Costa Rica Institute of Technology
Cartago, Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Institute of Technology, , also known as "ITCR" or "TEC", is a public university specialized in engineering and science in Cartago, Costa Rica.The university is one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Costa Rica and also in Central America. Its mission is: "Contributing to the integral development of the country, by means of the formation of human resources, research and extension; keeping the scientific-technical leadership, the academic excellence and the strict attachment to the ethical, environmental and humanists norms, from a state university perspective of quality and competitiveness at national and international level".The ITCR is a national autonomous institution of higher education, dedicated to the teaching, research and extension in technology and associated science aimed at the development of Costa Rica. It was created by Law No. 4777 on June 10, 1971. Its main campus is in Cartago, 24 km east of the capital San José.The ITCR offers both undergraduate and graduate studies in a wide range of fields, including engineering , computer science and business management. Wikipedia.

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Meza C.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Biel D.,University of Barcelona | Jeltsema D.,Technical University of Delft | Scherpen J.M.A.,University of Groningen
IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology | Year: 2012

A Lyapunov-based control scheme for single-phase single-stage grid-connected photovoltaic central inverters is presented. Besides rendering the closed-loop system globally stable, the designed controller is able to deal with the system uncertainty that depends on the solar irradiance. A laboratory prototype has been built as a proof of concept for the proposed control technique. A nonlinear passive adaptive controller has been programmed in a field-programmable gate array. © 2011 IEEE.

Chavarria J.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Biel D.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Guinjoan F.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Meza C.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Negroni J.J.,Metropolitan University of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2013

This paper presents an energy-balance control strategy for a cascaded single-phase grid-connected H-bridge multilevel inverter linking n independent photovoltaic (PV) arrays to the grid. The control scheme is based on an energy-sampled data model of the PV system and enables the design of a voltage loop linear discrete controller for each array, ensuring the stability of the system for the whole range of PV array operating conditions. The control design is adapted to phase-shifted and level-shifted carrier pulsewidth modulations to share the control action among the cascade-connected bridges in order to concurrently synthesize a multilevel waveform and to keep each of the PV arrays at its maximum power operating point. Experimental results carried out on a seven-level inverter are included to validate the proposed approach. © 2012 IEEE.

Moya R.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Marin J.D.,University of Tolima
New Forests | Year: 2011

Commercial Tectona grandis plantations using clones have attracted considerable interest for lumber production in tropical regions where small areas are frequent. However, studies on wood properties are limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to group clones with similar wood color characteristics using the CIELab system, and mechanical resistance by dynamic stiffness (Ed) in order to obtain different types of clones for different climate and edaphic conditions. It was found that lightness (L*), yellowness (b*), redness (a*), and Ed are similar to those found for other plantation trees. These wood characteristics are significantly influenced by clone and site. Variance due to clone and site went from 31 to 53% and from 2.95 to 24.22%, respectively. Another source of variance was distance from pith, with the exception of parameter b*, which was not affected. Finally, clones were grouped (using multivariate analysis) according to color and mechanical resistance. This analysis established 4 groups by color and 5 groups by Ed. Clone clustering will allow us to choose or use clones with similar wood properties according to site and environmental conditions increasing area production and wood quality uniformity. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

The CONECTA 2020 project embraces the collaboration between Europe and Latin American/Caribbean Countries around Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Horizon 2020.\n\nCONECTA 2020 proposes to create new mechanisms of collaboration and networking between Latin American Technology Platforms (LATPs) and ETPs in the form of innovative match-making tools around ICT and Future Internet areas, taking into account issues such as most relevant knowledge and most appropriate user targets depending on specific contexts of their Strategic Research Agendas (e.g., software and services, networked electronic media and ICT for energy) and the roles, social attributes and priorities of each target regional community.\n\nFollowing SSA FIRST that successfully created 5 (LATPs) in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, CONECTA 2020 proposes the creation of 3 new ICT-based Technology Platforms (TPs) in three countries of Latin America: Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay. CONECTA 2020 will produce organizational documents (governance, structure, etc.) and technical documents (Vision, Strategic Research Agenda), as tools to set up sustainable scientific cooperation between these new LATs and Europe. CONECTA 2020 also proposes the creation of new Working Groups (WGs) within existing LATPs such as the Mexican Technology Platform (MTP): how ICT can support societal challenges such as Secure, clean and efficient energy. CONECTA 2020 will analyze potential areas of cooperation between ETPs and these new Latin American TPs and Working Groups around thematic areas of ICT and applications of ICT sectors, identifying key stakeholders to launch and run TPs in LatAm countries including representatives from industrial (large companies and SMEs) and academic sectors, as well as producing Vision and Strategic Research Agenda documents as tools to set up sustainable research cooperation with Europe.

