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Let’s Think Carbon Neutral Ella Wong Summer Solar Class Professor Wamser, PSU July 15, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Let’s Think Carbon Neutral Ella Wong Summer Solar Class Professor Wamser, PSU July 15, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Let’s Think Carbon Neutral Ella Wong Summer Solar Class Professor Wamser, PSU July 15, 2009

2 Premise: Educating and engaging people at a personal, local neighborhood, and community level to adopt and act with a Carbon Neutral Mindset will make it easier to globally carbon down and make the terawatt challenge less daunting. The energy/climate problem can be reframed as an opportunity to make positive change.

3 Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan Transition Towns Movement- Community-empowering strategy for dealing with energy/climate change Carbon foot print calculator Carbon neutral building practices Negawatt and integrative design concepts, conservation/efficiency Passive House standards and other examples Living Building Challenge- Oregon Sustainability Center Small-scale examples of renewable energy Neighborhood Natural Energy (N2E)- community-owned carbon neutral district energy projects in PDX Oregon Wind- hybrid solar/wind project at new South Max Terminus Micropower trends Small-scale distributed/decentralized renewables Cogeneration


5 Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan 2009 Portland has a good start and has already reduced carbon emissions; in 2007, emissions were 1% below 1990 levels even with rapid population growth (17% decrease on per capita basis); US during this period averaged a 17% increase Goal is to continue reducing local carbon emissions below 1990 levels- 10% by 2010, 40% by 2030, 80% by 2050 (State of Oregon’s goal is 75% below by 2050) Plan focuses on major actions to be taken in the next 3 years


7 Climate Action Plan (CAP) Vision Residents live in walkable/bikeable neighborhoods that include businesses, schools, parks, and jobs. Thriving regional economy with green-collar jobs. Products/services related to clean energy, green building, sustainable food, and waste reuse/recovery. Homes, offices, and other buildings are durable, highly efficient, healthy, comfortable and powered primarily by solar, wind and other renewables. Urban forest, green roofs and swales cover the community, reducing urban heat island effect, sequestering carbon, providing wildlife habitat, and cleaning air/water. Local food/agriculture central to economic and cultural vitality of the community. Productive backyard/community gardens and thriving farmers markets. Bulk of food from local/regional sources. Residents healthier eating more locally grown grains, fruits and vegetables.

8 CAP- Benefits Cleans up air pollution and improves health Strengthens economy with more local jobs Reduces reliance on imported oil Saves $ by using less energy



11 2030 CAP Objectives Buildings and Energy Reduce total energy use of all buildings built before 2010 by 25%. Achieve zero net GHG emissions in all new buildings and homes. Produce 10% of total energy used within Multnomah County from on-site renewable sources and clean district energy systems. Action point to establish funds to help finance Land Use and Mobility Create vibrant neighborhoods where 90% of PDX residents and 80% of Multnomah County residents can easily walk/bike to meet all basic daily, non- work needs. Reduce per capita daily vehicle miles traveled by 50% from 2008 levels. CAP Executive Summary pages 11-12

12 2030 CAP Objectives Land Use and Mobility Increase average fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles to 40 mpg. Reduce the lifecycle GHG of transportation fuels by 20%. Consumption and Solid Waste Reduce total solid waste generated by 25%. Recover 75% of all waste generated. Maximize the efficiency of the waste collection system. Urban Forestry Expand the forest canopy to cover one-third of Portland Food and Agriculture Significantly increase the consumption of local food. Reduce the consumption of carbon-intensive foods. CAP Executive Summary pages 13-15

13 2030 CAP Objectives Community Engagement Motivate all Multnomah County residents and businesses to change their behavior in ways that reduce carbon emissions. Climate Change Preparation Adapt successfully to a changing climate. Local Government Operations Reduce carbon emissions from City and County operations 50% from 1990 levels. CAP Executive Summary pages 16-17

14 Transition Towns Movement ( Community-empowering strategy for dealing with energy and climate challenges Founded in Kinsale, Ireland (2005) and then to Totnes, England (2006); now worldwide Rob Hopkins details strategy in his book, The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience

15 Transition Towns Movement Engages and educates community about energy/climate change Has community members practice positive visioning of a future with less fossil fuel energy  What would you like the local neighborhood or community to be like 5 years from now? 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? This is an opportunity to create your future.  Engages the community in creating a detailed plan (Energy or Carbon Descent Plan) to make these visions come true, working step by step backwards from the future vision  Start implementing plan and revise accordingly  Celebrate progress made

