Integrating Renewable Energy and Water Systems for Cold Climates

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					Integrating Renewable Energy and Water
Systems for Cold Climates
Energy and water are critical and strategic resources.       typical cold-climate residential household and
The residential sector accounts for 22% of annual            (2) to effectively interpret the system and results to the
energy consumption in the United States and average          public.
per capita water consumption
exceeding 100 gallons per                                                             Approach
day. While conservation                                                               This project was conceived
may provide modest gains in                                                           as an extension of the
efficiency, sources of energy                                                          potable rainwater harvesting
and water are likely to change                                                        project being conducted by
as we find better ways to use                                                          the University of Arizona’s
natural resources.                                                                    Environmental Research
                                                                                      Laboratory. For efficiency,
                                                                                      it was combined with the
Small-diameter trees, harvest                                                         BioMax wood waste energy
rainwater, and energy (thermal                                                        research project being
and electrical) from wood                                                             conducted by the Forest
waste and the sun are plentiful            Small-diameter roundwood frame.            Products Laboratory (FPL)
and renewable resources. Effective use                                               at its research demonstration
of these resources can provide a sustainable support         house in Madison, Wisconsin. Energy from the sun
system for cold-climate housing by reducing reliance         (via photovoltaics) and forest thinning waste will be
on fossil energy and groundwater. The technologies           used to produce electricity and heat. Rainwater will be
needed to effectively use these resources are being          harvested, stored, and disinfected to produce potable
developed and require validation and testing in real-        water.
world settings to determine how far we can go toward         A building to house the infrastructure for both
achieving a zero energy and water house in cold              projects will be constructed near the FPL research
climates.                                                    demonstration house from small-diameter trees from
                                                             forest thinning. Universal design will afford access to
                                                             all visitors so that the systems being evaluated can be
This applied research project has two principal              effectively interpreted to the public.
objectives: (1) To test how sustainable resources—
                                                             The building, appropriately scaled to fit the site and
renewable energy, harvest rainwater, and small-
                                                             complement the existing research demonstration house,
diameter trees—can be strategically combined in a
                                                             will be the size of a contemporary two-car garage and
system that meets the energy and water needs of a
                                                             workshop. This new building is of a scale and utility

                                             U. S. Department of Agriculture
                                       Forest Service • Forest Products Laboratory

to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using      • Construction documents, May 2006
small-diameter roundwood in a utility building
                                                       • Bidding and construction, summer 2006
and its potential for acceptance in the conventional
housing market.                                        • Systems installation, fall 2006
Expected Outcomes                                      • Operations and testing, spring 2007
This project will show that (1) the BioMax wood        Cooperators
pellet energy system and solar energy can together
meet most of the power needs for a residential         University of Arizona
unit in cold climate, (2) rainwater can be reliably    USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
treated for potable use, (3) systems to save energy
                                                       Contact Information
and water are safe and reliable and provide
sustainable security, and (4) these technologies are   Martin R. Yoklic, Associate Research Scientist
available and work well in cold climates.              Environmental Research Laboratory
                                                       University of Arizona
Timeline                                               Tucson, Arizona
                                                       (520) 626-2162,
• Project schematic design through 2005
• Systems and design development, February 2006