19 Solar Decathlon Homes for 2011

The biennial Solar Decathlon is coming up next month with teams preparing their solar-powered homes for West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. The competition will showcase modern, energy-efficient homes from 19 teams from September 23 – October 2, 2011. We’ve taken a look at the architectural models for each home and continue our coverage this year with a look at the renderings.  There’s some great work here.  Any predictions?  Which team will take it all?

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By |August 24th, 2011|Categories: List, Solar|Tags: , |3 Comments

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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By |August 22nd, 2011|Categories: LEED, Solar|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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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By |August 22nd, 2011|Categories: Solar, video|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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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By |August 22nd, 2011|Categories: Modern architecture, Prefab|7 Comments

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

Safe urban biking that works.
CLT being used in a new timber project.
SIPs: a building technology for the future?
Building green homes that don’t break the bank.
Building science: seeing red over green roofs.
Solar-powered green home built to […]

By |August 20th, 2011|Categories: Week in Review|0 Comments

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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By |August 19th, 2011|Categories: Solar|Tags: , |3 Comments
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