theEnergyCrowd.com, the crowd-source based developer of renewable energy technologies, has announced that the initial stage of its first project has proved successful. A passive solar energy based system for capturing heat energy for either long or short term storage started producing results - even during late winter months.
theEnergyCrowd's system has been designed to capture heat energy during the winter using a glazed chimney fixed above a conservatory on a south facing wall. Heat energy is drawn out of the conservatory and channelled, via the solar chimney, into the loft space of the building. Once in the loft the heat energy is stored either for use later the same day or, in a seasonal heat store, for use in coming months.
As Peter Kruger, Managing Director of Steinkrug and founder of theEnergyCrowd.com, points out: "The aim of the current project is to test the viability of both short term and long term storage of renewable energy, with members of theEnergyCrowd evaluating a range of technologies. As this version of the system has been designed to operate at optimum efficiency during winter months we have been able to see early results for the energy capture component."
theEnergyCrowd's current project makes use of Pilkington's 'K' Glass™ energy efficient glazing and Manrose domestic ventilation equipment. Using a solar chimney avoids over-glazing - the main drawback of passive solar energy systems. As the technology can be retrofitted into existing buildings theEnergyCrowd sees it being of interest to builders, architects, the secondary glazing industry and suppliers of conservatories. As Kruger points out, "The are a number of companies who, for very little cost, could use this technology to add value to existing products and services."
However the broader aim of the theEnergyCrowd is to create an innovation platform for the energy sector. According to Kruger the current economic crisis will put pressure on the conventional research and development consultancies. "We believe that global on-line collaboration between engineers with hands on practical experience will become the preferred route for companies looking for a cost effective research and development resource and access to technologies that are relevant in markets throughout the world." Claims Kruger,