Posts Tagged ‘Is The Future’

2 October

Solar Decathlon Europe 2012: Ecolar-Odoo-Fold-Prispa

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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This video is a composite of four designs of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 at Madrid, Spain:
1. Ecolar Home of Scolar Team from University of Applied Sciences Konstanz of Germany
2. Odoo of Odooproject from Budapest University of Technology Y Economics of Hungary
3. Fold of Team DTU from Technical University of Denmark of Denmark
4. Prispa of Prispa Team of “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest University Politechnica of Bucharest of Romania


Ecolar, as the name suggests, is comprised of the amalgamation of “ecological” , “solar”, “economic” and “modular”.In this case, the constructive material is wood and the hollow spaces are filled with an insulation of hemp, providing a high bearing capacity and good insulation values. Its flexible joints enable the extension and deconstruction of all or part of the building. Identical columns and beams can be produced in series to reduce manufacturing cost with high level of accuracy. Three different facade elements have been selected and optimized for climate conditions and orientations to the sun of Madrid: the northern and southern walls are designed as translucent elements, the eastern and western facades are opaque and comprise a newly developed solar-hybrid -system. Its roof is covered with innovative solar panels available in an opaque and a semi-transparent design;the multifunctional panels has many different purposes: water bearing surfaces, active and passive heating, cooling, and generation of electricity. Flexibility and modularity are seen in its Super cabinet and furniture. And an intelligent home automation system provides maximum comfort while meeting high energy standards.

The 2nd design, Odoo, offers a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, spending up to 50% of time under the open sky. The Hungarian students designed a summer kitchen and resting area where daily activities such as cooking, dining, relaxing, and working are carries out at great comfort level.They integrated the solar panels of the roof and the facade to become dominant aesthetic and architectural elements, defining the appearance of the house. Odoo featured a unique passive surface heating-cooling system, solving the issue of lacking thermal mass by adding insulated water tanks filled with collected rainwater. The tank is connected to the piping running in the floor and ceiling by a heat exchanger device.

The third design, the Fold, take energy efficiency and livability to a new level. The elegant thinfilm solar cells on the roof cover a hot water system . The 86 mm thick PVT system contributes to the house with electricity and hot water. The architectural concept of Fold is made possible by combination of very strong Finnish Kerto wood and Rockwool Aerowolle (slabs are constructed as sandwich elements with Kerto wood on both sides and Rockwool between the wooden slabs.) On both sides of the slabs a layer of high-insulating Rockwool Aerowolle is mounted. This construction prevents thermal bridges, minimizing the thickness of the slabs to create the slender Fold. Traditional floor heating panels are placed on both floor and ceiling surfaces. The PVT system on the roof supplies the floor heating with hot water and a callibrated control system and the high- performance Nilan unit converts the heat from PVTs into energy to drive the cooling system placed in the ceiling.

Finally, Prispa of Romania, finds alternative solutions to expensive systems: its modularity and simplicity makes it easy to assemble, disassemble, and expand the house, using I-joists beams (double T-shaped beams with an OSB heart and wooden feet). There is the air-to-air heat exchanger insuring fresh air and diminishing the heat load during summer. Strategic placing of thermal mass material on the floor near the South glazed surfaces to absorb natural heat from the sun or the radiant panels on the walls (clay finish for regulating humidity).
~have a bright and sunny day~
There is always more on solar energy at http://www.sunisthefuture.net
Any of your comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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1 October

Solar Decathlon Europe 2012’s Med In Italy, House Pi_Unizar, Sumbiosi, SML System, (E)co

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links, below)

This is a video of composites of 5 designs from Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 in Madrid, Spain: Med In Italy of Universita Degli Studi Di Roma Tre Sapienza Universita Di Roma, Free University of Bozen Fraunhofer Italy from Italy; House Pi_Unizar of Grupo Pi_Unizar of Universidad De Zaragoza of Spain;Sumbiosi of Aquitaine Bordeaux Campus of Bordeaux University of France;SML System of CEU Team Valencia of Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera of Spain;(E)co of (E)co Team of Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya of Spain.


