Seems like the old incandescent business is on its last legs these days. I’m reading news from GE to mean that they’ve come up with an expensive silver bullet for screw-in home lighting. Due to hit shelves this fall or early 2011, the GE Energy Smart LED replaces 40-watt general service incandescent bulbs with nine watts of consumption, 450 lumens of light, and 25,000 hours of rated life.
Sustainable design start-up SMIT has been working on solar and wind powered facade technology for a while under the GROW moniker. Now, the company is about to blow the lid off the solar-powered GROW with commercial availability. SMIT is using a new name and website, Solar Ivy, for the biomimicry-inspired innovation made with recyclable polyethylene leaves, Konarka Power Plastic organic photovoltaics, and a structural stainless steel mesh system.
Most of the energy monitoring tools on the market right now gather aggregate information about the overall electricity use of a home. But the new eMonitor from PowerHouse Dynamics could change all this with circuit level monitoring. The eMonitor solution combines hardware, software, and service elements to provide home electricity use, electricity cost, and carbon footprint information by the minute. Past and present information is then available online and on the iPhone (starting in about Q2 2010).
You've probably seen one of the latest Apple commercials. The husband turns to his wife and asks, "Did we turn off the lights." The savvy wife, with her iPhone and Schlage LiNK app, responds with something like, "WE turned off the lights," while she does the same on her phone without her husband's help.
The commercial caught my attention, and I wanted to see what kind of capabilities this Schlage LiNK app had. Turns out the system is powered by Z-Wave technology to smarten typically unintelligent aspects of living. Some of the things you can do include:
Just a few days ago, the $41 million Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), a 55,000 square-foot building designed to LEED Platinum certification, was dedicated. The facility was built to be a living laboratory and platform to showcase technological innovation. Currently, the south facade of the laboratory wing includes a spot to test building envelope and window systems, and it's currently testing this innovative integrated concentrating dynamic solar facade.
When you buy a house, there’s no clear way to know what you’re getting. There’s no miles per gallon sticker, as with cars, or nutrition label, as with foods. You’ll pay for an inspection and walk through the place any number of times, but you definitely can’t see through the walls. It’s strange that we allow ourselves to spend, or mortgage, so much with so little information.