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ENGN6410 Sustainable Systems

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ENGN6410 Sustainable Systems

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Course Code: ENGN6410
University: Australian National University

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Country: Australia

Questions:
1.What organisations (regulatory and/or voluntary) in Australia promote energy efficiency in general and in which way for products you use in the chosen place?
 
2.Identify the opportunities to decrease energy consumption including but not limited to replacement of devices, timer switches, manual switching, programmed switches, off-peak power usage, alternative fuel etc. and select two options for improvement.  
3. Perform the cost benefit analysis (simple payback period calculation is sufficient) for three improvement options  
Answer:
Introduction
The purpose of this report is provide an alternative of the best cloth hanger that is sustainable for use in the long run. This is done by comparing two alternatives of cloth hangers, the plastic and the steel hanger. The bottom line of this assessment is on the environment effects, the economic sustainability as well as the social sustainability (Fan, et al., 2011). The assessment is done in a cycle of the product’s lifetime right from the raw materials to the retirement or the disposal.
The service required is a suitable hanger for use in hanging cloths efficiently, a hanger that is cost effective, socially responsible and environmentally responsible. We look for product that is eco- friendly and is environmentally sustainable (Frano, 2009).
GaBi program software will be used for analysis. The inputs are the raw materials used in the manufacturing prices (Gehrer, et al., 2014). The outputs on the other hand include the emissions and the bi-products. The assessment include the assembly process as well. The final stage of the assessment is the time of disposal or the retirement stage.
GaBi is an ISO certified software. As such, it follows a procedure that is recommended by the ISO in the life cycle analysis.
Life Cycle Assessment in GaBi
The process of analysis is as simple as indicated by the screen shots. In a nutshell, the process involves definition of scope, inventory analysis and finally evaluation of the impact. This implies that the assessment is actually an iterative process repeating again and again in order to achieve the desired outcome (Goverdhan & Saikat, 2010)
Raw materials required for the manufacture of one piece of each of the alternatives is given below.  

Alternative

Materials Needed

Approximate Amount

Plastic hanger

1. HDPE Plastic
2. Water
3. Polyvinyl

1. 90grams
2. 60milllitres
3. 150millitres

Steel Hanger

1. Steel
2. Water
3. Electricity
4. Resins

1. 123grams
2. 40 millilitres
3. 657kw
4. 56 grams

The following output was obtained from the step by step analysis using GaBi.
Conclusion
The above results shows the outcome of the impact analysis of the production and use of the metallic (steel) and plastic cloth hangers (Litvinova & Kosulina, 2009). The results have been produced in a GaBi software. From the results above, it is clears that the two alternative have diverse effects in the environment and to the health of the users as well. However, the results demonstrates the best alternative, that which has little effects and hence can be considered to be sustainable in the long run (Lopez, et al., 2014).
We can discuss each of the alternative at a time. The production of steel cloth hang is evidently expensive resulting into a relatively expensive hanger at the end of the day compared to the plastic counterpart. However, the steel hanger is relatively strong and durable hence can stay for long. This implies that one does not have to have frequent purchase of this product. Arguably, this implies that in the long run, it is economically sustainable (Madgin, 2010).
A steel hanger does not have dangerous emissions into the atmosphere during the production process. This implies that it is arguably environmentally friendly and sustainable. They do not have dangerous effects to the life of plants (Meyers, 2012).
A plastic hanger on the hand have emissions into the atmosphere resulting from the decomposition of the hydrocarbons (Mizgirev, 2015). While these emission might improve the life of plants by providing carbon dioxide, they are only sustainable up to a certain level beyond which they become toxic and non-sustainable (Muthu & Senthilkannan, 2015). Therefore, we could argue that long term production of plastic hangers could cause serous dangerous effects into the atmosphere. This could eventually result into the depletion of the ozone layer and hence climate change. Climate change could again have diverse effects on the life of plants hence thwarting the going green agenda. Plastic hangers are not bio- degradable and hence could cause degradation on the fertility of the soil (Poul, 2009). This implies that they are not really sustainable.
Given the above insights, it is prudent to say that the best alternative is the steel hanger. Steel hanger is more sustainable compared to the plastic counterpart.
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