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Volume 12, September-1

Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 18 (September-2 2020) – 602 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): With less than a decade left to fulfill the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this paper aims to bring attention to the pursuit of safe and adequate water for refugee populations, who are one of the most marginalized groups of people in the world. Bangladesh currently hosts one of the largest refugee populations globally and is struggling to meet the water demands of the growing Rohingya refugee population. This paper reports on several vital issues compromising the Rohingyas’ drinking water security by shedding light on the progress of SDGs 5, 6, and 10 in Rohingya refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar. As uncertainty regarding the Rohingyas’ status and safety increases in Myanmar, this study presents the limitations of ad hoc approaches to humanitarian relief. It encourages the relevant actors to opt for more sustainable interventions in refugee camps. View this paper
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Review
Lattice Boltzmann Method Applied to Nuclear Reactors—A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7835; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187835 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Nuclear engineering requires computationally efficient methods to simulate different components and systems of plants. The Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM), a numerical method with a mesoscopic approach to Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) derived from the Boltzmann equation and the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, can be an [...] Read more.
Nuclear engineering requires computationally efficient methods to simulate different components and systems of plants. The Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM), a numerical method with a mesoscopic approach to Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) derived from the Boltzmann equation and the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, can be an adequate option. The purpose of this paper is to present a review of the recent applications of the Lattice Boltzmann Method in nuclear engineering research. A systematic literature review using three databases (Web of Science, Scopus, and ScienceDirect) was done, and the items found were categorized by the main research topics into computational fluid dynamics and neutronic applications. The features of the problem addressed, the characteristics of the numerical method, and some relevant conclusions of each study are resumed and presented. A total of 45 items (25 for computational fluid dynamics applications and 20 for neutronics) was found on a wide range of nuclear engineering problems, including thermal flow, turbulence mixing of coolant, sedimentation of impurities, neutron transport, criticality problem, and other relevant issues. The LBM results in being a flexible numerical method capable of integrating multiphysics and hybrid schemes, and is efficient for the inner parallelization of the algorithm that brings a widely applicable tool in nuclear engineering problems. Interest in the LBM applications in this field has been increasing and evolving from early stages to a mature form, as this review shows. Full article
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Article
Euroregions and Local and Regional Development—Local Perceptions of Cross-Border Cooperation and Euroregions Based on the Euroregion Beskydy
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7834; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187834 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
The cross-border regions, which are the peripheral regions, are struggling with m troubles. They often include high unemployment, insufficiently developed infrastructure, or inadequate language skills of residents, which are barriers to exploiting the potential of such regions. One kind of remedy is the [...] Read more.
The cross-border regions, which are the peripheral regions, are struggling with m troubles. They often include high unemployment, insufficiently developed infrastructure, or inadequate language skills of residents, which are barriers to exploiting the potential of such regions. One kind of remedy is the assumption of the European Union’s regional policy, under which Euroregions are created. These units, constituting a form of cooperation between the regions of the European Union member states, candidate countries, and the regions of their neighbors, with the support of local and regional authorities, constitute support for the competitiveness and development of border areas. The purpose of this study is to verify how people perceive the activity and effectiveness of Euroregions, as well as to try to determine whether they think Euroregions contribute to local and regional development. In this research, an online and self-administered survey was used, with two parts: one related to Euroregions in general, and the other to a specific, selected Euroregion. Despite the fact that the Polish experience has not been as long as in other parts of Europe, the results show that the Euroregions are positively evaluated by people, and they rate them as important for development of the regions. Full article
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Article
Combine MCDM Methods and PSO to Evaluate Economic Benefits of High-Tech Zones in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7833; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187833 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 680
Abstract
High-tech zones (HTZs), as important economic growth poles, have played a key role in China’s economic boom. A method based on multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) is proposed to evaluate economic benefits of HTZs. MCDM involves analytic hierarchy process (AHP) [...] Read more.
High-tech zones (HTZs), as important economic growth poles, have played a key role in China’s economic boom. A method based on multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) is proposed to evaluate economic benefits of HTZs. MCDM involves analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) as they are easy and simple to calculate. AHP is used to construct judgment matrix. Then, the judgment matrix is converted to a constraint optimization problem. PSO is adopted to optimize the problem and get weights of indicators. TOPSIS is used to make the evaluation. The results from 2012 to 2016 of 105 HTZs are obtained and hierarchical clustering analysis is applied to cluster results. The results have demonstrated that the rankings of Zhongguancun Technology Park and Wuhan East Lake HTZ have always been at the forefront, and the ranking of Kunshan New District has risen rapidly, while Shenyang HTZ has dropped significantly. According to the results, some targeted suggestions have been proposed for the development of HTZs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Simulation and Seasonal Characteristics of the Intra-Annual Heat Exchange Process in a Shallow Ice-Covered Lake
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7832; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187832 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 578
Abstract
The intra-annual heat exchange process has a considerable influence on the energy circulation, material metabolism, and ecological succession of lakes. The input and output of heat in an ice-covered lake provide the basic dynamic force driving changes in the biochemical state of the [...] Read more.
