Towards 2020: an energy-neutral council works depot

Armstrong, Brent (2016) Towards 2020: an energy-neutral council works depot. [USQ Project]

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Energy efficiency is gaining momentum in local government authorities as cost benefits are realised and leadership within local communities is being exercised. New construction projects are prime candidates to incorporate well-engineered site-specific energy efficient solutions based on physical location and local climatic conditions. This research project proposes and substantiates solutions for energy and water efficiency at a new council works depot that consolidates three existing sites into one, due for construction by 2020.

Works depots support a large proportion of Council staff and operations, and consume a significant amount of energy. Energy neutrality will contribute towards local carbon reduction targets to minimise the impact on climate change, particularly the effects of sea level rise and more extreme weather events, which will socially and financially impact on local communities. The rapid progress of renewable energy and storage technologies allows evaluation and selection of site-specific technologies that will eliminate dependence on grid electricity.

An audit of historical energy consumption at the three existing sites provides half-hourly baseline data. Hourly, daily and annual variations are modelled and compared to historic climatic conditions. Modelling enables the evaluation of the availability of solar irradiation on surfaces of any tilt and azimuth, and is applied to all solar-dependent technologies. Concept site planning was undertaken to balance infrastructure requirements for depot operations, physical site constraints and energy generation and storage capacity.

Site and location constraints limit technologies suitable for implementation. However, the implementation of more efficient practices combined with a combination of solar PV panels, evacuated tube solar collectors, shallow geothermal HVAC loops and chemical storage provide sufficient resources for reliable energy sustainability. Only during extended periods of cloud cover would grid electricity be required. Variability in site demands largely follows the availability of renewable energy resources, making the energy neutral depot a financially feasible reality.

The rapid development of energy generation and storage technologies – efficiency improvements, new technologies and cost reductions – compel the engineer to review the proposal during design phases of the construction project, and incorporate technologies that will supersede those recommended in this report.

Energy neutrality at a multi-faceted council works depot is a financially feasible reality in 2016. By construction in 2020, enhancements in technology will provide greater reliability and further cost savings that will likely result in a more financially feasible result than that presented herein.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Mechanical Engineering project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Mossad, Ruth; Kosar, Matt
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 01:16
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2017 22:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy efficiency; Works depots; renewable energy; storage technologies
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091305 Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401703 Energy generation, conversion and storage (excl. chemical and electrical)

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