EEBA's High Performance Home Blog

Posts From November, 2019

What Are You Thankful For?

It’s the week for giving thanks and there’s a lot to be grateful for at EEBA!
What Are You Thankful For?

2019 has been an incredibly successful year that has brought many new partners to EEBA, as well as new board members, and a bigger and better High Performance Home Summit where we had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with some of the most passionate and driven people in the industry.

We’ve seen new opportunities presented through our strengthened partnerships with RESNET, The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, Professional Builder and Green Builder Media. We also continue our commitment to helping attract youth to the industry with our NextGen Scholarship Initiative.

We are also excited for a new national partnership program that offers both inclusivity and exclusivity - all while lowering the cost across the board and delivering more value and benefits to all of our partners. And then there’s all that anticipation surrounding the idea of having a new CEO!

EEBA staff, Nancy Bakeman and Cristen Burrell, are thankful for the incredible brain power and entertainment offered by EEBA Certified Instructors Gord Cooke, Mike Barcik, Bruce Sullivan, Justin Wilson, and Andy Oding while they teach building science at all the EEBA educational events.

And finally, we are thankful for you! We could not do what we do without your support, your knowledge, and your commitment to industry growth. We wish you a restful Thanksgiving and much time to reflect on all the things for which you have to be grateful!

Solar Breakthrough in Sweden

Researchers in Sweden create a liquid molecule with potential to release on-demand heat.
Solar Breakthrough in Sweden

A research team at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have identified a way to harness energy from the sun and store it (potentially for decades), releasing the energy as on-demand heat.

The molecular solar thermal liquid is made of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen and has the ability to collect solar energy and hold it until a catalyst triggers its release as heat. The Swedish team is currently focused on the heating benefits, although one of the big, unanswered questions that remains is whether or not the system can additionally produce electricity.

Kasper Moth-Poulsen, lead researcher and a professor in the university’s department of chemistry and chemical engineering also believes the storage unit they’ve created for the technology has the “stability to outlast the 5-to 10-year life span of typical lithium-ion batteries on the market today.”

One of many research groups looking to molecular thermal solar systems to provide solutions for climate change, the technology has the potential to be used in window coatings, heating vehicles and buildings, or even clothing design. The team will be coating an entire building in the material to show what can be achieved and expect it to reduce electricity needs for heating.

If they are able to obtain $5 million of funding they believe the storage unit could be commercialized in six years and the coating in three. Others doing similar research in thermal solar systems believe their work is “crucial if we want to see the energy conversion storage approach commercialized.”

Keep following this technology as it will be interesting to see the advancements. While there are currently no cost estimates, there are no requirements for expensive rare elements and the team recognizes that it needs to be affordable.

Around the Globe

See what’s happening around the world surrounding energy efficiency.
Around the Globe

Ithaca, New York

The Solar Home Factory, based in Geneva, New York is on a mission to build zero-energy homes. The company is birthed out of the desire to find solutions for heating issues in their region and to move people towards air pumps. What they found, however, is that most homes weren’t efficient enough for them so they continued using natural gas, coal or wood pellets.

The Solar Home Factory utilizes SIPs and combines modular techniques with net-zero energy homes. In a previous development, homeowners were paying around 20 cents per day in heating costs (before solar credits).

They are currently working on 43-unit single family home project in Ithaca, New York.

Melbourne, Australia

$784,000 was recently funded to a real estate group, Mirvac, to test a “net zero energy” housing project in a Melbourne suburb.

The 49-townhome planned community will demonstrate the feasibility of achieving net-zero energy homes at scale and show homeowners how they can greatly reduce energy bills.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia’s 2030 District initiative is a voluntary program where building owners and managers work to reduce their carbon footprint.

To date, around 50 buildings have joined and committed to improving their energy efficiency by 50 percent by 2030. A recent report showed the initiative is more than halfway to their target!

Tell us what is happening in your area around energy efficiency!