I visited the NY Sun Works Science Barge today. I finally understand why New Yorkers leave the city in the summer. Tooooo hoottttttt!
The Science Barge is a sustainable urban farm designed by NY Sun Works, an environmental non-profit. The purpose: to show that sustainability can be achieved in an urban environment.
This series of solar panels have a passive tracker that follows the sun across the sky. The tubes at either end of the array contain freon that heats or cools depending on the amount of solar exposure. The cooler side dips and the warmer site rises altering the positioning of the array. The tracker boosts their output by 20%. 85% of all the energy used by the barge is supplied by the barge’s solar panels.
When you are tight on space such as on a roof, commented our guide, vertical planting is a good option.
The bedding for the plants in the hydroponic system includes, among other things ,coconut shells, risk husks, and Earthstone (made of recycled glass).
The Barge does not use municipal water. Rather they either capture rainwater or desalinate small quantities of brackish river water using their reverse osmosis system.
All water is recycled.
This evaporative cooling system is made of rigid corrugated cardboard sheets. When the greenhouse needs to be cooled, water is pumped onto the sheets. A large fan on the other side of the room is turned on, sucking outside air over the wet honeycombed surface, cooling it. The system works less efficiently in very high humidity. Even so, it was several degrees cooler in the greenhouse than outside.
I’m not obsessed or anything, but here is another nice example of using a recycled shipping container for office and utility space. I’m not sure what they do to keep it cool on sweltering hot days.