16 Transition Town Movement in Portland Transition PDX- central Portland group Neighborhood Transition Groups  Lents  Sunnyside  Oak Grove  HAND  Woodlawn  Richmond  Reed

17 Individual Actions. Here are some actions individuals can take right now: 1.Calculate your carbon footprint — visit 2.Get free help with what your business can do — visit or call (503) 823-3919. 3.Contact the Energy Trust of Oregon at or (866) ENTRUST (968-7878) for a free home energy 4.Discover how driving doesn’t have to be your only option — visit 5.Contact your utilities to sign up for clean energy. Portland General Electric — or (800) 542-8818 Pacifi Corp — or (888) 221-7070 NW Natural — or (800) 422- From CAP Executive Summary, page 10

18 6. Learn about energy-efficiency and green building for your next home project — visit or call (503) 823-5431. 7. Reduce stuff. Contact the Metro Recycling Information hotline at (503) 234-3000 to learn how to reduce the amount of garbage you generate. 8.Count the number of times you eat red meat in a week; replace 20 percent of your red meat consumption with other food. Ask a friend what she or he is doing to address climate change. From CAP Executive Summary, page 10

19 Other Carbon Footprint Calculators

20 Carbon Footprint Of Best Conserving Americans Is Still Double Global Average ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2008) http://www.sciencedaily.c om/releases/2008/04/08 0428120658.htm A representation of different estimated annual carbon footprints. Government services were a major reason for the relatively large U.S. average, according to an MIT class led by Professor Timothy Gutowski of mechanical engineering. (Credit: MIT)




24 Building Carbon Neutral Buildings use lots of energy (48% of US energy consumption and 76% of US electricity consumption) and are responsible for about half of the green house gas emissions in the United States. Following charts include energy of building operations as well as embodied energy of building materials Based on 2000 data from the US Energy Information Administration

25 US Energy Consumption

26 US Electricity Consumption

27 Energy Use in Typical Portland Home John Sorenson, N2e

28 Sources of Heating for Oregon Homes

29 PGE’s Energy Resource Mix

30 Energy Smart Buildings Net Zero Energy Building- on average, generates as much energy on-site that it uses Carbon Neutral Building- has a net zero carbon footprint with net zero carbon emissions. On-site energy generated with renewables. No fossil fuels. No GHGs.

31 Certification Programs/Standards Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Earth Advantage Living Building Challenge

32 Produce Negawatts, NOT Megawatts Term coined by Amory Lovins (Cofounder & Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute) A negawatt is a watt of electricity saved by using it more efficiently or at a smarter time. Cheap energy in the past has allowed the commonplace practice of wasteful energy habits.  Tremendous reductions in energy consumption can be achieved by cleaning up this “waste” through conservation and greater efficiencies.  Easier, cheaper, and faster to produce a negawatt than a megawatt.

33 Big Savings with Integrative Design “Holistic” viewpoint that looks at entire building and combines technologies with synergistic effect. Optimize WHOLE building/system(s) for maximum benefits. Design priority- save carbon 1st, energy 2nd. Contrary to popular thinking, you can live comfortably in a thoughtfully designed building in a cold climate without installing a heating system. Similarly, it is possible to live comfortably in a home in the tropics without A/C.

34, E03-13, p. 9

35 Passive House Super-insulated “Passive House” concept originated in Canada (1977) Improved Passivhaus German version eliminated furnace (Darmstadt, 1990)  Germany and Austria lead in the number of Passive Houses built First Passive House built in North America in Urbana, Illinois (2003) by Katrin Klingenberg-

36 Passive House Standards Highest energy standard, reducing heating energy consumption by 90% Heated primarily by passive solar gain and internal gains from people and household equipment Super insulation with air-tight shell (≤ 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure, measured by blower-door test) Limitation of thermal bridging (≤ 0.01 W/mK) Additional heat source generally not needed; no furnace or HVAC

37 Passive House Standards Instead of furnace or HVAC, energy recovery ventilator for fresh air supply and excellent indoor air quality (≥ 75% efficiency with low electric consumption @ 0.45 Wh/m 3 )  Out-going warm air passes along side clean, cooler air coming in without mixing; exchanging heat with 90% efficiency in process Annual heat requirement ≤ 15 kWh/m 2 /year Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh/m 2 /year (heating, hot water, & electricity) Highly efficient windows, u-value ≤ 0.8 Watt/m 2 /K (triple pane Ar-filled) Additional cost to build is about 5 to 7% (offset by future energy savings and reduced capital cost- no furnace to buy)




41 An example: The thermal bridge at the joint of the interior masonry wall with the slab-on- grade can be avoided almost completely if a porous concrete block (yellow) is used for the first row of bricks.

