Heating homes is a major waste of energy. Behind passenger cars and trucks is the biggest power pull in the United States.
But homeowners who want to stay warm do not have to rely solely on electrons or metal tubes.
According to a study by the University of Oregon, even in the cloudy western regions of Oregon and Washington, a large fraction of our heat demand can be met by well-maintained (and well-managed) skylights.
“I have been interested in solar heating for many years, but we live in a cloudy climate. And in the winter, there are many doubts about how well the solar system, which is controlled by cloud cover and rain, works well, ”said study lead author Alexandra Rempel, an architect at the University of Oregon Environmental Research Program. .
Passive Solar heating is the heat you feel when you stand next to a solar window. Indoor heat is a direct source of heat from the sun, instantly warming the air and heating areas that reflect heat over time.
Indoor heating contributes significantly to carbon pollution. In industrialized nations that are part of the International Energy Agency – including the United States and Canada – it contributes about 8% of climate change emissions.
Applied solar heating is one way to reduce dependence on oil, such as natural gas and for heating homes. Rempel estimates how much of this energy can be used in the country.
“How much of this wealth are we talking about? Is it worth following or not? She asked.
And according to the analysis, it is.
The researchers found that there is enough solar radiation to provide one-third of the nation’s home heating needs. The calculations are based on 100 square feet of skylights facing south.
To understand its potential, the researchers combined their energy consumption data with satellite solar observation.
“We can calculate this anywhere, anytime, anywhere in the United States,” said Oregon Earth scientist Alan Rempel, who presented the analysis. We need not only the amount of energy that comes when we need it, but also the amount of energy that comes when we need it.
The collected solar heating system could not take over most of the weather but could reduce heating costs – especially in the fall and spring if the temperature is not too cold and the days are not short.
In western Oregon and Washington, 10 acres[3 sq m]there is enough sunlight for three megawatts of light for well-lit and well-lit houses. That should be enough to complete the average American home in more than three months by 2020.
In the eastern part of the two states, more than 5 megawatts of active solar energy can be stored during the winter with low cloud cover – but heating costs are also high.
Today, a small number of companies and builders are promoting solar energy as a way to reduce energy costs.
“This is certainly not a ‘new’ life for a small community,” said Scott Kosmeki, founder of the Hinge Building Team and a member of the Pacific House Northwest Board.
Oregon University research measures how much energy is available in skylights and other types of solar panels, but Cosmeck said designers and builders should look beyond that.
“It simply came to our notice then. [been]And how to still manage and control it efficiently and affordably [solar energy],” he said.
These challenges may hinder the integration of solar systems into building design in the past.
Introducing functional heating in some areas, focusing on windows and ceilings designed to increase heat collection during the winter and summer months. Skylighting is a problem that is often overlooked.
According to the US Department of Energy, in a realistic solar design, “sloping or horizontal glass (e.g., skylights) receive light but often cause unwanted heat rise, radiation loss, and various other problems.”
However, by directing sunlight toward the sun, the researchers discovered that the celestial bodies are capable of capturing solar energy. It is the angle of these celestial lights that allows this kind of heat to be collected – especially in cloudy weather.
As the weather increases, so does the sky’s glare. In the Pacific Northwest, that angle ranges from 45-60 degrees horizontally, depending on the area.
“They are vastly good. If it is added or subtracted by 10 degrees, that is not a bad thing. You are still getting 90% or somewhat larger fraction. ”Alan Rempel.
In fact, it can be costly to achieve existing angles at high altitudes (and the protection needed to manage them efficiently). It will be easier to do in a new construction.
And Alexandra Rampel says the amount of energy saved may not be enough to motivate individual action. Still, the analysis shows the real potential for local climate policy.
“The city of Portland says, ‘Yes, at the city level, we are probably getting something like 400,000 MW. And now it’s important to give some kind of encouragement, ‘she said.
Not only is Rampel contributing to the elimination of carbohydrates, but it is a difficult thing to do, such a policy could be beneficial to Grid. Northwest uses electricity to transport vehicles and buildings more efficiently from fossil fuels, using more solar energy to dissipate potential on the grid.
The study was published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.