Green Roofs Reduce Energy Consumption

Posted on December 3rd, 2010 by

The Success of NYC Green Roof

Green roofs are growing in popularity nationwide. In fact, New York City’s largest green roof atop the U.S. Postal Service‘s Morgan Processing and Distribution facility had a great positive impact in the Manhattan area. The roof was first installed two years ago and is one of the largest in the country. It has reduced the building’s storm water runoff by 75 percent in summertime. The roof cools the building in hotter months and keeps it insulated in the winter, saving the Postal Service $30,000 annually in energy costs. Though green roofs are initially expensive investments, they pay off in the long run; unlike traditional roofs, they last up to fifty years and save the consumer money for heating and cooling, cleaning the air, and storm water management. Green roofs also reduce the effect of urban heat islands. Moreover, Toronto published a study that stated if 75 percent of the city’s roofs were green, the city could save $37 million per year.

Chinese Student Lives in Solar-Powered “Egg”

A Chinese student has given up the comforts of luxury living for the affordable, eco-friendly abode he built on a budget of less than $1,000. Daihai Fei, 24, of Beijing lives in a home he constructed on a bamboo frame covered with numerous insulating materials. Topping the layers are bags filled with sawdust and grass seeds to boost grass growth. The furnishings include a bed, a small sink, a bookshelf, and a lamp powered by a rooftop solar panel. Fei has lived in his energy efficient home, solar powered and eco-friendly for two months.

K2 Solar Completes PV System in California

The county of San Mateo in Redwood City, California now has a completed 362-kW DC solar photovoltaic system. The system, constructed by K2 Solar Inc. consists of seven solar assemblies on the top tier of a parking garage next to the County Center Building. The solar panels will generate a third of the electricity needed to power the building. The system is capable of producing 515,000-kilowatt hours of energy per year, which will save the county $60,000 in energy costs. “The County of San Mateo is taking a large step in reducing its environmental footprint and in realizing long-term cost savings,” said Stephen Tsu, President & CEO, K2 Solar, Inc.

Spain to Install Largest Offshore Turbine

Spain is taking a firm step forward to become one of the dominant players of the global wind energy market. Last week, several Spanish companies, led by the turbine designer and manufacturer Gamesa, announced a new project that could buttress Spanish efforts to top the board. The plan is to build a 15-MW offshore wind turbine using only Spanish parts, labor, and research. The project will combine the efforts of 22 research facilities and 11 companies. Spain’s planned turbine would be the largest in the market, capping Clipper’s 10-MW offshore machine as well as American Superconductor and Enercon’s efforts. The machine will not be ready for operation until 2020, but the Spanish industry is ready display its efforts on an international stage.

SunMaxx Solar to Install Thermal System at Fort Hood Base

SunMaxx Solar wins a contract to install a solar thermal station at the military base at Fort Hood, Texas. The Fort Hood base covers 340-square miles and supports a mobilization mission and a corps headquarters. SunMaxx announced they will begin constructing their system in early spring of next year. The system includes six thermal hot water heating systems to meet the needs of six buildings on the base. The installation will also incorporate 198 flat plate solar collectors to provide almost half the energy needed to meet the hot water load. The system is expected to reduce carbon emissions significantly with an efficiency rate of up to 80 percent. Intelligent Green Solutions, an authorized SunMaxx solar thermal installer will work with installing the system.

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