Renewable resources energy is by definition energy which is sustainable, and there are many ways that sustainable energy can be produced and used.
Those approving new property developments in many cities have been requiring lower energy consumption performance from our buildings, by increasing insulation requirements, etc. The majority of citizens believe that is for the politicians to set energy economy rules and to force all new property to be built in a manner which will ensure that less fossil fuel energy is used. Nevertheless, to carry on forever, making buildings more efficient makes little sense if the cost rises, or the functionality of the building suffers, beyond a certain point. At that point, it is probably best, and more sustainable, that the developer is required to start supplying some of the energy the building will need. That means the building must be designed to make energy from its own renewable resources, usually this will need to be from a previously untapped energy source available on the site, such as by adding solar panels to the roof.
The first city to require that its large new buildings will make some of their renewable resources energy was London City, and this was pushed through by its green mayor Ken Livingstone, in 2007.
5 technologies are described below which are leading the revolution in the cities which would enable at least part of the power of its buildings to be sourced on-site, and reduce the environmental footprint of the big cities.
Solar cells (Photovoltaics) have been coming down in price for some time, so they have been becoming more frequently seen. We can expect this trend to continue and accelerate.
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Although wind power has taken-off for the large scale wind farms in many nations, with thousands being built, small roof mounted wind generators suitable for buildings, have not been nearly as successful. This may change, although a wind turbine can only create enough power to be worth its cost, if here is enough wind.
Many buildings now make so much waste that this technology can be a great renewable energy source (for all those organic materials within it which are not fossil fuel derived). Tesco and Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the UK have implemented renewable resources energy based equipment, and in particular Anaerobic Digestion has been their preferred technology for doing this, avoiding incineration, which is held in bad regard by the general public.
When you have warm air going outward and you are sucking replacement cold air in it makes sense to preserve renewable resources energy by pre-warming incoming cold air. This is done by using a radiator so that the warm air can pass its heat energy back to the cold air, before the cold air leaves the buidling. Another way to put this is to talk about using a heat exchanger. When then heated to room temperature, the cold air is warmer than it would have been, and energy saving is the result. This is sometimes known as energy “regeneration”. Is this truly a renewable energy supply? It does use a source of energy available on-site (heat energy), but many already do use this type of system under the banner of “energy efficiency”. Many people would question whether this is truly a renewable energy.
In some properties this technique may be applied to the discharge of foul water from baths etc which will be relatively warm and which can, in the same way as in the last paragraph, be used to pre-heat incoming air or water.
Regenerate Power from the Pressure Reduction Points in the Local Water Distribution System
It seems strange, and is hard to explain, but energy (electric power) can actually be won back from a water mains any distribution system at pressure reduction valve points in the water mains.
There you have it. Five top technologies for renewable energy creation on-site for building designers to use in order to comply with new UK London City development requirements.