Do It Yourself Solar Energy

USA Unplugged Home Energy Solution

USA Unplugged gets credited to Richard, who researched how to reduce the growing usage of the power in the homes. The product goes in more in-depth details to depict how the energy would get generated in the home without necessarily involving the power companies. You only need to have a solar panel, and you will be able to generate energy in the apartments. Also, the product comes with the step by step guidelines on how to make turbines and how you can increase the power grid in the house. The product has a couple of benefits once you have purchased the product, which includes a maximum guarantee from the owner, which stretch to about sixty days after the day of the purchase. In addition to that, the product comes with a clear step by steps on how you can use the product, which makes the product easy to use. Ensure you purchase the product today, and you will enjoy all the services under one cover. Read more here...

USA Unplugged Home Energy Solution Summary


4.7 stars out of 12 votes

Contents: Ebooks, Videos
Author: Richard
Official Website:
Price: $74.00

Access Now

USA Unplugged Home Energy Solution

Highly Recommended

Recently several visitors of websites have asked me about this ebook, which is being promoted quite widely across the Internet. So I ordered a copy myself to figure out what all the publicity was about.

This ebook served its purpose to the maximum level. I am glad that I purchased it. If you are interested in this field, this is a must have.

Read full review...

Solar Energy and Information

According to the second law of thermodynamics, closed systems ultimately reach the state of maximum entropy. The apparent high degree of orderliness of ecological systems and the persistence of this orderliness through time indicates that there is a continuous external input of order (information) into ecological systems. The source of this information is the solar energy, the primary source of energy for life on Earth. Both solar radiation and thermal radiation of Earth consist of particles - photons. Mean energy of one photon is proportional to absolute temperature measured in degrees kelvin. Absolute temperature of Sun is about T 6000 K. Absolute global mean surface temperature of Earth is about TE 288 K (i.e., about 15 C). Mean energy of one solar photon is about Ts Te 6000 288 20 times larger than the mean energy Table 1 Solar power and some routes of its dissipation on Earth Power source sink 1012 W Relative to the solar power Table 1 Solar power and some routes of its...

Schrodinger entropy and free energy

In his book Schrodinger (1948, p. 71) famously described the process by which an organism survives as continually drawing negative entropy from the environment. In fact on thermodynamical considerations this is not strictly true, as pointed out by Franz Simon soon after the book was first published. In the 1948 edition of his book Schrodinger added a note to this effect, admitting that it might be better to consider organisms as drawing on free energy rather than negative entropy. These niceties of thermodynamic theory are not crucial for the concerns of this book. However, what Schrodinger was describing in thermodynamic terms is an important concept in ecology namely that to survive all organisms must acquire energy from their environment and in so doing produce waste products which they release back into their surroundings. Indeed this is so fundamental that it could be considered the basic concept of ecology. Schrodinger, entropy, and free energy 19 To a (very) naive physicist,...

The sequence of organic matter oxidation

The sequence of biological organic matter oxidation (e.g., Schlesinger, 1997) takes place in the following order by oxygen, by nitrate, by manganese dioxide, by iron (III), by soleplate, and by carbon dioxide. This means that oxygen, if present, will always outcompete nitrate which will outcompete manganese dioxide, and so on. The amount of exergy stored as a result of an oxidation process is measured by the available kJ mole of electrons which determines the number of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules formed. ATP represents exergy storage of 42kJ mole. Usable energy as exergy in ATPs decreases in the same sequence as indicated above. This is as expected if the exergy-storage hypothesis (ELT) were valid (Table 1.2). If more oxidizing agents are offered to a system, the one giving the highest storage of free energy will be selected.

Structurally dynamic modelling

A number of such models, mainly of aquatic systems (J0rgensen, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992a,b J0rgensen and Padisak, 1996 Coffaro et al., 1997 J0rgensen and de Bernardi, 1997, 1998), but also as population dynamic models (J0rgensen, 2002) and terrestrial systems (J0rgensen and Fath, 2004), have been investigated to see how structural changes are reflected in free-energy changes. The technicalities of parameter fitting aside, this overall result means that the system structure must change if its eco-exergy storage is to be continually maximized. Changes in parameters, and thus system structure, not only reflect changes in external boundary conditions, but also mean that such changes are necessary for the ongoing maximization of exergy. For all models investigated along these lines, the changes obtained were in accordance with actual observations (see references). These studies therefore affirm, in a general way, that systems adapt structurally to maximize their content of...

Coda 2 The Evolution Of Biomass And The Amount Of Energy Captured By The Ecosystems

We do not know the development of the biomass and the ability of ecosystems to capture solar energy. Let us very tentative assume that ponds represent a typical ecosystem 525 million years ago. In that case, the amount of solar energy captured should correspond to about 6000 g detritus m2 yr (see Chapter 12), which means 112,200 kJ m2yr. The lagoon may correspond to the typical ecosystems 450 million years ago. It means that the solar radiation captured would correspond to 900 g detritus m2 yr or 168,300kJ m2yr. Let us of course, again very tentative presume that the typical ecosystems 330 million years ago could, with respect to the amount of solar energy it could capture, correspond to a coral reef or 27 g detritus m2 yr or 504,900 kJ m2 yr. Finally, we can be more certain if we presume that the typical ecosystem 35 million years ago would correspond to a typical rain forest today. It is able to capture 70 of the incoming solar radiation (see Table 1.5, Section 1.11). The solar...

Le Chateliers Principle

Energy + nutrients molecules with more free energy (exergy) and organization + dissipated energy. According to Le Chatelier's Principle, if energy is put into a reaction system at equilibrium, the system will shift its equilibrium composition in a way to counteract the change. This means that more molecules with more free energy and organization will be formed. If more pathways are offered, those giving the most relief from the disturbance (displacement from equilibrium) by using the most energy, and forming the most molecules with the most free energy, will be the ones followed in restoring equilibrium.

Formation Of Polymer Organic Molecules

The fuel of ecosystems is organic matter, detritus. It is therefore relevant to calculate the free energy of dead organic matter, consisting of poly-organic molecules. The chemical potential of dead organic matter, indexed i 1, can be expressed from classical thermodynamics (e.g., Russel and Adebiyi, 1993) as where mi is the chemical potential. The difference mi - is known for detritus organic matter, which is a mixture of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Approximately 18.7 kJ g may be applied for the free energy content of average detritus. Obviously, the value is higher (22-24 kJ g) for detritus originated from birds, as they in average contain more fat. Coal has a free energy content of about 30 kJ g and mineral oil of 42 kJ g. Both coal and mineral oil are a concentrated form of detritus from previous periods of the Earth. c1 is the concentration of the detritus in the considered ecosystem and c1o is the concentration of detritus in the same ecosystem but at thermodynamic...

Towards A Consistent Ecosystem Theory

A few very competent ecologists have expressed preference for a formulation where the flow of exergy is replaced by a flow of free energy, which of course is fully acceptable and makes the formulation closer to classic thermodynamics. However, eco-exergy can hardly be replaced by free energy because it is a free energy difference between the system and the same system at thermodynamic equilibrium. The reference state is therefore different from ecosystem to ecosystem, which is considered in the definition of eco-exergy. In addition, free energy is not a state function far from thermodynamic equilibrium just consider the immediate loss of eco-exergy when an organism dies. Before death the organism has high eco-exergy because it can utilize the enormous information that is embodied in the amino acid sequence of the enzymes, which are controlling the life processes. At death the organism looses immediately the ability to use this information, which therefore becomes worthless. The role...

Biomass packing

The general relationship between animal body weight, W, and population density, D, is D A W, where A is a constant (Peters, 1983). Highest packing of biomass depends only on the aggregate mass, not on the size of individual organisms. This means that it is biomass rather than population size that is maximized in an ecosystem, as density (number per unit area) is inversely proportional to the weight of the organisms. Of course, the relationship is complex. A given mass of mice would not contain the same exergy or number of individuals as an equivalent weight of elephants. Also, genome differences (Example 1) and other factors would figure in. Later, we will discuss exergy dissipation as an alternative objective function proposed for thermodynamic systems. If this were maximized rather than storage, then biomass packing would follow the relationship D A W0 65-0 75 (Peters, 1983). As this is not the case, biomass packing and the free energy associated with this lend general support for...