The intra-annual heat exchange process has a considerable influence on the energy circulation, material metabolism, and ecological succession of lakes. The input and output of heat in an ice-covered lake provide the basic dynamic force driving changes in the biochemical state of the lake. Based on the heat balance between the lake surface and the atmosphere, we established a thermodynamic model for calculating the thermodynamic factors of shallow inland lakes during the ice and open seasons. The data of the Ulansuhai Lake, Inner Mongolia, from two years (2012 and 2013) are used to analyze the seasonal characteristics and associated influences of the heat budget on the ecosystem. The results indicated that the monthly mean lake temperature over the past 10 years was 1.7–2.2 °C lower than in the previous 50 years. The absorbed solar radiation reached up to 210 W/m2 in 2012 and 179 W/m2 in 2013, and there were clear differences in the heat budget between the ice-covered and open seasons. The mean net heat fluxes in the ice season were −33.8 and −38.5 W/m2 in 2012 and 2013, respectively; while in the open season water, these fluxes were 62.5 and 19.1 W/m2. In the simulations, the wind was an important factor for intensive evaporation in summer and the main driver of the ice cover formation patterns in winter, involving the transmission and diffusion of material and energy in the lake. The results provide a theoretical foundation for simulating ice cover growth and ablation processes in shallow lakes. They also present data on the ecological evolution in these lacustrine environments. Full article
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Article
Effects of Place Attachment and Image on Revisit Intention in an Ecotourism Destination: Using an Extended Model of Goal-Directed Behavior
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7831; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187831 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
This study explores the decision-making process of tourists visiting Guilin, China as an ecotourism destination. An extended model of goal-directed behavior with the inclusion of place attachment and destination image is employed to understand tourists’ revisit intention. This study finds several substantial variables [...] Read more.
This study explores the decision-making process of tourists visiting Guilin, China as an ecotourism destination. An extended model of goal-directed behavior with the inclusion of place attachment and destination image is employed to understand tourists’ revisit intention. This study finds several substantial variables that contribute to leading the behavioral intention of tourists. Results reveal that tourist attitude, positive anticipated emotion, and perceived behavioral control positively influence desire. Tourist desire to visit a destination is an important predictor of behavioral intention, and desire plays a substantial mediating role between attitude, positive anticipated emotion, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intention. The image of an ecotourism destination is an important antecedent of attitude, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norm. The destination image indirectly influences behavioral intention through attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. Destination image also has a direct effect on place attachment, which in turn influences behavioral intention. Findings provide a theoretical framework of understanding tourist behavior and contribute guidelines for developing sustainable ecotourism for central and local governments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intention and Tourism/Hospitality Development)
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Article
Interrelations among Leadership Competencies of BIM Leaders: A Fuzzy DEMATEL-ANP Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187830 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
The use of new, digitally enabled innovations, such as building information modeling (BIM), raises issues such as the delineation of a competent leader. Even though BIM-based competency assessment models have become essential tools for maximizing the potential values of BIM implementation, the current [...] Read more.
The use of new, digitally enabled innovations, such as building information modeling (BIM), raises issues such as the delineation of a competent leader. Even though BIM-based competency assessment models have become essential tools for maximizing the potential values of BIM implementation, the current competency models provide limited focus on leadership aspects that facilitate and enhance the BIM implementation efforts. This paper seeks to identify the specific competencies required for BIM implementation and examines the relationships between these competencies. Thirty-two experts from around the globe investigated a total of 15 leadership competencies under three categories pertaining to intellectual, managerial, and emotional leadership. Fuzzy Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) was implemented to examine the cause-and-effect relationships among the BIM leadership competencies and fuzzy analytic network process (ANP) was performed to weigh those competencies. Findings show that the intellectual competencies act as the cause group, while managerial and emotional competencies are the effect groups. Moreover, the involving leadership is found to be the more suitable leadership style for BIM professionals, given the current capability and maturity levels of BIM implementation, in order to deal with the required changes throughout the BIM implementation process. This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge in the BIM domain to examine the associated leadership competencies by using the multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) technique. The results of this research show the relative importance of criteria and sub-criteria, which contributes to further improvement of BIM leadership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Control for Sustainability)
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Article
Climatic Causes of Maize Production Loss under Global Warming in Northeast China
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7829; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187829 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important staple crops in Northeast China, and yield losses are mainly induced by climate anomalies, plant diseases and pests. To understand how maize yield loss is affected by global warming, daily precipitation and [...] Read more.
Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important staple crops in Northeast China, and yield losses are mainly induced by climate anomalies, plant diseases and pests. To understand how maize yield loss is affected by global warming, daily precipitation and temperatures, together with provincial agricultural data sets, were analyzed. The results showed that the accumulated temperature, an important factor in agricultural productivity, increased by 5% in 1991–2017, compared to 1961–1990, and that the frequency of low temperatures decreased by 14.8% over the same time period. An increase in drought by 21.6% was observed from 1961–1990 to 1991–2017, caused by decreased growing-season precipitation by −4 mm/decade. In addition, days with heavy rain in August and September increased slightly in Northeast China. In general, maize growth responded positively to the increased thermal conditions; in 1961–1990, 22.7% of observed maize yield-loss cases were due to low temperatures, but only 10% in 1991–2017. However, during the same time, the number of drought-induced yield loss cases increased from 27.3% to 46.7%. Moreover, yield loss cases caused by heavy rainstorms increased from 4.5% to 13.3%, indicating that heavy rainstorms have become an increasing threat to agriculture in Northeast China over the last three decades. In total, at least 70% of cases of provincial yield losses in Northeast China over the last three decades could be attributed to climatic factors. The frequency of climate hazards has changed under global warming, resulting in new challenges for agriculture. While drought and low temperatures were the primary causes for climate-induced yield losses before the 1990s, negative impacts from extreme events, mainly drought but also heavy precipitation, have increased in the last three decades, associated with global change. Farmers, agricultural scientists, and government policy makers could use these results when planning for adaptation to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Article
Liner Shipping Schedule Design for Near-Sea Routes Considering Big Customers’ Preferences on Ship Arrival Time
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7828; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187828 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
There usually exist a few big customers at ports of near-sea container shipping routes who have preferences on the weekly ship arrival times due to their own production and sale schedules. Therefore, in practice, when designing ship schedules, carriers must consider such customers’ [...] Read more.
