Browsing Civil and Environmental Engineering - Doctoral Theses by Issue Date
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- ItemUncertainty in wind energy forecasting(University College Cork, 2004) Moehrlen, Corinna; McKeogh, Eamon J.; Higher Education Authority; Energinet.dk, DenmarkWind energy is the energy source that contributes most to the renewable energy mix of European countries. While there are good wind resources throughout Europe, the intermittency of the wind represents a major problem for the deployment of wind energy into the electricity networks. To ensure grid security a Transmission System Operator needs today for each kilowatt of wind energy either an equal amount of spinning reserve or a forecasting system that can predict the amount of energy that will be produced from wind over a period of 1 to 48 hours. In the range from 5m/s to 15m/s a wind turbine’s production increases with a power of three. For this reason, a Transmission System Operator requires an accuracy for wind speed forecasts of 1m/s in this wind speed range. Forecasting wind energy with a numerical weather prediction model in this context builds the background of this work. The author’s goal was to present a pragmatic solution to this specific problem in the ”real world”. This work therefore has to be seen in a technical context and hence does not provide nor intends to provide a general overview of the benefits and drawbacks of wind energy as a renewable energy source. In the first part of this work the accuracy requirements of the energy sector for wind speed predictions from numerical weather prediction models are described and analysed. A unique set of numerical experiments has been carried out in collaboration with the Danish Meteorological Institute to investigate the forecast quality of an operational numerical weather prediction model for this purpose. The results of this investigation revealed that the accuracy requirements for wind speed and wind power forecasts from today’s numerical weather prediction models can only be met at certain times. This means that the uncertainty of the forecast quality becomes a parameter that is as important as the wind speed and wind power itself. To quantify the uncertainty of a forecast valid for tomorrow requires an ensemble of forecasts. In the second part of this work such an ensemble of forecasts was designed and verified for its ability to quantify the forecast error. This was accomplished by correlating the measured error and the forecasted uncertainty on area integrated wind speed and wind power in Denmark and Ireland. A correlation of 93% was achieved in these areas. This method cannot solve the accuracy requirements of the energy sector. By knowing the uncertainty of the forecasts, the focus can however be put on the accuracy requirements at times when it is possible to accurately predict the weather. Thus, this result presents a major step forward in making wind energy a compatible energy source in the future.
- ItemBuilding effectiveness communication ratios (BECs): an integrated ‘life-cycle’ methodology for mitigating energy-use in buildings(University College Cork, 2006-08) Morrissey, Elmer D.; Keane, Marcus M.; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology; Sustainable Energy Authority of IrelandCurrent building regulations are generally prescriptive in nature. It is widely accepted in Europe that this form of building regulation is stifling technological innovation and leading to inadequate energy efficiency in the building stock. This has increased the motivation to move design practices towards a more ‘performance-based’ model in order to mitigate inflated levels of energy-use consumed by the building stock. A performance based model assesses the interaction of all building elements and the resulting impact on holistic building energy-use. However, this is a nebulous task due to building energy-use being affected by a myriad of heterogeneous agents. Accordingly, it is imperative that appropriate methods, tools and technologies are employed for energy prediction, measurement and evaluation throughout the project’s life cycle. This research also considers that it is imperative that the data is universally accessible by all stakeholders. The use of a centrally based product model for exchange of building information is explored. This research describes the development and implementation of a new building energy-use performance assessment methodology. Termed the Building Effectiveness Communications ratios (BECs) methodology, this performance-based framework is capable of translating complex definitions of sustainability for energy efficiency and depicting universally understandable views at all stage of the Building Life Cycle (BLC) to the project’s stakeholders. The enabling yardsticks of building energy-use performance, termed Ir and Pr, provide continuous design and operations feedback in order to aid the building’s decision makers. Utilised effectively, the methodology is capable of delivering quality assurance throughout the BLC by providing project teams with quantitative measurement of energy efficiency. Armed with these superior enabling tools for project stakeholder communication, it is envisaged that project teams will be better placed to augment a knowledge base and generate more efficient additions to the building stock.
