OMV Phase II construction will include the following:
- All lighting will be CFL or LED. No incandescent lighting. (Low Cost Option: Select fixtures to take CFL or LED, initially install CFL, replace them over time as they fail with LED. With time costs come down, reliability goes up. Also use good lighting design, ambient and task lighting (e.g. focused under cabinet lighting, etc) for maximum effectiveness
- Gas ranges, ovens and cooktops. No electric! Kitchens will be laid out to allow outdoor cooking — eliminating or reducing interior heat gain.
- Ducted range hoods
- High-efficiency refrigerators:
- Energy efficient ceiling fans rated for exterior or high humidity environments.
- Incorporate natural ventilation in roof. (Install air transfer grilles between rooms for free flow of air from each to the roof vent. (Or just leave doors open, and/or undercut them.)
- Low wattage task lighting over work surfaces (e.g. LED or CFL strips under kitchen wall cabinets). Read more…
- Solar domestic hot water with provision for gas-fired boost
- Ultra-low flow shower head. (reduces not only water use, but energy use).
- Coat roof and walls exposed to sunlight with reflective paint (reduces “heat island” effect).
- Resources, research papers from ORNL, FSEC etc on reflective coatings.
- Install one dedicated emergency backup electric circuit back to panel with a transfer switch or UPS (e.g. Duracell Powersource 1800 – 1440 W, $500) or Xpower PowerSource 1800 from Backup-Power.ca.)
- . Circuit includes selected LED or CFL lighting, refrigerator (if efficient enough), computer, TV, etc.) See also this UPS comparison guide.
- Install more efficient and more environment-friendly air conditioners. An air conditioner with VFD (variable frequency drive) condensing unit, uses R134a or R410a refrigerant which is more ozone friendly than R22. The condensing unit modulates to meet demand instead of on/off, so is more efficient. Replacing the Air-Pro units currently installed in Villas could have a possible 2 yr payback. Read more…
Note that these energy measures are not just additive, but multiplicative. Every watt of electricity consumed in the space (whether from appliances, computers, lighting, water heating or air movement) ultimately ends up as waste heat — which further adds to the AC load. More efficiency in each saves you twice. If done well enough, you can even save on capital costs — e.g. by eliminating the need for AC unit entirely. The more of these measures that are implemented, the higher the percentage of the total load that can be done with renewable energy. Getting to 100% is the definition of ‘sustainable’.
For an extreme example of the art of the possible, here is an off-grid house in California that produces more energy than it uses. Sailboats, Tugboats, Negawatts, Extreme Efficiency.
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