Do It Yourself Solar Energy

DIY Home Energy System

This ebook guide teaches you how to escape complete dependence the power grid and learn how to live mostly on your own power and make sure that you are dependent on Yourself. You will be able to slash your energy bill by over 75% and not have to depend on greedy energy companies. The largest energy corporations are a monopoly for a given area, so they do not need to care about customer service or doing right by the people they service. You will learn how to break this monopoly and depend on yourself. Make your home immune to power shortages, blackouts, and energy failures; live free of any worry that the grid will totally fail you! You will learn practical steps such as how to build your own solar panel for less than $60! Once you start relying more on solar power you will be able to easily protect your family from dangerous power outages, and live free! Read more...

DIY Home Energy System Overview


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Solar energy in refurbishment Advantages of solar energy

Refurbishment or other adaptation work can present an ideal opportunity to apply different solar energy options. It also presents challenges, however, because retrofitting such techniques in existing buildings can be difficult owing to the physical constraints and financial restraints involved. 'Solar energy is a clean and sustainable energy source and, therefore, has economic as well as environmental and social value' (ISE, 1997). It can be categorized into 'active' and 'passive' techniques. The former uses turbines, fans and pumps, some of which are often used in conjunction with passive systems. The latter uses the form and fabric of the building to admit, store and distribute primarily solar energy for heating and lighting (O'Sullivan, 1988). It has the following advantages

The Outdoor Environment

Solar energy is the source of almost all of our energy resources. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun triggers photosynthesis in green plants, which produces All energy sources are derived from the sun, with the exception of geothermal, nuclear, and tidal power. When the sun heats the air and the ground, it creates currents that can be harnessed as wind power. The cycle of evaporation and precipitation uses solar energy to supply water for hydroelectric power. Photosynthesis in trees creates wood for fuel. About 14 percent of the world's energy comes from biomass, including firewood, crop waste, and even animal dung. These are all considered to be renewable resources because they can be constantly replenished, but our demand for energy may exceed the rate of replenishment. caying vegetation were compressed and subjected to the earth's heat over hundreds of millions of years to create the fossilized solar energy we use today. These resources are clearly not renewable in the short...

New society publishers

I have spent most of my career engaged in energy and environmental affairs, working to make our current economy and way of life more appropriate to long-term sustainability. As a student in California in 1970, I helped organize the first Earth Day, and I helped create the first state-level agency to promote solar energy, also in California. For the past ten years, I have been involved in building design and construction on a daily basis, and I've been active in the green building movement since 1999. I see my role as a communicator between green building professionals and the larger business and governmental public. I conceived of this book as a way to accelerate the understanding of the importance of green buildings in addressing the climate-change challenges of the early 21st century.

Toward Solar Architecture

The energy potential, which the sun places at our disposal cn a daily basis, seems inexhaustible. The incident radiation on the a dmasses of the earth alone is 3000 times greater thar the worldwide demands. Yet we continue to meet these demands almost exclusively with non-renewable energies generated pnmanty from fossil fuels. The resultant environmental problems - air pollution, acid rain, greenhouse effect and climate change - are only too well known. As if this weren't bad enough, annual consumption is climbing drama -icaiiy. For affluence is on the rise and some of the most populous countries of the world, such as China and India, are atxxit to adopt the extravagant lifestyle of the West. This will lead to nearly immeasurable ecological and political consequences in the near future s*Ke the conventional energy resources are finite and wil soon be exhausted. The fight for access to and control over these energy resources, first and foremost oil. will intensify even more. Seen from...

The beginning of the 20th century

Passive solar energy use became a popular topic when Libbey Owen-Ford introduced insulating glass in 1935. It became possible for windows to become net energy producers in cold climates. Architects such as George Fredrick Keck from Illinois built houses with large south-facing windows and high thermal mass interiors. Measurements of the Duncan House showed that by ambient temperatures of -20 C no heating was required between 08 30 and 18 30. This was a sensation for the press.

What are photovoltaics

PV systems convert solar radiation into electricity. They are not to be confused with solar panels which use the sun's energy to heat water (or air) for water and space heating. This chapter looks at PVs and examines a number of issues of interest to designers including Environmentally, PVs have the significant advantages of producing no pollutant emissions in use and, by replacing grid-generated electricity with solar energy used mainly on site, reducing CO2, NOx (nitrogen oxides) and SOx (SO2 and SO3) emissions. 2. Anon, (1996), Solar Electric - Building Homes with Solar Power. London Greenpeace.

The Machynlleth House CAT

The core of the sandwich is 100mm of extruded, expanded polystyrene, which has a closed cell structure and includes a sheet of polythene between the core and the internal plasterboard lining, to reduce the infiltration of cold air. The building also includes solar panels for hot water heating. A woodburning stove provides back-up.

Politics And Sustainable Development

Comfortably to economies which aim to grow or increase output. The over-exploited North Sea fishing grounds may be a better analogy for industrial growth without regard to stocks a time arrives when the industry itself is in danger, and draconian measures are necessary to conserve stocks and ensure regeneration of the resource. The decimation of the British and Irish fishing fleets are witness to the greedy exploitation of a valuable 'common'. Non-renewable resources such as oil or natural gas when used for human well-being must - if sustainable development is a goal - be capable of being replaced by other renewable resources. For example, the use of fossil fuels should be accompanied by the development of renewable energy sources such as wind, water and solar power. Interesting experiments in the development of renewable energy sources - though not always welcomed by the local population -have been or are being implemented throughout Europe.

In Your Office or Workplace

The COYou2 reduce and gain program supports employees' investments in measures that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in relation to mobility, heating and electrical energy. Such measures, which vary according to regional circumstances and preferences, include low-emission hybrid cars, use of public transport and the installation of solar panels or heat pumps. From now until the end of 2011, Swiss Re plans to rebate each employee one-half of the amounts invested in these measures, up to a maximum per employee of 5,000 Swiss francs (about 4,000) or the equivalent in local currency.

Solar thermal electricity

Solar energy is more evenly distributed across the sun belt of the planet than either wind or biomass. The downside is that deserts do not attract centres of population. However, as the world gradually switches to becoming a hydrogen-based energy economy, solar thermal electricity could be the key to substantial hydrogen production by electrolysis. African countries bordering the Mediterranean could greatly boost their economies by exporting solar hydrogen to Europe by tanker or pipeline. This may also be the future for the Gulf States (see Chapter 12). The solar collector or 'SunDish' consists of an array of mirrors which tracks the path of the sun, focusing its rays on a thermal concentrator. The solar energy is focused onto a hemispherical absorber in the engine's heat pipe receiver. The heat pipe receiver transfers heat at between 300 and 800 C to the Stirling engine, which is hermetically sealed, producing daytime electricity with zero emissions. At night the engine is heated by...

