In this article, a comparison of economic effectiveness of various heating systems dedicated to residential applications is presented: a natural gas-fueled micro-cogeneration (micro-combined heat and power – μCHP) unit based on a free-piston Stirling engine that generates additional electric energy; and three so-called classical heating systems based on: gas boiler, coal boiler, and a heat pump. Calculation includes covering the demand for electricity, which is purchased from the grid or produced in residential system. The presented analyses are partially based on an experimental investigation. The measurements of the heat pump system as well as those of the energy (electricity and heat) demand profiles in the analyzed building were conducted for a single-family house. The measurements of the μCHP unit were made using a laboratory stand prepared for simulating a variable heat demand. The overall efficiency of the μCHP was in the range of 88.6– 92.4%. The amounts of the produced/consumed energy (electricity, heat, and chemical energy of fuel) were determined. The consumption and the generation of electricity were settled on a daily basis. Operational costs of the heat pump system or coal boiler based heating system are lower comparing to the micro-cogeneration, however no support system for natural gas-based μCHP system is included.
M embrane-based water desalination processes and hybrid technologies are often considered as a technologically and economically viable alternative for desalination of geothermal waters. This has been conﬁrmed by the results of pilot studies concerning the UF-RO desalination of geothermal waters extracted from various geological structures in Poland. The assessment of the feasibility of implementing the water desalination process analysed on an industrial scale is largely dependent on the method and possibility of disposing or utilising the concentrate. The analyses conducted in this respect have demonstrated that it is possible to use the solution obtained as a balneological product owing to its elevated metasilicic acid, ﬂuorides and iodides ions content. Due to environmental considerations, injecting the concentrate back into the formation is the preferable solution. The energy efﬁciency and economic analysis conducted demonstrated that the cost effectiveness of implementing the UF-RO process in a geothermal system on an industrial scale largely depends on the factors related to its operation, including without limitation the amount of geothermal water extracted, water salinity, the absorption parameters of the wells used to inject water back into the formation, the scale of problems related to the disposal of cooled water, local demand for drinking and household water, etc. The decrease in the pressure required to inject water into the formation as well as the reduction in the stream of the water injected are among the key cost-effectiveness factors. Ensuring favourable desalinated water sale terms (price/quantity) is also a very important consideration owing to the electrical power required to conduct the UF-RO process.
This article presents the use of a multi-criterion Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method to assess geological and mining condition nuisance in longwall mining operations in selected coal mines in Poland. For this purpose, a methodology has been developed which was used to calculate the operational nuisance indicator (WUe) in relation to the cost of mining coal in individual longwalls. Components of the aggregate operational nuisance indicator include four sub-indicators: the natural hazards indicator (UZN), an indicator describing the seam parameters (UPZ), an indicator describing the technical parameters (UT) and an environmental impact indicator (UŚ). In total, the impact of 28 different criteria, which formed particular components of the nuisance indicators were analysed. In total 471 longwalls in 11 coal mines were analysed, including 277 longwalls that were mined in the period of 2011 to 2016 and 194 longwalls scheduled for exploitation in the years 2017 to 2021. Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the relationships between nuisance and the operating costs of longwalls. The analysis revealed a strong correlation between the level of nuisance and the operating costs of the longwalls under study. The design of the longwall schedule should therefore also take into account the nuisance arising from the geological and mining conditions of the operations. Selective operations management allows for the optimization of costs for mining in underground mines using the longwall system. This knowledge can also be used to reduce the total operating costs of mines as a result of abandoning the mining operations in entire longwalls or portions of longwalls that may be permanently unprofitable. Currently, underground mines do not employ this optimization method, which even more emphasizes the need for popularizing this approach.
The article presents the issues of costs analysis of iron casts manufacturing using automated foundry lines. Particular attention was paid to departmental costs, conversion costs and costs of in-plant transport. After the Pareto analysis had been carried out, it was possible to set the model area of the process and focus on improving activities related to finishing of a chosen group of casts. In order to eliminate losses, the activities realised in this domain were divided into activities with added value, activities with partially added value and activities without added value. To streamline the production flow, it was proposed to change the location of workstations related to grinding, control and machining of casts. Within the process of constant improvement of manufacturing processes, the aspect of work ergonomics at a workstation was taken into account. As a result of the undertaken actions, some activities without added value were eliminated, efficiency was increased and prime costs of manufacturing casts with regard to finishing treatment were lowered.