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Solar-Panel 'Skin' May Be Future of Sustainable Home
3/14/2014

Pret-a-Loger is a project out of the Netherlands to retrofit a typical row home with a 'skin' of solar panels and smart technology to make the home more sustainable and energy neutral. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, a competition started in 2002 to show the feasibility of solar energy to the housing industry.   (Source: Delf University of Technology)
Prêt-à-Loger is a project out of the Netherlands to retrofit a typical row home with a “skin” of solar panels and smart technology to make the home more sustainable and energy neutral. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a competition started in 2002 to show the feasibility of solar energy to the housing industry.
(Source: Delf University of Technology)

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Elizabeth M
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Re: A Seismic Shift Coming?
Elizabeth M   3/17/2014 5:18:27 AM
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You are very welcome, 78RPM, and I agree, thinking about energy has to change, and I think it is changing thanks to forward-thinking engineers and contests like this that have been going on for awhile to try to find innovative and sustainable ways to create energy for homes. I think we are at a critical time right now in terms of energy creation and the evolution of energy sources, but with all the interest and research in wind, solar and other creative means of energy-harvesting, people are beginning to catch on.

Elizabeth M
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Re: A Seismic Shift Coming?
Elizabeth M   3/17/2014 5:18:26 AM
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You are very welcome, 78RPM, and I agree, thinking about energy has to change, and I think it is changing thanks to forward-thinking engineers and contests like this that have been going on for awhile to try to find innovative and sustainable ways to create energy for homes. I think we are at a critical time right now in terms of energy creation and the evolution of energy sources, but with all the interest and research in wind, solar and other creative means of energy-harvesting, people are beginning to catch on.

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Retrofit
Elizabeth M   3/17/2014 5:07:13 AM
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Yes, Greg, I agree, it is  one thing to design a new house with solar panels and make it more sustainable and energy efficient, but it is quite interesting and a different challenge to take post-war construction and make it more modern and sustainable. An interesting project, to be sure!

Daniyal_Ali
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Re: Retrofit
Daniyal_Ali   3/16/2014 3:57:20 AM
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True Greg.  Nowadays people having the know-how of Solar Power and its advantages are trying to use building integrated modules in the construction of the structure, but the real problem comes in applying this technology to already present buildings.
It's very difficult to install the modules on the older buildings as they were built before the emergence of Solar Modules. I think this retrofitting could come in handy in providing solar power to these older constructions.

Greg M. Jung
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Retrofit
Greg M. Jung   3/14/2014 10:12:01 PM
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I'm impressed with the idea to retrofit these older, less-efficient houses with a solar upgrade.  Hopefully the cost and payback time will be attractive so that this type of technology can advance.

78RPM
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A Seismic Shift Coming?
78RPM   3/14/2014 12:14:50 PM
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Thank you, Elizabeth for updating us on creative thinking around the world. It is my hope that American coal and oil companies begin to reinvent themselves to prepare for the seismic shift in energy sources.  They should think of themselves as energy companies, not oil and coal companies. If they don't, they may go the way of Kodak, having a heartbeat but not as the great companies of yore.

Many political battles will dissolve in the new reality of sustainable living at market demand prices. Some people I know in Montana are able to live off the grid with home-brew energy systems. Just think what a professionally engineered home could become. This is a great time for engineers who are re-inventing the future.

Daniyal_Ali
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More Details Please
Daniyal_Ali   3/14/2014 7:50:37 AM
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Looks amazing Liz. But what are the technical and financial aspects of this idea? Would it be economical for the houses to switch to this idea instead of the already present mounting methods? And what is the efficiency of these modules?
Yes, it does look beautiful and doesn't require modifications to the building's infrastructure but would this also be cost effective and technically viable.
I guess a lot of questions will be answered in the Solar Decathlon this year. Do share the details if you are able to attend that.

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