The first segment was of Med In Italy, focusing on five points, essential for the Mediterranean house of tomorrow:1.passive system through heavy stone, masonry wall, and wood technology 2. active system through integrated PV 3.cost reduction, performance optimization and time reduction through prefabrication 4. eco-consciousness through use of reusable natural building material 5. allowing aggregation vertically and horizontally. More details about this design at http://inhabitat.com/super-efficient-med-in-italy-house-takes-the-lead-at-the-2012-solar-decathlon-europe/

The second segment is of House Pi_Unizar, focusing on what technology is currently available, with design highlights being: energy saving through form factor;using glass reinforced concrete isolated with cork, thermal inertia;solar energy efficiency through cooling, heating, and power.

Third is the Sumbiosi of France was conceived as one space that one can open, close, and separate according to the seasons, the time of the day or an event. Use of Fresnel lenses to concentrate sun’s energy, along with tracking system, optimizes the solar energy of this design. Even the water is efficiently used through “lombrifiltre” which recycles the grey water (using earthworms and sedimentary layers filtering water).

Fourth segment is SML System of Spain, focusing on prefabrication, energy efficiency, solar energy, efficient air renewal, self-learning appliances, and smart heating and cooling.

Last but not  the least, the (E)co of Spain, achieved environmental equilibrium by working with energy, material, and water. “an (e)co house is a low-cost, self-sufficient greenhouse based on the principles of zero ecological and zero economic footprints. The house operates solely on solar energy promoting eco-friendly living.” 96 percent of this house was built using reusable resources, including organic and biodegradable materials. This model home is able to provide 70 percent of drinking water by collecting rain and grey water treated in artificial wetlands. The set of PV solar panels donated by Siliken generate all electricity needed by the (e)co house including water heating. This greenhouse concept also emphasizes the need not only to produce energy but also to maximize the use of recycled material for building material.

~have a bright and sunny day~
Any of your questions/comments/suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
There is always more on solar energy at http://www.sunisthefuture.net

Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/services/press-releases/details/beitrag/siliken-sponsors-construction-of-an-eco-house-at-solar-decathlon-europe-2012_100008493/#ixzz295p06fSa
Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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30 September

Patio 2.12-Eko House-CEM’ Casas Em Movimento-Ekihouse-Astonyshine Designs of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links, below)

Please allow me to share our next sequence of designs at Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 at Madrid, Spain:

This is a composite of five designs of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012: Patio 2.12 of Andalucia Team of Universidades De Sevilla, Jaen, Granada Y Malaga of Spain;Eko House of Team Brazil of Universidade Federal De Santa Catarina Universidade de Sao Paulo of Brazil;CEM’ Casas Em Movimento of CEM+NEM Team of Universidade Do Porto of Portugal;Ekihouse of EHU Team of Universidad Del Country Vasco of Spain;and Astonyshine of Astonyshine Team of Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais Universita Di Ferrara Ecole Des Ponts Paristech Politecnico Di Bari of France-Italy.

In the first design of this clip, it is the Patio 2.12 of Andalucia Team. During winter, the patio becomes a greenhouse;its glass envelope captures solar radiation and the heated air is conducted to the conditioned rooms. At night the patio and room openings are closed, in order to decrease energy lost through the walls and to use the patio as a thermal transition between the conditioned inside and the open outside. During summer days, the solar radiation on the roof is controlled by the pergola, folding the glass panels and “opening” the patio, and letting the air flow through the vertical walls. Different wind pressures over the walls promote a continuous airflow through the patio. At night, the glass cover is extended and the airflow becomes horizontal through the opened walls of the patio. More details about this house at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKM9FylJGU4&feature=plcp

In the second segment, we welcome Team Brazil to Solar Decathlon Europe for the first time ever. Team Brazil is the only entrant from Americas (North & South Americas). Their Eko House construction is more concerned with the design and building process rather than high technology. The emphasis is in the human sustainability concept. Detailed description of this house will be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjJ-iViensQ

