In August, La Trobe University announced that it will become Victoria’s first zero-emissions University. The $75 million initiative combining 20 separate projects will ensure that LTU will have Net Zero emissions by 2029.
Net-zero carbon emissions, or carbon-neutral emissions, are achieved by balancing the amount of carbon released with an equal amount of carbon offset by producing clean energy.
The La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP) provides the technology pillar for the Net Zero initiative and is designed and implemented by researchers and students from LBS’ Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition (CDAC). The team will design and implement the platform which then monitors energy consumption in up to 50 smart buildings and makes lighting, heating and cooling adjustments in real time to reduce energy consumption.
The creation of a smart building allows the building to ‘think’ for itself in optimising its energy consumption. Formulating this Smart Building involves Artificial Intelligence, Unsupervised Machine Learning, Data Analytics and Software Development; this includes CDAC’s own brand of algorithms that have been developed over the past decade. CDAC’s research work is internationally renown and has also been used successfully in several industrial engagements ranging from Health, Transport, Fire and Emergency Services, Sport and Energy. The Centre also hosts a unique blend of research and expertise in its staff and researchers which makes it the ideal candidate to develop such a platform and espouses the concept of a Living Lab that La Trobe University champions.
LEAP Technical Architect (and LBS PhD candidate) Nishan Mills summarised the system as:
Buildings and spaces display distinctive behaviours in energy consumption. The LEAP platform will use available data streams to create digital twins for buildings and spaces in the University environment in order to capture this behavioural profile. This allows the platform to detect, analyse and suggest corrective measures to achieve the most efficient energy consumption across the university.
Read more about LTU’s Net Zero projects here