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Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering
Green building design topics including the fields of Architecture, and the disciplines of Engineering.
Curated by Duane Tilden
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Supercritical CO2 turbine for Power Production & Waste Heat Energy Recovery

Supercritical CO2 turbine for Power Production & Waste Heat Energy Recovery | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
A former scientist at Sandia National Lab is bringing the technology to market
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Because of its physical properties as a liquid, it has become a target fluid of opportunity to run turbines and thus make electricity. Steven Wright, Ph.D., who recently retired from Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), has set up a consulting company called Critical Energy LLC to bring this technology to a commercial level. 

The objective of using supercritical CO2 (S-CO2) in a Brayton-Cycle turbine is to make it much more efficient in the transfer of heat. Wright points out that a steam turbine is about 33% efficient, but that an S-CO2 turbine could be as high as 48% efficient, a significant increase. 

A closed loop supercritical CO2 system has the density of a liquid, but many of the properties of a gas. A turbine running on it, “is basically a jet engine running on a hot liquid,” says Wright. 

“There is a tremendous amount of scientific and industrial interest in S-CO2 for power generation. All heat sources are involved...<

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Manufacturer's Energy Efficient Heat Recovery Unit Runs High in Energy Awards

Manufacturer's Energy Efficient Heat Recovery Unit Runs High in Energy Awards | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
Vent-Axia has made the final shortlist in the prestigious Energy Awards 2013, which recognise and reward companies leading the way in reducing carbon emissions. Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Kinetic Plus E...
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Consuming as little as 20W, the Kinetic Plus E only costs around £20 a year to run, offering 94% thermal efficiency and potentially recovering 10 or 20 times more energy than it costs to operate. This offers homeowners an attractive cost saving as we enter the winter months and rising fuel costs.<

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Power Plays: Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy

Power Plays:  Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
The economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance shows that dozens of cities are boosting their local economies while dramatically reducing greenhouse gases.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>What's remarkable is that none of the examples relied on federal or state financial aid, but instead on the community's own resources.  And the communities featured in the report just scratch the surface of the many cities, counties, and municipalities that have tried and tested these options.

Eight local policies are featured in the report and the case studies of each policy show how these local tools have been leveraged for economic advantage, from more rigorous building codes to solar mandates and easier permitting to the use of a wide array of financing tools to spur renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The full list (far from exhaustive) includes:

Municipal electric utilitiesCommunity choice aggregation or "community utilities"Building energy codesBuilding energy use disclosureLocal tax authoritySolar mandates for new homesImproved solar permittingLocal energy financing

The policies aren’t tied to a political ideology, but a practical and local one.  Cities have identified where they have untapped resources and deployed them to generate jobs and keep more of their energy dollars in the economy.

The report also candidly admits that not every policy can be used everywhere.  In a brief chapter on the "Limits of Local Authority," a map illustrates how variation in state law gives some cities relative local superpowers compared to others.  Cities in states with so-called Dillon's Rule are largely confined to powers expressly granted by their state government.  Cities with home rule generally have more authority.<

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An overview of electrical technology: distribution and power transformers

An overview of electrical technology:  distribution and power transformers | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

When the transmitted power exceeds around 10 MVA, special designs are required to cope with the mechanical forces of short circuit currents, higher insulation levels and increased cooling requirements. For these ratings, liquid-filled transformers are usually used. 

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Robotic Technologies Applied to Solar Energy Market - Installation and Maintenance

Robotic Technologies Applied to Solar Energy Market - Installation and Maintenance | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

Mountain View CA (SPX) Sep 20, 2013 - ... robotic technologies deliver revolutionary installation and cleaning services at highly competitive prices ... for building and maintenance of utility-scale solar plants..

Duane Tilden's insight:

>The typical installation process for utility-scale projects is similar to that of a small-scale, 20-panel, residential installation. Despite incremental improvements to the process, a 200,000-panel installation has retained many of the characteristics of a 20-panel installation.

 

They are both labor-intensive, and require repetitive bolt-tightening and glass-hauling. While these are minor flaws in a 20-panel system, they create significant inefficiencies in 20,000- or 200,000-panel systems.

