Posts Tagged ‘solar decathlon 2011’

2 October

Solar Decathlon 2011-Statistics From the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MibIzEE-xOE

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011:

·         Even though a majority of the competition days were cloudy, seven out of the 19 houses produced more energy than they consumed

·         357,000 house visits were provided to the public during 10 days

·         92,000 votes were cast for the People’s Choice Award, more than five times the number of votes cast during the previous competition

·         A new Affordability Contest was featured, demonstrating the reasonable cost of many energy-saving home improvement products and design solutions available today

·         Approximately 4,000 collegiate students earned valuable experience by building an energy efficient house with peers in other disciplines, helping them prepare to enter the clean energy workforce

·         Collegiate teams from five countries and four continents participated

 

Solar Decathlon 2011 teams that competed on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park:

 

Solar Decathlon 2011 Final Scores and Standings

1. Maryland 951.151
2. Purdue 931.390
3. New Zealand 919.058
4. Middlebury College 914.809
5. Ohio State 903.938
6. SCI-Arc/Caltech 899.490
7. Illinois 875.715
8. Tennessee 859.132
9. Team Massachusetts 856.351
10. Canada 836.423
11. Florida Int’l 833.159
12. Appalachian State 832.499
13. Parsons NS Stevens 828.816
14. Tidewater Virginia 774.910
15. Team China 765.471
16. Team Belgium 709.843
17. Team New York 677.356
18. Team New Jersey 669.352
19. Team Florida 619.006

Solar Decathlon 2011 Individual Contest Winners

Affordability (Awarded Tuesday, September 27, 2011) Contest

Empowerhouse of Parsons New School of Design and  Stevens Institute of Technology tied first place with E-Cube of Belgium’s Ghent University.

Empowerhouse of Parson New School of Design and Stevens Institute of Technology shines brightly at night after a stormy day

Stephen Scribner (front) accepts first place in the Affordability Contest on behalf of Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology

and Team Belgium Ghent University’s E-Cube

visitors waiting in line to tour inside the finished E-Cube of Team Belgium Ghent University. This is the only entry of Solar Decathlon with second floor, essentially a building kit for a relatively inexperienced builder.

 

Belgium Toon Vermeir checks the tight competition stands online in the child’s bedroom on the second floor of E-Cube (but due to lack of handicap/wheelchair accessibility, the second floor was closed off to visitors)

tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the contest by constructing houses estimated to cost $229,890 and $249,568, respectively. New for the Solar Decathlon 2011, the Affordability contest encouraged teams to design and build affordable houses that combine energy efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems. A professional estimator determined the construction cost of each house. Teams earned 100 points for achieving a target construction cost of $250,000 or less. A sliding point scale was applied to houses with estimated construction costs between $250,001 and $600,000.

 

Appliances (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Students from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign speaks with the Engineering Jury during judging

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Re_home shine brightly at night, with Washington Monument in the background

took first place and earned 99.955 out of 100 possible points by outperforming the other 18 houses in keeping its refrigerator and freezer cold, washing and drying loads of laundry during the contest week, and running a dishwasher during the competition. The Appliances Contest is designed to mimic the appliance use of an average U.S. house.

Architecture (Awarded Wednesday, September 28, 2011) Contest
Maryland took first place in the Architecture Contest

University of Maryland became the first team to have an electricity meter installed

University of Maryland’s team members celebrate after being presented with First Place in Architecture Contest

and earned 96 points out of a possible 100. A jury of architects judged homes on the aesthetic and functional elements of the home’s design; integration and energy efficiency of electrical and natural light; inspiration and delight to Solar Decathlon visitors; and documentation including drawings, a project manual, and an audiovisual architecture presentation that accurately reflect the constructed project on the competition site.

Comfort Zone (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Ohio State University topped the contestants in the Comfort Zone Contest,

Ohio State University’s enCORE shines brightly at night

The Ohio State University team shows visitors the air supply system of their house, enCORE

with 98.652 out of 100 points for maintaining indoor temperatures between 71 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity below 60 percent.

