Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Microgrids Powering Australia and Indonesia

Greetings from the ANU University House at the Australian National University in Canberra, where I am taking part in a workshop with researchers from Indonesia on micro-grids to power our nations. The workshop is run by the AIC Energy Research Cluster of the Australia-Indonesia Centre.

A microgrid has small electricity generators connected to a local load. The microgrid can be connected to a larger national grid, or operate autonomously. In my graduate course "ICT Sustainability" I teach how to estimate the energy used by computers and telecommunication and, more importantly for micro-grids, how to reduce energy consumption by using ICT. Micro-grids depend on having computer systems to ensure the production and consumption of power are balanced. I will be looking at how to keep and analyze the large amounts of data needed to do this for Indonesia and Australia.

One option I have suggested is displaying energy data using mobile phone compatible web pages. Some buildings have flat screen displays dedicated to energy monitoring, but these are rarely looked at and themselves consume energy (and cost money).   A small simple web page can be displayed on a smart phone. To check it is compatible you can use the
W3C mobileOK Checker (the Australian W3C Office is at ANU).   

Some work has been done in the USA on energy data analysis:
One I idea I suggested to the workshop was to clone the ANU TechLauncher program and the Canberra Innovation Network for energy start-ups in Indonesia.

ps: It is an interesting time to be doing this, as Australia has a new government today, which may have new policies on climate change and energy use.


Khamphanchai, W., Saha, A., Rathinavel, K., Kuzlu, M., Pipattanasomporn, M., Rahman, S., ... & Haack, J. (2014, October). Conceptual architecture of building energy management open source software (BEMOSS). In Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT-Europe), 2014 IEEE PES (pp. 1-6). IEEE. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ISGTEurope.2014.7028784

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