The Richmond Olympic Oval is to Vancouver as the Bird's Nest was to Beijing (though on a scale more befitting of Vancouver than Beijing). The 8,000-seat, 512,000-square-foot building uses a novel styrofoam insulation beneath the ice to obtain the necessary ice temp, thickness, flatness and hardness for a variety of events. Heat waste from cooling the ice is used to keep the arena warm. The iconic wood wave roof was built with one million feet of timber from trees killed by the pine beetle, the largest such usage in the world. The pine beetle epidemic that's ravaged the forests in British Columbia (more than14.5 million hectares) is itself a result of consecutively warm winters.
Just how much energy does the greening of the oval save? 43,817kWh in the past week, the equivalent of an individual running 478,000 km. A quick check on the Venue Energy Tracker website will offer such real time data on energy consumption for each Olympic venue. Power company BC Hydro, in conjunction with the Vancouver Organizing Committee, has built the site, and hopes it could serve as an example of what home monitoring could become. See a spike in usage? Try turning off the lights in the popcorn machines. The running plot shows the actual consumption alongside the predicted baseline had green innovations not been added. Greenhouse and energy savings per occupant and per area are also provided along with some nice examples to help visualize savings.
With the summer games in London just two years away, the Brits are determined to play the eternal game of environmental one-upsmanship, hoping to take the title of "greenest games ever" from Vancouver as soon as their flame is lit (hopefully without the technical difficulties). And they're getting creative: The Olympic stadium in East London for the 2012 games will be built, in part, from 52 tons of scrap metal from guns, knives and old keys confiscated by the Metropolitan Police Service (they'll see your pine beetle and raise you). Even the streets will be paved in green with plans for 16,000 slabs of energy sucking sidewalks that use deformations in a rubber disc beneath the slap to store energy that will power street lights and subway systems.
I find so much of what people to consider green simply amusing. Isn't styrofoam one of those really bad materials we're supposed to be eliminating? Yet they're using it by the ton for an ice rink that will get most of it's use in the next few weeks.
Does anyone else question the so-called savings that a power utility is claiming are realized from their efforts? Really, when do people wake up and realize that "green" is a marketing campaign?
And finally, the "energy sucking sidewalks". Has the Law of Conservation of Energy been completely lost on people? Do you really believe that cars or people running over things means that you creating energy that isn't replaced in some way? It seems people really are gullible enough to drink this stuff up.
when will you realise that being green is about being more efficient and not so uneccessarilly wastefull??? you know things that make complete sense to anybody. reduse, reuse, recycle. it just make's sense.
Have you run the numbers on the savings made kstauff to actually determine that the methods used aren't greener than if they hadn't been done at all.
But even if what they do isn't always the greenest option, the attempted green techniques employed at a rare world wide event such as the Olympics could also be seen as a sort of concept run for future green strategies. It may not always be the most ideal and best, but it's all apart of the overall trajectory of seeing what's possible and moving towards a greener world.
Firstly, biodegradability may not be a priority for your styrofoam if it's underneath your ice - so the reason styrofoam has always been vilified may not apply here. Also, there are eco-friendly materials which could have been used and called styrofoam the way we call tissue Kleenex.
The power utility is monitoring energy and power usage against a model that was probably done by an independent energy modeller. This means the projected usage is fixed, and if you don't trust the power company to accurate gauge current usage, then you are involved in a conspiracy every time you pay your utilities bill. The government is also adding too much fluoride to your water.
Thirdly, for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that when you step down on the ground, the ground is pushing back up at you. If some of that force can be transferred (springs or some other mechanism) then people walking or cars moving can create energy. Granted, this energy has to come from somewhere else, but most of us could stand to burn an extra Joule or two.
sucks for the Olympian winners. No more pure gold for ya!
Most of the energy lost when walking is turned into heat and vibrations. These new generators help convert that lost energy into electricity, instead of letting it dissipate. Much like insulating a house keeps it warmer: it's still the same amount of energy, you just get to control where it goes.
I think you have all missed the point about the law of conservation of energy and the laws of thermodynamics.
The point being it takes more energy to do anything then can be harnessed from said energy. In other words putting motion capture in a sidewalk not that big a deal for us.People dont really use that much energy to walk, and like has been previously stated alot of you could lose some weight fatties. In the road though it is completely stupid. The amount of energy that would be wasted in the form of lower M.P.G would not even come close to being reclaimed from this tech. The laws of thermodynamics guarantee that capturing energy from a cars movement requires the car to expend more energy per unit of motion and also that in reclaiming a potion of that energy of motion from the car it loses a significant amount of energy in the transfer.
Point being I have not yet seen even one example of green tech. All of it I see is a gimmick to make hippies think they are saving the world. This is no different then electric cars, ethanol, wind,or solar energy. They are all novel ideas but they are not efficient or affordable so they are gimmicks that make you feal good but otherwise accomplish absolutely nothing but wasting time and money.
I know someone is going to say I drive a hybrid or an electric, or I use ethanol. Well The batteries in your hybrid will do more damage then 10 regular cars. Your electric still has a carbon foot print just as large as a truck. Look to your local power station, electricity comes with its own foot print.Ethanol actually takes more energy to make then is possible to recalim from it.(wow how efficient to waste energy changing energy into energy)Wind solar and tidal are jokes.They cant even cover their own operating costs. How is any of this efficient or clean? God greenies are tards.
reddwhite, i would like to see you back up your numbers on electric car's batteries or having "a carbon foot print just as large as a truck." also, if you could prove your statement that alternatives can't cover their operating costs. and in more than just a couple isolated instances
@reddwhite: Funny troll is funny.
It's always going to be hard to define a green Olympics, let alone make one. But I do like what I hear about Vancouver, and what the city is doing to try and be sustainable:
Power utility monitoring energy and power using a model that was likely to make independent fashion energy. This means that the projected use is unchanged, and if you do not trust the power of a precise indicator of current use, then you take part in the plot each time to pay the utilities bill. The Government also add too much fluoride in water.