- ItemSpecification of optimum holistic building environmental and energy performance information to support informed decision making(University College Cork, 2009-04) O'Donnell, James Thomas; Keane, Marcus M.; Enterprise IrelandPolitical drivers such as the Kyoto protocol, the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy end use and Services Directive have been implemented in response to an identified need for a reduction in human related CO2 emissions. Buildings account for a significant portion of global CO2 emissions, approximately 25-30%, and it is widely acknowledged by industry and research organisations that they operate inefficiently. In parallel, unsatisfactory indoor environmental conditions have proven to negatively impact occupant productivity. Legislative drivers and client education are seen as the key motivating factors for an improvement in the holistic environmental and energy performance of a building. A symbiotic relationship exists between building indoor environmental conditions and building energy consumption. However traditional Building Management Systems and Energy Management Systems treat these separately. Conventional performance analysis compares building energy consumption with a previously recorded value or with the consumption of a similar building and does not recognise the fact that all buildings are unique. Therefore what is required is a new framework which incorporates performance comparison against a theoretical building specific ideal benchmark. Traditionally Energy Managers, who work at the operational level of organisations with respect to building performance, do not have access to ideal performance benchmark information and as a result cannot optimally operate buildings. This thesis systematically defines Holistic Environmental and Energy Management and specifies the Scenario Modelling Technique which in turn uses an ideal performance benchmark. The holistic technique uses quantified expressions of building performance and by doing so enables the profiled Energy Manager to visualise his actions and the downstream consequences of his actions in the context of overall building operation. The Ideal Building Framework facilitates the use of this technique by acting as a Building Life Cycle (BLC) data repository through which ideal building performance benchmarks are systematically structured and stored in parallel with actual performance data. The Ideal Building Framework utilises transformed data in the form of the Ideal Set of Performance Objectives and Metrics which are capable of defining the performance of any building at any stage of the BLC. It is proposed that the union of Scenario Models for an individual building would result in a building specific Combination of Performance Metrics which would in turn be stored in the BLC data repository. The Ideal Data Set underpins the Ideal Set of Performance Objectives and Metrics and is the set of measurements required to monitor the performance of the Ideal Building. A Model View describes the unique building specific data relevant to a particular project stakeholder. The energy management data and information exchange requirements that underlie a Model View implementation are detailed and incorporate traditional and proposed energy management. This thesis also specifies the Model View Methodology which complements the Ideal Building Framework. The developed Model View and Rule Set methodology process utilises stakeholder specific rule sets to define stakeholder pertinent environmental and energy performance data. This generic process further enables each stakeholder to define the resolution of data desired. For example, basic, intermediate or detailed. The Model View methodology is applicable for all project stakeholders, each requiring its own customised rule set. Two rule sets are defined in detail, the Energy Manager rule set and the LEED Accreditor rule set. This particular measurement generation process accompanied by defined View would filter and expedite data access for all stakeholders involved in building performance. Information presentation is critical for effective use of the data provided by the Ideal Building Framework and the Energy Management View definition. The specifications for a customised Information Delivery Tool account for the established profile of Energy Managers and best practice user interface design. Components of the developed tool could also be used by Facility Managers working at the tactical and strategic levels of organisations. Informed decision making is made possible through specified decision assistance processes which incorporate the Scenario Modelling and Benchmarking techniques, the Ideal Building Framework, the Energy Manager Model View, the Information Delivery Tool and the established profile of Energy Managers. The Model View and Rule Set Methodology is effectively demonstrated on an appropriate mixed use existing ‘green’ building, the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork, using the Energy Management and LEED rule sets. Informed Decision Making is also demonstrated using a prototype scenario for the demonstration building.
- ItemGreen grass: developing grass for sustainable gaseous biofuel(University College Cork, 2011) Nizami, Abdul-Sattar; Murphy, Jeremiah D.G.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the MarineGrass is ubiquitous in Ireland and temperate northern Europe. It is a low input perennial crop; farmers are well versed in its production and storage (ensiling). Anaerobic digestion is a well understood technology. Grass is a lignocellulosic feedstock which is fibrous; it can readily cause difficulties with moving parts (wrapping around mixers); it also has a tendency to float. This thesis has an ambition of establishing the ideal digester configuration for production of biogas from grass. After extensive analysis of the literature, two different digester systems were designed, fabricated, commissioned and operated. The first system was a two stage wet continuous system commonly referred to as a Continuously Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR). The second was a two stage, two phase system employing Sequentially Fed Leach Beds complete with an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (SLBR-UASB). These were operated on the same grass silage cut from the same field at the same time. Small biomethane potential (BMP) assays were also evaluated for the same grass silage. The results indicated that the CSTR system produced 451 L CH4 kg-1 VS added at a retention time of 50 days while effecting a 90% destruction in volatile dry solids. The SLBR-UASB produced 341 L CH4 kg-1 VS added effecting a 75% reduction in volatile solids at a retention time of 30 days. The BMP assays generated results in the range 350 to 493 L CH4 kg-1 VS added. This thesis concludes that a disparity exists in the BMP tests used in the industry. The CSTR when designed specifically for grass silage is shown to be extremely effective in methane production. The SLBR-UASB has significant potential to allow for lower retention times with good levels of methane production. This technology has more potential for research in enzymatic hydrolysis and for use of digestate in added value products.
