Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Journey Around the Globe in Search of Energy Efficiency

We were transported around the world during an Ignite session at WREF 2012 that featured case studies for making buildings efficient in different climates. The audience was taken on a journey to climate extremes from the muggy island climate of Cuba to the hot and arid desert climate of Iraq. It was quite the whirl-wind tour with other stops in Taiwan, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Each climate has its own unique challenges for keeping a building heated and cooled properly for its occupants throughout the year.
Our journey started out in Cuba where Professor Dania Gonzalez Couret explained that since the social revolution in the 1950′s, Cuba has been working towards social equality for all of its citizens. Part of this social equality is building a sustainable environment by focusing on:
  • Energy efficiency in Cuban structures with the use of efficient appliances
  • The encouragement of bicycle use in the urban corridor, and
  • The study of building ventilation and cooling techniques without the use of air-conditioning.
After Cuba we moved onto cost-effective international energy improvements for buildings in mild or hot climates. Members from Appalachian State University studied the energy efficiency of multifamily housing in Mexico and Taiwan. They completed energy audits on typical multifamily housing and compared the results with the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) specifications. The team of researchers then calculated the energy expense of the current housing as well as how much could be saved if multifamily homes in both countries would be brought up to IECC standards. Needless to say bringing up any structure to IECC standards will save a lot of money on energy costs.
Next we traveled to Iraq for two presentations. The first one, by Dr Kamil Yousif, was a study on how well solar window film screens blocked out ultraviolet radiation as well as reduced solar heat gain. Dr. Yousif proved without a doubt that window film could decrease cooling costs by about $50 per year. In addition, the payback period is a mere 1.5 years. The second presentation was from Dr Ghanim Kadhem Abdul Sada. He studied the effect of a water spray roof system and found that by keeping the flat Iraqi roofs wet with just a minimal amount of water, there was a reduction in temperature inside the structure. This contributed to a decrease in the amount of air-conditioning needed throughout the day.
We’re thankful that these academics traveled from all over the globe to share their stories on energy efficiency methods within their own climates. What are the  energy efficiency methods that are unique to your culture and climate?


Commercial air conditioner maintenance said...

Professor Dania Gonzalez is dedicated and honest to eco friendly environment in cuba.

Anonymous said...

This information is very helpful. I think ideas posted here can be recommended to some of my friends who can't use a
daikin air purifier at home.


Excellent story

Wishful Thinking

*Before adding PV, wind, or solar thermal to your residential or commercial structure, the first step is to analyze this structure's energy consumption through a professional energy audit. I'd like to see some public education on the importance of an energy audit for any structure. Remember Smokey the Bear's forest fire shtick drilled into our heads over the last few decades? How about something like, "Henry the House" desperately wanting to know how much energy he consumes and wastes throughout the day?

*With over 300 sunny days a year on the Front Range is it too much to ask for solar PV and thermal modules on every residential and commercial unit (after an energy audit of course)?

*How about affordable plug-in electric cars that go more than 100 miles on a charge with PV and wind powered recharging stations?

*Dreaming of companies large and small adopting business sustainability practices to maximize profits, reduce their carbon footprint, and enhance the lives of their employees and the communities that surround them.


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