There usually exist a few big customers at ports of near-sea container shipping routes who have preferences on the weekly ship arrival times due to their own production and sale schedules. Therefore, in practice, when designing ship schedules, carriers must consider such customers’ time preferences, regarded as weekly soft-time windows, to improve customer retention, thereby achieving sustainable development during a depression in the shipping industry. In this regard, this study explores how to balance the tradeoff between the ship total operating costs and penalty costs from the violation of the weekly soft-time windows. A mixed-integer nonlinear nonconvex model is proposed and is further transformed into a mixed-integer linear optimization model that can be efficiently solved by extant solvers to provide a global optimal solution. The proposed model is applied to a near-sea service route from China to Southeast Asia. The results demonstrate that the time preferences of big customers affect the total cost, optimal sailing speeds, and optimal ship arrival times. Moreover, the voyage along a near-sea route is generally short, leaving carriers little room for adjusting the fleet size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Assessing the Relationship between Access Travel Time Estimation and the Accessibility to High Speed Railway Station by Different Travel Modes
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7827; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187827 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 556
Abstract
This paper aims to fill the research gap of the relationship between the access travel time (ATT) estimation and the accessibility to high speed railway (HSR) station. A regression analysis was developed on the basis of risk-return model to analyze the access travel [...] Read more.
This paper aims to fill the research gap of the relationship between the access travel time (ATT) estimation and the accessibility to high speed railway (HSR) station. A regression analysis was developed on the basis of risk-return model to analyze the access travel time estimation error (ATTEE). The data sources were 1595 valid interview survey data at Beijing South Railway Station (BSRS), China in October 2016. The factors and scenarios included travel mode, departure time, and travel date, etc. The coefficients of ATT estimation were obtained by different travel modes. The results showed that the expected access travel time (EATT) has positive linear correlation with the actual access travel time (AATT). Accessibility was calculated by the ratio of AATT to EATT. The accessibility coefficients ranged from 0.89 to 1.38 in different travel modes, departure time, and travel dates. A smaller coefficient indicates better travel time reliability and accessibility. This study not only provides a useful tool to estimate the travel time budget required for access to HSR station, but also establishes a connection with the accessibility and ATTEE. It offers an opportunity to estimate ATT to HSR stations by different modes of transport, which can help to better understand how the accessibility of the feeder transport changes at different time periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Utilisation of Mass and Night Ventilation in Decreasing Cooling Load Demand
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7826; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187826 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 557
Abstract
The building sector consumes 36% of the world’s energy and produces around 40% of energy-related carbon emissions. While the building industry moves towards a zero net greenhouse-gas emission policy, ventilation is, and will be, a necessity for the preservation of air quality—especially in [...] Read more.
The building sector consumes 36% of the world’s energy and produces around 40% of energy-related carbon emissions. While the building industry moves towards a zero net greenhouse-gas emission policy, ventilation is, and will be, a necessity for the preservation of air quality—especially in climates defined by unsavoury conditions. Therefore, a “mixing mode” cooling system was employed to lower the required energy consumption at an earthen building situated in the premises of Istanbul Technical University. A room of the high-mass earthen building was monitored under different ventilation and shading conditions. Night ventilation was conducted using two modes, 3.2 and 2.3 air changes per hour, and the air conditioning unit, operating from 08:00 to 17:00, had a set temperature of 23 C. Night ventilation was somewhat impactful, reducing the average expected cooling energy demand up to 27%. Furthermore, the earthen building proved to be extremely effective on moderating extremes of temperature under non-ventilated conditions. During a rather hot day, with an outdoor maximum temperature of 35 C, the indoor maximum temperature of the high-mass building was only 25 C, namely within thermal comfort levels. The diurnal temperature proved to be key in the effective application of night ventilation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality and Energy Sustainability)
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Article
Effects of Super-Absorbent Polymer on Soil Remediation and Crop Growth in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7825; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187825 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
The water-retaining and yield-increasing capacity of super-absorbent polymer (SAP) are essential for soil remediation in arid and semi-arid areas. Therefore, it is of great significance to investigate the influencing factors and mechanisms of SAP effects on soil environments and crop growth for the [...] Read more.
The water-retaining and yield-increasing capacity of super-absorbent polymer (SAP) are essential for soil remediation in arid and semi-arid areas. Therefore, it is of great significance to investigate the influencing factors and mechanisms of SAP effects on soil environments and crop growth for the precise management of agricultural water-saving irrigation. In this study, we adopted SAP as a soil conditioner and monitored changes in soil temperature, photosynthetic rate, leaf transpiration rate, chlorophyll, crop growth indexes (plant height, stem diameter, leaf area index, dry matter accumulation), and yield under different SAP doses during the growth stage of maize, on the basis of which the improvement mechanism of SAP in arid and semi-arid soil was analyzed. The results demonstrated the following: (1) 45 kg/hm2 of SAP application could increase the temperature of the soil layer, effectively reduce the diurnal temperature variation of the soil surface, and promote the stable growth of maize; (2) when different SAP doses were applied, the leaf surface temperature of maize increased by 0.95 °C on average. In particular, when 135 kg/hm2 of SAP was applied, the leaf surface temperature increased by 1.55 °C; (3) SAP could promote the photosynthetic rate of maize. In addition, the plant height, leaf area index, and dry matter accumulation of maize gradually increased with an increasing amount of SAP; (4) the application of SAP not only increased the grain row number, ear row number, and average 100-seed weight, but also increased the crop yield by nearly 6%. The application of SAP demonstrated a comprehensive utility (redistribution of soil water and temperature, synergy between SAPs and plants), which suggests that the most basic goal, to ensure socio-economic and ecological sustainability in dryland systems, was obtained. Full article
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Article
Identifying ‘True’ Water Loss Information through the MFCA Model for Improved Cost-Saving Decisions in a Water Utility: A Case Study of the Doorndraai Water Treatment Scheme in South Africa
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7824; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187824 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 526
Abstract
We identified the deficiency in the conventional accounting system in capturing water-loss-related information and its effect on cost-saving decisions in a water utility in South Africa. We employed the material flow cost accounting (MFCA) model in the case of the Doorndraai Water Treatment [...] Read more.