- ItemTransport energy demand: techno-economic modelling and scenarios for Irish climate policy(University College Cork, 2012) Daly, Hannah E.; Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and TechnologyThe case for energy policy modelling is strong in Ireland, where stringent EU climate targets are projected to be overshot by 2015. Policy targets aiming to deliver greenhouse gas and renewable energy targets have been made, but it is unclear what savings are to be achieved and from which sectors. Concurrently, the growth of personal mobility has caused an astonishing increase in CO2 emissions from private cars in Ireland, a 37% rise between 2000 and 2008, and while there have been improvements in the efficiency of car technology, there was no decrease in the energy intensity of the car fleet in the same period. This thesis increases the capacity for evidenced-based policymaking in Ireland by developing techno-economic transport energy models and using them to analyse historical trends and to project possible future scenarios. A central focus of this thesis is to understand the effect of the car fleet‘s evolving technical characteristics on energy demand. A car stock model is developed to analyse this question from three angles: Firstly, analysis of car registration and activity data between 2000 and 2008 examines the trends which brought about the surge in energy demand. Secondly, the car stock is modelled into the future and is used to populate a baseline “no new policy” scenario, looking at the impact of recent (2008-2011) policy and purchasing developments on projected energy demand and emissions. Thirdly, a range of technology efficiency, fuel switching and behavioural scenarios are developed up to 2025 in order to indicate the emissions abatement and renewable energy penetration potential from alternative policy packages. In particular, an ambitious car fleet electrification target for Ireland is examined. The car stock model‘s functionality is extended by linking it with other models: LEAP-Ireland, a bottom-up energy demand model for all energy sectors in the country; Irish TIMES, a linear optimisation energy system model; and COPERT, a pollution model. The methodology is also adapted to analyse trends in freight energy demand in a similar way. Finally, this thesis addresses the gap in the representation of travel behaviour in linear energy systems models. A novel methodology is developed and case studies for Ireland and California are presented using the TIMES model. Transport Energy
- ItemCharacteristics of the wave energy resource at the Atlantic marine energy test site(University College Cork, 2013) Cahill, Brendan; Lewis, Anthony W.; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology; Science Foundation IrelandThe wave energy industry is progressing towards an advanced stage of development, with consideration being given to the selection of suitable sites for the first commercial installations. An informed, and accurate, characterisation of the wave energy resource is an essential aspect of this process. Ireland is exposed to an energetic wave climate, however many features of this resource are not well understood. This thesis assesses and characterises the wave energy resource that has been measured and modelled at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site, a facility for conducting sea trials of floating wave energy converters that is being developed near Belmullet, on the west coast of Ireland. This characterisation process is undertaken through the analysis of metocean datasets that have previously been unavailable for exposed Irish sites. A number of commonly made assumptions in the calculation of wave power are contested, and the uncertainties resulting from their application are demonstrated. The relationship between commonly used wave period parameters is studied, and its importance in the calculation of wave power quantified, while it is also shown that a disconnect exists between the sea states which occur most frequently at the site and those that contribute most to the incident wave energy. Additionally, observations of the extreme wave conditions that have occurred at the site and estimates of future storms that devices will need to withstand are presented. The implications of these results for the design and operation of wave energy converters are discussed. The foremost contribution of this thesis is the development of an enhanced understanding of the fundamental nature of the wave energy resource at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site. The results presented here also have a wider relevance, and can be considered typical of other, similarly exposed, locations on Ireland’s west coast.
- ItemEarly warning sign attributes for the safety of drinking water treatment works(University College Cork, 2013) Feehan, John; McKeogh, Eamon J.; Dokas, IoannisA proactive risk management strategy seeks to prevent accidents from taking place and maintain the safety of a system. In this context, the task of identifying and disseminating early warning signs and signals is among the most important. The problem is that warning signs that are present before an accident takes place are often being overlooked and not picked up or identified as warning signs. If these warning signs were responded to, then an accident may be averted. Accidents occuring in the critical domain of a drinking water treatments works can have serious implications for the public health of consumers of the water supplied. Realising and comprehending early warning signs is a major challenge for the domain of systems safety and especially in the domain of a water treatment works. The approaches that are typically used to enhance the realisation, comprehension and dissemination of early warning signs in the water treatment domain in Ireland mainly involves the creation of accident scenarios, the use of monitoring data and procedures for the dissemination of warnings. While all of these approaches are all useful to inform the mental or process models of possible accident scenarios, nevertheless, accidents are still occurring in this domain. Therefore, a new approach to enhance the comprehension of and effective dissemination of early warning signs is required in order to improve safety and proactive risk management strategies. The contributions of this thesis is the provision of a set of attributes associated with the early warning sign concept that provides meaningful data on the early warning signs and allows recipients to better comprehend them. The values of these attributes were customised for application in the water treatment domain. This research proves that early warning signs at a water treatment works received with information on their attributes are comprehended and communicated more effectively and efficiently than the usual pragmatic approach and thereby improves the safety and proactive risk management strategies.
