Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department of Energy’

3 November

Masdar City-An Experimental City of the Sustainable Future

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Masdar City Building (wikimedia commons)

Today’s post will take you to a city outside  of Abu Dhabi (one of the fastest growing and hottest cities on planet Earth), where the luscious green lawns and spectacular fountains helped to display the fact that Abu Dhabi, even though located in the desert,  is a city harnessing the power of technology  to defy the laws of nature. But Abu Dhabi is not the city I want to focus our attention on today because it relies heavily on fossil fuel, the fuel of yesterday. Instead, I’d like to take you to a City of Tomorrow, the Masdar City, a new and green city built from the scratch just outside of Abu Dhabi, the Masdar City. It is the home to the largest solar power plant in the Middle East, covering  area equivalent to thirty-five football pitches via 88,000 solar panels, producing power for Masdar City and Abu Dhabi. Let’s take a look at this fantastic experimental city in the video below:


Masdar City is a planned eco-city in the United Arab Emirates ,

Masdar City Map

built by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi. It is Designed by the British architectural firm Foster and Partners and engineering and environmental consultancy Mott MacDonald , the city relies entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a zero waste ecology. It initially aimed to be a sustainable zero-carbon car free city. Masdar City is being constructed 17 kilometres (11 mi) east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi, beside Abu Dhabi International Airport.  Masdar City will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The city is designed to be a hub for cleantech companies. Its first tenant is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which has been operating in the city since it moved into its campus in September 2010. The city as a whole was originally intended to be completed by 2016 but due to the impact of the global financial crisis, the date has now been pushed back to between 2020 and 2025. Due to the limitations found during the initial implementation, the city is now aiming to be low carbon. The project was projected to cost US$22 billion and take some eight years to build, with the first phase scheduled to be completed and habitable in 2009. Construction began on Masdar City in 2008 and the first six buildings of the city were completed and occupied in October 2010. Phase 1 of the city, the initial 1,000,000 square meters (0.39 sq mi), will be completed in 2015. Final completion is scheduled to occur between 2020 and 2025. The estimated cost of the city has also declined, to between US$18.7 and 19.8 billion. The city is planned to cover 6 square kilometers (2.3 sq mi) and will be home to 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, primarily commercial and manufacturing facilities specialising in environmentally friendly products, and more than 60,000 workers are expected to commute to the city daily.

The initial design considered that automobiles would be banned within the city as travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and personal rapid transit (PRT) systems,

Podcar at a personal rapid transit (PRT) station in Masdar City (wikimedia)

with existing road and railways connecting to other locations outside the city. The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar’s perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city.

In October 2010 it was announced the PRT would not expand beyond the pilot scheme due the cost of creating the undercroft to segregate the system from pedestrian traffic. Subsequently, a test fleet of 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars was deployed in 2011 as part of a one-year pilot to test a point-to-point transportation solution for the city as a complement to the PRT and the freight rapid transit (FRT), both of which consist of automated electric-powered vehicles. Under the revised concept, public transport within the city will rely on methods other than the PRTs. Masdar will instead use a mix of electric vehicles and other clean-energy vehicles for mass transit inside the city. The majority of private vehicles will be restricted to parking lots along the city’s perimeter. Abu Dhabi’s existing light rail and metro line will connect Masdar City’s centre with the greater metropolitan area.

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

Building and courtyard of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (wikipedia)

has been behind the engineering plans of Masdar City and is at the center of research and development activities. The institute, developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uses 70% less electricity and potable water than normal buildings of similar size and is fitted with a metering system that constantly observes power consumption.

Masdar will employ a variety of renewable power resources. Among the first construction projects will be a 40 to 60 megawatt PV solar power plant,

Masdar rooftop solar panels in city model (wikipedia)

built by the German firm Conergy, which will supply power for all other construction activity. This will later be followed by a larger facility, and additional solar panels will be placed on rooftops to provide supplemental solar energy totalling 130 megawatts. Besides photovoltaics, concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are also being explored. For example, so-called “beam down” CSP plants (be sure to watch the video clip) have been constructed to test the viability of the concept for use in the city. Wind farms will be established outside the city’s perimeter capable of producing up to 20 megawatts, and the city intends to utilize geothermal energy as well. In addition, Masdar plans to host the world’s largest hydrogen power plant.

