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solar air collection

The benefits of

solar air collection in buildings

Eamon Corless, Director, Solair

A building’s air-conditioning system is typically responsible for around 50% of the base building’s energy consumption. The other 50% typically includes other services such as common area lighting, domestic hot water, lifts, etc. As such, any reduction in air-conditioning energy consumption or efficient energy utilisation will offer significant savings in total building energy consumption and carbon emissions.

N

ight purging, displacement

Using a thermal (solar air collector)

website YourHome. “Poor use of thermal

ventilation, positive input

panel system for both night flushing for

mass can exacerbate the worst extremes

ventilation with 100%

cooling and daytime solar absorption for

of the climate and can be a huge energy

fresh air intake (solar air

heating introduces 100% fresh air into the

and comfort liability.”

collectors), high thermal

building, thereby flushing out all contami-

The intent of a ‘green’ building is to

mass materials and a co-

nated air without mixing. This increases air

minimise the emission of greenhouse gases,

generation plant could significantly contribute

quality, wellbeing and productivity of all oc-

namely carbon dioxide emissions, through

to the health of occupants, as well as the

cupants. Following this, maintenance costs

efficient energy usage. This will be dependent

reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and

are reduced due to minimal hourly use of

on energy utilisation between sources such

energy consumption of the building. The use

boilers/chillers.

as electricity, gas, solar, wind, a cogenera-

of all these initiatives will reduce carbon

As most large-scale buildings are built

emissions to 44% of a 4.5 star building

on concrete and other reasonably good ther-

United Nations Secretary-General Ban

under the Australian Building Greenhouse

mally absorbing materials, they are capable

Ki-moon has stated, “Leaders must act.

Rating scheme.

tion plant, etc.

of storing and releasing large amounts of

Time is not on our side.” He says that

Building loads determine the heating and

energy (sensible heat). In summer, the build-

quick, decisive action will build a better

cooling requirements of a building and come

ing will store the coolness of the night and

and sustainable future, while inaction will

from sources such as occupants, equipment,

use it to cool the building during the day.

be costly.

lighting and the sun. A typical large-scale

In winter, the building will attain the solar

“The buildings of our cities are our

building can have hourly energy loads up to

heat energy and use it to maintain higher

businesses, the businesses of our cities

the following: lighting - 95 kWh; occupants

core temperatures at night.

are our leaders and it is time for simple,

- 45 kWh; equipment - 155 kWh (summer

“Thermal mass, correctly used, moder-

solar 60-110 kWh, mid-winter 30-65 kWh). On

ates internal temperatures by averaging out

In the state of Victoria, gas has a CO 2

a monthly basis, this could lead to a mean

diurnal (day/night) extremes,” says Chris

co-efficient of 0.21, which is much less

usage of between 60,000 and 80,000 kWh.

Reardon et al on the Australian Government

than the 1.34 co-efficient for electricity. This

www.SustainabilityMatters.net.au

cost-effective change.”

Apr/May 2015 - Sustainability Matters 39

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Sustainability Matters Apr/May 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Apr/May 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...