Need Efficiency Help? Technology to the Rescue!

October 11, 2009 at 8:29 pm 2 comments

Tonight I have several items of new, available technology, some not available yet and finally some that someone should look into!

First lets look at ways to save water. There is a new device that can be used on existing toilets that allow you to do a full flush or half flush. The device is from Brondell (http://www.brondell.com/index.php) and there is a review at Ecofriend (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-gadgets-perfect-flush-makes-any-toilet-save-up-to-50-water/).  I personally think that this is a wonderful idea because it makes the ability to conserve much more approachable.  I mean changing out you toilet is while pretty straight forward is still somewhat of an adventure for most folks and this is a way to retrofit an antique you might want or need to keep.

For the commercial application we have a device from Sloan (http://www.sloanvalve.com/index_SOLIS_Flushometer_ENU_HTML.htm) that is a solar powered dual flush unit that determines how much water to use based on how long you have been sitting on the toilet.  They claim that the algorithm is very accurate in determining which option to use. Of course you also have an option to press a button to cause the correct option to occur, but who really likes to touch the fixtures in a public restroom?

Next we have a clever device from HAWS (http://www.stayhydrated.net/) called a Hydration station dispenses filtered water (they say polished…) to a variety of sized containers including the now ever present large bottles that we all seem to be using.  It is touch free and looks good enough for any office decor.  I don’t have an idea on price (I just requested a quote to see..) but it looks very interesting.  Just think of the CO2 we can save as well as the oil not making those plastic bottles and delivering them by truck.  It will also cut your workman’s compensation insurance because no one will have to place those large bottles on the dispenser anymore!

Now we have an interesting potential solution to the heating and cooling problems we all face. An Italian firm Vetro Ventilato(http://www.vetroventilato.it/uk/funzionamento/) has a complicated, but ingenious window system that helps heat or cool the building they are installed in. I would be interested in seeing some return on investment calculations for a typical office building installation.

We have an entry from the feedback make you save model, TED short for The Energy Detective is a real time monitor of your energy use. TED (http://www.theenergydetective.com/what/overview.html)  also of course has software that allows you to collect, graph and analyze your usage over time. They also have announced a partnership with Google’s Powermeter service that I expect will allow you to monitor your usage from anywhere you can get to an internet connection.

I am not sure how useful that this type of device is going to be after the first month of use. I know that I would simply use it to investigate all of the various combinations in my house and eliminate those items that were putting me over the line. Although I can imagine a Facebook limbo type game as in how low can you go in electricity use based on you Google Powermeter page.

Lastly I am going to mention an article on Cleantechnica (http://cleantechnica.com/2009/10/10/calling-epa-heat-exchange-can-make-clothes-dryers-efficient/) that I very much agree with. It is about a neat new product that can convert you existing dryer from an energy hog into a much more efficient and safer appliance! While I really like the technology (http://www.dryermiser.com/Home/howitworks/tabid/59/Default.aspx) I really want the EPA to start pushing for dryers to be rated as Energy Star appliances. This will push the manufacturers to try this and other technologies to make the second highest energy consuming appliance in your house much more efficient and safer too.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, Stumble Upon or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Environment, Technology. Tags: , , , .

Can going Green make our Buildings Sick? Building Technology Update for Oct. 18, 2009

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