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- PublicationSimulated future development of the Greater Dublin Area: consequences for protected areas and coastal flooding risk(The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Trinity College Dublin and The School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, 2010-12)The Greater Dublin Area (GDA) has experienced rapid urban expansion over the past 20 years. The development pattern has been described as economically driven and developer-led.These changes have had some well recognised consequences such as urban sprawl, congestion and a decrease in environmental quality. Despite the economic downturn, it is projected that the population of the GDA will continue to increase, potentially exacerbating the negative consequences of urban expansion. The objective of this study was to assess the consequences of continued urban expansion on the region, with particular emphasis on protected areas and flooding risk. To assess the consequences of continued urban expansion we used the MOLAND model; a cellular automaton-based spatial decision support system that has been widely applied across Europe. This model allows the user to explore urban growth under different population, infrastructure and policy scenarios. Using MOLAND we simulated urban expansion in the GDA under four population projections to 2026, assuming spatial trends of urban development stay similar to the recent past. In all scenarios development disperses widely across the study area, formerly separate towns merge and coastal regions are subject to particularly high growth. We discuss the simulated development in terms of its ecological, environmental, social and health effects.
- PublicationBiodiversity in Dublin: A case study Approach(Trinity College Dublin. Centre for Urban and Regional Studies / University College Dublin. School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy, 2010-12)It is a common perception that biodiversity exists mainly in rural locations and this perception may be supported by the predominance of designated sites (e.g. Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Natural Heritage Areas) in rural areas. Given that approximately 40 per cent of the Irish population lives in rural areas the designated sites are indeed very important and their designation allows them particular protection. However, as Ireland’s population becomes increasingly urbanised, the role and management of urban biodiversity is becoming more important not only due to the encroachment of urban areas into previously undeveloped lands (i.e. urban sprawl) but also the recent trend towards increasing residential densities. These have heightened the role for proper recognition, protection and management of biodiversity in urban areas.
- PublicationDesign and development of a low-cost thermal response rig(Institution of Civil Engineers, 2012-08-01)A thermal response test (TRT) is a controlled insitu test during which a known quantity of heat energy is injected into a closed loop heat-exchanger pipe while the heat dissipation rate into the surrounding ground is monitored. Results from a test can be interpreted to determine a number of ground thermal parameters with are vital design requirements for any medium to large scale ground source energy system. This paper describes the design and construction of a low cost TRT rig and compares the results obtained from a test using the constructed rig and a commercially built rig in order to evaluate the accuracy of the constructed equipment. The TRT rig is designed in accordance with the following principles: keep construction costs low, improve the cost-efficiency of TRT testing by incorporating remote data transmission capability and ensure attainment of sufficient accuracy to satisfy the design requirements of ground source energy systems. Analysis of data collected by the TRT rigs result in a calculated thermal conductivity of 1.9 W/mK in both cases. This value falls within the range expected for the tested geological formation and confirms the accuracy of both test rigs.
2032Scopus© Citations 5
- PublicationGeothermal energy : settlement and water chemistry in Cork, Ireland(Institution of Engineers, 2011-07)Detailed analysis of potential water chemistry and settlement issues associated with the installation of open-loop geothermal systems is infrequently carried out. This has led to the failure of several previously installed systems. Chemical analysis of water extracted from beneath the Cork docklands, Ireland has been performed by the authors in order to assess the suitability of the area for the exploitation of open-loop geothermal energy. The possibility of settlement induced by pumping of groundwater for open-loop systems has also been examined. Current market penetration of ground source heat pumps in Ireland is discussed to illustrate the infancy of the technology in Ireland relative to other European countries and to highlight the necessity of approaching the possible installation of such systems with the care required. Water extracted from beneath the docklands shows that significant water chemistry issues exist. Laboratory and field tests confirm that optimal concentration levels of several water chemistry characteristics are significantly exceeded; leading to the conclusion that open-loop exploitation in the area may not be suitable. In addition, settlement induced by pumping of water could potentially lead to a consolidation settlement in excess of 30 mm due primarily to the existence of highly compressible alluvium.
1410Scopus© Citations 5
- PublicationGeothermal energy in small countries - laying the foundations for innovative development(World Federation of Engineering Organizations, 2011-09-04)Creation of an environment in which shallow geothermal energy can thrive will require a coherent approach and a high level of collaboration with professionals from countries that have developed technical expertise in the area. Implementation of regulations, standards and guidelines adapted from best practice in countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, in addition to understanding the mistakes and successes made by these countries, with respect to the development of their geothermal industries, will help small countries such as Ireland to develop a well-regulated market for the technology. This paper outlines and addresses some of the technical, regulatory and certification issues faced particularly by small countries in their efforts to develop a shallow geothermal energy industry, provides examples of best practice with regard to development in countries with established geothermal energy industries and presents proposed solutions to these issues / barriers using the existing situation in Ireland by way of example.