"How did progress take priority over human mankind? …" I’m the proud owner of season one of e² design, a six-part series that aired on PBS last fall. I can’t wait for the next season and it’s coming soon. Go check out www.e2-series.com. Brad Pitt’s back with “e² design." This grouping of shows will feature Thom Mayne, architect of the San Francisco Federal Building; Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; and Adriaan Geuze, lead architect of the Borneo Sporenburg development in Amsterdam. PBS also brought on rookie, Morgan Freemen, for “e² energy." This segment will feature Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank; Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute; and Dr. José Goldemberg, Brazil’s former secretary for the environment. This is excellent video content. Incredible content. Unbeatable content.
[Run time: 2:05 min] I hope you enjoy this short video of Shawn Frayne, a young inventor that has created this device to generate, on the micro-scale, energy for LED lights and radios in developing countries. This is the first approach that uses aeroelastic flutter to create super cheap electricity. We’re talking about changing the way wind energy is harvested and captured. Frayne won a 2007 Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics, and he deserves it. This incredible technology is 10-30 times more efficient than the best micro-turbines. So, Frayne hopes to fund third-world distribution of the Windbelt through sales in first-world applications. So inspiring …
UPDATE: EcoGeek reports that Shawn Frayne has launched the website for Humdinger Wind Energy. Soon, according to the website, developer kits are going to be available for schools, researchers, and independents.
The word on the street is that the three wind turbines on Bahrain World Trade Center will starting generating electricity the last week of October. As you can see from the images below, construction of the towers is moving along nicely. The turbines are expected to generate roughly 11-15% of the buildings’ energy needs, or 1100 to 1300 megawatt-hours per year. Architecturally, this building explores new territory by integrating large-scale wind turbines with the structure. I’m sure Atkins Architecture has worked out all the modeling on noise and vibration, so the world is excited to learn from this experience. Enjoy the images below.
Green Labeling, Sourcing Wind Energy, Sustainable Development + Landscape Design Rating System (WIR)
- Most Americans and Canadians say "green" labeling just a marketing tactic.
- Harnessing the Wind to Fuel India’s Growth – as nations examine their carbon output, wind turbines provide one alternative to coal.
- Will sustainable development "shake up" architecture?
- Clean energy can’t meet growing demand, which is outstripping supply, pushing up prices, and raising the specter that some states may not meet clean-energy mandates.
- Green Building Moves Outdoors – the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced the development of a new rating system for landscape design.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that time again: October 6, 2007 – The National Solar Tour. The ASES National Solar Tour is the largest tour of sustainable energy technology for buildings in the U.S. Now in its 12th year, some 100,000 people across the nation will see how neighbors are using clean sources of energy to save on energy bills and protect the environment. Through a series of open-houses and informative tours, participants learn about renewable energy options, energy efficient design, real-world costs, current rebates available, and other valuable insights.
Recently, Ice Energy, a company that makes an ice-based air-conditioning system (explained below), announced their collaboration with PG&E in California on a $10-million dollar project. The project is called "Shift and Save," and here’s the background: in the middle of the day, when the temperature is the highest, energy demand and the cost of energy is very high. But with Ice Energy’s product, consumers can "Shift and Save" by using energy in the nighttime, instead of the daytime. Daytime energy consumption is the bottleneck, it’s the peak, so energy generation must be sufficient to match peak demand. Interestingly, to the extent demand for peak energy can be permanently reduced, the need for new energy generation (i.e. coal plants) is reduced as well. Nice.
The system consists of a large plastic attachment for commercial air conditioning units that is filled with water, frozen overnight, and used to cool refrigerant during the day. According to Ice Energy CEO, Frank Ramirez, "It stores energy at night, when energy is cleaner to produce, cheaper to buy and easier to obtain, and it makes it available for use during the day." The new hardware costs about $10,500 and weighs about 5,000 pounds when filled with water. It looks very similar to a standard AC unit. Also, there can be an additional retrofitting cost of as much as $10,000 for existing buildings and a minimum $750 cost for new construction. Ice Energy is testing residential models (but another company called Trinity Thermal with the IceCycle has residential models already out right now). Anyone have experience to share?