INTERGRATNG ENERGY CONSERVATION WITH FREE AMBIENT ENERGY
The most available ‘free’ energy is that which is that which has already been generated and then allowed to go to waste. This applies just as much to energy won from burning fossil as it does to the ambient energy from the sun, the wind and the waves.
The main energy requirement in buildings is heat energy to heat water, space heating and for cooking. In all these instances, it has been common practice to allow the heat already produced to escape to the atmosphere.
This heat energy can be readily retained by containment with thermal insulation and air tight sealing against uncontrolled ventilation. Further heat losses may be retained through mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, which also recovers the ambient neat from occupants, cooking and electrical lighting and appliances. From 75% to 95% of free, otherwise wasted heat can be recovered and recycled.
Free heat energy can be taken from the ambient air, water and ground through the use of heat pumps, which have the advantage of high coefficient of performance COP – of 3 – 4 – three to four times the electrical energy used to operate them.
There is sufficient ambient heat energy for free from environmental sources like the Sun, the ground, water and air for heating water, which can also be either stored, or conserved, by using insulation methods and be gathered when it is freely available for used when it is needed.
Electrical energy is not so directly available or recoverable, but can be generated from freely available light through photovoltaic conversion, and through revolving permanent magnets, which can be stored in chemical batteries for use when needed.
Through the combination and integration of energy conservation, recovery and harvesting of free ambient energy with the generation of electrical energy from sun, wind. flowing water, tides and waves it is feasible to avoid the dependence and cost of energy from burning fossil fuels in buildings, and whole building developments.
This is the ultimate objective of all sustainable building developments, and is achievable with proven technologies now, which will become ubiquitous in the future.
Adding these technologies to traditional building methods increases the building cost, but the integration and coordination of building elements incorporating these technologies to build low energy buildings cost effectively at no greater cost than unimproved traditional buildings.