Water management has been planned in an environmentally sound manner as well. A solar-powered desalination plant will be used to provide the city’s water needs, which is stated to be 60 percent lower than similarly sized communities. Approximately 80 percent of the water used will be recycled and waste water will be reused “as many times as possible,” with this greywater being used for crop irrigation and other purposes.

The city will also attempt to reduce waste to zero. Biological waste will be used to create nutrient-rich soil and fertiliser, and some may also be utilised through waste incineration as an additional power source. Industrial waste, such as plastics and metals, will be recycled or re-purposed for other uses.

The exterior wood used throughout the city is palmwood, a sustainable hardwood-substitute developed by Pacific Green using plantation coconut palms that no longer bear fruit. Palmwood features include the entrance gates, screens and doors.

There are many supporters behind this project:  World Wide Fund for Nature , sustainability group BioRegional. In response to the project’s commitment to zero carbon, zero waste and other environmentally friendly goals, WWF and BioRegional have endorsed Masdar City as an official One Planet Living Community. The project is also supported by Greenpeace, which, however, stresses that there should be more focus on retrofitting existing cities to make them more sustainable rather than constructing new zero-carbon cities from scratch. The US Government has supported the project. The US Department of Energy have signed a partnership agreement with the Masdar group in a deal that will see the two organisations share expertise to support plans on zero-carbon cities. The Alliance to Save Energy honored Masdar City with a 2012 EE Visionary Award in recognition of the city’s contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency.  (wikipedia)

Let’s hope Masdar will not just be an expensive experiment but will truly become the prototype for all cities for our sustainable future.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on World Solar Challenge 2013 and solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

http://sunisthefuture.logosportswear.com

www.zazzle.com/sunisthefuture

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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8 October

For Brighter and Sunnier Future-Solar Homes From Solar Decathlon 2013

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Spectators of Solar Decathlon 2013 village at Orange County Great Park of Irvine, CA (credit: Eric Grigorian of U.S. Department of Energy)

My dear friends and fellow solar enthusiasts, as I’ve promised, there will be a series of photos of Solar Decathlon 2013, at Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA, below:

Janet Conroy of Team Capitol DC waters vegetations using reclaimed water from Hot Water Contest (credit: Eric Grigorian of U.S. Department of Energy)

Norwich University decathletes cut siding for the facade of their Solar Decathlon 2013 house (credit: Amy Vaughn of U.S. Department of Energy)

Sandra Violand, architecture student at Vienna University of Technology, greets visitors at the entrance of the Team Austria house at Solar Decathlon 2013 on October 5, 2013 at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. (Credit: Stefano Paltera of U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Solar Decathletes charging to begin assembly at Orange County Great Park of Irvine, CA (credit: Amy Vaughn of U.S. Department of Energy)

Team members of Middlebury College and University of Louisville, Ball State University, and University of Kentucky warm up with a yoga pose before construction begins (credit: Amy Vaughn of U.S. Department of Energy)

Visitors tour the deck outside the Czech Republic house at the Solar Decathlon 2013 (credit: Stefano Paltera of U.S. Department of Energy)

Santa Clara University's Solar Decathlon 2013 house that uses tiger deck bamboo decking (combining natural strength and beauty with this easy-to-install and low-maintenance exterior finish (credit: Stefano Paltera of U.S. Department of Energy)

Native desert plants surrounding construction site of Arizona State University and University of New Mexico 's SHADE (Solar Homes Adapting for Desert Equilibrium). SHADE's landscape includes a hummiingbird and butterfly garden (credit: Carol Anna of U.S. Department of Energy)

Conor Fitzpatrick (center) learns about Team Austria's curtains (surrounding the house, made to look like and represent leaves) from team member Dieter Fellner at Solar Decathlon 2013 at Orange County Great Park at Irvine, CA (credit: Eric Grigorian of U.S. Department of Energy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunisthefuture Photo Gallery& Sunisthefuture at Pinterest for much much more photos of Solar Event coverage at Sun Is The Future.  For more videos, click on: sunisthefuture Youtube Channel. For more small businesses and projects assisted by Sun Is The Future, click on Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva. For more unique gift ideas with inspiring designs, click on Sunisthefuture Online Store (aka Sunshine Online Store). To help spread more sunshine across our planet earth, click on: Start A Community Solar Garden & Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State Petition.