Communications (Awarded Friday, September 30, 2011) Contest
Middlebury College’s communications efforts,

Middlebury College’s Self-Reliance shines brightly at night after a stormy day

Middlebury College students pose for photo after accepting the first place award for Communication Contest

including communications plans, student-led tours, and team website, were judged by a jury of website and public relations experts, and won the contest with a score of 90 points out of a possible 100 points.

Engineering (Awarded Thursday, September 29, 2011) Contest
New Zealand won the Engineering contest,

New Zealand’s First Light shines brightly at night

New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington celebrate after taking first place in Engineering Contest

which was evaluated by a group of prominent engineers, who determined which solar home best exemplified excellence in functionality, efficiency, innovation, reliability and documentation of its energy systems. New Zealand scored 93 out of a possible 100 points.

Home Entertainment (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Middlebury College earned 98.560 out of a possible 100 points in this contest, which required students to use electricity generated by their solar houses to run interior and exterior lights, a TV, a computer, and a kitchen appliance to boil water. Teams were also required to hold two dinner parties and a movie night for neighbors.

Middlebury College’s student Melissa Segil prepares a dish during a competition dinner party

Hot Water (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Seven teams tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the Hot Water contest’s “shower tests,” which aimed to deliver 15 gallons of hot water in ten minutes or less. Of course, the water was heated by the sun. Tying for top honors in this contest were:  Appalachian State University,  University of Maryland, New Zealand’s Ghent University, Ohio State UniversityParsons NS Stevens, SCI-Arc/Caltech, and Tennessee.

Chelsea Royall, front, Team Design Director of Appalachian State University, talks about her team’s house (The Solar Homestead) on Media Preview Day

New Zealand’s First Light’s dining room

Maryland’s Watershed clear view

   University of TN’s Living Light shines brightly at night

Future homeowners of Empowerhouse of Parson New School of Design & Stevens Institute of Technology  

rainbow seen between SCI-Arc/Caltech’CHIP (left) & Ohio State University’s  enCORE(right)

Energy Balance (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Seven teams tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. Teams earned points for producing at least as much energy as their houses needed during the contest week. The teams accomplished this by balancing production and consumption. Tying for top honors in this contest were:  Florida International,

Illinois, Maryland, New Zealand, Purdue, SCI-Arc/Caltech, and Tennessee.

Market Appeal (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Middlebury College won the Market Appeal contest, which evaluated whether the cost-effective construction and solar technology in a team’s design would create a viable product on the open market. Judges gauged market appeal based on three criteria:  livability, marketability and constructability. Middlebury earned 95 points out of a possible 100 as judged by the professional jury.

More about the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The competition shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The nearly two-year projects culminated in an unprecedented display of affordable green living and design on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park from September 23 – October 2, 2011. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce, supporting the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.

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

Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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30 September

Solar Decathlon-Winners of The Communications Contest

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MibIzEE-xOE

Richard King, the Director of the Solar Decathlon for the U.S. Department of Energy, said, “Effective communication skills are critical to helping the public to understand the practical applications of energy-saving technologies and how these innovations can help every American household save money.”

For the Communications Contest, teams earned up to 100 points based on a number of criteria, including: web content quality, appropriateness, originality;video content, including walkthrough information, accessible captioning, clarity of the audio narrative and overall creativity; onsite graphics, photos, signage, and displays quality;message delivery to target audiences and people of all levels;use of innovative methods to engage audiences, including website visitors and people waiting to tour a house.

Middlebury College earned a score of 90 out of a possible 100 points for their Self-Reliance design, placing First in the Communication Contest.  Middlebury College wowed jurors with its video walkthrough, website, and engaging tours.  The Middlebury team demonstrated balanced talent across the entire communications competition, making renewable energy technologies accessible to the public.  Stacy Wilson, one of the contest’s jurors and founder and president of Eloquor Contulting, Inc., a communication firm specializing in web and social technology, commented that “We were inspired by Middlebury College.”  Our reporter (yours truly) of sunisthefuture.net received a very informative interview from a Middlebury College student Melake, showing us that this LAS College team (the only team that is completely composed of non-engineering students)  is quite capable of constructing a comfortable (bordering on luxurious) solar home with tremendous market appeal.  The Self-Reliance is a design with gable roof, two-bedroom, for a family of four, with solar array of 30 panels (producing 7,930 kWh annually),

A look at Middlebury College's Self-Reliance's children's bedroom

Middlebury College house's solar array combines solar panels with a solar hot water heater on the roof of their entry

an air-to-air heat exchanger that circulates air through a network of aluminum ducts and feeds the green wall with condensed moisture, triple-paned windows with cork-insulated frames that have an R-value of 7 and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.53 (which allows them to provide net heat gain over the course of a year).

