Energy saving technology, also known as green technology, is technology which augments or replaces existing systems for a net energy savings. This type of technology helps decrease the impact of human activity on the environment and often saves money for the operators. There are several types of energy saving technology, including green homes and buildings, fuel efficient vehicles, and power efficient computers.
Green homes are a good example of how these technologies can affect daily life. One of the simplest energy saving technologies is building insulation. If properly placed, insulation allows a building to stay at the desired temperature with significantly less heating or cooling than it might otherwise require. Energy savings can also be achieved through building architecture. Assuming that two buildings have equal volume and that other energy factors are equal, the most energy efficient building will be the one with the smallest surface area. This can present an interesting challenge to architects who also have to deal with usage and aesthetic factors.
A variety of energy saving technologies are combined with efficient architecture in green homes. Some of these technologies, including compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy efficient appliances, simply replace older less efficient technologies. Other energy saving technologies operate by generating new energy. The most common example of this technology is home solar panels. Green homes may also implement flash water heaters, which heat water as needed instead of expending energy to maintain a hot water tank.
Hybrid cars and fully electric vehicles are an increasingly popular form of energy saving technology. These vehicles are much more fuel efficient than similar vehicles with conventional combustion engines. Electric vehicles do not use gasoline at all, but instead use electric motors powered by large rechargeable batteries. The main limitation for electric vehicles is the weight of batteries that provide enough power to travel long distances.
Another example of energy saving technology is power efficient electronics and computers. Electronic paper displays, such as those employed by many e-book readers, use only a small fraction of the energy consumed by traditional flat screen displays. Many net books and compact laptops also use power efficient processors that provide significant energy savings over traditional laptops or desktops.
As demand for both energy and the cost of energy increases, many companies have begun researching new ways to save energy. The process is difficult because it is not always immediately clear whether or not a new technique will save energy in the long run. Despite this, new types of energy saving technology are developed and released on a regular basis.