Urban Cool Roof and...

HoustonUnited States

The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.

Its roof not only supports this large solar installation, but is designed to follow a ‘cool roof code’, as mandated for commercial buildings by the city. The code serves to reduce buildings’ contributions to the heat island effect (a localized increase in temperature around urban areas, created by their everyday activities).

This roof utilizes solar panels (which also act as additional barriers between the sun’s rays and the roof, helping to keep the building cool), as well as exhibiting a light-colored and more reflective roof material, and vegetated green roof on the building’s side. These features give the roof a very high solar reflective index (SRI) of 89/100.

Urban Solar Trail Lighting

MiamiUnited States

Our local park has solar panels that are used to power the trail lighting. There are about 40 individual installations, and we believe the lamps act on a light sensor that operates using standard dusk till dawn settings.

EcoCamp Renewable Energy Sources

Puerto NatalesChile

Our camp creates energy where it can, utilizing both solar and hydro sources. Using solar panels, we are able to provide around 30% of our power needs. However, the other 70% is made available through a micro-hydro turbine, powering our appliances and lighting. The flow of the river is able to provide a steady 800 W to us, with an input of 5 liters per second and high net pressure.

Municipal Waste-to-Energy Network

RochesterUnited States

All of the waste produced in Minnesota’s Olmsted County that is not able to be reduced, reused, recycled, or composted is taken to the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility. This operation is one of many within the County’s waste management network, and reduces the volume of general waste produced by the area by 90%. Neighboring facilities within the network serve to reduce this amount even further, and include a municipal recycling center, hazardous waste facility, and compost site.

Through the waste-to-energy process, both electricity and steam are created and directed to local buildings within the County’s ‘District Energy System’, including to local medical centers, the Rochester Public Library, and the Mayo Civic & Art Center.

As reported by the County, mixed garbage is sent to a combustion chamber within the facility, and after being fully processed, exits at 10% of its original volume, in the form of ash. Emissions from the process are heavily monitored and filtered in accordance with state and federal air emission standards. The final produced ash is then sent to a local landfill and ‘permanently stored in an environmentally protective holding cell’.

More information on the Olmsted  County Facility and Waste Management Network:

Olmsted County website

 

 

 

 

 

Olmsted County video

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Solar Charger

HoustonUnited States

I created a simple circuit to capture and utilize the energy generated by a single solar cell, in order to charge my phone.

Small Urban Solar Array

AustinUnited States

Small scale solar setup outside of a local business park. 

Hotel Smart Blinds for...

PragueCzech Republic

The blinds in our rooms at Mosaic House have sensors and settings that allow them to automatically adjust themselves in response to changing parameters. There are four primary settings which help us to save energy:

1. Active – Occupied (guest is in the room)

   Electricity: ON

   Temperature of Heating : 21 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: 6 °C higher than outside temperature (default)

– The blinds are in down position and shut. If the guest comes in the room, the blinds open and stay in  the down position

– In case of strong winds, the blinds adjust to the up position

– In the winter season, the blinds also adjust to the up position on sunny days in order to heat up the room

2. Active – Empty (when guest is leaving the room, from 5 min – 4 hrs)

   Electricity: OFF

   Temperature of Heating : 19 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: 2 °C higher than default setting

– The blinds are shut in the down position. If the guest comes in the room, the blinds are opened and stay in the down position.

3. Low Energy (when guest is not in the room, from 4 – 15 hrs)

   Electricity: OFF

   Temperature of Heating : 17 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: 2 °C higher than default setting

– The blinds are in the Active – Empty setting

4. Checked Out / Hibernation (the guest will not be in the room for longer than 15 hrs, or is checked out)

   Electricity: OFF

   Temperature of Heating : 16 °C

   Temperature of Cooling: OFF

– The blinds are in the Active – Empty setting

Building Indoor Solar Faucets

HoustonUnited States

I have seen a few installed Sloan solar faucets, which use the ambient INDOOR light to power the faucet sensor, turning it on and off automatically.

Ecovila Biodigester System

Rio de JaneiroBrazil

Our ecovillage utilizes a biodigester as an excellent solution for sewage treatment. Biodigesters offer the ability to transform waste into usable energy, in the form of methane, and leftover product for fertilizer. Our biosystem consists of a biodigester (left), compensation box (middle), biofilters (right), lake of macrophytes (algae), and root zone (far right). It can be built with relatively low cost and ease, and does not require sophisticated materials or advanced construction knowledge to build.

The biofertilizer produced in the treatment process has no pathogens, due to the anaerobic fermentation it passes through, and is ideal for use in the maintenance of community squares and gardens because it does not pose health risks. It is consolidated as a perfect substitute for chemical fertilizers, which can be more expensive and aggressive to the environment.

The methane gas that is captured in the biodigester is of good quality and can be used in the kitchen of public schools, nurseries and hospitals, or, in large quantities, in thermoelectric plants.

Here in our reserve, initially, we built the biosystem with a focus on sewage treatment. However, the extraction of products from the process far exceeded the expectations foreseen in our planning, and today we have at least two hours of gas daily for consumption in the kitchen and workshop, while biofertilizers are used in the orchard, where we obtained a gain of productivity of at least 50%.

University Solar Emergency Call...

HoustonUnited States

Our campus features scattered emergency call boxes that are powered by solar panels.

University Vertical Axis Wind...

Corpus ChristiUnited States

A line of vertical axis (VAWT) turbines on the A&M Corpus Christi campus.

Large Rural Texas Wind...

West TexasUnited States

The Roscoe Wind Farm is one of the largest wind farms in the world, with over 600 operational turbines spread over 400 km2 of land, producing nearly 800 MW of energy, to date.

City Solar Parking Kiosk

HoustonUnited States

Our city has solar panels on all of the parking kiosks.

Small Urban Renewable Energy...

CypressUnited States

I passed a site of small wind and solar installations on the campus of a branch of our community college. The wind turbines are vertical axis (VAWT).

Urban Solar Parking Canopies

AustinUnited States

These solar canopies for parking lots not only help to provide electricity, but offer shade, rooftop protection, an efficient use of the substantial area allocated for parking space, and the option to introduce and power electric vehicle charging stations directly where they are needed.

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