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Alistair B. Sproul

Alistair B. Sproul
UNSW Sydney | UNSW · School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

BSc, PhD

About

137
Publications
39,138
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4,046
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - January 2019
UNSW Sydney
Position
  • Professor
January 1995 - December 2011
UNSW Sydney

Publications

Publications (137)
Article
The significant growth in the number of distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems installed behind the customers' meter in the last decade has provided financial savings for customers and reduced the greenhouse gas emissions of the electricity sector. However, at high penetrations, PV electricity exported to the grid may result in reverse power flows t...
Article
Full-text available
Political decarbonisation commitments and outcompeting renewable electricity costs are disrupting energy systems. This foresight study prepares stakeholders for this dynamic, reactive change by examining visions that constitute a probable, plausible and possible component of future energy systems. Visions were extrapolated through an expert review...
Article
Designers of commercial building's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems use typical weather data adjusted with global climate models (known as “morphing”) to obtain data reflecting climate change. Previous studies have found that climate change will increase annual cooling energy by 27–47% and peak cooling demand between 28 and...
Article
Conventionally, desiccant wheels are operated with regeneration temperatures around 70–80°C, which are difficult to achieve using photovoltaic thermal collectors. Matching the design and operation of photovoltaic thermal collectors with desiccant wheels at low regeneration temperatures is complex due to the influence of many different parameters. T...
Conference Paper
Australia has world leading uptake of distributed PV (D-PV) and increasing installations of battery energy storage systems (BESS). D-PV and BESS can provide various economic and environmental benefits to energy users, network companies and other industry stakeholders. However, integrating increasing levels of D-PV into electricity networks present...
Article
Over the last decade, the electricity sector has seen a significant increase in the number of residential battery systems, as well as increasing interest in using them to reduce demand during network peaks. Although there is an abundance of literature assessing this ability using modelled residential batteries, there is a lack of detailed assessmen...
Preprint
Political decarbonisation commitments and outcompeting renewable electricity costs are disrupting energy systems. This foresight study prepares stakeholders for this dynamic, reactive change by examining visions that constitute a probable, plausible and possible component of future energy systems. Visions were extrapolated through an expert review...
Article
Appliance level control and automation is an increasingly promising demand-side management tool with growing installation of advanced metering, monitoring and control infrastructure in both residential and commercial contexts. Successful implementation of appliance control and automation can alleviate network peak demand and improve distributed pho...
Article
The penetration of distributed battery energy storage systems in electricity grids globally is forecast to grow rapidly over the next 10 years. These systems can provide benefits for the customers that install them, but also introduce new opportunities and challenges for distribution network operators. This paper presents an algorithm that optimise...
Article
Water heating is one of the most energy intensive applications in households and domestic electric water heating systems (DEWH) offer large thermal storage for moving electrical load across the day. This study uses a unique dataset from 410 households and presents a comprehensive analysis of electricity consumption and hot water draw of DEWH for th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) replaces building envelope materials and provides electric power generator, which has aroused great interest for those in the fields of energy conservation and building design. Double-skin façade (DSF) has attracted significant attention over the last three decades due to its bi-layer structure, which improve...
Article
In recent years, Building-Integrated Photovoltaic/Thermal Double-Skin Façade (BIPV/T-DSF) shows great potentials on improving indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency for buildings. Previous studies assessed both indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency of a BIPV/T-DSF building through the use of the photovoltaic devices and ventilation typ...
Article
This study investigates the performance of a novel desiccant air dehumidification and cooling cycle that utilises ground source heat exchange and flat plate photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) collectors (the GPVTDC system) to provide conditioned air. The system was modelled in TRNSYS using verified components with a focus on three climates: (i) an oceanic...
Article
Being the interface between indoor and outdoor, building envelope significantly influences indoor heating and cooling loads and thus affects building energy consumption. This paper presents the results of numerical simulation for the performance prediction of building-integrated photovoltaic/thermal double-skin facade (BIPV/T-DSF). Different BIPV m...
Article
The increasing penetration of solar power into the electricity grid has created the need for accurate solar power forecasts for facilitating safe and reliable electricity grid management. Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) is a common method for forecasting solar irradiance beyond several hours ahead, which is crucial, particularly for applications...
