Novel and ancient technologies for heating and cooling buildings

Abstract: The basic issue of this thesis concerns one of the fundamental problems of the future of our society: How to meet the energy requirements for a large and growing world population while preserving our environment? This question is important for the world and the answers are complex and interwoven.Conventional energy sources, fossil and fissile, are polluting in the present and in the future: they erode the environment and their resources are limited. Renewable energy (hydro, wind, solar, geothermal) constitutes a minimum of pollution in the different energy systems. The technologies for using renewable energy are well known though further development and progress are made. This development also requires behavioural change, adaptation, and above all political will. The transition from an economy based on fossil energy to an economy based on renewable energy appears necessary for the protection of the environment. The cost of renewable energy is often represented as an obstacle but remains competitive in the long run.The development and availability of renewable energy, which varies because of its spatial and temporal distribution, require an adaptation of lifestyle, habits, habitat design (passive bioclimatic houses), urban planning and transportation.The focus of this thesis was to apply renewable energy in an area with hot summers and cold winter, a climate like that in the northwest of Algeria. In order to provide improved comfort in the buildings and also economic development in this area, the energy demand for heating and cooling was analyzed in the ancient city of Tlemcen. To supply domestic hot water and space heating, water must be simultaneously available at two different temperature levels. Cold water temperature, close to that of the atmosphere, and hot water between 50 and 60°C. An interesting feature of the preparation of hot water is the small variation of requirements during the year, unlike that to heating. The preparation of hot water is one of the preferred applications of solar energy in the building for several reasons. For this reason an experimental study of the thermal behaviour of a domestic hot water storage tank was undertaken. The phenomena that affect the thermal behaviour of tank especially the coupling between the solar collector and storage tank was studied. This study included concentrating solar collector in which optical fibers were used to transport the energy to the storage tank. Another technology was introduced and developed for the heating and cooling of buildings in the desert involving an existing ancient irrigation system called Fouggara. The novel idea is to use the Fouggara as an air conditioner by pumping ambient air through this underground system. Then air at a temperature of about 21°C would be supplied to the building for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. This study shows the feasibility of using this ancient irrigation system of Fouggara and contributes to reducing and eliminating the energy demand for heating and cooling buildings in the Sahara desert.