Finite fossil fuel resources, as well as the instability of renewable energy production, make the sustainable management of energy production and consumption some of the key challenges of the 21st century. It also involves threats to the state of the natural environment, among others due to the negative impact of energy on the climate. In such a situation, one of the methods of improving the efficiency of energy management – both on the micro (dispersed energy) and macro (power system) scale, may be innovative technological solutions that enable energy storage. Their effective implementation will allow it to be collected during periods of overproduction and to be used in situations of scarcity. These challenges cannot be overestimated - modern science has a challenge to solve various types of problems related to storage, including the technology used or the control/ /management of energy storage. Heat storage technologies, on which research works are carried out regarding both storage based on a medium such as water, as well as storage using thermochemical transformations or phase-change materials. They give a wide range of applications and improve the efficiency of energy systems on both the macro and micro scale. Of course, the technological properties and economic parameters have an impact on the application of the chosen technology. The article presents a comparison of storage parameters or heat storage methods based on different materials with specification of their work parameters or operating costs.
In the Fugleberget catchment area (Spitsbergen, Hornsund Fiord region) the growing season lasted 95 days, with growth beginning under the snow. In this time shoots of moss Calliergon stramineum reached a mean length of 19 mm and mean biomass of 0.593 mg dry weight. Annual primary production of moss communities amounts to 220-270 g dry weight per square meter per year. In the first year of destruction the dead plant material lost 30-45% of its initial value, after 10 years only ca 25% of the initial amount of organic matter was left.
This study investigated changes in the real-time measured levels of milk β-hydroxybutyrate according milk yield, lactation number and status of reproduction in dairy cows. A total of 378 cows were selected. According to their reproductive status the cows were classified as belonging to the following groups: Fresh (1 – 44 days after calving. n=43). Open (45 – 65 days after calving. n=78), Inseminated (1 – 35 days after insemination. n=133). Pregnant (35 – 60 days after insemination and pregnant (relatively pregnant) (n=124). The cows were milked with DeLaval milking robot (DeLaval Inc., Tumba, Sweden) in combination with a Herd Navigator (Lattec I/S. Hillerød. Denmark) analyser. We observed that milk β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) had a tendency of increasing with an increase of lactation number. The average BHB in multiparous cows was 11.111% higher in comparison with primiparous cows (p<0.001). We found higher BHB concentration in the multiparous cows in all reproduction status groups (p<0.001). A strong positive statistically significant (p<0.001) relationship has been found between BHB and the average milk yield within all groups of primiparous cows although we found a statistically unreliable coefficient of correlation (from -0.202 to 0.057) between highest milk yield and BHB in primiparous and multiparous cows.
The region’s development potential is a set of endogenous features that determine the growth of the local economy. It supports the development of knowledge, innovation and eff ective competition on global markets. The publication argues that saturation with potential may not be enough to cause economic growth. The distribution of potential is also important: concentration is its catalyst. The study proposes a method for measuring the concentration of potential. It has also been shown that the size of the regional economy depends on the distribution of potential in the region.
This paper examines highly paid academics – or “top earners” – employed across universities in ten European countries based on a large-scale international survey data of the academic profession. It examines the relationships between salaries and academic behaviors and productivity, as well as the predictors of being an academic top earner. While in the Anglo-Saxon countries the university research mission traditionally pays off at an individual level, in Continental Europe it pays off only in combination with administrative and related duties. Seeking future financial rewards through research does not seem to be a viable strategy in Europe – but seeking satisfaction in research through solving research puzzles is also getting difficult, with the growing emphasis on “relevance” and “applicability” of research. Thus both the traditional “investment motivation” and “consumption motivation” for research are ever-harder to be followed, with policy implications. The primary data come from 8,466 usable cases. This paper examines change processes in Western Europe and in Poland (in a European context) and its main reference point is American higher education scholarship; it is, on the theoretical plane, the founder of the conceptual frameworks to study academic salaries, and, in practical terms, the US science systems heavily draws on European scientific talents.
The article presents research on the relationship between mining and used resources on the example of Gliśno gravel pit. As regards to resources, the following issues were analyzed: employees’ working time, time of running machines, fuel consumption and electricity consumption. The aim of the publication is to examine the dependencies that exist between the analyzed variables. KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) were calculated for individual resources. The analysis presented in the publication contains data from 2008-2014.
