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Sarawak Campus

Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science

Higher Education Division

Tutorial 6: Sustainable Energy

CVE10006
Sustainable Design
(Semester 2, 2015)
Version date (12 October, 2015)

Student Name:

SCORE

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1.
a) Determine the amount of power per day (in MW) that can be produced from a wind turbine having
the following properties: length of the turbine blade (l) = 26 m, wind speed (v) = 12 m/s, air
density () = 1.23 kg/m3, and power coefficient, Cp = 0.40 (conversion efficiency for converting
wind energy to electrical energy, a constant). Assume wind-speed is available for about 8.0 hrs
per day. Note: the 0.5 built into the equation is also a constant. The required equation is: [2
marks]

Pavail = 0.5Cp* *A*v3, where:

A = the swept area (m2) of the turbine blades
Pavail = the available power in watts

Pavail = 0.5*0.4*1.23*(3.142*262)*123 = 902,766 W

Per day = 902,766*8 = 7222,132 W/day = 7.2 MW/day (2 significant figures)

b) How many homes can one wind turbine of this type power (for homes each using Melbournes
average energy consumption of 15kWh/day)? [1 mark]
# homes = 7,218.472/15 = 480 homes (2 significant figures)

c) How many wind turbines of this type would it take to power 10,000 homes each using Melbourne
average energy consumption (15 kWh/day)? [1 mark]
# turbines = 10,000/480 = 20.79 = 21 turbines (2 significant figures)(must round up)

d) If larger turbines were employed (length of turbine blade = 35 m) what would be the change in
the total number of homes powered by one turbine and the number of turbines needed to power
10,000 homes? [4 marks]
Larger turbines Pavail = 0.5*0.4*1.23*(3.14*352)*123 = 1,635,101 W
Per day = 1,635,101*8 = 13,080,808 W/day = 13 MW/day (2 significant figures)
# homes = 13,080.808/15 = 872 homes = 870 homes (2 significant figures)
# turbines for 10,000 homes = 10,000/872 = 11.46 turbines = 12 turbines (2 significant
figures and rounded up otherwise you would not have enough power for all the homes)

2. A house has 10 light fixtures used on average 3 hours per day. Compute the total cost (including
energy use and purchase price) of using each of the following light bulb types over the next 21 years
in these 10 fixtures: Note: (Assume that energy costs are currently \$0.70 per kWh on average over
the next 21 years). Note: for the purposes of significant figures treat all values as exact numbers.

a) Standard 60 W incandescent bulbs (lifespan 1 year, cost \$0.25) [3 marks]

Replacement bulb cost = 10*0.25*21 = \$52.50
Energy cost = (10*3*60*365*21*0.70)/1000 = \$9,657.90
Total cost = \$9657.90 + \$52.50 = \$9,710.40

b) 15 W compact florescent bulbs (lifespan 7 years, cost \$8.00) [3 marks]

Replacement bulb cost = 10*8.00*3 = \$240.00
Energy cost = (10*3*15*365*21*0.70)/1000 = \$2,414.48
Total cost = \$2414.48 + \$240.00 = \$2,654.48

c) 3 W LED bulb (lifespan 21 years, cost \$30.00) [3 marks]

Replacement bulb cost = 10*30.00*1 = \$300.00
Energy cost = (10*3*3*365*21*0.70)/1000 = \$482.90
Total cost = \$482.90 + \$300.00 = \$782.90
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d) Which bulb type has the lowest cost over 21 years? [1 mark]
The LED bulbs

3. A landfill in Australia was opened in 1982 and it was closed in 2002. At this time, a landfill gas
extraction plant was installed. The default value of potential methane generation capacity is 170
m3/tonne. The average annual waste disposal over the period of operation was 70,000.0 tonnes.
The methane generation rate is a constant, with k = 0.050/year.

a) Calculate the landfill gas generation rate (per day) in the year 2007 (5 years since closure) and
2012 (10 years since closure). [4 marks]

Landfill gas generation is calculated by:

LFG = L 0 R(e kc e kt )
LFG: methane generated per year (in m3/yr)
L0: Potential methane generation capacity (m3/ton),
R: Annual quantity of waste disposal (tonnes)
c: Number of years since the landfill closed
t: Number of years since the landfill opened

