Heating & Cooling
Converting the electricity supply to renewable power sources appears the main focus in decarbonising energy. However electricity accounts for less than a quarter of all forms of global energy consumption. Heat services for buildings is as significant, if not moreso in the carbon account.
Natural gas is generally the predominant energy source for heating; switching to electrical appliances and heat pumps is seen as the answer. Hydrogen is proposed as a fuel alternative, but isn’t a natural energy resource – it ‘costs’ energy to make. For either to have useful purpose puts further load on a ‘renewables’ based grid power supply.
Then there is the demand for cooling services, rather than heating: ‘Global energy demand from air conditioners is expected to triple by 2050, requiring new electricity capacity the equivalent to the combined electricity capacity of the United States, the EU and Japan today. ‘ (IEA, 2018). This on the basis that conventional AC and chilling systems use electricity to drive the compression cycle. However there’s the alternative technology of ‘sorption cooling’, which uses heat as the driver.
On-site power generation offers a simple solution to both, with the waste heat that comes from it; high grade, dependable and controllable, clean and as low in carbon as the (bio)fuel it uses. The IUS utilises the waste heat flow for water and wastes processing, and thereafter for heat service outputs. The property doesn't need a boiler or hot water storage tank; these functions are within the IUS process. Alternately the heat can be switched through an adsorption or absorption cooling facility, to provide chilling instead. For both heating and cooling the waste heat is free, and can be augmented by further firing of wastes within the system, as required.