42 Infrared images assess heat leakage- Conventional building on left and Passive House on right

43 Smith House (2003)- Urbana, Illinois 1st Passive House in US Designed by Katrin Klingenberg

44 The New York Times December 27, 2008 The Energy Challenge No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in ‘Passive Houses’ By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL Daily Journal of Commerce, Portland, OR Wednesday, January 21, 2009 Passive House movement reaches Pacific Northwest Portland architect says system focused on saving energy could revolutionize green design BY SAM BENNETT The Oregonian Wednesday February 04, 2009 Passive house: The idea of the airtight home takes hold among green-building experts by Ruth Mullen

45 Heating or Cooling Your Building Naturally: Solar Architectural Solutions (Hardcover, 2006) by Virginia B. Macdonald Pioneered the use of natural ventilation methods in Hawaii A/C not needed Effective use of trade winds Effective use of passive vertical ventilation/thermal chimney effect  Cool air intakes near ground level  Warmer air vents near ceiling Natural ventilation may be “healthier” than A/C controlled environment

46 Workplace air-conditioning and health services attendance among French middle-aged women: a prospective cohort study P Preziosi, S Czernichow, P Gehanno and S Hercberg International Journal of Epidemiology 2004 33(5):1120-1123 920 women, 49 to 65 years old in 1999 Looked at health service attendance and sickness absence HVAC group versus natural ventilation group About 2 times more visits to ENT specialists and about 2 times more sickness absences in HVAC group Visits to dermatologists and global medical services may be higher in HVAC group (p=.06 in both cases)

47 Ventilation and health in non-industrial indoor environments: report from a European Multidisciplinary Scientific Consensus Meeting (EUROVEN) P. Wargocki, J. Sundell, W. Bischof Indoor Air 2002 12(2): 113-128 Multidisciplinary group reviewed 105 peer-reviewed papers Ventilation strongly associated with comfort and health Association between ventilation and productivity Increasing outdoor air supply rates improves perceived air quality Outdoor air supply rates below 25 l/s per person increases the risk of sick building syndrome symptoms, increases sick leave, and decreases productivity May be increased risk of SBS symptoms with A/C compared to natural ventilation


49, E03-13, p. 47

50 Outdoor parallel to building-based integrative design Some similarities to organic permaculture practices Sepp Holzer (“Austrian Rebel Farmer”)  Transformative permaculture farm (The Krameterhof) in the Austrian Alps  Average annual temperature of 39.5  F (4.2  C)  Altitude between 3,300 and 4,900 feet (1,000 to 1,500 meters)  Uses integrative permaculture design principles to create microclimates to grow plants typically found in warmer, more humid climates. Apricots, figs, eucalyptus, kiwis,…  Very low carbon practice- "Once planted, I do absolutely nothing. It really is just nature working for itself - no weeding, no pruning, no watering, no fertilizer, no pesticides."

51 More on Sepp including video clips at… Martin Crawford- Devon, England  Permaculture forest garden  Greater than 550 species of plants  Very low carbon, minimal maintenance  Feeds 10 people on a plant-based diet on one acre (about double the # people an average acre of conventional farmland can feed)  Converting to a more plant-based diet not only reduces carbon, it greatly reduces the incidence and severity of chronic diseases seen in industrialized countries with large savings in the cost of health care Featured in documentary “Farm for the Future” (Natural World, BBC2),

52 Shifts in Rice Farming Practices in China Reduce Greenhouse Gas Methane December 19, 2002 Changsheng Li, University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space Draining rice paddies midway in growing season rather than traditional continuous flooding reduces methane emissions about 40%, increases yield, and saves water. Draining stimulates root development and accelerates decomposition of organic matter in the soil to produce nitrogen fertilizer. Midseason drainage aerates soil, reducing methane produced by anaerobic soil microbes.

