Friday, January 31, 2014

SEDA Malaysia: COOLTEK Home Field Trip

Source: www.cooltek.org
Stephanie Mary Bacon and her husband, the late Harry Boswell live in a cool house, COOLTEK Home Melaka. The house was designed to use air-conditioner continuously and it is therefore, a sealed building to prevent the loss of cooled air-conditioned air to the surrounding. It is a small, simple building with minimal decoration and unencumbered by elaborate pillars or many floor levels to ensure an energy efficient design. 
Stephanie enthusiastically shared to us about her cool house. 
The aim was to construct a maintainable home to be five times more efficient than a standard Malaysian house that also runs air-conditioner all day. Before I explain further about this green and sustainable home, I would like to share an interesting fact to every one of you here.
Do you believe that 20 houses just like COOLTEK will consume only the same amount of energy as ONE standard Malaysian house? Let me explain how the miracle happens as I and the other bloggers visited Stephanie at her efficient home for another SEDA Malaysia field trip. The energy efficiency design of this house has five main aspects; protection, orientation, insulation, ventilation and investigation.  Let us go into details of these aspects mentioned:
Protection: COOLTEK is built in a golf course location surrounded by many trees and greenery that help shade the building and surrounding. The white color roof reflects solar heat during the day and it also cools off quickly at night. Top quality foil below the roof is installed to minimize the heat from radiating down the building. And most importantly, the house is painted in white in order to reflect most of the solar heat, simple right?
Source: www.cooltek.org
  Orientation: COOLTEK is aligned at a 45 degree angle to the road so that the short and blind walls are facing EAST and WEST and the long, windowed walls faced SOUTH and North. That is why we need to choose our plot carefully so that we can stop the sun rays from entering the windows. The room will not be heated up and you do not need to use the air-conditioner extensively to cool off the house.
  Insulation: You must be aware that COOLTEK is built like a refrigerator and not an oven. The owner wants to keep the heat out of the house while cool air remains on the inside. By insulating the house properly, the owner can save money by stopping the cool air from escaping. This is done so by using load bearing walls free of heat conducting steel and concrete frame. The design also used aerated 250mm thick lightweight insulating block walls (79% of external vertical surface area) with 2mm thick adhesive to reduce the conduction of outside heat through the walls. Double-glazed, argon-filled non-opening windows are also used to reduce the ingress of outside heat to the rooms. It also helps to cut down noise and condensation.
Source: www.cooltek.org
  Ventilation: Air entering COOLTEK is cooled by passing through underground concrete chambers driven by the warm, stale air being expelled through a thermal chimney at the other end of the building. Ventilation from beneath the ground brings naturally cooled air into COOLTEK at no cost because fresh, jungle cooled and filtered air at a constant temperature around 26 degree Celcius is vented into the house at one end and warmer air is expelled at the other. The air enters the house through underground pipes and concrete chambers one meter below ground level. Hot air then is expelled through ceiling vents and then via thermal chimney at opposite end of the building.
Source: www.cooltek.org
Investigation: COOLTEK has its building materials and appliances chosen for their low energy efficiency rating. For example, highly efficient solar thermal water heater and solar photovoltaic panels have directly reduced the electricity consumption. None of the electrical appliances at the house are left on standby if unnecessary because it uses a huge amount of energy as well. The house also contributes to the Feed-in Tariff mechanism by SEDA Malaysia by selling the energy produced from the solar panels to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
Source: www.cooltek.org
The owner installed 4.8 kW peak photovoltaic arrays of solar panels on the roof in October 2007. The installation consists of forty 120Wp photovoltaic panels covering a total area of forty square meters and produces electricity that is fed to the Malaysian electricity distribution grid. The panels also conveniently add shading to the roof and cools down the house. The photovoltaic system is currently providing around 75% of the present COOLTEK power demand and that is why Stephanie is conveniently collecting the return of her investment.
 Due to much effort and contribution made by Stephanie and her late husband, Harry, COOLTEK HOME received ASEAN Renewable Energy Project Management Competition (First Runner Up) at the ASEAN Energy Awards 2009. You can contact Stephanie any time at cooltek.my@gmail.com if you want to know more about the green and sustainable building. COOLTEK Home is built at:

350 Jalan Woodland,
Tiara Melaka Golf & Country Club,
Ayer Keroh,
75450 Melaka,

The importance of the renewable energy sector in Malaysia has been recognized since the Eight Malaysia Plan when the Five Fuel Policy was introduced in 2001 to include alternative sources of energy in our daily consumption. The development of renewable energy in Malaysia were a bit slow given the fact that it took so many years before it was actually implemented in the national level. In 2011, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia is finally formed under the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Act 2011 [Act 726]. SEDA Malaysia becomes the implementer of the Feed-in Tariff program for the development of Renewable Energy in Malaysia.
PV solar meter and the normal electricity meter by TNB
Malaysia’s Feed-in Tariff system requires the Distribution Licensees (DLs) such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad and this year's addition of Sabah Electricity Sdn. Bhd. (SESB) and NUR Distribution Sdn. Bhd. (NUR) to buy from renewable energy producers the electricity produced by them. FiT rates are set by SEDA Malaysia with approval from KeTTHA to pay for the renewable energy supplied to the electricity grid for a specific duration. By having access to the grid and setting a favorable price per unit of renewable energy, the FiT mechanism also ensures that renewable energy becomes a viable and sound long-term investment for companies industries and individuals. This can happen very easily if consumers are registered under SEDA Malaysia as one of the producers of renewable energy through solar panels, small hydro power, biomass and biogas at their homes or private lands.
The Cabinet has also agreed for the 1% surcharge on consumers’ electricity bills that has been gazetted and collected from consumers. This 1% surcharge is needed to achieve the target capacity of renewable energy in the long run. As of 2013, 1% surcharge is still imposed on all electricity customers and domestic electricity consumers are obliged to contribute to the surcharge only if their monthly electricity consumption exceeds 300 kWh or RM 77 a month. This money is channelled into the Renewable Energy Fund and administered by SEDA Malaysia to pay the premium Feed-in Tariff rate to those producers who generate electricity from renewable resources at homes or in industrial companies.
But as of January 2014, this surcharge will increase by 0.6% to be 1.6 % for current electricity users. This increase will also affect the consumers in Sabah and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan as they are charged with 1.6% of their electricity bills for the first time. Please refer to www.seda.gov.my for more news and information. Thank you everyone for reading this and hopefully you gain insights about sustainable designs of COOLTEK Home and the roles played by SEDA Malaysia in promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency effort in the country. Take care and God bless!

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