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
Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power
14.12.2018 | Purdue University
Studying how unconventional metals behave, with an eye on high-temperature superconductors
13.12.2018 | Princeton University
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy