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Abstracts of Accepted Articles for June 2013

CIVIL ENGINEERING

 

The Potential for Reusing Grey Water and its Generation Rates for Sustainable Potable Water Security in Kuwait
 RAWA AL-JARALLAH
Civil Engineering Department, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait
E-mail:
rawa.aljarallah@ku.edu.kw

This study was conducted to achieve the following objectives: (1) to investigate the water consumption patterns of Kuwaiti households, (2) to determine the per use water consumption rate for plumbing fixtures and their frequency of daily use and (3) to estimate the amount of  grey water generated per person per day to explore the potential for reusing  grey water in Kuwait. To achieve these objectives, a preliminary study was conducted to determine the per use water consumption rate for each plumbing fixture. An intensive study was then conducted using data from 53 households in different districts in Kuwait. The average daily freshwater consumption rate per person was found to be 283 L, half of which was converted to  grey water. Reuse of  grey water could reduce the freshwater consumption and hence wastewater treatment by 72.73 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD), which could lead to a  savings of KD 87.6 (US $318.55) million from the annual freshwater production budget and between KD 15.93 (US $57.92) and KD 27.08 (US $98.46) million from the annual wastewater treatment budget.

 

Keywords: grey water, Kuwait, reuse


Forecasting air travel demand of Kuwait: A comparison study by using regression vs. artificial intelligence
FAHAD AL-RUKAIBIa, AND NAYEF AL-MUTAIRIb
aDepartment of Civil Engineering, Kuwait University, PO Box 5969, Safat, Kuwait, 13060.   Fax: (965) 481-7524;   E-mail: 
f.alrukaibi@ku.edu.kw;Corresponding Author.
bDepartment of Civil Engineering, Kuwait University, PO Box 5969, Safat, Kuwait, 13060.

 

Air traffic demand is an important factor in the planning, design and construction of airport facilities. Although population, national income, import, export and the numerical strength of the labor force have rapidly increased in the last ten years in Kuwait; an analysis of the current impact of these factors on air traffic demand is lacking in literature.

 The main objectives of this study were to (a) determine the main factors that affect air traffic demand in Kuwait; (b) calibrate a regression model regressing air demand and the causal factors, (c) to apply artificial intelligence software (NeuroShell) as a technique for forecasting air travel demand, and (d) compare the regression and artificial intelligence model results, and select the best models to forecast air travel demand for Kuwait.

 Findings have indicated that national income and labor force were the main factors affecting air travel demand in Kuwait.  The developed models all predicted the demand for air travel with high accuracy. The (NeuroShell) models were selected as the choice of forecasting model for Kuwait due to their better "goodness of fit" over other regression models.

 

Keywords: Air travel; forecasting; regression; neural networks; Kuwait.


Weight Minimization of Tubular Dome Structures by a Particle Swarm Methodology
TalasliogluTugrul
OsmaniyeKorkut Ata University Department of Civil Engineering, 8000, Osmaniye/Turkey
talaslioglu@cu.edu.tr,
ttalaslioglu@osmaniye.edu.tr

The weight of tubular steel dome structures is minimized by utilizing a traditional particle swarm optimization (PSO)approach.Since an extensive welding process is utilized to connect the members of dome structures, joint strengths-related requirements are included into design constraints. The design constrainsproposed to check both member and joint-related strengthsare taken from the provisions of American Petroleum Institute (API)specification.In order to improve the search capacity of PSO, the exploitingability of PSO is enhanced thereby hybridizing PSOwith a neural network. The hybridized PSO (HPSO)is applied to optimize the designs oftwo benchmark domeswith 354and 756 members along with a dome structure, shape, topology and size of which are generated by an automatic dome generating tool.The computational efficiencies of HPSO and PSO are evaluated considering the convergence degrees of optimal designations obtained.Thus, it is demonstrated that i)although HPSO achieves to obtain the optimal designations,the fixed geometrical configurations of domes with 354 and 756 members prevents it to explore an optimal designation thatsatisfiesthe joint strength-related design constraints,ii) the automatic dome generation tool, which has a capability of using mixed (continuous and integer) design variables, plays an important role in generating the appropriate geometrical dome configurations without any violation of the member and joint strength-related design constraints. Consequently, inclusion of the joint strength-related design constraints into conceptual design stage leads to both a new looks at the optimization problems of tubular steel structuresand an increase in the design reliability of dome structures.

