According to Natural Resources Canada, 81% of Canadian residential energy use in 2017 was dedicated to space heating and domestic hot water heating (62% and 19% respectively). These represent the largest energy end use categories for the Canadian residential sector and accounted for 13% of Canada’s overall energy use in 2017.
Passive solar gains, primarily transmitted through south-facing windows, can substantially reduce space heating requirements in buildings and can play a key role in reducing Canada’s carbon footprint. However, a common issue with using passive solar energy as a building heating source is that the spaces in which the windows are installed are prone to overheating – even during the winter!
In this talk, PhD student Sarah Brown will discuss a novel mechanical system known as PiSCES (installed and operated at Carleton’s Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Research), which captures excess passive solar gains to prevent overheating in homes with large window areas. Designed by Carleton’s Sustainable Building Energy Systems research group, PiSCES enables the storage and use of excess passive solar energy for domestic hot water heating demands as well as future space heating demands, thereby allowing residential heating to be supplied using solar energy without the need for solar collectors. This essentially transforms the home itself into a low-grade solar collector while simultaneously preventing overheating in living spaces.
Sarah Brown is currently pursuing her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Carleton as part of the Sustainable Building Energy System (SBES) research group. Her thesis work focuses on replacing conventional sources of energy for space and domestic hot water heating in homes with passive solar energy. Sarah first began working with the SBES team during her undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at Carleton. In addition to her passion for sustainability, she is also a fierce advocate for women and diversity in STEM.
About the Series
Ingenious Talks is a special speaker series from the Faculty of Engineering and Design that engages the community in discussions of timely and innovative ideas in engineering, design and technology.