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.

Small Urban Solar Array

AustinUnited States

Small scale solar setup outside of a local business park. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

Solar Public Art Installation

AustinUnited States

These installations are named ‘SunFlowers – An Electric Garden’. They are stunning, and line the entrance to a local shopping center in the Mueller community of Austin, Texas.

University Vertical Axis Wind...

Corpus ChristiUnited States

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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).

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 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%.

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%.

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