If a resource (for instance, a limiting nutrient for plant growth) is abundant, it will typically recycle faster. This is a little strange, because recycling is not needed when a resource is non-limiting. A modelling study (J0rgensen and de Bernardi, 1997) indicates that free-energy storage increases when an abundant resource recycles faster. The result is shown in Figure 1.3. The ratio, R, of nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) cycling which gives the highest exergy is plotted in a logarithmic scale versus log(N P). The plot in Figure 1.3 is also consistent with empirical results (Vollenweider, 1975). Of course, one cannot inductively test'' anything with a model, but the indications and correspondence with the data do tend to support in a general way the exergy-storage hypothesis. The cycling ratio giving the highest ascendency is also correlated similarly to the N P ratio (personal communication with R. Ulanowicz). In the light of the close relationship between exergy and ascendency,...

The Prokaryote Cells

The development corresponding to these three points has probably taken in the order of 100-200 million years. The oldest fossils of cells are about 3.8 billion years old and were found on Greenland (Haugaard Nielsen, 1999). The minimal cell has (see Table 1.1 and the comments to the minimal cell, Chapter 1) a fi-value of about 5.0. The exergy density is now as high as 18.7 x 4.88 91 kJ g. The free energy flow density of synthesizing organic polymer in primitive cells (Geigy, 1990) is in the order of 0.02 J s kg. The eco-exergy flow density becomes therefore as it includes the accumulation of information 5 x 0.02 0.1 J s kg. It is of course higher than for the Earth in average, as the microorganisms represent an intensive energy flow.

What Is Exergy

Exergy is defined as the amount of work ( entropy-free energy) a system can perform when it is brought into thermodynamic equilibrium with its environment (J0rgensen et al., 1999). Figure 1.1 illustrates the definition. The considered system is characterized by the extensive state variables S, U, V, N1, N2, N3 , where S is the entropy, U is the energy, V is the volume and Ni, N2, N3 are moles of various system is coupled to a reservoir, a reference state, by a shaft. The system and the reservoir are forming a closed system. The reservoir (the environment) is characterized by the intensive state variables To, po, c1o, c2o, c3o and as the system is small compared with the reservoir, the intensive state variables of the reservoir will not be changed by interactions between the system and the reservoir. The system develops towards thermodynamic equilibrium with the reservoir and is simultaneously able to release entropy-free energy to the reservoir. During this process the volume of the...

Leaf size

Givnish and Vermelj (1976) observed that leaves optimize their size (thus mass) for the conditions. This may be interpreted as meaning that they maximize their free-energy content. The larger the leaves the higher their respiration and evapo-transpiration, but the more solar radiation they can capture. Deciduous forests in moist climates have a

Biological and medical physics biomedical engineering

Books in the series emphasize established and emergent areas of science including molecular, membrane, and mathematical biophysics photosynthetic energy harvesting and conversion information processing physical principles of genetics sensory communications automata networks, neural networks, and cellular automata. Equally important will be coverage of applied aspects of biological and medical physics and biomedical engineering such as molecular electronic components and devices, biosensors, medicine, imaging, physical principles of renewable energy production, advanced prostheses, and environmental control and engineering. Michael Seibert, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, USA

The Status of Rivers Today

There can be little doubt that most streams and rivers will continue to face a daunting array of threats. Foremost is the increase in human population in all of its manifestations urban areas with impervious surfaces and piping, housing sprawl into farmland and increasingly remote areas, and the intensification of agriculture. Often summed up as changing urban and agricultural land use, these trends result in altered supplies of water and sediments and increasing concentrations of nutrients and contaminants. Immediate consequences include habitat fragmentation and degradation, sedimentation, the enrichment of some systems, and the poisoning of others. Tolerant species multiply and spread, and sensitive species decline. Coupled with the invasion of nonnative species, some of which are very adaptable and thrive in disturbed conditions, the stream biota undergoes simplification and homogenization. Dam construction may actually be on the wane globally, due in part to the recognition of...

Metabolism In The Social Sciences Metabolism in Social Theory

Nobel Prize-winning chemist Wilhelm Ostwald argued that minimizing the loss of free energy is the objective of every cultural development. Thus one may deduce that the more efficient the transformation from crude energy into useful energy, the greater a society's progress (Ostwald 1909). For Ostwald the increase of energy conversion efficiency has the characteristics of a natural law affecting every living organism and every society. He stressed that each society has to be aware of the 'energetic imperative Energetische Imperativ ' 'Don't waste energy, use it' (Ostwald 1912, p.85). Ostwald was one of the few scientists of his time who was sensitive to the limitations of fossil resources. According to him, a durable (sustainable) economy must use solar energy exclusively. This work provided Max Weber (1909) with the opportunity for an extensive discussion. Weber reacted in quite a contradictory manner. On the one hand he dismissed Ostwald's approach as 'grotesque' (Weber 1909, p.401)...

Reduction Of Pollution In The Production Of Materials

In addition, the following are important. Substitution to non-fossil energy sources for extraction of raw materials and production processes. The possibilities of using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower and biomass should be investigated, and priority given to manufacturing processes and materials which put these principles into practice.

Hey Joe Where You Goin with That Green Gadget in Your Hand

Or, do you mean the black, solar-powered Iqua SUN Bluetooth headset, stuck in my ear, that charged itself in the morning sunlight as I walked my dog, Nick, on the beach and answered a call from my mom They can be recharged (or can recharge other gadgets) from sources other than electricity, such as by absorbing sunlight with solar panels or by winding a crank to generate power.

Process Energy Efficiency

Renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind, and water offer electricity for the cost of the generating equipment. Surplus electricity can often be sold back to the utilities to offset electrical demand. A decrease in the demand for electricity resulting from the use of renewable resources increases the environmental quality.

Autotrophs and Global Change

The single greatest factor determining the future of autotrophy will be the demand humans place upon the primary production of the planet. In the early 1990s, humans were estimated to consume 40 of the global primary productivity, either directly through food and fiber consumption, or indirectly by diverting land and water to our purposes. Today, the fraction of global NPP consumed by humans is probably well over 50 . With continued growth of the population and economic activity, the demand for NPP will further increase. The diversion of NPP to humanity is likely the single greatest threat to the future ecology of the planet, for without the energy and biomass provided by primary production, an ecosystem cannot function, and wild species cannot persist. In order to prevent humans from monopolizing NPP flow, a major challenge for future ecologists will be to convince the public to ensure NPP is set aside for natural organisms. Natural species are vital to the biosphere because they use...

Processes Underpinning Primary Productivity Of Coral Reefs

Energy from the geothermal sources of reduced compounds such as sulfide stand apart from the overwhelming majority of organisms that are dependent ultimately on solar energy trapped by photosynthetic organisms. The myriad of photosynthetic organisms on coral reefs provide the basis for the vigorous energy and nutrient cycles that typify coral reefs.

Transpiration and Evaporation

Transpiration (water that passes through vascular plants to the atmosphere) is an important parameter in wetland plant studies because it represents the interaction between a wetland's hydrologic regime and its vegetation. Transpiration is the only component of the water budget that is dependent entirely upon plants. Estimates of transpiration are often combined with evaporation (water that vaporizes directly from the water or soil) this measure is known as evapotranspiration (ET). When water supplies are not limiting, meteorological factors tend to control rates of ET. The rate of evapotranspiration is affected by solar radiation, wind speed and turbulence, available soil moisture, and relative humidity. Rates vary with the difference in vapor pressure at the water surface or leaf surface and the vapor pressure of the atmosphere. As the vapor pressure of the water or leaf surface increases relative to the atmosphere (due to solar energy or increases in temperature, for example), ET...