 

Keywords: Tubular Dome, API, Particle Swarm, Optimization


 
  ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

 

 

An Algorithm for Reliability Bounds Evaluation for Power Distribution System
MOHAMMAD AL-MUHAINI*, GERALD T. HEYDT**
*,** Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA, E-mail: *
mohammad.almuhaini@asu.edu, ** heydt@asu.edu

Evaluating the reliability of a distribution network is basically calculating the capability of each load to “communicate” successfully with one or more sources. The connection of a future distribution network may be neither series nor parallel, and analyzing such a network is a complicated and time-consuming task. Because of the large number of cases to be analyzed, it is important to determine network reliability quickly, especially in network planning and modification.
A technical approach for evaluating the reliability of a networked distribution system consistently is described. The proposed method is based on the identification of circuit minimal tie sets using the concept of Petri nets.
Prime number encoding and unique prime factorization are applied to classify the remaining combinations as tie sets, cut sets, or minimal cut sets. The minimal cut sets are used to calculate the upper and lower bounds of the load and system reliability indices. Examples are shown to illustrate the proposed method.
A well-known test bed is used to illustrate the analysis (the Roy Billinton Test System (RBTS)).

 

Keywords — Petri nets; power distribution engineering; power system reliability; prime numbers; smart grids.


Selecting best mother wavelets for curvelet transform based image de-noising
RASHID HUSSAIN* AND ABDUL REHMAN MEMON**
* Assoc. Prof., Fac. of Engg. Sci. and Tech., Hamdard Univ., Karachi 74600, Pakistan. rashid.hussain@hamdard.edu.pk
** Dean, Fac. of Engg. Science and Tech., Hamdard Univ., Karachi 74600, Pakistan.

Improving post-processing quality of medical images has been an active field of research for many years. It has been shown that curvelet transforms are plausible candidates for better image reconstruction. However selecting best mother wavelets for curvelet transform based image de-noising is one of the challenging tasks. In this study, first generation curvelet transform technique has been revisited for selecting best mother wavelets for image de-noising. Results showed that the bi-orthogonal function bior5.5 performed better for most of the noise suppression cases. By the virtue of linear phase property, bi-orthogonal functions are considered to be most suitable for image reconstruction. Based on the study, it is proposed that the selection of right Mother Wavelet for de-noising improves the quality of post-processed images, consequently making it possible to improve the accuracy of diagnostic imaging.

 

Keywords: De-noising; First Generation Curvelet Transform; Orthogonality; Symmetry.


CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

 

 

Linear viscoelasticity and thermal degradation of hybrid nanocomposites: isotactic polypropylene reinforced with carbon nanofibres
A.D. Drozdov, A. Al-Mulla1, D.A. Drozdov and R.K. Gupta
Department of Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, USA
1Department of Chemical Engineering, Kuwait University, Kuwait
1e-mail:
a.almulla1@ku.edu.kw

Observations are reported in isothermal torsional oscillation tests on melts of isotactic polypropylene reinforced with carbon nanofibres. Prior to rheological tests, specimens were annealed at various temperatures ranging from Ta = 190 to 310 oC for various amounts of time (from 15 to 120 min). Degradation of the melts driven by thermal treatment was observed as a pronounced reduction in their molecular weights. The ki-netics of thermal degradation is modelled within the homogenization concept. A hybrid nanocomposite is treated as an equivalent network of chains with attached side-groups. Degradation of the network is thought of as a combination of two processes: (i) binary scission of chains, and (ii) detachment of side-groups from the backbone and their subsequent annihilation. An integro-differential equation is developed for the concentration of chains with various lengths of backbone and various amounts of side groups per segment, and its explicit solution is derived. With reference to the concept of transient networks, constitutive equations are developed for the viscoelastic behavior of nanocomposite melts. A melt is treated as an equivalent network of strands bridged by junctions. The time-dependent re¬sponse of the network is modelled as separation of active strands from and merging of dangling strands with temporary nodes. The stress-strain relations involve three ad¬justable parameters that are determined by matching the dependencies of storage and loss moduli on frequency of oscillations. The study focuses on the effect of molecular weight of the host matrix on the material constants in the constitutive equations.

