The world is gradually embracing the use of renewable energy with countries such as the United States, European, and other countries advocating for reliance on it.
Green energy presents multiple benefits, among them the ability to reduce environmental footprint, eliminate greenhouse gasses, reduce the amount spent on energy bills, and lessen energy security issues while stimulating economic growth.
Presently, 56% of energy use at home accounts for heating and cooling according the U.S Department of Energy. New developments in renewable energy have led to remarkable changes in HVAC technologies as more companies have moved towards the creation of traditional systems that are energy efficient as well as new kinds of systems that run on alternative/green energies like solar and geothermal.
There are two distinct categories of green heating and cooling systems namely active and passive. Active systems use a variety of mechanical cooling and heating systems that run on geothermal power, solar power and other sources of green energy.
Passive systems utilize nature’s ability to cool and heat without air conditioners and furnaces. They include constructing homes with white or light-colored roofs that reflect the sun’s energy instead of absorbing it. Consequently, it takes less energy to cool a house.
These are some of the new technologies that are bringing a change in HVAC:
On-demand hot water re-circulator
This system is designed to save energy, money and water while delivering hot water in a timely manner. When activated, it allows the cool water that is drained to circulate back into the water heater via the cold water line. This allows delivery of hot water at any time of the day.
On-demand hot water systems can be added to existing hot water heaters and can save up to 12,000 gallons of water per year. They systems require a power cord to be plugged into a standard power outlet, but no electrical work is required at each tap. Unfortunately, hot water will not be available in event of a power failure.
Ice powered air conditioners
Ice is known as an excellent cooler for drinks. However, a new company has developed a system that uses ice to run an air conditioner unit. Air conditioners that are ice powered make ice during the night to be used during the day as a refrigerant for cooling.
Geothermal energy refers to underground heat. The greatest heat is found deepest within the surface, but geothermal systems operate a few feet below the ground in areas that, by analogy with groundwater wells, are known as geothermal wells.
Temperatures there range between 42-80 degrees Fahrenheit, warmer than air temperature in the winter and cooler than air temperature in the summer. Geothermal heating and cooling systems use refrigerants in heat pumps to move the heat from the ground to the house to heat it or from the house to the ground to cool it.
The sun is perhaps the ultimate green energy provider that is constant and renewable. Passive solar energy comprises of little or no moving parts hence needs minimal upkeep. Passive solar energy systems rely on natural principals of heat regulation.
Before the invention of central heating and air conditioning, siting and designing houses took passive solar into account. This technology uses buildings, windows, floors and walls to collect, store and release energy from the sun.
On the other hand, active solar energy systems involve outfitting roofs with solar cells, photovoltaic materials that convert the sun directly to electricity. The electricity may then be used on or off grid for cooling and heating, among other uses.
When burned as fuel, coal emits carbon dioxide, sulphur, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants into the the environment. Coal gasification, however, uses carbon to strip oxygen from water, effectively producing clean hydrogen gas that is used as fuel to run a turbine. Other emissions are pumped into the ground and solid residues are burned.
Wind power can be used to heat water. Wind turbines developed by Oregon State University students rotate magnets near copper plates to generate heat. The prototype is about the size of a phone booth and can be bolted on the rooftop of a home or anywhere else where wind blows.
These new technologies go a long way in promoting environmental sustainability. They are readily available and do not emit harmful gasses into the environment during heating and cooling. It is expected that more improved technologies will be developed and embraced in future as more companies work towards changing over-reliance on fossil fuels that is currently at 82%. With only 9% of energy supply relying on renewable sources, there is room for change in HVAC systems.
Author Bio: Dan McKee heads up the marketing efforts and provides digital marketing strategies to the marketing team at Service Champions in California.
Renewable energy in palm. Source unknown
Installing home solar. Some rights reserved by Lauren Wellicome.