53 Oregon Sustainability Center Project Aims to be 1st large-scale building to meet the Living Building Challenge Net zero energy Net zero water Aesthetic considerations Site is between SW 4th and 5th Ave and SW Montgomery and Harrison

54 Oregon Sustainability Center Feasibility Study- Preliminary Draft Executive Summary, 6/25/09, p.14. Oregon Sustainability Center

55 Oregon Sustainability Center Open House Presentation, 6/25/09, p. 16.

56 Oregon Sustainability Center Open House Presentation, 6/25/09, p. 7.

57 Oregon Sustainability Center Open House Presentation, 6/25/09, p. 8.

58 Oregon Sustainability Center Open House Presentation, 6/25/09, p. 48.

59 Oregon Sustainability Center Open House Presentation, 6/25/09, p. 49.

60 Neighborhood Natural Energy (N2e) John Sorenson- founder, CEO; Seth Truby- Deputy Director N2e develops community-scale district energy systems using renewable energy sources  Community-owned and managed  “Micro”-investors/philanthropists are encouraged to invest in N2e ($5/share) via ChangeXchange, a social investment exchange- Based on successful modern district energy systems that currently exist in Europe, Canada, and Minnesota

61 Salmon Street Energy will link 14 homes with a common thermal energy system in the middle of the block. The 40 residents of the block have completed household energy surveys and shared utility bills to create a database of thermal load over 12 months. Preliminary system designs include a new energy center and solar platform, solar thermal panels mounted on about half of the homes, a biodiesel boiler, and an integrated stormwater management system. This project was a finalist for the City of Portland's 2009 Green Investment Fund. N2e- Salmon Street Energy Project

62 N2e- Sunnyside Neighborhood Energy (SunNE) Project SunNE is a proposed thermal energy district centered at Sunnyside Environmental School serving approximately 50 blocks, including two commercial districts, several churches, and hundreds of homes. John introduced the SunNE concept to the Sunnyside neighborhood in the summer of 2007. Since then, he and Seth have worked to advance the project with a local citizens' advisory board and a student group, the Northwest Institute for Community Energy. We are seeking funding for a thorough feasibility study.

63 N2e- North Pearl District Energy Project In 2007 John proposed a district energy system for heating and cooling in the North Pearl area, the largest energy efficiency measure in Portland's history. A $100,000 feasibility study encompassing both technical and financial considerations was recently completed, and the results are encouraging. A key innovation in this project is to use a locally available and abundant resource to power the system: beer mash. Portland's famous community of craft brewers dispose of thousands of tons of spent grains each week. Processing this waste "mash" through an anaerobic digester yields carbon-neutral biogas, which can be burned cleanly in a CHP unit to create both heat and electricity. Anheuser-Busch has used this process in their brewing facilities for over 20 years.

64 - slide show Sabin Green- Zero Net Energy Community in NE PDX

65 2 LEED Platinum Leapfrog Houses near Lewis and Clark Ground source heat pump Hydronic floors, radiant panels, and hot water heated by heat pump 6 kW grid-tied solar PV system Efficient envelope with R30 walls and R40 ceilings Ventilation by Panasonic WhisperGreen fan Efficient lighting with fluorescents and LEDs Energy Star windows and appliances 6000 gallon potable water storage/purification system Galvalume roof and gutters for rainwater collection Dual-flush toilets and low-flow plumbing fixtures Plumbed for potential greywater re-use (upon legalization) High fly-ash content concrete Use of reclaimed and recycled materials from old house Extensive use of FSC-certified lumber, FSC formaldehyde free plywood Siding with recyclable steel and dry-process fiber cement (with fly-ash) Use of native and drought-tolerant landscaping, food garden beds Formaldehyde free cabinets and counter tops Use of no-VOC paints All electrical appliances ready for on-site green power Site located in close proximity to mass transit Energy from ground source heat and 6 kW grid-tied solar PV system ndex.cfm?fuseaction=cDisplay.lea rnmore 08/platinum-leapfr.html


67 Aerotecture’s AeroSolar Hybrid Pepsico/Quaker Oats Sustainability Center, Chicago, Illinois Four 1000-watt vertical-axis Aeroturbines mounted with attached 700-watt solar electric array on each wind turbine (1700 watts/unit, total 6800 watts of “clean” energy) Each unit bolted to steel beams anchored to concrete planter boxes underneath and integrated into rooftop park

68 Mercy Housing Project- Chicago, Illinois 96- unit housing project Eight Aerotecture 520H Aeroturbines mounted horizontally to roof Example of building-integrated wind energy  Murphy/Jahn Architects specifically designed geometry and orientation of building to increase wind speed as it flows over the roof  Installed August 2006  Also with solar hot water, gray water recycling, and rain water collection systems

69 Mercy Housing Project

70 Mercy Housing Project- The 520H Aeroturbine units are horizontally mounted on the roof and designed to optimally capture wind energy.

