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Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

URBAN GREEN ENERGY (UGE) Announces the “eddy GT”

by D. Brent Sauser

Harnessing the wind has been something we have been doing for centuries.  Just ask the Dutch.  Few things scream sustainable or renewable energy like wind generators.  In fact, they are very hard to miss!  Wind generators come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and depend solely on the consistent supply of free, God-given wind.   UGE features vertical axis wind turbines.  UGE states:

“Wind turbines are designed to produce energy across a wide range of wind speeds and wind conditions. Vertical axis wind turbines go one step further, harnessing winds from all directions simultaneously. UGE wind turbines are also very quiet, and it certainly helps that our turbines are pleasing to the eye. UGE has grown to be the world’s leading manufacturer of vertical axis wind turbines through its dedication to design, energy output, and superlative customer service via our worldwide network of local partners.”

UGE announces the new eddy GT for residential use. I got to speak to the UGE representatives at GreenBuild 2012 and see the eddy GT in person

UGE has developed and has a patent-pending revolutionary new dual axis design that eliminates the main concern of other vertical axis wind turbines, that of premature bearing failure. Through this technology, our turbines significantly outperform the competition by spreading both horizontal and vertical forces along the length of the axis. For you this means increased durability and power production along with lower vibration and resistance.”

 Click HERE to read more about the eddy GT from UGE.

Click HERE to read about the many UGE Case Studies.

 Click HERE to get to the UGE Home Page.

GEO POWER SYSTEMS – Completes First Installation in the USA

by D. Brent Sauser

While attending the GreenBuild 2012 convention in San Francisco I had the opportunity to spend some time at the Geo Power Systems exhibit.   I found the technology very interesting.  Geothermal systems are gaining more attention and implementation as the “Voodoo” of the technology is better understood.  Geo Power Systems takes a different approach to geothermal that could be an attractive alternative to drilling down several hundred feet.  They state:

 “There are two kinds of geothermal or underground heat.  One has its source within the Earth; the other derives from the sun.  The Geo Power System utilizes the underground heat from the sun.  The sun radiation energy is slowly absorbed into the ground, creating a temperature difference between the underground and the outside air.  This temperature difference is why you feel well water or the air in a cave warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

It take the energy from the sun about half a year to penetrate down to a depth of 16 feet.  This means that the underground temperature at 16 feet is slightly lower than the average during the summer and slightly higher than average during the winter.  Geo Power Systems makes use of the temperature difference between the outside air and the underground temperature at a depth of 16 feet.  This difference can reach a peak of 30 degrees F.” 

Geo Power Systems has recently completed their first USA installation in Poway, California. Click HERE to learn more about the renovation of the Poway Villas apartment community and how the Geo Power System was incorporated.

 

GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMPS SAVE HEATING/COOLING COSTS

by Brent Sauser

I spent most of the 1970’s in college, mainly Arizona State University.  I was a Sun Devil.  I transferred from Orange County, California where the climate was pretty close to ideal.  It got hot a couple days in the summer, but not oppressive.  Then you have Tempe, Arizona, home to ASU . . . a suburb of Phoenix.  Arizona redefined what “hot” really was.  I learned to live like a cockroach and came out at night when the temperature would drop down to a cool 90 degrees F. 

While I was in Architectural School at ASU I discovered that three feet below the sun baked surface was a constant 70 degrees soil temperature.  No construction was taking advantage of this FREE resource for providing cooling.  Instead, homes were equipped with swamp coolers or heat pumps to cool their structures . . . having to work with an average surface temperature of 100 degrees F or higher.  I wondered how difficult would it be to take advantage of the constant, subsurface temperature and reduce the overall demand for cooling.  Yet, today, 33 years later, the greater Phoenix area still ignores that great resource and continues to build “slab on grade” because . . . it’s cheaper to build that way. 

That kind of wasteful, dollar-driven thinking needs to change.  If more people were aware that the technology exists TODAY to help people take advantage of what Mother Earth is offering to us for FREE, they might be more willing to demand it from their builders.  The return on investment is so reasonable that the option of installing a Ground Source Heat Pump should be a first consideration. 

The principle behind how geothermal mechanical systems work is quite simple.  Ground source heat pumps or geothermal heat pumps work by transporting heat from one area to another using a fluid called a refrigerant. Unlike refrigerators and air conditioners, however, ground source heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling.  Ground source heat pumps are reversible. They can pump heat into the earth or out of it by changing the direction the refrigerant flows in. A heat exchanger inside the house typically blows air past one of the pipes. If the exchanger is being used to heat the house, this pipe functions as the compressor, and the air picks up its heat as it flows past. If the pump is being used to cool the house, the air blows past the evaporator, which sucks heat out of the air and cools the house. The other pipe moves heat into and out of the ground in a variety of ways.  A direct exchange heat pump is the most direct and efficient way heat is moved. The pipe runs directly under ground. Because the ground stays at a relatively constant temperature, the heat exchanger can efficiently pump heat into the ground to cool a building on warm days, then pump it out of the ground to warm the building back up when the weather turns cold.

For further information regarding geothermal heat pumps or ground source heat pumps please click on the links below.

How Ground/Water Source Heat Pumps Work

How Ground Source Heat Pumps (Geothermal) Work

ClimateMaster – Geothermal Heat Pump Systems – How They Work

ClimateMaster – Geothermal Heat Pump Benefits

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