CONSORT Battery Trial Report

Set on Bruny Island as a neat microcosm of Australia, and with a single electricity cable supplying the research area, the CONSORT Battery Trial researched how ‘prosumers’ could contribute to a smarter future by sharing household scale solar electricity generation and battery storage with the entire network.

‘Prosumers’ both produce electricity, and consume it. Trial participants were subsidized to install rooftop solar panels paired with batteries and controllers, whilst connecting to both the grid and to the internet.

Funded by ARENA, done by three universities, the local electricity network and a company specializing in network aware solar/battery controllers, the trial looked at:

  • how can and why do people chose to participate in distributed solutions to electricity supply?
  • how can this participation be best coordinated (refining and testing algorithms to reduce peak load on electricity networks )?
  • how can prosumers be best paid for distributed solutions?

The final report for the trial illuminated these questions, finding that not all people wanted to be part of a wider societal energy solution and further, that using price signals to change behavior was not universally successful.

Probably the biggest successes for the trial was in testing algorithms to orchestrate how the PV/battery combos worked together to help manage the network’s peak loads. The trail-installed PV/battery systems totalled 128kW (PV) and 333 kWh (in batteries).

On Bruny, the single cable supplying most of the island is old and tired, especially when high loads heat it up, such as short holidays when many people flock to Bruny for a quick break.

To deal with these big loads, TasNetworks runs a diesel generator, producing greenhouse gas emissions in Tasmania’s otherwise largely renewable system.

Results show an overall 33% reduction in diesel use and a lack of need for the generator on 24 days when it would normally have been used – a fantastic feat given the rather small percentage of installed system versus overall demand!

Algorithms developed within universities were trialed and adapted using real-time conditions. These work on both predicting demand and in recompensing prosumers for their participation.

Read the full detailed report here (32 pages) and find out about industry awards here.

Cat management project update July 2019

Great progress continues with the cat management project, with cat numbers declining, new management approaches being trialed, Bruny Farming taking a major role, and support from the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth Government continuing.

The report attached details cat occupancy and feeding habitats:

  • success in removing both feral and stray cats (122 cats all up!)
  • but evidence of rapid re-colonisation following removal
  • few cats north of Great Bay
  • many cats at the Neck and Whalebone shearwater and little penguin colonies
  • greatly increased activity at colonies during breeding season
  • widespread although low density of cats in the wetter forests of Southern Bruny
  • differences in the success of baits across the different habitats
  • limited success in removing ‘trap-shy’ cats
Distribution of 3.1kg female cat in and out of bird breeding season, Cape Queen Elizabeth

Communtiy engagement, particularly with current cat owners has been high, with Bruny Farming taking a lead role in this, and other activities. This enables a cooperative and harmonious approach, which in turn leads to success in reducing the impact of cats on Bruny’s wildlife.

Read the full report here..

Citation: Allan, K (2019) Bruny Island Cat Management Project update Feb – July 2019. Kingborough Council

Bruny Island Cat Management Project May 2018 Update

For the latest information about the various activities happening on Bruny Island in relation to feral and domestic cat management see the document here by Kaylene Allan, Cat Management Officer at Kingborough Council.


Topics covered in this update are:

  • Control of stray and feral cats
  • Management of domestic cats
    – Bruny Island Cat By-law to be introduced June 2019.
    – Bruny Island Aboriginal Community Ranger program
  • Monitoring and research
    – Surveys of Short-tailed Shearwaters, Little Penguins and Hooded Plovers
    – Investigating feral cats and other predators at the Neck
    – Tracking feral cats at the Neck Game Reserve and feral cat density and distribution on North Bruny
    – Investigating the diet of feral cats at the Neck
    – Cat management feasibility study
    – Future research.

The Bruny Island Cat Management Project is
generously supported by many partners

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside with Cats

Inside with Cats is a partnership between Kingborough Council, Ten Lives Cat Centre, Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the Bruny Island Environment Network.

This series of 5 videos  introduces six Kingborough cats (along with their humans), who are embracing life on the inside. Inside with Cats is not just about containing cats inside a house, it also explores the various options these owners have used for outdoor enclosures or walking harnesses, and how they keep their cats safe, happy and healthy.

To view the videos go to this link. https://www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/2018/03/inside-with-cats/

 

Design ideas for cat confinement

The article here highlights the many benefits of keeping your pet cat confined.  As  the author states

“Cats have contributed to the extinction of dozens of Australia’s native mammals and birds, and are listed as a key threat to many currently endangered animals. Due to these devastating effects, there have been calls for pet cats to be permanently confined to their owner’s property. Cat owners might be surprised to find that their smooch puss is a highly effective killer: according to research in Canberra that followed cats for 12 months, 70 per cent of cats were bringing home prey monthly, and 6 per cent of cats were bringing home prey weekly. And that’s only the prey they decided to share!”

So if you have a pet cat have a look at these great suggestions.

Purr-fect design – Sanctuary Magazine