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Principles of Sustainable Design: Understanding Transparent Solar Cells

Exciting new research has opened the world to the possibility of a transparent solar cell. Being able to generate renewable solar energy from a transparent, or partially transparent glass-like substance, is quickly changing the way the world thinks about renewable energy. Let's take a look at just some new technologies that are creating a buzz in the renewable energy industries.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Renewable Energy Sources in Urban Settings

Often, urban settings do not lend themselves to renewable energy sources. Cities typically do not have sprawling land to build a solar panel array, or space to construct a 300-foot-tall wind turbine to generate alternative energy. But this is about to change. Today, with new designs and technology emerging, there are more options than once existed to include renewable energy sources in urban design. Below, let’s examine some new technologies that can bring renewable energy to the urban landscape.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Advances in Large Battery Storage

Renewable energy is quickly sweeping the globe with its overall efficiency, relatively low cost, and low impact on the environment. Renewable energy, though, has had a long-standing issue with the amount of energy provided. Typical applications do not allow excess energy to be stored and reused during high demand times, still forcing people to rely on inefficient systems or fossil fuels. However, recent battery developments have changed the way we think about renewable energy.

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The World View of Renewable Energy

Every day, more advances in renewable energy emerge, and the growing importance of renewable energy becomes evident. Throughout the world, many state and federally issued projects and challenges are underway to promote the use of renewable energy. Below, let's take a look at some recent innovations, advances, and future planned projects to take advantage of renewable energy sources worldwide.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Understanding the MN SB 2030 B3 Program

It takes a big idea to make changes in the world possible. Minnesota is happy to be at the forefront of construction with the next big idea. A new plan, called the MN Sustainable Building (SB) 2030 B3 program, is designed with the end goal of creating only net zero energy and carbon buildings in the state of Minnesota by the year 2030.

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Is Renewable Energy Better? A Dive Into Real Numbers

Traditional fossil fuels have long been the standard for energy in the world. Though, with new technologies, renewable energy is giving traditional energy generators a run for their money. Renewable energy is closing the gap on cost effectiveness and efficiency at a rapid pace, and the technology only continue to improve every day. Let's take a closer look at the numbers to see exactly why renewable energy is the better energy choice.

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Exploring the Field of Sustainable Electrical Engineering

Typically, the engineer focuses on creating and improving innovative or renewable energy sources for electricity. This can come in the form of new solar power techniques and design, or ways to return renewable power back to the energy grid.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Exploring Renewable Energy

The most significant component of sustainable building design is having a renewable energy source. Simply being able to create electricity from a renewable source is not only more energy efficient, but can save money over time. Plus, renewable energy sources are environmentally friendly and do not leave a big carbon footprint, if any at all. Below we will examine some of the more popular renewable energy sources.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Solar Powered Water Heaters

Solar water heaters rely on the sun to heat the water provided to your home or building. These systems are reliable and relatively straightforward. At the core, a solar water heater is reliant on the solar collector and storage tank. The collector is an insulated box, usually with a dark interior, that contains tubes that allow for water flow. The solar collector catches the sun's rays and transforms them into heat. The storage tank simply holds the heated water. From here, the functionality of the solar water heater depends on the type.

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Ground Broken for New Government Service Center

The first shovels full of dirt were ceremoniously moved in May at the site of the new St. Louis County Government Service Center in Virginia, MN. Once complete, the 63,000-square-foot, $19 million facility will provide an ideal facility for County staff and taxpayers. Gausman & Moore, working with DSGW Architects, provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the project.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Understanding Photovoltaics

When energy from the sun is converted into usable energy, it is done through the science of the photovoltaic process. This process is what most people are referring to when they think of solar energy. Renewable energy sources are becoming more popular by the day as more buildings, both commercial and residential, are turning toward alternative energy. So what exactly are photovoltaics, and how does this science work?

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Getting Through Tough Design Decisions with Energy Modeling

Creating an aesthetically pleasing building with an energy-efficient mindset can sometimes be challenging. Often it feels as if you cannot accomplish both within the same building. If you start early enough in the design process though, both goals can be accomplished. Relatively new in the field of building design is a process called energy modeling. With energy modeling it is now possible to project what type of energy impact your building will have over a 30-year period.

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Understanding the Difference Between the Three Thermal Science Disciplines

Physics plays a crucial role in everything that encompasses mechanical engineering, and as a mechanical engineer, you must understand and be able to use the three thermal science disciplines in the work you do. The following briefly outlines each of these disciplines and touches on the importance of each in mechanical engineering work.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Green Building Costs

When first developing design ideas for a building, it’s important to understand that everything has a financial value. And conducting a building performance analysis beforehand can help designers understand what decisions can yield a more valuable economic return. Because some building owners have more strict construction budgets, it’s important the design and building process remains within a firm financial budget throughout the project. But how, exactly, is this budget calculated? We’ll give you an inside look at the different cost analyses designers take into consideration when developing building plans.

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Principles of Sustainable Design: Indoor Thermal Comfort

Energy efficiency in buildings is almost always a top priority for building owners and contractors alike. However, it is not fully effective when occupants are uncomfortable with the indoor environment. If an occupant is too warm or too cold in a space, he or she will take alternative routes of heating or cooling their area, such as with space heaters, fans, or window-mounted air conditioners. And those could be substantially worse for the building’s efficiency than typical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

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