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22 COOPERATORNEWS CHICAGOLAND  —EXPO 2021  CHICAGO.COOPERATORNEWS.COM  The support you need  to manage your associations.  Hugh Rider   ph: (773) 989-8000  REALTYMORTGAGECO.COM  Call Us  Today.  Chicago’s   Trusted  Customized Property   Management Program.  Since 1906  Time for a new   Time for a new   CBU?  CBU?  Mailbox Installations and Repairs   Mailbox Installations and Repairs   Mailbox Fast LLC  Mailbox Fast LLC  Wheaton, IL  Wheaton, IL  630-215-7343  630-215-7343  Before  Before  Make Your Life Easier with   Make Your Life Easier with   According to Mierlo, the material of a   solar panel acts as a semiconductor, which   processes electricity in a way that wastes   a certain percentage of energy. The best a   solar panel can do, he says, is to harness   24% of available energy from the sun, and   today’s panels are approaching that limit.   But new technologies promise a higher   energy harvest. His company is develop-  ing a tandem module, which has the abil-  ity to increase the energy output of a solar   panel by 35%. Using two semiconductors,   tandem panels can capture energy from   both low- and high-wavelength photons.   When they become commercially avail-  able in the near future, it is expected that   tandems will reduce the kilowatt-hour   cost of a solar panel to 2¢.   An additional technological advance-  ment is the actual material being used to   make solar panels. The traditional poly-  silicon is already   fairly thin and versa-  tile, but a new mate-  rial called perovskite   is on its way to com-  mercial use. Thinner   and  more  transpar-  ent  than crystalline   silicon,  perovskite  has the potential to   be layered on top of   existing solar panels   to  boost efficiency,   or be integrated with   glass to make building windows that also   generate power. Mierlo’s 1366 Technolo-  gies has announced a merger with Hunt   Perovskite Technologies LLC, according   to   Bloomberg,   which will combine the two   technologies to create an even more effi-  cient solar panel.   There is an uptake component that   can potentially reduce costs even fur-  ther—and that, says Mierlo, is the biggest   challenge. It’s a major transition, in both   physical components of a building or   community and mental adjustments to a   new way of accessing utilities. In the big-  ger picture, there has to be a political will   to shift resources and infrastructure away   from the entrenched fossil fuel industry   and into a cleaner, greener energy econo-  my. “But the solutions are there,” accord-  ing to Mierlo. “We just have to decide that   we want to do it.”   If You Build It ...  So the technology exists and it’s cost-  effective … but what can a multifamily   building or community do if it doesn’t   have a solar farm or available roof space   to house solar panels? That’s where com-  panies like Green Stream Holdings Inc.   come  in. The tech,  finance, and  solar   utility firm recently announced that it is   partnering with governmental agencies   to  facilitate community  solar  programs,   which use one property’s solar array to   offset the utility bills of ten or more “sub-  scribers” that connect to it virtually. The   company has offices in New York and is   licensed there as well as in Nevada, New   Jersey, and Massachusetts, among other   states.  Through  its  subsidiary,  Green  Rain   Solar, LLC, based in Nevada, the compa-  ny is offering this arrangement not only   to individual buildings, but also to indi-  vidual households. In New York State, it   has partnered with Community Solar—a   shared solar program that offers all util-  ity customers the opportunity to switch   to solar at no cost, with nothing on their   roof or property, and receive immediate   savings on their electric bill. CEO James   DiPrima says explains the technology: “A   solar farm is built on a ‘Host Site’ roof-  top or ground mount, a remote location   within a Utility Zone; the system is tied   directly to the utility grid, bypassing any   on-site meters. All of the power produced   by the system   can  then  be  credited to any   individual utility   customer, at zero   cos t—in s t a nt   savings,  and the   savings will be   credited to the   individual cus-  tomer’s bill for   20-plus years.”  Another new   technology tak-  ing hold in Europe and the Middle East   is smart glass, also known as electro-  chromic glass or dynamic glass. Using a   tiny burst of electricity to charge ions on   a window layer, smart glass can change   the amount of light it reflects. This goes   beyond the low-emittance windows that   block some of the sun’s radiation—an ex-  isting technology already in use in some   multifamily buildings in the U.S. Rather,   smart glass allows users to   choose   how   much light they want to block. And, as   the  name  suggests,  smart  window  con-  trols can be linked to a building’s man-  agement system, allowing for remote and   automatic tint adjustment depending on   time of day, year, weather, etc. This con-  venience and aesthetic enhancement can   save a building or community in both   HVAC costs and carbon emissions, as the   U.S. Department of Energy estimates that   energy lost through conventional win-  dows accounts for approximately 30% of   heating and cooling energy.   Decisions, Decisions  With all of these options, how does a   board decide which one or ones to imple-  ment in their building or association and   when? This is definitely an area where one   size does not fit all, say the experts. Marc   Zuluaga, PE, CEO of Steven Winter Asso-  ciates—an architecture and engineering   NEW GREEN TECH...  continued from page 1   “Every building is   going to have to create   their own master plan   of how they’re going to   get to that threshold.”             —Kelly Doherty    See us at Booth 306

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