Award for carbon reduction technology
Award for carbon reduction technology
15 Jul 2011
La Trobe University’s Centre for Technology Infusion has won the State’s Sustainability and Green Information Technology Innovation prize in the latest Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) awards.
The awards recognise ‘outstanding talent’ in Information Communication Technology and contributions to the Australian economy.
La Trobe received the award for its Home Energy Management System incorporated last year into Australia’s first Zero Emission House by the CSIRO and two leading home builders, Henley and Delfin Lend Lease.
The system tracks energy and water use, and supply. Linked to an on-site weather station it can also factor in local weather conditions.
La Trobe Dean of Science, Technology and Engineering, Professor Brian McGaw, says with the new carbon tax and the rising costs of energy and water, the La Trobe system helps householders track and adjust their consumption patterns.
‘It empowers people to reduce their energy use and their household’s carbon footprint.’
Director of the Centre for Technology Infusion, Professor Jugdutt (Jack) Singh, says the award highlights the University’s commitment to translate high-impact research into tangible benefits for the community.
‘Our system brings together various components into a single, tightly integrated solution to help realise an effective “Smart Grid”.’
Chief researcher Dr Aniruddha (Ani) Desai, says the system is extremely flexible. It integrates new and existing technologies for ‘intelligent’ home automation and energy management.
Using a touch-screen and ‘smart’ management and control technology, the La Trobe system displays information and projections about all energy and water use in the house.
‘It can also be accessed remotely via the internet or mobile phones and is capable of sending email or SMS alerts,’ says Dr Desai. ‘For example, any heaters or lights left on can be turned off from your office, or while you are on holidays.’
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Tim Brown, says system was trialled in University buildings for two years as part of La Trobe’s energy reduction strategy before it was selected for Australia’s first Zero Emission House.
‘We are delighted this work has been recognised for the practical and affordable contribution it can make to tackling carbon emissions – one of the most urgent challenges of our time,’ Professor Brown says.
Support for trial to save lives at rail crossings
The La Trobe Centre for Technology Infusion has also been awarded more than a million dollars for the trial phase next year of its highly innovative Intelligent Transport System to cut deaths and vehicle crashes at level crossings.
The system allows trains to communicate with cars at crossings, extending driver 'vision' up to one kilometre in all directions in an effort to cut rail crossing accidents. Nationally such accidents claim 37 lives a year, and cost an estimated 100 million dollars.
The new technology will be trialled in 100 vehicles including trains, cars, buses and trucks – the largest known rail crossing safety study of its kind in the world.
It involves dedicated mobile-phone-style wireless networks, integrated with GPS. These will run on an international standard of 5.9 gigaherz.
Professor Singh says the new funding comes from Department of Transport, State Government of Victoria and industry partners.
The rail crossing project is a partnership between La Trobe University, the Australian Automotive Co-operative Research Centre, the Victorian Department of Transport, Queensland University of Technology and other groups.
It intends to have the technology up and running by next year.
For interviews and further information please contact: Professor Jack Singh,
Tel: 03 9479 5628/3382; Mob: 0411 476 976 Email: Jack.Singh@latrobe.edu.au
See also: www.latrobe.edu.au\tech-infusion
For media assistance contact Ernest Raetz, Tel: 041 226 1919