Designing for ‘use phase’ energy losses of domestic products

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The energy efficiency of products can be established by calculating the energy losses of the product. This paper shows that there are two kinds of losses, intrinsic losses, determined by the technology and materials used to construct the product, and the user-related losses which are caused by varying and inefficient use of that product by the user. User-related losses are a significant proportion of energy use of products and are likely to increase in proportion as engineers use good design and technology to drive the intrinsic losses closer and closer to what the author’s call the theoretical minimum. The paper goes on to set out a theoretical frame work for understanding and calculating the intrinsic and user-related losses of products and concludes by suggesting the outline of appropriate design strategies for tackling them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • user losses
  • intrinsic losses
  • theoretical minimum
  • user behaviour
  • energy efficiency
  • Design


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