We identified the deficiency in the conventional accounting system in capturing water-loss-related information and its effect on cost-saving decisions in a water utility in South Africa. We employed the material flow cost accounting (MFCA) model in the case of the Doorndraai Water Treatment Scheme to highlight inefficient phases of the water purification processes for the manager to identify opportunities for corrective action. Findings reveal that the inability of the conventional accounting system in accurately capturing water loss information limits the scheme manager’s ability to recognize cost-saving opportunities. Consequently, we found that the implementation of the material flow cost accounting (MFCA) model identified the pumping process as a major contributor to the water scheme’s daily operating loss because of the pumping machine’s low capacitor. Besides, this pumping machine has been in operation for about five years, an indication that the water scheme had been operating at a loss daily for a number of years. Thus, we suggested that the water scheme should invest in procuring a more suitable pumping device to reduce the huge electricity cost incurred daily by the Doorndraai Water Treatment Scheme. Besides this, the paper extended the implementation of the MFCA by providing an example of how the managerial accounting system can support environmental and economic sustainability in water purification processes. Thus, we reiterate that one way of effectively managing water resources is to appropriately capture the volume of water loss and water-purification-related costs to improve its efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) for Sustainable Development)
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Review
Trials and Tribulations of Collecting Evidence on Effectiveness in Disability-Inclusive Development: A Narrative Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7823; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187823 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 585
Abstract
Disability-inclusive development is important because there are a billion people with disabilities, and they often fall behind in income, education, health, and wellbeing. More and better evidence is needed on the effectiveness of how development interventions include and target people with disabilities. This [...] Read more.
Disability-inclusive development is important because there are a billion people with disabilities, and they often fall behind in income, education, health, and wellbeing. More and better evidence is needed on the effectiveness of how development interventions include and target people with disabilities. This review outlines some of the methodological challenges facing impact evaluations of disability-inclusive development interventions. Identifying people with disabilities is complex. Most approaches focus on impairment or functional limitations. They may or may not recognise environmental or personal factors, which influence the experience of disability. The Washington Group Short Set is widely endorsed for disability assessment; the addition of anxiety and depression items may enhance this tool further. The appropriate outcomes for the impact evaluation should be selected based on the aims and target audience of the intervention, the availability of appropriate tools, and after consultation with people with disabilities. New and better tools are needed to measure the range of impacts that may occur with greater accuracy, including impacts that are direct/indirect, proximal/distal, intended/unintended, and positive/negative. Disaggregation of data by impairment type is recommended to understand the effectiveness of interventions for different groups where the sample size is sufficient to allow meaningful comparisons. The inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the research process will improve the quality and acceptability of the study conducted. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Operational Changes of Tarbela Reservoir to Improve the Water Supply, Hydropower Generation, and Flood Control Objectives
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7822; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187822 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
In this study, a model was created with the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) System and used to explore the benefits of altering the operations of Tarbela Dam in terms of reliability, resilience, and vulnerability (RRV) for the three objectives of irrigation supply, [...] Read more.
In this study, a model was created with the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) System and used to explore the benefits of altering the operations of Tarbela Dam in terms of reliability, resilience, and vulnerability (RRV) for the three objectives of irrigation supply, hydropower generation, and flood control. Sensitivity analysis and logical reasoning with operators identified a feasible operational rule curve for testing using the integrated performance analysis. The reservoir performance for the altered operations was compared to the baseline performance following current operations for both historical and projected future climate and water demand conditions. Key simulation results show that the altered operations strategy tested under historical climate and water demand conditions would increase RRV by 17%, 67%, and 7%, respectively, for the water supply objective and 34%, 346%, and 22%, respectively, for hydropower generation. For projected future conditions, the proposed operations strategy would increase RRV by 7%, 219%, and 11%, respectively, for water supply and 19%, 136%, and 13% for hydropower generation. Synthesis of the results suggests significant benefits for reliability and resilience of water supply and hydropower are possible with slight operational adjustments. Overall, the integrated performance analysis supports the need to develop an optimized operations rule for Tarbela to adapt to projected climate and demand scenarios. Full article
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Article
Multidimensional Assessment of the Social Development of EU Countries in the Context of Implementing the Concept of Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7821; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187821 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
Measuring and monitoring the implementation of the concept of sustainable development is an important aspect of the assessment of the functioning of EU countries. One of the pivots of sustainable development is social order, although the literature analysis indicated that multidimensional empirical research [...] Read more.
