BuildSys 2014
Conference paper

Collaborative energy conservation in a microgrid

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KBFSC (Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre) is a research centre located in a remote tropical evergreen rainforest in Brunei Darussalam in South East Asia. It is visited by biologists and ecologists from all over the world. Power is available at the centre for 8-10 hours per day from a diesel generator (DG). The diesel travels2-3 hours by road, by boat and on foot over harsh terrain to reach the centre from the closest gas station. This paper describes the software and hardware of a microgrid system that was designed and deployed at KBFSC to reduce the fuel consumption while improving duration of power availability. A key feature of the energy management software is a collaborative scheduler interface that provides visitors at the centre the choice of scheduling appliance usage. The system optimises generator active hours using a customised DG Optimiser technique, to ensure minimum diesel consumption. Simulations extrapolating from empirical data suggest that our system could reduce diesel consumption by a third, and total cost by 20%, while making power available 24 hours a day. In addition, a user study with 8 visitors and 4 administrators showed that the collaborative scheduler interface is effective and usable. Copyright 2014 ACM.