Learn how alternative energy solutions can benefit your commercial building.
The U.S. has long been dependent on fossil fuels to generate energy, but there is a growing movement toward more sustainable, alternative energy sources. Our dependence on fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, and petroleum is transitioning to a focus on renewable energy sources.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for federal agencies to acquire 7.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. And green construction initiatives are exploring more renewable energy sources for private and commercial properties.
To further impact market adaption to renewable energy, many states are employing renewable energy standards in building construction with a focus on generating electricity from alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. The goals are to create environmental sustainability and generate clean, reliable and cost-effective energy sources. Some of the alternative energy sources used for environmental sustainability include:
- Wind Power – Harnessing the wind for power is a strategy that has been used for many years. Wind-powered water pumps are still in use today, but wind turbines have become the new normal. The turbines harness energy from the wind and convert it into electrical energy which is then sent to a utility grid. Wind power generation can be minimal to power small homes, or big enough to power large generators. Location is essential in harnessing high-speed winds, with many turbines being used in coastal areas, and in the open Plains states of the U.S.
- Solar Energy – Solar energy systems can be used to capture heat (passive heating systems, and solar water heating systems) for heating a building, or solar can be used to generate electricity using photovoltaic systems (PV). Initially, solar power was an expensive choice, but newer technologies, government and utility incentives, time-of-use electric rates and high energy costs have made it more cost-effective. Solar power converts sunlight into direct current (DC) energy, which is then converted into alternating current energy (AC). The energy is then sent to a building’s electrical system or to a utility grid.
- Biomass – This is a plant-based energy source that can be used to generate electricity or for heating a building. A conventional biomass system is burning logs in a fireplace, or burning wood pellets in a wood- burning stove. Burning biomass can be used large-scale to generate heat or electricity, and is much more cost-effective than using fossil fuels.
- Hydropower – This is one of the oldest and most common alternative energy sources that guarantee environmental sustainability. Hydropower is used to generate electricity, and new hydrokinetic technologies are improving how this alternative energy source can be used in the future.
Alternative energy sources are being used to reduce our footprint on the natural environment, and assure that we will always have a steady stream of energy that can be renewed. Applications for alternative energy use in commercial buildings can be used to generate heating and electricity. Alternative sources should be integrated into your existing HVAC system or your electrical system.
Advanced Control Corporation can help you establish alternative energy initiatives for your commercial building. Initiatives can include:
- Using your site location and sun exposure to take advantage of HVAC processes for heating and cooling, and your building’s lighting system.
- Creating a waste management system with recycling applications.
- Using greywater recycling to water lawns, and incorporate sustainable landscaping vegetation.
- Using recycled, salvaged and sustainably harvested building materials and products.
- Utilizing energy-efficient and water saving fixtures, appliances, and technologies.
We are experts in energy conservation, green building applications and LEEDS certification.
To learn more about renewable energy for your commercial structure, contact Advanced Control Corporation today at 954-491-6660.