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Title: Engineering design of localised synergistic production systems
Author: Leung Pah Hang, Melissa Yuling
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 8722
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Addressing a number of critical challenges caused by centralised production and large scale distribution infrastructures, local production systems designed in a synergistic manner could offer a possible pathway towards sustainability. The thesis focuses on the technical design of local production systems integrating local heterogeneous processes to satisfy local demands through efficient use of locally available renewable resources within technical and ecological constraints. A conceptual and quantitative multi-level framework, based on the Cumulative Exergy Resource Accounting methodology, was first developed for a better understanding of a local production system by considering the production and consumption of products or services as well as ecological processes. A general design framework comprising an optional preliminary design stage followed by a simultaneous design stage based on mathematical optimisation was then developed for solving the design problem towards minimum overall resource consumption. The preliminary design stage considers each supply subsystem individually and allows insights into the potential interactions between them. The simultaneous design stage has the capacity to include all design integration possibilities. A second, insight-based approach was further developed, which offers a new hierarchical and iterative decision and analysis procedure and incorporates design principles and ability to examine design decisions. The multilevel resource accounting framework was demonstrated on ethanol production from cane and successfully revealed how decisions at one level would affect other levels of the system. Both design approaches were illustrated on a case study for the design of local food-energy-water nexus. It showed the advantages of an integrated design of a system which makes use of local resources to meet its demands over a system relying on centralised supplies and over a design without considering integration opportunities between subsystems. The insight-based approach was also found to produce a comparable design to the simultaneous design approach while offering more valuable insights for decision makers.
Supervisor: Leach, Matthew ; Yang, Aidong Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust ; Overseas Research Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available