Matt Cotterell

Cork Institute of TechnologyCIT MAIN 2012

Topic:

Use of Energy Test Beds in Promoting Best Energy Management Practice.

Synopsis:

Energy test-beds are a strategic resource for Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) from which it can develop new, industry-focused research which in turn informs new curricula. Specific industry benefits include:

  • Access to diverse expertise at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) from various engineering and ICT disciplines
  • Trialing of new technologies in partnership with private industry and other academic institutions in close to “real-world” operating environment
  • Generation of independent performance data
  • Potential for collaboration with companies in the energy sector through linked projects and as a gateway to funding from national and EU sources
  • Overcome systems connectivity and data exchange challenges

Takeaways:

  • Inspire the upcoming generation about climate change and sustainable development
  • “Show me the Data” : Energy Apps can motivate individuals and enterprises to improve their energy performance metrics in the same way as fitness Apps
  • Publicise best practice in various sectors
  • Highlight the career opportunities/role models in the sector and the impact they have locally and globally

Submission:

Benefits of the Test-beds for Industry

Test-beds are a strategic resource for Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) from which it can develop new, industry-focused research which in turn informs new curricula across the Faculty of Engineering and Science. Specific benefits for industry include:

  • Access to diverse expertise at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) from various engineering and ICT disciplines
  • Facilities allow the trialing of new technologies in partnership with private industry and other academic institutions in close to “real-world” operating environment
  • Generation of independent performance data for analysis by researchers
  • Potential for collaboration with companies in the energy sector through linked projects and as a gateway to funding from national and EU sources

National Sustainable Energy Test-bed (NSBET)

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The National Sustainable Energy Test-bed (NSBET) is located at the Nimbus Centre in CIT and is part of Litmus which is a public facility that develops, tests, trials and demonstrates applications, products and services. It includes three test-bed areas: Energy; Water and Community. Nimbus houses a wide range of expertise in the field of embedded systems (providing business-oriented teams with enormous technical and research experience capability) and has an open floor plan which is ideal for retrofitting power management systems and deployment of smart energy solutions.

National and international industries avail of the world class equipment and a Nimbus support team to carry out research and development in both real-life and controlled environments. The test-bed is also available to other higher education institutes and researchers through European Commission funded research projects. This facility is a whole-building ‘energy and power management technology demonstrator’ scalable to a district or campus level. It is available to national and international commercial entities within the energy space as an enabler to trial R&D work, particularly within the areas of demand side management, and issues concerning intermittency. Several companies have worked on the test-bed to date and have had positive experiences with the world-class equipment and the support provided by Nimbus staff.

Key technologies that form the foundation of the development of this test-bed include:

  • Building demand-side energy management
  • Building supply-side (micro-grid) energy management
  • Building energy diagnostics
  • Pervasive wireless sensing for low energy buildings
  • Micro-grid power electronics and power control.

Each of these sub-topics has a strong demonstration component. This smart energy test-bed provides the capability to demonstrate and capture relevant data.

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The energy micro-grid comprises multiple non-dispatchable and dispatchable renewable energy sources and energy storage, integrated with existing HVAC and building management systems. Non-dispatchable sources are renewable energy generators which produce energy in an unpredictable and variable manner e.g. wind turbines, wave energy or photovoltaic panels (PV). Use of non-dispatchable sources leads to savings in energy costs and a reduction in the overall use of energy from non-renewable sources. Dispatchable sources are energy generators which may be switched on or off when required. Examples of these are diesel generators or combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

National Building Energy Retrofit Test-bed (NBERT)

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The NBERT is located in the Zero2020 refurbished section of the 1974 building at CIT. The NBERT hosts lecturers, researchers, industry consultants, and visiting academics. The test-bed consists of a state of the art interior where occupants partake in a “living lab” environment for research studies into human dependent topics such as thermal comfort and demand side management.

The NBERT interior utilises a range of building monitoring/control technologies:

  • Zonal air temperature and RH remote sensing
  • Variable perforated shading
  • Automatic window opening control
  • Automatic lighting control
  • Passive cooling and ventilation

The NBERT micro-grid is a photovoltaic, wind turbine and battery integrated power system. The virtual smart grid comprises the national grid, NBERT building, NBERT micro-grid and the CIT main campus building. The micro-grid powers the Zero2020 building area while also exporting power to the national grid. The micro-grid comprises:

  • 24kWp PV System (static)matt-cotterell-image-5
  • 5kWp PV System (dynamic tracking)
  • 5kWp Wind Turbine
  • 1350Ah Lead Acid Battery.
  • Grid tie inverter.

