Energy Efficiency Savings Advanced Environmental Systems
The team at Advanced Environmental Systems P/L and are working together with the NSW Government to provide Energy Assessments, Subsidised Implementation and Project Support for Riverina businesses.
Achieving Savings for Business
Most business owners begrudge paying so much for electricity. However, saving is not always about the energy we use, but more about the energy we waste. Energy costs can be substantially reduced with a multipronged approach:
> Reduce charges.
> Increase the efficiency of equipment.
> Adding renewable energy (Solar ,wind, geothermal). Who is Eligible?
Energy assessments (audits), technical support and training are best suited for businesses that spend more than $80,000 a year on energy.
We can assist with some of your costs, for example:
> Subsidies allow for up to 50% off the cost of an energy audit.
> Up to $10,000 potentially available to assist with technical expertise to support the implementation of your project.
> A financial contribution towards measurement and verification services to ensure that your upgrade is delivering you the expected savings. A Case Study
Inspired by a recent energy saving seminar Lochy Donald, a Mulwala irrigation farmer, contacted energy consultants Advanced Environmental Systems (AES) about reducing the running costs of the pump system for his two centre pivot irrigators.
Energy cost management involves looking at these separate elements of the billing arrangement. Savings can often be substantial and in this instance were about 4% per year.
Variable Speed Drives (VSDs)
However, the biggest savings would be obtained from installing a Variable Speed Drive (VSD). Modelling of the system indicated that the VSD would save about 25-30% of energy costs and with and improved power factor of 0.98 (previously 0.8) there would be far less wear on the motor, thus extending the life of the system and putting money into profits.
The other advantage that comes with the VSD is that it reports directly back to Lochy’s phone with alerts, or he can make adjustments from a remote location which frees him up to go to market or away for the day. Lochy’s savings should amount to about $7-10 K per year. Add this up over the life of the pump and the benefits are substantial.
Poorly maintained, inefficient pumps increase energy costs compared to those with variable speed drives
A Murray-Darling Freshwater Centre researcher says his work will assist environmental scientists better manage a source of nutrients critical to the food chain in freshwater rivers and streams.
Born and bred Albury-Wodonga, environmental science student Clayton Harris is undertaking his PhD doctorate research at La Trobe University Albury Wodonga with the support and facilities of the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre on campus. Clayton’s research has also received funding in the form of the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and a CSIRO Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) top up scholarship.
Clayton says managing nitrogen levels in the Murray is critical to a healthy river system.
“Microbes and bacteria at the bottom of the food chain feed off nitrogen leaching into the water from gum leaves. Often you will have a large leaf fall in summer, so the wetland will be covered in red gum leaves. That could mean a huge nutrient flux into the river” he said.
“It’s sort of like a teabag that releases tannins into hot water, changing its colour. Eucalyptus leaves do the same thing when they land in a river or in a wetland, there are proteins and amino acids leeching from the leaves and that’s what I’m looking at.”
With the PhD research topic ‘Dissolved organic nitrogen in rivers: sources, bioavailability and response to flow,’ Clayton’s research involves sampling water in the local region so as to determine the effects of organic nitrogen on river systems with a focus on the effects of leached nitrogen from gum leaves that has on the ecology of rivers.
In correct quantities, nitrogen used as a food source in a river, can sustain the long- term health of the system. Clayton’s research will help to determine how much nitrogen is present and at different times of the year.
As Clayton explains, “In large quantities, nitrogen causes negative impacts on river systems, but this is often a result of inorganic nitrogen that had entered the river from run-off. In the quantities I’m looking at from organic nitrogen sources, they’re very small and thought to be used up when it is released, serving positively as a food source for microbes and bacteria in the river, which sustains the food web.”
“My first goal was to investigate organic nitrogen because its known that it can account for up to 80 per cent of the nitrogen in a river, but it’s not known whether it’s available to be used straight away, or whether its contained in complex molecules that need to be broken down over time. So my first goal was to how much is there, my second goal is to see how long is that before it’s used up.”
After Clayton has established answers to these two components, the research will take its own direction depending on what he finds. “I do have a final goal for
my research in mind, but it can depend on my findings, as it changes direction and raises more questions or answers.”
From a young age Clayton had always been interested in how things work in the natural environment and science but it was only when he undertook work experience at the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre he became drown to the topic of freshwater biochemistry. From this experience, Clayton continued on to do his honours research year with the MDFRC.
Although he never expected to do a PhD, still having more questions he wanted answered the emerged out of his honours research, Clayton went on to do his doctorate.
“I always thought it would be cool to do one, I never thought that I would, but doing honours I realised I really enjoyed the research side of things and doing the write up of a scientific article. So after my PhD research I am considering doing post- doctorate research or getting into academia” he said.
Albury residents will get a very welcome connectivity boost next month as free WiFi is set to arrive in the city. During a Google business seminar, hosted by the Northside Chamber of Commerce and Fairfax Media, yesterday, Country Tell announced it will bring the new internet services to the Border. Free WiFi doesn’t actually come for free with someone tasked with picking up the bill for the installation and data transfer.
The not-for-profit group Murray Now is now Albury’s new best friend, they have agreed to sponsor free Wi-Fi in the city between Dean and Swift streets for one year.