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There was a recent discussion on LinkedIn about the value of small town theaters. It linked to another article here. Both made some interesting points that apply to Culver and Marshall County. Culver’s theater, most recently the Uptown Cinema (Formerly the Lakeside Cinema and before that the El Rancho Theater in my lifetime.), shutdown several years ago citing costs for upgrading to digital projectors as a major factor. Around the county, the Princess (or Lido) theater in Argos closed years ago and the same for Bourbon’s Comet and Gem theaters. The Rees Theater (picture here) is no longer operational in downtown Plymouth. The Tri-Way Drive-in Theatre has cited the digital projector issue as a potential obstacle to their continued operation. (More on Tri-Way’s upgrade costs here.)
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.
I first heard of the Christmas Vigilantes last year. If you haven’t been struck by the Christmas Vigilantes yet, here’s the scoop: One local family has created a tradition that they have been practicing for the last few years. They go out touring the local Christmas light displays and award written certificates of merit with positive critiques and occasional prizes.
To the best of my knowledge, as with most vigilante groups they are semi anonymous. If you want to send any pictures of light displays that you think merit acknowledgement, please feel free to send them here. If I like them as well as you, I’ll post them on the site. If you send the addresses to me, I’ll leave it under a rock at the designated drop site for the vigilantes to pick up. Possibly your submittal will receive a visit!
Seems like they should have a tag-line too, doesn’t it? Something like Superman’s “Up, Up and Away!!!” I’ll have to ask them. If you have suggestions for that, I’ll take them here too.
Combining efficient energy use with wind and solar energy production, the new Evanston Walgreens will have net zero energy use. See the article here.
Too bad the new WECS ordinance being considered for Culver would stop a store like this from coming into Culver. (A Walgreens would best fit in a C-2 Zoning District which does allow for the use of a WECS, but the further restriction that no WECS maybe located within 1500 feet of an R-1 Zoning District would make it virtually impossible to place such a store within Culver’s Town Limits.)
Evanston is north of Chicago which generally would put it in a latitude where solar energy collection has diminished returns. It’s proximity to Lake Michigan does make it likely to receive fairly consistent winds.