Sunday, December 16, 2007

How Cool Roofs Lower Energy Costs

By: Scott Kriner - Sunday, December 9, 2007 Source: The Metal Initiative

In the United States, buildings are responsible for almost two-thirds of national electricity consumption and more than one-third of total primary energy use. As a result, the current energy crunch has made conservation measures within these structures more important than ever.

Heating and cooling costs are generally the major expenses associated with the operation of a building. Therefore, any reduction in these costs through the use of energy efficient building envelope components makes sense. Unfortunately, the roof can be the least energy efficient component of a building envelope. Is it any wonder, then, that cool roofing has become such a hot topic?

Cool roofing is gaining in popularity due to its ability to reduce cooling and heating energy usage. Utility companies are also interested in cool roofing because it can help reduce the peak demand in electricity during the afternoon hours of summer months, preventing power disruptions. And, from an environmental point of view, cool roofing can also help to mitigate a phenomenon known as the heat island effect.

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Some Facts & The Future of Solar

Back in the 60’s or 70’s (too long to remember exactly) there was this myth that if the Pentagon would cover all their facilities with PV the price would drop enough that the average citizen could cover their dwelling unit. The simple answer to this question is price. The not so simple answer is thinness.

While California has 73% of the U.S. solar market is it price or efficiency holding back exponential growth. Efficiency means packing more silicon wafers into each cell. How can you do that? There is another issue, that of brittleness of the wafers. The thinner they get the harder it is to connect the poles to the edges of the wafer.

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Will the Electric Grid Stay On?

Going far beyond explaining the usual problems with biofuels, the video of David Fridley's June 2007 presentation "The Myths of Biofuels" explains why cellulosic ethanol won't come to the rescue anytime soon, how much biomass could possibly be grown in North America and exactly how poor ethanol really is. David is a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory staff scientist specializing on biofuels.

Read this page and learn more quick and dirty insights into the future of Energy from some very reliable sources.

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