Efficient management of environmental control within electrical substations for decarbonisation purposes

Collett, M 2021, Efficient management of environmental control within electrical substations for decarbonisation purposes , MPhil thesis, University of Salford.

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Decarbonisation of building operations is identified as a key component of national decarbonisation strategies. Reducing the energy demand of buildings is to be achieved through more stringent regulation for new construction and the retrofitting of existing stock. These are applicable to both domestic and most non-domestic building types, although no such efforts have been made to decarbonise electrical substations. Electrical substations are critical infrastructure assets that house distribution equipment enabling electricity to reach customers’ homes and business premises. To reduce the risk of damage to distribution equipment environmental, control is required to maintain specific levels of temperature and relative humidity. This research explores how these assets can be decarbonised whilst maintaining the required internal environmental conditions. Using a longitudinal case study method, three archetypal substations were subject to remote monitoring of energy consumption and environmental conditions, performance testing and energy modelling. This revealed that non-compliant humidity levels were occurring, as well as over-conditioning of temperature as a result of ineffective control systems. Consequently there was a significant performance gap detected between the measured and modelled energy consumption. Observing the monitoring results and the unique constraints of substations, a bespoke approach to retrofitting the substations was developed. Differing from more established retrofit hierarchies, this prioritised enhancement of control systems over the performance of building fabric. This ensured that the compliance of environmental conditions was guaranteed along with further decarbonisation benefits. Interventions were delivered across the three case study substations with benefits established through further monitoring of energy and environmental conditions. An overall decrease in energy consumption and payback periods between 2 and 18 years across the three sites were coupled with considerably improved environmental conditions in two sites. This study shows that the application of retrofit is applicable to substations and can result in substantial co-benefits for their operators. Whilst many of the interventions to decarbonise are not dissimilar to those applied to more established building types consideration is necessary to ensure maintaining the required environmental conditions is addressed.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Contributors: Swan, W (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Depositing User: Mark Collett
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2022 12:04
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2022 02:31
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/62826

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