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[en] This paper discusses climate change and infrastructure engineering. The infrastructure scope includes potable water, storm water, waste water, buildings, transportation, public transit and energy. These projects involve civil, chemical, environmental, electrical, mechanical and other engineering disciplines. These projects are important because of the influence of technical standards on infrastructure.
[en] The efficiency of a regenerative burner installed for upgrading an aluminum melting furnace in a die-casting plant is evaluated using energy and exergy methods. Energy and exergy efficiencies are compared for the furnace before and after the upgrades. The objectives are to examine the efficiency improvement potentially achievable using regenerative burners and to identify ways to exploit this improvement potential. The results indicate that energy and exergy efficiencies of the furnace are both improved after upgrades and emissions to the environment are correspondingly reduced. The results also demonstrate the benefits of using exergy. (author)
[en] Energy cannibalism refers to an effect where rapid growth of an entire energy producing (or conserving) technology industry creates a need for energy that uses (or cannibalizes) the energy of existing power plants or devices. For the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to grow while remaining net greenhouse gas emission mitigators, they must grow at a rate slower than the inverse of their energy payback time. This constraint exposes a current market failure that significantly undervalues the physical reality of embodied energy in products or processes deployed to mitigate GHG emissions and indicates potential solutions. (author)
[en] This paper examines a portion of the thermodynamics of global warming. The calculations use the endothermic photosynthesis reaction and yearly measures of CO_2 uptake to determine the amount of energy that is absorbed by forest cover each year. The energy absorption value of forest coverage determines the yearly cost of deforestation. The calculations reveal that 3.92 * 10"1"5 kJ less solar energy is absorbed by global forest coverage because of deforestation each year. The energy is enough to warm the atmosphere by 0.00008 °C / year. By comparison the same amount of energy represents 0.001 % of the atmospheric energy gains between 1995 and 2003. The results of this paper raise questions about the nature of global warming and the possibility that thermodynamic contributions to global climate change are significant. (author)
[en] The objectives of this paper are to critically understand the energy and emission flows in the Province of Alberta, development of a Sankey diagram for energy flows for Alberta, development of a Sankey diagram for GHG emission flows associated with major energy flows for the Province and development of a baseline energy scenario for the Province of Alberta using the Long-range Energy Alternative Planning Systems Model (LEAP). Sankey diagrams are a specific type of flow diagrams in which the width of the arrows is shown proportionally to the flow quantity.
[en] We live in a world that has become alarmed at the potential risks associated with climate change. Many people have begun to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, and both governments and utilities are supporting these activities. Many of the activities, however, are based on conservation of a single fuel or energy currency, and are not producing the required emission savings. The words “unintended consequences” seem all too common. The presentation will provide a look at some history behind our energy systems, and the need for a “big picture” approach. This is a real opportunity for engineers to take a significant role in shaping a climate friendly future. (author)
[en] In today's increasingly interdisciplinary post secondary educational landscape sustainability is the key recurring constant that is appearing in the form of green campuses, greening existing curricula and inventing new majors and hybrid disciplines in which art, design and creativity are taking on new value and cache on campus. In this paper I will discuss strategies and conceptual models for intersecting sustainability, education and engineering with design disciplines by discussing some of the strategies being practiced today. The primary goal of this paper is to advocate for bringing design thinking into numerous disciplines as a catalyst and as a means of addressing the complex needs of our endangered planet in a responsible and innovative way that could also be honest and effective. (author)
[en] 'Full text:' The pundits say that we have already changed our climate by the cumulative effects of mankind's activities over the past century or so and anything we do now should be intended to reverse the process. By definition therefore we are actually engaged in an attempt to engineer a better climate for the world of the future than the one that we think faces us based on our current understanding. The presentation examines some of the implications and conflicts that this perspective brings to the evaluation of engineering projects and on ethical considerations for the profession. (author)
[en] Coal direct chemical looping (CDCL) uses coal and metal oxide to produce CO_2 and H_2. Syngas chemical looping (SCL) is used to produce CO_2 and H_2 in post-syngas mode for existing gasification-based systems. The main objective is to increase the overall H_2-to-CO_2 ratio for a given coal input. Variables considered during resource optimization include: (i) inlet conditions to the primary reactors, (ii) minimum resource requirements, (iii) hydrogen to component ratios, and (iv) operation sequence. The results suggest CDCL has a higher H_2-to-CO_2 ratio than SCL along with advantages such as low resource requirements (steam and air) and fewer intermediate processes. (author)
[en] Wind power can help mitigate climate change. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used here to simulate and analyze the Zephyr vertical axis wind turbine and to assess how it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Fluid flow through the turbine is simulated to predict its performance. A multiple reference frame model capability of CFD is used to express the turbine power output as a function of the wind free stream velocity and the rotor rotational speed. The results suggest the wind turbine could significantly reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions in urban and rural settings relative to conventional power systems. (author)