Chapter
The recent emergence of low-cost Photovoltaics (PV) is examined in the Australian context. Rooftop PV for buildings in Australia is now able to deliver daytime electricity at a price well below that sourced from coal or gas fired generators through the grid; and has been installed in over 2 million Australian homes in less than a decade. This now m...
Chapter
This chapter sets the scene for the book which focuses on the challenge that Australia faces—as a high income and highly urbanised society whose economy is strongly rooted in fossil fuels—in transitioning to renewable energy and regenerating its cities via a transformation of its built environment. Both are necessary conditions for low carbon livin...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Pool Efficiency Program has provided a total of 70 pool energy assessments and retrofitted 39 pump speed controllers to existing single-speed pool pumps. On average, the Pool Efficiency Program has reduced the pool pump energy consumption by 71% (~1,740 kWh/year per household) and saved $486 on annual electricity bills. The associated GHG emiss...
Article
Maintaining indoor thermal comfort is crucial for the health and productivity of building occupants. Building envelope plays a major role in influencing the impact of outdoor climate and controlling the indoor thermal conditions. In this paper, comparative analysis of indoor comfortable temperature for four different types of building-integrated ph...
Book
This book focuses on the challenge that Australia faces in transitioning to renewable energy and regenerating its cities via a transformation of its built environment. Both are necessary conditions for low carbon living in the 21st century. This is a global challenge represented by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the IPCC’s Cl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research activities previously performed on shorter simulation timeframe had shown that building-integrated photovoltaic/thermal double-skin façade (BIPV/T-DSF) could maintain a comfort temperature within a building, by adopting a fan-assisted ventilated air cavity in summer, and a non-ventilated air cavity during winter in order to reduce overheat...
Article
Desiccant wheels are commonly used to dehumidify air in air-conditioning system to reduce the energy consumption. The objective of this study was to design, test and analyse the performance of a novel tube-shell, internally water-cooled desiccant wheel. Cooling water was used in the supply section of the new wheel to shift the dehumidification proc...
Conference Paper
The uptake of smart grid technologies and increasing deployment of smart meters have brought greater attention on the analysis of individual household electricity consumption. Within the smart grid framework, home and battery energy management systems are becoming important demand side management tools with various benefits to households, utilities...
Article
Full-text available
Smart grid components such as smart home and battery energy management systems, high penetration of renewable energy systems, and demand response activities, require accurate electricity demand forecasts for the successful operation of the electricity distribution networks. For example, in order to optimize residential PV generation and electricity...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal modelling of buildings typically involves the use of software programs that are highly accurate but complex. As such many users do not have a good “feel” for how heat flows in and out of a building. The simplest type of manual calculation method is a steady state model which allows some insight into the flow of heat in a building. However m...
Conference Paper
Smart meter data can be used for various purposes within smart grids, including residential energy applications, such as Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) and Battery Energy Management Systems (BEMS). Considering the low feed-in tariffs for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) and increasing customer electricity prices, maximizing PV selfconsumption becom...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Both electrical power and useful thermal energy can be obtained from building-integrated photovoltaic/thermal systems (BIPV/T) which have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. Double-skin façades (DSF) have been implemented for enhancing energy efficiency as well as improving indoor thermal comfort. This paper explored the pe...
Poster
Full-text available
Highlights: - Typical salt water chlorinator and pressure pool cleaner do not work well at flow rates less than 60 L/min and 78 L/min. - Filtering the pool at 60 L/min with a robotic pool cleaner saves pump energy by 70%. - PV powered energy efficient pool filtration system has a discounted payback period of 5.4 years. - 1000 GWh of electricity and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The impact of low-speed filtration on the performance of salt water chlorinators, pool cleaners, and the pool water quality, based on experimental and modelled data, is investigated. Results show that a typical salt water chlorinator and pressure pool cleaner do not work well for flow rates of less than 1 litre/s and 1.3 litre/s respectively. With...
Article
The emergence of smart grid technologies and applications has meant there is increasing interest in utilising smart meters. Smart meter penetration has significantly increased over the last decade and they are becoming more widespread globally. Companies such as Google, Nest, Intel, General Electric and Amazon are amongst those companies which have...
