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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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The Landscape House Illustrates Smart Green Design

The Landscape House

This is The Landscape House, a concept designed by Maul Dwellings that won the AIA’s 2006 Committee on Design competition to design "A House for an Ecologist."  Although the concept was originally planned as field residence for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it’s also an example of the smart integration of design, technology, and sustainability.  The Landscape House features a double roof to enhance natural air circulation, operable louvered shutters that harvest energy, a Water Pod that houses all the efficient plumbing systems, and a solar dehumidifier unit that captures moisture from the air to produce distilled drinking water. 

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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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Santa Barbara Green Prefab on Display

Santa Barbara Sunset Breezehouse

Starting at 10:00 am this Saturday, June 14, a custom-made Sunset Breezehouse designed by MKD will be open to the public in Santa Barbara, California.  The open house will happen in conjunction with the Built Green Santa Barbara Expo, Conference, & Tour, but if you’re not able to attend, Michelle Kaufmann has been posting photos and details of the home for the past couple weeks.  The home, in addition to having all the various green materials and products typically used in MKD homes, has a PV solar array and sustainable landscape design that fits the home just perfectly. 

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Green Building Aspects of Toyota's Plug-in Hybrid News

Plug-in Prius

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:

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Envision Solar Trees as Energy Stations?

Envision Solar

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. 

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