Smart Mini-grid of 100% Renewable Energy
What is the project?
The objective of this project is to demonstrate a 100% renewable energy power system on campus with a mini-grid composed of solar panels and an innovative e-fuel energy storage system. All except solar panels will be developed by HKUST. The innovative e-fuel energy storage technology is scalable, efficient, inexpensive, durable, and site-independent.
What is the problem this project is trying to address?
Renewable resources like solar and wind are essential for reducing carbon emissions, but are intermittent, meaning they are not always producing energy when they are needed. Further, traditional energy storage systems like batteries or flywheels have distance or discharge limitations. There is a need to demonstrate a fully integrated system that captures, distributes, and utilizes renewable energy resources when they are needed most.
How does this project support our sustainable smart campus as a living lab vision?
The project will generate data that can be used in future energy storage research projects, and the project will become an educational tool that highlights fundamental knowledge of power generation, conversion, distribution, consumption, optimization, and management, and general understanding of energy conversion and storage, and specialization in solar energy, batteries and e-fuel cells. Moreover, the efficient, scalable, and inexpensive e-fuel energy storage technology that the project provides will put HKUST on the map for sustainable energy production and promote HKUST as a leading green university.
Polycrystalline solar panels will be installed on the roof of the CYT building in the Spring of 2019, and then connected to the innovative e-fuel energy storage system and a mini-grid energy distribution system.