 

Future Outlook

Plans are underway to expand the existing test-beds from building-level to campus-level in conjunction with partner companies. This will incorporate self-contained student accommodation, a large health and leisure facility where there is a CHP plant in operation and a further 300kW CHP within the Institute. When the campus level project has been implemented the focus will move to expanding further to a district level resource. This presents many challenges in terms of systems connectivity, data exchange and data visualization. The capabilities of OPC client-server technology are used to develop an open system that will allow controlled access to system performance data.

About Matthew Cottrell:

Matthew Cotterell is Head of the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Process Engineering in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). He obtained bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from UCD. The School offers a wide range of programmes at craft, technician and engineer level and is also active in research across a wide range of disciplines. A unique feature of the School is it’s innovation ecosystem that encourages students to develop and evaluate ideas into prototype products/systems and to evaluate them in terms of performance, commercial potential and sustainability. The Sustainable Energy Engineering honours degree programme in CIT produced it’s first graduate cohort in 2010 and is accredited by the Energy Institute. The programme team has developed strong links with industry through undergraduate/graduate placement and collaborative project work. Graduates of the programme have gained employment across a wide range of organisations and are now leading and implementing projects in energy management and new technology appraisal/introduction. CIT has developed a number of energy test-beds that demonstrate best practice in energy management; modelling and analysis of the data generated is the focus of a number of doctoral level research projects across the School.

Matthew was the founding manager Centre for Advanced Manufacturing & Management Systems (CAMMS) in CIT which offers a comprehensive range of training and professional development programmes to industry. His research interests include the modelling and optimisation of manufacturing processes. He is Hon. Secretary and Past Chair of the Irish Manufacturing Council (IMC) that organises the International Manufacturing Conference held annually in Ireland since 1984. The Conference is hosted each year by a third level college in Ireland (both north and south). Energy issues relating to manufacturing have featured strongly at the Conference in recent years.

Contacting Matthew Cottrell:

Websites www.cit.ie http://nimbus.cit.ie/ http://ctc-cork.ie/ http://messo.cit.ie/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/myCIT

Twitter https://twitter.com/CIT_ie

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/cork-institute-of-technology

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/mycit

About CIT

CIT currently has in the region of 14,000 registered students with over 2,500 new entries year on year. Of these approximately 7,000 are full-time and the remaining are part-time. The main campus is in Bishopstown, while the Crawford College of Art and Design and the CIT Cork School of Music are located in the city centre. The National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy is a constituent college of CIT and is a purpose-built facility operated under the public-private partnership model; the public partners being CIT and the Irish Naval Service (INS) and the private partner is Focus Education.

The Faculty of Engineering and Science supports best practice in the energy sector through its education and research programmes. It offers a wide range of programmes at craft, technician and engineer level and is also active in research across a wide range of disciplines. A unique feature is the innovation ecosystem that encourages students to develop and evaluate ideas into prototype products/systems and to evaluate them in terms of performance, commercial potential and sustainability. The Sustainable Energy Engineering honours degree programme in CIT produced it’s first graduate cohort in 2010 and is accredited by the Energy Institute. The programme team has developed strong links with industry through undergraduate/graduate placement and collaborative project work. Graduates of the programme have gained employment across a wide range of organisations and are now leading and implementing projects in energy management and new technology appraisal/introduction. CIT has developed a number of energy test-beds that demonstrate best practice in energy management; modelling and analysis of the data generated is the focus of a number of doctoral level research projects across the School.

The Nimbus Centre at CIT is Ireland’s largest research centre devoted to embedded electronic systems and the ‘Internet of Things’. Nimbus provides space for over 80 researchers
and also manages the National Sustainable Building Energy Test-bed (NSBET); this facility is a whole-building ‘energy and power management technology demonstrator’ which is scalable to a district or campus level.

The Clean Technology Centre (CTC) at Cork Institute of Technology has been providing innovative and effective resource efficiency solutions since 1992. CTC is widely accepted as the leading waste-prevention focused body in Ireland. CTC has a proven track record in promoting and delivering best practice in environmental protection and resource efficiency (materials, energy and water) to a wide range of public and private organisations.

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