Middlebury workers prepare the Self-Reliance of Middlebury College for installation of gable roof and PV panels

Appalachian State University came in second with their The Solar Homestead with 89 points.  I arrived at the Solar Decathlon 2011 to interview Appalachian State University’s The Solar Homestead on a rainy day so their ingenious aluminum hat was very well received by all visitors

Appalachian State University's The Solar Homestead shines brightly at night after a stormy day

14-month-old Graysen Black, son of an organizer, gets a preview tour after the opening ceremony, wearing the special aluminum reflective hat by Appalachian State University

to the Solar Decathlon, not only did it serve as a protective device sheltering our heads from the element, but it is also full of information about the design of The Solar Homestead. This affordable and attractive design features outdoor shower, outdoor kitchen, forty-two bifacial PV panels (that supply solar energy while providing filtered daylight), a generous outdoor living space called the Great Porch, an on-demand solar thermal domestic hot water system that uses phase-change materials to provide constant water temperature in compact storage, and a  Trombe wall that is filled with phase-change material to store heat throughout  the day and release it at night.

Bifacial PV panels of Appalachian State's The Solar Homestead above U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Jeffrey Tiller and David Leea

 

University of Maryland’s Watershed came in third in this contest with a score of 88 points.  Besides the pamphlets, walthrough, and web presentations, University of Maryland also provided the unique presentation of Q & A sessions outside of the Watershed design while visitors were waiting in line to see this home.

University of Maryland's student Justin Huang answers visitors' questions about Watershed design

It sure helped all visitors passing the time while getting a sneak preview of what to expect before they enter this design.  Watershed is inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, searching for a solution to water and energy shortage by managing storm water onsite (filtering pollutants from greywater and minimizing water use) and using the PV and solar thermal arrays, effectiveness of building envelope, and increasing the efficiency of the mechanical system.  Watershed has very  holistic approach to water conservation, recycling, and storm water management, green roof that slows rainwater runoff to the landscape while improving the house’s energy efficiency, a garden, an edible wall system

a clear view of the Watershed design of University of Maryland

, and a composting station to illustrate the potential for improved health, energy, and cost savings with a complete carbon cycle program.  Some of its interesting features  are: the liquid desiccant waterfall serving as a design feature and provides humidity control, a home automation system that monitors and adjusts temperature, humidity, lighting, and other parameters to provide maximum function

visitors waiting in line to see Maryland's Watershed design

with minimal impact on the environment.  Watershed is intended for a working couple that can use the house as home and office, providing the opportunity to telecommute, thus reducing travel expenses in one of the most congested areas of the country.

 

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

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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28 September

Solar Decathlon 2011-Winners of Architecture Contest

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MibIzEE-xOE

 

Sorry about delaying reporting the Solar Decathlon 2011.  I was first under the weather, then because some of you have written me wanting better/more clear explanations of the Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN program, I started to look around for software and other ways of presenting this topic. The end result may be viewed above, in this new clip.  Let me know if it would do a better job in convincing people to sign the petition.  Your comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

Now, let’s get back to Solar Decathlon of 2011.  On September 28, 2011, the University of Maryland took first place in the highly competitive Architecture Contest (remember there are 10 contests) of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011,

University of Maryland students celebrate after being presented with first place in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 Architecture Contest

visitors waiting in line to see Maryland's winning design, Watershed above

Scoring 96 out of a possible 100.  Architectural juror Michelle Kaufmann who has been called “the Henry Ford of green homes” by the Sierra Club and is a former Associate with the office of Frank O. Gehry, said, “The Maryland achieves and elegant mix of inspiration, function, and simplicity.  It takes our current greatest challenges in the built environment-energy and water-and transforms them into opportunities for spatial beauty and poetry while maintaining livability in every square inch.  This is what the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is all about.”

