zoka zola architecture + urban design   1737 west ohio street   chicago IL 60622    t 312 491 9431    f 312 491 9432    info@zokazola.com

Active systems: Electricity generating

The natural partnership of an auroturbine and photovoltaic panels will provide power for this building. We will provide structure and infrastructure for the future installation of these two renewable resources, which will be installed in two to three years.

The auroturbine is an innovative wind-electric generator designed by Bill Becker that is ideal fo this residential urban setting.

It works well with the variable direction and turbulent winds of Chicago, generating 1500 watts at 30mph. It is self-regulating and generates power in wind speeds between 3mpg and 120 mph. The auroturbine will be placed with its axis running north/south, to harness prevaling winds.

It uses safe high-torque / low speed rotation that prevents machine "runaways". Snow and ice are slid out of the turbines instead of propelled. This turbine is quiet because of its sinuous movement.

Since its first installation, the auroturbine has a record of zero animal deaths.

The auroturbine will cost $7,500. This will decrease with time as its popularity increases. We will wait two years for a more advanced and affordable model.

  Photovoltaic (PV) Panels:

PV panels are used in conjunction with the auroturbine because sunshine and wind have complientary peak periods, i.e., wind is strongest during the months when sunshine is often weakest and vice versa.

Energy from the sun is the most abundant energy source on the planet. The photovoltaic process converts solar energy directly into electricity. A PV cell consists of two or more thin layers of semi-conducting silicon. When the silicon is exposed to light, electrical charges are generated and this can be conducted away as direct current. Multiple cells are connected together and encapuslated to form a panel.

PV equipment has no moving parts and as a result requires minimal maintenance. It generates electricity without emitting harmful gases, and its operation is virtually silent. The photovoltaic system will cost $5,000.

We will provide the structure to install the PV panels at their optimum working angle of 55 degrees.
south elevation

Active systems: Water heating and cooling

Both the geothermal system and solar-heat panels will be installed to head and cool the house.
  Geothermal System:

The geothermal system will provide the main source of heating and cooling for this house. Installation involves six fluid-filled loops embedded into 4-inch diameter holes in the earth. These holes are drilled to the bedrock.

Closed loops utilize polyethylene piping buried or drilled into the ground filled with a water/anti-freeze solution. The loop fluid circulating in this closed piping system absorbs heat or rejects heat into the surrounding earth.

During the heating process, warmer temperatures in the earth are absorbed and transferred to the loop fluid. The heat in the fluid is used for a radiant floor heating system.

During the cooling process, warmer temperatures in the home are removed and transferred to the loop fluid. The heat in the fluid is deposited into the earth while the fluid is cooled by the cold earth temperature. Closed loops are virtually maintenance free.

The geothermal system will cost $12,000 more than conventional gas furnace heating but monthly utility bill savings are calculated to be greater than the monthly mortgage payment for this portion of construction costs.

  Solar-Heat Panels:

The solar heat panels will work in unison with geothermal heating to provide hot water for baths, showers, cleaning dishes, laundry, and radiant floor heating.

Solar collectors trap the sun's heat under a glass cover. The system switches on when the collector is hotter than the solar storage tank. Water is heated as it is pumped through copper tubes in the collector. A heat exchanger transfers this heat into a storage tank. The water in this tank can be used for daily hot water needs.

The solar-heat system will cost $10,000, but the State of Illinois will give a 50% rebate for its installation.

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