Swift Wind Turbine is a quiet, rooftop mounted wind turbine. Unlike some designs you’ve seen previously, this one has an outer ring and five blades. The outer ring acts as a diffuser — the wind travels down the blades and is dispersed along the ring, therefore eliminating noise and keeping the turbine quiet. The company estimates a noise of less than 35 decibels for all wind speeds. The 7 foot diameter ring needs a roof line clearance of a couple feet and in good winds, can generate up to 2000 kWh of power (1.5 kW @ 14 m/s).
I realize that by blogging about this, I’m risking some criticism as to whether a parking structure can be green. I think it can, but I’ve heard mention from others that the term "green parking lot" is an oxymoron of sorts. After giving it some thought, I just can’t imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot. They’re going to exist, so they might as well be super green and zero energy, to the extent possible. This building, which is the Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure, has a solar array that provides all the building’s energy needs.
But it’s not just energy efficient, it’s green, too.
So I stumbled upon the iT House construction blog and was completely blown away by the documentation they’re posting. It’s an incredible little home that was designed by Taalman Koch for a five-acre lot in the high desert. It’ll be a model home and completely off-grid. There’s an on-site septic tank, 2500 gallon domestic water tank, and eight solar PV panels by Evergreen — and the home is just the right size, too.
Early in grad school, I purchased a halogen task lamp for my desk studies, but I grew tired of it for two reasons: it was too hot and the light was unbearable. So recently, I started looking around for a new, energy-efficient task lamp and Haworth was kind enough to send me a Brazo Task Lamp designed by Pablo Pardo of Pardo Designs. Brazo is a real award winner, taking both Best of Competition and Gold in Lighting for Best of NeoCon 2007. I knew it was going to be nice, but I really had no idea. Here’s my review …
There was a fantastic article in the NY Times on a positive energy home dubbed Solar Harvest. Solar Harvest generated more electricity in 2006 than what it took from the grid, so Xcel Energy sent the owner a check for $8.45. Nice! Solar Harvest was built by Eric Doub and his company, EcoFutures, in Boulder, Colorado for $1.38 million, including land.