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Posts tagged with “Energy, Sources/Uses” (All posts)
- February 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm
If you've been looking east this morning you may have noticed that Carleton's wind turbine blades haven't been doing much turning. While we'd like it to be cranking out clean power the reason for the temporary shut down is impressive indeed. Northfield, in the midst of an uncharacteristic several day long warm front, has also been experiencing some rather blustery winds, above 40 mph at turbine hub height. These gusts have most likely knocked some sensors off balance.
- January 6, 2009 at 11:00 am
Minnesota's weather often seems to me the creation of a disgruntled, vindictive child. Take, for example, the average wind speeds in the months of December and January. At the time when temperatures begin to really dip, southern Minnesota often experiences some of its highest average wind speeds of the year, so that an otherwise reasonable 5 or 10 degrees F can go to 10 or 15 below in a heartbeat. But while it's bad news for my face, all that wind is great news for wind turbines.
- December 1, 2008 at 2:16 pm
As our college emphasizes the development of new energy sources and pursues means by which we can reduce our own energy consumption, it is important that people educate themselves on what kinds of systems are providing them with energy and utilities in the first place. Carleton offers an excellent opportunity to see very large systems, unfortunately these opportunities are underutilized by students.
- October 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm
Nora Mahlberg reports on another NY Times article looking at different avenues for harnessing the energy produced and stored in the ordinary settings and events around us. This time the energy to harness is being produced by us, while we excersise. Could the REC center power itself? Could this be a student-initiated project funded by the SRF?
- October 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm
Farms in Wisconsin and Vermont are already using cow manure to generate electricity, in some cases enough to power up to 350 homes from one farm. The process not only produces energy but reduces the GHG emissions emitted by the manure by buring methane into CO2. Living in a town that has cows in the moto, this may bear looking into.
- February 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm
Joining an increasingly long list of colleges and universities producing their own renewable energy, Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR has partnered with Honeywell International to install solar panels on the roof of their sports center. The panels are expected to produce approximately 15% of the electricity needed for the sports center. Though we at Shrinking Footprints applaud all institutional initiatives toward sustainability, we’ll also point out that Carleton’s not too far behind: last August, a Northfield, MN family donated a $30,000 photovoltaic solar shingle system to Carleton. As soon as Carleton Facilities has evaluated which campus building has the most solar potential, they will be installing the system.
- February 12, 2008 at 5:08 pm
• Use “Bright Colors” setting to wash loads in cold water.
• Even switching from “Whites” (hot) to “Colors” (warm) will cut your load’s energy use in half.
• Hang dry your laundry.
• Turn off the lights when you leave!
- February 8, 2008 at 10:33 am
As part of its strong commitment to sustainability, Carleton is in the midst of finalizing building plans for two new LEED Gold certified dormitories. The LEED Gold dormitory project will be one of the first in Minnesota and will add more than 200 new beds on campus. LHB, a firm based in the twin-cities, and members of the Carleton community are currently finishing the schematic designs and hoping to select a contractor soon. If all goes well, the dorms will be up and running by fall of 2009.
- February 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm
While the students and faculty at Carleton suffered from cold temperatures and blustery wind chills during the month of January, Carleton's wind turbine had a heyday. Throughout the month, the turbine generated 419,506 kilowatt-hours of electricity, generating the college $20,136.29 in income (since all energy produced is sold to Xcel Energy). However, if the energy generated from the turbine flowed directly to Carleton, it would have provided the campus with 36.4% of its needed electricity (based on 2006 use). Also, by providing renewable energy to the community's power grid, the turbine averted almost 258.44 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
- February 5, 2008 at 9:17 am
Think that you would participate in Green Wars if you didn’t have to constantly unplug and re-plug everything in your dorm room? Props if you already do (keep it up!), but for those less inclined, check out Belkin’s new tool: the Conserve, an eight outlet surge protector equipped with a wireless remote control which allows you to cut all power to unused appliances which still draw “phantom” power, such as televisions and cell phone chargers, with the flick of a button. According to Belkin, phantom power can comprise up to 15% of a household’s utilities, thus allowing for the Conserve (estimated to be $49.99) to pay for itself. (Picture above)
- February 4, 2008 at 11:40 am
There have been large changes with the sustainability program at Carleton, so it’s easy to see how some of the little things can get overlooked. However, one of the little things that the writers of Shrinking Footprints are excited about is the vending miser. The many vending machines—loaded with lights, electronics, and a cooling compressor—that are spread across campus comprise a significant electricity demand for the College. A Tufts University study determined that each of their vending machines drew 3,468 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, with average carbon dioxide emissions of 2.26 tons and a financial cost of $381. Though Carleton’s electricity is cheaper, by installing vending misers we can still halve the College’s energy and carbon expenses. What is a vending miser? The device simply consists of a motion sensor, which activates the lights on the vending machine when an individual passes by, and the “miser,” a box that controls the frequency which the machine’s compressor runs. The installation of misers on the least-frequented vending machines on campus would be instrumental in Carleton’s energy efficiency initiative, a critical component for meeting the goals of the Presidents Climate Commitment and also in the spirit of this month’s Green Wars.
The cost of the vending miser (a princely $165 per unit) is no longer an issue either—check out Carleton’s Sustainability Revolving Fund to learn how the Sustainability Assistants are purchasing the units based on their energy savings.
Also, Carleton has installed a prototype vending miser on only one of its machines. Can you find it?