Today, in the modern world, energy conservation is an integral part of the life of a civilized society. This is health care, money saving, and comfort of living.
But one of the most important (global) characteristics of energy conservation is the protection of the environment from negative influences.
Energy Saving Concept
The very concept of "energy saving" has been used for a long time. Today energy saving is characterized by a conceptual apparatus.
Energy saving is based on the energy resource as a carrier of energy that can be used in any activity. Energy saving is any activity aimed at reducing the use of energy resources without prejudice to the main function of their use. Despite the extreme accuracy of the definitions, confusion often occurs in the concepts of "energy saving" and "energy efficiency". In this regard, the definition of the latter is given. Energy efficiency is a certain set of characteristics that reflect the ratio of the effect from the use of energy resources to the costs of the energy resources themselves. The energy saving efficiency is characterized, among other things, by the energy efficiency class, which reflects the degree of usefulness of a product in terms of energy saving. To determine energy efficiency, special energy surveys are carried out.
Basic principles of energy saving
Now, having defined the basic concepts in this area, it is worth reflecting the basic principles of energy saving:
- Use of alternative energy sources.
- Use of secondary energy resources.
- Application of non-energy-intensive technologies and equipment.
- Taking measures for the rational use of available energy resources. Assessment of the economic feasibility of using any energy-saving technologies and solutions.
This list can be attributed both to the principles of energy saving regulation and to the main approaches to the insulation of a private house. The main thing to remember: energy saving involves not only additional ways of obtaining energy, but also activities to save available energy and its rational use.
Alternative energy sources
Today there is a lot of talk about alternative energy sources. As a rule, we mean renewable energy resources. What is renewed endlessly on planet Earth? Of course, this is water, the sun, the wind, the earth's crust. Of course, if you go into details, then solar activity also changes over time, and the surface of the earth's crust becomes thinner, but all this is on the scale of the Universe. We are talking about renewal within the framework of our civilization - in the coming centuries, we believe, the Sun will not fade and the Earth will not fly off its orbit.
Thus, the following energy sources are considered to be alternatives to oil, gas, coal and wood today:
- Energy of the Sun.Solar batteries and collectors are used to use such a source. The former are solar cells that directly convert the sun's energy into electrical current. Solar collectors do not convert energy into electric current, but heat the coolant for its subsequent use (for example, for heating water in a private house).
- Wind energy.Wind turbines that generate electricity using blades rotated by the force of the wind are very popular in Europe. For example, Germany already gets a third of its electricity using this renewable energy source.
- Energy of water.This is not only about hydroelectric power plants. Today there are heat pumps that convert the heat of water in a lake or pool into stable heating of water for heating a house and supplying it with hot water.
- Energy of the Earth.The heat pumps described above can also use heat from groundwater or the upper crust for public utilities. Such installations are very popular, since they do not require a water source or wind nearby: the coolant can be placed in special pipes under the lawn, for example, or in wells in the garden area.
Secondary energy resources
Recycling energy is one of the basic principles of energy efficiency. Improving the efficiency of the ventilation and air conditioning system used in the building is possible only by recycling the heat of the exhaust air. This process of returning part of the heat leaving the building (the air heats up in the room from the working equipment, people in the room) is called recuperation. In this aspect, energy saving is the activity of conserving the energy available in the room.
The principle of operation of the recuperator is very simple - through certain platinum, which conducts heat well, the air drawn from the room heats up the cold streams coming from the street, without mixing with it. As a result, not ice, but 2-3 degrees warmed air enters the house, which contributes to a more comfortable microclimate in the room, and also allows you to save on heating, due to the increase in temperature in the room due to warm flows. Recuperators are plate-type, as described above, rotary (with a rotating element inside) and with an intermediate heat carrier. A large selection of recuperator manufacturers allows you to select a device for different premises and customers.
How to rationally use communal energy resources?
Rational use of available resources includes not only the installation and operation of energy efficient equipment, but also compliance with a certain regime. Energy saving mode is a way of life, in which energy saving is provided at the household level. If you set a goal - to save on utility bills, then you must first install equipment that, by automating the supply and metering of energy, will allow you not to waste kilowatts. It should be selected based on the marking confirming that this device or device provides energy savings. Increasing the energy optimization of the use of resources is possible only with the rational operation of all equipment. Timely switching off the light in rooms where there are no people, careful attention to the waste of hot water and the correct setting of automatic metering devices and the consumption of heat and electricity in the house will allow to achieve significant results in saving energy and personal money.
What is a passive house?
Energy efficiency and energy saving are inextricably linked to the concept of passive housing construction. It combines a set of energy-saving measures, which together ensure low energy consumption. The history of passive house technology begins in the city of Darmstadt, where it was first developed by the physicist Feist. The calculation of the energy balance of the house gave him the idea of creating a building that would not need to be connected to heating even in winter - a passive house. At that time in Germany, houses consumed about 200 kWh / m² per year. The passive house, on the other hand, needs only 10 kWh / m² per year in order to remain suitable and even comfortable for year-round living. The basic criterion for a passive house is the creation of a closed building envelope with increased thermal insulation and low thermal conductivity. This is achieved by using energy-saving heat-insulating materials, excluding the so-called cold bridges (places in the building envelope through which cold penetrates into the building: facades, window frames).
Evaluation of the efficiency of energy-saving technologies application
In order to bring the level of energy consumption in a building closer to the standard of a passive house, it is necessary to use materials with high heat resistance, modern engineering equipment, renewable and secondary energy sources, in a word, measures that ensure energy saving. At the same time, energy efficiency is calculated based on the costs spent on a particular innovation in the house, and the effect that such a decision will bring to the owner. First, it is necessary to calculate the impact of the new technology on the production and consumption of a particular type of resource. In this case, you need to evaluate:
- The degree of resource saving (the difference between the resources used by energy efficient and traditional equipment during the billing period when generating the same amount of energy).
- The effect of energy production (the difference or ratio of the volumes of energy generated over a certain period by the compared equipment options using the same amount of resources).
These indicators will give us an idea of the need to move on to calculating the economic effect. It is calculated by comparing the costs spent on purchasing new (and possibly dismantling old) equipment and the income from energy savings when replacing a waste machine with a more modern one (over a given time period). This difference will be the effect that the owner will receive after a specific period of time after applying the energy efficient solution. Usually the installation of recuperators or solar panels pays off in 3-5 years.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that saving energy is not just about saving money. First of all, it is concern about tomorrow, in which our children will live.