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Net Zero ADAPT Home Reduces the Need for Climate Control in the Chihuahua Desert

Net-Zero-ADAPT-Home

One of twenty teams that have been chosen to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, Team Texas is comprised of eighty students from multiple disciplines at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College.

Their submission is the $250,000 ADAPT home, a single family dwelling that takes on the unique challenges of the Far West Texas region where a high temperatures, low humidity, an average rainfall of eight inches a year, and strong winds can create a harsh and dusty environment in the Chihuahua desert that features mountain plateaus, high deserts, chaparrals, and verdant farmland. Taking cues from desert flora and fauna, ADAPT is an acronym for Accommodate, Design, Adjust, Provide, and Transform.

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Mehoopany Wind Farm Now in Full Commercial Operation

Mehoopany Wind Farm Windmill Farm

BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas and Power announced in early January 2013 that their $250 million wind farm project in Pennsylvania has gone into full commercial operation. The Mehoopany Wind Farm, located about twenty miles northwest of Scranton, is the state’s largest wind project. Read more »

Firefly is a New VAWT Small Wind Turbine

South Carolina-based Firefly Power is one of 20 other social- or environmentally-inclined companies presenting at the i2i Awards program in conjunction with SXSW Eco in Austin through Friday, October 5, 2012.  The company makes lightweight small wind turbines out of carbon-fiber blades in the vertical axis form.  The residential unit is rated at 1.8 kW, weighs less than 60 pounds, cuts in at 10 mph winds, and is expected to sell for about $7,000, according to Firefly Power.

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Wind-Oil: Homemade Food from Small Wind

Recall for a second a project called Rubble Floor by Dave Hakkens.  Hakkens recently published another project called “Wind-Oil” to show how to use industrial processes at home to create good food.  He made an oil pressing machine that’s powered by a small-wind turbine.  The machine has a worm drive that presses nuts and seeds — walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, etc — and spits out oil in one bottle and a food pulp in another.

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Bornay Two-Blade Small Wind Turbines

It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything new in the world of small wind, but I recently noticed that Bornay turbines from Spain are now distributed in the United States.  The company has several models, including two-blade models rated at 600 watts, 1500 watts, and 3000 watts, and a three-blade model rated at 6000 watts.  The Bornay 1500, for example, is about a nine-foot turbine that weighs 90 pounds and cuts in at winds of six mph.  The 1500-watt kit is sold for $20,000 by Electrex Industrial Services.

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Whisper Turbines Refreshed by Southwest

Southwest Windpower, maker of the small-wind turbine Skystream, just announced a refreshed Whisper line of turbines for battery-charging applications including off-grid residential homes.  The Whisper 100 (7′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 100 kWh per month at 12 mph; the Whisper 200 (9′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 200 kWh per month at 12 mph; and the Whisper 500 (15′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 538 kWh per month at 12 mph.

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