When I was standing in line recently at a local farmers market in downtown Houston, I was glancing around at this office building and got to wondering "what are those things on on the roof?" So I had to do some research and found the following:
This is the City of Houston's Permitting Center building. It was a 1920's rice warehouse that they rehabbed into a usable modern space. There are awesome features inside, including light shafts for natural lighting, showers for employees that bike to work, and a green bike loaner program that allows employees to borrow bikes for short errands during the work day.
But the neatest part is the roof. The objects on the roof are urban wind turbines (by Honeywell). They are connected to a weather station on the ground that can control them based on weather conditions.
|Honeywell Urban Wind Turbine|
And what you can't see from the ground is that that in addition to the wind turbines, the roof is covered in solar panels. This building is completely self powered and sells energy back to the grid.
|Solar and wind, Houston building, image courtesy of CityofHouston.gov|
It's nice to see city buildings do this, we just wish there were more. We would love to have solar and/or wind at the farm. We have researched options and it might be viable for us, in time. We've actually thought about doing it in parts, perhaps powering the barn and shed with solar first. And maybe a solar panel and battery set up in the garden area. If nothing else immediately, we will choose solar operating lighting for different parts of the property.
As for wind, not sure how to incorporate that but we're looking at options.
It's a beautiful weekend here, cold (30's/40's) but sunny and clear. We are sending warm wishes (and stay safe) to those in the NE United States who are enduring the wrath of Winter Storm Jonas...