24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East, New York, NY 10010
solar1 solar photovoltaic "Solar Energy" "NYC Energy"
Solar One, New York City's first solar-powered "Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center," inspires New Yorkers to become environmentally responsible city dwellers. We do this through a variety of unique programs that seek to reach out to broad sections of the New York City population in order to connect people to the urban environment around them.
SOLAR 1 Date of Construction: 2003 Structure Space: 500 sq. ft. Array Capacity: 3.5 kW Monthly Usage: 400 kWh CO2 Emission Reduction: 3.25 lbs/year
Solar 1 serves as the headquarters of Solar One Green Energy Arts and Education Center. Solar 1 produces most of the energy it needs on a day-to-day basis to support the work of its employees and many types of educational and arts programming with its rooftop photovoltaic (solar electric) system.
3.5kW Photovoltaics Facing south and angled for maximum exposure, Solar 1's photovoltaic (solar) panels provide most of the power that the building needs. When excess power is generated, a bank of batteries stores the electricity for use at other times. Photovoltaics do not produce greenhouse gases, or use up finite fossil fuels that pollute the air. Photovoltaics can be used all over the country because nearly every region has enough sunlight for them to work.
Solar 1 generates approximately 3.52kW under ideal conditions. That's enough electricity to power a small to medium sized apartment, including air conditioning! Solar 1's roof is also sloped to generate a maximum amount of electricity. The rule of thumb with most photovoltaic installations is that the panels are sloped + or - 10 degrees according to the location's latitude. New York's latitude is approximately 40 degrees and so is Solar 1's roof. Solar 1's photovoltaic system currently powers the building's lights, computers, printers and other appliances. During the summer, the system also provides much of the power for the Solar One's film screenings and dance and music performances.
Recovered Stage In 2005, Solar One put up a stage to be used as part of its arts programming, especially the Solar-Powered Arts Festival. First used by Tommy Hilfiger during Fashion Week, the stage was sent to the Build it Green! ReStore in Astoria. It then found its way to Solar One, where it enjoys a renewed purpose supporting (literally!) our programming. Re-use extends the life-cycle of products and reduces the waste stream.
Doors Solar 1 has large glass doors to the south, allowing winter sun to passively warm the building. The extensive wall to wall exposure also maximizes direct sunlight gain, a design strategy that is often referred to as daylighting. This allows for greater efficiency by reducing the need for both active heating during the colder months, and electric lighting during the day.
Overhang The building has an overhang that provides passive heating and cooling - it stops summer sun from penetrating and overheating the building during warmer months while allowing more direct sunlight into the interior during the winter when the sun is lower in the sky.
Insulation The insulation in Solar 1 is made from a specially constructed material called Structurally Insulated Panels, also known as SIPs. SIPs are high-performance building panels used in floors, walls and roofs in residential and low-rise commercial buildings. Each panel is made from foam insulation sandwiched between two pieces of structural wood. The insulation allows Solar 1 to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter while minimizing the use of electricity for heating and cooling.
Lights Solar 1 uses only fluorescent lighting because it is five times more efficient than standard light bulbs. A majority of the fluorescent bulbs are compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL), which look slightly like corkscrews. According to Energy Star, if every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road. If every household in New York City replaced five incandescent bulbs with CFLs, the city could close one power plant.
Toilets The urinal in Solar 1 does not require any water for flushing, our toilet alone saves an average of 10,000 gallons of water a year and it may be more hygienic than normal urinals as fresh supplies of biodegradable oils and alcohols inside of the toilet prevent odors and bacteria buildup. Solar 1 also has a flushing toilet that exceeds standards for low water using toilets. On average each person uses 28 gallons of water per day flushing the toilet. The same use in Solar 1 would be around half or 14 gallons per day.
Low VOC Paints Many types of petroleum based paints give off VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that smell and contribute to poor indoor air quality. Some people are even allergic to VOCs and can get sick from breathing them. The paints in Solar 1 are zero VOC paints, which helps play a part in creating a healthier indoor environment.
Linoleum Flooring The floor in Solar 1 is made from linoleum, one of the most environmentally friendly floor finishes on the market. Linoleum is durable and good for the environment because it is made primarily from natural renewable resources like Rosin, Wood flour, Cork flour, Linseed oil, Limestone, Pigments and Jute which are all raw materials harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption. Linoleum is biodegradable contrasting vinyl, which cannot be broken down by natural processes.
SOLAR 2 From the moment it opens to the public in 2009, the Solar 2 Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center will become a landmark and an important symbol of New York City's growing commitment to energy independence and environmental sustainability.
Solar 2 is recognized and supported as a key initiative in Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030. A ‘net-zero' energy use facility, Solar 2 will generate more clean energy than it consumes and will be New York City's first carbon-neutral building, using solar power and advanced mechanical systems to prevent the production and emission of carbon dioxide. Slated to replace our current temporary facility in Stuyvesant Cove Park, Solar 2 will set the standard for building performance in New York City while becoming a hub for environmental activity both regionally and nationally.