71 Aerotecture Aeroturbine Example of helical wind turbine Designed for use in urban environment Invented by University of Illinois professor Bill Becker Installed in roof or integrated into architecture of new build Relatively free of noise and vibration Bird-safe Able to take advantage of multi-directional and gusting winds Self regulating (overspeed protection not required) Low maintenance Made from low cost and easily obtained materials

72 Aerotecture Aeroturbine Installed at least 40 feet above ground (wind speeds tend to double every 40 feet) Installed away from trees and other obstructions to wind In area with average winds speeds of 10 mph or more

73 Oregon Wind- Portland company founded by Brad Malsin Helyx HE-100 (Toby Kinkaid, inventor), vertical- axis helical turbine designed for use in urban as well as remote environments Smaller than Aerotecture Aeroturbine H: 42”, W: 17” Produces 160 watts at wind speed of 28 mph Market units expect to be available in 2010 about $2000/unit Manufactured locally using locally sourced scrap and recycled materials Can be coupled with a solar/LED streetlight

74 Oregon Wind New Max South Terminus (SW Market between SW 5th and 6th Ave) will have combined array of solar panels and Helyx HE-100s which will generate about 75% power to operate site ?story_id=123178896162597200

75 Oregon Wind Helyx With solar/LED street light

76 Sunflower Concentrated PV System By Energy Innovations


78 Energy Innovations- Sunflower System Fresnel lens focuses sun’s rays onto PV cells, which are >35% efficient 3 P-V junctions per cell, each sensitive to different wavelength of light Aluminum cooling fins to maintain efficiency and low operating temperature 2-axis tracking system allows lens to follow direction of sun, optimizing concentration capability Low profile design allows maintenance of position in high winds Power optimizing and control system 500 kW building blocks 5 acres required for 1 MW system

79 Startup Makes Cheap Solar Film Cells... With an Inkjet Printer Popular Mechanics March 6, 2008 By Emily Masamitsu html Konarka Technologies making thin flexible solar cells using an inkjet printer

80 Powering the Planet Project Solar Carpet Video Clip With Nate Lewis Solar Water Splitting Model

81 SHArK Outreach Harry Gray’s Powering the Planet with Solar Fuels Lecture at Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium on 2/18/2009- features SHArK demonstration and a call for a “solar army” of students to work on the challenges. Lectures by Nate Lewis- (5/25/05) (11/30/2007)

82 Global Trend- New energy generating facilities starting to favor “micropower” Micropower includes distributed renewables (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, wave, small hydro- <10 MW, etc.) and cogeneration- combined heat and electricity  1/6 world’s total electricity (2006)- more than provided by nuclear power  1/3 of world’s new electricity (2006)  Micropower supplies 1/6 to over 1/2 electricity in many industrialized countries; 53% in Denmark  According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, micropower surpassed nuclear power in electrical generating capacity in 2002

83, E05-04

84 Micropower is common abroad In US, micropower accounts for only 6% of electrical energy generation Micropower development in US limited by regulations/politics Characteristics of distributed micropower sources  Low or no carbon (renewables suited to smaller scale)  Small modular units less risky to build (most financed by private risk capital) with less lead-time and more flexibility  Energy security  Avoids risk of volatile fuel prices  Diversified portfolio of many small distributed units more reliable than a few large plants  Micropower less grid-dependent than central power plants and more resilient to power outages- 98 to 99% power failures originate in grid

85 Cogeneration Even though a significant portion of cogeneration units run on natural gas, less carbon is used secondary to efficiencies gained from cogeneration process; also natural gas produces 30% less CO 2 than oil and 43% less CO 2 than coal (Chemistry in Context, p. 174)  Conventional power plants- 1/3 energy produced as electricity and 2/3 waste heat  Cogeneration recaptures/recycles the waste heat improving efficiencies Cogeneration is under-utilized in the US New cogeneration facilities can take advantage of renewables to further reduce carbon

86 We have a choice? “Drill baby drill” versus distributed renewables and cogeneration with renewables Health analogy: Coronary artery bypass surgery/coronary stents/pills versus lifestyle modification (diet, exercise, de-stress)

87 Summary Portland is a good place to start thinking and acting Carbon Neutral. Micropower is globally on the rise. A large variety of distributed renewable solutions should be pursued which are thoughtfully tailored to the specific location. Given solar’s tremendous potential as an energy resource, solar should play a major role in meeting the terawatt challenge. Let’s get more students, researchers, and others you know finding and creating solutions! Tell others about the Powering the Planet and SHArK projects and what you’ve learned this summer in Professor Wamser’s class!! Thank you.

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