Nibe Exhaust Air Heat Pumps Help Meet New Ecotargets

The stringent requirements of Level 4 have been met by utilising a number of different systems including solar panels, 300mm fully filled cavity walls, and improved U values on glazing, doors and loft space. The piece de resistance, however, is the installation of NIBE Heat Pumps designed to convert air that would otherwise be expelled in the normal ventilation process into energy for domestic hot water and central heating.

Toilets That Conserve Water

All composting toilets require a continuous supply of room air drawn into the composting chamber and vented out through the roof to provide oxygen for the aerobic microorganisms that digest the wastes. Composting toilets eliminate or greatly reduce water for flushing but increase energy consumption, although the amount needed to run a fan and keep the compost from freezing is small, and is often supplied by a solar panel on the roof. Grates, screens, electric fans, and ventilation chimneys can provide ventilation. Airtight lids on the toilet, screens over vents, proper maintenance, and keeping kitchen scraps from the composting toilet will deter unwanted insects. Some government agencies require a permit before installing a composting toilet.

Heat production and distribution

The 48 single family houses in the southern tract have a micro-district heating system per house row. Solar heat and electricity produced on the house roof tops are also centrally collected and distributed. Solar energy also covers 65 per cent of the DHW need. These central units are managed by the local utility.

Energy Use Calculations

Calculate loads to make sure that the building envelope is adequately insulated, to compare alternative envelope designs, to estimate preliminary mechanical system costs, and to evaluate the potential benefits of solar energy design. Load calculations provide the basis for estimates of annual building energy use. They can become very complicated when used for detailed cost comparisons of alternative systems. When one design costs less to install but another is more energy efficient, engineers may perform energy design value analyses. For example, an analysis may help with decisions about optimizing the quantity of insulation, choosing between double and triple glazing, selecting types of lighting, deciding on solar energy use, and balancing aesthetic considerations with their cost to the client.

Solar Control Lowe Glass

New Soiarban 70XL is the first vision glass that gives architects exactly what they want by delivering a previously impossible set of features. It blocks over 75 of total solar energy while delivering 63 visible light transmittance - and does it with the look of clear glass. After all, looks are still everything. For a Solarban 70XL sample and a white paper detailing the unbelievable energy savings it can bring to your next project, call 1-888-PPG-IDEA or visit

Sustainable and Ethical

I discern three business-style 'certainties' to new-age life in settler societies. The first is that new-age technology is certain -the solar-powered car will be followed by the hydrogen-powered car - and these new technologies will be as profitable to new-age business as the steam engine was to George Stephenson and the combustion engine was to Henry Ford. The second is that the bottom-line purpose of business will remain business for profit. The third is that new-age democratic governments will decree, variously, against energy use profligacy, the exploitative hollowing out of finite resources, the dumping of reusable waste, and the exposure of toxic residues to the biosphere.

Design outcome and thermal environmental control systems

Thermal environmental control was achieved in both the pavilion gallery spaces and in the arcade through a combination of active and passive systems, the Science Park project having elements from the full range. In what follows, the pavilion gallery spaces will be described first, then the arcade, followed by some comments on the overall distribution system and controls and a brief note on the photovoltaic solar panel system installed on the roof.

Solar Water Heating Cooling And Other Applications

Using solar energy to heat water is one of the most cost-effective solar applications. Solar water heaters manufactured as packages, including collectors, storage tank, and controls, are available in many countries worldwide. Solar energy is also used for the heating loads of industrial processes, including drying lumber or food, chemical or metallurgical process extraction operations, food processing and cooking, curing masonry products, and drying paint. Solar cooling is used for refrigeration of food or chemical preservation. The need for cooling with a solar design comes at the time when the greatest amount of solar energy is available. The solar energy is stored as hot water as it comes out of collectors, or as chilled water. Solar air-conditioning systems operate by absorption, by the Rankine cycle, in which solar steam turns a turbine to power an air conditioner, or by desiccant cooling, which uses dehumidification to cool. The equipment for solar cooling is expensive, so it is...

Photovoltaics and Fuel Cells

With an increase in the use of solar energy, half of the world energy supply is expected to come from alternatives to fossil fuels by the year 2050. Solar energy is becoming available as electricity directly at the point of use through photovoltaic (PV) technology. Site-generated PV uses DC electrical current, which is already being used in televisions, lighting, motors, and appliances for recreational vehicles. The power is then converted to AC power and tied to the central electrical energy grid. During periods of low supply, the energy grid provides backup energy. When extra production is available on-site, the meter runs backwards, effectively selling the extra energy to the grid.

The Firstthought Design

The First-Thought design does have two advantages view and possible solar energy adaptation. The view advantages are obvious. The possibilities of solar energy come where the downhill slope is a southern exposure. Whether a person should put this sort of house in an area of high density of housing where it is visible to others is an open question, especially since both views and solar energy may be utilized by more concealed design methods.

Absorption Refrigeration

Cooling with desiccants does not use any refrigerants with CFCs. Desiccants are porous materials, such as silica gel, activated alumina, and synthetic polymers with a high affinity for water vapor, that lower humidity without overcooling the air. In active desiccant systems, desiccants are heated with natural gas or solar energy to drive out the moisture that they have removed from the air. Passive systems use the heat from the building's exhaust air to release and vent moisture removed from incoming air.

Monolithic tandem concentrator cells

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in Freiburg has developed a PV based on a thin film structure of two semiconductors gallium indium arsenide and gallium indium phosphide. Solar concentrators are incorporated in the cell which increases the solar intensity by factors ranging from 100 to 1000. Because the optical concentrators focus solar energy onto a small area, this reduces the area of cells required for a given output. In the laboratory the cells achieve an efficiency of 29 but values up to 35 are expected to result from further developments. The disadvantage of this technology is that the concentrators are really only efficient in sunlight.

Cutting out sunlight and glare

Depending on the geographical location of a building, its exposure and the construction of its facades, solar energy can enter through the openings and lead to overheating of the interior in spring, summer and autumn. We prevent this by installing a suitable sunshading system. Basically, sunshades reduce the amount of heat radiation admitted by reflecting it. The total energy transmittance (g-value) is the means we use to assess the effectiveness of the protection, or to compare it with other systems. The g-value is the total of radiation transmitted plus secondary heat emissions to the inside and is determined through measurements or calculations. An efficient sunshade is distinguished by a high degree of reflection, which reduces the g-value accordingly. To prevent overheating of the interior, this reflection must take place before the radiation strikes the glass. If the solar radiation passes through the glass first, some of this radiation is absorbed

Energy performance and performance calculation

For solar wall heating and solar insulation, the same methodology can be used for characterizing the wall construction. The U-value can be calculated according to ISO 6946 (EN ISO 6946, 1996). In general, the wall construction is an inhomogeneous building element consisting of wall material, transparent insulation product and frame part. Similar to a window, the solar gains are proportional to a total solar energy transmittance (g-value) of the complete system gSWH - or, in collector terminology, a solar efficiency nSWH. The basis for the determination of this parameter is the thermal resistance network of Figure 9.4.6 the solar energy transmitted is proportional to the g-value of the transparent insulation gTI and the relation of the resistance from the wall surface to the exterior Rtii + R to the total resistance R

Resource Flows and Campus Ecology

The operation of educational institutions in ways that undermine the future of the students we purport to educate cannot be justified. As learning organizations, colleges and universities would monitor their environmental impacts and amend their operational guidelines in order to eliminate pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, and toxic chemicals, and support the emergence of sustainable local economies. Construction and building renovation would conform to the highest standards possible. Other standards for the purchase of materials, food, and energy, as well as landscaping and investment are being tested by the Campus Ecology Program of the National Wildlife Federation. The aim is to develop rating systems similar to that of U.S. News and World Report to appraise the environmental performance of colleges and universities. The implementation of these standards will require changes in plant management and operations, including systems to provide prompt and accurate feedback about all...

