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Renewable Energy Options In Ireland Essay

3421 words - 14 pages

MSc. Sustainable Energy & Green Technologies University College Dublin, Ireland

BSEN40330 Energy Systems and Sustainable Environment Assignment 2: Improving the Energy Profile of a Domestic Dwelling Using Renewable Energy Systems

Name: Aisling Ni Cheallaigh Student ID: 06452825 Date: 11/11/2010

Table of Contents
1 2 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 2 Renewable Energy Systems ............................................................................................................ 3 2.1 2.2 3 Renewable Energy Options in Ireland ...view middle of the document...

................................................. 10 Benefits of Installing Solar Panels ................................................................................. 10 Cost Savings of Installing a Solar Thermal System ........................................................ 11

3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.2.4 4 5

Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 12 References .................................................................................................................................... 13

Table of Figures
Figure 1 Geothermal Heat Pump configurations .................................................................................... 6 Figure 2 Schematic Diagram Showing How a Heat Pump Works (HPI 2010) ......................................... 7 Figure 3 Schematic of a Flat Plat Solar Panel .......................................................................................... 9 Figure 4 Schematic of an Evacuated Solar Tube Collector (GreenTerraFirma 2010) ........................... 10

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1 Introduction

The aim of this assignment is to investigate whether the energy profile of an existing residential house can be improved by using renewable energy systems. With increasing awareness of the serious environmental problems due to fossil fuel consumption, efforts are being made by homeowners to install energy-efficient and environmentally friendly systems by utilisation of nonpolluting renewable energy sources. In 2008 the “average” dwelling consumed a total of 24,444 kWh of energy based on climate corrected data. This was comprised of 18,882 kWh (77%) in the form of direct fossil fuels and the remainder (5,557 kWh) as electricity (Howley, O Gallachoir et al. 2009) with space heating and domestic hot water accounting for over 70% of household energy consumption (SEAI 2010).

In this report the existing energy usage in terms of space heating of an “average” Irish domestic dwelling was calculated and various renewable energy systems suitable for improving the space heating efficiency of the house were discussed. Then incorporating the selected renewable energy systems (heat pumps and solar panels) into the house, the energy profile of the dwelling was reexamined to see whether the energy profile of the house had improved. The report also makes reference to the cost of introducing the new system, including the materials and installation costs and considers the payback period of the system.

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2 Renewable Energy Systems

At present there are several opportunities for homeowners to incorporate renewable energy resources in they’re homes. Using renewable energy has many benefits such as; reducing energy costs, the reliance on fossil fuels and the impacts on the environment. Currently in Ireland the most practical renewable energy options relate to space heating and domestic hot water which account for over 70% of...

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