Archives for posts with tag: Solar Power

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Nadine May’s research found that only 25,000 square miles of solar panels would be needed to supply the entire world’s energy needs.

Requirements for solar panels on buildings are on the rise (up 34% this year) and the technology is also improving quickly. For a breakdown on the different types of solar panels please check out our article from last month that broke down the different types and generations of solar panel technology.

The land art generator initiative shows where the 25,000 square miles of solar panels could go around the world to match up to what’s needed. 25,000 square miles is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia but when you look at it on a map like this, it seems easy to achieve.

 

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0729/How-many-solar-panels-would-it-take-to-power-Earth

 

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solar panel green halo waste tracking system

Great news for those in favor of the USA increasing the amount of renewable energy production and for those who want to see solar panels succeed! Business Insider posted early this week Politifact’s findings that 142,698 employees in November of 2013 spend “at least 50% of their time supporting solar-related activities”. At the end of 2013 the same group also discovered that there were 123,227 coal mining jobs in the USA.

 

Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/22/u-s-solar-workers-coal-miners/

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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A new Whole Foods opened in Brooklyn, NY and it’s called “Third and 3rd, Brooklyn” which has an awesome green parking lot. The parking lot roof has a lot of solar arrays, the streetlights are solar powered and wind-powered, and there are electric car charging stations as well

nyt_waste_tracking_wastetracking_whole foods opens new location in brooklyn 3rd and third waste tracking wastetracking system whole foods solar parking lot

In addition to having one of the most efficient parking lots made so far, this Whole Foods offers:

Bike Repair and Parking: Bikes are beloved by Brooklynites and Whole Foods Market, so we want to support people’s ability to maintain and ride them. This form of alternative transportation contributes to a reduced carbon footprint and a healthier lifestyle.

Knife Sharpening: Knife sharpening services from Scott Jennings of X-Calibur Knife & Scissor Sharpening and Christopher Harth ofNYCutlery and products including knives and specially-made Third & 3rd cutting boards.

Vinyl Records and Wrecords by Monkey: A vinyl venue featuring music as well as reclaimed vinyl jewelry and accessories fromWrecords by Monkey, a Brooklyn-based design and lifestyle brand

THE ROOF: Serving a variety of local and seasonal menu items from snacks to salads to entrees, including vegan and vegetarian offerings, as well as 16 beers on tap, The Roof, offers indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Gowanus Canal, surrounding neighborhoods, and the Manhattan skyline. Hours 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

YUJI RAMEN: Chef Yuji Haraguchi will serve his praised Japanese mazemen dishes with a twist; including Bacon & Egg, Salmon & Cheese, Miso Roasted Vegetables and Spicy Tuna. The takeout venue will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

JUICE Etc.: a made-to-order juice bar, offering fresh-pressed fruit and veggie juices and smoothies.

Shopping at Whole Foods is a pleasure, if you can make it out to Brooklyn to see this one let us know what it’s like! You can tag this store with #thirdand3rd and don’t forget, we are @GreenHaloUSA on Twitter!

 

(Source: http://wastetracking.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/new-wholefoods-is-super-efficient/ )

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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waste tracking wastetracking system tiny houses bloomberg building

Bloomberg showed glimpses inside the tiny houses that are becoming big with U.S. owners. In this article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-09/tiny-houses-big-with-u-s-owners-seeking-economic-freedom.html Nina Glinski wrote about how good owners of tiny houses in the U.S. feel about making the decision to downsize their homes in favor of achieving economic freedom.

waste tracking wastetracking system tiny houses bloomberg

The article starts with Doug Immel who recently completed his custom-built dream home that has just 164 square feet of living space and saves him a lot of money which he invests for his retirement.