Fuel the least polluting sources of affordable energy

Gas and oil produce lower emissions to the atmosphere for each unit of delivered energy than electricity, making electricity, in general, the least preferred option for heating. A zero-CO2 emission option is to use active solar energy for hot water, wind energy and or biofuels such as woodchip, waste, straw or paper. Renewable energy technologies are dealt with in Chapter 11.

Passive solar heating

Passive solar heating contributes to space heating requirements in a relatively small number of buildings in the UK. As a general principle, passive solar energy should be exploited wherever possible. It should be available to every house and make a contribution to heating needs in schools and other buildings as

Develop a Larger Learning Process

This project originated on the periphery of institutional consciousness. No formal or informal feedback loops bridged this project with other building projects, or to institutional operations or trustees. The project had no strong advocate within the administration, which may explain why no effort was made to develop a shared vision, what Senge labels common mental models among the trustees, senior staff, facilities management, and faculty. The administration initiated no review of the project after its commissioning with all the participants to determine what worked well and what did not.4 Thus, different and somewhat antagonistic views of the project and the design process existed among the college administration, faculty, and design group that worked on the building. It is fair to say that the Lewis Center did not at that time reflect a deeper institutional commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, solar power, ecological restoration, and biological diversity, which were all...

Sikkens Sustains Hamilton Development

The design was chosen through a competition promoted by clients, Clyde Valley Housing Association in conjunction with Communities Scotland and Hamilton Ahead (South Lanarkshire Council). Miller Street utilises passive and active principles to ensure an environmentally friendly design ranging from thermal walls to solar panel technology, creating a sustainable community on a particularly tight urban site.

Why Are Fabricators Turning to Aluminium

Companies supplying this sector need to look at both the improvement in insulation properties of the windows such as the move to high performance triple glazing and also the control and harnessing of solar energy. Some systems companies are already well ahead in this field. The opportunity is that new buildings could carry considerably more glazed areas which, if controlled correctly, could reduce the need for artificial lighting whilst offering much needed renewable solar energy.

Intelligent glass facades

Truly intelligent facades capitalise on the incident solar energy striking the facade of a building, adapt the skin functionality to the appropriate thermal control and solar protection, and in addition may generate electricity through photovoltaic cell systems. Solar control may be provided by switched elec-trochromic glass or by using laminated prismatic or holographic films which deflect the solar radiation according to its angle of incidence. Additionally, intelligent facades respond to air flows or ground heat sources to ensure appropriate and responsive ventilation. This function is usually achieved by the use of a double-skin facade, which acts as a ventilation cavity. During the heating season the double skin can pre-warm the incoming fresh air, and when cooling is required it can remove, by convection, built-up excess heat from the double-glazing unit. Furthermore, excess heat energy can be stored for redistribution when required.

Energy Production and Use General Policy Statement

Alternative energy sources are receiving increased attention by academic institutions. Within the framework of fossil fuels, the burning of natural gas (CH4) produces the least amount of CO2 per unit of energy. Oil (CH2) is next, and coal (CH) produces the most CO2. The carbon in the fuel becomes CO2 the hydrogen becomes H2O. Another form of gaseous energy, which was once a major component of widely used consumer gas, is hydrogen gas (H2). Many experts expect that hydrogen gas (H2) will become the major stored and distributed source of convertible energy in the not-too-distant future. Sources of green energy include solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind. Wind and solar energy are the best candidates for the northeastern Ohio region. Rapid developments are occurring in these technologies, which could ease the cost of decreasing the dependence on fossil fuels.

Factors Determining the Performance of Glass

Solar Energy Transmission ( ) Percentage of incident solar energy transmitted by glass. 5. Solar Energy Reflection ( ) Percentage of incident solar energy reflected by glass. 6. Solar Energy Absorption ( ) Percentage of incident solar energy absorbed 7. Solar Factor (SF) Is the amount of energy entering the building, expressed as a percentage of the incident solar energy. Lower the solar factor, lower the solar energy heat gain.

Desiccant and solar cooling

A desiccant cooling model was developed and validated with data from the two systems. A solar heating coil was modelled prior to the regeneration coil, and it was possible to show a 76 reduction in primary energy consumed and CO2 produced, demonstrating that there is potential in the UK for using solar energy to drive the desiccant cooling cycle.

Autonomous building care

The autonomous house as envisaged by Robert and Brenda Vale, with its own solar panels, wind turbine, rainwater filters and composting toilet, is not without maintenance needs so how are they to be met Some of the questions appropriate to ask in relation to the automated building are equally applicable here. How sophisticated are the systems For how long will parts be available

Carsten Petersdorff 1231 Concept

In high-performance houses, while the heat demand is reduced to a very low level and occurs during only a few months of the year, it does not decrease to zero. Certainly, a significant part of the space heating and major part of the hot water demand can be covered by solar energy. However, to cover 100 per cent of the demand would be economic nonsense. Such a system would be grossly over-dimensioned most of the year, having to dispose of heat. A backup heating system to cover the peaks is essential. Burning a fossil fuel is a proven means of providing this backup. Due to the small absolute quantities of fuel consumed, the environmental impact is negligible. Especially in high-performance houses, the following should be considered

Keymer Take Home Owner Back To Massachusetts

Overall, the project's energy efficiency managed to exceed building regulations by 15 - partly owing to sustainable materials and solar power. To allow the solar panels fitted to the roof to harvest the maximum light, the largest section of the roof had to face south, meaning the gable became street-facing. Due to this, the gable's appearance had to be of the highest standards, hence the use of clay tiles throughout the expanse of both sides.

Solar Thermal Systems

I got acquainted with solar energy systems in the mid-1970s when the first Arab oil embargo led many people to start looking to the sun as a source of free energy (as the slogan went, Four billion years without a shortage.). I participated in the development of the solar energy industry in California over the next decade, first directing the state's landmark solar-industry commercialization programs, then as a private sector participant, marketing, selling and installing solar systems for water, space and pool heating. The current upsurge of interest in solar energy systems is the first in 20 years. The domestic solar thermal industry collapsed in the mid-1980s, the victim of falling oil prices, low natural gas prices and the expiration of federal and state tax credits first enacted in the 1970s.

