Another hurricane season began June 1 with emergency mobile solar generators staged at 17 locations around Houston, ready to help residents do things like refrigerate crucial medicines and charge medical devices and cell phones.
Testing Solar Panels at the Port of Galveston
HARC is working to advance research in solar panel efficiency in marine environments. When sunlight travels through humid, salty air in sunny areas like the Texas Gulf Coast, the sunlight becomes dispersed and is less efficient at generating electricity. In this project HARC is partnering with the Port of Galveston and researchers at the University of Houston to install and test various solar panel coatings to determine how they perform near the coast.
The project is lead by Alex Cuclis, Research Scientist in Air Emissions and Monitoring. The University of Houston is performing tests with solar panels mounted on the Port of Galveston Cruise Terminal to determine how to increase the amount of electricity that can be generated simply by using a different kind of coating.
An unexpected result of a lawsuit by environmentalists to cut industrial air pollution went on public display this week - a trio of solar-power installations at two high schools, which HARC was instrumental in planning and constructing.
Many people understand from their own experience that cities are often hotter than rural areas. Research suggests a difference of 6 to 8ºF. As cities develop, trees and vegetated areas are reduced, natural surfaces are paved, and buildings constructed.
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands, Texas has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist public and private entities considering Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
HARC works with the City of Houston on a wide range of energy efficiency projects. Through its partnership with the City of Houston, HARC works with commercial building managers, residential builders, and homeowners to demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency and environmental performance.
As the city efficiency leaders retrofit public buildings, create innovative financing, benchmark and collect energy data, implement building codes, and initiate other new programs, HARC, SECO, and SPEER are producing a series of case studies documenting their best practices.