This experimental paper comprises the results of acoustic emission (AE), microscopic and ultrasonic measurements of samples subjected to slowly increasing compressive stress. On the basis of conducted measurements the successive stages of the material structural degradation have been recognized. The objects of study were samples made of C 120 aluminous porcelain. The investigated material has found at present the application in the fabrication of technical elements like overhead power line insulators. In the case of such objects, not only high mechanical strength, but especially elevated durability as well as operational reliability are required. The expected "life time" of net insulators during exploitation is about 40 years. The analysis of obtained mechanoacoustic dependences pointed out a complex mechanism of degradation of the material. Microscopic investigation of samples, which were stressed to different levels of load, enabled to specify the development of gradual growth of microcracks and successive crushing out of elements of the structure. These processes appear to be similar to the ageing processes occurring in the material during long period of exploitation under a working load. Three stages of the structure degradation were distinguished. The preliminary and subcritical ones show low or moderate intensity of AE signals and considerable variety for the particular samples. The critical stage directly precedes the destructtion of samples. Its range is relatively narrow and reveals the AE activity of high energy. The effectiveness of dispersive and fibrous reinforcement of modern aluminous porcelain C 120 type has been described. Structural strengthening by corundum grains and mullite needle shaped crystals improves mechanical parameters and distinguishes this material from typical aluminosilicate ceramics. The presented results enable drawing up the conclusions concerning the resistance of investigated material to the ageing degradation process development during long term operation.
Recently, the search for new effective energy production solutions has been focused on the production of electricity using renewable and environmentally friendly carriers. This resulted in an increased interest in PV cells and cogeneration systems. The article looks at the main factors affecting their operational parameters against the background of the development history of subsequent generations of PV cells. Average daily solar radiation and wind velocity in Lodz were characterized. The research was done on a static and tracking system with a total peak power of 15 kWp and a 30 kW microturbine. PV panels are installed on the building of the Institute of Electrical Power Engineering of the Lodz University of Technology and they work as part of DERLab. A microturbine is inside the building. Energy measurements were carried out in 2016 giving grounds for the analysis of energy efficiency and financial analysis of the energy supply in buildings. Energy yields in the static and tracking system as well as percentage coverage of electricity from PV cells and microturbines were assessed. The distribution of monthly savings, annual savings of energy costs and the payback time of the investment costs of the systems subject to the test were determined. The research we have done allows us to say that the energy produced by follow-up modules is about 3 times greater than that generated in stationary modules. On the other hand, the annual savings of energy costs using gas micro-turbines are about 10 times higher than those of lagging panels. The analysis shows that it is possible to determine the profitability of the microturbine and photovoltaic panels use despite large financial outlays. The payback period of investment outlays is about 12 years when using the installation throughout the year.
A series of copper oxide thin films were synthesized through direct current magnetron sputtering on glass and silicon substrates with various process parameters. Initially, optical microscopy images and their histograms were analyzed to determine the optical quality of the obtained layers and then histograms were created using Image Histogram Generator software. Next, the morphology, and cross-section and layer composition of the samples were evaluated. Finally, the transmission spectra of the thin films were recorded. Transmittance and reflection spectra of the UV–vis analysis were utilized to calculate the optical band gap, the extinction coefficient, and the absorption coefficient of the oxidized layers. Samples showed low transmittance (up to 40%) in the region of 400 to 1000 nm. The mean absorption coefficient varied from ~3 · 105 to ~6 · 105 1/cm and from ~2 · 105 to ~4 · 105 1/cm in the region of 2 eV to 3.5 eV. The extinction coefficient ranged from 0 to 0.11 in the region from 300 to 3000 nm. Reflectance of the samples was ~20% in the region of 1000 to 2500 nm and ranged from 20%-50% in the region of 1000 to 3000 nm. We verified the process parameters of the Cu2O structure to improve the quality as a buffer layer. On the basis of this preliminary analysis, we propose the most promising and future-oriented solutions in photovoltaic applications.