Articles - August, 2011

Sunverge Powers a Net-Zero LEED Project

Sunverge has released a new Solar Integration System (SIS) package containing an inverter and battery storage unit to complement the standard residential solar PV array.  Brought to the market in February 2011, this new offering will give homeowners the opportunity to attain reliable net-zero energy status and eliminate reliance on the grid.

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How Solar Hot Water Works [Video]

On average, about 18% of home energy consumption is for water heating, the second largest consumer behind space heating.  The primary technology used to do this is the tank-type water heater (both gas- and electric-powered), but solar water heating can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water. 

Solar hot water systems vary, and one system we’ve mentioned previously is a passive-pump system by Virginia-based Sunnovations.  This video explains it.

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The Exo Tiny Modern Emergency Shelter

The Exo looks like some sort of space station, but it’s actually a clever housing unit for emergency shelter situations.  A cargo truck can carry about 15 of these — packed in two pieces, the base and upper shell — and a team of four can move and set one up in under two minutes.  When assembled and connected, Exo has lighting, climate control, wall outlets, and four fold-down beds.

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Safe Urban Biking, CLT Construction, Green Roof Insights, + SIPs Technology

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How Much Solar Do You Need [Graphic]

One Block Off the Grid took a stab at answering the question: “How big a backyard do you need to live off of the land?”  It turns out, plants like corn, wheat, fruits, grains, and vegetables take a lot of space.  Also, to offset the electricity required to power the average home in the U.S., which consumes about 11,040 kWh per year, one needs about 375 square feet of solar PV, or 25 average efficiency solar panels getting seven hours of sun.  Check out the full infographic:

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How Are Prefab Homes Built in a Factory?

The prefab industry has changed a lot in the last few years.  Case in point, ZETA Communities, a producer of net-zero energy multifamily housing came on to the scene in the beginning of 2008.  In something like 3-4 years, they’ve built up a lean manufacturing facility with 91,000 square feet in Sacramento that’s just incredible.

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