- ItemEmpirical analysis and improved modelling of natural gas demand in Ireland(University College Cork, 2013) Rogan, Fionn; Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.; Murphy, Jeremiah D.G.; Bord Gáis ÉireannCountries across the world are being challenged to decarbonise their energy systems in response to diminishing fossil fuel reserves, rising GHG emissions and the dangerous threat of climate change. There has been a renewed interest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and low carbon energy as policy‐makers seek to identify and put in place the most robust sustainable energy system that can address this challenge. This thesis seeks to improve the evidence base underpinning energy policy decisions in Ireland with a particular focus on natural gas, which in 2011 grew to have a 30% share of Ireland’s TPER. Natural gas is used in all sectors of the Irish economy and is seen by many as a transition fuel to a low-carbon energy system; it is also a uniquely excellent source of data for many aspects of energy consumption. A detailed decomposition analysis of natural gas consumption in the residential sector quantifies many of the structural drives of change, with activity (R2 = 0.97) and intensity (R2 = 0.69) being the best explainers of changing gas demand. The 2002 residential building regulations are subject to an ex-post evaluation, which using empirical data finds a 44 ±9.5% shortfall in expected energy savings as well as a 13±1.6% level of non-compliance. A detailed energy demand model of the entire Irish energy system is presented together with scenario analysis of a large number of energy efficiency policies, which show an aggregate reduction in TFC of 8.9% compared to a reference scenario. The role for natural gas as a transition fuel over a long time horizon (2005-2050) is analysed using an energy systems model and a decomposition analysis, which shows the contribution of fuel switching to natural gas to be worth 12 percentage points of an overall 80% reduction in CO2 emissions. Finally, an analysis of the potential for CCS in Ireland finds gas CCS to be more robust than coal CCS for changes in fuel prices, capital costs and emissions reduction and the cost optimal location for a gas CCS plant in Ireland is found to be in Cork with sequestration in the depleted gas field of Kinsale.
- ItemA knowledge management system to optimise comfort throughout the building life-cycle(University College Cork, 2013) O'Grady, Walter; Keane, Marcus M.; O'Sullivan, DominicComfort is, in essence, satisfaction with the environment, and with respect to the indoor environment it is primarily satisfaction with the thermal conditions and air quality. Improving comfort has social, health and economic benefits, and is more financially significant than any other building cost. Despite this, comfort is not strictly managed throughout the building lifecycle. This is mainly due to the lack of an appropriate system to adequately manage comfort knowledge through the construction process into operation. Previous proposals to improve knowledge management have not been successfully adopted by the construction industry. To address this, the BabySteps approach was devised. BabySteps is an approach, proposed by this research, which states that for an innovation to be adopted into the industry it must be implementable through a number of small changes. This research proposes that improving the management of comfort knowledge will improve comfort. ComMet is a new methodology proposed by this research that manages comfort knowledge. It enables comfort knowledge to be captured, stored and accessed throughout the building life-cycle and so allowing it to be re-used in future stages of the building project and in future projects. It does this using the following: Comfort Performances – These are simplified numerical representations of the comfort of the indoor environment. Comfort Performances quantify the comfort at each stage of the building life-cycle using standard comfort metrics. Comfort Ratings - These are a means of classifying the comfort conditions of the indoor environment according to an appropriate standard. Comfort Ratings are generated by comparing different Comfort Performances. Comfort Ratings provide additional information relating to the comfort conditions of the indoor environment, which is not readily determined from the individual Comfort Performances. Comfort History – This is a continuous descriptive record of the comfort throughout the project, with a focus on documenting the items and activities, proposed and implemented, which could potentially affect comfort. Each aspect of the Comfort History is linked to the relevant comfort entity it references. These three components create a comprehensive record of the comfort throughout the building lifecycle. They are then stored and made available in a common format in a central location which allows them to be re-used ad infinitum. The LCMS System was developed to implement the ComMet methodology. It uses current and emerging technologies to capture, store and allow easy access to comfort knowledge as specified by ComMet. LCMS is an IT system that is a combination of the following six components: Building Standards; Modelling & Simulation; Physical Measurement through the specially developed Egg-Whisk (Wireless Sensor) Network; Data Manipulation; Information Recording; Knowledge Storage and Access.Results from a test case application of the LCMS system - an existing office room at a research facility - highlighted that while some aspects of comfort were being maintained, the building’s environment was not in compliance with the acceptable levels as stipulated by the relevant building standards. The implementation of ComMet, through LCMS, demonstrates how comfort, typically only considered during early design, can be measured and managed appropriately through systematic application of the methodology as means of ensuring a healthy internal environment in the building.
