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Evaluation of the performance of the Magnetic Island Solar Suburb - Townsville Solar City

Robinson, David (2010) Evaluation of the performance of the Magnetic Island Solar Suburb - Townsville Solar City. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
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The Townsville: Queensland Solar City is a six year trial of demand-side management and distributed PV generation on Magnetic Island in the Coral Sea off the north Queensland coast. Regional Queensland electricity distributor Ergon Energy is leading the project, to try out alternatives to an imminent and costly upgrade of the network infrastructure supplying the island.

This study examines the effectiveness of the demand-side management measures implemented in the nearly two years since the project commenced. Changes in peak demand and energy consumption on the island are analysed and compared to:
- changes in a control group on the mainland; and
- the targets set for the project
and the impacts on the supply to 7 commercial properties on the island are analysed.

The study found both peak demand and energy consumption were reduced on the island, and at a greater rate than changes in those quantities in the control group, showing that the demand-side measures were having the desired effect. The project target levels of reduced peak load and energy consumption were achieved at the latest measuring points, compared to the predicted business-as-usual case, though growth in peak demand and energy consumption, and achieved reductions, were all less than modelled prior to project commencement. The individual properties analysed showed greater reductions than the island as a whole, pointing to opportunities for greater reductions, and there was evidence of the project inspiring other property owners to initiate their own energy demand management measures.

Once some meter data collection problems are overcome, the code and methods developed for this study, can be applied to a wider range of island properties, to develop a much richer understanding of the impact of individual demand-side measures, both on Magnetic Island, and wherever else they're applied.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Pryor, Trevor
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