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Old 03-18-2017, 04:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sustainable City

Back in a prior century, I worked on a project to manifest a sustainable small town. It was called Cerro Gordo, above Dorena Lake, East of Cottage Grove, OR, USofA*.

TLDR a bunch of Californian ex-pats worked their way North looking for some land with opportunity. Prior to settling on Cerro Gordo ranch, they looked at an island in the bay at IIRC Newport. They might have succeeded there; but the ranch had an easement for a BLM road and they were trying to create a town without cars. \_(ツ)_/ My hope was that they suceed, so I could start up a car rental property at the designated car ghetto. All air-cooled VW, of course.

A lot of people poured their savings into it; mostly equestrians and would-be railroad tycoons (the tracks are gone now, replaced by a bicycle path.). I was one of the few that made money, by working on the Cerro Gordo Construction Company.

Anyway the small-scale undercapitalized approach didn't work (it takes three permits to build a house, guess how many to build a town). Here's an example of what bottomless capital can achieve.



Some notes in no particular order:
  • Rental of business space pays everybody's utilities. Zero maintenance or utilities expense.
  • The solar panels are laid flat, accepting some efficiency loss for the architectural cause.
  • The 'Fan and PAD' cooling system they've developed is basically a swamp cooler. The fan part is all wrong.
  • The serpentine biofilter swale is similar to our local bus stations; but could benefit from the insights of Viktor Shauberger. Cross-section of the serpentines is wrong.
  • Condominium purchases include a 10K Euro incentive to buy an electric car.

After the low-cost well-integrated (architecturally and economically) solar electric, it's mostly about water management. Compare:



This is more the level Cerro Gordo operated on. Composting toilets and cob, but there exists at least one house that will last 300 years.


*Off-topic; but the first thing I found online (then stopped): How Cerro Gordo Mt. got its Name

Edit: Aww, yeah: https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...storiesbysteve

I'd forgotten about the Dolittle family wagon tracks.


Last edited by freebeard; 03-18-2017 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very nice find. Watched the first video, not enough time to watch the second yet. Definitely a great idea, but I agree on some of the points you mentioned. The panels not being at the optimal angle, would bug the heck out of me, I prefer efficiency. I'm even building my house roof for the correct solar angle amd orientation lol. I can't say anything about the fan/pad thing because I don't know much about those systems.

I have to wonder though if the whole city would be a giant heat island. I understand they have some shading placed throughout, but I saw A LOT of large areas full of concrete.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When solar panels are layed flat there isn't some loss. It can be up to half.
If they are being used in that way then they are nothing more than an expensive decoration.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
When solar panels are layed flat there isn't some loss. It can be up to half.
If they are being used in that way then they are nothing more than an expensive decoration.
Lol good point. They would be practically useless in the winter months, when the sun is lower.

I can see it now... "Sorry residents, it's winter time. You're going to have to do without electricity for a few months"
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't even mind that people looked at the thread for a week before a response. Saving@Home doesn't get much love. We takes what we can get.

So lets think about this. Abu Dubia is at 24+ latitude

http://www.latlong.net/place/abu-dha...ates-3401.html

The Tropic of Cancer is at 23+

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_of_Cancer

So the sun is virtually overhead at least on day a year and never lower in the sky than our summer sun.

Quote:
The solar panels are laid flat, accepting some efficiency loss for the architectural cause.
Actually, any efficiency loss just means upsizing the panels relative to the rest of the system. My criticism would be that they expend a lot of energy washing the dust off the panels.

The 'Fan and PAD' cooling system is four box fans pointed to the four winds. Compare to R.B.Fuller's omnidirectional rotating ventilator on his Dymaxion house.

Heat island? It's in the desert! Probably the coolest place around. I've seen other stories on it as it was being built. It has perforated screens that shade without blocking air flow. And Northward solar orientation.

This article is upbeat but my understanding was that it was having financial struggles and the expansion hasn't happened as quickly as expected.

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