a static computable general equilibrium model. A one-off 5% energy efficiency improvement is imposed on five different types of energy, respectively, in all the 135 production sectors in China. The rebound effect is measured both on the production level and on the economy-wide level for each type of energy. The results show that improving energy efficiency of using electricity has the largest positive impact on GDP among the five energy types. Inter-fuel substitutability does not affect the macroeconomic results significantly, but long-run impact is usually greater than the short-run impact. For the exports-oriented sectors, those that are capital-intensive get big negative shock in the short run while those that are labour-intensive get hurt in the long run. There is no “backfire” effect; however, improving efficiency of using electricity can cause negative rebound, which implies that improving the energy efficiency of using electricity might be a good policy choice under China's current energy structure. In general, macro-level rebound is larger than production-level rebound. Primary energy goods show larger rebound effect than secondary energy goods. In addition, the paper points out that the policy makers in China should look at the rebound effect in the long term rather than in the short term. The energy efficiency policy would be a good and effective policy choice for energy conservation in China when it still has small inter-fuel substitution. - Highlights: • Primary energy goods show larger rebound effect than secondary energy goods. • Improving efficiency of using electricity can cause negative rebound. • The energy efficiency policy would be an effective policy choice for China. • Policy-makers should consider the rebound effect in the longer term.

  16. Potential Benefits from Improved Energy Efficiency of KeyElectrical Products: The Case of India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McNeil, Michael; Iyer, Maithili; Meyers, Stephen; Letschert,Virginie; McMahon, James E.


    The goal of this project was to estimate the net benefits that cost-effective improvements in energy efficiency can bring to developing countries. The study focused on four major electrical products in the world's second largest developing country, India. These products--refrigerators, room air conditioners, electric motors, and distribution transformers--are important targets for efficiency improvement in India and in other developing countries. India is an interesting subject of study because of it's size and rapid economic growth. Implementation of efficient technologies in India would save billions in energy costs, and avoid hundreds of megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. India also serves as an example of the kinds of improvement opportunities that could be pursued in other developing countries.

  17. Improving urban district heating systems and assessing the efficiency of the energy usage therein (United States)

    Orlov, M. E.; Sharapov, V. I.


    The report describes issues in connection with improving urban district heating systems from combined heat power plants (CHPs), to propose the ways for improving the reliability and the efficiency of the energy usage (often referred to as “energy efficiency”) in such systems. The main direction of such urban district heating systems improvement suggests transition to combined heating systems that include structural elements of both centralized and decentralized systems. Such systems provide the basic part of thermal power via highly efficient methods for extracting thermal power plants turbines steam, while peak loads are covered by decentralized peak thermal power sources to be mounted at consumers’ locations, with the peak sources being also reserve thermal power sources. The methodology was developed for assessing energy efficiency of the combined district heating systems, implemented as a computer software product capable of comparatively calculating saving on reference fuel for the system.

  18. Improving energy efficiency of an Olefin plant – A new approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tahouni, Nassim; Bagheri, Narges; Towfighi, Jafar; Hassan Panjeshahi, M.


    Highlights: • The retrofit of an Olefin plant is studied to improve the overall energy efficiency. • Three levels of retrofit and optimization of this process are suggested. • A simultaneous method is presented to optimize low-temperature separation processes. - Abstract: Low-temperature gas separation processes are the most important gas separation routes. There is a complex interaction between core process (separation columns), associated heat exchanger network and refrigeration cycles in sub ambient processes. The aim of this paper is performing a comprehensive retrofit study of an Olefin plant (as an industrial example) to improve the overall energy efficiency. In this regard, the effect of improving column operating parameters and refrigeration cycles are first evaluated separately. Then, column operating parameters and refrigeration cycles as well as heat exchanger network are optimized simultaneously using genetic algorithm or simulated annealing. Having compared all results, one can conclude that simultaneous optimization leads to higher efficiency of the overall system

  19. The Efficiency Improvement by Combining HHO Gas, Coal and Oil in Boiler for Electricity Generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Nan Wang


    Full Text Available Electricity is an essential energy that can benefit our daily lives. There are many sources available for electricity generation, such as coal, natural gas and nuclear. Among these sources, coal has been widely used in thermal power plants that account for about 41% of the worldwide electricity supply. However, these thermal power plants are also found to be a big pollution source to our environment. There is a need to explore alternative electricity sources and improve the efficiency of electricity generation. This research focuses on improving the efficiency of electricity generation through the use of hydrogen and oxygen mixture (HHO gas. In this research, experiments have been conducted to investigate the combined effects of HHO gas with other fuels, including coal and oil. The results show that the combinations of HHO with coal and oil can improve the efficiency of electricity generation while reducing the pollution to our environment.

  20. Efficiency improvement of an electron collector intended for electron cooling systems using a Wien filter (United States)

    Bryzgunov, M. I.; Ivanov, A. V.; Panasyuk, V. M.; Parkhomchuk, V. V.; Reva, V. B.


    An efficient collector for high-voltage systems of electron cooling is presented. Its efficiency (ratio of the reflected electron current to the current of the main beam) is greatly improved by suppressing the reflected particle flux in the Wien filter. Secondary electrons deflect in crossed transverse electric and magnetic fields and are absorbed by a special receiver plate (secondary collector). The filter is designed so that the whole backward flow of electrons deflects even if the trajectory and main beam profile are distorted insignificantly. Experiments carried out on a special-purpose test bench show that such a filter raises the efficiency of the collector hundredfold (up to 10-6).


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А. Cherednik


    Full Text Available The concept of the efficiency of venture business’s attraction was improved in the article. The theoretical foundations of venture business’s concept were explored, four approaches to venture business’s understanding were singled out, and its own definition which fully reflects the essence was developed in the investigation. The author examines the existing approaches to the concepts of effect and efficiency and revealed that efficiency is the ratio of the effect obtained to the costs incurred to achieve it. Also, the author developed the concept of effectiveness of venture business’s attraction.

  2. Room temperature electrocompetent bacterial cells improve DNA transformation and recombineering efficiency. (United States)

    Tu, Qiang; Yin, Jia; Fu, Jun; Herrmann, Jennifer; Li, Yuezhong; Yin, Yulong; Stewart, A Francis; Müller, Rolf; Zhang, Youming


    Bacterial competent cells are essential for cloning, construction of DNA libraries, and mutagenesis in every molecular biology laboratory. Among various transformation methods, electroporation is found to own the best transformation efficiency. Previous electroporation methods are based on washing and electroporating the bacterial cells in ice-cold condition that make them fragile and prone to death. Here we present simple temperature shift based methods that improve DNA transformation and recombineering efficiency in E. coli and several other gram-negative bacteria thereby economizing time and cost. Increased transformation efficiency of large DNA molecules is a significant advantage that might facilitate the cloning of large fragments from genomic DNA preparations and metagenomics samples.

  3. Design strategy for improving the energy efficiency in series hydraulic/electric synergy system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramakrishnan, R.; Hiremath, Somashekhar S.; Singaperumal, M.


    Battery is a vital subsystem in an electric vehicle with regenerative braking system. The energy efficiency of an electric vehicle is improved by storing the regenerated energy in an electric battery, during braking, and reusing it during subsequent acceleration. Battery possesses a relatively poor power density and slow charging of regenerated energy, when compared to hydro-pneumatic accumulators. A series hydraulic/electric synergy system – an energy efficient mechatronics system is proposed to overcome the drawbacks in the conventional electric vehicle with regenerative braking. Even though, electric battery provides higher energy density than the accumulator system, optimal sizing of the hydro-pneumatic accumulator and other process parameters in the system to provide better energy density and efficiency. However, a trade-off prevails between the system energy delivered and energy consumed. This gives rise to a multiple objective problem. The proposed multi-objective design optimization procedure based on an evolutionary strategy algorithm maximizes the energy efficiency of the system. The system simulation results after optimization show that, the optimal system parameters increase the energy efficiency by 3% and hydraulic regeneration efficiency by 17.3%. The suggested design methodology provides a basis for the design of a series hydraulic/electric synergy system as energy efficient and zero emission system. - Highlights: • Dynamic analysis of SHESS to investigate energy efficiency. • Optimization of system parameters based on multi-objective design strategy. • Evaluation of improvements in system energy efficiency and hydraulic regeneration energy. • Identification of conditions at which hydraulic regenerative efficiency is maximized for minimum energy consumption. • Results confirm advantages of using SHESS

  4. Risk Adjusted Production Efficiency of Maize Farmers in Ethiopia: Implication for Improved Maize Varieties Adoption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sisay Diriba Lemessa


    Full Text Available This study analyzes the technical efficiency and production risk of 862 maize farmers in major maize producing regions of Ethiopia. It employs the stochastic frontier approach (SFA to estimate the level of technical efficiencies of stallholder farmers. The stochastic frontier approach (SFA uses flexible risk properties to account for production risk. Thus, maize production variability is assessed from two perspectives, the production risk and the technical efficiency. The study also attempts to determine the socio-economic and farm characteristics that influence technical efficiency of maize production in the study area. The findings of the study showed the existence of both production risk and technical inefficiency in maize production process. Input variables (amounts per hectare such as fertilizer and labor positively influence maize output. The findings also show that farms in the study area exhibit decreasing returns to scale. Fertilizer and ox plough days reduce output risk while labor and improved seed increase output risk. The mean technical efficiency for maize farms is 48 percent. This study concludes that production risk and technical inefficiency prevents the maize farmers from realizing their frontier output. The best factors that improve the efficiency of the maize farmers in the study area include: frequency of extension contact, access to credit and use of intercropping. It was also realized that altitude and terracing in maize farms had influence on farmer efficiency.

  5. Improving health and energy efficiency through community-based housing interventions. (United States)

    Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Crane, Julian; Chapman, Ralph; Fougere, Geoff


    Houses designed for one climate and cultural group may not be appropriate for other places and people. Our aim is to find cost-effective ways to improve the characteristics of older homes, ill-fitted for New Zealand's climate, in order to improve the occupants' health. We have carried out two community randomised trials, in partnership with local communities, which have focused on retrofitted insulation and more effective heating and have two other studies under way, one which focuses on electricity vouchers and the other on housing hazard remediation. The Housing, Insulation and Health Study showed that insulating 1,350 houses, built before insulation was required, improved the occupants' health and well being as well as household energy efficiency. In the Housing, Heating and Health Study we investigated the impact of installing more effective heating in insulated houses for 409 households, where there was a child with doctor-diagnosed asthma. Again, the study showed significant results in the intervention group; indoor temperatures increased and levels of NO(2) were halved. Children reported less poor health, lower levels of asthma symptoms and sleep disturbances by wheeze and dry cough. Children also had fewer days off school. Improving the energy efficiency of older housing leads to health improvements and energy efficiency improvements. Multidisciplinary studies of housing interventions can create compelling evidence to support policies for sustainable housing developments which improve health.

