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Energy Conservation. Unit 3. Use Policy. This material was developed by Timothy J. Wilhelm, P.E., Kankakee Community College, with funding from the National Science Foundation as part of ATE Grant No. 0802786.

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Energy conservation

Energy Conservation

Unit 3


Use policy
Use Policy

  • This material was developed by Timothy J. Wilhelm, P.E., Kankakee Community College, with funding from the National Science Foundation as part of ATE Grant No. 0802786.

  • All materials in this presentation are designed and intended for educational use, only. They may not be used for any publication or commercial purposes.


Author editors reviewers
Author, Editors/Reviewers

  • Author: Timothy J. Wilhelm, P.E., Kankakee Community College

  • Editors/Reviewers:

  • Chris Miller Heartland Community College



  • Students will be able to describe the modern idea of “energy conservation:” using the phrases “energy conversion(s)” and “resource (or commodity) consumption.”

  • Students will be able to list the common, contemporary energy uses in a typical home, and rank them in order from greatest to least.



  • Students will be able to discuss at least 5 typical, individual energy uses in a contemporary U.S. home and describe how the idea of “energy conservation” can be gainfully applied to each individual energy use.

  • Students will be able to discuss the contemporary idea of “energy conservation” relative to the modern idea of transportation.


A little review from last session
A Little Review from Last Session

  • Climate change

    • The U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), defines “climate change” as: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human …”

    • The UNFCCC makes a distinction between “climate change” attributable to human activities, and “climate variability” attributable to natural causes.

Will things like this accelerate climate change
Will things like this accelerate climate change?


Largest japanese eruption in 50 years
Largest Japanese Eruption in 50 years

Source: Daily Mail Reporter, 27th January 2011

Let s look at tesla s article
Let’s Look at Tesla’s Article

  • 1) Increase Human Mass

    • Sustainable food production/soil fertilization

  • 2) Decrease Retarding Forces/Resistance

    • Education

    • Decrease War/Strive for Global Peace

  • 3) Increase the Accelerating Force

    • Harness the Sun’s Energy

      Written and published in 1900!

What is energy conservation1
What is “Energy Conservation?”

  • Energy is not consumed, it’s converted!

  • Energy conservation is not really about “consuming” less energy.

  • Energy Conservation is really Commodityconservation.

How do we enact energy conservation
How do we enact “Energy Conservation?”

  • Reduce the loss or waste of the final form of energy we are using, where we are using it – trap it or focus it.

  • Use more efficient energy conversion processes.

    • This means convert the available or “fuel” form of energy into as much of the desired form of energy as possible.

Energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency

  • Energy Efficiency = Energy actually applied to its intended purpose / total energy supplied to the process, machine, or system

    • Eff. = Eout / Ein

  • Example: Locally, electric resistance heaters are 100% efficient;

    • BUT…

A few principles of energy efficiency
A Few Principles of Energy Efficiency

  • Energy always follows the path of least resistance from a high potential area to a low potential area, seeking equilibrium.

  • Most energy conversions are NOT 100% efficient.

  • The more conversions made from beginning input to final output, the less efficient the system will be.

  • Local conversion is typically more energy efficient than remote, centralized conversion due to transmission losses.

Typical residential energy use ranked largest to smallest
Typical Residential Energy UseRanked Largest to Smallest

  • #1 – Space Conditioning (HVAC)

  • #2 – Water Heating/Domestic Hot Water

  • #3 – Refrigeration and Freezing of Food

  • #4 – Clothes Washing and Drying

  • #5 – Cooking

  • #6 – Lighting

  • #7 – Electronics

    #4 thru #7 May Vary in Order

Hvac principles
HVAC Principles

  • Energy moves…

    • from hi pressure to low pressure, until the pressures are equal

    • From areas of abundance to areas of lack, until the relative abundance and lack disappears into homogeneity

  • Heat energy moves…

    • From areas of high temperature to areas of low temperature, until the temperatures in both areas are equal.

Hvac principles1
HVAC Principles

  • Heat and Temperature are DIFFERENT

  • “Heat” refers to the quantity of energy present

    • Typically measured in units like calories or BTUs

  • “Temperature” refers to the “intensity” of the energy within the space or material containing it

    • Typically measured in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius

      30 seconds of torch time on a small nail, vs. 30 seconds of torch time on a railroad spike…same heat energy, very different temperatures!

Hvac conservation principles
HVAC Conservation Principles

  • Shelter-building is about creating an enclosed space with a hospitable temperature within, its walls forming a barrier between 2 temperature zones.

  • The greater the temperature difference between 2 zones the faster the transfer of heat energy.

  • The larger the surface area of the barrier between the zones, the faster the transfer of heat energy.

  • The more “conductive” the barrier between the zones, the faster the transfer of heat energy.

Hvac conservation principles1
HVAC Conservation Principles

  • The concept of “air infiltration.”

    • Gaps in the barrier between two temperature zones lead to more rapid transfer of hear energy.