Article
Electricity load forecasting is an important tool which can be utilized to enable effective control of commercial building electricity loads. Accurate forecasts of commercial building electricity loads can bring significant environmental and economic benefits by reducing electricity use and peak demand and the corresponding GHG emissions. This pape...
Conference Paper
Smart grid components such as smart home energy and battery management systems, high penetration of renewable energy systems, and demand response activities, require accurate electricity demand forecasts for the successful operation of the electricity distribution networks. For example, in order to optimize residential PV generation and electricity...
Article
Growth in peak electricity demand poses considerable challenges for utilities seeking to ensure secure, reliable yet affordable energy provision. A better understanding of the key drivers of residential peak electricity demand could assist in better managing peak demand growth through options including demand-side participation and energy efficienc...
Article
One of the major obstacles to improving solar thermal cooling technologies is the high operating temperature requirements of most solar thermal cooling systems. This paper reviews recent advances that could reduce the required heat source temperatures for solar desiccant cooling to the range of 50°C–60°C. These approaches include (i) isothermal deh...
Article
The steady state thermal analysis of a photovoltaic thermal (PVT) air collector typically involves solving energy balance equations to determine temperatures as a function of distance along the collector and to calculate the thermal energy output. While this approach is appropriate for a simple PVT air collector model, for more detailed models the...
Article
This paper examines the optimisation of a PV/T air collector with a fixed length and width (L = 5 m, W = 3.6 m) linked to the mechanical air distribution system of a typical residential building. A methodology is developed for the full optimisation of the rate of effective thermal output (Q̇eff) across a wide range of the air mass flow rate per col...
Article
In this study, the outputs from a simple PV performance model were compared to measurements of AC power for three PV systems located across Sydney, Australia. The study aimed to investigate the level of uncertainty and bias of the model when onsite measurements of plane of array (POA) irradiance and module temperature were not available. The result...
Article
The standard mathematical approach used to calculate photovoltaic (PV) array spacing contains a number of assumptions that limits its use to PV arrays installed on horizontal surfaces. This paper utilises vector analysis to develop a new method to calculate array spacing and potential system size for any combination of PV array and surface tilt and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A PVT-Water collector was built and tested 24 hours per day during a period of six months in Sydney, Australia. The results provided enough experimental data to accurately build and tune a PVT model of the system in TRNSYS. The experimental setup included a pyrgeometer used for the calculation of the radiation losses to the sky. This article presen...
Research
Full-text available
PV deployment has grown rapidly in recent years. Notable in this growth is the key role of residential PV take-­up in some key countries. Australia is one example – almost all of its 3GW of PV generation is household PV systems of average 2.5kW size. In one Australian State, South Australia, almost one in four electricity customers now has a PV sys...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cost effective reduction of electricity demand in residential sector is a significant problem worldwide. Feedback intervention is a hot area that possesses considerable potential for achieving electricity saving. However, how to make feedback intervention more effective deserves to be properly explored. In the smart grid case study described in thi...
Article
Modern building system optimisation frameworks are able to utilise forecasts of generation and load to achieve financial and energy savings. To that end, weather variable predictions of various horizons are particularly useful, as major components of the energy system depend directly or indirectly on prevalent weather conditions. Instead of obtaini...
Article
A new detailed transient model for PVT-water collectors is presented. The model uses a nodal approach based on the electrical-thermal analogy using RC networks to model the thermal response of the PVT collector. Unlike models found in the literature, the RC network is directly used to simulate the PVT collector in an electronic circuit simulator. H...
Data
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The need for affordable housing is a growing issue requiring sincere and urgent attention globally. With increasing focus on climate change and other environmental issues our housing must be environmentally sustainable too. We also need housing in remote areas where conventional construction is both cost and resource inefficient. Prefabrication off...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While good information exists on the use of pig and cow manure biomass for heat and electricity generation, no published case studies on the use of horse manure to meet loads in equestrian facilities could be found. These facilities often have significant loads for lighting and hot water, and therefore offer an opportunity for onsite renewable ener...
Article
Photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) air collector design requires an accurate determination of key parameters such as the channel depth and the air mass flow rate. This paper focuses on PV/T air collectors linked to an air distribution system with the aim of optimizing the channel depth, the air mass flow rate per unit collector area and the air distributi...
