Today, in the modern world, saving energy is an integral part of the life of a civilized society. This is medical care, saving money, and living comfort.
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 an energy carrier 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 precision 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 relationship between the effect of the use of energy resources and the costs of energy resources themselves. Energy saving efficiency is characterized, among other things, by the energy efficiency class, which reflects how useful a product is in terms of energy savings. To determine energy efficiency, special energy studies are carried out.
Basic principles of energy saving
Now, having defined the basics in this area, it is worth reflecting on the basic principles of energy saving:
- Use of alternative energy sources.
- Use of secondary energy resources.
- Application of technologies and equipment that do not consume much energy.
- Adoption of measures for the rational use of available energy resources. Evaluation of the economic feasibility of using any energy saving technology and solution.
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 the available energy and its rational use.
Alternative energy sources
Today there is a lot of talk about alternative energy sources. As a general rule, we refer to renewable energy resources. What is constantly being renewed on planet Earth? Of course, this is water, the sun, the wind, the earth's crust. Of course, if you go into detail, solar activity also changes with time and the surface of the earth's crust becomes thinner, but this is all on the scale of the Universe. We are talking about renewal in the framework of our civilization: we believe that in the next centuries the Sun will not fade and the Earth will not leave its orbit.
Therefore, the following energy sources are considered alternatives to oil, gas, coal and wood today:
- Energy from the sun.Batteries and solar collectors are used to use this source. The former are solar cells that directly convert the sun's energy into electrical current. Solar collectors do not convert the energy into electrical current, but instead heat the coolant for later use (for example, to heat water in a private house).
- Wind energy.Wind turbines that generate electricity using blades turned by the force of the wind are very popular in Europe. For example, Germany already obtains a third of its electricity using this renewable energy source.
- Water energy.It's not just about hydroelectric plants. Today there are heat pumps that convert the heat of the water in a lake or a swimming pool into a stable heating of the water to heat a house and supply it with hot water.
- Energy of the Earth.The heat pumps described above can also use heat from groundwater or upper crust for utilities. Such installations are very popular, since they do not require a nearby water or wind source: the coolant can be placed in special pipes under the lawn, for example, or in wells in the garden area.
Secondary energy resources
Energy recycling is one of the basic principles of energy efficiency. Improving the efficiency of the ventilation and air conditioning system used in the building is only possible by recycling the heat from the exhaust air. This process of returning some of the heat leaving the building (the air is heated in the room from the work equipment, the people in the room) is called recovery. In this regard, energy saving is the activity of conserving the energy available in the room.
The working principle of the recuperator is very simple: through a certain platinum, which conducts heat well, the air extracted from the room heats the cold currents coming from the street without mixing with it. As a result, not ice, but 2-3 degrees of heated 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 flowswarm. The recuperators are plate type, as described above, rotatable (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 installations and customers.
How to rationally use communal energy resources?
The 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, you must first install equipment that, by automating energy supply and metering, will allow you not to waste kilowatts. It should be selected based on the brand that confirms that this device or device provides energy savings. Increasing energy optimization of resource use is only possible with the rational operation of all equipment. Timely turning 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 savingsof 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 provide a low level of energy consumption. Passive house technology begins its history in the city of Darmstadt, where it was first developed by physicist Feist. The calculation of the energy balance of the house led him to create a building that would not need to be connected to heating even in winter: a passive house. At that time in Germany, houses consumed around 200 kWh / m² per year. The passive house, on the other hand, needs only 10 kWh / m² per year to remain suitable and even comfortable for year-round living. The basic criteria 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 so-called cold bridges (places in the building envelope through which cold penetrates the building: facade fasteners, window frames).
Evaluation of the effectiveness of energy saving technologies
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 theenergy 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 must evaluate:
- The degree of resource savings (the difference between the resources used by traditional and energy efficient equipment during the billing period when the same amount of energy is generated).
- The effect of energy production (the difference or ratio of the volumes of energy generated during a period determined by the equipment options compared using the same amount of resources).
These indicators will give us an idea of the need to proceed to the calculation of the economic effect. It is calculated by comparing the costs spent on buying new equipment (and possibly dismantling old ones) and the income from energy savings from replacing a waste machine with a more modern one (over a specified period of time). This difference will be the effect that the owner will receive after a specific period of time after applying the energy efficiency solution. In general, the installation of recuperators or solar panels pays for itself in 3-5 years.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that saving energy is not just about saving money. In the first place, it is the concern for tomorrow, in which our children will live.