Thursday, December 31, 2009
The Truro Beach House is a zero energy home, which means that it produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. This high performance home has a super-insulated building envelope, ground (geothermal) source heat pump, and 11.7KW of solar energy on the roof. The geothermal system, coupled with radiant heating and central air, supply the home’s heating and cooling needs throughout the year. A heat recovery ventilator provides fresh air throughout the year while exchanging heat between the incoming and outgoing air steams, minimizing the energy penalty of fresh air ventilation. Since the home is designed as a vacation residence with varying occupancy, it is is split into two volumes – a ‘Living Bar’ and a ‘Sleeping Bar’ - so that half the home can be decommission for the majority of the year to conserve energy.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, spread across a vast area of West Texas, was the largest in the world when it was completed in 2006. Through three stages of development it reached a total installed capacity of 735 Megawatts (MW), with 421 individual wind turbines. On average, it can supply enough electricity for 180,000 Texan homes. The wind farm has helped boost employment in West Texas, which was in economic decline until the wind industry arrived. In Nolan County, where many of the Horse Hollow turbines are located, the oil wells began to dry up in the 1990s. By 2004, 20% of the population was living in poverty, according to the US Census Bureau.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Florida Gulf Coast University’s long-awaited solar field has gone live, with the full 2-megawatt system now powering several main buildings on campus. With a 16-acre field of 10,080 panels, the electricity they generate will be enough to power about 600 homes. FGCU is home to the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, spread across a vast area of West Texas, is the largest in the world. Through three stages of development it has reached a total installed capacity of 735 Megawatts (MW), with 421 individual wind turbines. On average, it can supply enough electricity for 180,000 Texan homes. The wind farm has helped boost employment in West Texas, which was in economic decline until the wind industry arrived. In Nolan County, where many of the Horse Hollow turbines are located, the oil wells began to dry up in the 1990s. By 2004, 20% of the population was living in poverty, according to the US Census Bureau.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Working with the Humanitarian International Services Group (HISG), World Water and Solar Technologies has installed two high-volume, solar Mobile Max Pure (MMP) water filters that use the sun for their power in war-torn Darfur, Sudan. Each unit can generate up to 3.5kW of solar electric power and provide 30,000 gallons of clean drinking water for the many thousands of civilians living in displaced persons camps.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Contrary to what you might hear from energy companies and environmentally conscious celebrities, offsets don’t magically make carbon emissions disappear. Worse, relying on them to stem global warming may devastate our vital forest ecosystems. Read the article from the New York Times by BERND HEINRICH,December 19, 2009. Also, for a good laugh about carbon offsets, see Cheat Neutral
The Lighthouse Zero Energy home in the UK has a simple, “barn-like” form with a 40 degree pitched roof that includes solar panels and rainwater harvesting. It boasts high levels of thermal insulation, passive cooling and ventilation and biomass boilers. Biomass boilers run on organic fuels such as wood pellets and count as zero-emission because the amount of carbon dioxide they give off when they are burned is offset by the amount that was absorbed when the crop was grown. The house also has a waste separation system that allows combustible waste to be burned to help provide power.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Open PV Project is a community-driven database, fostered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, of photovoltaic (PV) installations around the US. It collects, organizes and distributes info on location, size, cost and date of every PV installation in the USA. A very cool animation is superimposed on a US map showing all logged PV systems installed since 1998.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Energy efficiency savings in the Parkview Green building in Beijing are primarily from well-orchestrated passive systems - with no mechanical air conditioned, the whole interior acts as a solar chimney, with the 89m highest point of the pyramidal form drawing warm air up and out of the building.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
In its whitepaper "Toward a Just and Sustainable Solar Energy Coalition" the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) argues that for solar to be truly green, industry must reduce and eventually eliminate the use of toxic materials and develop environmentally sustainable practices.
Solar energy is hot, according to Mike Treleven reporting in the Napa Valley Register (27 November 2009). Not just with wineries attempting to lessen their carbon footprints — but also with thieves. Numerous Napa Valley wineries have been victimized by thieves lurking in the night and stealing their solar arrays. A single panel is worth about $1,000, measures two feet by three feet and weighs around 35 pounds. Between June 2008 and late September 2009, Napa County saw 14 solar thefts and two attempted thefts. Of the 14 thefts, two were in the city of Napa and the rest were at wineries around the valley, Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart. More than 400 panels, worth about $400,000, have been stolen.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Camp Twin Lakes wheelchair-accessible treehouse features a solar array, a vegetated roof and composting toilets in Georgia, USA. A 1.4-kilowatt, eight-module photovoltaic solar array is mounted on a nearby pole and supplies the treehouse fans and misting system pump with DC power.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The Monash Science Centre of Monash University in Australia, utilizes passive and active measures for north-facing windows, manual and automatic louvers for ventilation, thermal chimneys with reversible fans and underfloor hydronic geothermal heating, using the nearby lake as a heat sink.