Articles With "alternative energy" Tag

Covalent Solar to Commercialize Low-Cost Organic Solar Concentrators

Covalent Solar rendering

The innovators of this new technology, if they get it into production, may just be the green building revolutionaries of tomorrow.  At the end of the week, MIT engineers published research of new technology showing that the sun’s energy could be harvested from a large area, such as a window, and concentrated at the edges by solar cells.  With this so-called luminescent solar concentrator, the potential for low-cost electricity seems almost within reach.  Technically, here’s how it works: 

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What About the Solar Corridor, Mr. Pickens?

It’s clear our country is reaching what future generations will see as a watershed moment as it relates to our current energy situation and how we handle it.  In the U.S. alone, buildings account for roughly 70% of electricity use and 39% of energy use, so any discussion of our energy future naturally implicates the built environment.  The current state of discussions on our energy future has brought together some incredible minds and one of those is the great T. Boone Pickens, an expert in recognizing scarce resources and future energy trends.  Just today, he announced his efforts relating to the PickensPlan — a plan he explains himself in the above video.

Now, I think Mr. Pickens is definitely probing one of the better ways to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil, but I also think he’s skipping over an important aspect of this discussion on our country’s energy mix. 

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[Video] Green "Rotating Tower" Planned for NYC?

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:

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Nation's Largest Single-Building Solar Energy Project Planned for Atlantic City

Atlantic City Convention Center

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. 

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Super Efficient SolarDuct Co-Generates Electricity and Heat Energy!

SolarDuct PV/T

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.

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[Video] Peel and Stick Solar For Commercial Buildings

Power-ply 380

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.

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