Archive for October 16th, 2009

Germany Wins Solar Decathlon

Germany Wins Solar Decathlon

solar-decathlon
For the past week, 20 teams took over the National Mall with their best attempts at a net-zero, solar-powered home, all with hopes to win this year’s Solar Decathlon.  Today, after competing in ten different contests, the winners were crowned, and for the second time, Germany took first place.

The cube-shaped surPLUShome, covered on all sides by dark metallic solar panels, produces more than twice the energy it uses.  The roof is covered with single-crystal silicon panels and the sides with thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) panels.  The entire system has a capacity of 11.1 kW.

Just as impressive was the efficiency of the home.  The team got a perfect score in the Net Metering contest.  Features like one large multi-purpose room with different “zones” instead of separated rooms, vacuum insulation structural panels, a boiler/heat pump system for hot water and heat and louver-covered windows created an energy-sipping home.

Two U.S. teams also placed in the competition:  Team Illinois took second and Team California took third.  All of the entries showcased innovative and beautiful designs.  Check out virtual tours of all the entries here and let the inspiration begin.

via Inhabitat


Visit the original post at: EcoGeek.org

NREL Helps Green Building Designers with Updated Software

openstudio
One of the most important changes we can make in the fight against climate change is to make buildings more energy efficient both through retrofitting existing buildings and making new construction ultra-efficient.  Luckily, that task is becoming easier for building designers.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory released an updated plug-in for Google’s SketchUp building modeling software this week, expanding the potential for architects and designers to implement green building features from the drawing board.

The OpenStudio plug-in brings more energy efficiency modeling tools to the open-source software.  Designers can now easily determine the best window placement or solar panel positioning and because the plug-in is integrated with NREL’s EnergyPlus software, the building’s heating, cooling, lighting and ventiliation systems can all be simulated.

SketchUp also can pull data from Google Earth, allowing users to enter in the exact longitude and latitude of the building location and see how landscape features can influence their design.  All of these tools will allow designers to keep energy efficiency in mind from the very beginning through the end of a project, meaning any inefficient designs can be cast off right away, saving time and money.

Ultimately, NREL would like OpenStudio to also link in with construction-cost databases to factor in building costs and with the LEED certification program to allow designers to meet LEED standards even at the modeling stage.

The OpenStudio plug-in for SketchUp is now compatible with Windows 7, Linux and Snow Leopard.

via Earth2Tech


Visit the original post at: EcoGeek.org

NREL Helps Green Building Designers with Updated Software

openstudio
One of the most important changes we can make in the fight against climate change is to make buildings more energy efficient both through retrofitting existing buildings and making new construction ultra-efficient.  Luckily, that task is becoming easier for building designers.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory released an updated plug-in for Google’s SketchUp building modeling software this week, expanding the potential for architects and designers to implement green building features from the drawing board.

The OpenStudio plug-in brings more energy efficiency modeling tools to the open-source software.  Designers can now easily determine the best window placement or solar panel positioning and because the plug-in is integrated with NREL’s EnergyPlus software, the building’s heating, cooling, lighting and ventiliation systems can all be simulated.

SketchUp also can pull data from Google Earth, allowing users to enter in the exact longitude and latitude of the building location and see how landscape features can influence their design.  All of these tools will allow designers to keep energy efficiency in mind from the very beginning through the end of a project, meaning any inefficient designs can be cast off right away, saving time and money.

Ultimately, NREL would like OpenStudio to also link in with construction-cost databases to factor in building costs and with the LEED certification program to allow designers to meet LEED standards even at the modeling stage.

The OpenStudio plug-in for SketchUp is now compatible with Windows 7, Linux and Snow Leopard.

via Earth2Tech


Visit the original post at: EcoGeek.org

NREL Helps Green Building Designers with Updated Software

openstudio
One of the most important changes we can make in the fight against climate change is to make buildings more energy efficient both through retrofitting existing buildings and making new construction ultra-efficient.  Luckily, that task is becoming easier for building designers.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory released an updated plug-in for Google’s SketchUp building modeling software this week, expanding the potential for architects and designers to implement green building features from the drawing board.

