LEED recognizes Living Building Challenge credits

LEED to Recognize Living Building Challenge Credits

The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced that it will recognize energy and water requirements from the Living Building Challenge (the Challenge) green building system within the LEED green building program. Projects achieving the energy and water requirements in Living Building Challenge will be considered as technically equivalent to LEED. “USGBC and the International Living Future Institute, developers of the Living Building Challenge, share a common commitment and goal to transform the way we design, build and operate our buildings,”…

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Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Goes Green

An ambitious remodel project at the Eiffel Tower is making its operations greener.  The first floor of the landmark building was recently refurbished for a better visitor experience and to improve the environmental impact of the historic building. First floor glazing was changed to provide a 25% reduction in solar heat gain during the summer months.  This will significantly reduce the need for air conditioning, saving money and energy.  Almost all of the lighting in the first floor was changed…

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Wind Tree turbine

Wind Tree Provides Silent Wind Power Beautifully

A new French start-up, NewWind, is making wind power beautiful!  Their new Wind Tree offers almost a hundred mini-windmills on an apparatus designed to look like a tree. Due to the light construction of the “leaves,” the Wind Tree generates power at wind speeds as low as 4.4 miles per hour!  This translates into sustained operation times (an average of 320 days a year) that are almost double those of standard windmills that need higher wind speeds in order to…

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Author John Perlin and The Solar Cell

In a discussion today about solar energy and the coming Year of Light, author John Perlin helped enlighten me about the importance of the solar cell (photovoltaic systems) as a source for renewable electricity. What is the biggest consideration in designing a PV system, as opposed to a solar thermal system that uses multiple heliostats?   The answer: PV functions without requiring moving parts. Perlin, author of Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year History of Solar Energy, elaborates on that answer,…

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Hybrid Solar Cell Is Also A Battery

Solar cells are great. They provide us with clean, renewable energy for free. As long as the sun is shining, that is. For decades, critics of solar power have taunted that electricity generated from fossil fuels is better because it is available any time of the day or night. But what if there was a solar cell that is also a battery and could store the electricity it makes for later use? In an article published by Ohio State University this…

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Home Energy Storage Market to Grow 1000% by 2018

  Market research firm IHS says home energy storage will explode from 90 megawatts this year to over 900 megawatts by 2018. That’s a growth rate of 1000% – a staggering increase, if true. What’s driving this trend toward more in-home energy storage? IHS says its all about rapidly falling costs. The vast majority of people with solar arrays on their rooftops today are using the electrical grid as their storage medium. Any excess electricity they generate during the day is sold to…

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Foot powered soccer field

Soccer Field Lights Powered By Players’ Energy

In a Brazilian neighborhood plagued by blackouts, panels under the turf of a neighborhood soccer field, fueled by players running over them, provide electricity to light the field and the surrounding homes.  A typical soccer player can run up to seven miles during a football game.  Most of the players in this neighborhood are local children, poor, who formed a very attentive audience while the field was being installed. The panels provide clean, human powered energy to a neighborhood that…

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Links Leading to Today’s Solar Revolution

This miniseries on the solar revolution is based on John Perlin’s Book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy. We commence with the discovery of photosensitivity. Read this , then read his excellent book. Part 1 – The Discovery of the Photosensitivity of Selenium When my book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy, first came out several experts criticized me for not recognizing Edmund Becquerel as the direct link to the solar cells in use today. When…

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John Perlin Solar Energy History Series: Part III

I am pleased  to post this third in a series of SOLAR ENERGY  history articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy throughout the millennia — here the solar heat trap. Third Major Breakthrough – Glass as a Solar Heat Trap Vitruvius, the preeminent architect of ancient Rome, saw Greek solar houses while a military engineer stationed in Greece. He reiterated what he had seen as advice…

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NREL Power Lunch Lecture Series Features John Perlin

For those individuals able to attend, I highly recommend this NREL Power Lunch lecture, featuring John Perlin, author of  “Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy.” October 1 lecture  by John Perlin, author, lecturer, consultant — solar energy & forest preservation John Perlin will present a lecture on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, which covers the development of all solar technologies, beginning with the ancient Chinese, Greeks and Romans who designed…

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UChicago-Argonne National Lab Team Improves Solar Cell Efficiency

Great research on solar cell efficiency improvements continues to be reported, this time from scientists in the University of Chicago’s chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular Engineering, and Argonne National Laboratory. We offer our highest praise to support the evolution of the renewable energy industry, which in turn, will boost better products for green building. New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago’s chemistry…

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What is LEED? – Energy and Atmosphere

This is the fifth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, and the fourth at Water Efficiency. Energy and Atmosphere Improving energy efficiency is one of the easiest ways to save money and improve the sustainability of a building. Therefore almost a third of the points available in LEED are found in…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part II

I am pleased  to post this second in a series of solar energy  articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia. Second Major Breakthrough – Solar Architecture and Solar Cities The second major breakthrough in solar occurred when the Chinese began to apply their knowledge of the changing position of the sun during the year, as discussed in the…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part I

I am pleased  to introduce this series of articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, “Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy.” Perlin will discuss the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia.   First Major Breakthrough – Learning where the sun is throughout the year No one seems to know where the sun is these days. Ask just about anyone and they’ll say it rises in the east and sets in the west the year round.…

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Farmers cook with biogas

Farmers Get Energy From Coffee Wastewater

UTZ Certified publishes the results of a four-year project on coffee wastewater treatment The Energy from Coffee Wastewater project by UTZ Certified has proven that it is possible to generate energy, tackle climate change and protect water resources by treating discharges from coffee mills. The project started in 2010 with the goal of addressing environmental and health problems caused by the wastewater produced in the coffee industry. Tailor-made coffee wastewater treatment systems and solid-waste treatment mechanisms were installed in eight…

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Water and Sunlight the Formula for Sustainable Fuel

This news on water and sunlight  from Australian National University is worth reading. An Australian National University (ANU) team has successfully replicated one of the crucial steps in photosynthesis, opening the way for biological systems powered by sunlight which could manufacture hydrogen as a fuel. “Water is abundant and so is sunlight. It is an exciting prospect to use them to create hydrogen, and do it cheaply and safely,” said Dr Kastoori Hingorani, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for…

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Yingli Solar

Composite Material Reduces Cost of Solar Panels

Yingli Green Energy, the largest vertically integrated photovoltaic module manufacturer in the world, known as “Yingli Solar,” announced that they have successfully completed trial production of monocrystalline ingots for solar panels using new material technology. Instead of using traditional graphite crucibles when pulling monocrystalline ingots, Yingli experimented with crucibles made from a carbon-carbon (C-C) composite material. Yingli’s initial estimates suggest that the new material could reduce manufacturing costs for solar panels by nearly 0.01 USD per watt. CivicSolar defines monocrystalline silicon as…

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