Aldo Lavaggi, a New York folk musician who lives in Hudson Valley built a 105 square foot home on a friend’s farmland in the Berkshires. His humble abode runs on energy from two solar panels and a car battery. Lavaggi “has money to splurge on artisanal break and gourmet cheeses from the local market” and pointed out that “there’s a fallacy of limited options” where people feel that they must have a full-time job, stellar credit or a lot of money to own a house.

waste tracking wastetracking system tiny houses bloomberg wheels rhode island

This article looks at a lot of different angles regarding owning a house like the “biggest barrier”, zoning restrictions, and the freedom explained above. We hope that you enjoy, and please tell us what you think on Twitter @GreenHaloUSA or in the comments here!

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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This is the outside of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s new FLEXLAB

 

FLEXLAB is the world’s first energy use lab that will help builders and manufactures test entire building systems down to the component level on a significant scale.

This lab offers solutions for people who bring products to test out and want to use all of the lab’s equipment to do so, to people who want to bring their product to test out with their own machinery and equipment.

Current projects involve measuring energy usage for the Genentech building, PG&E and more!

The lab has 4 stations (shown in the video above) to accommodate a variety of testing scenarios including:

1. “Test-drive technologies”

2. “Individual circuits and meters”

3. “Lighting and plug-load elements”

4. “On-site training”

5. “Compression testing”

and more.

According to the FLEXLAB, there is a problem that buildings are designed to be energy efficient, but once they are being used they end up using a lot more energy than was planned. A new study even pointed out that energy efficient buildings sometimes use more than twice the energy than was expected based on their design.

Here’s an except from the lab’s website about what they offer:

FLEXLAB is the first test bed in the world that can evaluate the energy efficiency of major building systems, as an integrated system, under real-world conditions. Stakeholders can evaluate energy-efficient building technologies individually or as integrated systems in advance of building projects or retrofits, in order to:

  • Optimize integrated systems to maximize energy savings
  • Ensure occupant comfort and user-friendliness
  • Verify cost-benefit numbers
  • Train building operators
  • Build confidence in new technologies

 

( Source: http://flexlab.lbl.gov/ )

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Did you know that Chicago, IL has become the epicenter for LEED-certified buildings?

green halo waste tracking system leed building chicago illinois il green

How about the fact that landscaping designed to conserve water is called Xeriscaping and it’s big in Denver, CO?

green halo waste tracking system Xeriscaping denver colorado co

Freshkills landfill in New York, NY is a landfill that’s three-times the size of Central Park and it’s being worked on so that it can be turned into a park!

green halo waste tracking system freshkills park in new york

Portland, OR is home to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance whose mission it is to create healthy, sustainable communities by make bicycling safe, convenient and accessible.

greenhalo_systems_some_of_the_things_that_bicycle_transportation_alliance_offers_and_does

 

Source: http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/14/ranking-sustainability-programs-u-s/

and 

http://btaoregon.org/

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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waste tracking wastetracking hawaiian sun

Hawaii has become the first state in the US to mandate the installation of solar water heaters in new single-family home construction. According to an article by Mat McDermott from treehugger, this mandate that requires solar waters to receive a building permit, Act 204, went into effect at the beginning of 2010.

waste tracking wastetracking hawaii single-family house

Encouraging renewable energy in Hawaii is supported by the facts that 90% of its energy was imported from outside the island chain in 2008 and oil prices have been high. In regards to the mandate, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis in forested areas where such a system might be cost-prohibitive or if the dwelling utilizes another form of renewable energy in the building plan.

waste tracking wastetracking hawaii single-family home

 

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/solar-water-heater-mandate-for-new-hawaiian-homes.html

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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Here it is, a list of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint according to National Geographic and the folks @GreenHaloUSA

carbon footprint erase pan green halo green environment

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

1. Make your home energy efficient.
Your home can be responsible for creating twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as your car. Since half of the energy used in your home helps to heat and cool it, making your home as energy efficient as possible will take big chunks out of your carbon footprint. Steps you can take include: Getting a home energy audit; installing energy efficient windows; insulating your attic and walls; installing a programmable thermostat; turning your thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer.

2. Drive less.
Combine your trips in the car, so you don’t have to go out multiple times to the same location. When possible, use public transit, walk or bike to your destination.

3. Buy the highest gas mileage car for your needs.
Cars contribute 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels; the better your gas mileage, the less gas you burn and the fewer emissions you create.

