I’ve not blogged about this interesting and innovative Rotating Tower, which was designed by David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture, because critics have downplayed the concept saying it’s not capable of being built. But now comes news that the Rotating Tower is not only on the cusp of construction in Dubai, but it’s in advanced design phase for Moscow and intended for New York. Let me say that again: Fisher intends to design a Dynamic Tower for the Big Apple! If you haven’t heard about it yet, make sure to watch the above video. Here’s the general idea:
Atlantic City Convention Center has just signed a 20-year agreement with Pepco Energy Services to have a 2.36 megawatt solar roof installed on the building. When completed by the end of this year, the project is projected to be the largest single-building solar energy project in the United States. That’s 13,321 photovoltaic panels covering roughly two-thirds of the building AND a savings of roughly $4.4 million in electricity costs over the 20-year deal.
Conserval Engineering just announced the release of their newest product, SolarDuct PV/T, which is a rooftop solar PV system that goes beyond generating renewable energy from on-site solar power. With the SolarDuct PV/T system, solar panels are mounted on metal collector panels that channel excess heat from the solar array into the building’s HVAC system. As a result, this system, which is part photovoltaic and part thermal, can generate electricity and put heat to use when heat is needed in the building.
Lumeta has developed what’s said to be the world’s first commercial-scale, "peel and stick" solar modules called Lumeta Power-Ply 380. The Power-Ply solar modules use adhesives to attach to the roof, making the system a cinch to install. The short video below shows two guys installing six modules on a roof in roughly 34 minutes — it seems so simple anyone could do it! Of note, the 4′ x 8′ modules don’t require roof penetrations or mounting systems, as opposed to most solar power systems. You may also note that the flat roof style installation sacrifices the optimal solar angle (and loses about 5% of the power production), but Lumeta is confident that the benefits to the peel and stick solar product outweigh the slight losses in production.
You might be thinking, "Why is this green building blog talking about a car company?" But don’t, because the relationship between home, work, transportation, and all that is quite complex. Yesterday, news on Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology spread across the internet at a fairly quick clip — it’s important news that will affect us in more ways than the price paid at the pump. According to Autoblog Green, Toyota announced it would produce a plug-in hybrid with lithium-ion batteries starting in 2010, with large scale production into 2011-2012. This is good news, but here’s why plug-in electric vehicles matter for the future of green buildings:
As you can see above and below, Envision Solar plans to make parking lots into beautiful power plants with their Solar Groves and Solar Trees. Envision Solar takes the hassle out of designing structures for solar with their turn-key solutions. Although the company is working on a next generation design for the Solar Tree, the current iteration includes 64 Kyocera solar modules laid out in total measuring 30' x 40'. The panels sit at a five degree angle and provide shading for six vehicles, too. Envision Solar has found success installing these parking canopies near commercial buildings and retail parking lots because the energy can be sold to businesses through power purchase agreements.