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Sustainability and Renewable Technologies - Essay Example

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Trees use energy tapped from the sun to fix carbon in the wood in a natural way and therefore are sustainable so long as harvesting can be done without depleting the woodland resources. Due to its nature wood fuel is virtually carbon neutral as the carbon dioxide emitted from burning is balanced by the carbon absorbed by growing trees. Wood is also a clean and safe compared to other fossil fuels like oil which are harmful to the environment in case of spills. The wood fuel gas is almost smoke free and its ash content is less than 1% which can be reused for other purposes. It will also benefit the social welfare of the entire community in that use of wood would ensure proper management of woodlands and promote local trade. By creating a ready market for wood fuel many jobs would be created to manage and ensure sustainable practice in managing woodland. The main disadvantage of this technology is that it has higher initial capital cost than conventional heating systems but in the building’s life-cycle costs. 2.0 Solar Powered Lighting System Use of photovoltaic cells in the building is one of the ways the company could use renewable energy sources for its operation without leaving a carbon foot print. This is because solar power does not consume natural resources, are readily available and are naturally replenished. 2.1 How it works The building is laced with light sensitive cells called the photovoltaic cells that convert light from the sun into electricity. This electricity is then stored in a battery system that is used to power the lighting system and other appliances within the building. A sketch of the system is attached. 2.2 Advantages Using a solar powered lighting system in which solar power is used to generate the electricity for the building’s lighting ensures energy security by reducing dependency on fossil fuel or the national grid. As a result the company will enjoy price stability as photovoltaic cells are installed only once and have lifespan ranging from 20-30 years. With solar power there are no transmission costs as all the energy produced is consumed unlike other sources where the fuels have to be transported. It is therefore ideal even for places that cannot have access to the grid. Cost wise the solar panels are becoming cheaper and more efficient thus ensuring more value for money. It is also a very quite source of energy which is a great advantage of a service oriented company in which communication is key in its operation and a quiet working environment has a great impact. 2.3 Disadvantages Major disadvantage is the high cost of installation; it also requires a large area for installation. This can however be mitigated by incorporating a building design in which photovoltaic cells are positioned for optimal harvesting. The other disadvantage is that efficiency is dependant on the full exposure of the sun and may affect cloudy days. 3.0 Green Roof The company could consider using a green roof for the building. This is simply having a design that will ensure the entire roof of the proposed building would be covered in vegetation to form a sort of living roof. 3.1 How it works The roof is covered with vegetation that is grown over a waterproofing membrane. The membrane helps to prevent percolation of water and also root ...Show more
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Summary

Renewable Technologies 1.0 Wood fueled heating system. Installation of a wood fuelled heating system would be an appropriated technology to consider since it produces comparatively lesser carbon emissions hence reducing the building’s carbon footprint. 1.1 How it works The system uses large gasifying boilers which are loaded with seasoned logs that are then fired up to produce hot water…
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