Groundcoupled and geothermal heat

Geothermal heat can be used to generate electricity and heat but the geology of Central Europe limits its application for heating purposes. In spite of its huge energy potential, this environmentally friendly technology is currently only rarely used. In comparison to solar energy that reaches the Earth (5.4 x 1015 MJ a), the terrestrial heat flux through the Earth's crust is nearly 6000 times smaller (1012 MJ a). This is, however, still three times greater than the total worldwide energy consumption.

Water storage technology

The storage need in a solar system is often determined by the ratio of the maximum to minimum monthly solar radiation. Figure 13.1.2 gives this data for different latitudes. When the maximum-minimum ratio is less than 5, even wintertime solar energy may be enough to provide the heat load, whereas values higher than 10 mean such a large fluctuation that a seasonal storage or

Other means of heat storage

This means of energy storage is superior to all the above means. The classic example is petroleum. Solar energy has been stored in plant material, which decomposed into oil, and now millions of years later, with no energy loss during the storage, 10,000 kWh m3 can be released by simply burning it -an incredible energy density. The only small problem is that the rate of use exceeds the rate of geological production, given the millions of years' time span

A1 The Photovoltaic Effect

This is the basic process by which a PV cell converts solar radiation into electricity. In crystalline silicon cells a p-n junction (p for positive, n for negative) is formed (Figure 2.1) by diffusing phosphorous into the silicon and introducing a small quantity of boron. This results in an electric field being formed. When photons, particles of solar energy, are absorbed by a PV cell, electrons under the influence of the field move out towards the surface. This flow or current is harnessed by an external circuit with a load.

Green Urbanism Compact and Ecological Urban Form

Although European cities have become more decentralized, they are typically still more compact and dense than U.S. cities. This tighter urban form helps make local sustainability initiatives more feasible in terms of, for example, public transit, walkability, and energy efficiency. There are many factors that explain this urban form, including an historic pattern of compact villages and cities, a limited land base, and different cultural attitudes about land. Nevertheless, in the cities studied there are conscious policies aimed at strengthening a tight urban core. Indeed, the major new growth areas in almost every city studied are situated within or adjacent to existing developed areas and are designed at relatively high densities. Moreover, these new growth areas are incorporating a wide range of ecological design concepts, from solar energy to natural drainage to community gardens, and effectively demonstrate that ecological and urban can go together. Good examples of this compact...

Some Lessons and Observations

European cities treat sustainability comprehensively. Cities like Freiburg are simultaneously implementing programs to promote solar energy, walking, bicycling and transit use, car-free living, and ecological landscape management. Such green initiatives tend reinforce each other. Strengthening public transit and pedestrian and bicycle use undergirds car-free housing development. Green building and ecological regeneration may help stabilize neighborhoods and reduce turnover in social housing. Thus, one green urban policy can strengthen and complement other social objectives. Moreover, every major building project in these cities is viewed as a chance to promote experimentation, to set and reach new ecological goals, and to demonstrate the integration and application of new ecological ideas and technologies. Changing economic incentives. On many levels and in many ways, Europeans recognize the importance of leveling the economic playing field to support...

Stattegg Sports and Leisure Facility

Because of the difficult topography, poor access to, and orientation of, the existing sports ground and the incorrect position of the clubhouse, the site was completely reorganized. The new two-storey stadium with solar panels on its roof is now situated along the southwest side of the pitch. The stand is triangular in shape, reflecting the wedge shape of the site wide at the entrance area that all visitors have

Great big oaks do grow

Water-conserving equipment minimises infrastructure and DHW. Wastewater is treated. Sewage sludge produces bio-soil for fertiliser and biogas for cookers and cars. Rainwater is drained where possible to ground locally - and polluted road run-off treated separately. Low-power electrical kit and ventilation systems reduce demand. CHP district heating is supplied from combustible waste- and sewage-driven heat pumps. District cooling is available for businesses. DHW is from solar panels and electricity from PVs. All combustible and organic waste is collected in a network of pipes linked to storage containers. An IT strategy aims to provide for individual metering, communications, alarms, etc.

Strasbourg Train Station Extension

Glass Solar Energy Architecture

The initial answer, a glass bubble along the south side of the station (figure 9.11), had to be considerably refined in view of the first thermal simulations. The skin of the building, a filter for solar energy and heat, dominates the design so much that the work focused first on resolving questions related to the behavior of the skin before tackling its supporting structure. Two questions arose. First, how can the geometry be resolved rationally to match objectives of space, shape and form Generations by translation and rotation are being tested now. Second, what strategy would provide climatic comfort with a minimum expenditure of energy

Culemborg Netherlands

The project exploits solar energy passively and actively throughout. The infrastructural use of water and trees is routine in the Netherlands and here successfully encourages productive gardening. There is a policy of environmentally sound materials and an interest in healthy building design, including innovative building techniques from self-build straw bale to terrace houses under glass and a series of sun-scoop courtyards.

William Wenzler and Associates William Lam and Associates Central United Methodist Church

Artificial Lighting Churches

The tall tower which can be seen in the photograph is designed to collect both light and solar energy, but also registers the presence of the church in the neighbourhood it bears a resemblance to Utzon's Bagsvaerd Church in Denmark, although for somewhat different reasons (LightingModern Buildings, Case Study 8, pp. 1 18 9).

Lowtech high tectonics

But upon closer inspection our attentive visitor would make a few discoveries no radiators in the rooms, no centralised heating plant in the basement, no solar collectors anywhere in the building or on the roof Instead, a mechanical ventilation system ensures a supply of fresh air with a low air change rate (0.5) and is intended to prevent uncontrolled ventilation losses (e.g. windows left open unintentionally). A heat exchanger has been installed downstream from this system to introduce waste heat from the exhaust air into the incoming fresh air. That is it, the only technical component in the school this belongs to the - in architectural terms - less interesting part of the concept. More conspicuous are the ribbed concrete floors, the solid floor finishes of Vals quartzite stone slabs (also in the classrooms) and the large-format windows with their hopper-shaped reveals whose timber frames are screened externally by the thermal insulation. This is where the inconspicuous energy...

The Solar Stigmata of the Ecology Movement

There is an ironic serendipity in the proliferation of solar collectors, attached to buildings with functionalist conviction in the 1970s, and the deconstructivist taste for fragmentation in the 1980s, when an aesthetic based on dismembered bits of metal trusses that could have carried solar panels but didn't was widely admired. (A synthesis finally occured when the Benisch & Partner office hired a designer from Coop Himmelblau to work on the Hysolar Institute in Stuttgart in 1988 and placed solar collectors on the extruded parts of the building.) Solar buildings pro During the 1960s a significant change of consciousness occurred, and the subsequent demand for solar energy was championed not from an economic perspective but from one of social responsibility. Most important in this shift in mindset were the jeremiads of Rachel Carson, who in The Silent Spring (1962) exposed the extent to which the pesticide DDT had penetrated the world's ecosystems and launched the general challenge...

