University of Twente Student Theses


Pre-assessment tool for achieving Net Zero energy in New Zealand schools

Windt, A. van der (2016) Pre-assessment tool for achieving Net Zero energy in New Zealand schools.

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Abstract:The aim for this project was to further develop a pre-assessment tool for achieving Net-Zero energy schools in New Zealand. A school with a Net-Zero energy building has a building that generates as much energy as it uses annually. Given the older education buildings throughout the country together with the growing interest in energy efficient buildings as well as the growing use of energy in buildings illustrate the needs for a pre-assessment tool. The tool aids in making a decision whether it is feasible to build a new Net-Zero energy building or to refurbish an existing building into a Net-Zero energy building and provides the optimal mix of energy saving and energy generating technologies to achieve this. Another purpose for the pre-assessment tool is to raise awareness among students about the energy problem and educate them to create energy efficient behavior. The methodology used during this project is as follows. First information and data is gathered to verify and validate the estimates already provided by my predecessors, to add new technologies and regions to the tool and to compile useful tips and a technology inventory. Then the data is analyzed and modified to ensure it is useful for the tool. Meanwhile the framework of the tool is programmed with Visual Basic in Excel to ensure an easy to use tool with a great functionality. The last stage of the project is to enlarge the tool’s publicity especially among government institutions to facilitate in all sorts of ways the development of the tool. As aforementioned the pre-assessment tool is an Excel tool. The framework of the tool follows the aspects of passive design. This means first a reduction in the energy usage by passive methods such as insulation. Per energy category users are able to select this type of technologies in the tool before selecting other methods to reduce the energy usage. Thereafter users can select products per category that nevertheless reduces the used energy but are no part of a passive design such as heat pumps and type of light bulbs. The users can subsequentely select a technology to generate the reduced energy need. The last stage of the tool displays the outputs of the tool such as costs, energy savings, payback period and NPV of the project. The outcomes of the tool allow decision makers to consult about the outcomes with architects and, in the end, to make an educated decision about whether to continue with the project and with which mix of technologies. Unfortunately the tool could not be tested on accuracy because there is only one existing Net-Zero energy school in New Zealand and a lot of data about this school is missing. Despite being in contact with the Ministry of Education for quite a while to obtain contact information about interested schools also user feedback lacks at the moment. hence the first recommendation would be to get user feedback and make improvements based these experiences. Some other future developments of the tool are making the tool into a website, which could easily be updated when new information becomes available, involving specialized architects in the further development of the tool to ensure it is accurate and users can easily contact these specialists and making the tool open source such that other people can add data and information about other technologies and other countries.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
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