Energy Conservation

Agro Housing -- To Dwell is to Garden

May 31, 2008 - 01:59:59 PM

Agro HousingAgro Housing

Knafo Klimor Architects of Israel - Winners of the 2nd International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing. China 2007

Conceptual Approach
According to a UN report, in 2010 about 50% of the Chinese population will reside in cities. This huge migration from rural regions to new urban megalopolises will create a dramatic cultural and social crisis, a loss of existing traditions and considerable unemployment. Massive urbanization will form random communities, severely deplete natural resources, exhaust urban infrastructures and transportation systems, and will increase air and soil pollution.
The concept of Agro-Housing is a new urban and social vision that will address problems of chaotic urbanization by creating a new order in the city and more specifically, in the housing environment.
Agro-Housing is a program that combines a high-rise apartment complex with a vertical greenhouse within the same building.
The idea behind Agro-Housing is to create a close to home space where families can produce their own food supply according to their abilities and choices. This will allow the citizens more independence, freedom, and additional income.  READ MORE »

Whale Inspired Wind Mills

March 07, 2008 - 09:27:13 AM

"WhalePower, based in Toronto, Ontario, is testing this wind-turbine blade at a wind-testing facility in Prince Edward Island. The bumps, or "tubercles," on the blade's leading edge reduce noise, increase its stability, and enable it to capture more energy from the wind."
Credit: WhalePower

Mimicking the bumps on humpback-whale fins could lead to more efficient wind turbines. By Tyler Hamilton

via:MIT Technology Review

Marine scientists have long suspected that humpback whales' incredible agility comes from the bumps on the leading edges of their flippers. Now Harvard University researchers have come up with a mathematical model that helps explain this hydrodynamic edge. The work gives theoretical weight to a growing body of empirical evidence that similar bumps could lead to more-stable airplane designs, submarines with greater agility, and turbine blades that can capture more energy from the wind and water.  READ MORE »

WhisperGen™: Domestic Cogeneration Appliance

September 27, 2006 - 02:13:20 AM

Not exactly carbon free but certainly doing lots more with less.

The engineering of this sleek home appliance combines a stirling engine with a patented 'woble yoke' transmission technology. The yoke converts the linear motion of the engine's four pistons into rotary motion able to drive an alternator.

The result is a domestic cogen boiler unit that produces hot water for space heating, showers and electicity to feed back to the grid ( AC models) or to charge batteries in off grid applications ( DC models).

The product is currently available in the UK on "advanced trial". The AC system runs on natural gas or LPG only. The DC unit runs on automotive diesal and a kerosene version is available. Potentially the AC unit could run on Biogas and the DC unit could run on Bio Diesal or other natural oils. According to the comapny use of alternative fuels will involve a 2-3 year testing and certification process.

In 2004, Whisper Tech signed an agreement with Powergen, a German-owned electricity distributor which is one of Britain's largest energy companies to supply at least 90,000 of the units over five years.

I have yet to find pricing but I know this is not going to be as cheap as a dishwasher even thought it looks like one. I imagine prices will come down if and when mega mass production gets into full swing. If you think of the cost of a conventional hot water heater / furnace plus the value of instalation and electrical generation your talking mucho dinero.