NetZERO NOW :
Massive Waves on the Horizon
A Tsunami Is Approaching
Are You Going To Be Ready?
“Net zero,” means no monthly utility bill. It’s a building that generates enough of it’s own energy to cancel out its overall utilities consuming footprint. It’s an incredible concept for homeowners and facilities managers alike, and no doubt you’ve heard of it on the local news.
But how do you actually get there? Abide Systems has the answers.
With some smart decisions, an Abide Systems Certified High Performance Building Envelope and micro-inverter solar photovoltaic technology, watch your electric bills drop from $400 to $0.
Here’s what we have to say about pursuing a habitat of the future:
Don’t start with technology.
Start with a concept that your not going to pay capital costs to generate electricity that’s not going to be used in a value-added way. In other words, look first to where you’ve got waste.
Change your behavior. It’s as simple as flicking off the lights when you leave the room. (Or purchasing timers to do it for you.) Modern electronics draw less power, but vampiric standby modes may be adding to your energy bill.
Plug the gaps.
If you were to add up all the leaks, the average home has a hole in the wall the size of a beach ball. It’s enough to run a refrigerator for a year. So we double-air seal buildings and control the air flow with passive fresh, purified air management technologies. The dust, particulates, fibers and m-o-l-d just disappear, while we passively recover the energy used to heat and cool the space. We install better opaque insulation — the stuff in the roof, walls and basement. By this point we’ve gotten rid of the waste and can begin to install our engineered solutions.
You can see clearly now.
We install windows with a high R-ratings and low U values, and we recommend slatted shades that let winter sun in and keep summer sun out. 40% of the unwanted heat in the home comes through the windows.
Ultra High Efficiency Air Management Technology
We exclusively install SpacePak small duct high velocity (SDHV) heating and cooling systems. Light years ahead of any other HVAC system on the planet, these humidity controlling, super high efficiency chiller-heat pump systems are far more economical to operate and ecolofically sound. The refrigerant used is friendlier to the environment and isn’t brought into the building. Using a glycol-infused water instead to heat and cool the coils in the air handlers, this moister medium aspirates by blending with the ambient air. Together with Abide Systems Passive Energy Recovery and Fresh Air Circulation Technology, it’s a perfect match of passive and mechanical systems delivering the healthiest, most comfortable habitat conceivable at the lowest possible cost.
Wash more clothes in cold water. A lot of the facets of heating water are big energy users. Make sure the washing machine is set at 120F degrees; the “warm” – not “hot” – setting. Use low-flow shower heads, both for water conservation and energy usage. Less warm water means less energy to warm more.
Take your refrigerator out of the garage. It’s a common habit for secondary appliances in the suburbs, but a 10 degree increase in ambient [temperature] uses 20 percent more energy.
Use Energy Star appliances. If you’ve purchased a new appliance in the last few years you’re okay, but if it’s 7 to 10 years old, it’s time to replace it.
It’s all abuzz
We recommend the installation of LED and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). Modern versions don’t have the greenish tinge of CFLs of yesteryear. People hated CFLs, but they last seven to 10 times longer and use a quarter of the energy. That’s a 20 to 30 dollar savings over the life of CFL bulb, LED’s use even less energy and most of those installed as far back as 10 years ago are still in services and have lost (an imperceptible) less than 3% of their light emitting ability.
Truly Free Energy
Except for the cost of the equipment, which is now about 1/3 of what it was in 2010. We use Solar Photo-Voltaic Cells (PVC) for heating water now because it’s less expensive than installing solar thermal panels – and it’s more versatile. That first few minutes of waiting for the water to get hot when you wash your hands is a huge waste of energy. By the time the water gets hot, you’ve already shut it off and moved on. When the water stored in small tanks under the sink gets to temperature, the remaining electricity generated is stored in rechargeable batteries and used to power lights and small appliances.
We install solar micro-inversion technology. This solution converts power from DC to AC at each panel rather than in a centralized place. Other systems, known as “string systems,” means that where there’s a poorly performing panel the entire string’s production goes down, and if one panel goes out, the whole string is lost. With micro-inversion technology, we get more hours of generation per day, a higher efficiency on the overall system, and it’s less prone to misapplication. It’s also where the generation side of NetZERO and NetPLUS comes into play.
What’s NetPLUS? An electricity-generating building can even be a small financial boon. With a net meter – one that runs in both directions — and automated meter reading by utility companies, you can expect to get paid for the electricity you generate that you don’t use.
Read about the Abide Systems solution here: NetPLUS Buildings