The recent storm
brought much damage and disruption to our area. The
loss of life was devastating. The financial cost -
extreme. As we rebuild and rethink our buildings,
infrastructure and our communities, we can
I have many thoughts and ideas for rethinking our
buildings to make them more resilient and
economical. Our communities can be rebuilt to
accept floodwaters more readily. Rather then
the unforgiving hard infrastructure like sea walls
many are suggesting, a soft, more resilient
infrastructure like constructed wetlands and
ecologically modified shorelines and 'sponge parks'
may be a better answer.
Emergency power generation seems no longer a luxury.
For those who endured power outages for more than a few
days, it became a necessity. We have always included
emergency power systems for health care and critical
facilities. Now our homes, offices , schools
and buildings of every type are demanding
emergency power generators.
Don't do it. - yet. Think about a cogeneration unit.
The difference is significant. While an
emergency generator can adequately meet your needs
in the event of a power outage -
a cogeneration unit can do all the things an
emergency generator can do as well as; pay for itself, lower
your electrical costs, shave peak loading and reduce
your carbon emissions.
We have just installed
a 75 kW cogeneration unit that will pay for itself in
15 years. We are looking at some smaller units
that have paybacks of under 10 years. While those
payback periods seem larger than some think
are reasonable, an emergency generator never pays for
itself except in the emotional category of providing power when the grid
A cogeneration unit is named
as such because it not only generates electricity,
it uses the heat from that generation for
your building. It can heat your spaces,
domestic water and even a spa or swimming pool.
It is the combined generation of heat and power that
makes these units so efficient.
cogeneration unit can run on natural gas and be a
engine-driven generator, microturbine, steam
turbine, or fuel cell. A synchronous
motor (as opposed to an induction type) is typically
required for emergency generation when the grid is
down. A manual or automatic transfer switch is
required and sometimes storage batteries are
provided for added security.
The environmental, and
economic benefits such as peak electric demand
reduction, higher fuel-use efficiency, emissions
reductions, and lower energy costs are important,
however as many of us learned recently, having
available electricity when the grid is down can mean
a world of difference.
Michael Shilale Architects, LLP delivers integrated
solutions for academic, commercial, institutional,
municipal and residential clients, covering new
construction, renovation, energy savings and
environmentally-conscious and mission-driven
designs. Additional MSA services include energy
efficiency audits, consultations and procurement,
advising on smart meters and real time pricing
To review MSA’s top 20 projects, visit
http://www.shilale.com/20/ . For more
information about the firm go to
http://www.shilale.com. Contact Michael Shilale
directly by calling 845-708-9200.