We use a set of thermosiphons to heat water for the camp. The water supply travels through the system, being heated by the energy transferred from the sun to a solar collector. Even in cold areas, solar energy may be harnessed and utilized toward a variety of applications, such as this one.
Small scale solar setup outside of a local business park.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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%.
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:
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.
Our camp is thoughtfully designed to take full advantage of available natural light, within our domes. Not only does this serve to save on indoor lighting, it provides for a magnificent outlook on our extraordinary surroundings.
The Philadelphia Eagles football stadium has embraced a number of sustainability practices in its overall operations, along with gaining a LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council.
As part of this, the stadium utilizes solar panel installations on several areas of its structure and throughout the north public parking area, which is lined with solar canopies. There are reportedly 11,108 solar panels used. Fourteen wind turbines also line the top of the stadium.
These technologies provide approximately 1/3 of the stadium’s energy, creating 4 MW per year. More can be read on Lincoln Financial Field’s energy practices and usage here:
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.
These solar flowers were co-designed by students from UT Martin’s Engineering and Visual Arts departments.
I created a simple circuit to capture and utilize the energy generated by a single solar cell, in order to charge my phone.