DeepResource

Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “space heating”

Self-Heating Building with Algae

Renewable energy is generally associated with windturbines and solar panels. It is often ignored that electricity is only part of the entire energy story. In northern Europe for instance an average household needs to pay more for space heating than for electricity on a yearly basis. The BIQ building in Hamburg could provide the solution for an energy-neutral home that collects solar energy all year around and stores part of the solar energy in the form of algae. The algae biomass can be used for gas production and is easier and cheaper to store than warm water. Up-front capital costs are high though: $2500/m2. Reduction on fossil fuel cost to date is 33%. This number could increase if solar panels are placed on the roof, used to produce electricity to power heat pumps.

[fastcompany.com] – This Algae-Powered Building Actually Works (2014)
[doggerel.arup.com] – Tomorrow’s architecture, starring algae and hemp (2016)

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Thermo-Acoustic Heat Pump

ecn-thermal-accustic-heat-pump

The Dutch national energy bureau ECN has build the prototype of a heat pump that is smaller than conventional heat pumps and potentially could become even a lot smaller. What is special about this heat pump is that it operates on sound. Sound is a pressure wave. If air is compressed it gets warmer. The ECN heat pump is a closed tube with speakers.

Core parameters: heat pump is a wall-mounted box of 40x50x10 cm. You need electricity for an air pump and speakers. Electricity of 1 kWh returns 4 kWh of heat. Air is pumped from outside and led through the (inaudible) “sound heat pump” and finally pumped into the living space, providing ventilation as an extra.

Within the Dutch context that means that you get the same heat performance from 2 kWh (40 cent) as from 1 m3 gas (64 cent). Eventually that heat pump can be powered by electricity from renewable sources. The heat pump should cost ca. $1,000 including installation.

[trouw.nl] – Warmtepomp van ECN wordt de nieuwe gevelkachel
[wikipedia.org] – Thermoacoustic heat engine

At [1:00] the sound-heat conversion is demonstrated. Sound in the tube pumps heat from lower to higher temperatures.

The thermo-acoustic principle in reverse: use heat to generate standing sound waves and create mechanical work.

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