Posts Tagged ‘solar water heating’

The Greenest of Olympics: Where is the Caulking in the Bathrooms?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The promise of the greenest of all Olympics may be fading in the mud of the Olympic Village. As the Opening Ceremonies are just days away, the more immediate concern is the condition of the hotel rooms. When a reporter for the Washington Post starts posting pictures of the sink in her bathroom, you know that you have a PR problem. It’s not that anyone is hoping that the Russians will fail to put on a stellar Olympics. But the reality is sinking in that the 2014 Winter Olympics, despite being the costliest ever, are not ready for prime time. The organizers made special mention (or was it window dressing) that they were using solar hot water heating. According to the press release, the “potential for solar energy” (sounds to me like Soviet speak) has been “successfully applied at the new railway station in Adler, where solar-powered radiators and boilers have been installed, to service buildings, including the water-based heating systems.” Is that all that was promised to make these the greenest of all Olympics? According to the press release, “The use of solar power as a ‘green’ alternative to traditional sources of energy will enable annual savings of up to 30% on heating costs, and will satisfy all of the venue’s requirements as regards hot water.” We will try to look at some of the reports to see how green these Olympics will be.

Solar Has a Long Way to Go in North Carolina

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I just returned from a holiday to North Carolina, barely missing the wrath of Hurricane Bill. My family and I stayed for a week on the Outer Banks—known for its sun and sand in the summer. The Outer Banks boasts good conditions for solar energy, direct sunlight with virtually no obstructions. The solar radiation, also known as insolation, is similar to that in Florida and parts of Texas. So where are all of the solar panels and solar water heating systems? There was barely a trace of any solar energy, except for a few solar lights scattered along the driveways of an occasional house. Despite the apparent good conditions, solar has certainly not made it to North Carolina.