Most facilities require a considerable amount of energy to power their everyday operations. Some buildings with more specific purposes, like data centers, or those with smart building capabilities require more energy to run those advanced systems. Meeting facility energy requirements in an environmentally conscious and cost-effective manner necessitate using sustainable building energy technologies. Building automation systems and energy management systems already help track and adjust power usage, which improves energy-efficiency. Incorporating these sustainable building energy technologies into commercial or government solutions can drastically reduce total energy consumption.
Photovoltaic systems are similar to solar panel systems in that they both harvest the sun’s energy and turns it into usable forms of energy. The photovoltaic panels generate electricity when its photovoltaic cells are exposed to sunlight. The solar panels most others are familiar with concentrate sunlight through several small mirror panels to generate heat energy, which can then be used to generate electricity.
Photovoltaic systems are increasingly popular for several reasons. Solar energy is renewable and available anywhere. The cost of installing these systems has decreased and requires very little maintenance. This form of sustainable building energy generates electricity without emitting pollutants in the process. For many facilities that have unused rooftop or exterior building space, photovoltaic panels can be incorporated into the building design to generate energy and to act as part of the building architecture. Varying parameters and energy requirements even make it possible for some buildings to create more electrical power than they consume.
Combined Heat and Power
Combined heat and power, or CHP, is a co-generation system that creates both electricity and heat from a primary source. Traditional buildings get their electrical supply from power plants and heating from boiler rooms. Conversely, CHP systems are generally found near or on-site at the place of consumption. Co-generation provides sustainable building energy to facilities that operate within mainly commercial, utility, industrial sectors, and especially campuses with complexes of buildings.
Fossil fuels and renewable fuels, like biogas, biofuels, or geothermal sources, drive electrical energy production. The technology of CHP harnesses the emitted heat in electrical power generation to supply a building’s heating or cooling needs. Using renewable fuels as the primary source makes CHP sustainable building energy technology.
Generating electricity from wind turbines is often one of the first renewable energy sources people think of when considering sustainable energy. However, while this technology is worth mentioning in a discussion surrounding sustainable building energy, wind turbines face challenges in urban settings. Wind conditions in cityscapes are much more variable than the relatively steady wind flow across open plains or offshores. Turbines, if installed near or on buildings, could create noise and vibration issues throughout the facility. Coupled with its small energy production capacity on top buildings where they currently are installed in urban areas, wind turbine technologies need a lot more work before they are a viable solution to a building-wide power supply.
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At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed. Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!