Environment

The Paradise Smart Solar House is supplied by renewable energy sources. The entire electrical power supply is covered by a 1900W PV solar generator. The domestic hot water supply is covered by a solar thermal system consisting of one 2 m2 solar thermal collector and one isolated storing tank. As opposed to conventional fossil energy sources such as oil and gas there is no CO2 emission, a gas which is specially contributing to the Green House Effect.

In order to calculate the CO2 reduction factor, we must at first draw a comparison with the power sources replaced. In the case that our installation site would have access to the local grid, we should study the emissions linked to the National Energy Mix composition. In each country the power generation will be a combination of plants with primary source like sun energy, wind energy, hydraulic, nuclear or fossil fuels. The final emissions and pollution for each of the produced kWh is depending on this composition and the power station efficiency. In this way, in 2009 the Nicaraguan Energy Mix was a summery of 79 % diesel power plants, 4% gas power plants, 8,5% hydraulic power plants and 8,5 geothermic power plants. Therefore in an emission calculation we have to consider, that 83 % of the power generation is coming from fossil fuels and we should apply the global emission of these plants.

But nevertheless, we will compare the CO2 savings of our system with an applied little diesel generator, that normally is used in Nicaragua for remote sites.

Suppositions

  1. During combustion, 1 litre of diesel emits into the environment about 2.65 kg of CO2 if diesel has an energy content of 9.8 kWh per litre. The efficiency of diesel power generators is approximately 30%.
  2. The PV system generates an average of 7.4 kWh per day or annually about 27000 kWh. Assuming a lifespan of a minimum of 30 years for our system this yields to 81,000 kWh.

 

When 81 000 kWh would be produced by a DIESEL generator, considering a system efficiency of 30%, we would have a diesel consumption of 27 551 litres. In this way we are saving emissions worth of 27 551 litres times 2.65 kg CO2 per litre = 73 010 kg.

The thermal system saves about 387 kg worth of CO2 per year; conservatively assuming a lifespan of 20 years, this means 7,700 kg of CO2.

In conclusion the emissions reduction using renewable energy will be bigger than 80 tons of CO2. To this amount we should add the emissions of other gases like NOx and SOx which are not contributing to the Green House Effect, but they are polluting the environment.