Autodesk Service Provider Program

Top 3 sources of renewable energy for construction sites

Getting energy from fossil fuels is already outdated and harmful to the environment. An alternative to fossil fuels is installations based on renewable energy sources, i.e., natural. Renewable energy sources are the energy resources of constantly existing natural processes on the planet. A characteristic feature of RES is their inexhaustibility, or the ability to restore their potential in a short time. Since ancient times, people have tried to use the power of the wind, the energy of the sun, and natural sources of heat for their needs. However, these attempts were ineffective due to the lack of sufficient knowledge, technologies, and materials. Until recently, the simplest and cheapest way to generate electricity and heat in the construction industry was considered to be the use of fossil sources: coal, oil, and natural gas. But with the annual reduction of hydrocarbon reserves on the planet and the rise in the cost of their production, it became necessary to use renewable energy sources and efficient energy-saving technologies. But since we live in the 21st century and we have enough knowledge, it is possible and necessary to develop the construction of stations for generating electricity. For the United States, the development of a station for the generation of renewable energy sources is very important, because the use of energy-saving and energy-efficient technologies will save non-renewable energy resources (oil, gas, coal), radically improve the environmental situation, as well as reduce the cost and simplify the energy supply of remote construction sites from network highways. The development of solar, wind and hydroelectric industries may become a priority in this direction.

Solar energy

Solar energy is based on obtaining energy from solar radiation and is very promising both for the country as a whole and for the construction industry in particular. Solar power plants do not pollute the environment with harmful substances. Here, of course, there is a huge potential for solving all the problems of world energy. Solar energy is already a serious alternative to "traditional" energy. How is this type of renewable energy being implemented in the US? Volvo makes loaders and excavators powered by solar energy. Such production is a big step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. After all, it is a heavy construction equipment that is the main source of pollution. Green lighting systems can be installed on construction sites. They are much more economical than fossil fuel alternatives. Photovoltaic windows are also produced, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With their help, it is convenient to control the amount of light that enters the building. The technology of transparent thermal insulation of buildings and solar collectors has been developed here. Thus, large-scale areas have been created from the roofs of houses to receive a significant amount of energy. On some days, the amount of energy received from solar panels by the national power grid exceeds 50% of the daily electricity consumption. Even though in the USA it is not always very sunny days.

Solar energy

Wind Energy

The operation of wind farms is based on the use of wind energy to generate electricity from wind turbines. Wind turbine blades come in a variety of shapes and configurations. The wind energy resource is inexhaustible and environmentally friendly, there are no carbon dioxide emissions, due to which the greenhouse effect is enhanced. There are no additional, auxiliary, or intermediate devices, aggregates, and industries operating on fossil fuels. According to the conclusion of the Global Wind Energy Council, by 2050, only the world's wind energy will reduce annual CO2 emissions by 1.5 billion tons. About 60,000 turbines are installed in the United States, which can provide the necessary wind energy to all construction sites. The advantages of wind power also get in the possibility of creating local energy districts where centralized grid-generating systems are located at a considerable distance. This allows you to reduce costs, often very high, for laying centralized networks, which is very important in remote areas and rural areas. The production of windmills is quite cheap, but their power is not very significant and the efficiency depends on the weather. The negative is that for the normal efficient operation of a wind turbine, a wind speed of 6-7 m/s is required. In the absence of wind at construction sites, it is important to have backup sources or energy storage devices - batteries, or combined wind-diesel installations. In addition, wind farms can interfere with air traffic and radio waves. However, modern innovative windmills-rotors are free from these shortcomings, they can operate with negligible air movement, and do not create harmful ultrasonic and noise effects, which is a definite plus for the continuous operation of the construction site.

Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric power plants convert the mechanical energy of water flow into electrical energy through hydraulic turbines that drive electrical generators. The hydroelectric power plant has the highest efficiency when the flow of waterfalls on the turbine from above. For these purposes, a dam is being built that raises the water level in the river and concentrates the pressure of water at the location of the turbines. The negative is that during the construction of the dam a reservoir is formed. Water floods huge areas and irreversibly changes the environment. Raising the river level by a dam can cause waterlogging, salinity, changes in coastal vegetation, and microclimate. It is necessary to single out small hydropower, the advantage of which is that it is possible to provide electricity locally to construction sites, near which the corresponding water arteries are located.

Hydroelectric energy

Hydroelectric power is not as convenient as solar power, but construction crews can get the energy they need from nearby hydroelectric power plants rather than just using generators. Hydroelectric power is often available where there is no wind power. By switching to renewable energy sources, you increase the sustainability of the industry.

Conclusion

The use of renewable energy sources is the best way to eliminate harmful emissions from construction sites. Therefore, they should be used by all construction companies.