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Archive of entries posted on November 2012

Better by Design – Presentation

Did you know that: Energy use for lighting in the new High Rock School is 35% less than code thanks to high efficiency lighting and extensive use of natural light? School buildings designed to a higher standard of energy and environmental performance are eligible for reimbursement of an additional 2% of eligible construction costs from …read more

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Green Kids

Green Kids groups are active at each of Needham’s Elementary Schools. These student groups, guided by volunteer teachers and parents, organize and run energy and environment-themed educational and service programs at their schools and in the community.

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Olin College Graduates Design an Eco-friendly Toothbrush

A recent article in the Boston Globe business section — Design Firm Looks to Reinvent Toothbrush — caught the eye of Green Needham members. The piece featured two recent graduates of Olin College of Engineering, Jake Felser and Ollie Haas, who have developed a more eco-friendly toothbrush. Green Needham is well aware of Ollie’s commitment …read more

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Better by Design – Join us on Monday, November 26th

Black Friday means shopping for some, but Green Monday is savings for everyone. Join us on the Monday after Thanksgiving – November 26th at 7:00 pm at the Library Community Room for “Better by Design – energy efficiency in Needham’s public construction projects“. Learn how reducing energy use and using energy as efficiently as possible …read more

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Selectmen appoint Solar Exploratory Committee at their November 14th meeting

The Selectmen will appoint the members of the Solar Exploratory Committee at their November 14th meeting. The Committee, authorized by the Selectmen at their September 11th meeting, generated strong interest from Needham citizens interested in serving. The seven residents selected to serve are: Jonathan Bracken Liz Driscoll Ed Friedman Dan Goodman David Harris Kathleen Phelps …read more

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What happens to the solar panels when they break or wear out? Who covers maintenance?

Most solar panels have an expected lifetime of 25 years, with very little maintenance required.  The individual components have lifetimes of ten years and up.  The cost of maintenance and extended warranties will be an important factor of the project’s financial analysis.  After the system’s useful lifetime is over, it can easily be removed, but …read more

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Will the system work on cloudy, overcast or snowy days? Does the system work when the regular power (the utility grid) is down?

Because photovoltaic (PV) solar systems use the full spectrum of light, the ultraviolet rays are still charging the system, even when the sunlight isn’t visible.  Obviously, the system will produce more power on bright sunny days.  In the event of a light snowfall, the snow should quickly melt and slide down the slanted face of …read more

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How does solar power work?

Solar systems that produce electricity are known as photovoltaic, or PV, systems. The term “photovoltaics” refers to the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level, using silicon semiconductor materials. The power produced in direct current, or DC. In order to be used in a building or transported via the electric grid, it …read more

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The landfill is closed and capped to prevent pollution, but will this project harm the landfill cap and lead to pollutant leaks?

Any project built at the RTS has to be done in conjunction with the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), who is responsible for insuring that closed and capped landfills do not pose an environmental threat.  The system can be engineered to insure that the integrity of the landfill cap is maintained. Because the landfill …read more

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Where would this go? What happens to the transfer station?

The PV panels, mounted in frames (arrays), would go on top of the capped former landfill.   (This is the flat-topped “hill” that you see, behind the transfer station area.)  The transfer station, yard waste and composting areas won’t be affected.

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