Collaboration reviews energy use

A new Deakin-industry collaboration is set to help one of south-west Victoria’s major industries become more energy efficient.

Rising energy bills are an issue for all businesses, and one of Warrnambool’s biggest employers is taking steps towards reducing its energy costs, which have almost doubled in recent years.

Meat processor The Midfield Group will work with Deakin University researchers to review its energy consumption and recommend areas for improvement.

Midfield Group project officer Kevin Banner said the review would go beyond a traditional energy audit.

“We’re tracing all volumes of energy and doing individual metering in our separate departments to drill down further than simply interpreting a power bill,” he said.

“It’s critical that we understand in detail what our energy costs are and be mindful of opportunities to make improvements.

“This Deakin audit and reporting will tell us in detail where and how we use our energy and we can then review that and do business cases on all opportunities.”

Deakin post-doctoral researcher Dr Mahbub Rabbani, from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, is based in Warrnambool to lead the study, which has received funding from Meat and Livestock Australia.

Dr Rabbani has expertise in energy efficiency and will work with other research colleagues within Deakin’s renewable energy department.

Mr Banner said Midfield Group had looked at other consulting options for the project, but Deakin had all the capabilities.

“We not only have Dr Rabbani’s expertise, we can call on Deakin’s broad set of skills within the University’s water, electrical and engineering departments.”

Deakin Warrnambool Director Alistair McCosh said the University aimed to increase the number of post-doctoral research collaborations in the south-west and would explore further opportunities for industry collaboration in the region.

“This is an excellent opportunity to bring Deakin’s broader research expertise to the region to support industry and business to build their capability and capacity,” Mr McCosh said.

“We can also use post-graduate researchers as part of their PhDs in a range of opportunities to make a real difference for local industries.”

Main photograph: (left to right) Deakin University’s Dr Mahbub Rabbani; Mr Paul Moloney, Environmental Manager The Midfield Group; Ms Malerie Janes, Science Officer, The Midfield Group

Published by Deakin Research on 28 February 2018

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