Understanding the new technologies for energy savings in buildings would enable the energy auditor to bring the best energy saving method for a particular type of building. He thus considers the potential of implementing and integrating new technologies within the facility.
There are several developments made in the field of energy saving of which the major and popular ones are briefly explained below.
Energy Saving Technologies in Buildings
Some of the famous and emerging technologies in the field of energy saving in a building are:
- Connected and Smarter Homes
- Building Envelope Technologies
- Light Pipe Technologies
- Next Generation Insulation
- Reflective Roofing Materials
- Advanced Window Control System
- HVAC systems and Controls
1. Connected and Smart Homes
Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed new wireless sensors that have the ability to improve the energy efficiency of the building. This is attained by having automated control systems for the:
- Cooling units
- Heating Units
- Lighting Systems
- Other temperature access systems
2. Building Envelope Technologies
New technologies are developed to increase the efficiency of the building envelope. Mainly windows of the building structures are improved by the following methods:
- The properties of the windows can be changed according to the temperature and light-level conditions i.e during day and night by providing chromogenic glazing.
- Optimisation of solar gains and the shading effects can be done by using spectrally selective glasses for the windows.
- Photovoltaic panels can be used to generate electricity by absorbing the solar radiation. This also helps to reduce the heat moving through the building envelope.
3. Light Pipe Technologies
This technology allows to “pipe” the light falling on the roof or on a wall-mounted collector to the interior spaces of the building. These interior spaces are spaces not located near to the window or the skylights.
4. Next Generation Insulation
This is a type of foam insulation developed by the Industrial Science and technology for the windows. These insulation are made of environmentally friendly and advanced series of composite materials. These help to restrict the heat escape from the walls, attic areas, and other spaces during colder climates
Cogeneration is a combined method of producing both electricity and heat for energy efficient buildings. This method reduces the cost, increases efficiency and are environmentally friendly.
6. Reflecting Roofing Materials
A new florescent pigment developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the PPG industries is used to coat the roof systems that enables roofs to reflect the sunlight falling over it. This reduces heat absorption by the roofs and building heating is reduced.
There are other pigments available, but florescent pigments are four times efficient when compared with ordinary ones.
7. Advanced Window Control System
This energy efficient system makes use of microprocessors and sensors along with insulated windows. This helps to automatically adjust the shading based on the sunlight and the time of the day. This provides proper comfort, lighting, saves energy and money.
8. HVAC Systems and Controls
Energy retrofitting technologies too are emerging methods to have energy efficient buildings. These include:
- Rotary Heat wheels and Heat Pipes: These helps to recover the heat and an energy of 50 to 80% is recovered. The energy recovered can be further used for the heating or the cooling of the ventilation air that is being supplied to the building.
- Desiccant-Based Cooling Systems: These systems are installed in buildings like hospitals, supermarkets etc that take up large dehumidification loads for a large time period.
- Thermal Energy Storage Systems( TES): These systems consume less power during peak climatic conditions for heating or cooling. TES uses several optimal systems to bring cost saving to the maximum by saving energy.
- Geothermal Heat Pumps: These systems make use of the heat that is stored underground to condition the building spaces.