- About UsWho We Are, Our History
- Contact UsAbout Your Project
- ProjectsSee Our Work
- Residential Projects
- School Projects
- LinksOur Affiliations
Someone asked where I got the “head banger” that I used in my NYE post… and again to the right. It’s one of those gifs that randomly come in emails. I liked it so I saved it to use in the blog. It seems familiar to me and I would guess it was lifted from an old Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short or one of Disney’s Silly Symphonies. Considering that it’s in black & white, it is probably pretty old. This dude was whipping his hair long before Willow Smith. Maybe Ms. Smith would like “Everything Old is New Again”.
Granite countertops remain one of the coveted kitchen upgrades. Unfortunately, along with the beautiful colors of natural stone comes the perception of cold. The mass of the stone acts as a heat sink so even when the stone is at room temperature, it feels cold to the touch. With our new emphasis on energy conservation, more and more people are using setback thermostats. While the new high efficiency forced air furnaces bring the air temperature up fairly quickly, the thermal mass of the stone is affected much more slowly.
This has been a problem for years with tile floors and it has been addressed by installing electric or hydronic heating elements in the grout beneath the tile. If you haven’t experienced this, you’ve missed out. Stepping onto a cold bathroom floor in the morning can be a bit shocking. Stepping onto a warm tile floor is wonderful. If your feet are warm, the rest of you feels warm.
Two weeks ago Ron suffered a stroke and is working to recover at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago. For those that aren’t aware and would like to follow his progress, his wife Anna is keeping up a journal of progress on the Caring Bridge website here. I wanted to include the links here in case anyone that follows me wasn’t aware of the situation and wanted to check in on Ron.
Ron is a cherished personal friend. The thoughts and prayers of all those he touched in the Easterday Construction family are with him.
In doing the previous post on alternate WECS’s (Wind Energy Conversion Systems) I ran across some interesting options for street lights that are powered by wind, solar or a combination of the two. Some are more decorative than functional, but I thought they would be interesting to consider for the Sand Hill Farm project. I’ve collected a list of interesting links below showing some of the innovations that are out there. I’ve also included some pictures gleaned from the net.
I also was impressed with the idea of the E-Turbine. This bollard size WECS is designed to be installed along roads and take advantage of the constant rush of air caused by passing vehicles. I would imagine these would be extremely efficient in underpasses and tunnels where that energy can be directed to the turbines and then employed to light the surrounding areas. Each Turbine has a built in battery to store the energy produced. This is similar to the idea previously posted here regarding paving tiles that steal the energy created by foot traffic.
With the currently proposed ordinance these may well be banned too. 0.5 Kilowatts (low end of proposed ordinance WECS definition) is 500 Watts. Street lights use bulbs averaging from 35 to 250 watts per hypertextbook.com That means for a fixture using bulbs at the upper end of this scale, each bulb would require its own turbine to stay under the mandated wattage.
The Flow fixture by Igen Design. Link: http://www.coroflot.com/vasquez/Flow-public-lighting-for-the-Third-World
UGE’s whimsical Wind-Solar Hybrid Street Light. http://www.urbangreenenergy.com/solutions/wind-solar-hybrid-streetlights/how-it-works
Beach Lamp by Zengzhu Deng. http://www.ecochunk.com/3777/2012/11/14/sea-and-land-breeze-power-the-eco-friendly-beach-lamp-concept/
Loopwing Korea powers clocks as well as street lights. http://www.greendiary.com/loopwing-korea-unveils-self-powered-streetlight-wind-power-generator.html
Of these, I think I like the UGE version with the banner option and wind/solar combination power. Some of the links above talk about 400 watt bulbs, but assuming there is a battery to charge too, the wattage may well exceed the 0.5 Kilowatt limitation being proposed. The wattage restriction would also limit the option of one turbine powering several lights.
The kind of creative thinking that creates these things won’t be stifled by Culver banning WECS’s. The ban just stops the use of the new technology that’s out there. This is what I tried to suggest at the Plan Commission with limited success.