Is the standard Gibbs freeenergy change for the reaction

If one starts with a mixture of A and B, they would begin to convert to C and D because if the latter have a low enough concentration, their Gibbs free energy will be less than that of the reactants. As the reaction proceeds, the combined Gibbs free energy of A and B will decrease, and the contribution from C and D will increase. Eventually, a point is reached where any change in the Gibbs free energy of the products exactly balances changes in the Gibbs free energy of the reactants. Any further reaction would cause an increase in the total Gibbs free energy. The total Gibbs free energy is then at a minimum, and if the reaction proceeded infinitesimally, the change in Gibbs free energy given by equation (5.6) would be zero. Thus, substituting equilibrium concentrations into (5.6) and setting AG

How Is an Ecosystem Structured and Sustained

An ecosystem is basically a conceptualization of a natural economy involving a chain of consumption and transformation into production of energy and nutrients. In this economy (Figure 3.1a), plants (primary producers) consume raw materials (solar energy, nutrients, CO2) and produce edible tissue herbivores (primary consumers) eat plants to produce herbivore tissue (secondary production). Herbivore production, in turn, is consumed by predators (secondary consumers) leading to tertiary production. Ecologists refer to such consumer-producer interactions as trophic interactions. Agents engaging in a particular kind of trophic interaction belong to the same trophic level of the food chain. So, for example, agents engaging in herbivory belong to the herbivore trophic level, agents preying on herbivores belong to the carnivore trophic level, and so on.

Ecological Services Biodiversity and Restoration of Mine Areas

The term 'ecological services' refers to ecosystem pro cesses that are beneficial to human society. The older term 'ecosystem functions' refers to the same processes, but does not emphasize their benefits to humans. These benefits can be direct, for example, food production or water quality improvement by wetlands, or they can be indirect, such as degradation of leaf litter and subsequent mineralization and recycling of plant nutrients for continued growth of vegetation. The advantage of refer ring to such processes as ecological services is that a monetary value can be determined and compared with human made technologies that are supposed to do the same. This puts the benefits of intact ecosystems into a perspective that can be quantified, and easily understood by the general public. For example, what would it cost to turn solar energy into food through human made tech nologies rather than the natural process of growing crops

The Distribution of Primary Production in Different Ecosystems

The rate of organic production, or primary productivity, of the world's solar-powered natural systems has been attempted to be estimated many times throughout the history. The pioneer agricultural chemist and plant nutritionist Baron Justus von Liebig, in 1862, based an estimate of the dry matter production of the global land area on a single sample of a green meadow. Interesting enough, Liebig's estimate of approximately 1011 metric tons yr-1 is very close to Lieth and Whittaker's estimate of 118 x 109 tyr-1 for continental areas. In 1944 Gordon Riley overestimated ocean productivity, by basing his estimate on measurements in fertile inshore waters. Not until the 1960s, after the introduction of the carbon-14 measurement technique, was the low productivity of most of the open ocean recognized. Because the oceans cover about 2.5 times the area of the land on Earth, it was natural to assume, as Riley did, that marine ecosystems fixed more total solar energy than did terrestrial systems.

Use Of Thermals And Other Updrafts

Thermal formation ultimately depends on heat from the sun, which is greater at mid-lower latitudes and passes through the atmosphere to heat the ground. The input of solar energy depends on whether the surface absorbs or reflects heat, and because the ground surface varies, heating is uneven. Undulating surfaces are more conducive to thermal formation than flat ones land is more conducive than water, and bare earth is more conducive than snow and ice. Rock and dry sand heat more rapidly than damp soil. The bottom layer of air is heated locally by contact with the warm ground. This heated air then expands, reaching lower density than surrounding air, so rises as a thermal. Replacement air is sucked in at the base of the thermal, which in turn warms and rises, causing surrounding air to sink. As the ground heats through the day, thermals grow higher and faster. Condensation starts at a height which is determined by the temperature and water vapour content of the air, and gives rise to a...

A4 Energetic Factors Solar Radiation

The most important factor driving the evolution of the ecosystem is the energy flow and the main source of energy for ecosystems is solar energy. For this reason, modelling solar radiation is of great importance because it is the principal forcing function for models of heat budget, photosynthesis, primary productivity and photolysis. Solar energy reaching the earth's surface depends on the day, the hour and the latitude of the place because of the earth's rotation on its axis and around the sun. Table 3.2 shows the energy entering the troposphere with different wavelengths and its fate. As we can simply understand from the table, only 46 of the energy entering the troposphere reaches the earth's surface and the major part of this energy has wavelengths in the ranges ultraviolet and visible. After utilization by ecological systems, an equal quantity of energy leaves the planet. Unfortunately, during the last century, human activities have increased the concentration of CO and other...

Second and Third Law of Thermodynamics in open systems

Only living systems are never in equilibrium and permanently performing work at the expense of its free energy against the equilibrium required by laws of physics and chemistry under current external conditions. .A source of the work done by living systems is at the final account free energy peculiar to this molecular structure, to this state of molecules. .This non-equilibrium state, this deformed molecular structure. is maintained or permanently restored at the expense of the energy of continuous processes of equalisation which is flowing past within a living matter.

Thermodynamic And Other Constraints

Recently the WAR algorithm was added to the ASPEN simulator to allow consideration of the eight environmental impacts shown in Table 11.3. This was easily done, since chemical simulators keep track of mass balance and emissions information required for calculation of these indices. Similarly, the unified indicator based on exergy proposed by Ayres (1995b) is readily computed using process simulation technology, since most commercial simulators have a unit operation block based on the 'concept of Gibbs free energy minimization'.

Effect of Temperature

Where AGd, AHd, and ASd are Gibbs free energy, enthalpy, and entropy of deactivation, respectively. For example, the enthalpy and entropy of dissociation for trypsin are 68 kcal mol and 213 cal mol K, respectively, and the Gibbs free energy for the reaction is 1.97 kcal mol. With this and a similar relationship for the rate constant, k, in equation (5.36) the following expression for maximum rate in the Michaelis-Menten equation can be derived

The importance of waste

As such, there is still potentially free energy available in the waste products of organisms as illustrated by the smaller font size used for the energy in waste products in this schematic representation. These waste products can potentially have important effects on other species, as illustrated by the problems caused by 'pollution' that is, human waste products.

The Regional Design Process

The ecological biomes of the planet are well adapted to large variations in renewable energy and materials, all powered by sustainable energies. The ecological biomes of the planet are well adapted to large variations in renewable energy and materials, all powered by sustainable energies.

Thermodynamics and Conservation of Mass and Energy

Energy inputs, driven by solar radiation, are required to maintain structure and function in the face of the physical tendency toward disorder (the increase of entropy). Traditionally engineered systems use human and hydrocarbon-based energy to maintain order (keep the system intact and functioning). Ecosystems use photosynthesis, driven by solar energy, as their energy source. Biological energy flow can be measured by rates of production (biomass accumulation) and respiration (energy used for production). Physical energy flow can be measured by the mobilization, transport, and deposition of organic and inorganic materials by the kinetic and potential energy of fluids or solids such as water, wind, and sediment. Both biological energy and physical energy are constrained by conservation of mass and energy laws. Ecology as the interaction of biotic and abiotic processes looks at the interactions of both types of energy. Some energy is lost at each transformation so while total entropy...

Natural Selection and Evolution Selforganization

This ability of self-organization is taken advantage of by ecological engineers. Ecological engineering designs work with nature and allow nature to do some of the 'engineering' that is, rather than fully proscribing only one satisfactory end result, the ecological engineered design recognizes that more than one final state may meet the functional requirements of the design. Engineering designs that ignore the self-organization properties of ecosystems require continued inputs of human-based energy and dollars (to buy materials and energy) to keep the system in the designed state (the desired, predicted outcome). Allowing nature to finalize the outcome of the design uses solar energy to organize the system and ensures some flexibility in the face of changing conditions.

The Ratio of Eco Exergy to Emergy Flow

Emergy (and empower) is a donor-referenced concept rather than a receiver-referenced one. It is therefore necessary to compare it (or better its 'flow', empower) to a function of the state of the system that considers the information in the system, including the difference in size and quality of the components. Eco-exergy is a perfect candidate for this task. The eco-exergy to empower ratio is a holistic indicator that presents the state of the system (as eco-exergy) per unit input (as emergy). Therefore, the eco-exergy empower ratio can be regarded as the efficiency of an ecosystem, even though it is not dimensionless, as efficiency usually is, since it has the dimension of time. Svirezhev has found this fact normal, since this concept resembles that of a 'relaxation' time, that is, the time necessary to recover from disturbances, so the eco-exergy to empower ratio should be related with concepts such as resilience and resistance of an ecosystem. This parameter indicates the quantity...

