Zero Energy Home Project EDESIGN 100 Section 9 Team Foursquare Samantha Harter [email protected] Will Nauman [email protected] Lisa Washakowski [email protected] Alex Heyl Submitted to: Wallace Catanach 10/16/11 Abstract The purpose of this project was to create a home that exhibits a net-zero energy consumption while still meeting the everyday life needs of homeowners. This was to be accomplished by combining energy sustainable building techniques with energy efficient alternatives to typical high-energy items of convenience. We chose a simple, yet energy efficient design, in order to minimize energy consumption and maximize energy output. The home was also to be placed in a region best suited for the utilization of natural energy resources. Introduction A zero-energy home combines state-of-the-art energy-efficient construction techniques and equipment with renewable energy systems to return as much energy as it takes on an annual basis. In order to achieve a net-zero energy consumption, several steps must be taken in the design process of a home. The first step is to reduce space heating and cooling and water heating by equipping the house with extra insulation, with efficient air infiltration moisture barriers and ventilation. Equipment such as furnace, air-conditioner, and water heater within in the home should also be of the highest affordable efficiency. The next step to achieve energy efficiency is to use higher efficiency lighting and appliances. These appliances are often marked with the ENERGY-STAR label, and prove to be not only energy efficiency but financially efficient as well. Federal tax credits are rewarded to consumers for consumer energy efficiency. Finally, energy efficiency can be assured by being aware of energy use on a daily basis and turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Our plan to achieve energy efficiency was to decrease the need for energy as much as possible, while simultaneously producing energy from renewable resources. Table 1: Customer Needs Analysis Metrics Needs Energy-Star Windows: quality frame materials, multiple panes, low-e glass, gas fills, warm edge spacers Energy- Thermal Solar Solar Star Insulation Panels Preheat Door water heater Trap heat from x x x Large Fluorescent Low-Flow PV Windows lighting Water Systems facing Flow direct appliances sun sunlight Produce Energy from renewable resources x Heat Water With Minimal Energy Consumpti on x Low energy lighting x x Produce Electricity From Renewabl e Resources x Metric Need Insulated Vinyl Siding Energy Efficient Siding x Design Description The first, and possibly the most important decision that needed to be made in the design process of our zero energy home was that of the location. The ideal environment for and energy sustainable home is a sunny, temperate clime where you don’t need much energy in the first place. The southern California coastal area is ideal, as far as weather goes. The sun shines more than in most places which means you can get a lot of energy from solar installations. The mild climate (mild winters) reduce the need for heat, and the ample sunlight provides the opportunity to utilize solar energy. The location we decided on was San Diego, California. The house is to be positioned so that the front is south facing, as to receive direct sun rays. Since sunlight is so readily available in the location that we chose to position our house, we decided to utilize solar energy. The main power source to the house is generated by solar panels placed on the roof. A photo voltaic system was convenient for us because it generates electricity from the sun, is available and reliable with little maintenance, and is quiet and does not create pollution. Large windows located on the south-facing side of the house allow for sunlight to pass through, which reduces the need to internal lighting during the daylight hours, while also trapping heat from the sun’s rays within the house to minimize the need for extra heating. As to further assist with heating, the house is insulted with thermal insulation. The outside of the house is covered with insulated vinyl siding, as to further assist with insulation. In order to reduce energy consumption for water heating, a solar preheat water heater is used as opposed to a water heater with a tank. The solar preheat water heater uses energy generated from the solar panels located on the roof of the house to heat water as it enters the house. The water is then heated and dispersed throughout the rest of the house through the taps. Low-flow water fixtures are to be used within the house in order to minimize excess water use. Also inside the house, energy-star qualified appliances are to be used, as well as fluorescent lighting, which requires less energy than the typical incandescent lighting. Conclusion Our zero energy home achieves net-zero energy efficiency by combining exterior energy efficient features with interior efficient appliances and fixtures. When proper energy saving techniques, such as shutting off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use, are used, the design of a zero energy home can allow for minimal energy consumption, meaning reduced utility bills and less damage to the ecosystem.