Banana Leaves-based Bio-composite as Thermal Insulators

Abstract: Thermal insulators are natural/synthetic materials with low thermal conductivity. They find wide applications in industrial applications and recently in residential buildings to decrease the heat loss from a system and increase its energy utilization potential. Most of the used materials are synthetic which has clear detrimental effects. A biodegradable/natural material will offer many advantages if it possesses the required properties. This study investigates the potential use of a bio-composite based on banana leaves as a thermal insulation material. Different bio-composites with different compositions were tested and their thermal properties were measured. It is found that the composition plays a major role in determining the bio-composite thermal conductivity with lower thermal conductivity favored for better thermal insulation.

Mohammed A. Boraey, "Economic feasibility of small-scale renewable energy technologies in urban communities in Egypt".
Abstract: An economic feasibility study is carried out to assess the suitability of adopting different small-scale renewable energy technologies in Egyptian urban communities. The study considers different small-scale renewable energy sources when used in residential, commercial or small-scale industrial facilities. The study emphasizes the importance of using local-market components to increase the affordability of the installed systems. The study considers more than one geographical location in Egypt to test the effect of site conditions on the feasibility of the installed renewable energy source. Locations with high solar irradiance, high average wind speed and high elevation from sea level are some examples. The variation in the characteristics of the selected locations helps in giving recommendations on the best renewable energy source or a mix of sources to be used for a specific site with certain conditions. Further investigation is needed to find the optimum source for each application and usage scenario in addition to potential improvements to increase the system efficiency.