The OpenStudio plug-in brings more energy efficiency modeling tools to the open-source software.  Designers can now easily determine the best window placement or solar panel positioning and because the plug-in is integrated with NREL’s EnergyPlus software, the building’s heating, cooling, lighting and ventiliation systems can all be simulated.

SketchUp also can pull data from Google Earth, allowing users to enter in the exact longitude and latitude of the building location and see how landscape features can influence their design.  All of these tools will allow designers to keep energy efficiency in mind from the very beginning through the end of a project, meaning any inefficient designs can be cast off right away, saving time and money.

Ultimately, NREL would like OpenStudio to also link in with construction-cost databases to factor in building costs and with the LEED certification program to allow designers to meet LEED standards even at the modeling stage.

The OpenStudio plug-in for SketchUp is now compatible with Windows 7, Linux and Snow Leopard.

via Earth2Tech


Visit the original post at: EcoGeek.org

Obama Plans Climate Bill Push, Supports Nuclear and Drilling Compromises
obama-climate-push.jpg
Photo via the Washington Post

In New Orleans yesterday, Obama said that after health care reform debate wraps up, his administration is getting ready to give climate legislation a major push. Sensing the bipartisan consensus that’s starting to form around the bill, the president appears ready to throw his weight behind the climate bill–and behind the compromises that would allow for mo…
Visit the original post at: TreeHugger

Israelis Bring Solar Power to Palestinian Tent Village
A group of Israeli scientists and activists have introduce solar power to a group of 300 Palestinian villagers. Susya, located on the West Bank is home to 300 people who live in makeshift tents and caves. There are no electricity lines servicing their area. They don’t have phone lines but can now charge their cell phones via a charge from the newly placed solar panels.

The story here at MSNBC.


Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

ODAC Newsletter – Oct 16

ODAC Newsletter – Oct 16

Oil prices rose this week breaking the $75/barrel mark for the first time this year. The gains were mainly fuelled by rising equity prices and a falling dollar…

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Visit the original post at: Energy News

SuperStation: The Superconductor Energy Hub Uniting U.S. Grids

New Mexico may become a hub for this kind of energetic interaction, as Clovis is wanted to host the SuperStation, a hub using superconducting cables to link three networks: The Eastern Interconnection, The Western Interconnection and the Texas Interconnection. The 5GW carrying cables will be cooled down to -300°F and thus energy losses through heat will be infinitesimally close to zero.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Todd Ditmire’s Petawatt Laser: One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion

Todd Ditmire, from the University of Texas, has invented a laser device that can produce petawatt power through a process of chirping, that takes a short light pulse (150 femtoseconds) and stretches it out in time, amplifies it to higher energy and then recompresses it to about 100 femtoseconds in time, obtaining 190 joules of energy.


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Clean Edge Says Cleantech Jobs Are Everywhere
Cleantech is becoming one of the country’s key markets for growth and job creation. In its first look at the state of clean-tech jobs in the U.S. and globally, Clean Edge Inc. has released its Clean Tech Job Trends 2009.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Coskata Unveils Its First Feedstock Flexible Ethanol Facility
Coskata Inc. announced the successful start-up of their semi-commercial flex ethanol facility located in Madison, Pennsylvania.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

PG&E Signs 290-MW Solar Deal With NextLight
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has reached a deal with Agua Caliente Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NextLight Renewable Power LLC, for 290 megawatts (MW) of solar power to serve PG&E’s customers in Northern and Central California. The agreement is one of several recently signed by the utility with independent developers for a total of 830 MW of solar power.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Invenergy & WindPole Sign Support Deal

Invenergy & WindPole Sign Support Deal
WindPole Ventures LLC has executed an agreement with Invenergy Wind Development LLC to provide wind resource data in support of Invenergy’s wind power development and operations. Under the agreement, WindPole will equip towers in six states to generate wind resource data for Invenergy. WindPole will use a national portfolio of tall towers including 1,200 towers formerly in ATT’s microwave relay network.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com

Poet Replacing More Petroleum Products with Inviz
Poet this week announced that it is one step closer to realizing the maximum value from each part of the corn kernel with a new ethanol co-product, Inviz, which, the company said could replace petroleum-based ingredients in household products ranging from pill coatings to plastic packaging.
Visit the original post at: Renewable Energy News – RenewableEnergyWorld.com