Energy & sustainability
(no test, no worries)
We recognise that we all are students in a world that is undergoing big changes as it tries to move away from dependence of fossil fuels.
New technologies and solutions are introduced ever day as we try to build a foundation for a future where we as humans have less negativ impact on nature and other eco-systems. Perhaps we can even be regenerativ as we meet our basic needs for energy, food and shelter?
Learning from success & errors from the past
There is already a lot of understanding of what energy is and how it behaves, even thought more can be learned. We believe that it is important to bring this knowledge with us as we try to find smarter and more sustainable ways of living with energy.
The Energy-School will hopefully help to give us some good-to-know information, so that we can better understand and optimise the technical solutions, with smaller footprints.
#E1 Introduction to energy - what is it?
In this introduction we will try to give a basic explanation of what energy is and how it behaves in nature. We will also give some tips for useful links where other skilled people tries to explain this better than we can.
We all have different relationship to the term energy, both
depending on our experiences from school, work or other aspects of life. When we speak about energy here we mean something that has an ability to do work and provide value to our ways of living. This might include heating for our houses,
energy for cooking or running electrical equipment and
appliances. When designing and building solutions, it is often very valuable to start with understand what the needs are and what the local condition can provide. We can start by dividing different types of energy into some relevant categories:
electrical, thermal (heat or cold), light, mechanical/kinetic,
chemical, sound and gravitational.
Example of types of energy being used
When energy is used in our homes, it often means that more than one category is involved. Here is an example:
Need: You want to read this handbook an afternoon in January,
planning for some spring projects on your house and seeking inspiration.
When you switch on the button on the wall, light
energy spread in the room and over the pages as photons, covering your needs at the moment. This happens because electrical energy is past through a lamp and cables, causing them to warm up slightly, as electrical energy is converted to
thermal due to friction as the electron moves through them. If the system is off-grid, the electricity is likely coming from a battery, which means chemical energy. The battery could perhaps have been charged up during the day from PV-panels (photo voltaic) on the wall or roof, meaning light energy from the sun.
#E2 THERMAL ENERGY - HEAT & COLD
One of the most important types of energy for humans, especially in colder climates such as around the Baltic Sea, is thermal. Thermal means that the energy is considered as heat, and we will here look into thermodynamics = different ways that thermal-energy acts, with examples from our bodies and our houses through thermodynamics.
Classroom E2 is predicted to be presented in March, 2021
#E3 ENERGY HISTORY - HOW HAS IT BEEN USED?
Energy, mostly heat, has been a life supporting element from the start of mankind history. We will try to give a short explanation of how this has been, and how important the understanding and control of energy has been for the development of most civilisations, our current included.
Classroom #E3 is predicted to be presented in the future.
#E4 Electric ENERGY - HOW ITS CREated and used?
Classroom #E4 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#E5 Renewable energy
Renewable energy has been a quite popular term lately as research and reports, from IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and others, indicates that human civilization need to move away from fossil-fuel usage and dependency. This reseach shows that earth’s avarage temperature is increasing toghether with the level of greenhouse gases (like CO2), in the athmospere and that the consequenses to most of the planets eco-systems will most likely be devestating.
As the human population continuous to grow, with more unsustainable patterns and behaviour, this temperature increase seem to happen quicker than earlier expected. If the temperature increases too much, it might not be possible to reverse the large impacts it is expected to have on the biosphere and earth’s ecosystems. Because of this, we must limit the release of greenhouse gases and now have a carbon budget to relate to, a budget for all nations and the whole planet.
Renewable energy is the term for energy-production that is not based on using fossil-fuels or other limited material resources, for heat or electricity (such as oil, petrol, coal or natural gas).
The renewable sources of energy are for example sunlight, wind, water (sea, rivers, or reservoires), biomass or biogas.
When we speak about renewable energy and different technical solutions, we should perhaps also be aware that they also can be harmful for ecosystems and pollute, for example with greenhouse gases, both during production, while being used and when dismantled. By doing a LCA (life cycle assessment, descriptor in chapter 2) of each solution and it’s connected systems, we can better understand what are a more or less smart choices, for us and for earth.
Classroom #E5 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#E6 Energy for AND IN the house
Classroom #E6 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
The increase of intermittent wind and solar energy has created a global demand for developing Energy Storage Systems (ESS), which can cope with the fluctuating production of the electric energy, and provide enough energy required by consumers at any time.
We will look more into how this can be done in this class #7.
Decentralisation of the energy generation and increase of intermittent renewable resources have been new drivers for Hybrid Energy Systems (HESs), which can form the bases for local micro grids - an independent energy generation and consumption "islands", which can work on off-grid (from the main grid) as well be connected with the larger grid to form the network to share the supply and demand.
We will look more into the HES in this class #8.
#E9 FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
#s1 Introduction to sustainability - what is it?
The term "sustainability" has become very common, more and more so during the last decade as alarming reports about collapsing eco-systems around the world increases, together with emissions of greenhouse gases and global temperatures, but what does it mean?
Classroom #S1 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#S2 Waste - what is recycling or Reuse?
Classroom #S2 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#S3 LCA - Life Cycle Assessment
Classroom #S3 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#S4 Closed Loop
Classroom #S4 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#S5 Circular economy
Classroom #S5 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021
#S6 Resource sharing
Classroom #S6 is predicted to be presented in April, 2021