 

Alion Energy has plugged the shortcomings of the current installation methods by changing the materials and design used in the mounting structure as well as by automating the installation. By combining robotic installation technology with established construction practices, Alion Energy has built a system twice as fast and 75 percent more labor-efficient that lowers solar electricity's levelized cost of energy (LCOE) to compete with traditional energy sources.<

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Inside look at General Motors’ new hyper-green data center

Inside look at General Motors’ new hyper-green data center | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

WARREN, Michigan—General Motors has gone through a major transformation ... a three-year effort to reclaims its own IT after 20 years of outsourcing.

Duane Tilden's insight:

>The first physical manifestation of that transformation is here at Warren, where GM has built the first of two enterprise data centers. The $150 million Warren Enterprise Data Center will cut the company's energy consumption for its enterprise IT infrastructure by 70 percent, according to GM's CIO Randy Mott. If those numbers hold up, the center will pay for itself with that and other savings from construction within three years. [...]

 

The data center is part of a much larger "digital transformation" at the company, Mott said. GM is consolidating its IT operations from 23 data centers scattered around the globe (most of them leased) and hiring its own system engineers and developers for the first time since 1996. Within the next three to five years, GM expects to hire 8,500 new IT employees with 1,600 of them in Warren. "We're already at about the 7,000 mark for internal IT from our start point of about 1,700," Mott said. [...]

 

So far, three of the company's 23 legacy data centers have been rolled into the new Warren data center. That's eliminated a significant chunk of the company's wide-area network costs. "We have 8,000 engineers at (Vehicle Engineering Center) here," Liedel said. And those engineers are pushing around big chunks of data—the "math" for computer-aided design, computer aided manufacturing, and a wide range of high-performance computing simulations.

 

"Now with the data center on the same campus, we're not paying for the WAN bandwidth we had before," Liedel explained. "We've got dark fiber here on the campus, and the other major concentration of engineers is at Milford at the Proving Ground." Milford and Warren are connected over fiber via dens wave division multiplexing, providing 10 channels of 10-gigabit-per-second bandwidth.<

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Call for Energy Efficient Air-Conditioning with Technological Development

Call for Energy Efficient Air-Conditioning with Technological Development | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
Innovations could cut the growing amount of energy used for air-conditioning and refrigeration
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Conventional air conditioners employ refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons to absorb heat from the room to be cooled. That heat is then expelled outside, requiring electrically powered pumps and compressors. One idea to conserve energy is to replace coolant fluids and gases—which are often super-powered greenhouse gases capable of trapping more than 1,000 times more heat than CO2—with solid materials, such as bismuth telluride. A new device fromSheetak, developed in part with ARPA-E funding, uses electricity to change a thermoelectric solid to absorb heat, and could lead to cheaper air conditioners or refrigerators. Such refrigerators, which lack moving parts and are therefore less likely to break down, can be lifesavers in remote, rural areas for keeping medicines cool or food fresh.<

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DOE Regulations: Energy Efficiency Improvements for Motors cause Industry Challenges

DOE Regulations: Energy Efficiency Improvements for Motors cause Industry Challenges | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

The United States has had efficiency regulations for industrial electric motors in place since October 1997, when the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 92) set minimum efficiency levels for 1- to 200-hp general-purpose three phase motors. EPAct 92 was upgraded when the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) went into effect in December 2010. 

Duane Tilden's insight:

>Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a technical study as to what could be done to raise the efficiency levels of “small” motors. After years of study and litigation, the Small Motor Rule was passed that covers two-digit NEMA frame single- and three-phase 1/3 through 3 horsepower motors in Open enclosures.

 

Although the Small Motor Rule seems simple, it has the effect of creating motors with much larger footprints, particularly on single phase designs where capacitor start/induction run motors may largely be discontinued in Open enclosures. In some cases, a TEFC motor may be more cost effective and smaller than an Open motor.