  6. Improving Spleen Volume Estimation Via Computer-assisted Segmentation on Clinically Acquired CT Scans. (United States)

    Xu, Zhoubing; Gertz, Adam L; Burke, Ryan P; Bansal, Neil; Kang, Hakmook; Landman, Bennett A; Abramson, Richard G


    Multi-atlas fusion is a promising approach for computer-assisted segmentation of anatomic structures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and time efficiency of multi-atlas segmentation for estimating spleen volumes on clinically acquired computed tomography (CT) scans. Under an institutional review board approval, we obtained 294 de-identified (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant) abdominal CT scans on 78 subjects from a recent clinical trial. We compared five pipelines for obtaining splenic volumes: Pipeline 1 - manual segmentation of all scans, Pipeline 2 - automated segmentation of all scans, Pipeline 3 - automated segmentation of all scans with manual segmentation for outliers on a rudimentary visual quality check, and Pipelines 4 and 5 - volumes derived from a unidimensional measurement of craniocaudal spleen length and three-dimensional splenic index measurements, respectively. Using Pipeline 1 results as ground truth, the accuracies of Pipelines 2-5 (Dice similarity coefficient, Pearson correlation, R-squared, and percent and absolute deviation of volume from ground truth) were compared for point estimates of splenic volume and for change in splenic volume over time. Time cost was also compared for Pipelines 1-5. Pipeline 3 was dominant in terms of both accuracy and time cost. With a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.99, average absolute volume deviation of 23.7 cm(3), and time cost of 1 minute per scan, Pipeline 3 yielded the best results. The second-best approach was Pipeline 5, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.98, absolute deviation of 46.92 cm(3), and time cost of 1 minute 30 seconds per scan. Manual segmentation (Pipeline 1) required 11 minutes per scan. A computer-automated segmentation approach with manual correction of outliers generated accurate splenic volumes with reasonable time efficiency. Copyright © 2016 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All

  7. Performance Improvement of Microcrystalline p-SiC/i-Si/n-Si Thin Film Solar Cells by Using Laser-Assisted Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsin-Ying Lee


    Full Text Available The microcrystalline p-SiC/i-Si/n-Si thin film solar cells treated with hydrogen plasma were fabricated at low temperature using a CO2 laser-assisted plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (LAPECVD system. According to the micro-Raman results, the i-Si films shifted from 482 cm−1 to 512 cm−1 as the assisting laser power increased from 0 W to 80 W, which indicated a gradual transformation from amorphous to crystalline Si. From X-ray diffraction (XRD results, the microcrystalline i-Si films with (111, (220, and (311 diffraction were obtained. Compared with the Si-based thin film solar cells deposited without laser assistance, the short-circuit current density and the power conversion efficiency of the solar cells with assisting laser power of 80 W were improved from 14.38 mA/cm2 to 18.16 mA/cm2 and from 6.89% to 8.58%, respectively.

  8. Future energy efficiency improvements within the US department of defense: Incentives and barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umstattd, Ryan J.


    The present work describes the military impact of improved efficiency and then highlights existing technological, political, and financial barriers for improving overall energy efficiency. As the largest user of energy within the US government, the Department of Defense (DOD) is rightly concerned that any disruption to the nation's energy supply may have an extremely adverse impact on its military capabilities. The total solution to providing energy security will be multi-faceted with progress required on many fronts. Increasing the use of renewable energy sources and improving energy storage capabilities are gradually creating a positive impact, but investing in improving the overall efficiency of the military effort provides both immediate and long-lasting payback. One might suppose that a decrease in the energy used by the DOD should lead to a decrease in military capability, but historical data proves otherwise. It is shown that the military has additional impetus, compared to civilian consumers, to pursue energy-efficiency improvements. Many tools are available to help the DOD along this path, yet there remain obstacles which must first be identified and analyzed as discussed herein.

  9. Practice Makes Efficient: Cortical Alpha Oscillations Are Associated With Improved Golf Putting Performance. (United States)

    Gallicchio, Germano; Cooke, Andrew; Ring, Christopher


    Practice of a motor skill results in improved performance and decreased movement awareness. The psychomotor efficiency hypothesis proposes that the development of motor expertise through practice is accompanied by physiological refinements whereby irrelevant processes are suppressed and relevant processes are enhanced. The present study employed a test-retest design to evaluate the presence of greater neurophysiological efficiency with practice and mediation analyses to identify the factors accounting for performance improvements, in a golf putting task. Putting performance, movement-specific conscious processing, electroencephalographic alpha power and alpha connectivity were measured from 12 right-handed recreational golfers (age: M = 21 years; handicap: M = 23) before and after 3 practice sessions. As expected, performance improved and conscious processing decreased with training. Mediation analyses revealed that improvements in performance were partly attributable to increased regional gating of alpha power and reduced cross-regional alpha connectivity. However, changes in conscious processing were not associated with performance improvements. Increased efficiency was manifested at the neurophysiological level as selective inhibition and functional isolation of task-irrelevant cortical regions (temporal regions) and concomitant functional activation of task-relevant regions (central regions). These findings provide preliminary evidence for the development of greater psychomotor efficiency with practice in a precision aiming task.

  10. Improved efficiency of organic/inorganic photovoltaic devices by electrospun ZnO nanofibers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanveer, Muhammad; Habib, Amir; Khan, Muhammad Bilal


    Highlights: ► Hybrid P3HT:PCBM/ZnO nanofibers photovoltaic devices with improved efficiency (2.23%). ► Improved open circuit voltage and fill factor. ► Studied the effect of electrospinning time to improve device performance. ► Such effect was not reported for Zno/P3HT:PCBM hybrid photovoltaic devices. ► Optimizing nanofiber mat thickness by optimum electrospinning time to allow maximum infiltration through the pores. - Abstract: The efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) device based on P3HT and PCBM bulk heterojunction is improved by introducing small-diameter electrospun ZnO diffused nanofibers network. Diameter, diffusion and melting of nanofibers are controlled by calcination temperature. The thickness of the active layer is optimized for efficient PV devices by varying electrospinning (ES) time. Increased nanofiber's mat thickness by an increase in electrospinning time beyond a certain optimum value reduces the device performance due to increased series resistance, increased traps and reduced blend infiltration through the nanofiber pores. ES time suggests optimized active area for energy absorption and exciton dissociation. In this study, we report the improvement in power conversion efficiency (PCE) from 0.9% to 2.23%, for optimum ES time (∼300 s).

  11. Improved efficiency of organic/inorganic photovoltaic devices by electrospun ZnO nanofibers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanveer, Muhammad, E-mail: [School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000 (Pakistan); Habib, Amir [School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000 (Pakistan); Khan, Muhammad Bilal [Centre for Energy Systems, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad 44000 (Pakistan)


    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Hybrid P3HT:PCBM/ZnO nanofibers photovoltaic devices with improved efficiency (2.23%). Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Improved open circuit voltage and fill factor. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Studied the effect of electrospinning time to improve device performance. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Such effect was not reported for Zno/P3HT:PCBM hybrid photovoltaic devices. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Optimizing nanofiber mat thickness by optimum electrospinning time to allow maximum infiltration through the pores. - Abstract: The efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) device based on P3HT and PCBM bulk heterojunction is improved by introducing small-diameter electrospun ZnO diffused nanofibers network. Diameter, diffusion and melting of nanofibers are controlled by calcination temperature. The thickness of the active layer is optimized for efficient PV devices by varying electrospinning (ES) time. Increased nanofiber's mat thickness by an increase in electrospinning time beyond a certain optimum value reduces the device performance due to increased series resistance, increased traps and reduced blend infiltration through the nanofiber pores. ES time suggests optimized active area for energy absorption and exciton dissociation. In this study, we report the improvement in power conversion efficiency (PCE) from 0.9% to 2.23%, for optimum ES time ({approx}300 s).

  12. SU-F-T-163: Improve Proton Therapy Efficiency: Report of a Workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Y [Procure Proton Therapy Center, Oklahoma City, OK (United States); Flanz, J [Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Mah, D [Procure Treatment Center, Somerset, NJ (United States); Pankuch, M; Kreydick, B [Northwestern Medicine Proton Center, Warrenville, IL (United States); Beltran, C [Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (United States); Robison, B; Schreuder, A [Provision Healthcare Partners, Knoxville, TN (United States)


    Purpose: The technology of proton therapy, especially the pencil beam scanning technique, is evolving very quickly. However, the efficiency of proton therapy seems to lag behind conventional photon therapy. The purpose of the abstract is to report on the findings of a workshop on improvement of QA, planning and treatment efficiency in proton therapy. Methods: A panel of physicists, clinicians, and vendor representatives from over 18 institutions in the United States and internationally were convened in Knoxville, Tennessee in November, 2015. The panel discussed several topics on how to improve proton therapy efficiency, including 1) lean principle and failure mode and effects analysis, 2) commissioning and machine QA, 3) treatment planning, optimization and evaluation, 4) patient positioning and IGRT, 5) vendor liaison and machine availability, and 6) staffing, education and training. Results: The relative time needed for machine QA, treatment planning & check in proton therapy was found to range from 1 to 2.5 times of that in photon therapy. Current status in proton QA, planning and treatment was assessed. Key areas for efficiency improvement, such as elimination of unnecessary QA items or steps and development of efficient software or hardware tools, were identified. A white paper to summarize our findings is being written. Conclusion: It is critical to improve efficiency by developing reliable proton beam lines, efficient software tools on treatment planning, optimization and evaluation, and dedicated proton QA device. Conscious efforts and collaborations from both industry leaders and proton therapy centers are needed to achieve this goal and further advance the technology of proton therapy.

  13. Tailored nutrition education and food assistance improve adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy: evidence from Honduras. (United States)

    Martinez, Homero; Palar, Kartika; Linnemayr, Sebastian; Smith, Alexandria; Derose, Kathryn Pitkin; Ramírez, Blanca; Farías, Hugo; Wagner, Glenn


    Food insecurity and malnutrition negatively affect adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and are associated with poor HIV clinical outcomes. We examined the effect of providing household food assistance and nutrition education on ART adherence. A 12-month prospective clinical trial compared the effect of a monthly household food basket (FB) plus nutrition education (NE) versus NE alone on ART adherence on 400 HIV patients at four clinics in Honduras. Participants had been receiving ART for an average of 3.7 years and were selected because they had suboptimal adherence. Primary outcome measures were missed clinic appointments, delayed prescription refills, and self-reported missed doses of ART. These three adherence measures improved for both groups over 12 months (p < 0.01), mostly within 6 months. On-time prescription refills improved for the FB plus NE group by 19.6 % more than the group receiving NE alone after 6 months (p < 0.01), with no further change at 12 months. Change in missed appointments and self-reported missed ART doses did not significantly differ by intervention group.



    Aida Rezyapova


    The paper describes the proprietary methodology of distributing administrative expenses in the network retail businesses within the process approach to management, which has been developed to improve the quality of trade expenses administration. To this end, the author suggests using the original base unit (cost driver) in the course of distribution of the subject expenses to improve the accuracy of calculating the trade process efficiency. The author gives reasons to the necessity of applyin...

  15. Electron linac for medical isotope production with improved energy efficiency and isotope recovery (United States)

    Noonan, John; Walters, Dean; Virgo, Matt; Lewellen, John


    A method and isotope linac system are provided for producing radio-isotopes and for recovering isotopes. The isotope linac is an energy recovery linac (ERL) with an electron beam being transmitted through an isotope-producing target. The electron beam energy is recollected and re-injected into an accelerating structure. The ERL provides improved efficiency with reduced power requirements and provides improved thermal management of an isotope target and an electron-to-x-ray converter.

  16. Improving Energy Efficiency in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations -- Part II: HVAC, Boilers and Cogeneration


    Galitsky, Christina; Worrell, Ernst; Masanet, Eric; Chang, Sheng-chieh


    Whereas Part I of this article ("Improving Energy Efficiency in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Operations ? Part I: Motors, Drives and Compressed Air Systems", Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Feb. 2006) focused on motors, drives and compressed air systems, Part II will review, briefly, potential improvements in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, overall building management and boilers. Research in this article was first published last September, in an extensive report devel...