The third, “CEM’ CASAS EM MOVIMENTO”, House of Movement, is a house that tracks the sunlight;this enables its ability to optimize production of solar energy, reduction of heat consumption and reduction of interior lighting requirements. The house feeds itself from the sun following it as it rises and sets by a movement of approximately 180% from east to west. This sunflower effect, combining with movements of solar panels, maximizes solar gains. The production of energy from this house will be 2.5 times greater than the energy consumption needs of the house. Every movement of the house creates new interior and exterior spaces, adapting the house to one’s daily life throughout the day. More detailed description of this house is at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq5T3CjJznU



The fourth, Ekihouse, of EHU Team of Spain, focused on reducing its energy needs and taking advantage of the natural resources of the location and use innovative systems to create the proper conditions for living. For more details of this house, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ehu_Team_-_EKIHOUSE_-_Spain_-_01.JPG
http://vimeo.com/47316719

The fifth and last design of this clip, Astonyshine of France-Italy, aims at integrating energy efficient technology with solar powered architecture, by dealing with six key issues: use of freestones, concentrated solar power systems (combining solar PV and thermal), control of PV field with electronic systems embedded into each module to extract maximum energy, research new design, material, and technology, search for optimal illumination (natural and/or artificial), and integration of architectural and structural design. More details on this house at: http://inhabitat.com/swooping-astonyshine-solar-decathlon-house-boasts-a-bold…

There is always more on solar energy & sustainability athttp://www.sunisthefuture.net
Any comments/questions/suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
~have a bright and sunny day~
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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29 September

Canopea House of France Came On Top, Para Eco-House of China, Counter Entropy House of Germany, Omotenashi House of Japan In Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links, below)

While visiting the eighteen houses in Villa Solar in Madrid, Spain, designed by university students from eleven countries, I was thoroughly impressed by their creative use of solar passive and active energy systems and  much consideration for reuse-recycling-conservation of all natural resources.

Of all eighteen designs that participated in Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) 2012, one stood above all others in many respect, not only in the physical sense (the fact that this design represented a nanotower concept), but also due to its  special consideration for individuals’ relationship to nature and to community.  The Canopea House of Team Rhone-Alpes (of Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Grenoble of France)

Canopea of Rhone-Alpes of Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture de Grenoble of France, Winner of Solar Decathlon Europe of 2012: Nanotower (top) & Top Floor (bottom).Canopea is the winner of Overall, Comfort Conditions Contest, Functioning on the House Contest, and Innovation Contest

answered the modern concern for population density in the French alpine corridor cities where land is scarce and expensive (resulting from limited urban space due to presence of mountains and rivers): in terms of  space, comfort, investment and maintenance cost, reducing sense of isolation while increasing sense of community through shared living space on top floor (with common laundry, summer kitchen, relaxing place for the community, gardens, and storage boxes) and  communal gardening area, and connected transit network, services, and shops.  But the most inviting feature, for me, was the top communal floor where natural sunlight splashing down from the solar cell-patterned ceiling (truly reflecting the idea of human being living below the canopy), residents  swinging in various hammocks, BBQ, or converse with neighbors.  That sense of shared community chased away any feeling of  isolation often seen in urban sprawl.  This design truly is the most wholistic answer not just for our energy consumption but also our humanity.

The second house featured in this clip, Para Eco-House of  Tongji Team (of Tongj University of China),

Para Eco House of Tongji Team of Tongji University of China

combined both parametric and ecological strategies into the design of this house while utilizing passive and active energy systems in this project.  The concept of multi-layer skin emerged from a combination of Dao theory in Eastern philosophy and the theories of Michel Foucault in Western thought, especially the ideas of autonomy in architecture. The two philosophies merged, as did the active and passive energy systems, into a symbiotic relationship, with mutual benefit.  I was very intrigued by its external  lattice skin/rhomboid wall designed by a computer program written by Tongji University students, based on climate data collected from Madrid, Spain.  To name some of its ecological strategies:  PV panels, solar collector system, motorized sun tracking solar panels, PVT system, gray water treatment and ventilation aid, wetland filter system, water south heat pump with heat recovery unit, rain water harvesting, evaporating water cooling, architectural shading, inner courtyard ventilation, vertical green, composite skin system, VIP thermal proof wall, bamboo furniture, temperature-humidity independent control system, mist propagation system, LED lighting, etc.

