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Old building in Shanghai shows potential of new energy

Reporter: Shi Wenjing 丨 CCTV.com

06-13-2014 21:07 BJT

Solar energy is no longer a new idea among Chinese residents, as many have installed solar water heaters on their rooftops. But one old building in Shanghai is showing that this could be the start of whole new outlook not just on energy, but urban living.

A great combination of old and new…

As the first old building with solar panels on its rooftop, it hopes to demonstrate the potential of clean energy in an urban environment.

Jason Inch is the man behind this green move.

“DONE. There are six solar panels in total. we started to have the idea of the solar panel six months ago. And we finally installed them in early April,” Jason Inch said.

The small power station is capable of lighting seventy LED bulbs in this six story building. Solar panel systems work by capturing the Sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity. Extra power can be stored in batteries, for use during cloudy days or night time, or sold to the government for someone else to use. Most importantly, solar panel systems produce no pollutants or carbon dioxide.

Having powered his building with just the sun for two months, Inch says he’s noticed a major difference in his electricity bill.

“Before we installed the solar panels, for a typical month we might use 250 kilowatt hours. after we installed we only use 30 kilowatt hours," Jason Inch said.

But beyond just the utility bill, there are benefits to the entire environment. This data panel shows just what a difference using solar panels can make... how much energy has been generated....how many newly planted trees that equals.... the amount of carbon that’s been off-set and the income earned by using green energy.

And it doesn’t stop at using solar panels. The building also features triple-paned windows and re-used furniture, as well as an aquaponic system and insulated carpets.... everything is based on the idea of sustainability.

The house hopes to promote a life philosophy of health and happiness in balance with the environment.

Looking around it’s not hard to find out that this is the only old house in downtown with new energy on top. Living green is actually more than a concept, it requires a lot of practical actions to make our city a better place to live. This house for example, is a good model to show to the public how to make a difference right from our everyday life.

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