Accounting for Natural Capital Ecological Limits and Sustainable Scale

The debate has gone on for several decades now. It began with Barnett and Morse's Scarcity and Growth in 1963, but really got into high gear only with the publication of The Limits to Growth by Meadows et al. in 1972 and the Arab oil embargo in 1973. Several thousand studies over the last 15 years have considered aspects of our energy and resource future, and different points of view have waxed and waned. But the bottom line is that there is still considerable uncertainty about the impacts of energy and resource constraints. In the next 20-30 years, we may begin to hit real fossil fuel supply limits. Will fusion energy or solar energy or conservation or some as yet unthought of energy source step in to save the day and keep economies growing The technological optimists say 'yes' and the technological skeptics say 'maybe' but let us not count on it. Ultimately, no one knows.

Efficiency Yield and Stability

Most of the solar energy impinging on green plants dissipates as heat. The rest drives the photosynthetic process, converting light energy to chemical energy in organic molecules. The photosynthetic organisms usually use most of the sugars and carbohydrates that they produce for growth, reproduction, and repair.

Soil texture and moisture

Most plant-parasitic nematodes require thin moisture films for movement, lack the strength to dislodge soil particles and easily become trapped in water films (Wallace, 1959c). Consequently, their movement is markedly influenced by the porosity and moisture of soil. Most of what we know about the influence of soil texture and moisture on nematode movement came from the classical experiments of Wallace (1958a,b,c, 1959a,b,c, 1960, 1968a). These experiments are best understood in the context of a major advance in plant physiology that resulted in the 1950s from the realization that water movement through plants and soil could be explained best in terms of the Gibbs free energy of water (the water potential) at the leaf-air interface, within leaf cells, in roots and in the soil (Milburn, 1979 Papendick and Campbell, 1981 Kramer, 1983). The water status of plants was found to be directly affected not by the quantity of water in soil, but rather by the energy required to extract water, due...

Principles for Sustainable Communities

The ecological model, when applied to urban and community design, guides the form of the urban pattern. The elements of that pattern will help to maximize the use of existing resident renewable energy and resources. All of the designed components act as linkages, collectors, and concentrators of local resources and energies. Sustainable urban and community design connects these natural elements so that the community works together as an organism, creating interdependent patterns that sustain each other.

Ecosystem Components and Properties

Typically, ecologists quantifying ecosystem dynamics use carbon as their currency to describe material flow and energy to quantify energy flux. Material flow and energy flow differ in one important property, namely their ability to be recycled. Chemical materials within an ecosystem are recycled through an ecosystem's component. In contrast, energy moves through an ecosystem only once and is not recycled (Figure 3). Most energy is transformed to heat and ultimately lost from the system. Consequently, the continual input of new solar energy is what keeps an ecosystem operational. Solar energy is transformed into chemical energy by primary producers via photosynthesis, the process of converting inorganic carbon (CO2) from the air into organic carbon (C6H12O2) in the form of carbohydrates. Gross primary production is the energy or carbon fixed via photosynthesis over a specific period of time, while net primary production is the energy or carbon fixed in

The problem of biodiversity

Consider these data from a 15 X 15 cm quadrat I recorded at an altitude of 1,890 m in the Dolomites (northern Italy). Within this very small area of ground in a coniferous forest I found mosses, sedges, grasses, and broad-leaved plants from three different families (Asteraceae, Ranunculaceae, and Ericaceae) along with a small pine seedling. With the exception of the seedling this quadrat was quite typical of the forest floor at this location. However, green plants can be considered as just ways for life to access solar energy, so why does it take so many different types of 'solar panels' to do this job on 225 cm2 of ground in a forest on an Italian mountainside An even smaller scale example comes from the bark and wood chip mulch used on some of the soils on the science campus of my University in Liverpool. Using a microscope I counted 100 individual testate amoebae (Fig. 4.1) from a small sample of this mulch and found they belonged to at least 14 species from 10 different genera...

Emergy Energy and Quality

Emergy, defined as the energy of one form (usually solar energy) required through all processes and transformations to make a product or flow, provides a numeric framework for comparison of different forms of energy and materials, providing a measure ofquality in directly comparable units (solar emjoules, or sej). Emergy is often referred to as energy memory, reflecting that this system synthesis approach is effectively a form of accounting that traces energy flow and dissipation back through all necessary transformations to scale all flows relative to a common energy benchmark (solar equivalent energy). Emergy synthesis allows comparison of energy flows of different form (the term 'emergy synthesis' instead of 'emergy analysis' is used since synthesis is the act of combining elements into coherent wholes while analysis dissects and breaks apart systems to build understanding from the pieces upward emergy synthesis strives for understanding by grasping the wholeness of systems)....

Emergy of the Geobiosphere The Basis for Computing UEVs

Annual budget of mergy supporting the geobiosphere. The annual budget of emergy flow (empower) supporting the geobiosphere including the atmosphere, ocean, and Earth crust includes three sources of energy solar energy, tidal energy, and heat energy from the deep Earth (Figure 4). When evaluated in solar emergy, these contributions to the geobiosphere total about 15.83E24sej yr- (Table 1).

Modeling Future Resource Demands

Even if it is difficult to forecast long-term resource demands by developing economies, we know for certain that Chinese crude steel production grew over the last decade from 100-500 million tons (Figure 6.1). No equivalent growth pattern has been observed in any region of the world at any time in the past. This example demonstrates that growth of population and affluence in developing economies combine to increase the demand for mineral resources signifi cantly. Technological innovation will be a signifi cant driving force in determining future demand for some specific metals. In particular, the possible side effects of increasing demand for metals involved in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies should be noted.

Efficiency of Vegetation

Efficiency of solar energy utilization by vegetation can be defined as the ratio of enthalpy, contained in the NPP, to the solar radiation, reaching to the Earth's surface and integrated over the vegetation period. The corresponding values for continents and for land overall are shown in Table 1. One square meter of the terrestrial vegetation on average utilizes in the course of 1 year about 17 million joules of solar energy, but this gigantic number constitutes only 0.37 of the total solar energy that comes into the Earth's surface. If we look at a global pattern of pathways on which the solar energy stored in biomass is flowing within the gigantic (and unique) ecosystem (often associated with the biosphere), we see the network entangling the Globe. It is named a 'trophic network or a food web', and as a rule subdivided on local networks. The trophic network is described by an oriented graph with vertices corresponding to species that constitute the ecosystem, and links indicating...

Diversity of the biosphere

Life on Earth is represented by a huge number of diverse forms, and it is necessary to maintain all this diversity. This is one of the main thermodynamic roles of solar energy. Otherwise, from the point of view of classic thermodynamics, the film of life would have to be homogenous, and, moreover, life would not have occurred at all. Nevertheless, life exists and its diversity is very high. In order to resolve this contradiction we suggest a simple thermodynamic model (see also Svirezhev and Svirejeva-Hopkins, 1997).

Donald G Rogich and Grecia R Matos

Movements and transformations, material flows, in the environment are continuous. These can be driven by solar energy and geologic processes, or by living organisms which are part of the natural environment. They can also be the result of human activity. All movements and transformations cause change, and these changes may or may not be compatible with sustaining the environmental conditions that exist. Where changes in one part of an ecosystem are useful to, or reversed by, another component of the same system, the system will remain in balance because the cycle of change is closed. With the exception of energy from the sun, natural systems have closed cycles, things that die and decay, the outputs from one part of the system, produce the nutrients for other living things, which in turn provide the basis for new growth. In contrast, the majority of the outputs from industrial activities have no utility to any other part of the environment, they are wastes, and the cycle of change is...

The use of relational systems theory in chemistry and biology past present and future

What were some of the conceptual changes that resulted from the non-equilibrium formalism First and foremost, the entire set of rich conclusions about the nature of coupled systems and the appropriateness of this model for understanding how life was a direct result of the requirements imposed by the second law of thermodynamics. The highly interactive nature of living systems arises because of circumstances that require a response to a steady input of solar energy. The way the system responded to this energy throughput was by organizing better and better ways to keep this energy from becoming accumulated heat. Through coupled processes, the heat flow was channeled through biomass and a cooling effect was achieved which was part of the stabilization of the atmosphere. That atmosphere in turn provided a milieu that could sustain life.

