Foyle River Gardens Intelligent Sustainable Integrated Energy Management System

Project Details


The Foyle River Gardens (FRG) Project seeks to be a carbon neutral development maximising the use of on-site renewable and sustainable energy sources and supplementing their use with renewable electricity from the electricity network. An initial study funded through CASE with QUB and Brook Hall Estate (a subset of the Foyle River Gardens) explored the potential for tidal power generation from
the River Foyle. This proved to be less than optimal for large scale energy production and led to this proposal to consider multiple sources of renewable and sustainable energy to provide heat and power to the FRG site. The seasonal and even daily variation within renewable energy assets makes the need for energy storage and management a pressing factor for the renewable energies sector. With significant renewable energy potential on site, the focus of this project is the development of an intelligent infrastructure capable of cost effective “near zero carbon” energy integration.

The Brook Hall Estate woodchip drying operation uses forced ventilation bed drying technique, which converts the low grade, high moisture woodchip to a high grade, low moisture fuel for biomass boilers. This operation is seen as economically viable, however a significant barrier is its energy intensive nature (Wickham et aL, 2010). As such, QUB research will investigate the use of woodchip drying operation as a novel alternative to energy storage and can be adapted to accommodate both thermal and electrical renewable energy generation. Woodchip provides a carbon neutral seasonal storage technique with both an onsite and market value to the local domestic and industrial heating
(McCracken and Ellis, 2016). To use the sites existing infrastructure as a low cost alternative energy store the following deliverables will be pursued:
• An analytical model of the drying operation will be developed gaining insight into the energy efficiency of the system.
• An energy profile for the current woodchip drying operation using historic data will be compared with the analytical model.
• An advance control system for optimisation of available thermal and electrical renewable energy usage will be developed. System will be compatible with an energy management system in relation to the Foyle River Garden Project.
• Objective orientated control strategies will be developed to maintain a constant demand factor for the site.
Short titleFRG-IEMS
Effective start/end date26/05/2020 → …


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