University of Twente Student Theses


Introducing energy performance indicators for the residential sector in Curacao

Eldik, G. van (2015) Introducing energy performance indicators for the residential sector in Curacao.

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Abstract:This research aimed to find out how the energy performance of dwellings in Curacao could be assessed, and what the energy performance of the dwellings in Curacao are. First the energy sector of Curacao is unravelled in order to find the way of energy production, transfers and use. Next we have tried to determine how an energy performance indicator can be made suitable for Curacao. Therefore, research has been conducted on the legislation and goals on energy efficiency worldwide before researching them for Curacao to give us a sense of scale. In order to determine which energy performance indicator can be used for Curacao, research has been conducted on the climate and architectural specification of the buildings in Curacao before choosing an energy performance indicator to assess four dwellings. In Europe the energy labelling system is already a common used method to increase the sustainability and energy efficiency of dwellings. In Curacao there is no energy performance indication system for buildings so the government is not able to set minimum requirements for the energy use of buildings. In order for Curacao to become more sustainable and energy efficient it is important to introduce minimum requirements for the energy use of dwellings and therefore an energy performance indicator to be able to assess the energy use of dwellings in Curacao. Curacao has not the possibility to mine their own fossil fuels and therefore energy is mainly imported in the form of crude oil by ships. Curacao has a lot of refineries on the island where the crude oil is being processed in other oil products and energy carriers. The main energy carrier in Curacao is electricity. Electricity is being used in almost every dwelling and in a lot of other sectors. Gas is also being used in dwellings for cooking which is not a bigger share then 5% of the total energy use. The electricity in Curacao is mainly produced by diesel generators from the only electricity company on the Island Aqualectra. Aqualectra produces and buys electricity before they distribute the electricity to different end users. Also energy is obtained in a sustainable way in Curacao by wind farms and solar panels. Unfortunately despite the high potential for the winning of renewable energy, the biggest share of energy is produced by burning imported fossil fuels. Furthermore the energy sector in Curacao is relatively unreliable, inefficient and expensive. Therefore it is important that the energy sector has to be reformed and an energy performance indicators for dwellings can be introduced. Before we can determine the way to assess dwellings in Curacao it is important to conduct research on the specific energy use in dwellings in Curacao and which factors influence the energy use of Curacao dwellings. Therefore we researched the energy use of buildings, architectural specifications and the climate. We found that energy in Curacao buildings is mainly being used for cooling, ventilation, lighting and the heating of water. Next we found that buildings in Curacao are constructed in order to let air flow through the dwelling as freely as possible. Therefore, the dwellings are really open and are not insulated. Because the last decades the use of air conditioning systems increased rapidly the energy use of dwellings increased significantly. Unfortunately the dwellings are not constructed in a way to use air conditioning systems efficient. This way a lot of energy is being lost for cooling, next to the already high energy demand for the cooling of dwellings. The necessity for cooling in Curacao is really high because the temperature on the island is always between the 25 and 35 degrees Celsius. The ideal temperature in Curacao is 23 degrees Celsius. This means the use of ventilation and cooling is necessary during the entire year. Curacao currently does not have a building code with minimum requirements for the energy use of buildings. Because they want to introduce a building code and minimum requirements for the energy use of buildings in the nearby future it is important to create a way to assess the energy performance of buildings in Curacao. First we have determined the energy performance of dwellings in Curacao 4 using the Dutch energy performance indicator. The assessed dwellings received a really high energy label according to the Dutch labelling method. We assume this is due to the fact that the Dutch labelling system is not applicable in Curacao. The main reasons therefore are that the absolute average energy use in the Netherlands is almost three times as high as in the Netherlands. Also the numerical correction factors in the Dutch energy performance equation are based on assumptions of thousands of assessed Dutch buildings, which are not applicable for the tropical climate in Curacao. That is why we created a new Curacao energy performance indicator.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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