Alternative Energy

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This page begins with notes, ideas, thoughts, etc. from the 2008 Kentucky Green Energy Roadshow, held April 12th, 2008, at NKU.

Kentucky Solar Partnership is a primary sponsor, along with Appalachia -- Science in the Public Interest

Speakers:

  • Robert Fehr, Principles of Energy Efficient, Green Home Construction
    • Tips
      • Homes can be too tight
      • #1 thing: check to see that your ducts are sealed.
      • Developers have to be on-board: run streets east-west
      • rainwater festival of Berea April 26....
      • watch for organic carpet -- Low Organic Volatile Compounds -- green guard, green seal
      • SIP -- Structurally Insulated Panels -- out-gassing?
      • MERV filter
      • Energy Recovery Ventilators
  • Mark Isaacs -- Legacy Lofts: Near-Zero Carbon Living NOW
    • Pushing the envelope beyond the stuff Prof. Fehr was describing
    • Objective: Carbon-neutral buildings by 2030 -- but Isaacs wants to beat that
    • This is essential stuff:
      • IPCC Assessment Report, 11/2007: have to reduce levels 20-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid 2 degree increase
      • Inconvenient Truth Party: Hyde Park Bake Store, 6-8:30 -- April 24th.
      • What each of us can do right now
        • Act up: if your hotel doesn't CF have them, call down and ask for the manager.
        • Recycle CF bulbs. By the way, the coal that makes the power to waste with incandescent light bulbs produces more mercury in the air than the bulb contains.
        • Plant more trees! Especially in front of west facing windows....
        • caulk and weather seal your home.
        • Insulate your home and water heater
        • turn off lights and electronics -- use power strips
        • leave your car at home 2 days/week.
        • Upgrade to a 32 mpg car -- try a Zenn Car!
        • Keep tires inflated & check air filter
        • switch to a plant-based diet
    • Energy Interdependence -- running the meter backwards, rather than storing energy locally
  • Steve Melink: Case Study: A Green Office Building in Cincinnati Earns LEED Gold Certification.
    • "The ultimate purpose of our company is to help turn the tide on global warming."
    • Described their headquarters -- how they achieved their LEED Gold standard
      • geothermal
      • super-insulation
      • photovoltaics are now providing power back to the grid on weekends
      • weak link: door frames
      • pursuing zero-energy building in 5 years.
      • has affected Steve personally -- he's taking the mission home.
    • In addition:
      • hybrid fleet
      • More than a third of employees drive hybrids
      • Getting a better class of employee -- mission-oriented type.
    • 3.1 KW system -- $15,000
  • Andy McDonald: Policies and Incentives that Support Renewables and Efficiency
  • Scott Maas: Energy Efficiency Improvement Grant and Guaranteed Loan Programs for Small Business
    • Biomass, Anaerobic Digester
    • Grants are for Rural Small Businesses. But all kinds of things apply:
      • Big Ass fans replacing old box fans with more efficient models
      • glazing windows, new dairy cases, etc.
  • Perry Leitner: Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics
    • French youngster hypothesized it 180 years ago, or so
    • Albert Einstein -- the photo-electric effect -- 1907 or so
    • Space program emphasized solar, and it was all hand-made, very expensive.
    • silicon, baked at 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, made into ingots, then cut into wafers.
    • Claim: latitude is the best angle, for full production; tilt angle has less effect than true south angle
    • rail systems for mounting on roofs, e.g. RapidRac
    • $10/watt
  • Geoff Greenfield: Intro to Photovoltaics
    • Solar pathfinding to estimate your "solar access"
    • 1kw DC of solar -- about 80 square feet, about $8000; about 1060 kwh/year; 1 x .75 x 4.3 hrs/day x shade x 365; (from "red pages")
    • solar shingles aren't really there yet
    • First Solar -- Perrysburg, Ohio -- Maltbys!
  • Andy McDonald: Solar Water Heating Systems
    • Contact Andy at 1-888-576-6527
    • Overview
    • Claim: solar thermal (e.g. water heating) is more cost-beneficial than solar PV
    • Apricus (Contributor at the meeting -- evacuated tube)
    • Andy is responsible for this chapter on solar water heating
    • Can't usually get a thermal cycle going, so we need to have a pump to move the water.
    • Flat plate collectors are an alternative to evacuated tube collectors -- probably more common in the US.
    • also have unglazed collectors.
    • single tank system doesn't work well with solar water, since the water is turbulent in the gas water heating system.
    • Example of solar panel pitched "off the roof", at an angle
    • $4000, $1200 tax credit; years to positive cash flow: 8.8 years.
    • Kentucky Sun Pages: This directory provides an easy-to-use tool for locating companies that provide renewable energy, energy efficiency, and environmentally-responsible building services and products within the state of Kentucky.
  • David Brown Kinloch: Renewable Energy Credits & Green Tags
  • What can I do?
    • Buy a solar water heater
    • Check tire pressures
    • All bulbs CF
    • Caulk and weather seal your home