Energy Research


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Currently, there is no way to store electricity produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar power.  If energy is not used instantaneously, it is lost. This research looks at the use of buildings as energy absorbers in an integrated smart electricity grid. Spare energy could be stored as heat by the Irish housing stock if there was an intelligent system to synchronise the production and distribution of this electricity.

Read about related work on natural ventilation of buildings - Natural-ventilation-in-residential-building-archetypes.pdf
Find out more - Developing-building-archetypes-for-electrical-load-shifting-assessment.pdf
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Domestic solid-fuel appliances, such as stoves and open fireplaces, are a significant source of air pollution, especially of particulates (soot).  Their impact is increased because they are often concentrated in populated areas and emit pollutants close to ground level. However, the emission rates are highly uncertain due to a lack of direct measurements from appliances. This project carried out extensive tests on a dedicated rig to assess both the quantity and quality (physical and chemical) of particulate emissions from solid-fuel burners.

Read about related work on optimal location of solar thermal plant - here.

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Buildings account for 41% of total energy use in Europe. However, the vast majority of these buildings operate 20-30% inefficiently compared with standard benchmarks. And buildings, unlike cars and trucks, are not replaced very frequently – 80% of current stock will be in use in 2050. This EU-wide research looks at an intelligent system to link the various stakeholders – architects, engineers, facility managers – throughout the design and construction phase of new-builds.

Find out more - here

Read about related work on cross-domain scenario modelling - here

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The inability to store energy from renewable sources such as wind is not only wasteful but produces instabilities in a grid that is constantly trying to match consumer demand with an increasingly volatile supply. With industrial partner Gaelectric, this work looks at a technology for storing excess wind energy in the form of compressed air in underground salt caverns. This concept – known as CAES – is a radical move in seeking solutions to the world energy crisis.

Find out more - here.

Read about the masters programme in energy systems - here.

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