TECHNICAL TALK ON ENERGY ENGINEERING - CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Some 200 members and guests of the Energy Institute Hong Kong Branch enjoyed a very informative morning of talks from industry and academic experts coving a range of topics showing how energy engineering is wide ranging subject impinging on many areas of our lives. The programme was introduced by EI HK Branch Chairman Paul Kwong.
In the first presentation, Ir Cary Chan told how his team has been working with 5 buildings in Hong Kong gathering data with the aim of improving their performance. Although we are being bombarded with data in our modern lives, Ir Chan explained that it was often a challenge to obtain useful data from existing building operations and systems. In several cases, the initial data collected simply showed that equipment was not working as designed and the system required maintenance and re–commissioning in order to re-establish basic operation. At this point, further data and analysis could be done and retro-commissioning carried out to improve system performance. Ir Chan illustrated his points with a number of case studies which his team is working on.
The second technical talk by Ir Anthony Ma was concerned with producing useful energy and other products from almost 4,000 tonnes of food waste generated in Hong Kong each year. Ir Ma explained to the audience of almost 200 engineers and students how Hong Kong Productivity Council has set up a test plant to demonstrate how food waste can be converted into biodiesel, methane gas and a fish and animal feed. Whilst Hong Kong is considering setting up several large plants to process food waste, HKPC is also promoting the concept of localized waste conversion for large producers such as hotels or in districts with a large population of restaurants for example. One of the barriers today, is convincing the safety regulators to approve small, localized plants although the benefits were well explained in terms of reduced logistics and transportation of waste as well as reduction in landfill use. Ir Ma explained that when one considers China produces an estimated 50 million tonnes of food waste every year, there is a huge potential for this technique.
Dr.Tommy Wei Minchen introduced the audience to a new methodology developed by his team in Hong Kong Polytechnic called Climate Based Daylight Modelling which is a more thorough way of defining and calculating the “Daylight Factor” used in a number of different codes and standards including Hong Kong BEAM. It uses weather and climate data which takes into account the variation in light levels throughout the year. It is hoped that this type of modeling will be able to be used in conjunction with codes and standards to enable architects and building services engineers to provide better indoor environments for building occupants as well as reducing the annual energy consumption of building lighting systems by incorporating seasonal variation into the controls.
In the final technical talk of the morning, Ir Professor Michael Leung enlightened the audience with his team’s latest research into nanomaterials which are a key in the photocatalysis process which may be able to be used to enhance the output and operation of fuel cells and microfluidic reactors. Specialist nanomaterials, although very small, have been developed by his team to have very large surface area which facilitates adsorption making them ideal materials for use in such devices. Whilst this is still in the research and development stage, these materials will undoubtedly become vital for increasing the efficiency and therefore the commercial viability of developing sustainable renewable energy.
Moderator Ir Paul Lee hosted a Q&A session after the talks during which the audience was able to ask a number of relevant and pertinent questions, prior to closing the programme with grateful thanks and appreciation to all of the four speakers.
Ir Cary Chan - Download
Ir Dr Anthony Ma - Download
Dr Wei Minchen, Tommy - Download
Ir Prof Michael KH Leung - Download