 The DOE is presently conducting another technical study on “medium” AC induction motors of 1- to 500-hp. In their study, DOE is evaluating a possible increase in nominal motor efficiency of 1 – 3 NEMA bands (approximately 0.4 to 1.5%) above NEMA Premium Efficiency levels as defined in MG 1-2011 table 12-12. Although this sounds simple to do, such a motor redesign could entail new laminations, winding equipment and in many cases, new frames to fit the extra material. Some designs may not fit where existing motor designs of the same ratings fit today. This means that OEMs would need to redesign their machine if that is an issue and end users may have trouble fitting the new higher efficiency replacement motor into their equipment or existing envelope.<

 

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Biofuel Production from Palm oil plantation waste

Biofuel Production from Palm oil plantation waste | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
NextFuels to produce biofuels from palm plantation residue - Renewable Energy Magazine, at the heart of clean energy journalism
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Edible palm oil has surpassed soybean to become the largest source of cooking oil in the world, accounting for over 50 million tons of oil annually.

 

While plantation owners have managed to increase the productivity of their land by 15X since the late 80s, the growth of the industry has created a corresponding residue problem. Approximately 4.4 to 6 metric tons of agricultural waste is generated for each metric ton of oil. There are over 1,000 crude palm oil (CPO) mills in Southeast Asia and a single (60 tons per hour) mill can generate 135,000 tons of agricultural residue a year.

 

NextFuels uses a system called bio-liquefaction that efficiently transforms agricultural biomass to green energy. Biomass is placed into the plant mixed with water. The mixture is then heated to 330-degree Celsius while pressure is increased to 220 bar. Increasing the pressure keeps the water from coming to a boil, which conserves energy.

 

When cooled, the hydrocarbons form a putty-like substance called GreenCrude. Roughly 25 percent of the GreenCrude can be burned as a solid fuel in industrial boilers. The remaining 75 percent can be converted into a liquid-fuel equivalent to petroleum that is compatible with existing pipelines and vehicles.

 

The equipment required to convert GreenCrude into liquid fuels, in a process called hydrodeoxygenation, is already installed at most refineries and can... <

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NASA - Ecosystem, Vegetation Affect Intensity of Urban Heat Island Effect

NASA - Ecosystem, Vegetation Affect Intensity of Urban Heat Island Effect | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
NASA researchers studying have found that the intensity of the "heat island" created by a city depends on the ecosystem it replaced and on the regional climate.
Duane Tilden's insight:

I have measured the heat island effect in the Greater Vancouver area, specifically Metrotown, Burnaby to be in the order of 6 deg C, during a late summer evening.

>"The placement and structure of cities -- and what was there before -- really does matter," said Marc Imhoff, biologist and remote sensing specialist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The amount of the heat differential between the city and the surrounding environment depends on how much of the ground is covered by trees and vegetation. Understanding urban heating will be important for building new cities and retrofitting existing ones." 

Goddard researchers including Imhoff, Lahouari Bounoua, Ping Zhang, and Robert Wolfe presented their findings on Dec. 16 in San Francisco at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Scientists first discovered the heat island effect in the 1800s when they observed cities growing warmer than surrounding rural areas, particularly in summer. Urban surfaces of asphalt, concrete, and other materials -- also referred to as "impervious surfaces" -- absorb more solar radiation by day. At night, much of that heat is given up to the urban air, creating a warm bubble over a city that can be as much as 1 to 3°C (2 to 5°F) higher than temperatures in surrounding rural areas. 

The impervious surfaces of cities also lead to faster runoff from land, reducing the natural cooling effects of water on the landscape. More importantly, the lack of trees and other vegetation means less evapotranspiration -- the process by which trees "exhale" water. Trees also provide shade, a secondary cooling effect in urban landscapes.

Using instruments from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, as well as the joint U.S. Geological Survey-NASA satellite Landsat, researchers created land-use maps distinguishing urban surfaces from vegetation. The team then used computer models to assess the impact of urbanized land on energy, water, and carbon balances at Earth's surface. <

 




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Construction Materials Scarcities in India spurs alleged Mafia-Political corruption

In several areas, Indian rules and regulations make honest business impossible. The only choice is illegal business or no business.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Sand is essential for construction. Sand, gravel and cement are mixed to produce concrete. But an acute sand shortage has been created by licensing and environmental bottlenecks. So, mafia groups are mining river beds illegally across India. It’s easy: one mechanical excavator can extract several truckloads of sand every night.

