Nowadays, everyone has heard about climate change . This fact, has detractors and supporters, but reality proves its existence. Sustainable development – to continue growing without compromising the future of our descendants – makes it imperative to change the current energy model, which is not sustainable at all.
There is talk of how to fight it on an industrial level, with electricity production based on renewable energies, but what can the citizen do to improve this situation? In addition to recycling, from which we must continue to conscientize ourselves, we have the possibility to produce and consume our own green energy , cleanly, and efficiently. Of all the renewables, solar energy stands out .
Renewable energy resources are within our reach.
We must think of a new type of architecture, emerging in recent years, called “bioclimatic architecture” that is based on the use of solar energy in a passive and active way for thermal conditioning and electrical consumption in the home with the objective of energy savings and thermal comfort. In this way, it is possible to reduce the demand for conventional energy and the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere.
The objective of bioclimatic architecture is to obtain the same comfort with lower energy expenditure, resulting in greater energy efficiency.
The Sun and its energy are the key to achieve this goal. On the one hand, we would have the active systems: solar thermal collectors and solar panels ; and on the other, passive systems, such as orientation and design (with “greenhouse” type zones).
In Spain the sun abounds, so it seems logical to take advantage of solar energy at home.
The complexity that occurs in Spain for this type of architecture, is the different climatology between the different seasons of the year. Comfort conditions must be achieved both in summer and in winter based on the appropriate design.
The passive elements of solar collection are the windows and glazing, the greenhouses or galleries, and the Trombe walls, among others. Depending on the design and architecture of these elements, more or less solar photovoltaic energy is captured, which is used to air-condition the building. For example, rooms with isolated windows that allow the passage of solar radiation are warmer, improving comfort in winter as well as providing natural lighting during the day. The use of a shading element, such as curtains or an awning, prevents the passage of solar radiation in summer.
The active elements, as already mentioned, are divided into thermal solar collectors and solar panels. Through solar thermal sensors, solar energy is used to heat a fluid that is used in heating, for example, by means of radiant floor which is an efficient and comfortable system, and for hot water.
On the other hand are photovoltaic solar panels, which use the light they receive from the sun to produce electricity directly for consumption at home: lighting, appliances, plugs, etc.
Savings in air conditioning with aerothermy and solar energy
Nowadays, this energy is also being used in heating through ” aerothermy “. This system is based on the use of machines powered by electrical energy that extract energy from the air to produce heat or cold. The exhaust air can be used directly as heating or cooling by air ducts, or exchange heat with a fluid, such as water, so that it is used in heating or cooling by underfloor heating and as hot water for the home .
Aerothermal machines take advantage of more than 70% of the energy of the air, consuming less than 30% in electrical energy. There is no local combustion of a fuel, without smoke emissions or polluting gases. If, in addition, the electrical energy they need is provided by solar energy facilities , it is an efficient, clean and sustainable system.
Aerothermal machines take advantage of more than 70% of the energy of the air, consuming less than 30% in electrical energy.
According to a study carried out by Toshiba, the use of aerotermia is 25% cheaper than natural gas, reaching a saving of 50% when compared to diesel boilers. These estimates are made assuming the electric power consumption of the network by the thermal machine. If this energy is supplied by solar panels, the savings are greater, becoming “free” if batteries are used to guarantee power supply from the panels throughout the day.
It is true that more solar panels are needed if you want to replace the heating consumption with them. But, its amortization accelerates in time due to the high annual cost of air conditioning for a home (half of the average annual expenditure on energy, approximately).
From SotySolar we want to promote the use of this type of solar energy systems and we hope that some day, when someone mentions natural gas, others ask themselves what is that? Is it possible? What do you think?