Low energy strategies for larger buildings


  • Dave Parker, Freelance technical author and journalist. Former technical editor of New Civil Engineer magazine and Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering at the Queen's University of Belfast.

Spiraling fuel costs, frequent power cuts, “energy wars” with fuel-rich countries holding consumers to ransom--these are just some of the issues that are helping to ensure that microgeneration of power, at the individual building level, is becoming a more and more attractive option to grid power.In this book author Dave Parker describes the many and varied microgeneration options, from wind turbines and solar power to biomass and heatsinks, and even gives advice on how architects and developers can best access the increasingly large amount of government funding to help implement these strategies.This book can help those in the building and construction industry to really make a difference in the fight against climate change, by explaining how to utilize the technology already within our reach.
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Architects, developers, urban planners, self builders


Book information

  • Published: September 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-8470-5

Table of Contents

ForewordIntroductionHow microgeneration is the most important potential contributor to sustainable construction. New incentives to go down the microgeneration route. Potential rewards, pitfalls to avoid. Changing government attitudes, new awareness amongst clients, tenants and energy companies.Section 1: Systems that need no external energy suppliesThermosyphon solar water heatingBasic principles. Flat beds vs vacuum tube. Benefits and limitations of direct and indirect systems. Most effective applications. Dealing with sub-zero temperatures. Preventing legionella. Pros and cons of microbore piping. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.PhotovoltaicsBasic principles. Location and orientation. Types of PV cells. Silicon vs cadmium – the environmental implications. Batteries and inverters. Building-integrated PV. Cooling. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.Mini wind turbines and windpumpsBasic principles. Horizontal axis vs vertical axis. Stall regulation vs pitch regulation. Noise, bird strike. Minimising cable cost. Minigrids and backup power. Synchronous generators, load controllers. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.Small scale hydropowerBasic principles. Mini and micro. Run of river, canal and penstock, buried penstock, barrage installations. Head and flow. Utilising historic waterpower sites. Screening. Dealing with migratory fish. Matching head to turbine type. Impulse vs reaction turbines. Power controllers. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.Biomass fuelled combined heat and power plantsBasic principles. Potential fuels. Grates. Bubbling vs circulating fluidised beds. Internal combustion vs steam. Emissions control. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.Pros and cons of grid connectionReliability of supply. Potential earnings. Capital costs.Section 2: Systems that require external energy inputsSolar air heatingBasic principles. Benefits and limitations. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.Powered solar water heatingBasic principles. Power supplies. Benefits and limitations of direct, indirect and drain-back systems. Heat exchangers. Dealing with sub-zero temperatures. Preventing legionella. Pros and cons of microbore piping. Installation and maintenance requirements. Available hardware.Fossil fuel CHPBasic principles. Natural gas vs LPG vs diesel. Spark ignition internal combustion vs compression ignition internal combustion vs gas turbine. Types of generator. Maximising heat recovery, minimising noise and vibration. Control systems. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.Ground, air and water source energy heatingBasic principles. Relative installation costs. Trenches vs boreholes. Wells vs rivers vs ponds. Lofts as heat sources. Underfloor heating vs radiators. Control systems. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.Section 3: Towards total energy self-sufficiencyHeat sinksBasic principles. Seasonal vs diurnal. Aquifers, grey water, gravel/water, phase change. Installation and maintenance. Available hardware.Combining technologiesPV/hydro/wind and solar/air heating. PV/hydro/wind and ground/water/air energy heating and cooling. CHP and solar/wind energy.The cooling bonusGround water/acquifers. Thermal mass. Evaporative cooling.Section 4: Finding the right solutionAssessing site potentialTopography. Demand. Local resources. Client expectations.Selecting the technologyAvailability. Compatibility. Practicality. Economics.Tomorrow’s technologySolar power generation, biomass gasification, fuel cells – development, potential, state of the art.Section 5: Case studiesApartment buildingLight industrial unitsReichstagOffice developmentIndex