 

Sand helps retain monsoon water in river beds, releasing the water gradually in the dry season. Excessive mining endangers this. Central and state governments have detailed environmental rules for extraction, made even tougher by court interventions. Ideally, we should have environmentally safe mining that meets rising construction demand.

 

Instead we have grossly insufficient legal mining, huge illegal mining, sand scarcity for construction, and big illegal profits split between the mafia and politicians.

 

A former cabinet minister recently declared that political parties are now funded mainly by the mafia, not by big business. This again is part of the untold Durga Sakthi story.

 

Politicians used to demand bribes for mining licences. Now, they deliberately hold back leases to make sand scarcer, and more profitable. [...]<

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Integration: Net-zero energy design | Consulting-Specifying Engineer

Integration: Net-zero energy design | Consulting-Specifying Engineer | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
-ASHRAE has a goal: net-zero energy for all new buildings by 2030. What do engineers need to know to achieve this goal on their projects?
Duane Tilden's insight:

>As net-zero energy and low-energy design projects become more prevalent, engineers must be prepared to collaborate with all members of a project team including architects, energy specialists, lighting designers, builders, and owners in order to accomplish net-zero energy goals with little to no cost premium. Is this possible today or will it take another 10 or more years to get there?

There are many examples of completed projects demonstrating that not only is this possible, but it has been done in all regions of the country using readily available building products and common construction methods. So what’s the secret? It’s all about the design.<

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Cambridge Plans Massive Energy Efficiency Retrofit

Cambridge Plans Massive Energy Efficiency Retrofit | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
This medieval English city is investing $1.5 billion for energy upgrades for the entire city.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>It’s one thing to build super-energy-efficient new homes and offices – it’s another matter entirely to bring ancient buildings up to par. But the medieval university city of Cambridge, England, plans to do just that with a $1.5 billion retrofit program.

 

The newly launched Cambridge Retrofit Project aims to reduce carbon emissions from buildings 30% before 2050 through a massive, city-wide retrofit scheme.  [...]

 

While the primary goal is reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, the program also aims to build up local businesses, create warmer homes and increase the value of properties.

 

Energy savings alone are expected to be worth $2.3 billion and the city’s carbon footprint, currently 830,000 tons a year, is expected to fall 1% a year, eventually reaching 500,000 tons a year as a result of the retrofit program.<

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Waste Heat Recovery using Supercritical CO2 turbines to create Electrical Power

Waste Heat Recovery using Supercritical CO2 turbines to create Electrical Power | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

Working fluids with relatively low critical temperature and pressure can be compressed directly to their supercritical pressures and heated to their supercritical state before expansion so as to obtain a better thermal match with the heat source. 

Duane Tilden's insight:

>Chen et al. [1-3] did a comparative study of the carbon dioxide supercritical power cycle and compared it with an organic Rankine cycle using R123 as the working fluid in a waste heat recovery application. It shows that a CO2 supercritical power cycle has higher system efficiency than an ORC when taking into account the behavior of the heat transfer between the heat source and the working fluid. The CO2 cycle shows no pinch limitation in the heat exchanger. Zhang et al.  [4-11] has also conducted research on the supercritical CO2 power cycle. Experiments revealed that the CO2 can be heated up to 187℃ and the power generation efficiency was 8.78% to 9.45% [7] and the COP for the overall outputs from the cycle was 0.548 and 0.406, respectively, on a typical summer and winter day in Japan [5].

    Organic fluids like isobutene, propane, propylene, difluoromethane and R-245fa [12] have also been suggested for supercritical Rankine cycle. It was found that supercritical fluids can maximize the efficiency of the system. However, detailed studies on the use of organic working fluids in supercritical Rankine cycles have not been widely published.

