• Laboratory Performance of Wicking Fabric H2Ri in Silty Gravel, Sand and Organic Silt

      Connor, Billy; Zhang, Xiong (16-05)
      The use of wicking fabric, H2Ri, is growing in its use to remove water from roadway and airport embankments. Past research has shown H2Ri to be effective in sands and fine grained materials in roadways up to 32 feet in width. However, there is a desire to use H2Ri for airports which require a minimum width of 75 ft. This project tested H2Ri in a 73-foot flume in a crushed surface course with 14 % fines. In addition, the fabric was tested in a 22-foot flume with a sand and with an organic clay. The intent was to bracket the material for which the H2Ri will work. The study showed that the fabric will easily move water 73 feet in a silty gravel. The study showed that the fabric was also able to readily remove water in sand. However, the fabric blinded when used in organic silt and proved ineffective. The study also showed that using simple overlap of the H2Ri as a splice, while effective, was not as efficient at moving water as the fabric itself. Consequently, moisture tended to build up around the splice.
    • Passive Solar Heating in Alaska

      Zarling, John (1980-06)
      The relationship between the four elements of passive solar design for small buildings; south facing windows, thermal mass, thermal insulating shutters, and insulation thickness, were studied by computer simulation to determine their long-term effects on energy consumption. Solar and weather data for Fairbanks, Alaska, 65(degrees)N latitude, was the input to the TRNSYS Program used to perform the dynamic simulations. Results for an entire heating season are presented. Overall it is shown that shutters and insulation are the most important elements in the design of energy conserving structures for the north. Thermal mass plays a lesser role, especially during the mid-winter months when direct solar gain is balanced by the building envelope losses.
    • Air-to-Air Heat Recovery Devices for Small Buildings

      Zarling, John P. (1981-01)
      With the escalation of fuel costs, many people are turning to tighter, better insulated buildings as a means of achieving energy conservation. This is especially true in northern climates, where heating seasons are long and severe. Installing efficient well sealed vapor barriers and weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows reduces cold air infiltration but can lead to damaging moisture buildup, as well as unpleasant and even unhealthy accumulations of odors and gases. To provide the necessary ventilation air to maintain air quality in homes while holding down energy costs, air-to-air heat exchangers have been proposed for residential and other simple structures normally not served by an active or forced ventilation system. Four basic types of air-to-air heat exchangers are suited for small scale use: rotary, coil-loop, heat pipe, and plate. The operating principles of each of these units are presented and their individual advantages and disadvantages are discusses. A test program has been initiated to evaluate the performance of a few commercial units as well as several units designed and/or built at the University of Alaska. Preliminary results from several of these tests are presented along with a critique on their design.
    • Low Data Rate Digital Transmission Techniques for Alaskan Applications

      Roberts, Thomas; Merritt, Robert; Kokjer, Kenneth (1981-02)
    • A Solar Design Manual for Alaska

      Seifert, Richard D. (1981-07)
    • Solar Assisted Culvert Thawing Device Phase I

      Zarling, John P. (1981-11)
      A solar assisted culvert thawing device has been designed, constructed, and installed as an alternate method for the prevention and control of roadway flooding and icing. The proposed solar thawing device is a maintenance-free system and relieves the labor-intensive and expensive culvert thawing methods presently used
    • Air-to-Air Heat Recovery Devices for Small Buildings

      Zarling, John P. (1982-05)
      With the escalation of fuel costs, many people are turning to tighter, better insulated buildings as a means of achieving energy conservation. This is especially true in norther climates, where heating seasons are long and severe. Installing efficient well sealed vapor barriers and weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows reduces cold air infiltration but can lead to damaging moisture buildup, as well as unpleasant and even unhealthy accumulations of odors and gases. To provide the necessary ventilation air to maintain air quality in homes while holding down energy costs, air-to-air heat exchangers have been proposed for residential and other simple structures normally not served by an active or forced ventilation system. Four basic types of air-to-air heat exchangers are suited for small scale use: rotary, coil-loop, heat pipe, and plate. The operating principles of each of these units are presented and their individual advantages and disadvantages are discussed. A test program has been initiated to evaluate the performance of a few commercial units as well as several units designed and/or built at the University of Alaska. Preliminary results from several of these tests are presented along with a critique on their design.
    • Preliminary Design and Feasibility Study for a Calcium-Magnesium Acetate Unit

