La Trobe plugs high-tech changes
La Trobe University is pushing to become Victoria's first carbon-neutral tertiary facility.
La Trobe's Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition are working on the La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP) to monitor and manage energy use across the university.
The tech tools will make lighting, heating, and cooling adjustments in real time to save energy.
The uni says it should enable it to reach its net-zero emissions target by 2029, a year ahead of Monash University's 2030 target.
Net-zero carbon emission classification requires balancing the amount of carbon released with an equal amount of carbon offset.
“Each building in a city has its own energy usage characteristics,” says LEAP technical architect Nishan Mills said.
“If you take a certain building, during a certain time of the day, you'll have a peak and a lull in the energy usage.
“What we're doing is profiling the buildings, looking at spikes and anomalies in behaviour, which is something we can put control measures in to alleviate those anomalies.”
The project is bringing together data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow the building to think for itself.
“We need to be able to create a profile of the building which is cognitive. It needs to be aware when something is wrong,” Mr Mills said.
“The algorithm self learns around the data. An extension of this is that it is able to talk from system to system.”
La Trobe’s regional campuses have already set up a range of ‘green building’ initiatives. These include powering 100 per cent of daytime energy use at the Mildura campus with solar supplies.
La Trobe at Albury-Wodonga features 1,380 solar panels, suppling nearly 90 per cent of daytime energy use.
At the Shepparton campus, an organic waste pickup scheme supplies to local farmers, while the Bendigo campus harvests millions of litres of rainwater each year for irrigation and to flush toilets.