Chapter Six Toilet facilities

Toilet Facilities For Outdoor Recreation

These are similar to the dry composting toilets except that they have a larger capacity and tend to stay much wetter. Their main drawbacks are the odours that are common in hot weather and, for some people, a fear of falling into them. Adequate ventilation is difficult in many versions unless assisted by fans. These types are widely used on recreation sites in North America. They have to be pumped out at intervals so that access by special truck is needed. These types can also be provided with chemicals that help to break down the excreta and mask the smells. Various proprietary versions claim to have solved the odour problem with better ventilation systems. Some can be ventilated by fans powered by solar energy or heavy-duty rechargeable batteries.

Pavement Design Criteria

Temperate Darker colors are typical to absorb radiant solar energy. Frost thaw cycles require care in aggregate base preparation and subdralnage. Heavy snow regions must account for abrasive clearing practices. Mortared unit pavers require heavy maintenance In extensive applications.

The climate in the Nuremberg Prisma

Queens Botanical Garden Dreiseitl

In Nuremberg, for example, five waterfalls pout down at the same time into a set of residential and commercial premises that have been designed with a great deal of variety, using an entirely new design approach. In the 'Prisma' - 'Prism' - as the complex is called, removing boundaries was the key issue. Rainwater is of crucial importance here. All the water that falls on to the roofs flows through various cleaning phases into a tank with a capacity of just under 300 cubic metres, and is pumped from there into two circulating systems. Surplus water seeps into the ground under the underground car park. The first circulating system is used to supply the plants in the greenhouse, which extends over four storeys. South American vegetation grows in one section, Australian in the other, and both in a landscape of water-courses and ponds. These conservatories face south and south-west, and are part of the passive solar energy use concept.

Greenhouse Ecosystems

Greenhouse ecosystems (Fig. 11-2) are secondary sewage treatment systems that are constructed wetlands moved indoors. Marine biologist John Todd developed Living Machines at Ocean Arks International. They consist of a series of tanks, each with its own particular ecosystem. The first is a stream, and the second is an indoor marsh that provides a high degree of tertiary wastewater treatment. The system costs less to construct and about the same to maintain as a conventional sewage treatment system. It uses less energy, depending upon solar energy for photosynthesis and on gravity flow. There is no need for a final, environmentally harmful chlorine treatment. The system produces one-quarter of the sludge of other systems. Solar energy aerates tanks Solar energy aerates tanks

Solar Shading And Antiglare Measures

They keep the absorbed solar energy separate from the internal space. An ideal solution is to have louvres that semi- or fully automatically track the daily and annual path of the sun and can be adjusted to direct light in specific ways. External solar protection can also be combined with integrated measures such as solar control glazing. Exposed

Indirect Gain Designs

Indirect gain heating places a thermal storage mass between the sun and the occupied space. A sheet of glass covers an opaque wall 20 to 30 cm (8-12 in.) thick. The sun strikes the mass, where its energy is stored and slowly transferred to the interior space. The absorbed solar energy moves through the wall by conduction and then to the space by radiation and convection. The interior side of the wall must be kept free of hangings and large furniture so that radiant heat can transfer into the space. Indirect gain systems admit less daylight than direct gain systems, and offer little or no view to the south. Radiant heat continues to flow into the space in the evenings after sunny days.


Sketches Animal Rescue Systems

The concept of sustainable development, and associated practices such as sustainable construction, lend themselves to investigation via the sketchbook. It is possible to use freehand drawing to explore aspects of modern green design, be it the use of solar energy, wind power or natural ventilation. Conversely, most of the buildings constructed before the Industrial Revolution utilised local renewable energy sources, building materials were from the immediate locality, transport and farming practices relied on human and horse power, and cities were located where natural resources demanded. There was little or no importation of energy, food, water or materials, and since there was scarcity all round, there was a great deal of reuse and recycling. In this there are lessons for the future, which can be recorded and understood through freehand drawing. So sketching can help reveal best green practice, whether old buildings or more recent examples are employed. Sustainable architecture...

Need for Solar Access Zoning

Interest in solar access generally rises and falls with the perceived security of oil supplies. A brief period of political and economic uncertainty during the 1970s and '80s prompted urgent calls to use solar energy in our buildings, towns, and cities, making solar access a critical issue in the United States. A number of cities and states passed legislation to protect existing solar installations and to ensure continued solar access for future developments. The federal government supported a number of studies to determine the most feasible, effective, and enforceable way to establish solar rights.10 Then, as oil again flowed freely on world markets during the 1990s, public and political interest waned. beckons as a local alternative for electric power grids that run our air conditioners during hot summer months. But our understanding of solar energy must be broadened beyond photovoltaics (PV) and rooftop collectors.

Limited Energy Resources

The sun's energy arrives at the earth at a fixed rate, X and the supply of solar energy stored over millions of years in fossil fuels is limited. The population keeps growing, however, and each person is using more energy. We don't know exactly when we will run out of fossil fuels, but we do know that wasting the limited resources we have is a dangerous way to go. Through careful design, architects, interior designers, and building engineers can help make these finite resources last longer. Our current energy resources include direct solar and renewable solar-derived sources, such as wind, wood, and hydropower nuclear and geothermal power, which are exhaustible but are used up very slowly tidal power and fossil fuels, which are not renewable in the short term. Electricity can be generated from any of these. In the United States, it is usually produced from fossil fuels, with minor amounts contributed by hydropower and nuclear energy. Tidal power stations exist in Canada, France,...

Heliotrop Solar Eriergy House Freiburg

Subject Architects who are actively involved in low-energy and environmentally compatible designs readily make use of timber because it is a replenishable and recyclable material. The architect Rolf Disch from Freiburg is very active in this field. Over a period often years he developed a prototype for a solar-energy house which, if the design is fully applied, not only requires no outside energy supplies but indeed can feed electricity back into the public network A so-called negative-energy house. He has attempted to reduce building costs by employing series production techniques and standardization. This is essential because the engineering input for maximum energy savings on this scale is very cost-intensive. The Freiburg solar-energy house described here has approx. 200 m2 of usable floor space. The architect built it for his own use as house, office and demonstration project. Interesting in the Heliotrop design is the practical use of timber to meet extreme functional demands,...

Radiantly Heated Floors

Hydronic radiant heating systems can use gas, oil, electricity, or even solar energy as their energy source. On the other hand, electric cables don't require a boiler, and may be more cost-effective for small floors. An electric system for a small bathroom could cost 300 to 400, compared to 4000 to 5000 for a hydronic system, not including fuel costs, which are generally higher for electric systems. Electric floors are often used to supplement heating systems in homes with forced-air systems. Highly efficient homes with thick insulation, airtight construction, and passive solar features may also be appropriate sites for electric floors.