To view a series of videos prepared by individual teams of Solar Decathlon 2013, please visit Solar Decathlon Team-Produced Videos.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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7 October

Solar Decathlon 2013 Brings Future Solar House Designs

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My dear friends and fellow solar enthusiasts, it’s time for an update of another Solar Event, Solar Decathlon, taking place on the other side of the planet (Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA). There are so much going on in the solar world that I wouldn’t mind cloning myself just to be able to cover all of these solar events in person. Where one area of technological limitation may be remedied by the strength of another.

Solar Decathlon 2013 of U.S. Department of Energy-Collegiate teams at Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA (Credit: U.S. Department of Energy)

As mentioned in our Oct. 3, 2013 post, Solar Decathlon is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Solar Decathlon Competition

In the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, collegiate teams design and build energy-efficient houses powered by the sun. These teams spend almost two years creating houses to compete in the 10 contests of the Solar Decathlon. The winning team produces a house that:

  • Is affordable, attractive, and easy to live in
  • Maintains comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions
  • Supplies energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment
  • Provides adequate hot water
  • Produces as much or more energy than it consumes.

Learn more about the Solar Decathlon:

Or find out how your team can apply for the next Solar Decathlon.

In our next post, there will be series of photos from this event/contest.

For much much more photos of Solar Event coverage at Sun Is The Future, click on Sunisthefuture Photo Gallery& Sunisthefuture at Pinterest. For more videos, click on: sunisthefuture Youtube Channel. For more small businesses and projects assisted by Sun Is The Future, click on Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva. For more unique gift ideas with inspiring designs, click on Sunisthefuture Online Store (aka Sunshine Online Store). To help spread more sunshine across our planet earth, click on: Start A Community Solar Garden & Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State Petition.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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3 October

Despite the U.S. Government Shut-Down, U.S. Department of Energy Maintains, “Solar Decathlon 2013 (at Orange County Great Park, CA) Must Go On!”

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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During this first half of the month of October, Sun Is The Future will be bringing you two very special events: Solar Decathlon 2013 (in Irvine, CA in USA) and World Solar Challenge 2013 (between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia).

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Sharing the press release I’ve just received regarding the Solar Decathlon 2013 of Solar-Powered Houses Opened to the general public at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA of USA.

Despite the U.S. government shut-down, Solar Decathlon 2013 of U.S. Department of Energy Goes On!

The Show Goes On, Despite U.S. Government Shut-Down:Solar Decathlon 2013 Village (Credit: Richard King)

Below, is a video summarizing the goal of Solar Decathlon of U.S. Department of Energy:


For On-Site Inquiries and Logistics: Jason Lutterman, U.S. Department of Energy, (202) 779-3295

Jason.Lutterman@ee.doe.gov

Solar Decathlon 2013 Kicks Off Today, Solar-Powered Houses Open to Public at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California

Collegiate Teams Showcase Affordable, Energy-Efficient Houses in Global Competition

Irvine, Calif. – Collegiate teams involving more than 1,000 students from around the world have assembled at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif., to showcase their highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. Today’s opening ceremony kicks off the highly anticipated biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate houses powered by the sun that are affordable, energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in.

These inspiring collegiate teams show our onsite visitors and online Solar Decathlon audience around the world how efficient building design and clean energy products available today can help families and businesses save money by saving energy,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “The event provides student competitors with unique real-world training to become the clean energy workforce of the future and helps ensure that our nation remains competitive in the global race for clean energy.”

In addition to educating the public about money-saving and energy-saving opportunities available today, this award-winning competition engages students from across the nation and around the world to develop the skills and knowledge to become the next generation of architects, engineers and clean energy entrepreneurs. Over the last decade, the competition has prepared approximately 17,000 students to become future innovators in clean energy technologies and efficient building designs that cut carbon pollution and help slow the effects of climate change to leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. The Solar Decathlon also supports the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.