Below, you will see this video clip composed of highlights of 4 designs of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 (details of these individual designs can also be found at our sunisthefuture Youtube Channel):


The third design in this clip, the Counter Entropy House
 

Counter Entropy House of RWTH Aachen University of Germany during Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

of

RWTH University from Germany, was based on the idea of optimizing resources and energy life cycle of a building in which the production,transport, and eventual disposal components were all considered. This house included products made from recycled material and direct or indirect object recycling (such as facade made from melted CD panels, the floor made from old beams of Aachener stadium, and the furnishing made from reused wooden boards collected from bulk rubbish). Counter Entropy design combined multifunctional and space-saving configurations to create maximum space by optimal use and adaptation to current situation.  Its coolest feature was the transparent moving wall, remotely controlled by IPad/notepad, as though magic was in place during a scene in Star Trek;this feature also provided most fantastic ventilation/fresh air. It was also based on the idea of a thermal cooling system being much more sustainable than climatizing the house with electricity.  So, the abandonment of a mechanical heat pump as the central element of the building services engineering was the main aim while a far-reaching use of solar thermal energy was used to provide the energy needed air-conditioning. The solar thermal energy provided significant advantages over the exclusive use of photovoltaic cells. The second system was the cooling ceiling fed by a  special fluid circle: rain water from the tank cools down the dispersion, water blended with PCM within the cold-storage tank via a heat exchanger.  The dispersion in the cold storage tank is pumped through the ceiling, cooling down the room temperature by means of radiation cooling.

The fourth and final segment of this clip was the Omotenashi House

Omotenashi House of Chiba University of Japan during Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

of the Chiba University of Japan, a new type of housing and lifestyle centered on promoting energy and food self sufficiency by reintroducing the agricultural environment into the residence.  Besides rice paddies in front and vegetations on side of the house, the plant factory (with controlled temperature and humidity) is seen being used for rapid, safe, and efficient cultivation of crops.  Engawa (an encounter space connecting the interior to exterior of the house) is  where one may encounter people, nature, the movement of time, or to enjoy activities such as growing plants or enjoying tea with visiting neighbors. The movable tatami mat units in the engawa allowed the semi outdoor space to be reconfigured, enabling a variety of living environments.  Omotenashi House was built from precise, robot-made units, reducing energy use and CO2 emissions during construction.  With the roof tile-shaped solar panels (as BIPV, building-integrated solar PV) , it can produce 1.7 times the electrical capacity produced by previous panels, while presenting the appearance of traditional Japanese roof.  Omotenashi House also used material such as Japanese tatami and recycled decking (regulating the indoor environment and produce low VOC’s).  Furthermore, these are all biodegradable sustainable materials.  This design from Japan definitely had thoughtfully considered our life with plants, link between indoor and outdoor, and health and sustainability of all.

Related sites:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdeurope/sets/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdeurope/sets/72157631649893199/
http://www.sdeurope.org/?lang=en

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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28 September

Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) 2012 Director & Organizer

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

This video clip below is composed of two interviews taken place at Madrid, Spain (more specifically Villa Solar) on September 26, 2012, one with Director Javier Serra (from Ministerio de Formento or Ministry of Development), followed by one with Organizer of SDE 2012 Martin Gil Von Der Walde.


Between September 14-30, 2012, 18 teams from 11 countries (Germany, Brazil, China, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Portugal, and Romania) arrived in the Villa Solar at the Puerta del Angel site within Madrid’s Casa de Campo, to build 18 energy efficient houses.  For 15 days each house have undergone 10 contests with scoring.  The one consuming the least natural resources and producing the minimum waste in its lifetime would be the winner of the competition.