      Economides, M. J.; Ostermann, R. D. (1982-07)
      The adverse environmental effects and corrosion problems associated with the use of chloride salts as de-icing agents have prompted a search for alternative de-icing compounds. Calcium and Magnesium Acetates (CMA) exhibit excellent de-icing characteristics yet are not corrosive or harmful to the environment. A viable process design for the production of CMA has been developed based on the results of a series of kinetic reaction experiments conducted at the University of Alaska. Acetic acid and native Alaskan limestones were used as the raw materials. An economic evaluation of the process indicates a selling price of less than $600/ton of solid CMA, based on teh production of a saturated, aqueous CMA solution in small scale facilities (10,000 - 50,000 gallons/day). At the upper range of production rates studied (50,000 GPD) and for an acetic acid cost of $1.25/gallon, the calculated CMA price was $290/ton of solid. This represents a minimum price and is attractive when compared with the cost of other de-icing compounds. The results of this cooperative project between the Petroleum Engineering Department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and the State D.O.T. are highly encouraging. With the use of native Alaskan limestone and acetic acid, the process economics point toward a high quality, competitively priced product. The environmental advantages of CMA over Chloride salts and reduced secondary costs due to lower corrosion rates for vehicles and bridges indicate that CMA may become the premier de-icing agent.
    • Report Supplement: Thermal and Cost Analysis of Thermal Envelopes for a Small Rural School

      Zarling, John; Strandberg, James S.; Maynard and Partch; HMS, Inc. (1983-01)
    • Fuel Cell Power Plants in Rural Alaska

      Malosh, J. B. (1983-04)
      On the basis of fuel efficiency alone, the methanol fueled phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) is a very attractive replacement for the diesel electric generator, especially in the bush regions of Alaska. However, because of the transportation costs for liquid fuel to the bush combined with the lower heating value of methanol, the PAFC looses this advantage and produces electricity that in some instances is more costly than the diesel generator. Although the PAFC is at the highest state of development of all fuel cell power plants, it is still not a commercially mature technology. The present cost of a PAFC power plant is on the order of ten times the price of an equivalent diesel electric generator. There is also no large body of published, long term data on fuel cells of any type larger than 1 kw from which an accurate assessment of reliability, maintenance and operating costs can be made. Considering this and the lack of electrical production cost advantage, the evaluation of the methanol fueled PAFC for buch applications should be suspended until more operational data is made public and units are commercially available.
    • Solar Assisted Culvert Thawing Device Phase II

      Zarling, John P.; Murray, Douglas H. (1983-05)
      A reflective type concentrating solar collector system has been designed, constructed and installed on an ice plugged roadway culvert as a means of melting a channel for water flow. The system consisted of four reflecting collectors, a circulating pump, and a thaw pipe mounted in the culvert. Photovoltaic panels were used as the source of power for the pump. A design analysis and performance characteristics are given for the solar collectors, circulating pump, and photovoltaic panels.
    • Product Evaluation: Presto Roadbase Sand Confinement Grid

      Coetzee, Nicolaas F. (1983-06)
      The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is continuously looking for methods of using marginal soils for roadway and airport embankments. In areas such as the Western coast of Alaska, where quality materials must be imported and therefore are prohibitively expensive, the use of native soils represents a significant cost savings to the State. The Army Corps of Engineer Experimental Waterways Station has developed a method of stabilizing sand using a plastic grid system. This report analyzes the system for use in Western Alaska using a finite element analysis and the Chev5L computer program. These analysis indicate that the grid system is at least equal to 6 inches of crushed aggregate. The bearing capacity of the sand is greatly enhanced since lateral displacement is eliminated. Although additional work is still required, it is expected that the sand grid system discussed in this report will ultimately result in a significant cost savings in embankment construction in Western Alaska