Student teams in the 2013 competition span two continents, including teams from the United States, Canada, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Over the next 10 days, they will compete in 10 contests that gauge each house’s performance, livability, and affordability, rewarding teams that build houses with estimated costs at or below $250,000. The teams will have to perform a variety of everyday tasks, including cooking, laundry, and washing dishes, to test the livability and energy use of their houses. The winner of the overall competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Thousands are expected to visit the houses, which will be open to the public free of charge on eight days over two weekends:  from Thursday, October 3, through Sunday, October 6, and again from Thursday, October 10, throughSunday, October 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PDT. Visitors are able to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today. The overall winner will be announced on Saturday, October 12 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. This Solar Decathlon is the sixth such competition since 2002.

This year’s collegiate teams were chosen nearly two years ago through a competitive process. The selected teams and their projects represent a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, and geographic locations, climates and regions – including urban, suburban and rural settings. They also aim to reach a broad range of target housing markets, including veterans, disaster relief, retirement, and single family. Teams have gathered their combined interdisciplinary talents to design and build the houses, as well as to raise funds, furnish and decorate the houses, and optimize the houses’ performance.

Solar Decathlon 2013 teams competing at the Orange County Great Park

 

  • ·         Arizona State University and The University of New Mexico
  • ·         Czech Republic (Czech Technical University)
  • ·         Kentucky/Indiana (University of Louisville, Ball State University, and University of Kentucky)
  • ·         Middlebury College
  • ·         Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • ·         Norwich University
  • ·         Santa Clara University
  • ·         Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
  • ·         Stanford University
  • ·         Stevens Institute of Technology
  • ·         Team Alberta (University of Calgary)
  • ·         Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology)
  • ·         Team Capitol DC (The Catholic University of
America, George Washington University, and

American University)

  • ·         Team Ontario (Queen’s University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College)
  • ·         Team Texas (The University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College)
  • ·         University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • ·         The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • ·         University of Southern California
  • ·         West Virginia University

For the first time, the Solar Decathlon will be hosted alongside XPO, a clean, renewable and efficient energy exposition, featuring visionary and innovative companies, products, and educational opportunities, organized by the City of Irvine and Orange County Great Park. Through fun, interactive exhibits and activities, the XPO will provide visitors with information about the broad spectrum of energy efficiency in home design, transportation, consumer products, food production and education. Visitors will experience a 21st century festival of creativity, technology, design, and educational experiences that will inspire children and adults alike. Learn more at www.The-XPO.org.

For full event information, current standings, high-resolution photos, videos, an event schedule and daily results, visit www.SolarDecathlon.gov. You may also follow the competition in real time on Facebook at Facebook.com/DOESolarDecathlon and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon. Photos are also available on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solar_decathlon/

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My dear viewers/readers, it’s been a great pleasure of mine to share with you a glimpse of our future world, where people are/will be driven by their passions and optimism for our future world rather than purely for the immediate monetary rewards. Let’s applaud for those who are sweating away at Solar Decathlon 2013 (Orange County’s Great Park, CA, in USA)!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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22 June

Fourth Graders Show America The Way To A Clean Energy Future

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

I was tickled pink upon seeing this video from the U.S. Department of Energy site. I trust that you will agree that there is hope for our future generations once you’ve seen this video, shared below (italicized text taken from U.S. Department of Energy site):

A group of fourth graders in Durham, North Carolina, are showing America the way to a clean energy future.

After learning all about solar and other energy sources, Aaron Sebens — a teacher at Central Park School for Children — and his fourth grade class came up with a bold idea: make their classroom solar-powered.

The video above documents the students’ journey from idea to reality — leading up to a celebratory party where Aaron and his students officially “flip-the-switch” on their solar-powered classroom. To fund the project, Aaron’s class launched a crowd-funding campaign that garnered support across America and around the world. The students originally hoped to raise $800 but significantly beat expectations — raising more than $5,000.

The promise of solar energy extends far beyond one classroom in Durham. Every day, as the director of the Energy Department’s Solar Program, I get to witness the impact this industry is having across America. As the students’ project shows, solar is taking off as a clean and affordable source of energy. Because of the investments we’ve made as a nation, the solar industry is now one of the fastest growing job markets in the country. The sector continues to grow at an unprecedented pace — accounting for nearly half of all new U.S. electricity capacity during the first three months of 2013.

