The widespread distribution of sensing in temporarily occupied areas ensures low cost way of attracting immediate energy saving results. These areas would include thoroughfares, toilets, meeting rooms, storerooms, etc. In addition to this, it is proposed that sensing devices are installed in all perimeter locations to facilitate strategies such as ‘daylight harvesting’ which will be explained in section 4, ‘Load Control’.
The input of prevailing weather conditions offers the system the ability to display, and react to, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. It is recommended that a weather station be installed on the building to enhance the functionality of the system as well as provide useful information for the occupants.
The real-time feedback of water and gas usage offers the further potential to initiate economising measures and consider the potential of post-development installation of related systems (e.g. rainwater harvesting, etc.).
4. Load Control
It is common practise in more modern, energy efficient buildings to utilize dimmable fittings which offers a far greater degree of flexibility in order to achieve maximum energy savings by facilitating such strategies as ‘daylight harvesting’. By assessing the natural light within a space this system is capable of compensating only where artificial light is required.
In addition, any electrical load is able to be controlled in such a way that ensures economical usage where possible. Interface with security, fire systems and air-conditioning is normally recommended for reacting to certain events (e.g. All Lights on full during fire alarm activation, shutdown of all lighting and AC loads when security system is armed, Shutdown of lighting and AC in unoccupied spaces, etc.).
5. Supervision & Display
It is proposed that at designated entrances a kiosk/LCD display screen is mounted which display the dynamic relationship between the energy consumed and energy created. The display will also graph the historical data of the last 7days and month of solar energy captured. This rolling display of information ensures the viewer “keeps” coming back to the display as new and varied methods of graphing and display of the information is used.
Being a web based system it means that individuals are now able to monitor their personal contribution to the buildings energy use which is achieved through the display of a “Gadget” installed on their desktop computer.
The proposed system is fully customizable which means the level of interface can be expanded and developed over time both to enhance the experience and to incorporate new energy additions. We believe that this holistic system will set new standards in human interface which by default serves to raise public awareness and create an educational resource. It is envisaged that energy data will be recorded in either an on-site or off-site server that may not only be used as a vital day to day dynamic display of renewable energy systems, but that the accumulated relevant and accurate information provide a data platform for those interested in sustainable energy solutions.
The software also is capable of interpolating this energy creation and CO2 offset in a number of visual and intuitive symbolic methods - such as displaying how many “cars” are taken off the road, number of trees equivalent, etc. This graphical method is engaging and immediately understandable to the viewer of the displayed data.
Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
The PHEV is the next generation of Hybrid Vehicle which essentially has greater battery capacity among other modifications. The benefit with regard to this project is the concept known as Vehicle to Grid technology (V2G). As a dedicated mobile unit associated with the Midland Atelier, when parked at the site it is charged by the solar panels on the roof of the building. This has the net affect of eliminating the grid charging normally associated with electric vehicles but the ability of the car to act as energy storage is considered a breakthrough in renewable power generation. During high demand periods or when the solar panels are not producing, the storage capacity in the vehicles battery offers a source of power to supplement electricity. For larger buildings it is more of a long term benefit that requires a number of vehicles to have a greater impact on the buildings infrastructure.
It is proposed that a number of ‘PHEV docking stations’ be included, not just at the foundry site but also at community wide locations where the car can supplement a buildings load when parked.
Implementation and maintenance
Fundamental to the success of the system is the holistic nature of the installation. The ability to integrate and communicate between all the components of the installation creates a synergistic relationship that elicits an aggregated response to energy use. It is this fact that requires coordinated management between all members of the consortium and relevant contractors. In broad terms of expected delivery the following program is proposed:
Stage 1 ‐ Engagement of a renewable energy specialist to advise on the building’s electrical designs, incorporation of PV, energy efficiency and management systems and implications towards Green Star accreditation.
Stage 2 ‐ Installation of the PV system on the Foundry in 2010‐2011, either in tandem or prior to the fit‐out of the Foundry. Initially power would be fed back into the grid.
Stage 3 ‐ Foundry fit out in 2010‐2011, development of the Power House interpretive centre, implementation of energy efficiency/management in precinct buildings, incorporation of energy efficiency/management into MRA and FORM community engagement strategy for story telling and educational purposes.
Stage 4 – Ongoing monitoring of the energy system, interpretation centre and community engagement strategies feed back to stakeholders and Green Star accreditation.
Partial installation of the system would render the project much less groundbreaking since it is the synergistic performance of the integral parts that work in unison. Between time of day/year, occupancy and demand the dynamically changing energy system requires a high level of communication and collaborative input from all of the systems.
Project risks include the need for stakeholder approvals i.e. Heritage Council WA, Western Power, delays to the fit out of the Foundry and installations in other buildings. The project will need to adapt to the changing political, financial and regulatory requirements.