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you are now asked to carry out one week exercise to research a question on different relevant subjects,

and turn this into a presentation that the whole group can use as a reference or for comparison in your
own projects.

Each topic has one reference book from the Department of Architecture or ECA Library as a starting
point, but you will be required to use more references, both print and electronic, to examine the
question, and compile it into a presentation that summarises the key arguments and facts, and offers
questions about these concepts, for a presentation that will then be discussed by the whole group.

Group 5: What factors influence the choice of renewable energy generation systems, from site and
programme? Which systems work best together, for which kinds of uses and sizes? Specifically, assess
and contrast the use of On-site photovoltaics, heat pumps and wind generation, and District Combined
Heat and Power. Starting reference: Renewable Energy Systems, Dilwyn Jenkins (also see Baird below)

1. What factors influence the choice of renewable energy generation systems, from site and

2. Which systems work best together, for which kinds of uses and sizes?

3. Assess and contrast the use of On-site photovoltaics, heat pumps and wind generation, and
District Combined Heat and Power

Intro –

Renewable energy has been n use in some form – f.ex wood heating, passive solar, wind and hydro, for
thousands of years. Since then, the speed of technological development has increased exponentially,
making way for new opportunities and increased efficiency in renewable energy harvesting. Together
with increased efficiency, general concern and focus on the negative effects of climate change as well as
government incentives, the application of renewable energy systems is rapidly increasing.

What factors influence the choice of renewable energy generation systems?

Choosing the right renewable energy system for a project is important. If you do not have sufficient
access to the right renewable resource to power a specific renewable energy system, then the
technology dependent on that resource inherently excludes itself as an option.

All renewable resources are site-specific, therefore the site influences the type of technology selected to
a great extent. The site must be thoroughly analyzed and the resources estimated.

The programme influences the choice of renewable energy technologies aswell, as it plays a large role in
determining the loads of the buildings. The programme determines the hours the building is in use, the
amount and type of users as well as other energy-dependant needs such as ventilation, heating and

1. 7 types of renewable energy – Solar, Wind, Hydroelectric, Biomass, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells,
Geothermal, Other Future Sources (which cannot currently be relied upon)

Solar - This form of energy is derived from the nuclear fusion power from the core of the
Sun. It is collected and converted in a few different ways, from solar water heating with
solar collectors or attic cooling with solar attic fans for domestic use to the technologies
converting direct sunlight into electrical energy using mirrors and boilers or photovoltaic

Wind - The movement of the atmosphere is driven by differences of temperature at the

Earth's surface caused by direct sunlight. Wind energy can be used to pump water or
generate electricity, but requires extensive areas of coverage to produce significant
amounts of energy.

Hydroelectric Energy - This form uses the gravitational potential of elevated water that
was lifted from the oceans by sunlight. It is not strictly speaking renewable since all
reservoirs eventually fill up and require very expensive excavation to become useful
again. At this time, most of the available locations for hydroelectric dams are already
used in the developed world.

Biomass – This is energy derived from plants. Energy in this form is very commonly
used throughout the world. Unfortunately, the most popular method is the burning of
trees for cooking and warmth. This process releases excessive amounts of carbon
dioxide gases into the atmosphere and is a major contributor to unhealthy air. Some of
the more modern forms of biomass energy are methane generation and production of
alcohol for automobile fuel and fueling electric power plants.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells - These are also not strictly renewable energy resources but
are very abundant in availability and are very low in pollution when utilized. Hydrogen
can be burned as a fuel, typically in a vehicle, with only water as the combustion
product. This clean burning fuel can mean a significant reduction of pollution in cities. Or
the hydrogen can be used in fuel cells, which are similar to batteries, to power an electric
motor. In either case significant production of hydrogen requires abundant power. Due to
the need for energy to produce the initial hydrogen gas, the result is the relocation of
pollution from the cities to the power plants. There are several promising methods to
produce hydrogen, such as solar power, that may alter this picture drastically.

Geothermal - Energy left over from the original accretion of the planet and augmented by
heat from radioactive decay seeps out slowly. In certain areas the geothermal gradient
(increase in temperature with depth) is high enough to exploit to generate electricity. This
possibility is limited to a few locations on Earth and many technical problems exist that
limit its utility. Another form of geothermal energy is Ground Source energy, a result of
the heat storage in the Earth's surface. Soil everywhere tends to stay at a relatively
constant temperature, the yearly average, and can be used with heat pumps to heat a
building in winter and cool a building in summer. This form of energy can lessen the
need for other power to maintain comfortable temperatures in buildings, but cannot be
used to produce electricity.

Other Energy Sources - Energy from tides, the oceans and hot hydrogen fusion are
other forms that can be used to generate electricity. Each of these is discussed in some
detail with the final result being that each suffers from one or another significant
drawback and cannot be relied upon at this time to solve the upcoming energy crunch.

1. 3. Assess and contrast the use of On-site photovoltaics, heat pumps and wind generation, and
District Combined Heat and Power

Utilizing on-site renewable energy systems are advantageous in terms of:

- Emissions reductions

- Economic savings (payback depends on resources available, selected technology and the
electricity and fuel rates)

- Selling electricity to the grid can turn a renewable energy system into a decent financial

- Security of energy supply, and security over energy supply

- Renewables are foten the ideal solution for providing remote power supplies

- Renewables can also be used as a back up incase of grid failure

Community-owned renewable energy systems, such as community owned wind turbines are becoming
increasingly popular, whether this is to offset a community’s energy needs or to sell electricity to the
grid. Renewable heating has a long history in terms of shared egernation and use. District Heating
Networks have been proven to be an efficient method of pumping hot water torugh individual
connections, for domestic water needs to entire villages, towns and city suburbs.