  17. Development and Optimization of Gas-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GAGD) Process for Improved Light Oil Recovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dandina N. Rao; Subhash C. Ayirala; Madhav M. Kulkarni; Wagirin Ruiz Paidin; Thaer N. N. Mahmoud; Daryl S. Sequeira; Amit P. Sharma


    This is the final report describing the evolution of the project ''Development and Optimization of Gas-Assisted Gravity Drainage (GAGD) Process for Improved Light Oil Recovery'' from its conceptual stage in 2002 to the field implementation of the developed technology in 2006. This comprehensive report includes all the experimental research, models developments, analyses of results, salient conclusions and the technology transfer efforts. As planned in the original proposal, the project has been conducted in three separate and concurrent tasks: Task 1 involved a physical model study of the new GAGD process, Task 2 was aimed at further developing the vanishing interfacial tension (VIT) technique for gas-oil miscibility determination, and Task 3 was directed at determining multiphase gas-oil drainage and displacement characteristics in reservoir rocks at realistic pressures and temperatures. The project started with the task of recruiting well-qualified graduate research assistants. After collecting and reviewing the literature on different aspects of the project such gas injection EOR, gravity drainage, miscibility characterization, and gas-oil displacement characteristics in porous media, research plans were developed for the experimental work to be conducted under each of the three tasks. Based on the literature review and dimensional analysis, preliminary criteria were developed for the design of the partially-scaled physical model. Additionally, the need for a separate transparent model for visual observation and verification of the displacement and drainage behavior under gas-assisted gravity drainage was identified. Various materials and methods (ceramic porous material, Stucco, Portland cement, sintered glass beads) were attempted in order to fabricate a satisfactory visual model. In addition to proving the effectiveness of the GAGD process (through measured oil recoveries in the range of 65 to 87% IOIP), the visual models demonstrated

  18. Prolonged extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-assisted support provides improved survival in hypothermic patients with cardiocirculatory arrest. (United States)

    Ruttmann, Elfriede; Weissenbacher, Annemarie; Ulmer, Hanno; Müller, Ludwig; Höfer, Daniel; Kilo, Juliane; Rabl, Walter; Schwarz, Birgit; Laufer, Günther; Antretter, Herwig; Mair, Peter


    Extracorporeal circulation is considered the gold standard in the treatment of hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest; however, few centers use extracorporeal membrane oxygenation instead of standard extracorporeal circulation for this indication. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-assisted resuscitation improves survival in patients with hypothermic cardiac arrest. A consecutive series of 59 patients with accidental hypothermia in cardiocirculatory arrest between 1987 and 2006 were included. Thirty-four patients (57.6%) were resuscitated by standard extracorporeal circulation, and 25 patients (42.4%) were resuscitated by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Accidental hypothermia was caused by avalanche in 22 patients (37.3%), drowning in 22 patients (37.3%), exposure to cold in 8 patients (13.5%), and falling into a crevasse in 7 patients (11.9%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to compare extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with extracorporeal circulation resuscitation, with adjustment for relevant parameters. Restoration of spontaneous circulation was achieved in 32 patients (54.2%). A total of 12 patients (20.3%) survived hypothermia. In the extracorporeal circulation group, 64% of the nonsurviving patients who underwent restoration of spontaneous circulation died of severe pulmonary edema, but none died in the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation group. In multivariate analysis, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-assisted resuscitation showed a 6.6-fold higher chance for survival (relative risk: 6.6, 95% confidence interval: 1.2-49.3, P = .042). Asphyxia-related hypothermia (avalanche or drowning) was the most predictive adverse factor for survival (relative risk: 0.09, 95% confidence interval: 0.01-0.60, P = .013). Potassium and pH failed to show statistical significance in the multivariate analysis. Extracorporeal rewarming with an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation system allows prolonged

  19. Efficiency Improvement Opportunities for Personal Computer Monitors. Implications for Market Transformation Programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Won Young [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Phadke, Amol [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Shah, Nihar [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)


    Displays account for a significant portion of electricity consumed in personal computer (PC) use, and global PC monitor shipments are expected to continue to increase. We assess the market trends in the energy efficiency of PC monitors that are likely to occur without any additional policy intervention and estimate that display efficiency will likely improve by over 40% by 2015 compared to today’s technology. We evaluate the cost effectiveness of a key technology which further improves efficiency beyond this level by at least 20% and find that its adoption is cost effective. We assess the potential for further improving efficiency taking into account the recent development of universal serial bus (USB) powered liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and find that the current technology available and deployed in USB powered monitors has the potential to deeply reduce energy consumption by as much as 50%. We provide insights for policies and programs that can be used to accelerate the adoption of efficient technologies to capture global energy saving potential from PC monitors which we estimate to be 9.2 terawatt-hours [TWh] per year in 2015.

  20. Improving quantum efficiency and spectral resolution of a CCD through direct manipulation of the depletion region (United States)

    Brown, Craig; Ambrosi, Richard M.; Abbey, Tony; Godet, Olivier; O'Brien, R.; Turner, M. J. L.; Holland, Andrew; Pool, Peter J.; Burt, David; Vernon, David


    Future generations of X-ray astronomy instruments will require position sensitive detectors in the form of charge-coupled devices (CCDs) for X-ray spectroscopy and imaging with the ability to probe the X-ray universe with greater efficiency. This will require the development of CCDs with structures that will improve their quantum efficiency over the current state of the art. The quantum efficiency improvements would have to span a broad energy range (0.2 keV to >15 keV). These devices will also have to be designed to withstand the harsh radiation environments associated with orbits that extend beyond the Earth's magnetosphere. This study outlines the most recent work carried out at the University of Leicester focused on improving the quantum efficiency of an X-ray sensitive CCD through direct manipulation of the device depletion region. It is also shown that increased spectral resolution is achieved using this method due to a decrease in the number of multi-pixel events. A Monte Carlo and analytical models of the CCD have been developed and used to determine the depletion depths achieved through variation of the device substrate voltage, Vss. The models are also used to investigate multi-pixel event distributions and quantum efficiency as a function of depletion depth.

  1. Potential benefits from improved energy efficiency of key electrical products: The case of India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McNeil, Michael A.; Iyer, Maithili; Meyers, Stephen; Letschert, Virginie E.; McMahon, James E.


    The economy of the world's second most populous country continues to grow rapidly, bringing prosperity to a growing middle class while further straining an energy infrastructure already stretched beyond capacity. At the same time, efficiency policy initiatives have gained a foothold in India, and promise to grow in number over the coming years. This paper considers the maximum cost-effective potential of efficiency improvement for key energy-consuming products in the Indian context. The products considered are: household refrigerators, window air conditioners, motors and distribution transformers. Together, these products account for about 27% of delivered electricity consumption in India. The analysis estimates the minimum Life-Cycle Cost option for each product class, according to use patterns and prevailing customer marginal rates in each sector. This option represents an efficiency improvement ranging between 12% and 60%, depending on product class. If this level of efficiency was achieved starting in 2010, we estimate that total electricity consumption in India could be reduced by 4.7% by 2020, saving over 74 million tons of oil equivalent and over 246 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Net present financial savings of this efficiency improvement totals 8.1 billion dollars

  2. Improving energy efficiency in industrial energy systems an interdisciplinary perspective on barriers, energy audits, energy management, policies, and programs

    CERN Document Server

    Thollander, Patrik


    Industrial energy efficiency is one of the most important means of reducing the threat of increased global warming. Research however states that despite the existence of numerous technical energy efficiency measures, its deployment is hindered by the existence of various barriers to energy efficiency. The complexity of increasing energy efficiency in manufacturing industry calls for an interdisciplinary approach to the issue. Improving energy efficiency in industrial energy systems applies an interdisciplinary perspective in examining energy efficiency in industrial energy systems, and discuss

  3. Smoothed Particle Hydro-dynamic Analysis of Improvement in Sludge Conveyance Efficiency of Screw Decanter Centrifuge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Dae Woong


    A centrifuge works on the principle that particles with different densities will separate at a rate proportional to the centrifugal force during high-speed rotation. Dense particles are quickly precipitated, and particles with relatively smaller densities are precipitated more slowly. A decanter-type centrifuge is used to remove, concentrate, and dehydrate sludge in a water treatment process. This is a core technology for measuring the sludge conveyance efficiency improvement. In this study, a smoothed particle hydro-dynamic analysis was performed for a decanter centrifuge used to convey sludge to evaluate the efficiency improvement. This analysis was applied to both the original centrifugal model and the design change model, which was a ball-plate rail model, to evaluate the sludge transfer efficiency.

  4. Latent human error analysis and efficient improvement strategies by fuzzy TOPSIS in aviation maintenance tasks. (United States)

    Chiu, Ming-Chuan; Hsieh, Min-Chih


    The purposes of this study were to develop a latent human error analysis process, to explore the factors of latent human error in aviation maintenance tasks, and to provide an efficient improvement strategy for addressing those errors. First, we used HFACS and RCA to define the error factors related to aviation maintenance tasks. Fuzzy TOPSIS with four criteria was applied to evaluate the error factors. Results show that 1) adverse physiological states, 2) physical/mental limitations, and 3) coordination, communication, and planning are the factors related to airline maintenance tasks that could be addressed easily and efficiently. This research establishes a new analytic process for investigating latent human error and provides a strategy for analyzing human error using fuzzy TOPSIS. Our analysis process complements shortages in existing methodologies by incorporating improvement efficiency, and it enhances the depth and broadness of human error analysis methodology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Importance of organized energy efficiency introduction and improvement in PE EPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolić Aleksandar


    Full Text Available The energy management system (EnMS introduction into companies that are significant energy consumers has been initiated after adoption of the Law of efficient energy usage. Due to the fact that sectors for production, transmission and distribution of electrical and heat energy are also implied by this law, it is clear that PE EPS is also obligated to implement EnMS and to carry out the requirements defined by legislation. In this paper, the results of first-phase introduction of the system for supervision and improvement of energy efficiency in PE EPS in production of coal, and production and distribution of electrical and heat energy, are given. Recommended measures for energy efficiency improvement with stress on larger energy, financial savings and a lower rate of investment return are emphasised. Such systematic measures should also serve as a good basis for further stages of energy management introduction and implementation.

  6. Influence of Plot Size on Efficiency of Biomass Estimates in Inventories of Dry Tropical Forests Assisted by Photogrammetric Data from an Unmanned Aircraft System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daud Jones Kachamba


    Full Text Available Applications of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs to assist in forest inventories have provided promising results in biomass estimation for different forest types. Recent studies demonstrating use of different types of remotely sensed data to assist in biomass estimation have shown that accuracy and precision of estimates are influenced by the size of field sample plots used to obtain reference values for biomass. The objective of this case study was to assess the influence of sample plot size on efficiency of UAS-assisted biomass estimates in the dry tropical miombo woodlands of Malawi. The results of a design-based field sample inventory assisted by three-dimensional point clouds obtained from aerial imagery acquired with a UAS showed that the root mean square errors as well as the standard error estimates of mean biomass decreased as sample plot sizes increased. Furthermore, relative efficiency values over different sample plot sizes were above 1.0 in a design-based and model-assisted inferential framework, indicating that UAS-assisted inventories were more efficient than purely field-based inventories. The results on relative costs for UAS-assisted and pure field-based sample plot inventories revealed that there is a trade-off between inventory costs and required precision. For example, in our study if a standard error of less than approximately 3 Mg ha−1 was targeted, then a UAS-assisted forest inventory should be applied to ensure more cost effective and precise estimates. Future studies should therefore focus on finding optimum plot sizes for particular applications, like for example in projects under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus forest conservation, sustainable management of forest and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+ mechanism with different geographical scales.

