Renewable Energy Integration
One key focus that we have is to introduce renewable energy technology into conventional HVAC, energy supply & storage systems. We do this with very smart engineering design. In order to achieve an optimal level of efficiency, our engineers carefully work out which combinations of technologies work best together.
Our approach is based on critical analysis of both demand and supply side characteristics. We combine the use of off-the-shelf software (such as TRNSYS) with our own integrated energy modelling. We utilise hourly load or ‘block’ modelling to achieve a high level of accuracy.
A Focus on Technology Integration
- We produce detailed financial models to prove system viability, based on real world data collection from live projects.
HVAC design can be benchmarked against best practice within a certain mechanical plant realm (heat pump, chiller, pump, heat exchanger performance etc). Albeit, what happens when best practice in one area is offset by best practice in another area? What if an electrical technology, if applied properly, changes the type of mechanical plant that works best in a particular scenario? This is when we apply modelling to ALL relevant technologies to determine a cohesive and optimal mix of technology.
- We bind technologies together using state-of-the-art control systems, which is the key to integrating technologies effectively.
From an engineering perspective, we establish teams of specialist mechanical, electrical & controls engineers and trades personnel. Our goals in doing this is to achieve optimal energy efficiency with the highest sensible penetration of renewable energy technologies possible.
This approach works for us, and it offers our clients a best practice outcome that is rarely achieved in either the HVAC or the energy supply & storage industry.
Each technology applied is designed to work cohesively with other technologies that contribute to an overall optimal performance outcome.
A hybrid system can allow a system to be more productive, offering improved redundancy, more flexibility and, most importantly, offer increases in energy efficiency.
Some equipment may perform better in certain climatic conditions and can be prioritised over other equipment. Some heat pumps may be better for cooling than heating and vice versa. Hybrid refers to combinations of both demand and supply side equipment.
For example, solar thermal can be prioritised to heat a pool or hot water system during the day, and excess heat can be stored in Thermal Energy Storage or Ground Loop System or a large tank for off peak, next day or next month’s usage (in the case of ground source). In this case, the heat pumps will be used seldom on a warm day when the sun is shining. An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) may work more effectively for heating than a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) if the air temperature is substantially higher than the ground temperature. This may not be common, but it does happen, and at these times a system can achieve incremental efficiency gains. A lot of small gains in efficiency can lead to large gains in productivity and energy saving over time.
Combining systems allows for the optimal selection of equipment usage at any one time. One, several or all technologies utilised in a system can be deployed in a single moment. The sophisticated controls systems provide automatic equipment deployment allocation. Extra controls capability does not cost any more to operate than a single technology system.
We back up our work with ongoing monitoring and management to prove up our modelling, adjusting where necessary to achieve forecast optimal results.
The cost and quality of controls systems has decreased substantially over the past 10 years. It is less costly and more effective to deploy monitoring and control systems than ever before. The technological innovations are ongoing. Leveraging these technologies allows for off-site management and trouble shooting to be more effective than ever. Maintenance costs are lower and trouble shooting can be a very simple task. The key is to establish an effective design with integrated controls from the outset. This is a core function of any Integrated Renewable Energy System.