- ItemFeasibility of combined wind-wave energy platforms(University College Cork, 2014) O'Sullivan, Keith Patrick; Murphy, James; European CommissionThe European Union has set out an ambitious 20% target for renewable energy use by 2020. It is expected that this will be met mainly by wind energy. Looking towards 2050, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 80-95% are to be sought. Given the issues securing this target in the transport and agriculture sectors, it may only be possible to achieve this target if the power sector is carbon neutral well in advance of 2050. This has permitted the vast expansion of offshore renewables, wind, wave and tidal energy. Offshore wind has undergone rapid development in recent years however faces significant challenges up to 2020 to ensure commercial viability without the need for government subsidies. Wave energy is still in the very early stages of development so as yet there has been no commercial roll out. As both of these technologies are to face similar challenges in ensuring they are a viable alternative power generation method to fossil fuels, capitalising on the synergies is potentially a significant cost saving initiative. The advent of hybrid solutions in a variety of configurations is the subject of this thesis. A singular wind-wave energy platform embodies all the attributes of a hybrid system, including sharing space, transmission infrastructure, O&M activities and a platform/foundation. This configuration is the subject of this thesis, and it is found that an OWC Array platform with multi-MegaWatt wind turbines is a technically feasible, and potentially an economically feasible solution in the long term. Methods of design and analysis adopted in this thesis include numerical and physical modelling of power performance, structural analysis, fabrication cost modelling, simplified project economic modelling and time domain reliability modelling of a 210MW hybrid farm. The application of these design and analysis methods has resulted in a hybrid solution capable of producing energy at a cost between €0.22/kWh and €0.31/kWh depending on the source of funding for the project. Further optimisation through detailed design is expected to lower this further. This thesis develops new and existing methods of design and analysis of wind and wave energy devices. This streamlines the process of early stage development, while adhering to the widely adopted Concept Development Protocol, to develop a technically and economically feasible, combined wind-wave energy hybrid solution.
- ItemInvestigation of factors driving the costs of operating the 2020 Irish power system with large-scale wind generation(University College Cork, 2014) McGarrigle, Edward V.; Leahy, Paul; Irish Research CouncilThe main goal of this work is to determine the true cost incurred by the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in order to meet their EU renewable electricity targets. The primary all-island of Ireland policy goal is that 40% of electricity will come from renewable sources in 2020. From this it is expected that wind generation on the Irish electricity system will be in the region of 32-37% of total generation. This leads to issues resulting from wind energy being a non-synchronous, unpredictable and variable source of energy use on a scale never seen before for a single synchronous system. If changes are not made to traditional operational practices, the efficient running of the electricity system will be directly affected by these issues in the coming years. Using models of the electricity system for the all-island grid of Ireland, the effects of high wind energy penetration expected to be present in 2020 are examined. These models were developed using a unit commitment, economic dispatch tool called PLEXOS which allows for a detailed representation of the electricity system to be achieved down to individual generator level. These models replicate the true running of the electricity system through use of day-ahead scheduling and semi-relaxed use of these schedules that reflects the Transmission System Operator's of real time decision making on dispatch. In addition, it carefully considers other non-wind priority dispatch generation technologies that have an effect on the overall system. In the models developed, three main issues associated with wind energy integration were selected to be examined in detail to determine the sensitivity of assumptions presented in other studies. These three issues include wind energy's non-synchronous nature, its variability and spatial correlation, and its unpredictability. This leads to an examination of the effects in three areas: the need for system operation constraints required for system security; different onshore to offshore ratios of installed wind energy; and the degrees of accuracy in wind energy forecasting. Each of these areas directly impact the way in which the electricity system is run as they address each of the three issues associated with wind energy stated above, respectively. It is shown that assumptions in these three areas have a large effect on the results in terms of total generation costs, wind curtailment and generator technology type dispatch. In particular accounting for these issues has resulted in wind curtailment being predicted in much larger quantities than had been previously reported. This would have a large effect on wind energy companies because it is already a very low profit margin industry. Results from this work have shown that the relaxation of system operation constraints is crucial to the economic running of the electricity system with large improvements shown in the reduction of wind curtailment and system generation costs. There are clear benefits in having a proportion of the wind installed offshore in Ireland which would help to reduce variability of wind energy generation on the system and therefore reduce wind curtailment. With envisaged future improvements in day-ahead wind forecasting from 8% to 4% mean absolute error, there are potential reductions in wind curtailment system costs and open cycle gas turbine usage. This work illustrates the consequences of assumptions in the areas of system operation constraints, onshore/offshore installed wind capacities and accuracy in wind forecasting to better inform the true costs associated with running Ireland's changing electricity system as it continues to decarbonise into the near future. This work also proposes to illustrate, through the use of Ireland as a case study, the effects that will become ever more prevalent in other synchronous systems as they pursue a path of increasing renewable energy generation.
- ItemBridge-vehicle interaction for structural health monitoring: potentials, applications, and limitations(University College Cork, 2014) Jaksic, Vesna; Pakrashi, Vikram; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and TechnologyStructural Health Monitoring (SHM) is an integral part of infrastructure maintenance and management systems due to socio-economic, safety and security reasons. The behaviour of a structure under vibration depends on structure characteristics. The change of structure characteristics may suggest the change in system behaviour due to the presence of damage(s) within. Therefore the consistent, output signal guided, and system dependable markers would be convenient tool for the online monitoring, the maintenance, rehabilitation strategies, and optimized decision making policies as required by the engineers, owners, managers, and the users from both safety and serviceability aspects. SHM has a very significant advantage over traditional investigations where tangible and intangible costs of a very high degree are often incurred due to the disruption of service. Additionally, SHM through bridge-vehicle interaction opens up opportunities for continuous tracking of the condition of the structure. Research in this area is still in initial stage and is extremely promising. This PhD focuses on using bridge-vehicle interaction response for SHM of damaged or deteriorating bridges to monitor or assess them under operating conditions. In the present study, a number of damage detection markers have been investigated and proposed in order to identify the existence, location, and the extent of an open crack in the structure. The theoretical and experimental investigation has been conducted on Single Degree of Freedom linear system, simply supported beams. The novel Delay Vector Variance (DVV) methodology has been employed for characterization of structural behaviour by time-domain response analysis. Also, the analysis of responses of actual bridges using DVV method has been for the first time employed for this kind of investigation.
