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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Solar Power and Net Zero

Rainbow over the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon

An awesome thing about living in DC is access to events. This fall the Department of Energy held a Solar Decathlon, showcasing almost 20 homes that incorporated solar energy with various energy-saving designs to achieve "net zero" energy use.

Unfortunately, these were houses where folks would live, not greenhouses. But many of the ideas still apply. Some of my favorite ideas out of this conference:
  • Grey water collection and treatment (the winning home used this in a water feature, eventually resulting in water 'clean' enough to water their garden).
  • Vaccuum tube solar water heaters (the winning home used this in a vertical wall that was absolutely gorgeous)
  • Passive heating or cooling

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