Energies 2012, 5(8), 3149-3166; doi:10.3390/en5083149
Article

An Innovative Use of Renewable Ground Heat for Insulation in Low Exergy Building Systems

1 Singapore-ETH Centre, Future Cities Laboratory, Low Exergy Module, Singapore 118999, Singapore 2 ETH Zurich, Institute for Technology in Architecture, Building Systems, Zurich 8093, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2012; in revised form: 12 July 2012 / Accepted: 13 July 2012 / Published: 20 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exergy Analysis of Energy Systems)
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Abstract: Ground heat is a renewable resource that is readily available for buildings in cool climates, but its relatively low temperature requires the use of a heat pump to extract it for heating. We developed a system that uses low temperature ground heat directly in a building wall to reduce transmission heat losses. The Active Low Exergy Geothermal Insulation Systems (ALEGIS) minimizes exergy demand and maximizes the use of renewable geothermal heat from the ground. A fluid is pumped into a small pipe network in an external layer of a wall construction that is linked to a ground heat source. This decouples the building from the outside temperature, therefore eliminating large peak demands and reducing the primary energy demand. Our steady-state analysis shows that at a design temperature of −10 °C the 6 cm thick active insulation system has equivalent performance to 11 cm of passive insulation. Our comparison of heating performance of a building with our active insulation system versus a building with static insulation of the same thickness shows a 15% reduction in annual electricity demand, and thus exergy input. We present an overview of the operation and analysis of our low exergy concept and its modeled performance.
Keywords: buildings; insulation; geothermal; ground heat; heat pumps; exergy

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MDPI and ACS Style

Meggers, F.; Baldini, L.; Leibundgut, H. An Innovative Use of Renewable Ground Heat for Insulation in Low Exergy Building Systems. Energies 2012, 5, 3149-3166.

AMA Style

Meggers F, Baldini L, Leibundgut H. An Innovative Use of Renewable Ground Heat for Insulation in Low Exergy Building Systems. Energies. 2012; 5(8):3149-3166.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Meggers, Forrest; Baldini, Luca; Leibundgut, Hansjürg. 2012. "An Innovative Use of Renewable Ground Heat for Insulation in Low Exergy Building Systems." Energies 5, no. 8: 3149-3166.

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