Keywords: Isotactic polypropylene, Carbon nanofibres, Viscoelasticity, Thermal degrada¬tion, Molecular weight


 

 

 

Kinetic Mechanism of Transesterification of vegetable Oil with Supercritical Methanol for Biodiesel Production
R. Alenezi*, B. Al-Anzi**
*Assis. Prof., Dept. of Chem. Eng., College of Technological Studies, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training,
PO. Box 42325, Shuwaikh 70654, Kuwait. Email: * ra.alenezi@paaet.edu.kw, Fax: +965 24811568
** Assis. Prof., Dept. of Env.Tech. Manag., College for Women, Kuwait University.

The production of biofeul has recently become attractive as an alternative resource for carbon-containing fuels (fossil fuel). One of the methods to produce boifuel is the use of supercritical methanol for biodiesel production. It has recently been proven to be a successful medium for carrying out transesterification reactions. The transesterification products of vegetable oil are fatty acid ester (biodiesel) and glycerol. The most commonly used first order kinetics model has been compared with simultaneous second order kinetics model using experimental data of transesterification of rapeseed oil. The rate constants for the two models have been numerically evaluated solving ordinary nonlinear differential equations. The transesterification data characterized with 42 : 1 molar ratio of methanol to rapeseed oil were analysed for the reaction temperatures range from 270 to 380 oC under supercritical conditions. The reaction mechanism of non-catalytic transesterification of vegetable oils with supercritical methanol is explained by a series of different reaction steps to produce biodiesel. The second order kinetic model has shown the best fit to the experimental data and provided deep insight into the mechanism of the reaction.

 

Keywords: transesterification, supercritical, reaction kinetics, model, biodiesel.


PETROLEUM ENGINEERING

 

 Easy Technique for Calculating Productivity Index of Horizontal Wells

 JALAL F. OWAYED*, SALAM AL-RBEAWI** AND DJEBBAR TIAB** * Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait ** University of Oklahoma

 

In recent years, horizontal well technology have evolved as the more favorable option in the state of Kuwait over the conventional vertical and deviated wells. Several models have been published in the literature to estimate the productivity index of horizontal wells. Generally, all of these models require two factors which are the shape and pseudo-skin factors.  Also, most of these models require parameters that are not always easy to determine.
This study presents easy and quick technique for calculating the productivity index of a horizontal well. The new technique has been established based on the instantaneous source solutions for the pressure response of a horizontal well. The pseudo-steady state flow is expected to develop because the horizontal well is assumed to be acting in finite reservoirs. Two parameters were derived and their influences on the productivity index were investigated. The first one is the pseudo-skin factor due to asymmetry of a horizontal well. The second one is the shape factor group.
The study emphasizes that the productivity index for horizontal wells are strongly affected by the two parameters: the shape factor group and the pseudo-skin factor. Shape factor group is mainly affected by the drainage area configuration while pseudo-skin factor is mainly affected by vertical penetration. The study confirms that the productivity index is affected by the penetration ratio in the horizontal plane and reservoir geometry. In addition, square-shaped reservoir produces at maximum productivity index while channel-shaped reservoir produces at minimum productivity index. The study finds that wellbore eccentricity (wellbore location in the horizontal plane) does not affect the pseudo-skin factor and vertical penetration ratio does not affect the shape factor group. The results obtained from the new technique have been compared with the results from Babu-Odeh model and Economides model. Numerical examples will be included in the paper.

 

Keywords: Productivity index; horizontal well; pseudo-skin factor; shape factor group; wellbore eccentricity


MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

 

 An experimental analysis of machining characteristics and parametric optimization for the WEDM of Al /ZrO2(p) -PRMMC
Sanjeev Kr. Garga,*, Alakesh Mannab, Ajai Jainc
a Research Scholar, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra 136119, Haryana, India.
b Associate Professor, MED, PEC university of Technology, Chandigarh, India.
c Associate Professor, MED, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra 136119, Haryana, India.
Corresponding author E-mail:
sanjeevkrgarg@rediffmail.com

 

This paper presents an experimental investigation of the machining characteristics and the effect of wire electrical discharge machining process parameters during machining of newly developed Al /ZrO2(p) particulate reinforced metal matrix composite (PRMMC). Experiments have been carried out in order to investigate the effects of input parameters such as dielectric conductivity, pulse width, time between pulses, maximum feed rate, servo control mean reference voltage, short pulse time, wire feed rate, wire mechanical tension and dielectric injection pressure on performance measures like spark gap and material removal rate. The optimal setting of parameters has been determined through experiments planned, conducted and analyzed using Taguchi method. L36 mixed orthogonal array (21 38) has been selected to design the experiments. The significant parameters have also been identified and their effect on performance measures has been studied. The results obtained have been validated by conducting the confirmation experiments. The newly developed metal matrix composite can be used in aerospace industries.