Measuring and monitoring the implementation of the concept of sustainable development is an important aspect of the assessment of the functioning of EU countries. One of the pivots of sustainable development is social order, although the literature analysis indicated that multidimensional empirical research in this area is scarce. The main goal of this article was to present the diversity of indicators characterizing social development in EU Member States in the context of progress made by each of them in implementing the concept of sustainable development between 2014 and 2018. The purpose of this article was also to compare Poland with the other EU countries in the years 2014 and 2018. The research procedure consisted of two stages. The first stage was to analyse and assess the regional differentiation of the values of variables explaining social development in the EU in the context of implementing the concept of sustainable development. The second stage envisaged a multidimensional assessment of the diversity of the thematic areas identified in the first stage, as well as a characterization of social development in the EU in the context of implementing the concept of sustainable development. Based on the obtained results, a conclusion could be drawn that many countries are witnessing positive trends which bring them closer to the successful implementation of the sustainable development paradigm—one of the principal priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy, a long-term socio-economic program of the EU. The multidimensional analysis also showed that the level of social development in the context of sustainable development differs across the EU. Particularly notable differences among EU countries could be observed for the variables denoting labour market and health, with demography being the least diversified of all areas. In Poland, the indicators regarding poverty and social exclusion improved significantly as a result of the implementation of numerous social programs. In addition to that, a positive change in education indicators was also reported in Poland. This favourable trend indicates that some of the goals set out in the Europe 2020 strategy have already been met by Poland while others are becoming increasingly attainable. Full article
Article
Corporate Foundations as Partnership Brokers in Supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7820; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187820 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Rather than limiting themselves to acting as mere financial intermediaries of corporate philanthropic funds, corporate foundations (CFs) may contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as partnership brokers. Based on the literature on the SDGs, cross-sector partnerships, the influence of [...] Read more.
Rather than limiting themselves to acting as mere financial intermediaries of corporate philanthropic funds, corporate foundations (CFs) may contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as partnership brokers. Based on the literature on the SDGs, cross-sector partnerships, the influence of the private sector on the SDGs, and institutional philanthropic involvement in the SDGs, this paper shows how the unique characteristics of CFs and their position between the business sector and civil society make them ideal partnership brokers in cross-sector collaborations. Furthermore, this study examines how CFs approach the Agenda 2030 with respect to their activities and strategies. Following an explorative research approach, data were collected through an online survey among CF managers in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Germany. The findings suggest that, in order to contribute more effectively to the SDGs, CFs should make more and better use of their capacities in bridging institutional logics, pooling resources, and initiating partnerships between different sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs))
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Article
Sustaining the Family Business through Open Innovation: The Role of Technological Acquisitions in Shareholder Value Creation
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7819; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187819 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 693
Abstract
Although technological acquisitions have attracted much attention as a prominent means of open innovation that allows firms to complement internal innovation, their shareholder value creation effects should be influenced by whether the acquiring family businesses can successfully realize technological synergies. Thus, the purpose [...] Read more.
Although technological acquisitions have attracted much attention as a prominent means of open innovation that allows firms to complement internal innovation, their shareholder value creation effects should be influenced by whether the acquiring family businesses can successfully realize technological synergies. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to investigate whether market participants perceive family businesses to create more value when undertaking technological acquisitions. Using a sample of 614 acquisitions by 71 family businesses between 2000 and 2014 in South Korea, an event study methodology is adopted. Empirical analysis yields strong support for the prediction that the stock market does not perceive family businesses to be able to create superior synergy through technological acquisitions compared to when they undertake nontechnological acquisitions. The competitive landscape also has implications for the shareholder value creation effects of technological acquisitions by family businesses. Overall, the findings of this paper provide insight into the shareholder wealth implications of technological acquisitions undertaken by family businesses. Full article
Article
Analysis of the Patent of a Protective Cover for Vertical-Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs): Simulations of Wind Flow
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7818; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187818 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 530
Abstract
This paper presents a numerical and experimental analysis of the patent of a device to be used in vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) under extreme wind conditions. The device consists of two hemispheres interconnected by a set of conveniently implemented variable section ducts through [...] Read more.
This paper presents a numerical and experimental analysis of the patent of a device to be used in vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) under extreme wind conditions. The device consists of two hemispheres interconnected by a set of conveniently implemented variable section ducts through which the wind circulates to the blades. Furthermore, the design of the cross-section of the ducts allows the control of the wind speed inside the device. These ducts are intended to work as diffusers or nozzles, depending on the needs of the installation site. Simulations were performed for the case of high-speed external wind, for which the ducts act as diffusers to reduce wind speed and maintain a well-functioning internal turbine. Four different patent designs were analyzed, focusing on turbine performance and generated power. The results indicate that the patent allows the generation of electric power for a greater range of wind speeds than with a normal wind turbine. The results support that this patent may be a good alternative for wind power generation in geographic areas with extreme weather conditions or with maintained or strong gusty wind. Experimental tests were carried out on the movement of the blades using the available model. Finally, the power curve of the model of this wind turbine was obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Article
Automotive Aftermarket Forecast in a Changing World: The Stakeholders’ Perceptions Boost!
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7817; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187817 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
This study presents a methodology for forecasting the medium– and long–term real revenues of the automotive post–sales service sectors, assuming the automobile industry is nowadays undergoing a deep process of transformation. There are several conditioning factors, usage as well as environmental reasons, that [...] Read more.