- ItemBiomethane production from food waste and organic residues(University College Cork, 2014) Browne, James D.; Murphy, Jeremiah D.G.; Bord Gáis Éireann; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and TechnologyAnaerobic digestion (AD) of biodegradable waste is an environmentally and economically sustainable solution which incorporates waste treatment and energy recovery. The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), which comprises mostly of food waste, is highly degradable under anaerobic conditions. Biogas produced from OFMSW, when upgraded to biomethane, is recognised as one of the most sustainable renewable biofuels and can also be one of the cheapest sources of biomethane if a gate fee is associated with the substrate. OFMSW is a complex and heterogeneous material which may have widely different characteristics depending on the source of origin and collection system used. The research presented in this thesis investigates the potential energy resource from a wide range of organic waste streams through field and laboratory research on real world samples. OFMSW samples collected from a range of sources generated methane yields ranging from 75 to 160 m3 per tonne. Higher methane yields are associated with source segregated food waste from commercial catering premises as opposed to domestic sources. The inclusion of garden waste reduces the specific methane yield from household organic waste. In continuous AD trials it was found that a conventional continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) gave the highest specific methane yields at a moderate organic loading rate of 2 kg volatile solids (VS) m-3 digester day-1 and a hydraulic retention time of 30 days. The average specific methane yield obtained at this loading rate in continuous digestion was 560 ± 29 L CH4 kg-1 VS which exceeded the biomethane potential test result by 5%. The low carbon to nitrogen ratio (C: N <14:1) associated with canteen food waste lead to increasing concentrations of volatile fatty acids in line with high concentrations of ammonia nitrogen at higher organic loading rates. At an organic loading rate of 4 kg VS m-3day-1 the specific methane yield dropped considerably (381 L CH4 kg-1 VS), the pH rose to 8.1 and free ammonia (NH3 ) concentrations reached toxicity levels towards the end of the trial (ca. 950 mg L-1). A novel two phase AD reactor configuration consisting of a series of sequentially fed leach bed reactors connected to an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) demonstrated a high rate of organic matter decay but resulted in lower specific methane yields (384 L CH4 kg-1 VS) than the conventional CSTR system.
- ItemBottom-up modelling of energy demand and technical energy savings potential in the Irish residential sector(University College Cork, 2014) Dineen, Denis; Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and TechnologyThe International Energy Agency has repeatedly identified increased end-use energy efficiency as the quickest, least costly method of green house gas mitigation, most recently in the 2012 World Energy Outlook, and urges all governing bodies to increase efforts to promote energy efficiency policies and technologies. The residential sector is recognised as a major potential source of cost effective energy efficiency gains. Within the EU this relative importance can be seen from a review of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAP) submitted by member states, which in all cases place a large emphasis on the residential sector. This is particularly true for Ireland whose residential sector has historically had higher energy consumption and CO2 emissions than the EU average and whose first NEEAP targeted 44% of the energy savings to be achieved in 2020 from this sector. This thesis develops a bottom-up engineering archetype modelling approach to analyse the Irish residential sector and to estimate the technical energy savings potential of a number of policy measures. First, a model of space and water heating energy demand for new dwellings is built and used to estimate the technical energy savings potential due to the introduction of the 2008 and 2010 changes to part L of the building regulations governing energy efficiency in new dwellings. Next, the author makes use of a valuable new dataset of Building Energy Rating (BER) survey results to first characterise the highly heterogeneous stock of existing dwellings, and then to estimate the technical energy savings potential of an ambitious national retrofit programme targeting up to 1 million residential dwellings. This thesis also presents work carried out by the author as part of a collaboration to produce a bottom-up, multi-sector LEAP model for Ireland. Overall this work highlights the challenges faced in successfully implementing both sets of policy measures. It points to the wide potential range of final savings possible from particular policy measures and the resulting high degree of uncertainty as to whether particular targets will be met and identifies the key factors on which the success of these policies will depend. It makes recommendations on further modelling work and on the improvements necessary in the data available to researchers and policy makers alike in order to develop increasingly sophisticated residential energy demand models and better inform policy.