Experiments have been carried out on the influence exerted by Aroclor 1254 upon the photosynthetic production of organic 14C by an assemblage of marine Antarctic diatoms (Thalassiosira sp. 48%, Nitzschia sp. 21%, Chaetoceros sp. 15% and Corethron iriophilum 10%). Samples of various numbers of cells per cm3 of water have been used. Incorporation of 14C02 by the diatoms proved to be proportional to the increased number of cells in the sample only at the lowest levels of concentration in per cm3. Further increase of the level of 14C in diatoms has not been found as number of cells in the sample kept growing. Calculation of brutto photosynthesis has indicated that low concentration of Aroclor 1254 (0,01 to 1 ppm) may stimulate the photosynthetic incorporation of carbon, yet the photosynthetic release of carbon from cells within the photorespiratory process is stimulated to a higher degree. High concentration of Aroclor (1 to 50 ppm) inhibit the brutto assimilation, yet the release of carbon during the photorespiratory process is inhibited to a higher degree. A hypothesis is being considered implying that the relation between the intensity of photosynthesis and intensity of photorespiration may vary according to the rate of concentration of Aroclor.
The last two decades have brought a significant modernization in methods of cultivation in greenhouses. Soilless cultures, isolated from soils, have become a common practice, similarly as fertigation (fertilization + irrigation) installations, although most of them are applied in the open system (with no recirculation), where excess nutrient solution is removed straight to soil. This situation was the reason why it was decided to conduct studies, extended over a period of many years, on the estimation of environmental pollution caused by discharged drainage waters containing mineral fertilizers in economically important cultures in Poland (anthurium, tomato, cucumber). On the basis of the chemical composition of drainage waters and amounts of nutrient solution spillway from culture beds data were estimated concerning pollution of the soil medium by the nutrient solution. The level of pollution was dependent on nutrient requirements of crops and the length of the vegetation period. The highest environmental pollution is caused by intensive tomato growing (in kg·month·ha-1): N-NO3 (up to 245), K (up to 402), Ca (up to 145) and S-SO4 (up to 102). A lesser threat is posed by metal microelements: Fe (up to 2.69), Mn (up to 0.19), Zn (up to 0.52) and Cu (up to 0.09). Lower contamination of the natural environment is generated in cultures with lower nutrient requirements (anthurium) and in the case of culture on organic substrates. With an increase in ecological awareness of producers recirculation systems should be implemented in the production practice, in which drainage waters do not migrate directly to soil, but are repeatedly used to feed crops.
The purpose of the paper is to present the author’s reflections on the origin and popularity of various approaches to maintenance and improvement of production processes, their terminological consistency, understanding, and practical application of their principles. The author’s reflections are based on his observations made over his many years of activity as a lecturer and consultant in the area of production engineering and management. It was shown that there is a need to make scientists and practitioners aware of the relatively large degree of freedom in defining the scope and way of application of strategies of continuous improvement. The author’s proposal is to refer to all approaches to maintenance and improvement of production processes with the title “Strategies of Efficient Action” and all supporting methods as “Practices of Efficient Action”. Considerations presented in the paper can be useful in more and more efficiently applying the power of TQM, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and other strategies of processes maintenance and improvement in the daily activities of companies.
Hornsund and Kongsfjorden are two similar-sized Arctic fjords on the West coast of Spitsbergen. They are influenced by cold coastal Arctic water (Hornsund) and warmer Atlantic water (Kongsfjorden). Environmental conditions affect the timing, quantity, spatial distribution (horizontal and vertical) of spring and summer blooms of protists as well as the taxonomic composition of those assemblages. Here, we compile published data and unpublished own measurement from the past two decades to compare the environmental factors and primary production in two fjord systems. Kongsfjorden is characterized by a deeper euphotic zone, higher biomass and greater proportion of autotrophic species. Hornsund seems to obtain more nutrients due to the extensive seabird colonies and exhibits higher turbidity compared to Kongsfjorden. The annual primary production in the analysed fjords ranges from 48 g C m-2 y-1 in Kongsfjorden to 216 g C m-2 y-1 in Hornsund, with a dominant component of microplankton (90%) followed by macrophytes and microphytobenthos.
