An Analysis of Thermal Storage of Solar Energy

Conway, Benjamin (2018) An Analysis of Thermal Storage of Solar Energy. [USQ Project]

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Introduction: The Project aims to evaluate and compare the efficiency of thermal storage of energy as opposed to direct capture techniques. With plans to develop a management system to maximize the cost benefit for the domestic end user. Specifically, regarding a grid connected solar powered home, with air conditioning, hot water system and pumped solar heating for the pool.

Background: Rising electricity prices in Australia (Figure 1) are a growing concern to the consumer and average household, especially by comparison to the consumer price index that household income is influenced by. A system to defend against these disproportionate increases is justified. A major part of domestic electricity consumption is for heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC). A project that seeks to maximize the energy efficiency of the household or business is one that has an increased potential in the current market. There are some products on the market which aid the consumer in making desirable energy choices, but none that take this approach.

Methodology: The analysis of thermal storage of solar energy took the approach of quantitative techniques. An existing home was used as the model for the project’s potential feasibility. The decision to go this way, resulted in real world data, that is both relevant and accurate, mitigating the need for approximations and assumptions. It is also the way in which the completed project intends to interact with the supply it is monitoring and making decisions for, that is, in a real-time application of the findings.

Key Outcomes: The successful planning, preparation and implementation of the project has been an achievement. Through undertaking this research project, the modelling of an actual home energy system could be collated, analysed and its feasibility determined. The noteworthy observation has been that the components required are all readily available that are proven to make a measurable impact on the household HVAC efficiency.

Further Work: The realistic objectives were all able to be addressed in the timeframe. The extended objectives will not be able to be achieved during this period, and as such, are all options for ongoing work. There are plans to create a dashboard interface, and seek integration options with emerging peer to peer energy markets. 6. Conclusions The message that should be taken away from this project is that there are numerous avenues by which independent households can benefit from utilising thermal storage.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Billingsley, John
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical)
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 00:47
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2023 04:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: Solar, Energy storage, Cost benefit

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