We have to be skeptical with small wind because it’s been so shady up until now, but Mariah Power is seriously poised to release their vertical axis wind turbine this spring for $3,995. This is incredible news. They just passed the ETL (safety) certification and also comply with UL1741 and IEEE 1547.1. Translation: the Windspire is safe to go to market. But you’ll notice that the Windspire features a new design, which is expected to produce about 1800 kilowatt hours per year in 11 mph average wind conditions. That amount of wind power is roughly 25% of a typical household’s energy.
The Windspire has several features that make it a likely candidate to dazzle the market.
This is going to be a cool development when it’s complete. Slated to be the #1 highest scoring LEED building in the world by a fair margin (meaning: Platinum Certification at 64-66 points), Independence Station is 35% complete and should beat Oregon’s strict energy code by about 74%. Steven Ribeiro, developer and principal at Aldeia Development, energetically remarks on his project: "This retro-futuristic, mixed-use building will run on 100% renewable energy, primarily vegetable oil and the sun." Sounds good to me.
Here’s a list of some of the green features planned for Independence Station:
This is just another example of micro-green technology in an entirely necessary and functional setting. The video shows a streetlight running on both wind and solar in front of Panasonic Center in Tokyo. In addition to the helix turbine and butterfly solar panels, there’s a high-efficiency light bulb and battery for capturing energy during the day (to be used at night). Someone tell me why we don’t see
more any of this in the U.S.? Via EcoGeek.
I ran across some news that Marquiss Wind Power just raised $1.3 M in series A funding, which, in and of itself, isn’t that big of a deal to me (because funding doesn’t = anything). That said, Marquiss Wind Power has quite the value proposition with their ducted wind turbine product called Aeropoint, a product that comes in three sizes. It’s a small-wind turbine built for commercial buildings of 1-3 floors. Based out of Folsom, California, the company had encouraging results with the first three test turbines. Actually, the results were so good the company claims purchasers should have a payback period of 2-7 years. You’ll notice that depending on a lot of different factors, a 2-7 year payback is about 2x faster than the payback for solar.
This is a preview of what William McDonough (you know, Cradle to Cradle and Time’s Hero for the Planet) will be talking about this week in Abu Dhabi at the World Future Energy Summit. Dubbed the "Tree Tower" by Building Magazine, a leading UK construction magazine, the speculative Office Building of the Future was originally just a concept for Fortune Magazine in 2006. There is no commission for the building, but at the very least, it illustrates principles of good design for all buildings.
Blending nature and man-made construction, the Office Building of the Future will positively impact the environment. Solar and geothermal power create energy, tree-filled terraces recycle water, and multiple skins weatherproof and insulate the inside of the building. The building, designed with materials that can either be reused or returned safely to the earth, is made to absorb natural light, too. In all, it’s a super showcase of principles necessary to build something that doesn’t take more than it gives. We’ll see if McDonough makes any announcements this week. Thoughts?