Technical English : Living
says that we must use less energy ! But how? that is the big
In this article, you can read about the house of the future, which uses
hardly any energy at all.....
energy - lots of it. We use energy for heating, lighting, for running
our household appliances - TV's, washing machines, fridges, and so on.
In winter time, most houses use dozens of kilowatts of electricity
every day, or the equivalent in gas.
The house in the
photo, on the other hand, uses virtually nothing: most of the energy
that it uses comes straight from the sun, the wind or the ground. This
is an experimental house at the University of Nottingham, and it could
be the kind of house that most people are living in fifty years from
During the daytime, it is rarely
necessary to turn on an electric light, even in
rooms without windows. Sunlight, or daylight, is "piped" through the
house, into each room, through special high-reflection aluminium tubes.
You can see how well they reflect light, by looking at the reflections
of the faces in the picture!
At night, of
course, energy is necessary - but most of this comes from the sun or
the wind. The house is fitted
with photovoltaic solar panels that generate
electricity during the daytime, and a wind turbine power generator too;
electricity from these can be used directly, or else stored
in batteries, and used when it is needed.
For heating, the
house uses direct solar energy (sunshine heating water that circulates
through a radiator system), or geothermal
energy. This takes low-level heat out of the ground, and uses a
heat-pump to convert it into high-level heat for use in radiators - the
same principle as a refrigerator, but in reverse.
As for water, most
daily needs are provided for by the house's own supply;
rainwater is collected on the roof, filtered, and used for all toilets,
baths and showers.
If, one day, most
people in developed countries live in houses like this one, most of
today's pollution will have disappeared, and global warming may be a
problem of the past.
make, create - store
conserve, keep - geothermal
from under the ground, from the earth - in reverse
backwards - supply
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LIVING WITH NO ENERGY
Technical language - article use:
the articles in this text, whenever it is necessary - but only if it is
(______) daytime, it is rarely necessary to turn on an electric
light, even in
(______) rooms without (______) windows. (______) sunlight, or (______)
daylight, is "piped" through (______) house, into each room, through
(______) special high-reflection aluminium tubes. You can see how well
they reflect (______) light, by looking at (______) reflections of
(______) faces in (______) picture!
(______) energy is necessary - but most of this comes from (______) sun
or (______) wind. (______) house is fitted with (______) photovoltaic
solar panels that generate (______) electricity during (______)
daytime, and a wind turbine power generator too; (______) electricity
from these can be used directly, or else stored in (______) batteries,
and used when it is needed.
house uses (______) direct solar energy (sunshine heating water that
circulates through a radiator system), or (______) geothermal energy.
This takes (______) low-level heat out of (______) ground, and uses a
heat-pump to convert it into (______) high-level heat for use in
(______) radiators - (______) same principle as a refrigerator, but in
Pay attention to the
use of articles in this text. Note how articles are not used with (a)
general abstractions (such as energy, sunlight, electricity),
nor (b) with generalising plurals (such as through... tubes /
solar panels / radiators). On the other hand, they are
necessary with defined "count nouns" in the singular or plural (for
example The house in the picture.). For
more information on this point see Using the Article
Below there is a
fill exercise covering part of the article ; have students
definite articles where they are needed.
there are many cases in English where the article is optional; some
nouns or noun groups can be interpreted either as
generalisations or as (defined) restrictive uses.
In the paragraphs below, the article is thus not essential before rooms,
in the phrase in rooms without windows. There are
two possible interpretations:
(i.e.only certain defined) rooms - those that do
not have windows.
The same is also true for how well they reflect light.
either light in general, or
else could be
(i.e. just the light that comes through the tubes).
can also justify during
daytime or during the daytime (i.e. the
defined part of time that is during the day).
These are the only
real borderline cases in the text.
Pay attention to the use of
prepositions in this article.
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