Salazar J.L.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Chen W.-L.,Kun Shan University
Energy Conversion and Management | Year: 2014

A compressible CFD code has been developed to study the heat transfer characteristics of a β-type Stirling engine with a very simple design and geometry. The results include temperature contours, velocity vectors, and distributions of local heat flux along solid boundaries at several important time steps as well as variations of average temperatures, integrated rates of heat input, heat output, and engine power. It is found that impingement is the major heat transfer mechanism in the expansion and compression chamber, and the temperature distribution is highly non-uniform across the engine at any given moment. The results, especially the rates of heat transfer, are quite different from those obtained by a second-order model. The variations of heat transfer rates are much more complicated than the simple variations returned by the second-order model. This study sheds light into the complex heat transfer mechanism inside the Stirling engine and is very helpful to the understanding of the fundamental process of the engine cycle. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Moya R.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Bond B.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Quesada H.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wood Science and Technology | Year: 2014

Teak (Tectona grandis L. f) has been introduced to reforestation programs in many tropical countries for timber production. The use of teak plantations has changed the supply from large-diameter logs to small-diameter logs featuring a higher proportion of juvenile wood and more knots. Generally, the teak from fast-growth plantation is harvested after 15-30 years of growth, with logs ranging from 12 to 30 cm in diameter. The goal of this work was to review the factors that influence the heartwood formation, variation, quality, color, and durability in teak and to understand which factors should be controlled in fast-growth plantations. Important factors in the heartwood properties of teak trees from fast-growth plantations are as follows: the tree age, longitudinal variation, geographic location, environmental conditions, and silvicultural activities. These factors influence heartwood extractive content, color variation, and durability. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Moya R.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Berrocal A.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology
Annals of Forest Science | Year: 2010

Wood colour of Tectona grandis produced from fast-growth plantations is highly variable and the causes of this variation are relatively unknown. With the purpose of understanding the colour variation, different fast-growth plantations were sampled with different growth rates, tree ages, and sites. Wood colour was measured with a CIELab system, where three variables are estimated: coordinate L* for lightness, coordinate a* defines redness and coordinate b* defines yellowness. Results showed only a negative correlation between L* and a*. L* and a* were negatively and positively respectively correlated with pith distance in heartwood, but not for b*. No correlations were found between L* and b* in sapwood and plantation characteristics, while a* was positively correlated with age and height of tree and growth rate. In heartwood, tree age and diameter at breast height were correlated with all colour parameters, but tree height and plantation density were correlated with a* and b*. Cluster site had correlation with L*. Multiple correlation analysis showed that the heartwood is increasing darker (L*) and redder (a*) when the trees are older and bigger. Correlation coefficient shown that sapwood and heartwood with lighter colour (L*) is less resistance to fungal attack, but redness colour (a*) increasing decay resistance. © 2009 INRA EDP Sciences.

Salas C.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Moya R.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology
Drying Technology | Year: 2014

Tectona grandis and Gmelina arborea are common in commercial reforestation in the tropics. However, color variations, moisture content, and drying defects are also present in dried lumber. Moisture content variations, drying defects, and color changes were evaluated in the present work for three drying methods (kiln, solar, and air drying) during three seasons (dry, rainy, and transition season) in Costa Rica. According to the results, kiln drying had the fastest drying times, regardless of the season. On the other hand, air drying had slower drying time and higher final moisture content. With regard to defects, kiln drying produced the highest number and magnitude of defects in both species, whereas air drying showed the lowest quantity and severity of defects. No variations due to the drying methods or the season were observed in check and split, though solar drying presented intermediate values in all drying defects. The seasons of the year did not present any effect on drying defects. Finally, T. grandis dried lumber is darker than green lumber, and dried G. arborea wood is clearer. In addition, there is an increase in red (a*) and yellow (L*) tonalities, and color changes (Δ E*) are considered perceptible or very perceptible in both species. No differences were found among the three drying methods in Δ E*, although the season of the year affected dif L* and dif C * significantly. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Fedorov A.N.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology
International Journal of Engineering Education | Year: 2016

The internationalisation of the curricula is considered one of the principal factors for the improvement of teaching in engineering. Nonetheless, lack of a contextualized conceptual and methodological framework hinders the incorporation of an international dimension into the university education for future engineers. This article presents the steps of an investigation that seeks to address this problem. The principal objective of this study is the elaboration of a methodological guide for the internationalisation of the engineering curricula at the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica [Costa Rica Institute of Technology-ITCR]. As a result of this study, a guide and scale for the implementation and assessment of curriculum internationalisation are developed. Additionally, the results of a diagnostic pilot study on the internationalisation of the undergraduate programs in agricultural and biotechnology engineering at ITCR are obtained. This article can be useful for faculty, school directors, program coordinators, advisors and members of curriculum committees, among others involved in the teaching, development and management of the curriculum and graduate program quality. © 2016 TEMPUS Publications.

Moya R.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology | Calvo-Alvarado J.,Costa Rica Institute of Technology
Annals of Forest Science | Year: 2012

Context Teak's wood color is considered an important attribute in the marketing phase and it has been influenced by environmental setting, stand conditions and management, plant genetic source, and age. However, there is a lack of understanding about how the environmental factors might affect the teak's wood color planted in short-rotation forest plantations. Aims The aim of this study is to understand the relationship, gathered from generated information, between edaphic and climatic variables and their effects in the wood color variation of Tectona grandis from trees in forest plantations. Methods Twenty-two plots were grouped in five cluster sites that shared similar climatic and soil conditions. Data about soil's physical-chemical properties and climatic variables were collected and analyzed. Representative trees were harvested next to each plot in order to obtain a wood sample per tree at a diameter breast height.Wood color was measured using standardized CIELab's chromaticity system. Results After comparing the wood change color index (E) in the five studied clusters, it was found that heartwood produced from drier and fertile sites had more yellowish-brown color. The heartwood b color index resulted with significant correlations (R>0.5, P<0.05) among nine climatic and eight edaphic variables. Conclusion It was concluded that climatic variables should be considered as the first-order causal variables to explain wood color variation. Hence, darker b wood color was associated with dry climates; also, with deeper and fertile sites. © INRA / Springer-Verlag France 2012.

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