    There is no supercritical Rankine cycle in operation up to now. However, it is becoming a new direction due to its advantages in thermal efficiency and simplicity in configuration.<

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2015 IECC energy code raises requirements for efficiency, lighting controls, advanced HVAC in existing buildings

By Brianna Crandall, October 23, 2013—Hearings to finalize the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) wrapped up in Atlantic City recently with big wins for higher efficiency requirements in existing buildings, controls for lighting and daylighting hardware and HVAC equipment specifications, according to a news release from the New Buildings Institute (NBI), 

Duane Tilden's insight:

>The IECC is reviewed and updated every three years and serves as the model energy code for states and local jurisdictions across the country. The last version is the 2012 IECC.


In the United States, buildings account for about 40% of the energy consumed and 38% of all CO2 emissions, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Cost-effective measures that cut the energy used by buildings represent a critical strategy to help building owners save money and curb the impacts of climate change, notes NBI.

 

"The updates related to existing and historic buildings clarify and further extend the code's impact on the current building stock and will mean large energy savings growing over time," said Jim Edelson, NBI senior manager of codes and policy. "Taken together, the approved code changes represent the most significant code revisions for energy consumption of existing buildings since the 1970s."<

 

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Austerity at OSHA: Budget rolls back resources

Austerity at OSHA: Budget rolls back resources | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
While OSHA has never been the most robustly funded federal agency, its efforts and regulatory authority have helped prevent countless deaths, injuries and illnesses on the job.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>In a report released in late August by the Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch), author Nick Schwellenbach chronicled what austerity means for OSHA and the workers it protects. To first put the issue and impacts of slashed budgets in broader context, consider OSHA’s current capacity. According to the report, OSHA conducted fewer health and safety compliance inspections in 2011 than in 1981, despite the number of workplaces doubling from 4.5 million to 9 million and the number of workers growing from about 73 million to about 129 million. In that three-decade span, the ratio of OSHA inspectors to workers fell from one per 31,000 workers to one per 62,000 workers. And of course, as with most public health endeavors, cutting oversight of health and safety doesn’t save money in the long run.<

 
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Palo Alto will require electric-car charger wiring in new homes

Palo Alto will require electric-car charger wiring in new homes | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
Palo Alto is home to countless startups, including Tesla Motors, whose Model S luxury sedans can be seen throughout the neatly manicured streets of the very, very pricey town.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>With most electric-car charging today taking place in the garages of private homes, installing a home charging station can pose a hurdle to potential buyers.

 

Now Palo Alto, Calif., the city in the center of Silicon Valley, is moving to make it easier for homeowners who want to switch to an electric car.

The city council adopted a proposal that Palo Alto’s building code be changed to require that new homes come prewired for the installation of 240-Volt Level 2 charging stations.

 

The additional cost of adding such wiring to a house being built is only about $200, a fraction of the cost of retrofitting an older house with the appropriate electrical service and wiring.<


Read more at http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1087195_palo-alto-to-require-electric-car-charger-wiring-in-new-homes#trqrxpbwBEW8sKMG.99

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India's First LEED's Green Building targets "Net Zero" with High Efficiency Solar Power

India's First LEED's Green Building targets "Net Zero" with High Efficiency Solar Power | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

New Delhi, India (SPX) Sep 19, 2013 - SunPower has announced that Swadeshi Civil Infrastructure has completed the installation of a 930-kilowatt (kW) SunPower solar system on the rooftop of the Indira Paryavaran Bhavan building...

Duane Tilden's insight:

>The state-of-the art landmark will be India's first net zero energy building. Its design emphasizes conservation featuring trees to reduce adverse environmental impact, adequate natural light and shaded landscaped areas to reduce ambient temperature.

 

The building is targeted to achieve Platinum from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system, known as LEED INDIA. It also is expected to receive a five star Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment from the rating system developed by the Energy and Resource Institute and supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the nodal ministry of Indian government.<

 

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Net Energy Metering Policies Helping To Spur Solar Growth

All across the United States, rooftop solar panels are popping up on homes, businesses and schools like mushrooms in a forest, and utility-scale solar projects are bringing huge amounts of clean energy into our communities.  Why?
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Today, smart policies — likeRenewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Net Energy Metering (NEM) — are helping to fuel solar’s explosive growth. Our industry now employs 120,000 Americans at 5,600 U.S. companies. What’s more, we’re now generating enough electricity to power more than 1.5 million homes, including the White House!

