Applying Energy-efficient Water Heating Practices on the Residential Buildings of the United Arab Emirates

By Hanan Taleb and Yasser Al-Saleh.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 6, 2014 $US5.00

With the growing evidence of the phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming, it has become necessary to take immediate action to avoid disastrous consequences for future generations. Since buildings are a major energy consumer, their potential impact on the environment is considerable. Therefore, expanding the application of low-energy architecture is of the utmost importance. Water heating is a thermodynamic process that involves using an energy source to heat water above its initial temperature. Thus, the application of energy-efficient domestic water heating systems has a potential for reducing the energy consumption levels of buildings. In many countries, the most common energy sources for heating domestic water are fossil fuels. This is certainly the case in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region which includes the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential for energy savings of applying energy-efficient water heating practices in the buildings of the UAE. A typical residential building in Dubai was chosen as a case study. With the aid of energy simulation software, the potential energy savings - after applying the energy efficient water heating system - was monitored. Moreover, the paper drew some recommendations with regard to solving many problems that the domestic water system is suffering from and has provided some solutions to improve performance and further reduce energy consumption. As a final note, whilst this paper mainly focuses on residential buildings in the UAE, it could be argued that many of the research outcomes are relevant to several countries especially those with similar social and extreme environmental conditions.

Keywords: Energy Efficiency, Water Heating, Residential Buildings, Building Performance Simulation, United Arab Emirates

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.35-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 6, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.273MB)).

Dr. Hanan Taleb

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, British University in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dr Yasser Al-Saleh

Senior Research Fellow, Innovation and Policy Initiative, INSEAD, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Yasser Al-Saleh was awarded a PhD from the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (formerly known as PREST, the University of Manchester) for his novel examination of the emergence of clean tech industries using an innovation system perspective. Dr. Al-Saleh comes from an engineering background and previously worked in the oil industry. Over the past few years, he has been on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals, published over twenty peer reviewed academic papers and, more recently, he published his first book entitled The Prospects for Sustainable Innovation within Oil Rich Gulf Cooperation Council. Prior to joining INSEAD, he worked as a postdoctoral Fellow at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Abu Dhabi), where he was engaged in several research projects in the field of sustainable energy innovation.