“How can we build buildings without building them on site?”
Traditionally, construction had to take place on the construction site. However, with the advent of prefabrication, this is no longer necessary. Instead, buildings can now be built in a factory and then shipped off to their final destination. These are known as Prefabricated Buildings and are poised to revolutionize the construction industry. Either the entire structure or components can be made for final assemblage.
How Battery Storage can help Black Starts
“How can battery storage help with black starts?”
In order to recover from power outages, black starts are a necessary firsts step. This can be helped with battery storage since their geographically distributed nature will make them more resilient. This is How Battery Storage can help Black Starts.
How Local Wildlife Can Affect a Building’s Power
“How can a building’s energy be shut down by a little critter?”
Something very interesting happened at my school today. A little squirrel found its way into the central power line and decided to have a nibble on the insulation cord. Soon enough, (s)he had destroyed the connection, knocking out power to the entire university, even the cogeneration facilities! I think that this little event illustrates how local wildlife can affect a building’s power systems. To guard against such an event, construction managers add further insulation from the external world or apply animal repellent in the wires. If such an event does happen, then local generators, batteries, or solar panels can be placed to allow for backup power
“How does California specify how all building loads must be measured?”
Most areas of the developed world have stringent building energy standards that include analysis for measurement. And as such, California is no exception. But it does so in a very special way. California title 24 (the building energy codec) stipulates that all new buildings must sort their energy loads (HVAC, lighting, etc.) into discrete piles in a method known as Disaggregated Measurement. This way, each subset can be monitored for its energy consumption.
Fault Detection and Diagnosis
“How can we monitor a facility for component breakdowns?”
When running industrial facilities, components are very prone to failure, which can cause large amounts of money and energy to be wasted. So how can we make sure that these facilities are protected from such failures? Well, what if we were to implement a network of sensors that would collect data from a facility, which would then be parsed through algorithms. If any of this data finds any strange patterns, it can sort out the underlying cause and solve any issues. This technology is known as Fault Detection and Diagnosis and is one of the most fascinating facets of industrial operations management.
“How can we analyze how objects fly without flying?”
Whether it be the drones used to deliver boxes, planes to fly across the world, or satellites launched into space, flight has revolutionized human society. As such, these systems need to be tested rigorously before operation. But doing in-flight analysis is not only difficult but expensive. So how could we use our engineering mindset to solve this problem? To begin, let’s think about what makes in-flight analysis so improbable. After searching, we should find that it’s controlling the and maintaining the vehicle while in flight moving with respect to the wind. But we also know from basic physics that one object moving against another object in a frame of reference in respect to a stationary object is the same as the latter moving while the former is static. So logically, if we can control the wind and keep the machine stationary, the analysis should be the same or similar. And if we can take from our HVAC systems knowledge then we know that we can control airflow using a VAV setup. So how about we construct a facility that can hold an object in a steady position while the air blows on it? Well, this is known as a wind tunnel, and is employed by NASA to simulate drag on their aircraft!