 

Part of this amazing success story can also be attributed to the fact that the average cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years and by a whopping 50 percent since 2010.  As a result, American consumers, businesses and schools are flocking to rooftop solar.  According to the most recent statistics, the residential market alone grew by 48 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same time period a year ago.  That’s nothing short of remarkable.

 

NEM has significantly contributed to this growth.  Simply put, NEM is a credit on your bill that represents the full value of electricity delivered.  Think of it this way: surplus energy generated by a home or business system is exported to the electricity grid, allowing a consumer’s meter to spin backwards.  This allows the homeowner or business owner to have greater control over their energy use and prices.  That’s literally the definition of “consumer choice.”<

 
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Detroit Completes One of Nation's Largest LED Parking Garage Retrofits - WSJ.com

Sixty-one Acres of LED Lighting will reduce garage energy-use by 80 percent; Entire property by 7 percent
Duane Tilden's insight:

>LED technology is one of the highest performing, currently available methods of lighting. Energy savings of 50 to 80 percent are common when compared to the lamps that are typically used in garages. LED lamps also have much longer operating lives, resulting in fewer materials and transportation resources needed over time. The MGM Grand Detroit LED retrofit, will save enough electricity to power more than 350 average homes per year. [...]

 

Earlier this year, the company initiated a program to install 1,600 induction technology lighting fixtures covering 160 acres of open lot parking area at its resorts in Las Vegas. These lamps are ideal for the hot Las Vegas climate and will have an operating life of up to 20 years. An estimated 2.7 million kWh will be saved annually following the project's completion.

 

Additionally, MGM Resorts recently announced the planned installation of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays in the world at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center. The 6.2-megawatt installation will be MGM Resorts' first commercial solar project in the United States and will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.<

 

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Air Conditioning the World stresses Global Energy Supply

Air Conditioning the World stresses Global Energy Supply | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it

The United States currently uses more energy for air- conditioning than all other countries combined—a sobering statistic from Stan Cox of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas.

Duane Tilden's insight:

>According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 87 percent of American households are equipped with air-conditioning, and the United States expends about 185 billion kilowatt hours of energy annually on residential cooling.  [...]

 

Rapid increases in the ownership of air conditioners are already occurring in many developing countries. According to research by McNeil and Letschert, the percentage of urban Chinese households with an air conditioner jumped from less than 1 percent in 1990 to 62 percent in 2003. In 2010 alone, 50 million air-conditioning units were sold in China.  [...]

 

[...] eight countries have the potential to exceed the United States’ yardstick of high air-conditioning usage, because of their warm climates and significant populations. Furthermore, the top three could surpass the United States by substantial amounts: India, China, and Indonesia by factors of 14, 5.2, and 3.1, respectively, if they adopt American standards of cooling.


[...] Several institutions have recently made major technical advances in the design of more energy-efficient air conditioners. For example, developments at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggest that efficiency improvements of 20 to 70 percent are possible compared to current models of air conditioners. Changes in housing design and urban planning are also needed [...]<

 
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Quantitative Analysis of Factors Contributing to Urban Heat Island Intensity

Quantitative Analysis of Factors Contributing to Urban Heat Island Intensity | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
Ryu, Young-Hee, Jong-Jin Baik, 2012: Quantitative Analysis of Factors Contributing to Urban Heat Island Intensity. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 51, 842–854.
Duane Tilden's insight:

>This study identifies causative factors of the urban heat island (UHI) and quantifies their relative contributions to the daytime and nighttime UHI intensities using a mesoscale atmospheric model that includes a single-layer urban canopy model. A midlatitude city and summertime conditions are considered. Three main causative factors are identified: anthropogenic heat, impervious surfaces, and three-dimensional (3D) urban geometry. Furthermore, the 3D urban geometry factor is subdivided into three subfactors: additional heat stored in vertical walls, radiation trapping, and wind speed reduction. To separate the contributions of the factors and interactions between the factors, a factor separation analysis is performed. In the daytime, the impervious surfaces contribute most to the UHI intensity. The anthropogenic heat contributes positively to the UHI intensity, whereas the 3D urban geometry contributes negatively. In the nighttime, the anthropogenic heat itself contributes most to the UHI intensity, although it interacts strongly with other factors. The factor that contributes the second most is the impervious-surfaces factor. The 3D urban geometry contributes positively to the nighttime UHI intensity. Among the 3D urban geometry subfactors, the additional heat stored in vertical walls contributes most to both the daytime and nighttime UHI intensities. Extensive sensitivity experiments to anthropogenic heat intensity and urban surface parameters show that the relative importance and ranking order of the contributions are similar to those in the control experiment.

