Hybrid systems to transform smart energy future
Hybrid energy systems deliver cost and efficiency advantages when compared with single energy systems and are now the focus of strengthened CSIRO and industry collaboration.
CSIRO recently launched its Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems, a collaborative facility to research cutting edge renewable and hybrid energy technologies.
Hybrid systems are those which combine two or more forms of energy generation, storage or end-use technologies. Configurations include renewable or non-renewable energy sources, electrical and chemical energy storage and fuel cells, often connected via a smart grid.
CSIRO’s new Centre, at Clayton in Melbourne, is a hub for researchers and industry to identify, improve and then tailor energy technologies to meet specific requirements.
The collaborative space will be used to share the benefits of emerging hybrid energy systems with industry and government to maximise the value of local energy sources.
CSIRO Fellow Dr Sukhvinder Badwal said there was a rapidly growing global demand for hybrid energy systems based on increased availability of renewable and modular power generation and storage technologies such as batteries, fuel cells, and household solar.
“These technologies are becoming cost competitive, but the key to greater use is to combine them in connected hybrid systems,” Dr Badwal said.
“By doing this, we can offer substantial improvements in performance, reliability of power, flexibility and cost.”
Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems partner, Delta Energy Systems Australia, is a developer and manufacturer of solar-supported, fast-charging technologies for electric vehicles.
Delta Energy Systems Australia Director Allen Chao said his company was set to embark on a range of collaborative research projects with CSIRO in this field.
“The opening of the Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems expands research in this area and marks a significant milestone to ensure the success of any industry cooperation,” Mr Chao said.
Senior Executive Advisor to the Board of Toyota Australia, Bernie O’Connor congratulated CSIRO on the opening of a research hub for these important technologies.
“Toyota Australia recognises the importance of research into alternate green energy sources, as well as its role in the development of future infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles, which are powered exclusively by hydrogen,” Mr O’Connor said.
The Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems will also provide education, testing and certification services for emerging storage batteries, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
The Centre is underpinned by CSIRO’s research across low-emission energy technologies that create value for industry and households across Australia.
Opportunity for Ginninderra development and the ACT
Ginninderra is one of the potential sites for ‘real world’ application, innovation and development of such new and emerging hybrid systems. While it’s relatively early days in our planning process, Ginninderra presents the opportunity to introduce a constantly evolving smart hybrid energy management system.
Such a system could integrate all the various components including: household and community energy consumption, on-site and household renewable energy generation, fuel cell and on-site storage, electric vehicle charging, right through to the management of energy imported from or exported to the grid.
While a lot of pieces to bring together, it presents as a fantastic opportunity for us to do our bit for the ACT and for Australia’s smart, secure and sustainable energy future.
For more information, visit www.csiro.au/ches.
Sustainability targets underpin vision
CSIRO’s Ginninderra Project team has been busy refining the vision, and setting the goals, objectives, benchmarks and measures that will underpin Ginninderra and make it unique.
At Ginninderra, we aspire to partner in creating a world-leading sustainable urban community that is supported by science and best practice.
As part of the planning that will feed into the next stage of attracting an outstanding joint development partner, our team workshopped the sustainability framework including:
- Refining the project vision, drivers, objectives and constraints
- Identifying risks and opportunities
- Examining national and international examples of benchmark design
- Defining sustainability benchmarks and targets in environmental, social and economic aspects. This included targets for energy and water efficiency, ecology, materials and waste management, economic activity, jobs, transport, affordable housing and community activity among other focus areas.
CSIRO’s aspiration continues to be to create a community and urban precinct that showcases world’s best practice in nature conservation, urban design, construction and long-term liveability. The aim is for the Ginninderra to be an exemplar, both nationally and internationally, with a community proud of its place in the Canberra region.
CSIRO’s priorities for the Ginninderra project include restoring and improving key areas of the natural environment, while setting a new benchmark for design and development.
Through the planning, design and construction of Ginninderra, we want to create a place where people want to live and enjoy living.
Given the size, location and long development timeframe, Ginninderra affords a great opportunity to trial, test and research various technologies, innovations and initiatives.
Project update – November
Over the past month, the project team has continued to develop the framework to protect the ecology and retain significant green space and environmental corridors in the landscape of a proposed future development at Ginninderra.
As part of ongoing environmental studies, Umwelt Pty Limited (Umwelt) was engaged to undertake this ecological survey for the Ginninderra Field Station to determine the extent of ecological values, including matters of national environmental significance (MNES) on the property.
In early November, we were pleased to release the Ecological Values of CSIRO Ginninderra Research Station Report.
If you have any questions about the findings, please leave a comment below or email us.
Umwelt also prepared an Ecological Management Plan to assist us to maintain the condition of matters of national environmental significance (MNES) in identified areas.
The Ecological Values Report is one of three reports that has been released to the wider public. We look forward to adding to this number as the planning process continues.
Last week, a workshop was held for the project team to further refine our aspiration to partner in creating a world-leading sustainable urban community at Ginninderra which is underpinned by science and best practice.
We examined successful international design models and developed sustainability benchmarks and targets which will be included in the tender documents to inform a joint-development partner.
We are also in the process of collating the information required for an ACT heritage nomination.
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Ecological Values of CSIRO Ginninderra Field Station Report
As we have discussed with many members of the community at our drop-in sessions, retaining green spaces and corridors and protecting Ginninderra’s ecology are key considerations for our project planning.
As part of the process, we have continued to consult with a range of conservation groups through workshops and site tours.
In addition, Umwelt Pty Limited (Umwelt) was engaged by CSIRO to undertake an ecological survey for the Ginninderra Field Station to determine the extent of ecological values, including matters of national environmental significance (MNES) on the property.
We are pleased to release the results of the Ecological Values of CSIRO Ginninderra Research Station Report.
Key survey findings include:
- Umwelt described an area of 114.41 hectares of vegetation meeting the definition of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) listed Critically Endangered Ecological Community (CEEC) ‘White Box – Yellow Box – Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland’. An equivalent community is listed as Endangered in the ACT under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 (NC Act) as ‘Yellow Box/Red Gum Grassy Woodland’. Vegetation meeting the definition of these communities was further described in collaboration with CSIRO vegetation ecologists, resulting in a total of 112.78 hectares of this community being present in a range of condition classes.
- At least 32.86 hectares of confirmed golden sun moth habitat, a Critically Endangered species under the EPBC Act, and Endangered under the NC Act
- 95 species of birds, including three Vulnerable birds under the NC Act (little eagle – breeding, scarlet robin and white-winged triller), one migratory bird under the EPBC Act (Latham’s snipe)
- 12 species of reptiles, including striped legless lizard (Vulnerable under the EPBC Act and NC Act)
- 3 species of frogs (non-targeted list likely to be more)
- 243 plant taxa across 62 plant families, including 128 native taxa, 117 exotic taxa and 16 planted native taxa.
Umwelt has also prepared an Ecological Management Plan to assist CSIRO to maintain the condition of matters of national environmental significance (MNES) in identified areas.
Currently, CSIRO is working through options to maintain ecological values in the context of proposed urban development. This includes consideration as to how identified areas can be maintained or improved in an urban reserve context, ensuring connectivity between viable remnants to maintain diversity, and appropriate urban management actions to reduce impacts on biodiversity.
The area of land to be conserved for ecological values and persistence of species is over 30% of the site. This will provide valuable recreational and conservation areas, as well as preserve some of the views of the hills and ridges currently experienced by adjoining suburbs. These open spaces will also allow for wildlife to continue traversing the property.
If you have any questions or suggestions on the environmental management of Ginninderra, please contact us.