The built environment is one of the largest consumers of energy in Australia. The built environment sector accounts for nearly one quarter of total emissions (Campey et al, 2017). Space conditioning represents the single largest energy user, comprising 41% of all energy use in the residential sector (DEWHA, 2008) and 39% of all energy use in commercial building environments (DCCEE, 2013). Heating and cooling energy end use varies according to the building type. For example, in hospitals, natural gas usage is nearly 50% of total annual energy use, predominantly used for space heating and water heating requirements (DCCEE, 2012). HVAC consumption and hot water usage constitute over 60% of typical residential energy use (ASBEC, 2016).
Transitioning to low carbon energy use pathways while ensuring energy prices remain stable is a challenge faced by various business sectors including the built environment. Consumers concerned with rising energy prices are looking for ways to protect their businesses from energy price fluctuations while lowering carbon emissions.
Renewable energy can replace existing natural gas and electricity used for heating and cooling in the built environment and industrial sectors. The renewable heating and cooling STG brings together various stakeholders to deliver a common outcome of increasing renewable energy use in the HVAC industry.
This STG will build on the work carried by solar heating and cooling STG and expand the scope to include other renewable heating and cooling technologies.
Various studies including the study carried out by CSIRO and AIRAH have identified market barriers for large scale uptake of renewable energy solutions for the built environment. These are, i) lack of awareness of benefits of these technologies, ii) technical and financial risk perception, iii) supply chain and workforce competitiveness, iv) high initial cost of these systems.
An AIRAH STG that includes stakeholders from businesses, R&D organisations, consultants is well positioned to address these barriers collectively to improve the market uptake. Moreover, AIRAH’s members and stakeholders have a need for technically updated, unbiased information relating to these technologies in the industry and the market place.
In this context, the primary drivers for the STG are:
- Identify market uptake barriers related to regulation and policy framework and develop a solution framework.
- Provide updated information on technology, market issues and share learnings from international partners.
- Identify training and skill development needs and work with relevant stakeholders to conduct CPD and other training programs
- Support implementation of PUSCH roadmap recommendations for improving market uptake of renewable heating and cooling technologies.
The Committee aims to:
- Promote renewable heating and cooling technology implementation in built environment
- Provide a forum for global best practices to be shared with Australian HVAC designers, practitioners through various seminars and annual workshop activities. Interactions with International Energy Agency (IEA).
- Work with industry partners to identify training and skills development needs to conduct CPD and other training programs.
- Maintain a repository of installed renewable heating and cooling systems and provide support for new installations.
- Provide strategic leadership in the development and implementation of standards and guidelines for evaluation of renewable heating and cooling systems under standard test conditions for the purpose of estimating their energy saving benefits, energy efficiency.
- Seek government and industry support for these activities. Identify opportunities for external funding to support these activities.
Heating and Cooling Calculator (HCCalc) – online design tool
This online tool, developed by CSIRO, provides a rapid initial assessment of the likely suitability of various low-grid electricity consumption heating and cooling product types. It allows users – including those who may not be familiar with these products – to make their own assessment of whether different product types are likely to meet their expectations of comfort for their location and usage pattern.
Click here to access the tool
- Successfully proposed the world’s first Standards for Solar Air Conditioning (AS5389)
- Developed and delivered four national workshops on Solar Heating and Air Cooling.
- Partnered with CSIRO to support a successful ARENA bid to develop an industry roadmap, online calculations tool, case studies, measurement and verification field trials and education (more information is available here).
- Partnered with the Australian Institute of Architects and delivered CPD program on solar cooling in 2017.
Deliverables and communications
The Committee aims to deliver the following:
- Advice, good practices culture, initiatives and guidance to the HVAC&R Industry in relation to renewable heating and cooling
- Deliver annual workshops, training sessions and skill development activities.
- Engage government and the industry in shaping regulations and policies to help improve market uptake of renewable heating and cooling.
- Subbu Sethuvenkatraman, Affil.AIRAH (Chair)
- Stephen White, F.AIRAH
- Lu Aye, F.AIRAH
- Xiaolin Wang, Stud.AIRAH
- Ramadas Narayanan, M.AIRAH
- John Dartnall, M.AIRAH
Membership is open to any financial AIRAH member. If you are interested in being involved please email STGS@airah.org.au or call 03 8623 3000.