It’s clear we’re making progress in advancing America’s clean energy future, but the students in the video remind us that we have to do more.  At the Energy Department, we’re committed to driving innovations that make America’s abundant solar energy resources more affordable and accessible for Americans.  Let’s continue working together to create opportunities for more businesses, communities and classrooms across the country to tap into this clean, renewable and inexhaustible energy source.

Interested in installing a small solar energy system on your home? Visit our Energy Saver page for tips and guidance. Stay up to date on the Energy Department’s efforts to make solar power cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade by visiting our solar page on Energy.gov.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Be sure to share these links with others so we can all take the step to transition into solar energy future!

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed publicly in the comment area below or privately at sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note in your email if you don’t want the email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net



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1 January

May JCESR (DOE’s Batteries and Energy Storage Hub) Lead U.S. To The Forefront of Battery Storage Technology

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Dear Friends and Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

Sorry about the delay of this post.  There were simply too much to tend to in December of 2012.

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Remember the three most difficult triad I’ve mentioned (back in the Dec. 1, 2012 post) historically associated with being the barrier to prevalent implementation of solar energy is: cost, efficiency, and battery storage.  This post will complete our third element of the triad, demonstrating our hopeful future in battery storage technology.

In December of 2012, the Secretary Stephen Chu of U.S. Department of Energy announced the creation of a research center focusing on  battery and energy storage technology.   U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded up to $120 million over five years to a multi-partner team led by Argonne National Laboratory

Aerial view of the Argonne National Laboratory (Credit; Argonne National Laboratory)

to establish a new batteries and energy-storage hub, also known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the research and development of:

  1. five DOE national laboratories (Argonne National LaboratoryLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
  2. five universities (Northwestern University, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, and University of Michigan)
  3. four private firms (Johnson Controls, Dow Chemical Company, Applied Materials and Clean Energy Trust)

JCESR is a major research partnership that integrates academic, government, and industrial researchers from many disciplines to overcome critical scientific and technical barriers and create new energy  storage technology. This JCESR Consortium

JCESR conference in Chicago in December of 2012

is aiming to make U.S. a battery powerhouse, with an ambitious  5-year goal of developing batteries that will be 5-times more powerful and 5-times less expensive than the current battery technology.  Below, is a video clip of  the press conference at Chicago regarding JCESR:

“This is a partnership between world leading scientists and world leading companies, committed to ensuring that the advanced battery technologies the world needs will be invented and built right here in America,” said Secretary Chu.  “Based on the tremendous advances that have been made in the past few years, there are very good reasons to believe that advanced battery technologies can and will play an increasingly valuable role in strengthening America’s energy and economic security by reducing our oil dependence, upgrading our aging power grid, and allowing us to take greater advantage of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar.”

Hear! Hear !  Secretary Chu!  We look forward to the day when battery storage will no longer be a barrier but a promoter of prevalent implementation of solar energy!  We hope Secretary Chu’s vision will enable the creation of a single-home, blackout immune solar power solution, which is only possible if storage technology improves, allowing a small solar grid to hang on to generated electricity in cases of disconnection from the traditional electrical grid.

Much is happening in the Solar World this year! Keep checking back for more exciting updates, fellow solar enthusiasts!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker.  Your input/questions/suggestions/comments are always welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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13 January

The Upcoming American Solar Challenge in July of 2012

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Dear Readers,

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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.
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Hi, Every One,

If you enjoyed our coverage of the Veolia World Solar Challenge in Australia last year during October, Oct. 31, 2011 post (http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=201110) and are interested in seeing solar car race in North America, then keep your calendar open in July of 2012 for American Solar Challenge (ASC),


previously known as Sunrayce.  The American Solar Challenge and North American Solar Challenge, is a solar car race across the United States and Canada.  Teams from universities and colleges of North America design, build, test, and race solar-powered vehicles on a route (from Tulsa (Broken Arrow), OK to Naperville, IL, about 1100 miles from June 20-26 of 2010
and from Dallas, TX to Calgary, Alberta, about 2500 miles from July 13-22 of 2008).
 