Article
Information about the patterns that govern the energy demand and onsite generation can generate significant savings in the range of 15-30% in most cases and thus is essential for the management of commercial building energy systems. Predominantly, heating and cooling in a building as well as the availability of solar and wind energy are directly af...
Article
A review of water resources in Egypt indicates that Nile water is fully utilized and the available quantity could potentially decrease by approximately 19% due to proposed water usage by neighboring countries. Seawater desalination and groundwater extraction are the only options to increase Egypt's water supply. The extraction and desalination of b...
Article
Energy efficiency is a complex topic to integrate into higher education curricula, with limited success internationally or in Australia. This paper discusses one of the successful initiatives within the Energy Efficiency Training Program, which was jointly managed and implemented by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage and Departm...
Article
The focus of this paper is to investigate the impact of using estimated solar irradiance data in building energy simulations. A series of annual weather files were developed with the estimates from two global and three diffuse/direct irradiance models for three locations in Australia. A weather file was also developed using the modelled values of g...
Article
The new edition of this thoroughly considered textbook provides a reliable, accessible and comprehensive guide for students of photovoltaic applications and renewable energy engineering. Written by a group of award-winning authors it is brimming with information and is carefully designed to meet the needs of its readers.
Article
Full-text available
Completed in early 2012, the showcase Tyree Energy Technologies Building (TETB) is the new home for several energy research groups at the University of New South Wales. This landmark, 6 Green Star Environmentally Sustainable Design, is a state of the art of innovative energy technologies and leading architectural design. This paper investigates the...
Article
Full-text available
University of New South Wales (UNSW) has carried out silicon solar cell research since the mid 1970s and achieved world recognition in the 1980s. The UNSW solar cell research group has led international conunercialisations and, since 2000, pioneered specialised undergraduate education in photovoltaics engineering. The Photovoltaics and Solar Energy...
Article
Hourly diffuse and direct solar irradiance data are required for weather files used in building energy simulation as well as Photovoltaic and solar thermal calculations. Access to up to date hourly observation data or satellite derived data for these parameters is currently only available for a selection of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology meas...
Article
Simultaneously generating both electricity and low grade heat, photovoltaic thermal (PVT) systems maximise the solar energy extracted per unit of collector area and have the added benefit of increasing the photovoltaic (PV) electrical output by reducing the PV operating temperature. A graphical representation of the temperature rise and rate of hea...
Article
The effects of reduced flow rates on the performance and effectiveness of domestic unglazed, uninsulated pool solar collector heaters are investigated. The study shows electrical energy savings in excess of 80% are achievable for typical solar collectors operating at flow rates reduced by up to 75% while collector efficiency is only reduced by appr...
Article
Full-text available
Retail warehouse buildings consume a growing proportion of the energy used within Australia and they have potential to be designed much more efficiently. This article outlines the results of modelling reductions in the energy consumption for a retail warehouse building in the Sydney, Australia climate. The design evaluated in this research consumes...
Article
Laser doping offers a promising method to define selective emitters for solar cells. Its main advantage is the localised nature of the laser beam, which allows melting of the surface area without heating the bulk. The ability to perform this process over a dielectric film offers further benefits, such as the possibility of creating self-aligned met...
Article
Full-text available
A systematic investigation of the influence of the absorber doping on the performance of planar, p-type, evaporated, solid-phase crystallized polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells on glass is presented. It is found that the optimum Suns-Voc parameters (open-circuit voltage and pseudo fill factor) are achieved at intermediate absorber doping...
Article
The use of laser doping in solar cell fabrication has received increased attention in recent years, especially due to its ability to form a selective emitter without subjecting the wafer to prolonged high-temperature processes. At the University of New South Wales, a laser doping method was developed that combines the formation of the selective emi...
Article
The phosphorous base doping dependence of evaporated poly-Si thin-film solar cell by aluminium-induced crystallization solid-phase epitaxy (ALICE) has been investigated. It is found that the open-circuit voltage (Voc) of the the poly-Si thin-film solar cell increases with the decrease of base doping density due to the defect-rich nature of poly-Si...