Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/7000
The use of energy in the residential sector is among the most significant causes of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of energy consumed in households accounts for space heating and the preparation of warm water. The key to decreasing energy consumption is increasing energy efficiency. The most progress in energy efficiency in the residential sector is expected to be made by improving the insulation of buildings and using low-energy equipment. However, in settlements with very high insulation standards, transport of heat becomes senseless as heat losses may be higher than delivered energy. The easiest way to eliminate losses in this case is generating heat directly at the consumer’s location. In the thesis seven ideas are proposed which eliminate heat transport and involve a switch to gas transport or direct electrical energy delivery. In the presented scenarios, all the energy delivered to the settlement comes from renewable energy sources. Four of the concepts were taken into further consideration and an energy efficiency analysis was performed for them. The thesis also presents an up-to-date overview of concepts regarding district heating, efficiency standards for buildings and statistics of renewable energy resources in Germany and the European Union.
The main conclusion reached from this research is that energy distribution by electricity and gases is more efficient than heat distribution and with the use of distributed generation it is possible to completely avoid losses that are present in heat delivery. The biggest problem concerning switching to renewable energy sources is storage of energy during periods of lack of energy delivery from primary sources. In terms of energy efficiency and environmental impacts, the use of biogas reformed in solid oxide fuel cells seems to have the least environmental footprint.