Insulation could reduce electricity bills

The use of heat resistant methods in building homes and factories could have the dual benefits of reducing electricity consumption and electricity bills, and ease the national power crisis, said Dr M.T.R. Jayasinghe, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa.

Insulation for roofs should be of high reflectivity, low conductivity and very low density, he said at a presentation on 'Thermally comfortable passive houses and buildings' organized by McBolon Polymer (Pvt) Ltd.

"If light colours are used you could cut down a lot of heat. If the material used is reflective, 95 percent of the heat is reflected back and only five percent absorbed," he said. Windows facing west should be avoided.

Since the roof is exposed to direct solar radiation most of the day, heat could be minimized with insulating material and also by reducing the roof area by constructing multi-storey buildings, he said.

Dr. Jayasinghe said that nature also played a very dominant role in reducing heat. If trees were around the building much of the heat inside would be reduced.

In homes energy is used for lighting, thermal comfort and entertainment. A building can be designed considering the climatic conditions so that thermal comfort could be provided mostly with natural means.

While this would not save energy used in lighting and entertainment, in the case of thermal comfort, if properly handled, a considerable amount of energy could be saved.

Taking the use of fans for thermal comfort as an example, Dr. Jayasinghe said if two ceiling fans were used for 10 hours (80 watts) they would consume 50 units of electricity. With the cost per unit for consumption between 90 to 180 units calculated at Rs. 12, this works out to Rs. 600 a month or Rs. 7,200 per year.

Dr. Jayasinghe said that thermally comfortable passive houses and buildings would be those houses with passive elements that could maintained indoor temperature about 28C to 30C.

The use of shade trees would reduce the entry of diffused radiation, minimize the ground reflected radiation and drive the cooler air to the ground level.

Hilary Arawwawela, Product Manager, McBolon said that thermal comfort was now a widely accepted norm in building design and construction.

He said that the traditional thermal insulation, such as glass wool, was greatly dependent on efficiencies in conductivity, but cumbersome to install and a source of harmful contamination in the atmosphere if allowed to degenerate.

Reflective insulation, on the other hand, combined a reflective foil surface with a closed cell foam heat barrier that provided an excellent thermo-reflective medium, he added. (QP)

JKCS' software consultants win awards from Mercator

Software consultants from John Keells Computer Services (JKCS) based in Dubai won five awards for outstanding performance in the design and development of software for Emirates Airlines.

The award winning projects were Future Focus the strategic marketing and planning tool for Emirates Commercial Division, Web Content Management, Health Check the utility module written for the Customer Relationship Information System (CRIS), and In-house Workflow systems. JKCS' consultants were part of the Java development team that carried away the award for the most innovative solution for the design and development of the Comstar system that facilitates communication tracking, verification and recharging of costs to respective cost centres.

The awards epitomise the quality of service offered by JKCS and substantiate JKCS' current position as the largest supplier of software services to Mercator, the IT arm of the Middle Eastern airline giant Emirates Airlines.

Mercator provides specialised software and IT services for both Emirates and other international carriers, a company statement said.

These awards recognising significant contributions made by individuals and teams in the provision of software services for both internal systems and Mercator's customers, were presented to them at the Mercator Software Services Awards held in Dubai.

JKCS has been associated with Mercator since 1998 when it was awarded a contract to set up the Mercator Extended Development Centre (MEDC) in its facility in Sri Lanka.

This dedicated offshore development centre provides software development, implementation, support services and on-site managed resources to Mercator and its clients.

At present, there are over 90 JKCS consultants based at MEDC engaged in onsite and offshore operations.

JKCS is the software services subsidiary of John Keells Holdings Ltd the largest and most diversified public quoted company in Sri Lanka.

Established in 1994 to cater to the software services requirements of demanding multinational clients, JKCS provides offshore-dedicated development and support centers for Fortune 500 companies and world leaders in their respective fields such as Emirates Airlines, Braathens Airlines - Norway, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) - Japan, P&O Nedlloyd and Mashreq Bank - UAE.


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