Solar Decathlon Europe originated from the American edition of the competition. The U.S. Department of Energy created the Solar Decathlon competition in 1999 and its first edition was held on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2002. The Polytechnic University of Madrid participated in the American editions in 2005 and 2007 and led to the agreement between governments of both countries on the launching of the first edition outside USA. The first edition of Solar Decathlon Europe was held in 2010 in Madrid with great success, with 200,000 people visiting the sustainable houses of the participating teams.This year, 2012, the second edition of the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 is organized by the Ministry of Public Works, Madrid’s City Council and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, through its Higher Technical School of Architecture, and its principal sponsors are Schneider Electric and Kommerling.

Some of the special considerations that occurred in SDE 2012: reuse and conservation of all natural resources.  I applaud the Europeans for this consideration because this is even more critical in preservation of our planet.   Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) 2012 offers a variety of activities related to sustainable energy, aiming to entertain and amuse children while helping them to realize the importance of caring for our environment and the advantage of house powered by solar energy.  One of the main novelties of this edition of SDE is the intelligent network or smart grid.  Solar Decathlon’s Micro Smart Grid connects and controls the whole electrical system from this micro grid, connecting the 18 houses in the Villa Solar, as well as organizational buildings, stands, marquees, services and even the electrical recharging points for electric vehicles at the Villa Solar.  The network, designed by Schneider Electric, could manage some 180,000 kWh in a year and effect a saving equivalent to 180 tons of CO2. In 2010 edition of SDE , participating houses produced three times as much energy as they consumed. Overall, they generated 6,177 kWh while they consumed 2,579kWh. The surplus energy was fed into the network for the benefit of people in the neighborhood. In 2012 edition of SDE, for the first time, any surplus energy generated can be fed into the city’s power network, enabling the city’s citizens to benefit from power generated by participating houses.

More posts to come covering Solar Decathlon Europe 2012….

Any of your comments/questions/concerns/suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
There is always more on solar energy at http://www.sunisthefuture.net

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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27 September

Demonstration Against Austerity Measures In Madrid, Spain

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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On the eve of September 26, 2012, around 7:30 P.M., I arrived in the center of Madrid, Spain (for coverage of Solar Decathlon Europe 2012), in  midst of an excited crowd, full of tense emotions and discontentment.  My tired body trudged through what seemed like sea of humanity, dragging my luggage,  after the taxi cab driver refused to continue on due to demonstrators gathered to protest against  Spanish government’s announcement of Austerity measures (confirmed by several other travelers from Sweden) just announced on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.  I immediately became more alert, noting good segment of the crowd with worried look on their faces, mostly in their 20’s-30’s and occasional above 40’s, some smoking cigarettes while  looking down on the ground, some conversing in high pitched intensity level, periodic chanting and singing came in waves, scent of beer here and there…I did not detect any sense of danger or violence, just apprehension and the oppressive melancholy. I suspect these demonstrators had not carried any malice;they were simply frustrated and tired,  and out of the sense of desperation and lack of hope, they were letting out their steam/scream the only way they knew how….later I’ve discovered that some other Youtube clips only showed the worst segment of the demonstration.  During the fours hours that I’ve observed the demonstration, both the demonstrators and the police of Madrid were not particularly violent. I observed some police cars actually going out of their way to avoid hurting demonstrators.  I believe the worst clips seen on Youtube probably occurred during the last half hour between 11:30 P.M.-midnight, when the police cars were trying to clear the street of demonstrators.  Below, demonstrators were seen in Plaza De Las Cortes, Madrid, Spain, on the eve of September 26, 2012:


