Khosla Ventures-backed Cogenra Solar made big news this month when it celebrated the unveiling of an impressive 272-kW solar cogeneration installation at Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attended the event to flip the switch on 15 Cogenra SunBase modules that generate both electricity and hot water for the winery.
Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Sierra Bonita, an affordable housing development in West Hollywood, is the facade-integrated solar array that powers most of the peak load electricity demand for the common areas. The building also has a solar-powered hot water heating system, but beneath the clearly visible green technology is a modern building with apartments fully adaptable for its disabled residents.
Texas-based Solar Lights Factory just opened an online store with various solar LED products — pavers, cylinders, and icebergs — intending to make them available to regular consumers at an approachable price. The paver costs $40 each; the cylinder costs $50 each; and the iceberg starts at $15 each. Each product is self-contained and, with some creativity, can be used for landscapes, gardens, decks, pathways, driveways, and patios, etc.
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, a new company comes along with a different approach. SolTech Energy makes an innovative roof tile — similar but distinguishable from this thin-film solar tile offered by SRS Energy — that harvests solar energy with a traditional looking glass tile. Currently offered in Spain and Sweden, the SolTech System can be installed to work in conjunction with most common heating solutions on the market.
Recently, Chelsea Green Publishing sent us a copy of a new book, A Solar Buyer’s Guide for the Home and Office, by Stephen and Rebekah Hren, also the authors of the Carbon-Free Home. Just like the first book, the authors chose a topic that they’re clearly expert to talk about. Stephen is a builder and teacher with experience in passive and active solar heating technologies, while Rebekah is an NABCEP-certified photovoltaics installer, licensed electrical contractor, and ISPQ-certified solar instructor.