Southwest Windpower, maker of the Skystream 3.7, unveiled a new version of the popular turbine at CES 2011 called Skystream 600. The turbine features an improved design with larger blades, enhanced software, and an improved integrated inverter. And, according to a press release, Skystream 600 will be the “first fully smart grid-enabled wind turbine” on the market when available in April 2011.
Technology and design are inextricably intertwined in the world of green building. During the last year, we’ve seen some fascinating technologies and clever designs that have the potential to reduce the environmental impact of the built environment in a new way. I hope you enjoy this review of innovation culled from our archives of the last year.
On average, water heating is the second largest energy expenditure behind heating and cooling, according to information on the Energy Star website. Folks spend anywhere from $400-$600 per year on water heating, so it’s a good area to scrutinize when trying to save energy at home. In South Carolina, thanks to a grant from the state energy office, 60 homes received a shiny, new Velux solar water heating system to showcase the benefits of this technology.
Artemide recently introduced a refined-looking, energy-efficient table lamp called Egle, which has adjustable direct LED lighting and is available in polished white, black, or chrome finishes. Notice the concave base, a feature included in the lamp by designer Michel Boucquillon for two reasons. It can hold tiny objects and spreads light when the lamp is adjusted downward.
This month 37 Parkside Avenue in Southampton – the HGA House – received LEED Platinum certification with a sizable 104 points. Sadly to say, it was built after David and Saundra Dubin’s original home was destroyed in a fire a couple years ago. The green home is nicely done, traditional, and wired up with all sorts of green gadgetry, perhaps showing folks in the jumbo luxury market what it takes to secure LEED Platinum certification.
Let's say you can't put solar on your roof. One option to tap into solar power would be to purchase a share of community solar. Another option, depending on your land situation, would be a pole-mounted setup with system that tracks the sun. Wattsun, the residential arm of manufacturer Array Technologies, offers a few such PV systems worth checking out.