This study presents a methodology for forecasting the medium– and long–term real revenues of the automotive post–sales service sectors, assuming the automobile industry is nowadays undergoing a deep process of transformation. There are several conditioning factors, usage as well as environmental reasons, that makes past times an unreasonable guide for a future forecast. Firstly, we estimate, using regression models, the most important variables for the automobile sector that will affect the long–term forecasts of the automotive aftermarket’s revenues. Secondly, we apply participatory methods to quantify the impact of the new conditioning factors. This is a research tool used for the Spanish automotive aftermarket. Our results indicate how stakeholders’ perceptions modulate the forecasts for those economic sectors involved in a disrupted changing business model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
“Predator-In-First”: A Preemptive Biological Control Strategy for Sustainable Management of Pepper Pests in Florida
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7816; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187816 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 893
Abstract
The early establishment of a biocontrol agent in the production system, whether in the greenhouse, nursery, or field, is essential for the success of the biological control program, ensuring growers’ profitability. In an effort to develop a sustainable pest management solution for vegetable [...] Read more.
The early establishment of a biocontrol agent in the production system, whether in the greenhouse, nursery, or field, is essential for the success of the biological control program, ensuring growers’ profitability. In an effort to develop a sustainable pest management solution for vegetable growers in Florida, we explored the application of a preemptive biological control strategy, “Predator-In-First” (PIF), in regulating multiple pepper pests, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius, Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande, and Polyphagotarsonemus latus Banks under greenhouse and field conditions during different growing seasons. In these studies, two bell pepper cultivars (7039 and 7141) and the phytoseiid mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias–Henriot were used as a model system. Pepper seedlings (~8 week) of each cultivar were infested with varying rates of A. swirskii (20 or 40 mites/plant or one sachet/10 plant) and allowed to settle on plant hosts for a week before planting in pots or field beds. Results showed a comparative consistent performance of the treatment with the high rate of phytoseiids (40 mites/plant) in regulating B. tabaci and F. occidentalis populations in greenhouse studies, and B. tabaci and P. latus pests under field conditions. During two fall field seasons, higher marketable yields of 12.8% and 20.1% in cultivar 7039, and 24.3% and 39.5% in cultivar 7141 were observed in the treatment with the high rate of phytoseiids compared to the untreated control, indicating yield benefits of the approach. The outcome of the study is encouraging and demonstrates that PIF can be an important tool for organic vegetable growers and a potential alternative to chemical-based conventional pest management strategies. The advantages and limitations of the PIF approach in Florida pepper production are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biocontrol Agents)
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Article
Research on the Transmission Ability of China’s Thermal Coal Price Information Based on Directed Limited Penetrable Interdependent Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187815 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 564
Abstract
According to the criterion of the visibility graph and the irreversibility of the time series, this paper proposes a new perspective to construct the directed limited penetrable interdependent network (DLPIN) for thermal coal between the opening and closing price series after the Johansen [...] Read more.
According to the criterion of the visibility graph and the irreversibility of the time series, this paper proposes a new perspective to construct the directed limited penetrable interdependent network (DLPIN) for thermal coal between the opening and closing price series after the Johansen cointegration test. The results of the statistical research and cointegration analysis show that there is a cointegration relationship between the opening and the closing price series, and the relationship between them does not follow a normal distribution. By analyzing the topological characteristic of the DLPIN, the results indicate that there is an obvious "community structure" and scale-free features, which show that there are groups and differences among the thermal coal price, and most of them have a weak transmission ability of the thermal coal price information; only a few of them have a strong transmission ability. The differences of the in-degree and out-degree show that some thermal coal prices have a weak influence on the other prices but are strongly affected by the other prices. In addition, most of the thermal coal prices are far away from the infectious source of the price information; only a few are close to the infectious source of the price information to a certain extent. Obviously, the influence of the thermal coal price has a certain range, which is closely related in a short distance. Furthermore, these results can reveal the internal laws of the main price fluctuation and information transmission for the thermal coal, and some references can be provided to reduce risk investment and improve capital return for the related investors. Full article
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Article
A New Long-Term Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Program for the Knowledge and Management in Marine Protected Areas of the Mexican Caribbean
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7814; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187814 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 627
Abstract
In the Mexican Caribbean, 15 marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established for managing and protecting marine ecosystems. These MPAs receive high anthropogenic pressure from coastal development, tourism, and fishing, all in synergy with climate change. To contribute to the MPAs’ effectiveness, it [...] Read more.
In the Mexican Caribbean, 15 marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established for managing and protecting marine ecosystems. These MPAs receive high anthropogenic pressure from coastal development, tourism, and fishing, all in synergy with climate change. To contribute to the MPAs’ effectiveness, it is necessary to provide a long-term observation system of the condition of marine ecosystems and species. Our study proposes the establishment of a new marine biodiversity monitoring program (MBMP) focusing on three MPAs of the Mexican Caribbean. Five conservation objects (COs) were defined (coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, marine turtles, and sharks-rays) for their ecological relevance and the pressures they are facing. Coral reef, seagrass and mangroves have multiple biological, biogeochemical and physical interactions. Marine turtles are listed as endangered species, and the status of their populations is unknown in the marine area of the MPAs. Elasmobranchs play a key role as top and medium predators, and their populations have been poorly studied. Indicators were proposed for monitoring each CO. As a technological innovation, all information obtained from the MBMP will be uploaded to the Coastal Marine Information and Analysis System (SIMAR), a public, user-friendly and interactive web platform that allows for automatic data management and processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Conservation Biology)
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Article
A Taxonomic Analysis of Smart City Projects in North America and Europe
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7813; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187813 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
In recent years, the concept of a “Smart City” became central in the agenda of researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders. Although the application of information and communication technologies on city management has advanced exponentially, also other components would be needed for building a truly [...] Read more.
