The low temperatures that are registered in the country and the increase in the gas tariff create a conflict that causes immense injustice and inequality, fundamentally in the rural sectors of our country. In response to this reality, researchers from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the National University of La Plata are developing a prototype to heat rural homes based on the use of renewable energies.
Graciela Viegas, director of the Project, commented to the press that “there are historical problems related to the investment aimed at improving the socio-productive habitat on land where farmers are only tenants, which contributes to making their investments regarding that land temporary. The development we are doing seeks to improve air conditioning in rural housing and also in agricultural production spaces, such as pig farrowing houses and chicken farms, which currently use conventional energy with low-efficiency infrastructure and a significant degree of pollution that is also very expensive"
The Institute for Research and Policies of the Built Environment (IIPAC) has been working for more than a decade with family farmers from the great horticultural chain of La Plata, one of the largest and most important in the country. This field study has allowed researchers to know first-hand the main difficulties that rural families have with regard to heating in winter.
The project developed by the UNLP is based on the incorporation of thesolar energy for air conditioning, in this way polluting emissions are avoided, and it can be used both in a familiar and productive way, thanks to a very simple construction system for mounting and dismounting the heating system, which allows it to be relocated, in this way can be moved.Juan Jodra, IIPAC engineer explains it this way: “These are modular systems, made up of accumulators / thermal buffers, made up of pre-cast concrete blocks and large watertight water pipes.thermal capacity“.
“The equipment is placed in spaces near windows or glass where solar radiation enters, absorb radiant energy and provide thermal energy allowing to maintain a base temperature for air conditioningsubstituting fossil energy or substantially reducing its use”, He specified.
The development involves an original system that works “by a heavy, solid thermal accumulation mass, made up of cement or concrete blocks with lower heat capacities (specific heat of concrete 0.25 kcal / kg ° C), and with significant thermal retardation and another liquid, using water sheathed in multiple plastic tubes or equivalent, which, based on their greater heat capacity, increase the energy captured in the same time of exposure to solar radiation (specific heat of water 1kcal / kg ° C) ”, explains Jodra, who adds that “the precast cement or concrete blocks provide part of the heat accumulation and retardation capacity; while water quadruples the load capacity with a much lower delay ratio, delivering heat in a medium way "
The UNLP researchers, thanks to their field work with family farmers,They used materials that are available in any corral, and that are inexpensive. The system saves energy and, fundamentally, avoids the use of gas, a non-renewable fossil fuel.