Originally called Sunrayce USA, the first race was organized and sponsored by General Motors in 1990 in an effort to promote automotive engineering and solar energy among college students. At the time, GM had just won the inaugural World Solar Challenge in Australia in 1987; rather than continue actively racing, it instead opted to sponsor collegiate events.

Subsequent races were held in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999 under the name Sunrayce [year] (e.g. Sunrayce 93). In 2001, the race was renamed American Solar Challenge and was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Beginning in 2005, its name changed again to its present form to reflect the border crossing into Canada and the addition of co-sponsor Natural Resources Canada.  After the 2005 race,

American Solar Challenge started at Austin, TX in 2005

the U.S. Department of Energy discontinued its sponsorship, resulting in no scheduled race for 2007. The race is now sponsored byToyota.   The 1990 and 1993 races had a south-north orientation, intended to roughly match the Darwin-to-Adelaide, Australia, route of the World Solar Challenge. In 1995, race organizers opted for a mostly east-west route from Indianapolis to Colorado. In 2005, the ASC adopted its current route that follows a south-to-north orientation across the United States, then turns to the west upon reaching Canada.

Since 1995, the Race Director has been Dan Eberle, a professor at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri.

Below are rules obtained from the Wikipedia.  I will keep you posted if there should be any rules changes for this year.

Rules

  • Race consists of a series of timed stages between predetermined locations; all teams begin and end each stage in the same location
  • The team with the lowest overall elapsed time wins
  • The total area of all solar cells and related reflectors, etc. must not exceed 6 square meters
  • When the vehicle has stopped, the solar array may be reoriented toward the sun for charging batteries
  • Strict specifications and engineering scrutiny process is provided for vehicle configuration, safety requirements, and other standards
  • Teams in the race are divided into two categories; open and stock
  • Open class — Solar cells over $10 USD per watt (higher efficiency)
  • Stock class — From a pre-approved list of cells that are under $10 per watt
(Previous races also specified different battery technologies for the classes)
This year, 2012, the American Solar Challenge will take place between July 14-21, 2012,  from Rochester, NY to St. Paul, MN, with the scrutineering process taking place between July 6-9, 2012, at the Monticelle Motor Club in Monticello, NY and the Formula Sun Grand Prix taking place between July 10-12, 2012, at Monticello Club in Monticello, NY http://americansolarchallenge.org/category/schedule/asc2012-schedule/
 

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture.net

 

Homepage:  http://sunisthefuture.net

 
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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

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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:

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5 August

Solar Decathlon (1)

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Hi, Friends and Readers of Sun Is The Future,

If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

Let’s take a break from the political aspect of renewable energy and shift our attention to education and R & D for a moment. The coming series will be presentations of Solar Decathlon. Solar Decathlon of the U.S. Department of Energy is an international competition started/created by Richard King in 2002 (also held in 2005, 2007, 2009)that challenges 20 or so collegiate teams to design, build, and operate the most appealing and effective energy efficient solar-powered house. The winning team would have a design that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, design excellence, and optimal energy production consideration.

The next Solar Decathlon event is scheduled to take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park from September 23 to October 2, 2011. It will be open to the public and free of charge, weekdays: 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M., weekends: 10:00A.M.-5:30 P.M.

Solar Decathlon 2011 map

It is intended for public/visitors to tour ultra-efficient houses, to gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how to maximize energy efficiency in their own homes.

More information may be found at:  http://www.solardecathlon.gov/

The Solar Decathlon challenges the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to become pioneers of clean energy technology and efficient building design,” said Secretary Chu.  “This is a great opportunity for these talented students to showcase cutting edge technologies that will change the way we build homes and save families money.”

Solar Decathlon showcases student-built energy efficient and cutting edge technology homes

The competition is presented by the U.S. Department of Energy and organized by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).  There is also a Solar Decathlon Europe, established in 2007 between U.S and Spain, and a Solar Decathlon China established between U.S. Department of Energy and China’s National Energy Administration, Peking University, and Applied Material in 2011 and will be held in 2013.

To understand more about the purpose of this Solar Decathlon, please view the clip below:


 

 

Here at Sun Is The Future, there will be presentations of various designs from different parts of the world.  Be prepared to be awed!

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:

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