- ItemThe application of computer modelling to develop a methodology for ‘existing building’ upgrades to move towards carbon-neutral buildings(University College Cork, 2014) Murray, Sean Noel; O'Sullivan, DominicThe retrofitting of existing buildings for decreased energy usage, through increased energy efficiency and for minimum carbon dioxide emissions throughout their remaining lifetime is a major area of research. This research area requires development to provide building professionals with more efficient building retrofit solution determination tools. The overarching objective of this research is to develop a tool for this purpose through the implementation of a prescribed methodology. This has been achieved in three distinct steps. Firstly, the concept of using the degree-days modelling method as an adequate means of basing retrofit decision upon was analysed and the results illustrated that the concept had merit. Secondly, the concept of combining the degree-days modelling method and the Genetic Algorithms optimisation method is investigated as a method of determining optimal thermal energy retrofit solutions. Thirdly, the combination of the degree-days modelling method and the Genetic Algorithms optimisation method were packaged into a building retrofit decision-support tool and named BRaSS (Building Retrofit Support Software). The results demonstrate clearly that, fundamental building information, simplified occupancy profiles and weather data used in a static simulation modelling method is a sufficient and adequate means to base retrofitting decisions upon. The results also show that basing retrofit decisions upon energy analysis results are the best means to guide a retrofit project and also to achieve results which are optimum for a particular building. The results also indicate that the building retrofit decision-support tool, BRaSS, is an effective method to determine optimum thermal energy retrofit solutions.
- ItemThe use of fault detection and diagnostics to reduce air handling unit energy consumption(University College Cork, 2014) Bruton, Ken; O'Sullivan, DominicThe contribution of buildings towards total worldwide energy consumption in developed countries is between 20% and 40%. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), and more specifically Air Handling Units (AHUs) energy consumption accounts on average for 40% of a typical medical device manufacturing or pharmaceutical facility’s energy consumption. Studies have indicated that 20 – 30% energy savings are achievable by recommissioning HVAC systems, and more specifically AHU operations, to rectify faulty operation. Automated Fault Detection and Diagnosis (AFDD) is a process concerned with potentially partially or fully automating the commissioning process through the detection of faults. An expert system is a knowledge-based system, which employs Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to replicate the knowledge of a human subject matter expert, in a particular field, such as engineering, medicine, finance and marketing, to name a few. This thesis details the research and development work undertaken in the development and testing of a new AFDD expert system for AHUs which can be installed in minimal set up time on a large cross section of AHU types in a building management system vendor neutral manner. Both simulated and extensive field testing was undertaken against a widely available and industry known expert set of rules known as the Air Handling Unit Performance Assessment Rules (APAR) (and a later more developed version known as APAR_extended) in order to prove its effectiveness. Specifically, in tests against a dataset of 52 simulated faults, this new AFDD expert system identified all 52 derived issues whereas the APAR ruleset identified just 10. In tests using actual field data from 5 operating AHUs in 4 manufacturing facilities, the newly developed AFDD expert system for AHUs was shown to identify four individual fault case categories that the APAR method did not, as well as showing improvements made in the area of fault diagnosis.
- ItemA facilities maintenance management process based on degradation prediction using sensed data(University College Cork, 2014) Tobin, Ena; Brown, Kenneth N.; Damien Fay; Science Foundation IrelandEnergy efficiency and user comfort have recently become priorities in the Facility Management (FM) sector. This has resulted in the use of innovative building components, such as thermal solar panels, heat pumps, etc., as they have potential to provide better performance, energy savings and increased user comfort. However, as the complexity of components increases, the requirement for maintenance management also increases. The standard routine for building maintenance is inspection which results in repairs or replacement when a fault is found. This routine leads to unnecessary inspections which have a cost with respect to downtime of a component and work hours. This research proposes an alternative routine: performing building maintenance at the point in time when the component is degrading and requires maintenance, thus reducing the frequency of unnecessary inspections. This thesis demonstrates that statistical techniques can be used as part of a maintenance management methodology to invoke maintenance before failure occurs. The proposed FM process is presented through a scenario utilising current Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and innovative contractual and organisational models. This FM scenario supports a Degradation based Maintenance (DbM) scheduling methodology, implemented using two statistical techniques, Particle Filters (PFs) and Gaussian Processes (GPs). DbM consists of extracting and tracking a degradation metric for a component. Limits for the degradation metric are identified based on one of a number of proposed processes. These processes determine the limits based on the maturity of the historical information available. DbM is implemented for three case study components: a heat exchanger; a heat pump; and a set of bearings. The identified degradation points for each case study, from a PF, a GP and a hybrid (PF and GP combined) DbM implementation are assessed against known degradation points. The GP implementations are successful for all components. For the PF implementations, the results presented in this thesis find that the extracted metrics and limits identify degradation occurrences accurately for components which are in continuous operation. For components which have seasonal operational periods, the PF may wrongly identify degradation. The GP performs more robustly than the PF, but the PF, on average, results in fewer false positives. The hybrid implementations, which are a combination of GP and PF results, are successful for 2 of 3 case studies and are not affected by seasonal data. Overall, DbM is effectively applied for the three case study components. The accuracy of the implementations is dependant on the relationships modelled by the PF and GP, and on the type and quantity of data available. This novel maintenance process can improve equipment performance and reduce energy wastage from BSCs operation.