 

Liquid desiccant waterfall uses lithium chloride to dehumidify the University of Maryland's Watershed

 

New Zealand claimed second place with 95 points.

visitors waiting in line to see New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington's First Light design

New Zealand’s First Light’s living/dining area

And Appalachian State University took third place with 94 points.

Appalachian State University's The Solar Homestead design: bifacial PV panels, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks with Jeffrey Tiller )Chair of Technology & Environmental Design Dept.) and student David Lee.

For the Architecture Contest, the jury evaluated the houses on these criteria: architectural elements (including the scale and proportion of room and facade features, indoor/outdoor connections, composition, and linking of various house elements; holistic design (comfort for occupants and compatibility with the surrounding element);lighting (integration and energy efficiency of electrical and natural light);inspiration (design that inspires and delights Solar Decathlon visitors);documentation (including drawings, project manual, and an audiovisual architecture presentation accurately reflecting the project on the competition site).  The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in.  The Solar Decathlon has been providing participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter clean energy workforce, supporting the President Obama’s Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and business money.

More video clips on University of Maryland’s Watershed design, New Zealand’s First Light design, and Appalachian State University’s Solar Homesteadwill be seen/posted later.

 


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

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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27 September

Petition For Renewable Energy, Solar Decathlon Photo-Video-People’s Choice Award Contest of 2011, Editorial on Why and How We Should Power The World With Sun-Water-Wind Quickly

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Dear Readers,

For a special treat, between September 23-October 2, 2011, Sunisthefuture.net will be hosting a 10 day-3 parts series:

I.  If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age. Earthlings from any corner of the globe may participate.


II. sunisthefuture.net Awards For Solar Decathlon of 2011 (this is not the contest holding by the Department of Energy);there are  three parts (you may participate in one or more than one part(s)), details and procedures explained at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1507 :

Part 1. Photo Award Part 2. Video Award Part 3.  People’s Choice Award  for Solar Decathlon Team of 2011

Now, I’d like to invite you to take a look at an example of one of the teams going through the process of implementing their design of Solar Decathlon 2011 at West Potomac Park in Washington D.C.—>

 

 


III.Editorial on Why and How We Should Power Planet Earth With Sun-Water-Wind Quickly, below:

Why and How We Should Power Planet Earth With Sun-Water-Wind Quickly

(written and published by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, at sunisthefuture.net)

It is an exciting time to be alive.  We earthlings may have many problems to deal with, but we are also equipped with many tools, terrific minds, and fantastic ways of communications.  My thirst for solutions for earth’s energy problem combined with my online teaching jobs permitted me to travel to various places from time to time to search for answer…to seek lessons learned and wisdom gathered…. Yes, I’ve attended many lectures by many scholars who have studied the energy issue.

Today, I want to share with you a talk by Mark Z. Jacobson, Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, available at http://sunisthefuture.net, July 31, 2011 post. Professor Jacobson started the talk by explaining what the problem we earthlings are facing today and why is there such an urgency in needing to deal with it quickly:

  • temperatures are rising quickly
  • Arctic sea ice area is decreasing quickly
  • air pollution mortality is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and higher temperature contributes to deaths
  • higher population and growing energy demand will lead to worsening air pollution and climate problems over time

This part of the talk helped me to realize that black carbon (main component of the soot particles) is also a very important factor for causing global warming, in addition to CO2 emission.  Annual premature earthlings’ deaths due to particulates is about 2.5-3 million (in U.S. that is translated into 50,000-100,000 and in Europe, 300,000-350,000 annual premature deaths due to air pollution).

As any good engineer/scholar would approach a problem, Professor Jacobson did not just  alarm us with problems but also evaluated possible solutions both with and without cost considerations.  From reviewing and ranking major proposed energy-related solutions to global warming, air pollution mortality, and energy security, his talk also considered various impacts of the proposed solutions such as water supply, land use, resource availability, reliability, wildlife, and  risk of cancer and nuclear proliferation.  Some data I was not aware of in the past was presented, such as the dramatic increase of organic gases (formaldehyde, 200% and  acetaldehyde, 4500%) and increased ozone generated from using ethanol.  In the final analysis, with consideration of materials, transmission infrastructure, costs, and politics, Professor Jacobson concludes that the best way to power the world is with Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) technologies.

