Tag Archive | renewable energy

Low and Zero Energy Houses

^^^  http://www.soleta.ro/Gallery

I was actually looking to find back pictures of a very nice low energy family home , but could not find it back ( yet ) . Instead , I stumbled on this concept of a zero energy small home from a company . I love the simultanuous use of glass , ventilation , shading , solar energy , thermal energy … Here is what the company says about their project :

I can choose to forget about electricity and gas bills! How come? In case of Soleta zeroEnergy version, houses have the full eco kit (solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectricity) included in order to produce energy from non-conventional sources. We also have a computerized energy management solution implemented to optimize the house consumption and to reduce the negative impact on nature.

How to produce the thermal energy necessary for house heating?  We found the answer in a smart system which combines solar energy with geothermal energy. Of course wood as well can be a solution!

^^^ http://www.huf-haus.com/de/huf-haus-art/huf-haus-art-6-bis-9.html

Here is one of the bigger houses from HUF HAUS , a Germany based house construction company . Love also the many simultanuous endless possibilities that such constructions can offer : ventilation , shading , use of warmth by the Sun , solar panels , solar heating , …

Innovative low energy constructions


At 9000 ft. above sea level, this sun-tempered house is off the grid for heating and ventillation. In classical simplicity, a central two-storey sunspace with venting cupola is sandwiched between two Trombe walls.

As you might have understood it , I have dreams of  becoming independent to fossil fuels and energy providers of all sorts .  I am fascinated by the many inspiring innovative ideas in homeconstructions  : using modern isolation techniques , using the energy of the Sun , using natural cooling and ventilation techniques , …

The native Americans had already used some of these techniques :PuebloCrossSection

Ancestral Puebloan stepped “Great house”, Southwest USA  . Cross-section: Rising heat wave on the south side of the building naturally heats up the roof terrace work areas and south facing sleeping rooms during winter. High angle sun light in Summer is shielded from interior rooms by insulative roof structures. North side storage rooms are ventillated , and are cooler in all seasons

A modern version using these same techniques would look something like this : use of greenhouse , ventilation , shading … :


Direct gain houses, considered to be the simplest passive solar house type, rely on south-facing windows, called solar windows. These can be conventionally manufactured operable or fixed windows on the south wall of the house or standard-dimension  insulating glass panels in the wall of the sunspace or solarium. While some of the solar heat is used immediately, walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture store the excess heat, which radiates into the space throughout the day and night. In all cases the performance and comfort of the direct gain space will increase if the thermal mass (concrete, concrete block, brick, or adobe) within the space is increased.

More reading on this very well illustrated article on http://www.dennisrhollowayarchitect.com/SimpleDesignMethodology.html

A Zero Emission Polar Station on Antarctica

Princess Elisabeth Antarctica

 For decades, Antarctica has been a home cutting edge science and a shining example of international governance through collaboration. It was here, in the remote part of the pristine environment, that the International Polar Foundation heralded the return of Belgium to the Antarctic continent with the world’s first “zero emission” scientific research station: Princess Elisabeth Antarctica.

Turning Constraints into Opportunities  http://www.antarcticstation.org/station/

By taking existing technologies and using them in innovative ways, the International Polar Foundation successfully established Princess Elisabeth Antarctica as a showcase for perfect integration of energy systems. Strong Antarctic wind gusts, a harsh climate, barren landscapes, and the surrounding mountains … the International Polar Foundation took advantage of all these apparent challenges when designing the station. By harnessing the power of the wind and the 24-hours-a-day sunshine to sustainably fuel the zero emission polar research station, means that it has almost total energy autonomy – and this means a significant cut in the logistics headache of transporting fuel.

Passive Building http://www.antarcticstation.org/station/passive_building/

 As well as being powered by renewable energy, Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is also designed to minimize energy demand. For example, the station’s shell has a layered design, allowing perfect integration of the living quarters, which maximises both heat distribution and energy use

Renewable Energies  http://www.antarcticstation.org/station/renewable_energies/

By turning apparent constraints into innovative opportunities, the International Polar Foundation team took advantage of the 24-hour sunshine of the Antarctic summer months and wind gusting from the plateau to provide the station’s primary source of power: renewable energy.

Water Treatment  http://www.antarcticstation.org/station/water_treatment/

Ideally located for obtaining a fresh water supply, Princess Elisabeth Antarctica was designed as little as possible of this precious resource. Thanks to a space station-inspired water treatment system, water is purified and re-used for the showers, the toilets, and washing machine. Excess water is thoroughly purified before final disposal in a safe location nearby.

Energy Supplies  http://www.antarcticstation.org/station/concept/

In Antarctica, the sun never falls behind the horizon for one half of  the year and strong winds are very common. The station takes adavantage of both Antarctica’s windy weather and constant daylight during summer to power the station.

I put much more pictures in the comments of my miror post :