  7. Improving Push Belt CVT Efficiency by Control Strategies Based on New Variator Wear Insight

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Laan, Maaike; van Drogen, Mark; Brandsma, Arjen


    Developments in clamping force control for the push belt Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) aim at increased efficiency in combination with improved robustness. Current control strategies attempt to prevent macro slip between elements and pulleys at all times for maximum robustness. In order

  8. Energy Efficiency Performance Improvements for Ant-Based Routing Algorithm in Wireless Sensor Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adamu Murtala Zungeru


    Full Text Available The main problem for event gathering in wireless sensor networks (WSNs is the restricted communication range for each node. Due to the restricted communication range and high network density, event forwarding in WSNs is very challenging and requires multihop data forwarding. Currently, the energy-efficient ant based routing (EEABR algorithm, based on the ant colony optimization (ACO metaheuristic, is one of the state-of-the-art energy-aware routing protocols. In this paper, we propose three improvements to the EEABR algorithm to further improve its energy efficiency. The improvements to the original EEABR are based on the following: (1 a new scheme to intelligently initialize the routing tables giving priority to neighboring nodes that simultaneously could be the destination, (2 intelligent update of routing tables in case of a node or link failure, and (3 reducing the flooding ability of ants for congestion control. The energy efficiency improvements are significant particularly for dynamic routing environments. Experimental results using the RMASE simulation environment show that the proposed method increases the energy efficiency by up to 9% and 64% in converge-cast and target-tracking scenarios, respectively, over the original EEABR without incurring a significant increase in complexity. The method is also compared and found to also outperform other swarm-based routing protocols such as sensor-driven and cost-aware ant routing (SC and Beesensor.

  9. Improving mixing efficiency in a closed circuit water flow rig for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Investigations were conducted on a laboratory scale water flow rig to determine the flow characteristics for improving mixing efficiency in the tanks for radiotracer ... The modified rig with scaled-up mixing techniques could serve as platform for training in evaluating mixing vessels and flow meters in industrial process plants.

  10. NASEO and Educational Associations Working with Members To Improve Energy Efficiency. (United States)

    Burke, Kate


    Describes efforts by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) to share information and explore joint opportunities for improving energy efficiency in higher education facilities. (EV)

  11. Improved efficiency of CT interpretation using an automated lung nodule matching program. (United States)

    Koo, Chi Wan; Anand, Vikram; Girvin, Francis; Wickstrom, Maj L; Fantauzzi, John P; Bogoni, Luca; Babb, James S; Ko, Jane P


    The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of an automated program on improvement in lung nodule matching efficiency. Four thoracic radiologists independently reviewed two serial chest CT examinations from each of 57 patients. Each radiologist performed timed manual lung nodule matching. After 6 weeks, all radiologists independently repeated the timed matching portion using an automated nodule matching program. The time required for manual and automated matching was compared. The impact of nodule size and number on matching efficiency was determined. An average of 325 (range, 244-413) noncalcified solid pulmonary nodules was identified. Nodule matching was significantly faster with the automated program irrespective of the interpreting radiologist (p 0.5). The automated program achieved 90%, 90%, 79%, and 92% accuracy for the four readers. The improvement in efficiency for a given patient using the automated technique was proportional to the number of matched nodules (p < 0.0001) and inversely proportional to nodule size (p < 0.05). Use of the automated lung nodule matching program significantly improves diagnostic efficiency. The time saved is proportionate to the number of nodules identified and inversely proportional to nodule size. Adoption of such a program should expedite CT examination interpretation and improve report turnaround time.

  12. A Fixed-Wing Aircraft Simulation Tool for Improving the efficiency of DoD Acquisition (United States)


    testing. UU UU UU UU 9 Kevin Newmeyer 703-812-4417 1 A Fixed-Wing Aircraft Simulation Tool for Improving the Efficiency of DoD Acquisition... Lynch , E., Polsky, S., “Coupled Flight Simulator and CFD Calculations of Ship Airwake Using Kestrel,” 53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Kissimmee

  13. Global energy efficiency improvement in the log term: a demand- and supply-side perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graus, W.H.J.; Blomen, E.; Worrell, E.


    This study assessed technical potentials for energy efficiency improvement in 2050 in a global context. The reference scenario is based on the World Energy Outlook of the International Energy Agency 2007 edition and assumptions regarding gross domestic product developments after 2030. In the


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gvozdenac, D.; Ciric, R.; Tesic, M.


    The paper presents the outcome of the research in the field of energy efficiency improvement and development of the renewable energy sources in province of Vojvodina (Serbia). The summarized results of the paper are: - Potentials for energy efficiency improvement in Vojvodina, - Potentials for development of renewable energy sources in Vojvodina, - Proposal of measures of the energy policy for the promotion of research and development (R and D) which will use local scientific and technical potentials in the field of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency and improve the sustainability on the long run. - Proposal of measures for the energy policy in the domain of renewable energy sources development and energy efficiency and estimation of potentials for improvements by applying proposed measures in order to accomplish established tasks. - Synthesizing findings and proposals in the Action Plan of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina for the realization of the medium term program as well as the establishment of the monitoring plan for the assessment of program objectives progress. (auth)

  15. Improving Safety, Quality and Efficiency through the Management of Emerging Processes: The TenarisDalmine Experience (United States)

    Bonometti, Patrizia


    Purpose: The aim of this contribution is to describe a new complexity-science-based approach for improving safety, quality and efficiency and the way it was implemented by TenarisDalmine. Design/methodology/approach: This methodology is called "a safety-building community". It consists of a safety-behaviour social self-construction…

  16. Improvement of light-extraction efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes using dielectric nanoparticles (United States)

    Mann, Vidhi; Hooda, Babita; Rastogi, Vipul


    Use of dielectric nanoparticles placed at the anode (indium tin oxide) for the improvement of light-extraction efficiency of an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) has been reported. The nanoparticle layer will act as a scattering medium for the light trapped in the waveguiding modes of the device. Mie theory has been applied to study the scattering efficiency of the isolated dielectric nanoparticle. The effect of dielectric nanoparticles on the light-extraction efficiency of OLED has been analyzed by the finite-difference time-domain method. The light-extraction efficiency of the device depends upon the diameter, interparticle separation, and refractive index of dielectric nanoparticles. At optimal nanoparticle parameters, the enhancement factor of 1.7 times is obtained with the proposed design.

  17. Improving the efficiency of red phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes by exciton management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Yi-Lu; Wang, Zhibin; Helander, Michael G.; Qiu, Jacky; Lu, Zheng-Hong [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, 184 College St., M5S 3E4, Toronto (Canada); Puzzo, Danny P. [Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 80 St George St., M5S 3H6, Toronto (Canada); Castrucci, Jeffrey [Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 200 College Street, M5S 3E5, Toronto (Canada)


    Phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) have undergone remarkable development from both academia and industry in the past decade. Nevertheless, devices with higher efficiency remain highly desirable for energy-efficient general lighting as well as low power consumption LED backlight applications. In this respect, several groups have conducted complex device engineering designs such as doping of the transport layers to increase charge carrier mobility, incorporation of blocking layers to confine excitons/charge carriers, or use of multiple emissive layers to widen the emission zone, in order to achieve higher device performances. In this work, we report an alternative and relatively simple approach to improve the efficiency of red PHOLEDs by exciton management to attain a high external quantum efficiency (EQE) of >20%. (copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  18. Advanced Electric Systems and Aerodynamics for Efficiency Improvements in Heavy Duty Trucks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larry Slone; Jeffrey Birkel


    The Advanced Electric Systems and Aerodynamics for Efficiency Improvements in Heavy Duty Trucks program (DE-FC26-04NT42189), commonly referred to as the AES program, focused on areas that will primarily benefit fuel economy and improve heat rejection while driving over the road. The AES program objectives were to: (1) Analyze, design, build, and test a cooling system that provided a minimum of 10 percent greater heat rejection in the same frontal area with no increase in parasitic fan load. (2) Realize fuel savings with advanced power management and acceleration assist by utilizing an integrated starter/generator (ISG) and energy storage devices. (3) Quantify the effect of aerodynamic drag due to the frontal shape mandated by the area required for the cooling system. The program effort consisted of modeling and designing components for optimum fuel efficiency, completing fabrication of necessary components, integrating these components into the chassis test bed, completing controls programming, and performance testing the system both on a chassis dynamometer and on the road. Emission control measures for heavy-duty engines have resulted in increased engine heat loads, thus introducing added parasitic engine cooling loads. Truck electrification, in the form of thermal management, offers technological solutions to mitigate or even neutralize the effects of this trend. Thermal control offers opportunities to avoid increases in cooling system frontal area and forestall reduced fuel economy brought about by additional aerodynamic vehicle drag. This project explored such thermal concepts by installing a 2007 engine that is compliant with current regulations and bears additional heat rejection associated with meeting these regulations. This newer engine replaced the 2002 engine from a previous project that generated less heat rejection. Advanced power management, utilizing a continuously optimized and controlled power flow between electric components, can offer additional

  19. Process improvement methods increase the efficiency, accuracy, and utility of a neurocritical care research repository. (United States)

    O'Connor, Sydney; Ayres, Alison; Cortellini, Lynelle; Rosand, Jonathan; Rosenthal, Eric; Kimberly, W Taylor


    Reliable and efficient data repositories are essential for the advancement of research in Neurocritical care. Various factors, such as the large volume of patients treated within the neuro ICU, their differing length and complexity of hospital stay, and the substantial amount of desired information can complicate the process of data collection. We adapted the tools of process improvement to the data collection and database design of a research repository for a Neuroscience intensive care unit. By the Shewhart-Deming method, we implemented an iterative approach to improve the process of data collection for each element. After an initial design phase, we re-evaluated all data fields that were challenging or time-consuming to collect. We then applied root-cause analysis to optimize the accuracy and ease of collection, and to determine the most efficient manner of collecting the maximal amount of data. During a 6-month period, we iteratively analyzed the process of data collection for various data elements. For example, the pre-admission medications were found to contain numerous inaccuracies after comparison with a gold standard (sensitivity 71% and specificity 94%). Also, our first method of tracking patient admissions and discharges contained higher than expected errors (sensitivity 94% and specificity 93%). In addition to increasing accuracy, we focused on improving efficiency. Through repeated incremental improvements, we reduced the number of subject records that required daily monitoring from 40 to 6 per day, and decreased daily effort from 4.5 to 1.5 h/day. By applying process improvement methods to the design of a Neuroscience ICU data repository, we achieved a threefold improvement in efficiency and increased accuracy. Although individual barriers to data collection will vary from institution to institution, a focus on process improvement is critical to overcoming these barriers.