By 2030, the cost of using fossil fuel (13.5c/kWh) will be higher than using WWS (8-13 c/kWh) technologies.  Using WWS technologies will also eliminate 2.5-3 million air pollution premature deaths/year and global warming and provides energy stability. Furthermore, converting to WWS and electricity/H2 will reduce global power demand by 30%.  The greatest concern regarding use of WWS is its variability;this is also addressed by Jacobson’s study by: ( 1.) interconnecting geographically-dispersed WWS;(2.) bundling WWS and using hydro to fill in gaps;(3.) demand-response (provide incentive to discourage use during peak/high demand period);(4.) oversizing peak capacity and producing hydrogen with excess for industry, vehicles;(5.)on-site storage;(6.)better forecasting.

The study concludes that the best way to power planet earth in the future is with Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) technologies.  It is feasible both technically and economically.  Its potential barriers are up-front costs, transmission needs, lobbying, and politics.

Relevant papers can be found at http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/susenergy2030.html.

Dear Readers, this is exactly why I have written the series on effective Feed-In-Tariff, in Sun Is The Future, available at http://sunisthefuture.net trying to urge all of our local and federal governments (not just the Floridians or residents of USA, but residents of planet earth) to give all of us the  incentive to participate  in our move toward the Renewable WWS age.  We, as individual home or business owners, may not be spending multiple millions of dollars for lobbying, but we are just as concerned with the future of energy use and welfare of our planet earth as any large utility companies.  We earthlings are all connected. The particulate matters from China or India or radiation material from Fukushima will impact all of us earthlings.  So, as  individual earthlings, let’s start by calling attention and action for our immediate communities.  I, here in Florida, will try my very best in asking my community and local government to consider effective Feed-In-Tariff (discussions, articles, and video clips available by going to the search box at upper right hand corner of http://sunisthefuture.net and type in “feed in tariff”). Effective Feed-In-Tariff, now rebranded as CLEAN program, may be utilized by individual home owners, small businesses, organizations such as schools, Y’s, hospitals, libraries, local McDonald’s, WalMart, police stations, and large power/utility companies/plant (refer to the piece I wrote on July 13, 2011, Answer For The Future Is In Hybrid Marriage-Solar And Fossil Fuel at http://sunisthefuture.net) alike.

We need incentive for individual home owners, small businesses, organizations such as schools, Y’s, hospitals, etc. with rooftops and surface areas, that would provide us with sufficient economic incentive to move into the renewable age.  Here is an example (in the video of July 27 post at http://sunisthefuture.net, with data provided by World Future Council) of another country, Germany, with far less sunshine and insolation than we have here in Florida,  but with the help of Feed-In-Tariff (key features listed below):

  • Gives RE (renewable energy) priority access to the grid
  • Obliges grid operators to purchase electricity from RES
  • Sets the price for RE electricity for fixed periods
  • Sets no limit to amount of RE feeding into the grid

Fundamentally, with an effective Feed-In-Tariff incentive program, any one who produces excess renewable energy may be able to sell the power he/she generates back to the power/utility company.

Feed-In-Tariffs have been so successful in Germany and many other countries because of the long term planning security it provides by having 12-20 year contracts ( this is crucial to investors);it gives technology-specific incentives (this is crucial for driving new technologies into the market);it adapts to technological development (this fosters innovation). Germany was able to create more than a quarter million jobs in renewable energy sector in less than five years, economic impact of new industry development with total turnover from renewable energy sources of approximately 25 billion Euros in 2007, and saved about 150 tons of CO2 emissions…all due to the help of Feed-In-Tariff. Most importantly, Feed-In-Tariff have made Germany the world leader in solar power. Another important lesson to take away from the presentation of World Future Council video clip of July 27 post in sunisthefuture.net is the fact that majority (more than 80% in Germany & or 90% in Florida) of the market share is from residential rather than the utility scaled facility (about 10%). That means, we, the individuals, will have far more combined impact on the industry and would benefit from the industry of renewable energy via Feed-In-Tariff. Please do view these discussions and video clips on Feed-In-Tariff, accessible at sunisthefuture.net, beginning from May through July of 2011, at sunisthefuture.net.