Recommended Literature

The thermal relations of plants deal with the balance of radiation energy. Only slightly more than 1 of the incident solar energy is used for photosynthetic metabolism. The remainder of the energy (about 700-1000 Wm-2 at full sun light near the ground) has to be released again because the plant is fixed at the site and absorbs short-wave radiation dependent on its albedo (reflectivity). The energy balance can only be regulated by release of heat to the surrounding air (sensible heat) or by evaporation of water (latent heat). The flow of heat into the soil is too slow to regulate the thermal balance in a leaf or plant organ, with rapidly changing incident radiation. The temperature of organs (particu

The Atmosphere as Habitat

The thermal balance of plants is closely connected to the chemical composition of and the physical transport processes in the atmosphere, which are part of the discipline of meteorology (textbooks Lutgens and Tarbuck 2000 Wallace and Hobbs 1977). Variations in solar energy balance are responsible for the climatic conditions in the boundary layer near the ground, compared to the free atmosphere. Gregor Kraus (1911) was the first scientist to describe this phenomenon quantitatively on limestone sites near Wurzburg, Germany, and thus founded a new discipline of micrometeorology (textbook Jones 1994).

Formulation of a Thermodynamic Hypothesis for Ecosystems

If an (open, nonequilibrium) ecosystem receives a boundary flow of energy from its environment, it will use what it can of this energy, the free-energy or the exergy content, to do work. The work will generate internal flows, leading to storage and cycling of matter, energy, and information, which move the system further from equilibrium. Self-organizing processes get started. This is reflected in decreased internal entropy and increased internal organization.

Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture

In many places as integrated units with seaweeds and mollusk culture. In these IMTA systems, the extractive components (seaweed and mollusks) extract their nutrients from the effluents of the fed components (fish or shrimp). Solar energy drives the productivity of these IMTA systems. This approach, besides being a form of balanced ecosystem management, prevents potential environmental impacts from fed aquaculture. It also provides exciting new opportunities for valuable crops of seaweeds. The seaweed IMTA component may include species of Porphyra, Laminaria, Undaria, and Gracilaria.

Geographical Expansion

Geographical expansion of monocultures is still possible in some areas of the world, but for how long. In other areas, site access and availability are already limited and public resistance is growing against further expansion of the current aquaculture model. Moving from sheltered nearshore sites to exposed nearshore sites and offshore sites is being contemplated, but technical and economic challenges remain, especially in regions where the coastal zone is already highly used by many stakeholders with different and competing needs. Real offshore develop ment, proposed by some as the next frontier for development in aquaculture, is not necessarily the appro priate solution for all regions. Moreover, present designs for offshore farms are almost entirely for the development of fed monoculture of 'high valued' fish and rarely consider the association with extractive aquaculture operations and their specific requirements. For example, seaweed aquaculture needs infrastructures near the...

More ecological explanations

One of the first ecological ideas that many readers of this book will have come across at high school is that of the simple food chain. Green plants fix solar energy and then are eaten by a herbivore that is later consumed by a carnivore, and some of the energy is passed up the food chain so in one sense, lions can be described as solar-powered animals. This simple idea suggests that it might be useful to ask questions about the amount of light available for photosynthesis in the tropics compared to higher latitudes after all, holiday brochures suggest that you should go to tropical beaches if you want lots of sunshine. Initially, this does not appear to be a very promising idea as everywhere on Earth gets the same amount of light half a year's worth. This is because while higher latitudes have long winter nights, they make up for it with long summer days. However, the Earth is roughly spherical which means that a fixed amount of incoming solar energy is spread over a greater amount...

Essential biochemistry of photosynthesis

It has been stated or implied several times already that the paramount requirement of photoau-totrophic plankton to prolong residence in, or gain frequent access to, the upper, illuminated layers of the pelagic is consequential upon the requirement for light. The need to capture solar energy in order to drive photosynthetic carbon fixation and anabolic growth is no different from that experienced by any other chlorophyll-containing photoautotroph inhabiting the surface of the Earth. Indeed, the mechanisms and ultrastructural provisions for bringing this about constitutes one of the most universally conserved processes amongst all photoautotrophic organisms. On the other hand, to achieve, within the bounds of an effectively opaque and fluid environment, a net excess of energy harvested over the energy consumed in metabolism requires certain features of photosynthetic production that are peculiar to the plankton. Thus, our approach should be to rehearse the fundamental requirements and...

The role of withinyear climatic stability

As well as having more solar energy per unit area, the tropics also have this energy distributed relatively evenly across the year so avoiding the cold winters of higher latitudes. The reason why this may be relevant to our question of 'Why are the tropics so diverse' can be seen by considering birds. Many high-latitude countries, such as Canada and Britain, have bird species that feed exclusively on insects during the summer, a good example being the Barn Swallow. This species feeds almost exclusively on invertebrates it catches while in flight such food is effectively unavailable during the northern winter and the swallows migrate south to areas where this food is still plentiful.81 So while higher-latitude sites can have a high biomass of insects in the summer (indeed there can be a greater insect biomass than in many tropical forests), they are unavailable as food for much of the year, thus restricting the diversity of specialist insectivores.82 There is a similar situation with...

Evolution of Systems and Emergence of Orientors and Goal Functions

The dissipative structures of the global ecosystem are constructed and maintained by a finite rate of exergy input (mostly solar energy) and a finite stock of materials. The global ecosystem is therefore forced to recycle all of its essential material resources. The development of local ecosystems is constrained by the local rate of exergy flux (solar radiation input) and by the local rate of material recycling (weathering rate, absorption rate, decomposition rate, etc.) that it produces.

Static And Dynamic Insulation

By mounting a material that has a low reflectivity for short-wave solar radiation on a building's facade, solar energy can be captured very efficiently, whilst a sheet of highly reflective material on the inside of the wall will reduce heat loss outwards. This is especially utilized in modern window technology. They let in a maximum of heat, but only let a minimum escape, and they can be used in the opposite way in hot climates (Table 14.3).

Characteristic Metabolic Profile Of Societies The Postindustrial Pattern

A second new feature in industrial metabolism is the growth dynamic, which is different from the agrarian mode of production not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. Whereas in agrarian societies production is limited by land availability and by the solar energy system, industrial society seems to possess limitless energetic resources. A further feature of the system is its low capacity for recycling. Currently, much less than 10 per cent of yearly throughput, outside of water and air, are kept within the recycling loops. It is even doubtful that the recycling potential can be raised significantly owing to the fact that many materials (such as fuels) cannot be recycled at all.

Flow Of Energy In The Ecosystem

With minor exceptions, the biosphere is powered by the sun. The average amount of solar energy reaching Earth's surface (the insolation) in the United States ranges from 1250 to 2750 kcal m2 day in January to 5250 to 7000 kcal m2 day in July. For the entire year, averaged over all regions of the country, the input is about 3940 kcal m2 day. Much smaller quantities originate from nonthermal sources. Geothermal energy derives from radioactive decay in the Earth and contributes about 0.5 of the solar input. Tidal friction extracts energy from the kinetic energy of the Earth-sun-moon system and is about 0.0017 of solar. A portion of the wind's energy comes from the kinetic energy of Earth's rotation. Oxidation of reduced inorganic minerals transported to the biosphere from deep in Earth's crust by hot springs and deep ocean vents provide energy for unique ecosystems adjacent to them. (However, this source is not completely independent of solar input, as it relies on oxygen produced mostly...

Sustainable Interior Architecture

As in sustainable architectural design, interior architecture that addresses the natural context of the project site has an opportunity to improve sustainability for the user. To this end a project was given to a second-year design class at Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. The project program was to design a personal live-work studio. The site was their classroom, where they had already spent the better part of four months. The program was set up to learn the relationship between solar energy (light and heat) and the functional needs of the design program a space for study, sculpture, computer-aided-design (CAD) work, food preparation, eating, sleeping, and entertaining.

Consumption and Sustainable Development

Such investigations are part of a broader inquiry about the sustainability of systems and, in particular, sustainable development (see Sustainable Development) of the global economy. Development of alternate energy systems that can substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels by making more direct use of solar energy in both production and consumption, thus moving industrial systems back in the direction of ecological systems, promises to be an active area of research. A shift in the diets of the affluent from animal-based toward more plant-based foods could have substantial impacts on resource use in agriculture. Such scenarios about the future will be analyzed using frameworks that integrate material flow data, life-cycle descriptions of products and processes, and IO models of individual economies and of the world economy. As increasing numbers of researchers with roots in different disciplines turn their attention to the challenges of sustainable global development, the...

