The new system, designed by Simon Shun, working under the supervision of Associate Professor N.A. Ahmed at the University of New South Wales, relies on solar and wind power when it can. When the wind drops or there is not enough sun, the ventilation system automatically switches to mains electricity. This ensures that the building gets adequate ventilation, and meets the ventilation standards legally required for health, safety and comfort.
Commercial ventilation systems use significant amounts of electrical power, enough to cause blackouts in some states during the hottest summer days. This new system has the potential to assist the wider community by reducing peak energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions.
“At present, devices based on renewable energy cannot be used for constant flow ventilation because of the unpredictable nature of the wind and sun,” Shun says. “The challenge, therefore, was to design a system that uses clean energy to the maximum possible effect. Our device has a smart switching module that selects mains electricity as a back-up power source.”
The new ventilation system was designed from the outset to use both wind and solar energy. A horizontal spin-axis design was developed to increase the effectiveness at which energy was extracted from low-speed wind. This configuration more than doubled the ventilation output at wind speeds between 0 and 10 metres a second. The horizontal axis design gave the team the freedom to introduce advantageous design features that were more difficult to incorporate with conventional configurations. Under zero wind speed conditions, an electric motor powered by a stand alone solar panel powers the system. If wind and sun conditions are both less than ideal, mains electricity is often the only solution to maintain a constant ventilation flow rate.
An electronic control module was designed as a smart solution to switch between the energy sources of wind, sun and mains electricity. The module has adjustable inputs for wind speed and solar intensity. This allows a user to adjust the point at which the system switches over to mains electricity. Shun plans to turn his prototype into a working trial system and install it on a purpose- built test building within the next six months. The industrial partner, Edmonds, a business unit of CSR Limited, which has supported the development of the concept, stands ready to assess the advantages of the system with the view of possibly taking the concept to market.
Simon Shun is one of 16 young scientists presenting their research to the public for the first time thanks to Fresh Science, a national program sponsored by the Federal and Victorian Governments. One of the Fresh Scientists will win a trip to the UK courtesy of British Council Australia to present his or her work to the Royal Institution.
Niall Byrne | alfa
Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging
25.10.2016 | Colorado State University
Did you know that infrared heating is an essential part of automotive manufacture?
25.10.2016 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering