0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(03):S4-S12. doi:10.1115/1.2014-Mar-4.
FREE TO VIEW

This is a study focused on the criticality of thermal systems in almost every domain of energy conversion. Thermal systems are critically important to nearly all domains of energy conversion, and controls are vital to extracting maximal efficiency from the overall system. Understanding the dynamics of transient thermal systems is the first step towards effective control design. While a great deal of understanding of steady-state performance of an overall system already exists, the combined performance of coupled and interconnected systems during transients is still not well described or understood. This becomes more important with increased system complexity or increased transient relevance. Continued improvement in control-oriented modeling will be very valuable in terms of accuracy, speed, etc. With energy as a crucial theme for a sustainable future, it is clear that the Mechanical Engineering community must play a key leadership role in achieving this potential, since the thermal energy domain is one with which we are most familiar.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(03):S13-S21. doi:10.1115/3.2016-Mar-5.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper explores the advantages of extremum seeking (ES) for wind and solar energy applications. The experimental results are also provided for the photovoltaic system. ES is an attractive alternative to perturb and observe (P&O) techniques for solving maximum power point tracking (MPPT) problems in wind and solar systems. As a model-free, real-time optimization approach, ES is well suited for systems with unknown dynamics or those that are affected by high levels of uncertainty or external dynamics, like wind turbines (WT) and PV systems. ES has the dual benefit of rigorously provable convergence and the simplicity of hardware implementation. In addition to a probing signal, the ES algorithm employs only an integrator, as well as optional high-pass and a low-pass filters. Finally, multivariable MPPT based on ES for PV systems are presented, and the validity of the proposed algorithms with experimental results are verified. Experimental results verify the effectiveness of the Newton-based MPPT versus its scalar and multivariable gradient-based counterparts.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(03):28-35. doi:10.1115/1.2014-Mar-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This article presents expert comments of six leading industrial designers about products that inspired them. According to Charles Austen Angell, CEO, Modern Edge Inc., Herman Miller Aeron Chair inspires him as although it has a distinctive aesthetic, the Aeron Chair transcends the sculptural elements that people associate with design. For Don Chadwick, Principal, Chadwick Studio, Cinelli Road Bicycle, it represents minimal structure that provides a maximum benefit to the user. Xootr, designed by LUNAR, which is a high-end scooter, is one the product designs that has served as an inspiration. The Nest thermostat is a notable example of post-Apple integration of mechanical design with digital technology. That makes sense, because it was developed by Tony Fadell, who led Apple’s iPod and iPhone teams, and Frank Bould, whose designs incorporate an engineering aesthetic. It senses when you are not home and turns down the heating or cooling. It also uses wireless technology to communicate with remote temperature sensors in other rooms and with your smartphone.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(03):36-41. doi:10.1115/1.2014-Mar-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses the concept of industrial Internet, which is considered as a union of software and big machines. John Deere has created a system that combines embedded sensors, GPS antennas, and cellular communications technology to provide equipment operations data to anyone with an Internet connection. The system can even enable dealers to forecast impending maintenance issues and schedule repairs before there is a breakdown. Linking sensors to a network gives owners a way to gather data like vibration, voltage, sound, temperature, or electrical output from machines. This type of analog data, previously inaccessible or hard to measure, lets owners monitor machine health. When analog information is collected in the cloud, the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)-type scale grows exponentially and so do its uses. Industrial Internet-type applications take a supervisory control and data acquisition system to the next level.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2014;136(03):42-47. doi:10.1115/1.2014-Mar-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This article presents discussions conducted in an event held in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the topic of the international shipment of energy. The session was called, ‘The Geopolitical Implications and Mutual Benefits of U.S. LNG Exports.’ The broad consensus was that, to create greater stability in international energy markets, United States should increase its exports of liquefied natural gas. The panelists also had a view on the fact that there also are many concerns about the environmental impact and ultimate costs of the practice. Hydraulic fracturing certainly has extended the Oil Age, but it does not assure a supply of gas and oil forever. The industry is being confronted with bans and moratoria that must be resolved. The new abundance and the costs in achieving it have created euphoria in some quarters and deep concerns in others.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In