Tamworth marked for integrated smart city project


Monday, 08 April, 2019


Tamworth marked for integrated smart city project

UNSW Sydney has partnered with Providence Asset Group and Tamworth Regional Council to trial what is claimed to be Australia’s first test performance of a fully integrated smart city.

The trial will assess Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, encompassing applications for transport, energy, health, telecommunications and other community services.

UNSW Digital Futures Grid Institute Director Professor Joe Dong is leading the research at UNSW, explaining that the aim of the Tamworth Smart City project is to build IT systems that can monitor and control data flow through smart services using the wireless network.

Existing IoT infrastructure can be used to provide seamless integration of IoT devices, incorporating home appliances, utility monitors, council services such as waste management, lighting and parking, as well as asset security and health services like remote patient monitoring.

“Imagine having an app on your computer or phone that gives you your electricity usage and cost information in real time, and also tells you how some slight change of usage pattern of appliances such as the washing machine could most effectively save electricity bills,” Prof Dong said.

“You could have other apps on the smart network for a variety of purposes — such as wearable health monitors that alert your medical practitioners should you need to go and see them or live transport and traffic monitoring to give you alternative routes as soon as a hazard occurs.

“If we can prove that our solution works, the potential benefits are endless,” Prof Dong added.

“UNSW is very excited to trial these systems with Tamworth City and Providence and hopes it will provide a template for other smart cities in Australia in the future.”

Providence Asset Group CEO Henry Sun said the partnership with UNSW underscored the potential for university and industry collaboration to bring new technologies and products to market.

“Providence realises Australia has global leading universities and talents,” Sun said. “We want to bridge them with industry. On the other side, we are collaborating with world-class partners in the renewable field such as Risen Energy and Sungrow Power.”

UNSW also announced its involvement in developing a large-scale national hybrid-energy storage system, using lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, to be installed at a $200m solar farm in south-east Queensland. The system, to be built by Providence Asset Group and Risen Energy, will store surplus electricity generated at the farm and discharge it when needed.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at UNSW, said, “UNSW Sydney is already a world leader in renewable energy research. But the challenge to efficiently, stably and affordably generate, store and distribute sustainable electric power for all Australians in future cannot be achieved without significant investment and the contributions of our partner organisations.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/bagotaj

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