IERG researcher reaches final of UCC Doctoral Showcase
Seán Hayes recently competed in the final of the UCC Doctoral Showcase, the aims of which are to encourage UCC’s research students to develop innovative new ways to communicate their research. Seán presented his research Industrial Energy Usage Reduction in the Three Minute Thesis category, which invites participants to explain the impact of their research within the restricted time, using no more than one slide.
A recording of Seán’s presentation is available here.
Effective energy supply is a basic requirement for any strong, healthy economy. Policy developments at an Irish, European and global level demonstrate that a concerted effort is needed to ensure a reliable, environmentally conscious energy supply in the future. This effort should promote renewable energy, but equally importantly reduce unnecessary energy consumption. My research addresses the latter goal, specifically energy efficiency in industry. Industry uses over 20% of Irish energy, and over 50% globally. The benefits of reduced industrial energy consumption for the Irish economy include less reliance on imported energy, a competitive advantage globally and improved job security. The global energy efficiency market itself is valued at over €240 billion annually. A significant portion of industrial energy is consumed by utilities such as boilers, compressors, chillers and air conditioners. These utilities often waste energy due to inefficiencies in operation. Identifying opportunities to remove these inefficiencies is typically achieved through manually reviewing the systems at a facility. My research complements these reviews with automatic opportunity detection. This can be achieved by analysing utility data, using engineering expertise to recognise opportunities. The knowledge gained from this centralised approach will help to define the best solution for reducing industrial energy consumption.