Future of Houses - Sustainability and LEED 2

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Future of Houses - Sustainability and LEED 2

What is photovoltaic solar energy? Over the last 10 years, we have witnessed that many architects are focused on increasing the production of electricity rate from using photovoltaic solar energy. Our homes consume enormous energy to provide us with heating and cooling as it is reflected on our energy bills. More sophisticated heating and cooling systems such as photovoltaic roof panels will eventually replace all bulky and high maintenance furnaces in the decades to come.Solar energy is the most abundant, inexhaustible and clean of all renewable energy to date. (Parida, 2011) Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity. Photoelectric was first discovered in 1839 by Edmund Bequerel (French physicist) and later on in 1905 Albert Einstein explained the nature of light and the photoelectric effect for which he won a Nobel Prize in physics. (Knier, 2011) This technology first was used by NASA to power satellites and space stations in space and through NASA this technology became reliable and affordable even for other industries (Knier, 2011). The World Energy Council wrote in a published report in 2000 that “The technology employed in photovoltaic (PV) systems is well developed and there are improvements and modifications occurring regularly, primarily in production processes”. As we see the photovoltaic systems are quite reliable and have been well tested in space and terrestrial applications. Therefore 25 years from now this technology will be widely available and affordable to homeowners.

What is geothermal energy? Geothermal energy it goes way back to when the Romans used the natural earth energy to heat their baths. So this is an ancient idea of human kind to use reusable energy. Energy is extracted from the core of the Earth by drilling down to the hot rocks underneath the surface. By injecting water into to the drilled well, hot water can be extracted and turned into electricity through a turbine above ground. Geothermal systems take advantage of the earth’s constant temperature to heat and cool the building, this system does not depend on the outside air therefore it will provide to the environment inside a building a much cleaner and better air. The concept idea to create this system came by Lord Kelvin in 1852 and was developed by Peter Ritter von Rittinger in 1855 (Kvakovský, et.al, 2009). The first direct exchange ground source heat pump was built in the late 1940s by Robert C. Webber. (Kvakovský, et.al, 2009). This technology takes advantage of temperatures deep in the ground to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs. It may be combined with solar heating to form a geosolar system with even greater efficiency (Kvakovský, et.al, 2009). Heat pumps can capture air from a cool area and transfer it to a warm area, against the natural direction of flow, or they can enhance the natural flow of heat from a warm area to a cool one. The core of the heat pump is a loop of refrigerant pumped through a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle that moves heat. Heat pumps are always more efficient than pure electric heating, even when extracting heat from air. The system cost is much higher than conventional systems, but the difference is usually returned in energy savings in 3–10 years (Kvakovský, et.al, 2009). What is unique about geothermal energy is that it is found anywhere in the world. That is the reason why this way of heating and cooling our houses will be widely available in the near future.

House with Solar Panel

Solar Panel System

Geothermal System

House with Geothermal System

House with Sustainable Features

Sagal Patel

Naoto Hayashi

Andrea Roberts

Enri Prifti





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