- ItemFloating wave energy converters: wave measurement & analysis techniques(University College Cork, 2015) Barrett, Seán Noel; Lewis, Anthony; Marine Institute; Higher Education AuthorityThe wave energy industry is entering a new phase of pre-commercial and commercial deployments of full-scale devices, so better understanding of seaway variability is critical to the successful operation of devices. The response of Wave Energy Converters to incident waves govern their operational performance and for many devices, this is highly dependent on spectral shape due to their resonant properties. Various methods of wave measurement are presented, along with analysis techniques and empirical models. Resource assessments, device performance predictions and monitoring of operational devices will often be based on summary statistics and assume a standard spectral shape such as Pierson-Moskowitz or JONSWAP. Furthermore, these are typically derived from the closest available wave data, frequently separated from the site on scales in the order of 1km. Therefore, variability of seaways from standard spectral shapes and spatial inconsistency between the measurement point and the device site will cause inaccuracies in the performance assessment. This thesis categorises time and frequency domain analysis techniques that can be used to identify changes in a sea state from record to record. Device specific issues such as dimensional scaling of sea states and power output are discussed along with potential differences that arise in estimated and actual output power of a WEC due to spectral shape variation. This is investigated using measured data from various phases of device development.
- ItemIrish state infrastructural investment: an analysis of past patterns, and an outline of a future integrated systems of systems evaluation methodology(University College Cork, 2015) Moloney, Mary; Mckeogh, Eamon; Cork Institute of TechnologyThe literature clearly links the quality and capacity of a country’s infrastructure to its economic growth and competitiveness. This thesis analyses the historic national and spatial distribution of investment by the Irish state in its physical networks (water, wastewater and roads) across the 34 local authorities and examines how Ireland is perceived internationally relative to its economic counterparts. An appraisal of the current status and shortcomings of Ireland’s infrastructure is undertaken using key stakeholders from foreign direct investment companies and national policymakers to identify Ireland's infrastructural gaps, along with current challenges in how the country is delivering infrastructure. The output of these interviews identified many issues with how infrastructure decision-making is currently undertaken. This led to an evaluation of how other countries are informing decision-making, and thus this thesis presents a framework of how and why Ireland should embrace a Systems of Systems (SoS) methodology approach to infrastructure decision-making going forward. In undertaking this study a number of other infrastructure challenges were identified: significant political interference in infrastructure decision-making and delivery the need for a national agency to remove the existing ‘silo’ type of mentality to infrastructure delivery how tax incentives can interfere with the market; and their significance. The two key infrastructure gaps identified during the interview process were: the need for government intervention in the rollout of sufficient communication capacity and at a competitive cost outside of Dublin; and the urgent need to address water quality and capacity with approximately 25% of the population currently being served by water of unacceptable quality. Despite considerable investment in its national infrastructure, Ireland’s infrastructure performance continues to trail behind its economic partners in the Eurozone and OECD. Ireland is projected to have the highest growth rate in the euro zone region in 2015 and 2016, albeit that it required a bailout in 2010, and, at the time of writing, is beginning to invest in its infrastructure networks again. This thesis proposes the development and implementation of a SoS approach for infrastructure decision-making which would be based on: existing spatial and capacity data of each of the constituent infrastructure networks; and scenario computation and analysis of alternative drivers eg. Demographic change, economic variability and demand/capacity constraints. The output from such an analysis would provide valuable evidence upon which policy makers and decision makers alike could rely, which has been lacking in historic investment decisions.
- ItemMonitoring and modelling the morphodynamic evolution of a breached barrier beach system(University College Cork, 2015) O'Shea, Patrick Michael; Lewis, Anthony; Murphy, JamesPredicting the evolution of a coastal cell requires the identification of the key drivers of morphology. Soft coastlines are naturally dynamic but severe storm events and even human intervention can accelerate any changes that are occurring. However, when erosive events such as barrier breaching occur with no obvious contributory factors, a deeper understanding of the underlying coastal processes is required. Ideally conclusions on morphological drivers should be drawn from field data collection and remote sensing over a long period of time. Unfortunately, when the Rossbeigh barrier beach in Dingle Bay, County Kerry, began to erode rapidly in the early 2000’s, eventually leading to it breaching in 2008, no such baseline data existed. This thesis presents a study of the morphodynamic evolution of the Inner Dingle Bay coastal system. The study combines existing coastal zone analysis approaches with experimental field data collection techniques and a novel approach to long term morphodynamic modelling to predict the evolution of the barrier beach inlet system. A conceptual model describing the long term evolution of Inner Dingle Bay in 5 stages post breaching was developed. The dominant coastal processes driving the evolution of the coastal system were identified and quantified. A new methodology of long term process based numerical modelling approach to coastal evolution was developed. This method was used to predict over 20 years of coastal evolution in Inner Dingle Bay. On a broader context this thesis utilised several experimental coastal zone data collection and analysis methods such as ocean radar and grain size trend analysis. These were applied during the study and their suitability to a dynamic coastal system was assessed.