 

Keywords: Urban meteorology

Received: May 7, 2011;<

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Gerard Taulé Codinach's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:11 PM

Girona té una població de 100000 habitants i per aquest motiu té una illa de calor urbana important, amb una intensitat  mitjana anual de 5,4º i una intensitat màxima de 12,1º, assolida el 31 de desembre de 2007 a les 20,20 hores.

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Waste to Energy - Incinerator Operations threaten Community recycling programs

Waste to Energy - Incinerator Operations threaten Community recycling programs | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
Rise in number of plants burning waste may be disincentive to greener methods of disposal
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Experts said the use of incinerators had consequences for recycling as local authorities were forced to divert waste to feed the plants. "The choice to invest in thermal treatment can hold back recycling efforts," Adam Baddeley, principal consultant at Eunomia, said. "At one level, the money invested in such plant simply isn't available to put into building recycling plants or collection infrastructure. And once you've built an incinerator or gasifier, there's a strong incentive to keep it fed with waste, even if that means keeping on collecting as 'black bag' rubbish, material that would be economically practicable to collect separately for recycling."

 

Charmian Larke, technical adviser for Cornwall Waste Forum, which unsuccessfully opposed a large incinerator in the south-west, questioned the planning process that resulted in incinerators being approved. "Some of them [planning officers] have spent their entire careers trying to get this incinerator so they are wedded to the idea," Larke said. "But if the council members understood how bad these contracts were, the officers would lose their jobs."

 

Larke claimed that many of the incinerators were built in poorer areas. "There's a feeling that people who are downtrodden have a harder time getting their act together to object, and hence it's easier to place nasty things next to them."<

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Atmospheric Gas Features - free slide submission, upload slide - weSRCH

Atmospheric Gas Features - free slide submission, upload slide - weSRCH | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
The features are satnding gas pilot and motorized stack damper. This burner type has high standby losses. Air can move through the boiler and up the stack 24/7.... , Atmospheric Gas Features - free slide submission, upload slide - weSRCH.
Duane Tilden's insight:

Educational slideshow.

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Water Stress Threatens Future Energy Production

Water Stress Threatens Future Energy Production | Green Building Design - Architecture & Engineering | Scoop.it
When we flip on a light, we rarely think about water.  But electricity generation is the biggest user of water in the United States.  Thermoelectric power plants alone use more than 200 billion gallons of water a day – about 49 percent of the...
Duane Tilden's insight:

>Large quantities of water are needed as well for the production, refining and transport of the fuels that light and heat our homes and buildings, and run our buses and cars.  Every gallon of gasoline at the pump takes about 13 gallons of water to make.

 

And of course hydroelectric energy requires water to drive the turbines that generate the power.  For every one-foot drop in the level of Lake Mead on the Colorado River, Hoover Dam loses 5-6 megawatts of generating capacity – enough to supply electricity to about 5,000 homes.

 

In short, energy production is deeply dependent on the availability of water.  And, as a reportreleased last week by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) makes clear, as climate change brings hotter temperatures, more widespread and severe droughts, and lower river and lake levels, the nation’s energy supply is becoming more vulnerable. [...]

 

One particularly interesting figure in the report compares the water requirements of seven different types of electric power facilities – nuclear, coal, biopower, natural gas combined-cycle, concentrated solar, photovoltaic solar and wind.  The last two come out as by far the most water-conserving electricity sources.  In contrast to the 20,000-60,000 gallons per megawatt-hour needed for nuclear and coal plants with “once-through” cooling systems, PV solar and wind require only negligible quantities.<

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