GeoFlow Australia wins one of only 3 energy funds from Melbourne Energy Institute
In 2016, Melbourne Energy Institute is helping 3 innovative renewable energy projects to develop. GeoFlow Australia is recipient of one these projects funded this year. The funding will assist design and monitoring of a prototype Geothermal (Aqua-thermal) heating and cooling system for further promotion on a larger residential and commercial Buildings around Port Melbourne. The proposed geothermal system uses constant water temperature as the energy source to reduce the carbon foot point of the residential and commercial buildings and allow to minimise the cost of heating and cooling.
Read More (Source: Melbourne Energy Institute, The University of Melbourne)
Space heating and cooling and water heating accounts for average of 63% of house hold energy use in Australia (Residential Baseline Energy Study: Australia/New Zealand (draft report, Energy Consult July 2015). GeoFlow aims to design and evaluate the economics of harnessing the renewable thermal energy stored in bodies of lake/ocean water for building heating/cooling and hot water generation. Ocean water like Port Melbourne, or man-made lake like Pattersons Lakes in Victoria has almost a constant temperature at certain depth below the water level. Harvesting this massive energy stored in the body of water provides a source of energy for air conditioning that is renewable, efficient, and is not affected by daily air temperature fluctuation. The initial study shows that in compared to the conventional split systems, the proposed aqua-thermal system can be around twice as efficient and in compared to the chiller boiler systems, it can eliminate the considerable maintenance cost associated with cooling tower and save in energy costs. For this project, with our industrial partner, we are proposing to design and operate a medium scale prototype auqa-thermal system (120 kW) for a recreational facility named “The Melbourne Cable Park project” that is planned to open to public by end of 2016. The prototype will be used to study the system’s characteristics, at the same time a computer simulation would be developed at the University of Melbourne and would be validated against the real data from the field. The simulation would be used for optimization purpose. The proposed prototype aqua-thermal system will condition the main Building in the Cable Park with 4 distinct spaces and heat pumps. It is believed that the success story of the proposed system could be implemented to other facilities with the proximity to any large scale water reservoir. This could potentially have a positive effect on the energy balance of Australian building energy. The Seed funding would allow detailed study, design, simulation and economic evaluation of the system to assess the efficiency and economy of the system.