Even though my intended coverage for this trip to Spain was only for Solar Decathlon Europe 2012, I felt an obligation to record this moment in history…et voila…my friends…after all, Austerity measures will also impact the renewable energy.  The desperate determination of the Spanish people fighting against the consequences of the economic crisis and tight austerity measures also had presented itself in another form.  Apparently one mayor, Angel Vadillo, of a small Spanish community (Albuquerque, a municipality with a population 5,500 in Extremadura in the west of Spain), has been on a hunger strike for two months in front of the Ministry of Industry in Madrid.  As it turned out, it was solar power that kicked off Vadillo’s unusual protest in the first place: in January, Spanish Industry Minister Jose Mauel Soria cut all subsidies for new projects relating to renewable energies.  Albuquerque had staked its future in solar energy for the past two decades;five new facilities with a capacity of 250 megawatts had been planned prior to the subsidy cuts. With these plans being shelved, “That means that we will lose some 850 jobs,” said Vadillo.  It was estimated that the measure will cost approximately 10,000 jobs across the country.  Vadillo hoped to force the minister to at least take a seat at the negotiating table.  He began his mission by walking the 600 kilometers (311 miles) from his constituency to Madrid.  After the Minister of Industry refused to receive him, he decided to camp outside the building.  When that too failed to get him any result, he stopped eating on June 11 , 2012.  But now, Mayor Vadillo has become visibly emaciated, though his resolve still intact.  “I drink eight liters of honey water every day…that keeps me sharp,” he said.  An ambulance stops by to check on his health daily.  Even though one of the medical personnel commented that it’s become critical, but Vadillo intends to keep going.  Mayor Vadillo had long become a symbol for Spanish people’s struggle against the consequences of the economic crisis and tight austerity measures.  Once he had made his hunger strike public, Minister of Industry Soria did consent to a single meeting with Mayor Vadillo.  “Our talk was more of a monologue. I explained my position and the minister didn’t say a word except that I should reconsider my position.” Vadillo said.  Mayor Vadillo admits that solar subsidies in Spain had long been on the generous side and he wants to be able to negotiate a feasible solution through discussion with Minister Soria.

What I believe as the valuable take-away lessons for solar/renewable energy from our September 26, 2012, post of the Scottish (UK) experience and the recent Spanish experience are:

  1. The cost of Solar Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program would be best not coming from the government subsidies but  from the rate payers (consumers) in a tiered fashion, such that those of lowest tier (lowest power consumption and/or income) would not need to pay for the added cost due to solar FIT.   Rest of the electricity consumers would bear a slight increase in their annual bills proportionally thus allowing electricity utilities to buy renewable energy generated from green sources at above-market rates set by the government.
  2. It would be advisable to start the Solar FIT low, close to the avoided cost level, so to be able to approach the situation carefully and cautiously, and  reassess the situation (optimal Feed-In rate) at specific intervals  to avoid budget/financial difficulties.
  3. It is important not only having the representative(s) from the consumers/people, from the government, but also from the power/utility companies present at the negotiation table for any discussion involving electricity/power use.  It is of benefit to all (people, government, and utility companies) that the optimal method and rate would be implemented because it will be beneficial for the utility companies to continue having consumers/people connected to the grid.  It is certainly true that the government is at its best when  its people are able to live with hope and harmony.  Willingness to listen on the side of the government would be instrumental in arriving at this goal.
  4. It seems feasible/optimal to introduce regulation to require solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) when/where it is already a foregone conclusion that this would be an economically feasible approach in building design.  Perhaps it is time to start the discussion in considering implementing this as part of the building code.  DO NOT FORGET SOLAR THERMAL !!!  IT IS VERY FEASIBLE TO INSTALL SOLAR HOT WATER HEATING SYSTEMS EVEN BEFORE INSTALLING SOLAR PV !!!

~may we all be able to have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

Related Articles, below:

  1. ctpost.com: Spain, Greece launch austerity plans to secure aid
  2. garrigues: current situation and possible regulatory austerity measures in the Spanish renewable energy industry
  3. feed-in-tariffs in the United Kingdom

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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26 September

In Light of Scottish/UK Solar FIT, Don’t Forget Solar Thermal !!!