  20. Functional Marker Assisted Improvement of Stable Cytoplasmic Male Sterile Lines of Rice for Bacterial Blight Resistance. (United States)

    Ramalingam, Jegadeesan; Savitha, Palanisamy; Alagarasan, Ganesh; Saraswathi, Ramasamy; Chandrababu, Ranganathan


    Bacterial blight (BB), caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv .oryzae is one among the major diseases in rice, which in severe condition cause losses up to 60% in total yield. Marker assisted pyramiding of three broad spectrum BB resistance genes ( xa5, xa13 , and Xa21 ) in prominent rice varieties is the most economical and effective strategy for the management of the BB disease. We report here the pyramiding of three genes ( xa5, xa13 , and Xa21 ) in maintainer lines (CO 2B, CO 23B, and CO 24B) of three promising wild abortive cytoplasmic male sterile lines (CO 2A, CO 23A, and CO 24A) through functional markers assisted back cross breeding. IRBB60 with xa5, xa13 , and Xa21 genes is used as a donor parent. BC 2 F 1 and BC 2 F 2 generations from a cross of CO 2B, CO 23B, and CO 24B with IRBB60 were evaluated for bacterial blight and non-fertility restoration. In BC 2 F 1 , plants with all three resistance genes ( xa5, xa13 , and Xa21 ) and high parent genome recovery was identified. In BC 2 F 2 , plants with all resistance genes and without fertility restorer ( Rf3 and Rf4 ) were selected. Based on agronomic traits, BB resistance and maintenance of sterility, two plants each in CO 2B × IRBB60, CO 24B × IRBB60 and one plant in CO 23B × IRBB60 combinations were identified. The identified lines were crossed with respective male sterile lines for conversion of improved B line into CMS line through back-crossing, in addition to selfing. The plants with high recurrent genome and phenotypically similar to parental lines and sterile are being used for the hybrid rice development program. Currently, using these lines (improved CMS line), test crosses were made to develop new rice hybrids. Hybrids combinations viz. , CO 23A × AD08009R and CO 24A × IET20898R were found to be stable at different locations with high yield. The R line used in this study has been introgressed with xa5, xa13 , and Xa21 genes in a separate breeding program. These new hybrids with resistance against

  1. Functional Marker Assisted Improvement of Stable Cytoplasmic Male Sterile Lines of Rice for Bacterial Blight Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jegadeesan Ramalingam


    Full Text Available Bacterial blight (BB, caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae is one among the major diseases in rice, which in severe condition cause losses up to 60% in total yield. Marker assisted pyramiding of three broad spectrum BB resistance genes (xa5, xa13, and Xa21 in prominent rice varieties is the most economical and effective strategy for the management of the BB disease. We report here the pyramiding of three genes (xa5, xa13, and Xa21 in maintainer lines (CO 2B, CO 23B, and CO 24B of three promising wild abortive cytoplasmic male sterile lines (CO 2A, CO 23A, and CO 24A through functional markers assisted back cross breeding. IRBB60 with xa5, xa13, and Xa21 genes is used as a donor parent. BC2F1 and BC2F2 generations from a cross of CO 2B, CO 23B, and CO 24B with IRBB60 were evaluated for bacterial blight and non-fertility restoration. In BC2F1, plants with all three resistance genes (xa5, xa13, and Xa21 and high parent genome recovery was identified. In BC2F2, plants with all resistance genes and without fertility restorer (Rf3 and Rf4 were selected. Based on agronomic traits, BB resistance and maintenance of sterility, two plants each in CO 2B × IRBB60, CO 24B × IRBB60 and one plant in CO 23B × IRBB60 combinations were identified. The identified lines were crossed with respective male sterile lines for conversion of improved B line into CMS line through back-crossing, in addition to selfing. The plants with high recurrent genome and phenotypically similar to parental lines and sterile are being used for the hybrid rice development program. Currently, using these lines (improved CMS line, test crosses were made to develop new rice hybrids. Hybrids combinations viz., CO 23A × AD08009R and CO 24A × IET20898R were found to be stable at different locations with high yield. The R line used in this study has been introgressed with xa5, xa13, and Xa21 genes in a separate breeding program. These new hybrids with resistance against bacterial blight

  2. Functional Marker Assisted Improvement of Stable Cytoplasmic Male Sterile Lines of Rice for Bacterial Blight Resistance (United States)

    Ramalingam, Jegadeesan; Savitha, Palanisamy; Alagarasan, Ganesh; Saraswathi, Ramasamy; Chandrababu, Ranganathan


    Bacterial blight (BB), caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae is one among the major diseases in rice, which in severe condition cause losses up to 60% in total yield. Marker assisted pyramiding of three broad spectrum BB resistance genes (xa5, xa13, and Xa21) in prominent rice varieties is the most economical and effective strategy for the management of the BB disease. We report here the pyramiding of three genes (xa5, xa13, and Xa21) in maintainer lines (CO 2B, CO 23B, and CO 24B) of three promising wild abortive cytoplasmic male sterile lines (CO 2A, CO 23A, and CO 24A) through functional markers assisted back cross breeding. IRBB60 with xa5, xa13, and Xa21 genes is used as a donor parent. BC2F1 and BC2F2 generations from a cross of CO 2B, CO 23B, and CO 24B with IRBB60 were evaluated for bacterial blight and non-fertility restoration. In BC2F1, plants with all three resistance genes (xa5, xa13, and Xa21) and high parent genome recovery was identified. In BC2F2, plants with all resistance genes and without fertility restorer (Rf3 and Rf4) were selected. Based on agronomic traits, BB resistance and maintenance of sterility, two plants each in CO 2B × IRBB60, CO 24B × IRBB60 and one plant in CO 23B × IRBB60 combinations were identified. The identified lines were crossed with respective male sterile lines for conversion of improved B line into CMS line through back-crossing, in addition to selfing. The plants with high recurrent genome and phenotypically similar to parental lines and sterile are being used for the hybrid rice development program. Currently, using these lines (improved CMS line), test crosses were made to develop new rice hybrids. Hybrids combinations viz., CO 23A × AD08009R and CO 24A × IET20898R were found to be stable at different locations with high yield. The R line used in this study has been introgressed with xa5, xa13, and Xa21 genes in a separate breeding program. These new hybrids with resistance against bacterial blight will increase

  3. Optimize Deployment of Renewable Energy Technologies for Government Agencies, Industrial Facilities, and Military Installations: NREL Offers Proven Tools and Resources to Reduce Energy Use and Improve Efficiency (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)


    The National Renewable Energy Lab provides expertise, facilities, and technical assistance to campuses, facilities, and government agencies to apply renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

  4. Decision factors affecting transmission and distribution efficiency improvements by Northwest electric utilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hendrickson, P.L.; Darwin, R.F.


    The principal objective of this report was to assess and document the attitude of Northwest electric utilities toward possible BPA conservation acquisition programs that may provide incentive(s) to reduce losses on T and D lines. Secondary objectives were to examine existing incentives for making such improvements, to categorize prior T and D efficiency improvements, and to examine factors affecting the decision-making process for system improvements. Much of the information presented in the report is derived from a survey administered during personal interviews at 29 Northwest electric utilities between November 1984 and January 1985.

  5. Eco-Efficiency Assessments as a Tool for Revealing the Environmental Improvement Potential of New Regulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ottar Michelsen


    Full Text Available Public regulations can result in improved environmental performance of products. In this paper eco-efficiency is used to assess the most likely outcome of potential new regulations. The paper presents a case study of furniture production in Norway where different scenarios for improving the environmental performance of the products are presented. Four regulatory options for imposing environmental improvements are assessed; (1 an introduction of a tax on emissions, (2 an increase of the tax on landfills, (3 an introduction of a tax on raw material consumption, and (4 introduction of take-back legislation.

  6. Efficient recovery of uranium using genetically improved microalgae; Recuperacion eficaz de uranio utilizando microalgas geneticamente mejoradas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez-Rodas, V.; Conde Vilda, E.; Garcia-Balboa, C.


    We propose an alternative process for the efficient recovery of dissolved uranium based on genetically improved microalgae. We isolate Chlamydomonas cf. fonticola from a pond extremely contaminated by uranium (∼ 25 ppm) from ENUSA U-mine, Saelices (Salamanca, Spain). After a process of genetic improvement we obtained a strain capable to recover 115 mg of U per g of dry weight, by mean of bio-adsorption on the cell wall (mostly) and intra-cytoplasm bioaccumulation. Such a genetically improved microalgae resist extremes of acidity and pollution, but even its dead biomass is still able to recover a large amount of uranium. (Author)

  7. Improved Power Conversion Efficiency of Inverted Organic Solar Cells by Incorporating Au Nanorods into Active Layer. (United States)

    He, Yeyuan; Liu, Chunyu; Li, Jinfeng; Zhang, Xinyuan; Li, Zhiqi; Shen, Liang; Guo, Wenbin; Ruan, Shengping


    This Research Article describes a cooperative plasmonic effect on improving the performance of organic solar cells. When Au nanorods(NRs) are incorporated into the active layers, the designed project shows superior enhanced light absorption behavior comparing with control devices, which leads to the realization of organic solar cell with power conversion efficiency of 6.83%, accounting for 18.9% improvement. Further investigations unravel the influence of plasmonic nanostructures on light trapping, exciton generation, dissociation, and charge recombination and transport inside the thin films devices. Moreover, the introduction of high-conductivity Au NRs improves electrical conductivity of the whole device, which contributes to the enhanced fill factor.

  8. Laparoscopy-promising tool for improvement of reproductive efficiency of small ruminants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dovenski Toni


    Full Text Available Assisted reproductive technologies are used to accelerate genetic gain and improve reproductive performances in farm animals, including small ruminants. This technologies include estrous synchronization, artifi cial insemination (AI using fresh, frozen or sexed semen, embryo transfer (ET using in vivo or in vitro produced embryos, and more advanced - cloning and production of transgenic animals. Diagnostic procedures, such as ultrasonography and laparoscopy, have been used as additional tools for monitoring the ovarian response to superovulatory treatment in donor animals as well as for AI and collection and transfer of embryos. The use of laparoscopy for assisted reproduction techniques in Macedonia commenced in the early 90’s, with the acquisition of a set of ,,Karl Storz” equipment. After the adoption of the required routine, our group has completed several scientifi c projects where laparoscopy was used for intrauterine inseminations as well as for recovery and transfer of embryos in both sheep andgoats. In the following period our group endeavored into introduction of laparoscopic insemination in the routine farm practice. Ovine intrauterine/intracornual insemination by frozen-thawed semen resulted with pregnancy rates of 45% and 60%, when AI was performed out of season and during the breeding season, respectively. In goats, this percentage occasionally peaked at 85%. The aim of this article is to review the status of implementation of laparoscopy in Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART of small ruminants and to present our experience in this field.

  9. Assistive Technology (United States)

    ... Page Resize Text Printer Friendly Online Chat Assistive Technology Assistive technology (AT) is any service or tool that helps ... be difficult or impossible. For older adults, such technology may be a walker to improve mobility or ...

  10. Research and development of concept leading to an automotive alternator with significantly improved efficiency and weight (United States)

    Noddin, R. C.


    A 20 to 25 percent improvement in both output/pound and efficiency relative to control performance of a present production Delco #1102848 alternator was achieved by substitution of a redesign stator of equal or smaller weight and size and in a configuration lending to low cost and manufacturability. Analysis of bench tests on the subject alternator incorporating the redesigned stator reveals an output/pound improvement of 30 percent thereby exceeding the design goal, and an average efficiency improvement of 25 percent easily equalling, and at most points of the performance curve, exceeding the design goal. This was achieved in a design employing proven, low-cost, high volume manufacturing techniques. The redesigned stator also lends itself to direct interchangeability with stators in production alternators.

  11. Computer-assisted surgical navigation does not improve the alignment and orientation of the components in total knee arthroplasty. (United States)

    Kim, Young-Hoo; Kim, Jun-Shik; Choi, Yoowang; Kwon, Oh-Ryong


    Whether total knee arthroplasty with use of computer-assisted surgical navigation can improve the limb and component alignment is a matter of debate. We hypothesized that total knee arthroplasty with use of computer-assisted surgical navigation is superior to conventional total knee arthroplasty with regard to the precision of implant positioning. Sequential simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasties were carried out in 160 patients (320 knees). One knee was replaced with use of a computer-assisted surgical navigation system, and the other was replaced conventionally without use of computer-assisted surgical navigation. The two methods were compared for accuracy of orientation and alignment of the components as determined by radiographs and computed tomography scans. The mean duration of follow-up was 3.4 years. The mean preoperative Knee Society score was 26 points, with an improvement to 92 points postoperatively, in the computer-assisted total knee arthroplasty group and 25 points, with an improvement to 93 points postoperatively, in the conventional total knee arthroplasty group. Preoperative and postoperative ranges of motion of the knees were similar in both groups. The operating and tourniquet times were significantly longer in the computer-assisted total knee arthroplasty group than in the conventional total knee arthroplasty group (p component positioning and the number of outliers for the various radiographic parameters (p > 0.05). Our data demonstrate that total knee arthroplasty with use of computer-assisted surgical navigation did not result in more accurate implant positioning than that achieved in conventional total knee arthroplasty, as determined by both radiographs and computed tomography scans.