Passive Solar Designs

All-passive solar systems utilize south-facing glass or transparent plastic for solar collection. The low winter sun puts out 90 percent of its energy during the period from 9 00 a.m. to 3 00 p.m. Where other buildings or tall trees block access to the sun during this critical period, solar energy systems are not practical. The area of the glazing amounts to 30 to 50 percent of the floor area in cold climates, and 15 to 25 percent in temperate climates, depending on the average outdoor winter temperature and projected heat loss. Glazing materials must be resistant to degradation by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Double-glazing and insulation are used to minimize heat loss at night.

Combined heat and power CHP

CHP has advantages when used in conjunction with solar energy and wind power. Large plants between 100 and 300 MW of electrical capacity are flexible, having the ability to change their mode of operation from producing electricity alone to delivering both electricity and heat in varying proportions. This means that it can adjust its mode according to how much electricity is being provided from renewable sources. CHP is reliably available at times of system peak, being immune to the vagaries of wind or sun. It is therefore ideal for complementing renewable technologies.

Working And Dwelling

Cheap and plentiful supply23 and has a weight tolerance in excess of that required here. Above the gabions the office wall uses sand, cement, and lime packed in sand-bags which will gradually erode to leave a wall of rippling forms and on its other side - referencing the fusion of domestic and work spaces in a metaphor of comfort which is also gendered - the office outer wall is clad in a cloth of silicone-faced fibreglass 'puckered and buttoned like a domestic quilt' (Wigglesworth and Till, 2001 6) with an insulating layer and inner lining.24 Under the building, two tanks collect rain-water for use in clothes-washing and to irrigate the roof meadow. There is a compost toilet, a solar panel and a wood-burning stove (though heavy insulation reduces the need for heating). The bedroom is encased by a straw-bale wall, which continues on the north side of the building.25 While in vernacular buildings straw tends to be rendered with lime plaster, here it is encased in a rain-screen of...

Local weather and microclimate

Modern solar design - solar energy is a driver of massing, form and layout, and space planning for individual and groups of buildings, but not to the detriment of urban design (Architects Gaia Architects photo Michael Wolshover) Modern solar design - solar energy is a driver of massing, form and layout, and space planning for individual and groups of buildings, but not to the detriment of urban design (Architects Gaia Architects photo Michael Wolshover)

Active district solar heating

Be the scaling up of this technology to help meet heating requirements at district level. According to Dirk Mangold of the University of Stuttgart, 'Central solar heating plants offer one of the most economic ways of providing thermal solar energy to housing estates for domestic hot water and room heating. Over 50 of the fossil-fuel demand of an ordinary district heating plant can be replaced by solar energy when seasonal heat storage is included in the plant.'4 Central solar plants for seasonal storage aim at a solar fraction of at least 50 of the total heat demand for space heating and domestic hot water for a housing estate of at least 100 apartments. The solar fraction is that part of the total annual energy demand which is met by solar energy. The heat delivery of the system amounts to 1915 MWh year and the solar fraction is 47 . The month-by-month ratio between solar- and fossil-based energy indicates that from April to November inclusive, solar energy accounts for almost total...

Designing Buildings for Photovoltaic Systems

A single-residence PV system costs about 10 per watt of rated system capacity, including installation and all system components. A 1000-W system that would supply about one-third of the electricity for an energy-efficient home would cost approximately 10,000. With larger systems and projects where costs can be shared, the cost per watt could be reduced significantly. It currently costs from 10,000 to 40,000 to install a full solar system in a home, but rebates for up to one-half of that are currently offered in about 30 states, with more considering doing so. When purchased in quantity by a builder, solar panel systems add about 50 per month to the cost of the house, while saving from 50 to 100 in monthly electric bills. At the DOE's headquarters in Washington, DC, a blank south-facing wall presents three-quarters of an acre of poured-in-place concrete to views from the National Mall. This eyesore is scheduled to become one of the largest solar installations in the world. The DOE,...

Selectivity in Tropical Countries

Solar control by reflective glasses is due reflection of solar energy and produce very good solar control. It is most effective on sun facing wall. The optimum position of solar control coating is on external surface of the building. All hard Solar Energy Solar Energy Solar Energy Solar Energy Solar Energy Solar Energy

Orientation of a south roof overhang and large east and west porches maximizes passive solar heat gain while

The orientation and massing of the Environmental Education Visitor Activity Center maximize the site's passive solar and natural ventilation potential using simple strategies with enormous benefits. The long south face maximizes solar gain in winter months and the floor slab of the main space serves as a heat sink to store solar energy. Conversely, the building's north side shields against winter winds. The tilted main roof aids both of these functions, maximizing solar radiation and light to the south while deflecting north winds. Light-colored roof covering minimizes the heat island effect on the surrounding environment.

Nature as model and mentor

These efficiencies extended beyond the structure and into the envelope and environmental systems. Spheres are minimal surfaces that have maximum volume. They also, unlike more common orthogonal glasshouse forms, allow direct sunlight to enter perpendicular to the surface at all times of the day, thus maximizing the free energy.

Active solar heating Water

Heating DHW with solar energy in a high-performance house is sensible. In such houses, the energy needed to heat domestic water can equal or even exceed the energy needed for space heating since the latter has been so far reduced by insulation and heat recovery. Furthermore, demand for heating domestic water is a 12-month energy demand, including the high insolation summer months. Using a solar system is therefore an effective way of reducing the total primary energy demand. Increasingly, the market for solar water systems also includes systems that provide, in addition to water heating, space heating in winter.

Exemplary buildings

The row houses in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, provided an ideal field laboratory to examine how effective different constructions and design are in achieving high performance. Of interest here was not just the energy consumed over the operational life of the buildings, but also energy consumption over the whole life cycle, from construction through 50 anticipated years of service to demolition at the end. It was also interesting to see what proportion the infrastructure (streets and utilities) make of the total energy picture of a community. The project also served as a demonstration project, promising the transition from a coal and heavy industry economy and fossil fuel dependency to a new era based on solar energy. This was one of the first of an ambitious state programme to build 50 solar communities.

E5 Solar Heat Gain

Solar heat gain is the amount of the sun's energy that enters indoors through glazing in the southerly surfaces of a building envelope during cold weather. Although this heating load is conceptually simple, it has numerous variables. First, the sun's energy fluctuates according to sun-spots and other hyperactivity occurring on its surface. Second, the amount of solar energy that enters the earth's atmosphere varies from about 445 Btu sf-hr on Dec. 21 when the sun is closest to the earth to about415 Btu sf-hr on Jun. 21 when it is farthest away. Third, as this energy enters the earth's troposphere, some is scattered by the air's molecules and some is absorbed by the molecules depending on the air's temperature, chemical composition, and moisture content. Fourth, as a site's elevation above sea level increases, the sun's energy increases (at mile-high Denver it is about 7 percent greater than at sea level). Fifth, as the sun descends from directly overhead tow near the horizon, the air...