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Dear Friends & Viewers/Visitors/Readers,

(please click on red links, below)

During this month of September, right before covering the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012, we took a detour to visit my sister-in-law currently residing in the community of Forres of Scotland.   Forres is a town situated in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast, approximately 25 miles east of Inverness. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions. There are many geographical and historical attractions nearby such as the River Findhorn, and there are many historical artifacts and monuments within the town itself.  I call it a community because of the people I’ve met while visiting;they struck me as very grounded individuals with keen sense for their community’s welfare.  Besides some lovely characters who are working to start  transition community projects (community gardening, food coop, community newsletter, classes, etc.), I’ve  also had the opportunity to learn from a group of helpful people working at AES Solar Systems, who have been manufacturing solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) since 1979.  It was an eye-opening (and/or ear-opening) experience for me to find out the initial impact of Solar Feed-In-Tariff on their business.  Below, is the round table discussion by AES Solar Systems’ experts in the solar industry (especially in solar thermal or solar hot water heating system),  Campbell MacLennan, George Goudsmit, and Tristan Wolfe, and moderator Susan Sun Nunamaker:


It is important to keep in mind Tristan Wolfe’s comment regarding people getting into solar PV without having  considered the even more optimal purchase of solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems).   Perhaps consulting experts in the field prior to making any decision would be well advised.

In the process, I hope that my learned lessons/offered suggestions will be considered by countries that had not yet implemented solar FIT yet. Below, are such:

  1. The cost of Solar Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program would be best not coming from the government subsidies but  from the rate payers (consumers) in a tiered fashion, such that those of lowest tier (lowest power consumption and/or income) would not need to pay for the added cost due to solar FIT.   Rest of the electricity consumers would bear a slight increase in their annual bills proportionally thus allowing electricity utilities to buy renewable energy generated from green sources at above-market rates set by the government.
  2. It would be advisable to start the Solar FIT low, close to the avoided cost level, then gradually increase the feed-in rate according to the need. So to be able to approach the situation carefully and cautiously, and  reassess the situation (optimal Feed-In rate) at specific intervals  to avoid budget/financial difficulties.
  3. It seems feasible/optimal to introduce regulation to require solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) when/where it is already a foregone conclusion that this would be an economically feasible approach in building design, with or without incentive program such as feed-in-tariff.  Perhaps it is time to start the discussion in considering implementing this as part of the building code.  DO NOT FORGET SOLAR THERMAL !!!  IT IS VERY FEASIBLE TO INSTALL SOLAR HOT WATER HEATING SYSTEMS EVEN BEFORE INSTALLING SOLAR PV !!!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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25 September

Counter Entropy House of RWTH Aachen University (Germany)-Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

Remember Solar Decathlon Europe is being held in Madrid, Spain this year, an international student competition to improve awareness for solar energy.  The RWTH Aachen University of Germany aims to create a new understanding of energy efficient buildings via the design Counter Entropy House.  The Counter Entropy House/concept has three goals in mind:

  1. Reduce waste: avoiding inseparable connections between different materials while building the house.  After disassembly of the house, all parts can be separated and recycled.
  2. Reuse: using components from recycled or directly reused products. So products get at least a second usage before returning to product cycle.
  3. Conserving resources: only using resources when/where it is really necessary and handling building material with thoughtfulness.

Counter Entropy House is a one story building designed for two, with a smooth transition between interior and exterior.  The site of construction is based on 20m x 20m platform.  The height is  80cm.  The flat roof is the main element of the house and covers the function of the living zones;it extends over the facade and offers a shaded place. The building can be classified in three vertical zones of privacy.  The first horizontal zone, the solid base, generates the first stage by raising the building from the ground and defining a clear border to the public space.  The second horizontal zone, the roof, creates the second stage of privacy by clearly defining the space from two sides. The third vertical zone is the most private created by the building envelope within the open space.  A curtain can be pulled  around the roof’s edge to enlarge the inner private zone.  The widely cantilevering roof allows the zones conjoin to one by dissolving the building’s envelope.  There is a smooth transition between the interior and exterior generated by the strong visual axes and intensified by the continuous floor and ceiling material, due to the clear zoning.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at this design, below:


~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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24 September

ReVolt House of TU Delft at Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

Another intriguing design at Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 awaits you!  This particular design, ReVolt House,  is created by students of the Technical University of Delft of the Netherland.  Considering how prevalent water is throughout the densely populated Netherland, its national concern for potential failure of its dikes, added to climate change,  it is no wonder that the design from a Netherland university  is combining floatation and rotation, offering a unique floating solar home solution, joining aspects of energy production, sustainability, adaptability, and life style.  The ReVolt House consists of three living zones (zones for sleeping, dining, and living), grouped in circular open floor layout, in response to the rotation of the house. The primary spaces revolve around a centrally located aesthetic bathing space. Each of these spaces has a technical  area associated with it (kitchen-dining area; home entertainment-living area;toilet-sleeping area).  During summer, the closed facade is facing the sun, preventing the interior from heating up.  During winter, the large glazed facade is constantly facing the sun, insuring sufficient amount of daylight for the interior as well as passive heat gains.  Throughout the day, the ReVolt House would rotate to frame the view of different landscape features.  By interlinking the inhabitants’ daily and seasonal natural cycles, the quality of living space is dramatically improved.  Sleeping area is designed to be flexible, easily accommodating different events.  Electricity and hot water are generated by the solar collectors on the roof.  Rainwater are collected at the bottom of the storage tank for future use.  The facade facing the sun heats up, causing stack effect, drawing air via ducts through the building. Water sprayed into the duct system. Evaporation causes cooling in the interior.  Let’s take a look at this unique design, below:


Please also take a look at www.revolthouse.com
Unfortunately, this particular design did not make it to Madrid, Spain for the competition…perhaps another year…but it certainly is a unique design that may answer much of the concern for residents in Netherland.

 

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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22 September

Solar Decathlon Europe 2012-SunBloc of London Metropolitan University (UK)

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

For our continuing report on Solar Decathlon Europe 2012, let me start by answering some basic questions about Solar Decathlon, please click on the red link, below:

Solar Decathlon Frequently Asked Questions.  Again, keep in mind that this year, the Solar Decathlon Europe is taking place in Madrid, Spain, from September 14-30, 2012. The participating teams are:

  • Arts et Métiers ParisTech (France)
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary)
  • Chiba University (Japan)
  • École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble (France)
  • Hochschule Konstanz University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
  • London Metropolitan University (United Kingdom)
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
  • RWTH Aachen University (Germany)
  • Team Andalucía: Universidad de Sevilla, Universidad de Granada, Universidad de Malaga, and Universidad de Jaén (Spain)
  • Team Brasil: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina and Universidade de São Paulo
  • Team Bucharest 2012: “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Politehnica University of Bucharest, and Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest (Romania)
  • Team Rome: Roma Tre University and Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy)
  • Technical University of Denmark (Denmark)
  • Tongji University (China)
  • Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera (Spain)
  • Universidad del País Vasco—Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (Spain)
  • Universidade do Porto (Portugal)
  • Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (Spain).

Today, I want to share with you a really cool design called SunBloc, submitted by the team Heliomet of the London Metropolitan University (UK). You will see the power of linking the digital creative process with the digital fabrication as the strength of this team and may very well be the future of architecture.  I liked the way this design had been referred to as the “eco-warrior in a fine Italian suit” by some that relies on traditional passive technique to present a very contemporary concept through advanced digital software. It is tailored to site’s specific needs, energy pattern, and context, relying on cross ventilation strategy and thermo-cooling.  If one can provide the latitude and longitude of the house/site, then the software package will output the cutting pattern for the timber and a house that will arrive on site….tailoring a building digitally to the particular context of the building, to its climate conditions, material available, etc.  Due to the introduction of the incentive policy Feed-In-Tariff in UK in 2011, it is introducing rapid change in adoption of solar power/PV in UK. The team is heavily into PR in three stages: social media, press, and sponsorship.
~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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