  12. Transcriptome Analysis of Maize Immature Embryos Reveals the Roles of Cysteine in Improving Agrobacterium Infection Efficiency (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Zhang, Zhiqiang; Fu, Junjie; Wang, Guoying; Wang, Jianhua; Liu, Yunjun


    Maize Agrobacterium-mediated transformation efficiency has been greatly improved in recent years. Antioxidants, such as, cysteine, can significantly improve maize transformation frequency through improving the Agrobacterium infection efficiency. However, the mechanism underlying the transformation improvement after cysteine exposure has not been elucidated. In this study, we showed that the addition of cysteine to the co-cultivation medium significantly increased the Agrobacterium infection efficiency of hybrid HiII and inbred line Z31 maize embryos. Reactive oxygen species contents were higher in embryos treated with cysteine than that without cysteine. We further investigated the mechanism behind cysteine-related infection efficiency increase using transcriptome analysis. The results showed that the cysteine treatment up-regulated 939 genes and down-regulated 549 genes in both Z31 and HiII. Additionally, more differentially expressed genes were found in HiII embryos than those in Z31 embryos, suggesting that HiII was more sensitive to the cysteine treatment than Z31. GO analysis showed that the up-regulated genes were mainly involved in the oxidation reduction process. The up-regulation of these genes could help maize embryos to cope with the oxidative stress stimulated by Agrobacterium infection. The down-regulated genes were mainly involved in the cell wall and membrane metabolism, such as, aquaporin and expansin genes. Decreased expression of these cell wall integrity genes could loosen the cell wall, thereby improving the entry of Agrobacterium into plant cells. This study offers insight into the role of cysteine in improving Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of maize immature embryos. PMID:29089955

  13. Adipic acid increases plasma lysine but does not improve the efficiency of lysine utilization in swine. (United States)

    van Kempen, T A; van Heugten, E; Trottier, N L


    Adipic acid, upon catabolism, results in intermediates that bear a structural similarity to lysine degradation products. The objectives of this research were to determine whether adipic acid affects lysine concentrations in plasma and to evaluate whether adipic acid improves the efficiency of lysine utilization in pigs. In Exp. 1, nursery pigs (n = 14) were fed (for a period of 7 d) either a standard nursery diet or the same diet supplemented with 1% adipic acid to assess effects on plasma amino acid concentrations (plasma collected on d 7). In Exp. 2, nursery pigs (n = 56) were fed (for a period of 15 d) either a control diet or the same diet but deficient in either lysine, threonine, or tryptophan with or without supplemental adipic acid to assess the effects of adipic acid on the efficiency of amino acid utilization. The results from Exp. 1 showed that adipic acid increased plasma lysine (by 18%) but not alpha-amino adipic acid, an intermediate in lysine degradation. Experiment 2 demonstrated that adipic acid did not increase the efficiency of utilization of lysine, threonine, or tryptophan. The lack of effects on alpha-amino adipic acid in Exp. 1 and the lack of a positive effect on the efficiency of utilization of lysine, threonine, and tryptophan suggest that adipic acid does not inhibit the mitochondrial uptake of lysine and(or) its degradation in the mitochondrion. It is concluded that feeding adipic acid increases plasma lysine but does not improve the efficiency of lysine utilization.

  14. Thermoelectric Efficiency Improvement in Vacuum Tubes of Decomposing Liquid Lithium-Ammonia Solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jungyoon; Kim, Miae; Shim, Kyuchol; Kim, Jibeom; Jeon, Joonhyeon


    Lithium-ammonia (Li-NH 3 ) solutions are possible to be successfully made under the vacuum condition but there still remains a problem of undergoing stable and reliable decomposition in vacuum for high-efficiency thermoelectric power generation. This paper describes a new method for improving the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of Li-NH 3 solutions in vacuum. The proposed method uses a ‘U’-shaped Pyrex vacuum tube for the preparation and decomposition of pure fluid Li-NH 3 solutions. The tube is shaped so that a gas passageway (‘U’) connecting both legs of the ‘U’ helps to balance pressure inside both ends of the tube (due to NH 3 gasification) during decomposition on the hot side. Thermoelectric experimental results show that solution reaction in the ‘U’-shaped tube proceeds more stably and efficiently than in the ‘U’-shaped tube, and consequently, thermoelectric conversion efficiency is improved. It is also proved that the proposed method can provide a reversible reaction, which can rotate between synthesis and decomposition in the tube, for deriving the long-time, high-efficiency thermoelectric power

  15. Impact of lean six sigma process improvement methodology on cardiac catheterization laboratory efficiency. (United States)

    Agarwal, Shikhar; Gallo, Justin J; Parashar, Akhil; Agarwal, Kanika K; Ellis, Stephen G; Khot, Umesh N; Spooner, Robin; Murat Tuzcu, Emin; Kapadia, Samir R


    Operational inefficiencies are ubiquitous in several healthcare processes. To improve the operational efficiency of our catheterization laboratory (Cath Lab), we implemented a lean six sigma process improvement initiative, starting in June 2010. We aimed to study the impact of lean six sigma implementation on improving the efficiency and the patient throughput in our Cath Lab. All elective and urgent cardiac catheterization procedures including diagnostic coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary interventions, structural interventions and peripheral interventions performed between June 2009 and December 2012 were included in the study. Performance metrics utilized for analysis included turn-time, physician downtime, on-time patient arrival, on-time physician arrival, on-time start and manual sheath-pulls inside the Cath Lab. After implementation of lean six sigma in the Cath Lab, we observed a significant improvement in turn-time, physician downtime, on-time patient arrival, on-time physician arrival, on-time start as well as sheath-pulls inside the Cath Lab. The percentage of cases with optimal turn-time increased from 43.6% in 2009 to 56.6% in 2012 (p-trendprocess improvement initiative, lean six sigma, on improving and sustaining efficiency of our Cath Lab operation. After the successful implementation of this continuous quality improvement initiative, there was a significant improvement in the selected performance metrics namely turn-time, physician downtime, on-time patient arrival, on-time physician arrival, on-time start as well as sheath-pulls inside the Cath Lab. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Pixelated detectors and improved efficiency for magnetic imaging in STEM differential phase contrast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krajnak, Matus; McGrouther, Damien; Maneuski, Dzmitry; Shea, Val O'; McVitie, Stephen


    The application of differential phase contrast imaging to the study of polycrystalline magnetic thin films and nanostructures has been hampered by the strong diffraction contrast resulting from the granular structure of the materials. In this paper we demonstrate how a pixelated detector has been used to detect the bright field disk in aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and subsequent processing of the acquired data allows efficient enhancement of the magnetic contrast in the resulting images. Initial results from a charged coupled device (CCD) camera demonstrate the highly efficient nature of this improvement over previous methods. Further hardware development with the use of a direct radiation detector, the Medipix3, also shows the possibilities where the reduction in collection time is more than an order of magnitude compared to the CCD. We show that this allows subpixel measurement of the beam deflection due to the magnetic induction. While the detection and processing is data intensive we have demonstrated highly efficient DPC imaging whereby pixel by pixel interpretation of the induction variation is realised with great potential for nanomagnetic imaging. - Highlights: • Pixelated STEM DPC vastly improves magnetic imaging for polycrystalline thin films. • Improved efficiency imaging demonstrated on CCD camera. • Direct radiation detector faster with reduced charge spreading. • BF disk edge filtering algorithm superior to thresholding and centre of mass method. • Data intensive process but provides a step change in what is possible with STEM DPC.

  17. Evaluating and Directions for Improving the Efficiency of Use of the Main Production Assets of Enterprise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chumak Larysa F.


    Full Text Available The article is aimed at studying the existing approaches to evaluation, as well as analyzing and determining the relevant directions for improving the efficiency of use of the enterprise’s main production assets. The article explores the issues such as development of the theoretical-methodical approaches to evaluating and improving the efficiency of use, finding practical ways and forms to implement innovations and upgrade the main production assets. It has been found that ensuring the efficient use of the main production assets goes along with application of technical, organizational-productive and organizational-administrative activities that are not only related to the technical side of the use, but also require the involvement and training of highly qualified professionals capable of providing with the appropriate productivity a high level of all the types of the work needed. The introduction of modern achievements in the sphere of management automation, production, advanced technologies, and the development of an optimal structure of the main assets would improve the efficiency of use of the main production assets.

  18. The Fuel Efficiency of Maritime Transport. Potential for improvement and analysis of barriers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faber, J.; Nelissen, D.; Smit, M. [CE Delft, Delft (Netherlands); Behrends, B. [Marena Ltd., s.l. (United Kingdom); Lee, D.S. [Manchester Metropolitan University, Machester (United Kingdom)


    There is significant potential to improve the fuel efficiency of ships and thus contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport. It has long been recognised that this potential is not being fully exploited, owing to the existence of non-market barriers. This report analyses the barriers to implementing fuel efficiency improvements, and concludes that the most important of these are the split incentive between ship owners and operators, a lack of trusted data on new technologies, and transaction costs associated with evaluating measures. As a result, in practice about a quarter of the cost-effective abatement potential is unavailable. There are several ways to overcome these barriers. The split incentive can - to some extent - be overcome by providing more detailed information on the fuel efficiency of vessels, making due allowance for operational profiles. This would allow fuel consumption to be more accurately projected and a larger share of efficiency benefits to accrue to ship owners, thus increasing the return on investment in fuel-saving technologies. This would also require changes to standard charter parties. The credibility of information on new technologies can be improved through intensive collaboration between suppliers of new technologies and shipping companies. In order to overcome risk, government subsidies could provide an incentive. This could have the additional benefit that governments could require publication of results.

  19. Germination-Assisted Enzymatic Hydrolysis Can Improve the Quality of Soybean Protein. (United States)

    Yang, Hui; Li, Xin; Gao, Jinyan; Tong, Ping; Yang, Anshu; Chen, Hongbing


    This study aimed to investigate the effects of combined germination and Alcalase hydrolysis on the quality of soybean protein. Protein profiles, water solubility, foaming and emulsifying properties, thixotropic properties, and in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) were tested, the chemical score (CS), essential amino acid index (EAAI), and protein efficiency ratio (PER) of soybean protein were also defined. The combined treatment of germination and Alcalase hydrolysis remarkably improved the solubility, emulsification activity index, emulsion stability index, and foaming capacity of soybean protein. Notably, a decrease in foaming stability was detected. The electrophoretic profile showed a weak breakdown of soybean protein during germination. However, a strong breakdown of protein was observed after the hydrolysis with Alcalase. The combined treatment also decreased the CS and EAAI of soybean protein, but only by 18%. Meanwhile, the IVPD and PER of soybean protein were significantly improved. Moreover, the protein of the germinated and hydrolyzed soybean flour demonstrated better swallowing properties. These findings indicated that the combined treatment of germination and enzymatic hydrolysis can improve the quality of soybean protein. © 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  20. Improving anti-adhesion performance of electrosurgical electrode assisted with ultrasonic vibration. (United States)