If you’d get to my May 8th post on Incentive For Solar (8)-Feed-In-Tariff (FIT), at http://sunisthefuture.net, there is a very informative discussion by a panel of scientists and policy makers and even our very own Floridian Ed Regan, you would  also see in my August 11 post that:

the first form of feed-in-tariff was actually implemented in US in 1978, under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, telling Americans that the energy crisis was a “clear and present danger to our nation” and drew out a plan to address it.

The problem with the federal mandated feed-in-tariff rate from 1978 is that: the federal government had given individual states the authority to set its own FIT rate as long as it meets the minimal level of avoided cost. So, we ended up getting a lot of states  simply setting its FIT rate at the  avoided cost (for FL, this avoided cost is much lower than the cost of producing solar energy, therefore, there is no incentive for any one trying to produce extra energy). It simply would not be economically feasible. You can also find this discussion in my June 8th post and video with Craig Lewis of Clean Coalition, at http://sunisthefuture.net I have another issue with this avoided cost FIT rate: that is,  it is set at a fixed rate without the consideration of what time in the day when the energy is produced. The value of energy  changes throughout the day because energy is in greater demand during the day time and when sun is up (esp. in FL when it is on a hot summer day, when AC is in huge demand).  The current fixed avoided cost FIT rate ends up favoring the wind energy producers and very unfavorable for the solar energy producers (solar energy is produced when demand is highest and therefore during the time when the energy is/should be more valuable.)  But this can all be modified/monitored with current technologies and smart meters.  So, what we need from the state government is an effective Feed-In-Tariff rate that would provide incentive (economically feasible) for every/any one who wants to participate in production of renewable energy (solar, water, wind, etc.) to do so feasibly.  Some of you may argue to wait until the cost of producing renewable (esp. solar in FL) energy to be much lower and continue the status quo for now. But I (and many others) feel that we cannot afford to wait any longer because it takes time to educate, implement, and assist the general public to make the transition into a new world of renewable energy.  If we want a smooth transition, without too much societal disruption, nor increased unemployment or dramatic lowering of standard of living, the most effective strategy is by implementing effective Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program (as indicated in World Future Council http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/feed_in_tariffs_in_us.html) ASAP.  We have seen how effectively implemented Feed-In-Tariff had already benefited our neighbor Gainesville, FL community (and at least 65 other nations and territories):

We would simply like to ask our state legislators to consider re-examining the issue of Feed-In-Tariff and come up with a plan for an effective Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program that may be inclusive of all,  the small users, medium users, and large users (even utility companies).  For we are all in this together.  I am sure that the power/utility companies are well aware of the fact that it is much better to serve a community of economic prosperity, because 10% of a smaller number is still larger than 100% of zero, (such would be the case if/when the power company has to cater to the needs of a lot of unemployed users.)

I hope you, the readers, in addition to talking to your friends, family, neighbors, and your legislators about effective Feed-In-Tariff, I urge you to sign the petition page available at http://sunisthefuture.net and tell as many people about this web site and petition drive as possible.  To encourage you all to think positively about our renewable/solar energy future, I have also written and posted various topics at http://sunisthefuture.net for your perusal. Simply type these topics in the search box at upper right hand corner of http://sunisthefuture.net and see/hear….about….

Feed-In-Tariff

Incentive For Solar

Solar Impulse Solar Plane

Cars Of The Future

Solar High Speed Trains

Solar Shingles

Solar Hot Water Heater

What Is Solar Cell

BIPV

Why Solar

Peak Oil

Solar Decathlon

etc.

Please feel free to email me at sunisthefuture@gmail.com if you have any suggestions, questions or comments.  Any of your input will be welcomed.

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

Homepage:   http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org


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22 September

Solar Decathlon (22)-Team Belgium Ghent University’s E-Cube Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age.

