Optimising energy use in an existing commercial building: a case study of Australia's Reef HQ Aquarium

Thyer, Sascha, Thomas, Severine, McClintock, Craig, and Ridd, Michael (2018) Optimising energy use in an existing commercial building: a case study of Australia's Reef HQ Aquarium. Energy Efficiency, 11 (1). pp. 147-168.

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Reef HQ Aquarium is a major tourism attraction in tropical North Queensland, Australia. In 8 years, a 50% reduction in grid electricity was achieved through targeted infrastructure investment, whilst growing the business. Initially, grid energy consumption was 2438 MWh per annum, with 490-kW peak demand and energy intensity of 1625 MJ m(-2) year(-1) used on typical equipment such as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), machinery, lighting and catering equipment. Savings of 13% were achieved in the first year by increasing indoor air temperature set-points by 1.5 A degrees C with no significant costs or impacts on occupant thermal comfort or worker productivity. Peak demand was decreased by 46% by upgrading the computerised building management system (BMS), HVAC, machinery and lighting; and by installing a 206-kW photovoltaic (PV) solar power system. This case study illustrates that (a) significant energy use reductions are possible at low cost; (b) capital investment in energy-efficient infrastructure can have short payback times and high direct and indirect benefits, particularly where equipment is ending its life. This study is unique as it examines how a commercial building with integrated chilled water thermal energy storage (TES) and a 3.2-ML chilled seawater aquarium system can be controlled by a BMS to optimise solar power to manage peak energy demand and also increase the utilisation of generated PV power in the absence of electrical battery storage. An interesting building is used to demonstrate efficiency methods with elements such as HVAC and lighting which usually consume over half commercial buildings' energy use.

Item ID: 52226
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1570-6478
Keywords: Building retrofit, Energy efficiency, Thermal comfort, HVAC with chilled water TES, Solar PV
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 07:30
FoR Codes: 33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3399 Other built environment and design > 339999 Other built environment and design not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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