Nathanael Timothy Hayden, BEng, was awarded his degree of BEng with the attached project report. It, in part, contains a review of the Manotick Microgrid run by CACOR Board of Directors, Art Hunter.
“There is significant evidence that the Earth’s climate is warming; this is often referred to as ‘global warming’ which is having many negative consequences. Climate change is therefore one of the most important issues to be addressed in the modern world. Most climate scientists agree that the main cause of global warming is due to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap the heat radiating from the Earth towards outer space, leading to the increase in the global temperatures. The greenhouse gas CO2 contributes approximately 70% of the
global temperature rise. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the world’s carbon emissions.
In the UK 46% of total CO2 emissions are from the residential (mainly from fossil fuel heating systems) and electricity generation (mainly from fossil fuel power stations) sectors. Therefore carbon saving technologies have been researched to reduce the carbon emissions generated by these sectors. The technologies analysed include Wind Turbines, PV Solar Panels, Energy Storage, Solar Heating, Micro Combine heat and Power, Heat Pumps, Grid Stabilisation, Insulation and Ventilation systems. The project then analysed two case studies, one on an economically driven rural farm in Hertfordshire and another on an environmentally driven carbon neutral house in Ottawa.
Finally, a hypothetical urban home was analysed and suggestions were made for the appropriate carbon saving technologies, which could be used to reduce the carbon emissions and running costs of the home.
The analysis shows that each carbon saving technology has their advantages and disadvantages and their different optimum usage. The technologies that are most suited to low carbon electricity generation in the future are wind turbines and PV solar panels. Wind turbines are generally suitable for grid electricity or for large industrial installations in rural areas and solar panels are suitable for both rural and urban areas. However, since the UK’s government tariffs for solar energy have been removed the economic benefits of small-scale PV arrays have been significantly reduced.
Nevertheless, as the price of electricity continues to rise and the price of solar panels continues to fall this picture could change in the future and it may again be economically viable to have solar panels on small domestic rooves. The most suitable technology for heating buildings, both environmentally and economically are heat pumps. The environmental benefits of heat pumps are depended on the carbon emissions generated by the electricity generation sector, however as this sector continues to reduce its carbon emissions per kWh, heat pumps are becoming more environmentally beneficial. The economic benefits of heat pumps, however, mostly come from the government tariffs, therefore heat pumps will continue to be used extensively whilst the government tariffs remain.
The farm case study has shown the environmental and economic benefits of carbon saving technologies and the importance of government incentives for businesses, encouraging them to use the technologies. The carbon neutral house in Canada shows how the technologies can work together to remove the net carbon emissions from a dwelling to ensure a greener future. The most suitable carbon saving technologies used in the hypothetical urban home were PV solar panels, a heat pump, and either a hybrid or a fully electric vehicle. The environmental benefits of these technologies were significant. The economic benefits of changing their vehicle and the heat pump were also large however the economic benefit of the PV solar panels were minimal this is due to the removal of the government tariffs of solar panels.”
Acknowledgement: Hayden, N.T., 2019. Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Domestic and Commercial Buildings. University of Surrey Department of Mechanical Engineering BEng Project Report. University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, June 2019.