I’ve just started the process with SolarCity to put a 4.32 kW solar system on our roof. We’ve still got a long way to go before we flip the switch, but we’re underway. May the Force be with us.
All posts for the month December, 2011
Posted by Gillies on December 17, 2011
Shrilk is composed of fibroin protein from silk and from chitin. The material is similar in strength and toughness to aluminum alloys, but is only half the weight. Since chitin can be extracted from discarded shrimp shells it can be produced at very low cost. It is also biodegradable and can be molded into complex shapes. By controlling the water content in the fabrication process, the researchers were also able to vary the stiffness of the material, ranging from elastic to rigid.
Posted by Gillies on December 16, 2011
On any given night in America, 636,017 people go to bed on the streets and in homeless shelters. Our data shows that families experiencing homelessness are usually headed by a single mother with young children.
By way of reference, the District of Columbia’s population was 601,723 in April 2010.
Solis also notes the Obama Administration’s “ambitious goal of preventing and ending homelessness in America by 2020.” I’d love to see that dream come true.
Posted by Gillies on December 15, 2011
Posted by Gillies on December 14, 2011
A just released update for the plans for the new Apple headquarters in Silicon Valley shows a modification to include solar panels covering the entire roof…. On the Apple building almost all of the 750,000 square foot building, as well as possibly a good part of the parking garage (another 320,000 square feet) will be sport a 5 MW solar array, enough power to supply nearly all the power needs of the huge campus.
Posted by Gillies on December 13, 2011
I love this story. Green Car Congress:
The operational début of [the new hydrogen fuel cell NH2 tractor] is scheduled for summer 2012, on the La Bellotta farm in Venaria, near Turin, New Holland’s first Energy Independent Farm. This concept centers on the ability of farms to produce electrical energy from natural sources that have a low environmental impact, and to store it conveniently in the form of hydrogen for subsequent reuse.
Three methods are being evaluated for the production of hydrogen:
1. Electrolysis of water, using electrical energy produced by a photovoltaic system already installed on the farm.
2. Small-scale steam reforming of natural gas; should this prove practically feasible and economically viable, it would be possible to use the methane produced by the digesters of the one MegaWatt biogas generator that has been in operation at La Bellotta for over a year.
3. Exploiting the dark anaerobic fermentation of biomass: a biological process generating a blend of gases that contains a significant proportion of hydrogen. This method will also be evaluated in terms of feasibility, costs and benefits.
Posted by Gillies on December 12, 2011
Posted by Gillies on December 11, 2011
Stumped by what to get somebody for the holidays? Feeling disgusted by the insane materialism of this time of year? Here’s an idea for you: https://www.nrdcgreengifts.org/. I highly recommend it.
Posted by Gillies on December 10, 2011
A factoid from SolarCity’s sales lit:
On an average day over 300 SolarCity employees install 825 panels to help 20 new families go solar.
Posted by Gillies on December 9, 2011
On the record, all the interested parties dwell on the station’s enormous potential, and indeed, it’s hard to overestimate. In 15 years, Union Station could be something much more catalytic: a portal for high-speed rail service that will get people from here to New York in 90 minutes, the hub of a streetcar system that stretches from Oklahoma Avenue NE to Washington Circle, the beating heart of a new mixed-use neighborhood that knits NoMa together with H Street. It could be a place you don’t just go to in order to get somewhere else. But all that has a price tag that hasn’t even been determined yet. It’s likely north of a billion dollars—and only $80 million is currently accounted for.
Posted by Gillies on December 8, 2011