In recent years, the concept of a “Smart City” became central in the agenda of researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders. Although the application of information and communication technologies on city management has advanced exponentially, also other components would be needed for building a truly sustainable urban environment. Researchers from different domains debated the definition of a smart city and the conceptual variants. However, a broad view of the smart city field is still missing. This paper attempts to fill this gap by proposing a taxonomic classification of the most 105 outstanding smart city projects in Europe and North America. Collected data are then processed by statistical tools for clearly highlighting the success factors, trends and future paths in which all these projects are moving, along with different aspects (e.g., business model, purpose, industry). We then investigate the European and the North American Smart City concepts, illustrating the key role of mixed public and private partnerships in creating successful projects and the focus on the urban transportation, and freight and last-mile delivery in particular. Moreover, it emerges how the business modeling and the exploitation aspects have still low integration in the projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Sustainable Transportation Models and Applications)
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Article
Financial Development, Institutional Quality, and Environmental Degradation Nexus: New Evidence from Asymmetric ARDL Co-Integration Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7812; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187812 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 843
Abstract
The aim of this study is threefold; first, the study investigates the symmetric impact of trade openness, financial development, and institutional quality on environmental degradation and environmental sustainability. Second, the study examines the asymmetric relationship between financial development, institutional quality, and environmental degradation. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is threefold; first, the study investigates the symmetric impact of trade openness, financial development, and institutional quality on environmental degradation and environmental sustainability. Second, the study examines the asymmetric relationship between financial development, institutional quality, and environmental degradation. Third, the study examines the asymmetric relationship between financial development, institutional quality, and environmental sustainability. For this purpose, the study utilized the data of Pakistan from 1996 to 2018. The study applied Augmented Dickey–Fuller (ADF), Phillips Parron (PP) and Zivote, and Andrews unit root test to check the properties of stationarity of the data. This study applied the Auto Regressive Distributive Lags (ARDL) model to investigate symmetric relationships while the Non-Linear Auto Regressive Distributive Lag Model (NARDL) approach is utilized to investigate the asymmetric relationship among variables. ARDL bounds testing approach utilized to investigate long-run co-integration while short-run dynamics have been investigated by applying the error correction method (ECM). This study found the significant long-run symmetric and asymmetric association of institutional quality (IQ) and financial development (FD) with environmental degradation (ED) and environmental sustainability. However, IQ- has an insignificant association with environmental sustainability. Moreover, dynamic multiplier analysis indicates that positive shock to FD and IQ has a stronger impact on environmental degradation while a positive or negative shock to FD; both have a stronger impact on environmental sustainability. However, a positive or negative shock to IQ has a smaller impact on environmental sustainability. Moreover, the study also found a significant long-run symmetric association of trade openness with environmental degradation and environmental sustainability. This study suggests that the quality of institutions, financial development, and trade openness is necessary to enhance the quality of the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Composting Process and Gas Emissions during Food Waste Composting under the Effect of Different Additives
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7811; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187811 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of adding mature compost (MC) and vermicompost (VC) on controlling gas emissions and compost quality during food waste (FW) composting. In addition to a control treatment (only food waste), four treatments were designed to mix the initial FW [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of adding mature compost (MC) and vermicompost (VC) on controlling gas emissions and compost quality during food waste (FW) composting. In addition to a control treatment (only food waste), four treatments were designed to mix the initial FW with varying rates of MC and VC (5.0% and 7.5%). The composting process was monitored for 84 days. Results indicate that the addition of MC and VC resulted in higher temperature, prolonged the thermophilic stage and reduced NH3 and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Compared to the control, the loss of NH3-N was decreased by 29–69%, and the global warming impact was also mitigated by 49–61%. The largest reductions in NH3 and global warming potential (GWP) were found for 7.5% VC and 5% MC, respectively. The treatments with additives more rapidly achieved the required maturity value. This research suggests that the addition of 7.5% MC and VC is suitable for food waste composting. Full article
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Article
The Trends in Research on the Effects of Biochar on Soil
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7810; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187810 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 638
Abstract
The present study used bibliometric methods to analyze the literature regarding the biochar effects on soil that are included in the Web of Science Core Collection database and quantified the annual number of publications in the field and distribution of publications. Using CiteSpace [...] Read more.
The present study used bibliometric methods to analyze the literature regarding the biochar effects on soil that are included in the Web of Science Core Collection database and quantified the annual number of publications in the field and distribution of publications. Using CiteSpace as a visual analytic software for the literature, the distribution of the subject categories, author collaborations, institution collaborations, international (regional) collaborations, and cocitation and keyword clustering were analyzed. The results showed the basic characteristics of the literature related to the effects of biochar on soil. Furthermore, the main research powers in this field were identified. Then, we recognized the main intellectual base in the domain of biochar effects on soil. Meanwhile, this paper revealed the research hotspots and trends of this field. Furthermore, focuses of future research in this field are discussed. The present study quantitatively and objectively describes the research status and trends of biochar effects on soil from the bibliometric perspective to promote in-depth research in this field and provide reference information for scholars in the relevant fields to refine their research directions, address specific scientific issues, and help scholars to seek/establish relevant collaborations in their fields of interests. Full article
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Article
Factors Influencing the Willingness of Dairy Farmers to Adopt Biogas Plants: A Case Study in Hokkaido, Japan
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7809; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187809 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 720
Abstract
Intensification of the livestock industry has become environmentally problematic due to the uncontrolled treatment of large amounts of watery manure. One solution is the adoption of biogas plants (BGPs). Hokkaido, Japan, has significant potential for BGP adoption, however, the large financial investments and [...] Read more.