Keywords: Material removal rate; Metal Matrix Composite; Spark gap; Taguchi method; Wire-EDM.


Rates of Smoke Leakage through Firestops
Department of Architecture, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, #43, Sec.4, Keelung Rd., Taipei, 10607, Taiwan.
2 Department of Construction Technology, De Lin Institute of Technology, #1,Ln.380, Qingyun Rd., Tucheng Dist, New Taipei City ,23654,Taiwan
3 Department of Construction Technology, Tungnan University, #152, Sec.3, Beishen Rd., Shenkeng Dist., New Taipei City 22202, Taiwan
*Corresponding author. Tel: +886-2-27333141, Fax: +886-2-27376721, E-mail:
d9413005@gmail.com

 

This study examined the smoke leakage control of firestops using various filling materials with different densities and construction methods. Realistic smoke leakage control was investigated using actual-scale through-penetration firestop models installed in a curtain wall and air leakage measurement units. The smoke leakage control of firestops with various linear openings, temperatures, and firestop filling thicknesses was measured. When layers were filled with mineral wool, the leakage volume flow rate at a density of 80 kg/m3 was reduced by about 8%–13% to that at density of 60 kg/m3. Regardless of the density level, filling mineral wool in horizontal layers resulted in a leakage volume flow rate at a moderate temperature (200±20°C) that was 39%–42% of the leakage volume flow rate at room temperature. However, if vertical layers were used, the leakage volume flow rate of the mineral wool at a moderate temperature was about 45%–55% that at room temperature. The results indicate that filling firestops in horizontal layers is more effective than filling them in vertical layers in terms of smoke leakage control. At both room and moderate temperatures, horizontal firestop fillings were able to prevent the spread of smoke.

 

Keywords: Curtain Wall; Firestop; Mineral Wool; Moderate Temperature; Smoke Leakage


Strength Analysis in Piston Crown of the Marine Diesel Engine
JI WU*, SHULIN DUAN, LIDUI WEI, JIN YAN
Marine Engineering College, Dalian Maritime University, 1 Linghai Road. Dalian, 116026, China
*dmuwuji@yahoo.com

 

This paper investigates the thermal strength, mechanical strength, coupled-field strength in the piston crown of MAN Diesel’s 6S50MC-C marine engine. The changes of piston crown structure include increasing the depth of shaker cooling hole and blending edges in cooling oil chamber. The temperature fields, stress and deformation are calculated in different structure. Based on temperature field, thermal strength, mechanical strength and coupled strength are obtained in ANSYS. In original design structure of piston crown, the maximum stress is 694MPa under thermal load, 210MPa under mechanical load and 677MPa under coupled loads. The maximum deformation is 1.06mm under thermal load, 0.156mm under mechanical load and 1.08mm under coupled loads. The strength meets design requirement which the maximum stress is less than the material’s yield strength. With increasing the depth of cooling holes, the maximum temperature, maximum thermal stress and maximum coupled stress are reduced. The results suggest that stress concentration is mainly caused by thermal load. Enhancing cooling and improving structural design are used to reduce destructive effect of thermal load.

Keywords: Coupled Analysis; Mechanical Load; Piston Crown; Strength Analysis; Thermal Load


 
 Analysis and Redesign of Bolster Beam of the Bogie Frame of a Locomotive
Muhammad Abid and Ali Waqas
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, KPK, Pakistan.

 

Locomotives are the back bone of the transportation system in any country. Locomotive mainly consists of engine and control assembly placed on the under-frame which in turn rests on two bogies. Cracks are reported to occur in the bolster beam of the bogie frames in one of the designs of locomotives in service. Cracks are treated by welding and locomotive is resent in operation but cracks appeared again on some other locations beside the welded portion. In order to investigate the reasons for crack initiation; data regarding rail track and its quality, routes and severity of operation and drawings of the locomotive is collected. Finite element analysis is then performed first for the existing design of the locomotive in use to find the reason for the crack. Curvature and small radii are concluded the main reason of crack initiation and propagation under continuous oscillatory lateral movement on straight track and lateral forces during turning. In addition, removal of stiffeners from certain locations concluded ease of manufacturing. Use of friction modifiers is recommended to reduce forces generating cracks. Design optimization is performed using detailed finite element analysis for minimum weight and safe stress against fatigue.