E6 Thermal Massing

For many, the concept of thermal massing evolves from the architecture of the pueblos in the Southwest, whose thick south-facing adobe walls absorb sunrays during the day and radiate the stored Btus into interior spaces at night to reduce these buildings' heating loads. However, the efficacy of this method of utilizing solar energy depends on several local climatic factors that exist in few other areas. They are 2.E.7. Total Solar Energy Savings Note The building's heating cost is very low because (1) its heat losses are low due to its superinsulated envelope, (2) much of the remaining loss is replenished by solar energy, and (3) further heat is conserved with thermal massing.

Best value Rationale

Identifying and emulating best practice (see Chapter 11). A move away from compulsory competitive tendering (CCT), which is often seen as inefficient and divisive, towards a more partnership approach with the participants in the construction process. BPPs involve some if not all of the other initiatives listed in this table and more. Solar panel heating, low water-use sanitary units, and other technologies, which help to achieve more sustainable construction.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar energy is often used for the hot water needs of families in sunny climates. In temperate climates with little winter sun, solar water heaters can serve as preheating systems, with backup from a standard system. The solar water heater raises the temperature of the water before it enters the standard water-heating tank, so that the electric element or gas burner consumes less fuel. Solar water heaters can cut the average family's water-heating bill by 40 to 60 percent annually, even in a cold climate. Heavy water users will benefit the most. Although initial costs of solar water heaters may be higher than for conventional systems, they offer long-term savings. A complete system costing under 3000 can provide two-thirds of a family's hot water needs even in New England. This is competitive with the still less expensive gas water heater. Some states offer income tax credits, and some electric utilities give rebates for solar water heaters. Solar water heaters are required on new...


For 2008, Park(ing) Day grew to 600 parks in more than 65 cities around the world. The event draws talent from many disciplines, including landscape architecture firms, alternative transportation groups, and bicycle coalitions, with installations ranging from vermiculture and solar-panel demonstrations to a community health clinic sponsored by San Francisco group Si Se Puede.

Firstthought House

I won't deny that you can get an excellent view with the First-Thought design. And it is a temptation in this, the dawning of the age of solar energy, to face all of those windows to the south to make maximum use of the sun. HOWEVER, those same effects can be achieved by other means without the problems encountered with this design. To reiterate, this design causes five heavy problems. These are (1) No balance of light (2) No cross-ventilation (3) Entrances are all on one side of the house creating a potential trap (4) No allowance for lateral thrust and hillside creep and (5) Anticipated disastrous drainage problems.

Income solar gains

Glass transmittance (g) high-performance glass is called for in high-performance housing. The low emissivity coatings and typically three layers of such glazing reduce the amount of solar energy able to penetrate into the house. The g-value for commonly used heat insulating glazing (U 1.1 W m2K) in standard housing is in the order of 0.6. For high-performance glass (U 0.5 W m2K), the g-value can easily be as low as 0.4, or a one third reduction in the solar energy entering a room. A good value to look for in high-performance glazings is 0.50.


The objective of the project was to build houses that are affordable for young families. Therefore, the houses were targeted to cost between 180,000 and 235,000 Euros (including VAT and the building site). The ministries in North Rhine-Westphalia coordinated their subsidy programmes for solar energy housing estates. As a result, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems were subsidized. The local energy utility also supported the solar systems.

Performance Form

Since its founding more than thirty years ago, the architectural practice Herzog + Partner has been committed to exercising social responsibility through its projects, while at the same time actively pursuing scientific and technological advances relevant for the environment in multiple ways, such as the potential of harnessing solar energy. An important factor, which dominates the scope of the practice, is the development of an overall composition that includes building structures as well as the surrounding landscape and public spaces in order to achieve optimal harmony in the architectural design. Using physical models and computer simulations, the effects on the form of the buildings, the positioning, and the possibility of using solar energy for heating purposes, cooling, ventilation, power generation and comfort are investigated. The solutions are found

Solar Design

In the past, the use of solar energy was seen primarily as a way to reduce conventional heating energy in buildings and to produce hot water. Great advances have been made in both areas through constructional developments. The results can be realized, among other things, by creating large areas of south-facing glazing and closed, heavily insulated north walls, or by zoning in the layout of rooms through the orientation of buildings, thereby ensuring a favorable relationship between the volume and the surface area. In addition, technological advances in the fields of heating and hot-water systems now allow a minimum of 60 of hot water needs in housing to be supplied from solar energy via thermal or storage collectors.

Thermal Transmission

The best new windows insulate almost four times as well as the best windows available in 1990. A window's solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is a measurement of the amount of solar energy that passes through the window. The SHGC measures how well a product blocks heat caused by sunlight, and is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. A lower SHGC means less heat gain. SHGC is particularly important in warmer climates, where you want to keep most of the heat outside. Typical values range from 0.4 to 0.9, with the higher numbers indicating more solar energy transmitted to the inside. Sunlight passing through glazing warms objects, but the radiant heat then emitted by the objects can't escape quickly back through the glazing, so the space warms up.


A passive building is one in which the greatest use is made of natural resources . . . natural light, solar power and ventilation derived from making use of the natural environment. Nature cannot provide all that is necessary, and even during the day there may well be a need for some additional energy use, in terms of lighting from artificial sources, or ventilation from some form of fan assistance, whilst in terms of solar power, this can be used to advantage.

Solar Heating

It is estimated that if the sunlight that reaches the earth's surface in one day were converted into useful energy forms, it would satisfy the energy needs of the world for over 50 years. The amount of sunlight falling on a building typically carries enough energy to keep the building comfortable throughout the year. The limited supply of fossil fuels encourages their conservation for uses in industry rather than as sources of building heat. Electric energy is an inefficient source of heat, and may be generated by fossil fuels or by nuclear power plants. Solar energy offers an alternative with fewer air polluting emissions and no danger of harmful radioactivity. Solar energy also offers insurance against the possibility that conventional energy technologies could suddenly become too expensive, unavailable, or undesirable for social, political, or physical reasons. The ability to produce energy on site leads to decentralization and social stability. Despite the availability of free...

Photovoltaic cells

Electricity is produced from solar energy when photons or particles of light are absorbed by semiconductors. This is the basis of the photovoltaic (PV) cell. Most solar cells in current use are built from solid-state semiconducting material. Semiconductors are at the centre of the electronic revolution of the last century and it is worth a moment to consider how they function.

Energy Conservation

This is a vast topic, so here we're just going to introduce a few key concepts. The basic notion is that energy conservation is the cheapest power we can buy, or to use Amory Lovins' term, it generates negawatts, negative demand on the power grid and fuel supply. A 2007 report from the American Solar Energy Society concluded that energy efficiency (conservation) and renewables could contribute an average of about 1,200 million metric tons per year of carbon reductions by 2030, putting the US on a path to achieve the country's goals under the Kyoto Treaty. Energy efficiency could contribute 57 of the total, renewables 43 .48 For the building sector alone, the potential reduction is 200 million metric tons per year, about one-sixth of the total reductions needed in carbon dioxide emissions. That's how important building energy conservation technologies, designs and techniques are to our future.