  • Examples:

    • Gaps around moveable window panes

    • Gaps around and under doors

    • Gaps in siding and framing

    • Others?

      4, 6’ 8” x 3’ doors, with 1/16” gaps all around = a hole in the wall that is _______ x _________

Hvac conservation
HVAC Conservation?

  • Given all the aforementioned principles, list as many ideas as you can think of to employ the principle of “energy conservation” relative to heating and cooling a home…

Reduce the volume and mass
Reduce the Volume and Mass!



Reduce the barrier surface area
Reduce the Barrier Surface Area!


Reduce the conductivity increase the insulation
Reduce the Conductivity = Increase the Insulation!


Types of insulation
Types of Insulation

  • Fiberglass Batts and Rolls


Types of insulation1
Types of Insulation

  • Blown-in Cellulose & Fiberglass


Types of insulation2
Types of Insulation

  • Spray-in Foam


Types of insulation3
Types of Insulation

  • Rigid Foams



Types of insulation4
Types of Insulation

  • Bubble Foil



Insulation cautions
Insulation Cautions!

  • Do NOT block venting soffits!

  • Do NOT cover recessed lighting cans!

  • “Faced” insulation should have the facing on the warm side -- the inside – of the house.

  • Rigid foam is typically installed on the outside of the building.

  • AVOID creating condensation!

Economics of insulation
Economics of Insulation

  • Simple Payback =

    • Cost for insulation / annual energy cost savings

  • Simple payback in years represents the time it will take for energy savings to equal the cost of insulation.

  • Simple payback does not include several factors including discount rate, study period, tax implications, etc.

Economics of insulation1
Economics of Insulation

  • Weatherization and new insulation in a home can earn a simple payback of 2 to 4 years.

    • Caulk window and door frames

    • Plug wiring and plumbing holes in top wall plates

    • Seal electrical outlets

    • Weather-strip doors and windows

    • Insulate attic (#1), walls (#2), and foundation (#3)

Decrease the temperature difference lower the thermostat
Decrease the temperature difference= Lower the Thermostat!


Increase the energy conversion efficiency
Increase the Energy Conversion Efficiency

  • Electric Resistance heat = 100% efficient, or c.o.p. = 1.0

  • Standard Heat Pump, c.o.p. = greater than 1.0 until the outside temperature gets down into the low 30’s or very high 20’s

  • Ground-Source Heat Pump, c.o.p. = 3.0 with outside temperature gets down into the low 30’s or very high 20’s

Geothermal heat pumps
“Geothermal” Heat Pumps


Water heating in the usa
Water Heating in the USA

  • Fill a big tank up with water…

  • Put a burner under the tank…

  • Set the thermostat to 120 degrees…

  • Keep the water at 120 degrees all day and all night, every day and every night.

    Do you see any “energy conservation? problems here? What are they?

    List all the losses and inefficiencies.

Another water heating strategy tankless instantaneous on demand
Another Water Heating StrategyTankless…instantaneous…on-demand…


Tankless water heaters greater efficiency
Tankless Water HeatersGreater Efficiency



Pipe insulation
Pipe Insulation!



  • Another form of heat pump

    • Pumps heat out of the fridge box and (typically) dumps it into your kitchen space.

    • Compressor and motor typically at the bottom, freezer section typically on top.

      Do you see any “energy conservation problems here? What are they?

      List all the losses and inefficiencies.

Alternative refrigerators
Alternative Refrigerators


Clothes drying alternative
Clothes Drying Alternative

  • The Solar Clothes Dryer!!!


Cooking alternatives
Cooking Alternatives

  • Smaller surface area and smaller zone to heat…


Cooking alternatives1
Cooking Alternatives

  • More efficient energy conversion…


Lighting alternatives
Lighting Alternatives

  • Task lighting vs. space lighting…


Alternatives vs incandescent
Alternatives vs. Incandescent

  • Incandescent = 17.5 lumens/watt

  • HECF = 50 lumens/watt

  • F40T12 Fluorescent = 60 lumens/watt

  • T8 Fluorescent = 80 lumens/watt

  • LEDs = 50 to 80+ lumens/watt

Energy conservation



Electronics phantom loads
Electronics…Phantom Loads

  • Wall Warts…

  • Instant-on heaters…

  • 24-hour/day LEDs…

    Check it with a true Power/Energy Meter


Family transportation
Family Transportation

Energy conservation in transportation
Energy Conservation in Transportation

  • The Bicycle is the most energy efficient form of modern human transportation equipment!

  • For other forms of transportation what factors effect the needed energy conversion?

    • Weight

    • Rolling friction

    • Wind resistance

    • Conversion efficiency

    • Others?

Behold the smart car
Behold the Smart Car!


Behold the unfortunate driver
Behold Unfortunate Driver!


Cost efficiency
COST Efficiency!!!

  • Economics MUST be considered in ALL energy conservation measures!

  • What’s the “pay back?”

  • Look at the big picture…

    • Most times energy conservation involves spending front-end money…

    • Grants, subsidies and tax credits are often available!