CCHRC monitored the performance of Fairbanks builder Thorsten Chlupp’s super low-energy home for one year. The house has super-insulated walls and foundation, an integrated heat storage system, and an open wall design that allows vapor to diffuse through. This design provides a new option for high-efficiency construction. The goal of this project is to optimize the integrated heating system to make it more cost-effective in the future.
Thermal storage, or heat storage, could include water storage tanks that allow residents to increase the firing time on an outdoor wood boiler so they can burn more efficiently; a storage tank for an electric heating system to enable off-peak power use; storing heat gathered from solar panels in the ground during the summer for a heat pump to extract in the winter; and many other forms. This report looks at the potential of thermal storage systems to enhance the use of renewable heating systems in cold climates and improve the efficiency of heating systems.
This project looked at ways to use the cold temperatures during Alaska winters to lower the electrical demands of residential refrigerators and freezers. CCHRC partnered with industry to test a prototype of a passive refrigerator/freezer that used electricity only when the outdoor air temperature is too warm to sustain refrigerator temperatures.
The test fridge used 16% less energy over the course of one year than a high efficiency Energy Star fridge. This paper covers the purpose of the study, the performance of the test fridge, and ideas for future research and application of this technology.
This report provides data from the first year of the Sustainable Village at UAF, including energy, power, and water use for each of the four homes. The Sustainable Village is a demonstration of efficient, affordable construction in Interior Alaska as well as a research project to learn more about building, heating, and occupant behavior.
Burning dry wood produces fewer PM 2.5 emissions and more heat energy, a benefit to both homeowners and all borough residents. CCHRC completed a study on multiple wood storage methods to see how long it takes to fully cure firewood (to a moisture content of 20% or less). The study confirmed that cutting, splitting, stacking, and covering wood for a single summer will result in dry wood by winter-time. When split and stored over the summer, firewood took only 6 weeks to three months to cure. Wood that is unsplit or uncovered, however, will take much longer to dry. Under no storage scenario does firewood harvested in the fall cure by winter-time.
This snapshot covers the study results and includes tips for harvesting and preparing firewood.
CCHRC in Alaska
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