eeXtra – September 2017
The Geoscience building downunder
The Geoscience Australia building in Canberra, built in 1990, is heated and cooled using ambient temperatures in the earth's crust. Ground source heat pump systems are much cheaper to run than gas or electric heating, and are more environmentally considerate. The technology is particularly well suited to cities with hot summers and cold winters—such as Canberra and Melbourne. So why isn’t there more of it around?
Source: ABC News
Australia joins International Solar Alliance
The Australian Government has formally indicated its intention to join the International Solar Alliance, an initiative to boost cooperation on new technologies and provide new opportunities for Australia’s expertise in the industry. Australia joins 34 other countries in signing the Solar Alliance framework agreement.
Source: Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
More Aboriginal communities are going solar
The Northern Territory Government has installed over 10,000 solar panels across 10 remote communities. In outback NSW, nearly 1000 Aboriginal Housing Office properties are also set to have rooftop solar installed. Similar projects are ramping up in other parts of the country, including WA’s Fitzroy Valley. The technology is freeing communities around from expensive, polluting diesel generator systems.
Garden Island on the microgrid
Construction has begun on the solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage system components of the Garden Island Microgrid Project, which is the world’s first demonstration of a solar, battery, wave and desalination microgrid. The project will also integrate with existing Department of Defence diesel generators and the Western Power grid to demonstrate both off-grid and on-grid functionality.
Source: Tidal Energy Today
Big brewery co aims for 100% renewables
Fosters Group and Carlton United Breweries parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is set to receive all of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025, including on-site solar. The company has joined RE100, a global initiative of influential businesses committed to using 100% renewables, led by the Climate Group in partnership with Carbon Disclosure Project.
Source: One Step Off The Grid
Energy-efficient farm dryer reaps grain gain
Drying corn and soybeans is an energy-intensive process and can be a significant expense for a row crop farm. One energy reduction option is to replace older grain drying units with new grain drying equipment. A Grand Valley Farm in Michigan USA has installed a new dryer that yields significant energy-efficiency gains in its operation.
Source: Michigan State University Extension
3D metal printing: 100x faster and 10x cheaper
A new 3D printing system is set to revolutionise not only prototyping but manufacturing as well. It could be the tipping point for large scale 3D manufacturing. The production system is safer and faster than machining, casting, forging and other techniques, with enormous potential for energy savings.
Source: New Atlas
Kalgoorlie strikes gold with clean energy success
Kalgoorlie’s Oasis Recreation Centre has been officially acknowledged as a clean energy success story. Solar installations at the facility will offset 8309GJ of natural gas and 206,000kWh of electricity per year that would otherwise be used to control temperatures and heat the pool at the centre.
Source: The West Australian
Community power hubs in regional Victoria
The Victorian Government has provided $900,000 for pilot community power hubs in Bendigo, Ballarat and Latrobe Valley to support community-owned renewable energy projects. The hubs will assist the communities in accessing the skills and expertise needed to develop and deliver community-level renewable energy projects.
Source: Bendigo Advertiser
A taste for energy efficiency in food processing
By reducing power usage and time, food processing companies can improve their profitability while also being able to measure themselves against ISO 14067, and the brand and corporate responsibility benefits it delivers. There will also be a positive impact on the industry’s consumption of resources, helping to tackle a challenge that is only going to grow as the world’s population increases.
Island in the sun
The island of Ta‘ū in American Samoa is entirely powered by its own solar microgrid. The system includes1.4MW of generation capacity from more than 5,000 solar panels. A complement of 60 Tesla Powerpack batteries enable the island to stay powered for up to three days without sunlight.
Source: Climate Council
See: Island in the sun
Four vital steps towards energy savings
According to Energy Action only around 30% of companies surveyed said they would be very-to-extremely likely to consider an energy audit. Most respondents said they were waiting for prices to come down rather than attempt to renegotiate contracts. Energy Action outlines four things business should be doing to reduce the impact of energy prices now.
Source: The Fifth Estate
A sweet deal on renewables
Hydroponics fruit and vegetable supplier, Nectar Farms, is building a $220m 40 hectare glasshouse in western Victoria. It will be accompanied by a 196MW wind farm built on nearby paddocks, and a 20MW/34MWh battery storage facility to ensure uninterrupted supply. ‘Without renewable energy, the project would have been impossible’, said Stephen Sasse CEO of Nectar Farms.
Source: One Step Off The Grid
Wind power at 118% of Scotland’s electricity needs
Wind power output in Scotland has set a new record for the first half of 2017. The power generated in June was equal to the electrical needs of 118% of Scottish households—nearly three million homes.
Sunshine Coast harvests namesake resource
Sunshine Coast Council recently opened its 15MW Valdora solar farm, becoming the first council in Australia to complete its own large scale solar plant. The facility will supply the equivalent of 100% of the area’s electricity and is expected to generate $22m in savings after costs.
Source: One Step Off The Grid
Hawaii and California on track for 100% renewables
Hawaii and California took major steps towards initiatives that will demonstrate that complete reliance on renewable energy is suitable for major economies. Hawaii Electric said a 100% renewable-based grid would provide a solid foundation for the electrification of transportation, including electric vehicles, docks, airports, and warehouses as well as possible hydrogen fuel cell alternatives. In California, consumers are increasingly opting for clean energy by moving to community choice aggregation programs.
Impacts of commercial building controls on energy savings and peak load reduction
This study investigated the potential energy savings from implementation of 34 basic and advanced controls measures and eliminating common faults in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the US commercial building sector.
Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office
Energy efficiency in autonomous underwater vehicles
Robotics researchers in the US have found a way for autonomous underwater vehicles to navigate strong currents with greater energy efficiency, which means the AUVs can gather data for longer and more effectively.
China’s massive floating solar farm
The world’s largest floating solar farm drifts, symbolically, on a lake formed on top of a collapsed and flooded coal mine. Waterborne solar panels have multiple benefits, including a 10% boost in efficiency due to lower temperatures and the ability to stay clean and free of dust and dirt.
Source: Time Magazine
Open the door to energy efficiency and safety
Energy efficiency, safety and productivity are some of the biggest issues facing today’s industrial plants. Perhaps surprisingly, doors play a big role in all of these factors.
Source: Ferret - Logistics & Materials Handling