Nav: Home

Study shows best way to reduce energy consumption

March 31, 2016

We know adjusting the thermostat, using blinds, opening windows or using electronics such as a heater or air conditioning unit has an impact on the amount of energy consumed in homes. But a new study looks at which of these is the most efficient when it comes to saving power.

"I was interested to find the trends of energy use in typical households and to understand the consumer behavior and the reasons behind high and low energy consumption. I have a strong belief that, if society boosts energy conservation (as well as other resources), we will have less of a challenge meeting future demands," explained Dr. Gabriel Kamiel.

Kamiel and Wei Yang and Yaolin Lin, associate professors at the Wuhan University of Technology in China developed a holistic and integrated model which considered the building enclosure, the mechanical systems, the external environment, the proportion of window opening and the shading factor based on data collected from 270 households including single and multiple units, as well as different heating methods. All houses were located in the city of Oshawa, Ontario, which is located 55 km east of Toronto, Canada.

To calculate the building energy consumption, the researchers simulated the occupants' possible activities on different days for various types of housing while utilizing a number of heating and cooling methods. These activities included turning on lights, using electrical appliances and the continuous adjustment of the thermostat.

The results, which were published in Frontiers in Built Environment, show that opening the window opening had the greatest impact on the energy consumption during times when the heater was used to warm the house, and using windows shades had the greatest impact on reducing the energy consumed during in warm temperatures.

The researchers recommend hanging appropriate window shades to help reduce energy costs. For an increased reduction in energy use, homeowners should keep their windows closed in winter, add solar panels to reduce the heating loads of the house, only adjust the thermostat temperature slightly during transitional seasons and turn off lights when not needed.

"The study is a first of its kind in that it related actual energy usage in typical households to the consumer's actual trends and habits in consuming energy. The latter was obtained through surveying the inhabitants of the homes we monitored," Kamiel said.

To ensure a high level of reliability in future studies, factors such as climatic zones, occupants' attitudes, as well as financial, social and cultural behaviors will be integrated into the existing building performance simulation.

The researchers believe this model could be used for creating efficient building design and for retrofit analysis as it takes into account factors such as building orientation, building envelop material, shading and control on heating and cooling.

"Once we can accurately classify the type of consumers in terms of high, medium or low consumption, municipalities and governments can effectively develop programs targeting these segments," Kamiel said.
-end-


Frontiers

Related Energy Consumption Articles:

Mandatory building energy audits alone do not overcome barriers to energy efficiency
A pioneering law may be insufficient to incentivize significant energy use reductions in residential and office buildings, a new study finds.
A smart way to predict building energy consumption
In a time of aging infrastructure and increasingly smart control of buildings, the ability to predict how buildings use energy -- and how much energy they use -- has remained elusive, until now.
Mapping the energy transport mechanism of chalcogenide perovskite for solar energy use
Researchers from Lehigh University have, for the first time, revealed first-hand knowledge about the fundamental energy carrier properties of chalcogenide perovskite CaZrSe3, important for potential solar energy use.
Space dragons: Researchers observe energy consumption in quasars
Researchers, for the first time, have observed the accelerated rate at which eight quasars consume interstellar fuel to feed their black holes.
New discipline proposed: Macro-energy systems -- the science of the energy transition
In a perspective published in Joule on Aug. 14, a group of researchers led by Stanford University propose a new academic discipline, 'macro-energy systems,' as the science of the energy transition.
How much energy storage costs must fall to reach renewable energy's full potential
The cost of energy storage will be critical in determining how much renewable energy can contribute to the decarbonization of electricity.
Shifts to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty, PSU study finds
Efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but do so at the expense of increased inequality, according to a new Portland State University study
Empirical energy consumption model quantifies Bitcoin's carbon footprint
Researchers have conducted the first analysis of Bitcoin power consumption based on empirical data from IPO filings and localization of IP addresses.
Microgrids can help maximize efficiency of renewable energy consumption
A group of Italian researchers has developed a method that enables more efficient use of energy by smart homes that are connected to a microgrid -- a web of individualized units that are connected to one another and one common energy source.
Consumption of caffeinated energy drinks rises in the United States
According to a new study appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, energy drink consumption in the United States has increased substantially over the past decade among adolescents, young adults, and middle-aged adults.
More Energy Consumption News and Energy Consumption Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.