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Comparative Analysis and Implementation of High Data Rate Wireless Sensor Network Simulation Frameworks

Description: This thesis focuses on developing a high data rate wireless sensor network framework that could be integrated with hardware prototypes to monitor structural health of buildings. In order to better understand the wireless sensor network architecture and its consideration in structural health monitoring, a detailed literature review on wireless sensor networks has been carried out. Through research, it was found that there are numerous simulation software packages available for wireless sensor network simulation. One suitable software was selected for modelling the framework. Research showed that Matlab/Simulink was the most suitable environment, and as a result, a wireless sensor network framework was designed in Matlab/Simulink. Further, the thesis illustrates modeling of a simple accelerometer sensor, such as those used in wireless sensor networks in Matlab/Simulink using a mathematical description. Finally, the framework operation is demonstrated with 10 nodes, and data integrity is analyzed with cyclic redundancy check and transmission error rate calculations.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Laguduva Rajaram, Madhupreetha

Dynamic Behaviors of Historical Wrought Iron Truss Bridges – a Field Testing Case Study

Description: Civil infrastructure throughout the world serves as main arteries for commerce and transportation, commonly forming the backbone of many societies. Bridges have been and remain a crucial part of the success of these civil networks. However, the crucial elements have been built over centuries and have been subject to generations of use. Many current bridges have outlived their intended service life or have been retrofitted to carry additional loads over their original design. A large number of these historic bridges are still in everyday use and their condition needs to be monitored for public safety. Transportation infrastructure authorities have implemented various inspection and management programs throughout the world, mainly visual inspections. However, careful visual inspections can provide valuable information but it has limitations in that it provides no actual stress-strain information to determine structural soundness. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) has been a growing area of research as officials need to asses and triage the aging infrastructure with methods that provide measurable response information to determine the health of the structure. A rapid improvement in technology has allowed researchers to start using new sensors and algorithms to understand the structural parameters of tested structures due to known and unknown loading scenarios. One of the most promising methods involves the use of wireless sensor nodes to measure structural responses to loads in real time. The structural responses can be processed to help understand the modal parameters, determine the health of the structure, and potentially identify damage. For example, modal parameters of structures are typically used when designing the lateral system of a structure. A better understanding of these parameters can lead to better and more efficient designs. Usually engineers rely on a finite element analysis to identify these parameters. By observing the actual parameters displayed during field testing, the theoretical FE models ...
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Date: December 2015
Creator: Hedric, Andrew C.

Guidelines for Greening (Renovation) of Existing Homes

Description: This Thesis is aimed at evaluating the options of renovation for an existing residential building to make it more energy efficient. The various aspects in the basic structures of residential homes are discussed in order to help the user identify the areas of the house for which renovation is required to improve the energy efficiency of the building. These aspects include doors, roof and wall in addition to various systems of electrical wiring, mechanical systems of ventilation, heating and cooling and plumbing systems for the efficient flow of water throughout the house. The renovation options have been described in detail to provide as many possibilities to the user as possible. The building taken for renovation is a 1953 suburban home which has been awarded the honor of being the first building to be labeled as Zero Energy Home in its vicinity. This has made the home so efficient that its expenditure of energy has become equivalent to its energy generation, therefore, cancelling each other out and creating an estimate of zero energy.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Shaikh, Gilman Yusuf

Impact of Green Design and Technology on Building Environment

Description: Currently, the public has a strong sense of the need for environment protection and the use of sustainable, or “green,” design in buildings and other civil structures. Since green design elements and technologies are different from traditional design, they probably have impacts on the building environment, such as vibration, lighting, noise, temperature, relative humidity, and overall comfort. Determining these impacts of green design on building environments is the primary objective of this study. The Zero Energy Research (ZOE) laboratory, located at the University of North Texas Discovery Park, is analyzed as a case study. Because the ZOE lab is a building that combines various green design elements and energy efficient technologies, such as solar panels, a geothermal heating system, and wind turbines, it provides an ideal case to study. Through field measurements and a questionnaire survey of regular occupants of the ZOE lab, this thesis analyzed and reported: 1) whether green design elements changed the building’s ability to meet common building environmental standards, 2) whether green design elements assisted in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scoring, and 3) whether green design elements decreased the subjective comfort level of the occupants.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Xiong, Liang

Spray Cooling with HFC-134a and HFO-1234yf for Thermal Management of Automotive Power Electronics

Description: This study aims to experimentally investigate the spray cooling characteristics for active two-phase cooling of automotive power electronics. Tests are conducted on a small-scale, closed loop spray cooling system featuring a pressure atomized spray nozzle. Two types of refrigerants, HFC-134a (R-134a) and HFO-1234yf, are selected as the working fluids. The test section (heater), made out of oxygen-free copper, has a 1-cm2 plain, smooth surface prepared following a consistent procedure, and would serve as a baseline case. Matching size thick film resistors, attached onto the copper heaters, generate heat and simulate high heat flux power electronics devices. The tests are conducted by controlling the heat flux in increasing steps, and recording the corresponding steady-state temperatures to obtain cooling curves. The working fluid is kept at room temperature level (22oC). Performance comparisons are made based on heat transfer coefficient (HTC) and critical heat flux (CHF) values. Effects of spray characteristics and liquid flow rates on the cooling performance are investigated with the selected coolants. Three types of commercially available nozzles that generate full-cone sprays with fine droplets are utilized in the tests. Effect of liquid flow rate is evaluated varying flow rates at 2, 3, 4 ml/s. The experimental results obtained from this study provide a framework for spray cooling performance with the current and next-generation refrigerants aimed for advanced thermal management of automotive power electronics.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Yaddanapudi, Satvik Janardhan