4. Buy energy efficient appliances.
When replacing appliances, buy Energy Star qualified appliances (these use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and can save you $80 or more per year).

5. Recycle.
Creating products from recycled materials uses up to 98 percent less energy than producing things from new materials.

6. Replace your light bulbs.
Switching to energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will save you $30 over the life of the bulb, because these they use about 75 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.

7. Buy local food.
Each ingredient in a U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles. If we all ate one meal per week of local, organic food, we’d save 1.1 million barrels of oil per week.

8. Eat less red meat.
Beef takes a lot of energy and resources to produce. Replace red meat with fish, chicken and eggs and cut your food carbon footprint by 29 percent. Go vegetarian to cut it by 50 percent.

9. Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F.

10. Buy carbon offsets for the rest and make yourself “carbon neutral.”

green halo waste tracking system renewable energy windmill jazz

( Source: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/human-footprint/trash-talk2.html )

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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green halo systems coconut-water-splash

Tokelau, a New Zealand island has an abundance of coconuts but the same can’t be said for other natural resources that help us survive. For this reason, Tokelau’s leader Foua Toloa announced in 2009 that the island will switch to using coconuts and solar power to provide all of the energy for the island. At the moment, diesel is administered to the island from New Zealand to meet the island’s electricity demands (about 42,000 gallons annually). In addition to diesel, gasoline and kerosene is also imported to the island.green halo systems tokelau 2

In Tokelau, most of the population has modern appliances, including satellite TV and Internet. It’s astonishing to think that the island can run off of solar power and coconut oil but we applaud Foua Toloa and Tokelau for being so bold.  green halo systems tokelau

The new energy plan is to transfer most of the islands’ power generation to 93% photovoltaic solar arrays and biofuel from coconuts will supply the remaining 7% of power generated in Tokelau. Some say that this effort is purely symbolic but we should note that this is part of an effort amount South Pacific island nations to encourage renewable energy systems.fresh coconut halves on beach

Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678915/a-tiny-pacific-island-is-now-powered-by-coconuts

Another great Green article from Green Halo

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solar power green halo waste tracking system green building guide

Choosing solar panels as a first timer isn’t easy, but this guide provides a short background on solar panel evolution for people who are looking to understand what might give them the best price to performance ratio.

First off, traditional solar cells are made from silicon and they are currently the most efficient solar cells available for homes. Traditional solar cells account for at least 80% of all solar panels sold around the world. In this category, monocrystalline silicon cells are the most efficient, at a rate of up to 24.2% per unit area but they costs are higher than most solar cells. Monocrystalline silicon cells require the most intensive manufacturing because the shape of the silicon cell is extraordinary and there is quite a bit of original silicon waste. The second most popular option is a polycrystalline silicon cell, and it is relatively inexpensive with an efficiency of up to 19.3% per unit area. The third type of traditional solar cell is known as amorphous silicon cells which is the type used in most calculators and other small electronic devices. The amorphous silicon cells have the lowest prices and have an efficiency of up to 10% per unit area. The area of this type of panel is often double the area of other panels to achieve the same power output. The beauty of the amorphous silicon cells besides the low cost are the flexibilities of the material and their ability to perform well at low and high light levels. Lastly, the hybrid silicon cells combine multiple materials in a cost reductive way which are also designed to increase efficiency and the lifetime of the cells.

The second-generation solar cells are usually thin-film solar cells that are made from layers of semiconductor materials. The materials that are used in this type of solar cell varies and they are known for being inexpensive.

Third-generation solar cells are currently being researched and they are made from different materials, new technologies, conductive dyes and plastics. The goal is to improve commercially available solar cells and more can be learned on this page developed for the latest in solar panel research:  http://www.solar-facts-and-advice.com/solar-research.html

For additional tips and specs to look out for, James Walker the Director of Energy Matters does an excellent job of explaining who to buy from and what factors should go into the decision making process here:

 

(Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/solar-junction-claims-cell-efficiency-record/

and http://www.solar-facts-and-advice.com/)

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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