Yesterday was a grand opening of Center for Electric Technology located in Świdnica (Shveedneeca) about 50km south-west of Wrocław. The center consists of a 1,200 square meter building built with the latest and greatest in eco-friendly and renewable energy technology that almost makes the building completely self-sufficient. Solar panels, trackers, high efficiency air turbines, and a few other building tricks are all managed by a centralized BMS (Building Management System) that allows computer precision in maintaining air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and electricity use through out the building. Fun stuff includes playing around with switching off the lights in a room somewhere in the basement with a click of a mouse.
The center was built to investigate current renewable technology but also to develop and test new ways to build greener homes. The investigation part will focus on testing existing ideas in actual home-use conditions in order to determine real-world advantage of having such technology installed at ones home. A lot is being said and promised by almost all green tech makers, but here their products will be put through a series of tests to determine their actual worth. That will take place in one half of the building.
The other half will house engineering staff working on developing new ways of saving our wallets while making our planet a better place to live. There’s a hint of sarcasm there, and that’s because I just don’t see how this center will develop anything new while most of this sort of work is done at university level in Poland. It will take a lot of money to get this center Idealab-like conditions I believe this aims to be similar to. That is why I think Universities, with their labs and constant free labor in need of thesis work necessary to graduate, have the upper hand on developing new tech.
Along with my coworker Lidia we did our best showing off GOVECS’ electric scooters; an eco-friendly transport to accomodate your eco-friendly way of life. Yesterdays event also focused on the fact that if your house is completely green and off-the grid, it may also charge your electric vehicle and allow you to be completely self sufficient in every way.
After a few speeches given by local hot shots such as the president of Świdnica and officials from the Lower Silesia department of electric technology, there was a short Capoeira presentation that meant to represent how the four classical elements (earth, fire, wind, and water) kick ass and chase away bad energy all dressed in black representing oil and coal.
Besides their first quick show, there was a much longer Capoeira presentation that closed out the event. We were all invited inside the building and small tours were given to show off the tech installed. Somehow we managed to get a GOVECS powerpoint presentation to loop on the main LCD screen. Score!
Quite a few people rode our GO!S2.4 and had plenty of good impressions to share afterwards. The day went by so fast I didn’t even know I was getting sun burned until I saw my lobster red face in the mirror… by then I also felt my face shrinking so yeah, I sort of had an idea something was off 🙂
Here are a few photos from the event. There were girls dressed as the classical elements cruising the event, they liked our scooters a lot. We were also parked right next to a working dual axis tracker that reminded me of my Idealab times and all of the trackers up on the roof. This parabolic tracker was however missing its most important part, the collector.
Last but not least were a couple of home made electric cars, an Audi A3 and a Daeweoo Matiz, with their owners proudly describing their conversions.
Here’s a link with some more info about the building, in Polish: http://swidnica24.pl/wydarzenia/superinteligentny-budynek-w-swidnicy/
And here’s an idea for an eco friendly house I found just now, in English: http://coolheadsforahotplanet.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/the-off-grid-dilemma/