Open Access Policy Article

Flaws in the Scientific Method and Their Relevance for Energy Research: A Cautionary Tale

Thomas J. Burns, Tom W. Boyd

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2018/v1i39814

The Aim of the Paper is to explore how scientific methods, while strong in principle, can have serious flaws in practice. In focusing on circumscribed aspects of an overall system, science is able to bring a greater level of control over what is under its gaze.  Yet imposing order on some aspect of a system increases entropy in other parts of that system. Because of the combination of what is at stake and the secrecy of many of its aspects, this is of particular concern with Energy Research.

Using Methods that flow from the interface of the disciplines of Sociology and Philosophy, the paper considers the most pressing problems and suggests ways of addressing them. The Sociological perspective involves observation and analysis of science as it engages and is impacted by society. The philosophical approach is brought into play in the interest of considering science as a social phenomenon. The disciplines converge around a phenomenological approach to examining science, both as a world view and as a social enterprise.  In the process, the article raises implicit ethical questions.

Results of the analysis offer a series of challenges and invitations to the scientific community, encouraging scientists to lead the way in reexamining their methods and how they relate to and impact both society and ecology. Typically, the most profoundly affected parts are those most closely connected with the elements under study and manipulation, and yet defined out of the system.  Scientific paradigms would be more viable if a metavariable were incorporated into them—one informed by where the processes in question stand within the scope of history and the trajectory of life. The article also underscores the fact that science itself is a social enterprise and, as such, bears questioning by the society of which it is part. With appreciation and respect for what discoveries science has made thus far, the paper makes the case that it is time to examine the inertia of scientific methods as they have come to be honed by practice over the last several centuries.

Open Access Original Research Article

Simulation of Convection Flow and Sensitivity Analysis of Model Parameters of Evacuated Glass Tube Solar Water Heater

K. D. N. Kumari, J. K. Wijerathna

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2018/v1i39826

The water-in-glass evacuated collectors are made up of parallel circular tubes. They are installed with some inclination angle to the horizontal. The thermal performance of water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heater heavily depends on weather conditions. The analysis of the sensitivity of the model parameter and weather conditions on heat transfer process is extremely important to install a solar water heater system in order to achieve its maximum efficiency. The evaluation of the sensitivity of the system parameters is done by considering one parameter after another while keeping the remaining fixed. Further to the analysis of the heat transfer process, the average heat transfer coefficient and the average natural circulation flow rate are calculated.

The fluid flow is assumed to be unsteady, two-dimensional, laminar and incompressible. The heat and fluid flow are analyzed using the Navier-Stokes equations and temperature equation for an incompressible fluid, subject to density variation with temperature. The discretization of the governing equations is done by Finite Volume Method (FVM). The Open FOAM computational fluid dynamic software with PISO-SIMPLE algorithm is used for the simulation.

The results show that the heat transfer process is improved when there is a moderate level inclination angle. Further, it is found that when the ratio of tube length to diameter is high, the heat transfer process is improved. The solar radiation input highly affects the performance of a solar water heater. The cold-water inlet temperature does not directly affect the buoyancy induced flow, but it influences the temperature gain.

The angle of the solar rays vary within the daytime, however it does not affect the performance of the solar water heater since an evacuated-tube has a circular absorbing surface, it passively tracks the sun throughout the day. 

These results recommend using moderate level tube inclination angle and high  ratio to improve the performance of a solar water heater.

Open Access Original Research Article

A New Synchronization Method of Double Fed Induction Generator Wind Turbines to the Grid

Majid Nayeripour, Mohammadmehdi Mansouri, Eberhard Waffenschmidt

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2018/v1i39831

Meeting grid code requirement creates an obligation to smart WTs disconnection following some electrical or mechanical events. Increasing the penetration level of wind turbines (WTs) in different voltage levels of the network have a major effect on this condition. In this regard, soft and rapid synchronization control of doubly fed induction generator (DFIG) to reduce the dynamic and transient effects of DFIG on a smart grid is very important. This paper gives a review on WTs power generation and a basic requirement to operate in a stable manner in connection to the network at first. After that, different startup and synchronization methods will be described. Then, a new synchronization method for grid connection of DFIG driven by WT is proposed. In this method, the rotor side converter is synchronized with the induced voltage at the rotor winding of DFIG while the stator windings have been connected to the grid and the rotor accelerates normally with the wind torque. This startup process is soft and the synchronization is carried out between two low voltages with very low frequency and may overcome some difficulties and limitations of previous methods since it uses the rotor side converter as power electronics switches instead of the mechanical circuit breaker at stator side and causes the synchronization to be more accurate and controllable. The proposed method is evaluated with EMTDC/PSCAD simulation to show the performance of soft starting synchronization with lower electrical transients in comparison with traditional methods.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Investigation of Electricity Power Fluctuations and Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises in Dekina, Kogi State

Yakubu Zakariya Nurudeen, Akeem Tunde Nafiu, Abubakar Ibrahim Jibo

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2018/v1i39840

SME owners face the problem of unreliable power supply in their routine business operations in Dekina Local government of Kogi State. Capacity installed is not utilized and this affects their performances and economic contribution. This study investigates the influence of unreliable power supply on economic contribution and performance of SMEs in Dekina Local government of Kogi State. The study adopted a survey research design. Finding shows that unreliable electricity power supply has caused increased operation cost and untimely death for SMEs in Dekina Local government of Kogi State. Furthermore, finding shows that significant differences exist between SMEs that utilized installed capacity and those that do not utilized installed capacity in terms of operation cost, productivity, competitive edge, market share, contribution to poverty and unemployment reduction. It was concluded that SMEs that utilized installed capacity witness reduced operation cost, increased productivity, higher competitive edge, larger market share, a greater contribution to poverty and unemployment reduction. The study, therefore, recommends that the government and other economic stakeholders should device alternative reliable power supply to facilitate the economic contribution and performance of SMEs in Dekina Local government of Kogi State.

Open Access Original Research Article

Investigation on Statistical Sizing Schemes for Hybrid Energy Storage Systems

Chao-Tsung Ma, Chin-Lung Hsieh

Journal of Energy Research and Reviews, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/jenrr/2018/v1i39847

This paper explores the power and capacity planning problems in hybrid energy storage systems (HESS) used in grid-connected solar/wind power systems using statistical analysis and numerical methods. A proper HESS operation and power management system allows for real-time power distribution control with the required system dynamic response and the characteristics of the internal energy storage devices. The goal of instantaneous power allocation of HESS is to effectively manage the state of charge (SOC), power level, and operating conditions of its internal energy storage devices to achieve optimal efficiency and capacity optimisation. The HESS power and capacity planning method discussed in this paper can be used in most HESS planning cases on a given set of system operating conditions. In order to present the feasibility of the proposed method, the HESS application case discussed in this paper aims to smooth the power fluctuation of wind and solar power generations and simultaneously ensure the specified dispatching power level and quality. In this paper, HESS cases analysis and numerical comparison studies are carried out with a typical solar/wind power generation system corresponding to two different power dispatching levels.