Read the text and discuss the questions

Although developed countries have a small part of the world's population, they use far more energy and resources than developing countries. This large amount of resource use results in a mere comfortable life style. A person living in a developed country uses in six months the resources that have to last a person living in a developing country his whole lifetime. Many former socialist countries like Ukraine also use large amounts of energy and resources, but their level of life comfort is not very high because of a very wasteful economy. A new model of social development is needed to avoid a crisis. This model is called sustainable development in which natural resources are not used faster than they can be regenerated by the Earth. Here are several changes that are necessary to make our society more sustainable slow the world population growth, reduce the waste of resources, reduce the amount of pollution recycle and reuse resources, and use more renewable energy sources like sun,...

Shiro SQS solarpowered media player

Although it isn't readily available in the United States, the Shiro SQ-S solar-powered media player, shown in Figure 11-7, deserves a nod because it's such a bright idea. The gadget gets its charge from a USB cable plugged into your computer, as well as sunlight beaming on its backside when you're out and about. Perhaps other music and video player makers will follow the clever lead of Shiro and start slapping solar panels to the backs of their products.

Issues of Unsustainability Related to Water

The movement of water from one place to another can be described at many different scales. The hydrologic cycle is the global-scale, endless recircula-tory process that links water in the atmosphere, oceans, and on the continents (Figure 15.1). The hydrologic cycle constitutes reservoirs that store water, such as oceans, and the movement of water between them. Water can be stored within the reservoirs and transported between them in three phases gas, liquid, or solid. Oceans are the largest reservoir and store 97.5 of total global water (Table 15.1). Only 2.5 of all water is available as freshwater, and this is stored primarily on the continents. This endless recirculatory process is driven by solar energy, gravity, and other forces.

Aiacote Top Ten Green Projects

In general, the project is performing extremely well and as good if not better than expected. Some aspects of the energy usage are not exactly as anticipated (e.g., there is a slightly higher plug draw of electricity) but the systems have performed very well. Extensive and ongoing studies of the building energy profile have been done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ( ) and are publicly available.

Photosynthesis and the Earth system

The evolution of anoxygenic photosynthesis on a planet is ecologically important as it provides a source of energy for organisms which does not just rely on pre-existing organic chemicals. Circumstantial evidence for anoxygenic photosynthesis has been described from 3,416 million year old rock in South Africa (Tice and Lowe, 2004). However, the rise of oxygenic photosynthesis is probably an even more important major transition in the history of the Earth's environment as it led to a greatly increased supply of free energy for life (Lenton et al., 2004). Aerobic food chains can potentially support many more trophic levels than anaerobic ones (Fig. 7.2). Since size is a major factor in structuring many food chains, longer food chains make possible the abundance of macroscopic animals which feature so prominently in many ecology textbooks. In a detailed study of published food webs Cohen et al. (1993) found that about 90 of the feeding links between animal species with known sizes had a...

The Scale Of Material Constraints

PV and EVs currently supply minor niche markets for electricity and transport but their roles in the energy system may change drastically later in this century. The current stock of installed PV capacity in 1999 was less than 1GWp (billion watts of peak power) which probably produced less than 1TWh yr (terawatt hours). This can be compared to scenarios developed by IIASA and WEC (2000), where the energy supplied by direct solar technologies varies between 5000 and 22000TWh yr in 2050 (that is, between 2 per cent and 7 per cent of total supply). By 2100, the PV output could be between 23000 and 127000TWh yr (that is, between 4 and 25 per cent of total supply). There are other (non-PV) solar technologies, but the numbers imply a potential growth of PV capacity by three to five orders of magnitude. Assuming relatively high capacity utilization, the creation of a 25 000TWh yr PV system, over the course of a century, would require an annual addition of 160GWp or 1000 times the...

Aiacote Top Ten Winner Zion National Park Visitor Center Location Springdale Utah

As a primary component of the Zion Canyon Transportation System, this low-energy, sustainable facility is the entry to a transit- and pedestrian-centered visitor experience, providing park information, interpretation, and trip-planning assistance within a resource environment. The new visitor center is part of a transportation system that seeks to reduce resource impacts and enhance the visitor experience. Consisting of indoor and outdoor spaces for visitor services, this facility creates a setting to promote and interpret park resources and agency conservation values. In creating the Zion National Park Visitor Center, the National Park Service (NPS), working with DOE's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), has complemented Zion's natural beauty.

Environmental Aspects

Several effective energy features were included daylighting, Trombe walls for passive solar heating, downdraft cool-towers for natural ventilation cooling, energy-efficient lighting, and advanced building controls. A roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system provides electric power. This project will save roughly 14,000 and about 10 kW of electric demand per year through these energy-saving measures.

Lessons Learned by the Architects

Designing the electrical system and installing the conduit for future PV was ideal. When PV was added, it was installed in a few hours. The photovoltaic system and inverter are used for an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system. A better definition of what loads were to be UPS-powered would have been useful, however. The UPS system is not guaranteed to provide continuous power. About 5 percent of the outgates have left the building with a brief (less than 1 second) outage enough to reset computers. Some small UPS computer backups have been installed for the brief outages.

Location Livermore California Architect Siegel Strain Architects

This environmental education camp, which serves middle-school students as well as critically ill children and other guests, was designed to demonstrate a series of ecological design principles as part of the curriculum. Bathhouses are made of stabilized earth, the cabins are efficient wood structures, and the dining hall is a straw-bale building. Low-tech solutions to heating, cooling, and water treatment were favored over more complex mechanical technologies for energy efficiency, lower cost, and simplicity. The bathhouses are open-air, seasonal structures with natural ventilation and no mechanical system. The cabins and dining hall depend on shading strategies and operable clerestory windows to keep them cool. The cabins have south-facing sunrooms for winter heat gain and solar panels for water heating and backup radiant heat. The biological wastewater-treatment system treats water with minimal energy input, demonstrating that there is no waste in nature.

Ecosystem Structure

Autotrophs are those organisms capable of fixing (acquiring and storing) inorganic resources in organic molecules. Photosynthetic plants, responsible for fixation of abiotic carbon into carbohydrates, are the sources of organic molecules. This chemical synthesis is powered by solar energy. Free-living and symbiotic N-fixing bacteria and cyanobacteria are an important means of converting inorganic N2 into ammonia, the source of most nitrogen available to plants. Other chemoau-totrophic bacteria oxidize ammonia into nitrite or nitrate (the form of nitrogen available to most green plants) or oxidize inorganic sulfur into organic compounds. Production of autotrophic tissues must be sufficient to compensate for amounts consumed by heterotrophs.

The river continuum theory in the light of ecosystem principles

The river continuum theory can almost be seen as a different wording of the Ecological Law of Thermodynamics applied to rivers, since it is fully compliant with it. Along a continuous gradient of changing environmental conditions, what river communities do under the prevailing conditions is in fact attempt to utilize the flow to increase its exergy, moving further away from thermodynamic equilibrium . Changing conditions along the gradient determine different constrains and therefore other processing strategies, because If more combinations and processes are offered to utilize the Exergy flow, the organization that is able to give the highest Exergy under the prevailing circumstances will be selected (Jorgensen, 1997), or alternatively as if more combinations and processes are offered to utilize the free energy flow, the organization that is able to give the greatest distance away from thermodynamic equilibrium under the prevailing circumstances will be selected (de Wit, 2005).

Primary Productivity

Primary productivity is the rate of conversion of solar energy into plant matter. The total rate of solar energy conversion into carbohydrates (total photosynthesis) is gross primary productivity (GPP). However, a portion of GPP must be expended by the plant through metabolic processes necessary for maintenance, growth, and reproduction and is lost as heat through respiration. The net rate at which energy is stored as plant matter is net primary productivity. The energy stored in net primary production (NPP) becomes available to heterotrophs. Usually, the NPP that is consumed by herbivores on an annual basis is low, an observation that prompted Hairston et al. (1960) to conclude that herbivores are not resource limited and must be controlled by predators. However, early studies of energy content of plant material involved measurement of change in enthalpy (heat of combustion) rather than free energy (Wiegert 1968). We now know that the energy initially stored as carbohydrates is...

