I’ve been watching plug-and-play solar systems like the one offered by SpinRay Energy to see how viable and affordable these can get. It turns out GoGreenSolar.com just unveiled a similar system called the SunPlug Plug n’ Play Solar Kit. The kit includes one 235-watt polycrystalline panel, a 120 VAC/60 Hz grid-tie inverter, racking mount, WiFi module for monitoring, and a connector to plug directly into an AC outlet.
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), urban micro homes, and tiny houses typically have space limitations and may even have energy and water constraints. So it’s critical to find appliances that are both energy-efficient and the right size — like this Ariston’s Elegance line of combination washer/dryer units. Available in white or silver, the Ariston washer/dryer is 33.5″H x 23.4″w x 22.8″D and has Energy Star certification.
I mentioned Wattvision previously, and the company is now running a Kickstarter campaign to deploy its complete the next generation of hardware, cover more types of power meters, and deploy the new hardware by about January 2013. Wattvision 2 includes a sensor that attaches to your home electricity meter and a gateway that connects up with your internet network. With these in place, a user can check electricity use online or from a smart phone.
- The wood certification gap.
- Big business for prefab micro-homes.
- Happier than ever with 128-square-foot home.
- Energy-efficient light bulbs may have a dark side.
- Modular housing for a shifting population.
- A new Passivhaus standard for North America.
- Disruptive marketing for green building.
- Pros and cons: to carpet or not to carpet.
- General contractor going green.
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Viridian Reclaimed Wood, a company we first mentioned in relation to their shipping pallet flooring, recently introduced a new range of FSC-certified, reclaimed, old-growth Douglas Fir tabletops. Co-owner Joe Mitchoff said the tabletops come from an inventory of beams reclaimed from abandoned warehouses, decrepit docks, and old gymnasiums.
I really like the dark-blue/black look of solar PV, but I suppose there may be someone that needs a different color, whether for aesthetics, compliance, or branding, etc. Colored Solar is trying to grab a toehold in this market with red, emerald green, forest green, and polished marble panels. In terms of panel efficiency, NREL found there is little performance compromised for a 16%+ efficiency colored 225W panel, according to Colored Solar.