Solar roof in buildings. Undoubtedly, one of the main characteristics of buildings with zero energy consumption, will be the use of renewable energy sources. Energies such as solar, wind, geo thermal energy, etc., that we can use as an element of our daily life to obtain hot water, generate electricity, charge an electric vehicle or air conditioning.
But … Will they be integrated into the buildings or will they be an added element? Is there the technology for it? In this post, we analyze three examples of the integration of renewable energy in buildings.
Renewable energy in buildings with zero energy consumption
One of the measures necessary to reduce the European Union’s energy dependence and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with buildings, consists of the use of renewable energy sources. Above all, taking into account that 40% of total energy consumption in the European Union is associated with buildings. A sector that, in addition, is in the expansion phase and that therefore will mean a greater long-term energy demand.
This is also reflected in the definition of almost zero energy consumption building:
«Building with a very high level of energy efficiency, which will be determined in accordance with Annex I. The almost zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered, to a very large extent, by energy from renewable sources, including energy from from renewable sources produced on site or in the environment «. Article 2 Definitions section 2) of Directive 2010/31 / EU.
Renewable energy integrated in buildings with zero energy consumption
Directive 2010/31 / EU also includes those sources that are considered renewable energy:
«Energy from non-fossil renewable sources, that is, wind, solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and oceanic, hydraulic, biomass, landfill gases, wastewater treatment plant gases and biogas. Article 2 Definitions section 6) of Directive 2010/31 / EU.
As the definition of a zero-energy building includes renewable energy in situ or in the environment, many of these renewable energy sources will be present in the buildings themselves. Buildings in which we live, work, to which we are going to buy, or in which services are offered. Renewable energy will be another element that we will use in our daily life, for example to obtain hot water or electrical energy. Solar energy, mini-wind, aerothermal, geothermal and biomass may be the most common.
In addition, these renewable energy sources should be integrated into buildings. In this sense, or renewable energy should not be considered as an added element to the building. From the point of view of construction and design it should be an integrated element in it. One more piece of the puzzle that fits perfectly. It seems logical to think that the new buildings that are built are designed taking into account this variable from the first sketch. Below we compile a series of examples of renewable energy integrated in the building.
Examples of integration of renewable energy. Solar Roof
Tesla solar roof
The well-known solar roof of Tesla. A roof that, at first glance, is the same as a traditional tile roof. However, unlike this, the Tesla solar roof also allows to generate electricity from solar energy. This concept gives a turn to what is understood as photovoltaic solar panel, since the installation is fully integrated into the roof of the house or any building with an inclined roof of this type. It is difficult to realize that it is solar tiles.
In addition, the solar roof combines with the battery that accumulates the energy that is produced during the day but that is not consumed instantaneously. When there is no solar radiation, the house is supplied with the energy accumulated in the battery.
In November 2016, a digital publication of forbes.es confirmed that according to Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) «your solar tiles will be cheaper than conventional ones, including labor and without counting the future energy savings they bring I get it. » The solar roof of Tesla will be cheaper than a conventional one, forbes.es.
Solar roof for hot water (natural slate thermal panels)
Another example of architectural integration of a renewable energy source; It is a roof, but in this case it is used to produce hot water. Natural slate roof tiles take advantage of solar energy to produce hot water for heating, sanitary hot water and pool heating.
It is applied on inclined roofs or on flat exterior floors and also on facades. Undoubtedly, one more example of integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions. In this video you can learn more about this product:
Glass for self-consumption
It is a transparent glass capable of generating electricity, that is, a photovoltaic glass. It can be adapted in shape, size and color in each building. The cost of the electric power obtained is less than 0.01 $ / kWh. With this profitability, the investment is amortized quickly.
Its application extends to vertical and horizontal enclosures and even outdoor furniture. This is undoubtedly an intelligent way of integrating renewable energy into the building without hardly perceiving or distinguishing it from conventional glass. An example similar to Tesla’s solar roof.