Now, back to Solar Decathlon of 2011: Wow! Can’t believe it!  This is the last of the twenty collegiate designs being shown at Solar Decathlon of 2011.  You know what they say about last but not the least…and so is Team Belgium by Ghent University’s E-Cube design.  As its name suggests, the appearance of E-Cube design looks like something out of a science fiction movie, with its two-story, cube-like shape, clean and compactly boxy exterior, complimented by a spacious interior for a family of four with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and living areas.  E-Cube is an affordable, do-it-yourself building kit for a solar-powered house that is pre-engineered, factory-built, and easily assembled without special skills.  The design begins with a starter unit that may be upgraded with enhancements to the PV system and interior finishes as well as extensions to the living space, allowing homeowners to personalize the house according to time and budget available.  This house is also structurally flexible with wall panels that are adaptable and an expandable pallet racking system. So, the E-Cube can be reconfigured and expanded.  The passive design and solar panels on the roof will eliminate heating and cooling costs upon completion of the house. Please take a look at this affordable zero-energy home designed and built by students of Ghent University—>

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

Homepage:     http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org

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11 September

Solar Decathlon (19)-Vermont’s Middlebury College’s Self-Reliance Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age.

Today’s Solar Decathlon of 2011 video clip is on Vermont’s Middlebury College’s design Self-Reliance.  Self-Reliance is a sustainable home for a family of four in Vermont. The focus of this design is on sustainability, affordability, use of local material, and the vernacular form creating an American Farmhouse of the 21st century. This is a home of  design for simple construction: a truss system supporting the roof (gable roof easily sheds precipitation and maximizes space), stud walls filled with cellulose , floor made of locally harvested maple wood, triple pane windows optimizing solar exposure while cross ties providing lateral support for the structure, benches and plant beds are part of the organization of the design plan, and solar panels enable Self-Reliance to be a net-zero energy home.  Northern skylights provide passive ventilation and natural light into the center of the house. The South facade receives the sun with large panes of glass and solar panels.  In the exterior of the house, potable and non-potable water are collected and stored in four water tanks. The garden beds and benches in the front creates an extension of the public space. Upon entering the house, there is a transitional space for boots and jackets.  An open public area, used for dining, cooking, working, and socializing, provides a sense of spaciousness.  The Southern wall is a green house that provides food and passive heating  throughout the year. The living space receives even North light and has sustainably produced furniture. Half of the house is used for public space and half of the house is used for private space, with the transition between the two spaces indicated by  the dropped ceiling height.  There is also a full bathroom between the private and public spaces. Both bedrooms have tall ceilings and access to storage in the adjacent low ceilings.  Now, let’s have a look at this almost 1000 sq. ft. farmhouse inspired design of Vermont’s Self-Reliance—->

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

Homepage:   http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org



Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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3 September

Solar Decathlon (16)-Virginia’s Tidewater Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

Virginia’s Tidewater Unit 6 design is constructed modularly (A: sun space, kitchen and all of the plumbing; B: bedroom; C: living room with a shading device over the southern-facing windows to control solar gain;D: sloped roof with a built-up perimeter and incorporates the solar panels and thermal collectors.) Its architecture is inspired by Arts and Crafts style homes found throughout the urban neighborhoods of Norfolk, VA. The exterior grade plywood functions as a rain screen, wood batten, and trim. A pergola is integrated into the utility core (which houses many of the mechanical systems) over the deck.  Upon entering the house, one finds the large operable window on the right converting the sun space into an exterior porch during warm seasons and a heat sink (floor, the thermal mass, collecting heat throughout the day and dispersing the heat into the house at night) during cold season. There are operable clear story windows above and open-shelving over the counter top in the kitchen.  Southern glazing is maximized with nearly floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room.  Minimized northern glazing limits heat loss in the bedroom.  The closet houses a concealed air handler. Some of the engineered systems integrated into the house are: solar panels linked to an inverter in the utility core, converting power for domestic use;the solar hot water system, in which water moves from the supply tank to the domestic water tank,  preheated by the thermal collectors and warmed by an on-demand heater if needed before use.  After use, water is pumped from a graywater dosing tank to irrigation beds (where it is pre-treated by exterior plants, before draining to the blackwater storage tank.).  Rainwater runoff is collected in a cistern at the rear of the house to be used for irrigation.


