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Low exergy systems for high performance buildings and communities

: Torio, Herena; Schmidt, Dietrich

International Solar Energy Society -ISES-:
Rapid transition to a renewable energy world. ISES Solar World Congress 2011. DVD-ROM : 28 Aug - 2 Sep 2011, Kassel, Germany; conference proceedings
Freiburg: ISES, 2011
ISBN: 978-3-9814659-0-7
Solar World Congress (SWC) <30, 2011, Kassel>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

As a consequence of the latest reports on climate change and the needed reduction in CO2 emissions, huge efforts must be made in the future to conserve high quality, or primary energy, resources. A new dimension will be added to this problem if countries with fast growing economies continue to increase their consumption of fossil energy sources in the same manner as they do now. Even though there is still considerable energy saving potential in the building stock, the results of the finished IEA ECBCS Annex 37, Low Exergy Systems for Heating and Cooling of Buildings, show that there is an equal or greater potential in exergy management. This implies working with the whole energy chain, taking into consideration the different quality levels involved, from generation to final use, in order to significantly reduce the fraction of primary or high-grade energy used and thereby minimise exergy consumption. New advanced forms of technology need to be implemented. At the same time, as the use of high quality energy for heating and cooling is reduced, there is more reason to apply an integral approach, which includes all other processes where energy/exergy is used in buildings. In recent years, we have made substantial progress in the development of new and integrated techniques for improving energy use, such as heat pumps, co-generation, thermally activated building components, and methods for harvesting renewable energy directly from solar radiation, from the ground and various other waste heat sources.
The results obtained in research projects on optimised exergy use in buildings are promising and elucidate a huge potential for introducing new components, techniques and system solutions to create low exergy built environments. The exergy conversion, e.g. heat or electricity production, plays a crucial role in possible future activities in the overall system optimisation of the entire energy system within a building. New solutions can be obtained by taking advantage of the design of entire quarters or community structures into consideration. Then, by coupling a group of buildings or by the possible use of new energy sources (e.g. the use of water in old coal mines to heat and cool entire cities a more efficient use of energy is possible.