    Yao, Guang; Zhang, Deyuan; Geng, Daxi; Jiang, Xinggang


    The electrosurgical electrode currently stands out as one of the most commonly used tools in minimally invasive surgery. In order to facilitate tissue cutting and accelerate wound healing, tissue adhesion to the electrosurgical electrode is considered as an extremely urgent problem to be solved. In this paper, a novel ultrasonic vibration assisted (UV-A) electrosurgical electrode is firstly proposed to overcome the problem of tissue sticking. The anti-adhesion effects were evaluated by measuring the adhesion force and the weight of tissue adhesion using the electrosurgical electrode with and without UV-A comparatively. Experimental results show that the average adhesion force and the tissue adhesion mass with UV-A were decreased by approximately 60% and 70% respectively, accompanied by smaller thermal injury area compared with that without UV-A. Moreover, the underlying mechanism of anti-adhesion effect with UV-A was revealed by investigating the influence of ultrasonic vibration on electric current, tissue removal and spark discharge. This research suggests that UV-A is a promising and practical method for improving the anti-adhesion performance of electrosurgical electrode. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Targeting utility customers to improve energy savings from conservation and efficiency programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, Nicholas W.; Jones, Pierce H.; Kipp, M. Jennison


    Highlights: • Improving DSM program impacts by targeting high energy users. • DSM energy savings potential hinges on pre-participation performance. • Targeting can benefit different utilities and energy efficiency programs. • Overall performance can be improved by up to 250% via targeting strategies. - Abstract: Electric utilities, government agencies, and private interests in the US have committed and continue to invest substantial resources – including billions of dollars of financial capital – in the pursuit of energy efficiency and conservation through demand-side management (DSM) programs. While most of these programs are deemed to be cost effective, and therefore in the public interest, opportunities exist to improve cost effectiveness by targeting programs to those customers with the greatest potential for energy savings. This article details an analysis of three DSM programs offered by three Florida municipal electric utilities to explore such opportunities. First, we estimate programs’ energy savings impacts; second, we measure and compare energy savings across subgroups of program participants as determined by their pre-intervention energy performance, and third, we explore potential changes in program impacts that might be realized by targeting specific customers for participation in the DSM programs. All three programs resulted in statistically significant average (per-participant) energy savings, yet average savings varied widely, with the customers who performed best (i.e., most efficient) before the intervention saving the least energy and those who performed worst (i.e., least efficient) before the intervention saving the most. Assessment of alternative program participation scenarios with varying levels of customer targeting suggests that program impacts could be increased by as much as 80% for a professional energy audit program, just over 100% for a high-efficiency heat pump upgrade program, and nearly 250% for an attic insulation

  2. Mobile-Cloud Assisted Video Summarization Framework for Efficient Management of Remote Sensing Data Generated by Wireless Capsule Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irfan Mehmood


    Full Text Available Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE has great advantages over traditional endoscopy because it is portable and easy to use, especially in remote monitoring health-services. However, during the WCE process, the large amount of captured video data demands a significant deal of computation to analyze and retrieve informative video frames. In order to facilitate efficient WCE data collection and browsing task, we present a resource- and bandwidth-aware WCE video summarization framework that extracts the representative keyframes of the WCE video contents by removing redundant and non-informative frames. For redundancy elimination, we use Jeffrey-divergence between color histograms and inter-frame Boolean series-based correlation of color channels. To remove non-informative frames, multi-fractal texture features are extracted to assist the classification using an ensemble-based classifier. Owing to the limited WCE resources, it is impossible for the WCE system to perform computationally intensive video summarization tasks. To resolve computational challenges, mobile-cloud architecture is incorporated, which provides resizable computing capacities by adaptively offloading video summarization tasks between the client and the cloud server. The qualitative and quantitative results are encouraging and show that the proposed framework saves information transmission cost and bandwidth, as well as the valuable time of data analysts in browsing remote sensing data.

  3. Mobile-cloud assisted video summarization framework for efficient management of remote sensing data generated by wireless capsule sensors. (United States)

    Mehmood, Irfan; Sajjad, Muhammad; Baik, Sung Wook


    Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) has great advantages over traditional endoscopy because it is portable and easy to use, especially in remote monitoring health-services. However, during the WCE process, the large amount of captured video data demands a significant deal of computation to analyze and retrieve informative video frames. In order to facilitate efficient WCE data collection and browsing task, we present a resource- and bandwidth-aware WCE video summarization framework that extracts the representative keyframes of the WCE video contents by removing redundant and non-informative frames. For redundancy elimination, we use Jeffrey-divergence between color histograms and inter-frame Boolean series-based correlation of color channels. To remove non-informative frames, multi-fractal texture features are extracted to assist the classification using an ensemble-based classifier. Owing to the limited WCE resources, it is impossible for the WCE system to perform computationally intensive video summarization tasks. To resolve computational challenges, mobile-cloud architecture is incorporated, which provides resizable computing capacities by adaptively offloading video summarization tasks between the client and the cloud server. The qualitative and quantitative results are encouraging and show that the proposed framework saves information transmission cost and bandwidth, as well as the valuable time of data analysts in browsing remote sensing data.

  4. Power Efficiency Improvements through Peak-to-Average Power Ratio Reduction and Power Amplifier Linearization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhou G Tong


    Full Text Available Many modern communication signal formats, such as orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM and code-division multiple access (CDMA, have high peak-to-average power ratios (PARs. A signal with a high PAR not only is vulnerable in the presence of nonlinear components such as power amplifiers (PAs, but also leads to low transmission power efficiency. Selected mapping (SLM and clipping are well-known PAR reduction techniques. We propose to combine SLM with threshold clipping and digital baseband predistortion to improve the overall efficiency of the transmission system. Testbed experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

  5. The Simulation and Study of the Operating System Efficiency Improvement of a Container Terminal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Di


    Full Text Available With the rapid expansion of Chinese container terminal throughput, each container terminal increasingly pays attention to the operational efficiency of storage yard. In this paper, aim at the problem of excessive containers relocation assignments to establish the slotting optimization allocation model, and verify the validity of the model by using Matlab; Using tandem queuing network modeling to build model of the container terminal operating system,and simulate the container terminal logistics system by Witness. It can provide a reference for efficiency improvement of the container terminal operating system.

  6. Determination of hexabromocyclododecane diastereoisomers in Sargassum fusiforme and comparison of the extraction efficiency of ultrasonication, microwave-assisted extraction, Soxhlet extraction and pressurised liquid extraction. (United States)

    Han, Chao; Chen, Xiaomei; Xie, Wen; Zhu, Zhenou; Liu, Cuiping; Chen, Fan; Shen, Yan


    The concentrations of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCD) in Sargassum fusiforme, the common Chinese edible seaweed, were investigated by LC-MS/MS. For the recovery of HBCD, the efficiency levels of ultrasonic-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, Soxhlet extraction and pressurised liquid extraction were compared under different conditions. Pressurised liquid extraction and ultrasonic-assisted extraction resulted in complete extraction of HBCD (92.7-102.5% recovery). Microwave-assisted extraction and Soxhlet extraction, on the other hand, offered relatively low extraction recoveries (82.1-90.6%). The instrumental LODs on columns in this study were 1.0, 0.3 and 0.7 ng/g for α-HBCD, β-HBCD and γ-HBCD, respectively. Because of its accuracy, this straightforward method is particularly suitable for routine HBCD analysis.

  7. Theoretical analysis of improved efficiency of silicon-wafer solar cells with textured nanotriangular grating structure (United States)

    Zhang, Yaoju; Zheng, Jun; Zhao, Xuesong; Ruan, Xiukai; Cui, Guihua; Zhu, Haiyong; Dai, Yuxing


    A practical model of crystalline silicon-wafer solar cells is proposed in order to enhance the light absorption and improve the conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells. In the model, the front surface of the silicon photovoltaic film is designed to be a textured-triangular-grating (TTG) structure, and the ITO contact film and the antireflection coating (ARC) of glass are coated on the TTG surface of silicon solar cells. The optical absorption spectrum of solar cells are simulated by applying the finite difference time domain method. Electrical parameters of the solar cells are calculated using two models with and without carrier loss. The effect of structure parameters on the performance of the TTG cell is discussed in detail. It is found that the thickness (tg) of the ARC, period (p) of grating, and base angle (θ) of triangle have a crucial influence on the conversion efficiency. The optimal structure of the TTG cell is designed. The TTG solar cell can produce higher efficiency in a wide range of solar incident angle and the average efficiency of the optimal TTG cell over 7:30-16:30 time of day is 8% higher than that of the optimal plane solar cell. In addition, the study shows that the bulk recombination of carriers has an influence on the conversion efficiency of the cell, the conversion efficiency of the actual solar cell with carrier recombination is reduced by 20.0% of the ideal cell without carrier recombination.

  8. An Analysis of Sources of Technological Change in Efficiency Improvement of Fluorescent Lamp Systems (United States)

    Imanaka, Takeo

    In Japan, energy efficient fluorescent lamp systems which use “rare-earth phosphors” and “electronic ballasts” have shown rapid diffusion since 1990s. This report investigated sources of technological change in the efficiency improvement of fluorescent lamp systems: (i) Fluorescent lamp and luminaires have been under steady technological development for getting more energy efficient lighting and the concepts to achieve high efficiency had been found in such activities; however, it took long time until they realized and become widely used; (ii) Electronic ballasts and rare-earth phosphors add fluorescent lamp systems not only energy efficiency but also various values such as compactness, lightweight, higher output, and better color rendering properties, which have also been expected and have induced research and development (R&D) (iii) Affordable electronic ballasts are realized by the new technology “power MOSFET” which is based on IC technologies and has been developed for large markets of information and communication technologies and mobile devices; and (iv) Rare-earth phosphors became available after rare-earth industries developed for the purpose of supplying rare-earth phosphors for color television. In terms of sources of technological change, (i) corresponds to “R&D” aiming at the particular purpose i.e. energy efficiency in this case, on the other hand, (ii), (iii), and (iv) correspond to “spillovers” from activities aiming at other purposes. This case exhibits an actual example in which “spillovers” were the critical sources of technological change in energy technology.

  9. Harnessing the genetics of the modern dairy cow to continue improvements in feed efficiency. (United States)

    VandeHaar, M J; Armentano, L E; Weigel, K; Spurlock, D M; Tempelman, R J; Veerkamp, R


    Feed efficiency, as defined by the fraction of feed energy or dry matter captured in products, has more than doubled for the US dairy industry in the past 100 yr. This increased feed efficiency was the result of increased milk production per cow achieved through genetic selection, nutrition, and management with the desired goal being greater profitability. With increased milk production per cow, more feed is consumed per cow, but a greater portion of the feed is partitioned toward milk instead of maintenance and body growth. This dilution of maintenance has been the overwhelming driver of enhanced feed efficiency in the past, but its effect diminishes with each successive increment in production relative to body size and therefore will be less important in the future. Instead, we must also focus on new ways to enhance digestive and metabolic efficiency. One way to examine variation in efficiency among animals is residual feed intake (RFI), a measure of efficiency that is independent of the dilution of maintenance. Cows that convert feed gross energy to net energy more efficiently or have lower maintenance requirements than expected based on body weight use less feed than expected and thus have negative RFI. Cows with low RFI likely digest and metabolize nutrients more efficiently and should have overall greater efficiency and profitability if they are also healthy, fertile, and produce at a high multiple of maintenance. Genomic technologies will help to identify these animals for selection programs. Nutrition and management also will continue to play a major role in farm-level feed efficiency. Management practices such as grouping and total mixed ration feeding have improved rumen function and therefore efficiency, but they have also decreased our attention on individual cow needs. Nutritional grouping is key to helping each cow reach its genetic potential. Perhaps new computer-driven technologies, combined with genomics, will enable us to optimize management for

  10. The Impact of Computer-Assisted Writing on Improving Writing Scores for Urban Eighth-Grade Students (United States)

    Williams-Butler, LaTilya


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact standards-based aligned computer-assisted writing instruction had on improving writing scores for eighth-grade students that attend an urban middle school. The researcher wanted to remedy the problem of low writing achievement of eighth-grade students and determine if writing across the…

  11. Improved Resolution Optical Time Stretch Imaging Based on High Efficiency In-Fiber Diffraction. (United States)

    Wang, Guoqing; Yan, Zhijun; Yang, Lei; Zhang, Lin; Wang, Chao


    Most overlooked challenges in ultrafast optical time stretch imaging (OTSI) are sacrificed spatial resolution and higher optical loss. These challenges are originated from optical diffraction devices used in OTSI, which encode image into spectra of ultrashort optical pulses. Conventional free-space diffraction gratings, as widely used in existing OTSI systems, suffer from several inherent drawbacks: limited diffraction efficiency in a non-Littrow configuration due to inherent zeroth-order reflection, high coupling loss between free-space gratings and optical fibers, bulky footprint, and more importantly, sacrificed imaging resolution due to non-full-aperture illumination for individual wavelengths. Here we report resolution-improved and diffraction-efficient OTSI using in-fiber diffraction for the first time to our knowledge. The key to overcome the existing challenges is a 45° tilted fiber grating (TFG), which serves as a compact in-fiber diffraction device offering improved diffraction efficiency (up to 97%), inherent compatibility with optical fibers, and improved imaging resolution owning to almost full-aperture illumination for all illumination wavelengths. 50 million frames per second imaging of fast moving object at 46 m/s with improved imaging resolution has been demonstrated. This conceptually new in-fiber diffraction design opens the way towards cost-effective, compact and high-resolution OTSI systems for image-based high-throughput detection and measurement.

