Alternative Energy at the Library

I just got a $102.00 library fine.  I’m pissed, but will write about it later, because it will not be pleasant if I write it now.  Instead…

I’m going to tell you how I just pitched to my boss that my library should install vertical wind turbines.  Energy bills are crazy at this campus and interest in alternative energy is ramping up (again).  So, I see a win-win here…1) lower the energy bill and 2) get a bit of news coverage for an attempt to go green in a big way.

Now we certainly couldn’t power the whole place, but giving us a bit of an energy boost would be nice.  And seeing as how my particular library sits on the shore of a lake, there is a nice breeze coming in quite frequently.  Might as well take advantage of it.  (The hot air coming over from administration alone could power us for WEEKS!!! Did I just write that?????)

Other libraries are installing solar panels…like the Medicine Hat, Alberta Public Library, the Boulder, Colorado Public Library (1/3 of their power!  Holy Batteries, BATMAN!!!), and the Tompkins County, New York Library.

In line with this, I was just talking to a librarian who started selling canvas bags for her library.  Now, lots of places do that, but what they did was put very cool designs on the bags, and made their logo visible, but small and unintrusive.  People started buying them not only as book bags, but as cool gifts and totes.  I’m thinking that there have to be green groups that would be willing to provide a bit of cash to help towards the creation of such bags, if it means fewer people will use plastic.  If I can get a pic of their cool bags, I’ll post it.

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4 responses to “Alternative Energy at the Library

  1. There is limited space for energy collection. One size doesn’t fit all. Usually, solar hot water heating gives the best payback. Solar electric is popular now. A far out idea would be to distribute high voltage DC, and have DC to DC converters at each computer. That eliminates inverter losses. Wind power usually needs more maintenance since it is mechanical. Beware of low frequency vibrations radiating into the library. Somebody has to foot the bill, and will want to know lifetime, capital costs, payback period, return on investment.

  2. mylibraryideas

    Hmmm, don’t know much about DC converters but will look into that. I think that it would be a fun experiment to try the solar aspect, versus the wind, the more research that I do. I’m excited to go and help someone install a wind turbine at their farm next week. I’m new to the whole wind turbine thing, but I am finding it pretty fascinating. Thanks for the input!

  3. Good idea to look into wind, but drag-effect vertical wind turbines, especially if attached to the building structure, could be a real drag.

    See this article http://frombrowntogreen.blogspot.com/2008/07/why-philippe-starcks-wind-turbine.html

  4. Pingback: Sustainability @ the Library « My Library Ideas

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