The environment is the greatest good for the people. Everyone wants to breath air of the best possible quality, whether living in the city center of a metropolis or in a rural area. Air polluted with very fine particles contribute to the negative effect on people’s health and the whole environment. A significant part of air dust pollution comes from the so-called low emissions sources which include: non-standard furnaces, fireplaces, low-efficiency outdated boilers and local heat sources. Since the beginning of Polish Mining Group’s existence, the company actively participates and supports many activities, the aim of which is to improve the air quality by producing and supplying high quality coal for the residential sector. The company has undertaken pro-ecological activities towards creating a new, pro-ecological strategy as well as product offer. The production of an ecological coal assortment is systematically developing but new coal products are also being launched on the market. One of the company’s priorities is the production of thermal coal for the residential sector. Many organizational and technological changes have been made In that area (e.g. the establishmsnt of the Eco-Fuels Production Plant) to ensure a suitable level of production of the highest quality thermal coal.
The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to the lower demand from China and the US. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of the world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/ton and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010 – 2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tons in 2016. A decline by 4.8% is expected in 2019 primarily due to the expected reduction in demand in major importing countries in Asia.
According to International Energy Agency (IEA) energy security is the continuous supply of energy at acceptable prices. National energy is based primarily on its own energy resources such as hard coal and brown coal. The 88% of electric energy production from these minerals gives us full energy independence. Additionally, the energy production costs from these raw materials are the lowest compared to other technologies. Of these two, the energy produced from brown coal is characterized by the lowest unit technical generating cost. Poland has the resources of these minerals for decades to come, the experience related to mining and processing them, scientific and design facilities and technical facilities and factories producing machines and equipment for their own needs, as well as for export. Coal is and should remain an important source of electricity and heat supply in Poland for the next 25–50 years. It is one of the most reliable and profitable energy sources. This policy may be difficult in the next decades due to the exhaustion of the available resources of hard and brown coal. The conditions for the construction of new mines, and thus for the development of coal mining in Poland, are very interdisciplinary in legal, environmental, economic and reputational terms. Germany has similar problems. Despite the fact that it is an image of a country investing in renewable energy sources, which are pioneers of energy production from RES, in reality hard and brown coal are still the primary sources utilized to produce electric energy.
The article proposes the use of a synthetic indicator in spatial research. In the construction of synthetic indicator, it assumes that the indicator should not only specify the synthetic value based of on empirical data, but also show its structure. The structure of the indicator should answer the question to what extent individual empirical measures influence to the value of a synthetic indicator. Using the rules of statistical grouping, four groups of voivodships with different economic potential were distinguished. Research shows that on the synthetic indicator of voivodships (in particular groups) were affected to a varying extent by the values of empirical variables: number of employees, value of fixed assets, value of gross domestic product, number of economic operators.
In the over 150 years of hydrocarbon history, the year 2017 will be one of the many similar. However, it will be a breakthrough year for liquefied natural gas. In Asia, China grew to become the leader of import growth, becoming the second world importer, overtaking even South Korea and chasing Japan. The Panama Canal for LNG trade and the “Northern Passage” was opened, so that Russian LNG supplies appeared in Europe. The year 2017 was marked by a dramatic shortening of the length of long-term concluded contracts, their shorter tenure and reduction of volumes – that is, it was another period of market commoditization of this energy resource. The article describes the current state of LNG production and trade till 2018. It focuses on natural gas production in the United States, Qatar, Australia, Russia as countries that can produce and supply LNG to the European Union. The issue of prices and the contracts terms in 2017 was analyzed in detail. The authors stress that the market is currently characterized by an oversupply and will last at least until mid–2020. Novatek, Total – Yamal-LNG project leaders have put the condensing facility at 5.5 million tons into operation. The Christophe de Margerie oil tanker was the first commercial unit to cross the route to Norway and then further to the UK without icebreakers and set a new record on the North Sea Road. In 2017, the Russian company increased its share in the European gas market from 33.1 to 34.7%. In 2017, Russia and Norway exported record volumes of „tubular” – classic natural gas to Europe (and Turkey), 194 and 122 billion m3 respectively, which is 15 and 9 billion m3 more natural gas than in 2016. The thesis was put forward that Russia would not easily give up its sphere of influence and would do everything and use various mechanisms, not only on the market, that it would simply be more expensive and economically unprofitable than natural gas. It was also emphasized that the pressure of the technically possible and economically viable redirection to European terminals of methane carriers landed in the American LNG, results in Gazprom not having a choice but to adjust its prices. The Americans, but also any other supplier (Australia?) can simply do the same and this awareness alone is enough for Russian gas to be present in Europe at a good price.