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

Homepage:     http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org

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1 September

Solar Decathlon (14)-New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington’s First Light house of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

Now, let’s continue onto our 14th episode of Solar Decathlon, heading toward the Southern hemisphere, looking at the First Light house design of New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington.  First Light house is a net zero energy house, meaning it generates more than or equal to the amount of energy it needs to run the house throughout the year in New Zealand. There are twenty-eight 225 watt  polycrystalline solar panels on the roof and generates 70.5 kilowatt hour per year;evacuated tube solar hot water collectors (40 evacuated tubes on the canopy); the innovative energy efficient way of drying laundry, the hydronic drying cover(drying clothes using only hot water, inside of which has racks to hold towels and clothing, running hot water through it );the energy efficient duct heat pump,  cooling system has a coefficient performance of about 3 and heating about close to 4.  Consideration for utilizing passive system for natural lighting and energy optimization are also useful in reducing energy demand.  The use of off-the-shelf  heating and ventilation products will make it easier to maintain (easy to change filters, etc.).  An energy monitoring system will also help the residents to realize how much energy is being used under different conditions.  The house is designed for an older couple of New Zealand, with compact kitchen and energy efficient appliances and durable material. Many of the furniture and spaces are adaptable for multi-functions.  Sustainability and easy social interactions are some of the focus of the design for this house.  One can see how New Zealanders’ relationship to nature, environment, and their inclination for friendly and relaxed life style. Without further ado, here is the First Light house—>

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

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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31 August

Solar Decathlon (13)-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s ReHome of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

As we approach another MidWestern state of Solar Decathlon of 2011, the state of Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Re_home design offers a better, more sustainable solution to the problem of Illinois’ natural disasters (averaging 8 tornadoes per year), through a rapid deployment strategy.  UIUC’s Re_home drew from inspiration of Midwestern prairie style aesthetics, incorporating the modern warm and inviting materials and finishes.  The canopy frames the front door, creating a covered portal to the home’s formal entrance. The master bedroom is located away from the public spaces, so to provide privacy and relaxation for the residents. A second bedroom is designed as a flexible space that may be used as a bedroom, office, or extra living space.  The main living space has a large and open plan intended for flexibility and reinforcement of the concept of community interaction.  The design of the kitchen maintains a visual connection with the home’s main living space.  As we move outdoors, the extensive deck space around the home serves as an extension of the main living spaces and invites community interaction.  Overhead shading devices aid in regulating temperature of some outdoor spaces throughout the day.  Solar arrays on the roof of the home provide a renewable year round power source. Preinstalled prior to shipping, the panels fold flat against the roof for easy transport.  These panels are raised to their optimal angle upon their arrival on-site, allowing the array to become operational and begin generating power. Combining innovative technology and  smart design, the Re_home provides a sustainable and rapidly- deployable solution to the immediate and evolving needs of families in the aftermath of a natural disaster and serves as a vehicle for recovery and renewal efforts of the community.  Here is Re_home design of University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign–>

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Homepage: sunisthefuture.net

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30 August

Solar Decathlon (12)-Purdue University’s INhome Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

As we direct our attention to MidWest portion of the Solar Decathlon 2011, Purdue University’s INhome design presents us with the blend of versatility, comfort, and innovation. The INhome harnesses the sun’s energy to generate electricity from an array of 8.5 kilowatt of  PV, enabling the house to be net zero. It also utilizes passive shading technique to optimize house performance. For example, the South facing windows allow sunlight to enter the house during winter and the roof overhang provides the shade during summer.  Inside the house, some special features are: the open floor plan (between living room, dining room, and family room) allows for ease of communication; vaulted ceiling enhances elegance and daytime lighting of the house from the windows (which also provides natural ventilation when outdoor weather condition permits open windows); the living/bio wall that is integrated with HVAC system to filter out contaminants in the air;centrally and conveniently located bathroom;fully equipped with cost effective and energy efficient appliances, kitchen is open and easily accessible for free flow of communication. The attached garage completes the MidWestern home owners’ need in dealing with extreme weather conditions in winter months.  Let’s have a  look at this design of comfort, versatility, and innovation—>


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

 

Homepage:    sunisthefuture.net
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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