Intensification of the livestock industry has become environmentally problematic due to the uncontrolled treatment of large amounts of watery manure. One solution is the adoption of biogas plants (BGPs). Hokkaido, Japan, has significant potential for BGP adoption, however, the large financial investments and lack of grid space for selling electricity are barriers. We investigated the relationship between the willingness of farmers to adopt BGPs and their current farming situations. Using a questionnaire survey and multivariate analyses, the results showed that large-scale farmers, particularly those with more than 100 mature cows, were clearly willing to adopt BGPs and expand their businesses in the future, while farmers who planned to downsize their businesses did not exhibit strong willingness to adopt BGPs. In addition, farmers willing to adopt BGPs thought the plants would help solve problems with manure treatment. BGPs might be more accepted by dairy farmers if there were greater incentives for installation given the role BGPs can play in providing stable energy and revitalizing local economies. Full article
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Article
An Ethnographic Look into Farmer Discussion Groups through the Lens of Social Learning Theory
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7808; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187808 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 808
Abstract
Farmer discussion groups (FDGs) are a collaborative mechanism through which farmers can engage and learn from and with their peers. Participants cite numerous benefits from FDGs, e.g., economic, social, etc., but how learning happens in these contexts from an adult cognitive learning theory [...] Read more.
Farmer discussion groups (FDGs) are a collaborative mechanism through which farmers can engage and learn from and with their peers. Participants cite numerous benefits from FDGs, e.g., economic, social, etc., but how learning happens in these contexts from an adult cognitive learning theory perspective is not well understood. Thus, Bandura’s social learning theory was used to study seven FDGs in the South West of England. The objective was to determine whether social learning was occurring through the FDGs’ interactions, examined according to three elements: (1) behaviour modelling, (2) role modelling and (3) self-reflexivity. An ethnographic methodology was utilised to gather rich empirical data through participant observation of 42 meetings and 24 semi-structured interviews. The results from 12 months attending FDG meetings demonstrated that behaviour modelling and role modelling were present in all FDGs. Self-reflexivity, however, was not evidenced as being promoted by all groups’ interactions, which (facilitated) critical discourse amongst the FDG participants was found to foster. Thus, evidence of social learning was not found to be occurring as a result of all the FDGs’ interactions. Collaborative learning processes that aim to promote social learning should build participants’ capacity and skills, structure engagement and train facilitators to foster critical discourse that may help promote self-reflexivity from behaviour modelling and role modelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extension (and) Education for Sustainable Farming Systems)
Article
Multi-Objective Optimization of Building Life Cycle Performance. A Housing Renovation Case Study in Northern Europe
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187807 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1110
Abstract
While the operational energy use of buildings is often regulated in current energy saving policies, their embodied greenhouse gas emissions still have a considerable mitigation potential. The study aims at developing a multi-objective optimization method for design and renovation of buildings incorporating the [...] Read more.
While the operational energy use of buildings is often regulated in current energy saving policies, their embodied greenhouse gas emissions still have a considerable mitigation potential. The study aims at developing a multi-objective optimization method for design and renovation of buildings incorporating the operational and embodied energy demands, global warming potential, and costs as objective functions. The optimization method was tested on the renovation of an apartment building in Denmark, mainly focusing envelope improvements as roof and exterior wall insulation and windows. Cellulose insulation has been the predominant result, together with fiber cement or aluminum-based cladding and 2-layered glazing. The annual energy demand has been reduced from 166.4 to a range between 76.5 and 83.7 kWh/(m2 y) in the optimal solutions. The fact that the legal requirements of 70 kWh/(m2 y) are nearly met without building service improvements indicates that energy requirements can be fulfilled without compromising greenhouse gas emissions and cost. Since the method relies on standard national performance reporting tools, the authors believe that this study is a preliminary step towards more cost-efficient and low-carbon building renovations by utilizing multi-optimization techniques. Full article
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Article
Active Power Loss Reduction for Radial Distribution Systems by Placing Capacitors and PV Systems with Geography Location Constraints
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7806; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187806 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
This paper presents a highly effective method of installing both capacitors and PV systems in distribution systems for the purpose of reducing total power loss in branches. Three study cases with the installation of one capacitor, two capacitors and three capacitors were implemented [...] Read more.
This paper presents a highly effective method of installing both capacitors and PV systems in distribution systems for the purpose of reducing total power loss in branches. Three study cases with the installation of one capacitor, two capacitors and three capacitors were implemented and then the optimal solutions were used to install one more photovoltaic (PV) system. One PV system with 20% active power of all loads and less than active power of all loads was tested for two different conditions: (1) with geography location constraint and (2) without geography location constraint for PV system placement. The results from two systems consisting of 33 and 69 nodes were obtained by using the Stochastic Fractal Search Optimization Algorithm (SFSOA). Simulation results show that this method can determine the appropriate location and size of capacitors to reduce the total power losses more effectively than other existing methods. Furthermore, the paper also demonstrates the real impact of using both capacitors and PV systems to reduce active power loss as well as improve the voltage profile of distribution systems. This paper also finds that if it is possible to place PV systems in all nodes in distribution systems, the benefit from reducing total loss is highly significant and the investment of PV system placement is highly encouraged. As a result, it is recommended that capacitors and PV systems be used in distribution networks, and we claim that two important factors of the installed components consisting of location and size can be determined effectively by using SFSOA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Electric Power Systems and Smart Grids)
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