  12. Quality initiatives: lean approach to improving performance and efficiency in a radiology department. (United States)

    Kruskal, Jonathan B; Reedy, Allen; Pascal, Laurie; Rosen, Max P; Boiselle, Phillip M


    Many hospital radiology departments are adopting "lean" methods developed in automobile manufacturing to improve operational efficiency, eliminate waste, and optimize the value of their services. The lean approach, which emphasizes process analysis, has particular relevance to radiology departments, which depend on a smooth flow of patients and uninterrupted equipment function for efficient operation. However, the application of lean methods to isolated problems is not likely to improve overall efficiency or to produce a sustained improvement. Instead, the authors recommend a gradual but continuous and comprehensive "lean transformation" of work philosophy and workplace culture. Fundamental principles that must consistently be put into action to achieve such a transformation include equal involvement of and equal respect for all staff members, elimination of waste, standardization of work processes, improvement of flow in all processes, use of visual cues to communicate and inform, and use of specific tools to perform targeted data collection and analysis and to implement and guide change. Many categories of lean tools are available to facilitate these tasks: value stream mapping for visualizing the current state of a process and identifying activities that add no value; root cause analysis for determining the fundamental cause of a problem; team charters for planning, guiding, and communicating about change in a specific process; management dashboards for monitoring real-time developments; and a balanced scorecard for strategic oversight and planning in the areas of finance, customer service, internal operations, and staff development. © RSNA, 2012.

  13. Analysis of downshift’s improvement to energy efficiency of an electric vehicle during regenerative braking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Liang; Li, Xujian; Wang, Xiangyu; Song, Jian; He, Kai; Li, Chenfeng


    Highlights: • Downshift is effective in improving the energy efficiency of electric vehicles. • Energy improvement of downshift varies with vehicle speed and brake strength. • The designed nonlinear sliding mode observer is accurate in estimating bake torque. • The proposed resembling PWM method is practical to regulate hydraulic pressure. • The effect of downshift on braking safety and comfort can be restrained by control. - Abstract: Downshift during regenerative braking helps to improve the energy efficiency of electric vehicles. Two main problems are involved in the downshift process. One is the determination of optimal downshift point, and the other is the cooperative control of regenerative braking and hydraulic braking. In order to achieve a systemic solution to these problems, a hierarchical control strategy is brought forward for an electric vehicle with a two-speed automated mechanical transmission. For the upper controller, an off-line calculation and on-line look-up table method is adopted to obtain the optimal downshift point, and a series regenerative braking distribution strategy is designed. For the medium controller, a nonlinear sliding mode observer is designed to obtain the actual hydraulic brake torque. For the lower controller, cooperative control of regenerative braking and hydraulic braking is given to ensure brake safety during downshift process, and a resembling pulse width modulation method is proposed to regulated the hydraulic brake torque. Simulation results and hardware-in-loop test show that the proposed algorithm is effective in improving the energy efficiency of electric vehicles.

  14. Case Studies of Successful Assistance in Urban School Improvement Programs. I. The Teacher Growth Program. (United States)

    Piety-Jacobs, Sharon R.

    As part of a research project on "Patterns of Successful Assistance in Urban School Programs," this paper presents a case study of an assister's work in a Teacher Growth Program (TGP) at an elementary school in Staten Island, New York. The school has an experienced teaching staff, a supportive principal, a cross-sectional student…

  15. Course Evaluation Matters: Improving Students' Learning Experiences with a Peer-Assisted Teaching Programme (United States)

    Carbone, Angela; Ross, Bella; Phelan, Liam; Lindsay, Katherine; Drew, Steve; Stoney, Sue; Cottman, Caroline


    In the rapidly changing global higher education sector, greater attention is being paid to the quality of university teaching. However, academics have traditionally not received formal teacher training. The peer-assisted teaching programme reported on in this paper provides a structured yet flexible approach for peers to assist each other in…

  16. Feeding Supplementation And Radioimmunoassay (RIA) Technique For The Improvement Of artificial Insemination (AI) Efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tjiptosumirat, Totti; Supandi, Dadang; Firsoni


    Recent research activities have showed that RIA techniques may be use as a tool in the improvement of dairy cattle AI in . Cisurupan district, Garut. Although already indicate in the previous research, with a small number of dairy cattle tested, a more in depth study on the utilization of RIA for the improvement of AI efficiency is still required. It is indicated from the previous experiment results that administration of feeding supplementation might improved the efficiency of reproductive performance of dairy cattle. The current Study is a continuation from the previous study with a larger number of dairy cattle and wider area covered. The experiment is aimed to monitor the impact of feeding supplementation on the reproductive performance of dairy cattle using Artificial Insemination Database Application (AIDA) and RIA technique. Result from this study indicated that feeding supplementation improved conception rate between pre-supplemented and post-supplemented dairy cattle; 25% vs 40%, respectively, therefore improve ratio of Service per Conception of 4.0 vs 2.3, respectively for pre-supplemented and post-supplemented dairy cattle. Result of this experiment also showed that RIA might be use as an effective tool in monitoring the early failure of AI compared to if just relying on the conventional method, the rectal palpation. However, due to an increase in milk production as a result of feeding supplementation, tanners tend to lengthen the lactation period from 10.20 ± 0.5 months to 11.8 ± 0.6 months, respectively in dairy cattle pre-supplemented and post-supplemented. It can be conclude from this study that supplementation feeding improve reproductive performance. However, even AIDA and RIA may be of effective tool in monitoring the reproductive performance of dairy cattle, as an holistic approach for an improvement dairy farm management is still required due to other factors play important role for AI efficiency

  17. Improving operating room efficiency in academic children's hospital using Lean Six Sigma methodology. (United States)

    Tagge, Edward P; Thirumoorthi, Arul S; Lenart, John; Garberoglio, Carlos; Mitchell, Kenneth W


    Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a process improvement methodology that utilizes a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically identifying root causes of problems. Our objective was to determine whether application of LSS could improve efficiency when applied simultaneously to all services of an academic children's hospital. In our tertiary academic medical center, a multidisciplinary committee was formed, and the entire perioperative process was mapped, using fishbone diagrams, Pareto analysis, and other process improvement tools. Results for Children's Hospital scheduled main operating room (OR) cases were analyzed, where the surgical attending followed themselves. Six hundred twelve cases were included in the seven Children's Hospital operating rooms (OR) over a 6-month period. Turnover Time (interval between patient OR departure and arrival of the subsequent patient) decreased from a median 41min in the baseline period to 32min in the intervention period (p<0.0001). Turnaround Time (interval between surgical dressing application and subsequent surgical incision) decreased from a median 81.5min in the baseline period to 71min in the intervention period (p<0.0001). These results demonstrate that a coordinated multidisciplinary process improvement redesign can significantly improve efficiency in an academic Children's Hospital without preselecting specific services, removing surgical residents, or incorporating new personnel or technology. Prospective comparative study, Level II. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Reasoning Exercises in Assisted Living: a cluster randomized trial to improve reasoning and everyday problem solving (United States)

    Williams, Kristine; Herman, Ruth; Bontempo, Daniel


    Purpose of the study Assisted living (AL) residents are at risk for cognitive and functional declines that eventually reduce their ability to care for themselves, thereby triggering nursing home placement. In developing a method to slow this decline, the efficacy of Reasoning Exercises in Assisted Living (REAL), a cognitive training intervention that teaches everyday reasoning and problem-solving skills to AL residents, was tested. Design and methods At thirteen randomized Midwestern facilities, AL residents whose Mini Mental State Examination scores ranged from 19–29 either were trained in REAL or a vitamin education attention control program or received no treatment at all. For 3 weeks, treated groups received personal training in their respective programs. Results Scores on the Every Day Problems Test for Cognitively Challenged Elders (EPCCE) and on the Direct Assessment of Functional Status (DAFS) showed significant increases only for the REAL group. For EPCCE, change from baseline immediately postintervention was +3.10 (P<0.01), and there was significant retention at the 3-month follow-up (d=2.71; P<0.01). For DAFS, change from baseline immediately postintervention was +3.52 (P<0.001), although retention was not as strong. Neither the attention nor the no-treatment control groups had significant gains immediately postintervention or at follow-up assessments. Post hoc across-group comparison of baseline change also highlights the benefits of REAL training. For EPCCE, the magnitude of gain was significantly larger in the REAL group versus the no-treatment control group immediately postintervention (d=3.82; P<0.01) and at the 3-month follow-up (d=3.80; P<0.01). For DAFS, gain magnitude immediately postintervention for REAL was significantly greater compared with in the attention control group (d=4.73; P<0.01). Implications REAL improves skills in everyday problem solving, which may allow AL residents to maintain self-care and extend AL residency. This benefit

  19. Thermodynamic analysis questions claims of improved cardiac efficiency by dietary fish oil (United States)

    Goo, Eden; Chapman, Brian; Hickey, Anthony J.R.


    Studies in the literature describe the ability of dietary supplementation by omega-3 fish oil to increase the pumping efficiency of the left ventricle. Here we attempt to reconcile such studies with our own null results. We undertake a quantitative analysis of the improvement that could be expected theoretically, subject to physiological constraints, by posing the following question: By how much could efficiency be expected to increase if inefficiencies could be eliminated? Our approach utilizes thermodynamic analyses to investigate the contributions, both singly and collectively, of the major components of cardiac energetics to total cardiac efficiency. We conclude that it is unlikely that fish oils could achieve the required diminution of inefficiencies without greatly compromising cardiac performance. PMID:27574288

  20. Case Study Analysing Potentials to Improve Material Efficiency in Manufacturing Supply Chains, Considering Circular Economy Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja T. Braun


    Full Text Available In order to decouple economic growth from global material consumption it is necessary to implement material efficiency strategies at the level of single enterprises and their supply chains, and to implement circular economy aspects. Manufacturing firms face multiple implementation challenges like cost limitations, competition, innovation and stakeholder pressure, and supplier and customer relationships, among others. Taking as an example a case of a medium-sized manufacturing company, opportunities to realise material efficiency improvements within the company borders—on the supply chain and by using circular economy measures—are assessed. Deterministic calculations and simulations, performed for the supply chain of this company, show that measures to increase material efficiency in the supply chain are important. However, they need to be complemented by efforts to return waste and used products to the economic cycle, which requires rethinking the traditional linear economic system.