Development of a data acquisition system to characterise sustainable energy technologies and to support Web-Based learning (DAQ-WBL)
Driven by concerns about rising energy costs, security of supply and climate change a new wave of Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET’s) have been embraced by the Irish consumer. Such systems as solar collectors, heat pumps and biomass boilers have become common due to government backed financial incentives and revisions of the building regulations. However, there is a deficit of knowledge and understanding of how these technologies operate and perform under Ireland’s maritime climate. This AQ-WBL project was designed to address both these needs by developing a Data Acquisition (DAQ) system to monitor the performance of such technologies and a web-based learning environment to disseminate performance characteristics and supplementary information about these systems. A DAQ system consisting of 108 sensors was developed as part of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology’s (GMIT’s) Centre for the Integration of Sustainable EnergyTechnologies (CiSET) in an effort to benchmark the performance of solar thermal collectors and Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP’s) under Irish maritime climate, research new methods of integrating these systems within the built environment and raise awareness of SET’s. It has operated reliably for over 2 years and has acquired over 25 million data points. Raising awareness of these SET’s is carried out through the dissemination of the performance data through an online learning environment. A learning environment was created to provide different user groups with a basic understanding of a SET’s with the support of performance data, through a novel 5 step learning process and two examples were developed for the solar thermal collectors and the weather station which can be viewed at http://www.kdp 1 .aquaculture.ie/index.aspx. This online learning environment has been demonstrated to and well received by different groups of GMIT’s undergraduate students and plans have been made to develop it further to support education, awareness, research and regional development.
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