Solar wall heating

With a transparent insulation element covering the outside of a massive wall, this part of the building can be converted to a solar wall heating area. Solar energy is converted to heat at the absorber and conducted with a phase delay of some hours - depending on thickness and building material -through the massive wall into the interior. This is the reason why windows and solar wall heating with transparent insulation fit very well together the solar gains of a south-oriented solar wall reach the room mainly at night time and thus extend the period with passive solar heating considerably.

Solar insulation

Non-transparent materials like cardboard structures or mineral wool can also be used in wall constructions for utilization of solar gains, when covered with a glazing instead of an opaque construction, see Figure 2.4.2. The efficiency of these systems is certainly rather low. The intention here is not to convert the wall into a solar collector but to use the solar gains to reduce the heat losses further down towards approaching the zero energy balance over the heating season. The absorbed solar energy is used mainly to raise the average temperature of the outer shell to the interior temperature level thus bringing down the average temperature gradient over the heating season. There will be no solar heating, but the insulation level will be increased without using too large material thickness.

Green Power

Green buildings (as well as you and I) have the option of buying some or all of their electricity from a green power provider. In this context, green power is renewable energy produced somewhere else and then transmitted to the project site (figuratively). There are dozens of such suppliers in the US, most of which are wholesalers of wind power, some solar power and some biomass, geothermal or low-impact hydro facilities. My own local utility, Tucson Electric Power, sells two packages of GreenWatts power, one 99 wind and 1 solar, the other 90 wind and 10 solar (at a 20 premium). Tucson Electric Power operates one of the largest photovoltaic (solar electric) power plants in the country, a 5.1-megawatt array capable of producing 7.5 million kilowatt-hours per year of electricity, enough to power 500 Arizona homes.61 I purchase 2,400 kilowatt-hours per year of this power, about 20 of my annual use, for an annual premium of 186, or about 7.75 cents per kilowatt-hour. For commercial users,...

Building the truth

'I have maintained for some time that while small may be beautiful, bigger is likely to be better in terms of reliability and performance. I see the future of solar energy as requiring an opting into the advantages of large-scale industrial processes and technological cooperation, and not in opting out Individual communes may survive happily in rich countries well-endowed with land, but the energy needs of the vast cities of the world simply cannot be sustained that way. Too often green dreams on solar energy are quite out of touch with green realities' (Page, 1994 39). Obviously, if the energy being consumed in extraction and manufacture were clean and freely available, then the amount embodied in any given material would be of no consequence. If we had solved the problem of nuclear fusion, for example, and could produce energy from a glass of water with no radioactive waste, or if we had vast solar energy farms that supplied all our needs, then environmental auditing within building...

Wind Power

In addition to solar power and a backup generator, Humboldt State University's Campus Center for Appropriate Technology uses a wind turbine system to meet its energy needs. The system consists of a wind turbine on a pole, wiring, and a control box. An inverter converts the electricity from DC to AC.

Energy Generation

Active systems of solar energy have additional technical components and devices for the extraction, transport and storage of energy, such as ventilation units with heat recovery, solar collectors or photovoltaic modules (PV). In summer the steep angle of incident light falling on horizontal roofs ensures that these surfaces receive almost twice as much solar radiation as south-oriented facades, whilst in the winter months the effect is reversed. In central Europe a roof which faces approximately 30 degrees south enjoys optimum total average daily and annual solar radiation. Flat or inclined roof surfaces offer

Iroko housing

This Coin Street community scheme sits above an underground car park and bounds the block with tight terracing that forms (or will do when the fourth side is complete) a private inner sanctum for tenants. The model is vaguely Holland Park from the early C19, as reinvented at Milton Keynes, now translated and tightened up for this urban setting, and given a rather Spanish-inspired aesthetic. The project provides 59 dwellings and includes 32 family houses which can each accommodate up to 8 persons the balance of accommodation is made up of a mix of flats and maisonettes. All dwellings are for rent and are managed by a housing co-op formed by the residents. Access is via a common balcony. A simple series of planning principles have been established all houses have street level entrances and private gardens opening on to the communal courtyard all flats and maisonettes have large balconies and each of the bedrooms overlooking the courtyard has a balcony. Bricks are used externally and...


For me these principles extend beyond what we would term the 'natural' world and into the 'manmade'. The principles that govern how a termite or weaverbird builds its nest, using the resources it has available in the most efficient manner, with little or no waste, whilst harnessing what free energy is available, extends into indigenous vernacular architecture. The supreme elegance and efficiency of an Inuit igloo is a benchmark of appropriateness. Computational Fluid Dynamics studies carried out by Arup have shown that, when it comes to issues of internal temperature, carbon monoxide and humidity, this form, made from nothing more than snow, is truly amazing. One wonders at what architects like us today would produce given the same brief and resource. The great Gothic cathedrals demonstrate, granted for a different brief, the immense potential of another simple and abundant resource stone.

Wave and tide

Wave power is a fairly high density form of solar energy since the winds that generate waves are created by heat from solar radiation. Solar power can be transformed into waves with an energy density of 100 kW per metre length of wave crest. The World Energy Council estimates that wave power could meet 10 of world electricity demand. It is regarded as a reliable power source and has been estimated as being capable of meeting 25 or 12 GW of peak UK demand. With an estimated load factor of 50 for wave power this suggests a reliable output of 6GW

Point absorbers

The Port Kembla installation has a peak capacity 500 kW and an output of over 1 GWh year which is fed to the grid. The economics of the system compare favourably with solar energy and wind power. With refinements to the system the unit price is expected to outclass all competitors. A single installation of this kind has the potential to generate 1000 kW which would power 2000 homes (Caddet). Several sites in Australia such as the Bass Strait and Southern Australia coast have the wave potential to generate up to 1 MW per unit.

Total Heat Gain

Total heat gain through glass is important especially in tropical countries as it has direct implication on cooling cost. Lower the heat gain means lower the cooling cost. It is the heat transferred due to temperature difference between inside and outside plus the heat gain due to incident solar energy. In tropical countries the contribution of heat gain due to incident solar energy is over 80 of total energy hence it is very important and essential to minimize amount of heat gain due to direct solar energy which is controlled by solar factor (SF) of glass.


In 2001, planning workshops in St Adria de Besos, a municipality adjacent to Barcelona, were initiated by researchers at the University of Barcelona in response to plans for a World Forum of Cultures to be held in 2004. The background to the Forum is Barcelona's claim to be a world city, attested by the opening in 2001 of a World Trade Centre designed by I. M. Pei, at Port Vell. The working-class district of Poble Nou has been recoded as a knowledge quarter, and the remaining section of the waterfront is under development. Rail yards, sewage and power plants will become a solar energy and water treatment park by a marina, and residual publics will be peripheralised. Working

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