Monthly Archives: November 2009

Competing for World’s Tallest Green Building

Taipei 101 Tower

The Taipei 101 may be set to become  the world’s  most famous green office building. In the next 18 months the scyscraper will undergo  some major eco-upgrades in an effort to save money, reduce its impact and to make an icon of the green building industry  in Taiwan and worldwide.

After the renovation is completed the Taipei 101 will save a total of $600.000  million energy cost each year and its power and water consumption, and its wast emissions, will be reduced by 10%.

The 101-story building, completed in 2004, will undergo a renovation to update lightning, heating, cooling, and ventilations systems.  Taipei 101 already has  a comprehensive  waste recycling program, grey water recycling system,  and low energy  glass  curtain wall. With other improvements like  increasing its green landscape and replacing outdated facilities, Taipei is looking to get a LEED certification from the US Green Building Counsil that provides  a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

Sandia developes four new SunCatchers

After more than a decade of innovative engineering and validation testing Stirling Energy Systems (SES) and Tessera Sol have presented four newly designed solar power dishes .These four new dishes are the follow-up model of the original SunCatcher system and will be ready for commercial production in 2010.  

The six first-generation SunCatchers are currently planted in the New Mexico desert where they are producing up to 150 KW of grid-ready electrical power during the day.  The new dishes have been upgraded and tested a Sandia National Laboraratories to allow for a high rate of roduction and cost reduction.  Sandia’s concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) team has been working closely with SES over the past five years to improve the system design and operation which uses a Stirling engine.

The modular CSP SunCatcher uses precision mirrors attached to a parabolic dish to focus the sun’s rays onto a receiver, which transmits the heat to a Stirling engine. The engine is a sealed system filled with hydrogen. As the gas heats and cools, its pressure rises and falls. The change in pressure drives the piston inside the engine, producing mechanical power, which in turn drives a generator and makes electricity.

The new SunCatcher is about 5,000 pounds lighter than the original, is round instead of rectangular to allow for more efficient use of steel, has improved optics, and consists of 60 percent fewer engine parts. The revised design also has fewer mirrors — 40 instead of 80. The reflective mirrors are formed into a parabolic shape using stamped sheet metal similar to the hood of a car. The mirrors are made by using automobile manufacturing techniques. The improvements will result in high-volume production, cost reductions, and easier maintenance.

SunCatchers have numerous environmental advantages.  They are said to have the lowest water use of any thermal electric generating technology, require minimal grading and trenching and require no excavation for foundations. And more important they will not produce greenhouse gas emissions while converting sunlight into electricity. Tessera Solar is planning to build a 60-unit plant generating 1.5 MW by the end of the year either in Arizona or California. One megawatt powers about 800 homes. The proprietary solar dish technology will then be deployed to develop two of the world’s largest solar generating plants in Southern California with San Diego Gas & Electric in the Imperial Valley and Southern California Edison in the Mojave Desert, in addition to the recently announced project with CPS Energy in West Texas. The projects are expected to produce 1,000 MW by the end of 2012.

AirRay car too green to be true

It is the most ground breaking invention to date;  a solar and wind powered car which will generate enough energy to reduce or eliminate your electric bill and eventually allow your car  to solely run on electric. The AirRay is the dream of every car maker.

EarthSure recently unveiled its new design for which a patent is pending.  They believe the AirRay car will become the new  ‘Car of the future.’ With a roof consist of solar honeycomb-membrane panel that is laced seamlessly into the frame of the car and wind turbines on the front which run on the wind flow,  generated by AirRay’s aerodynamic design, the car can supposedly rush  on just solar and wind energy,  not ever needed any drop of petrol or diesel.

The energy the car creates through the solar panels  and the wind turbines will be enough for the automobile to run  without worry of losing power. The airRay car not only turns air and light into energy, but will turn a lot of heads too.  But what to do it is cloudy for many days or  there is not a breath of wind?

Electra Therm’s new waste heat converter

Electra Therm  has developed a technology to convert ‘waste heat ‘into electricity. The Green Machine is enable to create clean energy from  from heat thrown off as a buy product of manufacturing of other operations. It is the first commercially viable heat generator. What Electra Therm’s technology has also in common with geothermal technology is that it requires no fossil fuels and creates no emissions.

Making waste heat is the newest source of clean energy. But it is rarely include as a renewable energy source, because waste heat derives from factories and plants that run on fossil fuels. But it meets defintion of both clean energy generation as well as energy conservation.

The Green Machine has an output of 50 kW of electricity generation, placing them in the small medium size segment of this business.  In the lower output there are currently more creations of  converting waste heat to electricity. For example the Green Turbine   1-15 kW is  a  mCHP solution that uses existing waste heat to produce power, (electricity) heat and/or hot water.  It  can be driven not only fossil fuels, by any fuel type : natural gas, propane, waste heat Biomass, fuel cell, solar PV Thermal.