Entropy production indices for waterbodies

According to Ludovisi (2003) the definition of the b index as a ratio of Sp (in units MJm 3 year K 1) and the solar energy absorbed by the lake surface (Qs) (MJm 2peryear K 1) in a year is not proper, because entropy and energy flows do not refer to the same Absorbed solar energy MJ m-2 month-1

Architect Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum HOK William Hellmuth

The National Wildlife Federation Headquarters' orientation capitalizes on solar energy sources to reduce energy expenditure and increase natural light. The National Wildlife Federation Headquarters' orientation capitalizes on solar energy sources to reduce energy expenditure and increase natural light. that would demonstrate sensible stewardship of its financial resources. It accomplished this through a rigorous payback analysis to select state-of-the-shelf construction technologies and materials. Native plantings support local wildlife and reduce the need for irrigation and frequent mowing. The building's orientation capitalizes on solar energy sources to reduce energy expenditure and increase natural light. The facility's north side, which overlooks the park, is a curtain wall of glass that offers vistas and floods the interior spaces with light to create a welcoming atmosphere. The south facade has a vertical trellis planted with deciduous vines that leaf out in summer to provide...

Climate Modification

When vegetation development is limited or moisture is limited, as in deserts, the soil surface is exposed fully to sunlight and contains insufficient water to restrict temperature change (T. Lewis 1998). The reflectivity of the soil surface (albedo) determines absorption of solar energy and heat. Soils with high organic content have lower albedo (0.10) than does desert sand (0.30) (Monteith 1973). Albedo also declines with increasing soil water content. In the absence of vegetation cover, surface temperatures can reach 60-70 C during the day (e.g.,

Location San Francisco California Architect Smwm Dan Cheetham

The 70,000-square-foot facility includes an interpretive center, a great hall, offices, learning studios, dining hall, art studio, maintenance building, and visitor accommodations. Wastewater is treated on site and reused. Rainwater is collected for irrigation and other uses. Photovoltaic installations provide more than half of the power for the learning-studio building. Rooftop solar hot-water panels reduce hot water demand at lodges and dining hall by 50 percent. Ventilation replaces air conditioning, with operable skylights providing maximum through-ventilation. High-efficiency fluorescent lighting with photocells reduces energy use. High-quality metal roofs and metal-clad windows will provide long life in the heavily wooded Northwest environment. Photovoltaic installations provide more than half of the power for the learning-studio building.

Building Performance According to the Architects

Initial feedback indicates that the natural ventilation is working well, even in the warm summer months, and that the sustainable-building systems focused on daylight harvesting, water conservation, photovoltaic electricity, and solar hot water have been performing as expected.

Other Concepts Of Control In Ecology And Engineering

At the ecosystem scale, control has been considered to occur either due to resource limitations (i.e., bottom-up control) or due to harvesting by consumers (i.e., top-down control). Bottom-up control of food webs is determined by resources, specifically those resources that are required for primary productivity. This is the process whereby solar energy is transformed into the chemical energy of biomass and is at the base of most food webs (i.e., the bottom). A number of resources are required for primary productivity, such as water, carbon dioxide, and nutrients. Justus Liebig, a German agronomist, proposed his famous Law of the Minimum in the 1800s to describe how resources limit (i.e., control) primary productivity (E. P. Odum, 1971 see also the excerpts of Liebig's publications in Kormondy, 1965 and Pomeroy, 1974). Liebig's law states that the required resource in the least supply will limit production. Thus, resources that limit primary productivity are called limiting factors....

An early start to the Anthropocene

The large-scale burning of fossil fuels is not the only way to affect global climate land use change can also be very important. Clearing forests releases the carbon locked up inside the plants and land use changes can potentially release large amounts of carbon from organic matter in the soils. In addition, altering vegetation changes the land's albedo (the amount of solar energy reflected back into space) which affects climate, as does the extent of wetlands as this is correlated with the amount of the greenhouse gas methane released into the atmosphere. As all of these things are affected by agriculture, it raises the possibility that as agriculture spread around the world it may have started to affect the atmosphere and climate on a global scale, long before the industrial revolution. While it sounds plausible that land use change associated with agriculture may have had global effects, what is needed to really establish this is a rigorous preferably quantitative approach to the...

Management Options For Industrial Ecology

The potential action by estates for collective management is at two levels. The first is the planning of the estate to allow better environmental performance of the complex as a whole. This would aim at a physical layout that is in harmony with the terrain, planning of transport and chemical storage infrastructure, provision of energy-efficient buildings, provision of appropriate services and energy (including renewable energy), planning for juxtaposition of factories to improve sharing of surplus energy and wastes, establishment of a recycling center, reserving vacant land for natural habitat, and so on.

Architect Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum HOK

The facility houses several key public safety and essential public service functions, including 911 dispatch, emergency-operations center, sheriff's training facility, forensics laboratory, and the coroner's office. The facility combines the various agencies into one essential structure that must remain functional after a major earthquake, thereby minimizing the risk of disruption of services. The orientation of the building, large roof overhangs, north-facing clerestory windows, and canted windows on the southwest reduce glare while maximizing daylight. Energy usage has been reduced by more than 50 percent relative to the stringent California Title 24 energy requirements, and renewable energy systems supply all non-HVAC energy requirements. Twenty-six thousand square feet of rooftop-mounted photovoltaic panels will produce enough power to accommodate all of the building's non-HVAC electrical requirements. Twenty-six thousand square feet of...

Emergy exergy and their joint use

As an efficiency indicator the eco-exergy to empower ratio enlarges the viewpoint of a pure exergetic approach as described in Fath et al. (2004), where the exergy degraded and the eco-exergy stored for various ecosystems are compared using emergy there is a recognition of the fact that solar radiation is the driving force of all the energy (and exergy) flows on the biosphere, important when important indirect inputs (of solar energy) are also present in a process.

The Schrodinger Ratio

In the case of ecosystems, which are self-organizing living systems, the Schrodinger ratio is conceived as the ratio of biological entropy production to free energy stored in other words, the exergy stored in the living biomass by biological components. The ratio is also known as the specific entropy production or specific dissipation of a system. According to the concept of exergy, temperature T, pressure p, and chemical potentials y (yb , yn) of the system under study are supposed to differ from those of the external environment T0, p0, and y (u , , yn0). Since, the internal energy, volume, and number of particles of the environment are so large that processes of the system do not produce any significant change in the temperature, pressure, or potentials of the environment, these constant values may considered to be those of the reference system. The Schrodinger ratio is given by the following expression (in units of time _ *)

Aiacote Top Ten Winner The Plaza At Ppl Center Location Allentown Pennsylvania

Placed within a challenging and constrained site, the design preserves the cultural landscape represented by an existing nineteenth-century summer home, respectfully and adaptively reusing the original house and adding contemporary office, laboratory, and common spaces. The all-electric building relies on renewable energy sources, including a grid-connected and net-metered 26.4-kilowatt photovoltaic array that powers the building's closed-loop, ground-source heat-pump system. A planned on-site wind turbine will likely make the building a net-energy exporter. Icynene spray foam insulates all exterior walls and roof assemblies, creating a technically and ecologically effective air barrier and optimized R-values. Other components reinforce the performance benefits of this extremely secure envelope, including offset-stud framing double- and triple-glazed argon-insulated low-E windows enthalpy wheels that recapture heat and moisture from exhaust air and precondition incoming fresh air and...

Mineral Formation and Weathering

Nucleation is often the rate-limiting step of mineral precipitation and can occur by homogeneous or heterogeneous mechanisms. During homogeneous precipitation, crystal nuclei are formed in a saturated solution by the random collision of ions. Heterogeneous nucleation involves the formation of mineral nuclei on the surfaces of reactive solids already present. Regardless of the nucleation pathway, once stable nuclei are formed, mineral growth proceeds spontaneously until the solution is no longer saturated with respect to that mineral. The rate of nucleation is controlled by the degree of supersaturation, temperature, and the geometry ofinitial nuclei formed or heterogeneous materials available for nuclei seeding. Nucleation rates are also dependent upon the specific interfacial free energy, which is the difference in free energy between an ion bound within the mineral matrix and an equivalent ion bound to the mineral surface.

