We can begin to understand our individual role in society’s energy consumption by analyzing the largest categories of energy usage, such as that used in our homes. In this lab you will calculate your home energy consumption by using an online calculator developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Understand that no model can determine your home’s energy usage exactly, nor is that necessary. At this point, you are looking for an estimate that will reflect the magnitude of your consumption. You will also want to determine in what areas you should focus your energy reduction efforts. Because we are interested in performing a proper scientific analysis, you will need to replicate your analysis in order to make conclusions on a broader scale. And of course, you need a hypothesis to test. Just as many scientists do, you will derive your hypothesis from information in the current scientific literature.
To begin, download the Lab Worksheet attached in the link. Complete the lab worksheet and submit it by the due date.
Module Four Laboratory Instructions – Home Energy Use
Step 1 – Creating the Hypothesis
View the table of information in the following website, sponsored by the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA): https://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2005/c&e/pdf/tableus11.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Based on the household descriiptions in the EIA table, determine which category of energy consumption you would expect to be the greatest in your home. (For example, air conditioning.) In the worksheet write an hypothesis stated like this:
1. “The greatest amount of energy consumption in a BIOL 1061 student’s home is in the category of _______.”
2. Why do you expect this category to be the highest?
Now let’s test this hypothesis on two levels: (1) your individual home, and (2) a replicated sample of your classmates’ homes.
Step 2 – Individual Analysis
Using the link below, go to the online calculator for determining your home’s energy use and ways to save energy and money:
Home Energy Saver
http://hes.lbl.gov/ (Links to an external site.)
It is in your best interest to try to answer the questions in the calculator as accurately as you can. This isn’t just a class assignment; it is an exercise that really can save you money! After completing the calculations and reviewing the subsequent report, answer these questions on the worksheet:
3. What is the category of greatest energy use in your home?
4. In what category could you realize the greatest savings?
5. What would be your total potential annual energy savings, in dollars, if you implemented all suggested measures?
6. What would be the cost, in dollars, of implementing this plan? (click on the “Upgrade” tab)
7. Now using this information, assemble a plan for upgrading the energy efficiency of your home, making sure that your plan addresses each of the six categories displayed on the report. If no changes are necessary in a particular category, that is fine, as long as you note this. Prioritize the steps, beginning with the upgrade that would be easiest and have the most impact. Your plan can be organized in either paragraph or list format. Make sure to number the order in which you would make changes.
Step 3 – Post results
Make a post in the Module 4 Data Bank showing the results of your Home Energy Program analysis in Step 2 above. You will want to show the energy consumption in each category shown in the results. (Note that although the units are in dollars, we will use this as a rough approximation of energy usage.) You can post the data in a table of your own design or simply copy the screen results directly from the Home Energy Saver program. A screen copy will look like the example below.
8. Once you have posted your results to the Module 4 Data Bank, include a copy in the worksheet as well.
Upgrade Report: Your Energy Bill ($/year)
Session ID: 1315542
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
Existing Home $2236
with Selected Upgrades $1579
With Selected Upgrades
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