The present paper discusses the new Polish law on higher education in the context of the contrasted global and academic paradigms of university funding, governance, and organization. Its point of departure is the advent of international comparative data in higher education, the measurability of individuals, academic units and institutions in terms of research output, and the emergence of a new social contract between the state and universities. The key concepts used to evaluate the new law are competition in science, academic income structure and academic knowledge production structure, internationalists and locals in science, and vertical differentiation in national higher education systems. The new law is assessed in the context of the original reform proposal suggested by the national team of experts led by the present author and its long-term strategic choices are discussed in more detail, including a changing system of institutional evaluation, a revised system of academic degrees, and new excellence-focused national funding schemes.
The paper presents the theory of constraints (TOC) as a method used to improve results in a complex, multiplants organization. In the article the assumptions of this method has been presented as well as iterative approach concerning how to launch it in practice. Main indicators for organizational effectiveness assessment have also been presented. The maximization of production assets utilization is a key issue for competitive organization in the changing market conditions. An appropriate usage of the theory of constraints enables efficient allocation of financial assets among particular plants within a capital group. An application of a method has been presented based on throughput analyses and its influence to improve financial results of one plant organization and synergy effect in multiplants organization. The theory of constraints can be used in almost every kind of business sectors, among them are metal and foundry industries. It allows to be implemented in production organizations as well as in any other company’s profiles. Everywhere the constraint has been defined there is a chance to achieve an improvement following the presented method. The examples have been taken from the casting plants which use continuous and mold casting technologies. The examples show that TOC approach can be successfully employed as the improvement tool of foundries’ performances.
The paper presents adaptation problem of lamellar/rod growth of eutectic. The transformation of eutectic microstructure was investigated systematically. A interpretation of the eutectic growth with theory minimum entropy production was presented.
Planning in a mining enterprise is a complex and multifaceted action. For this reason, it is necessary to provide its proper organisation and adjust it to the specific conditions of conducting underground mining extraction. The prepared plans must make up a cohesive internal system, unambiguously determining the manner, range and safety requirements of the conducted extraction. In the most general manner, the various types of plans developed by organisational units of mining enterprises can be divided based on the timeframe, type, scope and object of planning. These are strategic plans, tactical plans and subject-based plans. The aim of the article is to present the issue of production planning in a mining enterprise and for the preparation of such a plan, first and foremost, information about, among other things, applicable legal regulations, market conditions and the specificity of a mining enterprise are necessary. Underground extraction of black coal deposits must be conducted while respecting the rules of sustainable development which satisfies current needs, without compromising the ability to satisfy the needs of future generations. Due to the specific nature of mining production, manifested, among other things, by such features as the diversity of conditions for conducting the activity, resulting from the changing geological-mining conditions of the deposit, low flexibility of the production process, associated with the impossibility to conduct alternative production and a very long-lasting investment process, planning the course and magnitude of production in a mining enterprise must proceed with the highest possible diligence. One should take into account a wide range of presented environmental, organisational and technical conditions, deciding about the safety and correctness of the course of the assumed production activities. However, in order to make them economically feasible and produce satisfying results in that regard, it is also necessary to analyse them carefully with respect to financial outcomes
The aim of the article is to present the selected results of analytical investigations concerning possible directions of reducing the unit production costs in the mining company together with some results of practical calculations. The investigations emphasize the role of the rate of utilising the production capacity leading to reducing the unit production costs. The main component having an essential influence on the unit production costs are the fixed unit costs. Two basic indices of a crucial meaning for searching for possibilities leading to decreasing the unit production costs are assumed. The first index (w1) is a measure of the rate of utilising the production capacity, the second one (w2) concerns the fixed costs coincided with the unit of the production capacity. Theoretical considerations concerning the mathematical modelling of the unit production costs as the values depending on the rate of utilising the production capacity and the fixed costs coincided with the production capacity unit, are presented in the first part of the paper. The rationalisation criteria of the mine unit production costs are formulated. These criteria can constitute the elements of restructuring program for the mining company. The calculation example with the use of the practical input data shows the impact of the rate of utilising the production capacity on the mine unit production costs. In the example two variants of annual working time are taken into account. Results of appropriate calculations are presented and analysed in an aspect of reducing unit costs of production as a result of increasing rate of utilising the mine production capacity.
