Renewable Energy Resources for Homes

Negative effects of global warming, energy crises, increasing fuel prices all made people seek new resources to meet their energy demand. Renewable energy resources eliminate all these problems. They are readily available all the time and they are mostly free. Renewable resources that can be benefited from in houses generally aim to contribute to heating requirements and some of them can be used for small scale electricity generation.

What are the renewable energy resources that can be used for residential purposes?

  • Sun
  • Wind
  • Geothermal
  • Biomass

Solar Systems:

Solar energy can be used for both heating and electricity generation purposes. Solar collectors and photovoltaic systems can be easily mounted on the roof, on the ground or be embedded in the walls to capture maximum sunlight. Although electricity generation by a residential scale PV system can’t be enough to meet your electricity needs solar collector systems can cover a high amount of your heating needs. . Just by changing the orientation of a house to south to capture the maximum sunlight, energy bills can be reduced by 10%. Passive ventilation and cooling techniques, an extension of passive solar design, help to eliminate the requirement for wasteful artificial ventilation and cooling.

Wind Energy Systems:

Small wind generation means generating electricity from wind energy using small scale wind turbines for mainly domestic use. Small generation can be used for various purposes ranging from supplying energy for some small electrical devices where grid connection is not possible or for meeting part of the energy demand of a house or even a farm. Small generation systems can be, like industrial systems, standalone or grid connected. The energy output from a standalone wind turbine can be directly used. However, in grid connected systems the electricity produced is supplied to the national grid system. Micro scale wind turbines can be mounted on the roof or can be a standalone system.

Geothermal:

Geothermal energy refers to heat energy stored in the ground.  Heat pumps are used for space heating and cooling, as well as water heating. They operate on the fact that the earth beneath the surface remains at a constant temperature throughout the year, and that the ground acts as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. Other heat pump types are available such as air and water source.  Using a heat pump for your heating needs can meet your heating requirements up to 70% because of the high overall efficiency they provide. They give 3-4 units of heat for each 1 unit of electricity consumed. The electric need of these systems can be partially met by wind or PV systems.

Biomass

Biofuel is a term used for biomass which has been prepared/upgraded to provide bioenergy. Biofuels can be either solid or liquid. Liquid biomass is the ones used in vehicles as fuel. Using biomass in your house can be by means of a wood pellet boiler or stove. These systems use wood pellets as the fuel. They are much cheaper than fossil fuels and the improved technology of biomass combustion systems, such as automatic feeding systems, remote controlled on-off features, brings together a lot comfort.

These systems when used individually or in combination with other systems can be very effective in reducing your bills and your individual carbon emission to the atmosphere. Apart from these advantages using renewable energy systems for electricity generation or heating needs in your house increases the building energy rating of your house which eventually leads to a higher market value for your building.

For initial investment costs of these systems grant are available at national level. SEI (Sustainable Energy Ireland) has various schemes through which you can get grants.

Thanks the Techstore Team

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