Key words: finite element analysis, redesign, locomotive, bolster beam.  


 

 Efficiency Improvement and Exergy Destruction Reduction by Combining a Power and a Multi-Effect Boiling Desalination Plant
Ammar A. Alsairafi1*, Intesar H. Al-Shehaima1 and Mohammad Darwish2
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait ammar.alsairafi@ku.edu.kw
2Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Qatar Foundation P.O. Box 5825, Doha, Qatar

 

Electric power and desalted seawater demand is increasing in Kuwait mainly due to residential and industrial growth, especially in summer season. In the past six years, Kuwait citizens have been facing the problem of automated power and water disconnection because of the electricity and water production is lower than the consumption. A common idea for resolving such a problem is to build new power plants but this solution is not practical due to environmental issues. Another choice but more engineer challenging approach for resolving this problem is to improve the efficiency and performance of the already existing power plants. Currently, there are six power plants in Kuwait; four of them have both stand-alone gas-turbine and steam-turbine power plants, one is steam power plant and one is gas turbine power plant. Combined power and desalination plant are more attractive in Kuwait since they have higher thermal efficiency than traditional ones and both electric power and process heat (e.g., desalting) can be produced simultaneously. The relatively low C°temperature multi-effect desalination (MED) process (around 75 saturated temperature as the heat source) is thermodynamically the most efficient of all thermal distillation processes (source, and consumes about 2 kWh/m3 pumping energy, i.e., Darwish et al., 2007). In this study, factors affecting the performance of a combined power and MED-desalination plant have been studied. This includes the atmospheric humidity, compressor inlet air temperature, top brine temperature, desalination unit capacity, cooling water temperature, and the number of evaporation stages of the MED unit. A first- and second-law analysis of the proposed system was carried out under several operating conditions. As an example, a 125 MW Siemens V94.2 gas turbine of Al-Zour gas turbine power plant in Kuwait has been selected. It is found that the overall thermal efficiency of the proposed system increases significantly as the desalination unit capacity increases and this  =fC and °th,CC = 55.1% to 69.9% at T1 = 30hincrease can reach 25% (from  0.30) as the capacity increases from 1 to 5 MIGD. The total work generated decreases insignificantly, i.e. the low pressure steam turbine power decreases from 27 MW to 23 MW while the total power output decreases from 208 MW to 204 MW. In addition, as the desalination unit gain ratio increases, the total exergy destruction is reduced, i.e. the desalination unit exergy destruction increases from 12 MW to 15 MW but the total exergy destruction of the cycle decreases from 352 MW to 349 MW. It can be concluded that the low-temperature MED process offers a potential efficient solution to the current Al-Zour power generation plant.

Keywords: Combined cycles; Energetic analysis; Exergy analysis, Heat recovery steam generator – HRSG; Multi-Effect Distillation – MED.


 THERMODYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF HYDROCARBON REFRIGERANTS IN A SUB-COOLING REFRIGERATION SYSTEM
Bukola O. Bolaji1 and Zhongjie Huan2
(1)Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Federal University of Agriculture, PMB. 2240, Abeokuta, Nigeria
(2)Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
E-mails: bolajibo@funaab.edu.ng, bobbolaji2007@yahoo.com

In this study, the performance simulation of some hydrocarbon refrigerants (R290, R600 and R600a) as alternatives to R134a in refrigeration system with sub-cooling is conducted by thermodynamic calculation of performance parameters using the REFPROP software. The results obtained showed that the saturated vapour pressure and temperature characteristic profiles for R600 and R600a are very close to that of R134a. The three hydrocarbon refrigerants exhibited very high refrigerating effect and condenser duty than R134a. The best of these parameters was obtained using R600. The discharge temperatures obtained using R600 and R600a were low, while that of R290 was very much higher. The highest coefficient of performance (COP) and relative capacity index were obtained using R600. Average COPs of R600 and R600a are 4.6 and 2.2% higher than that of R134a, respectively. The performances of R600 and R600a in system were better than those of R134a and R290. The best performance was obtained using R600 in the system.
Keywords: Alternative refrigerants; hydrocarbons; performance; sub-cooling; thermodynamic analysis.

 

 


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