Virginia, USA


in collaboration with the
* Gaia Foundation
and with
* Institute for Energy Technology
and the
* International Office

Presentation of Student Projects

Wednesday, 9th June 1999

1700hrs - 1900hrs

Erin Serracino Inglott Hall, Lecture Centre
University of Malta

Members of the general public wishing to attend are asked to contact
Ms. Jean Killick on tel: 230793 or email:
Ms. Patricia Camilleri on tel: 3290 2828 or email:

List of Projects

Environmental Protection of Ghajn Tuffieha
T. Bulleri, M. Cattogio, P.Guellnitz, R. Paczkowski

 Ghajn Tuffieha is a unique area in Malta with ecological and scientific importance to the country and an area where one can enjoy the rugged beauty of a Maltese coastal region and bay.  There are a number of endemic and threatened species living in the area, and Ghajn Tuffieha is the venue for thousands of visitors, particularly during the summer months. The Gaia Foundation of Malta has a contract with the government to manage this area as a conservation preserve. Students are working under the direction of Mr. Rudolf Ragonesi, founder of the Gaia Foundation, and Dr. Eileen Cashman of James Madison University on this project to assist in the planning and design for the conversion of this area into a protected natural habitat for wildlife. They are organizing education materials for visitors and generating maps of the area to identify sensitive areas, important habitat, and trail networks for visitors. They are also identifying areas particularly sensitive to erosion and are implementing measures to reduce erosion and protect those areas.

Feasibility of Photovoltaics in Malta
E. Horvath, K. Schulte
 A study of energy policy and structure in Malta and its effect on implementation of photovoltaics in Malta.

Modeling and Simulation of Domestic Solar Water Heaters in Malta
D. Brewer, G. de Windt, A. Flora
 The purpose of this project is to develop a simulated design of a domestic solar water heater optimized for the climate of Malta. The Transient System Simulation Program (TRNSYS) is used to generate a computer model of this design within which the relevant operating parameters can be defined and varied to allow simulated operation of the system under various conditions. The proposed design differs from solar water heaters currently available in Malta in ways to ensure lower cost and increased overall performance. A primary goal of this project is to develop a model of a solar water heating system that is economically feasible for families in Malta.   This project is directed by Dr Jonathan Miles of James Madison University.

PV on Rooftops
A. Brewer, C. Eaton, T. Kraft, M. McEneely, K. Mulligan
 This project entails the development of charts that are to be used to answer frequently-asked questions pertaining to implementation of photovoltaic (PV) systems on Maltese rooftops such as payback period, life-cycle costs, system sizing, and required rooftop area. Also taken into consideration are the effects of social costs, shading, and future PV costs. Several different types of installation are considered including stationary flat-plate, single-axis tracking, and dual-axis tracking. In addition, two different types of PV panel will be considered. A tentative regulatory document for grid connection is also to be attempted. Mr. Charles Iskander of the Institute for Energy Technology directs this project.

Sustainable Transportation in Malta
S. Abbott, B. Creswick, E. Horvath, M. Ritter, B. Walsh
 Under the direction of Professor Edward Mallia of the University of Malta and Dr. Eileen Cashman of James Madison University, students are conducting a feasibility study of a sustainable transportation system for Malta. The technological and economic feasibility of alternative fuel vehicles (in particular electric vehicles) and the impacts of the current transportation system on air pollution, and potential improvements to the public transportation system, are being considered. A survey of current driving patterns of residents is also being studied.

Thermal Performance of Building Materials as Measured by a Hot Box Experiment
A. Ackerman, S. K. Holland, A. Mazmanian
 The purpose of this project is to develop the instrumentation needed to measure and collect temperature data within a hot box which itself is used to determine thermal characteristics of various building materials. A hot box is a thermally insulated box, partitioned into two sections by an interchangeable wall. Each side of the box is kept at steady-state temperatures, and heat transfer across the experimental wall is measured. Resulting data are used to determine thermal performance parameters of various building materials.  Application of this knowledge is valuable to architectural design with respect to energy efficiency. This project is directed by Mr. Mario Fsadni of the Institute for Energy Technology.

Wind Energy Impact Assessment
S. Abbett, B. Kaulback, A. Mosello, L. Pruskowski, J. Studley
 This feasibility study, conducted under the direction of Mr. Robert Farrugia at the Institute for Energy Technology, considers the potential for a wind farm in the Melliha region of Malta. This site was chosen because of its favorable wind climate and available land resource. The site was evaluated with respect to several constraints typically associated with wind technology. Based upon this information it is possible to optimize this site and plan a typical layout for fourteen wind turbines in the 600 kW class. An economic analysis is applied to determine the cost effectiveness of the array. A visual representation of the proposed wind farm was prepared to illustrate the impact of the turbines on the surrounding landscape.