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Renewable energy systems for the Australian Antarctic stations

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Brown, CI (1998) Renewable energy systems for the Australian Antarctic stations. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Large quantities of fossil fuels are imported each year to meet the electrical and
thermal energy needs of Australia's scientific research stations in Antarctica. A
significant part of this fuel, used by diesel generator sets, could be offset through the
introduction of renewable energy systems. Reduced fuel usage would lead to savings in
transportation time and costs, lower atmospheric emissions and reduce the risk of fuel
spills.
Research has been conducted to estimate the renewable energy resources of the four
Australian Antarctic stations: Casey, Davis and Mawson and Macquarie Island. To
achieve this goal, the following procedures were employed:
1. analysis of local meteorological records to identify the wind and solar energy
resources;
2. identification and breakdown of station energy demands; and
3. modelling of renewable energy generation and storage systems to estimate
potential fuel savings.
Analysis of the wind energy potential indicated high resources for Mawson and
Macquarie Island, while low resources for Casey and Davis. The solar energy potential
was identified as being promising for the continental stations, with high exploitable
levels estimated for the summer months. Field work to validate these results was
initiated at Casey, including the installation of a 10 kW wind-turbine and a small
photovoltaic panel linked with a pyranometer measuring solar insolation levels.
Three renewable energy system configurations, envisaged to operate in conjunction with
the current diesel generator system, were sized using estimates of each station's
electrical energy demand. Configurations investigated include:
1. diesel displacement systems with renewable penetration limited to 40%;
2. renewables in conjunction with power conditioning equipment allowing full
penetration;
3. battery storage systems; and
4. hydrogen storage systems.
Mawson and Macquarie Island have been identified as the most promising sites.
Electrical fuel consumption reductions of 24% and 30% are predicted at these stations
for diesel displacement systems with wind turbines rated at 100 kW and 50 kW
respectively. Higher fuel consumption reductions of 48% and 75% are predicted in full
renewable penetration systems with wind turbines rated at 200 kW and 100 kW.
Battery storage systems, beyond a role for power regulation, indicate minimal returns
for large investments. A similar result was obtained for a fully integrated renewable
energy system involving hydrogen storage. These results demonstrate that renewable energy systems would allow for substantial
fuel savings if introduced to the Australian Antarctic Stations.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Keywords: Renewable energy sources, Energy conservation
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1998 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 00:48
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:55
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