Cambridge, UK February 1st, 2012 theEnergyCrowd.com: While energy efficient double glazing prevents heat loss through windows it also causes temperatures to rise to unacceptable levels in conservatories and other highly glazed rooms. However, this is a problem that Cambridge UK renewable energy specialists, theEnergyCrowd, are turning into an opportunity.
By fitting a solar chimney to the side of the house, theEnergyCrowd has been able to extract warm air from the conservatory and feed it via the loft space into the rest of the house. As it is also glazed, the solar chimney collects additional solar energy and the top of the chimney can reach temperatures of up to 55 degrees C during winter months with warm air entering the house at up to 40 degrees C. As the chimney is mounted upright it has a greater angle of incidence with the winter sun than conventional roof-mounted solar panels.
The fan that circulates the air throughout the house is thermostatically controlled to ensure that the system only attempts to draw warm air into the house when the sun is shining.
Peter Kruger, the engineer who founded theEnergyCrowd.com, explained: "It has been good to see this system cutting energy use at a time when prices of fossil fuels are rising.”
theEnergyCrowd sees the passive solar energy technology as a potential business opportunity for the secondary glazing industry, which has seen sales of conservatories fall from a high of over 230,000 units to under 100,000 per annum. Kruger goes on to explain: “With 39% of non-transport energy in the UK currently being used for domestic space heating, and the marginal cost of adding theEnergyCrowd’s technology to a conventional conservatory being low, this is an ideal way to add value to installations and for installers to gain a toehold in the green building market.”