As experience shows the practical, reliable assessment and optimisation of total costs of logistical processes implemented in supply chains of foundry plants is a quite complex and complicated process, because it requires to enclose all, without exception, performed actions, including them in various reference cross-sections, systematic activities and finally transforming them in a totally homogenous collection. Only solid analysis and assessment of assortment management in logistical supply systems in foundry plants of particular assortment groups allows to lower the supply costs significantly. In the article the analysis and assessment of the newest implemented optimising algorithms are presented in the process stock management of selected material groups used in a production process of a chosen foundry plant. A practical solution to solve a problem of rotary stock cost minimisation is given as well as of costs while creating a stock with the usage of economical volume and value of order.
The article discusses the weldment to casting conversion process of rocker arm designed for operation in a special purpose vehicle to obtain a consistency of objective functions, which assume the reduced weight of component, the reduced maximum effort of material under the impact of service loads achieved through topology modification for optimum strength distribution in the sensitive areas, and the development of rocker arm manufacturing technology. As a result of conducted studies, the unit weight of the item was reduced by 25%, and the stress limit values were reduced to a level guaranteeing safe application.
The sustainable management of energy production and consumption is one of the main challenges of the 21st century. This results from the threats to the natural environment, including the negative impact of the energy sector on the climate, the limited resources of fossil fuels, as well as the unstability of renewable energy sources – despite the development of technologies for obtaining energy from the: sun, wind, water, etc. In this situation, the efficiency of energy management, both on the micro (dispersed energy) and macro (power system) scale, may be improved by innovative technological solutions enabling energy storage. Their effective implementation enables energy storage during periods of overproduction and its use in the case of energy shortages. These challenges cannot be overestimated. Modern science needs to solve various technological issues in the field of storage, organizational problems of enterprises producing electricity and heat, or issues related to the functioning of energy markets. The article presents the specificity of the operation of a combined heat and power plant with a heat accumulator in the electricity market while taking the parameters affected by uncertainty into account. It was pointed out that the analysis of the risk associated with energy prices and weather conditions is an important element of the decision-making process and management of a heat and power plant equipped with a cold water heat accumulator. The complexity of the issues and the number of variables to be analyzed at a given time are the reason for the use of advanced forecasting methods. The stochastic modeling methods are considered as interesting tools that allow forecasting the operation of an installation with a heat accumulator while taking the influence of numerous variables into account. The analysis has shown that the combined use of Monte Carlo simulations and forecasting using the geometric Brownian motion enables the quantification of the risk of the CHP plant’s operation and the impact of using the energy store on solving uncertainties. The applied methodology can be used at the design stage of systems with energy storage and enables carrying out the risk analysis in the already existing systems; this will allow their efficiency to be improved. The introduction of additional parameters of the planned investments to the analysis will allow the maximum use of energy storage systems in both industrial and dispersed power generation.
Mathematical programming, constraint programming and computational intelligence techniques, presented in the literature in the field of operations research and production management, are generally inadequate for planning real-life production process. These methods are in fact dedicated to solving the standard problems such as shop floor scheduling or lot-sizing, or their simple combinations such as scheduling with batching. Whereas many real-world production planning problems require the simultaneous solution of several problems (in addition to task scheduling and lot-sizing, the problems such as cutting, workforce scheduling, packing and transport issues), including the problems that are difficult to structure. The article presents examples and classification of production planning and scheduling systems in the foundry industry described in the literature, and also outlines the possible development directions of models and algorithms used in such systems.
The problem considered in the paper is motivated by production planning in a foundry equipped with the furnace and casting line, which provides a variety of castings in various grades of cast iron/steel for a large number of customers. The quantity of molten metal does not exceed the capacity of the furnace, the load is a particular type of metal from which the products are made in the automatic casting lines. The goal is to create the order of the melted metal loads to prevent delays in delivery of goods to customers. This problem is generally considered as a lot-sizing and scheduling problem. The paper describes two computational intelligence algorithms for simultaneous grouping and scheduling tasks and presents the results achieved by these algorithms for example test problems.