Pythagoras Solar makes a revolutionary solar-powered window – literally an insulated window with integrated photovoltaics – that has the ability to turn buildings into massive power producers. The company has been testing a pilot project on the south-facing windows of the 56th floor of Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower. If the pilot goes well, Willis Tower could end up with a surface area of up to two megawatts of solar.
Sunnovations, a Virginia-based start-up, is seeing more and more interest in its unique solar thermal technology and just closed a Series A round of financing led by Two Seven Ventures. That technology is explained in the attached images, and it may just make solar water heating a no-brainer for every home in the country. The system is relatively affordable, easy to install, and simple to maintain, according to the company.
Velux makes some great products for drawing natural light indoors. The company recently introduced a new, low-profile, flat-glass Sun Tunnel skylight at IBS 2011, and it will be available later this year. Already in use in Europe, the new skylight trades the bulbous, dome-style, roof model for a sleek, more modern, less noticeable look.
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.
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.