A DIY Portable Plug-in EV Charging Station

When you’re generating a surplus of energy — similar to these solar-powered homeowners — having a sporty electrical vehicle seems to make sense.  EVs and plug-in hybrids are becoming more popular, and I’ve seen all sorts of garage products for charging them.  Perhaps one of the more interesting models of late is this EVSE-RS Plug-in charging station by AeroVironment.  The portable, DIY charger just needs a dedicated 240-volt service and the station can be mounted and installed in a pinch.

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By |October 18th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|2 Comments

Toto Launches Ultra High Efficiency Toilet

Last April, I mentioned the introduction of 1G by Toto USA and now have more detail.  Toto just launched Drake II 1G throughout North America at the MSRP of $580.  To be clear, this isn’t like the dual-flush Maris or others you may have seen elsewhere.  The two-piece, ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant toilet uses a mere 1.0 gallons with each flush using two jets and a Double Cyclone system to clear waste.  There is no pressure assist in the Drake II 1G; it’s a gravity-fed flushing system with a “quiet flush every time.

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By |October 18th, 2012|Products, Water Efficiency|1 Comment

Toto Intros Modern Dual-Flush Maris Toilets

Toto USA has released two new models of dual-flush, high-efficiency toilets in the Maris suite. They have wall-hung (starting at $450, not including the in-wall tank) and two-piece (starting at $850) models featuring a current style that pays tribute to mid-century modern design. Push for a light flush of 0.9 GPF or pull for a full flush of 1.28 GPF on these ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant commodes. Toto says homeowners won’t have to worry about cleaning every solid stop either — a common complaint with some dual-flush toilets — because the SanaGloss-coated, cyclone-inspired flush system “spins away debris, matter, and bacteria, which reduces the time needed to clean the unit.

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By |October 17th, 2012|Products, Water Efficiency|4 Comments

Autarkhome: Sustainable Floating Passivhaus

This is a floating home that is entirely self-sufficient and docked in Maastricht, Netherlands.  Designed by Pieter Kromwijk and referred to as Autarkhome, the solar-powered project was built to the Passivhaus standard and is 10 times more energy efficient than the average dwelling of similar size.

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By |October 14th, 2012|Passive House, Single Family|4 Comments

Modern Park Passivhaus in Somerville

This is Park Passivhaus in Somerville, Massachusetts.  The home was designed to the German Passivhaus standard and is currently being built on an urban infill lot.  With modern detailing, a slender structure, and a shapely New England form by Placetailor, also the builder, Park Passivhaus will incorporate a Zehnder HRV, two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-splits, and a high performance envelope with an 18″ double-wall cavity, blown-in cellulose, Makrowin windows and doors, Fakro skylights, ZIP sheathing roof, Siga tapes, Siga-Majvest membrane, Cedar and Alucubond cladding, etc.  This is an excellent project to track, especially if you’re interested in Passive House detail.

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By |October 13th, 2012|Passive House, Projects|8 Comments

Firefly is a New VAWT Small Wind Turbine

South Carolina-based Firefly Power is one of 20 other social- or environmentally-inclined companies presenting at the i2i Awards program in conjunction with SXSW Eco in Austin through Friday, October 5, 2012.  The company makes lightweight small wind turbines out of carbon-fiber blades in the vertical axis form.  The residential unit is rated at 1.8 kW, weighs less than 60 pounds, cuts in at 10 mph winds, and is expected to sell for about $7,000, according to Firefly Power.

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By |October 3rd, 2012|Conservation, Wind|0 Comments