Energy The collective understanding is emerging that we can no longer afford to use fossil fuels and need to transition into clean renewable sources of energy. There is an abundance of energy that can be harnessed to fuel the world such as solar, wind, wave, geothermal and biofuels. Green New World’s strategy is to advocate private residential based energy production as there is much potential in alternative energy sources and communal microgrids.
Our services include consultation, partnership, workshops, presentations, design and execution of energy systems that can integrate some or all aspects of holistic sustainable living. Please contact us for more information.
Energy Conservation Strategies Our current use of energy in many scenarios is highly inefficient. Many current devices and machines have a very low efficiency such as the conventional Rutherford fireplace where more than 90% of the heat is lost to the atmosphere or the incandescent light bulb where most energy is lost to heat. Similar inefficiencies are seen in engines, pumps and compressors. Installation of low consumption efficient appliances can reduce the overall energy demand by 50% without compromising on modern standards of living. These include LED lights, natural and induction based air conditioners, solar, geothermal or biofuel based heaters, vortex pumps, advanced hyper insulated refrigerators, efficient energy saving dishwashers, residual heat based efficient washing machines and biofuel stoves/ovens which consume most of the residential household energy. Green New World’s home designs utilize a combination of multiple sources of energy to maximize the efficiency. The Rutherford fireplace has been an object of our interest. We have designed a Multifunctional fireplace which captures more than 90% of the heat for useful purposes. Double combustion chambers fed with air from the outside allow the chimneys to run horizontally as well as vertically so that more heat can be exchanged inside the house. In addition, to space heating integration of multifunctional features incorporates residential water heating, an integrated oven, a laundry drier and a dehydrator to make maximum use while enjoying the esthetics and warmth of sitting around a fire place.
Synergistic Household Energy Systems A single sourced energy system is less efficient than a synergistic system with multiple sources of energy. This division provides for redundancy so that multiple systems can meet the needs of a residential household in case of a system failure or maintenance and provide complementation in times of peak demand to reduce the size of each component and make the whole system more efficient. Additionally, inherent fluctuations of the energy source as with photovoltaic systems require larger storage capacities to meet the peak household demands. A synergistic system makes use of multiple sources of energy which are available on site and reduce the fluctuation and storage capacity. A typical house designed by Green New World has three mechanisms to generate electricity which are can be met with a combination of photovoltaic, wind and biogas. Solar and wind cover the average electric energy needs and peak demand is supplied by a biogas generator. Residential hot water can be provided for by geothermal, solar, biogas and wood or biobricks/ biopellets made from sludge. Much of the needs for space heating and cooling are provided for by design and materials of the building which reduces or eliminates further need for climate adjustment. Additional heating and cooling systems can be integrated as required such as heating using an efficient fireplace, geothermal heat exchangers that are supplemented with biogas and solar. Wind capture by a wind scoup and evaporation chambers are efficient and energy independent methods to cool a residential structure in combination with the integrated design features of the building.
Biofuels Powering up the Future The integration of sustainable carbon neutral biofuels can meet a large portion of the world’s energy demands and can be simply integrated into a residential energy system. Algae hold a great potential as a biofuel because of their high growth rate, better utilization of sunlight in contrast to conventional plants, easy production, shorter lifecycles and independence from fertile agricultural land whereas biofuels grown on agricultural land compete with food production that lead to an increase in food scarcity and increased food prices. Growing algae is a promising strategy to make biofuels such as biogas or biodiesel to provide a renewable source of combustible energy. Additionally, the carbon dioxide emission from engines such as an electric biofuel generator or other combustible exhausts can be used to provide one of the main nutrients for algae namely carbon dioxide providing a method to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere providing an additional benefit to the environment. Another promising method to produce biogas is to process all biodegradable wastes including sewage, kitchen wastes and garden wastes in an anaerobic digestion reactor which can also be supplemented with algae to increase biogas production to meet the household’s biogas needs. Biogas can be used in a residence to provide for cooking, water heating and to produce electricity by a biogas generator. The advantage of biogas production is that the procedure is simple and cost efficient. Furthermore, it is compatible with prevalent natural gas appliances and vehicles. An additionally appealing aspect of biogas is that gasoline powered cars and engines can be easily converted to run with biogas. Coupling a carbon sequestration method as described above by feeding algae with the households carbon dioxide exhaust and the liquid effluent from the biodigester provides a method for residence households to engage in reducing the atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions!
Microgrids a Solution for Local Energy Demands Grid-tied electrical energy systems based on central energy production are inherently inefficient and overall cost is much higher than off-grid or microgrid systems. Off-grid electric energy systems as well have their disadvantages as they need to meet peak energy demands rather than cover average energy demands. In addition, some form of energy storage is required as energy generation is not consistent throughout the day or the season and is generally sized to meet the peak energy demands . A solution to these disadvantages is found in microgrid systems where a community, town or city shares the electricity through bidirectional power management units. In this scenario every household requires a much smaller energy production system as it only needs to meet the average energy consumption whereas peak demands are covered by the microgrid which is coupled to peak demand generators that run on carbon neutral biofuels. Individual storage capacities are reduced or eliminated as the number of units in the microgrid increases. Where microgrids are not an option in an off-grid scenario, integration of a small peak demand generator (3-10 KW) reduces the size of the primary energy production system such as photovoltaic or wind to meet the average demands and minimizes the need for large storage capacities.