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Abstract

The article analyzes the risk factors related to the energy use of alternative fuels from waste. The essence of risk and its impact on economic activity in the area of waste management were discussed. Then, a risk assessment, on the example of waste fractions used for the production of alternative fuel, was carried out. In addition, the benefits for the society and the environment from the processing of alternative fuels for energy purposes, including, among others: reducing the cost of waste disposal, limiting the negative impact on water, soil and air, reducing the amount of waste deposited, acquisition of land; reduction of the greenhouse effect, facilitating the recycling of other fractions, recovery of electricity and heat, and saving conventional energy carriers, were determined. The analysis of risk factors is carried out separately for plants processing waste for alternative fuel production and plants producing energy from this type of fuel. Waste processing plants should pay attention to investment, market (price, interest rate, and currency), business climate, political, and legal risks, as well as weather, seasonal, logistic, technological, and loss of profitability or bankruptcy risks. Similar risks are observed in the case of energy companies, as they operate in the same external environment. Moreover, internal risks may be similar; however, the specific nature of the operation of each enterprise should be taken into account. Energy companies should pay particular attention to the various types of costs that may threaten the stability of operation, especially in the case of regulated energy prices. The risk associated with the inadequate quality of the supplied and stored fuels is important. This risk may disrupt the technological process and reduce the plant’s operational efficiency. Heating plants and combined heat and power plants should also not underestimate the non-catastrophic weather risk, which may lead to a decrease in heat demand and a reduction in business revenues. A comprehensive approach to risk should protect enterprises against possible losses due to various types of threats, including both external and internal threats.
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Abstract

Maintaining railway turnout operability is crucial for ensuring railway transport safety. Electric heating of railway turnouts is a significant technical and economic issue. The classical heating is characterised by high power consumption. For this reason, research is needed to optimise the current system. This paper presents results of a numerical analysis and of experimental researches. The numerical analysis was carried out using the ANSYS software. There was conducted a numerical comparative analysis of energy loss during heating performed using two different heaters. Including the classical method and a heater thermally insulated from a rail. In the first step, heating of a working space filled with a substitute snow model was considered. The snow-covered surface area was held within the working space of the turnout. It was assumed that the snow substitute material had thermal properties approximately the same as real light snow. It was also assumed that the material is in the solid state which would not undergo a phase change. In the next step, a real snow model that included the phase change process was taken into account. The energy efficiency and heat distribution in the turnout have been analysed and compared. The experimental researches were carried out in a physical model. The results showed that the use of a contactless heater results in creating a larger area over which emitted heat affected snow in the working space. Consequently, more snow was melted around the contactless heater than the classic one. This experimental observation supported the results of the numerical analyses presented previously.
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