5 years since closure = LFG 2007 = 170*70,000*(e(-0.05*5) e(-0.05*25)) = 5,858,322

m3/yr
LFG per day 2007 = 5,858,322/(365) = 16,050 m3/day = 16,000 m3/day (2 significant
figures)
10 years since closure = LFG 2012 = 170*70,000*(e(-0.05*10) e(-0.05*30)) = 4,562,466
m3/yr
LFG per day 2012 = 4,562,466/(365) = 12,500 m3/day = 12,000 m3/day (2 significant
figures, even number so round down)

b) Approximately how many homes in Melbourne (using an average of 15 kWh/day) can be

2007 = kW per day 2007 = 16,050*10.83 = 173,822 kW/day
# homes 2007 = 173,822/15 = 11,588 homes = 12,000 homes (2 significant figures)
2012 = kW per day 2012 = 12,500*10.83 = 135,375 kW/day
# homes 2012 = 173,822/15 = 9,025 homes = 9,000 homes (2 significant figures)

4. Figure 1 presents data and on the cost and installed capacity for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems
globally. Use this figure to answer the following questions.

a) How would you describe the price change in solar PV systems since 1977? [1 mark]
Exponential decrease

b) How would you describe the installation rate of solar PV systems since 2000? [1 mark]
Exponential increase

c) Which part of the world has led the way in installing solar PV systems? How would you describe
the available solar energy in this part of the world? [1 mark]
Europe, relatively low.

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d) Which other three parts of the world have had significant increases in solar PV installation since
2011? [3 marks]
China, America, Asia Pacific

e) Do you think it makes good economic sense to buy a rooftop solar PV system? Why or why not?
[3 marks]
Yes.
These systems pay for themselves after about 4 years and then generate profit thereafter.
They insulate you from future energy price rises.

5. Figure 2 illustrates the cost for renewable energy sources (including all subsidies) against fossil fuel
sources (without fossil fuel subsidies included). Use this figure to answer the following questions.

a) Which renewable energy types are more (or as) cost effective as fossil fuels? [4 marks]
Onshore wind, biomass, large and small hydro, geothermal

b) Of these, which could be described as truly green technologies? Based on what you have
learned, could we meet all of our energy needs from these sources in Australia? [2 marks]
Onshore wind and geothermal,
Yes

c) Globally, subsidies to fossil fuels (which include tax incentives, government investment, having
society pick up the cost for environmental and health issues caused by using them etc.) amount
to about \$0.32 per kWh. How do renewable energy technologies compare to fossil fuels on price
if we take into account all the subsidies that both sets of technologies enjoy? Based on these
results, is there a valid financial argument to maintain the status quo in terms of energy? [2
marks]
Every renewable energy technology comes out cheaper than fossil fuels,
No

6. Table 1 lists the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power. Why do you think many
environmental organisations oppose hydropower as means to combat climate change? Do you think
that hydropower is green energy? Why or why not? [2 marks]
Hydropower has many environmental and social disadvantages. It can do great harm to
river systems and ecosystems.
They typically have limited lifespans and are very expensive as well. Because of these
issues, it cannot really be considered a green technology.

7. Figure 3 illustrates the total nuclear energy produced and the fraction of energy produced that is
nuclear energy for several world nations. Use this figure to answer the following questions.

a) Which 2 countries produce the most nuclear energy? [2 marks]

The USA and France

b) Which 2 countries derive the largest share of their energy from nuclear power? [2 marks]
France and Slovakia

c) Australia has the worlds largest supply of Uranium, the primary fuel for nuclear energy. Where
does Australia rate in terms of the total amount and proportion of energy generated from nuclear
power plants? Why do you think this is the case? Would you support increasing nuclear power
generation in Australia? Why or why not? [3 marks]
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Australia generates no energy from nuclear power plants.
Australians are fearful of the negatives associated with nuclear power.
Open ended.

8. Figure 4 evaluates the top 5 countries by renewable energy production for a variety of renewable
energy sources. Use this figure to answer the following questions.

a) What are the top 5 countries for total renewable energy generated (in order) including
hydropower? [5 marks]

b) What are the top 5 countries for total renewable energy generated (in order) excluding
hydropower? [5 marks]
China, USA, Germany, Spain/Italy, (India)

c) What are the top 5 countries for renewable energy generated per capita excluding hydro? [5
marks]
Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain/Sweden, (Austria)

d) Which of these three sets of countries do you think have the best green credentials in terms of
their energy production? Why? [2 marks]
Those with the highest per capita energy generation rates excluding hydropower.
This takes into account the differing sizes of the countries and focuses only on the
greenest technologies.

e) How does Australia compare to the countries on this list in terms of its renewable energy
credentials? [1 mark]
We dont make the list under any category

9. Figure 5 illustrates the rate of new power plant installation for fossil fuel and renewable energy
sources from 2010 to 2030. Use this figure to answer the following question.