Inherent Constraints on Major Resources

For energy, the main issue is the anticipated transition from fossil to renewable energy sources. This transition is imperative in view of the current problems related to energy supply. However, since the required changes are so immense, there is a severe risk for catastrophic pathways. More specifically, the constraints described by Loschel et al. (Chapter 22) are None of the renewable energy resources will be able to provide a major share of energy demand in the near future. Even if we assume a modest contribution of renewable energy sources to the total supply, huge changes will have to made in society and infrastructure implementation poses an equally immense task, difficult even to envisage, and most probably constrained by economic, political, institutional, and behavioral factors.

Constraints Resulting from the Linkage of Resources

A third set of issues relates to the envisaged energy transition the viability and upscaling of alternative energy pathways. To supply the world with a significant share of bioenergy, for example, biomass production will have to rise by an order of magnitude. A shift to bio-based energy, therefore, has dramatic implications for land and water use, and is likely to encounter constraints quite quickly. A shift to solar energy appears to be a more sustainable solution. However, present photovoltaic technologies utilize several metals whose long-term supplies are uncertain. A large-scale transition to solar energy technology may therefore be negatively impacted by constraint in rare metal resources.

Charge Your Gadgets the Green

Human-powered chargers that convert your elbow grease or movement are also examples of green chargers. Two products from Freeplay (www. are the Freecharge Weza foot-powered portable generator, and the multifaceted Companion, a radio, flashlight, and cellphone charger all in one. The Companion has a solar panel and a hand crank to charge both it and your other gadgets. See Chapter 12 to find out more about greener chargers.

Definitions and problems

In principle, studies on the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functions could be based on correlations of field data or on experiments. However, correlative studies have one difficulty differences in local diversity are in most cases dependent on various environmental conditions (e.g., solar energy input, nutrient richness, disturbance regime, regional species pool and dispersal) which in themselves influence ecosystem functions. It may become very hard or almost impossible to find the appropriate statistical techniques to quantify the extra influence of diversity on ecosystem functions. The same applies to experiments where diversity differences between the different experimental units have been manipulated indirectly via environmental factors. Therefore, most of the reliable studies are based on artificially composed communities, but even those are not without methodological problems.

Xinping Zhou Jiakuan Yang and Bo Xiao

Solar Chimney

Solar chimney power generating technology is a solar thermal technology on a large scale which combines three parts a collector, a high chimney (reinforced concrete chimney or floating chimney that can stretch up to several thousand meters), and turbines installed at the chimney base. The best locations of these systems are vast desert regions with high solar insolation and large daily range of temperature. As reported by Zhou et al. in 2008, special microclimate conditions will result around the solar power generation belts consisting of many commercial solar chimney power plants. Resulting rainfalls will support the growth of different types and quantitities of plants, including herbs, shrubs, and even trees. This will promote restoration of desert land and even create fertile soil and modify the local ecology. Produced plants can be used for biofuel. Furthermore, vegetables can be planted in the periphery of the collector acting as a green house and as a result benefit agricultural...

The Accounting of Entropy Production in Humans and Ecosystems Entropy as an Indicator

In the case studies presented in literature, the entropy balance corresponds to the change in entropy content of a lake with the net amount of entropy inflow minus entropy outflow. In other words, entropy variations have been assessed corresponding to energy flows such as Eabs, short-wave solar energy absorbed by the surface Erf, reflected long-wave infrared radiation Eev, evaporation heat loss Eatm, atmosphere-water heat exchange Er, rain precipitation (corresponding heat flow) Eef, outgoing water flow through effluents (corresponding heat flow) Ewl, water withdrawal and other water losses (corresponding heat flow) En, other nth factor. Thus the entropy balance is expressed in the same form as eqn 8 presented above.

Chemosynthesis Oxidation Reduction Reactions

Aerobic respiration is, by definition, the use of molecular oxygen as a final electron acceptor. Biochemically, aerobic respiration is the stepwise passage of electrons through a series of membrane-bound molecular carriers of increasing redox potential - these constitute a respiratory chain. Aerobic respiration reactions are highly favorable, thermodynamically. The energy released by oxidation via oxygen (oxygen terminates the electron-transport chain and is reduced to H2O) provides a tremendous advantage to the microorganism carrying out aerobic respiration. For example, the oxidation of glucose by oxygen (yielding CO2 + H2O) has a free energy (ag ) value of 2880kJmol 1 glucose. The actual ag in vivo may be even more negative due to the low concentration of the product CO2. Comparing this to ag0 200kJmol-1 for anaerobic glycolysis (to lac-tate) demonstrates that oxygen greatly increases the energy available from each glucose molecule respired by aerobic microorganisms. containing...

Responses to Specific Environmental Factors

Low to High Solar Energy Availability Shaded versus Sunny Environments Most plants are capable of pronounced sun or shade acclimation. In the shade, plants place an emphasis on efficient light collection via large, thin, deep green leaves with a high chlorophyll content that are thrifty with respect to everything else low respiration rates and low maximal capacities for photosynthetic electron transport and CO2 fixation as well as other processes. At the other end of the spectrum, under full sunlight, plants increase their maximal photosynthesis and respiration rates and may lower light-harvesting efficiency. While different species differ in their shade tolerance, most plant species are able to survive and thrive in full sunlight. Even shade-tolerant plants frequently reproduce only in full sun, where the greater light energy availability results in a greater production of photosynthate (sugars and other energy-rich compounds). However, different plant species differ widely in the...

Innovative Practices Need to be Developed

Energy Flow Imta

One of the innovative solutions being proposed for environmental sustainability, economic diversifica tion, and social acceptability, is integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA). This practice combines, in the appropriate proportions, the cultivation of fed aquaculture species (e.g., finfish) with organic extractive aquaculture species (e.g., shellfish) and inorganic extrac tive aquaculture species (e.g., seaweed) for a balanced ecosystem management approach that takes into consid eration site specificity, operational limits, and food safety guidelines and regulations (Figure 1). The aim is to increase long term sustainability and profitability per cultivation unit (not per species in isolation as is done in monoculture), as the wastes of one crop (fed animals) are converted into fertilizer, food, and energy for the other crops (extractive plants and animals), which can in turn be sold in the market. Feed is one of the core operational costs of finfish aquaculture operations....

Exergoeconomics and Extended Exergy Accounting

To overcome the limitations caused by the incompleteness of Ex as an EI, all 'production factors' must be included in the picture. But, in a 'production' process, be it natural or anthropogenic, how can we convert monetary expenses into exergy fluxes An answer was first provided by the 'emergy analysis' method briefly described in the section titled 'Scope and function of an ecological indicator', which maintains that the 'monetary capital' that circulates in a society (a town, a county, a nation) is entirely supported by, and therefore equivalent to, the amount of solar energy that maintains life in the environmental niche in which that society thrives. This idea is in line with Herman Daly's critical assessment of the economic theories of growth an economist by trade, Daly (echoing and developing concepts formulated by others, like Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen and Robert Costanza) distinguishes between natural ('NC') and monetary capital ('MC') and demonstrates that the two are not...

Food Chains and Food Webs

The detrital chain is based upon decomposition, the reduction of energy-rich organic material by consumers (generally detritivores and decomposers). Whereas photosynthesis and magiosynthesis involve the incorporation of solar energy or magical energy into organic matter, decomposition involves the loss of heat energy and the conversion of organic nutrients into inorganic ones. To test this theory, just go to a farmer's compost heap and stick your hand in. You'll find that the inside of the heap is quiet warm because of all the heat lost through decomposition. Decomposition includes many processes the leaching of soluble compounds from dead organic material, fragmentation, bacterial and fugal breakdown, consumption of bacterial and fungal organisms by animals, excretion of organic and inorganic compounds by organisms, and the clustering of colloidal organic matter into larger particles. Every non-magical animal is involved with decomposition, as its waste products are primary source...

More Products

DIY 3D Solar Panels
Smart Solar Box Home Energy System
DIY Home Energy System
Earth 4 Energy Make Your Own Solar Panels
Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

Get My Free Ebook