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Fully sustainable energy module - Stage 1: Source research and development

Walsh, Daniel (2014) Fully sustainable energy module - Stage 1: Source research and development. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

The rising cost of energy, particularly in the form of electrical power is a concern for business and households predominately in rural regions of Western Australia. The higher ongoing costs due to aging assets and infrastructure make it a genuine expense that almost always has the customer looking for cheaper options. Two particular businesses commissioned a project for developing a renewable approach to help satisfy their demands which due to the size and nature of the operation required a medium scale system that was both economical and environmentally sustainable.

The project purpose was to research and build the first stage or the “source” of a small prototype to address these concerns in the form of a Fully Sustainable Energy Module (FSEM). The objective is to compete or better the average cost per kilowatt hour of the Western Australian electricity suppliers, Horizon Power (HP) and those making up the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). While assessing the design options of the FSEM, various types of software were used extensively to assist in clarifying the optimum designs throughout the project for an initial theoretical approach. Designs such as a custom Parabolic/hyperbolic reflector and Fresnel lens directed to a Concentrator Solar Cell Receiver Assembly (CSCRA), coolant pumping for junction temperature control and simulation of multiple system configurations for electrical power requirements were assessed to maximise energy output per square metre of solar output.

Building a prototype requires a sound knowledge base to ensure that it gives the output expected. Data that can assist inform decisions made to further enhance its operation giving the best possible design for final production. Developing an understanding of a feasibility study on the proof of concept for prototype building is further enhanced by researching the importance and structure of project plans and business expectations. It highlights that the strengths and weakness that need considering and help to show a route to a successful finished product.

Prevalent was the design issue for the parabolic/hyperbolic reflector and the intricacies that exposed the difficulty in getting the system to work efficiently due to very small tolerances in construction. When finally settling with a Fresnel lens type the “source” of the FSEM prototype at the time of publication showed practical results of DC output of cell capacity and consistent hot water set at various temperatures showing solar energy transferred.

Publication Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Anda, Martin
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24193
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