a) In what year did the installation of new renewable energy power sources first exceed that for
fossil fuel sources? [1 mark]
2013

b) What fraction of the new energy sources installed in 2010 was from fossil fuel sources? Which
fossil fuel source was the most commonly installed at that time? Which renewable energy source
was the most commonly installed at that time? [3 marks]
Coal.
Wind and hydroelectric.

c) What fractions of the new energy sources installed in 2030 are tipped to be fossil fuel sources?
Which fossil fuel source is expected to be the most commonly installed at that time? Which
renewable energy source is tipped to be the most commonly installed at that time? [3 marks]
Natural gas.
Solar.

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d) How would you describe these changes? [1 mark]
There is a clear shift away from fossil fuels (especially the most polluting of them) towards
renewables, and especially green renewables.

10. Figure 6 details the types and amounts of renewable energy used by states in Eastern Australia and
compare these against the total energy demand. Use this figure to answer the following questions.

a) What is the total renewable energy produced by each state? Which state produces the most
renewable energy? [6 marks]
SA = 2008 MW
QLD = 1803 MW
NSW = 3856 MW
VIC = 1877 MW
TAS = 2641 MW
New South Wales

b) What is the total green energy produced by each state? Which state produces the most green
energy? [6 marks]
SA = 2008 MW
QLD = 1151 MW
NSW = 1206 MW
VIC = 1640 MW
TAS = 380 MW
South Australia

c) Using the bottom end and top end of the demand range, what is the range (in %) of the
proportion of energy in each state that can be met by renewable energy? Which state performs
the best? Which state is worst? [6 marks]
SA = 193% to 59%
QLD = 44% to 20%
NSW = 75% to 26%
VIC = 43% to 18%
TAS = 326% to 148%
Tasmania. Victoria.

11. Figure 7 summarises the advantages and disadvantages of different energy sources. Use this figure

a) What are the issues associated with coal, oil and natural gas? [3 marks]
Coal: emits greenhouse gases, depends on water for turbines, emits metals, produces
hazardous waste, emits airborne particulates, contributes to acid rain, can be deadly or
catastrophic
Oil: emits greenhouse gases, depends on water for turbines, emits metals, produces
hazardous waste, emits airborne particulates, contributes to acid rain, can be deadly or
catastrophic, influences food prices, emits CO2 in gas flaring, relies substantially on
imports
Natural gas: emits greenhouse gases, depends on water for turbines, emits airborne
particulates, contributes to acid rain, can be deadly or catastrophic

b) What are the issues associated with biomass and biofuels? [2 marks]

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Biomass: emits greenhouse gases, is renewable, depends on water for turbines, emits
airborne particulates, contributes to acid rain, influences food prices
Biofuels: emits greenhouse gases, is renewable, depends on water for turbines,
contributes to acid rain

c) What are the issues associated with solar, wind and geothermal? [3 marks]
Solar: is renewable, distantly located, unavailable at times
Wind: is renewable, distantly located, unavailable at times
Geothermal: is renewable, depends on water for turbines

d) Based on this analysis, which energy sources do you think Australia should focus on? Why? [2
marks]
Solar, wind and geothermal.
These have almost no negative environmental or social impacts and the strengths of one
can offset the weaknesses of the others.

12. Figure 8 presents the Trias Energetica concept. According to this idea:

a) What is the most important thing we can do to improve the sustainability of energy use? [1 mark]
Reduce energy demand by avoiding waste and implementing energy savings measures

b) What is the least important thing we can do to improve the sustainability of energy use? [1 mark]
Produce and use fossil energy as efficiently as possible

c) Where do you think the emphasis of most governments (including Australia) is currently placed to
improve the sustainability of energy use and how does this relate to the Trias Energetica concept
(i.e., list in order the priorities of government and compare these to what the Trias Energetica
concept calls for)? [1 mark]
Generally, most governments would prioritise 3-1-2 (Produce fossil, then reduce demand,
then use sustainable).

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Figure 1. Change in solar PV system cost and global installation capacity.

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Figure 2. Cost comparison of different renewable energy technologies against fossil fuels (without fossil
fuel subsidies considered).

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Figure 3. Total nuclear energy generation and the proportion of energy generated by nuclear power for
several world nations.

Figure 4. The top 5 countries by renewable energy generating capacity for different renewable
energy types.

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Figure 5. Gigawatts of new energy installed for fossil fuel power plants and clean energy sources.

Figure 6. Renewable energy generated (by type) against total energy demand for East Australia.