A key base in the conception of green design is the whole element of seeing to it that designing of buildings are done according to principles of energy efficient design. In addition energy efficiency is seen by utilizing environmentally friendly and renewable sources of energy. By far the most common origin of energy is the sun, from where we harvest solar energy.
Creating green building Through Energy Efficient Design By Using Solar Energy
Solar energy is a prime natural renewable energy source due to the fact that it is incident and available for a large part of the year, especially within equatorial nations of the earth. It can supply a major part of the energy requirements for homes or offices for much of the year in these areas especially, and provide a welcome cushion against skyrocketing prices of oil products and such organic fossil fuel energy sources.
In the past, solar energy had a big challenge in that the systems that were available for harnessing the sun’s energy were not very efficient in creation of electrical energy. This means that there was a disparity between the level of power output and the financial outlay required, with only small energy output being achieved from substantial financial investment.
Some of the options available for achieving energy efficient design using solar energy
That was in the past however, as advancement in technology has now made it possible to achieve better power output from solar installations, and the costs of solar installations too have come down. There are building trends towards creation of buildings that harness solar power as part of their energy arsenal within the region, as evidenced by many buildings coming up with integrated solar systems within them.
Solar panels harness solar energy through their photovoltaic cells. These are the most costly aspect of solar technology as they have a relatively high cost consideration attached to them. Nevertheless despite their high initial cost, these cells are virtually free of maintenance thereafter, short of cleaning and occasional service.Sustainable buildings are characterized by installations that may seem to have marginally higher cost inputs at their onset, but have much smaller operational and recurrent costs thereafter. This long term saving philosophy is what makes them able to be more viable than ordinary buildings that do not have these provisions. Photovoltaic cells in this regard may cost a little more at the onset, but great savings are achieved in the long run with regard to one’s energy bill.
Energy Efficient Design- Integrating Water Heating
Solar energy is commonly used for the purpose of heating water using the sun’s energy. There is great need for hot water within the home and the workplace, as basic needs such as cooking, washing and cleaning take place using heated water. Industrial functions such as manufacturing concerns often use heated water for their processes. It should be noted however that heating water is an energy intensive affair and can raise the cost of energy consumption drastically. However solar water heating provides a cost effective alternative of dealing with the same.
Solar water heaters collect and store the sun’s heat energy to warm water flowing through their reticulating systems and stores them within hot water cisterns. As a result they can be used to heat water inexpensively once they have been adequately installed within a building. They are installed on building roofs or surfaces that are well exposed to incident sunshine in the course of the day. Their effectiveness may be reduced during overcast seasons, but again technology improvements are enhancing their output even during adverse conditions. During these seasons they may need to be supplemented through the use of gas or electrical heating systems. If you are interested in installing solar power in the home or office, it is useful to note that the system of solar panels should be coupled together with power inverters and batteries. These are useful to convert sun energy into electrical energy and store it for use at the point where solar energy is nil, such as at night. It is also useful to keep in mind that a single household’s power load can be quite substantial, usually between 10 to 13 volt amperes. Solar systems that can supply this kind of power may cost quite a bundle, way above the means of an ordinary household. For most individual households, the best option is to supply solar energy only to highest priority appliances such as the lights and perhaps the fridge.
The built environment in this way can be be made more sustainable by the use of such renewable energy sources that promote energy efficiency within buildings.