Building Energy Setup and...

Ville de QuebecCanada

In the foregound, we have a buffer tank for our geothermal circuit. Pumps circulate glycol in the mitigated circuit between the heat pumps. In the background, two water heaters are used to power the restaurant. Just like the rest of the building mechanics, everything is controlled by the building-management computer system. The central computer cycles the start-up of various equipment and uses load shedding to reduce the electricity demand peaks as much as possible.

The next image displays an overview of the complexity of the piping. The cabinets at the bottom are water-to-water heat pumps which allow the surplus heat to be sent to the geothermal wells during the air conditioning period, and to draw heat to the restaurant in very cold weather.

Small Urban Solar Array

AustinUnited States

Small scale solar setup outside of a local business park. 

Eco Guesthouse Solar-Powered Buggy

BadungIndonesia

Our first solar powered buggy from Serenity Eco Guesthouse and Yoga in Bali!

Energy Intelligent Building Controls

Ville de QuebecCanada

Our restaurant has an extremely well integrated and efficient mechanical and electrical system design, allowing us to better control and minimize high peaks of electricity consumption. These are the control panels of different pumps, circuits, and hoods. In the foreground, the variable-frequency controllers and drivers of the restaurant’s air supply unit are used to modulate the fans for supplying fresh air, and the air for exhaust. This also maintains a comfortable ambient pressure, even if the door opens quickly or a kitchen hood starts.

 

Unique in Quebec’s catering industry, the air extracted from the building passes through a heat exchanger in order to preheat the fresh air, greatly reducing the heating requirements of the building. Each of the four hoods in our facility easily draws more than 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) outside the building.

 

Since all of this air must be replaced by fresh air from the outside, a lot of heat is created, especially when the weather brings extremely low temperatures. Our heat recuperator therefore avoids one of the main energy expenditures of restaurants.

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.

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.

Earthship Highly Sustainable Housing

New MexicoUnited States

We noticed these earthships while driving through the state of New Mexico. Earthships are incredibly well designed, innovative, low-impact homes. They generally offer a multitude of sustainable features, are built with sustainable materials, designed for efficient heating and cooling, harvest both energy and water, and utilize a great variety of other friendly practices.

Urban Windmills

Corpus ChristiUnited States

Small lineup of vertical axis (VAWT) windmills along the beachfront.

Urban Hotel Rooftop Solar...

PragueCzech Republic

The solar panel installation at our hotel can be seen at the center right of the image, and utilizes the sunlight as a source of energy to heat running water. The temperature of the working fluid can rise up to 80°C. Thanks to our Pontos, cooling, and boiler systems, the running water is then cooled to 55°C by the end of the whole process.

In the summer season, there is no need to activate the Pontos or boiler systems, as the solar panels absorb enough sun energy (up to 240 kW) to warm up the running water.

More information on the Mosaic House Pontos system may be read in another post:

Hotel Grey Water System with Heat Recuperation

Renewable Hybrid Power System

NacalaMozambique

Our lodge has constructed an advanced hybrid energy system, using the combined power of solar and wind sources with an assortment of battery banks and a three-phase inverter system. In total, our solar park contains 180 PV modules, and the system altogether may be monitored remotely.

With this, we have also been able to provide additional modules to a local school, and stimulate the community in a number of other sustainable and innovative ways. To date, our system has allowed for 280 MWh of clean electricity, and provides power to the entire lodge, our dive center’s air compressor, and to our water treatment plant. 

Urban University Solar Trash...

HoustonUnited States

To date, the university’s campus features 80 dual recycling receptacles and solar-powered trash compactors. While the compactor takes little space more than an ordinary receptacle, it may hold 5 times the capacity of waste, due to the self-powered compressing process.

This also saves on the amount of labor required to keep up with accumulated trash. BigBelly Solar, the product manufacturer, notes that this can reduce trash collections by up to 80%.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

LEED Home Rooftop Solar...

HomeUnited States

This LEED Platinum home plot exhibits a large variety of sustainable features, including this 30-panel solar installation atop the barn roof. The setup involves a 6.9 kW system, which serves to power roughly 1/3 of the plot’s operations (covering three buildings and a pond).

In addition, with the aid of supportive credits, the cost of the system was able to be reduced a great deal, to half of the overall total.

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.

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